July 6, 2006

Front Page

Cyclist killed, trooper injured in Saturday accidents

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Saturday proved to be a day of double tragedy on U.S.160 west of Pagosa Springs.

The first incident occurred about 1 p.m., when an Albuquerque man finishing the final leg of the 2006 Bicycle Tour of Colorado died after his bicycle collided with a truck near milemarker 116 on Yellowjacket Pass.

According to Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Chad Martin, the rider, 26-year-old Ben Inglis, was traveling eastbound on the highway when he attempted to make a U-turn to assist a fellow cyclist behind him with a flat tire.

According to reports, Inglis' turn put him in the path of Tracie McRee, 36, of Pagosa Springs, who was also traveling eastbound in a 2004 Chevy Silverado three-quarter-ton truck. Seeing Inglis make the turn, McRee swerved into the westbound lane to avoid the cyclist, but Inglis' turn also took him into the westbound lane and the two collided.

Martin said McRee was not cited in the incident.

The impact threw Inglis nearly 100 feet to the south shoulder of the roadway.

Inglis was wearing a helmet, but suffered severe head and body trauma.

When emergency services arrived, Inglis had a pulse and artificial respiration was provided for about a half an hour. At about 1:30 p.m., Dr. Mike Stackpool pronounced Inglis dead at the scene.

Inglis was one of more than 2,000 cyclists completing the week-long, 463-mile journey from Pagosa Springs through Creede, Gunnison, Montrose, Telluride, Mancos and back to Pagosa Springs. The Bicycle Tour of Colorado is in its 12th season.

Inglis is the second fatality of the organized summer bicycle touring season in Colorado.

The first fatality occurred June 22, near Salida, during the Ride the Rockies tour, when a Boulder cyclist veered into the path of an RV on U.S. 50 and was crushed beneath its wheels.

Following Inglis' tragedy, the second incident unfolded about two hours later, when Colorado State Patrol Trooper Jeff Gibbs was traveling eastbound on U.S. 160 near mile marker 117 after leaving the scene of the bicycle fatality.

"We had just finished the bicycle fatality and opened the road and everyone was heading out," Martin said.

According, to the state patrol report, Gibbs began a left turn into a driveway to assist a stranded motorist when Colorado State Patrol motorcycle Trooper Jim Wise, also traveling eastbound, entered the westbound lane, attempting to pass Gibbs.

The motorcycle collided with the left front side of the patrol car and spun the car around where it came to rest facing east.

Upon impact, Trooper Wise was ejected from his motorcycle. Trooper Gibbs and his passenger, Trooper Brian Vining, sustained minor injuries.

Martin said Trooper Wise broke his right leg, a few toes, and had severe road rash and was transported to Mercy Hospital in Durango where he was admitted and listed in fair condition.

On Wednesday, Martin said Wise had been released from the hospital.


Aspen Village paving project will begin on U.S. 160

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Asphalt paving is about to begin on U.S. 160 west of Piedra Road in Pagosa Springs, and motorists traveling through the area should plan for construction-related traffic delays.

Paving will begin July 10 and will continue through July 21.

Construction hours are 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, with lane closures occurring throughout the construction period.

The speed limit is 35 mph through the construction area.

The construction area begins just west of Piedra Road and ends near Alpha Drive.

The U.S. 160 construction is part of the Aspen Village project and will include widening the highway; installation of acceleration and deceleration lanes; installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of U.S. 160 and Aspen Village Drive; and 5,000 cubic yards of grading and safety improvements.

Project manager Mike Church encouraged motorists to plan ahead and allow extra time to travel across town during construction times.

Church said the project remains on schedule, with an Aug. 1, targeted completion date.

For questions or project updates, call Aspen Village at 731-3655.


$65,000 in jewelry stolen from fair vendor

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

A vendor in the Park to Park Arts and Crafts Festival awoke the morning of July 2 to find approximately $65,000 worth of jewelry missing from her tent.

Pagosa Springs Police Department Detective Scott Maxwell said several hundred rings, bracelets and necklaces were reported stolen, and were taken sometime between 6:30 p.m. July 1, when the tent closed, and 8:30 a.m. July 2 when the vendor discovered the theft.

The stolen jewelry consisted mainly of sterling silver, turquoise and coral.

Maxwell said security was employed along the stretch of vendor tents when the theft occurred, but the targeted tent was located directly next to the river, near several large bushes, providing good cover for the thief.

"It would have been very easy for someone to come up the river and crawl under the tent," said Maxwell.

Maxwell said the theft was the only major incident to take place at the festival over the holiday weekend. He said some vendors lost merchandise to shoplifters, but the police department had officers on patrol to deter theft during fair hours.

Pagosa Springs police are conducting an investigation of the theft, and anyone with information is urged to contact the department at 264-4151.


Monday is last day to register to vote in Aug. 8 primary

Voter registration deadline for the Aug. 8 primary election is Monday, July 10.

Early voting for the upcoming primary election is expected to begin July 10.

The polling place will be the Archuleta County Clerk's office, downstairs in the Elections Office. The office is easily accessed from the back of the courthouse.

Those who will be unable to vote Aug. 8 at a Vote Center (combined polling precincts) will have the option, as always, to early or absentee vote. Voting early is done in the Archuleta County Clerk's Elections Office where you will be allowed to vote and drop your ballot into a ballot box.

Absentee voting is done by picking up your ballot, carrying it out or voting in the Elections Office, then dropping the competed ballot in a ballot box. Regardless of how you absentee vote, you must seal the ballot in an absentee envelope.

Early and absentee voting office hours will be 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, July 10-Aug. 4.

Remember to bring your ID. You will have to vote a provisional ballot if you do not have a valid ID with you.

The office is located at 449 San Juan St., in downtown Pagosa Springs. You can drive to the back of the courthouse. If you prefer to park at the front of the courthouse, you will need to go downstairs, out the back door, then in the door marked "Elections."

If you have questions, call 264-8350.


Inside The Sun

Administration, parents butt heads over wellness policy

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

With cases of childhood obesity increasing and national concern rising, all school districts with federally-funded school meal programs have been required by the U.S. Congress to develop and implement wellness policies addressing nutrition and physical activity by the start of the 2006-2007 school year. Yet with the new school year swiftly approaching, many find the Archuleta School District's policy lacking, and they are not pleased.

Maureen Margiotta, head school nurse, was asked by the district to form a committee to create a wellness policy. The committee, essentially consisting of school nurses, physical education teachers, cafeteria managers, administration and parents, began meeting in April to develop a policy that would improve nutrition and physical education in the school district. By the time the school board heard the first reading of the policy June 13, the policy had been significantly watered down. Sandy Caves, school board vice president, had voiced concerns about the lack of nutritional changes in the policy at the meeting. By press time, Caves was unavailable for comment.

"We had hoped to do more things," said Mary Jo Valentine, registered nurse at the school and committee member. "We were dissatisfied that it got whittled down."

Valentine said the committee recognized that implementing a nutritional policy wasn't going to be easy within the existing budget, and spent a lot of time researching what other schools had done, and using those schools as models. She cited Durango School District 9-R's policy, which eliminates soda in favor of water, milk, soy beverages and unsweetened fruit juices, and works with local farmers to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to schools.

But as far as Pagosa's wellness policy goes, "Budget constraints and concerns about waste took the forefront," said Valentine. The final draft of the policy recommends serving fresh fruit or vegetables daily and prioritizing physical fitness, but other than that, the policy lacks concrete goals, and committee members are worried the lack of proper nutrition could have adverse effects on local children's health.

"We're already seeing kids under the age of ten who are 20 pounds overweight," said Valentine.

Margiotta emphasized the need for change in children's diets.

"How can you improve physical fitness if nothing changes? You need to increase the amount of physical fitness to a daily basis. Period. That's what's recommended, that's the national standard," said Margiotta. "The obesity problem in the United States is horrific. Let's teach them at a young age. It's better now than never."

Valentine said the wellness policy is "a work in progress," and she encouraged parents to contact the school board with their overall impressions.

Parents on the committee are not pleased with the final draft of the policy. Ronnie Doctor and Crista Munro, who both have elementary-age children, worked arduously to create nutritional goals for the schools that would improve children's health, and both were upset to find the committee's suggestions turned down for monetary reasons.

"We were told to keep it (the policy) vague, so we didn't have to do anything we couldn't follow through - instead of trying to do something," said Doctor.

Doctor and Munro said school Superintendent Duane Noggle, who attended the last two committee meetings, questioned the feasibility of the original policy due to budget concerns. They also said they realized that some goals could not be met due to budget; for example, they used the kitchen at Head Start as a model, in which two employees prepare 66 healthful meals from scratch each day which meet strict dietary standards. The kitchens for the Archuleta County School District would need 30 employees to use the same model to prepare 1,000 healthy meals; that's 20 more employees than the district currently employs for food service.

"The school budget needs to cough up money for at least one more employee per school. It's a budget restriction that's reflecting poorly on the students," said Doctor. "They're able to find funding for the things they choose. They just need to choose food service."

But the original policy goals were not solely budget additions; in fact, the original policy included many budget cuts. Doctor and Munro argued that minimizing dessert and removing certain menu items - such as strawberry milk, which contains 48 grams of sugar per serving - would actually decrease budget. They also planned to alleviate the staffing problems in the kitchens by making more breakfasts in the "grab and go" style, serving yogurt, bagels, and nonsugar cereal. They argued this would give kitchen staff more time to prepare lunch, since they would not have to spend time making meals like breakfast pizzas and cinnamon rolls. It would also provide a healthier alternative for the students. The yogurt and bagel meal contains 5.9 grams of fat and 636 milligrams of sodium, whereas other breakfast meals, like the sausage and cheese English muffin, contain 18.4 grams of fat and 972 milligrams of sodium. Couple this with a lunch like the chicken fried steak, which packs 38.7 grams of fat and 2,281 milligrams of sodium, and the meals are well over the recommended daily intake for fat and sodium.

"I won't let my kids eat at convenience stores, and this is a convenience store diet," said Doctor. "Fast food should not be the norm."

Doctor and Munro said they were told by Noggle that the school could not cut out menu items like the cinnamon roll, because students like it and sales would go down.

"We don't want to say money drives everything, but it does to a large extent," said Noggle. "Like anything else in capitalism, it's supply and demand. Funding is based on the meal count sold. We have to serve what students crave, or the counts go down."

Yet Doctor argued that the high sugar breakfasts negatively affect the students' learning abilities.

"Of course they love it (the cinnamon roll), but they're bonking in class," said Doctor. She said the schools should not cater to the children solely for profitable reasons, and budget should not take precedence over children's health.

"Well, of course they love (the high fat and sugar meals). But they'd also love to go to school in the morning and not have their math lessons. But do we let them? No. We guide them, because we know it's good for them. That's what we're here for, to guide them," she said.

"They run it like it's a business," said Munro of the district's food service. She added that she thought lower sales was not a valid opposition to the policy.

"In my opinion, meal counts would increase," said Munro. "In schools where they've changed, it did take a bit of time. But the students came not just to like the food, but to prefer it."

Noggle argued that "proper nutrition is not the most important thing," and that there isn't enough evidence to support the importance of nutrition and exercise the committee stressed.

"It's an ongoing debate about the nutritional aspects, how it affects achievement," said Noggle. "The research is mixed. There's research out there that says it's good to give children hard candy to suck on before exams. So the research is both good and bad. The validity of it, I don't know."

However, Munro said the adverse effects of poor health due to obesity on academic performance have been established, and a direct correlation between SAT test scores and physical fitness test scores was documented in 2004 by the California State Department of Education. Proper nutrition and exercise in schools has been found to increase cognitive development and overall behavior by the Nutritional Resource Foundation. She presented this information at the committee meetings, including the ones which Noggle attended. Noggle said he "left it (research) mostly up to the committee."

"What we're saying isn't our opinion, it's fact. The knowledge is there - if you cared to look it up, it's all there," said Munro. "There is no argument against what we're trying to do here except a financial one."

Margiotta emphasized the fact that nutrition and exercise play a role in overall academic achievement.

"Statistics show if you have good nutrition and increased PE your academic scores are higher," she said. "It has everything to do with CSAP."

Doctor and Munro said nutrition and physical education should not have lower priority simply because they are not part of the core curriculum that students are tested on.

"The school needs to set standards on things that are important all through life," said Doctor. "Why wait to educate?"

Munro continued: "We teach character because we realize not every kid is getting that at home. Why should nutrition be any different?"

Noggle said this heightened awareness and concerns involving nutrition and physical education is just part of a "cycle" that school districts go through.

"We seem to go through a cycle," said Noggle, referring to the concerns of the committee. "In the sixties, with Sputnik, math and science became important, and PE. Kennedy said the nation needs PE. Now it's just coming back to us."

But Munro argued that the concern for children's health is not temporary.

"We know things now we didn't ten years ago. Ten years ago we didn't even know what trans fat was. Now we know it leads to diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure," she said. "It's not a phase."

Doctor and Munro have other ideas, like developing small lunch groups, in which parents volunteer to make healthy lunches for five children once a week. They're even considering alternative, nonprofit kitchens to prepare healthy meals.

"Whatever it would take," said Doctor.

"We are not going to let this drop," said Munro. "We have strength in numbers and we have parents who believe in this and we're not going away."


District asks residents to voluntarily conserve water

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Mandatory water use restrictions have not been ordered for Pagosa Springs ... so far.

But, according to the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District office, it has begun frequent observations of water levels in area reservoirs and direct flow rates in the San Juan River, and if conditions responsible for water depletions continue, mandatory restrictions may be forthcoming.

Meanwhile, the district is encouraging voluntary compliance with responsible outside water use, including watering in the early-morning or late-day hours. Watering at these times results in lower water loss due to evaporation. Watering with oscillating sprinklers should never been done during mid-day hours, or in windy conditions.

While homeowners should consider alternatives to big thirsty lawns, grass and sod should be allowed to grow taller. Watering slowly and thoroughly also helps by inviting deep root growth and avoiding "spoiled" lawns, where frequent shallow watering wastes water and makes lawns more susceptible to drought conditions.

The district suggests property owners plant native grass, plants and shrubs that require less water. Using mulch in the garden or around bushes saves water, and drip irrigation systems or soaker hoses also reduce water use. All systems should be kept in working order, and all leaks should be repaired immediately.

To remove leaves, grass clippings and other debris, always use a broom or rake, instead of the hose.

To wash vehicles, use a bucket of water and mild organic soap. Rinsing with an outside hose is best when controlling the flow with a positive shut-off nozzle.

The district recognizes water waste as areas where water intended for lawns is pooling or flowing into drainage ditches, or where sprinklers are applying water to paved surfaces. Watering during the heat of the day, or in high winds, is wasteful, and using excessive amounts of water is unnecessary. Failure to repair broken sprinkler heads or other irrigation equipment causes water waste, and using a hose instead of a broom or rake to clean paved areas is wasteful.

The district recommends washing laundry in full loads, or using the load selector to match the size of load being washed. Heavily soiled items should be presoaked, and detergent should be used sparingly. All connections should be tight and all leaks should be repaired at once.

Businesses are advised to conserve water as well. Restaurants should only serve drinking water upon customer request, and lodging facilities should ask customers to consider reusing towels and bed sheets, thereby reducing laundry demands and subsequent water use.

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District has been blessed with some afternoon and evening rain showers lately, but serious drought conditions persist. Heavy monsoon rains could help fend off eventual mandatory water use restrictions, but they may not arrive. Meanwhile, everyone is asked to do his or her part in limiting water use.

For more information on current conditions, or for other ways to conserve water, call the PAWSD office at 731-2691.


Town to consider amending building height restriction

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs Town Council and the town's planning commission will meet in a joint work session July 12 to explore the possibility of amending the town's 35-foot height restriction.

Town Planner Tamra Allen said planning staff will be looking for direction from council and planning commission members on how building height should be defined and whether the height requirement should be changed or modified when used in different town zoning areas.

Allen said those wishing to contribute to the dialogue are welcome to attend.

The meeting will be held at noon, Wednesday July 12 at the Pagosa Springs Town Hall.


Commissioners to review zoning anomalies tonight

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Last week's unveiling of the county's new zoning map revealed more questions than answers, and planning commission members and the board of county commissioners urged citizens to bring their questions and concerns before both boards tonight.

"We need people to come in and tell us what we need to address," said planning commission member Ron Chacey.

Chacey's comments stemmed from a primary audience concern regarding whether an individual's property had been zoned correctly, and whether the conditions convenants and restrictions (CCR's) governing the property trumped the property's zoning status and use as deemed by the new county land use regulations.

In some cases, CCRs allow for commercial use of particular properties within a largely residential subdivision, yet under the Zoning Transition Program - the method used to classify and zone all parcels in the county into eight zoning districts - a largely residential subdivision was zoned all residential.

David Alvord of the planning department explained all parcels in the county were zoned to current use, as listed by the assessor, and in order to avoid a checkboard of zoning on the map, they sought a common denominator and generally zoned an area.

Archuleta County Commissioner Ronnie Zaday said it was understood there would be anomalous properties, and she urged those with properties or circumstances that don't quite fit the mold to come to tonight's meeting to make their case before the board.

Archuleta County Associate Planner Jason Peasley said property owners seeking a change to their zoning status should supply documentation to support their case.

Zaday said it is important for property owners to make their cases heard as soon as possible, because once the map is approved and adopted, rezoning would be a costly affair.

Zoning requests after the map is adopted will cost $900.

According to Peasley, parcels were classified using decision trees designed from the Zoning Transition Program, and the zoning map was created using the most current data available from the county assessor. However, any changes to real property occurring after Jan. 1, 2006, will not be reflected in the map.

Alvord and Peasley reminded attendees the zoning map is in the draft stages and would be fine tuned throughout July.

Peasley added, once adopted, the map would be reviewed an updated on an annual basis.

Tonight's meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the board of county commissioners meeting room at the Archuleta County Courthouse.

Following tonight's meeting, planning department staff will tour the county in a series of zoning map information meetings. The following is a list of meeting times, dates and locations.

July 10: Arboles-Navajo Lake State Park Visitors Center.

July 11: Pagosa Springs-Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Clubhouse.

July 17: Aspen Springs-Metro District Building (this date changed from July 13 to July 17).

July 18: Chromo-Betty Shahan's house.

For more information contact the county planning department at 731-3877.

The zoning map, the Zoning Transition Program and decision trees for determining a property's zoning can be viewed on the Web at archuletacounty.org/Planning/Land_Use_Project/Zoning_Trans.htm.

