June 29, 2006

Front Page

A full, fun Fourth in Pagosa Country

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Fireworks, fast cars, a carnival and Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo action are just a few things Pagosa Country revelers can enjoy this Fourth of July holiday.

The action begins Friday morning when the five-day carnival kicks into high gear with rides, midway activities and fun for all ages at the soccer fields in Town Park. Later in the day, don't miss the patriotic sing-along held at the community center from 7-9 p.m. - free flags, presentations, singing and a dessert bar top the event.

Saturday morning begins with the opening of the four-day Park to Park Arts and Crafts Festival. More than 90 vendors will ply their wares along the San Juan River in Town Park and Centennial Park. The fair is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

To experience the finest work produced by master quilters in a truly American tradition, stop by Quilt Fest at the Mamie Lynch Gymnasium at Pagosa Springs Junior High School between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

And after you've sampled the handicrafts and foods in town, two-step those extra calories into oblivion from 8 p.m. to midnight in the Extension Building at the Western Heritage Dance featuring Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge. Tickets for the dance are $25 per couple and $15 per person.

On Sunday, the arts and crafts fair, carnival and quilt show continue, with contestants in the Great Race, an antique car, cross-country race, roaring through downtown at 3 p.m., with their four-wheeled wonders on display on Lewis Street from 3-5 p.m. Local antique cars and hot rods will also be on display for the event.

While motorheads won't want to miss the classic and antique car show, Pagosa Country is about rodeo, and what would the holiday be in Pagosa Country without the 57th annual Red Ryder Roundup?

Rodeo action begins 6 p.m. Sunday at the fairgrounds, and features all the favorite rodeo events including: mutton bustin', kids' barrel racing, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, team roping, scrambled egg team roping, calf roping, women's barrel racing, girls' breakaway, bareback bronc riding, and always a crowd pleaser - cowboy mounted shooting.

While Fourth of July weekend in Pagosa Country is about rodeo, it is also about Red Ryder, and the comic and its creator have a long history in Pagosa Springs.

For Red Ryder buffs, the comic book cowboy will make a special debut in today's SUN, with the Red Ryder Cowboy Honor Club Official Pledge.

Patti Slesinger, whose family owns the rights to the Red Ryder comic strip and character, said the pledge was part of Red Ryder lore in the 1930s and '40s, but eventually disappeared from publication. With a rapidly changing, post 9/11 world, and Americans appearing to lose touch with their shared cultural values, Slesinger said her family decided to resurrect it.

"We used to have one, (a pledge)" Slesinger said, "and it looked similar, and said basically the same thing."

She said piecing the old pledge together was difficult and the version in today's SUN is a reconstruction, yet sends the same message and has the same intent.

Slesinger said the goal of the pledge is to remind people of the value of American ideals such as honor, integrity, trust, kindness and self reliance.

"We're not thinking, and our ship is sinking," Slesinger said. "We have to support American products, American services and American ingenuity. It's about bringing Americans back to American values. We have to reinvest in ourselves."

Look for the national debut of the Red Ryder Cowboy Honor Club Official Pledge on page C10 of today's SUN.

On Monday, the carnival remains open, the arts and crafts fair continues, and the quilt show remains open, although with reduced hours - noon to 6 p.m. And if you didn't get your fill of rodeo action Sunday, head back to the fairgrounds at 6 p.m. for more romp-stompin', buckin' bronco action.

Tuesday marks Independence Day, and the much heralded Pagosa Springs Rotary-sponsored parade will wind its way through downtown along Pagosa Street at 10 a.m. Wear your red, white and blue, bring a flag, and join a Pagosa Country tradition. And don't forget the new parking restrictions on Pagosa Street.

After the parade shop 'til you drop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Park to Park Arts and Crafts Fair, or visit the Quilt Fest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo opens at 2 p.m. followed by Pagosa's own Hot Strings playing a free concert at 7 p.m. at the town Sports Complex.

To cap off the holiday weekend, the Town of Pagosa Springs will grace the skies over Pagosa Country with a spectacular and unprecedented fireworks display.

In past years, the town launched only 8-inch shells, but this year's show is bound to be bigger and better than ever, with the addition of 10- and 12-inch shells to the town's Fourth of July arsenal. The one-hour show is bound to be a crowd pleaser, so bring a chair, a blanket and family and friends, and finish the weekend in Pagosa Country Fourth of July style.


Parade parking limited

A temporary restriction will halt legal vehicle parking on a portion of San Juan and Pagosa streets during the Fourth of July parade.

By order of Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger, the north side of San Juan and Pagosa streets, between Fourth and Fifth streets, will be closed to all vehicle parking Tuesday, from 5 a.m. until the parade ends around noon.

The closed stretch runs through the main downtown area, where parking is already forbidden daily, from 2-6 a.m.

According to Volger, the temporary restriction will allow anticipated crowds of spectators safer, unobstructed parade viewing from the sidewalk in front of downtown shops and offices. The restriction does not apply to the south side of the same stretch of road.


Fire danger 'very high,' Stage Two restrictions looming

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

As a reminder, the forests, shrubbery and grasslands surrounding Pagosa Springs are dangerously dry. The U.S. Forest Service lists the current threat of wildfire as "very high," and all of Archuleta County is under mandatory fire restrictions.

Following another mild winter and warm, sunny spring, moisture levels in the Upper San Juan River Basin remain well below average, with only reservoir storage amounts brightening an otherwise grim water outlook this summer. But, even as area reservoirs held above-average volumes by the beginning of the month, they are now dropping fast with increasing irrigation demands.

Meanwhile, the short-term weather forecast reflects slight chances of afternoon and evening thundershowers at least through the weekend, with daytime temperatures topping out in the mid- to upper 80s. That suggests a temporary continuation of the clouds and brief spotty showers we've experienced the past week or so, but southern Colorado has not yet seen the seasonal monsoon shift, which typically brings vital soaking rains to our area every summer. Monsoon storms generally begin by mid-July.

Therefore, with little hope of meaningful moisture for at least the next couple of weeks, and a significant threat of wildfire now, the Southern Ute Indian Reservation and Mesa Verde National Park have recently gone from Stage One fire restrictions to Stage Two. Archuleta County and other area governmental organizations are currently at Stage One, but are considering Stage Two in the near future.

Under Stage One restrictions, campfires are permitted only in permanent fire rings or grates within developed campgrounds. Charcoal or wood-burning stoves are prohibited, and smoking is allowed in vehicles, buildings or three-foot diameter areas completely cleared of dry vegetation. Fireworks are prohibited in all areas.

The San Juan Public Lands, including all of the San Juan National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands in the lower-elevation Zone One, will be under Stage Two restrictions effective Saturday, 8 a.m. Zone One includes those lands east of U.S. 550 to Wolf Creek Pass, outside of the South San Juan and Weminuche wilderness areas.

Defined fire restrictions in most surrounding jurisdictions are similar and, like those of the U.S. Forest Service, are ordered in stages. Depending on fuels moisture levels, long-range weather forecasts, the rate of human-caused fires, and the availability of firefighting resources, Stage One is the least prohibitive, while Stage Three is the most.

Generally speaking, Stage Two restrictions prohibit the following:

- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, coal or wood burning stove, any type of charcoal-fueled broiler or open fire of any type. This includes all developed campgrounds and picnic areas within Zone One.

- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.

- Using explosive material (fireworks, blasting caps or any incendiary devise, which may result in the ignition of flammable materials).

- Welding or operating an acetylene or other similar torch with an open flame.

- Operating or using any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.

- Operating a chainsaw without a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight ounces capacity by weight, and one size 0 or larger round-pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches. The extinguisher shall be with the chainsaw operator, readily available and not simply kept with fueling supplies.

- The use of fireworks is prohibited on all Forest Service and BLM lands, regardless of zone.

Should conditions worsen and Stage Three restrictions become necessary, all public lands will close.

Flyers describing current restrictions are posted across public lands at trailheads, campgrounds and entry areas. Maps showing the two zones are available at public lands offices and visitor centers in Pagosa Springs, Bayfield, Durango and Dolores.

For additional or updated wildfire information and related restrictions, contact the Forest Service fire information officer Pam Wilson at (970) 385-1230, or Archuleta County dispatch at 264-2131. On the Web, you can visit www.dola.state.co.us/oem/PublicInformation/firebans/firenews.html.

Deadline nears for personal property valuation challenges

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Those wishing to challenge the assessor's valuation of their taxable personal property must do so by July 5.

Challenges may be submitted in person by visiting the Archuleta County Assessor's Office, or by mail, using a from included in the assessor's notice of valuation.

The assessor's office is located at 449 San Juan St. in Pagosa Springs.

Mailed challenges must be postmarked no later than June 30.

Personal property includes furniture, equipment and other items, and is taxable if it is used to generate income. Generally speaking, taxable personal property relates to commercial enterprises and businesses.

The value of personal property determined by the assessor is based on information submitted by business owners on their personal property declaration schedule.

If an owner failed to file the declaration schedule, the value of personal property, according to the assessor's office, is determined using the "best information available."

Once an objection has been filed, the assessor will review the taxpayer's account with a notice of the assessor's determination mailed by July 10.

If a taxpayer disagrees with the assessor's decision, an appeal may be filed with the county board of equalization. Appeals must be postmarked or hand delivered by July 20.

For more information on how to file an appeal, the appeals process or the personal property tax, call the Archuleta County Assessor's office at 264-8310.


Inside The Sun

Review the county zoning map tonight

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

With the recent completion of the Archuleta County Zoning Map, the county's land use code project is nearing completion, and the map will be available for its first public viewing tonight.

The zoning map work session will be held at 6 p.m. in the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners' meeting room in the Archuleta County Courthouse at 449 San Juan St. in Pagosa Springs.

Jason Peasley, associate planner for the county's planning department, said the work session will provide an opportunity to introduce the map to county staff and the public, and an explanation will be provided on the Zoning Transition Program and the methodology used to create the map.

Peasley called the work session a general information session, and said it will be followed by a string of subsequent meetings to be held at various locations throughout the county.

Peasley said the map will be available online by the first week of July.

To learn more about the Zoning Transition Program and the methodology used to create the map, visit Archuleta County on the Web at archuletacounty.org, then click on "Zoning Transition Program."


Archuleta County to receive $543,012 in PILT funds

U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colorado) announced Friday that Archuleta County is set to receive $543,012 in Fiscal Year 2006 funding under the Department of Interior's Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, an increase over last year's funding level for the county.

"Archuleta County, like many counties in Colorado, relies on the PILT program to help offset the costs of providing vital services to the nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries," Allard said. "This funding makes sure that the federal government is a good neighbor in Archuleta County."

The PILT program provides funding to counties to offset lost property tax revenue from nontaxable public lands. Since counties must still provide services to public lands like road maintenance and construction, as well as firefighting and police services, PILT helps to pay for county services that would otherwise be funded by property taxes.

Earlier this month in the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, Allard obtained a substantial increase in overall funding for next year's round of PILT payments, securing $35 million more than had been requested by the Department of Interior for the program.


Dry conditions in Pagosa Country, but few fires

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

Despite heightened fire restrictions and increasingly dry weather, so far Pagosa Country has been lucky, with relatively few fires.

Greg Oertel, director of emergency operations for the Archuleta County Sheriff's Department, reported only two small fires in the past week. Both fires - one on Cat Creek Road and the other at Banded Peaks Ranch - were started by lightning strikes Tuesday, and neither grew larger than one-tenth of an acre. With help from the county and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, both blazes were contained and extinguished quickly.

"They were really easy to put out," said Oertel.

Warren Grams, fire chief for the Pagosa Fire Protection District, said there were no fires in the district this past week.

"We're still sitting here on pins and needles waiting for something to happen," he said.

For more information about current fire restrictions, refer to the page one article by Chuck McGuire in this issue of The SUN.


USFS seeks public comment on 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 14 "treatment units" totaling 890 acres of forest land. The proposed project area is located at least a mile east of Echo Canyon Reservoir and six miles southeast of Pagosa Springs. Public comments are requested by July 14.

More precisely, the project area is located in Section 4, Township 34 North, Range 1 West; sections 23, 24, 25, 26 and 36, Township 35 North, Range 1 West; and sections 19 and 30, Township 35 North, Range 1 East of the New Mexico Principal Meridian. All of the treatment areas contain primarily ponderosa pine and Gambel oak.

According to Forest Service Fuels Forester Scott Wagner, officials hope to commence hand or mechanical thinning, including mowing and/or shredding, by sometime in 2008 to 2009. A commercial timber harvest may occur in four of the units, if determined economically feasible, and trees up to 12 inches in diameter (breast height) will be marked or cut, and made available to the public for firewood.

The thinning process will treat 60 to 80 percent of Gambel oak, 80 to 90 percent of Rocky Mountain juniper, and 95 percent of white fir less than 12 inches in diameter. Douglas fir (up to 12 inches) will also be mowed where it is considered ladder fuel, or has significant mistletoe. Upon completion of the treatment, units will be control-burned.

According to the Forest Service, a couple of units will need a temporary access permit across private land. Some limited road reconstruction may be necessary on the Echo Canyon road to improve drainage. Spur roads will be reopened temporarily, to remove timber, or to allow public access to firewood. No new road construction will be necessary.

A map showing the proposed treatment areas is 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.


Town council session centers on ethical questions

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

A town council work session convened June 23 to explore the legal and ethical ramifications of ex parte contact between town council members and developers ended in philosophical gridlock with no action taken, and no clear direction given by town council members to town staff.

Ex parte contact, as defined by the Department of Local Affairs Office of Smart Growth, "is any written or verbal communication initiated outside of a regularly noticed public hearing between an official with decision-making authority and one or more of the parties, but not all of the parties, concerning a particular subject matter which is under, or which is about to become under, consideration by that official, and which seeks either to influence, or present information relating to, that matter which is the subject to the decision."

The term often applies to judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings.

The meeting was the product of Council member Tony Simmons' concerns regarding the potential legal consequences of ex parte contact between Homes at Rock Ridge developer, Todd Shelton, and town council members, and the hazards of ex parte contact in general.

During the meeting, Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon said he had met privately with Shelton and an affordable housing expert from Santa Fe regarding the Shelton project.

Shelton's project has been touted as an affordable housing project.

Aragon said the meeting was arranged at the last minute because of scheduling constraints and was therefore not noticed as a public event.

Aragon said he believed it was his duty as mayor and council member to meet with Shelton and his colleague.

"I'm biased about affordable housing," Aragon said.

However, despite the meeting with Aragon, details of Shelton's plan to make homes in the development affordable remain unclear, and the town council has asked Shelton to commit in writing to an "acceptable and agreeable" affordable housing plan before final project approval is granted.

Simmons said when Shelton approached him to discuss the planned unit development, Simmons told Shelton a one-on-one conversation was inappropriate, and that Shelton should make his presentation, and provide documentation, in public and before the entire town council.

Following the encounter with Shelton, Simmons contacted town attorney Bob Cole for a legal opinion on ex parte contact.

Simmons' move and Cole's memorandum to the town council became much of the focus for the meeting, with Aragon lambasting Simmons and charging him with operating beyond the scope of his duties as a council member and behind the council's back.

Simmons vehemently defended his actions, saying in light of the social and financial stakes linked to unprecedented growth and development, it is incumbent on council members to understand the legal and financial implications of ex parte contact. Simmons said ex parte contact could lead to challenges of town council decisions and possibly to lawsuits that would ultimately cost the taxpayer.

He added that because no one on the town council is an attorney, he sought Cole's advice.

In his memorandum, Cole wrote that Colorado courts have determined quasi-judicial proceedings include the following elements: interested parties are entitled to advance notice of a public hearing; a decision occurs following the required public hearing; and the decision involves the application of existing standards or regulations to reach a decision that changes the status of a specifically identified property in the future. He listed subdivision review, property specific rezoning, special use review and variances, as examples of quasi-judicial proceedings and urged council members to avoid ex parte contact in those instances.

Commenting on Cole's memorandum, Town Manager Mark Garcia said his courses in ethics would concur with Cole.

"All the ethics classes that I've attended would concur with our attorneys," Garcia said.

But Aragon and Council member Darrel Cotton passionately disagreed with Cole, and the meeting focused on arguments concerning definitions of quasi-judicial action and avoided a discussion of ethics, good government and government transparency.

Both Cotton and Aragon said the definitions of "quasi-judicial" and quasi-judicial behavior were too vague, and doubted whether the town operates in a quasi-judicial capacity. They argued that questions regarding ex parte contact insulted their integrity.

"It's offensive to me that, as soon as I'm elected, I lose my spine and my integrity," Cotton said.

And Aragon said the council was "too classy" to push a project through on behalf of a developer.

Cotton added that he has the ethical backbone to sit through a private meeting with an individual regarding a project without the discussion influencing his final decision.

Both Cotton and Aragon said private meetings with developers and individuals regarding projects was totally acceptable behavior, and was how the town has always done business, and that they had no intentions of changing.

"I've been here 31 years and I'm not changing the way I do business. If I have to change the way I do business, that's the day I walk out the door," said Aragon. "How can we represent, without talking to people?"

Council member Stan Holt said the discussion shouldn't be taken as a personal affront, and that the purpose of avoiding ex parte contact was to keep the town out of litigation.

"The purpose of all this is to keep the town out of trouble," Holt said. And he added that public perception of how the council conducts its affairs is of paramount importance.

"That's what hurts, is perception," Holt said. And Holt advocated that council members disclose private contacts before public hearings or before key decisions are made.

"The key to this whole thing is disclosure. Let the public know what went on, what was discussed," he said.

Council member Bill Whitbred concurred. He advocated a common sense approach to private discussions and said part of being on the town council involves listening to the public, but that council members should know when a conversation or private meeting might compromise their decision.

And Holt said if an individual intends to influence the council's decision, the individual should make their case in public and in public is where the council should "take their marching orders."

But Cotton countered, "Why should I take my marching orders in public?"

In the end, Cotton and Aragon stuck to their initial assertions that the definition of quasi-judicial functions and ex parte contact were too vague and that nearly every contact could be construed as ex parte contact and Council member Judy James agreed.

"Our attorney can't tell us what's quasi-judicial. I can't get on the Internet and research things, now I'm having ex parte contact with a computer," Cotton said.

Council member John Middendorf also attended the meeting, as did Town Planner Tamra Allen and Town Clerk Deanna Jaramillo.

It was unclear where the discussion will go next, but Aragon closed the meeting and said, "I think it's a sad day when the board is accused of improprieties."


Fracas results in arrest of local resident

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

After responding Sunday morning to reports of yelling and shots fired, Archuleta County Sheriff's Department deputies arrested a suspect, Lawren Lopez, 21, on felony menacing charges.

Sergeant Rick Ervin and Deputy Jake Beach were dispatched to 918 Cloud Cap Avenue at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday. When no one answered the door, the deputies, concerned with the safety of the occupants, forced entry.

The deputies reported they found Lopez and three juveniles inside, as well as a large amount of drug paraphernalia and a .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol. Their report states that Lopez, allegedly intoxicated, brandished the weapon and made threats to the other occupants, then fired two shots into the floor of the apartment.

Deputies arrested Lopez and charged him with felony menacing, a class five felony; prohibited use of a weapon, a class two misdemeanor; and reckless endangerment, a class three misdemeanor.


Fund-raisers to be held for high school rodeo competitors

Pagosa teens Ryan Montroy and Charmaine Talbot are on their way to the high school rodeo nationals in Springfield, Ill., and a fund-raiser is being held to help get them there.

The event will occur Saturday, July 1, at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds Extension Building and begins with a yard sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Following the yard sale, there will be a barbecue from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Adult tickets for the barbecue are $8, children ages six to 12 are $5. Children under five will be admitted free.

All proceeds from the events will help fund Montroy's and Talbot's travel and related rodeo expenses.

Donations for the yard sale will be greatly appreciated.

For more information, contact Diana Talbot at 731-5203.


Community Development Action Plan can be reviewed

The Region 9 Economic Development District is updating the Community Development Action Plans and putting together the Economic Development Strategy for each county in southwest Colorado.

Over the past six months, Region 9 met with the governments, citizens and area agencies in each county to get input and suggestions. Feedback from the public is also being sought. The plans will be presented to the board of commissioners in each county this summer for approval.

If you are interested in reviewing your county's plan and information, please contact the Region 9 office at (970) 247-9621. Deadline for review is July 15.


Parade day instructions for entries

By Rod Preston

Special to The SUN

Applications for this year's Rotary-sponsored Independence Day Parade were due June 28.

Participants are asked to use 6th and 5th streets to access the high school parking lot where parade registration will take place starting at 9 a.m. July 4.

Do not use 8th Street to access the high school parking lot.

There is plenty of room for horses to be unloaded at the south end of the high school parking lot. At registration, entries will receive their parade number and can then proceed up 8th Street to find their parade location, which will be painted on the street.

Please do not throw candy along the parade route.

Don't forget the parade theme: Helping Others Be Independent.

Enjoy the parade.


Pagosa Country forests under attack ... by beetles

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

To casual observers, the sprawling forests around Pagosa Springs appear healthy and lush. At a glance, thick stands of emerald-green mixed conifer blanket the mountains and mesas for miles in every direction and, amid afternoon breezes, vast aspen groves seem vibrant and alive.

But all is not well, there's trouble in the hills.

In broad areas, the timber is under siege and many trees are stressed. Of course, prolonged drought is partly to blame, and a long string of mild winters has also played a role. A hundred years of applied fire suppression have certainly contributed, but now, an invasion is at hand and it's killing trees by the thousands of acres.

The aggressors are tiny, but powerful and efficient. They attack in great numbers and overwhelm intended targets. Among the half-dozen or so different armies, their emphasis varies, but tactics are similar and they share common resolve. They are bark beetles.

According to information obtained on the U.S. Forest Service Web site, forests of the entire southwest region are under attack by a variety of beetles. Apparently, six different species are involved in what the agency describes as "an outbreak," and while the bugs all employ similar strategy, they devastate different forests.

In general, the various beetles implicated are all referred to as bark beetles, because they live and feed beneath the bark of various trees. Of course, their intent is not to kill trees, but to feed and rear young. Though healthy trees are often overcome by a mass attack, stressed trees are most susceptible and seem to be the preference among most species.

Upon reaching adulthood, bark beetles will emerge from the tree of their birth and fly to another as far as a half-mile or so. Contrary to popular belief, a single beetle cannot kill a tree, but as several beetles first arrive at a tree of their choosing, they will emit a chemical scent that attracts others, and helps males locate females. To successfully colonize a tree, a mass attack is necessary in overcoming the tree's natural defenses.

Amazingly, the bugs in a tree will continue to attract others of their own kind, until their numbers equal a capacity that particular tree can support. Once the tree is at its beetle capacity, the bugs emit another scent informing others that the tree has reached its maximum. Those in the air will then choose another host tree, often adjacent to the ones already occupied.

Once a tree has been invaded, the beetles bore through the bark, mate and lay dozens of eggs. Following a one- to two-week gestation, the eggs hatch and the tiny white grubs begin feeding on the tree's vascular tissue (phloem), and form galleries. Eventually, they bore into the middle bark and continue their multi-stage development, reaching adulthood in two to 10 months, depending on weather.

