June 15, 2006

Front Page

County ceases secondary road maintenance

By Sheila Berger

Special to The SUN

Archuleta County will cease maintenance of all county secondary roads on June 15, 2006, as adopted by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners on Jan. 17, 2006. Alternate funding methods to remedy this issue are being considered.

In the next two months, there will be several presentations throughout the county of road maintenance options. As soon as dates for these meetings are established, they will be published in The SUN, and on the county Web site. Public input will be greatly appreciated.

There are several ways in which maintenance and reconstruction of county secondary roads, including winter maintenance, may be accomplished by property owners. One mechanism is the creation of a public improvement district for the purpose of maintaining roads. Information on the formation of these districts is available from the office of the special projects manager (264-5660).

Until January 1, 2007, all fees will be waived and staff time donated to any group of property owners wishing to form a public improvement district.

Primary election candidates certified, lawsuit filed

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

With Archuleta County Sheriff candidate Steve Wadley's filing of a lawsuit challenging his opponent, Pete Gonzalez's, residency status, a three-way sheriff's race already set on simmer, could begin to boil.

The third candidate in the all-Republican sheriff's showdown is Archuleta County Undersheriff Bob Grandchamp.

Wadley's move came Monday, three days after the certification of the primary ballot, which listed Gonzalez, Grandchamp and Wadley as the three sheriff candidates, and within the five-day window allowed by state statute for challenges to the ballot certification.

In addition to Gonzalez, Wadley's suit names Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder June Madrid, although as of press time June 14, Madrid said she had not been served with papers and notice of the impending court date.

In the suit, Wadley asserts Madrid erroneously placed Gonzalez on the Aug. 8 primary ballot, because he believes Gonzalez is not a bonafide resident of Archuleta County. Wadley claims, because Gonzalez owns a house in Durango and his wife lives there, Gonzalez is a resident of La Plata County and, therefore, should be removed from the ballot.

"If his wife and home were in Pagosa, I wouldn't have doubts," Wadley said.

Gonzalez said he does own a house in La Plata County, which has been for sale for about nine months, and rents in Pagosa Springs.

Gonzalez said he became a resident of Archuleta County in April 2005, in order to qualify as a sheriff's candidate and has worked for nearly eight years in Pagosa Springs as the Archuleta County investigator for the 6th Judicial District, District Attorney's office.

According to Madrid, citing election statute, home ownership is not a criteria for residency status. For election purposes, a candidate must have been registered to vote and live in the county for at least one year prior to the primary election date.

Madrid said when reviewing Gonzalez's candidate affidavit, he met those criteria, having registered to vote in May 2005, and that Gonzalez signed a perjury statement stating his residence is, in fact, in Pagosa Springs.

Madrid said with the perjury statement and the appropriate documentation, namely voter registration, Gonzalez is an eligible candidate.

She said the law does not require a county clerk to physically inspect a home or apartment to verify residency, and that no other candidate has been subject to such.

She said the Colorado Secretary of State has reviewed the matter, and supports her certification of Gonzalez onto the primary ballot.

But Wadley disagrees and he wants the question put before a judge.

Wadley said he is disappointed the question of Gonzalez's residency status hasn't come out during the campaign and that he is simply exercising his rights according to statute.

"I think this should be reviewed in an open forum, by competent authority, and I'm happy to live with the decision," Wadley said.

In the case of a residency claim, the burden is on Wadley to prove that Gonzalez is not a resident.

Wadley will make his case before Judge Greg Lyman in district court at 3 p.m. June 20.

In other election news: As of June 9, the following county offices and candidates are certified to the Aug. 8 primary ballot.

County Commissioner Dist. 3 - John T. Egan (D), Robert C. Moomaw (R).

County Clerk and Recorder - June Madrid (R), no Democratic candidate for the office.

County Treasurer - Lois E. Baker (R), no Democratic candidate for the office.

County Assessor - Keren L. Prior (R), no Democratic candidate for the office.

County Sheriff - Peter L. Gonzalez (R), R.E. "Bob" Grandchamp (R), Steven M. Wadley (R), no Democratic candidate for the office.

County Surveyor - David L. Maley (R), no Democratic candidate for the office.

County Coroner - Carl R. Macht (R), no Democratic candidate for the office.

At the state level:

U.S. Rep. District 3 - John Salazar (D), Scott Tipton (R).

Governor - Bill Ritter Jr. (D), Bob Beauprez (R), Mark Holtzman (R).

Secretary of State - Ken Gordon (D), Mike Coffman (R).

State Treasurer - Cary Kennedy (D), Mark Hillman (R).

Attorney General - Fern O'Brien (D), John Suthers (R).

Regent of the University of Colorado-at large - Stephen C. Ludwig (D), Brian Davidson (R).

Regent of the University of Colorado Congressional District 3 - Susan A. Hakanson (D), Tilman "Tillie" Bishop (R).

State Senate District 6 - James Isgar (D), Ron Tate (R).

State Representative District 59 - Joe Colgan (D), Jeff Deitch (D), Ellen Roberts (R).

Guilty plea entered in stabbing case, sentence pending

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

A suspect in a Jan. 14 stabbing incident in Pagosa Springs, Angelo Rivard, 17, entered a guilty plea June 6. Rivard was charged as an adult.

District Attorney Craig Westberg reported Rivard pleaded guilty to the adult felony, a class 4 crime of violence. Rivard entered the plea with the understanding he will be sentenced to five years at the Colorado Department of Corrections.

On Jan. 14, at 1 a.m., Pagosa Springs police were dispatched to 475 Lewis St. following reports of an altercation, and discovered 35-year-old Tina Vigil and 25-year-old Chris Stahr with stab wounds. Both Stahr, who had suffered multiple stab wounds, and Vigil were transported to Mercy Medical Center for treatment.

Westberg said this case is noteworthy because Rivard was charged as an adult rather than as a juvenile.

"Under law, with violent crimes, we have the option to file as an adult," said Westberg. "Given his history and the nature of this particular offense, we thought filing him as juvenile was not appropriate."

A sentencing hearing is set for Aug. 1; Rivard will appear in district court, and Judge Greg Lyman will decide whether or not to accept the plea agreement.

"From our perspective, and from a community perspective, this is a significant event," said Westberg. "There is a misperception in the younger crowd that they can do just about anything and be incarcerated in the gentler juvenile environment. But, when certain lines are crossed, they are going to be treated as an adult. We're going to deal with them severely."


Inside The Sun

Blanco POA to hold annual meeting

The Lower Blanco Property Owners will have their 24th annual meeting at noon, June 17, at the Blanco River RV Park on U.S. 84. Bring a favorite side dish and eating utensils.

For information, call Margaret Wilson at 264-4246.

Mike Baker benefits scheduled

Pagosan Mike Baker was seriously injured in a 4-wheeler accident during the Memorial Day weekend. His femur was shattered and specialists in Denver and Pueblo have successfully reconstructed it by using a titanium plate and four screws. Mike has more than 100 stitches and 30 staples; he has undergone many hours of therapy and there will be many more. He will not be able to put any weight on his injured leg for two to three months.

With no insurance, many thousands of dollars in medical bills and household expenses, friends are asking the residents of Pagosa Springs to contribute in any way possible to aid Mike and his family.

Monetary donations can be made at Restoration Fellowship, with a note on the check or envelope that the donation is for Mike Baker.

Two bake sales will be held, with all proceeds going to Mike and his family: one at the PLPOA Garage Sale at the recreation center 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, June 17; the second at Paint Connection Plus, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 24.

Sale organizers are soliciting contributions of baked items and assistance in running the sales - in particular the sale on June 24.

Call Kim Hamilton at 731-2722 (home), or Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at 731-5564 (work). Bring baked goods to either sale location by 8 a.m. or call Hamilton the day before a sale to arrange pick-up of items.

No definitive word on when Pinon Lake will be filled

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

The cracked, desert-like expanse that was once Pinon Lake has become an all-too-familiar sight for Pagosans and visitors, and many eagerly await the refilling of the lake.

However, the lake may remain dry longer than expected.

Drained in its entirety, the lake has been dry since March to make room for state-mandated repairs to the dam structure. Many organizations are invested in the restoration of the lake; and yet, no one seems to have a definite answer as to when we'll see it filled again.

Alan Schutz, general manager of the Pagosa Springs Golf Club, said small amounts of water have been put into the lake every day for use in irrigation of the golf course.

"It will be filled as soon as they're done with the construction," said Schutz. "It may not be totally filled, but we will put water back in it." Schutz predicted the construction, which he said was necessary because the dam would not withstand a 100-year flood, would be finished within the next few weeks.

Yet Fairfield Resort Manager Eric Hagman stated, "nothing is definitive," and they are waiting on approval from the state to fill the lake. He also said their engineering firm, Davis Engineering, had been asked two weeks ago to submit a letter to Dennis Miller, the dam safety engineer in Durango, for permission to fill the lake prior to receiving the state's approval, in order to accelerate the refilling process.

Miller said he has not seen the letter, but said he has spoken with Mike Davis, of Davis Engineering. He said the appeal to fill the lake prior to state approval is "not my decision to make. I can only make a recommendation of yay or nay to the state engineer."

Miller said it is imperative that "they finish the construction project and have that accepted. We will insist that that be done."

As to when it will be filled, "that's a function of the progress of construction," said Miller. "It was the engineer's opinion that it is not possible to safely store water," said Miller. At press time, Davis was not available for comment.

Miller said refilling will be postponed at least until the old outlet conduit and right abutment of the dam are grouted with cement and safely sealed.

"We'd all like to see it filled again," said Miller. "But everything has to fall into place and there has to be water to store legally."

Enter the second delay: water. Even when construction is complete, it seems as though there may not be water to refill the lake.

With the dry weather and the snowpack severely below average, water availability has become an issue.

"It'll be filled when it's signed off by our dam safety manager," said Val Valentine of the Colorado Division of Water Resources. "To what level it will be filled is a subject of the need for the water and where the water comes from."

Valentine said that rather than use the term "fill," it is actually more accurate to say "begin storing water," since the amount of water available is debatable.

"We're in the middle of summer. Most runoff is not available to that reservoir," he said.

Carrie Campbell, district general manager of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, verified this.

"Water availability is gone," she said. "If it was fall or winter, it wouldn't be a big deal."

Campbell said the district is out of priority in the Dutton Ditch pipeline, meaning water rights holders have seniority to the district on that water. She said senior water rights holders have also placed calls on Four Mile stream, meaning there is no alternative source for water.

"Water isn't available from the streams. If Dutton Ditch Pipeline was still flowing, it'd be no problem. But that's not the case."

She said although Pinon Lake is not one of the reservoirs in the district's jurisdiction, PAWSD still controls the water that goes into it. "The land is owned by Fairfield, but the district owns the water," she said. Therefore, the district decides where the water comes from. She said it could easily be pumped from Village Lake, but Village Lake would in turn have to be supplemented, and "that's just not possible."

Valentine said the final decision will most likely be made between PAWSD, the golf course owners and Fairfield.

"Hopefully they will come to an agreement to look at it from a conservation standpoint," he said.

Until then, Pagosans, visitors and wildlife alike will have to wait to see the lake restored to its original splendor.

Commission and fixed-base operator to host open house at airport

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Airport Advisory Commission and the airport fixed base operator, Avjet Corporation, will co-host an open house at Stevens Field June 28, and the general public is invited.

The open house is one of a trio of events scheduled at the airport Wednesday, all in celebration of a two-year, multimillion-dollar renovation completed earlier this year. The finished improvements include runway expansion, a new midfield FBO building, a new fuel depot and hangars, full perimeter fencing and landscaping.

Festivities will commence with an invitation-only luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. at the FBO building at 61 Aviation Ct., Pagosa Springs. Guests will include representatives from the Federal Aviation Agency, state and local governments, pilot organizations, and local airport businesses and users. Christine's Cuisine of Pagosa Springs will cater the affair.

In reference to the lunch by invitation only, ACAAC chair Elmer Schettler explained, "The lunch will be our opportunity to say thank you to all those who participated in this project. And, since many of the same people will be involved in future projects at the airport, it is also our chance to strengthen our relationships with them."

The public celebration will also take place at the midfield FBO building, from 2-5 p.m., and include a number of activities appealing to all ages. As part of the program, the airport will be rededicated to the citizens of Archuleta County, and to the pilots and passengers utilizing it "from wherever they may travel." The newly constructed offices, attached hangar and other nearby hangars will be open to visitors, and food and beverage concessions will be available on the new midfield ramp.

Throughout, two dozen interesting and historic aircraft will be on display in the hangar and on the ramp. The theme of the exhibition is "A Parade of Notable Aircraft," and will include a Piper J3 Cub, a Pitts acrobatic biplane, roto-wing and fixed-wing air ambulances, helicopters, World War II trainer planes, and modern corporate jets.

Radio-controlled scale model jets will take to the air in impressive demonstration flights at 2:30. These craft are apparently 30 percent the size of the actual planes they replicate, and Schettler has described them as "surprisingly large and fast." They will fly again at 5:30, during a Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce SunDowner, also at the airport, beginning at 5 p.m.

At 3 p.m., many of the planes on display will join in a "parade of flight fly-by of private aircraft," the theme of which is the "Evolution of Private Flying." By press time, 13 planes were scheduled to participate, and will include the Piper J3Cub, the popular Cessna 172 four-place (four-seat) plane, a 1960s Cessna bush plane, a couple of experimental homebuilt planes, and a light jet by Beechcraft.

To illustrate the evolution of private aviation, planes will fly in chronological order, and event organizers believe each flight will take approximately five minutes. The entire fly-by should last approximately an hour and 15 minutes, and will again be repeated at 6 p.m., during the Sundowner.

At 5 p.m., upon conclusion of the public open house, organizers will host the SunDowner until 7 p.m. SunDowners occur monthly and are hosted by a Chamber member, usually a business, to allow other members and guests the opportunity to socialize and foster relationships. Food this month will be catered by Wildflower Catering of Pagosa Springs.

To attend the airport "grand reopening" on June 28, drive north on Piedra Road, past the airport to Cloman Boulevard, and turn right. Travel one mile to 61 Aviation Ct. and the airport entrance on the right. Public activities are from 2-5 p.m., and the ACAAC and Avjet promise an enjoyable afternoon.

School board approves budget, district seeks new hires

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County School District 50 Joint school board adopted the budget for the 2006-2007 school year at its June 13 meeting, also initiating the approval of an emergency means of hiring new staff to meet unexpected teaching vacancies.

Superintendent Duane Noggle asked for the board's authorization to offer contracts to new teachers prior to the board's approval; otherwise, he said, the contracts would have to be delayed until the next meeting in July.

"This is a special circumstance," said Noggle. "We've never had this many vacancies before."

Due to an unusually high number of retirements, resignations and transfers in the district, the board found it critical not to hesitate in the hiring of new staff. There are 26 staff changes at the elementary school alone slated for this fall, and also 12 at the high school. Of these changes, 16 positions remain vacant; three at the elementary school, three at the junior high, seven at the high school and three in the district.

"We feel, as the administration, it's essential. Now is the critical time to fill these posts. If we make people wait until July, they're going to find another job," said Noggle.

Chris Hinger, junior high school principal, said they've had "plenty of applicants. We're covered."

The board approved the motion after being assured by Noggle that they'd still retain the rights to oppose any hired staff.

"This really lowers the anxiety level," said Noggle.

The budget adopted by the board makes room for the new hirings, as well as five new math positions and new first-grade positions for the elementary school. However, the new budget also eliminates the School Within a School program and the French foreign language curriculum at the high school.

The total budget approved is $25,525,000, with $23,225,000 in appropriations and $2,300,000 in non-appropriated reserves. The total budget for the general fund is $19,500,000, with $17,500,000 in appropriations and $2,000,000 in non-appropriated reserves. The preschool fund is $100,000 with $100,000 in appropriations.

Nancy Schutz, business manager for the district, said the new budget will include a 4-5 percent increase to all base salaries. She also said the general funding is up 4 percent, despite a 2 percent deficit in the total budget. The decrease in total budget, she said, is due mainly to the construction of the new Maintenance and Transportation building adjacent to the high school.

In other school board news:

- Jason Plantiko was hired as a half-time vice principal for the junior high school.

- The board motioned to adopt a resolution opposing the 65 percent solution, an initiative in place on the November ballot that Noggle believes would "seriously erode local control of the school district's budget." The 65 percent solution would require that at least 65 percent of every dollar be spent solely on classroom instruction - a plan that is said by some to not be feasible for many school districts, large and small.

"It's a knee jerk reaction," said Assistant Superintendent Bill Esterbrook. "It's not what people know education really needs."

Board member Linda Lattin added the solution, "looks good on the surface, but it's gonna be a problem."

"The biggest problem in my mind is ... it erodes away at our local control. We need to be able to decide on our own how we appropriate funds," said Mike Haynes, board president. "That's why the public elects a school board. If they don't think we're spending enough money in certain areas, they can step up and let us know."

Noggle said the proposal has the required signatures and will be on the November ballot. The board unanimously approved the resolution to oppose the initiative.

- The board heard the first reading of a wellness policy for the school district. The goal of the policy is to improve the physical health and nutrition of students, as well as help parents learn to improve their own lifestyles. In response to the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, the district was given local control to create a nutrition wellness policy to be implemented in the 2006-2007 school year. The district's wellness committee created a list of recommendations that were presented to the school board. The recommendations include prioritization of physical education classes for elementary students and high parental involvement, but board members noticed the lack of changes to the school lunch menus.

"Pardon the pun, but there's no meat to it," said Vice President Sandy Caves of the policy. The board agreed that further consideration of the foods and beverages served at the schools will be necessary.

Hinger said the junior high has added more fruit juice vending machines in the effort to completely phase out soda machines. However, Noggle added that under federal guidelines, "healthy drinks" are classified as diet soda, Gatorade and water.

"If you look at fruit juices and Gatorade, they have a lot of sugar," said Hinger. "If you're going to say 'healthy drink,' you really can only say water."

The school district has had no wellness policy to date.

More of the same: Hot, windy, fire danger

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Hot, windy and high fire danger.

That is the forecast in Pagosa Country for the next week, with most severe conditions expected today and tomorrow.

With high winds, extremely low humidity and temperatures expected in the high 70s to low 80s, the National Weather service has issued a red flag warning today for southwest Colorado along the New Mexico border with area firefighting crews standing by.

Weather experts expect partly cloudy conditions today with winds out of the southwest at 15 mph, increasing to 25 to 30 mph late in the day. Gusts are expected to broach 40 mph with the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms.

By Friday, winds are expected to taper off slightly with breezes coming out of the south-southeast at 5 to 10 mph and gusts to 25 mph. Highs are expected to reach the upper 70s to low 80s with a 20 percent chance of showers.

Wind should remain strong throughout the weekend and into Monday with breezes coming out of the east-southeast at 16 to 20 mph. By Saturday, highs are expected to top the mid 80s, with temperatures expected to reach the high 80s by Sunday and Monday.

By Tuesday, wind and near 90 degree temperatures should taper off, with highs expected in the low 80s and breezes between five and 10 mph.

By Wednesday, expect more heat in the upper 80s, and clear conditions.

Low temperatures between June 15 and June 21 are expected to hover in the low 40s. Mostly clear conditions are expected throughout the forecast period.

Throughout the county, private, public and tribal lands are under Stage One fire restrictions. Generally speaking, Stage One restrictions dictate the following:

- Campfires are limited to permanent fire rings or grates within developed campgrounds. No coal or wood-burning stoves or any type of charcoal-fueled broiler.

- Smoking is limited to vehicles, buildings, or three-foot diameter areas cleared of all dry vegetation.

- Chainsaws and other internal-combustion engines must have approved and functional spark arresters.

- Acetylene and other torches with an open flame may not be used.

- The use of explosives, including fireworks, is prohibited in both forest zones.

New Mercy Medical Center to host ceremonies, open house

A dedication, ribbon cutting, and Open House Celebration will be held at the new Mercy Medical Center in Durango, Saturday, June 17.

Ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. and include:

- Invocation and brief comments by dignitaries.

- Flag-raising ceremony.

- Ribbon cutting ceremony.

- Cornerstone placement ceremony (2 p.m.).

Light refreshments will be served and music will be provided by the Jeff Solon Jazz Quartet.

The hospital open house is 11 a.m. to 3p.m.

The new Mercy Regional Medical Center is located at 1010 Three Springs Blvd.

Three Springs Boulevard is on the north side of U.S.160, two miles east of Farmington Hill.

For directions, visit www.mercydurango.org or call David Bruzzese at 382-1667.

Mercy Regional Medical Center is not open for business until Tuesday, June 27.

CDOT launches Lucha Libre campaign

The state's first cultural campaign targeting Hispanic families, kids and teens - Lucha Libre - launches today, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

This campaign begins jointly with the summer's anticipated blockbuster movie "Nacho Libre," premiering in Colorado today. This visually and culturally innovative campaign targets the state's Hispanic community through children and teens who can also influence their parents and caregivers to buckle up.

"The Hispanic population in Colorado is growing. Tragically, this growth is also seen in the higher numbers of Hispanic deaths and serious injuries on our highways," said Gabriela Vidal, CDOT safety and traffic engineering branch manager. "We are responding to this change by launching Lucha Libre to address the cultural differences that may lead to these higher numbers. We believe that increasing awareness among the Hispanic community will result in greater seat belt use and save lives."

Lucha libre, a Spanish phrase loosely translated into English as "freestyle fighting," was chosen as the campaign theme because it represents a genre of professional wrestling in Mexico that is a strong part of the Hispanic culture and is well-recognized. While the campaign is developed and produced in Spanish, it is the cultural power of the Lucha imagery that makes this an appealing campaign to all Latinos, regardless of language preference. Lucha Libre campaign elements include:

- Partnership with Paramount Studios to promote Lucha Libre with the opening of the new feature film, "Nacho Libre."

- Radio advertising including information on summertime Lucha events as well as a safety message.

- Community outreach involving "masked luchador" appearances in a costume featuring a seat belt .

- School outreach.

- Law enforcement activities.

- Direct mail of campaign materials.

Hispanics currently make up over 15 percent of the U.S. population and are projected to comprise over 25 percent by the year 2050. An updated census report shows that currently 34 percent of the population of Denver and 17 percent of Colorado's population are Hispanic. This population is expected to grow by 21 percent by 2010.

Unfortunately, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Hispanics from 1-34 years of age, and are the sixth leading cause of death for Hispanics of all ages. In addition, the death rate from motor vehicle crashes for Hispanic children between ages 5 and 12 is 72-percent greater than for Anglo children. CDOT's Lucha Libre campaign is designed to convince Hispanics of the importance of increasing their use of safety belts so they can reverse these trends.

Work begins on U.S. 160, Keyah Grande to Yellowjacket

The Colorado Department of Transportation has awarded APC Southern Construction a contract for work on U.S. 160, starting east of Keyah Grande (milepost 117) and extending west to Yellow Jacket Pass at milepost 131.

The project includes replacement of the existing guardrail, the heating and recycling of the existing asphalt, milling of degraded asphalt, an asphalt overlay, shoulder gravel and striping.

Project work hours will be from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday. Starting Saturday, June 24, crews will also work Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Typically, traffic delays should be approximately 20 minutes; however, delays may increase to 45 minutes during high-traffic periods.

The recycling begins tomorrow, June 16, and will continue through mid-July. The asphalt overlay will begin the first week of July with project completion set for Aug. 17.

If you have questions about the project, call APC's project information manager, Judy Lopez, at (970) 946-4240.

State fair deals with livestock tampering

To protect the integrity of the Colorado State Fair livestock shows this year, an aggressive stance is being taken against livestock tampering.