Written comments regarding individual zoning issues or the zoning program in general can be sent via mail to: Archuleta County Planning Department, c/o Zoning Map Comments, P.O. Box 1507, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. Comments can also be sent via email to landusecomments@archuletacounty.org.


Women Helping Women will hold wine and cheese event to raise funds

By Joanne Irons

Special to The SUN

Women Helping Women is a new grassroots group in Pagosa Springs and wants to help women of our community who need extra support in time of medical need.

We have all been devastated by the news of one or more friends or family members being diagnosed with cancer. We have an immediate desire to jump in and help any way we can. Sometimes, many of us are unable to help financially. And, there are times someone diagnosed with the disease just can't put herself out there to say "I need help."

Women Helping Women is an opportunity to get together as women, to raise some funds that can be used when someone needs that help.

The first fund-raiser will be a wine and cheese tasting at the home of JoAnn and Ray Laird at 4501 U.S. 84 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sunday July 16. Mountain Spirits is coordinating the tastes, and there will be coffee and edibles provided by WolfTracks and Decadent Desserts by Dawn.

The logo for this new organization is a rose, and included in the ticket price for the wine and cheese tasting will be your choice of mountain roses grown locally by Larry and Bonnie Sprague of High Plains Nursery. This year's color choices will be primarily pink.

After the inaugural event Sunday, July 16, roses will be on sale 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Monday, July 17, at WolfTracks and Mountain Spirits. The price is $30, and proceeds from sales will be added to the account.

Cost of the wine and cheese fund-raiser is $125 per ticket, and available tickets are limited. Tickets can be purchased at WolfTracks or Community United Methodist Church. Checks should be payable to CUMC, with Women Helping Women in the memo. Rev. Don Ford of Community United Methodist is helping coordinate the effort to get help to those who need support.

If you have questions, or if you would like to join us, make a donation or volunteer, call Joanne Irons 946-7545.


Following court decision, Carothers suit can proceed

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

The family of Garrett Carothers, a child mauled by two pit bull mixes in the Vista Subdivision in December 2002, has been granted the right to sue the Archuleta County Sherriff's Department and one of its deputies for allegations of irresponsibility concerning their actions relative to the incident.

The Colorado Court of Appeals decided June 15 that Garrett's parents, Rick and Cindy Carothers, may proceed against the sheriff's office and ex-deputy Tom Gaskins.

Gaskins and the sheriff's office had made an appeal opposing Sixth District Court Judge Gregory Lyman's March 2004 order to deny motions to dismiss the case, filed on behalf of the sheriff and Gaskins.

Lyman ruled that the suit's allegations fell outside of the sovereign immunity given to goverment officials in civil cases under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act. Lyman ruled that any immunity must be determined at trial, not before.

Cindy Carothers confirmed that the family intended to continue the case in civil court.

Gaskins is being sued for willful and wanton conduct causing emotional distress in part for allegedly failing to respond promptly to a report of dangerous dogs in the Vista area before the attack.

Garrett was mauled by the dogs outside his home Dec. 23, 2002. He received bites over 80 percent of his body, and suffered extensive wounds on his scalp and face. He has undergone numerous surgeries and skin grafts to repair the damage.

When Gaskins arrived at the scene after the mauling, he shot and killed one of the dogs when it tried to attack him. The other dog was euthanized by its owner.


Humane Society home visits a hit

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

The recently instituted home visit policy for all dog adoptions conducted by the Humane Society has been a hit, successfully placing many dogs in caring homes.

"It's definitely working," said Sheila Farmer, shelter manager at the Humane Society.

Farmer conducts visits to potential adopters' homes, looking for issues that may be harmful to the animal or owner.

The home visit policy was created in response to the recent increase of adopted dogs being returned shortly after adoption. Since the home visit policy began, only one dog has been returned, due to an unexpected allergy.

"The main reason (for the policy) is to show we're really serious about giving the dog a good home," said Farmer. "It's not rude, it's just being responsible."

Farmer said very few people have had concerns about the home visit.

"The biggest complaint is they have to take off work for the visit. But if they want the animal, that's something they have to be willing to do," said Farmer. "If their dog gets sick, they're not going to wait until the weekend to take him to the vet. They'll have to take off work."

Home visits also catch problems that may not have been taken into consideration by the potential adopter, such as neighboring dogs or lack of space.

"In small neighborhoods, it may not be feasible. There's just not enough room," said Farmer. "Things come up during home visits. That's what we're trying to catch."

Farmer is confident the policy is working, ensuring the dogs get a good home and good communication is established between the owner and the shelter.

"It opens up doorways for them to communicate with us," Farmer said.


Blood drive scheduled next week

United Blood Services has scheduled a blood drive in Pagosa Springs Thursday, July 13.

The drive will take place 1-6 p.m. at Mountain Heights Baptist Church, 1044 Park Ave.

An ID is required of all donors.

You can sign up for drives at www.unitedbloodservices.org, or call 385-4601.


Teen Center hosts dance, 'Nights on Broadway'

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Local and visiting teens will rock the night away tomorrow evening, as the Pagosa Springs Teen Center hosts the "Nights on Broadway" teen dance, 7 to 10 p.m.

Casual attire is recommended, and dancing shoes are advised.

The Teen Center is located at 451 Hot Springs Boulevard in Pagosa Springs.

Auto, bike and skateboard parking is free, and admission to the extravaganza is $5 for couples and $3 for singles. Hot dog combo meals, including chips and beverage, will cost $3.50, with free snacks and punch also available.

To add flare, the community center gym will don New York-style decor, and local spin-doctor Bobby Hart promises a good mix of high-energy tunes. Those dazzling the judges most during the evening's dance contest will walk with valuable prizes.

Event sponsors include The Source, Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate, Chavolo's Taqueria, and Pastor and Mrs. Bart Burnett.

Teen Center Director Rhonda LaQuey says additional sponsors are necessary to support teens and help defray costs, and volunteer adult chaperones are still needed to help manage Friday's affair. LaQuey asks anyone else interested in supporting Teen Center programs, or chaperoning tomorrow night's dance, to call her at 264-4152, Ext. 31.


Register now for fall PCC classes

Registration is currently underway for fall semester classes at Pueblo Community College's Southwest Center.

PCC is offering a variety of classes for college credit leading to transfer, degrees or certificates at its campuses in Cortez and Durango. Classes begin Aug. 28 and last for 15 weeks.

Some of the less common academic courses offered this fall are criminal investigation, fundamentals of new reporting, American Sign Language, astronomy, comparative religions and many more. There also are a number of more common academic courses covering the natural sciences, arts and humanities, social sciences, communications, health care and others. Not all classes are available at both locations.

Current, returning and new students can apply for admission and/or register for classes online at www.pueblocc.edu. A full schedule of classes also is available at that Web site.

Anyone needing additional information can call (970) 247-2929



Experience America's heritage at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

Experience a unique part of America's heritage at 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. - it is 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.


Critically injured gray fox rehabilitated, returned to wild

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

John and Kathleen Bush live east of Pagosa Springs and share quite the affinity for wildlife.

That's why, as Kathleen drove west toward town one early April morning and noticed an animal lying on the centerline of U.S. 160, she never hesitated to stop and at least pull it from the road. At the time, she was heading for a doctor's appointment in Durango, and husband John happened to be close behind, on his motorcycle.

After steering safely to the side of the road, the two checked traffic, then cautiously approached the stationary figure. Its coarse tawny fur, with black-tipped tail and reddish-gray flanks, wavered slightly in the gentle morning breeze, but otherwise, a general lack of movement suggested the animal was dead.

However, upon closer examination, Kathleen, a retired nurse, noticed the little canine creature was still breathing. It was unconscious and a small spot of blood on its forehead revealed a possible head wound, so John gently picked it up and carried it out of harm's way.

While John remained with the animal, Kathleen drove to the nearest veterinary hospital and asked for help. The hospital staff was very busy at the time, and advised her to call the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Within 30 minutes, DOW officer Doug Purcell arrived at the scene and identified the animal as a female, common gray fox.

Contrary to what their name implies, common gray foxes are fairly rare throughout their entire range, which entails much of southern Canada, the southwestern U.S. and Central America. In Colorado, they prefer riparian woodlands along the plains and in the forests of mountainous areas. Standing 12 to 16 inches at the shoulders, they weigh up to 16 pounds and are about 47 inches long.

As omnivorous animals, gray foxes eat small mammals, birds, fish, invertebrates, reptiles, eggs, fruits, and berries. They are the only canine creatures able to climb trees, and will often do so for safety from other predators, or to capture small rodents and birds. They are most active at dawn and dusk.

Purcell's full schedule prevented him from transporting the injured animal to the Durango Animal Hospital (DAH) that day, so Kathleen placed it in her vehicle and rushed it there as quickly as she could safely travel. Upon her arrival, Dr. Chuck Hawman at once examined the fox and ordered x-rays. Kathleen, meanwhile, had missed her own medical appointment.

The diagnosis was not good. The little fox had sustained severe head trauma with multiple skull fractures and abrasions, and was in deep shock. What's more, she was pregnant.

While giving their patient only a 10-percent chance of survival, hospital workers catheterized her and administered various fluids, including steroids to reduce brain swelling. They aborted her unborn young and worked tirelessly to stabilize her, but things were touch and go for about 48 hours. Finally, though completely disoriented, the little fox regained consciousness, and its long slow rehabilitation began.

That's where Tara Bodine came in.

Bodine is a registered veterinarian technician and has worked at DAH for six years. After four years of training under a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, she has achieved her own license from the DOW, and now cares for injured and orphaned large and small mammals, as part of the Durango Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Bodine took custody of the lamed fox at her 35-acre rehab facility, and after placing it in a large dog kennel, immediately began working to restore it to health.

While minimizing human exposure at every contact, she first fed the fox a "liquid recovery diet" rich in calories and protein. Eventually, as head wounds gradually healed and solid foods were feasible, ground rabbit replaced the liquid diet and at eight weeks, the small canine predator managed controlled live kills of rabbits and rats, donated by the local 4-H club.

Through nearly three months of constant care, the young canid gained considerable weight, and her health and "wildness" steadily returned. At once, Bodine recognized the animal's increasing orneriness as a sign of her readiness to return to the woods. Hence, one early afternoon late last week, she, Purcell, the Bushs and I all met at a predetermined place and drove far into the forest where, in a remote little glen alongside a small mountain stream, the vibrant young fox was set free.

She hesitated and seemed reluctant to go at first, but then bounded into the trees where she lingered for a time, as if to get her bearings. Within minutes, she disappeared in a thicket on the far side of the creek.

It would have been easy for Kathleen and John Bush to simply drive by the injured animal lying in the road that April morning, but their respect and compassion for animals compelled them to stop. Had they not done so, a wild and magnificent life would have been lost.

And, if Purcell had decided the animal's injuries were too severe and it probably couldn't survive, it might have been "put down" without further consideration. Instead, he allowed Kathleen to take possession and transport it to the Durango animal hospital, where it received highly professional and expensive care, at the hospital's expense.

Then again, speaking of expenses, Tara Bodine's dedication and care was all provided at her expense, and that of the Durango Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which is comprised strictly of unpaid volunteers, relying solely on donations and an occasional grant.

The Durango Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and tax-deductible donations are gratefully accepted. Those interested can help by volunteering, or sending donations to DWR at 1073 East Third Ave., Durango, CO 81301. Tara Bodine can be reached by phone at (970) 799-2647.


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.


 Catch and Release

We will fish to celebrate life

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

It is Monday and there are roughly fifteen minutes of daylight left. I am tired, hungry, thirsty and absolutely frazzled. I have returned home to a dark, empty house after spending a good part of the evening in the company of a friend dying of cancer. His condition has worsened, and our time together, although brief, was important - the minutes will be marked as our last together, and probably some of the last of his life.

To make things worse, a phone call came Sunday informing me that a former colleague died while bicycling on U.S. 160 just west of Pagosa Springs. Although not close friends, we inhabited a realm somewhere between that of being truly friends and simple acquaintances. We had worked in the restaurant together, I came to know his family, and on occasion, we went out for drinks after work. As a waiter, and after he left the restaurant, my services provided an important function when he visited the restaurant as a customer while courting his soon-to-be wife over dinner and French wine. Later, when the two decided to wed, the restaurant provided a place for their families to celebrate the occasion, and of course, as the headwaiter, I was there.

The phone call Sunday, combined with the events of this evening, have heaped an unnatural weariness upon me. After throwing my camera bag in a corner, I don't know whether to eat, drink or to just sit and stare at the wall. In the end, I do none of these things. In the end, I decide to fish.

I decide to fish because it is one of the few things in my life that totally consumes my consciousness. I decide to fish because when I do, I am completely absorbed in the moment, and all but thoughts of the task at hand evaporate. I know when I strip line from the reel and I pump my arm to launch a cast, I will not think about mangled bicycles and about a young man's life cut short by a split second decision.

I know when I watch my line move in slow loops above the river I will not be haunted by thoughts of an older man, whom I have watched slowly wither, and who has fought and suffered, being conscious from start to nearly the finish, of the agony and frustration of his body's slow demise. And when I cast, I will erase the thought that his journey will someday be my own.

I decide to fish because the act of casting and standing in a river puts me in contact with the living. The movement of the water, geese and ducks soaring overhead, the young buck with fresh velvety antlers stepping gingerly in the shadows along the stream and the electric vibration of a trout on the take, of a trout on the end of my line, sends the synapses firing. Fishing puts me in touch with something unfathomable, something greater than myself, something simple yet utterly mysterious - life itself.

I decide to fish also because the veterinarian has told me my canine fishing friend, Milou, has a tumor in his throat that will slowly close his larynx and trachea, and that his days, too, are numbered. And I decide to fish for him and with him, because it is what he has known all his life, because it is what we do best together. And I decide to fish because it brings clarity and peace. The act helps mend what we have lost. And we will fish to celebrate the sanctity of the moment and the transient nature of all things.

We will fish to celebrate life. And we will fish because it is what we love.

And how many of us love what we do and do what we love? How many times have we postponed our passions and shelved our dreams with the intent of getting around to them someday? How many times have we foregone the present in hopes of realizing an unforeseeable future? How many of us have committed to lives of uninspired drudgery, believing if we fight the good fight, one day, years later perhaps, we will come into our own, and will live the life we have always dreamed? How many of us forget that this moment, this one we hold so tentatively like a butterfly cradled in our palms, is really all we've got?

And I decide to fish because I can. Because if this moment is all I have, I can think of no better place to spend it than on a trout stream with my dog and a fly rod in hand.

With my trajectory fixed, I quickly pull on a pair of shorts and wading boots and grab my fishing vest and fly rod. The rod is already assembled with a fly tied onto a fine, hairlike strand of leader, and I don't bother to change to fly. I will use what I have, and make the most of it. The important thing is that I fish.

Together, the dog and I leap off the porch. A moment ago, he was weary too, and his breathing came in labored, raspy pants. But seeing the fly rod, he has changed. He has a renewed sense of purpose, he is energized, and we jog across the yard and into the cottonwood grove along the river.

When we arrive streamside, we pick a run and enter the stream. Darkness is falling fast, and this is a one-run, one-fly gig, but it doesn't matter. What matters is the moment, that he and I are on a stream, doing what we love, and after a few false casts we are absorbed.

We watch as blue winged olives lift from the current in slow, delicate flight. We listen as bits of shale crumble down from the cliff and splash like popping corn in the water. Swallows dart above the current snatching insects, and we read the foam line and listen to the delicate murmur of the river.

I tug more line from the reel, pump my arm and think of nothing but the next cast. Milou watches the line shoot across the river and then he stares intently at my dry fly as it drifts down the run. And like a pointer he stiffens when a big brown comes up and takes the fly. With the take, time freezes, and lifetimes later I set the hook. Its purchase is solid and the trout begins to fight.

Its first surge takes it upstream, and the dog and I enter the deep water to check its run. The hook holds, the drag on the reel is sufficient, but then the fish cuts and rockets downstream. Together, the trout, the dog and I race down river, the fish swimming for its life, the pooch and I scrambling over cobbles and through choppy rapids, hoping we don't lose ours with a misplaced step or a poorly calculated leap.

In the end, I ease the trout to the shallows, release the hook, and cradle the fish's creamy belly with my hands while working life-giving water across and through its gills. In minutes, the trout is revived, its body goes taught, and with an insolent slap of its tail, it vanishes.

I make a few more halfhearted casts, but it is dark, and I am fishing blind. I watch the moon come up from behind the shale cliff, retrieve the line, and Milou and I walk together through the cottonwood grove and back home. When I enter the trees, thoughts of Ben and Ted come immediately back. But the weariness is gone now and I think about Ben's life that at age 26, had barely begun, and Ted's life, after 60-plus years, I hope was well lived. And I realize that somewhere between Ben and Ted lies my own journey, my own limited collection of moments. And as I walk, I look back over all I have done, and all that I intend to do, and I wonder, in this moment, how will I choose to live?



We, the county

Dear Editor:

Why is it that we, as a county, can't spend any money on secondary roads (because the county says we don't have enough money) that helps hundreds of residents, but we, the county, can spend millions of dollars to fix up the county airport (with that money we don't have) that helps under a hundred people and some of those people don't even live here?

Who is this county? Aren't we the county?

Obviously no one who runs the county knows how to budget properly and doesn't give a _ _ _ _ about we, the people of the county, who live here!

David Brewster


Primary dilemma

Dear Editor:

Our upcoming primary election indeed poses a dilemma, as we can only vote for the Republican candidate for sheriff or the Democratic candidate for state representative. In response to your editorial of June 27, 2006, I agree with your call for unaffiliated voters to get involved with the process. Not voting affects results as much as voting. I take issue with your inference that the local election for sheriff is more important than the election of our representative to the state Legislature, a contest you failed to even name.

There are very specific qualifications for a candidate for sheriff, but I don't believe party affiliation is one of them. Be that as it may, we are forced to choose on a party basis this time around. Perhaps the adoption of Home Rule could amend this situation.

The Democrat's primary election gives us a voice in our state government. Mark Larson (R) has ably filled this position, but is now term limited. Two candidates are seeking the opportunity to fill his big shoes: Jeff Deitch and Joe Colgon. I urge voters to learn about these candidates and those for sheriff before casting a vote in any direction. Our country, our state and our county are in a state of crisis and we need the most qualified people at all levels of government, if we are to "take back America." If we don't deal with "larger" concerns, as you refer to them in your editorial, a county sheriff will have little chance of influence in our daily lives.

