July 13, 2006

Front Page

County sets series of community road meetings

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

As approved in January by the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners, and effective June 15, maintenance and snow removal has ceased on all county secondary roads.

In order to ensure maintenance and snow removal continues, the county is asking citizens to take measures now to provide for their own maintenance until a long term solution is found to the road maintenance funding problem.

To facilitate the process, the county will host a series of meetings to explain the options currently available to residents. Those options include the creation of special taxation districts such as local improvement districts or public improvement districts, property owners associations or individual contributions.

All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. on the following dates at the following places:

- July 19: Board of County Commissioners' Meeting Room at the Archuleta County Courthouse, Pagosa Springs.

- July 24: Pagosa Lakes Vista Clubhouse, Pagosa Springs.

- Aug. 1: Navajo State Park Visitor's Center, Arboles.

- Aug. 2: Pagosa Lakes Vista Clubhouse, Pagosa Springs.

- Aug. 3: Board of County Commissioners' Meeting Room at the Archuleta County Courthouse, Pagosa Springs.

County Administrator Bob Campbell said he is not satisfied with the county's current road maintenance plan, takes citizen concerns seriously and is working with staff to seek other viable, financially feasible solutions.

"The county is continually looking at ways to expand the alternatives," Campbell said.

Among the alternatives, Campbell explained, could be one that involves stabilizing the mill levy by "de-Brucing" the county. Campbell said stabilizing the mill levy does not necessarily mean a mill levy increase.

According to Archuleta County Finance Director Bob Burchett, under TABOR - the Colorado Taxpayer's Bill of Rights - yearly property tax revenue increases are capped at a maximum of 5.5 percent with yearly increases based on numerous factors, including an analysis of the Denver, Boulder, Greeley consumer price index. Those caps, he said, ultimately affect the county budget and the mill levy.

For example, in 2006, due to TABOR limits, the county provided $689,000 in temporary property tax credits to Archuleta County taxpayers. Without TABOR, Burchett said those funds could have been added back into the county general fund, including the road and bridge and the human services budgets.

Burchett said de-Brucing would free the county from the constraints of TABOR, and would allow the county to set the mill levy at a fixed rate, and at a rate that reflects the nature of local, rather than Front Range, economic conditions.

"It (de-Brucing) would provide the revenue to keep pace with local growth and inflation," said Burchett

Both Burchett and Campbell said de-Brucing requires commissioner approval for the question to appear on the ballot, followed by approval from county voters.

Campbell said he and staff are exploring de-Brucing as one of many options to solving county road funding issues, and although the project is not on a hard timetable, commissioner approval for the ballot question could be sought as early as the first commissioner's meeting in August.

In the meantime, with the future of the ballot question and voter approval uncertain, Campbell is urging county residents to attend the meetings to learn about their road maintenance options.

He said the county will pay for the formation of special taxation districts and is working with various contractors and vendors to keep individuals or special districts from having to be bonded themselves.

Sheila Berger, special projects manager for Archuleta County, said more workshops will be scheduled if necessary, and said she is willing to meet individually with citizens and with neighborhood groups.

For more information, contact Berger at 264-8540.

A list of county primary and secondary roads begins on A17.


Rain falls, area fire restrictions eased

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Mandatory fire restrictions have been rescinded for areas around Pagosa Springs.

Little more than a week ago, Archuleta County and the surrounding countryside were under strict fire limitations following another mild winter and months of relatively dry spring weather. Wildfire danger was posted as "very high" at the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest, and fire crews had already responded to more than 300 fires this season.

And then, the rains came.

According to local weather statistician Toby Karlquist, 2.25 inches fell on the Pagosa Lakes area in the first 10 days of July, while all of June produced only 0.45 inches. In the week from July 3 to July 10, the San Juan Public Lands Center in Durango reported 1.9 inches of rain in the forests surrounding Pagosa Springs, and at least 1.6 inches in town.

Perhaps most important, the much-needed moisture came in the form of steady soaking showers, rather than the hard driving rains often seen during summer monsoon storms.

As a result, fire restrictions within the lower-elevation Zone One of the San Juan Public Lands have been rescinded, effective yesterday at 8 a.m. Zone One includes those National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands east of U.S. 550 to Wolf Creek Pass, outside the South San Juan and Weminuche wilderness areas.

Restrictions were never imposed in the higher-elevation forests of Zone Two, and the wildfire danger posted at the Pagosa Ranger District office now reads "low."

"While we don't think this is the end of our fire season, we believe that our highest fire danger is now past," said Mark Lauer, fire management officer for the San Juan Public Lands. "Going back into restrictions is always an option if warranted, but at this time we don't anticipate that happening."

Though the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners must officially approve any imposition or rescission of county fire restrictions, Greg Oertel, director of Emergency Operations for the county sheriff's department, said a verbal approval by at least two of the commissioners (prior to their next official meeting, Tuesday) has allowed the county to drop the Stage One restrictions it's been under since June 1. That change also became effective yesterday, at 8 a.m.

Mesa Verde National Park, meanwhile, lifted all fire restrictions last weekend, and on Tuesday, the Southern Utes lowered reservation restrictions from Stage Two to Stage One, for at least seven days. Other surrounding counties, and some state parks, have either dropped fire restrictions altogether, or reduced them from Stage Two to Stage One.

Fire restrictions are ordered in stages, depending on fuels moisture levels, long-range weather forecasts, the rate of human-caused fires, and the availability of firefighting resources. Stage One is the least prohibitive and Stage Three is the most. Generally speaking, Stage One restrictions dictate the following:

- Campfires are limited to permanent fire rings or grates within developed campgrounds. Coal or wood-burning stoves, or any type of charcoal-fueled broiler are prohibited.

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

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

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

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

During dry or prolonged drought cycles, fuels are monitored daily to determine the level of fire danger in surrounding forest vegetation. When conditions warrant, even if other factors are of minor concern, Stage One restrictions are imposed.

When asked what the moisture levels in surrounding forest fuels were earlier this week, Oertel said, "We haven't been able to check them yet, it's been too wet."

That's a good sign.

Oertel also said the long-range weather forecast suggests a continuation of afternoon and evening thundershowers more typical of seasonal monsoon patterns, though they probably won't be as persistent as those of the past week.

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


Early voting underway

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

With the recent arrival of early and absentee ballots, the primary election is underway in Archuleta County.

At the local level, many county offices are going uncontested, however voters will be asked to choose from one of three Republican candidates for Archuleta County Sheriff.

The candidates are: Pete Gonzalez, Bob Grandchamp and Steve Wadley.

Without a Democratic challenger, the winner of the sheriff's primary will be the next sheriff of Archuleta County.

At the state level, a Democratic battle between Joe Colgan and Jeff Deitch is underway for the 59th District State Representative seat. The winner will face off against Republican contender Ellen Roberts in November's general election.

Electors unable to vote at one of the three new vote center locations on Aug. 8 - primary election day - can vote early, or with an absentee ballot.

For early and absentee voting, the polling place is the Archuleta County Clerk's office, downstairs in the Elections Office. The office is easily accessed from the back of the courthouse.

Early voters will have the option of casting their ballots with either the new electronic voting machines, or with the familiar paper ballot.

Archuleta County Election Deputy Tomi Fredendall said, since Monday, the county clerk's office has processed about 35 voters using the new electronic equipment and all has gone smoothly and with largely positive responses.

To vote with an absentee ballot, you must pick up your ballot from the Elections Office, carry it out, complete it, then return it to the Elections Office; or, you can complete the ballot in the Archuleta County Elections Office and drop the completed ballot in a ballot box. Regardless of how you absentee vote, all ballots must be sealed in an absentee ballot envelope.

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

Electors must bring valid identification. Without valid identification, electors will have to vote a provisional ballot.

The Archuleta County Elections Office is located at 449 San Juan St., in downtown Pagosa Springs. The office is most easily accessed by driving to the back of the county courthouse. If you prefer to park at the front of the courthouse, you will need to go downstairs, out the back door, then up a ramp to the right to a door marked "Elections."

If you have questions, call 264-8350.

Electors who did not register to vote by July 10 cannot vote in the primary election.


Inside The Sun

Manager hired for Stevens Field, taxiway project continues

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Two positive developments reflect continued progress at Stevens Field recently, particularly concerning airport management and the construction of a new parallel taxiway.

In a press release issued July 5, Archuleta County Human Resources Director Mitzi Bowman said George Barter, 53, of Fort Worth, Texas, was offered, and has accepted, the position of airport manager at Stevens Field. Barter's first day on the job is scheduled for Aug. 7, and his starting annual salary will be $61,568.

Barter was chosen as the preferred candidate for the position among 15 applicants originally considered. A six-member panel consisting of two county officials, three airport-related personnel and the Pagosa Springs town manager reviewed each of the candidates and their qualifications, before selecting three finalists for in-depth interviews.

Following the interviews, and with input from the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners, County Administrator Bob Campbell picked Barter as the most qualified person for the job.

"Mr. Barter is a consensus builder with an attitude and philosophy that will make the airport community work well," Campbell said. "He understands the sensitivity between various county departments, and knows the value of maintaining good relationships."

According to the Bowman press release, "Mr. Barter has 25 years of aviation experience, with five years in aviation management. He has directed all aspects of aviation projects with budgets up to $9 million, including soliciting and reviewing bids from vendors, and establishing and maintaining vendor relations to ensure project completion.

"He will be retiring from the Department of Justice July 31, and will be moving to his home in Pagosa."

"I'm really excited about coming up to Pagosa Springs," Barter said in a recent telephone interview. "I've been watching the situation up there for some time and have been hoping for an opportunity. I'm going to try and make Stevens Field the best airport in the state."

Barter said, throughout the hiring process, he was impressed with the new structure of county government in general, and his soon-to-be boss, Bob Campbell, in particular. When asked about the tasks that lay before him as airport manager, Barter said, "I understand what Mr. Campbell wants from me the next year, and meeting with him had a lot to do with my decision to come."

Barter is a pilot and former resident of Pueblo, where he attended high school, before moving to Colorado Springs. He worked at the Broadmoor Hotel for a time, earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Regis University, and worked as a police officer for eight years. Eventually, he moved on to the Department of Justice and Fort Worth, where he specialized in drug enforcement administration.

In 2003, Barter received an award in federal aviation from the Government Services Administration and in 2005, completed courses in aviation management and aviation safety programs. He and his wife, Jennifer, will make the permanent move to Pagosa Springs sometime early next month.

In the meantime, progress continues toward the realization of a new parallel taxiway at the airport. In a recent phone conversation, Campbell said the county has successfully negotiated the purchase of a strip of land 100-feet wide, that will fulfill safety requirements imposed by the Federal Aviation Agency. Two families currently own the land, but the county has received letters of acceptance from them, indicating their willingness to sell.

Meanwhile, the county is pursuing an FAA grant that will pay for the land purchases, and Campbell said that process is on schedule. The total cost of the purchases, and the amount of the grant, are somewhat less than originally anticipated, in part because a parcel of land initially sought is apparently unavailable. That 13-acre parcel would've accommodated the future construction of additional hangers, south of the existing ones.

Once the grant is extended and the purchase agreements close, the county will pursue another grant to help pay the bulk of actually constructing the taxiway. That amount is estimated at $4.2 million, of which the second FAA grant will cover 95 percent. The state and county will each contribute 2.5 percent.

The taxiway will allow aircraft to move about the airport without having to utilize the newly expanded runway. Its construction is scheduled for 2007 and upon completion, the taxiway is expected to greatly enhance airport safety.


Water and sanitation district moves ahead with Stevens and Hatcher projects

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) made new headway on the expansion of the Stevens Lake Reservoir, announcing at Tuesday's meeting that the district is no longer required to work through the Southwest Land Alliance to receive conservation easements.

Carrie Campbell, district manager, said she is pleased PAWSD does not have to go through the land alliance, as it will save the district a significant amount of money and work.

Originally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers required PAWSD to work with the Southwest Land Alliance to utilize the easements. A conservation easement allows a property owner to receive monetary value from their land, without developing it. With the district acquiring property from adjacent land owners, the easements are needed.

"We hope to close within a few weeks on two of the parcels," said Campbell.

Campbell said when the expenses and extra work became "cost prohibitive," the Corps reconsidered their original requirements.

The easements are in place to ensure the protection of wetlands in the area.

"It's to our benefit to do that, because if the wetlands are destroyed or mismanaged, we're responsible," said Campbell.

She also recommended compensation for the Southwest Land Alliance, "assuming it's reasonable."

In other district news:

- The improvements to the Hatcher water treatment plant are in progress, and Gene Tautges, district assistant manager, said the project should be finished around December.

"We're slightly behind schedule. We're about a week behind on the critical path, which isn't bad," he said.

The improvements will include a new ultraviolet disinfection process. Tautges said the process is not required by state or federal drinking water standards, but is "certainly forward thinking," as it almost eliminates chlorine from drinking water.

"It won't replace chlorine, but it will certainly augment it," he said. Chlorine cannot be completely eliminated from drinking water, as it is state and federally mandated for purification purposes. The high maximum total cost of the ultraviolet disinfection is $181,000, well under the original estimate of $200,000.

Tautges also said the improvements will include space for possible expansions in the future. He said the reservoir now sustains approximately 2 million gallons per day, or MGD, but the district is looking to expand capacity to four MGD in anticipation of growth in the Pagosa area.

"If there's an opportunity to spend a little money now to save a lot of money later, that's always been our philosophy," said Tautges.

- Dutton Ditch, which stopped flowing in late May, has flowed again with recent rains.

"With these rains, Dutton Ditch is back in priority," said Campbell. "I am literally shocked that we don't have to fire up Hatcher," she said, meaning the district does not need to run water from the Hatcher Reservoir. Due to the construction on Hatcher, water has been drawn mainly from the Snowball water treatment plant and the San Juan water treatment plant.

Campbell said that, at the moment, the district is sharing the water from Dutton Ditch with ranchers who have senior rights for irrigation purposes.

"If the rains discontinue, (Dutton Ditch) could go out of priority. But essentially we have access," said Campbell. "It may only be for three or four days, but every day counts."


Balance due notices sent on state 2005 tax

Taxpayers who filed their 2005 income tax return, had a balance due on their return and did not submit a payment, will soon be receiving a balance due notice in the mail.

In all cases where there is a delay in payment, penalty and interest will be charged on the amount due. When the balance due notice is received, taxpayers have the option of paying the full balance due or setting up an installment plan.