Meanwhile, as the beetles feed on a tree's inner and outer bark, they introduce a blue stain fungus that blocks water-conducting cells in the inner bark and sapwood, effectively cutting off water supply to the tree's crown. Within a month after the initial invasion, needles begin to fade and the tree gradually dies.

As the needles on dying trees fade, they turn from green to light green or yellow, and finally to dull red. Eventually, they fall, leaving the tree a stark gray. Damage can be extensive, with entire mountainsides turning in the same, or over progressive seasons, depending on conditions, rate of spread and time of year.

According to Scott Wagner, fuels forester for the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest, aerial surveys have confirmed the district is in the grips of an outbreak affecting an estimated 72,000 acres of mixed conifer. In a patchwork area stretching from Chromo to Williams Creek Reservoir, three beetle species are primarily responsible for the destruction in a district that encompasses approximately 690,000 acres.

The Fir Engraver (Scolytus ventralis ) has caused the most damage by far, affecting approximately 56,000 acres of mostly white fir. Wagner attributes the massive outbreak to the fact that the district contains abundant stands of white fir. The engraver is a wide-ranging native beetle that typically causes smaller, more localized concerns, but numerous other contributing factors have bolstered this most recent outbreak.

The Douglas Fir Engraver (Scolytus unispinosus) and Western Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus brevicomis) have killed an estimated 7,500 acres each in recent years.

As its name implies, the Douglas Fir Engraver affects primarily Douglas Fir trees, which generally grow at higher elevations on shaded north-facing slopes. Most of its destruction has been confined to areas south of U.S. 160, while Western Pine Beetles, which invade ponderosa pines throughout the area, have affected smaller pockets at elevations below 8,000 feet.

When asked what, if anything, can be done to combat the invasions, Wagner said, "There's very little that we can do. We can only treat potential outbreaks locally on a relatively small scale." He went on to say, "We've had a dramatic increase in insect outbreaks recently, and they're beyond what's been seen in a hundred years. The bugs are doing the job fires would have."

Wagner blames decades of fire suppression for a substantial increase in fuels. He points to greater competition among trees for water, light and nutrients, which weakens many, while increasing their vulnerability to infestation. A lack of natural fires also allows trees to grow in many areas they're not normally found, where conditions aren't always conducive to healthy growth and development.

Additionally, in times of drought, trees lack moisture essential to the production of sufficient sap necessary in fending off assaulting insects. Meanwhile, mild winters fail to produce deep frosts that often kill many of the bugs before they can fly.

Bark beetles are native to the area, and they've been killing trees in the southwest for a very long time, but under normal weather patterns, their accumulative affects go largely unnoticed. However, during extended dry periods, like the ongoing drought we're in now, the loss of vast stands of rich green forests can be profound and profoundly sad.

Pray for rain.


2006 Relay for Life raises more than $90,000

By Dick Babillis

Special to The SUN

The 2006 Archuleta County Relay for Life began at 6 p.m., Friday, June 16, with three local survivors gracing the stage.

Pastor Don Ford opened with an invocation followed by a rollicking rendition of, "An Ode to My Prostate," by local poet Bob Huff. Dan Appenzeller then individually introduced all the survivors able to attend the opening.

With Jim Dorian on the bagpipes leading the way, the Relay began with the traditional "Survivor's Lap" and continued through the night until 8 a.m. Saturday. Basically, cancer doesn't sleep, so neither will those helping fund the search for a cure.

The excitement and energy at the Relay is hard to describe - but the numbers say it all.

Music was provided by the Howard Cattle Company plus George and Jenny of the Blue Moon Ramblers. Twenty-nine corporate donors joined to lay the groundwork for the event. Twenty-seven teams with approximately 300 walkers added to the buzz all night long. Twenty-nine donors of food, goods and in-kind services helped keep energy up and expenses down. Fourteen additional individuals and organizations pitched in as team sponsors.

The Chair Event silent auction - unique to the Archuleta County Relay - was made possible through the generous support of nearly 50 contributors and artists.

Twenty volunteers served as the organizing committee, coordinating all the different aspects of the event.

More than 51 survivors participated in the opening ceremony. More than 280 luminaria lined the track at night in memory of, in honor of, or in gratitude to the people for whom the event was held.

An entertaining event or activity was scheduled every hour, on the hour, through the night for those still awake. Three crock pots of chili and jambalaya provided by the San Juan Outdoor Club at midnight were emptied in short order. More than 100 people were served breakfast by Rotary at 7 a.m. Saturday morning.

Overall, the community turned out in force to show support and participate. So far we have grossed over $90,000 in this most successful event.

Thank you all for your support of the American Cancer Society in its search for new cures and treatments, and in support of all our local friends and loved ones currently coping with cancer in their lives.

See you on the track next year!


Archuleta County primary and secondary roads

Archuleta County ceased maintenance of all county secondary roads June 15, 2006, as adopted by the Board of County Commissioners 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 concerning road maintenance options. As soon as dates and sites for these meetings are established, they will be published in The SUN, and on the county Web site. Public input is encouraged.

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.

According to Sheila Berger, special projects manager for the county road and bridge department, secondary roads remain the jurisdiction of the county and, as such, permitting for work done in the rights-of-way will continue. In most cases, the right-of-way extends beyond the edge of the traveled roadway.

For information concerning right-of-way work on secondary roads, contact Bruce Quintana at 264-5860.


New museum exhibit highlights logging industry

By Shari Pierce

Special to The SUN

The San Juan Historical Society Museum has a new exhibit on display, featuring artifacts from Archuleta County's logging industry, which led to the railroad reaching Pagosa Springs.

On display are items such as the Pagosa Lumber Company safe, a railroad bench from the Pagosa Springs railroad depot and various logging tools and saws. The exhibit will remain on display throughout the remainder of the summer.

As the community of Pagosa Springs and the Camp Lewis army post began to grow up around the hot springs, an obvious need was for lumber. Some of the area's earliest loggers were probably soldiers from the camp and the pioneer settlers.

Charles Loucks and E.T. Walker came to this area in 1879. These men built the area's first sawmill. Early day logging would have been restricted to the local area because of limited transportation methods. The exceptions were contracts let for the hewing of railroad ties, which could be floated down the San Juan River to the Denver & Rio Grande (D&RG) Railroad.

The industry that would benefit most from the construction of a railroad was the logging industry. This was one of the most heavily timbered regions of the state. Loggers could easily supply the local mills with more logs than they could handle, but there was no cost-effective way to get the timber to mills and market.

It was the logging industry that finally set things moving to get a railhead in Pagosa Springs.

One of the major players in the timber industry here was Alexander Sullenberger. He also happened to be knowledgeable about railroad construction, which went hand-in-hand with the timber industry in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

In 1880, Sullenberger's brother-in-law, Robert Sloan, was awarded a contract to provide ties for the railroad line to be built from Alamosa to Durango. Sloan convinced Sullenberger to move his family to southwestern Colorado where Sullenberger was a tie inspector in 1880 and 1881.

Following the completion of the rail line, Sullenberger began building his first sawmill west of Chama near the new railroad. Lumber from his mills was shipped as far away as Denver and Pueblo via the Denver and Rio Grande.

In the late 1880s there was talk of a railroad for Pagosa Springs. This came from companies racing to get the first railroad into Archuleta County and from local people eager for the prosperity which was sure to come with the laying of the rail line.

Pagosa Springs eventually did get its railroad, but it wasn't until 1900. The first official timetable of the Pagosa & Northern Railroad was dated Oct. 22, 1900. It was that day that the railroad began running to the town on a regular basis.

For more information about this important era in our region's history, visit the historical society museum. Also included in this special exhibit are several photographs collected by Alexander Sullenberger's grandson, Robert Sullenberger. Sullenberger spent several years collecting information and researching his grandfather's business interests in Archuleta County. Eventually he published a book on the subject. The book is no longer available, but several of the photographs he collected and donated to the museum are a part of this exhibit.

The San Juan Historical Museum collects and displays artifacts relating to the history of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County. The museum is located at the corner of Pagosa Street (U.S. 160) and First Street on the east side of Pagosa Springs. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is a nominal admission fee.


Arboles Independence Day Parade set for July 1

The 12th annual Independence Day Parade and Barbecue in Arboles is Saturday, July 1, 10 a.m. sharp. (Parade entrants: lineup begins at 9:30 a.m.)

The parade will take place at the intersection of Colo. 151 and County Road 982. Spectators can pull up a chair along Milton Lane and CR 982, at the old Pinon Hills Cafe, or at the Arboles Store.

Entries (no fees) and spectators are welcome up to the last minute. The parade ends at the TARA Community Center where the barbecue will be held immediately following - priced for the entire family.

Join the fun of a small town parade with a small town atmosphere.

For more information, contact Kathy St. Germain, TARA Historical Society at Navajo Lake, 883-2286.


PSHS Class of '61 to hold reunion

The Pagosa Springs High School Class of 1961 is holding a 45th class reunion Sunday, July 2.

Organizers extend an invitation to anyone who wishes to stop by during the afternoon to visit with fellow class members, families and friends.

The reunion will be held at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

For additional information, call Martha (Herman) Conner at 247-5904 or 749-4072.


Bob Campbell ... more than a few irons in the fire

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

It has been more than three months since new county administrator Bob Campbell arrived in Pagosa Country, but aside from the usual speed bumps encountered when arriving in a new town and at a new job, Campbell's transition has been relatively easy.

"It has been smooth and extremely busy, but gratifying," Campbell said.

And Campbell attributed much of the ease to a supportive county staff who helped him settle in and made him feel welcome while bringing him up to speed on the issues he would soon tackle.

But while part of the ease can be attributed to supportive county staff, the other part of the smooth transition is undoubtedly linked to Campbell's leadership experience.

Campbell is a career public servant, with 23 years in many facets of law enforcement, including a stint as an administrative sergeant in the King City, Calif. police department, five years as the chief of police in Bloomfield, N.M., and many years spent as a patrol officer - including time on a narcotics unit.

"I did narcotics for a year. I don't look good with a beard and long hair. It wasn't my forté" Campbell said.

Campbell's most recent law enforcement position was in Bloomfield as chief of police. After five years with the department, Campbell seized an opportunity to expand his career and became Bloomfield's city manager where he served another five and a half years.

During that time, Campbell and his wife, Nancy, spent their free time exploring the wilds of southwestern Colorado. After numerous trips to the region, the lure of the San Juan Mountains and the beauty of the landscape had taken hold, and the couple began speculating if southwestern Colorado might be a place where they could finish their professional careers and then ease into retirement.

"We thought it would be nice to finish our careers someplace where we'd like to spend the rest of our lives," Campbell said.

Originally, the Campbells considered the Durango area as an option, but the couple discovered Pagosa and were taken by it's small town atmosphere and slower pace of life.

Some might call what happened next serendipity, fortune or sheer luck, but while Campbell was reading a town and county manager's newsletter, he discovered a job listing for the county manager's position in Archuleta County.

Campbell consulted his wife, she told him to go for it, and now the couple have settled into life in Pagosa Springs - Bob at the helm of county administration, Nancy a management and leadership development consultant working toward a doctorate, and Murphy, their 100 pound Airedale terrier - "a very timid 100 pound Airedale," Campbell adds, "but a good mountain dog."

Campbell also has two children, 26-year-old Heather Campbell living in Denver, and 24-year-old Ryan Campbell in Las Cruces, N.M.

Although roaming the high country is one of Campbell's passions, the job of county administrator is intense and demanding, and there are always multiple irons in the fire. Summer evenings that could be spent on a trail are easily consumed by meetings and other responsibilities, and Campbell foresees a full agenda in the coming months.

Among the issues Campbell said are priorities, county roads topped the list.

"I don't see the road issue as a closed book. I'd like to get to a point where the county takes responsibility for all county roads," Campbell said.

The second critical issue he said, is the county courthouse. Campbell said the county is spending a significant amount of money on leases for satellite offices and maintenance of the current courthouse, and Campbell said he would like to get all county departments under one roof and into a better facility.

According to Campbell, the county still owns property on Hot Springs Boulevard across from the Pagosa Springs Town Hall, which could make an ideal location for a new courthouse, however questions remain over where to construct the jail.

He said the county is exploring a number of options and he has made resolution of the county facilities issue a top priority.

In light of growth and development pressures, Campbell said adoption of impact fees is still on the county's front burner, but he is cautious about adopting impact fees that may be too high.

"Are high impact fees in the best interest of the county?" Campbell asked.

He said in the coming months, he will explore that very question, ultimately providing information to the board of county commissioner such that they can make and informed decision. And he spoke about the need to balance town and county impact fees to avoid lopsided development, but he wants to explore the issue fully before the county dives into a commitment.

Among recent accomplishments, Campbell said he is pleased with the county's adoption of a land use code and that the creation of the zoning map is proceeding according to schedule.

He said the atmosphere at the airport has improved and is much more positive than it has been, adding that steps are being taken to acquire grant funding for the parallel taxiway, and the county is exploring the possibility of constructing additional hangars.

And, as always, Campbell said, there is room for improvement.

During his tenure, Campbell said communication, both within the agency and with citizens is extremely important.

"We work for the public. It's important to listen to their issues and concerns," Campbell said.

Campbell said government transparency is of paramount importance.

"Things that get done should be for the benefit of all 12,000 residents in the county, not just for 300 that have a special interest," Campbell said.

After an hour spent with Campbell it appears there are more than just a few irons in the fire, and it seems the job might be overwhelming at times. But Campbell said simply being in Pagosa Country is a stress relief and that he often finds simple vistas from town rejuvenating.

"No matter how hectic or stressful the day can be, you just look out at the mountains," Campbell said.

But just in case looking at the mountains isn't enough, Campbell said he keeps a water bottle and fanny pack in his car and trail ready so he can venture out at a moment's notice.

One thing about the work Campbell said, "It's never dull. There is always something happening that keeps you involved."

It's the nature of public service, and it's business as usual for Campbell, a career public servant.



Outdoor club supports local search and rescue groups

By David Hunter

Special to The SUN

The San Juan Outdoor Club, a local organization of over 200 members which actively provides outdoor activities for its members such as hiking, skiing, cycling and jeeping, has announced a continuing partnership with two local search and rescue organizations - the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue and Colorado Mounted Search and Rescue.

The club is making an initial donation of $750 to each of these organizations.

The Upper San Juan Search and Rescue, with a current roster of 40 volunteer members, focuses on the types of searches and rescues that can be performed on foot, while the Mounted Search and Rescue, with a roster of 27 volunteers, operates on horseback.

Each organization works closely with local and state authorities to provide emergency 24/7 search and rescue of lost or injured persons in the outdoors, and other related emergency response. Each organization and its volunteer members relies heavily on dues and donations to provide these critical services. Member training, equipment and radio communications are some of their most critical needs.

Fred Reese, current president of the San Juan Outdoor Club, noted, "This commitment from our club recognizes the critical support requirements these search and rescue organizations have, and the roles they play in the safe enjoyment for all of us in Archuleta County. We see our commitment as a continuing financial promise that will help assure all of us who use and enjoy our unlimited outdoor activities in Archuleta County will have properly equipped and trained rescue personnel for outdoor emergencies. The San Juan Outdoor Club is proud to add this key partnership to our other programs, such as our annual scholarships to deserving Pagosa Springs High School seniors, in support of our community."

In addition, the two search and rescue organizations will offer various safety training classes to some of the San Juan Outdoor Club activities leaders.


Chimney Rock tours and programs educate and entertain

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

In the shadows of the awe-inspiring twin pinnacles, experience a unique part of America's heritage at one of our splendid archaeological sites - Chimney Rock Archaeological Area.

This National Historic Site features the remains of an ancient Ancestral Puebloan village and Chacoan Great House, perched high atop a mesa overlooking the Piedra River valley. Two developed trails lead to both excavated and undisturbed sites by guided walking tours. The lower Great Kiva Loop Trail is barrier free.

The site is accessible daily for guided walking tours (2-2.5 hours long) at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m. These informative tours, most led by volunteer interpretive guides, are offered to adults for $8; children 5-11 years old are $2; and there is no charge for children under 5 years old. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more.

The visitor cabin has a pit-house model and artifact display and offers a selection of books, gifts and souvenirs, as well as necessities like bottled water, sunscreen and insect repellent.

Full Moon Program

On Monday, July 10, the magical sound of the Native American flute, accompanied by the full moon in the ancient surroundings of Chimney Rock is an unforgettable experience. Visitors to Chimney Rock Archaeological Area in southwest Colorado, can enjoy this entertaining evening as the popular Native American flute player, Charles Martinez, accompanies the educational program.

Martinez, a native Pagosan of Jicarilla Apache and Navajo heritage, is a master of the traditional style of Indian flute playing and a local crowd pleaser for many years.

While awaiting the moon's approximate 8:47 p.m. arrival near the Great House Pueblo site, visitors will learn about the Ancestral Puebloans, the archaeological relationship of Chimney Rock to Chaco Canyon, area geology, and archaeoastronomy theories.

Tickets for the Full Moon Program are $15; reservations are required. The gate will be open from 7:15-7:45 p.m. for those attending this event. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated. Due to the hike involved to the mesa top and the two to three hour length of the program - beginning at 8:15 p.m. -i t's suggested that children under 12 not attend.

As an added feature to the Full Moon Program, the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association offers an optional guided "early tour" of the lower archaeological sites at Chimney Rock for an additional fee of $5. The gate opens at 6:15 p.m. for those signed up for the early tour prior to the Full Moon Program.

Visitors need to come prepared for the outdoors by bringing a flashlight, warm clothing, good walking shoes, insect repellent and a blanket or cushion to sit on during the program. In the event of bad weather, the program will be canceled and possibly rescheduled for the following evening.

For those interested in the Major Lunar Standstill (MLS), the moon will not rise between Chimney Rock and Companion Rock during this Full Moon Program event. Please review the MLS section of our Web site for our 2006 schedule and details on the MLS programs, which still have some limited tickets available.

Native American Cultural Gathering and Dances

Traditional singers, storytellers, and dancers from Hopi, Acoma, Laguna, San Juan, Santa Clara, and Picuris pueblos will perform at Chimney Rock Saturday and Sunday July 22-23. Native American arts and crafts will be available.

An entry fee of $10 will be charged. There are no guided tours of the archaeological site during these two days. For details, call the Friends of Native Cultures at 731-4248.

Life at Chimney Rock

On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5-6, interactive demonstrations of crafts and skills of Ancestral Puebloan and regional Native American cultures will be held at Chimney Rock. Free demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will include use of the atlatl, basket-making, flint knapping, flute making and playing, grinding grain, pottery making, fiber spinning, and yucca pounding to make rope. The normal, 2-2.5 hour, guided site tours will be offered all weekend at the prices listed above.

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, Pagosa Ranger District, is a non-profit organization devoted to public education and protection of Chimney Rock Archaeological Area through guided tours, traditional native dance, music, and information programs. Memberships in the association and in Friends of Chimney Rock, and generous gifts of time and money are sincerely welcomed and appreciated.

Chimney Rock Archeological Area is located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs, three miles south of U.S. 160 on Colo. 151.

For more information, call the Visitors' Cabin daily at 883-5359 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or check the Web site at www.chimneyrockco.org.


Habitat Stamp required to enter State Wildlife Areas

People planning to visit a State Wildlife Area (SWA) over the Fourth of July holiday are reminded that all adults who enter a SWA must buy a Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp.

 "We talked to a lot of people over the Memorial Day weekend who were not aware of the Habitat Stamp requirement," said Travis Black and area manager with the Colorado Division of Wildlife in Lamar.  "Hunters and anglers know about the stamp because it is included with their hunting and fishing license, but even they did not know that other family members between the ages of 18 and 64 are required to have a wildlife stamp when entering a state wildlife property."

 Wildlife Habitat Stamps can be bought anywhere hunting or fishing licenses are sold. They can also be purchased by calling (800) 244-5613 and over the Internet. The $10.25 annual fee covers unlimited visits onto any of the 241 SWAs in Colorado.  Money from the sale of the stamps is earmarked for future protection of critical wildlife habitat.

 State Wildlife Areas are properties owned or managed by the DOW for the benefit of wildlife and wildlife related recreation.  "The most popular State Wildlife Areas are the ones with lake access or stream fishing," said Black. 

 A few SWAs allow camping, but unlike parks or private campgrounds, the primary purpose of State Wildlife Areas is to set aside land to benefit wildlife.  Although overnight use is allowed on some of the properties, the campsites are usually primitive with minimal facilities. 

 "The primary attraction is that people can hunt, fish or watch wildlife," said Black.  "Visitors are reminded they should try to minimize their impact to the land and pack out all of their trash for the benefit of wildlife and future generations to come."

 Visitors to SWAs are also reminded there is a fire ban in effect on all state land in Colorado until further notice.

SWAs in or near Pagosa Country include:

Archuleta County

Devil Creek

Echo Canyon Reservoir

Alamosa County


Playa Blanca

San Luis Lakes

Conejos County

Conejos County Ponds

Conejos River

Hot Creek

La Jara Reservoir

Sego Springs

Terrace Reservoir

Trujillo Meadows

Wuanita Watchable Wildlife Area

Hinsdale County

Brown Lakes

Lake Fork of the Gunnison River

Mason Family

Rito Hondo Reservoir

Road Canyon Reservoir

Williams Creek Reservoir

La Plata County


Haviland Lake

Pastorius Reservoir

Perins Peak

Lake County

Hallenback Ranch

Tamarack Ranch

Mineral County

Alberta Park Reservoir

Big Meadows Reservoir

Coller (also in Rio Grande County)


This list is also available in the back of the 2006 Fishing Regulations Brochure.

 More information is available on the Internet at http://wildlife.state.co.us/ShopDOW/AppsAndLicenses/HabitatStamp/ or by calling the local DOW office.


High Country Reflections

Next assault could involve wilderness and research areas

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

With yet another all-out frontal assault, the Bush administration is "staying the course" in its war on the environment.

This time, the enemy is America's wildlife.

Much like the State Department is holding firm in its nuclear negotiations with Iran and North Korea, or the Defense Department directs ongoing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush White House is systematically waging war on the natural world. In fact, the administration has launched some 150 environmental offensives in its five-and-a-half-year history, with no apparent end in sight.

Many of Bush's ecological attacks have been quietly implemented through subtle procedural changes among various federal agencies. Others are cleverly disguised to resemble environmentally friendly policy, yet virtually all have benefited lobbyists and big business at the expense of taxpayers and popular public sentiment.

Labels like "Clear Skies" and "Healthy Forests Initiative" suggest the government is shaping strategy with the people's best interest in mind. But, in reality, Clear Skies, for instance, has rolled back clean air standards by failing to enforce, and ultimately weakening, existing laws requiring utilities to reduce emissions of mercury and greenhouse gasses.

The Healthy Forests Initiative has done nothing to make communities safer from the threat of wildfire as promised, but has reduced public involvement and environmental protection, while making public lands, including unspoiled roadless areas and large old-growth forests, more accessible to the timber industry.