I was unaffiliated most of my life and today I am an independent Democrat because I see this as the best position for making a difference. It is my hope all affiliated and unaffiliated voters will make informed and independent decisions. You have three choices: 1) Choose the contest you see as most important; 2) Choose the candidate you believe has the best credentials; 3) Choose to vote your conscience.

Norma Buslepp


Ban Whiners

Dear Editor:

I've never smoked in my life, but if I walked into a restaurant and the server offered me these options - a table next to a smoker, a table next to someone wearing too much perfume, or a table next to someone with screaming children - I'd take the table next to the smoker, in a heartbeat. I think what whiny nonsmokers don't realize is that they have choices - that's what America is all about. There are lots of smokeless restaurants around. To insist on banning smoking in all restaurants just to please the whiners makes as much sense as banning perfume wearers (although I think that would be cool).

But since it's the day of whiners, here's a list of what I'd like banned: yappy dogs, loud-bass car stereos, pop duets, Anjelina Jolie. Let's take rights away from: people who haven't figured out what turn signals are for, people who haven't figured out the difference between right and left turns, people who litter, people who speak before firing up their brain neurons, etc.

Maggie Inskeep

Farmington, N.M.


PILT money

Dear Editor:

I found it very interesting reading the article in last week's SUN newspaper that told about the yearly payment Archuleta County receives from the federal government. The article quotes U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard as saying: "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."

It then goes on to point out that the fund is to be used for such things that would otherwise be funded by property taxes, such as "road maintenance and construction." For fiscal year 2006, the payment is over half a million dollars.

Considering the reluctance of the county to provide any upgrading or maintenance of Mill Creek road beyond the cattle guard gate, I am left wondering just what the county does with this substantial amount of money.

As most readers probably already know, the county has historically provided road maintenance for this section of road, which provides access to High West and several other subdivisions (as well as heavy recreational use in the national forest), and has only recently decided that they will no longer provide this service. As a property owner in this area, it appears that we have been singled out by the county as a cost-cutting measure. Learning now about the half million dollar payment they receive every year, I would like to hear some real answers from our county officials just how that half million is spent. I'm sure many other tax paying property owners would like to hear, too. I encourage them also to ask questions.

Sonny Kelley



Dear Editor:

I have been surprised to receive several e-mails complaining about the implementation of the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act. As the sponsor of the bill two years ago and primary co-sponsor this year, I am urging constituents to focus on the health implications of second hand tobacco smoke. This is not a property rights issue! The recent United States Surgeon General study that was just released gives evidence to the need to eliminate second hand smoke and the impacts that smoke can have on the nonsmoking public. Amazingly, opponents to the new law even discount the findings of this study suggesting (as they always have on ANY second hand smoke study) that the data are flawed and biased. Given the repeated findings of Surgeon General after Surgeon General that second hand smoke kills people, such complaining can only be dismissed as zealous or habit perpetuating.

If the truth be known, I would rather that tobacco products be outlawed as a Controlled Substance under state and federal law. Consider if you will what the law says about current Schedule I and II Controlled Substances like cocaine and heroine: 18-18-203 Schedule I. (1) A substance shall be added to schedule I by the general assembly when:

(a) The substance has high potential for abuse;

(b) The substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; and

(c) The substance lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

Or perhaps the added "quality" of a Schedule II controlled substance of: 18-18-204 Schedule II. (c) The abuse of the substance may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Let's face it folks, given the extremely detrimental health impacts of all tobacco products on the human body, it is very appropriate that this legislation was passed. Smokers can still smoke. But they no longer have the right to contaminate nonsmoker's air while doing it. I honestly believe that the fervor spurred by the implementation of the new law will subside as businesses realize their sales will not be negatively impacted. Regardless, it is now the law!


Mark Larson


Shame on you

Dear Editor:

Shame on the person or people who have stolen from Pagosa Country Center.

As proud new local owners of the Pagosa Country Center next to City Market, we are vested in both the shopping center and our community.

To show our pride in our community and appreciation and thanks to our tenants and you, the members or our community, we have worked hard to make the center more vibrant. Part of this effort includes the addition of beautiful baskets of flowers throughout the center.

On Friday and Saturday nights, June 30 and July 1, someone stole three of the baskets. Whoever you are, you did not steal from us: You stole from your friends, your family and your community.

We are sad for you. Surely, knowing of their origins, their beauty has been diminished. We invite you to reverse your actions and return them to where the visitors to and residents of our town will all enjoy them once again. May your returning them bring you the warmth and fullness of doing something for your town and community.


Michael McTeigue and Morgan Murri


Need answers

Dear Editor:

The four of us have five questions we'd like to see answered.

1. Why could the county afford to plow my road (Jean Sanft) when it had only 10 houses on it, but now that it has 21 houses on it, which means double the amount of taxes for the same roads, the county can't afford to plow it?

2. Will our taxes be reduced because of the reduced service? (Dream on.)

3. If a road district is to be formed, will our taxes be reduced in order to help pay for the new district?

4. What are the taxes formerly earmarked for county road maintenance going to be used for?

5. Where is the financial drain - graft, incompetence, too many unnecessary out-of-town trips - what?

Jean Sanft

Sharon Cairns

Jean Djielak

Bobbie Carruth


Incredible place

Dear Editor:

All things considered, we live in a pretty incredible place. The scenery doesn't get much better, but our most valuable treasure can be found in those who call Pagosa home.

Hundreds of people proved my point over the past few weeks. We've had thousands of visitors participating in two bike tours, a car show, a rodeo, an arts and crafts fair, a quilt show, a parade, a fireworks display, dances, class reunions and family gatherings. Hundreds of locals donated countless hours, planning, preparing, setting up, serving, taking down and cleaning up. The Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Mounted Rangers, the Rotary Club, the Red Ryder Rodeo Committee, volunteers from churches and other civic organizations, the town staff, dispatchers, emergency medical, fire and law enforcement personnel sacrificed time and money to extend a warm welcome to all. Those selfless individuals are the lifeblood of Pagosa Springs and they deserve all the gratitude we can extend.

I hope everyone who enjoyed any of the benefits of their labor will take the time to personally thank those who give so much. They deserve it!

Donald D. Volger

Chief, Pagosa Springs Police Department


  Community News

'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' opens tonight

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

The first dress rehearsal for the Music Boosters' summer production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" was held last week.

As is usual at a dress rehearsal, the cast experienced the challenges of trying to tie together not only their learned vocals, dancing and acting roles, but the additions of costumes, set pieces and props.

Humorous situations resulted: the corn fell from the sky; a baker's muffin kept getting kicked around the stage during a '60s number; Potifar's men came on stage in various stages of dress; ballerinas leapt on stage in costume, but a little late; "Elvis" wore a huge head of hair that had actors and musicians alike laughing, but forgetting to sing..

It's all part of the joy and challenge of mounting a huge production like "Joseph."

As a director, I cannot begin to thank our cast and acknowledge the time, heart and commitment they've given and shown.

I hold images and memories from endless hours on the stage, sharing the experience. Some images from last week: Joe Nanus and Bob Nordmann, sitting on a bench in the wings with tie-dye shirts, afro wigs, chains and sunglasses, waiting for their entrance; Matthew Brunson, dramatically thrown to the ground in front of Pharoah in chains, (but, the chains broke); the youngest of our cast, dressed in bright T-shirts, patiently waiting for their numbers and singing with confidence and innocence. I am inspired by Benjamin, the youngest of the Brothers, played by Ricky Peterson. He is a gifted young actor who brings the essence of his character to life every time he steps on the stage, yet always asks how he can improve his performance.

Don't miss this production of "Joseph," created by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Performances at the high school are July 6, 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m., with an additional matinee at 2 p.m July 15.

Reserved seating tickets are available at the Plaid Pony or at the door.

Please support your neighbors and the Music Boosters organization. All profits are turned back to our schools, students and community.


PSAC Home and Garden Tour set for Sunday

By Marti Capling

Special to The PREVIEW

Elkwood Manor, a luxury bed and breakfast in Continental Estates, will be one of the featured properties on the sixth annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council Home and Garden Tour Sunday, July 9.

New owners Darlene and Daniel Gonzalez recently purchased the property and have done extensive renovations to the interior. They are currently working on landscaping the grounds.

The decor is described as "rustic log living with the elegance of days past." The home contains three guestroom suites, each uniquely designed and decorated to a theme. Each suite has a fireplace, private bath, and a balcony, deck or patio from which to enjoy the views of the surrounding San Juan Mountains.

There is also a wine tasting room on the lower level where guests may join in the daily wine tasting and social hour.

Darlene and Daniel have done much of the restoration work themselves, much of it with stacked stone, decorative tile and stained glass. Lovely antiques compliment the furnishings and add to the ambiance of this home.

Although all the homes in this year's tour are clustered near U.S. 84, and roads and driveways are all accessible, we advise people to share rides whenever possible to facilitate traffic and parking.

The tour is self guided, with tickets providing directions to each home.

While we encourage visiting the Thorpe home in Alpine Lakes early in the afternoon, (ticket directions are based on going to Alpine Lakes first, and visiting the remaining properties on the way back to town), it's also possible to reverse the directions and visit the homes closer to U.S. 160 first, working down to Alpine Lakes.

Another possible route is to visit the Halverson home first, as it is on the right side of U.S. 84, then the Thorpe home in Alpine Lakes, saving the Simpson home and the Elkwood Manor Bed and Breakfast for the return trip, making those homes right turns off 84.

Whichever way you decide to travel, you'll enjoy four unique and beautiful homes of various sizes and styles, each reflecting the special interests of the owners. Because they're all located on large land parcels they offer a feeling of spaciousness and spectacular mountain and water views, with decks, patios and landscaped grounds for outdoor enjoyment.

The fifth stop on the tour is the PSAC Art Center/Gallery in Town Park for light refreshments and an opportunity to view the current exhibit, the annual Juried Art Show, featuring selected works of many of Pagosa's very talented artists. The winners have been announced, but it's still possible to vote for the People's Choice Award, so don't miss this special exhibit

For a perfect end to a busy holiday week, plan to attend the sixth annual Home and Garden Tour noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are available at the PSAC Art Center/Gallery, Lantern Dancer Gallery, the Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books and WolfTracks, at $10 for PSAC members and $12 for others. Tickets will be available for last-minute shoppers on the morning of July 9 at WolfTracks and downtown at the PSAC gallery, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


'Select Works' at Shy Rabbit through Aug. 12

"Select Works" at Shy Rabbit features 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.

Regular gallery hours 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.

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. Approximately 175 people attended the opening night reception July 1 to view the 46 works in the exhibit.

"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. Take Bastille Drive (at UBC) left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental. (GPS coordinates are latitude N37 degrees, 15.193 minutes and longitude W107, 5.074 minutes).

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


Brown Bag Writers meet Thursdays at Shy Rabbit

Writer's write.

They sit down in front of a computer, a typewriter, or with pen and paper and put down their observations, their thoughts, the stories filling their heads.

Practice can be fun, especially when done in a group with other writers.

Every Thursday between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., the Brown Bag Writers meet at Shy Rabbit to listen to the muse, tap into the creative river, and learn to not take themselves so seriously.

Facilitated by freelance writer Leanne Goebel, the group is informal and fun. Goebel provides writing prompts in the form of phrases, music or visual stimuli and writers are free to spend 20-30 minutes writing. Then, the writers share their work (don't worry, if you don't feel comfortable, you can pass).

This is a gathering for writers of all levels and abilities. It is an opportunity to practice writing, to prime the pump. Bring your writing tools (pens, paper, notebooks, laptop) and a sack lunch if you would like. The cost if $5 per session and drop-ins are welcome.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Blvd.. Turn left on Bastille Drive (at UBC) 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 (970) 731-2766.


Shy Rabbit to host Let's Explore series

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.


Be warned: The Professor is set to entertain

On July 14, at 6:30 p.m., The Professor (John Graves) will present another in a series of informal evenings of music, fun and refreshments (if so moved, feel free to bring some munchies to share) at the sponsoring Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall.

As before, The Professor will play your requests (if they're from the '20s, '30s or '40s), give some musical quizzes, play for or with talented singers or instrumentalists who might happen by, and maybe again create some choral highlights with an old-fashioned sing-along.

The Professor has played for or with Judy Garland, John Wayne, Groucho Marx, George Burns, Jimmy Durante, Rudy Vallee, Rosemary Clooney, June Christy, Helen O'Connell, Arthur Duncan, Danny Thomas and Redd Foxx.

However, there is always a warning!

Before listening to The Professor at the piano, be advised that his music is intended for mature adults only. Young people may be perplexed and disturbed by this music. They will not understand the absence of amplified guitars, drum machines and synthesizers; screaming vocalists, wild gyrations and pyrotechnics; obscene lyrics and gestures; endless repetition and deafening volume levels.

Instead, they will hear unique, improvised interpretations of the great love songs and show tunes of the twenties, thirties, and forties - by Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, Kern, Rodgers and Hart, etc.; playful jazz, from Ellington to Dixieland, blues to boogie; bossa novas, sambas and other Latin rhythms; ragtime and stride and barrelhouse, too. But remember - if you're too young for Social Security, come at your own risk!

A suggested donation of $5 will go toward expenses and helping The Professor and his wife, Ann, to maintain their wild and extravagant lifestyle.

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall is Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbrier Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the parking lot and look for the big sign.


Legendary Delbert McClinton to

appear at Four Corners Folk Festival

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

It's not every year that the Four Corners Folk Festival gets to close the weekend with a true icon of the American music scene.

But, 2006 happens to be such a year, as the legendary Texas rockin' bluesman Delbert McClinton is set to take the stage on Reservoir Hill Sunday, Sept. 3, to finish up the 11th annual event.

For Delbert McClinton, performing live is what it's all about. And it always has been. As a master harmonica player and vocalist he has long been one of the world's most electrifying live performers, obliterating any distinction between blues, rock n' roll, soul and country music. His band is so red hot, they regularly drive audiences into a complete frenzy.

Delbert's formative years were spent as a member of The Straitjackets, the house band at a blues/rhythm and blues club on the outskirts of Fort Worth, Texas.

He was schooled by an almost incomprehensible list of legendary musicians who rolled through town. His band was good enough to back the likes of Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Sonny Boy Williamson and Bobby "Blue" Bland. Playing harmonica on Bruce Channel's 1962 hit single "Hey! Baby" led to a concert tour of England. One of the opening acts was a new group called The Beatles and, as the story goes, Delbert gave a young John Lennon some pointers on the harp.

Delbert released the first album under his own name in 1975, entitled "Victim Of Life's Circumstances," winning favor with audiences and critics alike.

He continued to gain ground with one solid album after another, including 1980's "The Jealous Kind" (featuring the top-10 hit "Giving It Up For Your Love"). In 1989 Delbert received a Grammy nomination in the Contemporary Blues category for his album "Live From Austin." In 1992 he won his first Grammy for a duet with Bonnie Raitt on the song "Good Man/Good Woman" from her smash album "Luck of The Draw." That same year, another top-10 hit followed for Delbert with "Every Time I Roll The Dice" from "Never Been Rocked Enough."

Over the last decade it seems everyone wants to sing Delbert's songs; they've been featured on albums by Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Wynonna, Lee Roy Parnell, Martina McBride and many more.

In 2001 he released his first record for New West, entitled "Nothing Personal, "and won a Grammy for it. 2002 saw the release of "Room to Breathe," which received yet another Grammy nomination. His latest release, "Cost of Living," won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Delbert lives in Nashville these days, enjoying family life, writing and recording, as well as keeping up a steady touring schedule. He is confident, content and inspired - a man at the top of his game and a true living icon of genuine American music.

The three-day outdoor music festival will feature 21 live performances on two stages, from Delbert McClinton plus Dar Williams, Eddie From Ohio, RobinElla, the Waybacks, Drew Emmitt, the Biscuit Burners, Old School Freight Train, Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem, the Duhks, The Stringdusters, Brad Davis, John Moore & Company, Anne & Pete Sibley, the Hot Strings and more.

The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Colorado General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Tickets to this year's Four Corners Folk Festival can be purchased with a credit card by calling (970) 731-5582 or online at www.folkwest.com. Tickets are also available at Moonlight Books downtown or at WolfTracks Coffee & Books in the Pagosa Country Center, by cash or check. The festival features on-site camping, free music workshops, food and merchandise vendors, free admission for children 12 and under and a free kids program throughout the weekend.


Pagosa artist takes top honors in Denver-area show

Local artist Kathleen Steventon won first place for her expressionist oil painting "The Gaze" at the 23rd annual All Colorado Juried Art Show which opened in Greenwood Village last week.

The show was juried by Lawrence Argent, professor of sculpture at the University of Denver. Steventon was awarded $500 prize money.

The All Colorado Show is being shown at the Curtis Arts and Humanities Center at 2349 East Orchard Road in Greenwood Village, a suburb south of Denver.

The juried show was open to all artists residing in Colorado and will run through July 28,

Other works by Steventon are currently being displayed at the Pagosa Springs Town Hall, in the second floor council chamber and courtroom.


Freedom the topic at next UU service

Since the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Meditation Service on July 9 is so close to the celebration of Independence Day, leader April Merrilee has chosen to focus on freedom as a source of inspiration.

She asks, "What does freedom mean to you? How is it achieved, and does it need to be protected?"

This service is an opportunity to come together in community and contemplate the concept of freedom. Merrilee further states, "Join us for chanting, meditation techniques, silence and sharing. Feel free to bring your own meditation cushion, and enjoy!"

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


Kids' programs in full swing at Sisson Library

By Barb Draper

Special to The PREVIEW

The second week of the six-week summer reading series at Sisson Library is drawing to a close, and there are activities coming up this week that you may not want to miss.

It is certainly not too late to sign up for the program, so come in soon so you can enjoy the fun.

Tomorrow, July 7, the program is going to be about pet grooming and the art activity will involve a drawing lesson. There will also be the regular story hour with special presentations by some of the school-age kids for the preschoolers and the parents.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, July 8, the Pagosa Pretenders will be at the library for their monthly presentation.

This month's program will feature stories by John Sciezszka. He is the author who writes about "The Time Warp Trio" and other humorous characters. One can only imagine the fun things the Pretenders have in store for all who are in attendance. This group is famous for audience participation, so come join in. The Pretenders are a fantastic group of teens and preteens who generously give of their time every month to entertain at the library. Come out and support this talented, hard working group of kids.