"The reason the fair is taking these steps is to protect the majority of the participants, who endeavor to do the right thing," said State Fair General Manager Chris Wiseman. "It is important to state fair management and its board to support those FFA and 4-H members who hold themselves to a high ethical standard."

Working closely with the Colorado Department of Agriculture's State Veterinarian's Office, the Pueblo District Attorney's Office and the sheriff's department, the rules and regulations set forth in the Colorado State Fair premium book regarding the tampering or altering of animals, will be enforced to protect those children and animals showing at the 2006 Colorado State Fair.

- Inspection zone: An area is designated specifically for veterinarians to inspect for animal tampering in all market lambs, hogs, beef and goats prior to weigh-in. This is an area that has been in place in previous years and has provided an opportunity for youth education on issues regarding tail docking and animal health.

- Lamb weigh-in: A new rule has been established in that all blankets or protective coverings must be removed from the animals between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. This will allow state fair officials to visually and physically inspect animals.

- Stall regulations: Intense inspections by a certified state veterinarian will continue to take place upon arrival of all market animals before they are stalled. Animals are also restricted from leaving the stalling area, other than to and from wash racks. This will be strictly enforced by Colorado State Fair security and personnel.

- Carcass and hide inspections: Junior Livestock Sale animals will be sent to a packing facility where in-depth carcass and hide inspections will be performed.

- Signs in livestock barns: Signs will be posted stating, "The Colorado State Fair will enforce all rules regarding livestock tampering and the unethical treatment of animals."

- Youth exhibitors will be given a chance to meet with Colorado State Fair staff during the 2006 show. They will have an opportunity to provide input on how they feel the Fair can improve, including more stringent enforcement of rules already in place to the addition of competitions designed to award those youths who set the standard for honor and integrity in agriculture.

The Colorado State Fair has always focused on education, youth and agriculture. The tampering or unethical treatment of animals will not be condoned. The Colorado State Fair is taking a pro-active stance in promoting education to youth in agriculture in order to help raise a quality product for consumers and continue to promote honor and fairness in the agriculture community.

The 2006 Colorado State Fair runs Aug. 25-Sept. 4. For more information, log on to www.coloradostatefair.com.

Home delivery meal program seeks volunteers

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 delivery meal program for our senior citizens.

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

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

For more information, contact Musetta at 264-2167.

Humane Society has new home visit policy

By Linda Lawrie

Special to The SUN

At the Humane Society Memorial Day Adoption Event, held in conjunction with the Sidewalk Sale at the Thrift Store, a number of potential adopters were likely surprised at the recently instituted home visit policy for all dog adoptions.

This article will tell you some of the reasons we have done this, and explain a bit how it works. The home visit will not invade anyone's privacy. We might point out potential hazards that you may not have considered. And, we might point out that a different dog would be better for your home than one you have chosen.

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs strives, as many animal organizations do, to improve in its mission areas. As any business or non-profit, we pay close attention to budgets, statistics and goals without losing site of our mission statement. Our pet overpopulation program, begun in 1995, has shown wonderful results. We have seen an 8-percent decline in the number of incoming animals to our shelter since 2001.

However, in recent years we have seen an increase in adopted dogs being returned to us shortly after adoption. Sometimes, we are very surprised by these returns. Three cases will illustrate.

Case 1: A couple came, visited and walked a young, energetic dog several weekends before deciding to adopt. We were told that, though they worked full time, they had a large fenced yard, went home for lunch and would have plenty of play time daily at noon. It seemed like a great match. What the couple didn't tell us is that they actually went home daily at lunch to care for two elderly parents and soon realized they didn't have any extra time for a high energy dog.

Case 2: A lady adopted two kittens so they could be playmates. We were told she was retired and had a large home with an attached garage so the kittens would be inside pets. What the adopter didn't tell us was she traveled most of the time, and the kittens would be left alone in the garage for months. Tame domestic kittens do not fair well being left alone for long periods of time and soon they both were very ill with feline herpes due to the stress of being alone. Thankfully, a neighbor brought the situation to our attention and the kittens were surrendered back to us. After receiving veterinary care, they were successfully adopted to a loving family.

Case 3: One of the Katrina dogs, a pit bull mix, had been temperament tested twice to assure us of her adoptability. She had never shown any aggressive signs to other dogs, shelter staff or anyone at an adoption event. From the adoption application, a couple stated that they lived alone and owned no other animals. The animal was placed with them and everything seemed fine until they came back to the shelter with a very young and hurt miniature long-haired Dachshund. The puppy's shoulder was quite swollen, but the couple gave only vague answers about what happened. Although we were told the puppy was a stray, we determined it had been attacked by the adopted Katrina dog. We also found that there was a 6-month-old child, other animals and people living in the household.

For some breeds and special-needs animals, we have been requiring a home visit before completing the adoptions. For several years, we have wanted to perform home visits for all adoptions. Our three cases showed us that now was the time.

Home visits may help us catch untruthful adopters, but that is not the primary reason for a home visit.

For out-of-area adoptions, we are checking veterinarian references and personal references. We will not adopt to people who will leave their dogs out and chained 24/7. We will not adopt to people who cannot give time or resources to care for a dog. A home visit allows us to see how other animals or people in the home interact; and we might bring a shelter dog along on the home visit to see how new animals are welcomed.

The home visit also allows us to suggest a proper breed match for you. Do you live in a condo and work 60 hours a week? Then a heeler/herding breed might not be the best match for you and your furniture.

When a person wants to adopt, they are informed what the adoption includes: microchip, vaccinations, local wellness check, spay or neuter, behavior and training help. We want our shelter animals to have great homes, and we do inform the potential adopters that a home visit is required before completion of the adoption. This policy lets the potential adopters know that we care about our charges, and we want to ensure that they get placed into a wonderful household. If you're living on a quarter-acre lot with close neighbors on either side and already have two to three large noisy dogs, we are not helping you to be a good neighbor by adding another noisy dog to the group.

When we did a follow-up visit to the Katrina dog's adopter family, the couple admitted that the Dachshund was their dog and, being a puppy, had jumped on the new dog several times before she was bitten. We can never know why the dog's personality seemed to change. She was examined to make sure there was no health reason for her change in behavior. Because of this behavior, she was euthanized as our organization will not adopt out a dog with a bite history.

Due to their dishonesty, the adopters were placed on our "Do Not Adopt" list. Yes, all humane societies have such a list. The Dachshund received surgery and was placed in a foster home for 10 weeks before being adopted by a new family following a home visit and recommendation by the vet. We learned a lot from this incident and, after much consideration, we came to the conclusion that we can't just rely on trust when adopting an animal.

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs takes these responsibilities very seriously. And most adopters know that adopting a pet is a major commitment to the animal. By conducting home visits, we are letting our adopters know we love these animals and only want the best for them, now and in the future.

We understand that occasionally even the best match may not work out, and we welcome the return of a dog in such situations. Since this policy was started, we have had one dog brought back to the shelter due to previously unknown allergies to dog hair.

We are considering doing home visits on feline adoptions but, for now, we are excited to provide this service for all dog adoptions.

If you're interested in being trained to conduct home visits, give us a call at 731-4771.



Comment sought on proposed fuels reduction project

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office (of the combined San Juan National Forest and San Juan Resource Area of the Bureau of Land Management) is planning fuels reduction on 465 acres of BLM land near Alpine Lakes west of Chromo, and asks the public to comment by June 30.

According to Forest Service fuels forester Scott Wagner, project planning is still in its initial stages, but officials hope to commence mechanical thinning by some time this fall.

Depending on available funding, the defined work area will be mechanically mowed and shredded in phases, involving six separate units. At some point, three of the units will then be subjected to prescribed burning, and if all goes well, the entire project should be completed in three or four years.

The project is located approximately 20 miles south of Pagosa Springs on Mesa Pedregosa, La Mesa del Medio, Chromo Mountain and Mesa Cortado, a mile west of Chromo. It includes BLM land within sections 5, 6, 7 and 8, Township 32 North, Range 1 East of the New Mexico Principal Meridian, and is bordered on the north by the San Juan National Forest, the west by the Elk Ridge subdivision (of Alpine Lakes Ranch) and the southwest by the community of Edith.

According to the Forest Service, the project is necessary to reduce fuel loading and continuity, in order to change potential fire behavior and reduce the risk to adjacent private lands. Treatment areas are only accessible through private land, and will require temporary road access agreements with landowners. Apparently, no new road construction will be necessary.

Foresters suggest all of the proposed treatment areas contain ponderosa pine overstory, including numerous pre-settlement pines up to 350 years old in all units. In many areas, a thick understory comprised of Douglas fir, white fir, Rocky Mountain juniper and Gambel oak constitute significant ladder fuels, greatly increasing the potential for crown fire initiation.

Foresters also say a variety of insects are infecting numerous ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and white fir trees. Mortality is approaching 30 percent in some areas, further contributing to increased fire danger.

As part of the proposed treatment, emphasis will be on reducing ladder fuels, enlarging existing openings and/or creating new openings in the canopy, while thinning dense clumps of trees. In some areas, 60 to 70 percent of the understory Gambel oak and associated shrubs will be mowed and shredded. Some clumps of oak will be left in openings, or areas beneath larger trees with higher crown heights.

These steps, and others, will create conditions allowing for the reintroduction of fire (in the form of prescribed burning) to fire-dependant ecosystems, and reduce the risk of unchecked wildland fires.

Detailed maps showing the exact location of this fuels reduction program are available at the Pagosa Ranger District office at 180 Pagosa St., Pagosa Springs. Summer hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

To comment on the project, see Scott Wagner at the district office, or call him at 264-1511.

Crew of local volunteers does trail work

By John Applegate

Special to The SUN

Thirty people from the San Juan Outdoor Club, the Backcountry Horsemen and the Pagosa Area Trails Council worked June 3 on a non-motorized trail near Monument Park. The trail climbs to Horse Mountain and then follows a ridge to Devil Mountain.

Three chain saws were kept busy all day, as volunteers cut through more than 100 downed trees. The rest of the crew moved log sections off the trail and helped delineate the trail. On Horse Mountain, the view of the divide opened up to the east. On the way down, everyone involved felt good about the huge improvement in the trail.

Ancient Puebloan Pottery Workshop at Chimney Rock

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

This summer, you can learn to replicate a Pueblo III Mesa Verde, black-on-white, organically painted, pottery mug in the same manner as the ancient Ancestral Puebloans might have done 1,000 years ago, in a special, Puebloan Pottery Workshop at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area.

Pre-paid reservations are now being accepted for a full three-day workshop, scheduled for Friday through Sunday, Aug. 4-6, with Colorado potter Gregory Wood.

Enrollment is limited - the class is already 50-percent full - so interested parties are advised to sign up early. The Chimney Rock Interpretive Association has secured a special reduced rate for this 2006 event: a $120 course fee for the entire workshop also includes all materials. Pre-paid registration is required. Two graduate credit hours are available for an additional $90 fee, payable at the workshop.

Participants will gain an understanding of the fundamentals of craftsmanship, design, and prehistoric technology required to create and fire this ancient pottery, as they hand form, burnish, decorate and trench kiln fire using only prehistoric methods.

Gregory S. Wood, B.F.A. in ceramics, art educator and recipient of the 1997-98 National Park Service Award of Interpretive Excellence, has worked with native clays for more than 30 years. As a fifth-generation Colorado native, his ongoing work and research with archaeologists, museums and on-site in the Four Corners region have taken on special meaning. He blends his intense interest in archaeology with ceramics, producing "true," near-flawless pottery replicas that speak for themselves.

A strong commitment to using only prehistorically available native materials, tools and techniques has earned him a reputation for archaeological authenticity. He works without the benefits of metal, modern equipment, commercial materials, or animal fuels. He buys nothing - everything is hand-gathered from the earth. Wood's intention is to help protect our threatened archaeological heritage through educational programs and by providing scholars, educators and collectors with an alternative to owning artifacts.

For details on this program, visit instructor Wood's Web site at www.ancientarts.org. The registration form is located at www.ancientarts.org/regform.htm; mailing instructions are at the bottom of the form.

Those without Internet access may either contact Wood directly at (970) 223-9081 to obtain a form or call the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 264-2287.

Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is located three miles south on Colo. 151, which is 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs via U.S. 160. The site is open daily for guided tours. The Chimney Rock Web site, www.chimneyrockco.org, provides details on the site, tours, programs, and a link to Wood's Web site.

The Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Inc., in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District, sponsors this pottery workshop.

Salazar and Hatch ask for rural fire protection funding

With the wildfire season upon us and Colorado facing extreme fire danger conditions, U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar last week asked Congress to help fund rural fire departments facing a critical funding need.

In a bipartisan letter with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to Senators Conrad Burns and Byron Dorgan, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies, respectively, Salazar urged the committee to provide $10 million in funding for the Rural Fire Assistance (RFA) program.

"Oftentimes rural fire departments are the first line of defense for raging prairie and forest fires. In this time of drought, it is paramount that the federal government do everything it can to assist these frontline departments," said Salazar. "Funding the Rural Fire Assistance grant program will help support our rural and volunteer fire departments across the country."

RFA provides volunteer fire departments with grants of up to $20,000 for training, equipment purchase and prevention activities. Fire departments receiving grants must serve a community of less than 10,000 people near federal land, must pay for at least 10 percent of the project being funded, and must have a mutual aid agreement with the local Department of Interior agency or with the State.

In FY06, Colorado fire departments received $482,000 in grants through the Rural Fire Assistance program. This was the 10th highest funding level for any state in the nation.

Volunteers can register for wilderness rehab projects

By Kent Rector

Special to The SUN

Our wilderness areas are some of our greatest assets when it comes to backcountry camping and hiking.

The Needle Creek and Emerald Lake areas of the Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado's largest wilderness, are thoroughfares for recreationalists eager for a taste of the wild. With all the traffic comes impacts, both intentional and unintentional.

This summer, San Juan Mountains Association is offering two opportunities to get into the backcountry. Volunteers will have the chance to work alongside SJMA staff and USFS wilderness rangers July 13-19 to help soften impacts by rehabbing and revegetating impacted sites within the Needle Creek drainage.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to rehabilitate sites around the Emerald Lake area July 27-Aug. 2. They will spend six days in the backcountry learning and implementing "natural" revegetation techniques.

Limited space is available and registration is required.

For more information or to register for one of these events go to www.sjma.org or call 385-1242.

Pagosa environmental committee to hold first meeting

The first meeting and program of the Pagosa Springs Environmental Committee (formal name to be determined) will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, June 16, in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall.

A representative from the La Plata Electric Association will present an overview of the Green Power Program, which promotes renewable electricity generated by sustainable resources such as wind, solar and biomass. The program will be followed by a discussion and business meeting. Direct any questions to Denise Rue-Pastin at 731-9672.

The Fellowship Hall is Unit 15-B, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar 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.

NWTF, NRA sponsor women's firearm safety class

A women's firearm safety and education workshop will be held 5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, July 7, and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 8.

Disciplines will include handgun, rifle, shotgun and muzzle loaders. Participants will have the opportunity to rotate to all discipline stations on Saturday.

Instructors include Don Volger, Pagosa Chief of Police, and Mike Reid, Justin Krall and Doug Purcell, Division of Wildlife officers. Emzy Barker, Charlie Rogers, Mike Alley and Steve Lynch will also assist.

This workshop is open to women 13 and older. Women between the ages of 13-18 must be accompanied by an adult female family participant.

Cost is $50 per person. This includes training, Friday evening dinner, Saturday continental breakfast and Saturday lunch.

This workshop is made possible through the National Wild Turkey Federation Women in the Outdoors, and a grant from the NRA.

Call Kim Lynch at 731-9172 or Pam Lynd at 731-4984 by Friday, June 23 to register. Payment is due at the time of registration. The Friday evening event will be held at the Pagosa Mounted Ranger building and enrollment is limited.

Checks should be made payable to NWTF and sent to P.O. Box 5761, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Archery, rifle shooting day at Keyah Grande

The Four Corners Family Shooting Day, presented by Safari Club International and Cervid Research and Recovery Institute, will be held at Keyah Grande 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, June 24.

Try your hand at archery, rifle and shotgun shooting, women's pistol instruction, fly-fishing instruction, and catch-and-release fishing. Admission is $5 for adults (18 and over) and $3 for youth.

Tickets are available at the Ski and Bow Rack in Pagosa Springs.

For more information, call (970) 749-4647 or (970) 749-9772.

Bow club sets practice, competition shoots

Pagosa Bow Club practice shoots begin at 6 p.m. every Tuesday at the Laverty lower range.

A competition shoot will be held at 9 a.m. Sunday, June 25, on the new upper range on the Laverty property, on East U.S. 160 across from the Riverside Campground.

All club members are welcome to help set up on Saturday morning,

Area groups sponsor free naturalist hikes

Free, guided naturalist hikes at Durango Mountain Resort will take place 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays beginning June 20, through Sept. 2.

The hikes are sponsored by the San Juan Mountains Association, San Juan Public Lands and DMR.

Call 385-1210 for more information.


High Country Reflections

Watching 'swan grebes' on Lake Pagosa

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

It was early last summer, while driving back and forth by Lake Pagosa, that I first noticed those peculiar black and white water birds, as they seemed always at play upon the tarn's undulating surface. While strange and unfamiliar, their striking appearance and extraordinary behavior at once captured my attention, and I soon learned they were western grebes.

Until moving north on Piedra from south of town, Jackie and I seldom had occasion to pass the lake, where dozens of grebes outwardly assemble from April to October. We've since seen them on Lake Hatcher as well, but in the broader Pagosa Lakes area at least, the greatest number seems to frequent Lake Pagosa.

Personally, my interest in western grebes developed rather quickly when, after first identifying them in an Audubon field guide, I realized I knew virtually nothing about them. They were certainly water birds, but I couldn't say what kind or where they came from, what they ate, how they reproduced, or why they spent summers here. And, I couldn't explain what often appeared as abrupt acts of aggression toward one another, or their sudden impulses to dive and resurface with underwater vegetation, only to discard it some moments later.

This year, as I passed the lake in my Jeep each day, I again glimpsed the grebes gliding gracefully along, usually in pairs, with bodies largely submerged and their white swan-like necks sharply outlined against the darker depths of the mere. Occasionally, they'd dive or chase each other, but I never saw them feeding or rearing young, and I had no idea how, or even if they built nests, what size they were, or if they vocalized communications of any kind. It soon became obvious that I needed a closer look.

Finally, about mid-morning on Thursday, I drove to an access point along Cloud Cap Avenue and parked in a small turnout. The air was cool and towering cumulous were already gathering in the south and overhead, but for the moment, the weather remained calm. With camera and binoculars in hand, I hiked a narrow path toward the water's edge, and almost instantly heard a rather loud, double-toned kerr-rick kerr-rick echoing over the nearby cove.

I walked on, and eventually could see beyond the thick shoreline cattails and bulrushes enough to spot a dozen grebes sailing to and fro in a corner of the placid watery surface. Aside from the odd red-winged blackbird darting between reeds, no other birds were among them, and as the strange sounds continued, I gradually realized they were the animated mating calls of western grebes.

Once lakeside, I stepped up on a large rock and observed, as several of the long-necked birds swam tirelessly in all directions before me. In their movement, as one pair approached another, an individual probably the male would promptly charge the advancing pair in an apparent attempt to drive them away from its mate. Aggression seldom lasted more than a few seconds, but often recurred whenever opposing birds wandered too close.

Mostly, all were tolerant of each other, especially in the cattails where, from my vantage point, I could see what must have been a nest made of old reeds and other vegetation. It appeared to float just over the water, but held steady, as if somehow anchored to the surrounding bulrushes. I never saw any eggs or young hatchlings, but I did see a couple of adult grebes slip from the structure into the water. Apparently, they'd been sitting or resting there for an indeterminate length of time.

As I suspected and later confirmed through various publications, most of the grebes' actions seemed bent on elaborate mating rituals. For instance, pairs would swim alongside one another, necks arched backward and heads swaying side to side, in a rhythmic motion resembling some exotic dance.

On more than a few occasions, both would abruptly dive, then resurface with bits of moss or subsurface weed in their bills. At once, they would face each other and frantically tread water, then drop the vegetation and swim off as if nothing happened.

No doubt, the most bizarre of romantic interludes has to be the so-called "plesiosaur race," where courting birds suddenly lunge upright, necks extended forward, bodies out of the water, and run side by side across the surface 30 feet or more, before dropping to their breasts in a flowing glide for half again as far. Upon witnessing such an event, with darkening skies, a rising breeze and thunder rumbling in the distance, I thought to retreat to my vehicle and watch from afar.

By the time I crawled into the Jeep and stowed my camera, the wind had picked up and a light rain settled in. In another minute, with a flash of lightning and loud clap of thunder, the storm intensified and whitecaps rolled across a once tranquil Lake Pagosa. Looking through the windshield wipers with binoculars, I glassed the cove to see where the grebes were and what they were doing, but none were in view.

Following other brief observations and more in-depth research, I now know that western grebes are diving birds found primarily in the western United States, central Canada and northern Mexico. Classified as Aechmophorus occidentalis, they are members of the order Podicipediformes (grebes) and are considered most similar to loons.

Western grebes summer in relatively small nesting colonies on shallow inland lakes or marshes as far east as the central Dakotas and Nebraska, and winter in the ocean bays and estuaries of the Pacific coast. While gathering and feeding most of the year in coastal waters, groups often number in the thousands.

As the largest of seven North American grebes, the average adult bird measures 27 inches from the tip of its yellow, spear-like bill to the end of its short tail. Its eyes are bright red and its plumage is slate gray to black on top, with a black cap extending below the eyes. Its belly, throat and the lower portion of its face are white.

Typical of diving birds, western grebes feed on fish, small crustaceans, marine worms and aquatic insects. However, among all other grebes, they are unique in their ability and method of capturing fish. According to researchers, the length and structure of the neck enables sudden forward thrusts of the head, allowing them to spear fish with their long pointed bills. Of course, they also dive and chase fish, but I can't say whether they feed during the day or night when in their summer range. They do, however, feed after sunset in coastal waters, where schooling fish, primarily herring, make up much of their diet.

Western grebes form monogamous relationships and, as mentioned, reaffirm partnerships each year through elaborate courtship rituals. By May or early June, they have built floating nests about 20 inches in diameter, where females lay two to four nondescript eggs. The eggs are soon stained brown from contact with wet and decomposing nesting materials, while both adults assist in incubation. After about 23 days, the young chisel their way through the tough shells, to climb on a parent's back, while the other brings them food.

No doubt, western grebes have nested and reared young in the Pagosa Springs area for a great many years, and most of the area's longtime residents are surely well aware of them and their summertime antics. But, after finally pausing long enough to observe them for myself, I will always view those peculiar "swan grebes" on Lake Pagosa in a slightly different light.

Now, I'm watching in eager anticipation, for this year's brood of young western grebes.



"Fun" in politics

Dear Editor:

I'm getting a little tired of the usual hash and rehash in the "Letters" column, so I thought I would bring up the "fun" of politics.

Since the political ads are running in your paper at present, for whatever it's worth, I read the following wit of Abraham Lincoln.

Seems the local weather predictor in his home town of Springfield, Illinois, failed more than not at second-guessing nature. Then one day a boy came to the mayor claiming that he could tell every time if a storm was going to approach. The mayor tried him out on several occasions and, sure enough, the boy was consistently right.

The mayor was about to fire the old weatherman and instate the boy when the lad said he wouldn't accept the position. "It's my jackass that does the predicting," he said. "Whenever a storm is building, he scratches his ear against the fence and brays terrible." So the mayor appointed the jackass instead.

Abe would always pause at this point and say in a low tone, "That was the mayor's mistake."