Other schemes, like persistent efforts to drill for oil in pristine areas, including the nation's shorelines and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, are pitched to the public as measures that will make America more energy independent. Nevertheless, only representatives of the fossil fuel industry have been consulted in forming our nation's energy policy, and the tactics undertaken have been implemented by former energy executives and lobbyists in key positions, including members of the Bush administration.

While Bush policies have increased, rather than decreased, our dependence on foreign oil, and cost us innumerable jobs that would inevitably result from a growing renewable energy industry, they also threaten our national treasures as never before. Opening pristine forests and roadless areas to road building, mining, oil and gas exploration, and logging, or simply selling them off to pay down debt, as Bush has proposed, would compromise a quality of life unique to the world, and eliminate vital natural resources and wildlife habitat, further facilitating the demise of endangered species here and abroad.

In its latest act of aggression, the Bush administration openly bowed to special agricultural interests earlier this month, by directing the Forest Service (of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) to relax restrictions on predator control in Forest Service lands. As published in the Federal Register June 7, policy adjustments, if approved, will permit aerial gunning, trapping and cyanide poisoning of "problem" wildlife, such as coyotes, bears, mountain lions and wolves, even in designated Wilderness and Research Natural Areas.

Although government hunters and ranchers have waged war on wildlife since the first westward migration, the Wilderness Act of 1964 has prohibited predator control in designated Wilderness areas, except when necessary to protect human life or an endangered species. It also prohibits travel by any means other than foot or horseback, and describes Wilderness as, "an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain."

According to Forest Service Manual 4063.03, "Research Natural Areas are small areas that may be used only for research, study, observation, monitoring, and those educational activities that maintain unmodified conditions."

If enacted, the new Forest Service rules would authorize Wildlife Services, a branch of the USDA responsible for predator control, to travel into both land designations with aircraft and motorized vehicles and shoot animals from the air, or transport traps and toxicants.

"This rule is a dramatic and devastating blow to our nation's wildlife and wilderness areas," said Erik Ryberg, staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. "Piece by piece the Bush administration is stripping away every protection, every refuge, our wildlife formerly enjoyed. Few Americans consider a wilderness experience to include people in helicopters and on motorcycles tracking coyotes through the forest and killing them, but that is exactly what this rule authorizes."

Meanwhile, the Center for Responsive Politics, a group that tracks political donations, reports that agribusiness contributed $52 million to politicians in 2004, and the majority mindset among ranchers is to "get rid of nuisance animals." That point of view, and considerable sums of money, apparently explain the sweeping changes in wildlife and sensitive forest lands management now under revision at the Forest Service.

Yet, Jeff Eisenberg, a representative of the National Cattleman's Beef Association, suggests ranchers and farmers are trying to balance wildlife concerns with their own interests. "We're very supportive of wildlife," he said, "but when predators are taking out livestock, that's where we want to draw the line. There needs to be a balance."

Of course, Eisenberg's definition of "balance" seems a bit arbitrary when considering the percentage of public lands open to livestock grazing, and the number of predators intentionally killed every year versus the number of cattle lost to predation.

According to a story for The NewStandard by Megan Tady, livestock currently graze approximately 70 percent of the land encompassing 11 western states, including 164 million of the 264 million acres administered by the Bureau of Land Management. And, a 1998 study published in the journal of BioScience found that, at the time, grazing had contributed to the demise of 22 percent of native threatened and endangered species in the U.S.

All the same, the federal government spent $100 million in total predator control last year alone. Of that, $40 million went to protecting agricultural interests, and $15 million paid exclusively for the poisoning and aerial slaughter of mammalian predators. In 2004, Wildlife Services killed 2.7 million bothersome beasts, more than any year previous. By this writing, 2005 numbers weren't available.

Meanwhile, as taxpayers covered the costs of last year's blatant massacre, USDA records show that carnivorous predators were responsible for the loss of 190,000 cattle, or just 0.18 percent of a total population of 104.5 million. On the other hand, 1.1 million died of respiratory complications, and digestive problems claimed another 650,000. The calving process claimed three times the number of cattle lost to predation, yet no one has clamored for bovine birth control.

Perhaps the greatest irony in the government's mass killing of problem predators is reflected in the case of the Mexican Gray Wolf. After being exterminated to near extinction in the early 20th century, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (another USDA agency) listed it as the most endangered mammal in North America in 1986.

Then, in 1998, after a successful captive breeding program involving the last five known Mexican "lobos," the agency reintroduced them to the wilds of New Mexico and Arizona. There, the wolves did well for the first five years, but in the past two, their numbers have declined sharply. Astonishingly, the USFWS has recently allowed the killing of 11 of the wolves as part of an ongoing predator control program.

And so, Bush's war on the environment continues.

But, while there's no end in sight and it's a continual drain on taxpayer dollars, the administration can boast some progress. At least the title of Forest Service Manual 2323.33c has been changed from "Predator Control" to "Predator Damage Management," which, in no way, sounds like an attempt to masquerade the true intent of the program.



Terrorism business

Dear Editor:

It would be easy for somebody to go into the terrorism business as long as they're backed by a religion. This is what freedom of speech and freedom of religion are all about. The so-called human rights groups want all detainees released so they can kill again in the name of religion. Our First Amendment is for us: not everybody else and especially foreign garbage that wants us eliminated. Criminals have more rights than those they have victimized.

Nobody did anything about Arafat and his terrorists and now they have their own country bought by the backs of their victims and, of course, us (meaning the USA). The same thing is happening again with Iraq. Detainees are supposed to be granted amnesty and deals are to be made with the Sunnis and insurgents so they'll be part of the new government. Look what has happened every time Israel has made deals. It gets bombed some more every time it is generous. The Sunnis, Taliban and Al Qaeda deserve nothing except the treatment they've been dishing out. The war would be over right now if they were treated as they treat others. Then we'd all have something to celebrate, but as long as they're just going to be mollycoddled and act as if they're just as important as rational people, we're doomed.

Our security has been compromised because President Bush thinks beheaders are nice people. He thinks they're more important than our first line of protectors, the marines who were doing the right thing in time of war. Our men have been killed by double-dealers; therefore, anybody who gets in the way of our bullets is guilty: not innocent whether they're in a wheelchair or not. The first attack on the trade tower was done by a blind cleric. Just remember.

Court martial for doing the right thing in time of war is absolutely berserk. The NCIS and the Pentagon both are working for the enemy.

Here's something else nobody has thought of: Johnny Taliban, the shoebomber, Akbar (the criminal who rolled the grenade in the officers' tent at the beginning of the war), Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden are all still alive. None of them deserve any better than their actions and intentions. They should all have been eliminated a long time ago.

President Bush says Pakistan is an ally, but he won't go in and get Bin Laden. This ally is supporting terrorists. Bin Laden is being rewarded by being allowed to live.

The root cause of terrorism are the clerics who go unnoticed.

Treating the enemy the same as it has treated us is the only moral thing to do and it would spare many lives into the future.

Our rights and privacy are going to continue to be handed over to the terrorists because nobody in charge wants to do anything right.

If we're lucky, maybe it will rain and the sun will come out again.


John Feazel



Dear Editor:

Attention responsible horse owners: are you aware that in Colorado:

- You must fence out your neighbors' horses with a three-strand barbed wire fence, 3546-101 3547-105;

- There is no law for the confinement of stallions. If your neighbor's stallion comes through your nonlegal fence and breeds your mare, so sad, too bad;

- If your neighbor's horse, or horses, come on your property and destroy anything, so sad, too bad;

- Your neighbor has no responsibility for keeping his horse or horses on his property.

It seems strange to me that in Archuleta County where you cannot let your dog run loose, you can have a 1,000-pound animal, driven by testosterone, running free.

Hopefully, the county commissioners will address this problem before someone or some horse is seriously injured.

Let's do something before we (horse owners) are all labeled irresponsible. If we are not careful, we will not be able to have any horses in our subdivisions.

Steffy Hodge


Local control

Dear Editor:

Thank you for your editorial expressing concerns over losing local control of our community schools. As a mother of a child who doesn't fit into the adopted Reading First educational model, I am a firm believer in keeping standardized government programs to a minimum.

I believe it bears mentioning that the Reading First program that caused the demise of the School Within a School was a federal program that former principal Kahle Charles chose to adopt. Reading First is not a state- or federally-mandated program. Because the adoption of the program came with a healthy grant, many of us accepted the program with the perception that the funds would be used to purchase materials and services to enrich the quality of reading instruction at the school. Upon inquiry I discovered that the grant is only designed to perpetuate its own existence - an existence that promotes a one-dimensional, often developmentally inappropriate curriculum with an emphasis on testing and student data collection.

Counties all over the country, even entire states, have rejected the use of NCLB funded programs that they believe detract from the quality of their schools. Before we blame federal interference for the state of education in Pagosa Springs, let's remember that the Reading First Grant was a choice. As a community we can make another choice to reject the Reading First Grant and take back our local control.

It does our children no good to throw up our hands and blame the system. It's our right and responsibility as parents and concerned members of this community to demand something better for our children. Contact Mr. Noggle and the school board and let them know that you support a return to local control and the elimination of the Reading First Grant.


Blue Lindner


No option

Dear Editor:

Two hundred and thirty years ago, people in the new world got tired of being told what to do by George III in England.

They revolted against England, and finally won the right to govern themselves.

Now, 230 years later, the state of Colorado is doing the same thing to us as England did before.

They, the Legislature and governor, (we who put them in office and pay them), put a law into effect about smoking, without even consulting us.

Most people who go to taverns and walk down main street may like to light up.

They asked nobody, no notices asking the tavern owner, nor anyone, what they thought. I've noticed in most restaurants, people have respect not to smoke while other people are dining.

They (the government) could have asked what we want. They're not even giving the owners of taverns, restaurants, etc., who pay the taxes, an option.

Tell me, does it make sense?

Rick Nuzum


Benefit for Lyn

Dear Editor:

Remember all of the fun we had at The Office Lounge dancing to the tunes of The Real Deal Blues Band?

Well, the sisters - Patti, Susi and Lyn - would like to invite you to a benefit dance in Lyn Webb's honor. Lyn was just diagnosed with breast cancer.

The Real Deal Blues Band has offered to host the dance at the PLPOA Clubhouse on Wednesday, July 5, from 5:30 on. There will be food, drink and dancing with a $10 donation to help defray some of Lyn's medical expenses.

We look forward to sharing an evening of camaraderie, fun, dancing and an overall celebration of life with all of our friends in this great community!

See you at the PLPOA Clubhouse Wednesday, July 5, from 5:30 on.

Hugs and kisses,

Patti Renner, Susi Mays and Lyn Webb


  Community News

Quilt Fest 2006 - a holiday highlight

By Shari Pierce

Special to The PREVIEW

Mother, wife, teacher, friend, quilter, artist, historian and most recently author and grandmother - these are just a few words that can be used to describe Cindy Vermillion Hamilton.

Hamilton began quilting as a teen and has practiced her craft since. Her quilts have graced the covers of national quilting magazines, and hung in prestigious shows and museums.

One of Hamilton's most recent projects is her book "Medallion Quilts: Inspiration and Patterns." The book is the culmination of many years of quilt making and study. The prestigious American Quilters Society is publishing this book. The expected publication date is August 2006.

The cover of PREVIEW TOO this week features Hamilton's "Christmas Medallion." The top of this quilt was stitched in 1987 with quilting done in 2005. The quilt is also featured in "Medallion Quilts: Inspiration and Patterns." You can see this quilt and learn more about the inspiration for it quilt at Quilt Fest 2006.

Several members of the Pagosa Piecemakers Quilt Guild are also students of Hamilton's. She has graciously taught quilting classes locally and given programs, which many have taken advantage of. Though her hands haven't personally touched all of the quilts in the show, her inspiration has touched many of them.

Pagosa Springs is lucky to have this talented, inspiring and gracious quilter in its midst. At Quilt Fest 2006, Hamilton will have three of her works on display. She will also be available a portion of the time demonstrating hand quilting and answering questions about her quilting.


Each Quilt Fest includes an educational opportunity for youth. This year, Robbye Ready, education corner organizer, has coordinated with the 4-H youth who are working on quilting. These youngsters will be sharing their projects with Quilt Fest viewers. It will be very exciting to see the work of these budding quilters.

Silent auction

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. Bids on the quilt may be placed throughout the four-day show with the successful bidder being announced at 4 p.m. on July 4.

Raffle Quilt

Pagosa Piecemaker board members worked together to create a king-size quilt, which will be raffled off at Quilt Fest 2006.

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

Challenge quilts

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.

Quilts, quilts and more quilts

As of press time, show organizers anticipate there will be 130 or more quilts on display. And, there will be other quilted items to view such as vests, jackets, coasters and more. Quilts range from antiques that have been collected through the years to new quilts that have been created by members of the Pagosa Piecemaker's Quilt Guild.

Grandmother Mary's Quilts

Grandmother Mary was a quilter whose range of talents included appliqué, piecing, embroidery and crazy quilts among others. She was born in Indiana in 1881, and later lived in Oklahoma. She passed away in 1973.

Throughout her life Grandmother Mary quilted and quilted. Her grandson and his wife have amassed a collection of her quilts.

A special display of Grandmother Mary's quilts will be on display at Quilt Fest 2006 because of the generosity of her family who now resides in Pagosa Springs.


After you've viewed all the delightful quilts at the show, you may be of a mind to make a quilt yourself. Be sure to stop by the vendor's booths to see the latest in quilt patterns, fabrics and notions.

Some of the artisans 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.

Guild members have also created tote bags and needle cases to sell.

Show hours

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. until 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.

Quilt Fest is only held every two years. You won't want to miss this opportunity to see what local quilters have been up to.


Photographer Reichert to exhibit work in Pagosa Springs

Photographer Don Reichert will show his work in Pagosa Springs, with an exhibit set to open June 30 at Pagosa Photography.

Reichert, a native of Fort Collins, first became interested in photography as a teenager. While in college, he participated in numerous photo classes and outdoor photo workshops and seminars and soon found an interest in outdoor photography. He quickly developed the fundamental skills and keen eyesight to capture unique photographic images, particularly landscapes.

Reichert spent a 37-year career in the federal government. Many of those years were spent functioning in wildlife biology and forest ecology research positions with the U.S. Forest Service. During his career, he worked extensively throughout the central Rocky Mountains and other adjacent habitats, further enhancing his photographic skills.

His extensive travels throughout the rocky Mountains and other habitat zones allowed him innumerable opportunities to photograph wildlife species, mountain and nature landscapes and wildflowers throughout all seasons of the year. After retiring from the federal government, Reichert took his hobby and photographic passion to the next level and started his own photography business with his wife.

Now, as a professional photographer with over 40 years of photographic experience, Reichert focuses on outdoor landscapes, floral, nature and wildlife photography, including mountain, desert and plains scenery, native wildflowers, birds, mammals, plus a variety of domestic and tropical flowers including lilies, daisies, roses, orchids and hibiscus.

Reichert's photographic work has taken him throughout the United States, capturing the beauty of the Rocky Mountains; the east coast, including Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maryland; the Midwest; the desert Southwest; coastal areas, the west coast and Pacific Northwest, plus Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and the Caribbean Islands.

He is well respected for his abilities to capture scenic views of interest throughout the four seasons. He also partners in a business that provides aerial photographic commercial services and/or photographic landscape images for clients. Reichert's images have drawn praise for their quality, creativity and presentation, and are displayed in several galleries, as well as at businesses, government, medical and educational facilities. His work has been accepted in several juried art shows and he is a participant in a number of these well-recognized art shows throughout the year.

Opening night is 5-7 p.m. Friday, June 30, at Pagosa Photography, 480 San Juan St. There will be entertainment by "Small Town Giants," Dan Appenzeller and Suzanna Ninichuk.

For more information, call 264-3686.


Intuition, discovery reign supreme in Select Works at Shy Rabbit

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

"Select Works" opens July 1 at Shy Rabbit with artists 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 from 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.

MarSan's works are about emergence. The emergence of simple earthly objects to an elevated state of recognition, or the combining of earthy objects formed together to shed light on the process of emergence. "It is like the Dragon Fly incubating in cocooned darkness till it's emergence to light.  The transformation is not so much about a particular change that transpires but more about the shedding of light on particular objects or transformations," Anderson says.

Some of the pieces selected for this show are unchanged, only slightly embellished or have been put together with another piece, creating complimentary parallels or complimentary opposites. 

"I find beauty in simplicity, which when isolated, has a sophistication that seems beyond human endeavor.  On the other hand I find ingenuity in artistic construction and an insight into the individual psyche especially when the construction is put to paper, sculpture, music, or words," Anderson says.

D. Michael Coffee has worked extensively in all types of media, including painting, wood, metal, architecture, printmaking and ceramics. "Art is my passion and the true backbone of my existence," he says. "I cannot lay claim to any particular style or genre, as I am primarily interested in nonlinear paths of development in the objects I make."

For Coffee, each step of the art making process is part of a personal inner journey. The common thread that stitches his work together is an overriding desire to be surprised by the outcome, as though he wasn't present during the process.

"The art that I create is a product of a concerted effort to exploit my powers of intuition for the sheer joy of attempting to reach a 'mindless mind' state of awareness," Coffee says. "For me, the challenge is to let go of predetermined understanding and foresight, and to work on developing my instincts. I strive to create outside of my conscious self, empowered by the strength of my intuition. I tend to select materials that are simple, so as not to become material bound. When I am successful, the pieces that I create truly represent the sum total of my life experiences and visual histories."

Deborah Gorton expresses a similar idea of history in her work. "Whether this series of work portrays the image of ancient symbols and messages that were just discovered or a futuristic one that could be revealed some time in the future, after our society has disappeared and been buried by time, is something I leave for the viewer to decide," Gorton says.

Gorton's work is about creating a sense of layers through imagery, of revealing images from long ago that have been covered up and forgotten. "I feel like my own personal process in life is one of peeling back my layers, reaching deeper and deeper within myself to discover the core of my being," Gorton says.

Gorton's works with a combination of materials in order to achieve this impression of layers: Beginning with a stretched canvas she uses acrylics, mediums, papers, parts of old books or text, found and manufactured objects, beads and artifacts.

Shaun Martin also works intuitively. "My recent work has been all about keeping myself open. I feel a real collaboration with my art," Martin says. "I allow pieces to form and show me certain directions to explore. This keeps me present as I'm creating. I love the anticipation of seeing the surface textures come alive with depth and color."

Martin uses symbols to represent concepts, people, places and movement. Sometimes the titles of the work lead to an understanding of the symbols. Other times, the titles are just for personal expression.

"To me, the pieces feel like a memory of a cultural or personal ceremony," Martin says.

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, go north to Bastille Drive (at UBC) turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental. For more information: log onto http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call (970) 731-2766.


In Step Dance club features 'Swing on the Move'

By Deb Aspen

Special to The PREVIEW

The In Step Dance Club's featured dance of the month will be "Swing on the Move."

This dance resembles East Coast Swing, however the rock step is replaced with walking steps which makes it progress down the floor.

The origin of country dance is England, in a dance in which two lines of dancers face each other - like the minuet, resembling our present day country square dances. Contra dancing and folk dancing from other parts of Europe also influenced the beginning of country dancing.

Traditional closed couple dancing began in the U.S. after 1860 when young people moved from rural environments to cities looking for employment. Alone for the first time, young adults sought public meeting and dancing places, but because the newer dances of that day, like the waltz from Vienna and the polka from Czechoslovakia ,required closer-than-usual spacing between partners, large segments of the public condemned this behavior.

Closed couple dancing finally won acceptance in 1912 when the popular dance team of Vernon and Irene Castle began performing the waltz, the one-step, and the tango from Spain. Among the Castles' many pupils was a young entrepreneur named Arthur Murray. In 1920, Murray marketed dance lessons through the mail, making them affordable, and he standardized dance steps.

By 1936, swing was popular in this country, and continued to grow, taking on unique styles of each geographical area. West Coast Swing for many years was called "Western Swing" in certain parts of the country, and county western dancing was called "Country Western Swing." As both dances started to increase in popularity, several years ago, it seems the powers that be straightened out the terminology.

Country western dancing was originally partner style dances, like the Schottische and Cotton Eyed Joe, with very little lead and follow. It was not very stylized, and didn't have to be in closed position.

During the '30s, Bob Wills' band brought in mandolins and fiddles which became the backbone of country western music, along with the steel guitar from Hawaii. People would dance simple couple styles like Two-step and Lindy Hop with a few country turns in between; and eventually started using arm movements that were influenced by the Latin American dances.

Country western dances are "count" patterns using single, double, and/or triple rhythms traveling in a circle around "line of dance" on the floor. One offshoot is the Cowboy Swing or Country Western Swing, which is a four count, reminiscent of the Hustle of the '70s and '80s.

In the late 1970s, this form of dancing started to make a serious change by adapting a West Coast style of swing into the two-step with a quick-quick, slow-slow rhythm. When the movie "Urban Cowboy," starring John Travolta, hit the screen in 1981, CW music and dance spread like wildfire.

Since then, there have been many different styles of CW dance evolve. One of the many from Texas is called Progressive Country or Progressive Swing. Arthur Murray refers to this dance as "Country Triple," and yet another name describing the dance is "Swing on the Move." Two years ago, I taught this dance as the latter, so for the sake of simplification, Pagosa Springs will soon know this fun country dance as "Swing on the Move."

There is no prerequisite to learning this dance. It helps to know a little East or West Coast Swing, but is not necessary, as we always start with the basics. Anyone 16 to 96 can join us for the fun.

July's schedule is as follows: Classes will be held July 6, 12, 20 and 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. Practice sessions will take place Sundays, July 9, 16 and 23 from 3 to 5 p.m. Checkout Sunday will be Aug. 6 from 3- to 5 p.m.

Be sure and mark your calendars for Saturday, July 22. The Stars and Stripes Awards Banquet and Ball will be held in honor of graduating students and winners of the merit program. The public is invited and encouraged to come and support these students, and dine and dance in an elegant setting. Stay tuned for more details.

All classes, practice sessions and events will be held in the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave. No preregistration required. Wear comfortable clothing, and please bring or wear shoes or boots that have smooth or split leather soles - something that does not leave black marks.

For more information call Deb Aspen, 731-3338.


Booster musicians working hard on 'Joseph' score

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa Springs Music Booster's production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice, is set to open on the Pagosa stage next week, running July 6, 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m., with an extra matinee July 15 at 2 p.m.

Our cast is supported by a group of local musicians, led by conductor and musical director Sue Anderson. They have been playing and practicing for the past month, perfecting the notes and melodies of about 25 songs in the "Joseph" score, bringing to life the excitement, vocals and dance numbers of the production.

They include: Sue Anderson, keyboard; Kathy Isberg, keyboard; Joy Redmon, flute; Kathy Baisdon, clarinet; D'Ann Artis, horn; and Chad Plum, a newcomer to the Music Booster's group, on drums. We deeply appreciate their work and dedication in supporting not only "Joseph," but also our mission of 100-percent give-back to our students, schools and community in support of the performing arts and performing arts education.