Next week, we have "For the Birds" at 10 a.m. Tuesday when local pet business owner Nan Rowe and some of her feathered friends will entertain the crowd. Then, at 10 a.m. Friday, the featured guest is Vimmie Ray from the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park, who will take everyone for a trip "On the Wild Side."

Entries in the first major contest in the program are due tomorrow. This is a poster contest with a theme of "Responsible Pet Care." Be on the lookout for the posters at local businesses that cater to animals. It may be a little late for some of you to get in on this contest, but the next one, due in two weeks, is to design your own "Imaginary Pet."

All the information you need to know how to participate in this creative activity can be picked up on the counter in the kids' area of the library. Check it out.

And, finally, speaking of contests - the first weekly coloring/drawing contests have been judged and the Readers of the Week for Week 1 have been selected.

Here are the talented and lucky winners for the first week:

- Readers of the Week: Kendyl Anderson, Cade Cowan, Tate Drane, Orlando Escobar, Tavin Haugen, Carter Rainey, Bryce Raymond, Ian Rhinehart, Sarah Ross and Lark Sanders.

- Preschool/Family Readers Coloring Contest: Brianna Ashe, Skyler Dieter, Ryan Elliott, Kelsey Hagman, Jasselle Jones, Nolan Kay, Rhead Kay, Zachary Ligon, Jude Lindberg, Summer Mathews, Liam Nell and Tiana Warren.

- School age/Independent Readers Design a Doghouse: Keaton Anderson, Tawny Armus, Angie Gallegos, Daisy Jones, Billy Mathews, Joshua Pike, Tristan Rivas, Tristin Ross, Cheyenne Rosser, Kudra Wagner and Aisha Warren.

Congratulations to all these winners. Weekly prizes can be selected from the Treasure Chest at the library circulation desk. Winning entries are on display this week in the children's room.


Chuck Bob at the Movies

'X-Men: The Last Stand' almost kills Fanboy

By Charles Streetman

After director Bryan Singer left his signature X-Men movies to Brett Ratner ("After the Sunset") for the greener pastures of "Superman Returns," I knew the franchise was in serious trouble.

What I didn't know was how much trouble "X-Men: The Last Stand" was in. To learn that, I had no choice but head to the theater and witness this cinematic train wreck for myself.

What I saw, nearly killed the Fanboy in me.

Everyone from the previous films returned to replay their roles, with the exception of Jim Cummings, who played Nightcrawler, the highly spiritual, demon-like mutant with the power of teleportation. His character was absent, with no explanation of his whereabouts.

Picking up where "X2" left off, the X-Men continue to suffer loss of Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), who sacrificed herself to save the other X-Men. Scott (AKA Cyclops, James Marsden), still devastated by the loss, returns to the lake where Jean met her end, led by her voice continuously haunting his mind. There, he is shocked to discover she survived ... but with dire consequences.

Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) senses the immeasurable power unleashed by Jean at the lake and orders Logan (AKA Wolverine, Hugh Jackman) and Ororo (AKA Storm, Halle Berry, who apparently received a dye job from Pepe le Pew) to investigate. They return with Jean unconscious and Scott unaccounted for. It is then that they learn of Jean's wicked alter-ego, Phoenix, and her devastating power, which becomes a serious threat to not only herself and her friends, but to the entire world.

Meanwhile, much unrest is stirred within the mutant society when it is announced that a "cure" for the Mutant X gene has been developed that will permanently suppress a mutant's powers. This is a perfect event for longtime X-Men nemesis Magneto (Ian McKellen) and the Brotherhood, an army of sinister mutants led by Magneto, to wage war against the humans.

"They wish to cure us. Well, I say we are the cure!," Magneto tells his army. They then set out to destroy the "cure" at its source, a research lab built on Alcatraz Island that shelters a mutant child whose powers are extracted to manufacture this cure.

Lines are drawn on the matter of this cure, and the final battle begins. The outcome is one progressively bland and dopey end to a movie franchise that was on shaky ground when the first installment was released.

Nearly everything about this movie showed the inferiority of Brett Ratner as a director.

First and foremost, the film introduced several new and familiar mutants, who had only brief cameos in the film rather than receiving as much development and camera time as the main cast. The only new mutant that had any character development in the film worth mentioning would be Beast (Kelsey Grammer from TV's "Frasier"). As the head of the government's Department of Mutant Affairs, he holds an open mind on the issue of the mutant cure, and tries to bring a peaceful resolve between pro-cure and anti-cure groups. But that's as far as his character was developed before he donned an X-Men suit and began kicking butt and taking names.

The most underdeveloped new character was Colossus, who hadn't evolved beyond his cameo in "X2." He appeared a couple times, said a quick line or two, then stood with the X-Men against the Brotherhood, like he'd been a key character the whole time. The inability to bring these new characters to a compelling and memorable status is the best example of Brett Ratner's weakness as a director.

I was surprised that Ratner kept the political drama of how mutant society deals with the discovery of the mutant cure in the film. The whole concept of humans looking upon the Mutant X gene as a disease that needs to be cured, rather than an evolutionary breakthrough, was fascinating to me. Unfortunately, it never developed beyond simple picket lines in front of clinics. The situation involving Rogue (Anna Paquin) and the clunky love triangle between her, Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) and newcomer Kitty (Ellen Page,'"Hard Candy") gave me insight into the pro-cure argument.

Rogue's power is she practically sucks the lifeforce out of another person by simply touching them. She has no control over her power, and she is distanced by it. Like other mutants who see their powers as a great danger to the ones they care about, she sees a possible cure as a way to eliminate the element that makes her a threat to everyone around her. This provided a somewhat compelling social commentary, but I wanted more of it than Ratner allowed.

The action and visual effects were mildly entertaining, until they became dull and uninspiring; I couldn't shake the feeling that the actors were interacting with a PlayStation 2 Eye Toy. The final battle was one of the most lackluster segments in the film. Most of Magneto's Brotherhood merely leapt high in the air, then were either shot with the mutant cure or quickly skewered by Wolverine before they demonstrated any other superpowers.

"X-Men: The Last Stand" was the great disappointment I had feared it would be - a half-hearted effort to conclude the movie franchise, rather than turning it into a continuing saga that could have run for as long as, say, the "Superman" films have. More disappointing, was the underdevelopment of many of the new characters, plus the deaths of three pivotal X-Men, which left much backstory untold and many fans of said characters crushed. Even though the brief scene at the end of the movie's credits brings the promise of a potential fourth film, I'm not sure many of us will care after seeing this clumsy effort.

Film buffs should save their money for a better action film this summer, rather than wasting it on this sub-par sequel. I won't go so far as to say "X-Men: The Last Stand" is one of the worst films of the year, but it is surely one of the greatest disappointments of the summer thus far.

And, to director Bryan Singer, I only have one thing to say: "Superman Returns" better be worth your abandoning the X-Men to an inferior director like Ratner, or it will be more than just the fiery contempt of X-Men fans that will burn you!


Local Chatter

When the going gets tough, the tough go fishing

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Let's go fishing!

People love to go fishing during the long holiday weekend.

I first went fishing in South Texas, off a wharf at the Arroyo Bonito. Caught a 15-inch trout. I still have a picture of a "beaming me."

Then, when I got a trout out of the roaring Taylor River (after standing on its bank for an hour) that was pure joy!

But, my "prize fish" was the dolphin I snagged and pulled in (with help) while on a fishing yacht. We were out at Fort Lauderdale and, of course, I still have lots of photos to remind me - and to show others.

There are two kinds of dolphins. One is the porpoise - like the famous Flipper. The other, we can catch and eat. Good tasting.

You fishermen out there enjoy yourselves. Fun on the Run is dedicated to you.

Fun on the Run

All I need to know in life I learned from fishing ...

- There is no such thing as too much equipment.

- When in doubt, exaggerate.

- If it feels good, it's fishing.

- Everyone has a story about the one that got away.

- It's good to be at the top of the food chain.

- Even the best lines get weak after they've been used a few times.

- Sometimes you've really got to squirm to get off the hook.

- Cast everything in the best light possible.

- Life is a stream of consciousness thing.

- Take time to smell the fishes.

- You never forget your first bite.

- A fishing line has a hook at one end and an optimist at the other.

- Fish always start to grow after they get away.

- The fishing is always better on the other side of the lake.

- When the going gets tough, the tough go fishing.

Community Center News

Great holiday activities, thanks to many Pagosans

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Mercy worked hard to put together our Patriotic Night program, it's true. But thanks are in order, because this wonderful evening could not have happened without the support of people in our community.

Some of you came together to provide the music: John Graves, Clara Barber, The Mountain Harmony Ladies' Barbershop Chorus and the Sounds of Assurance.

Others participated in the program: Andy Fautheree, local veterans and some of those currently serving in the military, American Legion Post 108, Timothy Levonius, Boy Scouts of America Troop 807, Ron Gustafson, Don Bartlett, and Gene Tautges who put together a presentation honoring Pagosa's heroes.

The Red Hat Ladies helped by serving dessert.

The Chamber provided flags for everyone, and the Archuleta County Fair Royalty handed them out.

Truly, this was a community effort.

Old Glory Dance

I'm not sure how she does it, but Pam Stokes sat in the community center office, thinking, thinking, thinking about the assortment of sparkly things she had to work with and, voila!, suddenly the gym experiences a wonderful explosion of shiny fireworks surrounding our mirror ball.

All at once, the tables were beautiful, the flags hung on the walls.

It was a perfect setting for our Old Glory Dance last week, at which more than 200 people danced and enjoyed the music provided by the High Rollers and the food from Eddie B Cookin.

We are grateful to our group of stalwart and loyal volunteers who have made our series of dances possible: Peggy and Dick Carrai, Jerry Granok, Bob and Janet Nordmann, Jack and Diana Litt, Pam and Earl Stokes, Winnie Pavlovich, Elaine Lundergan, Carrie Weisz, Ann Rasich, Jim Hawkins and our wonderful coordinator, Siri Schuchardt, who puts everything together. Thanks to everyone who has helped with other dances. We couldn't have this dance program without you.

Diabetes Support Group

The first meeting of the new Diabetes Support Group is today at 5:30 p.m.

Those who attend can decide how often and when to meet, the direction the group should take, and what each one participant thinks the purpose of the meetings should be.

Some of the ideas we've been kicking around are: to write grants which might provide funding to bring in speakers or diabetes educators; to offer software to analyze recipes for those of the group who count carbs, calories, etc.; to encourage local restaurants to provide healthy meals to diabetics; to find ways to help each other when the disease becomes overwhelming; to find ways to minimize the high cost of testing supplies.

What are your ideas? We'd love to have your input.

Call the center at 264-4152 if you are interested in joining.

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.

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.

It's time to put your name on the list for the next beginning classes; these will start in late August and run for eight weeks. Remember to let me know if you are interested in an intermediate class or a class that focuses on a specific software application such as Word or Excel. 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 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday.

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; yoga, 11 a.m.-noon; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Diabetes Support Group meeting, 5:30-8 p.m.

July 7 - Alpine Lakes Ranch POA meeting, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; legal depositions, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; senior bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.; Teen Dance, 7-10 p.m.

July 8 - Alpine Lakes Ranch POA meeting, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; sewing class, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

July 9 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 10 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon.

July 10 - 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 for Health Class, 5:30-8 p.m.; photo class with Wendy, 6:30-8 p.m.; Loma Linda HOA meeting, 7-9 p.m.

July 11 - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; beginning computing, 10 a.m.-noon; Human Services Health Services, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Spanish arts and crafts summer camp, 12:30-3:30 and 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Forest Service staff meeting, 3-5 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; photo class with Wendy, 6:30-8 p.m.; Creepers Jeepers, 7-8 p.m.

July 12 - Beginning Computing 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.; photo class with Wendy, 6:30-8 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

July 13 - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; yoga, 11 a.m.-noon; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Chimney Rock, 6-8 p.m.

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


Senior News

Security freeze helps protect against identity theft

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

AARP Advocates helped pass legislation that allows you to put a security freeze on your credit report.

A freeze means your file can't be shared with potential creditors, which can help prevent identity theft. If your files are frozen, even someone who has your name and Social Security number will not be able to get credit in your name.

Below you will find some questions and answers from Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey about this exciting opportunity.

Q: How do I place a security freeze?

A: Requests must be in writing and sent by certified mail to each of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies: Equifax Security Freeze, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348; Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013; TransUnion Security, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022.

Be sure to include:

- Full name, with middle initial and generation, such as Jr., Sr., III;

- Social Security number;

- Date of birth;

- Current address and previous addresses for the past two years.

- Copy of a government issued ID, such as a driver's license or military ID;

- Copy of a utility bill, bank or insurance statement that displays your name, current mailing address, and date of issue (statement date must be recent).

Q: Do I have to freeze my file with all three credit bureaus?

A: Yes. Different credit issuers may use different credit bureaus.

Q: Can I open new credit accounts if my files are frozen?

A: Yes, if you want to open a new credit account, you can lift the freeze for a specific creditor or a specific period of time. When you freeze your files, you will receive a unique PIN from each of the agencies as well as instructions on how to lift the freeze. You can lift the freeze by phone using your PIN and proper identification.

Q: Is there a fee to freeze my credit files?

A: The initial security freeze is free of charge; however, the temporary or permanent removal of the freeze may cost up to $10 per agency.

Q: How long does it take for the freeze to be in effect and how long does it take for a freeze to be lifted?

A: Credit bureaus must place the freeze no later than five business days after receiving your written request. A freeze must be lifted no later than three business days after receiving your request.

Q: What will a creditor who requests my file see if it is frozen? Can someone get my credit score?

A: A creditor will see a message that the file is frozen and will not be able to get your credit score.

Q: Can I order my free credit report if the file is frozen?

A: Yes, free credit reports are available at www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228.

Q: Can anyone see my credit file if it is frozen?

A: Yes, certain entities will have access to it. Your report can still be released to existing creditors or to collection agencies acting on their behalf. They can use it to review or collect on your account. Other creditors may use your information to make offers of credit unless you opt out of such offers (see below). Government agencies may have access for child support payments or taxes, for investigating Medicare/Medicaid fraud, or in response to a court/administrative order, subpoena, or search warrant delinquent taxes or unpaid court orders.

Q: Does freezing stop pre-approved credit offers?

A: No. To stop pre-approved credit solicitations, you need to "opt out" at www.optoutprescreen or call 1-888-567-8688. It's good for five years or you can make it permanent. You will need to key in your Social Security Number.

Q: Can an employer do a background check on me if I have a freeze on my credit file?

A: No. You would have to lift the freeze to allow a background check just as you would to apply for credit.

Q: What's the difference between a fraud alert and a freeze?

A: A fraud alert is a message that tells a potential credit issuer that there may be fraud. A fraud alert can help prevent identity theft and can also slow your ability to get new credit. A freeze means your credit file cannot be seen by potential creditors or employers doing background checks unless you give your consent.

For more assistance or questions, please call the Denver DA's Fraud Line at (720) 913-9179.

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 have an ice cream social after lunch Thursday, July 6, in Arboles and on Friday, July 7, in Pagosa. We will provide the ice cream for 50 cents and you bring your favorite sundae topping to share with everyone to add to the fun.

Mysteries of Chimney Rock

Glenn Raby, a geologist from the Forest Service, will offer a thought-provoking presentation at The Den at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 12 - "The Mysteries of Chimney Rock."

Join us to discover the enchanting story of the ancient ones who lived in our own backyard. Raby, a highly respected Chimney Rock scholar, will share his expertise on the history of the archeological area and those who once lived there.

Rafting the Animas

Do you want adventure? Can you feel the waves? What about beautiful scenery? Or are you in the mood for a lot of laughs?

We had so much fun rafting in June, that we need some more whitewater fun in July.

On Thursday, July 13, members of The Den are going to enjoy a different view of historic Durango as they bounce through fun-filled rapids like "Smelter," "Sawmill," "Santa Rita" and "Pinball."

This half-day adventure offers 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 p.m. Sign up in The Den office by Thursday, July 6, for the fun and the thrills.

Free monthly movie

Our free monthly movie at The Den at 1 p.m. Friday, July 14, is "Walk The Line," rated PG-13.

Among the pantheon of great country singers, Johnny Cash (played here by Joaquin Phoenix) may just be the most enigmatic. This film distills Cash's transformation from man to icon - from his hardscrabble days on an Arkansas farm to Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn., where Cash finally found a way for his talent to come into its own. Reese Witherspoon plays his beloved June Carter.

Join us in the lounge for free popcorn and this enjoyable, award-winning film with great music.

Give blood, save a life

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center will host a blood drive from 11:30 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 19. Call The Den at 264-2167 to make an appointment to donate blood.

Remember, only a little pin prick to you, could save someone's life. Be brave, make time, and give something precious - help save a life.

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 for $5 at The Den 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, and 9-1 Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 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 senior activities such as Oktoberfest.

Membership also entitles those who meet annual income guidelines to scholarships for eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental, prescription drugs and medical equipment. Your membership also allows for 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.

Urgent, volunteers needed

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

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

We have two openings available, and an urgent need to fill them immediately. All applicants must provide their own vehicles and be available in one-hour increments, once a week. We are also accepting applications for substitute drivers. A background check will be completed on all applicants.

Adopt a home delivery route today and brighten the lives of a few senior citizens. For more information, contact Musetta at 264-2167.

Duplicate Bridge

A new bridge group is forming under the Bridge 4 Fun group, called Duplicate Bridge. The group will play from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Fridays at The Den.

You will need to have a partner and sign up in advance. 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 Dave Jeffries as Senior of the Week. Dave 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.

First Picnic in the Park

The Silver Foxes Den's first annual summer Picnic in the Park was Friday, June 30, and it was a huge success.

There were 108 people who came out to enjoy the barbecue ribs while hanging out in the sun with friends. There was also the "whitest legs" contest, with Mel Lora taking home the prize. Everyone who came to the picnic had a blast and received a small gift from The Den to remember the fun in the sun.

We hope to see all of you at the next Picnic in the Park Friday, July 28. Make sure to mark your calendars to participate in the enjoyment, great food and laughs.

Activities at a glance

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.

Monday, July 10 - Susan Stoffer available, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 11 - Gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; Seeds of Learning kids visit, noon; canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, July 12 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; Forest Service presentation by Glen Raby, "The Mysteries of Chimney Rock."

Thursday, July 13 - Animas River whitewater rafting trip (reservations required). The Den is closed.