"Why?" everyone would ask Lincoln. "Because, ever since then, jackasses have been seeking public office."

While the tale is meant as wit instead of wisdom, it nonetheless was acceptable in his day, as most farmers knew changing weather did affect their animals' behavior.

Jack Barlow

Hope in scope

Dear Editor:

Friends I talk with about town planning agree there's been important progress made over the past year. Objectives have been sharpened discussions guided by professionals experienced in town planning.

There has been ample opportunity for public participation.

Plans have been changed several times based on feedback from participants in public forums. Information provided by town staff is always on target. Perhaps it's time to consider enlarging the scope of planning.

Here's what got me thinking about why it's important at this juncture.

1) This statement in "Water Reflections," the spring publication of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District: "So even though the reservoirs are full and the river is flowing in the spring, will that be enough if another dry summer and fall are experienced, and the drought intensifies? The answer, especially as far as future growth is concerned, is a resounding 'NO.'"

2) The concluding picture in Angela Atkinson's recent slide-show presentation on town planning for the League of Women Voters - eight lanes of one-way traffic, a reminder of impending elephants in our living rooms.

Are we leapfrogging our most important limitations while planning improvements that aggravate them? Let's look at what's in this question's nitty-gritty.

1) What are we trying to accomplish with planning? Isn't it time to spell it out in a mission statement addressing goals that encompass objectives spelled out in current planning documents?

Do we need a strategic plan regarding use of public and private resources, taking into account the best of what is, what might be, what should be?

2) At what point are we going to develop a financial strategy around our present resources and a projected tax base? This presents difficulties. It may entail projections of income from, for example, the increase in land valuations created by a traffic bypass; contributions of funding from state and federal governments. But it would help distinguish the known knowns from the unknown knowns and the unknown unknowns, to borrow a parsing thought from our Secretary of Defense.

3) An important part of the town plan will deal with environmental impacts of growth. Granting economic benefits, what are the limits beyond which it will diminish, if not destroy, the quality of life here? Can growth be designed or contained so benefits outweigh the problems it creates?

Can we engage county, state, federal and private resources to develop a comprehensive plan for our small ecosphere - the forest in which we reside, the abundant wildlife in our area, water resources, ranching, zoning for development, and so on?

4) Is it possible to plan without closer collaboration between town and county governments? It is interesting to look back at what led to a combined city-county government for St. Louis, and other city-counties that have gone that route. While there may be a good rationale, there appear to be few incentives in the picture for the town, or PLPOA or the Utes or Arboles at this time. Do we wait for not enough water to go around? Or the demand for eight lanes of traffic? The consultation developed around the Big Box issue may offer a template for dealing with many parts of the big picture.

I'm sure many engaged in the planning process have thought about these questions; I hope they take this as an invitation to bring more clarity than I can offer, ask the right, timely questions, suggest solutions to be explored.

At the very least, the progress of town planning to date points to the need of a plan for future planning.

A final note of warning: The friends I mentioned earlier, the guys with whom I've discussed these concerns: They are not the kind of guys you would necessarily want your sister to go out on a date with.

Michael J. Greene

Needless cruelty

Dear Editor:

On Thursday of last week, I was called by the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs about a nest of baby birds whose mother had been shot. As I am a local wildlife rehabilitator, I went to Pagosa Electrical Supply and spoke with an employee, Jeremy LaRue, who shared the details of the event.

Apparently, some teenagers driving a green truck came into the parking lot and fired some kind of gun at the mother bird. A female employee, Kim Butler, saw this happen and unfortunately was unable to get the license plate of the vehicle. There was blood spattered on the sidewalk and the bumper of her car. I want to thank Jeremy and Kim for responding so quickly and so were able to avoid yet another tragedy. We were able to get the babies, nest and all, down and into a box.

They are now in my home, being hand fed every hour with a special baby bird formula. Had they been younger, the feeding schedule would have been as frequent as every 20 minutes. As it is not easy to identify very young birds, I have to wait until they develop their coloring in order to know what kind of bird they are and what "real" food they require. Different species have very different dietary requirements. Feeding a baby bird the wrong food could be extremely harmful.

This process will continue until they are able to feed themselves, and then they will be released. I only wish that these kids had been caught and as punishment, made responsible for the care and feeding of these innocent birds for the next few weeks. I have one question for these mean-spirited, heartless individuals: Nature is sometimes cruel, what prompted you to help out?

Pat Jackson

St. Francis Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Here for us

Dear Editor:

Folks, Robin Schiro does respond to public comments. I know, each call I have put in to her, I receive an answer and if she cannot answer my questions, she will investigate the question further and get back to me.

I believe Robin is here for us, even though we are reading a lot that she is not present. Possibly her absence has broadened her viewpoints. Ask yourself, how many folks in this county have resigned lately, 40 plus. Robin knows this county is in trouble and she is sticking with it. Robin could quit too, but she has not.

Robin may be out there learning more than she can right here at home.

Robin is the only person I've heard in Pagosa Springs use the word "wetlands." That is just one example.

Robin cares.

Pam Morrow


Dear Editor:

I am riveted to the smiles of two buddies featured on the front page of The Pagosa Springs SUN. One belongs to Miss Oprah Winfrey, the other to Miss Maria Gallegos. After a minute or six, I read the write-up by Ms. Sarah Smith.

As Ms. Gallegos asserts, Miss Winfrey - internationally acknowledged benevolent being - had come to see her. It could not have happened to a nicer person.

Miss Gallegos has been the real McCohen since I first came upon her as she scampered with her older brother across the yard at North Second Street. En route to the two-mile marker on Snowball Road, I would look to my right for her angelic glance, should she be catching a few rays. Were she outdoors, I was guaranteed a smile-wave combo that spurred my pedestrian gait.

Throughout her life, Miss Gallegos has embodied what the world knows Miss Winfrey for: bonhomie. She is indubiously proud of her chosen profession, the French name concierge, but beyond the periphery of the workplace, she is the vestigial guardian of what Pagosa used to be.

Arlene Marcus

Cheer him on

Dear Editor:

Our 40-year-old nephew who lives in Denver was diagnosed three years ago with Stage IV Lung Cancer and was given six months to live. Having just become a new father, Russell, a very clean-living, healthy, non-smoker was stunned! Having lost his mother a few years earlier to breast cancer, Russell was determined to survive, to be with his wife, and to see his lovely baby daughter grow up.

During the last three years, he has endured numerous lung operations, five brain tumors, Gamma Knife, Radiation, Chemo, Steroids, Barometric Chamber/Oxygen treatments, etc., and is still not cancer free.

This coming week, Russell, along with 2,500 other hearty individuals, will be in the Ride the Rockies. This event, a massed bicycle ride, covers more than 400 miles from Cortez, through Pagosa Springs, Chama and Alamosa, and on to Canon City.

We received an e-mail from Russell which said it all: "I would like to do the Ride the Rockies with a message on my back, to help get the message out about cancer and to maybe bring some motivation to other cancer survivors (including myself). With some help from a friend at work we came up with: Stage IV Lung Cancer 3yr Survivor Riding for all Cancer Survivors. There will be 2,500 people on the ride, and 2,499 of them will be passing me on the climbs, and will see my message. Let me know what you think or if you have suggestions. Thanks, Russ."

We are hosting a group of his family from Denver, and have ordered T shirts with his message. We hope everyone will be out to watch the riders as they pass through Pagosa Springs, and cheer them on - especially Russell. He has been an inspiration of courage and determination to us all.


Pauline and Lee Murphy

Sadness and horror

Dear Editor:

As one of the founders of the School within a School I read with horror and sadness the article about its imminent closing.

I felt sadness for the profound loss of educational creativity that the children of this community will experience. The loss of a place in the schools where parents and teachers are directed to work purposely together to meet their children/students with a pedagogy and curriculum that feeds their developmental needs insulated from the politics of administration and bureaucrats.

I felt horror that even in our small town education is now more about money than about learning. "No child left untested" is the politician's and industrialist's plan for obtaining cannon fodder and wage slaves. To suggest, as our school superintendent does, that we must sacrifice creativity in educating our children because of these "changing times," is at best cynical and at worst a dereliction of his duty to the innocents he is charged to properly educate.

School within a School was designed to be a creative engine for proving effective techniques that could be integrated into the rest of the school. With it's stellar record of student performance and parent participation and approval it could have transformed the whole system.

It did not. I suspect this was because what passes for public education now has little to do with becoming a lifelong learner and more to do with assuming the role of obedient taxpayer.

The developmental needs of children have never changed nor will they. The needs of our politicians change to suit the interests of their financial supporters. Our children are then caught in the engines of War and Wall Street when we allow them this folly.

Out of one side of his mouth Mr. Noggle says, "parents aren't discouraged from participating," while out of the other side he says "the school can't afford to encourage parents to participate." This is the madness of plausible deniability, not sound management.

Our children are The Resource of our society. We must inspire them with the fire of knowledge not stamp them with regurgitated bias and dogma.

I have always thought that in education one discovers who they are and in so doing becomes free. Herein lies the only chance to maintain a free American Republic.

Yours in health,

Edward Norman

Need the vote

Dear Editor:

Illegal immigration. Is there a hotter topic in Colorado right now?

When former Colorado governor and high profile Democrat Dick Lamm starts namecalling a Supreme Court decision as "outrageous judicial activism," I think we can safely say there's probably not a hotter topic in our state.

Unfortunately, more heat and less light were generated this week by the Colorado Supreme Court's decision to not allow the immigration related ballot initiative to be in front of voters this November. The reason given for the court's decision was so technical in nature that it is hard to justify, especially when a very similarly worded ballot measure was approved by the court two years ago.

People in this state very much want, and need, a vote on this issue. The ballot initiative asks people whether they want the state to pay for services, other than those required by the federal government, for illegal immigrants. This isn't about being mean or xenophobic, it's about recognizing that this state has a finite amount of resources to spend on its citizens and its legal immigrants. We have not yet recovered from our recession and our infrastructure, from education to health care to roads, needs much attention and what dollars we do have.

This initiative is also about sending a message to Congress that, while immigration reform requires adequate discussion, most importantly, it requires backbone, action and results. Political hot potato or not, it's time for Congress to deal with immigration reform and cool the flaring tempers on all sides. The Colorado Supreme Court should reconsider its ruling and let the people voice their opinion on this matter. Once voted on, the Colorado Legislature must then follow the will of the people. Let's do that before emotions run even higher, common sense completely disappears and real solutions get further out of reach.

Ellen Roberts


Relish the move

Dear Editor:

So how did the Teller and Pitkin county commissioners decide that they had best keep track of Archuleta County and Commissioner Robin Schiro's nationwide NACO get-togethers?

Did The SUN's editor provide them with a subscription to our local rag? Now that's some "Food for Thought," but somehow, it's not digestible. Methinks Schiro must have whipped 'em up herself.

I wonder how many days Schiro has been away from her elected job responsibilities attending these NACO bull sessions? To add insult to injury, Schiro takes off and leaves the workload on one county commissioner as Commissioner Mamie Lynch was recovering from surgery. Anyone can make mistakes, but why persist in the error?

Could Commissioner Schiro possibly be using the infamous "Arboles Troglodyte," Bob Dungan, as her political guru? Got some hot news for ya, Bob, I don't think Schiro could garner enough support to replace the Pagosa Springs dog catcher - but I'd relish the move!

Jim Sawicki

Hateful attacks

Dear Editor:

Why don't you just buy five gallons of tar, a bag of feathers, and personally send Robin out of town on the nearest rail and be done with it?

Your recent editorials attacking Robin seem to demonstrate a very personal dislike for her and come across as hateful at the very least. In my opinion, the distasteful tone of your editorials regarding Robin, disgraces yourself, your newspaper, and the great town of Pagosa Springs, and reduces greatly your creditability as the editor of our newspaper.

I certainly don't agree with everything Robin has done since becoming commissioner, nor do I agree with many of the actions taken by former Commissioner Lynch and/or Commissioner Zaday. All, at one time or another, have taken actions or made decisions that would not appear to be in the best interest of the county. However, I don't recall you making any negative comments regarding Ms. Zaday or Ms. Lynch. I think you need to put aside your personal bias against Robin and do some effective investigating and reporting on actually what's going on in the commissioner world. Your readers may find a completely different picture of what's going on than the bias picture you have painted.

It is my understanding that Robin has attempted on several occasions to meet with you eyeball to eyeball to discuss your personal attack editorials, and as of this date you have refused to meet with her. If this is true, one wonders why that would be.

Respectful criticism of our elected city and county officials is certainly appropriate and healthy; disrespectful criticism and personal, hateful, attacks are not.

Gary Waples

Editor's note: Commissioners Zaday and Lynch did not trumpet an "urgent" meeting to deal with issues important for "generations to come," a meeting offering a final chance for residents to make comments to their elected representatives - then not show, in favor of attending a conference in California, the value of which, to Archuleta County, is debatable. Then attempt to defend the absence. Had they done so, they would have been criticized.

Commissioner Schiro has made no request to meet. Should such a request be made, we will meet, eyeball to eyeball.


  Community News

Ride the Rockies returns to Pagosa Country

By Mary Jo Coulehan

Special to The PREVIEW

When Ride the Rockies last came through Pagosa Springs - in 2002 - it was a year of stress that included rerouting the cyclists due to nearby forest fires.

Ride the Rockies promoters and participants are anxious to get back to beautiful Pagosa Springs and the annual Denver Post-sponsored premier cycling event returns to the area Monday, June 19.

This year, riders will make the trip to Pagosa from Durango via Colo. 151 - the long way! Here are the specifics for Monday:

- Riders should start arriving in Pagosa Springs around 11 a.m. They will go to the high school to sign in, set up camping, or pick up their luggage.

- The Chamber of Commerce will have an information booth set up at the school to direct the cyclists, give out community maps and information concerning restaurants, and lodging, and answer questions.

- The Humane Society will sell lunch items at the high school from noon to 4 p.m.

- Riders will be on their own the rest of the day.

- Ride the Rockies is providing six transportation buses for the cyclists in and around Pagosa that will run all day. Cyclists will be given maps at the high school of the bus routes. There will be a route going west, as far as the EconoLodge. The eastern route will have a turnaround at Be Our Guest Bed and Breakfast at San Juan River Village. Ride the Rockies bus stops will be specially marked throughout town.

- Our Party in the Park will start at 3 p.m. with beer provided by New Belgium Brewing. Anyone can enter the beer garden; however, if you want to receive the tasty suds, you will be carded and spot carding will take place in the garden. Bring your I.D.

- Food Vendors will set up in Town Park with an array of dinner items such as lasagna, barbecue chicken and ribs, barbecue brisket, a potato bar, a variety of salads, desserts and much more, all at very reasonable prices. Vendors will be ready to serve between 3-4 p.m.

- There will be a bounce house in the entertainment area and face painting for the kids.

- The evening's free entertainment begins at approximately 4:30 p.m. starting with Pagosa's own Hot Strings. Later on in the evening around 6:30 the hot sounds of Mama's Cookin' provided by New Belgium Brewing will round out the free music. The party will continue until about 9 p.m.

- On the morning of the 20th, before the riders depart for Chama, the following restaurants will open around 5 a.m.: Chez Pagosa in The Pagosa Lodge, The Rose, Victoria's Parlor, Farrago's and Pagosa Baking Co.

- Since Chama has limited lodging facilities, many riders (perhaps as many as 500) will return to Pagosa June 20. Three buses will bring the riders to their lodging accommodations. Buses will leave Chama 1-4:30 p.m. Riders will be on their own for dinner. Most cyclists will leave their bikes, in Chama so there is no need for bike security in Pagosa.

- The same restaurants will be available for 5-5:30 a.m. dining May 21.

Riders will depart for Chama around 6 a.m.

Please be prepared.

Many of the cyclists just can't wait to indulge in our natural hot springs. Both local facilities should be well prepared for high volume use June 19.

It is difficult to determine how many people will eat in the park and how many will eat at local restaurants. There will be around 3,000 people associated with the tour arriving in town; they need to eat somewhere. Restaurant owners should make sure that their staff is aware of the tour, hospitality should be at its highest (as if it wasn't already), and don't run out of food!


I would like to thank the San Juan Outdoor Club for providing bicycle security. The Booster Club at school will take care of the luggage and set the stage for the party in the Park. We also have volunteers stringing fencing around the activity field to create a beer garden and we have many volunteers manning the community information booth at the high school. There are people taking care of the Visitor Center and answering the phones. Our town police and the sheriff's department will be on road alert and Mounted Rangers will be helping out throughout the community. The Town of Pagosa parks and recreation and street departments are pitching in 110 percent. We'll also have many non-profit organizations at Town Park, selling tasty food at super reasonable prices.

Without everyone's cooperation, this event just could not take place.

There will be many questions to be answered and we hope we provide enough information for you and your staff. Call us if you need clarification on something. Don't make up and disseminate incorrect information. If you have questions, call the Chamber at 264-2360 before May 19; we will give you as much information as you can handle.

Thanks to the community for all the support and participation. After work, gather the family or co-workers and come down to Town Park. Let's have some fun!

Music, Mirth and Muses this Saturday

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Elation Center for the Arts presents Music, Mirth and Muses - an original variety show with musical performances, dances, poems and comedy - 7 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

The program includes a diverse selection of music: "Syrinx," composed by Claude Debussy, performed by flautist Joy Redmon; "Three Antique Dances," by John David Lamb, performed by saxophonist Bob Nordmann; "Fraicheur (or Zephyrs)," and "Rhumba," by Carlos Salzedo; "Colorado" by Alfredo Orlando Ortiz, performed by harpist Natalie Tyson; great standards of the American popular repertoire by Rogers and Hart, sung by Matthew and Tiffany Brunson and June Marquez; trumpet solos played by Larry Elginer; American folk with Paul and Carla Roberts.

Several styles of dance will be represented, including the Charleston by Deb Aspen and Sally Yates; the swing by Deb Aspen and Charles Jackson; Renaissance country dance by Carla Roberts and Peter Coe; modern impressionism by Shanti Johnson; and a good old-time American barn dance by the entire cast.

Other performers include Jarrell Tyson and bassist Dan Fitzpatrick.

The legendary John Graves (Sire John the Bard) weaves the program together with wit, wisdom and style. Larry Elginer - a real life muse - plays Chester the Jester, a mythical muse.

The creation of something artistic can be viewed in terms of a negotiation between an artist and his or her inspiration. Since ancient times, artistic inspiration has been personified, in various ways, as a "muse." In Music, Mirth and Muses, performers have found common ground in the inspiration of creative expression. The result is an entertaining and "amusing" experience.

Theatergoers in Pagosa are sure to be acquainted with the talents of singer/dancer/actress Sally Yates. Many have yet to hear extraordinary singing of Matthew and Tiffany Brunson. Flautist Joy Redmon and saxophonist Bob Nordmann carry with them a high level of classical artistry. Natalie Tyson offers a touch of the exotic and refined on her gorgeous pedal harp. Dancers Deb Aspen and Charles Jackson are worth seeing anywhere we're lucky enough to find them.

Admission for adults is $8; children 18 and under are $4. Tickets will be available at the door. Please bring a dessert to share, if you wish.

For more information call 731-3117. See elationarts.org on the Web for photos and updates.

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

Old Glory dinner and dance

By Siri Schuchardt

Special to The PREVIEW

The High Rollers will play for the Old Glory dance at the community center Friday, June 23.

The dance will be preceded by a catered dinner at 6 p.m., which will consist of a pulled pork or grilled chicken sandwich, potato salad, cole slaw, barbecue beans, apple cobbler and iced tea. There will be a cash bar available throughout the evening with assorted beer, wine and soft drinks. Light snacks will be available during the dance at no additional charge.

The dance will start at 7 and until 11. The High Rollers play a variety of music including country western, rock, Spanish music and oldies. They promise to provide plenty of good tunes so everyone can get up and kick up their heels. Their music is also great for just sitting, sipping and listening.

Advance tickets are $20 per person for the dinner and dance and $12 per person for the dance only. Dinner/dance tickets must be purchased by June 20 in order to give the caterer, Eddie B Cookin', plenty of time to order and prepare the food. Dance only tickets may be purchased at the door for $15 each. Tickets are available at the community center at 451 Hot Springs Boulevard or at WolfTracks, located in the Pagosa Country Center.

Round tables may be reserved at the community center with tickets purchased for eight to 10 people. Rectangular tables may be reserved for parties of six.

This event is for adults only, and no one under 21 will be allowed to enter. Please be prepared to show ID if necessary.

Buy your tickets soon and join us for a great evening out on the town, and a chance to fire up for the Fourth. Please remember, dinner/dance ticket deadline is June 20. If there are any questions, contact me at 731-9670 or Mercy at 264-4152.

Don Bartlett, guest speaker at Patriotic Night

By Mercy Korsgren

Special to THe PREVIEW

Don Bartlett will be a guest speaker at the upcoming Patriotic Night, Friday, June 30, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Don received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant from the ROTC program at The University of Texas at El Paso, UTEP, and entered active duty at Fort Hood, Texas, with the 1st Armored Division July 15, 1951.

He was soon transferred to Korea and the 25th Infantry Division and was assigned as an automatic weapons platoon leader in direct support of the 555th Infantry engaged with the enemy at Sandbag Castle on the rim of the Punch Bowl.

During his tour in Korea he and his platoon also participated in action at Arrowhead and Porkchop hills in support of the 1st Marine and 7th Army Divisions. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions during this period.

After the war, he was reassigned to Fort Hood in command of an automatic weapons battery. At his request, he was later released from active duty in 1954 only to be recalled as his specialty, automatic weapons, was in need.

He served in many assignments in his primary specialty and then, after attending advanced and technical schooling, was in command of Nike Missile unites in Pittsburgh, Penn., and in Germany. He was reassigned to the Air Defense Board at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for service. He was next assigned back to Korea as headquarters commandant of a detachment in support of the Korean Army, KMAG. He also led a Korean platoon during this period and was advisor to the Korean Technical High School in Pusan.

Next, Bartlett was reassigned to Fort Bliss, and led a section of the Doctrine Development, Training, Literature and plans, Department of the Air Defense School. While there, he rewrote training manuals for automatic weapons. His next assignment was to Vietnam and the 108th Artillery Group and he became adjutant and executive officer of an automatic weapons battalion at Dong Ha firebase in support of the 1st Marine Division and then the 1st Vietnam Division. He was awarded second and third commendation metals and second and third Bronze Star Medals for action in Vietnam.

While assigned to units in combat, these units were awarded the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, the Army Meritorious Unit Citation and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

Don returned to the United States and Fort Bliss and was assigned as the director of the supply and maintenance division of the High Altitude Missile Department of the Air Defense School, earning the award of the Army Meritorious Service Medal. He retired in 1972 as a Lt. Colonel after more than 20 years active duty.

Quilt Fest 2006 to feature special raffle

By Shari Pierce

Special to The PREVIEW

Eleven women. Lonni Rossi's Cultivated Cottons. Hidden Wells. Rotary cutters. Sewing machines. Hours and hours of work. Laughter. Food. Fun.

These elements combined to produce a delightful king-size quilt that will be raffled off at the Pagosa Piecemaker Quilt Guild's Quilt Fest 2006.

Joan Rodger and Fran Jenkins spearheaded the effort that resulted in this stunning quilt. They purchased the fabrics, and planned and hosted the work sessions to bring this quilt to fruition.

The Lonni Rossi Cultivated Cottons fabric line has wonderful visual texture and provides the primary fabrics used in this quilt. The colors chosen for this quilt are rich reds, golds, browns and blacks. The fabrics are the perfect choice to show off the Hidden Wells pattern that was suggested by Linda Bennett.