Tickets for "Joseph" are available at the Plaid Pony or at the door. Check out our new Web site at pagosamusicboosters.org.


New ECA Garden Club class

Join Carla Roberts for a one-month course in July called "Three-season Color."

Starting Thursday, July 6, this do-it-yourself landscaping primer will guide you through the steps of successful landscape design from start to colorful finish.

To assist you in creating a beautiful yard, the four-week course is taught in a local garden, so you can see mature perennial plants in bloom. Practical advise on soil preparation, site evaluation and plant choices will optimize your chances of creating a long-lasting landscape that can add curb appeal to your home and bring years of enjoyment. After all, gardening is the No. 1 hobby in America.

If you have gardened in a different climate than Pagosa, you will find a variety of plants can be grown here, including many drought-tolerant ones. Instructor Carla Roberts has a naturalistic approach to garden design. She has 25 years experience growing beautiful flowers is harsh environments.

Whether you have a simple flower bed or a huge yard, you can add lasting color and interest by learning the principals of three-season color.

The first class segment is 9-11 a.m. Thursday, July 6, and continues on consecutive Thursdays in July. Each two-hour course segment entails a $10 fee. Those interested may register by calling Roberts at 731-3117 and receive directions.

This program is sponsored by Elation Center for the Arts, a local non-profit organization dedicated to providing artistic enrichment in Pagosa Springs.


Drive is worth it on home and garden tour

By Marti Capling

Special to The PREVIEW

The Thorpe home, located in the peaceful high meadows of Alpine Lakes will be featured in the PSAC Home and Garden Tour Sunday, July 9.

This timber-frame, post-and-beam home has the look and feel of a New England cottage and is furnished and decorated with antique pieces of the 1700s from the New England area.

Wooden floors, stairway, ceilings and beams add to the charm.

Special features include etched and stained glass in this unique home that was designed to maximize efficient use of space and quality materials, based on the principles of Susan Susanka, author of "Not So Big Solutions for Your Home" and incorporated by builder Dusty Pierce.

French doors lead to the deck overlooking the horse barn and the expansive meadow and mountain views. Flower gardens and potted plants accent the naturally landscaped area.

Even though the drive is long, you won't want to miss this very special home, on 35 acres of beautiful country.


Let's Explore series begins at Shy Rabbit

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Alfred Stieglitz played a pivotal role in carving out a niche for photography in the art world during the early 1900s. His role as a key figure in the introduction of modern art to America has, until recently, been less understood.

Shy Rabbit brings Marilee Jantzer-White to Pagosa Springs to explore Stieglitz' influence on art in America. White will analyze his exhibitions of the works of artists such as Picasso, Rodin and Cezanne, as well as that of several photographers whose works Stieglitz exhibited in his galleries.

Marilee Jantzer-White received her Ph. D. from University of California, Los Angeles in 1998 with a specialization in Native American Art History. She currently teaches courses on Art History of the Southwest, Native American, Meso-American, Feminist and World Survey Art History courses at Ft. Lewis College in Durango. Her publications include articles on Pueblo and Plains art history.

The Let's Explore series is a new program at Shy Rabbit - a contemporary art space and gallery. The "Let's Explore" series will bring in guest speakers, slide presentations, films and experts to discuss the many facets of art and art history. In August,

Let's Explore will feature a film on Andy Goldsworthy and, in September, a second film on Isamu Noguchi.

"The Let's Explore series is an opportunity to bring in experts in their field to Pagosa and for those of us actively involved in the creation of Shy Rabbit to do what we love - explore art in all it's many forms and facets, sit around and talk about it and share in the experience," said Michael Coffee

"Let's Explore - Alfred Steiglitz" is one night only, July 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a suggested donation of $10.

"Let's Explore - Goldsworthy" is one night only, Aug. 10, and "Let's Explore - Noguchi" is Sept. 15. The suggested donation for both films is $5.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4, west of downtown, and just south of the Pagosa Lakes area. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Boulevard, turn left on Bastille Drive and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental. For more information: log on to http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call 731-2766.


Texas songwriter Jon Dee Graham to perform at Karas House

Singer, songwriter and guitarist John Dee Graham will perform at the Karas house 7 p.m. July 7.

Named "Musician of the Year" at the Austin Music Awards at the 2006 South By Southwest Music Conference, Graham is a native Texan with a deep, eclectic musical history. The writer Don Henry Ford Jr. described Graham as "unvarnished, raw and gritty."  He can sing soft introspective songs or he can blow you out of your seat with pounding rock and roll.

April 2006 marked Graham's return to independence with the CD release of "Full" on Freedom Records, Graham's fifth solo release. 

Check out his sound at www.jondeegraham.com.

Directions to the house concert are:

Take U.S. 84 2.7 miles to Holiday Drive, turn right, go one block, turn right on Stagecoach, go one block, turn left on Shenandoah, go one block to Peregrine place, turn left and look for the second driveway on the left -160 Peregrine Place. You will see a Geodesic Dome Greenhouse on the left of the driveway, and a small guest cottage on the right before the house. The house is a cream-color California stucco style, earthberm passive solar.

Admission is $12 or a dessert. Call 264-6026 for a reservation.


Music in the Mountains awards scholarship to local student

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Zoe Rohrich, 10, daughter of Matthew and Tamsin Rohrich, will attend two week-long workshops at the Conservatory Music in the Mountains Suzuki Institute for promising young violinsts at Fort Lewis College in July, thanks to a scholarship from Music in the Mountains.

Zoe was recommended for this award by Kate Kelley, her music instructor in Pagosa Springs and herself a previous Music in the Mountains scholarship winner.  Music in the Mountains is best known for its summer classical music concerts.  But the festival's leaders also consider youth programs a vital component of their mission.

Each summer Music in the Mountains hosts a major benefit event to raise money for its many youth programs in Pagosa Springs.

This year's benefit is a gala Broadway concert featuring soprano Lisa Vroman, best known for her starring role as Christine in "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway and with the cast that had a record-setting run in San Francisco. In addition to solo performances with major orchestras, Vroman has performed starring roles in "Oklahoma," "Les Miserables," "Aspects of Love" and many other musicals. She will sing her Broadway favorites in the concert tent in the spectacular mountain setting of BootJack Ranch on Saturday, July 8.

Funds raised by the benefit provide music scholarships, bring professional musicians into Pagosa schools for hands-on workshops, fund instrument purchase and repair programs for our school bands, and host the annual free Family Festivo concert for "kids of all ages" in Town Park, this year taking place on Thursday, July 27.

Although events like these can seem more like fun than learning, Jan Clinkenbeard points out that there are additional serious benefits to Music in the Mountain act

"Research has shown that early introduction to music helps young people perform better in their core classes and also encourages them to become concert-goers and performers," said Clinkenbeard. "Best of all, the children have fun while they are learning about music and experiencing great performances."


Saunders photo captures Artist Choice Award at Greeley show

By Smith Eugene

Special to The PREVIEW

A large black and white photograph of a horse's eye won Artist's Choice for Pagosa's Wendy Saunders at the Stampede Western Art Show at the Greeley Stampede.

Since it's inception in 1999, the Stampede Western Invitational Art Exhibit and Sale has brought some of the finest western art in the country to Greeley for the western celebration. This year, for the first time, photography is featured in the traditional oil, watercolor and bronze sculpture fine art show.

This year's Artist Choice Award, voted upon by 40 fellow displaying artists in the show, confirms photography does have its place in the Western Fine Art Show. The show continues at the Exhibition Hall in Island Grove Park (Greeley) through July 4.

Saunders has photographed at the National Western Stock Show and National Rodeo Finals.

Unlike most photographers who use digital technology to capture their images, Saunders relies on authentic film and cameras for her documentation. Film provides the nuts and bolts of solid exposure; getting the right information on film to produce an image. "Good enough" seems to be the digital mentality when it comes to imaging today; that mentality just did not cut it with Saunders who works with the same camera formats from previous years (just newer models) such as Canon (with Canon and Tamron lenses), and Hasselblad. Saunders produces images in a conventional black and white darkroom with an end result of an archival fiber photographic print, lasting for generations.

Saunders is also photographing at the Greeley Stampede this year, as she has done for four years.


Old School Freight Train and

Stringdusters at this year's folk festival

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

The 11th annual Four Corners Folk Festival will take place Sept. 1-3 on Reservoir Hill Park right here in Pagosa Springs.

Often touted by critics as one of the premier music festivals in the Western United States, the Four Corners Folk Festival showcases a wide variety of roots-based musical genres including folk rock, bluegrass, newgrass, blues, Celtic, Cajun and hybridized mixtures of all the previous categories. There is something for every music lover in the family at this event, including dozens of music workshops for every age and ability level.

Last year, Old School Freight Train made their debut at the Four Corners Folk Festival, wowing the audience with their virtuosic playing and emotive vocals. One of the standout moments in my memory of the 2005 festival was their rendition of Randy Newman's "Louisiana," just days after Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast states. There was hardly a dry eye in the audience.

The band will return for a second run at this year's festival - a stop along the way on Old School Freight Train's rise to stardom. Hailing from Charlottesville, Virginia, the band combines thought-provoking lyrics with captivating melodies, soulful vocals, virtuosic instrumentals and imaginative arrangement. Blending bluegrass, jazz, Latin, and Celtic, OSFT offers a unique musical experience the Boston Globe claims is "the Next Big Thing" and the Chicago Tribune claims is "accessible but uncompromising in creativity."

Mandolin master David Grisman heard their music in the fall of 2004 and viewed the band as "an emerging force to reckon with in today's world of acoustic music." Grisman invited the band to record at his Dawg Studios in Northern California and manned the production and recording along with Dave Dennison. From these sessions came "Run," OSFT's dynamic second CD and their first for Acoustic Disc, Grisman's acclaimed independent label.

"After forty years of recording acoustic music, it's not very often that a new band catches (and keeps) my attention. Old School Freight Train has done that and more. Their finely crafted tunes and innovative arrangements bring creativity, taste and wit to a broad spectrum of contemporary styles - vocal and instrumental, all firmly rooted in many traditions. They are certainly an emerging force to reckon with in today's wide world of acoustic music," proclaimed Grisman.

Old School Freight Train is comprised of the distinctly smooth vocals and songwriting talent of guitarist Jesse Harper, the ecstatic mandolin stylings of Pete Frostic, Ben Krakauer's jazzy five-string banjo finesse, the poetic fiddling of Nate Leath and backbone upright bass of Darrell Muller. Their synergistic interaction and contagious musical passion has made them the new acoustic band to watch. Highlights of the band's vigorous tour schedule include the Newport Folk Festival, MerleFest, Four Corners Folk Festival, Wintergrass, the Strawberry Music Fest, and backing David Grisman and opening for him on several tours.

Old School Freight Train will perform at the Four Corners Folk Festival on Sunday, Sept. 3.

Newcomers The Stringdusters are a much-anticipated addition to this year's festival lineup. After a strong introduction at the 2004 IBMA convention, The Stringdusters are poised to become the most talented and creative new band on the bluegrass scene. Based in Nashville, the band consists of six unique, professional players who are steeped in the tradition of bluegrass vocal harmony as well as the progressive edge of instrumental music. A wealth of original songs, especially for such a young band, helps to set The Stringdusters apart from other groups of its kind.

Andy Hall is one of the top young players and singers in today's acoustic music scene. He plays resophonic guitar and sings lead, tenor and baritone vocals. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, with a degree in music production and engineering, Andy's credentials include a long list of live performances and recordings. He has recently been featured on recording projects by Dolly Parton, Ronnie Bowman, Charlie Daniels, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Moody Bluegrass and others. Andy is also currently promoting the release of his first solo recording entitled "Red Wing." Since moving to Nashville, he has performed with The Ronnie Bowman Committee, Dolly Parton, Earl Scruggs, Charlie Daniels, Alicia Nugent and many others.

In a world filled with great guitar players, deep understanding of traditional bluegrass and a strong forward-thinking creativity sets Chris Eldridge apart. Although initially drawn to the electric guitar and players like Robben Ford and Eric Johnson, he developed a deep love for bluegrass by his mid-teens. Chris gained in-depth exposure to a variety of different musical styles while studying at Oberlin Conservatory where he earned a degree in music performance in 2004. While still at Oberlin, Chris spent time in 2002 and 2003 studying with Tony Rice. Chris has performed with many luminaries in the acoustic music world including Chris Thile, Tony Rice, Bill Keith, Emory Lester and many others. Chris currently performs with The Stringdusters and The Seldom Scene and will be featured on Chris Thile's next solo project.

Chris Pandolfi is quickly becoming recognized as one of the premier young banjo players on today's acoustic music scene. After picking up the banjo at the age of 18, Chris studied with Tony Trischka and was later admitted as the first ever banjo principal at the Berklee College of Music. After moving to Boston he gained widespread acclaim as a performer and composer working with a variety of regional and national acts, including Buddy Merriam and Backroads, the New England Bluegrass Band and Roland White. In the summer of 2002 Chris was awarded the prestigious Bill Vernon Memorial Scholarship for young acoustic musicians. Chris' debut release, "The Handoff," brings together some of the country's top young bluegrass instrumentalists on an album that is already being compared to the most prominent records in its field. Since moving to Nashville in 2004, Chris has toured with Grammy-nominated, Universal South recording artist Bering Strait, the Drew Emmitt Band (formerly Leftover Salmon) and worked as a session musician on a number of projects.

Since moving to Nashville just two years ago, Jeremy Garrett has turned heads with his soulful lead and tenor vocals, dynamic fiddle playing and intense stage presence. Raised in Idaho, he began fiddling as a child. After a stint at South Plains College, where he was named Bluegrass Male Vocalist of the Year in 1996, he returned to Idaho, joining his father Glen and other area musicians to form The Grasshoppers. The group released two acclaimed CDs, won the Pizza Hut International Bluegrass Showdown in 1998, and toured extensively throughout the west and around the country. Upon his arrival in Nashville, Jeremy joined the Chris Jones Coalition, touring nationally and immersing himself in songwriting and additional stage and studio work. Jeremy joined Ronnie Bowman and The Committee in the fall of 2004, and, with Bowman and other members of The Committee, was part of a small acoustic ensemble backing Grammy-winning country singer Lee Ann Womack on her year-end tour.

Jesse Cobb grew up in a musical family, playing intense, hard-driving bluegrass with his brothers Shad and Matt. When Jesse moved to Nashville in 2000, he began playing with a variety of artists including Ronnie Bowman, The Fox Family, Melanie Cannon, Valerie Smith and Jim Lauderdale. Jesse's style is influenced by Sam Bush and New Grass Revival, and he is known for his incomparable sense of timing and precision. He joined Jeremy Garrett and others to play with country star Lee Ann Womack on her year-end tour. Jesse plays with heart and soul and is largely responsible for the driving sound for which The Stringdusters are known.

Travis Book hails from Palmer Lake, Colo. A relative newcomer, he made a name for himself in the west as the lead singer and bass player for Broke Mountain. Led by Travis' honest vocal style and rock solid bass playing, Broke Mountain won the 2003 RockyGrass band competition. He has also played with Benny "Burle" Galloway as part of the Broke Mountain Trio. With his experience, exciting stage presence, and upbeat demeanor, Travis makes an ideal addition to The Stringdusters. He made the move to Nashville in the fall of 2005.

The Stringdusters will make multiple appearances at the Four Corners Folk Festival including main stage sets on Friday, Sept. 1, and Sunday, Sept. 3, plus a late-night set on Saturday, Sept. 2.

Tickets are available downtown at Moonlight Books or in the Country Center at WolfTracks Coffee and Books.

For additional information, or to purchase tickets with a credit card, call (970) 731-5582 or visit the Web site, www.folkwest.com.

Summer Reading program underway at library

By Barb Draper

Special to The PREVIEW

Summer is a time for children to enjoy pleasurable, self-directed reading. Reading over the summer will pay off this fall when children return to school with the reading habit well in place.

To help folks with their summer reading, Sisson Library began the annual Summer Reading Program this week. Sessions will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday and Friday mornings from now through Aug. 4 on at the library.

Registration can be completed any time, at the front desk.

Requirements are few: Children are asked to fill out a "reading contract" and agree to read a minimum of six books during the six-week period. They are also asked to complete some of the enrichment activities listed on the reading log they will receive.

Sign up soon, so you do not miss out on the stories, guest speakers, games, activities, contests and prizes.

Here is a brief look at the programs being offered. There will be separate activities and stories for preschoolers and school-age children.

- Tuesday, July 4 - July 4 parade. The library will be closed on this day, but watch for some of our program participants on the library float in the parade.

- Friday, July 7 - All About Pet Grooming.

- Tuesday, July 11 - It's For the Birds.

- Friday, July 14 - A Day on the Wild Side.

- Tuesday, July 18 - Something's Fishy at the Library.

- Friday, July 21 - Learn About Local Fishing.

- Tuesday, July 25 - Bugs and Reptiles.

- Friday, July 28 - Animals That Work for a Living.

- Tuesday, Aug. 1 - A Day on the Farm.

- Friday, Aug. 4 - A Day at the County Fair.

As with all our programs, visitors in town are welcome to attend these activities. We hope to see many of you during the next few weeks.


Annual UU Retreat planned

The annual Four Corners Unitarian Universalist Retreat will be held the weekend of July 7, 8, and 9 at beautiful Pine Song on the Pine River, near Vallecito Reservoir.

This is a family camping event for the UU congregations and fellowships in Durango, Farmington and Pagosa Springs.

Friday afternoon is open for camp setup and time to hike, explore, fish in the river, or just relax.

On Saturday morning, The Reverend Michael Dowd, former United Church of Christ pastor, will lead a workshop on "Evolutionary Epiphanies," and in the afternoon, science writer Connie Barlow will conduct "The River of Life," a participatory, evolutionary drama.

A potluck dinner, followed by an all-group campfire, will feature music and a sing-along with acclaimed singer/songwriter, Tim Sullivan.

On Sunday, following a hot breakfast served by the Durango Fellowship, the weekend will conclude with a worship service led by Rev. Dowd. In his sermon, "Sacralyzing Science: Real-izing Religion," he will explore how the Great Story of evolution is bridging diverse world views and faiths.

For more information, call Phyl Daleske at 731-4589 or John Graves at 731-9863.


Unitarian Universalists to explore provocative subject

What happens when we die?

This provocative subject will be explored in a two-part series at the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, starting Sunday, July 2 and concluding July 16.

Ilene Haykus, who will lead the services and following discussions, points out that every major world religion offers an answer to this question. But is there evidence to support one belief over another? Is there any harm in holding one belief over another? And what do Unitarian Universalists think and believe?

Services start at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. (There is no child care during the summer on the second, fourth and fifth Sundays.) Turn east on Greenbrier Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the back parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.


Local Chatter

Thanks to the Founders, and to those who write about them

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

This column is short. It doesn't take a lot of words to remind us of the importance of July 4 and the founding of this country.

On July 4, 1826, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson passed away. That this occurred on this day says something for history.

John Adams was the second president of the United States and Thomas Jefferson the third president. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and writer David McCullough says that these two men were the most important founders of this country.

Adams was the man who put up the name George Washington as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. He chose Thomas Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence and later he would put John Marshall on the Supreme Court. And he, more than anyone else, got the Continental Congress to vote for the declaration.

Only about one third of the population supported the revolution. Another third were loyalists or Tories who thought they should be loyal to their King. The rest rode the fence - waiting to see what would happen.

The amazing thing about the signing of the Declaration is the group of signers. Everyone had failings and weaknesses. Some of them ardently disliked others in the group. They were from different parts of the country, different cultures and different religious denominations, but the fact that they could use the occasion as they did is testimony to their humanity.

John Adams was from a poor family. His father could write his name and his mother probably was illiterate. He got a scholarship to Harvard where he intended to study for the ministry. But he didn't take to this study and became interested in politics. This led to the study of law.

Adams said about his stay at Harvard that he learned to read - and read he did. McCullough says that he probably read more than Jefferson.

There's more that could be said about Adams, but nothing could be more important than his love of reading and what books can do to open up one's mind.

David McCullough's "1776" should be read by everyone interested in history. His books on Adams, Truman and the Johnstown flood are available at Sisson Library.

To close, we can be thankful for the founders of this country and to the writers who can write about it.

Fun on the Run

Driving to a new restaurant, a woman took several wrong turns. When she finally found the right road, she asked her husband, "Why didn't you tell me I was lost?"

"I thought you knew where you were going," he replied. "You always know where you're going when I'm driving."

Community Center News

Community center to host patriotic celebration

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Be sure to come to the community center tomorrow night at 7 p.m. for the annual patriotic celebration kicking off the July 4 holiday.

You don't need tickets; this evening of music, inspirational talks and a dessert potluck is free. We hope all of you will plan to attend.

The American Legion will parade the colors and our teenage volunteer, Clara Barber, will sing our national anthem. Ron Gustafson will deliver the welcome remarks. Then there will be a patriotic sing-along with John Graves and Sounds of Assurance. They will surely fire up the audience to sing along.

Don Bartlett and John Graves will both speak briefly about patriotism, freedom and peace. Gene Tautges will make a DVD presentation featuring some of our local veterans and men and women currently serving in the military. The Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus will entertain us, too.

Andy Fautheree, our local veteran's officer, will be our emcee this year.

After the singing and the presentation, the dessert potluck will follow with some help from the P.S. I Love Red Hats group of ladies. The Chamber of Commerce will again provide flags and the Archuleta County Fair Royalty will distribute them to all in attendance.

Call Mercy at 264-4152 or Andy Fautheree at 731-3837 for more information.


The town of Pagosa Springs will present a fireworks show on the Fourth of July. It will be held at the high school sports complex as soon as the sun is down.

Thanks to the many sponsors who contributed: The Bank of Colorado, David & Carol Brown, City Market, Commnet Wireless, Great Divide Title, La Plata Electric, Parelli Natural Horsemanship, Wells Fargo Bank, Citizens Bank, Four Seasons Land Co., Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors, Sky Ute Lodge and Casino, United Country Premier Brokers, Bank of the San Juans and CenturyTel.

The fireworks will top off a day of events including the Rotary Club's Independence Day Parade at 10 a.m., music by the Pagosa Hot Strings from 7 p.m. until dark, and the Park to Park Arts and Crafts show, sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

Foodies meet

Last week's Foodies' Club dinner was a wonderful treat. Michelle's centerpiece - a pedestal cake stand heaped with frozen grapes, long, thin sticks of chocolate and small cheeses was a hit.

We sampled coq au vin, brie with apricot jam and almonds, two types of quiche, crepes, green beans vinaigrette, cheesecake and two spectacular chocolate desserts, to mention just a few dishes. Wow!

Then Ann Rasich decided to pose some food-related questions to the group. The topics ranged far and wide - politics and food, movies and food, favorite foods you might want on a desert island, and some of our worst food disasters.

Next month ... Italian.

R.S.V.P. required: 264-4152.

Ride the Rockies

We were happy to provide free Internet access to those who came to Pagosa Springs as part of the Ride the Rockies bicycle tour; we enjoyed the positive comments from visitors about our community and the people who live here.