Friday, July 14 - Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.; free movie, "Walk the Line" rated PG-13, with popcorn in the lounge, 12:45 p.m.; Seniors Inc. board meeting, 1 p.m.; final day to sign up for the Indian Head Lodge dinner.


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.

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.

Monday, July 10 - Chile con carne, Spanish rice, zucchini, pineapple and mandarin oranges and crackers.

Tuesday, July 11 - Chicken salad sandwich on wheat bread, tomatoes and lettuce, orange wedges and peaches.

Wednesday, July 12 - Crunchy baked fish, oven baked potato, mixed vegetables, apricots and whole wheat bread.

Friday, July 14 - Porcupine meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy, California vegetable medley, diced pears and whole wheat roll.

Veteran's Corner

VA computer recovered, testing underway

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

I have been getting numerous calls about the veterans' data base information that was stolen in Washington D.C. recently. I haven't commented about it in this column because the regular news has been full of updates regarding this intrusion and possible compromise of serious veterans' information.

It now appears, as of last Thursday, the laptop computer that was stolen from the VA technician, complete with the hard-drive, has been recovered. It also seems that the veteran data base information is intact.

It is still uncertain just how much data was on the computer, but it is estimated that it may have held information on 26.5 million veterans, active-duty, National Guard and reserve members.

The computer is now undergoing three to five weeks of forensic tests, and an investigation continues to see if information has been copied or compromised in any way, according to VA Secretary James Nicholson.

Stolen in May

The laptop was stolen in early May in what appears to have been a routine burglary from a VA employee, who had taken the computer home to work on the databases it contained.

VA officials previously have said taking such data home was against department policy. But in this case, the employee had written permission to take the data home, Congressional sources said, which may be one reason why he has not been fired.


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 and will coordinate this important program.

Durango VA Clinic

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

Further information

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


Library News

More summer reading at Sisson Library

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales.

The kid's summer reading program floated by you in the Fourth of July parade!

Barb Draper and the kids were woofing and meowing it up on the library float. Thanks to everyone who helped and participated.

Kids are welcome to sign up for the summer reading program at any time, but must read all six books by the deadline on Aug. 3 in order to be eligible for prizes.

This coming week's programs at the library include "A day with the Pet Groomer," Friday, July 7 at 10 a.m. Then, on Tuesday, July 11, Nan Rowe will give a lecture on bird care, "It's for the Birds!" Call Barb at 264-2208 for more information or come on over.

And for you adults who want to think about "Pets in America" while your children are attending summer reading, we have Katherine Grier's history of the same name on our shelves. The pictures are wonderful, even if you don't want to read the whole book.

Mangos, curry leaves and dilemmas

Lots of interesting new reads appeared on the new bookshelves this week.

"Mangos and Curry Leaves: Culinary Travel through the Great Subcontinent" is a whopper of a new cookbook by two of my favorite authors, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. There are magnificent pictures, travel stories and recipes from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Mini-crepes made with yogurt, fennel and cardamom, covered with almond syrup, anyone? Yum.

Also serving it up, but from quite a different perspective, is the renowned NYU nutritionist Marion Nestle. In "What to Eat" she gives and aisle-by aisle grocery store guide to savvy food choices and good eating. Her wicked sense of humor is applied to the "center aisles" where the big profits are made (you know the ones she means!).

In "The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals," Michael Pollan, the author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Botany of Desire," poses the question, what should we have for dinner? To find out, Pollan follows each of the food chains that sustain us -industrial food, organic food and food we forage ourselves - from the source to the final meal. Read this, and dinner will never look or taste the same again.

Faith of our Founders

David L. Holmes, professor of religious studies at William and Mary, analyzes "The Faiths of the Founding Fathers" in this interesting book. He asserts that, although the founding fathers were religious men, their religion was very different from the various strains of Christianity today. He also examines the role of religion in the lives of recent presidents and reflects on the evangelical resurgence that helped fuel the reelection of George W. Bush.

Also on the subject of the history of religion are "Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe, from the French Revolution to the Great War," by Michael Burleigh and "Blood and Roses," by Helen Castor.

Helen Castor's work, though meticulously researched fact, reads like a startling historical novel about one family in England during the War of the Roses. In a span of 30 years, four kings lost their thrones, countless men lost their lives on the battlefield and their heads on the block and others found themselves wealthy. The Independent described this book as, "Gripping seductive. Page-turners are rarely written by scholars of the 15th century, but (this) is nothing less than a ripping yarn."

"Earthly Powers" is a pretty serious tome. For the person who really wants to understand why we are where we are today vis a vis the momentous struggles between church and state, from the French Revolution to the totalitarian movements of the twentieth century, this is a fine read. All of this has a terrible relevance to today as Europe reacts to the threat of Al Qaeda.

And, finally, "What Jesus Meant," by Garry Wills, is meant to spark debate about our understanding of Jesus and the scriptures. Wills' books "Papal Sin" and "Why I am a Catholic" were both New York Times bestsellers. He continues in this tradition of intriguing and stimulating religious thought.

Stars in our eyes

Heavenly also, but in a different way is "Colorado Star Watch: The Essential Guide to Our Night Sky."

My father used to take us out to sit on the steps outside of our farmhouse and point to wonderful things in the sky. This book would help parents who want some night fun with their children, or the artist who wants to be magnificently inspired, or anyone who just wants to be hypnotized by beautiful pictures of the night skies.

English murder mystery

From the jacket cover of "A Death in Vienna," by Frank Tallis: " a mysterious and beautiful medium dies under extraordinary circumstances the medium's body has been found in a room that can only be locked from the inside. Her body has been shot, but there's no gun and absolutely no trace of a bullet. On a table lies a suicide note, claiming that there is 'such a thing as forbidden knowledge'."

If that doesn't make you curious, you've been out in the heat too long!


Pagosa Reads

It's a thirsty world ... who has the water?

By Denise Rue-Pastin

Special to The PREVIEW

"Whose Water Is It? The Unquenchable Thirst of a Water-Hungry World," edited by Bernadette McDonald and Douglas Jehl. Washington, D.C. National Geographic Society, 2003.

In this provocative book, 14 prominent environmental writers address the planet's water crisis.

They provide alarming and persuasive evidence that we are using our limited water resources faster than can be replenished, a problem that will grow worse as the global population grows and climate change quickens.

They examine the dire consequences of current trends, from battles over who "owns" water, how to apportion dwindling supply, desertification and epidemic disease. This collection of essays is divided into four sections.

The first section discusses privatization - the sale of water for profit. There are multiple references to Garrett Hardin's "The Tragedy of the Commons." Does allowing unlimited use of a common resource inevitably produce environmental collapse? Do consumers who seek to maximize their individual welfare simultaneously reduce social welfare? Should water be endorsed by governments as a human need or a human right?

Section two illustrates the magnitude of global water scarcity. The simplest way to understand scarcity is this: If all the water in the world were compared to a one-liter bottle, there is but a single drop of fresh water to grow crops, drink, wash and power industries.

Scarcity is not the sole issue, however. Poor quality water is also a threat, with waterborne diseases claiming the lives of 5 million people a year (most of whom are children under age 5). Water scarcity also creates food scarcity. Because of the 1,000:1 production ratio between water and grain, importing grain is the most efficient way to import water. The question is not whether this "water-for-food" bubble will burst, but when.

In the third section, it is predicted the world's great resource shortage will not be in oil, but in water. This will result in regional water wars across the globe, including the U.S. In one informative essay, the reader learns that though the Colorado River is the most important single water source in the U.S., it is not a mighty river in terms of quantity. Over its 1,700-mile length, it drains 246,500 square miles in seven states. Increased demands due to growth and drought make the Colorado River conflict inevitable.

The last section offers suggestions on how to mitigate impending crisis. The "hard path," relies almost exclusively on creating a centralized infrastructure to capture, treat and deliver water to expand available supply. Another, "soft path," aims to increase the efficient and wise use of the water we already capture, clean, and use.

The soft path is not easy, however. It requires a change in concepts and beliefs; institutional changes and new management tools and skills; some combination of regulations, economic incentives, new technologies and retraining of water managers and the public. A new way of thinking about our scarce water resources is long past due.

"Whose Water Is It?" is a blueprint that calls for change - in our personal lives, attitudes, and management. It illustrates the calamity that awaits us unless we alter both our habits and our plans for the future. The book is both fascinating and frightening as it portrays a thirsty world that must transform itself to survive. The collection attempts to awaken us to a crisis that is upon us. If we are informed, we can act.

Denise Rue-Pastin, a Pagosa Springs resident is president of Environmental Dimensions, a consulting company specializing in resource conservation, efficiency and policy analysis.

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 show has grand opening, prizes awarded

By Wendy Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

The third annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council Juried Painting and Drawing Fine Art Exhibit opened last Thursday with a crowd of more than 100 people attending, including many of the artists, judges Wayne Justus and Pat Erickson, and prize contributors Lindy Moore, of Taminah Custom Framing, and Richard Berlanti.

Newly-elected PSAC president Jean Smith and juried show chairman Wendy Saunders presented awards. Awards included Pierre Mion, watercolor, "Venice 88," first prize ($700); Claire Goldrick, oil, "Late Summer Breezes," second prize ($350); and Sandy Applegate, mixed media, "Bathing Beauties 3," third prize ($150).

Judges also awarded $50 Honorable Mention prizes to Carole Cooke, oil, "Summer Celebration," and Jane Hanson, oil, "View of San Juan."

Kayla Douglass won Peoples' Choice Award for her watercolor, "Summer Flowers." Peoples' Choice Award was selected by those attending the opening.

More than 20 pieces of art are displayed in the juried exhibit and include work by Applegate, Sabine Baeckmann-Elge, Virginia (Ginnie) Bartlett, Patricia Black , Marti Bledsoe, Denise Chaney, Cooke, Douglass, Goldrick, Hanson, Gail Jaffe, Jeanie Lemmo, Jeanine Malaney, Mion, Diane Ousterling, Denny Rose, Donna Wagle and Catherine Wagner.

If you are interested in a PSAC workshop, instructors Mion (Oct. 10-11), Rose and Bartlett (Aug. 3-5) have artwork in the show, providing an opportunity for those interested in attending their sessions to see their techniques.

A variety of art media is represented in the show and for sale, including watercolor, oil, gouache, colored pencil, mixed and batik using watercolor.

The show continues through July 18. The Town Park gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 315 Hermosa St.

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

New officers, board

PSAC has elected and welcomed its new officers including Jean Smith (president), Katy Deshler (vice president), Kim Moore (secretary), and Kayla Douglass (treasurer). Board members include Pierre Mion, Wendy Saunders and Roberto Garcia. Linda Strathdee is the new PSAC administrative coordinator.

Several PSAC committees are in need of co-chairmen and volunteers. Committees include Exhibits, Juried Shows, Workshops and Community Center, Fund-raising, Membership, Annual Meeting and Public Relations. If you would like to know more or want to volunteer to work on a committee, contact Strathdee at 264-5020.

Tour tickets

The Pagosa Springs Art Council is 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.

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

Through 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.


The Wine Whisperer

Hard to find Viognier satisfies a craving

By Laura Winzeler

PREVIEW Columnist

I love Viognier.

It is second only to Sauvignon Blanc on my list of top ten favorite white wine grapes. Once an endangered wine grape species, the last decade has brought an explosion in plantings and production throughout the world.

And yet, I seem to have a hard time finding a Viognier that satisfies my craving for this exotic, ambrosial, lushly aromatic Rhone grape. If I do find a good example that brings to the table all of the floral, spice, honey and ripe, sweet fruit components that this varietal can offer, I often fatigue from the intensity of it all after a glass or two, finding myself too satiated and overwhelmed by the wine to enjoy it with a meal.

The opposite end of the Viognier spectrum frequently presents me with a wine that is watered down and insipid - so low in acid and so lacking in character that it barely deserves the name Viognier. In addition, this grape too often shows great bottle variation after the passing of just a month or two (or even a night in the fridge.) You definitely want to drink this one while it's young. Once the fruit dies away, you're left with a flabby, overbearing, high alcohol mess.

The Viognier grape can be challenging to grow, requiring a cooler microclimate to really show its stuff and develop the intense and concentrated flavors and fragrances it bears. If the growing season is too cool, however, the grapes may not ripen fully. While the grape grows more easily in warmer climates, it does not always develop its signature flavors, aromatic complexity, full-bodied mouthfeel and lingering finish.

Now that all of the negatives are out of the way, it is safe to say that this full-bodied white varietal makes one of the most distinctive wines around today. It can offer the attractiveness of a big, complex Chardonnay with an alcohol level that is usually quite high (14 percent and above) combined with the fragrant spiciness and perceived sweetness of a Riesling or Gewürztraminer. The aromas are intensely floral with honeysuckle, jasmine, freesia, orange blossoms and gardenia abounding. The exotic fruits evoked include thick and delicious overlays of ripe and stewed apricot, peach and pear along with tropical fruits, sweet citrus, and a jazzy bit of spice and honey. Mineral notes rendered by the growing region are often in evidence as well as oak nuances if the wine has been fermented or aged in barrels. This wine will fill the palate and the senses with a finish that should linger on and on and on.

When it comes to choosing foods that will make a lovely consort to this alluring grape, the options are not as varied as for other white grapes. Because Viognier lacks the sharp and clean cutting power delivered by high fruit acid content, has a relatively high alcohol level for a white wine, and is so naturally opulent in its fragrance and sweet taste sensations, a bit of thought is required for the pairing possibilities. In general, this grape puts its best foot forward when paired with rich seafood and shellfish selections, risotto, chowders and lighter meats. It also does quite well with spicy stir-fry and curry dishes. It can be a fantastic compliment to pork and ham, especially if there is a bit of sweetness in the glaze and sauce. I love Viognier with the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Turkey tastes better with this wine, as do the stuffing and sweet potatoes. Other natural poultry pairings include stuffed and roasted Cornish game hens, chicken in cream sauce, or lightly sauteed breasts in olive oil or butter and herbs. Should you become too anxious over the pairing with food issue, Viognier makes an awesome aperitif.

Here are two of my recent favorites:

- Smoking Loon California Viognier 2004 ($9). A massive whiff of ripe banana and fresh apricot greet the nose supported by gentle spice notes of clover and cinnamon. The taste matches the nose perfectly: stewed, ripe apricot up front along with fresh peach, hints of tropical fruits and lingering spice flavors. A firm mineral backbone cuts some of the sweet fruit that hits the front of the palate. This wine offers some really interesting flavors for the money without being so intense that you'd suffer from palate fatigue too soon. Hefty alcohol levels at 13.5 percent. What a great summer wine to serve ice cold!

- Yalumba South Australia Viognier 2005 ($11). This one is much quieter on the nose when compared to the Smoking Loon. In the tasting a rush of apricot fruit comes forth but the majority of the wine's structure is citrus rind and mineral with some light pear on the aftertaste. The lively and sharp characteristics promise that it is a great food wine. The copious alcohol content (14.5 percent) is obvious on day two as that's all that's really left in the bottle insofar as flavor. Where the Smoking Loon was more round and full in my mouth, the Yalumba is sharp and lean.

Both Viognier offerings are very pleasing and great warm weather, value buys. Your choice will probably depend upon how much cash you have on hand to blow and perhaps the time of day and circumstances. I'd be inclined to enjoy Smoking Loon in the afternoon, on a picnic or at a party as an aperitif. The Yalumba would probably be the better choice for a more formal and rich meal.


Food for Thought

Prepare to strip down, and eat soup

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

We've teetered past the cusp of the new season. A blink of the eye, a palpitation, a shallow breath, a missed step on the stairs and it's summer; we've tumbled into yet another official change of season.

For foodies, a different season signals a change in the type of foods consumed, in the manner of the preparation and consumption of foods. As summer arrives, everyone in the pretense-driven crowd is dining al fresco. The women wear big hats, everyone smiles, no one perspires. People drink rosé cool but not chilled.

I make few if any seasonal distinctions when it comes to the types of food I cook and consume. I've got my favorites and they do not correspond to dates on the calendar. I don't make big adjustments in my regimen relative to the height of the sun in the sky or the number of hours of sunlight in a day. I've got my faves, and the list remains fairly stable.

If I get the urge, January or July, I crank up the oven and leave it on all day, allowing it to embrace a cargo of slowly cooked meats and vegetables. I'll sautee the bejeepers out of something, ambient air temperature be damned. There are times, midsummer, when the heat inside the house gets so severe I end up wearing only my underwear, but I don't care.

The neighbors do, but they shouldn't be staring in my windows.

Sure, I've had my share of grills, parked on the deck. I use them mercilessly, tend to them very little, then turn them into planters and a home for yellowjackets when the burners rust away.

I fire up the grill a couple times a week - if I remember to keep propane in the tank. I use the grill to char peppers and onions, to char tomatoes prior to their entry into a sauce. If it weren't for the gout, I'd grill asparagus nearly every night, allowing the flames to bring a lovely, smoky sweetness to the fore.

But, despite my somewhat stubborn approach to the menu, I have a deep familiarity with summer foods that goes beyond the grill. As a child, I was exposed to the best and worst of hot weather fare.

On the basis of my experience, you can keep your aspics and your goofy salads. Pansy foods, they.

Ditto with the silly little crustless sandwiches made with "peppery" greens and gummy cream cheese spreads studded with pimento.

Keep the stuffed tomatoes to yourself, especially the one's stuffed with low-grade canned tuna.

The one summer salad I like - actually a class of salad associated with seasonal get-togethers - is potato salad.

I learned about potato salad early. My family had a dear friend named Nonny. She was ancient before I was born and had the demeanor and metabolism of a finch. She also had an odd way with food. Her culinary adventures - let's call them aesthetic adventures - were notorious.

Nonny took care of me, my brother and my sister. Nonny the Nannie, if you will. She was a member of the family and, when the spirit moved her, she put on a holiday spread. National holidays were her favorites: Memorial Day, Armistice Day (she never used another name for the holiday) and, best of all, the Fourth of July.

Her Fourth of July potato salad serves as a baseline for my evaluation of all the potentially wonderful tokens of this type of worthy summer eats.

Nonny made potato salad on the Fourth of July and it was served with myriad treats while my brother Kurt tried to blow up the back yard with dangerous explosives he purchased in Wyoming. I remember vividly the strange mix of odors experienced during the evening - foods of all kinds, burning shrubs and cordite.