Piecemaker board members Rodger, Jenkins, Bennett, Pam Thompson, Sandy Howe, Deneice Stacy, Janie Baker, Karen Streiff, Shari Pierce, Janet Nordmann and Cathy Henry worked together to piece the top for the quilt. Thompson quilted the finished top.

Raffle tickets for this quilt will be available at Quilt Fest. Tickets can be purchased in advance of the show by contacting Linda Bennett at 731-9141.

In addition to this raffle quilt, there will be much more to see at Quilt Fest: over 100 quilts will be on display. And there will be other quilted items to view, such as vests and jackets.

Two challenges were issued to quilters for this year's show. The themes of the challenges are "Over the Mountain and Through the Woods to Grandmother's House We Go" and "Anything Goes." Quilters must create a quilt to fit the theme of the challenge. Visitors to the show will have the opportunity to cast their vote for the quilt that is their favorite in each of these challenges.

And, you'll want to be sure to visit our education booth. While this area is geared toward children, we are sure that adults will also enjoy what guild members have put together. This will be an opportunity to celebrate the quilting skills of our youngsters.

Be sure to stop by the vendors' booths to see the latest in quilt patterns, fabrics and notions. Guild members have also created tote bags and needle cases to sell.

A silent auction will be offered on a beautiful quilt. The fabrics in the top are dated from the 1940s to early 1950s. The top was finished by guild members and this beautiful vintage quilt will be auctioned off to raise funds for guild projects.

Some of the quilters have chosen to sell their quilts at the show this year. These quilts will be clearly marked with prices and instructions for purchase. This is your opportunity to own a beautiful piece of art.

Quilt Fest 2006 will be held July 1-4 in the Mamie Lynch Gymnasium at the corner of Lewis and Fourth streets. On July 1, the show will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours July 2 and 3 are noon to 6 p.m. and on July 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrance to the show will be via the doors on Fourth Street.

Admission to the show is $2 for adults and $1 for youth ages 10-18. Children 9 and under will be admitted at no charge. A multiple entry pass will be available for an additional $1. Please include a visit to Quilt Fest in your Fourth of July holiday plans.

Toccata, classical guitar duo, to perform with jazz bassist

The classical guitar duo Toccata, with special guest Colin Dueble, double bass, will perform an exciting concert of classical and ethnic music from around the world at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 1, at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.

An emerging ensemble, Toccata is made up of acclaimed classical guitarists and composers, Michael Lich and Joseph V. Williams II. This innovative duo stretches the timbre limits of the classical guitar, creating colors and textures evocative of music from around the world. At the same time, they deftly maneuver from ecstatic rhythms to languorous melodies to glad-handed wit with ease and grace. From the beauty of American bluegrass to the raucous tumult of Macedonian folk dances, Toccata presents ethnic inspired music as well as original works that culminate in riveting performances.

An award-winning classical guitarist and composer, Joseph V. Williams II, brings a mean hand and delicate touch to the concert stage. From the audacious tangos of Argentina to the allusive ornaments of the French Dadaists, this skillful artist teases a wash of sound from the guitar.

Williams has performed the works of the masters alongside his own on radio and throughout the United States, Brazil and Canada.

He has distinguished himself by winning prizes in nine international guitar competitions and is frequently the only American finalist - St. Joseph International Guitar Festival (2005), Fresno Guitar Panorama (2005 and 2006), Thomas Beesten Guitar Competition (2003 and 2004), Portland Guitar Festival and Competition (2004), 23rd and 24th annual Norman Douglas Sholin Memorial Guitar Competition (2003 and 2004), 7th annual Ralph Stevens Guitar Competition (2002).

As a composer, Williams' pieces have been internationally performed and lauded as "decidedly rhythmic and lyrical." He has written for strings, marimba, guitar(s), bassoon, voice, harp and orchestra. His most recent work, "Sonata II," was commissioned by the Norway-based guitarist Randall Avers and explores the rhythms and expressions of the Americas.

As part of his training, Williams has received master classes with the maestros John Williams (Australia), Pepe Romero (Spain), Roland Dyens (France), Sergio Assad (Brazil) and many others. His primary teachers have been the accomplished American guitarist and composer Michael Chapdelaine and the master pedagogue Thomas Patterson. Williams earned a bachelor of music in guitar performance from the University of New Mexico and a master of music from the University of Arizona.

In addition to his work with Toccata, Williams is the director of guitar studies at Adams State College. He also performs as a soloist and for the Arts and Medicine Program at the University of New Mexico Hospital.

Classical guitarist, banjo-player, arranger and composer, Michael Lich is an eclectic, musician who has performed a wide variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, bluegrass and East Indian. A critic wrote, "Lich is a musician's musician."

In the spring of 2000 he released his debut CD titled "Uraka," which contains original and traditional works for both guitar and banjo. He recently released a second CD, "Hillbilly's Dream," which contains bluegrass/classical flavored original compositions as well as jazz/new-age works by composers Roland Dyens and Dusan Bogdanovic. It also features duets with guitarist/composers Randall Avers, Joseph Williams II and cellist, Tulio Rondon. He will also be releasing a duo CD with Joseph V. Williams II, titled "Orange," in the summer of 2006. It will feature special guest Robert Matheson, double bass.

Michael's performing career has taken him from Skagway, Alaska to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Seoul, South Korea, to Iserlohn, Germany. He has taught master classes and workshops at the Escola de Musica do Espiritu Santo and Faculdade de Musica in Vitoria, Brazil; the Concertos Internacionais Banese concert series in Aracaju, Brazil; the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and the Public Academy for the Performing Arts in Albuquerque, N.M. He has studied with such notable artists as Michael Chapdelaine, Thomas Patterson, Christopher Parkening, Paul O'Dette and India's sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan.

Michael currently teaches guitar at the Music Academy of Tucson and Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz.

Jazz bassist Colin Dueble has had the opportunity to tour with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and perform with the likes of Kevin Hays, John Rangel, Doug Lawrence, Frank Morgan, Kenny Davern, Diego Arencon, Steve Figueroa, Justin Ray, Rob Wilkerson and many other prestigious musicians. He is the bassist of choice in Albuquerque and the surrounding area and an accomplished classical pianist and French horn player. He earned a bachelor's in jazz studies/bass performance under the tutelage of Lynn Seaton and Jeff Bradetich at the prestigious Center for Jazz: University of North Texas.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $15 for adults, $10 for students, or in advance for $12 or $7 at the Chamber of Commerce (264-2360).

For more information regarding Toccata, call (520) 404-4520, or visit www.michaellich.com.

'Select Works' opens July 1, includes work by Kate Petley and Lisa Pedolsky

By Leanne Haase Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

"Select Works" opens July 1 at Shy Rabbit featuring Susan Andersen (Marsan), mixed media; D. Michael Coffee, ceramics and monoprints; Sarah Comerford, painting; Ron Fundingsland, intaglio printmaking; Deborah Gorton, mixed media; Shaun Martin, painting; Al Olson, photography; Lisa Pedolsky, ceramics; and Kate Petley, resin on acrylic panels.

A reception for the artists will be held 5-8 p.m.

Regular gallery hours beginning July 1 are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. with extended hours on the second Thursday of the month from 1-6:30 p.m.

Kate Petley is an artist who uses unusual materials to grant viewers a dazzling glimpse of light itself. Petley's technical wizardry evokes a world of associations, and recent panels begin with an exotic and unforgiving process.

Beginning with a handmade transparent screen, detailed reflections are projected onto the wall that Petley photographs and prints on fragile film. Gooey resins laminate these films to acrylic panels in a painstaking process. Corrections are impossible, and the unpredictable resin process introduces small bubbles and drops that are projected onto the wall. The tiniest drop appears to be huge, hypnotizing the eyes and disorienting the senses. Like an extreme collage project, done with impossibly sticky resins, drawings are also layered into the panels. Resembling an odd, juicy flat-screen, the panels again cast a reflection on the wall behind them, doubling the image with dizzying effects. They are a reflection of a reflection and form, yet another new reflection. This strangely sensual cycle repeats itself with endless variables.

Acclaimed for her ability to surprise, Petley's work contains special effects that address sensory perception. Inspiring viewers to notice the subtle optical effects created by light, Petley slows the very act of seeing. An optimistic abstraction runs through her work, but it is not naïve or simple. By reinforcing the unbelievable richness of experience, found in the minute details of everything surrounding us, Petley expresses vital hopefulness.

Lisa Pedolsky acquires deep satisfaction from working with clay by addressing both function and form. All her ceramics incorporate a functional aspect, but the work goes deeper than strict utility - serving as a vehicle for self-expression. Pedolsky draws upon an eclectic mix of influences, ranging from childhood toys to architecture to textiles. They often appear in subtle and surprising ways, contributing to the character of a piece.

The hand-built forms Pedolsky creates are intended to invite the viewer in through tactile as well as visual interaction. Through this close perspective, an intimacy with the work is created.

Shy Rabbit - a Contemporary Art Space and Gallery - is gaining widespread recognition for its cutting edge exhibitions and professional workshops. Shy Rabbit appeals to discerning art lovers, and area visitors alike, with its contemporary appearance and welcoming atmosphere.

"Select Works" will be on display through Aug. 12.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4, west of downtown. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Boulevard., stay on North Pagosa to Bastille Drive (at UBC), turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located next to Pine Valley Rental.

For more information: log on to http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call (970) 731-2766.

Cast and crew of 45 prepare 'Joseph' for Pagosa stage

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

The Music Boosters' production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" has been both challenging and inspiring for the more than 45 cast and production staff. Challenging because of the nature of its musical operatic style, and inspiring due to the dedication, hard work and sense of fun our actors offer.

The players of "Joseph" range in age from 7 to 70, with everyone willing to take on whatever is asked of them, whether singing country, ballad or "Elvis," dancing the Pony from the '60s, or walking through the desert, rap-style.

The sweet and melodic voices of the children's choir are at times a sharp contrast, at times a smooth blend with the strong adult vocals we are fortunate to have within this cast. The show will be a feast for the eyes as costume designer Michael DeWinter and his team of seamstresses have been hard at work across Pagosa assembling costumes, particularly Joseph's "Dreamcoat" of many colors. Michael, along with set designer apprentice Rick Artis, have designed a spectacular set in support of this expansive musical comedy that should surprise everyone who attends.

Sue Anderson, musical director, has given hundreds and hundreds of hours in support of the vocals presentation in "Joseph," and is doing an exceptional job in her debut in this role.

I have enjoyed many hours laughing with the cast as they sing and dance their way from the land of Canaan to Egypt and beyond. My focus remains on supporting the experience of the cast as a positive, fun-filled learning environment with lots of give and take between actors, directors, technicians, musicians and crew. An excellent show will follow!

Come see "Joseph" at the PSHS auditorium July 6, 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m., with an additional matinee July 15 at 2 p.m. Reserved tickets are available at The Plaid Pony (731-5262) or can be purchased at the door. For more information, call Dale Morris, 731-3370 or see the Web site at pagosamusicboosters.org.

Writing with the Mentors of the Mountains

This summer, let the creative juices flow from the mountains onto paper. A writing workshop led by three legends aims to journey beneath the postcard surfaces of prose, connecting to a sense of place and developing personal style.

The second annual Writing in the Mountains Workshop is for those who have never written, those who aspire, and seasoned professionals.

On June 24, Colorado writers Dolores LaChapelle, Steven J. Meyers and Art Goodtimes will convene in Silverton to explore the practice and art of skillful writing immersed in nature. Each will head a session surrounded by the unmatched brilliance of the San Juan Mountains.

The morning session with LaChappelle will begin with haiku and ecology undercurrents. Meyers will look deep into the connection of place and how it fits onto paper. Goodtimes concludes the day with his signature Talking Gourds tradition.

Dolores LaChapelle is one of America's most noted ecological writers and renowned powder skiers. A resident of Silverton, she is the author of several books, including "Sacred Land Sacred Sex," "Rapture of the Deep: Concerning Deep Ecology and Celebrating Life," "Deep Powder Snow: 40 Years of Ecstatic Skiing," "Avalanches and Earth Wisdom," and "Earth Festivals: Seasonal Celebrations for Everyone Young and Old."

Steven J. Meyers has lived and worked in the San Juans for 30 years. He has been visiting instructor of creative writing at Fort Lewis College since 2000. He is the author of six books: "On Seeing Nature," "Lime Creek Odyssey," "Streamside Reflections," "The Nature of Fly Fishing," "Notes from the San Juans," and "San Juan River Chronicle." His outdoor writing has appeared in various anthologies as well as Southwest Fly Fishing, Field and Stream and Flyfisherman. His monthly column, Home Water, appears in Inside Outside Southwest magazine.

Art Goodtimes is a poet, journalist, politician and organic potato farmer. He is currently serving his third term as a county commissioner (Green Party) in southwest Colorado. Former poetry editor for Earth First! Journal and founder of the Talking Gourd poetry tradition, Goodtimes has served as poet in residence for the annual Telluride Mushroom Festival for the past 25 years. He makes his home near Norwood on Wright's Mesa at the western edge of the San Juans.

The focus of SOLRC is experiential, hands-on learning in the outdoor classroom of the San Juan Mountains. Classes, events and projects range from watershed restoration and avalanche studies to wilderness medicine, environmental workshops, trail building, writing and photography. Class size is limited.

Cost for the Writing in the Mountains Workshop is $79. Senior and local discounts are available.

For information about the Writing in the Mountains Workshop and other SOLRC course listings, call (970) 387-5706 or visit www.silvertonmountain.com.

Halverson home part of sixth annual PSAC tour

By Marti Capling

Special to The PREVIEW

The Halverson home in Echo Canyon Ranch will serve as the refreshment center for the sixth annual Home and Garden Tour, sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, Sunday, July 9.

This lovely home, designed by Maggie Caruso and built by Curt Johnson, has a traditional, almost European ambiance.

The exposed beams and vaulted ceiling in the great room area are enhanced by track lighting. The kitchen and full pantry feature cabinets designed by Clyde Ketchum, as well as the pass-through laundry chute in the master bedroom suite. The main level also contains his and her office spaces with etched glass by Cass Kelly.

On the lower level, exercise equipment is set up in front of the fireplace and a hobby room provides space for projects. The exterior is complemented by ironwood decking that overlooks the landscaped yard, flower beds and magnificent views of the North and East range mountains as well as Echo Lake. An enclosed RV storage room next to the garage is just one of the special features of this uniquely designed home.

Friends of Wolf Creek plan fund-raiser

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

With a formal appeal filed by Colorado Wild in opposition to the U.S. Forest Service's decision regarding access to the proposed Village at Wolf Creek, and more legal battles expected, Friends of Wolf Creek is stepping in to help.

"We're raising funds to continue our opposition to the proposed Village at Wolf Creek," said Marilyn Hutchins of the Friends of Wolf Creek.

To that end, Hutchins said that on June 24 her group will host a garage/yard sale at the former Piedra Laundromat in Pagosa Springs, with proceeds going to help pay attorney's fees for Colorado Wild's and Friends of Wolf Creek's fight against the Forest Service decision and the development of the 10,000 person, luxury village slated for construction adjacent to the Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Hutchins said Colorado Wild attorneys have been working for wages well below the hourly scale, or for free, because they believe in the cause.

In March 2006, Forbes magazine ranked Village developer, Billy Joe "Red" McCombs among the world's richest people, and with a net worth of $1.2 billion, as 645th of the world's 793 billionaires.

Hutchins said donations of goods are needed for the sale, and items could be dropped off at the laundromat between 3 and 6 p.m., Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of each week prior to the event.

Hutchins said volunteers are needed to help pick up merchandise, to price items and to help organize items during the sale.

The former Piedra Laundromat is located at 120 Piedra Road, next to Pepper's Mexican Restaurant in Pagosa Springs.

For more information, or to volunteer, contact Hutchins at 731-9414.

FLC presents reading of political comedy

Fresh from this year's finals of the prestigious Eugene O'Neill Conference, "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Helen Gahagan Douglas," a political comedy by Wendy Kout and Michele Willens, remembers the Broadway star and Congresswoman who faced Richard Nixon in a 1950 California Senate race.

Actors will read from scripts with limited staging, followed by an audience talkback session with the actors, director and playwrights Thursday, June 22.

The reading begins at 8 p.m. in the amphitheatre, located in the center of the Fort lewis College campus. Admission is free, with donations for the Department of Theatre gratefully accepted.

Unitarian Universalist service to explore belief in God

On Sunday, June 18, The Pagosah Unitarian Fellowship will hold a service exploring "Unitarian Universalism and the Belief in God," led by Ilene Haykus, who is presenting a series of programs for this summer season.

She points out that "The Unitarian Universalist religion is rooted in Christian theology. Today, we have evolved into a faith in which atheism and theism may coexist. What has led us to embrace such radical diversity within our movement? And what compels us to accept such differences in a world where division and separation is the norm?"

Haykus holds a master's degree in psychology from Antioch University and has taught and practiced hypnotherapy as a tool for personal transformation since 1989. She has served as a congregational leader within the Unitarian Universalist movement since 2002.

The service, children's program, and child care begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15-B, 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. A potluck luncheon will follow the service. All are welcome.

On Tuesday, June 20, Haykus will also facilitate a small group ministry discussion at the UU Fellowship Hall at 7 p.m. In the supportive environment of a small group, members and friends of the UU Fellowship are invited to discuss topics based on the contents of her sermon, which will serve as a context for sharing personal stories, reflections, and learning.

For more information, contact Ilene at 946-3159 or ihaykus@yahoo.com.

Summer activities at Congregation Har Shalom

Following is the summer schedule of activities at Congregation har Shalom.

Friday, June 16 - Torah Study at Har Shalom, 7 p.m. Call Harold Shure at 485-6793 for details.

Wednesday, June 21 - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom, 7 p.m. Call Judith at 247-3292 or judithv@frontier.net.

Saturday, June 24 - Bar Mitzvah and Kiddush, 10 a.m. Join Judy and Rick Williams for Shabbat morning services as their son Aaron is called to the Torah to become Bar Mitzvah. To R.S.V.P., call Judith at 247-3855.

Wednesday, July 5 - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom, 7 p.m. Call Judith at 247-3292 or judithv@frontier.net.

Friday, July 7 - Shabbat Service, 7 p.m. Led by members of Congregation Har Shalom.

Friday, July 14 - Torah Study at Har Shalom, 7 p.m. Call Harold shure at 385-6793 for details.

Wednesday, July 19 - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom, 7 p.m. Call Judith at 247-3292 or judithv@frontier.net.

Friday-Sunday, July 21-23 - Weekend Shabbaton with Rabbi Baskin. Please watch your mailbox for details to follow.

Wednesday, August 2 - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom, 7 p.m. Call Judith at 247-3292 or judithv@frontier.net.

Friday, August 4 - Shabbat Service, 7 p.m. Led by members of Congregation Har Shalom.

Friday, August 11 - Torah Study at Har Shalom, 7 p.m. Call Harold Shure at 385-6793 for details.

Wednesday, August 16 - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom, 7 p.m. Call Judith at 247-3292 or judithv@frontier.net.

Friday-Sunday, August 18-20 - Weekend Shabbaton with Rabbi Baskin. Please watch your mailbox for details to follow.

Wednesday, August 30 - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom. Call Judith at 247-3292 or judithv@frontier.net.

Call the information line, 375-0613, for last-minute changes or additional activities and programs.

Everyone invited to attend Cowboy Church

By Bart Burnett

Special to The PREVIEW

Everyone is invited to Cowboy Church at the Red Ryder Rodeo grounds (located just south of U.S. 160 on U.S. 84) 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 20.

Growing up on a farm and ranch in Lazbuddie, Texas, was a challenge, to say the least. Raising cotton and cattle adds up to an 18-hour day. I met my Lord Jesus on a John Deere tractor in the middle of a cotton patch and met my wife at a seed company nearby.

I am Bart Burnett and I grew up in a small community in West Texas which included a school, post office, country store, gas station and three churches. These roots are the motivation for my desire to start a Cowboy Church. It is not just for ranchers and wranglers but for all who love and enjoy western culture. The Lord called me and my family into the ministry here in Pagosa Springs and since we've been here, we have been blessed by the congregation of Mountain Heights Baptist Church and their acceptance of our West Texas roots.

Please, come join us as we worship our Lord together.


Local Chatter

Love those small-town community newspapers

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

The Pagosa Springs SUN is a community newspaper. "Community journalism" describes papers whose content is virtually all local news. It's a journalism field that is often maligned, yet can be more rewarding than working for major market newspapers. It is a weekly or twice-weekly paper.

In the small towns of America, the local newspaper is often the pivotal link that connects. It is one of the ways the community is maintained.

In the last two decades, according to a survey made by the Pew Research Center, the public has lost more confidence in the media than in other major institutions in American society.

Larger metro newspapers are losing readers because of literal views. But the community newspapers are gaining readership. Some do this better than others.

The SUN is one of those making strides. Newcomers rave about The SUN - people from California, and those who live here part-time, between traveling to the New Orleans area, the Seattle area and Florida. They like everything about the paper - some sections more than others. One couple who just moved to south Texas says their daily paper (population 20,000) has nothing in it.

But The SUN does. We have all these talented people moving here. The town is full of things to write about. And we have good reporters.

Newspapers are here to stay. I can't imagine life without a newspaper - to hold in my hands, to reread articles. To cut out articles (I save stuff!). Newspapers are full of history.

People have predicted newspapers would die out - because of, first, the radio, then TV and now the Internet. But newspapers will be around way past my lifetime. In the meantime, newspapers will have to watch the trend, to go with the trend. Newspapers have been around a long time. Do you want to guess how long?

The World Association of Newspapers has accepted evidence from the world's leading printing museum that 2005 marked the 400th anniversary of the first newspaper in print. That's a long time! Long live the newspaper.

I dedicate this column to my friends Jane and Ione who rave about The Pagosa SUN. Jane travels so much she can't take The SUN, and Ione, living in Texas, has to wait two weeks to get the paper.

Fun on the Run

Each evening, bird lover Tom stood in his backyard, hooting like an owl - and one night, an owl finally called back to him.

For a year, the man and his feathered fiend hooted back and forth. He even kept a log of the "conversation."

Just as he thought he was on the verge of a breakthrough in intraspecies communication, his wife had a chat with her next door neighbor.

"My husband spends his nights calling out to owls," she said.

"That's odd," the neighbor replied. "So does my husband."

Community Center News

Philanthropic organizations visit Pagosa today

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Rural Philanthropy Days of Southwest Colorado began yesterday in Durango.

Every four years, philanthropic organizations come to our corner of the state to learn about local communities and their unique funding needs. It's an opportunity for us to meet with the funders, to attend workshops in order to learn ways in which we can better serve our community, and to increase the amount of grant money coming into our area, specifically to the community center.

Today, seven of the funders will visit Pagosa Springs, traveling here through Arboles. They will have lunch at Loaves and Fishes, then will see a presentation at the Sisson Library about the "growth gap" in our community.

Strengthened philanthropic generosity from beyond the local community is needed to serve the people of this county and thereby maintain the beauty and character of this town. Our hope is that the visitors will come away with a clear understanding of our needs and be generous with their investments in our community.

Old Glory dinner and dance

You still have a week to decide on a dinner preference, then purchase tickets for the Old Glory dance on Friday, June 23. Remember, the advance sale for dinner and dance tickets will end at 5 p.m. June 20.

This event will feature live music from The High Rollers and a catered dinner from Eddie B Cookin'. There will be a choice of a pulled pork or grilled chicken sandwich, along with potato salad, cole slaw, beans, iced tea, and apple cobbler for dessert. A cash bar with an assortment of beers and wines will also be available.