The community center also provided a meeting space through the auspices of the Denver Post for 120 volunteer staff people who were accompanying the cyclists. Perhaps you saw the many vehicles in town with big yellow signs on the side saying "Staff." The volunteers, who were from many different states and several countries, gathered in our multi-purpose room to meet and enjoy some pizza.

Diabetes support group

We are very pleased to announce the community center is about to start a diabetes support group. The first meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 6. We hope those of you with jobs will be able to make it at that time.

Call the center at 264-4152 if you are interested in joining. Come to this organizational meeting to offer your ideas about when the group should meet, what types of programs can help you, and how you would like to see the group develop. We have several volunteers - local professionals who have expressed interest in helping with this program.

One thing we thought might be of use to members is a software program to help us figure out nutritional information for our recipes. Let's discuss this possible purchase at the first meeting.

Self-Help for Health

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

This is a series of classes 5:30-8 p.m. Monday evenings.

Medora Bass, Ph. D., our new volunteer, is the facilitator. She has been using expressive therapy to help others since the mid 1960s and has taught the same 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 you become aware of possibly detrimental patterns so you can then choose to change the habits. Insight gained from using the tools 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.

Please register in advance by calling the community center at 264-4152 and bring the following supplies to class: notebook for keeping a journal; a drawing pad - newsprint is OK - 18x24 may help you be freer in your expression; cray pas (oil pastels) preferred - 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.

Art/Spanish camp

Throughout July and August, Soledad Estrada-Leo is conducting an arts and crafts camp for children at the community center.

The kids are doing art projects Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays while they learn Spanish at the same time.

On Thursdays, everyone works on a skit to be presented the last Thursday of each month.

Call Soledad at 731-1314 for information or the arts council at 264-5020 for more information.

eBay Club

The next meeting will be at 9 a.m. July 20. Call Ben Bailey at 264-0293 if you are interested in participating.

Line dancing

Mens' basic two-step and line dancing will meet July 3. Two-step begins at 9:15 a.m., line dancing from 10 to 11:30. Newcomers, come early.

Even if you haven't tried this, you are welcome. The two-step aims at simple moves just to get you around the dance floor. Line dancing aims at absolutely nothing at all - just good fun and a bit of aerobic exercise. Come try it out!

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

Computer lab news

With the beginning of July comes our yearly opportunity to purchase software at a discount; these discounts are available only to non-profit organizations. If you have specific ideas about software titles you think we should have available on the computer lab PCs, let us know what those titles are. We will make an effort to see if what you want is available from our software supplier.

If you haven't visited the lab in a while, come by to try out the new process which logs you into the Internet. The instructions are posted on the wall. We look forward to your comments about our new equipment. The under-18 crowd is again welcome now that our filtering service is up and running.

It's time to put your name on the list for the next beginning classes; these 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 8-5 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.; yoga, 11-12; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; TOPS Tourism meeting, 4:30-6 p.m.

June 30 - Senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.; Patriotic Night, 7-9 p.m.

July 1 - Sewing class, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

July 2 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 10 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon.

July 3 - Line dancing, 9:30 -11:30 a.m.; sewing class, 10 a.m.-noon; 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.

July 4 - Holiday.

July 5 - Beginning computing skills for seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; Wednesday bridge, 10 a.m.-3 p.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.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

July 6 - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; yoga, 11-noon; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; diabetes support group meeting, 5:30-7:30 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

Time once again for the picnic in the park

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

It is time to celebrate summer with the first of our summertime, monthly picnics in the park.

Let's bring back the memories: the wonderful food, lbarbecue chicken and corn on the cob, playing horseshoes by the river and making bubbles,the pets that came along to enjoy the picnic and the squirt guns that surprisingly cooled you down, the music and the sing-a-ongs.

Let's bring back all those fun times into the present at noon Friday, June 30, as we enjoy a wonderful picnic in Town Park by the Arts Council building.

Bring relatives, bring a friend (two- or four-legged) or just bring yourself and a smile to this special event. We will also be celebrating all the June babies (age 60 and over), recognizing their birthdays at the picnic, which gives us even more reason to celebrate.

And, if that's not enough fun, then put on your most colorful shorts or skirt for the picnic because it is "show off your legs" day! We'll be judging the whitest and brightest versus the tannest legs. It is time to enjoy the sunshine, the food, the camaraderie, the laughs and Pagosa's beautiful outdoors with a picnic in the park.

Birthday celebration

If you are age 60 or over and your birthday is in June, come to Town Park Friday, June 30, for lunch ... and celebrate your birthday. Not only will we sing to you, but Seniors, Inc. has graciously agreed to pay for a portion of your birthday meal, so it will cost only $1 for a great picnic lunch and lots of fun.

Red, White and Blue Day

On Monday, July 3, we will begin to celebrate our Independence Day by wearing red, white and blue in preparation for Fourth of July. Come decked out in your red, white and blue colors to show your spirit, or just to look a little goofy.

Fourth of July parade

Limited seating for seniors for the July 4 parade is being provided, thanks to Bob Moomaw. The seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so don't delay. This special senior seating is located on the grassy area on the east side of the log cabin building called Peak Construction and Realty, directly across Pagosa Street from the old Frankie's Restaurant.

Closed for the holiday

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center will be closed Tuesday, July 4, in celebration of the holiday. We hope you enjoy the festivities in town and we look forward to seeing you for lunch on Wednesday, July 5.

First years of settlement

John Motter, a well-known historian, will visit The Den at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 5,at to offer a presentation on "The First Years of Settlement in Pagosa Country". Motter, the author of "Pagosa Country - The First 50 Years", has presented many lectures and written many pieces on the history of our small town. He also has worked as an editor, writer and reporter for The SUN. Join us to learn the fascinating past and hear the captivating tales of the place we now call home.

Ice cream social

I like ice cream-yes, I do! One scoop for me? No, make it two!

We are ready for the heat and the sun, and with that comes everyone's favorite dessert - ice cream The Den will be have an ice cream social after lunch Thursday, July 6, in Arboles and Friday, July 7, in Pagosa. We will provide the ice cream for 50 cents and you bring in your favorite sundae topping to share with everyone to add to the fun.

Rafting the Animas River

Do you want adventure? Do you want to feel the waves?

What about beautiful scenery? Or just al ot of laughs?

We had so much fun rafting in June, that we need some more whitewater fun in July. On Thursday, July 13, The Den is going to enjoy a different view of historic Durango as we bounce through fun-filled rapids like "Smelter,""Sawmill," "Santa Rita" and "Pinball."

This half-day adventure offers more scenery, an additional rapid, a sandy beach swim and refreshing snacks such as fresh fruit, granola and lemonade. It also includes your lifejacket, paddle and a trusty guide for only $38. Your guide will share the history of the region and stories of local traditions. No experience is necessary.

We will meet at Mild to Wild in Durango at 1:15 p.m. and the trip will conclude at 5:30. Sign up in The Den office by Wednesday, July 5, for the fun and the thrills.

Thank you

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center would like to thank Bill from the Choke Cherry Tree for donating the delicious caramel packets to The Den for Father's Day. The women wanted to know why they get flowers for Mother's Day while the lucky men received the mouth-watering caramels. So, thank you once again Bill, your caramels were a big hit.

I would also like to personally thank Lorrie Church for making what seemed to be endless copies of the July newsletter. I can't even begin to express my gratitude for her help.

Medicare enrollments

Congratulations to The Den's director, Musetta Wollenweber. In Region 9, Archuleta County has the highest enrollments in the new Medicare Drug Program, with 79 percent of the eligible Medicare recipients enrolled. Musetta has been working extremely hard along with our other Medicare counselors, ensuring that people are enrolled in the Medicare Drug program that best suits their needs.

There are still plenty of eligible folks who need to sign up with a Medicare Drug Program. The next open enrollment will be in November.

If you have any questions regarding Medicare, call The Den at 264-2167 and make an appointment with one of The Den's Medicare counselors.

Senior discounts

Join hundreds of other seniors in our community taking advantage of the many discounts available through local merchants by joining Archuleta Seniors, Inc.

Memberships are available for folks age 55 and over and can be purchased at The Den for $5 Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9-1. 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 entitles those who meet annual income guidelines to scholarships for eye glasses, hearing aids, dental, prescription drugs and medical equipment. Your membership also allows a great discount on the purchase of a dental water jet and electric toothbrush. Archuleta Seniors, Inc. even offers financial assistance for medical shuttles to Durango handled by The Den.

This is the best discount program in town, and a great way to help our senior community. Sign up now and acquire the benefits for 2006.

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 at your door, and you can hop on our air-conditioned 18 passenger bus and get your errands accomplished. All this for a suggested donation of $2. For further details and route information, call Musetta at 264-2167.

Home delivery meals

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

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

Duplicate bridge

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

For this to happen, there must be a minimum of two tables (four teams). You will need to have a partner, and be signed up in advance. We are anticipating play 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.


Anyone interested in playing Pinochle? We have had a few folks interested in getting a game started at The Den, but need a few more to make it happen. If you would like to play Pinochle, give us a call at 264-2167.

Senior of the Week

We congratulate Jack Jones as Senior of the Week. Jack will enjoy free lunches all week. We also congratulate Lois Portenier in Arboles. She will enjoy free lunches at Arboles Meal Day for the month of July.

Drink your water

Drinking water offers many benefits essential to your daily life.

Water aids in digestion and the absorption of food, and regulates body temperature and blood circulation. It also carries nutrients and oxygen to blood cells while removing toxins and other wastes from the body.

Without enough water in your system, you could experience trouble burning fat, poor muscle tone and size, decreased organ function and muscle and joint soreness.

To keep yourself going strong, try these hydration health tips: Get on a water schedule, start the day with a glass when you get up, then have at least one more with each meal; take water breaks. Mid-afternoon is prime time to break for a glass of water as is before during and after any kind of exercise; pair your caffeinated beverages with a glass of water. Since caffeine acts as a diuretic and actually dehydrates you, fight back by rehydrating immediately with a glass of water.

Activities at a glance

Thursday, June 29 - Fishing trip (reservations required); The Den is closed.

Friday, June 30 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; picnic in the park (lunch served in Town Park) and $1 birthday lunch celebrations, noon; Bridge 4 fun, 12:30 p.m.; Duplicate Bridge, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, July 3 - Red, White and Blue Day at The Den; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 4 - Closed for Fourth of July holiday.

Wednesday, July 5 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; "The First Years of Settlement," with John Motter, 1 p.m.

Thursday, July 6 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required) and an ice cream social in Arboles, following lunch. The Den is closed.

Friday, July 7 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; veterans' services, noon; Bridge 4 fun, 12:30 p.m.; Duplicate Bridge, 12:30 p.m.; ice cream social following lunch.


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 30 - Picnic in the park (lunch served in Town Park.) Barbecue pork ribs, potato salad, coleslaw, mini corn cobbettes and watermelon.

Monday, July 3 - Baked ham with raisin sauce, candied yams, green bean amandine, cranberry salad and whole wheat roll.

Tuesday, July 4 - Closed for Fourth of July holiday.

Wednesday, July 5 - Chicken fajitas, cilantro rice, cooked cabbage, fresh fruit salad, tortillas and tomato and lettuce garnish.

Thursday, July 6 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required.) Baked fish, oven potatoes, mixed vegetables, pineapple and mandarin oranges, and dinner roll.

Friday, July 7 - Pot roast with baby carrots, potatoes, green beans, onion and celery; whole kernel corn, coleslaw, corn bread and plums.

Veteran's Corner

Veterans: Turn out for tomorrow's Patriotic Night

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

I want to remind all veterans, veterans' families and friends of veterans, and any current active duty military and their families, to attend tomorrow's community Patriotic Night at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, starting at 7 p.m.

Hear John Graves

If I was you, though, I would get there a little early - at 6:30 or so. You can hear John Graves play some of the great World War II songs and old ballads of the era. If it doesn't bring a tear to your eye to hear these wonderful old songs, it will surely start you humming along or tapping your feet to a tune or two.

All the flag waving and other portions of the evening program will begin at 7.

Yours truly is supposed to be the emcee, but I promise I won't sing any solos and I'll make sure you drown out my creaky voice. Being a bit prejudiced regarding the Navy, I'm hoping all you sailors out there come to the event in big numbers so those Army, Marine and Air Force vets don't show us up.

I'll be wearing my Cracker Jack Navy blues (if it isn't too warm) and I hope all you veterans who can still fit in your uniforms will wear yours too.

Grant award

I am very proud to announce that we have once again been successful in obtaining a Colorado Trust Fund Grant for Fiscal Year 2006 in the amount of $32,710 for the purchase of a brand new veteran's VA Health Care transportation vehicle, and to assist with fuel and accommodation expenses while traveling to our VA Health Care appointments. This will the third new vehicle we have been able to purchase with VTF grant money.

American Legion

The Mullins-Nickerson American Legion Post 108 was awarded $10,000 for travel expense reimbursement. The remainder of $22,710 will be used to purchase a new vehicle to replace our older sedan that now has almost 100,000 miles on it. The old vehicle is a 2003 Ford Taurus that was paid for by a VTF grant through the American Legion in 2002. We expect to purchase another Ford Taurus. The old vehicle will be traded in on the new one.

This makes the fourth consecutive year we have been successful in obtaining these Colorado Grants for our veterans. The local VFW Organization was successful last year in obtaining a $5,000 VTF grant to assist our veterans with the rising fuel and accommodation costs this past year. The last of that money was spent a few days ago.

It will be a month or more before we actually have our 2006 grant money in hand. Veterans who must travel to VA health care appointments during the interim should save their fuel and lodging receipts for possible reimbursement once we do receive travel money. As in the past, it will be disbursed through this office.

VAHC vehicles

We also have a 2005 Chevy Trail Blazer SUV 4WD purchased with VTF grant money, for veterans to use for reliable transportation to VA health care appointments - especially helpful during winter driving conditions.

County support

Archuleta County veterans are fortunate that we have a very veteran friendly county government that works hand-in-hand with our veterans' organizations to make these grants possible. Archuleta County provides maintenance, insurance and licensing for our vehicles. Additionally, the county funds my full-time Veterans Service Office to assist our veterans and their families with their benefits and claims. VTF also provides $2,400 a year in support of the VSO services.

I believe our local veterans' programs and support is a role model for county veteran services, and should be the envy of many Colorado counties. We can take great pride in what we do for our veterans.

I continue to urge our veterans to express appreciation for this support to a county commissioner or to other county government leaders the next time you see them. Or, write them a note of appreciation; they often only hear the bad news about the many problems facing county government. It is nice to let them hear good news and hear that they are doing a great job for us veterans.


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

Durango VA Clinic

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

Further information

For information on these and other veterans, benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7. 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

Grateful thoughts on donors and giving

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

We know many of you have been wondering when the plaque, honoring the generous members of the community who donated to the capital campaign for the renovated building, would emerge.

It has taken the better part of six months to compile the record of all of the donations so we could create a spreadsheet with donor categories.

Many people contributed during a period of more than a year, sometimes in small amounts, over and over again. All of those records had to be sorted and compiled. The good news is, it is done.

The lists went to the board of trustees at their meeting last week. They are beginning to look at methods of honoring the generosity of the many community members who supported the library renovation.

If any of you have ideas for interesting art, or other ways we can publicly recognize and thank the people who contributed so generously, please let someone on the staff or the board know of your suggestion.

Also, we are concerned that everyone who gave be honored. While we believe our records are correct, we may be double checking, or you can double check with us. Hopefully the piece of art, or whatever else might be chosen, will be something that can be altered to add a name or two if the record is in any way incorrect.

Stacking it up

The missing library stacks (library jargon for book shelves) are still coming in and going up.

By the end of July, the library will begin to look much more completely furnished.

Art is next on the agenda. We know we need some color and warmth. And, it's coming.

We've had so much volunteer help in this effort. Led by Dave Krueger, who is also on the library board of trustees, it's finally moving along. Thanks so much Dave; you are a wonderful asset to the library.

Dave also comes in and runs the front desk one hour a week so that the staff can have, more or less, an uninterrupted staff meeting. This is a critical time for the staff to be together to discuss library issues to serve you better, and we wouldn't be able to have it without Dave's help.

Summer reading

Remember, the Summer Reading Program, "Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales," starts June 27.

Kids can continue to sign up even after the program begins, and will qualify for the prizes if they read all six books by the end of the program. Also watch for the library's first-ever Summer Reading Program Float in the Fourth of July Parade.

Summer reading for grown-ups

Great stuff is flowing onto our new bookshelves (and Stephanie is busy arranging it to best advantage, her bookselling background working for you already).

For you birders, Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Rhodes dishes up "John James Audubon, The Making of an American." Billed as the first major biography of Audubon in 40 years, and the first to illuminate fully the private and family life of the master illustrator of the natural world, this is just fascinating. It is a love story about John James and his wife, Lucy, who were separated for three years, a picture of a man exploring the American wilderness in search of birds, then finding his calling in depicting the magnificent creatures.

And, we have "The Audubon Reader" to go with it in case anyone wants to read from the source himself.

"The Jasons: The Secret History of Science's Postwar Elite," by Ann Finkbeiner, is an exploration of the workings of a scientific group most of us have never heard of. According to the author, this group of scientific stars has met every summer since 1960, in complete secrecy, to solve highly classified problems for the government, most often for the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. Moral dilemmas and political stews abound.

If you are about to put out some elbow grease and build your own home, or are thinking about the same, "Log Homes Made Easy: Contracting and Building Your Own Log Home," by Jim Cooper, will be a helpful guide. There are good diagrams, charts, and advice on everything from acquiring the land to maintenance plans for the new home.

Nancy Harvey's "Tapestry Weaving: A Comprehensive Study Guide," was donated, and we are grateful. The illustrations and explanations of techniques are good, but the pictures of the tapestries are breathtaking. Enjoy!

"Secrets for Successful Sewing," by Barbara Weiland, will be useful for any level of seamstress. This book would help an old seamstress (like me) back to form, or any novice who has just bought a bright, shiny new machine (or a used one for that matter) learn how to sew.


Pagosa Reads

The working poor: invisible in America

By Michael Greene

Special to The PREVIEW

"The working poor: invisible in America," by David K. Shipler. New York, Knopf, 2004.

Is the "working poor" an oxymoron? Can you be "working" and "poor" at the same time? Who are these "invisible" people?

They are the people you may encounter many times a day, Shipler points out: the man who washes cars but does not own one, the courteous clerk who helps you find merchandise at WalMart; the cheerful waitress ... and the many we may never see at work - the "hands" who harvest our food, or assemble the clothes we wear.

Depending on who does the numbers, the "working poor" are the 4.2 million (2003 official government data) where one or more family members are employed. Or the 28 million (a quarter of the workforce) cited in the Business Week cover story of 2004 - a number that included only employees between the ages of 18 and 24.

By the way, neither of those totals account for the "Working Poor Wannabes" - the thousands applying for entry-level jobs after termination from gigantic companies like Enron, or after plant closings at General Motors or Ford motor companies, or the seasonal workers in hot tourist destinations when the season is over, or "undocumented" migrant workers.

Now and then we get hints of how large is this demographic, as when The Durango Herald newspaper reports that 40 percent of people who avail themselves of the Mercy Medical Center emergency room do not have health insurance.

The stories Shipler has to tell take the reader into real life, multigenerational family life experiences with issues of health, abuse, education, psychological problems, and violence.

One not untypical example illustrates how several of these issues may converge in the life of one person: this working mother, divorced from an abusive husband, has no health care coverage for her first-grader's asthmatic condition (medical care for 6 million kids living below the poverty line is being cut out of the proposed federal budget). The day care she needs to keep her minimum-wage job is being eliminated for single mothers moving off the welfare rolls. (There is reduced effort to collect child support from absent fathers). If she quits her job to take care of her sick child she may get hit by the cut in Food Stamp benefits for 300,000 people in next year's historically big federal budget. A part-time job won't pay for basic living expenses. The transmission on her old car quit. She has no savings. She can't afford the repair.

A local footnote: Erlinda Gonzalez, Archuleta County Director of Human Services, told me last year that it was the monies contributed by local churches, Rotary and other nonprofits that made it possible for the agency to meet emergency needs of local people: like a car repair needed to keep a job.

The lower down the scale of income you are, the higher probability of poor health, disease, fewer employment options and lower life expectancy.

Bottom line: the "invisible" working poor are a socioeconomic, educational, cultural, health and national policy problem joined at the hip with other current crises, like immigration - and the growing federal budget squeeze.

A few years ago author Barbara Ehrenreich shelved her resume, got a job at WalMart, and gave us a first-person tour of the first rung on the ladder. Her book, "Nickel and Dimed," was an account of how high is the second rung for a bright, well-motivated aspirant to security and a middle-class life. Shipler's book takes it from there, displaying the bigger picture of this underclass with enduring tenure on the bottom rung.

Colorado's piece of that big picture is changing. Senator Isgar's end-of-session report, published May 18 in The SUN, details good news for the working poor in the new state budget. He writes:

"With over 700,000 uninsured in our state, expanding access to community health clinics and reducing the cost of prescription drugs were top priorities. We were also able to secure operational funding for the Crossroads 16-bed psychiatric hospital in Durango, and restore state support for local health departments.

"Another key piece of health care legislation this year was Senate Bill 44, which expands basic health coverage to 30,000 more uninsured adults over the next three years. The bill will benefit the working poor ... I also supported SB1 that creates Colorado Cares RX. The program saves money on prescription drugs for all Coloradans ..."

Isgar goes on cite increased pre-school funding for children of low income families, after-school counseling for students needing additional attention, increased special education funding, a cap on state college tuition increases, increased funding for vocational schools.

Shipler opens his book with a quote from Carl Sandburg that serves as a headline for his story of the working poor:

" Tired of wishes

Empty of dreams."

Will the programs noted in Senator Isgar's report rewrite that headline for the story of Colorado's working poor?

In the 1960s, Mike Greene was a member of a team of consultants supporting community action agencies funded by the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity in The War on Poverty. He and his wife, Biz, live in Pagosa Springs.

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

Juried painting and drawing exhibit opens tonight

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

The annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council Juried Painting and Drawing Fine Art Exhibit will be held June 29-July 17, with opening reception for the show 5-7 p.m. Thursday, June 29, at the Town Park Gallery at 315 Hermosa St.

Cash and item prizes will be presented for first second and third places, and for People's Choice awards.

PSAC thanks Lindy Moore, Taminah Custom Framing, and Richard Berlanti, avid Pagosa arts supporter, who have contributed generously to the money awards.

Judges for the show are Wayne Justus and Pat Erickson. Justus has won numerous awards throughout the country since making his art a full-time occupation in 1972. Erickson is primarily known for her detailed portrayal of horses, wildlife, and people of the west in both Prismacolor pencil and watercolor.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information, contact PSAC at 264-5020 or www.pagosa-arts.com.

Tour tickets

Following its successful silent auction and annual meeting, the Pagosa Springs Art Council is now gearing up for the sixth annual Home and Garden Tour, scheduled noon-5 p.m. Sunday, July 9.

This year's event will take participants down U.S. 84 for a scenic tour of lovely homes, ranches and a bed and breakfast.