Nonny's potato salad consisted of overcooked potatoes, diced raw onion, pickle relish, diced celery, too much salt, enough Miracle Whip to sustain the population of a small Iowa town for a year.

Further, Nonny took the ton and a half of potato salad she spent a full day manufacturing and divided the mass into three equal parts. She then used food coloring to tint two portions - one red and one blue. She left the third portion a pristine Miracle Whip white, then arranged the three portions in an immense serving tray in a heart-rending tribute to Old Glory.

I close my eyes, I can see her: eighty-five pounds, white hair done up in a tight perm, weaving across the patio after pounding down her third gimlet of the afternoon, (after the second drink, the "gimlet" became a "giblet") her eyes swimming huge behind the thick lenses of her glasses, toting that massive tray of tricolored spud sludge to the table.

I use Nonny's Fourth of July potato salad symphony as an example of where I do not want to go when I make a potato salad. Because of her, I know what I want.

Potatoes -waxy, just done, slightly resistant to the fork. Onion - minced and lightly sauteed. Shallot works well.

Miracle Whip? Nope. Top-grade store-bought or homemade mayonnaise perhaps, depending on the direction the recipe takes. In other instances, some combo of vinaigrette, high-end olive oil, herbs, sour cream, mustards, anchovies, oil-cured olives, a touch of curry powder, al dente green beans or peas, each added to a particular mix when the potatoes are still warm so the spuds soak up the flavors

Celery? Not for me, thanks. I'm no big fan of celery, period. But never in potato salad.

Pickle relish? Not in potato salad. Not in anything, not on anything. A good pickle should not be sacrificed and made a part of this hideous concoction.

Other traditional "summer" dishes worthy of note are cold soups and seviche.

There's gaspacho, peppery, tangy, ice cold, just right for a hot summer evening.

My friend Mark Garcia swears he prepares a wicked seviche. He's promised me leftovers. The leftovers never survive to the next day at the Garcia house. But, then, I've owed him sixty bucks for nearly a year; I promised I'd pay him in bottles of Cahors. So far, no go. I can't complain.

Seviche requires a special source for seafood, i.e. one we don't have here in the hinterlands, i.e. one with just-from-the-deep products, still twitching in the last stages of out-of-water agony. Plus, there are not a lot of indigenous finny and shelled things I'd trust for this classic marriage of creatures from the deep and a citrus marinade that, in effect, cooks their flesh. Trout and crawdad seviche? Perhaps not.

Cold soups, on the other hand, are a distinct possibility here in Siberia with a View.

I am setting out on a mission this summer that began with the passing of the solstice: I am going to make cold soup. I will make two old favorites and try two new recipes.

If I search the memory banks, the two cold soups I recall from my childhood are vichyssoise and cold borscht.

The borscht will be standard: beets and onions shredded together in the processor then cooked in beef stock over medium heat for a hour or so. In goes some lemon juice, salt and pepper. I'll thicken the mix with a couple beaten eggs, tempered first then added to the cooling soup. The brew goes into the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Before serving, the soup gets a sprinkling of fresh dill and a dollop of sour cream.

The vichyssoise will be like the soup my old man made. Every once in a while, Ray would get a wild hair and spend the afternoon whipping up vichyssoise. He grew chives and sent me to the garden with a pair of surgical scissors to snip the garnish. This is child's play: potatoes and leeks are sauteed in oil and butter then simmered in seasoned chicken stock. The thick concoction is pureed and refrigerated. Add some heavy cream, adjust the seasonings, sprinkle some fresh chives on top and eat.

For the new soups, I am going to try an avocado soup and a variation of one my Aunt Hazel used to make, using a consomme madrilene that just skirts the edge of the dreaded aspic, with red caviar or salmon roe.

For the avocado soup, I'll make a version of the Avocado Soup Gerald provided by Craig Claiborne in his "New York Times Cookbook." I'll start with chicken stock. If I'm up to it, I'll make my own stock and keep the herbal additives to a minimum - just a chicken or two, water, some extra chicken bones, salt and pepper. I'll reduce that mess down, skimming as I go, Strain, refrigerate, clean off and save the schmaltz the next day.

To every cup of the highly reduced stock I'll add at least two large ripe avocados, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup sweet light cream, and a touch of freshly ground black pepper. I'll liquefy the mess in a blender and refrigerate. When it's time to serve, a dusting of paprika is all it needs - I might even try a bit of Spanish smoked paprika, just for laughs.

The madrilene is another matter. This is an extremely gelatinous beef and tomato base that can be used for a variety of dishes, including a version of a cold soup.

The stock is made by simmering several large hunks of beef and a bunch of beef bones in water for about an hour, skimming all the dreck that rises to the surface.

Your kitchen should be real toasty at this point. Strip to your underwear.

To the simmering stock you add a couple onions stuck with cloves, celery, carrots, leeks, thyme, garlic, salt, unbroken black peppercorns and a bay leaf. This is simmered on very low heat for six to eight hours.

Hoo boy, the kitchen is an inferno at this point. Consider it a schvitz.

Meat and veggies are strained out and the Spaniards who invented this sauce say you have to add the beaten whites of several eggs and several broken egg shells to the simmering liquid. This supposedly clarifies the consomme and who are we to disagree? Eggs are cheap.

The liquid is strained though the world's finest sieve or through cheesecloth and to it is added some tomato puree, a couple of tablespoons of finely minced white onion and some basil. The mix is gently reheated.

At this point, the temperature in the kitchen has reached ghoulish levels. There's not much clothing left to remove. Close the window blinds.

Refrigerate the madrilene. It will jell.

When ready to make the soup, you need to take some of the madrilene and heat it enough to render it liquid again. Put the consomme into little cups (consomme cups if you are precious enough to own some) and stir in a spoon of red caviar. Into the fridge it goes until it jells again. It is served with a dollop of sour cream and some snipped chives.

I am going to prepare this for guests.

If they're true friends, we'll all eat dinner wearing only our underwear.

It's summer, after all.


Extension Viewpoints

Judges needed for 4-H livestock record books

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Today - 4 p.m., Ranch Horse Project meeting.

July 7 - 2:15 p.m., Colo. Mountaineer Club meeting.

July 7 - 3:10 p.m., Goat Project meeting.

July 7 - 5 p.m., Fun in the Sun camp registration due.

July 10 - 4:30 p.m., Dog Obedience Project meeting.

July 10 - 6 p.m., Swine Project meeting.

July 11 - 6 p.m., Rocky Mountain Rider Club meeting.

July 12 - noon, 4-H Livestock Promotion Day.

July 12 - 6 p.m., 4-H Livestock weigh-in.

July 12 - 6 p.m., Fair Board meeting.

July 12 - 6:30 p.m., Pagosa Peaks Club meeting.

Record book judges

Archuleta County 4-H program is still in need of livestock record book judges.

We are asking anyone familiar with 4-H and livestock to volunteer as a record book judge at this year's county fair.

The process consists of an interview with the 4-H member then the judging of their record book.

The interview process takes place at the Archuleta County Fair, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6. Each judge is assigned a species: beef, swine, sheep, goat, horse, turkey or rabbit.

We provide breakfast and lunch for all judges. Prior to the fair, we hold a judges' orientation lunch meeting provided by the 4-H program. We try to limit the number of members for each judge to around 10 .

If you think this is something you would like to do for our local 4-H youth, call Pamela at the Extension Office, 264-5931.

Summer day camp

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

The camp will be held at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds July 17-21, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. each day. The camp is for youngsters ages 8 to 13.

The camp features "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, so 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.

Colorado State Fair

The 134th annual Colorado State Fair is going to include 11 days of exciting entertainment.

The lineup includes recording artists, entertainers, daredevils and cowboys and cowgirls:

- Aug. 25 - Rick Springfield and PRCA Dodge Rodeo.

- Aug. 26 - Seether and Shinedown, and PRCA Dodge Rodeo.

- Aug. 27 - Howie Mandel and PRCA Dodge Rodeo.

- Aug. 28 - PRCA Dodge Rodeo and Trace Adkins.

- Aug. 29 - PRCA Dodge Rodeo and Blake Shelton.

- Aug. 30 - Carrie Underwood.

- Aug. 31 - Neil Sedaka and CTTPA Tractor Pulls.

- Sept. 1 - Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy and Extreme Freestyle Motocross.

- Sept. 2 - Los Lonely Boys with special guest Del Castillo, and Demolition Derby.

- Sept. 3 - Freddy Fender and Charreada Rodeo.

- Sept. 4 - REO Speedwagon.

Tickets include free gate admission if purchased prior to the day of the event.

To charge tickets by phone, call (303) 830-TIXS or (719) 520-9090 or log on to Ticketmaster.com. The 2006 Colorado State Fair runs Aug. 25-Sept. 4 and offers education and entertainment for the whole family. Plus, three lucky fairgoers will be driving home in brand new Dodge vehicles.

For more information log onto the Web site at www.coloradostatefair.com.


Pagosa Lakes News

A week in bike tour boot camp

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

The meal crew is up at 4 a.m., setting up hot water for coffee, tea and oatmeal and laying out other foods for a 5 a.m. breakfast.

The rest of us get to sleep in - until 4:30 a.m. or so.

Most riders take off between 6-6:30 a.m. If you are not an early riser, you become one - in a short time.

The tightly-paced morning schedule is meant to introduce 2,200 bicyclists to a routine that is best for climbing high mountain passes, summiting before noon and getting down to lower elevation before the fickle weather turns.

A couple of months before the Bicycle Tour of Colorado, I received information which outlined what to expect on the tour, how to prepare for it, what to bring and how to pack, and more. The course takes place over seven days, with six days of riding and one day to rest.

Our reasons for participating vary. Some are planning solo tours in the future and using this as a trial run, others are part of a group out for some high mountain riding, one received the tour as a gift, some are folks on an active vacation to decompress from the grind of stressful jobs, others go from tour to tour - and all are eager to ride their bicycles.

Reactions from friends and loved ones range from awed admiration or envy to "supportive but doesn't really get it." Those who go from tour to tour are among those who "get it."

My inspiration for this, my very first tour, was my brother-in-law, Gary. A dentist in Phoenix, Arizona, he suggested we (three of us, with my husband Tom) register for the Bicycle Tour of Colorado that would take us through to some of the most scenic spots of the state.

Thus, I found myself riding among 2,200 other kindred spirits.

So now that I've completed the 468-mile tour and climbed over 38,000 feet of elevation, what have I learned?

I've learned that bicycle tour riders and hunters share the same predawn wakeup; that bicycle owners love their bikes as much as they do their wives, children or partners. Mind you, some bikes go into the tent nightly with the owner and get a thorough oiling and rubdown after each day's work. When was the last time you received that level of attention from your husband?

I've also learned that an aid station every 15-20 miles serving all-you-can-eat energy bars, a variety of fruit, PBJ sandwiches, nuts, pretzels, beef jerky and string cheese - all washed down with an endless supply of power drinks - creates a lot of human waste. A big incentive for waking early was to be first in line for the portable johns. Allow your imagination to take you there and you'll understand why even subfreezing predawn temperatures weren't incentive enough to keep me lingering in a warm sleeping bag.

More importantly, I learned that, although you can be out there with the boys, riding with them and making banter, don't ever presume to be encouraging when you overtake a stud on the hill. One athletic female with a cheerleader mentality and a chirruping voice was particularly despised. I cringed each time she flew by and cheered the he-males on with "almost to the top" or "you can do it." I overheard a pace-line of guys in their early to mid-twenties grumble that "someone needs to kick her butt." Another group called her the "he-female."

Regrettably, I avoided pulling away on the up-stretches and committed myself instead to being a mid-pack slogger and not calling attention to the fact that I'm not a dilettante or a party girl. I am a woman in whom a spark of something burns a bit brighter, who maintains a perfectly circumspect life with the expectancy of doing better each time I launch out.

Our daily riding distances are modest - 63 miles the first day, 106 the second, 63 the third, 65 the fourth, rest on the fifth, 83 on the sixth and 88 the seventh - but enough for us to get into camp each afternoon ready for a shower and a huge meal. In an era of carb-awareness, carbo-loading is like a very large woman wearing a wild tropical print instead of trying to look slimmer in black; celebrating the freedom to eat copious quantities instead of apologizing for it.

Did I enjoy the Bicycle Tour of Colorado?

Yes, I passed boot camp for bike touring, liked it but know that I would rather, in the future, tour alone, with my husband.

The open road beckons and my bike and I are now ready to roll. Colorado makes a good place for the adventurous nature of some women to flourish, with its mountains to climb and windy stretches of road to speed.


 Business News

Chamber News

Chamber to survey members

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

If you see an e-mail from the Chamber of Commerce, don't delete it!

We are sending out a short survey we would like you to fill out. The survey is anonymous and will be used to help us grow as an organization and, in turn, help your businesses.

Everyone needs feedback, whether positive or negative. If there is something that needs improvement, we cannot do it unless we hear about it. Likewise, if there is something that is working, we want to capitalize on that idea and continue to improve the project.

With more than 750 members in our organization, we want to hear your voices and ideas. What do you expect from a Chamber? What programs or projects would you like to see more or less of? How can we be a better leader in the community for you? What services can we offer?

For example, we have been researching a health care discount program for members. We are enhancing our communications efforts with our members through broadcast e-mails and more frequent newsletters. And, we are working with the Fort Lewis College Small Business Development Center to offer mini classes once a month on subjects that can enhance your business - classes such as marketing, Internet exposure, and even some dealing with basic business practices like spread sheets and cash flow.

Please, take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to help us help you.

Busy week

I want to pass on this e-mail I just received.

"Just wanted to say thanks for hosting the recent Ride The Rockies bike tour. Your hospitality was wonderful, and we all had a great time in your city. Please pass along this to whomever was involved in making the stop in Pagosa Springs so wonderful. Mike Caine, El Sobrante, Calif. Thank you Pagosa, you made it happen."

I hope - with all the community activities, the family reunions and the class reunions - our residents and visitors found enough to do here in Pagosa over the Fourth of July holiday.

We had another year of Red Ryder success, and how about all those beautiful quilts at Quilt Fest? The park was filled with vendors displaying all sorts of crafted goods, and there were the antique cars that came through town Sunday.

We may not have such a busy holiday next year, but with a five-day arts and crafts festival planned, I'm sure we'll find something for Pagosans and their guests to do.

We still have lots of activities happening in our area after the holiday. Here is a recap of some of them.

Boosters' musical

Starting tonight, July 6, the Music Boosters present another fabulous musical production, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

The musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber is sure to make you want to break into song! Wonderful costumes and lots of energy and emotion will fill the high school stage.

The production is July 6, 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee Saturday, July 15, at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Plaid Pony and at the door. Don't miss another great Music Boosters' production.

Home and garden tour

Four homes open their doors or garden gates to the public Sunday, July 9, and each displays creative design inside and out.

The homes on this year's Pagosa Springs Arts Council tour are all located near U.S. 84. You can start in town and travel out to Alpine Lakes, or start at the farthest point out and work your way back to town.

Tom and Susan Thorpe in Alpine Lakes show off their post-and-beam home with lots of wood accents and antiques from New England.

Ron and Val Halverson in the Echo Canyon Ranch area will serve refreshments at their wood and stone, custom-built home. Enjoy a cool drink in the fenced, landscaped yard and see the views of Echo Lake from the deck.

Edward and Barbara Simpson are just across the road on Terry Robinson Road. Their home on 46 acres will show off three levels, two kitchens and stunning mountain views.

Darlene and Dan Gonzales will welcome you in true B and B style to their new three-bedroom, luxury guest house. No detail is left unattended in this beautifully renovated home, with great stone work completed by Dan, beautifully appointed rooms and awesome views.

Take the tour, soak in the creativity and snag some ideas for your next home project. Tickets for the tour are available at the Chamber, Moonlight Books, the PSAC building in Town Park, Lantern Dancer and WolfTracks for $10 for PSAC members and $12 for nonmembers.

Contemporary art

Shy Rabbit displays works by local and regional artists in the "Select Works" exhibit, up until Aug. 12, with gallery hours Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. and 1-6:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month.

You can view the works of artists Susan Andersen, Michael Coffee, Shaun Martin, Al Olson, Deborah Gorton Lisa Pedolsky, Kate Petley and Sarah Comerford. Pagosa's newest contemporary art complex is located at 333 Bastille Drive.

For more information, call 731-2766.

Music in the Mountains

You are still able to secure tickets for the first two concerts of the season in Pagosa's Music in the Mountains series.

The concert Wednesday, July 19, will certainly break up the monotony of the week, with violinists Vadim Gluzman and Philippe Quint. These two world-renowned violinists team up for "dueling violins" as they not only display their talents but their historic instruments as well. Gluzman plays on a 1690 "ex-Leopold Auer" Antonio Stradivari violin on extended loan from the Stradivari Society of Chicago. Quint performs on a rare 17th century Paolo Maggini violin on loan from Machold Rare Violins. The sound of their inspiring, lively and romantic music will fill the tent at BootJack Ranch. Their talents will be enhanced by Gluzman's wife, Angela Yoffe, performing on piano.

On Friday, July 21, you will have the rare opportunity to see and hear the epitome of the idea that musical talent "runs in the family," with the Adkins String Ensemble. To be a performer and famous in your own right, and have numerous other members of your family hold a similar status, is truly remarkable. Five members of the Adkins family will take to the stage, highlighting the group's fifth anniversary in Pagosa. Family members hold positions as principal chair, concertmaster and associate concertmaster with various orchestras around the country. Don't miss a unique opportunity to see one of the most accomplished families in music today.

Tickets for each concert are $40 and are available at the Chamber of Commerce. The concerts are held at the spectacular BootJack Ranch, thanks to the generosity of David and Carol Brown.

Make a mini event out of the evening when you attend the concerts and enjoy tasty light entrees and desserts prepared by Victoria's Parlor and Farrago's Market Café. Beer, wine, champagne and non-alcoholic beverages will also be served. Relish the music in the splendor of the San Juan Valley.


Our new members this week include Erin Quirk and AFLAC Pagosa. At AFLAC, Erin strives to help small businesses and individuals obtain health insurance benefits affordably. Her team also establishes tax programs to save businesses money on payroll taxes. If these benefits interest you, and they should if you are a business owner or manager, give Erin a call at 264-0241. You can also stop by her office in the Hersch Building, downtown at 250 Pagosa St., Suite 2-C. We thank Kathryn Heilhecker for once again referring another business to the Chamber.