Tickets can be purchased at WolfTracks and the community center. The price of a ticket for both dinner and dance is $20 per person. Dinner tickets won't be available at the door. If you prefer to attend just the dance, a prepaid ticket is $12 per person and $15 at the door. Dinner will be from 6-7 p.m. The dance will begin at 7 and last until 11. This is an adult event; those under 21 are not allowed. Please come prepared for an I.D. check.

Patriotic Night

We are planning decorations and an exciting program for Patriotic Night when all who attend will kick off Pagosa's Fourth of July celebration by participating in a patriotic sing-along, listening to inspirational talks and watching a DVD presentation featuring some of our local veterans and men and women currently serving in the military.

Andy Fautheree, our local veteran's officer, will be our emcee this year, John Graves will lead the crowd in the sing-along, and Mercy's friend and community center volunteer Gene Tautges will do the DVD presentation. Gene has been busy taking photos of our local heroes. If we're lucky we may have the Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop again to entertain us.

All this, followed by a dessert potluck, will take place 7-9 p.m. Friday, June 30. The Chamber of Commerce will again provide flags for all in attendance. Call Mercy at 264-4152 or Andy Fautheree at 731-3837 for more information.

Diabetes support group

We are pleased to announce the community center will start a diabetes support group in the next month. No firm date has yet been set; we will keep you posted here about the details.

Our hope is to gather together the resources we have in Pagosa - health care professionals, pharmacists, nutritionists and, of course, those who battle this disease every day.

Call the center at 264-4152 if you are interested in joining. The group will be whatever you decide to make of it. After all, it's for all diabetics, both Type I and Type II.

We hope this kind of support can truly make a difference in people's lives.

Self-help for health

Come join this new program at the center - it is free.

This is a series of classes starting June 19, from 5:30-8 p.m. Medora Bass, Ph. D., our new volunteer ,will be the facilitator. She has been using expressive therapy to help others since the mid 1960s and has taught at J.F. Kennedy University in Orinda, Calif., and Southwestern College in Santa Fe, N.M. She has 20 years experience dealing with health challenges.

Also, Medora has painted for 10 years and has a M.F.A. in painting. In this class, she will introduce tools such as art, imagery, dreams, writing, observation and dialog which may help one to become aware of possibly detrimental patterns so one can then choose to change the habits. Insight gained from using the tools presented may help a person in making health care decisions and evaluate the helpfulness of a particular from of treatment.

These classes are not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. The goal of this free program is to help participants be aware of factors that may affect their health and help them better realize their goals.

Register in advance by calling the community center at 264-4152 and bring the following supplies to the first class: a notebook for keeping a journal and for optional drawing; a drawing pad (newsprint is OK. A large pad, 18x24 may help you be freer in your expression. Paper will be provided at the first class); Cray pas (oil pastels) - soft ones are nice. Crayons and markers can be difficult to use.

For more information, or if you are interested in the class, but class day or time does not work for you, call Medora at 264-5564.

Foodies club

French cuisine and chocolate - yum!

The new Foodies Club will meet at 6 p.m. June 21 to learn something about food cooked the French way.

And then: What is it that makes most of us crazy for chocolate?

I doubt it's the fact that researchers in Italy and Scotland say dark chocolate boosts blood antioxidant levels by as much as 20 percent. That fact, by the way, comes from BBC news. Come join the club, enjoy the tasting, the laughing, the conversation.

If you are interested, call the center at 264-4152. R.S.V.P. is required. You won't be sorry!

ebay Club

Have you ever thought about selling some of your unused items on eBay?

You can pick up some tips for selling on eBay at the next meeting of the club at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 20. Anyone interested in selling (or buying) on eBay is welcome to attend.

Call Ben Bailey at 264-0293 or e-mail him at benbaileynewton@yahoo.com if you plan to attend. Members are picking up lots of really great tips for using eBay; don't miss out.

This club is not affiliated with, or endorsed by eBay Inc.


Diana Baird has agreed to step in as leader of the yoga group. Diana has attended the class from its inception and has, on occasion, acted as group leader. Thanks, Diana, for your time and expertise. We couldn't exist without our volunteers.

The yoga class is another of the community center's free programs and is offered every Thursday morning 11 a.m. to noon. Bring a yoga mat and dress in comfortable clothes. The goal is to be mindful of what you can and can't do, not to push yourself.

Line dancing update

Gerry Potticary, Peggy Carrai and Elaine Lundergan make a great team.

Gerry was the inspiration for, and founder of, the line dancing group. Peggy, according to Gerry, knows more dances than anyone and is happy to teach them. Elaine steps in with whatever is needed when asked. Could there be a better combination?

Try the dancing workout 10-11:30 a.m. every Monday. Newcomers are encouraged to come at 10 for an introduction. Gerry reports the men's beginning class starting at 9:20 a.m. with country two-step is doing very well.

No previous knowledge is necessary but you must be under 100 years old, ambulatory and have a good sense of humor.

These women promise to provide laughs, rhythm and some simple steps to good music. Come try the dance called "Trippin."

This fun program is offered free at the community center. For more information call 264-4152 or call Gerry at 731-9734.

Computer lab news

Our new firewall/content filter is in place and working.

Welcome back to all our under-18 lab users.

Thanks again to all who helped us and offered encouragement during our network problem.

With the new equipment comes a new procedure for logging in to the Internet. You will see a login window where you can enter the user name and password - both are the word "public." Login instructions are posted in the lab. Please let us know if you experience any problems with the new network setup.

Today's Q&A session is cancelled, but will take place 1-4 p.m. next Thursday.

Thanks to Anthony Steventon for his donation of a complete computer system; it's already in use.

It's time to put your name on the list for the next beginning classes. They will start in August and run for eight weeks. Call me at 264-4152 or e-mail me at rhp@zworg.com with questions.

Center hours

The community center's summer hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m Monday; 8-5:30 Tuesday through Friday; and 10-4 Saturday.

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; eBay Club, 9-10 a.m.; yoga, 11 a.m.-noon; watercolor workshop with Betty, 12:30-3 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; arthritis class, 6-8 p.m.; Upper San Juan Search and Rescue, 7-9 p.m.

June 16 - Senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; watercolor workshop with Betty, 12:30-3 p.m.; senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center dance, 7-10 p.m.

June 17 - Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; watercolor workshop with Betty, 12:30-3 p.m.

June 18 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 10 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; High Roads Baptist church, 2-4 p.m.

June 19 - Line dancing, 9-11:30 a.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Spanish arts and crafts summer camp, 12:30-3:30 and 3:30-6:30 p.m.; senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Self-help Health Class, 5:30-8 p.m.; Photoshop class with Bruce Andersen, 7-9 p.m.

June 20 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Beginning Computing, 10 a.m.-noon; seniors' walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Spanish arts and crafts summer camp, 12:30-3:30 and 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

June 21 - Beginning Computing skills for seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; Spanish arts and crafts summer camp, 12:30-3:30 and 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; Democratic Party meeting, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

June 22 - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; watercolor workshop, 9 a.m.-3:30 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.

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


Senior News

Celebrate Father's Day at The Den

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Fathers' Day had its beginnings in Spokane, Wash., when Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909.

Dodd was raised by her father after her mother died and she wanted a way of thanking him for being a courageous, selfless and a loving dad. Sonora's father was born in June, so she held the first Fathers' Day celebration in Spokane on June 19, 1910 - a day for children to honor their fathers.

In 1926, a National Father's Day Committee was formed in New York City. Father's Day was recognized by a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1956. In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Fathers' Day to be held on the third Sunday of June.

We will celebrate Father's Day at The Den Friday, June 16. We will have a small gift for all the men who attend lunch on this special day in honor of all of the support, love and guidance they have given throughout their lives. Please come in for lunch and help us say "thank you" for all that they do.

Famous fathers

Michelangelo's Father: "Can't you paint on the walls like other children?

Columbus' Father: "I don't care what you discovered, you still could have written!"

Albert Einstein's Father: "But it's your senior picture. Can't you do something with your hair?"

Thanks, Jim

I wanted to thank Jim Pearson for doing such a great job as the program coordinator for The Den during my three-month leave of absence. I came back to work last Monday and my desk was organized, the month-end reports were completed, the June newsletter was out and everything was ready for me to just slip back into my job. Not to mention that everyone at The Den enjoyed having Jim as part of the team and loved his sense of humor.

So, thank you Jim, for allowing me to take a trip of a lifetime while knowing that everything at The Den was in such good hands.

Sky Ute Casino

Step into the action and play to have fun during our monthly trip to Sky Ute Casino Tuesday, June 20. Free transportation (with limited seating) provided by Sky Ute leaves The Den at 1 p.m. returning approximately 5:45.. A $5 coupon for a meal and a $2 coupon to play the slots, also provided by the casino, makes it a hard bargain to pass up.

White Cane Society

The monthly meeting for folks with low vision, and their supporters, will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 21. Susan Kimbler, from the Southwest Center for Independence, leads this informative and helpful support group. For more information, call Susan at 259-1672.

Monthly Mystery Trip

The Den's Monthly Mystery Trip is scheduled to leave at 3:45 p.m. Thursday, June 22.

This month's clue is: Jump aboard, if it is culture you seek.

It is a late-night outing, not for the meek. Dinner is included, though you must have a taste for spicier foods. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather (you will be outside part of the evening). The trip is full and the waiting list is growing. Experience the fun and discover the secret of where we will be going this month.

Free monthly movie

Our free monthly movie at The Den at 1 p.m. Friday, June 23 is "Sweet Home Alabama," rated PG-13. Beautiful, ambitious Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) leaves her rural Alabama background and high school sweetheart husband (Josh Lucas) behind in favor of Manhattan's glamorous fashion and social circles. When her Park Avenue boyfriend proposes, it's time to head south and finally get those divorce papers signed. But will it really be that easy to forget her past? Join us for free popcorn in the lounge and enjoy this heartwarming, romantic comedy.

Eating right

As you age, eating well - that is, eating low-fat, nutrient packed foods - becomes even more important.

Eating foods with fiber may help you reduce your risk of heart disease and colon cancer and promotes proper bowel function. Fiber is found in plant foods including beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are the healthiest carbohydrates for you. Try to avoid the plain white carbs, such as sugar and white flour.

Eat less than a teaspoon of salt a day and consume fats, oils and sweets sparingly. Choose foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Read food labels which tell you how many calories, and how much salt, fat and cholesterol packaged foods contain, by portion or serving size. And if you aren't sure what a serving size is, follow these simple guidelines:

- The size of a deck of cards is about the same as a three-ounce serving of cooked meat, poultry or fish.

- A baseball is about the same size as a cup of milk, yogurt or chopped fresh greens.

- A small fist is about the size of a half cup of cut fruit, vegetables or pasta.

- A tennis ball is about the same size as a medium piece of fruit.

- Your whole thumb is about the size of an ounce of cheese.

- Your thumb tip is about a teaspoon size of margarine or butter.

Identify one to three goals that will help you eat healthier. Choose realistic goals that fit your lifestyle and food tastes, such as:

- Eat only half of restaurant meals. Bring home the other half for lunch the next day.

- Add one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables to your daily diet. Substitute low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit or a small green salad for junk-food snacks.

- Take a walk or do some stretches instead of eating when stressed. Join our walk-a-thon program by walking in the community center gym Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 11:15 a.m. for 20 minutes three days a week.

- Come to The Den 11:30-1 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and enjoy our healthy salad bar and a well-balanced lunch.

- Check out www.MyPyramid.com (which replaces the USDA's food pyramid) and emphasizes the need for a more individualized approach to improving diet and lifestyle.

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 older, and can be purchased at The Den for $5 Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 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. It's still not too late to sign up and acquire the benefits for 2006.

Home-delivered meals

The den provides home delivery of meals to qualifying homebound individuals who want the benefits of a nutritional lunch. The Den's caring volunteers deliver the meals to homes Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays while taking the time to check in with the individuals. The appetizing lunches are served hot and ready to eat.

Whether you want a meal delivered one or four times a week, we can accommodate your needs. For more information, call Musetta at 264-2167.

Transportation services

Are you age 60-plus and new to the community? Do you need help getting around town? We have the answer for you.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday we'll pick you up right at your door. You can hop on our air-conditioned, 18-passenger bus and get your errands accomplished. All this for a suggested donation of just $2. For further details and route information, call Musetta at 264-2167.

Mouth and Body connection

What goes on in your mouth affects the rest of your body; that is why dental hygiene is so important.

If you have found that manual brushing is not getting the job done as well as you would like it to, The Den may be able to help.

Not only can we assist those who can't afford proper dental care due to their financial situation, but we have been able to secure some great discounts on oral irrigators and electric toothbrushes.

Oral irrigators pump water out in a slim steady or pulsating stream. They are very effective at flushing out food and bacteria byproducts between teeth and other areas of the mouth. Irrigators should be used in addition to brushing and flossing, not as an alternative.

Electric toothbrushes are a good alternative to manual brushes. They are especially useful for people who are less than thorough when it comes to brushing their teeth or for people with physical limitations that make brushing difficult. The basics are the same for either toothbrush. Choose a brush with soft bristles, brush for at least two minutes and don't press too hard or you'll damage your gums.

For more information on these products and how to make a purchase through The Den, contact Musetta at 264-2167.

Duplicate Bridge

A new bridge group is forming under the Bridge 4 Fun group, called Duplicate Bridge. The group will play 12:30-4 p.m. Fridays in The Den's lounge.

For this to happen, there will need to be a minimum of two tables (four teams). You will need to have a partner and be signed up in advance. We are anticipating it will begin around the first week of July.

If you are interested in joining this group, call Stan Church at 731-2217 for more information.

Senior of the Week

We congratulate Les Steele as Senior of the Week. Les will enjoy free lunches all week. We also congratulate Carol Cash in Arboles. She will enjoy free lunches at Arboles Meal Day for the month of June.

Activities at a glance

Friday, June 16 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Fathers' Day celebration during lunch; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; final day to sign up for Sky Ute Casino trip.

Monday, June 19 - Gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 20 - Gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino trip, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, June 21 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; White Cane Society support group, 11 a.m.

Thursday, June 22 - Mystery Trip (reservations required); The Den is closed.

Friday, June 23 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; free movie with popcorn, "Sweet Home Alabama," 1 p.m.; final day to sign up for fishing trip.


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

Salad bar available every day at The Den beginning at 11:30 a.m. Menu subject to change.

Friday, June 16 - Baked ham with raisins, sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables, cranberry mold and whole wheat roll.

Monday, June 19 - Chili relleno casserole, parslied carrots, mixed fruit with bananas, and whole wheat bread.

Tuesday, June 20 - White chili with chicken, carrot and celery sticks, cooked cabbage, sliced apple slices and whole wheat bread.

Wednesday, June 21 - Roast pork with gravy, whipped potatoes, peas and carrots, strawberry Jell-O and dinner roll.

Thursday, June 22 - No meal served.

Friday, June 23 - Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, California vegetable medley, pineapple tidbits and whole wheat roll.

Veteran's Corner

Dispatches from the Iraq war

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

I would like to share the following letters I received from former Archuleta County Airport Manager Rob Russ, who is now deployed in the Middle East Gulf War Zone as a flight engineer with the A746 Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, flying C-130 transport airplanes for the military.

For those of us who have not been in combat for many years, and for those who have never been in the military or in combat, this is a "feel" for just how scary it is to be on the front lines in a war zone.

Rob writes: "It is now 1:12 a.m. here. It is the only time I can get a free computer to use. Today it was hot! At least 110 degrees and windy. It feels like a blast furnace. I fly missions in and out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa.

"We use the C-130 Hercules (Herk) to fly as much cargo and passengers as possible so the soldiers and marines don't have to do as much convoy duty and that way they can avoid the roadside bombs (IEDs). When we fly into Iraq, you just have to swallow your heart back into your throat and pray that they don't shoot at you on landing approach and takeoff. It's some scary (blanked) and I'm not afraid to admit it."

16-hour missions

"We also fly aeromedical evacuation missions, airdrops to the ground troops in out-of-the way places just too many things to mention. A typical mission for me lasts 16 hours and includes several stops and then I get about 12 hours of crew rest and do it all over again.

"At least the time will pass by quickly for me with a schedule like that. I'm sure I'm going to leave here with more gray hair than I had. I keep asking myself why I volunteered to come back to this place."

Hauling blood

"I started out on a mission to Iraq taking some troops into the worst place on earth for what I'm sure is going to be the worst year of their young lives. I also had a reminder of how dangerous the war is. I had a pallet of almost 800 pounds of blood in special coolers to take to the Army MASH hospital in Iraq. I couldn't help but think if any of the soldiers on my C-130 were going to need any of that soon.'

Hail Mary

"I felt bad because the soldiers in the back of the plane were seated looking at a giant pallet with boxes labeled human blood in bright red letters, we didn't have anything to cover it up with. I guess war really is hell, but I knew that coming here again or maybe I just didn't think about it since I left here last time. We then flew into a couple of different places in Iraq and every time we start our approach I say a Hail Mary, because you just know they are going to shoot at you.'


"The insurgents like to shoot at helicopters and C-130s, because there are so many of them I guess. They shoot with anything from AK-47s, RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenade) and Soviet-made rockets. I don't know how to describe the feeling of trying to look out of the windows for rockets or missile smoke trails coming towards your airplane. Then, when we were on approach, in the daytime, into the most dangerous airport in Iraq, the (blanked) controllers made us do a go-around because they put a slower plane in front of us, so we had to fly around that dangerous area low and slow."

Landing gear malfunctions

"I was completely shaking when we finally landed. I drank two bottles of water and a Gatorade. So then we take off out of that place and go to another forward air base in Iraq to drop off troops and taking off from there our landing gear wouldn't retract on one side so we had to fly slow because of the drag from the hung landing gear, to a base just out of Iraq to be fixed."

"Hotel" - tent

"The people were very nice at that base, so nice to us in fact that they put us up in a tent that had been there since the first gulf war. I am being sarcastic when I say 'nice.' It was the most awful sleep I have had in a long time, but what do you expect from people at the rear? But, after a 16-hour crew duty day, I still managed to get some sleep.

Hard to sleep

"The next morning after they 'fixed' our Herk, we go back into a forward operating base and taking off from there, our landing gear malfunctioned again. I can't remember a time in my life I was so (blanked) off. So then we go back to the same base to be 'fixed' again, and sleep in a hot, old tent again. Man, you have to love tactical airlift or you couldn't cut it over here."

Write to Rob

When you're in a war zone there is nothing like mail from home. Those of you who would like to write to Rob can contact me for his e-mail or mailing address. I encourage you to write to Rob and express your support for him and our troops that are in harm's way for our freedom and security at home. He has told me he would love to hear from those back home.

Further information

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


Library News

Library welcomes new employee, new mascot, CDs

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

We are delighted to introduce a new employee: Stephanie Graveson.

She is a Coloradan, recently returned from years in New Zealand. She is married to Phillip (a real Kiwi), a high school teacher and a carpenter, and has two children: Zach, 12, and Rose 9. Her mother and stepfather are Pat and Marion Francis.

Stephanie has completed courses that would be the equivalent of a most of a bachelor's degree in library science from the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, as well as course work in marketing from the City College of San Francisco. She was assistant librarian at the Cambridge Public Library in Wellington, New Zealand, then she went on to Wrights Booksellers, also in Cambridge. There, she was responsible for the development and operation of the children and young adult book area for one of the largest independent bookstores in New Zealand.

Her interests fit right into Pagosa life: youth, children's literacy, music, travel, art, hiking and entertaining. We know you are going to enjoy meeting her. She has a great smile and is a wonderful addition to our staff.

Also new to Pagosa is volunteer Sylvia Thompson, French teacher.

One of the many program requests that we received this year was for adult French conversation practice. Now we are delighted to tell you that we will be able to have an offering. Sylvia Thompson, a Belgian, comes to us via University of California at Santa Barbara and with experiences teaching in Las Vegas. She has very graciously volunteered to preside over and guide this Library offering.

The "classes" will start July 20 and be offered at 6 p.m. Thursdays at the library.

The sign-up sheet is at the library desk. All levels of French-speaking aspirants, from beginner to always beginning, are welcome.

If you are interested in a Spanish class of the same kind, please call Christine at 264-2208. We have had requests for this, and would like to offer it also.

Baby Bear is waiting

Some time ago, volunteer Kathy Hamilton came to us with the wonderful news that we were getting a gift bear from High Country Furniture and Gallery. It arrived, the volunteer that will not quit, just in time to come to the summer volunteer orientation, as guest of honor.

This adorable creature is now at the library entrance, welcoming everyone while he reads "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Thank you John and Allison; we love our new baby bear!

New books on CD

Some wonderful classics have arrived just in time for your summer vacation plans.

Lucky listeners, you can go from Jules Verne's, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" back to the War of the Roses in Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Black Arrow." Then up you go to the red planet with Edgar Rice Burroughs' "The Warlord of Mars." Down again, we follow Jules Verne to "The Underground City," with the Harfang owl and the fire maidens. The edition of Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island" that we just received won the Publishers weekly, Audio Best of the Year. Talk about summer travel plans!

In "The World Set Free," written by H.G. Wells in 1914, he predicts the inventions that will inadvertently lead to mass destruction, forcing the world to "start over." The cover caption reads, "This stimulating novel will leave you wondering if and when the remaining predictions will come to pass!" That tantalizing come-on leaves me wondering what the predictions are.

For you mystery lovers, we have "The Leavenworth Case," by Anna Katharine Green, billed as a fascinating whodunit and an absorbing look at the legal system of a century ago. This was a late 19th century bestseller.

Then, we are offering "Trent's Last Case," by E.C. Bentley. The cover excerpt reads, " Between what matters and what seems to matter, how should the world we know judge wisely? When the scheming, indomitable brain of Sigsbee Manderson was scattered by a shot from an unknown hand, the world lost nothing worth a single tear without one loyal friend to honor him But when the news of his end came, it seemed to those living in the great vortices of business as if the earth too shuddered under a blow."

And finally, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "Beyond the City," weaves a web of lust and deceit and financial scandal.

By request

Our patrons have requested, and we are now getting in, a few, very interesting Spanish language books on CD.

"¡Oh, La Habana!" by Paquito D'Rivera, is a glorious recreation of the Havana of Hemingway, Caruso, Tommy Dorsey, Vita Montalban and Paul Robeson among others, ¡y hasta Superman!

Even more dramatic is the fictitious autobiography of photographer Sergio Ramírez, "Mil y una muertes por Sergio Ramírez." We also have the hardbound book in Spanish for those who wish to read and listen at the same time for practice.

"El Cazador de Tatuajes" by Juvenal Acosta looks like a pretty dramatic murder novel, at least from what my simple Spanish can grasp of the cover description.

And finally, the self-help book, "La llave de la vida y del exito," by Adolfo Torres, will be interesting to many.

Happy summer listening.


Pagosa Reads

Devoured by a black flame : Elie Wiesel's 'Night'

By Betsy Gill

Special to the PREVIEW

"Night" by Elie Wiesel. NY, Hill and Wang, 1960.

Elie Wiesel was 15 years old in 1944 when he and his family were taken from their home in Sighet, Transylvania to go to the concentration camp.

"Night" is the account of the night Elie, his family and his neighbors, were put on a train, 80 in a boxcar, not knowing where they were going.

That night, three nights, they all spent on the train, with no air, no food, no water, no sanitation.

The night the train arrived in Birkenau was pitch black, flames were coming from the chimney along with the wretched stench of burning flesh. They were taken off the train, marched in a line past SS men with machine guns. One SS man commanded, "Men to the left! Women to the right!" This was the last time Elie saw his mother and sisters. He and his father were alone. What would happen now? There was a great feeling of fear and terror among the men and boys.