Each of the four properties has incredible views, with most located on large acreage parcels.

As always, homes are selected in a variety of sizes and styles, with furnishings that reflect the special interests of the owners.

The tour will end at the Town Park gallery with a special viewing of the annual Juried Painting and Drawing Fine Arts Show. Tickets are $10 for PSAC members and $12 general, and are available at the PSAC gallery, Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books, Lantern Dancer and WolfTracks.

For more information, call PSAC at 264-5020.

Tour volunteers needed

Several volunteers will be needed to serve as hostesses at the homes on the Home and Garden Tour Sunday, July 9. All of the homes are located in the vicinity of U.S. 84 between U.S. 160 and Alpine Lakes. 

Volunteer hostesses and homeowners will be invited to attend a special private tour Monday, July 10. Call Marti Capling at 731-9770 for more information if you are interested in volunteering.

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. 

Summer camps for kids

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.

A 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 and is excited to announce a special art camp, PHOTOlearn®, for ages 5-10, July 17-20, 8:30 a.m.-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 with a working 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 $125 (second child, $95). The four-day session fee is $155 (second child, $125). Fee includes all materials, disposable cameras or film, and image processing. Participants should wear sunscreen and hats, as they'll be photographing outside (water bottles provided).

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

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; camps are filling up!

Print marketing for artists

PSAC offers local businesses and artists a unique opportunity to learn how to market their art in a morning session (9:30 a.m.-noon) July 14 at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS: Marketing Your Biz with Print Media, will help businesses fine tune their marketing activities and target their customers more efficiently.

During this two-hour session, learn marketing failures and successes for large and small, new and established businesses. Learn more about how to grow your business.

As a special bonus, resource vendors will offer special marketing discounts to participants, allowing them to not only focus their marketing dollars but to gain more marketing dollars to spend.

Topics include: Print media (post cards, PR PACS, brochures), Press Releases, Coupons, Artist/Company Bio, Web Site Marketing, PR Images for Your Business, Self Printing Verses Professional Printing. Each Participant will receive a free sample packet of successful marketing materials.

When was the last time you broadened your print marketing habits? Each session is $45 for PSAC members, $55 general. Full-day sessions are $85 PSAC, $95 general.

For advance registration and further information, call Wen Saunders, 264-4486, or visit pagosa-arts.com and www.wendysaunders.com. Space is limited; call now to reserve your space.

Perspective marketing mix

PSAC offers a seminar for small businesses, Different Perspective Marketing Mix, 1:30-4:30 p.m. July 14 at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

When it comes to spending marketing dollars, everyone is looking for the magic formula. This three-hour marketing session is not about what's always what is right or wrong; it's about a different perspective. Lining up your work passion with a keen marketing strategy will breed that "magic formula" for the marketing dollar. You may not be particularly good at coming up with marketing options on your own, so this afternoon session focuses on the "Perspective Marketing Mix" for businesses.

Highlights of the session include: Creating Print Marketing (Professional Design and Software Options), Implementing a Web Site, Media Resource List, Newspaper, Direct Mail, E-mail Marketing, Networking, Client Follow-up, and Company Branding.

Each session is $45 for PSAC members, $55 general. Full-day sessions are $85 PSAC, $95 general. For advance registration and further information, call Wen Saunders 264-4486 or visit pagosa-arts.com and www.wendysaunders.com. Space is limited.

Watercolor club meeting

The PSAC Watercolor Club, has changed its meeting day from Wednesday to Thursday. The club now meets at 10 a.m. the third Thursday of each month in the arts and craft space at the community center. However, for the next meeting, the club will meet the second Thursday, July 13.

Watercolorists of all levels are provided the opportunity to use the room for the day. Each attending member contributes $5 for use of the space. The goals for the day vary with watercolorists getting together to draw, paint and experience technique demonstrations from professional watercolorists or framers. Participants are encouraged to bring still lives or photos to paint and draw, or a project to complete. Attendees should bring a bag lunch, their supplies and a willingness to have a fun creative day. For more information, contact PSAC at 264-5020.

Perspective: All drawing

This workshop will be held Aug. 3-5 at the Pagosa Springs Community Center for artists and those who hope someday to be an artist. Cost is $150 for three days for PSAC members and $175 for nonmembers, (the extra $25 goes for an annual membership to the arts council.) A per day fee of $60 for members or $75 for nonmembers is also available. Hours are 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. each day.

Perspective is a non-painting class that is open to all - whether or not you paint. It covers drawing man-made structures, landscapes and still-life setups. The class includes aerial perspective, one-, two- and three-point perspective, and multiple-point perspective for roads and rivers. Shadows in perspective and more will be covered.

No need for your buildings to fall forward; your vases can be round; backgrounds will recede! 

Class size is limited. Take your check by the Arts Center in Town Park 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or call 264-5020 to sign up with a credit card. If you need art supplies, try to have them well before the class.

If you have questions, call Denny, 946-0696, or Ginnie, 731-2489.

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 a fall watercolor workshop 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 9-11. Classes will be held in the arts and crafts room at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Students can sign up for an optional fourth day Thursday, Oct. 12. Register today for this session by calling PSAC at 264-5020.

The price of the three-day workshop is $240 for PSAC members and $265 for nonmembers.  The optional fourth day is available for $60, with a minimum four students needed for the session.

This workshop is limited to 10 students. Sign up early by calling PSAC at 264-5020. For further workshop and supplies information, call Mion at 731-9781 or visit www.pagosa-arts.com.

PSAC calendar

Today - 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 9 - Home and Garden Tour, noon-5 p.m.

July 13 - Pagosa Springs Watercolor Club, 10 a.m.

July 14 - Marketing Your Biz with Print Media, 9:30 a.m.-noon.

July 14 - Different Perspective Marketing Mix, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

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.

Aug. 3-5 - Perspective Drawing Workshop with Ginnie and Denny - 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Arts Line is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.

For inclusion in Arts Line, send information to PSAC e-mail (psac@centurytel.net). In the subject area of your e-mail, please write Arts Line-Wen Saunders.

Your attachment should be in a Microsoft Word file document format. Images should be limited to 2 (300dpi, 5x7 inches in size) and sent as a separate (individual attachments) e-mail. You can also mail a CD of images and information to Wen Saunders, P.O. Box 4486, Pagosa Springs, CO 81157. Deadline is at least two weeks prior to event. We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Arts Line. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.


Tasting Notes

Winespeak ... it's about metaphor

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

It was a typical double shift day in the restaurant - arrive at work early, set up for lunch, serve through the lunch hour, meet sales reps in the afternoon, tear down and set up for dinner, serve through the evening, arriving home sometime after midnight to a tumbler of gin and tonic and mindless late night television.

As to be expected, the day progressed according to schedule, with a cadre of wine reps arriving late in afternoon to have lunch and tempt me with the latest and greatest juice.

But this day, while on the surface seemed like all others, was in fact, a big day. The Bonny Doon rep was in town to convince me I should add his wines to the wine list.

This probably doesn't seem like much of an event, but we'd built a reputation on being the one restaurant that offered an all French list, and Bonny Doon, although reputable, inhabited the Bermuda Triangle of the wine world - to add their wines would be a stretch.

For those unfamiliar with the company, Bonny Doon is based in California, and produces Old World and New World wines, although many wines in their portfolio are hybridizations of the two realms. For example, Bonny Doon blends European varietals grown in California soil to make the bulk of their offerings, however, part of their portfolio consists of appellation specific wines from the far side of the Atlantic. Is Bonny Doon French? Sometimes. Is Bonny Doon Californian? Sometimes. Are they a blend of the best both areas have to offer? Absolutely.

With such a distinct portfolio and winemaking style, Bonny Doon is hard to pin down, and whether they were a match for our decidedly Old World wine list depended ultimately on the juice. To focus our assessment, we decided to consider only their wines made from French varietals and, more specifically, to wines made from grapes grown on French soil under a particular appellation.

My friend Kelly was the sales rep charged with guiding the Doon rep around town, and as expected, they came in late and we sat down over a lunch of lamb shanks to taste what Doon had to offer.

As is typical during a tasting, we started with the lightest wines in the group and worked toward the heaviest. After about four wines, and in light of our specific criteria, I thought we had nearly exhausted our options, when Kelly reached under the table to his insulated bag and extracted the mother of all Bonny Doon reds.

With a gleam in his eye, he slowly turned the bottle to reveal the label. It was like no other, and lacking the image of a chateau and stately script to match, it was clearly not Old World.

With lettering smeared like graffiti and random splatters of red ink, it was as though the label had been placed behind the victim of a firing squad. It was a scene from a bad acid trip. It was something Joseph Conrad never imagined, a wine with a name scraped straight from Kurtz's central cortex - Heart of Darkness.

Heart of Darkness is one of those esoteric, Bonny Doon animals which banks heavily on Old World traditions and obscure varietals grown in off the map appellations - in this case, Madiran.

Madiran is located in the Pyrenees foothills of southwestern France. And like the landscape itself, the Madiran wines are rugged with powerful tannins. Their style is due to the winemaker's use of tannat as the appellation's principal grape, and when tannat alone produces a vinicultural animal that cannot be caged, Madiran winemakers blend cabernet sauvignon or cabernet franc to soften the juice, although soften may be a relative term. Bonny Doon describes one recent vintage as an " iron fist in a velvet glove" - and that would undoubtedly be black velvet. Although the malbec-based wines from Cahors are renowned for their dark, nearly black color, the wines from Madiran make Cahors look like rosé.

As I eyed the label, Kelly carefully unscrewed the cap - Bonny Doon is one of the few producers that uses screw caps for their product line - and poured a round of tastes. We then swirled, sniffed and sipped in quiet contemplation. This was a serious affair, with a restaurant full of customers. After a few moments, Kelly looked up from his glass, and with a look of absolute pleasure and satisfaction said, "Now that's like eating a goat's ass."

It was a bizarre assessment, but profoundly accurate, and intended to be complimentary and we took it as such. But had he spoken the same words to a table of novices, or those unfamiliar with winespeak, Kelly's comment would have been incomprehensible and offensive. But to us, it was totally acceptable, accurate and needed no explanation - we talked the talk, we knew the lingo.

Many restaurant patrons, however, don't know the lingo, and for them, listening to a waiter describe wine, whether in terms of eating a goat's hind quarters or terroir, produces a similar response. They stare glassy-eyed while the waiter recites his monologue in an unintelligible foreign language.

But there are ways to overcome the obstacle, and all it requires is the patience to taste consciously and a willingness to analyze what's in the glass in order to develop a basic, working vocabulary of winespeak.

It may sound like a daunting task, but it doesn't need to be a lengthy, pretentious affair. In fact, it can be done with every glass of wine and the process, once practiced, takes only a few seconds.

Begin by pouring a small taste, maybe two ounces, in an appropriate glass -ideally something made from crystal with a stem and a bowl conducive to swirling.

Once the taste is poured, hold the glass in front of you at about 45 degree angle with a white surface as a background. Holding the glass in front of a white background enables the taster to assess the wine's depth of color, its hue and clarity.

Although simple observation of wine in the glass may not be entirely telling for the novice taster, color assessment tells much about the wine's youth or age, how it has been handled, how well it has aged, body and alcohol content, and is therefore a good habit to develop.

After examining the color, the next step is to swirl the wine around in the glass. The movement unlocks the aroma or bouquet, and will give the taster an indication of the wine's character. Are you about to visit the barnyard or the blackberry patch, the tobacconist or the saddlemaker? Will the wine be light or heavy? Because the sense of smell and taste are so closely linked, what you experience in the bouquet is largely what you will encounter on the palate.

Following the act of smelling, tasting is the next step. At this point, many aficionados suck in air through pursed lips as they sip, then move the wine vigorously around the inside of their mouth. The technique aerates the wine, while moving the juice to all parts of the palate. Among the traits the more advanced taster is attempting to assess is sweetness or dryness, degree of acidity, body, tannins, alcohol, finish and overall balance.

Now comes the hard part. Once the taster has gone through the ritual, he or she must attempt to explain what they've experienced. At its most basic, the exercise requires that you probe your sensory memory to describe what you've smelled and tasted. What does the wine remind you of - horse or cat urine, fresh cut hay, a damp barnyard, acetone, roofing tar, hot pencil eraser? (None of these descriptors, nor any other, is wrong, and in fact, all have been used to describe various wines.) At its most complex, the exercise will elicit comments on structure, acidity and texture, and will produce adjectives that delve deep into the wine's most subtle nuances.

No matter where your description falls on the spectrum, the key is to attempt, no matter how simple or bizarre, to articulate what it is you've tasted. Even if the descriptor is a basic statement, such as "fruity" or "earthy," the point is to start with a baseline from which you can expand and develop a more complex winespeak vocabulary. When you begin to explore your sensory memory, "fruity" will soon evolve into specifics such as bing cherries or grapefruits, and "earthy" becomes a freshly tilled garden or morels.

And once you develop a vocabulary, you've made a significant step. And the next time a waiter or a wine list describes a wine as "lush, with a rose petal-like texture, soft tannins, and nuances of black cherries and dark chocolate," you'll understand what they're talking about, that winespeak is about metaphor, about using one set of senses to describe the experience of another.

And if you happen to be dining out in Denver, and you hear a bald guy blurt out, "Now that's like eating a goat's ...," you'll know he's probably speaking winespeak, and not complaining about the menu.

Food for Thought

Is salt an herb, or just one of the fixins?

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

I'm in Denver.

The Mile High City.

Queen city of the Plains.

Place of my birth; my hometown.

And, I'm peeved.

I am here to attend a birthday party.

My mother-in-law is 90. The family is throwing a shindig for her.

I love my mother-in-law. But, that doesn't mean I am looking forward to the barbecue with all the fixins.

Fixins disturb me.

To make matters worse, I had to drive nearly 300 miles in order to get here. An agonizing 300 or so miles.


Because, they're back.

On my highway.

Like locusts returning when crops break ground, the goofs in the RVs are back with the turn of season.

On my highway!

I know I'll hear from many RV lovers, but I'll be frank: there should be special roads for RVs, and for them alone. They shouldn't be allowed on regular highways, those used by other motorists. There should be RV toll roads. If an RV strays from the designated path, the beast should be burned and its occupants sent to a reeducation facility where severe punishment is administered on the hour.

Or, better yet there should be no RVs.

There should be a law.

I set out for Denver on my highway and, not five miles outside town, I come upon the first caravan of these monstrosities - huge, tour bus-size rolling homes, each towing a smaller vehicle behind.

Clogging my highway, making it difficult for me to get where I'm going in a manner that suits my increasingly testy mood.

These immense pieces of crud go uphill at approximately two miles per hour and it is difficult to see past them. By the time I make the summit of Wolf Creek Pass, I have passed thirty of these mutations, giving each driver my special hand gesture, risking life and limb, mine and others', to get by them and be on my way.

I crest the summit and there's another one: a goofball steers a rolling condo, pulling a full-size V8 pickup. He is directly behind yet another monster box, this one with a large trailer and a compact car in tow. The two automotive miscreations plow along at a hefty three miles per hour. They are, after all, on the downhill slope.

No doubt these sojourners are on their way to some concentration camp-like "resort" where they will park their rolling deformity three feet from another, dress in T-shirts with dumb slogans printed on the front, wear matching husband and wife outfits including silly hats with poofballs on top, use the towed vehicle to creep into a nearby town to the burger bar and miniature golf course, and spend evenings with like-minded folks slopping down vittles, square dancing and coming up with the solution to the cold fusion problem.

I am out of my mind! If I see another RV I am going to snap!

Have these people not heard about that teensy oil problem we got out there? Are we dealing with retirees with way too much disposable income?

I think I'm running a fever. My hair feels like it's on fire.

This mutation of transport should have been handled decades ago, when it was in its infancy. My grandmother, Minnie, was oh-so insightful when, driving up Colo. 119 on the way to the ancestral home in Central City she would urge my Aunt Hazel to run Airstreams off the road. "They're a blight, dear. A blight."

Ah, how prophetic. Why did Aunt Hazel not listen? She could have nipped this thing in the bud before the horror evolved.

Anyway, I am in Denver, and I am steamed.

Doubly so because I am dreading the family barbecue.

Do meals get any worse?

Perhaps in the Gulag.

When the big event arrives, my fears are realized: overcooked hamburgers on "fortified" white flour hamburger buns; undercooked "weiners" on fortified white flour hot dog buns (with mustard the color of a highway traffic stripe); brown lettuce, tasteless tomatoes; three bean salad with only two types of beans, potato salad that sat in the hot sun for four hours, etc.

I am on my best behavior, which, in most peoples' books, is probably not all that good. I sit at the end of a long table, scowling and listening to an old guy tell incoherent stories about a defective land mine and a broken transfer case on a six-by-six in Manila during WW II, and a gal rant and rave about not being able to visit her grandson in prison due to a sudden lockdown (probably caused by her grandson and that darned shiv he fashioned from a mess hall spoon). She is going to write the governor a stern letter. She goes into great detail about what she intends to tell the guv.

I am going to implode.

Kathy sits down beside me.

"You better get that scowl off your mug, Buster. If you aren't smiling in two seconds, you're life will not be worth living."

"It can get worse?"

"Oh, yes, much worse. Believe me. Now, smile and eat."

"But, I can't taste anything. Nothing has any flavor. Unless you think salt and sugar are herbs. Have you tried to eat this stuff?"

"I pretend to eat it and I pretend to enjoy it. Just like you are going to pretend to enjoy it. Or else. Now, ask Uncle Albert about the time he did three weeks of KP when he was in France during the war. That was The Big One, you know."

I finish the evening slumped on a rumpsprung deck chair, hidden in a dark corner of the patio, my exposed skin a veritable mosquito ranch. I down at least twenty glasses of water, but fail to slake an overpowering thirst. My blood pressure is so high my eyes are popping out. It would concern me were I not obsessed with the arrhythmia I'm experiencing.

So, I am in Denver.


The antidote?

A great dinner.


The next night, Kathy and I drive to Cherry Creek North and we hit Mel's.


We keep it simple.

I have a Caesar - made the proper way, with hearts of romaine, the dressing perfect. Salmonella be damned.

Kathy enjoys an heirloom tomato salad with olives and capers.

I feast on a perfectly done piece of pan roasted wild salmon, bedded on barely sauteed spinach, accompanied by a coven of roasted yellow beets.


But, Kathy scores. Big time.

She orders black olive gnocchi. She still can't pronounce the name (she calls them something like "neeeyankee"), but she knows what she likes. The gnocchi come with a sauce that includes tiny, halved tomatoes, artichoke hearts, cream, plenty o' butter.

The gnocchi are fabulous.

To repair the damage done the night before, I eat half of Kathy's dinner.

I'm still thirsty, so I drink twelve glasses of water.

I decide, upon returning home, that I will whip up a version of the dish.

I'll take three russet potatoes, peel them, cut them into cubes and put them in pan and cover them with salted water. I'll bring the water to a fast simmer over medium high heat and cook the potato cubes until they can be pierced with the point of a knife. I'll drain them, then dry them in the pan over low heat.

When the spuds cool, I'll put them through a ricer, add a beaten egg and an egg yolk, a touch of salt and pepper, a bit of fresh, ground nutmeg and a slew of pitted and chopped oil-cured black olives. Then, I'll add about a half cup of all-purpose flour (cake flour would probably be better) and mix. I'll add little bits of flour until I have a sticky, but workable dough. I don't want to knead the willies out of the dough or it will get too dense.

I'll flour a surface and flour my hands then roll out the dough into long ropes, about three-quarters of an inch in diameter. I'll cut the ropes into cylinders about an inch long, then place a slightly damp towel over the cylinders and set to work on a sauce.

I'll saute a small amount of minced white onion in olive oil and add a bit of minced garlic once the onion is soft. I'll remove the veggies from the pan and pop in ten or twelve halved cherry tomatoes, a bit of salt and pepper and cook until the tomatoes begin to caramelize. At that point in will go five or six quartered artichoke hearts (canned in water - no marinated hearts, please). I'll saute the mix for a few minutes more, then remove the tomatoes and artichokes and add a serious wad or two of unsalted butter to the hot pan, melt the butter and take it just this side of brown over medium high heat.

The gnocchi will go in batches into boiling salted water. Once they bob to the surface, I'll cook them a few minutes more then remove them with a slotted spoon to a colander. Once all the gnocchi are cooked and drained, into the butter they'll go. I'll saute them golden brown on one side and do one of those fancy television chef flips of the pan to turn them over. The dog will enjoy the half dozen or so gnocchi that fall to the floor.

When the gnocchi are crisped up I'll put the vegetables back in the pan and let them warm. Then I'll add about a half cup heavy cream, adjust the seasoning and let the cream reduce over medium heat. At that point, off goes the heat and I'll toss a handful of shredded romano and parmesan cheeses into the mix, toss and it will be ready to go.

Tasty stuff.

As in, with flavor.

It should erase whatever memories I have of the fixins.

I'll feel pretty full of myself.

I might have to buy a dumb hat with the poofball on it.

Oh, and find the salt.

Extension Viewpoints

Take steps to control grasshopper in crops, yards

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

July 1 - 8 p.m., Red Ryder Round-Up Benefit Dance.

July 2 - 6 p.m., Red Ryder Round-Up Rodeo.

July 3 - Extension Office closed.

July 3 - 6 p.m., Red Ryder Round-Up Rodeo.

July 4 - Extension Office closed.

July 4 - 2 p.m., Red Ryder Round-Up Rodeo.

The Archuleta County Cooperative Extension and 4-H are sponsoring Fun in the Sun Summer Day Camp.

This camp will be held at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds July 17-21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The camp is for any youngster age 8 to 13 years old.

Fun in the Sun will feature "fun-shops" that include Archery, Kids Cooking, Cake decorating, GPS 101, Dance Class, Fly Fishing, Outdoor Cooking, Aquatic Insects, Gum Do and more.

Cost of the camp is $100 and includes lunch, crafts, two "fun-shops" per day and more. Registration is due by July 7.

Volunteers are still needed. If you would like to help out, call the Archuleta County Extension Office. For more information or to request a registration form, stop in or call 264-5931.

Grasshoppers in field crops

Grasshoppers are one of the most important insect pests in Colorado.

They follow a roughly 22-year cycle in Colorado. The last major outbreak was in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Some problems occur even in years of low numbers.

Although they are most important on rangeland, grasshoppers also attack field crops, often with economic losses to the farmer. An exception is sorghum, which usually is not fed upon once it has reached about 10 inches in height.

Grasshoppers lay eggs in undisturbed areas, usually in late summer and early fall. Small nymphs or "hoppers" hatch the following spring. Winged adults appear five to six weeks after hatch. Eggs of a few Colorado species hatch in late summer and pass the winter as nymphs. Winged adults of these species usually appear early in the following summer, often causing undue alarm about unusually early grasshopper activity. Some of these early-season species are important on rangeland, but none are considered a threat to field crops.

The usual pattern of grasshopper damage in field crops is for early development to occur in weedy areas of roadsides, fence rows, irrigation ditches and other non-crop areas. As these food plants are eaten or dry down, the grasshoppers leave in search of other food, often an irrigated crop or newly-emerged winter wheat. Here they first feed in the field margins and then, conditions permitting, spread throughout the field.