If the taxpayer wishes to pay the full balance due, payment must be made by the due date printed on the balance due notice in order to avoid further late fees. Payment needs to be attached to the notice and mailed to Colorado Department of Revenue, 1375 Sherman St., Denver, CO 80261-0004.

If the taxpayer is unable to pay the balance due in full, the taxpayer can apply for an Agreement to Pay (ATP). Additional penalty will not be assessed after the installment plan is set up, however, interest will be added for the term of the plan.

There are two automated methods to request an Agreement to Pay plan:

- Colorado Income Tax Account service on the Web at www.myincometax.state.co.us;

- Automated telephone system at (303) 238-FAST (3278). Press 3 in the menu to reach the automated system.

Once the request is received through the automated service, monthly payment coupons will be mailed to the taxpayer within 30 days.

If taxpayers disagree with the balance due notice, they do have the right to protest the amount due. To protest the notice, the taxpayer must send a letter to the executive director for a hearing to present the facts and arguments. This written application must be filed within 30 days from the date of the notice. The 30-day period is fixed by statute and cannot be extended.

For information on protest procedures, visit the Web site, www.TaxColorado.com, or for more information about a billing notice, contact the tax information line at (303) 238-SERV (7378).


Pagosa student takes eighth in national FBLA competition

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

In a milestone event for Pagosa Springs High School, Future Business Leaders of America member Rosie Lee received an eighth-place award at the FBLA National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tenn., June 28-July 3.

Lee and fellow FBLA member Heather Anderson qualified to compete at the national level during the FBLA State Leadership Conference in April. They competed in Nashville against 6,000 other FBLA members from across the nation, including members from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Lee received her award in the Business Procedures category; Anderson competed in Business Calculations.

Chapter advisor Cynthia Toner also made the trip, as did FBLA members Shanti Johnson and Kim Judd, who attended as delegates to vote for national officers.

"I'm so thankful to Dorothy (Christine), who worked with the kids all year long," said Toner, who took the reigns as chapter advisor after Christine retired this year. "She (Christine) said it's been four years since Pagosa qualified for nationals -- that's how challenging it is."

According to Toner, this is the only event offered at the national level for Pagosa Springs High School.

"It's an exciting thing for FBLA," said Toner. "It's where they determine the best of the best. Colorado took home quite a few awards. I was really proud for Pagosa Springs and the state of Colorado."

Lee, who will be a senior in the fall, said she was very excited before the event, and sad to see the competition end. "But I'm happy," said Lee.

"It was a wonderful experience for her (Lee)," said Toner. "It was her first time ever on an airplane - she literally soared to new heights."

Toner said no one can remember the last time an individual competitor from Pagosa won an award at nationals. "That's how big this is," she said.

For now, Lee is content with her achievement, and ready to compete again next year.

"I'm going to try my hardest to get to nationals next year, because it was so much fun," she said.


Homestead Tax Exemption deadline

A quick reminder to Colorado senior citizens that the deadline to sign up for the newly-restored Senior Homestead Tax Exemption is July 15.

More than 140,000 Colorado seniors could qualify for the tax relief made possible by Ref C.

The Senior Homestead Tax Exemption reduces property taxes for those who are 65 and older and have been in their homes for 10 years or more.

For more information and to download a brochure and application form, call the Department of Local Affairs at (303) 866-4904 or go to http://www.dola.state.co.us/PropertyTax/Forms/formsIntro.htm.


Horse owners, take lightning danger seriously

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

Lightning may never strike twice in the same place, but with monsoon season upon us, we must be aware that it strikes all the same - as Pagosan Nan Rowe discovered July 4 when lightning struck and killed her horse at her residence near North Pagosa Boulevard, in the Pagosa Lakes area.

"We all really do think it's not going to happen to us," said Rowe.

Rowe and her husband, Gary, were visiting a friend's ranch on Trujillo Road where there was "not a drop of rain" when the lightning struck her 20-year-old horse, Kodiak.

"For people who think lightning can't strike their horse, I have news for them," said Rowe. "I never would've guessed it myself. My horse was not shod, and he had plenty of oak brush and cover. If we had to do it again, we'd have put him in the barn."

A shod horse has metal horseshoes attached to its hooves, and it is believed that the metal makes the horse much more susceptible to lightning.

"People who have horses think if they're not shod, they're safe. None of that's true," said Rowe. "Don't take lightning lightly - don't think we're the only ones who need to be inside."

Rowe said when she and her husband discovered Kodiak, they thought he may have had a heart attack.

"But that was so farfetched," she said. "He was in such great condition. I expected to get another seven or eight years from him."

After they discovered burnt hair on his body, they suspected a lightning strike, and it was confirmed by a veterinarian.

Rowe said there were no fires started in the area, and no burns on trees or other objects.

"It's a quick way to go," she said. "But I wasn't ready to let him go."


Hospital fund-raising reaches $1 million mark

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Service District Board of Directors and staff discussed a number of hot topics Tuesday, in a regular monthly meeting lasting nearly three hours.

Among the items considered, the 2004/2005 audit, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staffing, hospital design and fund-raising captured the bulk of attention.

Following treasurer Bob Goodman's monthly financial report, which reflected a continued positive cash flow, the board reviewed its 2004/2005 audit performed by Consultants and Certified Public Accountants Chadwick, Steinkirchner, Davis & Co., P.C., which contained no real surprises.

According to consultants, the audit provides reasonable assurance the district's financial statements are free of material misstatement, and includes evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. It also includes an assessment of the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as an evaluation of the overall financial statement presentation.

Highlights of the audit include the following:

- In 2005, net assets increased by $24,695, or 2 percent, when compared to 2004.

- Total operating revenues decreased from $1,214,290 in 2004 to $651,842 in 2005.

- Total operating expenses decreased from $2,178,232 in 2004 to $1,597,597 in 2005.

- Net capital assets decreased by $103,198 to $1,622,174 in 2005.

- Donations were $29,891 in 2005, compared to $78,900 in 2004.

- Total liabilities decreased from $1,941,238 in 2004 to $1,877,626 in 2005.

According to the district finance committee, decreases in operating revenues, net capital assets and donations largely reflect reductions in services realized by the closing of the Mary Fisher Clinic in March 2005. Of course, the board widely anticipates improvements in those areas, once the new hospital opens.

Brian Sinnott, head of the EMS advisory committee, updated the board on EMS staffing woes, and described ongoing difficulties in recruiting and retaining personnel in today's job market. Though EMS has recently recovered to a full staff of emergency medical technicians, it remains short on essential paramedics.

During the discussion, Sinnott explained how a three-year veteran paramedic was recently lost to a neighboring ambulance service and said, "The majority of reasons we loose personnel are related to our inability to keep up with the neighboring services' pay scales."

Sinnott suggested a variation in pay related to longevity, experience and benefits would increase an employee's incentive to remain with the district for a longer period of time. He cited the lost paramedic as an example of one who left after three years, while receiving the same wage as newly hired recruits.

Sinnott then recommended the board consider a onetime cost-of-living increase for staff members having a year or more with the district. Based on the consumer price index, it would utilize a seven-year average and apply to each wage level. The board first considered the proposal, then voted to approve it. The estimated cost to the district was $9,800 for the remainder of 2006.

Sinnott also asked the board to consider an eventual change in the employee retirement program. He explained how the current plan fails to attract quality personnel and offers employees little incentive to remain with the district throughout their careers. The board agreed to consider a suggested alternative, but collectively decided to wait until the proposed hospital approaches completion, thereby making the new plan available to more staff.

Debate over the hospital's exterior design options drew ample discussion, with board members generally agreeing to keep costs down and focus on a look that will compliment the existing Mary Fisher Clinic. Architects submitted two options for the board to consider, either of which would essentially be add-ons to the clinic. In the end, however, the board devised a third alternative not previously considered by designers, and after some deliberation, chose to pursue it. The concept, though less elegant than those offered by the architects, will provide continuity in appearance and reduce construction expenses.

As attention turned to matters involving the new hospital, Michelle Visel proudly announced that the fund-raising committee had reached its goal of obtaining at least $1 million in private donations. Entitled the Summit Leadership Challenge, the program hoped to match $500,000 in contributions promised by four affable area families.

The good news is, the committee has reached its goal, and the money will help pay hospital operating costs once the doors officially open, and until the facility generates sufficient income.

The bad news? The hospital will apparently require additional equipment not previously considered - or in the budget - and more donations will be necessary to offset its costs. Therefore, energetic fund-raising efforts must continue.

The Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, and contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by federal law. Cash donations of $1,000 or more are also eligible for a 25 percent Colorado state tax credit through the Enterprise Zone designation. Securities gifts are considered in-kind contributions under the Enterprise Zone, and are eligible for a 12.5 percent state tax credit.

To contribute, contact the following members of the Upper San Juan Health Service District fund-raising committee: J.R. Ford, 264-5000; Lisa Scott, 264-2730; Dr. Deborah and Ron Parker, 264-0022; Maria Kolpin, 264-0355 or Michelle Visel, 264-2797.


Fall registration for Pueblo Community College

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.


Developers encourage support of Village at Wolf Creek project

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Village at Wolf Creek developers met in South Fork Saturday with Mineral County elected officials, including two Mineral County commissioners and the Mineral County sheriff, South Fork civic and business leaders and area residents, to rally support for their massive, luxury resort community slated for construction on Wolf Creek Pass adjacent to the Wolf Creek Ski Area.

While addressing the group of roughly 120 people at the Rio Grande Club, Billy Joe "Red" McCombs said the project was facing "stiff opposition" from U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar and U.S. Rep. John Salazar, and he urged those in attendance to contact the lawmakers, telling them South Fork residents and residents of surrounding communities support the project.

"Tell them you want the project," McCombs said, and he added that local support was vital to the project's success.

"If you decide locally you don't want this project, we wouldn't try to push it through," McCombs said.

McCombs said much of the opposition is coming from outside the area, although southwestern Colorado citizen's groups such as Colorado Wild and the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council are opposed to the project and area lawmakers, including District 59 State Rep. Mark Larson, Dist. 6 State. Sen. Jim Isgar and the Salazars have all expressed concern over the scope and scale of the project, its impact on water, natural resources and social services, and allegations of lobbying abuses and acts of collusion between the developer, U.S. Forest Service and Mineral County officials.

Sen. Salazar has asked the United States Department of Agriculture Inspector General Phyllis Fong to conduct an investigation into allegations of improprieties in the Forest Service evaluation and decision to grant access to the project.

Bob Honts, chief executive officer for the Village at Wolf Creek, said Village opponents' objections were ill-founded, and that the project would meet all necessary requirements. He added that it was shameful local elected officials had come under fire for their role in the project.

"Local officials do the job, and then they are criticized from the outside," Honts said.

After hearing arguments in a lawsuit filed by Wolf Creek Ski Corporation, Colorado Wild and the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council against the Mineral County Board of County Commissioners and Leavell-McCombs joint venture, 12th Judicial District Judge O. John Kuenhold ruled Mineral County officials had misconstrued state statute and violated their own subdivision regulations in approving the final development plan, and reversed Mineral County's approval.

At issue were questions of meaningful year-round access, yet the recent U.S. Forest Service decision and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) regarding access to Village has resolved access issues, Honts said.

With the access question answered for the moment, and the EIS appeals process coming to a close July 14, Honts said he anticipates applying to the Colorado Department of Transportation for U.S.160 access permits, followed by a return to Mineral County for final plan approval in late August or September.

Honts encouraged those in the audience to support the project and said the Village would have the most significant economic impact the area has seen in 150 years.

Honts said over the course of buildout, the project would bring thousands of jobs to the area, and would be a tremendous economic boon.

"This project will make this area the wealthiest county in Colorado," Honts said.


Rotary announces 2006 parade winners

Winning entries and prizes have been announced for the Rotary Independence Day Parade 2006.

This year's theme was "Helping Others Be Independent."

First place and $100 went to the winner in the Commercial category - P.R.E.C.O. Plumbing and Heating. Second ($50) went to Elk River Construction/Snips; third ($25) was won by The Springs Resort.

In the Nonprofit category, the winner ($100) was the Pagosa Area Chamber of Commerce. Second ($50) was Habitat for Humanity. Third ($25) was the Ruby Sisson Memorial Library.

In the Youth category, Cub Scout Pack 807 was first ($100), Archuleta County 4-H second ($50), and Mountain Heights Baptist Church and First Assembly of God tied for third ($12.50 each).

The Bob Moomaw Family Reunion took top honors and $100 in the Individuals category followed by the Jicarilla Day Pow Wow ($50) and Carter Andrew Rainey ($25).

In the Musical category, the top prize winner was Mountain Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus. In second was the Pagosa Springs Music Boosters entry. Third place went to the Pagosa Springs Marching Band.

The 2006 parade judges were Lori Minor of Wichita, Kan.; Jacob Goldberg of Bismarck, N.D.; Linda Sitz of Bismarck; and Judy and Paul Stoutenborough of Boulder City, Nev.

Prize checks will be mailed.


Red Ryder royalty for 2007 named at July 4 rodeo

On July 4, 2006, Red Ryder Rodeo Queen Charmaine Talbot handed over her crown to the new 2007 queen, Keyton Nash-Putnam. Red Ryder Rodeo Princess Melissa Dennison passed on her crown to the 2007 princess, Kelsi Lucero.

The royalty contest consisted of competition in three areas: horsemanship, personality and a written test of rodeo knowledge.

The horsemanship award went to Kelsi Lucero.

Bailey Wessels-Halverson had the top score on the written test, as well as in the personality portion.

Winner of Miss Congeniality was Breann Decker.

Keyton Nash-Putnam and Kelsi Lucero will reign over the 2007 Red Ryder Roundup, as well as represent Pagosa Springs in the Little Beaver Rodeo, Durango Fiesta Days and Chama Days.


Thrill of school often dulled by lack of supplies

By Liz Wantusiak

Department of Human Services

Imagine the first day of school.

It's a beautiful, sunny morning and you're out in the schoolyard running and playing. You get to see friends, some of whom you haven't seen all summer. You want to meet your new teacher. You hear she's really nice.

The bell rings ... time to head to home room. You get a lump in your throat, a knot in your stomach. Your parents are having another tough year. They just weren't able to buy all the supplies that you need for school. You know your friends will share. But, still, you wish you had your own pencils and folders and markers.

This is what the first day of school could be like for some Pagosa students.

As the Life Skills Worker at the Department of Human Services, I've seen first-hand the struggle some families face. They save up a little each month, as they can, barring any unforeseen situations. Yet many times it's not enough to get all the kids the supplies they need. The book bags themselves can be quite expensive.