Next, joining as an associate member under the Jim Smith Realty flag, is Lana Grey. As a real estate agent, Lana works with listings for homes, land and ranches. She works with buyers, giving her clients full-scale service in the Pagosa Springs area. We also thank Lana and her husband, David, for sponsoring a pit stop stall for the Great Race. To contact Lana for real estate service, call 731-6483 or stop by the newly renovated Jim Smith office at 2383 Eagle Dr.

We welcome several new businesses from out of the area this week.

Out of the Bayfield area, we have Fastena, a wholesale industrial and construction supply company. General manager Brenden Lee can be contacted to help fulfill the needs at your construction company at 884-0156, or you can swing by his place at 39983 U.S. 160 in Gem Village.

We head south of town to the beautiful Heron Lake area in New Mexico and welcome Don Wolfley's Heron Lake Guide Service. Don provides fishing guide services on Heron Lake - fishing for giant lake trout, kokane salmon and rainbow trout. First-class equipment is provided should you not want to take your own. Don has been guiding for years and knows all the best spots. Take a break and head down to Heron Lake for a few days and call Don at (505) 388-9653.

We thank all of these new members for joining up with the chamber.

Returning as members this week are: McClendon & Lynch, CPAs; Mark Miller and Let it Fly; Fire Ready of Pagosa Springs; Silver Creek Custom Homes; Summit Ski & Sports with Jeff Greer; Lorri and Greg with the Pagosa Springs Office Supply Store; Wing & A Pr-Air with Neil and Linda Gendelach; The Club; Sandy and Dan Gnos; and Grandview Cabins & RV in South Fork.

Please take a few moments to complete the survey you should receive soon by e-mail. If you do not receive the e-mail, call us at the Chamber and we can get you a hard copy. If we get enough responses, we will have results available in September. Thank you for your participation.



Cards of Thanks

Baker benefits

I'd like to thank each and every person who helped out at the two bake sales recently held to help raise funds for Mike Baker. They were very successful due to the generosity of all of you.

Whether you donated baked goods or assisted in the running of the tables, your thoughtfulness in donating your time to help shows what truly gracious people you are.

I'd also like to thank PLPOA for allowing us to have the bake sale at their annual garage sale and to Paint Connection Plus for the one held at their grand opening.

We were able to help Mike out a great deal through these two events. More money needs to be raised and different events are being planned for the future.

Thanks to all of you again.

Kim Hamilton


Airport commission

On June 28, 2006, the citizens of Archuleta County gathered to celebrate the rededication of Stevens Field to the citizens of Archuleta County with an open house. Except for a few raindrops, the event was a huge success in giving thanks to all for their commitment, dedication, patience, perseverance and hard work to produce an economic asset for Archuleta County.

The Archuleta County Airport Advisory Commission would like to express our sincere appreciation to those listed for their support of the rededication/open house : All participating persons, Avjet, board of county commissioners, Chamber of Commerce, citizens of Archuleta County, Colorado Department of Transportation, door prize donors, Emergency Operations, event committee members, everyone inadvertently missed, Federal Aviation Administration, financial sponsors, Humane Society, media, Mounted Rangers, Parelli Natural Horsemanship, pilots/hanger owners, Southwest Ag, state, county and town elected officials, volunteers.

The rededication/open house was a resounding success and would not have been possible without the support that you and others provided.

The rededication/open house has generated a renewed interest in the possibilities that Stevens Field holds for our community.

Thank you for helping to make this possible.


Archuleta County Airport Advisory Commission


Rotary parade

Once again the Rotary Independence Day parade was a big success, thanks to a lot of wonderful and dedicated people in Pagosa Springs including the Pagosa Springs Police, Colorado Mounted Rangers, sheriff's department, Colorado Highway Patrol, American Legion, San Juan Hospital District, fire protection district, Chamber of Commerce, County Extension, Pagosa SUN, KWUF, Rotary Club volunteers, the out of town parade judges, announcers Karl Isberg and Mike Branch, Day Lumber, all of the residents along 8th Street where the parade forms, the parade marshals Bob and Jessie Formwalt and, of course, all of the 80 entries that made up the parade.

Together, we celebrated a very significant day in our country's history.

Thanks also to the Denver Post for listing Pagosa Springs as having "one of the largest small-town parades in the state."

Rod Preston, chairman, Rotary Parade Committee

Susan Neder, Pagosa Springs Rotary president


Sports Page

Pagosa gymnasts return home with state titles

By Jennifer Martin

Special to The SUN

Pagosa gymnasts finished their season last week with state competition in Colorado Springs at Aerials Gymnastics.

Toni Stoll took first place in vault and bar in Optional A competition; Zoe Rohrich was the state Level 4 group vault champion with a 9.425; Danielle Pajak won top honors in bar in the 13 and older group; and Madelyn Davey was the champion on bar in the Level 4, 9-year-old group.

Fourteen teams and more than 350 gymnasts participated in the two-day event.

Satata Arthoud competed in the first session of the event as Pagosa's only Level 5 gymnast. She rounded out her season very well with an all-around score of 32.85.

The Optional A team competed in the second session. Stoll and Carrie Patterson competed in the 10 and under division. Beside her two championships, Stoll brought home a silver medal on the balance beam and placed fourth in the floor exercise. She placed second in the all-around with a 36.15, only .05 away from first place.

Patterson placed fifth in the all-around with a 34.70, tied for second on bars, placed sixth in vault, fifth in beam and seventh in floor. There were 11 girls in the 10 and younger group.

Re'ahna Ray and Gabrielle Pajak competed in a large division with 24 other 11- and 12-year-olds. Ray placed second in the all-around with a 36.70, missing first by .30. She brought home silver medals on bars (9.15) and beam (9.55), placed fifth in vault and ninth in floor.

Pajak placed seventh in the all-around with a 35.825, third on bars, seventh on beam and tied for fifth in vault.

Danielle Pajak placed fifth in the all-around in the 13 and older division, with her first place in bar (9.55), and was ninth in vault and beam

There were 28 girls in the senior division. The Optional A girls brought home a fourth-place team trophy.

The Level 4 group was split into two different sessions (each with almost 100 gymnasts).

Rohrich competed by herself in the first session and had her best meet of the season. Beside her vault championship, she placed 11th in the all-around with a 36.525. She was also bronze medal winner in the floor exercise with a 9.55.

In the second session, Sierra Trout placed 13th in the all-around in the 8 and younger group. She medaled in every event except floor exercise.

Madelyn Davey, adding to her championship in bar, placed second in the all-around with a 36.875 in the 9-year-old group of 30 girls. She was placed 11th in vault, sixth in beam.

Hannah Rohrich put on her best performance of the season tying for sixth place in the all-around. She placed fourth on bars, ninth on beam, 10th in floor and 12th in vault.

Marley Gabel had an excellent meet, placing ninth in the all-around and medaling in vault, bars and beam.

In the 11-year-old division Jaqueline Herring placed ninth out of 28 girls. She medaled in every event, winning a bronze medal on the beam with a 9.45.

Katie Blue placed 13th in the all-around and medaled in three events, vault, beam and floor.

Megan Davey did her back handspring on floor for the first time this year at state and medaled in her best event - the balance beam.

The Level 4 team brought home the fifth-place team trophy.


New bicycle ride program begins

Residents and visitors interested in group bicycle rides are urged to participate in a new program.

Meet at Pedal and Powder, at its new location in the City Market West Plaza on:

- Monday at 5:30 p.m. for a casual mountain bike ride.

- Tuesday at 5:30 for the Townie/comfort bike ride (very casual pace).

- Wednesday at 5:30 for an advanced mountain bike ride.

- Thursday at 5:30 for a road bike ride.

- Friday at 5:30 for the "You call it ride."

Since organizers are just starting this program, they ask you to call with suggestions on days and times. They will adjust the schedule, if necessary, to accommodate the majority. Call 731-0338.


2006 Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo results

Following are the final results from the three-day 2006 Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo.

Saddle bronc: First, Jay Harrison; second, Rustin Bartel; third, Ramos Benny.

Bull riding: First, Ethan Belone; second, Chance Towner; third, Joshua Nunn.

Bareback: First, Hugh Robinson; second, Joaquin Tucson; third, Steve Cordova.

Steer wrestling: First, Grady Grissom; second, Coll Tobin.

Open team roping: First, Calson Yazzie; second, J.R. DeDios; third, Enrique Salas.

Breakaway: First, Ariel Roberts; second, Shacey Sullivan; third, Teresa Brevik.

Scrambled egg team roping: First, Chip Roberts and Ross Gosney; second, April Taylor and Travis Taylor; third, Rick House and Don Weber.

Incentive team roping: First, Colson Yazzie and Dwayne Teller; second, Kelse Willis and Bucky Harris; third, Charlie Saavedra and Quari Silva.

Open calf roping: First, Aaron Romero; second, Calvin Brevik; third, Shawn Hastings.

Incentive calf roping: First, Calvin Brevik; second, Vance Myers.

Open barrel race: First, Kelly Wiseman; second, Sydni Blanchard; third, Billie Wiseman.

Incentive barrel race: First, Christiane Wilder; second, Terye Simmons; third, Terri Taylor.

14 and under barrels: First, Alice Pack; second, Samantha Martinez; third, Betty Pack.


League day features alternate shot format

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured an alternate shot format for its league day, June 27.

Each foursome consisted of an A, B, C and D player, according to handicaps. Each twosome within the four-person team played each hole by alternating shots.

At the first hole, all participants teed off, each twosome chose the best drive and alternated shots until they finished the round.

At the end of play, each twosome combined their scores with the other twosome in their group for their total score. The ladies played their scores with the other twosome in their group for their total score. The ladies played the Pinon Ponderosa courses which have a par rating of 71.

The team of Jan Kilgore, Robyn Alspach, Lynda Gillespie and Donna Gregory captured first place with a score of 191. Second went to Marilyn Smart, Doe Stringer, Loretta Campuzano and Leslie Fluharty with a 194. The teams of Barbara Sanborn, Claudia Johnson, Sue Martin and Bev Hudson; and Jane Day, Betty Nason, Audry Johnson and Carole Howard tied for third place, each team scored a 196.

Immediately following play, the ladies reconvened at the home of Doe Stringer for a lovely luncheon and their monthly general meeting.

The next league event will be the Pine Cone Classic Tournament, slated for July 11-12.

There is still room for two more ladies' foursomes in the tournament. Please contact Audrey Johnson with inquiries and registration information at audrey@aol.com, or call her at 731-9811.

Jane Day is selling tickets for the beautiful quilt she made and donated to raise funds for our charity - the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) of the Upper San Juan Health Service District. Tickets are $5 each or three for $10. Please contact Jane for information and tickets at 731-3128. League member, Robyn Alspach has donated 133,000 fully-deeded Fairfield timeshare points with an RCI membership, to be used as a fund-raiser for the aforementioned charity. Bids for the timeshare points are being accepted at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club. Minimum bid is $2,500, in $100 increments, and all proceeds will go to the local EMS.

For more information, call Robyn at 946-5552. Ticket sales for the quilt and all bids for the timeshare points will close by noon Wednesday, July 12.


White Water Academy for teens at Canyonlands Field Institute

Looking for an exciting, refreshing, and rewarding summer adventure for your teen?

Look no further, and mark your calendars for Aug. 6-10.

Canyonlands Field Institute (CFI) is offering a White Water Academy for Teens (13 to 18). Their journey will begin on the calm waters in Loma (near Grand Junction) which will gradually increase to class III rapids through the nationally-known Westwater Canyon in Utah.

This hands-on workshop is designed for beginning boaters who will be guided by licensed, extensively trained naturalist river guides.

Students will learn the fundamentals of whitewater rafting and river rescue skills including: reading the river, rowing and paddling techniques, self-rescue, and safety issues.

The river's warm water and captivating red canyon walls offer a wide range of opportunities to learn about desert and river ecology. Lizards, great blue herons and our national bird, the bald eagle, may even make appearances. The fun and excitement does not end on the river. Back at camp, the teens will learn low-impact camping techniques and help with kitchen camp routines.

Youth meet CFI staff to begin and end the four night/five day program in Grand Junction (Moab option available). Space is limited and partial scholarships are available.

For more information and fees visit www.canyonlandsfieldinst.org (select Programs & Trips, followed by Summer Youth) or call (435) 259-7750.

CFI is a not-for-profit environmental education organization based in Moab. The institution is a fully insured and permitted river outfitter in Utah and Colorado. For more than 20 years, the organization has inspired understanding, care and passion for the Colorado Plateau.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Pinto season over, Mustangs close behind

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

Thank you, Pinto coaches and sponsors.

With another Pinto season now in the books, the recreation department staff would like to acknowledge this year's head coaches, assistant coaches and sponsors for providing a fun-filled, educational season.

The following coaches and assistants are commended for their outstanding dedication and efforts, which significantly enhanced this year's Pinto season for our local 6-, 7- and 8-year-olds: Mark Hauger, Mark Baroni, Nate Bryant, Susie Tanner, Kelly and Pat Miller, Chris Erskine, Brandon and Shanda Baker, Doc Doctor, Marc and Sherrie Murray, Todd and Linda Miller, Scott Pierce, April Hessman, Kurt Raymond and Tim Miller.

In addition, the following sponsors are recognized for their generous contributions, which greatly offset the cost of providing team uniforms, equipment and participation awards: Ron and Cindy Gustafson, Mud Shaver Car Wash, Design a Sign, From The Ground Up Electrical, HTI Builders and Raymond Rent A Nerd.

The aforementioned individuals and businesses personify commitment to youth sports; their efforts this season were exemplary and serve as an important reminder of how fortunate we are to have them in our community. Thanks again to all of them for helping us coordinate another successful Pinto season.

Meanwhile, the Mustang division (9-10) is in the midst of its double-elimination tournament. Call the sports hotline (264-6658) for current pairings and game times.

Mustang tournament schedules are also available at Town Hall and are posted weekly on the town Web site and in The SUN.

Adult softball

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:

- July 10 - Ben Johnson/D.E.S. vs. Pagosa Falcons at 5:30 p.m. on Field 2 and MBM Construction vs. Boss Hogg's at 8 p.m. on Field 2.

- July 12 - American Legion vs. Ben Johnson/D.E.S. at 5:30 p.m. on Field 2 and Pagosa Falcons vs. Four Corners Electronics at 8 p.m. on Field 2.

The coed schedule for the coming week includes:

- Tonight - 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.

- July 11 - Dionigi's vs. Priority One Jayhawks at 5:30 p.m. on Field 1, Radion Shack vs. Grass Roots at 5:30 p.m. on Field 2, Galles Properties vs. Snowy River Construction at 6:50 p.m. on Field 1 and Aaron's Fitness vs. Old School at 8 p.m. on Field 1.

A reminder: players and/or teams who have not yet provided participation fees before the start of their next games will not be permitted to play.


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. Attend when you can.

Ongoing registration

Registration for this year's Park Fun program is ongoing, every weekday 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 the 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 questions.

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.


The appearance

An article in last week's SUN concerning a town council session deal-ing with ethical issues brought the predictable number of moral-ists out of the woodwork - most with axes to grind and demanding swift editorial retribution on those whom they dislike and envy.

Many who responded missed a key point: that the town council discussed the issue of ex parte communication in a public session - not behind closed doors. Second, we are fortunate to have a governing body that discusses such issues at all.

The matter at hand, when semantic arguments are erased, is lobbying - the meeting of an elected official with one party, the intent of that party to sway the official's opinion and coax assent. Not a new idea in American politics, eh?

Two of the town council were offended by the suggestion they should not engage in discussions with developers prompting a project. Each, in his own way, took the suggestion as an affront, a smear on their personal integrity and on the integrity of the council.

Others on the council argued for a cautious approach when lobbying occurs, one favoring discretion and transparency of government. One that considers the impact of appearances. We agree with them.

Pagosa has changed radically in recent years, and will continue to change at an accelerated pace. This is not the "old Pagosa," and the old ways of dealing with situations no longer apply. This is an environment in which big plans and big money are at stake. Appearances count.

True, there is nothing unlawful about an elected town official meeting outside public session with a developer and hearing about plans, unless bribery occurs. There is nothing necessarily unethical about such a meeting if that meeting and its subject are disclosed when the council meets.

But, there is something awkward and potentially damaging about such meetings. The appearance.

Such meetings are wrong in a pragmatic sense: they cast an unnecessary shadow on process and people, open the door to suspicion.

Development has a clearly defined path: plans are submitted to staff; staff analyzes plans, determining which regulations and requirements are met, and which are not; staff passes that analysis and recommendations to elected officials who study the information then deal with it, and with requests for variances and changes, in open session, in a publicly noticed meeting. At that open meeting, those interested, pro or con, can speak before a decision is made.

The process is transparent, free of as much baggage as possible - baggage created every time an official allows himself to be lobbied, or a proponent of a project is unwise enough to seek to do public business outside the public eye.

One current council member objects to this process, stating it puts the staff in a position of making a decision. Not so. This puts the staff in the position of doing its job and of acting as a buffer between decision makers and those seeking a particular outcome. That is why you hire a staff. If they do not do their job to your satisfaction, fire them.

It is our opinion that all decisions by elected officials be considered and made in the clear light of day. Cases must be made in a public setting, with all interested parties present.

True, an elected official cannot, and should not avoid incidental public comment, delivered casually by constituents. But, there is a clear difference between incidental comments and concerted and organized efforts to sway an official's opinion. We believe our elected leaders have the ability to discern that difference.

And to understand that problems result from a failure to act on a recognition of that difference.

This is not the old Pagosa. And the price of the wrong appearance is potentially too great.

Karl Isberg



Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 7, 1916

A fire at Edith Sunday noon destroyed everything except the commissary, mill and school house. About thirty buildings burned, including the Boggs home and entire contents. The fire originated in the Boggs home and all the buildings destroyed belonged to the New Mexico lumber Co. A high wind was blowing and the loss amounted to about $5,000.

After this week signs will be posted around town, warning all gasoline inebriates to limit their speed to 15 miles per hour within the city limits, with a 12 mile limit on its corners. The streets have all been measured and the marshal has a stop watch, hence touch the accelerator lightly when you hit town limits.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 10, 1931

Charles F. Rumbaugh, proprietor of the Liberty Theatre, announces that on Tuesday he purchased one of the finest talking picture equipment that could be obtained for his theatre, that the outfit is now enroute to Pagosa Springs and will be installed in the theatre early next week, ready for the first production next Friday, July 17. In keeping with the new equipment, Mr. Rumbaugh departed for Denver Wednesday for the purpose of purchasing "talkies" to take the place of the silent productions previously secured. A telegram received from him today contains the news that for his opening show on Friday and Saturday, July 17 and 18, he has obtained "The Big Trail," co-starring John Wayne and Margaret Churchill.