This was an unimaginable nightmare. Then Elie meets the notorious Dr. Mengele. "Never shall I forget that night."

The night they were transferred to Auschwitz, Elie with his father and the other men and boys, were stripped of their clothing, left completely naked; they were soaked in disinfectant, hurried through a hot shower, pushed out in the cold. Then, finally, clothes were thrown at them. Elie looked at his father and saw a completely changed man, his eyes veiled.

So much had happened in one night. Elie was not the same person, the same young boy. "My soul had been invaded - and devoured - by a black flame."

Elie's description of people, places, things, is hair-raising. A German leader in his block had an assassin's face, fleshy lips and hands resembling a wolf's paws. The dentist, who was a Jew from Czechoslovakia, had a face not unlike a death mask, and a mouth filled with yellow, rotten teeth.

Then came the night thousands of men and boys were run from Buna Camp because the liberating Russians were coming. The SS kept them in a herd, running faster and faster - through the snow, the cold, the icy wind, the fatigue, the weakness, the total exhaustion. When the SS, with their machine guns, got tired, they were replaced. When someone fell because he was exhausted, he was shot by an SS man, then crushed and trampled underfoot by the running men. Men and boys were dying and no one paid any attention. They ran all night - 20 kilometers and more. They exceeded the limits of fatigue.

They finally arrived at Gleiwitz.

Three days followed, with no food or water. Then they were on the move again, to inland Germany.

Night seemed endless on a train, 100 men and boys in a cattle car with no roof, a raging snow storm, no food, no water, just the snow off their wet blankets, the only things they had to keep warm.

Finally they arrived at Buchenwald. Of the 100 who started the trip in their cattle car, 12 survived. The others were dead or dying and could not move. "My father and I were still together. I tightened my grip on my father's hand, not wanting to lose him.

"I woke up at dawn on January 29, 1945. On my father's cot there lay another sick person."

On April 10, 1945, the first American tank stood at the gates of Buchenwald.

How did Elie survive?

What lasting effects does he live with today?

This is a short book - but one that must be read by every school student, every parent, every business person, every human everywhere, so this will never happen again. Although, as we live and breathe, it is happening .

Man's absolute evil, the absolute horror caused by the Nazis, or others, should never again be a part of life, but it is happening every day, somewhere. How can we stop this?

Betsy Gill, lives winters in Pagosa, and summers in Michigan. She is a Sisson Library volunteer who helps out in many ways, but is seen most frequently in the Children's Room.

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

Justus, Erickson to jury annual painting and drawing show

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist                         

Pagosa Springs Arts Council is proud to announce Wayne Justus and Pat Erickson will be the judges for the juried painting and drawing show at the Town Park Gallery June 29-July 17.

Wayne Justus has won numerous awards throughout the country since making his art a full-time occupation in 1972. Along with a number of gold medals from the American Indian and Cowboy Artists, he claimed their Artist's Artist, Western Heritage and Festival Choice awards. He was also awarded a silver medal at a National Western Artist Show in Lubbock, Texas. Wayne's work has been featured on several covers of the New Mexico Stockman magazine, as well as in Colorado Stockman, Horse and Rider, and Western Horseman (with a cover in 1990). His paintings have been published in Southwest Art magazine, as well as in one of their calendars, and he was also profiled in the January/February 2003 issue of Art of the West.

Wayne has participated in the Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show, the Settlers West Galleries American Miniatures Exhibition, the Masters of the American West Exhibition at the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage, and he was the featured artist in the San Luis Obispo County Cattlemen's Association 12th Annual Cattlemen's Western Art Show.

Early on, his talent was recognized by the artist Sebastian Capella, an internationally-known artist from Spain. Capella was still a novice with the English language when, through an interpreter, Capella taught Justus charcoal drawing to explore the values of light and shadow. Through books, artist Ron Scofield introduced Wayne to such famous artists as Charlie Russell and Frederick Remington. With Wayne's love of horses and this introduction to the cowboy, it was natural that he focus his talent in this direction.

After entering high school, Justus studied under the western artist Auston Deuel. Through Deuel. Justus met many other artists, which further taught him and awakened his thoughts of becoming a professional artist. In high school, he took a job at Fairbrook Farms, a thoroughbred ranch, breaking and training their horses for the race track. He took the job to be around horses, observing their differences and gaining an understanding about their variations in musculature and movement. "I feel that if you're going to paint boats, you ought to be a sailor, or at least know a lot about sailing," Justus said. "Same goes with cowboy artists." Justice has lived in Pagosa Springs for over 30 years. For more information about Wayne Justus, visit www.waynejustus.com.

Pat Erickson grew up in Northern California. Since childhood, her interests were equally divided between wildlife biology and art. She entered college as wildlife biology major, but after two years the pull of her creative side led her to bachelor's degree in fine art.

She left California for Colorado in 1989 and started concentrating on both wildlife and southwestern subjects for her pieces. Between 1993 and 1997, she lived in Tempe, Ariz., then moved back to Colorado. In Arizona, she had great exposure to the Native American culture and arts. In 2002, she moved to Pagosa Springs and started to paint horses for the first time, and the works were a great success. In this region, she is primarily known for her detailed portrayal of horses, wildlife and people of the West in both Prismacolor pencil and watercolor.

Erickson holds a bachelor's of fine art from California State University Chico with an emphasis in ceramic and bronze sculpture. In addition, she is developing notoriety for her contemporary series of figurative paintings. She has shown in galleries in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Oregon. Erickson states, "As someone who has a great love of animals, painting or drawing them was a natural choice for me. I strive to show something of the animal's spirit in my pieces and portray them as individual personalities."

Watercolor club show

The Pagosa Springs Watercolor Club Exhibit and Sale, is continuing through June 27 at the Town Park gallery, 315 Hermosa St.

The show includes works by 11 artists and features more than 40 framed pieces priced from $75. The watercolorists meet monthly and all levels are represented in the show. The PSAC Town Park Gallery is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. For more information, call 264-5020.

Watercolor club changes meeting day

The PSAC Watercolor Club has changed its meeting day from Wednesday to Thursday. The club meets at 10 a.m. the third Thursday of each month in the arts and craft space at the community center. The next meeting will be held June 15.

Watercolorists of all levels are provided the opportunity to use the room for the day. Each participant contributes $5 for use of the space.

Goals for the day vary, with watercolorists getting together to draw, paint and experience technique demonstrations from professional watercolorists or framers. Participants are encouraged to bring still lives or photos to paint and draw, or a project to complete. Participants should bring a bag lunch, their supplies and a willingness to have a fun creative day. For more information, contact PSAC at 264-5020.

Call for entries

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

All work must be original in concept and created without the assistance of an instructor. An artist may submit up to two entries: 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 PSAC members (for two entries) and $35 General (for two entries). Cash and item prizes will be presented with first second and third, and with People's Choice awards. Entries will be accepted June 24-26, noon to 4 p.m. at the arts and crafts room in the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Artists should pick up work not accepted into the show, on June 28 , noon-5:30 p.m. at the same location. Accepted work may be picked up after the show, 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 at the gallery and online at www.pagosa-arts.com. For more information, contact PSAC at 264-5020.

Summer camps for kids

Registrations for PSAC summer kids' camps are active. If you have a child who is interested in art, you should register as soon as possible - camp rosters are filling fast.

Pagosa Springs Arts Council is sponsoring a Children's Summer Art/Spanish Camp, taught by Soledad Estrada-Leo. Classes began June 5 and continue through the end of August. Classes are held at the community center and are open to children between the ages of 4 and 13. Ages 4-7 meet from 12:30-3:30 p.m. and ages 8-13 meet from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Classes are $150 for two weeks or $275 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.

The second children's camp, Using A Disposable Camera To Document Your Vacation or Holiday, will feature photography. PSAC knows parents are always searching for creative summer camp options for their children. PSAC is excited to announce a special art camp, PHOTOlearn®, for youngsters ages 5-10, July 17-20, 8:30 a.m. to noon.. Children's PHOTOlearn® classes will be held at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. The series of photography PHOTOlearn® class sessions is an opportunity for children to learn from a professional photojournalist.

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) Prices for a second child in a family are $95 / $125. Fee includes all materials, disposable cameras or film, and images processing. Participants should wear sunscreen and hats, as they'll be photographing outside (water bottles provided).

For more information and registration, call Wen Saunders, instructor, at 264-4486. Class description is available online at www.wendysaunders.com and www.pagosa-arts.com.

Figure, portrait workshop

Pierre Mion will teach a watercolor workshop 9 a.m.-4 p.m. July 24-26. Classes will be held in the arts and crafts room at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. An optional fifth day may be added.

The subject matter and instruction for this special class is figure and character portraits. PSAC has received many requests for this subject, and here is an opportunity to learn from one of the country's finest artists. Mion will provide photographs of subjects for participants to paint. Participants are also encouraged to bring a special photograph for a portrait watercolor.

The workshop atmosphere is relaxed and open to all levels of students who will learn Mion's step-by-step watercolor techniques. For artists' convenience, watercolor kits are available at an additional cost, or students may supply their own materials from Mion's minimal supply list. Students should bring a bag lunch. The price of the three-day workshop is $240 for PSAC members and $265 for nonmembers. An extra $25 will automatically give you a one-year PSAC membership.

Joye Moon workshop

PSAC will sponsor a watercolor workshop with Joye Moon 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 5-8. Cost for the workshop is $250 for PSAC members and $275 for nonmembers.

Call 264-5020 for advanced registration. For more information, visit www.pagosa-arts.com, or call PSAC.

 Tom Lockhart workshop

A Plein aire oil painting workshop with Tom Lockhart will be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 11-13. Cost is $300 for PSAC members, $325 general. An additional day may be scheduled. Call 264-5020 for advanced registration. For more information, visit www.pagosa-arts.com, or call PSAC.

October Mion workshop

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

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

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

The price of the three-day workshop is $240 for PSAC members and $265 for nonmembers, the extra $25 will automatically give you a one-year PSAC membership.) The optional fourth session is available for $60, per person, minimum four students. The main workshop is limited to 10 students. Sign up early, by calling PSAC at 264-5020. For further workshop and supplies information, call Pierre Mion at 731-9781 or visit www.pagosa-arts.com.

Workshops in Italy and Mexico

Joye Moon is hosting two travel workshops this year. You can join Joye and her husband, Dave, in travel destinations that include La Romita, Italy, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The Italy trip, "An Italian Artistic Adventure," Sept. 21- Oct. 3, will take place in the heart of Italy. La Romita is a restored 16th century Capuchin monastery above the ancient Roman city of Terni and just an hour away from Rome. The art school has invited the group to paint and explore the surrounding countryside for two full weeks. Only 18 travelers are allowed, so please register as soon as possible to assure a reservation. Price for the trip is $2,150 (all inclusive, except airfare).

The second trip, "A Mexican Artistic Adventure," Oct, 25 - Nov. 4, takes place in the town of San Miguel de Allende. This Spanish Colonial town is located in the mountains of central Mexico. The town's narrow cobblestone streets and impressive colonial architecture make it one of the most beautiful in Mexico. San Miguel has an ideal springlike climate and an atmosphere of gracious living, which has attracted and inspired many artists, writers and musicians. Price for the trip is $1,750 before July 15 ($1,900 after that date) and is all inclusive, except airfare. Contact Joye Moon at (920) 235-4429 or joyemoon@northnet.net for registration and information.

Judges needed for photo show

Two judges are needed for PSAC's annual Juried Photo Show (Oct. 12-Nov. 1). Judges should be available two days prior to the show opening for judging. Prospective judges should 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 for more information. The Pagosa Springs Art Council will feature 10 shows at the Town Park Gallery during the 2006 season. The shows include artworks from students, professional artists and aspiring artists. Media represented in the show include oil, watercolor, photography, wood working, and other various art media. Visit www.pagosa-arts.com for a complete schedule of upcoming shows.

PSAC Calendar

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

Today - Pagosa Springs Watercolor Club, 10 a.m.

June 15-17 - Summer Fling Plein Aire Watercolor Painting with Betty Slade, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

June 16 - PSAC "THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS: Marketing Your Biz with Print Media," 9:30 a.m.-noon. Contact Wen Saunders, 264-4486.

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

June 24-25 - Entries accepted for PSAC Annual Juried Painting and Drawing Show, community center, noon-4 p.m.

June 29 - PSAC Annual Juried Fine Art Show and Sale. Opening reception, 5-7 p.m.

June 29-July 18 - Annual Juried Fine Art Show and Sale.

July 20 - Ginnie, Denny and the Gang Fine Art Show and Sale. Opening reception, 5-7 p.m.

July 20-Aug. 8 - Ginnie, Denny and the Gang Fine Art Show and Sale.

July 24-26 - Figure and portrait watercolor workshop with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

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

Tasting Notes

A non-gambler avoids the cute furry creatures

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Aside from a childhood summer spent playing penny craps in the attic with my stepbrother, I've never been much of gambler. The thought of squandering money at a blackjack table or on a slot machine doesn't appeal to me, however, I will throw down money in an arena where I have some control over the odds. That arena is wine.

Although money spent on juice made by a reputable vintner is arguably a non-gamble, there's always the chance the bottle isn't quite what you had expected. Take Burgundy as an example, the most volatile of all wagers.

Even after years in the wine business, memorizing the mantra "Never buy Burgundy before you taste it," I'm still prone to shelling out too much of my hard earned cash simply on the recommendation of a sales rep or wine steward. If you know your appellations and trust your source of information, even untasted Burgundy buys are relatively safe. However, when you enter the realm of wines under $15, the stakes are much higher, a little wine knowledge is of paramount importance, and where you place your bets matters - critically.

Generally, I buy wine directly from an importer in Berkeley and, like playing the jockeys rather than the horses, he's a reputable supplier and a solid bet. His speciality is artisanal vintners or small producers, vintners linked to the legacy of their land and the tradition of wine making in their appellation. He refuses to work with quotas or mass production - quality and wine making integrity are the bedrock of his portfolio. His selection is esoteric and unsurpassed. Although there are times, a wine may not suit my particular tastes, there's rarely a question in the jockey's performance, in the quality of the ride.

But with my wine supply depleted and a shipment more than a week away, I was forced to enter the fray of the wild and unpredictable realm of buying wine in Pagosa Springs. And buying wine in liquor stores, virtually any liquor store, is a risky proposition.

Although a vintner may produce wine with integrity, what happens between bottling and the wine's arrival on the store shelf is an entirely different matter - think trips across the Atlantic in unrefrigerated shipping containers, think journeys across the Southwest in unrefrigerated delivery trucks, think blistering loading docks in July, sauna-like warehouses and careless shipping and receiving staff - think alcohol abuse in a major way. And, on the other hand, some vintners and importers have no integrity at all, and poor handling only hastens the juice's inevitable devolution to antifreeze.

I knew the risks, but I was weak. Crippled without a stash, and craving something red, I entered the store, willing to take my chances.

Contrary to my usual flight pattern, I began in the New World section, and within a few steps, the roulette wheel of the wine world was staring me in the eye - a California merlot for just five bucks.

I have to confess, I hesitated. I dreamed of merlot at its absolute peak, embodied by the great wines of Pomerol, Duckhorn, Shafer and Franciscan. I wavered. Could this bottle before me, although inexpensive, be a hidden gem, a diamond in the rough?

I picked up the bottle and scanned the label. I was transfixed. There, in delicate black lines on the parchment-like label was the sketch of a crane perched along the shore of a lake. How lovely.

I calculated my finances again, estimated the risk, put all my money on black, and took a step toward the cashier. Then I stopped. My fingers hefted the glass, and traveled the length of the bottle. Lacking a punt, and with a string of numbers around the bottom edge, the glass looked and felt like a mason jar. I examined the foil around the bottle's neck and discovered one of those convenient little zip-pulls designed for those incapable of cutting foil from a bottle's neck. I looked again at the label. Something seemed awry - two-buck Chuck had come to the party dressed in a tuxedo.

What was I thinking? First, there's hardly a California merlot under $50 that is truly dynamic and remarkable. Secondly, what did I think I would get for five bucks? Certainly not grace and dimension, and more likely, a wine not unlike nail polish remover or chrome cleaner.

But what was it about the bottle that had sucked me in? Then it hit me — it was that damn crane on the label. It all looked so classy, so Duckhorn-like, I could hardly resist. But in the end, I did. I put the bottle back on the shelf, and I pondered what sorts of other marketing pitfalls might tempt the novice or force the experienced into a haphazard gamble.

After a wander around the store, I deduced animals were the primary bait, after all, it was a lovely little crane that almost took me in, and on my walk, the intensity of cutesy wine marketing became clear.

Upon entering the New World section, I was encouraged to "Get funky," with Funky Llama, or to take a trip to Coyote Creek or Toad Hallow. For avian nuts, there was Smoking Loon, Black Swan, and that seductive temptress, Crane Lake. For the fisherman in me, I had my choice of Mad Fish and Fish Eye, and for the dog lover, Dog House. For big game aficionados, Dancing Bull and White Tail, and also, for critter lovers, Leaping Lizard and Yellow Tail. And lastly, a wine I'm sure had a certain je ne sais quoi - French Rabbit.

But it wasn't just New World producers that were the culprits. In the French section, I discovered the Faux Frog, available in red or white, and Fat Bastard, with a cute little hippopotamus on the label. Even the stoic Germans were in on the scheme with the Zeller Schwarze Katz - the label decorated with a cute black kitty.

I was bewildered, with all the cute furry critters and scaly creatures, what was I to do?

I did what any self respecting, non-gambling wine drinker would do, and returned to the Old World section and searched for two bottles without any references, by name or label, to animals.

With the memory of nearly being duped by Crane Lake still smouldering, I upped the ante by five bucks a bottle, and tossed in two ten spots to get into the game. There were no animals, no cute critter gimmicks, just old world juice - nothing special, just simple vin du table.

Umani Ronchi 2004 Montepulciano D' Abruzzo: From central Italy's Abruzzi region, the Umani Ronchi is made with a blend of montepulciano and sangiovese. This is simple, medium-bodied Italian table wine, and although slightly soft and flabby, it perks up when slightly chilled. With food, pair this with Italian staples such as lasagna, manicotti, or just about anything with ricotta or a red sauce - a simple summer thirst quencher.

Castano 2004 Monastrel : From the Yecla denominacion de origen in eastern Spain, the Castano is a solid, feisty red made from a blend of monastrel and grenache. The Yecla drinks like a Languedoc or Cahors with a mean streak, so think barbecue and all varieties of charred flesh.

Food for Thought

Summer's here; strip down and crank up the heat

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

"Whoowee, it's hot."

"I guess that explains why you're standing in the kitchen wearing nothing but your underwear, doesn't it?"

"It got so hot, I had to do something."

"This is one of the ugliest things I've seen in a long time. I certainly hope no one decides to stop by for a visit. I have friends, after all; I don't want them traumatized."

"I had to do something; it was getting unbearable."

"Gee, I wonder why? Let's see, it's a very hot day. And, to top things off, Einstein, you're in the kitchen with the oven on. Hot, you say? I wonder why?"

Perfect opportunity for her to introduce the misguided theory that, when summer arrives, it is time to curtail use of the indoor cooking appliances and gadgets - those heat-generating devices so welcome in the colder months of the year - and retreat outdoors for grilled goodies and cold sides.

She takes the bait.

"It's summer. Only a complete idiot has the oven cranked and the doors and windows closed. Oh, gee, look: the oven is on and the doors and windows are closed. That must mean "


I'm making a side dish. And, I'm in uniform.

Some of the best sides I know require the oven. If I want to accompany a grilled menu item (generally something that was ambulatory a short while before I consume it) , chances are good I'm firing up the stove in one or more of its modes.

I can always strip down to my underwear.

And close the shades on the windows (out of deference to Kathy's friends and to Coleman, the lad next door who likes to roam the hillside next to the house with his impressionable friends. Coleman is sensitive, and I have no reason to wreck his life).

Given there is no accident with hot grease, or I don't slip in a pool of sweat on the floor and fall, I'm golden.

Hot but golden.

The suffering is worth it. Summer is a time when the garden goodies arrive - the tomatoes, the squash, the eggplant, the onion - all fresh, none of it stored for weeks or months before hitting the shelves. Corn starts to make an appearance at the store. There are beans to be had.

And, in my mind, most are best prepared indoors, on the stovetop or in the oven.

It's a sacrifice that must be made.

Here's my fave

A tian.

With roasted veggies and plenty o'cheese and olive oil.

As do all decent dishes, this one begins with a bunch of onion and garlic and peppers.

Fist, head outside (if you've already stripped down to your underwear, take caution the little tykes in the neighborhood aren't scampering around) and light the grill. If you think about it, wire brush the crud from the last grilling session from the rack.

Get yourself a nice, shiny, firm eggplant. Wash the rascal and slice it into rounds a half-inch thick. Put a bit of salt on the rounds and place them in a colander for about a half hour.

Trim and wash, then slice a couple zucchini into half-inch rounds.

Find several ripe tomatoes (for those of you who frequent our local markets regularly, this is a wonderful joke). OK, find several tomatoes that look red - maybe some Romas or some of those half-decent hot house babies that come in a plastic tray. Slice the tomatoes into half-inch rounds and seed them. Get as much moisture out of them as possible.

Take two white onions and slice thinly. Mash up about five or seven cloves of garlic, Maybe nine.

Slice a red Bell pepper thinly.

Don't pay any attention to the outside air temperature. Crank up the stove. Put a heavy saute pan on medium heat and hit it with some extra virgin olive oil. When the oil shimmers, flip in the onions and peppers. Stir and saute until soft. Add the shmushed garlic and continue to cook for a few minutes. Take the pan off the heat (you can turn the heat off, if you want - you're going to have to do it some time) and line the bottom of an oiled shallow, oval casserole with the mixture.

While you're sauteeing the onion, peppers and garlic, get busy with the grill - as in, heat it up.

Dry the eggplant and zucchini slices and brush them with some oil. Pop them on to the grill - eggplant first, giving it a head start and roast them until they're toasty and soft. Remove.

Slice up a hunk of high-grade mozzarella or, better yet, find some Mexican cheese - either a Mennonita, if you prefer a sharper taste, or - a quesadilla - and slice it.

Start at one end of the casserole and overlap alternating rows of eggplant, zucchini, tomato, cheese, giving each row of veggie a smidge of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Proceed down the length of the pan. Sprinkle with some thyme, some more black pepper, a dusting of freshly shaved Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and pop into a 350 oven

Did I forget to tell you to preheat the oven?

Oh yes, preheat the oven. For about fifteen to twenty minutes.

Hot, isn't it?

Bake for a half hour or so, taking care that the crumbs don't burn.

Turn the oven off when the tian is done..


You can eat this beauty warm or let it cool to room temp.

While you cool to room temp.

Better yet, go out on the deck and grill some kind of flesh and put together a salad with a simple vinaigrette.

If you have to cook and eat dinner in your underwear, so be it. Just make sure the underwear is clean. You never know when the EMTs will be called.

If you have as much hair on your torso as I, it's a sure bet you'll be in your underwear.

After all, it's hot.

It's summer.

Crank it up.

Extension Viewpoints

Extension Office, 4-H offer Fun in the Sun Summer Day Camp

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

June 15 - 7 p.m., Sheep Project meeting.

June 16 - 2 p.m., Rabbit Project meeting.

June 16 - 3:30 p.m., Poultry Project meeting.

June 19 - 4:30 p.m., Dog Obedience Project meeting.

June 19 - 6 p.m., Quality Assurance meeting.

June 20 & 21 - Entomology Field Trip.

June 21 - 10 a.m., Garden Club meeting.

June 21 - 7 p.m., Red Ryder meeting.