However, a local group is trying to change the above scenario.

Operation Helping Hand, a group of dedicated citizens, has been assisting those in need for more than fifteen years now. They are currently in the process of collecting donations of school supplies for area children. You can help OHH make someone's first day of school (and in fact the entire school year) a brighter one by contributing some supplies.

Below is a list of items being collected by Operation Helping Hand. It was compiled using supply lists provided by local schools. You can drop off your donations at The Pagosa Springs SUN located on Pagosa Street. Please consider the excitement and happiness you could bring to a child on the first day of school.


No. 2 pencils

8-count crayons

16-count crayons

24-count crayons

4 ounce bottles of glue

Small pointed scissors

12-count colored pencils

24-count colored pencils

Family-size box of Kleenex

Gallon-size zip lock bags

Quart-size zip lock bags

Supply box

Fiskars scissors

8-count markers

Large pink erasers

One-inch hard cover 3-ring binder

Pencil top erasers

Glue sticks

Loose leaf wide rule notebook paper

Loose leaf college rule notebook paper

Scientific calculator

Pencil pouch


7-subject dividers

Spiral notebooks

White out

Ruler with standard and metric scale

Erasable pens

Index cards

8-count classic, watercolor markers

Pocket portfolios, pockets on bottom

Red lead pencils

40-page spiral notebooks

Thin-tipped markers


Four dry erase markers

Basic calculator

Pad lock or combination lock

No. 3 pencils

Small pencil sharpener with shavings holder

Wide rule composition notebooks

Elmer's glue

Paper towels

Large scissors

Clear ruler with standard and metric scale

Medium size pencil box

Graph spiral notebooks

Pocket folders with brads

Small dixie cups

Small, rounded scissors

Those who wish to make monetary donations to the drive may send them to Operation Helping Hand, Wells Fargo Bank, account number 6240417424, or Bank of the San Juans, account number 20014379.


Museum features logging industry exhibit

By Shari Pierce

Special to The SUN

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

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

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

The Town of Pagosa Springs was incorporated in 1891. The first town election was held April 7 with John L. Dowell elected mayor. Trustees elected were C.H. Harpst, C.H. Freeman, M.A. Patrick, J.C. Strawn, A.J. Lewis and C.D. Scase. The fledgling town set about making improvements and encouraging growth.

The hot spring enjoyed a widespread reputation for its healing properties. Army doctors brought patients to the springs for cures. Dr. Weaver, army surgeon from the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Leavenworth, Kansas, who often brought soldiers to the springs, called it, "the Carlsbad of America."

Unfortunately for Pagosa Springs, reaching the town in order to use the mineral baths required a long journey. A common route to the springs was to travel by train into Amargo, New Mexico and then take a stage or wagon to Pagosa Springs, an arduous task for a person who was seeking relief from disabilities.

Archuleta County became a cattle and sheep raising center. The area provided lush and nutritious grazing lands. However, getting the animals to market often entailed long drives. The construction of a railroad would greatly aid ranchers.

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

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

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

Gift shop

Be sure to visit the newly-expanded museum gift shop.

Members have carefully selected items which may be of particular interest to residents and visitors of Pagosa Country, including "Remembrances," a series of books in its 11th year of publication, celebrating the people, places and history of Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area. The newest in the series, titled "Federal Forest Reserves," will be available this summer. The book series is compiled and published by the San Juan Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which also manages the museum. All proceeds from the sale of the books, and the nominal admission fee, are used toward museum operating expenses.

Monthly meetings

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


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

Hours of operation

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

Walk through the past

The San Juan Historical Museum collects and displays artifacts relating to the history of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County. Visit the museum and enjoy a walk through Archuleta County's past.


Red Cross to hold theme dance

The Pagosa Springs Chapter of the American Red Cross is sponsoring a theme dance - "Be a Tourist at Home" - at the community center 6:30-10:30 p.m. Friday, July 14.

There will be hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Music will be provided by DJ Will Spears. There will be prizes for the best theme costume.

Tickets are available at WolfTracks and the community center.

For information, call Mercy at 264-4152.


Health department to change immunization clinic dates

The San Juan Basin Health Department immunization clinic in Pagosa Springs will change to Mondays beginning Aug. 7, and will be by appointment only.

The clinic will set aside the time period from 2-3 p.m. for babies 0-2 years old, and 3-5:15 p.m. for children and adults.

Call the office at 264-2409, ext. 0, to schedule an appointment.


Some local homeowners could be eligible for home repair loans

Funding is available through Housing Solutions for the Southwest to assist qualifying moderate-to low-income homeowners in Pagosa Country make repairs to their homes.

Amounts up to $25,000 are available in the form of low-interest loans, structured to be affordable to the homeowners.

Repairs that qualify are: heating system replacements, window repair and replacement, sewer repair, septic replacement, roof repair and replacement, repair of faulty electrical systems, faulty plumbing and siding.

In order to be considered for a Housing Solutions for the Southwest loan, a home must be in the applicant's name and mobile homes (no older than 1978) must be on land owned by the applicant.

For more information about the loan program, call Christina Cordalis at 259-1086, Ext. 17.


Women Helping Women hosts first fund-raiser Sunday

A wine and cheese tasting at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, July 16, at the home of Ray and JoAnn Laird, 4501 U.S. 84, will kick off the first fund-raiser to help local women who are diagnosed with cancer.

Tickets for the event include a beautiful, mountain-grown rose bush by High Plains Nursery.

Eight wines have been selected for the event by Denise Mudroch of Mountain Spirits, coffee has been selected by Angie Dahm of WolfTracks, Decadent Desserts by Dawn will provide sweet treats, and the rose bushes have been provided by Bonnie and Larry Sprague of High Plains Nursery.

Call for tickets at 946-7545 or purchase them at WolfTracks or Community United Methodist Church. Cost of the event is $125 per person.

Rose bushes will be on sale Monday, July 17, at WolfTracks and Mountain Spirits from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds from the sale will go into the account to help those in need.


Pagosa Bible Church to celebrate site acquisition

Pagosa Bible Church announces that God has provided land for their future permanent facility.

A celebration of God's goodness will be held Sunday, July 16, on the site in Harman Park, across the street and diagonal from the Wells Fargo Bank.

Worship will be held at 9 a.m. at 81 Greenbrier Drive, No. C (corner of North Pagosa Boulevard and Park Ave.) and the celebration will follow worship at approximately 10:30 a.m.

The public is invited.


San Juan Basin health to host blood draw clinics

The Promoviendo La Salud program at the San Juan Basin Health Department will host blood draw clinics one morning a month at San Juan Basin Health Department, located at 502 S. 8th St.

The blood health screening will be for cholesterol and glucose. Participants are asked to fast at least 12 hours for accurate results.

This month's blood draw will be 8-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 19. A $15 donation is suggested.

To make an appointment or if you have any questions, call Laurie Echavarria at 759-9913 or 264-2409, Ext. 0.

La Programa de Promoviendo La Salud de la Departamento de San Juan Basin Health van empezar los clínicas de la drenaje de la sangre para la glucosa y prueba del colesterol, una mañana por mes en la clínica de San Juan Basin Health. La Clinica esta en 502 calle 8 del sur. En este mes de Julio la clínica va hacer el Miércoles 19, de las 8 a.m. hasta las 11:30 a.m. Debe ayunar 12 horas para los resultados exactos. Una donación de $15 sugerida. Habla a Laurie en la clínica de San Juan Basin Health para hacer una cita. 759-9913 o 264-2409 Ext. 0. Todos están bienvenidos.


Blood drives scheduled in Pagosa

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

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

Drives are also set for July 19 at the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., and again at Mountain Heights Baptist Church, Thursday, July 20, 1-6 p.m.

An ID is required of all donors.

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



Public firewood available on Pagosa Ranger District

The Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest has easily accessible firewood available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis from ongoing fuels reduction projects along the Newt Jack Road (Forest Road 923) and Martinez Canyon (forest boundary at San Jose Ct., west of North Pagosa Boulevard in Lake Forest Estates).

The wood is ponderosa pine ranging from 4 to 14 inches in diameter, cut within the last two months, and available with a personal use firewood permit. The trees were thinned to reduce the risk of wildland fire to communities.

People may drive up to 300 feet off Newt Jack Road to access cut trees as long as they do not tear up soil and vegetation and create ruts.

Decked pine logs are available on Forest Service property off San Jose Court, Lake Forest Estates. People may drive through the gate in the fence to park and load wood as long as they do not drive when the road is wet.

Firewood gatherers will need a valid personal use firewood permit to remove the wood. Permits and directions are available at the Pagosa Ranger District Office, 180 Pagosa St., for $10 per cord.

For further information, call the office at 264-2268.


Volunteers sought for Freeman Park project

San Juan Public Lands, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) and the San Juan Mountains Association are teaming up for a volunteer trail reconstruction project at Vallecito Reservoir, above the northwest portion of the lake in the Freeman Park area.

A section of the Freeman Park portion of the Endlich Mesa Trail was omitted during the reconstruction of trails damaged by the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire. Currently, a portion of the trail is on private land. The project, with the help of many local and regional volunteers, will be rerouted onto public lands. In addition, the old trail will be rehabbed back to a natural state.

This is a popular trail for both hikers and horsemen. The trail accesses the Weminuche Wilderness and is a great place to view the variety of wildlife that inhabits the area.

The project will be held July 15-16, with more than 125 volunteers needed. Volunteers can camp at the USFS Vallecito Work Center on the north end of Vallecito Lake or travel from nearby homes on a daily basis.

Food, tools and logistical assistance will be provided by VOC.

Work starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 15, with the assignment of crews and sections of trail. A full description of the project and times will be sent out to those who register.

To register, log on to www.voutdoors.org and go to the Freeman Park Project. If you have never registered using VOutdoors, follow the instructions for Volunteer Log-in. This electronic registration will help organizers plan for the project, since they will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner Saturday and breakfast and lunch Sunday.

There will be a Saturday night gathering (with beer) and festivities for the volunteers.


Pagosa Bow Club to host 3D money shoot

The Pagosa Bow Club continues practice 3D shooting at the range on East U.S. 160 across from Riverside campground.

The club will host a 3D money shoot July 23 at the same location. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., shooting will begin at 9.



High Country Reflections

Where have all the hummers gone?

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

A couple of weeks ago, just after finishing a somewhat assertive column on a serious environmental matter, I was sitting at my desk when a voice over the intercom declared, "Chuck, you have a call on line one."

I casually picked up the phone and kindly said, "Hello, this is Chuck."

"Where are all the hummingbirds?" a woman's voice asked. "My husband and I have spent summers here for several years, and we usually have 20 or 30 hummingbirds at our feeders. So far this year, we've had only one."

Admittedly, I didn't have a quick answer for my inquisitive caller and, because Jackie and I haven't put hummingbird feeders out since moving into our new home (and prime bear habitat), I hadn't really noticed any particular scarcity, but I did recall seeing - or hearing - a few hummers during our regular evening walks in recent weeks.

"Well, I'm not exactly sure," I unwittingly replied to the rather candid inquiry, "but now that you mention it, I haven't actually seen all that many this season Š I don't think. But I'd be happy to look into the matter."

Before hanging up, I gave the woman a phone number and suggested she call the Colorado Division of Wildlife for an expert opinion, then promised I'd gather what information I could and share it with all.

Apparently, my caller's concerns are not uncommon. In the "Questions & Answers" section of a few different Web sites I visited, similar queries had been made, with half-a-dozen potential explanations offered.

The first describes circumstances where resident and migrant hummers appear in the Colorado mountains at different times of the year. According to noted author Mary Taylor Young, four species regularly visit the state. Two nest here, and two others simply pass through on their way to or from summer nesting grounds in the Northwest. And, as their respective visits overlap, the number of birds observed at local feeders naturally fluctuates.

Of those species most often seen in the Colorado high-country, the largest and most common is the Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus). At four-and-a-half inches from beak to tail, it's hardly a big bird, but in hummer terms, it's at least 30 percent larger than the other three.

The broadtail's plumage is largely emerald-green with an off-white chest. The male's throat is a brilliant purplish-pink, while the female's is pale with faint streaks. Because of the male's luminous magenta throat, many people mistake it for a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, which is common east of the Mississippi River, but not found in Colorado. Arriving here in Aril, broadtails nest and rear young in mountainous areas, and by late September, they've departed for their winter range in Mexico and Central America.

As its name implies, the male Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) is also iridescent emerald-green with a black chin and luminous purple band beneath. Both males and females have white throats, but females have more pale underbellies. As medium-sized hummers, black-chins are three-and-a-half inches from beak to tail.

Both broadtails and black-chins nest in Colorado, but black-chins prefer lower-elevation piñon and juniper forests, mainly along the mesas and canyons of the Western Slope. They too, arrive in mid-April, returning south again, by mid-September.

According to Young, both species engage in stunning flight displays during courtship, with the male broadtail skyrocketing upward until barely visible, then diving toward the ground at breakneck speed. Pulling up in the nick of time, he chatters to his female of choice.

The black-chin, meanwhile, works closer to the ground. He rises 15 feet in the air, pauses for a moment before plummeting downward, then flaps his wings together, making a whirring sound.

With either species, males take no part in nesting or rearing chicks. Females, on the other hand, build tiny globe-like nests on branches in sheltered areas, by weaving twigs and lichens together with spider-web fibers. After laying two white, pea-sized elliptical eggs, incubation takes two to three weeks. Once hatched, babies remain in the nest for about three weeks, while mother constantly feeds them regurgitated insects for the protein necessary in promoting growth.

As females are busy with nesting and caring for their young, they will defend territories from other intruding birds. Likewise, males will engage in aerial displays to prevent females and other males from entering their feeding areas. Consequently, as females focus on gathering insects, and males are constantly chasing intruders from established territories, fewer birds are spotted at neighborhood feeders, overall.

While this behavior partially explains why fewer hummers, particularly females, are seen at feeders during nesting time, the relative abundance of blooming wildflowers is certainly another factor in reducing the number of males observed. Of course, weather plays a part in determining the profusion of mountain wildflowers any given year, but late spring is when most appear, and it is also when hummingbirds nest.

As fledgling hummers leave the nest, sweet nectar becomes the main bill of fare and the number of birds at local feeders typically doubles. And, until mid-July, when the Rufous (Selasphorus rufus) and Calliope (Stellula calliope) hummers arrive, broadtails are the most common at feeders and local flower patches.