50 years ago

Residents of the Allison-Arboles-Tiffany area are now using dial telephones as a result of a changeover made there this past week by J.F. Thiele, new owner of the telephone system in that area. The operator at Allison will be retained for some time to aid subscribers in getting used to the dial system and to handle toll calls.

The Hersch float was the first place winner in the commercial division of the Red Ryder Round-Up parade last week. The float depicted a scene showing the first Americans - the American Indians. Theme of the parade was a patriotic one.

A hangover has been described as something occupying the head you didn't use the night before.

25 years ago

Fourth of July activities were a big success. The parade, fireworks, rodeo, and hot air balloons were all "bigger and better" than ever before. Town was crowded, weather was pleasant and almost everyone expressed pleasure with the weekend.

Town Manager Bill Ray announced that at least 50 persons signed to use the Town's geothermal system. Ray said there is more capacity in the system and more subscribers are wanted. Planners expect the heating system to be operational by mid-October.

Chief Ralph Plumber Davis of the Pagosa Springs Volunteer Fire Department resigned at a special meeting Monday night. Davis has served on the department since 1968.



A Terrazzo for the town: Young Pagosan returns home with Sports Complex project

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

A crane gently hoists a massive, curved wooden beam into the air. Cables strain, and canvas straps flex as the crane operator lifts the beam higher, moving it forward, cautiously guiding it into position.

Two young men, clad in jeans, T-shirts and hardhats, scurry up a scaffold and up stout, rough-sawn, four-by-four, douglas fir uprights to their respective perches where they await the beam's arrival.

A dust devil tears through the construction site, and the curved beam swings dangerously in the wind. Down below on the ground, project foreman Brad Ash hustles under the beam and moves between his crew members on the uprights and the crane operator, shouting instructions into flying sand and ripping wind as he goes.

One of the men perched high above the ground reaches for the beam to stop its pendulous arc, and Ash warns him. "Don't try to grab it," he shouts.

The beam swings precariously while the team waits for the wind to subside.

When the dust devil passes, the crane operator eases the beam into place and more crew members mount the scaffold and attack the beam with bolts and wrenches, securing it into place before another gust hits.

As the nuts are cranked down, Ash breathes a sigh of relief. The beams are heavy, the wind powerful, and this is his team, his classmates risking their necks to build the structure. This is also Ash's first major project, but aside from the wind, things are progressing smoothly.

Like many Pagosa Springs youth, Brad Ash left his mountain home soon after high school graduation in 1999 to obtain a college education. But, unlike many students in his graduating class, Ash has returned home to ply his trade, in the town he grew up in and in an area he loves.

After graduating from Pagosa Springs High School, Ash's educational journey took him first to Colorado University in Colorado Springs where he completed an undergraduate degree in architectural history, and then to a graduate program at Colorado University's Denver school of architecture and planning where he ultimately earned his master's degree in May.

During the seven-year period, Ash had always intended to bring his education and professional skills back to work in his home town, but he never expected to kick off his architecture career with a major project at the town's burgeoning, multi-million dollar Sports Complex facility.

"I had no idea it would happen this way. It was a project that just came up," Ash said.

But Ash is modest.

The project didn't just "come up." It was the result of a concerted effort by Ash and 18 of his fellow students in the final design and build studio course of their master's degree program.

The design and build studio, Ash explained, represented the culmination of their graduate coursework, and demanded the students apply all they had learned to pitch, design and build a project for a Colorado town.

As part of the course, Ash and his fellow classmates contacted numerous towns to determine if there was a need for a project, and whether the town was willing to work with the graduate students.

Ash said after much searching, they ultimately narrowed their possibilities to about 20 prospective towns, of which Pagosa Springs was one, and students began lobbying each other for final selection of the town where they would ultimately leave their mark.

Partially due to Ash's salesmanship, and fueled undoubtedly by his lifelong connection to the area, the students selected Pagosa Springs. Ash said Pagosa Springs had expressed a strong desire and need for a project (the town was seeking a centerpiece for its Sports Complex facility) and were willing to operate within a limited budget and with materials - such as wood, block and stone - that the students could realistically work with.

With an agreement forged between the students and town staff, and a clear understanding of the town's needs, the students divided into eight teams, and in December began designing site specific projects complete with blueprints and scale models.

Once the eight designs were complete, the students converged on Pagosa Springs in late February to pitch their projects to a selection committee.

Out of the eight initial designs, the town selected three finalists, and in March picked the design that would grace the sports complex. That winning design was the brainchild of Ash and his classmates Sterling Doster and Kevin Clark.

Town Special Projects Director Julie Jessen said Ash's design received near unanimous approval as the selection committee's No. 1 choice, with seven out of the eight committee members naming it as their first pick.

Town Parks Superintendent Jim Miller, who sat on the selection committee, said Ash's design received wide acclaim and essentially stole the show, however he added all the designs presented were innovative and impressive.

In order to capture the committee's vote, Ash said his team studied the architecture and environment of downtown Pagosa Springs in order to produce a design that would unite key downtown architectural and environmental elements - namely the river, the hot springs and the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.

The structure, called the "Terrazzo," uses Douglas fir, cedar, copper roofing, terracing, circular design motifs, river cobbles and repetition of linear patterns in order to create a linkage between the river, the hot springs area and other construction and design elements found in the downtown area.

"We wanted to use materials that students could work with and were widely available in the area," Ash said. But Ash added that aesthetics and linking the project visually to downtown and the surrounding environment was of critical importance. And, as always, dollars mattered.

With a $50,000 budget, Ash said using steel would have been too costly. In addition, working steel was beyond the realm of the student's construction abilities.

But beyond offering an innovative and aesthetically pleasing design, Ash said function was another key consideration.

Ash said the town was seeking a multi-use facility which could provide shade and a venue for a variety of events or uses, but that the structure would also serve as a kind of architectural landmark.

In order to maximize the structure's shading abilities, Ash's said his team studied the sun's movement across the project site.

"The rotation of the building is dead on with the movement of the sun. As the sun moves, the structure provides more shade," Ash said.

In addition to providing a cool spot to escape the summer heat, the Terrazzo will provide a place for picnics, a fire pit and possibly a small performance space - and perhaps even a wedding.

Ash had hoped to marry his fiancé, Janae Esterbrook, also of Pagosa Springs, at the site on July 22, but concrete finish work needs to be completed before such an event takes place. Otherwise, Ash's wedding could be a dusty, four-wheel-drive-only affair.

According to plan, the Terrazzo is situated to act as a focal point for the Sports Complex site and is oriented such that those resting in its shade have excellent views down the left field line of the forthcoming baseball field. In addition, the Terrazzo provides prime views of the soon-to-be completed soccer field.

According to Jessen, the town intends to have a playable soccer field by fall. The entire project, including the baseball field, parking, landscaping and trails installation is on a two-year timetable.

Behind the structure, the San Juan River gurgles past, and the Terrazzo will be linked with riverside trails to a kayak and raft put in/take out area and Town Park.

In order to make the project financially feasible, the town paid the cost of materials, while the students donated the labor.

"The students actually paid to come here and work," Ash said.

And work they did.

Ash called the two-week construction timetable from May 15 to May 29 "intense," and said he and his classmates logged 14 hour days on the job site.

In addition to donated labor, Ash said numerous Pagosa Springs businesses provided free or discounted materials and services.

He said Paint Connection Plus was a major donor, with all the stain needed for the structure provided at no cost.

In addition, Riddel Company, out of Denver, provided the copper roofing at below cost, and provided ice and water shield and roofing nails free.

Another major donor was the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club, which pitched in $15,000, in addition to feeding the students at a picnic.

Jessen said the project was truly a community affair, with many businesses providing discounts on food, lodging and other project materials.

Ash said, beyond pouring a concrete slab and some fine tuning, the project is virtually complete. He said as part of his post-graduate internship, which involves working at the local architecture firm Reynolds and Associates, he must also provide 2,000 hours of volunteer labor. Ash said he will put those hours to use to finish the Terrazzo.

Ash said the desire to build and design has always been in his blood. His dad, Larry Ash, was a local home builder who also designed and drafted. Ash worked in his father's company as a framer for many years.

He said framing taught him much about building, but that early on he decided he wanted to be a designer rather than a builder.

Ash said he took his first drafting classes at Pagosa Springs High School, and that those classes, and his father's work, sparked an interest he would pursue beyond Pagosa Country and into college.

Reflecting on the project, Ash said it was immensely satisfying to be able to give back to the very community that had been instrumental in his upbringing and education, and to be able to give back in way he had never anticipated.

"To come back after seven years to the town where my education began and to give something back, that was the best part," Ash said.


Pagosa's Past

The war of 1854 continues east of Pagosa Country

By John Motter

Relations between the U.S. and the Jicarilla Apaches had become so bad that, in 1854, the U.S. launched a full-scale campaign to bring the Jicarilla to their knees.

In our column last week we learned that a large army contingent was searching for the Jicarilla in the Huerfano Country east of Sierra Blanco, known today as Blanco Peak and located just north of Fort Garland.

We continue with an account presented by Veronica E. Velarde Tiller in her book titled "The Jicarilla Apache, A History, 1846-1970." Tiller is Jicarilla, with a doctorate degree. Tiller's book remains on the market.

"The following day Carleton's column went south across the valley of the Cuchares River, a tributary of the Huerfano, where they found the remnants of an Apache camp. They were convinced they were indeed trailing the hostiles. The soldiers continued reconnoitering across the west side of the Spanish Peaks, just below timberline, where they encountered another three-day-old campsite. On June 1 they descended south to the Arishapa, a tributary of the Arkansas. The following morning their strenuous journey took them south to the Purgatoire and on to Dragoon Park, about 25 miles west of Bent's Fort Road (the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail). Signs indicated that the distance between them and the Indians was decreasing. Then on June 4, some spies discovered fresh footprints leading toward Raton Pass."

Upon reaching the north end of Raton Pass, according to Tiller, the soldiers took extreme precautions to avoid being discovered. They climbed through dense timber across rugged Fischer's Peak. Only after wearing out many horses did the Spy Company reach the summit, level land protected by a deep amphitheater surrounded by impenetrable woods watered by a stream flowing through the center.

Quinn's spies approached 20 lodges in this Apache refuge, totally undetected.

We again pick up Tiller's narrative: "As soldiers descended upon the panic stricken people, three Apaches attempted to save the horses. They succeeded in salvaging only one horse and a mule from a herd of almost forty. The rest of the Apaches fled into the deep woods. The troops attempted to cut them off by covering all of the escape routes and searching the woods thoroughly, but the Indians had concealed themselves so effectively that none could be found. Carleton was uncertain how many Apache casualties had occurred, but believed several had been killed or wounded."

Following their search, the troops returned to the abandoned campsite where they, "probably found the food on the campfires rather palatable." After destroying the camp and distributing the captured horses among Quinn's men, Carleton moved out. Although he had not achieved a major victory, he had shown that the Apaches could be tracked and found in their own strongholds.

"The main column retraced its steps across Raton Pass," Tiller writes, "while Lieutenants Johnson and Moore and Quinn's spies remained in the amphitheater to kill any Apaches who might return. When a party of warriors did return, one of the Pueblo guides took the scalp of an Apache believed to be the son of Huero."

Motter's note: When she mentions Huero, Tiller is talking about one of her personal ancestors. More next week on the 1854 war between the U.S. and the Jicarilla Apaches.


Pagosa Sky Watch

Great Red and Red Jr. - storms worth watching

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 5:54 a.m.

Sunset: 8:32 p.m.

Moonrise: 4:33 p.m.

Moonset: 2:23 a.m. July 7.

Moon phase: The moon is waxing gibbous with 78 percent of the visible disk illuminated. The full moon is July 10 at 9:01 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time.

The month of June provided skywatchers with numerous opportunities to view alignments of Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter in the evening sky. But as July begins, the celestial landscape is changing and the planets that have become familiar sights in our evening sky will gradually drift out of sight.

Like contemporary astronomers, the ancient Greeks were keenly aware of the movement of the planets, and in fact, the word "planet" comes from the Greek word for "wanderer." But after years of observation, the Greeks understood the planets did not wander in a haphazard fashion. In fact, their observations proved planetary wandering was predictable, and happened along a specific path in the sky - later called the ecliptic.

Thus, and true to form, the planets will gradually wander out of our night sky with Mercury going first.

By the end of the first week of July, Mercury will move ever closer to the sun, where it will ultimately become lost in its glare. On July 18, Mercury will reach inferior conjunction, then it will join Venus in the morning sky. By July 31, keen-eyed skywatchers might find the messenger planet about seven degrees below Venus.

After Mercury, the beautiful, ringed planet Saturn will be the next to depart. Saturn is currently visible low in the western sky, but by mid-month will also vanish.

Not to be left behind, Mars soon follows its planetary neighbors, and although it will remain in the sky slightly longer than Saturn, by mid-July, it too will be gone. During its departure, Mars will make a close pass with Regulus, the alpha star of the constellation Leo, and stargazers observing with binoculars during the early evening on July 21 and 22, might be able to witness the event.

While Mercury, Mars, and Saturn will soon disappear from the earthbound stargazer's view, Jupiter will remain in the sky. Amateurs with high powered telescopes and professional astronomers alike will have their sights trained on Jupiter throughout July in anticipation of a close brush between two massive jovian storms - Jupiter's famous Great Red Spot and the recently formed, Red Jr.

Astronomers estimate the two storms will brush against each other between July 15 and July 20.

Dr. Glenn Horton of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and a jovian storm expert, said Jupiter's Great Red Spot is the most powerful storm on Jupiter and in the entire solar system. However, Red Jr. - formally known in the astronomical community as Oval BA - although slightly smaller, is no slouch.

By comparison, the Great Red Spot is twice as wide as Earth, while researchers estimate young Red Jr. is only about half the size of its larger cousin.

Despite its relatively diminutive stature, winds inside Red Jr. rage at the same velocity as winds inside the Great Red Spot. And astronomers estimate wind velocities inside both storms to top 350 mph.

Theories vary on how Jupiter's storms are created, although one common scenario is apparently widely accepted.

According to the prevailing theory, storms are a common occurrence in the jovian atmosphere. Although at times, storms such as the Great Red Spot and Red Jr. reach velocities capable of dredging up material from deep inside the planet's atmosphere. Carried by the churning storm, the material is lifted above the atmosphere's highest clouds, where solar ultraviolet rays turns chromophores - or color changing compounds - in the material, from white to red.

Observations of Red Jr. indicate a similar transition. In fact, between 2000 and 2005, Red Jr. appeared white. Then, in 2006, astronomers noticed a red vortex had formed inside Red Junior, which led astronomers to believe the storm had intensified and was generating wind speeds comparable the those inside the Great Red Spot.

Although Red Junior is still relatively new on the jovian scene -observations of Red Jr. began in 2000 - astronomers have been observing the Great Red Spot for roughly 100 years, and many astronomers believe Jupiter's largest storm has been churning for more than three centuries.

With Red Jr.'s recent change of complexion, astronomers speculate whether the smaller storm will remain red, or whether the close brush with the Great Red Spot will change Red Jr.'s dynamics. The storms passed each other once in 2002 then again in 2004, and aside from a "roughing around the edges," both storms survived the encounters unchanged.

Amy Simon-Miller of the Goddard Space Flight Center has been monitoring the converging storms with the Hubble Space Telescope. She predicts Red Jr. will go the way of other jovian storms, which as observed in 1999, have gone from white to red and back again.

Initially, some observers predicted a tempestuous, jovian head-on collision, however Simon-Miller predicts only the storms' outer bands will brush against each other. But no one is quite sure what will happen when that occurs.

"We believe the Great Red Spot will push Oval BA, turning it white again," Simon-Miller said. "We believe the Great Red Spot will push Oval BA toward a southern jet stream, which is blowing against the oval's counterclockwise rotation."

The effect, Simon-Miller said, would slow Red Jr.'s spin, possibly reversing that process that initially turned the storm red.

Jupiter is visible in the evening twilight, about half way up the sky, in the southeast. Look for a bright, creamy yellow object blazing brightly in the sky.



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More rain possible in Pagosa Country

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

It appears the monsoon season in Pagosa Country is shaping up, with heavy storm clouds dumping nearly half an inch of rain on Pagosa Springs Sunday evening, and more storms expected to blow through the region this week.

Between today and Monday, forecasters are calling for mostly cloudy to partly cloudy conditions with afternoon and nightly thunderstorms expected through the latter part of this week and the weekend.

Today, winds will remain calm throughout the workday, but forecasters predict a 50-percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight with gusts expected up to 20 mph. Highs are expected in the upper 70s, with nighttime lows reaching the low 50s.

On Friday, expect a continuation of the weather pattern, with mostly cloudy conditions, and a 50-percent chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms, with conditions persisting into the evening. Highs should top out in the low 80s, with evening temperatures expected in the low to mid 50s.

Saturday should heat up with daytime highs broaching the mid 80s, and a 40-percent chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Winds at 15 mph will come out of the east-southeast. Cloudy conditions will continue into the evening with temperatures dropping to the low 50s.

Sunday marks a shift in the weather, with Pagosa Country temperatures pushing 85 degrees. Expect partly cloudy conditions, afternoon thunderstorms and winds out of the southeast at 16 mph. Winds should subside slightly in the evening, with mostly cloudy conditions and the continued possibility of thunderstorms. Nighttime lows on Sunday will hover in the low 50s.

Monday, expect continued warm temperatures in the mid 80s with partly cloudy conditions and winds out of the east at 15 mph. Winds will persist into the evening, eventually tapering off toward midnight. Expect nighttime lows in the upper 40s to low 50s and a chance of showers.

Tuesday means more warm weather, but mostly sunny conditions with winds out of the southeast at 15 mph. With clear, cloudless conditions expected Tuesday night, expect mild breezes and cooler temperatures, with lows dipping into the upper 40s.

Wednesday could be a scorcher with more sun, clear skies and hotter temperatures expected today and deep into the week and the next weekend. Wednesday breezes at 10 mph may cool things down, but expect daytime highs in the upper 80s to low 90s, and nighttime lows in the mid 50s. Temperatures inching beyond 90 are expected throughout the latter part of the week and next weekend.