Grasshoppers become more difficult and expensive to control as this pattern develops. Grasshoppers in the weedy areas are concentrated in a small area. They can therefore be controlled with low rates of insecticides applied to a relatively few acres. Once they reach the field margins, they may be larger and require higher insecticide rates for good control, although the acreages involved will still be small. After they spread throughout a field, high insecticide rates applied to larger acreages are required to protect the crop. Walk through the field and count the grasshoppers that jump or move within a square foot area. Multiply that number by nine to get a count per square yard. Take at least 20 counts per field. Consider treatments when the average count reaches the threatening level. Two options are available to farmers once it has been decided that crops are threatened: poison baits and foliar or soil insecticides.

The main advantage to poison baits is that they can be applied to crops or weedy areas in which the plants are too small for good insecticide spray coverage, such as newly-cut alfalfa or weeds that have dried or been eaten down. Under other conditions, insecticide sprays are cheaper and more effective. Sevin insecticide-impregnated bran bait is available as a 2 or 5 percent formulation. This method can provide good control when applied just before winter wheat emergence, when crop plants are only a few inches tall, or in areas with short, dry vegetation. The keys to success are uniform distribution of bait and reapplication if the bait is no longer attractive to grasshoppers. Attractiveness of the bait is reduced substantially by moisture.

Some protection of a yard is possible by watering the grasshopper breeding areas to promote plant growth. Abundant green plants in these areas can greatly delay and diminish grasshopper movements into yards. A lesser effort may involve watering a barrier strip of grass and weeds around a yard. Where yards are adjacent to hay fields, it may be useful to leave an uncut strip to concentrate grasshopper populations. Treat these barrier strips with insecticide for greater control.

Once grasshoppers have moved into yards, control options decrease and primarily involve repeated insecticide applications. Carefully read the labels of insecticides to prevent plant injury or excessive residues on food crops. Plant more susceptible crops in the most protected areas of the yard, away from the source of invading grasshoppers. Susceptible plants also may be protected with screening or cheese cloth. Poultry, including turkeys, guinea hens and chickens, may be used to supplement grasshopper control in some yards.

For more help on controlling grasshoppers contact us at the Extension Office at 264-5931.


Pagosa Lakes News

Rotary Club seeks applicants for upcoming trip to Czech Republic

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is looking for applicants to be members of the upcoming Group Study Exchange Team, which will travel to the Czech Republic in April 2007 for a month-long tour.

Applicants must be between the ages of 25 and 40, and be employed full time in the community, with a minimum of two years in a business or profession. In all, four individuals will be selected to represent Rotary District 5470, which covers 57 Rotary clubs in southern Colorado.

The purpose of the exchange is to promote international understanding and good will through the person-to-person contact. A similar study group from the Czech Republic will visit our district as part of the exchange. While visiting here, Czech team members will meet their professional counterparts and visit industrial, scenic, cultural and historical sites.

Team members stay in the homes of local Rotarians. The Rotary International Foundation provides round-trip air transportation to the Czech Republic; local Rotarians in the Czech Republic provide meals, lodging and ground transportation. Team members are responsible for personal and incidental expenses.

There are no gender limitations. Candidates must have good health, a high level of energy and stamina, an even and easygoing disposition, the willingness to support a daily itinerary set by the hosts, and all-around desire to participate in life and culture of the host country.

Living with local Czech families for three to four days per town is an ideal opportunity to meet local people, make friends and be a part of their day-to-day cares. Locals and visitors temporarily forget passport colors and make connections on a very personal level, sharing conversations and meals.

In the realm of discovery, there's a lot to learn, both about other cultures and about you. You discover new ways to look at things, and you realize that everyone has his or her own ideas as to what life and the universe are all about. You see (and many do) things that are far enough off the scale of your own judgment system that you're forced to reassess your own personal and cultural truths.

As a visitor living in a Czech home, you will always have an impact on the family. It will be up to the individual to choose whether this impact will be positive or negative. The team member can contribute to or negate negative stereotypes of Americans with their hosts.

You may be weary at first, but relax; you will receive constant invitations to dance, sing, eat local food, drink fiery concoctions, expound on your country's foreign policies, defend its tarnished moral image - or get married. The possibilities are limitless. Your best souvenirs will be memories.

Go to the Rotary International Web site, www.rotary.org, click on Rotary Foundation, click on Educational Programs, click on Group Study Exchanges. From there, you can download all information needed to submit an application for the exchange to the Czech Republic.

The application deadline is July 22, and interviews are scheduled for Aug. 26-27. Applications are to be submitted to Pagosa Springs Rotary Club.


Donna Anderson

Donna M. Anderson, 48, of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, died on June 19, 2006, at home after a brief illness due to a brain tumor. She was the wife of Christian A. Andreson.

Born on January 11, 1958, she grew up in Easton, Massachusetts, where she graduated from Oliver Ames High School. She was a graduate of Bates College in Maine and received a master's degree in psychology from the University of Idaho.

Upon graduating from Bates, Donna traveled west and worked at the Colorado Christian Home in Denver, Colorado. Following graduation from the University of Idaho, she was employed as a child and family therapist at Washington County Mental Health Services in Montpelier, Vermont, where she met her future husband, Chris.

Attracted to the west, Donna settled in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and worked at Steamboat Springs Mental Health. After being married and living in Steamboat Springs for four years, Donna and Chris moved to Washington State. There she worked at the Children's Home Society in Wenatchee before opening her own counseling service, Upper Valley Counseling and Consulting, in Cashmere, Washington. After moving to Pagosa Springs more than six years ago, she opened Mountain View Counseling and Consulting.

Donna was an active member of her community. She was director of the Sunday School at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, and chaired the selection committee for Habitat for Humanity. She also was a member of the Elementary School Accountability Committee and a classroom volunteer. Donna was the regional parent support for Cure JM.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her sons, Kyle and Colby, of Pagosa Springs; her parents, Donald and Phyllis Anderson, of Easton, Massachusetts; a brother, Bruce Anderson, of Taunton, Massachusetts; two nephews, Christopher and Scott Anderson, of Easton, Massachusetts; and an aunt, Lorraine Anderson, of Easton, Massachusetts.

A funeral service was held at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church 10 a.m., June 24, with Pastor John Knutson, of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Durango, officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Cure JM Foundation, www.CureJM.com.


Ron Stepke

Ron Stepke, retired social worker and counselor, died peacefully May 5, 2006, at the age of 72 in his home in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

He and his wife, Phyl Collier, made Pagosa Springs their permanent home in 1999 after living many years in Las Vegas, Nevada, where they both worked for the school district. Ron was laid to rest at the Pagosa Springs Hill Top Cemetery with a private family ceremony.

Ron was born on September 25, 1933, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He later did graduate work at Tulane and LSU. Early in his career he worked as a probation officer in New Orleans and later as a foster care coordinator in Wisconsin. Most of his career, however, was spent as a social worker and counselor advocating for physically and mentally handicapped children in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was also active in school district's Credit Union and Health Trust and served as a board member of each.

He retired at the age of 56 to enjoy traveling, boating, golf, gardening and spending time with his wife, Phyl, and their five children and four grandchildren. They eventually moved to Pagosa Springs after falling in love with its beauty and built their dream house on Village Lake three years ago.

Ron's motto was "Life is a bowl of cherries," and he applied this philosophy to his life, enjoying every minute of every day. Despite undergoing chemo treatments for two years, Ron was able to work in his garden, go fishing, enjoy snowmobiling and travel to Alaska. He never complained once about his illness and had a big smile for everyone.

Besides his wife, Phyl, Ron is survived by his former wife, Arlene Stepke, and their three daughters, Rachel Stepke, Jessica LaLonde and Erika Neoh, as well as his three granddaughters Kailee Albitz, Brittany LaLonde and Vanessa LaLonde.  In addition, he is survived by Phyl's children, Christine Collier and Brad Collier, and her grandson Jason Collier.

The family is asking that, in lieu of  flowers, please make donations in Ron's honor to Hospice of Mercy, 35 Mary Fisher Circle, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


 Business News

Chamber News

Busy week complete, big week ahead

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

They came, they visited, they partied, and they left!

For the first time, Pagosa Springs hosted two bicycle tours not only in one year, but in one week. What a whirlwind for many businesses, and for motorists as we carefully maneuvered down our streets.

This is a general thank you to the community for all the hard work. These efforts would not be possible without help from businesses and individuals alike.

The bulk of the impact was at the high school, so a big thanks goes to Sean O'Donnell and the facilities crew. What a job!

The Bicycle Tour of Colorado will return to Pagosa Saturday, July 1, when cyclists arrive from Mancos on the last leg of the tour. They will have a private event and awards ceremony at the school and in South Pagosa Park.

It will be a very busy weekend, so please be careful on the roadways. Some of the cyclists will stay to rest up, but many will go home exhausted. In either case, Ride the Rockies and the Bicycle Tour of Colorado have been great to the community and we did a great job entertaining the masses.

Fourth of July

I won't go into a lot of detail about all the Fourth of July activities in this article, since there is a full-page clip-and-save holiday calendar in The SUN. I'm not sure everyone will have time to get to all the activities, as there are so many to enjoy.

One activity that will not be back again for a long time will be The National Guard Great Race - a cross country antique car race. If you have time in your schedule, come out Sunday, July 2, to Lewis Street from about 3:15-5:30 p.m. when three sets of cars will be displayed as they make pit stops in Pagosa. Tommy Nell, ESPN announcer, former race car driver and local resident will host a live broadcast on KWUF radio. There will also be local antique cars and hot rods parked near the Bear Creek. Take this opportunity to bring the family out to a free event that is unique to our town and may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Also, remember that the annual parade is Tuesday, July 4, starting at 10 a.m. This wonderful community gathering brings out the American spirit in everyone. Don't miss the biggest small town parade anywhere!

In the evening, as far as we know at this point, there will be fireworks on July 4. The Hot Strings will kick off the evening around 7 p.m. with some great entertainment. If you missed them at the party in the park for Ride the Rockies, then you will have a chance to hear some of their lively, new music. At dusk, we will be able to ooh and aah at the glory of the fireworks. This free concert and the fireworks will take place at the Sports Complex area at the high school. Gather the family, bring a picnic dinner or don't mess with cooking and grab some great concession items at the school.

Enjoy the Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo, the Heritage Event Center Dance, the Park to Park Arts and Crafts Festival, the Quilt Show and the carnival. Kick off the holiday weekend with the patriotic sing-along June 30. Also on the 30th is a special photography exhibit at Pagosa Photography with Don Reichert from Fort Collins. Don is a retired U.S. Forest Service wildlife biologist and ecologist and has compiled an impressive portfolio of images. Small Town Giant, with Dan Appenzeller and Suzanne Ninichuk, will perform at the opening reception.

While you are downtown or at the arts and crafts festival, enjoy some food at the American Legion Hall July 1, 2 and 4. The hall will open immediately after the parade and will close at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday the hall will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Support this wonderful organization, especially over this Fourth of July weekend.

Bring your family and friends out to the many activities for which Pagosa is famous.

Celebrating our members

We have two new members this week and quite a few renewals we would like to recognize.

Let's start off with NM Tribal Concepts & Design run by Michael Mull and Nicolas Gomez. Located right on Rosita Street, you can see their beautiful rugs and designs as you drive past on U.S. 160. Tribal Concepts has tribal and oriental rugs, African arts, home furnishings, jewelry, hand bags, hand woven baskets and incense. All these beautiful accessories and furnishings are unique and colorful and available right here in Pagosa. Stop by the store at 802 Rosita St. or call 264-0514.

Joining our Chamber from out of the area, we have the beautiful Broadacres Ranch in Creede. Broadacres Ranch not only offers fly fishing guest ranch facilities, they also have a fine dining restaurant, Glenmora, open to the public. Broadacres has four well-appointed cabins on the guest ranch located on the Rio Grande River. The four-star restaurant is open to the public for dinner reservations 5-8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday evenings. You can call for dinner or accommodation reservations at (719) 658-2291.

Welcome to these two new businesses both unique and each an enhancement to our membership roster.

We have renewals this week and we welcome back Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District; First Southwest Bank; past Chamber president and his best volunteer, Toby and Renae Karlquist with K.K. Paddywhacks Embroidery; The Silver Mine Country Company; Jessie's Elves and Gifts; High Peaks Custom Homes; High Plains Nursery and Larry Sprague in the Allison area; Cool Pines RV Park; Susan Kuhns and Pagosa Women's Health and Wellness; and the Bar-D Chuckwagon and the Bar-D Wranglers in Durango. Last, but certainly not least, is one of our great nonprofits, Seeds of Learning.

Thank you again to all who helped with Ride the Rockies and the Bicycle Tour of Colorado. We hope you worked hard and played hard and enjoyed the parties in the park. We also wish everyone a safe Fourth of July weekend with family and friends. We'll see most of you at the Fourth of July parade in the morning, the Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo during the day, and at the concert and fireworks display in the evening. Happy Independence Day.

Elliot promoted to deputy assessor

Johanna Elliott has worked for the Archuleta County Assessor's office for five years. During that time, she performed a variety of duties in the office. Starting as the office receptionist, she was quickly promoted to personal property manager, then to sales data analyst

Elliot assumed the duties of deputy assessor at the first of the year.

Elliott is a Pagosa Springs native. She enjoys camping, hiking, boating and water skiing with her husband, John, and her 2-year-old son, Ryan.

Builders association to host public meeting

The Builders Association of Pagosa Springs is hosting a public meeting tonight, June 29, to consider the past, present and future of local building departments.

Representatives of Town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County building departments will be at the meeting to discuss recent and expected future changes.

The town has implemented the 2006 IR Codes and the county is considering mechanical inspections.

This open forum meeting will give participants an opportunity to learn about these changes and their impacts. Anyone involved in construction or a related industry is encouraged to attend.

The meeting will be held 6-8 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds.

For additional information, call the Builders Association of Pagosa Springs at 731-3939.

Area veterans to benefit from Job Training Grant

U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao has announced 91 grants, including $547,225 in funding covering veterans in six Rocky Mountain states, to provide approximately 17,000 veterans nationwide with job training to help them succeed in civilian careers.

The grants, totaling nearly $26 million nationwide, were awarded under the Department of Labor's Veterans' Workforce Investment Program (VWIP) and Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP).

"America's veterans put their lives on the line so that we may all live in freedom," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "These $26 million in grants are to help nearly 17,000 veterans build careers and a bright future for themselves and their families."

The Wyoming Contractors Association in Casper will receive $547,225 under a HVRP grant to assist 300 veterans in Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah. For additional information on the grant contact Chris Corlis, Wyoming Contractors Association at (307) 237-4400.

Funds are awarded on a competitive basis to state and local workforce investment boards, local public agencies, and nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community organizations. These agencies have a familiarity with the area and population to be served and have demonstrated that they can administer an effective program.

More than $6.8 million will be used to support 12 VWIP grants to help veterans from targeted groups overcome employment barriers and ease their transition into unsubsidized jobs. Through this program, veterans receive skills assessments, individual job counseling, labor market information, classroom or on-the-job training, skills upgrading and retraining, placement assistance and crucial follow-up services. The Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) expects the VWIP grants to provide training for more than 3,800 veterans. Veterans receiving assistance under these grants may also be eligible for services through other Workforce Investment Act programs for economically disadvantaged or dislocated workers.

To assist the nation's homeless veterans, the Department of Labor is awarding more than $19 million in 79 HVRP grants. These funds are being distributed nationwide through 42 newly competed HVRP grants and 37 current HVRP grants receiving second- and third-year funding. HVRP grants help homeless veterans, often with barriers to employment, to reintegrate into America's workforce. Homeless veterans may receive occupational, classroom and on-the-job training, as well as job search help and job placement assistance, including follow-up services. VETS expects these funds to help nearly 13,000 homeless veterans.

Grantees under both programs network and coordinate their efforts with various other local, state and federal social service providers. HVRP is recognized as an extraordinarily efficient and effective program and is the only federal program that focuses exclusively on employment of veterans who are homeless.

More information on the Department of Labor's unemployment and re-employment programs can be found at www.dol.gov.


Biz Beat

Jade Addison owns Jade Mountain Equine Massage. Jade is certified in Equatouch® massage and has more than 200 hours working with horses. She specializes in deep tissue and sports massage. Massage may help to increase blood flow, increase mobility, stretch muscle tissue, facilitate healing, eliminate metabolic waste, increase lymphatic flow, and alleviate tight and sore muscles.

Addison recommends consulting with your veterinarian before starting any massage regimen with your equine companion. She looks forward to working with the equine lovers in the area.

Massage packages are available, references are supplied on request.

For more information call 731-0573 or e-mail jademountainequinemassage@hotmail.com.



Cards of Thanks

American Legion

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the following businesses and individuals for their help with our annual softball tournament and scholarship fund-raiser: Ace Hardware, American Legion Auxiliary, Bank of the San Juans, Boot Hill/Pet Parlor, Comfort One Insulation, Four Corners Distributing, Pagosa Bar/Silver Dollar Liquor, The Pagosa SUN, Sky Ute Casino, our umpires and scorekeepers, Fred and Virginia Manzanares, Ron and Betty Willett, Andy Gonzales and everyone else who helped out.

Thanks for helping make our 11th annual softball tournament and fund-raiser a success.

American Legion Post 108


ASA softball

On behalf of all the members of SW CO ASA Girls Fastpitch Softball, a very special thank you to all our local business sponsors. Because of their generous donations; girls fastpitch softball has had a successful season.

We sincerely appreciate the following businesses and send them all sincere thanks: Coyote Hill Lodge, Lone Pine Custom Millworks, Whispering Pines Development, Ears 2 U Hearing, 1st Southwest Bank, Vaughn Johnson DDS, The Tile and Carpet Store, Southwest Custom Builders and the Builders Association of Pagosa Springs. Best wishes to all those who invest in Pagosa's future.

Maddie Beserra


Chair Event

The Chair Event, the silent auction cancer fund-raiser held in conjunction with The Relay for Life, was a huge success this fifth year and it's because of the efforts of the artists: Sabine Baekmann-Elge, Terry Baker, Pat Black, Jyred Caler, Lorri and Stan Church, Judy Clay, the Cloverbuds 4-H Club, Judy Collins, Colorado Kids 4-H Club, Joyce Howay, Suzan Joy, Jan Karn, Ingrid Knoll, Syl Lobato, Sueyel Palma, Gale Sanders, Danny Smith, Gloria Smith, Doe Stringer and Donna Wagle. But, the artists wouldn't have had anything to work their magic on if it hadn't have been for businesses and private parties donating small furniture items. They were: Ace Hardware, Alco, Melinda Baum, Pat Black, Jim and Nancy Cole, Dick Babillis, Cloverbuds 4-H Club, Judy Collins, Paul and Barb Draper, Ron and Cindy Gustafson, Heidi Keshet, Kroegers Hardware Store in Durango, Pagosa Glass, Pagosa Springs Humane Society Thrift Shop, Sueyel Palma, Ponderosa Do-It-Best, John and Joyce Ramberg, Slices of Nature, Spectrum Construction Co., Donna Wagle and Dr. West of Durango.

Display places were needed to get the silent auction started. Businesses that participated in this were: The Bank of Colorado, The Bank of the San Juans, The Citizen's Bank, The Sisson Library and the Wells Fargo Bank.

Thanks to all of you. Hopefully we have helped to make a difference in the fight against cancer. God Bless you all.

Paula Bain


Centerpoint Church

Thanks to Jim at parks and recreation, Town of Pagosa Springs, Chamber of Commerce and Charlie and Emily Rogers of Aquilla and Priscilla Tentmakers.

All of us at Centerpoint Church, formerly First Baptist, immensely appreciated and enjoyed the shade of the tents and the use of the park while working with over 100 kids this past week at Fiesta.

May God bless you,

Donna Sanders



Shiloh Baker, a 2005 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School and daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Dave Baker, formerly of Pagosa Springs, is listed among the students on the dean's list of Missouri State University.

Sports Page

Sign up now for Pine Cone Classic, first year as fund-raiser

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

This year's Pine Cone Classic Tournament is slated for July 11-12.

It is hosted by the Pagosa Springs Golf Club and the Pagosa Women's Golf Association, and is traditionally a very popular tournament in the Four Corners area, hosting 100-112 participants each year.

Registration chairwoman Audrey Johnson said, "The field is limited to 28 teams of four women this year, and only three or four spots remain." Anyone interested in participating must have a current GHIN number and a 36 handicap or better. Contact Johnson at audrey4125@aol.com, or call her at 731-9811.

This year's Pine Cone Classic is a charity tournament for the first time since its inception in the early 1990s. The PWGA has chosen Emergency Medical Services of the Upper San Juan Health Service District as the recipient of a portion of all entry fees and monies received for the tee box sponsors.

PWGA vice president and tournament committee chairwoman Julie Pressley said, "That we also have two very special items that league members have donated to raise funds for the charity." The first is an exquisite mountain greenery quilt (43x59) made and donated by league member Jane Day. Jane will be displaying the quilt at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club July 1-2. Anyone interested in purchasing tickets to win the quilt may do so by going to the golf club or by contacting Jane at 731-3128. Tickets are $5 each or three for $10.

League member Robyn Alspach has donated 133,000 fully deeded Fairfield points with an RCI membership, to be used as a fund-raiser for our charity. Bids for the timeshare points are being accepted at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club. Minimum bid is $2,500. All proceeds will go to EMS.

For more information, contact Robyn at 946-5552.

'Tee to Green' league day for women's golf association

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association played the "Tee to Green" format for its league day June 20.

Players tallied all their strokes from the tee to the green (no putts), and those with the lowest number of strokes were winners. The ladies played the Meadows Ponderosa courses with a par rating of 71.

Barbara Sanborn and Jane Stewart captured top honors in the first flight, each with a 51. Third and fourth place when to Lynda Gillespie and Lynn Mollet with a 54 and 58 respectively.

Second flight winners were Carole Howard, first, with a 66, and Carol Barrows, Nancy Mackensen, and Claudia Johnson tied for second, all with a 68. Nancy Chitwood and Barb Nason captured the closest to the pin special event honors on No. 2 and No. 8 Ponderosa, respectively.

Twelve association members traveled to Durango's Dalton Ranch Golf Club for the 12th Annual Columbine Classic Tournament June 22. The field consisted of 25 teams of four women who played a two best ball gross and net format.

Any Fladt of Hillcrest Golf Club joined the Pagosa team of Barbara Sanborn, Marilyn Smart and Jane Stewart, which placed third net in the Championship flight with a 134.

Also representing Pagosa Springs were Nancy Chitwood, Audrey Johnson, Jan Kilgore, Carried Weisz, Josie Hummel, Sue Martin, Cherry O'Donnell and Sheila Rogers.

Soccer players: MLS camp coming

The Pagosa Sting Soccer Club will conduct its 10th annual Major League Soccer Camp Aug. 7-11 at Pagosa Springs High School.