Fun in the Sun

The Archuleta County Extension Office, along with 4-H, is putting on our first Fun in the Sun Summer Day Camp.

It will be held July 17-21 at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds in the Extension Office. The summer day camp will take place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. each day. This is open to any youth living in or visiting Archuleta County, age 8 to 13 years old.

We will provide many "fun shops," including cooking, Basic GPS, rabbit class, GIS treasure hunt, weaving, scrapbooking, fishing, cake decorating, dance class, games, tie-dye, crafts and more.

Volunteers are still needed. If you would like to help out or need more information, call Jennifer at the Extension Office at 264-5931.

Aphids on shade trees

Aphids occur on almost all types of trees and shrubs. They usually do not damage plants and are controlled by natural enemies such as lady beetles. Problems most commonly occur where aphids produce leaf curls, such as on ash, plum, honeysuckle and snowball viburnum. Check for natural enemies before treating with insecticides. Systemic insecticides are particularly effective when aphids have curled the leaves. Contact insecticides and soaps are useful when aphids are exposed on leaves. Dozens of species of aphids (plant lice) may be found on shade trees and woody ornamental plants in Colorado.

Aphids are small insects, typically less than 1/8 inch, although some may be almost 1/2 inch long. Colors range from bright orange or red to dull gray. One common group, woolly aphids, produces an abundance of flossy, waxy threads that cover their bodies. Winged and wingless forms can be produced by all Colorado aphid species.

Aphids feed on plants by sucking plant sap from the leaves, twigs or stems. When abundant, aphids remove large quantities of sap, reducing plant growth and vigor. This injury is most common with stem- or trunk-infesting aphids, such as the woolly apple aphid and juniper aphid. Aphids feeding on developing leaves also can produce leaf curl injuries. This is most frequently observed on snowball viburnum, honeysuckle, plum and ash.

Most aphids excrete large quantities of a sweet, sticky substance called honeydew. At times, excessive honeydew dropping from trees can be an extreme nuisance. Also, sooty mold fungus may grow on the honeydew, producing a gray, unattractive covering of the leaves. Sooty mold is not damaging to the trees except when it covers leaves and temporarily reduces photosynthesis. Ants often are attracted to honeydew and feed on it. Ants may even tend aphids and other honeydew-producing insects (certain scales, leafhoppers, treehoppers), protecting them from natural enemies such as lady beetles and lacewings. Often the presence of ants crawling up trees or on foliage indicates that large numbers of aphids or other honeydew producers also are on the plants.

Typical aphid life history

Most species of Colorado aphids overwinter as eggs on specific types of woody plants. Eggs hatch in the spring.

The following spring and summer, forms of the aphid sometimes move from overwintering plants to other plant species. Summer aphids consist entirely of females that give birth to live young at a rate of one to 20 per day. The newly hatched aphids can complete their development within one to two weeks, after which they begin to produce more aphids. Consequently, aphid populations may increase rapidly, with several generations occurring during the growing season. At the end of the summer, both male and female aphids are produced. They mate on the overwintering host plant, and females lay eggs.


Many kinds of insects naturally prey upon aphids. Most common are various species of lady beetles (ladybugs), green lacewings, syrphid flies and small parasitic wasps. Under many conditions, these beneficial insects provide effective control of aphids.

Before applying any insecticide, check the plants to make sure these natural controls are not already reducing aphid numbers. Sometimes ants interfere with these natural controls. Excluding ants with sprays, sticky bands, etc., can allow biological controls to be effective.

When natural enemies are not abundant enough to provide aphid control, insecticides sometimes are needed to prevent plant injury. For most aphid problems, particularly those associated with leaf curls, insecticides that move systemically within the leaf or plant provide the best control. The most common systemic insecticide available to homeowners is Orthene (acephate). Cygon (dimethoate) also may be available as a spray for use on evergreens. Some insecticides can be applied to the soil and taken up by the roots of the plants. These are called systemic insecticides. The most recent, Imidacloprid, is sold under the trade name Bayer Advanced Garden Tree & Shrub Killer Concentrate. (Merit is the trade name of imidacloprid used by professional tree care companies.) It is applied as a drench over the root zone. An older, and much more toxic, soil systemic insecticide that is still available for some ornamental plant uses is DiSyston (disulfoton). DiSyston is sold as granules or in plant food mixtures for soil application.

There are several insecticides effective for aphid control when sprayed on plants. Perhaps most effective are those with systemic activity that allows them to move through the plant. Acephate (Isotox, Orthene) is the most widely available systemic insecticide. Dimethoate (Cygon) is less commonly available and is mostly used for aphids on evergreens. Other insecticides used as sprays that have activity against aphids include insecticidal soaps, malathion, and esfenvalerate.

Many of the aphids that curl leaves and produce problems in spring originate from eggs that remained on the plants during winter. Before bud break and egg hatch these eggs can be killed with sprays of horticultural oils. Such a use of oils is often described as a "dormant oil" application, since it is applied before the plants produce new growth in spring. On smaller trees aphids may be controlled by use of high pressure sprays of water. Hosing plants can also remove the sticky honeydew that aphids excrete. The honeydew is what brings on the ants.

Pagosa Lakes News

Garage sale - it's a treasure hunt

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

For folks who truly enjoy trawling for treasure, there's nothing like the rush of rummaging through a great garage sale. It's all about the treasure hunt.

Garage sales have long offered a fun, if slightly geeky, way of spending a Saturday afternoon. With sizable numbers of retirees (read: decade's worth of accumulated junk), Pagosa is not a bad place to indulge your obsession.

This Saturday, the fifth annual community garage sale for association members is scheduled from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. At time of writing this article, there are already 28 families registered to hawk their retired treasure.

Here's a great chance to clean out your closets of anything that is useless to you or you don't want. Don't throw anything away. People will buy just about anything. You'd be surprised. You can throw together a box of freebies.

Capitalize on the season. For one, this time of the year, bicycles, fishing gear, swim wear and outdoor toys go over well. Doll clothing and accessories are always in demand. Toys go over big at anytime with the kiddies and they, in turn, will finally persuade their parents to buy something. Children are very persuasive, just in case you haven't noticed.

Have a large quantity of items to sell. Don't be afraid to drag out things and generally "clean house." You'll find the money, no matter how modest, better than all the clutter in the house. At the end of the garage sale, you will have met a lot of nice, friendly people and hopefully, go home to a little more space.

Since the garage sale will take up all of the parking spaces outside the recreation center Saturday, members using the facility are asked to park in the Mountain Heights Baptist Church parking lot. Consider the short walk a warm-up to your exercise regimen.

If you are interested in reserving a space, call Gloria at the administration office, 731-5635, Ext. 24, before Friday. All the long folding tables that belong to the association have already been spoken for. You'll have to provide your own at this point.

Blood drive

A blood drive, sponsored by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, will be conducted Monday, June 19 at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. The drive will begin at 1 p.m. and go through 5 p.m. If you are willing to donate blood, call Gloria at the PLPOA administration office, 731-5635, Ext. 24, to schedule an appointment.

Saturday runs

Karen Ross and Julie Greenly, two local runners, have pulled together a group of some 30 women who will be running together every other Saturday.

This is an informal running group, with runners of different ability levels. Bi-weekly runs will range in length from three to five miles, and on different terrains.

If you are interested in joining these hot mamas in their pursuit of ever-better physical and emotional health, call Karen (731-9578) or Julie (731-9947).

To quote Julie: "Our intentions are to make new friends, build on some existing friendships, learn something more from one another in the way of running tips, and better ourselves as runners." I'm stoked because this is so good for the women in our community.

Relay for Life breakfast

Participants in this weekend's Relay for Life are invited to share breakfast Saturday morning with the local Rotary Club. Breakfast, cooked at Town Park, will be served from 7 a.m. until all the scrambled eggs are gone.

If you are not a participant in the relay, our communitywide effort to raise funds for the American Cancer Society, feel welcome to come out and support the event as a spectator. All the action, starting at 6 p.m. Friday - that's tomorrow - and lasting to 8 a.m. Saturday, will be in Town Park.


Eugene Clark

Eugene Dale Clark of Pagosa Springs, passed away at his home on June 7, 2006.

He is survived by his wife, Donna, and his daughter, Natalia Clark. He was a world-known watchmaker and worked in Switzerland. He was also a gunsmith and worked for Browning Arms in St. Louis and New Orleans Arms. He was a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. In 2001, he received the lifetime achievement award from American Watch Institute. This was the first and only time that the award was given to an American. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Relay for Life.


 Business News

Chamber News

Busy times for Pagosa businesses

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

June is busting out all over, in so many ways.

Thanks go first to Folkwest for putting on another great event. The polka group, Brave Combo, stole the show Saturday with Public Property getting festivalgoers dancing to their hip, reggae sound Sunday. These bands' unique styles of music helped define the Indiefest theme we hope will grow in popularity, as has the Four Corners Folk Festival. The weather was perfect, the crowds steady, and everyone seemed to be having a good time for the inaugural year. Even Gandalf Murphy and Ruthie Foster were troupers as they managed with rough voices, due to the pollen.

Here's to bringing these bands back to Pagosa Springs at some other time along with any of the other talent that was at the festival.

Ride the Rockies

You won't be reading much about this tour in my article this week, as there is a separate information article in The PREVIEW.

Once again, both Ride the Rockies and the Bicycle Tour of Colorado are important events for our community. Everyone should be aware of how busy we will be. These cyclists love to ride their bikes, tour Colorado, and find places they would like to come back and visit. Let's be one of those places!

The Chamber staff will be active on June 19. Our front desk will be staffed with our fabulous Diplomats. Our offices, I'm sure, will field mountains of phone calls. Thank you for your patience, in advance; we may have to put you on hold or roll you into voice mail. We are excited that, after four years absence, Ride the Rockies returns to our town. Come out Monday, June 19, to hear free live music, celebrate the winner of the Ride the Rockies community grant, and partake of great food served by non-profit organizations and tasty beer provided by New Belgium Brewing.

Bike tour and Public Property

In next week's paper, you will get more detailed information on the Bicycle Tour of Colorado. It will basically be a repeat of the Ride the Rockies schedule.

BTC is here in Pagosa on a Saturday, so come out and bring the family for a fun day in Town Park with food booths, a beer garden sponsored by Tommyknockers and free live entertainment.

We are excited to announce the entertainment will be Public Property, from Indiefest. This hardworking group will drive straight from LA to play in Pagosa May 24.

What a treat for our community. If you didn't have a chance to hear them at Indiefest, you can hear them in Town Park, and the concert is free. I am so excited!

Again, these bike tours come into our community only every four to five years. So come out, meet the riders, have some fun, and enjoy some of the best of what our community has to offer.

Upcoming events

With both these bicycle tours coming up, could there be room for anything else?

Of course.

Town Park will be filled with walkers and rockers during Pagosa's annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life. The event will start at 6 p.m. Friday, June 16, and run through the night until 8 a.m. the next morning. Luminarias honoring survivors and other victims of cancer will line the Town Park walkways as enthusiastic participants keep their vigil at all hours of the day and night.

For more information, contact director, Dick Babillis at 731-9263. Honor a loved one with your presence or a luminaria.

At noon Sunday, June 18, the Western Heritage Event Center will sponsor the Fun Day Rodeo Series. Entries are taken at 11 a.m.

This fun competition at the fairgrounds is a great opportunity to work your horses in events, practice before the big Red Ryder Rodeo, or just come out and cheer on your friends. For more information, call 264-2730. Remember to keep the fun in the Fun Day Rodeo.

Don't forget to get your advance tickets for the community center dance to be held Saturday, June 23. Preceding the dance at 6 p.m. there will be a dinner catered by Eddie B Cookin'. The High Rollers will provide the entertainment, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the community center and WolfTracks for $20 for the dinner and dance, and $12 per person for just the dance. Tickets for the dinner and dance need to be purchased by Tuesday, June 20. Tickets at the door, for just the dance, will be $15. Kick off the Fourth of July a little early this year by coming out to the Old Glory dinner and dance.

Speaking of dances, mark your calendar for the Western Heritage Event Center benefit dance Saturday, July 1. Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge will get everyone up and scootin' at the fairgrounds, in the Extension Building. Tickets are $25 per couple and $15 per person. Children are $5 with a paying adult. You can pick up tickets up at the Chamber and Goodman's Department Store.

Just prior to this dance, start the Fourth of July weekend by supporting several of Pagosa's youth. Kory Bramwell, Ryan Montroy and Charmaine Talbot have again qualified for the National High School Rodeo Finals in Springfield, Ill. There will be a benefit dinner at the fairgrounds from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with adult dinner tickets at $8, children 12 to 6 at $5, and children 5 and under free. Come out for another fun evening of delicious food and lively dancing and support two great programs.

The next couple weeks, we will highlight the events happening during our long Fourth of July weekend.

Attention parade participants: The Fourth of July parade entry forms are now available at the Chamber. There is no charge to enter the parade. The theme this year is "Helping Others Be Independent." Forms must be turned back to the Chamber offices by Wednesday, June 28, in order for you to get a slot in the parade lineup. Thanks to the Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs for again sponsoring our biggest parade.

Also note Wednesday, June 28 - the Stevens Field Airport dedication. There will be an open house for the public from 2-5 p.m. with fly-bys and radio-controlled aircraft flights. Starting at 5 p.m. we switch over to the Chamber June SunDowner. There will be door prizes and drawings throughout the day. At 4:30 p.m. there will be a drawing for a leather jacket and you must be present to win. Come see what all the talk is about at this beautiful, improved airport facility.

The Great Race

I am getting more excited about this race the more I hear about it.

The latest information is that there will be a hot rod display next to the Bear Creek to help celebrate this race.

Also, you're always surprised by who lives in this community and what wonderful talents they have. That said, Tommy Nell, former race driver and announcer with ESPN and Chevrolet Racing, will broadcast live from Lewis Street, starting at 4 p.m. as the antique race cars come into their pit stalls for the Great Race stop in Pagosa.

As a sponsor of a pit slot, you will get your business mentioned on the air as well as mention of the cars you assist. You also get your signs made by the Chamber and, unless you want to provide something extra to the teams, the Chamber provides drinks and snacks. You just need to provide the pit crew.

Give the Chamber a call at 264-2360. Thank you to Tommy for offering his announcing talents to this unique event for Pagosa, and to KWUF radio for working with us and making this show even bigger and better for our community.


Mostly new members to welcome aboard this week. How great is that?

First on our list is Pine Valley Rental and Sales, located at 305 Bastille Drive. Pine Valley carries lots of minor and quite a bit of major construction equipment. They also have trailers, tools, tables, chairs and even dance flooring. They also have other party-type rentals, including tents, but the list is too long to print here. Give them a call for party, tent or construction rental at 731-4410. Thanks to Bonnita Lynne for referring Pine Valley. Bonnita will receive a free sundowner admission card.

Cooking up a storm these days is a new caterer on the block, Ed Villanueva and Eddie B Cookin'. If you made it out to IndieFest, you would have seen Ed and his great concession trailer and tasted some of his lamb gyros and fried carrot strips. This trailer is all-inclusive and easy to transport to your next function or festival. Eddie caters private parties, group functions and large events. With not just your average fare, Eddie B Cookin' has tasty main course and appetizer suggestions. For more information on his catering services, call 731-1423.

Staying in the food category, let's welcome Chatos Mexican Restaurant, or as most of us know them, Tequilas, in their new location. Chatos, on the west side of town at 230 Country Center Drive, will serveup their extensive Mexican menu with some new additional items. So, those who don't want to come downtown or have limited time for lunch or dinner, will be able to enjoy Tequilla's fare on the west side. The new number for takeout service will be 731-3545.

She has tamed many a Pagosa computer. We welcome Natalie Carpenter and the Computer Tamer. Natalie will give you on-site computer tutoring, help you with troubleshooting a problem, suggest upgrades and new purchases to meet your growing needs, and provide general consulting service. She can also assist you with graphic and Web site design. For all your computer needs, call 946-4050. Natalie has been a computer angel for many of us techno-flops. Thanks Natalie.

We also welcome new associate member Cydney Currell. Cydney is a broker/realtor for the Pagosa Springs area. If you are looking for land or that special home you can visit her Web site at www.pagosaspringshomesforsale.com or give her a call at 731-1358. Professional and knowledgeable, Cydney is here to help you find the right piece of property or home.

We welcome all our new members this week. Thank you for becoming a bigger part of our business community.

We can't forget our one renewal this week. That would be Wells Fargo Home Mortgage-Pagosa.

Thanks again to the community for all the volunteer assistance to help make these bike tours successful events for Pagosa and allow us to shine. Again, it does not take just one person to make a successful event - it takes a community! We'll see you at Town Park Monday, June 19. Good luck and great service to all the businesses out there; leave our visitors wanting to come back for more Pagosa hospitality.



The family of Jack and Nonne Morgan are in Pagosa this weekend to help Jack and Nonne celebrate their 60th anniversary.

Jack and Nonne were married in Pampa, Texas, June 19, 1946. They spent their honeymoon in the Pagosa Springs area on a pack trip with 12 people and 21 head of horses. The trip was guided by Pat Dunken. Horse and pack wranglers were Billy Lynn and Hugh Dan Reisinger.

The Morgans have a log cabin on Hot Springs Boulevard. They have been coming to Pagosa every year since their marriage. Jack has been visiting Pagosa since he was 10 years old.

Those visiting this weekend are daughter Vonda Jack and husband Neal Sweeney of Tempe, Ariz.; granddaughter Tracey and husband Brian Bannett and three great-grandchildren, Reese, Reagan and Riggs, of Corpus Christi, Texas; grandson Morgan and wife Brittany Hubbard and great-granddaughter Lexie, of Scottsdale, Ariz.; grandson Matt Hubbard and Briana of Corpus Christi, and friends Gary and April Weber of Colorado Springs.

Sports Page

Bonnie Hoover nails ace at 'Par-4-a-Day'

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association played a low gross, low net format for its league day May 30.

Low gross winners in the 0-29 handicap category were Kay Crumpton, first with an 86, and Marilyn Smart, second with an 88. Carrie Weisz and Cherry O'Donnell were first and second net in this category with 71 and 75 respectively.

Low gross winners in the 26 and over handicap category were Nikki Buckley, first with a 101, and Sue Martin, second with a 104. Carole Howard and Toosje LaMoreaux were first and second in this category with 71 and 72 respectively.

Immediately following play, the ladies adjourned to the home of Claudia Johnson for their monthly potluck luncheon and general meeting.

The women played "Par 4-a-Day" format for league day June 6. They played the Meadows and Ponderosa courses and counted only their scores on the par 4 holes - 11 - and deducted half of their handicaps for their total aggregate scores.

First flight winners were Jan Kilgore, first with a 42 1/2. Marilyn Smart and Cindy Simpson tied for second, each with a 45. In the second flight, Sheila Rogers and Karen Carpenter tied for first with a 45, and Lynne McCrudden was second with a 48.

The shot of the day belonged to Bonnie Hoover, who scored an ace on No. 2 Ponderosa. It's an 87-yard par three. That morning the pin was tucked in behind the large sand bunker that guards the front of the green. Bonnie hit a very high 3/4 pitching wedge on her tee shot, and knew that her ball was right on line to the pin. She yelled, "go, go, go," when the ball was in the air, because she didn't want it to land in the bunker. The ball landed about five feet in front of the pin, and rolled forward. Neither she nor anyone in her group could actually see the ball from the tee. It wasn't until they arrived at the green, and looked in the cup that they knew for sure it was a hole-in-one.

This was one of many aces for Bonnie. She scored her first at the tender age of 15.

Weight training for high school female athletes

Throughout June, Coach Andy Rice will provide a weight training and conditioning program at the high school for any interested players in grades 9 to 12. The weight room at the school will be open to all female sport athletes Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8-9:30 a.m.

That same weight room schedule will hold through July.

Pirate volleyball players have a number of opportunities this summer to prepare for next fall's season.

A series of optional volleyball club activities are planned and players are encouraged to attend if they wish.

In July, open gym for all high school players will take place 3-5 p.m. Tuesdays - July 11, 18 and 25 - and Thursdays - July 6, 13, and 27. There will be open gym Aug. 8 and 10.

In August a home high school camp will take place Aug. 1-3 from 8:30-11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. each day. A junior high school camp will be held Aug. 9-11 from 8:30-11 a.m. each day. All returning Pirate varsity players are asked to assist.

High school-age club scrimmages are planned against Durango and Alamosa in early August, with dates and times to be announced.

The cost for the summer club season, including camp, is $30. Checks can be made out to Pagosa Springs Volleyball Club.

The high school practice season begins Aug. 14. Players can expect two-a-day sessions with morning and early afternoon workouts for two weeks. An up-to-date physical is required before a player can practice after Aug. 14.

For further information, contact Rice at 264-1951 or 903-9604.

Pagosa women compete at Farmington golf tourney

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

Twelve members of the Pagosa Women's Golf Association traveled to Farmington June 6 and 7 to play the annual Ladies' Charity Golf Tournament at the Pinon Hills golf Club and San Juan Country Club.

The invitational was a 36-hole event for teams of two women playing a best ball gross and net format, and included 50 teams from the Four Corners area and Albuquerque.

Sally Bish and Nancy Chitwood led the Pagosa contingent by winning first place gross in the third flight with a total of 187 for both days. Carole Howard and Sue Martin tied for third net in the third flight with a total of 132 for both days.

Other members representing Pagosa were Barbara Sanborn, Lynne Allison, Carrie Weisz, Audrey Johnson, Josie Hummel, Leslie Fluharty, Kathy Giordano and Robyn Alspach.

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Parks and rec staff welcomes summer intern

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department would like to welcome Kim Fulmer as an addition to the crew of part-time staff.

Fulmer, who will be a senior student-athlete this year at Pagosa Springs High School, is serving as the department's summer intern. She will assist the recreation supervisor and sports coordinator with the daily administration of the summer sports programs, including oversight on the ball fields through the baseball and softball seasons.

Fulmer's duties also include an occasional contribution to this column; look for her perspectives on youth sports in upcoming issues of The SUN.

Adult softball schedule

Schedules for this year's adult men's and coed leagues are now available at the recreation office and have been posted online at www.townofpagosasprings.com. Schedules are also updated regularly on the sports hotline, 264-6658.

The men's league schedule for the coming week includes the following:

- Tonight - Pagosa Falcons vs. Ben Johnson/D.E.S. at 5:30 p.m. on Field 1, American Legion vs. Boss Hogg's at 5:30 on Field 2 and MBM Construction vs. Four Corners Electronics at 6:50 on Field 1.

- June 22 - Ben Johnson/D.E.S. vs. American Legion at 5:30 p.m. on Field 1, Pagosa Falcons vs. Boss Hogg's at 5:30 on Field 2 and MBM Electronics vs. Four Corners Electronics at 6:50 on Field 1.

The coed schedule for June 20 includes:

- Old School vs. Snowy River Construction at 5:30 p.m. on Field 1, Dionigi's vs. Galles Properties at 5:30 on Field 2, Aaron's Fitness vs. Radio Shack 6:50 on Field 1 and Priority One Jayhawks vs. Grass Roots at 8 on Field 1.

All players should bring their $25 registration to their next scheduled games if they have not yet paid for participation in this year's league. Likewise, all managers should bring their $250 team registration fee on opening night, unless they have already turned the fee in to the recreation office.

Players and/or teams failing to provide participation fees before the start of their second games will not be permitted to play.

Youth baseball schedule

The Mustang division (9- and 10-year-olds) schedule for the coming week at Pagosa Springs High School baseball complex, Field 1, includes the following:

- Monday, June 19 - No games scheduled due to Ride the Rockies bicycle tour camping on the ball fields.