Rufous males may be the prettiest of the four species, with gleaming copper-colored plumage, a reddish-orange throat and white chest. Females have striped throats and greenish backs, with rusty sides and pale underbellies. All are medium-sized hummers, measuring three-and-a-half inches from beak to tail.

What rufous hummers lack in size compared to broadtails, they make up for in tenacity. Though their stay is relatively brief, they waste little time driving the larger birds away from feeders and claiming them as their own. Once food sources are conquered, rufous will aggressively defend them against all comers venturing in to feed. By late August, they are leaving the state in favor of Mexico, where they spend most of the year.

Calliopes are the smallest birds in North America, and in the world, only the Bee Hummingbird of Cuba is smaller. At three-and-a-quarter inches from beak to tail, they stand out among other hummers at the feeder, with bills and tails much shorter in relation to body length.

Calliopes aren't quite as colorful as other hummers, but they do have distinct metallic-purple streaks running down the throat into a white breast. As fairly docile creatures, they feed alongside broadtails until late-August, when they continue southward to southeastern Arizona and western Mexico.

Of the 308 species of hummingbirds in the world, all of which are limited to the western hemisphere, many are found exclusively in the tropics. About 16 migrate back and forth through North America, and seven have been recorded in Colorado. Only a few nest in the U.S. and Canada.

Hummers vary in size from the Giant of the Andes (eight inches, including bill and tail) to the Bee of Cuba (about two inches total), but all share similar traits. With an average of 50 wing beats per second while hovering, they can fly forward, backward, up, down, sideways, and even upside down. During courtship flights, they will flap their wings as many as 200 times per second, while reaching speeds of 60 miles per hour.

Though hummers have feet and can perch effectively, they cannot walk well. To travel just two inches, they must fly, but achieving flight is easy enough without pushing off, since they can instantly flap their wings at full speed before liftoff.

Fluctuating hummer numbers have baffled researchers for some time, and little is known about long-term population changes, or those of migratory patterns. But scientists believe, if local numbers are in deed declining, habitat destruction is almost certainly part of the problem. Every year, hundreds of thousands of acres of natural habitat are lost to development on both ends of their migratory routes, and pesticides are also affecting them directly and indirectly.

Meanwhile, with no real answers and only a few possible explanations, I'm hoping my concerned caller phones again soon, saying the hummers have returned to her feeders.

If not, we may have to seek a federal grant for a long-term in-depth study, and Ralph Nader should probably be alerted.



Paradise lost

Dear Editor:

Our paradise found has become our paradise lost.

We purchased what we thought would be our retirement home in February 2005. The ground was covered with snow and the snow kept coming. Yet the roads were plowed and well-maintained. It never occurred to us that Archuleta County could or would want to change that.

We did not look for our dream home on a heavily traveled primary road, nor on a private road requiring resources beyond our means. Yet in a cruel twist, we now find ourselves on a public road that has been demoted to private.

We have been told that some roads gained primary road status because they were on a school bus route. But what about the sheriff's vehicle, or the medical emergency vehicle, or the fire truck? We who reside on secondary roads have as much right to these essential services as those who reside on primary roads. Roads that have two feet of snow or two-foot potholes will certainly inhibit - if not prohibit - emergency response vehicles. Will not the county be liable for this lack of emergency response?

We have been told that only a vote of the people can rescind this no-maintenance policy. Exactly how does one rally the vote when over half of the property owners' primary residences are out of town? We are of that majority. We have no vote, so we must resort to all means possible to reach those who do.

We have been told that there will not be a reduction in our property taxes to compensate for our loss of road maintenance. Our only recourse is to file for a reduction of assessed value with the assessor during the May 2007 filing period. Property on an unmaintained road is not as valuable as property on a maintained road. In fact, we would never have considered purchasing our retirement home on an unmaintained road. It is difficult to fathom the damages done to us if this no-road maintenance policy is allowed to stand.

We also urge anyone who recently purchased property but was not informed that their road would not be maintained after June 15, 2006, take action against their Realtor.

Finally, to our Pagosa Springs neighbors who live on primary roads, do not rest easy. Your child's teacher, your elderly parents, your handyman, your fireman, all live on secondary roads. Secondary roads are the only access and therefore primary to those of us who reside on them. Without road maintenance, these areas will, with time, run down and become a blight on the entire community, depressing the real estate and tourism market.

Was that pretty little mountain town that Oprah visited an illusion? All of us must get involved to save Pagosa Springs.

John and Cynda Green


Candidate forum

Dear Editor:

The League of Women Voters (LWV) of Archuleta County is pleased to present our candidates Primary Election Candidate Forum at the county fairgrounds Extension Building Tuesday, July 25, from 7 to 9 p.m., with a "Meet and Greet the Candidates," starting at 6:30. Candidates for District 59's contested race will include Joe Colgan and Jeff Deitch for the Democrats. Republican Candidates for Archuleta County's contested sheriff's race will include Pete Gonzalez, Bob Grandchamp and Steve Wadley.

This informational primary election forum promises to be an exciting opportunity to hear the candidates speak on specific questions provided by local LWV members with time for public questions and comments.

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political action organization. LWV has fought since 1920 to improve our systems of government and impact public policies through citizen education and advocacy. The League is a grassroots organization working at the national, state and local levels.

This election season we invite you to get to know your local LWV. Together we make Democracy work. For more information visit www.lwvac.org. See you at the forum.

Anita Sherman Hughes


Poor headline

Dear Editor:

As one of the area's gathering spots for cyclists, we've heard concern over the way in which the SUN labeled last week's bicycling accident. The title suggests that the driver of the truck "killed" the cyclist by incorrectly naming the article: "Cyclist killed." We believe the paper could more accurately have reported, a "Cyclist tragically dies in accident." The use of "killed" incorrectly suggests that the accident was caused by the vehicle.

The relationship between motorists and cyclists in Archuleta County deserves recognition. The overwhelming majority of motorists in our county generously share the road with, and show respect for, those of us out cycling. Let us all take satisfaction and pride in that and work to continue and improve this fortunate partnership. Further, may we cyclists work to be appreciative of the efforts motorists make on our behalf. The implicit agreement cyclists share with other vehicles, who graciously make room for us, even on parts of 160 that have little or no shoulder, is that we will do our best to travel in a straight and predictable manner that allows motorists to negotiate their way around us while allowing us safe riding.

As motorists, cyclists and parents, our hearts go out to the family whose son lost his life, as well as the unfortunate driver who was brought into involvement. May we all remember this young man and his family in our thoughts and prayers.

The cycling community also would like to recognize the driver's efforts to avoid the cyclist and wish her the peace of knowing that no blame or responsibility is intended.

The cyclist mistakenly turned into harm's way thinking the way was clear. There was no killing involved; the truck happened to be the object of impact that the unfortunate cyclist turned into.

Lastly, let this be the catalyst that brings us to address the need for bike lanes along our roadways. As we continue to grow and improve our community, it must be recognized that extra room for cyclists is desperately needed, for those of us that live here, those (several thousand) that ride through here, and most importantly, for our children who grow here; thereby turning this tragedy into a positive and preventing it from happening again.


Eric Matzdorf


Heights and water

Dear Editor:

Reference Pagosa SUN, July 6, 35-foot topic.

I ask the planning commission at their July 23 meeting, in a letter, please, 35 feet is enough, if any change, scale down.

I will not be at the July 12 meeting but I know one letter can equal 12 voices, so folks let our town, county representatives hear from you!

We are supposed to be a rural community, but we seem to be losing that status all too quickly. If you want city status and walk the streets and look upward to the structures above, then Pagosa Springs will have lost what we all appreciate here, now.

Reference Pagosa SUN July article, conserve water.

Folks, I have written many times to PAWSD about the need to halt new water connections, slow it down at least.

Now I write to ask PAWSD to be a team player. PAWSD says it cannot stop new water hookups. But yet they ask us to possibly follow water restrictions.

In 2001, we had water restrictions, with far less growth vs. now. I need not draw any larger picture.

I ask PAWSD to be a team player with county commissioners, Town of Pagosa, planning (if we have such) - get it together now, go forward, make change, PAWSD, be aggressive, help save this community.

First step could be to address lawns, please what is the first item a new foundation includes, a lawn, what a waste.

I will say no more for now.

Thank you,

Pam Morrow

Editor's note: The "35-foot topic," concerns a 35-foot height limit on buildings in Pagosa Springs.



Dear Editor:

To Whom it may concern and Pyrate Mike Thompson,

I send my sympathy to Pyrate Mike as to the robbery of his jet ski. Three years ago, my son, Steve Poleski, a good friend of Pyrate Mike's, passed away. Some inconsiderate and mean people came and stole his trailer, all his machinist tools, some appliances and other items of his that were in the trailer. He was kind and generous, just like Pyrate Mike.

Whoever did these things hurt a lot of people in Pagosa Springs, Arboles and Illinois. I hope they realize what they did and return his jet ski. It is too late for my son and our family.


Dee Poleski

Orland Park, Ill.


Wellness program

Dear Editor:

As a health care professional I must applaud the article in which Ronnie Doctor and Crista Munro, no doubt representing a large group of followers, educate the public with some facts and attempting to make a healthy life style change for the children in our local school system. This article indirectly relates to all of us, whether we interact with children now, as adults, as elderly people and as paying and non- paying medical patients.

According to a study done by S. Racette, dramatic increases of obesity were observed during the 1980s and 1990s. It has been estimated, that 10.4 percent of children 2 to 5 years of age, 15.3 percent of children 6 to 11 years of age, and 15.5 percent of adolescents 12 to 19 years of age are overweight. This phenomenon among children and adolescents has contributed to unprecedented rates of type 2 diabetes, and a multitude of other medical related issues as poor body posture, back and knee problems, high blood pressure, etc. Not to mention: lack of confidence, peer pressure, self doubt, etc.

In every ad you look at, Pagosa Springs proliferates itself as an active, lively, healthy, come-live-and play-in-the mountains, ski and water activities community. Now how do we expect people to truly believe this, as our local government cannot even provide a healthy, substantial and tasty lunch?. Support the cause of the wellness program in your local schools, as this will benefit each of us.


Chantal Ralston


Wellness 2

Dear Editor:

I want to clarify some of the issues and comments made in the July 6 issue of the Pagosa SUN regarding the creation of a new Wellness Policy. This policy creation is a work in progress. It must be a compromise between what the school district can reasonably and affordably implement and what the community feels is ideal and/or necessary. Parent input is welcome and needed to address concerns regarding school nutrition and physical fitness programs.

The Wellness committee worked very hard on several draft proposals. Some of the ideas were rejected and some were embraced. Although the final document did not meet every committee member's idea of perfection, it provided the district with a place to begin implementing some changes. Some proposed changes could have 'busted the budget' for school nutrition, which is a very real concern. The committee will resume work in the fall to address further ideas, proposals and concerns including any shortcomings in the policy as it was presented to the school board.

The bottom line is, parents, committee members and district administration will be working together to improve the school's role in promoting lifestyle changes. As stated by the National Association of School Nurses July 2006 newsletter: "Developing a district wellness policy is critical to today's youth." Creating such a policy will take time and is only one part of the solution to addressing childhood obesity.

Mary Jo Valentine


  Community News

Music in the Mountains in Pagosa: Steady growth in programs, audiences over five years

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Since its inception five years ago, Music in the Mountains has built a rich history of classical music excellence in Pagosa Springs, and also launched highly successful musical programs for youth in the town.

It was the vision of founders David and Carol Brown that brought the festival to Pagosa Springs. Its debut in 2002 was modest but impressive - two chamber concerts at the Lodge at BootJack Ranch that sold out almost immediately.

2003 marked the second year of concerts in Pagosa, with three performances now under a tent at BootJack Ranch at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass, surrounded by spectacular views of the mountains. That year also saw Pagosa's first benefit supporting the festival, which took place at Bear Mountain Ranch, the home of Jon and Fran Jenkins.

By 2004, the third year in Pagosa, the festival had grown to three chamber concerts and a benefit event at the Keyah Grande home of Alan and Barbara Sackman. As well, Family Festivo, a free community musical event featuring "Peter and the Wolf" and local youth groups, debuted in Town Park to rave reviews from an audience of 600 families and "kids of all ages."

2005, the fourth year in Pagosa, saw the first-ever appearance of the full festival orchestra. Their sold-out performance took place under a new and bigger tent seating 350 at BootJack Ranch, increasing seating capacity by 50 percent. In three and a half weeks, more concert tickets were sold in Pagosa than seats were available the previous year. Also, the largest and most successful benefit ever took place at the BootJack Ranch Aquatic Center, thanks again to David and Carol Brown.

This summer, as Music in the Mountains celebrates its fifth season in Pagosa Springs, there are several more "firsts" in honor of the anniversary. The opening event on July 8 was a gala Broadway Benefit Concert featuring soprano Lisa Vroman, best known for her starring role as Christine in "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway and with the cast that had a record-setting run in San Francisco.

Pagosa's classical concert lineup has expanded to four, including two performances by the full festival orchestra. As always, soloists are outstanding performers and the orchestra members, numbering more than 50, are world-renowned in their own right. In addition, for the first time Bank of the San Juans is hosting a free concert and barbecue lunch in the bank's parking lot featuring the toe-tapping sounds of Music in the Mountains performer Tom Demer on the fiddle.

Meanwhile, another key contribution of the festival - support of local musical programs for young people - has expanded dramatically over the five years of Music in the Mountains in Pagosa Springs. Today they include many activities such as providing music scholarships, bringing professional musicians to Pagosa schools for hands-on workshops, funding instrument purchase and repair programs for our school bands, sending local children to a Taste of Music concert in Durango, and hosting the annual free summer Family Festivo concert in Town Park.

This year's concert on July 27 for families and "kids of all ages" will feature the world premiere of the musical score for "Breman Town Musicians," based on the Grimms' fairy tale, with composer Simon Sargan doing the narration.

Ticket prices cover less than one third of the cost of putting on the local Music in the Mountains concerts, which makes the contributions from individual donors, businesses and other larger organizations so important to the success of the Pagosa festival. For the 2006 summer season they include BootJack Ranch, Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship, Citizens Bank, Coleman Vision, Bank of the San Juans, Harts Construction and Harts Rocky Mountain Retreat, Prudential Triple S Realty, Coyote Hill Lodge, LPEA Round Up Foundation, the Town of Pagosa Springs and El Pomar Youth in Community Service.

As well, all of the planning and organizational work for Music in the Mountains in Pagosa is done by Jan Clinkenbeard, chair, and her local volunteer steering committee composed of Mary Jo Coulehan, Carole Howard, Crystal Howe, Teresa Huft, Ed Lowrance and Lisa Scott.