MLS camps cater to players of all ages and soccer abilities through the application of Kidriculum, a child-appropriate curriculum. Program themes include: Play S.A.F.E. (Play, Soccer, Awareness, Fun, Education) for ages 5-11, and A.T.T.A.C.K. (Attitude, Training, Techniques, Awareness, Competition, Knowledge) for ages 12-18.

Campers will receive an evaluation, an MLS gift and a free companion ticket to an MLS game, in addition to an MLS camp shirt and ball.

The Recreational Program, for 5- and 6-year-olds, will run from 9 to 10:30 each morning.

The Intermediate Program, for players 7-11 years of age, runs from 9 to noon.

The Competitive Program is for 12- to 18-year-old players and will run from 5-8 p.m.

The Extended Team Training Program takes place from 9-noon and 5-8 p.m.

Costs are $75 for the Recreational Program, $115 for the Intermediate and Competitive Programs and $160 for the Team Training. Any camper enrolled by June 15 will receive a $10 discount.

The parents of any camper, or adults intending to coach soccer in the fall, are eligible to attend a free coaching clinic during the week.

Registration forms are available at the parks and recreation department in Town Hall.

For more information about the camp, contact Lindsey Kurt-Mason at 731-2458

Hoop It Up 3-on-3 basketball

Hoop It Up, the largest 3-on-3 basketball tour in the world, brings the ultimate 3-on-3 experience to Albuquerque, offering athletes the opportunity to qualify for the 2006 World Championships.

The 3-on-3 basketball tournament will take place Saturday and Sunday, July 15 and 16, at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Each team will showcase its talent during pool play Saturday, competing to qualify for first-, second- and third-place prizes Sunday. First-through fourth-place teams in each division are invited to participate in the Hoop It Up World Championships held at Disney's Wide World of Sports® Complex in Florida.  Additionally, players can compete in the on-site Slam Dunk Contest, exhibiting their creative, high-flying skills to fellow players and spectators.

Visit www.HoopItUp.com for more information, including the complete 2006 Hoop It Up schedule, and to register for the upcoming area events. 

The deadline to register for Hoop It Up in Albuquerque is Monday, July 10, at 5 p.m.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Still time to enroll the kids in Park Fun program

By Heather Hunts

SUN Columnist

Registration for this year's Park Fun program is taking place daily at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.

Stop by to get your child enrolled for fun, now.

Thus far, Park Fun has hosted bike days, swim days, hiking, talent shows, the Diffendoofer cookout and a special movie day.

Future activities include a cookout at the Fireside (hosted by Fireside Cabins), water fights, treasure hunts and our Christmas in July party.

Activities also include hiking, wading, rollerblading, art and daily field trips. Your child will get plenty of fresh air, exercise and fun.

Drop-off for each day's program is at 8 a.m. at the junior high and pick-up is at 5 p.m. All scheduled events are posted weekly and daily for your convenience. Children require a sack lunch, sunscreen and a towel.

Call Heather Hunts, director, at 731-1146 with any additional questions.

Adult softball schedule

Schedules for this year's adult men's and coed leagues are 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 - Ben Johnson/D.E.S. vs. Boss Hogg's at 5:30 p.m. on Field 1 and Four Corners Electronics vs. American Legion at 6:50 p.m. on Field 1.

- July 3 - No games scheduled due to Fourth of July holiday.

- July 5 - Boss Hogg's vs. Pagosa Falcons at 5:30 p.m. on Field 2 and MBM Construction vs. Ben Johnson/D.E.S. at 8 p.m. on Field 2.

The coed schedule for the coming week includes:

- Tonight - Grass Roots vs. Old School at 8 p.m. on Field 1 (make-up game from week one).

- July 4 - No games scheduled.

- July 6 - Grass Roots vs. Galles at 5:30 p.m. on Field 1, Old School vs. Radio Shack at 5:30 p.m. on Field 2, Priority One vs. Snowy River Construction at 6:50 p.m. on Field 1 and Dionigi's vs. Aaron's Fitness at 8 p.m. 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 as required 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 next games will not be permitted to play.

Youth baseball schedule

The Pinto division (6, 7 and 8 year-olds) played final games of the season last night at Pagosa Springs High School. We will acknowledge the phenomenal level of support we had this year from all of our Pinto division parents, coaches and sponsors in next week's column.

The Mustang division (9-10) is in the midst of its double-elimination tournament. Call the sports hotline or visit the town Web site for current pairings and game times.

Mustang tournament 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.


Horseshoe pitching at South Pagosa Park will continue each Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. through September.

From beginners to experts, everyone is welcome to play and improve. Now is a good time to come out and sharpen your eye for this year's County Fair tournament. If there's enough interest, we'll hold a town tournament in October.

So, remember to attend Tuesday evening practice and pick-up games at South Pagosa Park's horseshoe courts, just north of the basketball courts.

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.


Change, for a day

It is a fine time, with July 4 on the horizon, to ponder whether or not our Founders would be able to swim in contemporary political waters. Probably so; few, if any, of the Founding Fathers and their peers were strangers to divisive, partisan politics. Most would not be strangers to the sharp gaps that exist between crudely drawn, simple ideologies. Many would do quite well in the contemporary fray.

Some, however, might be puzzled by the willingness of those among us who are officially unaffiliated with a political party to suddenly affiliate and take part in what is, essentially, a partisan process - in our case, an upcoming primary election. They might be mystified by a call for unaffiliated voters and, yes, even Democrats, to change affiliation to the Republican Party for (just) the Aug. 8 primary.

No doubt, a few of the Fathers would lament such untethered "allegiance."

But, that is what we are encouraging here, now. There is a substantial number of unaffiliated voters in Pagosa Country and the only important local election in the primary is on the Republican ballot - a vote to select a candidate for sheriff that will, barring an unforeseen general election candidacy, produce the next sheriff of Archuleta County.

So, unaffiliated voters should become Republicans for a day. It is the only way we will have our say in what is an important election. Sure, the diehard two-party folks will moan and cast aspersions, but ... who cares? Surely not those among us who hold the current two-party system in low esteem. And not those among us who wish to play our small part in the county's future.

The process is simple - with early and absentee balloting beginning July 10.

A voter currently registered unaffiliated has until July 10 to declare as a Republican and vote early in the primary. It's easy: go to the Archuleta County Clerk's Election Office downstairs in the courthouse, sidle up to the window and tell whoever appears that you want to be a Republican, at least for a day. To make matters easier, if there is no need to cast an early ballot, an unaffiliated voter can arrive at one of the new Vote Centers Aug. 8 and affiliate with the Republican Party on the spot.

Since there is no local Democratic Party primary contest, a similar opportunity is open to Democrats. Granted, there are other primary contests on the Democratic ballot, so a Pagosa Country Dem will have to make a choice: Change parties and have a say in an important local election, or stay with the party and deal with "larger" concerns. If a local Democrat wishes to become a Republican for a day, all he or she has to do is appear at the Election Office before July 10 and affiliate with the enemy.

Here's the great thing about this flexibility: following a change in affiliation, the new Republican can revert almost immediately to their former state - unaffiliated, or Democrat.

And, actually, it doesn't matter if the change occurs soon after the primary (unless the changeling feels somehow soiled) - the same general election ballot goes to all voters in November. The change back can be hastened and nervous, or it can occur in a leisurely manner.

All smugness aside: the upcoming primary is important, and only the Republican Party has put a vital, local contest on the ballot.

Unaffiliated voters must decide if they want a say. Local Democrats must make a decision as to the strength of their ideological convictions and evaluate their desire to cast a meaningful local vote.

Republicans, move over and pull down the covers; there's a bunch of us getting into bed with you Aug. 8.

And we can't help but think at least some of the Founding Fathers would join us if they were here.

Karl Isberg



Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of June 30, 1916

One day last week George Babcock and Orval Ricketts, while coming down the canon road on Williams Creek in the former's Ford car, bumped into a huge 400 pound cinnamon right in the road. The road was so narrow at the point that the Bruin would have to run a half mile before he could escape. But George, being conceded one of the finest expert rope throwers in the state, turned the wheel over to Mr. Ricketts and, pulling his trusty riata from under the seat, soon had the Bruin enmeshed in its coils. The boys, not having a gun with them, were compelled to slay the big cinnamon with a club. The fur was in fine condition and Tom Mee, the taxidermist, is now mounting the pelt for a lap robe.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 3, 1931

Wilbur Haskitt of Alamosa, Harold Lewis of Pagosa Springs and Roy Trapp of Alamosa, who held up the Rio Arriba State Bank at Chama on the morning of June 24, and were captured about an hour later at Chromo in Archuleta County, pled guilty to the charge of bank robbery at Santa Fe yesterday morning, and were at once sentenced to the New Mexico penitentiary for life by District Judge Otero. Dean Amyx of Alamosa, formerly of Chama and Pagosa Springs, the fourth member of the holdup group, pled not guilty when arraigned yesterday, and was bound over to the next term of district court of Rio Arriba County. Amyx claims he had nothing to do with the robbery, but was picked up by the bandits while he was on his way to Pagosa Springs.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 5, 1956

The beard-growing contest, sponsored by the Lions Club, came to a close last Saturday night when the chin fuzz was judged for length, and other qualities. Several townspeople who did not participate in the contest were hauled into the kangaroo court and fined. The court was held at the Town Hall and quite a large crowed was congregated before the evening was over.

Patrolman Don Rasnic pointed out to us last week that there is a stiff fine, up to $100 for dumping trash on the highways or throwing trash, cans, garbage or any such material from an automobile. He stated that the state patrol is going to get tough about it, so litterbugs beware.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 2, 1981

County commissioners have ready a draft proposal for a one percent sales and use tax increase. Commissioners expressed the opinion that they must either have the additional sales tax or raise the property taxes next year.

Numerous rattlesnakes have been killed recently in the county according to reports. Walkers are reminded to move carefully in areas where the ground is covered or their path is obscured. It helps to be a little noisy as you walk along.

After several days of 90 degree weather, clouds moved into our area, dropped some rain, and lowered temperatures. Hopefully the rain will move on before rodeo day arrives. Still, the coolness and rainfall are welcome and needed.


'Little Angeles' and their art

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

The students in Soledad Estrada-Leo's summer art and Spanish camp are proud of their creations, and more than happy to showcase them: their paintings, vivid and geometrical, are reminiscent of Matisse. The charcoal and pencil drawings they've spent so much time on are skillfully shaded, making the animals they've drawn surprisingly lifelike.

Not bad for a group of 4 to 9-year-olds.

But, with a teacher like Estrada-Leo, it's no surprise these kids are able to produce such masterful artwork. Estrada-Leo, an equine and portrait artist, has been teaching art for 30 years. While she does teach adult art classes, she said she especially loves teaching children.

"In this age, they're observant and more sensitive to things," she said. "They have open minds."

With this in mind, Estrada-Leo employs a refreshingly open approach to her teaching. She understands her young students need her guidance, and she works hard to pass along her expertise. However, she also knows when to take a step back and let her students "do their own thing," and use their uninhibited imaginations to create unique artwork.

"Art is a sensitivity, a feeling from the spirit, and they learn this fast. They don't have fears; they just create," she said. "I give them the tools - they create."

Estrada-Leo has certainly provided her young pupils with plenty of tools; in just one month, the students have already learned the chromatic pallet and the ideas behind shadow, light and composition. They've created artwork with watercolors, pastels, acrylics, papier maché, woodblocks, printmaking, graphite pencil and charcoal. Estrada-Leo encourages the kids to use nature and their own imaginations for inspiration, and she teaches the works of some of the greats like Cezanne, Matisse, and Leonardo for the students to look to for inspiration.

Many students have a different, favorite medium they like to work with, but they all agree that the creation is the best part - and they all love having something to show for their hard work. Kayla Nasralla, 6, described it concisely: after much consideration, she decided painting was her favorite, "because I get to make stuff."

While the students love creating art, perhaps the most innovative aspect of the camp is the incorporation of the Spanish language into the art. Estrada-Leo said many parents, who knew Spanish was her first language, asked her if she also taught a Spanish class.

"I'm so happy I found that they wanted their kids to learn another language," she says. "And by learning every day, they learn much more."

Estrada-Leo decided the best way to teach Spanish was alongside art, so her students learn the Spanish names for shapes and colors as they paint them. She believes this helps youngsters comprehend and absorb the language more quickly. In addition, they learn standard greetings and phrases, numbers, foods, directions, parts of the body, and much more.

"It's an intensive, short presentation of the language," said Estrada-Leo.

The extent of the students' growth is apparent; their paintings show talent beyond their years, and their knowledge of Spanish is considerable. As snacktime draws near, Diana Scott, 5, approaches Estrada-Leo, tugs her sleeve and says, "tengo hambre," one of the many useful Spanish phrases taught in the class.

But even more apparent is the respect and admiration the students have developed for Estrada-Leo and her daughter Clara, 17, who helps out at the camp. The younger students crowded around Clara, seeking help, asking her to look at their paintings, and occasionally applying a playful dab of paint to her nose.

As Estrada-Leo moved through her students, she peppered the air with compliments - in Spanish, of course - muy bien, excellente, que bonito.

"Yeah, but it's gonna be really nice soon," said Ethan Sullivan, 7, in response to her compliments on his painting. "I'm gonna make an apple tree."

As she circled the tables where her students painted, her young students barraged her with questions. Spence Scott, 9, double-checked with Estrada-Leo to make sure he was mixing the right colors together to create the brown he would need to paint a bear.

"Perfecto," she said as Spence displayed his knowledge of the color palette.

Sullivan and Alec Fulbright, 5, needed help painting clouds. Estrada-Leo directed their attention skyward and asked the boys to describe the clouds to her.

"When you want to paint something, just look around you," she told them.

Estrada-Leo also uses music as inspiration for her young pupils. She often plays classical music while they are painting, as she believes it increases sensitivity and alertness. In one of the favorite lessons of the class, she plays music from different nations like Africa, China and South America, while the students close their eyes and paint.

"I ask them, 'What are the colors that music is painting for you?'" she said. Without looking at their canvas, the students paint an explosion of blues and orange when the South American music plays, and time their brushstrokes to the rhythm of African drums.

"They use their feelings to become more sensitive to the art," said Estrada-Leo.

As the June class drew to a close, the students worked diligently to polish the skit they'd been practicing all month long, "Uncle Nacho's Hat." Estrada-Leo said the drama portion is where all the techniques learned in the class culminate; the students painted the background and all the props for the skit, and they learned their lines in both Spanish and English. They performed the skit for their parents in Town Park on the last day of class.

A few kids will continue to take classes after the month is up, and Estrada-Leo said she has two children who have been with her since August 2005, taking after-school lessons. The children who have already taken classes will learn new, advanced language and artistic techniques.

"I don't make them stop with the rest of the class," said Estrada-Leo. "Everyone learns at their own pace."

Maddie Hundley, 4, one of the students who has been in the class the longest, can list off a number of techniques she's learned, but her favorite is painting butterflies. Estrada-Leo said Maddie played the mariposa, or butterfly, in the last skit.

"She was the main character, she wore wings and everything. And she learned all of her lines in Spanish," said Estrada-Leo, as Maddie smiled modestly.

When the month's classes conclude, Estrada-Leo creates an album of memories for each student to take home, and she also draws a portrait of each child.

"So when they're painting at (age) 20, they can look back at what they looked like, what they used to paint," she said.

But the work doesn't end with the class. Estrada-Leo said the group of students she calls the "Little Angeles" will also donate their time and work to the community. They perform skits for the seniors at Pine Ridge - in Spanish and English - and will also paint a mural to decorate the halls. They've already painted a mural in the Humane Society Thrift Shop and plan on painting another in the new Seeds of Learning building.

"They use the kindness of their craft to help in the community," said Estrada-Leo. "It's teamwork."

Classes are held at the community center and in Town Park, and meet Monday through Thursday. Classes for ages 4 to 7 meet 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and classes for ages 8 to 13 meet 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The next session begins July 3, and the August session begins July 31.

For more information, contact the Pagosa Springs Art Council at 264-5020.


Pagosa's Past

More on the war of 1854

By John Motter

We've been writing about the 1854 war between the U.S. and the Jicarilla Apache Tribe.

The war began in earnest April 8 when after a long chase across difficult terrain U.S. troops discovered the Apaches camped on the Rio Caliente, a tributary of the Chama River.

According to Veronica Velarde Tiller in her book "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History, 1846-1970," "The Apaches spotted the soldiers and hurried their women and children onto horses as they were fired upon from above. The dragoons attacked the warriors, drove them from the river, and put them to route. Cooke (the U.S. commander, surmised this force of over 150 Apaches was commanded by Chacón. Although there was no conclusive evidence that Chacón had ever been present at the Embudo Mountain battle, the soldiers pursued this band to avenge Davidson's men. The soldiers later returned and destroyed the deserted camps. It seems that the dragoons were concentrating their efforts against the wrong band, while the real hostiles escaped to the Mescalero country (in southeastern New Mexico).

"Some Utes later told Kit Carson that four or five Apaches had been killed and five or six wounded. Seventeen Apache women and children were also missing and were assumed to be prisoners; in fact they had perished in the deep snow and freezing temperatures. During the fight, one woman drowned in the stream while trying to escape, but her baby was rescued by one of the soldiers, who gave the infant to a family in Taos.

"Cooke continued his search for the Jicarilla in the mountains overlooking the Chama Valley. The snow was so deep that the pack mules bogged down and had to be unloaded; horses that lost the path floundered helplessly in the crusted snow and drastically slowed the pursuit. The Apaches had taken a southwest course toward the valley of the Canjilón. The soldiers were briefly encouraged when the Spy Company discovered a fresh trail in the forest. Cooke's men wearily continued their fruitless search. On April 12, although more tracks and trails were discovered, further efforts were halted and the troops headed back toward the settlements at Abiquiu and along the Chama River.

"Meanwhile, another U.S. force led by Major Brooks trailed Chacón and Huero, with their fourteen lodges, north to the Conejos and the Rio Culebra, east of the Rio Grande. The Jicarilla, however, managed to evade these troops , who were also forced to return to Taos.

"Shortly thereafter, Cooke learned from shepherds that some Apaches had camped west of Cebolla Stream. It was believed that they were headed east toward the Sangre de Cristo Mountain, fifteen miles below Fort Massachusetts. Cooke dispatched James H. Carleton from Taos on May 23 to intercept them. With his force of one hundred men, including Quinn's Spy Company, Carson (Kit), Major Brooks and eighty infantry, and Sykes Riflemen, Carleton traveled north. Carleton and Carson agreed on a strategy that include searching both sides of Sierra Blanca for the Apaches believed to be concealed there. Quinn's Spy Company marched thirty miles west of the mountain and through Mosca Pass to await the main force on the middle branch of the Huerfano River, while Carleton and Carson proceeded along the eastern base of Sierra Blanca to Sangre de Cristo Creek and up the Vallecito. Having discovered only some old Apache trails and camps, the entire force met near the base of the mountain on the Greenhorn road of the Huerfano."

More next week on the 1854 U.S. war against the Jicarilla Apache.


Pagosa Sky Watch

Enjoy the planetary fireworks show

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 5:50 a.m.

Sunset: 8:33 p.m.

Moonrise: 9:35 a.m.

Moonset: 11:31 p.m.

Moon phase: The moon is waxing crescent with 16 percent of the visible disk illuminated.

Throughout recent weeks, planets have played a prominent role in nightly sky watching activities and that pattern continues tonight and throughout the Fourth of July weekend.

In order to enjoy the complete planetary fireworks show, skywatchers will want to set up in a location with unobstructed views of the west-northwest horizon before sunset. A good pair of binoculars and a telescope will add to the experience, although all the objects are visible with the naked eye.

Beginning tonight, and looking west-northwest as twilight unfolds, skywatchers can begin their observations by locating the thin crescent moon. From the moon, travel in a line diagonally down and to the right - the path of the ecliptic - to the brightest and lowest object above the horizon. This is the planet Mercury, whose brightness at times nearly rivals that of the star Sirius, and will appear to skywatchers as a bright, blue-white object. Unfortunately, because Mercury orbits so close to the sun, details of the planet's surface are lost in the sun's glare and not even the largest ground-based telescopes can resolve fine details on the planet's surface.

Although professional and amateur astronomers alike have difficulty viewing Mercury in detail with ground-based equipment, enough glimpses of the planet's surface have been had throughout astronomical history to allow astronomers to conclude that Mercury's surface resembles our own moon. However, until 1974, the nature of Mercury's moon-like character remained largely speculative, but during that year with the launch of Mariner 10, our understanding of Mercury significantly expanded.

During Mariner's mission, the probe beamed images back from space depicting a rocky, heavily cratered planet, remarkably similar to our own moon in appearance. But despite apparent similarities, Mariner 10 also revealed something unexpected - Mercury's core was much more Earth-like than anticipated.

While orbiting the planet, Mariner 10 detected a magnetic field around Mercury, which astronomers say is created by the planet's large, iron core. Astronomers estimate the core is roughly three quarters the planet's diameter and nearly as large as our moon.

While early astronomers speculated on Mercury's outward appearance, they also speculated on the planet's environment. Because Mercury orbits in such close proximity to the sun, many believed Mercury was the hottest planet in the solar system. However, more contemporary observations revealed the contrary.

During the Mercury day, which lasts 176 Earth days, temperatures at noon on Mercury's equator broach 400 degrees celsius - hot enough to liquefy tin and lead. However, without an atmosphere to hold the heat near the planet's surface, the temperature plummets to -180 celsius during Mercury's long, 88 earth-day night.

From Mercury, working your way up the path of ecliptic toward the moon, the next stop is M44, commonly called the Beehive Cluster, and Saturn. Saturn will appear as a bright, cream-colored object, and those with telescopes can enjoy views of the planet's spectacular rings and perhaps Titan, one of the planet's largest moons.

Once you've located Saturn, use the planet as a landmark to find the Beehive Cluster, which is located near the ecliptical path and just below and slightly to the right of the ringed planet.

While contemporary astronomers call the star cluster the "Beehive" the Greeks knew the grouping as Praesepe, "the manger," and both names are used interchangeably today. Astronomers have observed as many as 50 stars of magnitude 6 or fainter with telescopes, although the cluster will appear as a faint misty patch to the naked eye.

Some skywatchers may find it tempting to zero in on the Beehive with high powered optics, however, because the cluster sprawls across the sky at nearly three times the apparent diameter of the moon, it is often best surveyed through binoculars.

The cluster lies 577 light years away.

After surveying Praesepe and adjacent Saturn, the next stop upward along the ecliptic is the red planet Mars.

Mars will appear as a bright, burnt orange object a few degrees above and to the left of Saturn.

After viewing Mars, you can return to the crescent moon which will appear nestled next to the bright, magnitude 1.4 blue-white star Regulus, which marks the heart of the constellation Leo.

From Regulus, and moving along the ecliptic in an upward, diagonal trajectory to the left and far beyond Regulus and the moon, skywatchers will find solitary Jupiter - the last planet on the four-planet tour.

In terms of brightness, magnitude -2.9 Jupiter is second only to Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, and will be easily seen blazing a bold creamy yellow in the night sky.


Date High Low Precip
Depth Moisture