- Wednesday, June 21 - Rockies vs. Yankees at 5:30 p.m. on Field 1 and White Sox vs. Angels at 7:10 on Field 1.

The Pinto division (6-8) schedule for the coming week includes:

- Monday, June 19 - No games scheduled due to Ride the Rockies bicycle tour camping on the ball fields.

- Wednesday, June 21 - Reds vs. White Sox at 5:30 p.m. on Field 2, Dodgers vs. Yankees at 5:30 on Field 3, Rockies vs. Orioles at 6:35 on Field 2 and Angels vs. A's at 6:35 on Field 3.

Pinto and Mustang division schedules are available at Town Hall and are posted weekly on the town Web site, in The SUN and recorded on the sports hotline, 264-6658.

Horseshoes at South Pagosa Park

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 Archuleta County Fair tournament. If there's enough interest, we'll hold a town tournament in October.

Remember to attend Tuesday-evening practice and pick-up games at South Pagosa Park's horseshoe courts, just north of the basketball courts. Come when you can.

Sports hotline

General information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department can be obtained by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to townofpagosasprings.com and going to the parks and recreation link.

All schedules and upcoming events are updated on a weekly basis.

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.


It's here, so enjoy

It's here. Our busiest season in Pagosa Country. Time to put out the welcome mat, prepare for the arrival of visitors and seasonal residents, enjoy the many events packed into a short period of time, volunteer to help if we can, and thank our lucky stars, despite the inconveniences, that it is happening.

Put on your seat belts, kids; it's going to be a whirlwind of a ride.

It is a season upon which we depend - especially our businesses. A time of year when folks arrive in big numbers, eager for fun, willing to spend at local stores, hotels and restaurants. It is also a time when events cater to residents and visitors alike. Those events define, in great part, what we are as a community.

We now have key events bracketing the season, setting its limits, if you will. With the just-completed Indiefest, held last weekend on Reservoir Hill, we have an annual event to kick off the season in fine style. Kudos to Crista Munro and Dan Appenzeller and all their crew, for conceiving and producing what could become another keystone occasion, a balance to their renowned Four Corners Folk Festival on the Labor Day weekend.

The crowd at Indiefest was what one would expect for a first try, fairly small (by comparison to the FCFF), but enthusiastic. A foundation for a future. Crista and Dan have put Pagosa on the music festival map. Their commitment to quality entertainment in one of the most unique settings anywhere is a tremendous credit to our community.

With Indiefest over, the gates are open. Get ready for the flood.

First out of the chute is Ride the Rockies - the bike tour that last made its way through town in 2002. Riders have been here twice before and responses to our small-town hospitality and environment have been uniformly positive. As many as 3,000 people will visit in a two-day period beginning June 19, to be housed, fed and entertained in Pagosa style.

Next through is Bike Tour Colorado, on June 24. Again a large number of cyclists will come to town. Properly cared for, they will lodge, eat and be entertained - realizing they want to return to spend time with us again.

Want a series of events that is a signature? Try the Fourth of July in Pagosa Country. There's the famed Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo, the annual parade - one of the biggest in the Southwest - the arts and crafts fair, the entertainment and fireworks, the Quilt Fest, the Western Heritage dance.

How about the Old Glory dance at the community center, or the center's Patriotic Night?

Throughout the summer, local galleries present marvelous shows, our local theater group puts on a musical. A car tour, the Great Race, will come through town. There are golf and softball tournaments that bring visitors to the area. The hot springs facilities entice visitors, the timeshare and condo complexes swell to capacity, motel rooms are occupied. The great out-of-doors beckons and draws others to Pagosa Country.

And so it continues, until the Four Corners Folk Festival and Colorfest, in the fall. And a rest until ski season begins.

It is an active time here in Pagosa Country. And there are volunteer opportunities at nearly all the events. There is no lack for something to do.

We need to appreciate and indulge. It is a pleasurable and profitable season.

Further, we need to welcome those who have come, despite rising fuel costs, to enjoy our part of the world. They are vital and valuable additions - for however short a period of time - to our part of the world. Be courteous, be helpful, be appreciative when possible.

And enjoy.

Karl Isberg



Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 16, 1916

While pursuing a "fly" on the local diamond Tuesday, Clarence Dickerson and Ced Hill collided, the former receiving the latter's spikes in his leg and ankle, making an ugly wound. But, Dickerson says he will be on deck Sunday.

Those Limburger lunches of Charlie Schaad's, washed down with Neef Bros.' famous near beer brew, are becoming popular.

The town is putting in city water for the Springs hotel, Mrs. Nickell to bear most of the expense.

Allie Boone, who has been very ill for some time, is no better and will be brought down from the ranch as soon as he can stand the trip. His condition is very grave.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 19, 1931

A posse captured Dean Amyx, Wilbur Haskett, and a man who gave his last name as Miller, all of Alamosa, and Harold Lewis of Pagosa Springs, on the Navajo River, about 11:00 o'clock Wednesday morning, after the quartet held up and robbed the Rio Arriba State Bank at Chama at 9:45, says the Durango Herald-Democrat. The posse, headed by Emmet Wirt, was composed of John Graham, George Young, Pat Kelley and P.C. Crowley; $300 in silver was taken from the bandit's car, which it is said was all that was taken from the bank, the robbers having overlooked all of the currency in the vault.

One very serious disadvantage of the machine age for a lot of us is that we have to worry along with last year's model.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 21, 1956

Parade entries for the Red Ryder Round-Up are coming along nicely. Prizes this year are worth trying for, so if you haven't already planned your entry, now is the time to start.

Now that the river is going down, work on the widening of main street is again underway with the county having some trucks hauling dirt this week. It is sure going to help when that project is completed and the co-operation to date has been such that it appears likely this will be much sooner than expected.

The heat isn't necessary to remind one that summer is here. The influx of out-of-state cars and the fish stories would take care of it.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 18, 1981

Days here have been warm and pleasant but temperatures dropped below freezing several nights last week damaging local gardens. No rain fell during the week and the threat of a long, hot summer full of fire danger is upon us.

Often, when there is no apparent sign of progress, people assume no progress is being made. Because construction has not begun on the hot spring property, some people have assumed the project has died. Dick Bartholomew, one of the partners in the planned development of the spring, said the owners of the property have every intention of building a resort on the 30 acres surrounding the hot spring. The cost and scale of the project is now being assessed.


Doing what he can, for others

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

As the jetliner banked for its approach to Puerto Vallarta, Pagosa Springs resident Dan Keuning peered out the small oval window.

Down below, and sprawling for miles, were burning fields, shacks, and mile upon mile of agricultural land - it was the home of the campesino, the poorest of Mexico's poor.

The plane continued its approach, and Keuning stared incredulously as the rural shacks and shanties gave way to the city's crumbling barrios juxtaposed against the flanks of luxury, highrise condos stretched out along the beach.

The contrast between incomprehensible poverty and lavish extravagance hit him in the gut, and that experience in January 2006 planted a seed. Before he knew it, Keuning had returned to extend a helping hand to those needing it the most.

Keuning is a family nurse practitioner at Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center who, in late April, rather than opting for the standard vacation of sipping cocktails on the beach, donated his time to help Mexico's impoverished, disadvantaged and abandoned children.

The impetus for the April mission trip was born during Keuning's first visit to Puerto Vallarta in January, and beginning with the flight in, Keuning said he was bombarded by glimpses of the dire state of life for Mexico's poor and that the images kept coming even during the trip to the condominium.

"We went through customs, then got into a van and were rushed to the condo," Keuning said.

But between the airport and his relatively lavish condo accommodations, the van whisked Keuning past broken down buildings, crumbling neighborhoods trash and abandoned cars. And in the end, the walls of the van could not insulate Keuning from the gritty realities of life for Mexico's poor.

Upon arriving at what Keuning described as "the sanitized condo environment," with its lush green grass and blooming bougainvillea, Keuning's head was spinning and he began to question what he had just experienced.

"I asked myself, 'Am I in reality, or am I out of reality? I'm not sure,'" he said.

By the end of the vacation, the initial impressions had gradually faded, but an encounter with two elderly women during his last day in Puerto Vallarta, brought the stark-realities of average Mexican life back to the forefront of his mind.

Keuning said he had planned to spend the day relaxing on the beach, but rather than working on his tan or swimming in the surf, he spent much of the day counseling the women on how to manage their diabetes.

He said basic diabetes education and the simple techniques or strategies used in the U.S. to help patients better manage the disease were virtually unknown to them, but after the conversation, Keuning said the women had acquired the tools to better manage their health, and Keuning felt uplifted, that he had done something worthwhile to help improve their lives.

"If I could touch two people's lives doing that, how many more lives could I touch doing something bigger," Keuning said.

And with the experience on the beach, the seed was planted.

As planned, Keuning returned to work in Pagosa Springs, and the typical pressures of work and family quickly consumed much of his time. But the seed had begun to germinate, and Keuning began asking drug reps and colleagues how he might undertake a short term medical mission back to Mexico.

Keuning said he realized with commitments to work and family, it would be difficult to undertake a long term project, nevertheless, he felt compelled to help.

"I was worried about time. I knew the needs were greater than the time I had to spend, but I started looking for opportunities to distribute medical supplies in an organized fashion" said Keuning.

By networking with colleagues, he discovered the Casa Hogar Los Angelitos, an orphanage and medical clinic located about 165 miles south of Puerto Vallarta in the town of Manzanillo, and grant funding to pay for medical supplies that could supports the orphanage's efforts.

To apply for the grant, Keuning said a drug rep connected him with the pharmaceutical company Schering-Plough, which offers a grant program that provides 100, $12,000 grants each year as part of its Medical Assistance Program. According to Keuning, interested health care workers must submit an application and explanation of where the supplies will go and how they will be used. If an applicant is awarded a grant, the company then customizes a medical care package designed to meet the specific medical needs of the area where the medical supplies will go.

Soon after submitting the grant application, Keuning received the award notification, and on April 2, two large boxes arrived, packed full of antibiotics, multivitamins , fungal creams, Tylenol, parasite medications, eye drops band aids, and other basic medical supplies.

Then it was time to return.

Keuning made arrangements to return to Mexico with his wife, Lisl, and her parents, Pete and Ila Diepersloot, and on April 22, the group left for Puerto Vallarta.

Keuning said traveling with the precious cargo was nerve-wracking. According to the grant agreement, Keuning was required to provide documentation that the medical supplies had arrived in country and with the intended recipient. Not sure of what to expect from baggage handlers, inspectors, or custom officials, Keuning said he worried that items would be missing or that the packages might not arrive at all.

When they landed in Mexico, Keuning said it was clear that U.S. baggage inspectors had searched both boxes but that nothing was missing. The real stress, he thought would come when it was time to pass through Mexican customs.

Keuning said he approached the Mexican customs station with apprehension, but soon discovered his concerns were ill founded after the customs official's gracious welcome.

"I told them they (the packages) were medicines for the children of the orphanages and he just waved me through. That was fantastic," Keuning said.

With a successful re-entry, Keuning made arrangements to rendezvous with Dr. Guiber Nunez who operates the clinic at the Casa Hogar orphanage.

After settling into Puerto Vallarta, Keuning said he and his family drove to Manzanillo to deliver the packages.

Keuning said the delivery was planned as a day trip, and with such tight time constraints, the visit to the orphanage was a whirlwind experience.

"Doing this so quickly was a little bit of a shock to the clinic," Keuning said.

Yet he added the supplies were well received, and Nunez was extremely grateful.

According to Keuning, Nunez said the supplies would be used to treat the children in the clinic, as well as those living in the community, hospital patients and the campesinos in the surrounding mountain villages.

Keuning said hospital patients are required to supply their own medications, and that providing entirely for one's own treatment is virtually impossible for the poor.

"Can you imagine working a whole day just to pay for a ten day course of antibiotics?" Keuning said.

Tina Rosenthal, the U.S. administrator of the Children's Foundation, the 501c3 non-profit agency that operates the orphanage, said she recently returned from Manzanillo and saw what Keuning had delivered.

"The supplies he brought were wonderful," Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal explained that within the orphanage, Nunez operates a free clinic not only for the facility's 35 children, but for members of the community well. She said medicines to treat amoebic dysentery, multivitamins and antibiotics are critical necessities, and that Keuning's packages addressed many of the area's most pressing medical needs.

Keuning explained that a portion of Nunez's medical outreach also involves traveling to as many as 15 mountain villages to provide medical care to people Keuning described as the "poorest of the poor." Keuning said most people living in the mountains go without electricity and running water, and that even basic day-to-day medical needs go virtually unmet because the villages are inaccessible for months at a time due to heavy rain and mud.

"The roads make Archuleta County roads, look pretty nice" Keuning said.

Keuning and his family spent the day with Nunez, toured the orphanage and interacted with the children. He said he was impressed with the facility, and the social, medical, and educational support the children received and that the orphanage served as a community oasis in a neighborhood where buildings are falling down or vacant, and the roads are scarred with potholes and trash.

He said the time spent with the children was one of the key highlights of the trip.

"They made the whole week such a blessing. The children were awesome," said Keuning.

The experience had a profound affect on his life and Keuning added, "It refocuses your priorities. It will be hard to take a vacation purely as a vacation."

And that is one of his key messages.

"I wish more people would take a vacation where they can help. We're here for only a short time and we have to do all we can for other people while we're here," he said.

Keuning said those interested in undertaking a service based vacation or mission trip should realistically assess their lives and attempt something that is within their means. He added that it is important to have realistic expectations.

"Sometimes an American fix is not the best fix. People sometimes have unrealistic expectations," Keuning said.

Although not everyone has time to devote weeks or months to missions work, he stressed that no amount of help is insignificant.

And, according to Keuning, whether that means donating your retirement years, like his father-in-law, to full-time missions work, or delivering medical supplies to an orphanage on a day trip, the important thing is to find a project that fits your lifestyle and is with an organization you can trust.

"There are many good organizations and there are some that are scheisters. It's good to get some references from people that have gone before," said Keuning.

He suggested sponsoring a child as a way to get involved, and that churches can be invaluable resources when learning about programs or various ways to serve.

"Find a trustworthy organization that has structured programs, and trust them, and trust in god that you are going to the right place and doing the right thing," Keuning said.

With the positive response to the first trip, Keuning is already thinking about a return trip next winter. At the minimum, he hopes to secure a similar grant that will allow him to bring another load of medical supplies. And ideally, he would like to bring medicine in addition to donating his own time and medical expertise to helping the needy in the clinic and in the mountain communities.

As always, there are familial and professional responsibilities, and Keuning is unsure of the level of commitment he will be able to provide. If it means just a day trip from Puerto Vallarta or a few days in the mountains he believes both are valuable, and that the key is simply giving whatever time and resources you have to help.

"You do what you can for other people at the time of your life that you are in," Keuning said.


Pagosa's Past

When people starve, and treaty conditions can't be met

By John Motter

We continue with accounts of Anglo/Jicarilla relationships between the Anglo takeover of New Mexico ca. 1846 and creation of the Jicarilla Reservation in 1878.

At least two reasons justify this discussion. First, the Jicarilla are historically part of Pagosa Country. Secondly, because of television and movies, many people are familiar with the exploits of Geronimo and other Western Apaches. Not many people are aware that the Jicarilla Apaches also clashed with Anglos.

We continue with information gathered from "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History, 1846-1970," written by Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, a Jicarilla Ph.D. well-qualified to write of her people's history. Tiller's book may be purchased in Dulce, N.M.

Because of a number of violent clashes with the Jicarilla, and because of the threat of more clashes with Jicarilla and their Southern Ute allies, the United States, 1850-1852, built Fort Union at the junction of the Mountain and Cimarron branches of the Santa Fe Trail, Cantonment Burgwin about 10 miles south of Taos, and Fort Massachusetts, later Fort Garland, near the base of Blanco Peak in Colorado's San Luis Valley.

For a time, the forts seemed to restrain Indian aggressiveness. Feeling the timing appropriate, New Mexico Governor Calhoun negotiated an April 1851 peace treaty with the Jicarilla.

Representing the Jicarilla were Francisco Chacón, Lobo Blanco, Huero Mundo, and Josecito Largo. According to Tiller, "The Indians agreed to submit to the United States, to be confined within certain specified territorial limits, to cultivate the soil, to cease depredations, and to relinquish all captives and stolen property. In return, the United States promised annuities, farm implements and other gratuities as deemed proper by the government. In effect, the Jicarilla promised to give up their way of life in return for the promised goods. The Jicarilla were expected to comply with the terms of the treaty immediately, yet as far as the New Mexicans were concerned, their part of the bargain would go into effect only after Congress had ratified it. A further stipulation of the document was that the Jicarilla were not to go within 50 miles of any settlement or highway.

The treaty had many weaknesses. For one thing, the land was already almost denuded of game. How were the Jicarilla to survive without trading with the whites? How could they trade unless they could approach white settlements much closer than the 50-mile line?

The obvious happened: Jicarilla entered white communities to trade. Frightened whites complained. A man named Chapman, representing the New Mexico governor, asked Chacón, one of the Jicarilla leaders, what the Jicarilla intended to do in the future. Chacón was more concerned with today. "I and my family are starving to death, we have made peace, we do not want to do harm as you see from our bringing women and children with us, we want to go to the clay bank at San Jose and make vessels to sell so as to procure an honest living." Somehow, negotiations broke down between Chacón and the government.

An almost countless number of meetings and arrangements between Jicarilla and the U.S. followed until February of 1854 when a beef contractor at Fort Union reported the theft of several cattle. Troops were sent in pursuit of the cattle, believed to have been stolen by Jicarilla and Utes led by a Ute chief. A scouting party turned up sign of the Indians on the Canadian River. They spotted a lone Indian and took him prisoner. A skirmish followed in which five Apaches and two dragoons were killed.

A few days later some Jicarilla and Utes stole cattle from near Fort Union, killing two herdsmen. Tensions ran high. Not all Jicarilla wanted war. Forty-five Apache lodges housing some who desired peace moved near Mora. About 50 mounted troops were assigned to ensure that this group was peaceful. According to Tiller, approximately one-third of the Jicarilla were belligerent, the remainder peaceful.

On March 30, Lt. John W. Davidson was attacked by a combined force of 100 Jicarilla and Utes on Embudo Mountain near Cienequilla 25 miles south of Taos. In a three-hour battle, 22 dragoons were killed and 36 wounded, and all of their arms and ammunition and 22 horses fell into possession of the Indians. This engagement convinced military, government, and civilians that the Jicarilla and Utes were a serious threat.

More next week on Anglo/ Jicarilla relations prior to the 1887 establishment of the Jicarilla Reservation.


Pagosa Sky Watch

Pluto provides much to ponder

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 5:47 a.m.

Sunset: 8:30 p.m.

Moonrise: 11:38 p.m. on June 14.

Moonset: 9:46 a.m.

Moon phase: The moon is waning gibbous with 80 percent of the visible disk illuminated. Last quarter is June 18 at 8:08 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time.

For planet-seeking sky watchers, this week provides prime opportunities to view four of our planetary neighbors.

The action begins tomorrow evening when Pluto, the most distant planet in our solar system, is at opposition. Astronomers use the term opposition to describe when a planet is directly opposite the sun. And for the outer planets, Mars and beyond, opposition provides the best viewing opportunity.

During opposition, planets lie closest to Earth, appear either due south for northern hemisphere viewers, or due north for southern hemisphere viewers and appear at their biggest and brightest.

Despite the advantages of viewing Pluto at opposition, locating the distant, magnitude 13.9 planet will remain a formidable challenge - this is the time to join an astronomy club, visit an observatory, or to make friends with a neighbor who owns a large powerful telescope.

Pluto seekers should begin observations by facing due south at 1 a.m. - this time marks the point when Pluto reaches absolute opposition. Look for Pluto low in the southern sky in the constellation Serpens Cauda. Serpens Cauda lies just below Ophiuchus and the two constellations are connected both in the sky and in the mythology.

Those armed with large telescopes of eight inches or greater, telescope linked viewing software and star charts, stand a fair chance of locating our peculiar planetary companion, although remember, this is a task for the advanced amateur.

If you are lucky enough to resolve the tiny ball of rock and ice don't expect to see more than a pinpoint of light, although that feat alone should be marked as a major achievement - not even the Hubble Space Telescope has produced high resolution images of the planet.

For naked eye astronomers content to let their minds wander while gazing at the wonders of the heavens, Pluto provides much to ponder.

Pluto is smaller than our own moon, and is comprised largely of rock and ice. This fact separates Pluto from the terrestrial planets which are made up of rock and iron and the gas giants, which are primarily hydrogen and helium.

Despite its minuscule stature, Pluto does have its own moon, Charon - named for the boatman who ferried the dead across the river Styx into the underworld - and observations indicate Charon is more than half the size of its parent planet and has about 20 percent of Pluto's mass. Together, the two travel on a wide elliptical orbit, which has, coupled with observations of Pluto's composition, drawn the scrutiny of many in the astronomical community.

However, according to some astronomers, mere scrutiny isn't enough, and Pluto should be demoted, stripped of its planetary status and reclassified as a comet. Their argument stems from the discovery of dozens of similar, Pluto-like objects - called Trans-Neptunian Objects or Kupier Belt Objects - found whizzing through space between the orbits of Neptune and Pluto. Others argue Pluto remains worthy of its planetary status. Although consensus on the fate of Pluto's celestial rank has yet to be reached, astronomers largely agree, the tiny satellite is an anomaly.

Aside from size and composition, perhaps the most unusual facet of the planet, and perhaps the most compelling argument for cometary classification, is Pluto's bizarre, highly elliptical orbit.

During 20 years of its 248-year orbit around the sun, Pluto actually travels inside the orbit of Neptune. At one time, astronomers thought the two might collide in spectacular, galactic head-on collision, but studies of the two orbital periods revealed that because Neptune orbits the sun three times for Pluto's two, the two move in separate spheres and at safe distances. In addition, Pluto travels at 17-degree inclination from the ecliptic, thus a planetary train wreck is unlikely.

Although little is known about the planet, astronomers have noted there is more than just an odd orbit at work on Pluto. Studies indicate Pluto is tilted on its orbital plane by more than 120 degrees, such that the planet's north pole is facing south and that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east on Pluto.

Until a spacecraft visits our distant neighbor, much remains to be revealed about Pluto. Until then, and for backyard astronomers, gazing in the direction of Pluto, and pondering the planet's long journey through to the outer reaches of our solar system provides much fodder for the imagination.

For skywatchers keen to explore a little closer to home, Mercury, Mars and Saturn will put on a spectacular naked-eye show throughout the weekend.

Beginning Friday and soon after sunset, look for Mercury as a bright point of light just above the horizon in the west-northwestern sky. Viewing Mercury is generally problematic, because the planet is often swallowed by the sun's glare. However, this month marks one of those rare opportunities when the planet is relatively easy to see with the unaided eye, although binoculars will help.

Also Friday, slightly above, and a few degrees to the left of Mercury, look for two bright points of light. These are the planets Saturn and Mars, with Saturn on the left and Mars on the right.

Throughout the weekend, Mercury will remain static in its nigh sky position, however Mars and Saturn will appear to rotate around each other, inching ever closer in the process.

On Friday, the two will be separated by one and a half degrees, whereas by Saturday, just 0.6 degrees will separate the planets. In the process, Mars will appear to rotate clockwise around Saturn, and by Sunday, will appear to rest at the 12 o'clock position and just on top of the ringed planet.

When planets appear, from Earth, to pass close to each other without one passing actually in front of the other, astronomers call this an appulse or conjunction, whereas an actual pass is called an occultation.

Saturday's Mars-Saturn conjunction, marks the closest grouping of the two planets for the next 25 years.

And don't forget the summer solstice, June 21, marking the longest day of the year.



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