Fifth Music in the Mountains season opens amid herd of buffalo

By Carole Howard

Special to The Preview

The first two classical concerts featuring world-class musicians take place July 19 and 21, in celebration of the fifth season of Music in the Mountains in Pagosa Springs.

Performing next week are a pair of outstanding violinists and the Adkins String Ensemble.

The concerts take place in a spectacular mountain setting at BootJack Ranch on U.S. 160 east of Pagosa Springs, thanks to the generosity of David and Carol Brown, owners of the ranch and founders of the Music in the Mountains festival in Pagosa.

Local animal lovers who have attended the festival's concerts over the past four years may be interested to know that the ranch's buffalo herd has grown to three mothers, one father and three babies. The sight of these impressive animals grazing outside the concert tent has been known to momentarily distract the audience's attention from the extraordinary sounds of the music.

"Dueling" violinists

Pagosa will experience a unique event when two of the world's top young virtuosos from the former Soviet Union "duel" on the concert stage in a can-you-top-this performance on Wednesday, July 19.

On the program are violinists Vadim Gluzman and Philippe Quint, who will be accompanied by Gluzman's wife Angela Yoffe on piano performing a selection of works by composers including Leclair, Beethoven, Prokofiev, Frolov, Ravel and Sarasate. An inspirational friendship with Isaac Stern helped launch Gluzman's career in 1991. Hailed as one of the most dynamic artists of his generation, the 32-year-old Ukranian-born artist has performed on four continents in recent years.

Quint, born in St. Petersburg, Russia and now an American citizen, has built his reputation as a consummate violin soloist with audiences and critics alike. This rising young New Yorker has established himself as one of the most brilliant and charismatic artists of his generation.

Hard as it is to top these musicians' impressive resumes, the instruments that the two violists will play for our Pagosa audience also are exceptional. Gluzman plays the outstanding 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.

This concert is presented by Parelli Natural Horse-Man-Ship and sponsored in part by BootJack Ranch.

Adkins String Ensemble

One of America's most talented classical music families will be showcased on Friday, July 21 when the Adkins String Ensemble performs on strings and piano. On the program are Mozart's Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Briley's Quintet for a Healing Nation and Frank's Piano Quintet in F minor.

Can you imagine family jam sessions when both parents, their children and one in-law get together for a little night music? Now picture yourself at their concert here in Pagosa.

All the Adkins family musicians are famous in their own right as leaders in major orchestras, popular soloists and ensemble players extraordinaire. So when five members of the family take to our stage together, the audience will see a remarkable powerhouse of musical talent.

"Few families boast as many accomplished musicians as the distinguished Adkins clan," said Jan Clinkenbeard, chair of the steering committee in charge of Music in the Mountains in Pagosa. "Having an ensemble of their stature play for us is indeed a very special treat for our town."

This special concert is presented by Coleman Vision and sponsored in part by Prudential Triple S Realty and BootJack Ranch.

Food and beverages

In keeping with the informality of festival chamber music concerts, the artists will offer commentary from the stage about these pieces.

Also, a selection of food, from sandwiches to dessert, and beverages from champagne to coffee will be available for purchase before the concert and during intermission.

The concerts start at 7 p.m. Tickets for both these events are $40. When you purchase tickets for this or any of this summer's Music in the Mountains concerts at the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, you can pay by cash, check or credit card (MasterCard or Visa). Tickets also are available on line at www.tix.com or through the Music in the Mountains Web site at www.musicinthemountains.com.


The Professor entertains tomorrow night

Tomorrow night, 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 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 hopefully inspire an old fashioned sing-along.

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. There will be a suggested donation of $5.


John Nilsen in concert in Pagosa July 15

Magic Wing recording artist John Nilsen will perform at Community United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 15.

Contemporary composer and recording artist John Nilsen is known for his original melodic themes, pieces which touch on the experiences of our lives.

"His musicianship is flawless," said Keyboard Magazine. On his latest project, "Footprints on water, The Best of John Nilsen," this talented performer recorded two new tracks to accompany a classic collection of compositions throughout his acclaimed career.

With the release of "Footprints on Water, The Best of John Nilsen," pianist, guitarist and composer Nilsen touches on over 20 years in the recording industry. This new collection of music validates Nilsen's many accomplishments as a successful recording artist.

"John's music has a magical quality to it. Each new recording seems to be his best," said David Shult, longtime Portland radio personality. Currently one of Northwest's largest selling musical artists, Nilsen has released 15 recordings, most on his highly successful independent record company, Magic Wing. John has also had recordings released in Germany, Taiwan, Philippines and Singapore, bringing reported sales to nearly 500,000 copies sold.

Famed guitarist Guthrie Thomas is credited with launching Nilsen's career nearly 20 years ago. Thomas knew then that Nilsen was a player and a talent. He invited Nilsen to record on his Eagle Records label, and there a career was born.

With over 180 annual performances including national tours of the United Sates, Great Britain and Japan, the rewards of his diligence are unmistakable. He has earned a devout following of listeners, and with his increasing international distribution, his popularity continues to grow.

Often accompanied by many of the finest musicians from the Northwest, Nilsen is an innovative keyboardist who creates an intimate repartee with his audience. "As a performer, I like exploring beyond the boundaries of my recorded songs. It gives me the chance to offer something special, spontaneous and personal to my audience. The entire performance hinges on the connection not only between the players, but with the audience, as well."

Nilsen has appeared with Jose Feliciano, Jesse Colin Young, Kenny G, Alex De Grassi and David Foster. His recordings are featured on numerous musical collections and samplers throughout the globe, including a most recent Rhino Records Sampler. Extensive radio play furthers Nilsen's audience.

Like many artists, travel, outdoor activities and family are rich sources of fuel for Nilsen's creative drive. Yet, it is the intense clarity with which he is able to translate his experiences into music that distinguishes him. From the bustle of a French cafe to the torrent of a raging stream, Nilsen's music inspires us to look more carefully, to feel more deeply and to celebrate this life.


Humane Society sponsoring coloring contest

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is sponsoring a coloring contest for preschool-kindergarten, grades 1-3, and grades 4 and above, in conjunction with the Sisson Public Library summer reading program, Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales.

All children in these grade groups are eligible to participate.

Drawings will be available at the library and the Human Society Thrift Store beginning July 17 and must be returned to either location on or before 5 p.m. July 28.

Winners will be announced during the week of Aug. 1. The winning entry in each grade group will receive a book presented by the Humane Society.


In Step to hold Stars and Stripes Awards Banquet and Ball

By Deb Aspen

Special to The PREVIEW

The In Step Dance Club will host its first annual Stars and Stripes Awards Banquet and Ball 6:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave.

This event will be held to honor students who have successfully performed the criteria for "checking out" in some or all of the dances taught so far this year.

To "check out" means a student is required to perform the 10 steps of their chosen dance or dances; first with their partner (if applicable) then with Charles or me, then solo. A numerical grade is given, along with a constructive critique of the dancing.

This sounds more intimidating than it really is. As the instructor and director of the dance club, I've developed this incentive program similar to that offered by the Arthur Murray Dance Association, to give students the opportunity to be tested if they choose. This is strictly an optional decision, not a requirement or prerequisite to attending classes. No one ever fails this test, and it costs nothing. It definitely reinforces one's dancing skills and techniques, and it ends up more like a fun private session than an exam.

There is also another side to this new merit program. Anyone attending classes can earn points towards first-, second- and third-place vouchers of $100, $50 and $25 respectively. These vouchers can be used towards any single or combination of In Step Dance club functions: monthly club dues, private sessions, workshops or dances. Merit points are gained by class and practice attendance, by signing up and completing any number of "helps" tasks, by honor dances or exhibition dances performed. Points are then tallied at the end of every six-month period, and a banquet and ball will be thrown in honor of recipients and the graduating students.

During this summer's special event, a certificate of achievement award will be presented to the following graduating dancers: Karen Bynum, John Hoehn, Teri Hoehn, Bodil Holstein, Loretta Lewis, Jennifer Matcham and Gerry Potticary. I encourage family members and friends of our graduates to come and support these honorees; but I also invite any adult interested in ballroom, country or Latin dance to attend the festivities. Even if you don't dance, this will prove to be an evening of entertainment to remember.

The Stars and Stripes Awards Banquet and Ball will be a formal or semi-formal affair, and the clubhouse will be decorated in Fourth of July colors in honor of our servicemen. There will be a suggested donation of $15 per person (at the door only) to help defray the cost of the event, with any leftover proceeds to be placed in a dancing scholarship fund.

The In Step Dance Club is a non-profit organization, dedicated to offering quality dance instruction and dancing events at a very low cost to the individual. All proceeds from class registration, etc. go toward promoting ballroom dancing in this area.

Eddie B Cookin will cater this exciting event with a pasta bar that includes penne and fettuccine pastas; marinara, alfredo, and basil pesto sauces; chicken or Italian sausage; bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, onion and tomato vegetable toppings; and fresh parmesan cheese and breads.

In Step Dance Club will complement the entrée buffet with a salad bar, a sundae buffet and an extensive beverage bar. Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Also, there will be door prize drawings for two certificates - one for a month's free group lessons, and one for an hour private session.

The awards presentation will begin about 7:30 with honor dances performed by some of the graduating students. Honor dances are a way of allowing the dancers an opportunity to show their skills, either with their partner or with Charles or me. These performances are impromptu, and are not choreographed routines. They are designed to demonstrate each dancer's social dancing ability. Plus, each dancer earns another 10 points per dance in the merit program.

There will be lots of general dancing to a wide variety of CD music throughout the evening, as well as a special video presentation of excerpts of the Banff Dance-O-Rama last April. This will give viewers the opportunity to see Charles and me competing in an international event. As an added feature, we will perform our award-winning fox-trot solo to the music "Orange Colored Sky."

Please R.S.V.P. the Banquet and Ball by calling 731-3338 or e-mailing instep@centurytel.net no later than July 17.

At the beginning of each month, I usually start teaching a different dance. This month the featured dance is "Swing on the Move" - a progressive country dance. There will be no regular classes in August due to competitions and travel, but we plan to return in September with a '70s-'80s popular dance called the "Hustle." Bob and Cindy Long from Albuquerque are slated to teach a Hustle workshop in the middle of August. Stay tuned for more details, and for news of upcoming events.

For more information about the In Step Dance Club, call Deb Aspen or Charles Jackson at 731-3338.


Oteka Theatre Productions plans two outdoor shows

By Libby Neder

Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa Springs, for its modest size, is replete with the theatrically inclined. And several of what could certainly be called our best and brightest have, this summer, pooled their talents to create a new kind of uniquely Pagosan attraction - Oteka Theatre Productions' "Theatre Under the Stars."

Oteka Theatre Productions is the brain child of Oteka Bernard. Oteka, and her husband, Jon, had spent their lives devoted to theatre, acting, directing and educating themselves all over the country before moving here five years ago to raise their two sons. They have had the opportunity to work with groups such as the Music Boosters, but for the first time since moving here, the Bernards are calling the shots.

"I Ought to be in Pictures," the classic comedy by Neil Simon, and "The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," a one-woman show originally performed on Broadway by Lily Tomlin, are both directed by Oteka. Both shows are also cast entirely of qualified Pagosans. "The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe" stars Cynthia Neder, who grew up here in Pagosa, just graduated New York's American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and has returned to her home town just to do this show. "I Ought to be in Pictures," stars John Bernard, Anna Hershey and Candy Flaming.

"Theatre Under the Stars" not only showcases this superb talent, but sets it apart, with a gorgeous outdoor venue, excellent food and drinks, and top-notch customer service. Performances will occur every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, from July 20 through Aug. 26, with one of the two shows performed every night. The audience will be expected to be dressed casually, when the show begins at 7 p.m. on our outdoor stage nestled in the trees. Patrons are welcome as early as 6, when they can have their car valet parked, and enjoy dinner and drinks at our stageside restaurant and bar.

"I Ought to be in Pictures," which will run July 20-22, July 27-29 and Aug. 24-26 showcases Neil Simon's classically quick wit in this heartwarmingly hilarious story about an estranged father and daughter's haphazard reunion.

"The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," by Jane Wagner, is raucous, energetic, hilarious social commentary that calls upon one actress to create both the commentary and the society. Neder is more than up to the task of creating over a dozen different wacky characters to entertain us entirely by herself for nearly two hours.

Both of these shows are full length, lighthearted comedies, but due to some mature humor, it isn't recommended that children be brought along.

Each evening will last until about 9:30 p.m., and it can get chilly, so please bring your jackets. Dinner and drinks will be available before the show, and dessert at intermission. Tickets are $18/$20 at the door, and include admission and valet parking. Our theatre is located in the trees 3.7 miles north of U.S. 160 on Piedra Road (CR 600). Call (970) 759-3142, or e-mail Tickets@OtekaTheatre.com, for ticket information.


New to fair this year - 4H Turkey Project

By Bethany Wanket

Special to the PREVIEW

New this year at the Archuleta County Fair is the 4-H Turkey Project. 4-Hers will be able to bring two turkeys each to be shown and judged at the fair, although only grand and reserve champion turkeys will be able to go to the 4-H Livestock Auction on Aug. 5.

Project members will also participate in turkey showmanship at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4. Showmanship involves walking the turkey around the arena with a turkey stick. Members must show the judge different parts of the turkey and demonstrate their knowledge of their project.

Also new this year is "Turkeys In Style," a costume contest held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, in the livestock show arena. This involves the turkey project members dressing their turkeys up in costumes. This should be a fun event, so be sure not to miss it.


12th annual Chimney Rock Native American Cultural Gathering

By Caroline Brown

Special to The PREVIEW

Mark your calendars for the 12th annual Chimney Rock Native American Cultural Gathering July 22 and 23 at the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area.

Come out and be a part of the only event of this kind in the Four Corners as the pueblo people celebrate and acknowledge their ancestors through Native American song and dance.

In addition to traditional singers and dancers from the pueblos of Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, San Juan and San Felipe, this year's event will also a group of Jicarilla Apache dancers at their first Chimney Rock gathering.

Additionally, traditional Hopi singers and dancers from Third Mesa will make their debut. The Hopi were the first of the pueblo peoples to return to Chimney Rock in 1995 with their songs and dances, and since then more than 10 groups from Hopi have made the journey to Chimney Rock where they have shared their culture with the public.

Grupo Tlaloc will also return with their impressive style of Aztec dances and elaborate attire, as well as Zuni flute player Fernando Cellicion.

Two cultural programs will be presented each day beginning at 11 a.m. with the Jicarilla Apache dancers performing in the area by the visitor cabin, followed by the pueblo social dances in the Great Kiva. The second program will begin at 4 p.m.

Admission is $10 per person and all proceeds are divided among the singers and dancers. No advance tickets will be sold, nor will there be any guided tours at Chimney Rock on either day. Native American arts and crafts will be available.

The Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is located approximately 20 miles west of Pagosa Springs. Chimney Rock 2006 is sponsored by Friends of Native Cultures with funding provided by Durango Friends of the arts, Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Major Lunar Standstill Program and San Juan National Forest.

For more information, call Caroline Brown at 731-4248.


'Select Works' a solicitous show

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Elegant. Ancient. Contemporary. Solicitous. These are a few words that come to mind when viewing the "Select Works" show at Shy Rabbit.

The work is not over-the-top avant-garde, or cutting edge in the grand scheme of the art world, but for southwest Colorado, this show is a clean, uncluttered breath of fresh air.

It is clear upon entering the larger of the two separate Shy Rabbit spaces that much thought was put into curating and hanging this show. Forty-some works by nine artists were hand-selected by gallery owners Michael and Denise Coffee. The couple visited with artists and chose 4 to 8 pieces of art from each. Then, the process began of filtering through all of the art to determine which work looked best together. This was done in collaboration with creative partners Shaun Martin, a painter, and Al Olson, a photographer, both represented in the show.

The show is so well presented that it almost appears as it's own artistic installation.

The edgiest and most exotic work is by Kate Petley, whose resin-on-acrylic-panel creations push the boundaries for technical use of unusual artistic materials. Petley's process begins with a handmade transparent screen. Detailed reflections from that screen are projected onto a white studio wall. Petley photographs the reflections and prints them on fragile film. Gooey resin laminates these films to acrylic panels in a process the artist describes as "painstaking." Corrections are impossible, and the unpredictable resin process introduces small bubbles and drops that appear to be huge, when reflected onto the wall. Like an extreme collage project, done with incredibly sticky resins, drawings are also layered into the panels.

Resembling a succulent flat-screen, the panels again cast a reflection on the wall behind them, doubling the image with dizzying effects. They are a reflection of a reflection and form yet another new reflection. Each of the three Petley creations: "Chatchat," "Sucker" and "Green Rain" come with a custom-made shelf for displaying the work.

This is the first time in many years that Petley, who lives and works in southwest Colorado, has shown her work in the region.

It is not the first time I have seen the work of printmaker Ron Fundingsland at Shy Rabbit. However, "Select Works" features the debut of a print from Fundingsland's most recent collection. "Blue Zinnea" is a large intaglio aquatint print of a deep purple-blue zinnea flower. Its simple and elegant, the color rich and velvety.

Fundingsland, who admits that his work is often a "commentary on a number of social, political, and personal issues," purposely sets out to create work that is beautiful, peaceful, happy - an intentional reaction to the intensity of our world situation. Yet, interestingly, when "Blue Zinnea" was finished, a friend pointed out that the there are 50 little white stars at the center of his flower.

Perhaps it is my own desire for simplicity and elegance, but Fundingsland's "Blue Zinnea" is my favorite piece in the show. I'm drawn to the intense, velvety color, the large square size, the way the piece draws your eye to the tiny little details of the stars.

Almost as equally as I'm drawn to the simplicity of "Blue Zinnia," "Self Portrait as Exiled," by Sarah Comerford, challenges me. Comerford is also not a newcomer to Shy Rabbit, but in this show we see some of her smaller works as well as the 3- by 5-foot canvas of "Self Portrait as Exiled."

I confess I've spent days studying Comerford's painting of a woman in fishing attire - dark green waders and a vest, a young blonde girl in flowing white dress, hands folded, floating lifelike hearts, an empty fishing basket and colorful candy-like dots. There is a religious quality to this painting: The fish, the fishing, the prayerful hands of the child. In the Bible, Jesus implores his disciples to be "fishers of men," yet Comerford's fisherman is a woman with red hair. When I mentioned this to Comerford she smiled and told me that she had been reading a book about Mary Magdalene when she painted this painting. It wasn't intentional symbolism, but the message was communicated.

Comerford's painting is about her mother's recent death from Alzheimer's Disease. The floating hearts represent all the loving memories forgotten, the empty basket her lost memories. Comerford told me how her mother came to see herself as a child, her daughter as the mother. The child is exiled in this situation and must become the parent of her parent. Anyone who has experienced the dementia, the destruction of the mind caused by Alzheimer's, will understand the meaning of her images when explained.

There is so much going on in Comerford's work - the little details that peek out from the gold leaf, the figurative technique, the surrealism that defies logic. And yet, she also creates more dreamlike work in the small oil painting "Song of the Happy Shepherd-Yates" inspired by the poem of the same name by William Butler Yeats. This elegant painting of a boy asleep under a blue-striped blanket and a dark starry sky, nuzzled by a goat, is so glossy it seems wet. Comerford draws her viewers deeper into the literary work of a poet like Yeats, using visual images and similar concepts the poet explored in his poem.

Comerford's work demands a level of intellectualism that many do not give to art. It's exhausting, but worth the effort.

Conversely, the work of Susan Andersen is simple, yet so extremely creative that I am equally blown away. There are certain people who are so original, so innovative, that they must be called "gifted." Andersen takes simple found objects - driftwood, dried up cactus, shells, plants, feathers, beads, snakeskin, turtle shells, twine - and creates one-of-a-kind objects like "Posed," two rubbed and finished pieces of driftwood married together, supporting a gourd-like Saguaro boot. The piece is an abstracted figure. Or the triptych: "Slept," "Awoke" and "Awaken" that combines objects to create dragonfly figures coursing through the process of metamorphosis.

Andersen calls this her "meditative work." She collects things and meditates as she polishes, rubs and finishes the wood, finding pieces that fit together. It's tapping into flow or pure creative energy.

"These particular works are about emergence. The emergence of simple earthly objects to an elevated state of recognition or the combining of many simple earthy objects formed together to shed light on the process of emergence," Andersen writes in her artist statement. "I find ingenuity in artistic construction and an insight into the individual psyche especially when the construction is put to paper, sculpture, music, or words."

I find ingenuity in the work of Susan Andersen and D. Michael Coffee.

I've written about the work of D. Michael Coffee for another publication and am privileged to spend many hours talking with him about art and creativity and life. Coffee is ingenious; he is the creative soul of Shy Rabbit. The installation of art in this show bears the signature of his aesthetic and artistic sensibility.

"Art is my passion and the true backbone of my existence," he says.

Coffee has worked extensively in all types of media, including painting, wood, metal, architecture, printmaking and ceramics.

"I cannot lay claim to any particular style or genre, as I am primarily interested in nonlinear paths of development in the objects I make. Each step of the art-making process is part of a personal inner journey. The common thread that stitches my work together is an overriding desire to be surprised by the outcome, as though I wasn't present during the process."

He describes his art as a post-it-note capturing that nanosecond before conscious thought. Having worked in ceramics, I can tell you that his technical ability is beyond masterful. More importantly, his ceramic work is clearly high art and not expected from a medium that is considered a craft. What he manages to capture in clay is something very grounded, yet from another dimension of thought. Highly original, yet simple, understandable, created in recognizable shapes and forms. He calls this series "Intuition Markers."

For the first time, Coffee is also showing some of his monoprints in this show: work that is simple and symbolic on one hand and colorful and expressive on the other.

"Select Works" is the most cohesive show launched by Shy Rabbit. Some of the work is not as technically skilled as that of Coffee or Comerford or Fundingsland and not everything is as edgy as the work of Petley, but the other artists featured - ceramic artist Lisa Pedolsky, photographer Al Olson, painter Shaun Martin and mixed media artist Deborah Gorton - are well presented and their work is highly competent.

"Select Works" is on display at Shy Rabbit through Aug. 12. Regular gallery hours are 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with extended hours on the second Thursday of the month (July 13) from 1-6:30 p.m.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4, west of downtown. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Boulevard, North Pagosa Boulevard to Bastille Drive (at UBC). Turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental. For more information, log onto http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call (970) 731-2766.


The Duhks: 'something new' at this year's Four Corners Folk Festival

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

If the Four Corners Folk Festival were a wedding, it would definitely cover the bases of the traditional "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blueŠ" rule - no problem.

This year's "something new" is maybe best represented by the Canadian group The Duhks, who will perform on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 3 p.m. at the 11th annual event.

The five practiced, risk-taking 20-something musicians who make up this singular new band out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, will, if asked, good-naturedly toss out some of the attempts at labels astonished listeners have turned to. In the two years that they've been a unit, many reviewers and fans have tried to describe The Duhks' music - "contemporary acoustic," "progressive soul-grass" and "kick-butt rock/folk fusion" being just a few of the attempts to classify them.

Their high-energy music contains elements appropriated from Irish fiddle tunes, Canadian French and Scots/Maritime folk, and Appalachian Old Time string band. But from the first sight of The Duhks (pronounced as in "That's just ducky" and "Ducks a L'Orange"), you know that no stab in the classifying dark can quite capture the synthesis and musical attack of this crew.

The phrase "contemporary acoustic" doesn't readily suggest a drummer pounding dance rhythms, even graceful salsa polyrhythms, on a handmade cajon drum right out of Havana, or a striking, soulful singer up front awash in tattoos, cooing, crying and shouting like a punk rock-era Gladys Knight or India.Arie. That their salsa and soul regularly intertwine with turns on banjo, fiddle and guitar out of traditional instrumental folk music only underscores that this band is essentially something else again, working a potent new North American vein of World Music.

Festival fans have been known to dance and bang on the front of the stage during their sets, in spontaneous full-on, working mosh pits. For all of the delicacy that The Duhks bring to their quieter tunes and all the swing that drives their jazzier ones, the full-throttle force they bring to the whole endeavor yields something very much like acoustic rock and roll.

This striking melange was captured in the studio for all to hear on their new, self-titled CD (their first with Sugar Hill) produced by Béla Fleck. The disc features surprising, inventive musical turns on traditional tunes like "The Wagoner's Lad," original instrumentals that firmly mine the Celtic and old-time traditions and the Duhks' interpretations of new material from songwriters as diverse as Leonard Cohen, Paul Brady and Sting.

The band itself, like the sounds The Duhks create, came together by a combination of planning and happenstance. Founder Leonard Podolak set out to bring together a group of musicians who could create a new sound with traditional roots. Each of their distinct individual styles (blues, salsa, old-time, Celtic, Scots-Metis) collide with surprising fluidity and form something fresh and unexpected.

As Leonard put it, "Folk music is supposed to be the music of the people, right? Well, 'the people' are what you see all around, and part of what makes our music is mainstream music. The world is changing. The people in the audience might be listening to Eminem two minutes before they listen to us. We want to redefine not just 'folk,' but what 'pop' music can be. It doesn't necessarily have to be all drum machines and synthesizers, or electric guitars. We play pop music on these acoustic instruments." What they play together, they all say, finally, is best defined as "what we like." And they're not without ambition for where they'd like to take those sounds they so apparently care for.

In addition to the Duhks' performance, Four Corners Folk Festival will feature 21 live performances on two stages from Delbert McClinton, Dar Williams, Eddie From Ohio, RobinElla, the Waybacks, Drew Emmitt, the Biscuit Burners, Old School Freight Train, Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem, The Stringdusters, Brad Davis, John Moore & Company, Anne & Pete Sibley, the Hot Strings and Julie Lee.

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.


'Let's Explore' Alfred Stieglitz at Shy Rabbit

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

In 1905, in the attic of a brownstone at 291 Fifth Avenue in New York, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen founded the Little Gallery of the Photo-Secession to show photographs. Two years later Stieglitz expanded and began showing paintings.

The work shown at 291 not only seceded from the accepted idea of what constituted a photograph, but also from the accepted ideas of what constituted art at the time.

Stieglitz played a pivotal role in carving out a niche for photography in the art world during the early 1900s. He was also a key figure in the introduction of modern art to America, as the first to exhibit the works of Matisse, Tolouse-Latrec, Rousseau, Picabia and Severini in the United States. He showed cubist works by Picasso and sculpture by Brancusi and introduced American painters Alfred Maurer, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Max Weber, Arthur Dove, Abraham Walkowitz, Arthur Bluemner, Georgia O'Keeffe and Stanton McDonald Wright.

Shy Rabbit, a contemporary art space and studio, 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.

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 Fort 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. The 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," Michael Coffee said.

"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. 14. The suggested donation for both films is $5.

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

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


Quilt Fest 2006 draws record number of visitors

By Shari Pierce

Special to The PREVIEW

Quilt Fest 2006 wrapped up at 4 p.m. July 4 with a record 1,216 paid admissions.

Throughout the four-day affair, 159 quilts were on display. The majority of these quilts were made by Pagosa Piecemaker Quilt Guild members, with others being older quilts owned by local citizens.

Local 4-H youngsters delighted show goers with their first quilted projects. These included both small quilts and pillows. Their beautiful work was inspiring.

In addition to the quilts was a display of vests, jackets, pillows, potholders, coasters and other quilted items. A particular favorite was the "Snap Dragon." This dragon was a fabric sculpture that "unifies the four elements Š born in the water, breathes fire, inhabits the air and guards the earth treasures."

Sitterding quilts

One highlight of the show was the 34 quilts loaned by the family of quilter Mary Sitterding. She was born in 1881 and married in 1900. Throughout her life she made many beautiful quilts, with just a portion of them being on display. The quilts shown allowed visitors to see the changes in patterns and fabrics through the life of this remarkable quilter. The earliest dated quilt was 1898 and the latest 1965. The quilts included wool, crazy, appliqué and pieced with delightful patterns such as Seven Sisters and Double Wedding Ring.

Challenge quilt results

Another feature of Quilt Fest was the viewer's choice voting on the two challenges issued to guild members.

The first challenge was "Over the Mountain and Through the Woods to Grandmother's House We Go." Quilters were challenged to make a quilt that was at least 78x85, followed the theme of the challenge and was entirely made by one person.

The winner of this challenge was Cindy Vermillion Hamilton. Her quilt was titled "Through the Woods to Grandma's House." Shortly after the challenge was announced, Hamilton learned that she would become a grandmother for the first time. Hamilton created a medallion quilt with her home in the center surrounded by weeping willows and sunflowers. Also included on the quilt were children playing and, of course, a boy and girl, representing the twins born into the family.

Second place in this challenge went to Janet Donavan for her "Three Dozen Roses for Grandma" quilt. Third place was awarded to "Pagosa Springs the Beautiful" by Karen Streiff.

The second challenge issued to Pagosa Piecemakers Quilt Guild members was "Anything Goes." This led to a wide variety of interesting quilt patterns, techniques and colors.

The winner in this challenge was "Cindy's Lessons" by Pam Thompson. Thompson wrote, "This quilt is named after my first and continuing quilt teacher, Cindy Vermillion Hamilton, who is a constant inspiration and challenge to me."

Second place in this challenge was awarded to Janet Donavan for her quilt "Ode to Ella." "Fourth of July" by Ella McNatt took third place.

Raffle quilt

As part of this year's quilt show, the board members of the guild made a quilt to be raffled. The quilt was very rich in reds, browns and gold. Barbara Laydon was the lucky winner of this quilt.

Quilt Fest 2008

Even before this quilt show was over, guild members were already talking of ideas for the next show.

The show is scheduled every two years so mark your calendars for July 2008 for the next Quilt Fest.


Lee Sterling Chili Cookoff adds category, enter now

By Jim Super

Special to The PREVIEW

It is time for all of the chili aficionados to dust off their recipes for the upcoming fourth annual Lee Sterling Chili Cookoff.

This year, the format has changed for the better, due to community response. We will still have categories for Red, Green, and Alternative chili as well as a new Salsa category.

It does not matter if your chili is hot or mild, just so it is made with the essential ingredient of red or green chili. This also holds true for the Alternative category, which is a vegetarian chili or one made with chicken, game meat etc.

Salsa is your best recipe, from mild to muy caliente.

Along with the chili cookoff, there will be a jalapeno eating contest, Salsa lessons, a Salsa dance competition and a fire juggler. The fire juggler will not be eating jalapenos, as you might think. If this is not enough, dancing to the tunes of the Swing Rays may put you over the top.

There will be many prizes awarded at the cookoff. The grand prize winner will receive gas money and hotel accommodations to attend the state chili cookoff later this year.

The event is Thursday, Aug 4. Persons entering cookoff get in the gate with no admission charge, and must have their crock-pots at the fairgrounds by 4 p.m.

For others, admission prices Thursday are $10 per person, $5 for students; children 12 and under are free. This price includes all-you-can-eat chili, and the above-mentioned activities.

Further information will be posted on our Web site at www.archuletacountyfair.com and in articles in The PREVIEW as the need arises. So, stay tuned, the best is yet to come.


'Sailing with the Savior' At Vacation Bible School

By Dorman Diller

Special to The PREVIEW

Experience the fun-filled Vacation Bible School at the Pagosa Springs Church of Christ July 24-28 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. each day. All children 2 years old through eighth grade are invited to attend. The group from Woodward, Okla., will return to help with the five-day Vacation Bible School.

"Sailing With The Savior" will be the theme of this year's Vacation Bible School. The building is decorated to follow the theme. Time spent in class each day is centered around studying a Bible story about Jesus. The Bible stories come to life with acting, puppet shows, games, quizzes, songs and crafts. Each child is actively involved and learns great lessons though the week. A quality learning experience is put on for the children of the community.

On Wednesday evening, the children put on a program demonstrating what they have learned in VBS. VBS concludes Friday with a hot dog picnic in the park. Parents, family and friends are invited to those activities as well as being encouraged to visit the daily classes at any time.

Transportation with the buses will be provided in the downtown area through the Pagosa Lakes area and out to Aspen Springs.

Enrollment forms can be found in the paper or on flyers posted around town. If your children need transportation, or for more information, call the church office at 264-2552 or Dorman Diller at 264-4454. Make plans for your children to attend this exciting time of learning and growing.


Our Savior Lutheran vacation Bible school seeks treasure

By Margaret Wallace

Special to The SUN

Join us at the "Treasure Cove," where sand tickles your toes and balmy breezes blow while discovering the riches of God's Grace in Jesus.

Children from the age of 4 through fifth grade will go on a treasure hunt every day, digging into scripture to find the greatest treasure of all - Jesus Christ.

The fun begins 9 a.m.-noon July 31 and ends Aug. 4. The children will meet Chester the Treasure Chest, sing, pray and hear about his lost gems. Then it's off to five fun activity sites where they will also collect clues to help find Chester's lost gems.

This year's mission project reaches out to a Lutheran school in New Orleans greatly affected by hurricane Katrina. Mission projects help teach young people to respond to God's love by sharing the gifts He gives.

Preregistration is encouraged for adequate planning of supplies and space. However, in order to accommodate all treasure hunters, the July 31 session will begin at 8:30 a.m.

For more information, call Margaret Wallace, VBS director, at 264-2756.


UU service concludes two-part series

In the Sunday, July 16, service for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Ilene Haykus will conclude her two-part series on "What Happens When we Die."

She explains that this homily will explore this side of death: the process leading up to the departure from our physical bodies. She points out "While many people are not comfortable talking about dying, it is an important topic to explore. As we confront the psychological, religious and medical reasons for the denial of death in modern American culture, we may discover how to help ourselves, and those we love, to live richer, fuller lives."

The service, children's program, and child care begin at 10:30 in the Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. (There will be no potluck as is usual on this third Sunday, due to the special music and poetry picnic July 30.) Turn east on Greenbrier Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the back parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.


Local Chatter

Boosters' show directors draw praise

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

All arts, tangible (painting and crafts) and intangible (music and theatrical) abound in Pagosa Springs.

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" is the current production being shown at the high school.

I asked Harvey Schwartz to survey his fellow cast members (he's a cast member) for comments about Dale Morris, the director, and Sue Anderson, the musical director. These are a few comments made about Dale Morris.

"Apparent professionalism," "Amazing encourager - you want to come to rehearsals and try harder." "Such poise and grace in the chaos." "So loving and full of light." Extremely thorough yet patient." "So committed to our musicals and giving; she even helped out in our junior high school play." A joy to work with calm and loving with wonderful ideas." "Warm and generous." "Extremely flexible." "Persistent, understanding, thoughtful and vigorous." "She teaches in a reassuring, gentle and positive way." "Wonderful mediator ... meets everyone's needs."

About Sue Anderson who has transferred the musical charm of this Andrew Lloyd Weber/Tim Rice work right to our high school stage: She is an accomplished choral director/pianist. Pagosa's Children's Chorale is award-winning under her marvelous direction. Here are some "Joseph ..." cast member comments.

"The mutual love between her and the children having them working their hearts out." "Sue doesn't flinch even in the face of sound system glitches." "Excellent musician who works well with all levels of others' abilities." "So accommodating ... puts out so much personal time working with individuals and small groups." "Has just wonderful ideas and she has a great ear - really understands musical structure."

Fun on the Run

Computer points to ponder Š

- Do viruses ever get sick?

- Does a broken "Window" get you 7 meg. of bad luck?

- If a food processor slices and dices food, what does a word processor do?

- Is it true that in Russian, a KGB keyboard has no escape key?

- Why do most software developers call bugs they can't fix, features?

- Just where is the "any" key anyway?

- Why do they call it a hard disk if it's damaged with the slightest impact?

Community Center News

Community center to host Red Cross fund-raiser

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

"Be A Tourist At Home" is the theme of the dance tomorrow, July 14, at the community center to benefit our local Red Cross.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for hors d'oeuvres and visits with friends. The dance will start at 7:30 and last to 10:30 with DJ Will Spears providing the music. Cost is $10 per person. Cash bar will be available. This is an adult dance, 21 and over.

Please come and support our local Red Cross. We are doing this benefit dance because the center is a designated shelter in the event that we ever need one.

Bi-monthly newsletter

The next issue of the community center newsletter is being printed; it features pictures from the Patriotic Night celebration as well as lots of thank-you's to the Pagosa Springs community for its help and support for all our sponsored events and programs.

Free yoga class

Diana Baird continues to volunteer her time and talent and she will start this class in August. Mark your calendar every Tuesday, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Halloween party

We've been thinking about our annual Halloween party for the young people of Archuleta County. I know, I know -it's early. But think about it: October will be here before we know it.

Last year's event was such a smashing success, and we are looking for ways to make this year's even better. Resolve now to be a part of this wonderful evening. You can help with decorating, sponsor an activity, stand around dressed as a scary creature. There are lots of opportunities here.

Let us know of your inspired idea for this year's Halloween party. We need ideas and volunteers. Call the center at 264-4152.

Diabetes Support Group

The new Diabetes Support Group met last week, and all who attended agreed that it was a pleasant and productive meeting.

The topics were varied: eating habits - good and bad; exercise and what kinds of programs are really practical; the high cost of testing supplies; and the inevitability of depression.

A wish list of outcomes for each individual was also discussed. What is it you would like to be able to do? Get completely off pills and insulin? Raise energy levels in order to keep up with family and friends? Climb to the top of a hill without feeling tired? What's on your personal list? Maybe, just maybe, these things are possible with the support of this group.

If any of this rings true with you, plan to come to the next group meeting, 5:30 p.m Thursday, July 27.

Old Glory Dance

A belated thank you is due to High Country Furniture Gallery for loaning us their huge American flag that hung wide and big and added to the theme of the dance.

Teen Center dance

Rhonda Le Quay, the teen center coordinator, reports the dance last Friday night featured DJ Bobby Hart, lots of food and snacks, and a New York theme. The next teen center dance is in the planning stages; Rhonda is looking at a time just before the start of school.

Line dancing

Gerry Potticary reports, "Once again Peggy Carrai has found some great new dances with good music and fun moves. We are a friendly and lively group, and we love newcomers. Come join us every Monday at 10 a.m. for beginners and 10:30 a.m. for intermediate and advanced classes."

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

Self-Help for Health

Medora Bass is the facilitator for this free program, a series of classes Monday evenings from 5:30-8 p.m.

She uses expressive therapy to help others deal with health challenges: art, imagery, dreams, writing, observation and dialog which may help one to become aware of possibly detrimental patterns, so that one can then choose to change the patterns. Insight gained from using the tools presented may help a person in making health care decisions and evaluate the helpfulness of a particular from of treatment.

Some of the people who have attended the classes tell me that you need to be willing to share your thoughts and feelings with the rest of the group. Openness leads to healing.

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

Remember, you need to bring the following supplies to class: a notebook for keeping a journal and a drawing pad - newsprint is OK (buy a large pad, 18x24, to help you be freer in your expression); cray pas (oil pastels - soft ones are nice. Crayons and markers can be difficult to use.

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

Sewing classes

Did you know that Cecelia Hopper's sewing classes have expanded?

The group used to meet only on Saturdays, but now Cecelia has added a Monday morning session at 10 a.m. Cecelia says that, if this time is not convenient for those wanting to attend, she is willing to adjust to meet people's needs.

There are always interesting projects going on, and Cecelia can provide you with a wealth of information about fabrics and sewing techniques.

Call the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Children's art/Spanish camp

Last week, Soledad's kids trekked out into the field next to the community center where they looked for interesting plant materials to use in creating their pastel drawings.

I peeked into the arts and crafts room while they were gone and saw several really wonderful drawings. I particularly liked a green frog and another one with a fuzzy creature with bright, piercing eyes.

Throughout July and August, Soledad Estrada-Leo is presenting an arts and crafts camp for children at the community center. The kids are doing art projects on 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 or the Arts Council at 264-5020 for more information.

eBay Club

I recently checked out our local thrift stores and several items I needed simply were not available.

A quick search on eBay yielded some great bargains: candles (the dripping kind), a large stockpot, and several books I had searched for, for a long time. All three items I ordered that day came quickly and in great shape.

If the idea of a bargain appeals to you, come to the next meeting of the eBay Club at 9 a.m. July 20.

Ben Bailey is the founder and mentor of this group. He has gained a lot of eBay experience working at our local Humane Society thrift store and is more than willing to share his expertise. Call him at 264-0293 if you are interested in participating. Newcomers are always welcome.

Computer lab news

For several weeks I have been following up on information Mercy and I gathered several weeks ago at Rural Philanthropy Days in Durango.

Evidently, the greater Denver area is home to some sources/foundations which supply computer and network equipment and software to non-profit organizations. My spare time has been used - and then some - in the preparations needed to pursue this grant opportunity.

Preparing to request equipment involves gathering detailed information about the equipment we already have, what our manpower resources are, what our short- and long-term goals are, and what we need to accomplish those goals. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks to Bud Brasher for his donation of a Win98 computer system complete with printer and speakers.

Center hours

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

Activities this week

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

July 14 - Marketing your Business with Wendy, 9:30 a.m.-noon; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun and duplicate bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Perspective on Marketing with Wendy, 1:30-4:30 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.; Red Cross fund-raising dance, 7:30-10:30 p.m.

July 15 - Crowley Ranch Reserve HOA meeting, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; sewing class, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Pagosa Springs Education Center fund-raiser, 6-8 p.m.

July 16 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 10 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon.

July 17 - Photo class with Wendy, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; 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.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Self-help for Health class, 5:30-8 p.m.

July 18 - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; photo class with Wendy, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Beginning Computing, 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.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

July 19 - Photo class with Wendy, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Beginning Computing for Seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; Wednesday bridge, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; United Blood Services blood drive, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Spanish arts and crafts summer camp, 12:30-3:30 and 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; Church of Christ Bible study, 7-8 p.m.

July 20 - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; photo class with Wendy, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; eBay Club, 9-10:30 a.m.; yoga, 11-noon; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

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


Senior News

Common, safe computing tips for seniors

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Travel safely in cyberspace.

When online, utilize caution. Here are some common safe computing tips:

- Don't ever share your account password(s) with anyone, even an individual who claims to be a representative from your online service provider. Your account could be hijacked, and then you could find unexpected charges on your bill.

- People aren't always who they seem to be in Cyberspace. Be careful about giving out credit card numbers or other personal information including your Social Security number, phone number and home address.

- E-mail is relatively private, but not completely. Don't put anything into an electronic message that you wouldn't want to see posted on a neighborhood bulletin board.

- Chat rooms can be fun, but be careful of Sweetheart Swindles. It happens every day. Never send money to someone you have only met online. You have no way of knowing anything about who the person really is.

- Check with your online service provider for ways to reduce unsolicited commercial e-mail. Learn to recognize junk e-mail and delete it. Don't read it first. Then, delete it from your deleted folder.

- Never download (open) an e-mail attachment from an unknown source. Opening a file could expose your system to a virus.

For more information on how to prevent financial elder abuse, call (800) 222-4444 or visit the Web site at www.aarpelderwatch.org.

Rafting the Animas

Do you want adventure?

Do you want to feel the waves?

What about beautiful scenery? Or just 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, The Den is going to enjoy a different view of historic Durango as we bounce through fun-filled rapids like "Smelter," "Sawmill," "Santa Rita" and "Pinball."

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

Free monthly movie

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

Among those in 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 for this enjoyable award winning film with great music.

Sky Ute Casino

Step into the action and play to have fun during our monthly trip to Sky Ute Casino Tuesday, July 18. Free transportation (with limited seating) is provided by Sky Ute and leaves The Den at 1 p.m. returning approximately 5:45. A $5 coupon to play the slots, also provided by the casino, makes it a hard bargain to pass up.

White Cane Society

The monthly meeting for folks with low vision and their supporters, will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 19. Susan Kimbler from the SW Center for Independence leads this informative and helpful support group. For more information, call Susan at 259-1672.

Save a life, give blood

AB donors are needed every day to donate platelets.

Plateletpheresis, as the procedure is called, allows larger quantities of platelets to be obtained than in a whole blood donation. The blood is sent through a centrifuge that whirls up the platelets and separates the plasma, which is returned to the donor.

The demand for platelets is high and constant due to a five-day shelf life.

There is an ongoing need to educate the community that blood donations are needed, especially during the summer months. O donors and new donors are extremely important.

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!

Introduction to genealogy

Have you ever been interested to find your family roots? To study your ancestry? To know where you really came from?

Genealogy is the study of a person's family, its origins, and the progression from one generation to the next.

Join us at The Den at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 19. Karen Greco will offer a presentation titled "Introduction to Genealogy." Learn how to get started researching your own family tree and discover the interesting history of your family background. (Musetta utilized basic genealogy and quickly found that her family roots lead back to the Mayflower!)

Dinner at Indian Head Lodge

On Thursday, July 20. The Den is going to Indian Head Lodge for a delicious dinner of barbecue ribs and scrumptious sides.

Indian Head Lodge is an atmospheric rustic cabin located near scenic Williams Lake that offers a wonderful buffet full of homemade cooking, with tasty desserts. We will leave The Den at 3 p.m. for our 4 p.m. dinner reservation. The cost is $12.95 per person. The senior bus will provide transportation to the first 18 folks who sign up. If the bus is full, others can carpool. Please sign up with The Den office by July 14. Treat your taste buds to an appetizing treat in a delightful setting with your good friends.

Bring a Friend Day

Bring the most friends to The Den for lunch Friday, July 21, and win two tickets to the Music in the Mountains concert for Friday night, July 21 (prize worth $100). Not only will you win two free tickets to this wonderful concert, but all of your new friends who you bring in for lunch will receive a free lunch!

The rules for the "most new friends" contest is as follows: 1) Your friend(s) must be over 60; 2) It must be the first time that your friend(s) have eaten at The Den; 3) They must live in Pagosa Springs six months of the year; 4) You must make a reservation for your friend(s) with The Den office by Tuesday, July 18.

So, gather up those friends and bring them down to The Den to meet new people, to enjoy a free, delicious lunch and you will win a great prize.

Horseback riding

Saddle up and join us Friday, July 21, for a one-hour scenic trail ride with breathtaking views. Wolf Creek Outfitters is providing us with the opportunity to experience the scenic backcountry of the San Juan Mountains on horseback for only $25 per person. We will meet at Wolf Creek Outfitters, located at the base of Wolf Creek Pass, at 10 a.m. with carpooling being our mode of transportation. Please sign up in The Den office by Wednesday, July 19, to enjoy this fantastic trail ride. Cowboy up and hop into a saddle for a horseback ride into the spectacular wilderness. (This is a great trip for beginners and all levels of riding experience.)

Senior discounts

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

Not only will you receive generous discounts from local businesses, but you'll be eligible for our Mystery Trip program and other trips, in addition to discounts at such senior activities as Oktoberfest. Membership also entitles those who meet annual income guidelines to scholarships for eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental, prescription drugs and medical equipment. Your membership also allows a great discount on the purchase of a dental water jet and electric toothbrush. Archuleta Seniors, Inc. even offers financial assistance for medical shuttles to Durango handled by The Den. This is the best discount program in town, and a great way to help our senior community. Sign up now and acquire the benefits for 2006.

Meal delivery volunteers

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

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center has an opportunity for you to make new friends while you donate one lunch hour per week to the home delivery meal program for our senior citizens. We have two openings available with an urgent need to fill them immediately.

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

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


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 Lorrie Church as Senior of the Week. Lorrie will enjoy free lunches all week. We also congratulate Lois Portenier in Arboles. She will enjoy free lunches at Arboles Meal Day during July.

Senior exercises

The Doc told me to start an exercise program. Not wanting to harm this old body, I've done the following:

Beat around the bush.

Jump to conclusions.

Climb the walls.

Wade through the morning paper.

Drag my heels.

Push my luck.

Make mountains out of mole hills.

Hit the nail on the head.

Bend over backwards

Jump on the band wagon.

Run around in circles.

Advise the president on how to run the country.

Toot my own horn.

Pull out all the stops.

Add fuel to the fire.

Open a can of worms.

Put my foot in my mouth.

Start the ball rolling.

Go over the edge.

Pick up the pieces.

What a workout!

Activities at a glance

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.

Monday, July 17 - Susan Stoffer available, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 18 - Gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino, 1 p.m.; final day to make reservations for Bring a Friend Day.

Wednesday, July 19 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; White Cane Society Support Group, 11 a.m.; blood drive, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Introduction to Genealogy, presentation with Karen Greco, 1 p.m.; final day to sign up for horseback riding.

Thursday, July 20 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required) with $1 birthday lunch celebrations; dinner at Indian Head Lodge (reservations required), 4 p.m.; The Den is closed.

Friday, July 21 - Horseback riding trip, 10 a.m.; Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bring a Friend Day for lunch; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.


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

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

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

Monday, July 17 - American lasagna, herbed green beans, seasoned cabbage, Italian bread and ice cream.

Tuesday, July 18 - Chicken and noodles, broccoli and carrots, yellow squash, apricot and pineapple, and whole wheat bread.

Wednesday, July 19 - Ham and beans, steamed rice, glazed carrots, spiced applesauce and corn bread.

Thursday, July 20 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). Ham and beans, broccoli, parslied carrots, orange wedges, corn bread and birthday cake.

Friday, July 21 - Roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, asparagus, sliced pears with strawberries and whole wheat roll.


Veteran's Corner

Headstones provided by Department of Veterans Affairs

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

All veterans discharged under conditions other than dishonorable are eligible for a headstone provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, in a private cemetery. There are even provisions for a headstone for certain reservist veterans.

Any veteran who died after Sept. 11, 2001, may be provided a headstone in a private cemetery, even if there is already a headstone for that grave. For deaths prior to that date, the grave must not already be marked with a headstone or marker.

The headstone is provided and shipped to an appropriate address or cemetery free of charge. The only requirement is that a suitable base and installation must be supplied by the responsible party.

Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze, and upright headstones in granite and marble are available. The style chosen must be consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. Niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for cremated remains.

Inscription rules

Government-furnished headstones and markers must be inscribed with the name of the deceased, branch of service, and the year of birth and death, in this order. Headstones and markers also may be inscribed with other items, including an authorized emblem of belief and, space permitting, additional text including military grade, rate or rank, war service such as "World War II," complete dates of birth and death, military awards, military organizations, and civilian or veteran affiliations.

Proof of service

When burial occurs in a private cemetery, an application for a government-furnished headstone or marker must be made to the VA. Proof of veteran's military service and discharge, such as the DD-214 discharge papers of military service, must be provided with the application. An original copy of military documents is not required.

There is no time limit for application for a burial headstone or marker, as long as the veteran's burial meets the above requirements. I have assisted local veterans' organizations to obtain headstones for unmarked graves in our local cemetery dating back 100 years.

Spouses and dependents

Spouses and dependents buried in a private cemetery are not eligible for a government-provided headstone or marker.


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

Durango VA Clinic

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

For further information

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


Library News

If wishes were Š staff wish list for library

By Christine Eleanor Anderson

PREVIEW Columnist

When the library renovation changed in character due to foundation problems and some serious construction inflation, many of the finer touches that had been in the original plans had to go by the wayside.

Staff members, however, kept their wish lists of all of the goodies they thought they would see in the renovated library. We are now at a point in our rearrangements of the interior where we wanted to bring these to the attention of the community so the generous donors who are out there might think about Christmas in July!

Shirley would like a flagpole and an American flag to fly proudly in front of the library. And, she would like to see the corner gas fireplace back in the Great Room.

Nancy would like staff furniture, with desk drawers, like other people in offices have.

Staff workstations would be a great addition in light of the extremely tight office space.

David, of the Knights of Sisson Chess Club, would like a giant chessboard for the Great Room.

Jackie wants an intangible: Envisionware, a system that manages public use of the computers so that patrons know when their time is up, etc. It does a lot more than this also.

Stephanie would like wonderful colorful directional signs and lighting as good as she has had in bookstores.

Barb wants a marquee that would be sign code compliant (we had to take down our Pagosa Reads! Banner when the town informed us that we were in violation of the town sign code). She would also like a really large, good, up to date globe.

All of us would like a modern circulation desk. The library world has changed and our circulation desk is uncomfortable for the staff, as well as being ugly.

Yours truly would like graceful furniture for the big room: library tables and chairs of a character and quality that would complement the beautiful furniture that Terry Hershey donated to sit near our Hershey Collection of Southwestern material.

And, speaking of which, we did have a donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, donate an elegant Kittinger table to sit next to the rocker in the Great Room. It just looks wonderful and is really in keeping with the spirit of the room. Thank you so much Mr. Anonymous. As always, we think you are wonderful!

We would all like more parking, more storage, a year-round sustainable vegetable garden, and a children's garden, like the one at the Vail Public Library.

Parade float

Congratulations to Barb Draper and the volunteers and kids on the Summer Reading Program Fourth of July Parade float.

The Library Summer Reading Program float won third Place in the non-profit division in the parade. Barb and her volunteers and the kids did a great job.

Summer Reading is drawing legions of kids and parents. If you haven't gotten your children in for the Tuesday and Friday readings and events, there's still time to sign up and get the six books read to qualify for prizes.

More summer reads

So many wonderful books are coming into the library.

Nicholas Wade's "Before Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors" will fascinate the anthropologists among us. He does discuss human physical evolution, but also, he reports on efforts by historical linguists to reconstruct the lost tongues from which today's languages are derived. And, he illuminates new hopes for tracing the tree of language deeper into the past and nearer to the first language ever spoken, the mother tongue of the ancestral human population. The author shows how genetics sheds new light on the population history of Jews and Icelanders, the secrets of Genghis Khan and the dalliances of Thomas Jefferson.

A different historical journey is told in "Brutal Journey: The Epic Story of the First Crossing of North America," by Paul Schneider. Described as one part "Heart of Darkness" and one part Lewis and Clark, this book tells the story of a group of explorers who came to the New World on the heels of Cortes. Eight years and 5,000 miles later, only four of 400 survived to return to Mexico. Quite a trip, one must surmise.

It's pretty clear that the men in the Schneider book didn't manage to intuitively divine Deepak Chopra's theories in "The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence." The every popular (and financially acute) Chopra premises that not only are everyday coincidences meaningful, they actually provide us with glimpses of the field of infinite possibilities that lies at the heart of all things.

According to Chopra, if we grasp the wellspring of creation, we can rewrite our destinies in any way we wish. Go for it!

But if you just want to escape, without grabbing heavy thought or higher meaning, then gravitate to Nicole Krauss' novel, "The History of Love." This New York Times bestseller will beguile you for a summer day and evening. Excuse me for saying it, but it's lovely.


Pagosa Reads

Good night and good luck

By J. B. Smith

Special to The PREVIEW

"The Murrow Boys: Pioneers on the Front Lines of Broadcast Journalism," by Stanley Cloud and Lynne Olson. New York, Houghton Mifflin, 1996." Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism," by Bob Edwards. Hoboken, N.J., John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2004.

"'Good night and good luck" was the signature broadcast closing of Edward R. Murrow, who may have been the greatest television commentator ever. It was also the name of the recent successful movie about Murrow's career.

These books about the life and works of Murrow tell the story of his rise, the rise of broadcast journalism during and after World War II, and his famous confrontation with Sen. Joe McCarthy during the time of McCarthy's ruinous rampage through the U.S. political scene.

Murrow was in Europe in London before World War II started. He loved Churchill, who was ready to fight. When the war started and Churchill became prime minister, he gave Murrow every means available at the BBC because he wanted American support. Not only did Murrow do live broadcasts, but he was on air while Germany was bombing London. His famous, "This is London and the bombs of the Nazis are hitting London" rang out in America. Churchill cleared the broadcasts because Murrow never said exactly where the bombs fell, thus didn't give the Nazis immediate information.

When the Japanese hit Pearl Harbor, Murrow was in Washington. Roosevelt saw him at midnight on December 7, 1941. The conversation dealt only with Europe and President Roosevelt said he never missed a Murrow broadcast.

Ike conferred with him, Churchill and Roosevelt loved him. Joe Kennedy left the ambassadorship in London because of his opposition to American support of England. The new American ambassador said that everyone, British and American, went to Murrow for advice on dealing with one another. Murrow was defacto ambassador.

NBC said that they had everything in London, with one exception - Edward Murrow. He was the deep CBS voice that everyone followed for years. When he returned to America after the war, he was considered a hero. When he did his television program "Person to Person," a low-keyed interview show, his ratings ran 50 percent and his program made the network so much money that it paid for his new show once a week. Murrow refused commercials during his broadcasts, insisting that they show only at the beginning or the end of his programs.

His weekly show took down McCarthy in the early '50s, at the height of his red-baiting, when Senator Joe was at his most powerful. His documentary in 1960, "Harvest of Shame," dealing with migrant laborers, is a classic documentary. No news shows were as effective at editorializing as Morrow's.

When President Kennedy picked Murrow for the American News Agency, the staff of 11,000 was so excited that almost no one quit during his administration. Europe believed everything that the agency sent out because of Murrow. Murrow sat at cabinet meetings, and when he told Kennedy that he wanted it honest and correct, Kennedy never objected.

During the Cuban missile crisis, Murrow was on vacation. One wonders what the reporting would have been had he been present.

No one has ever had this man's press power. He was in the right place at the right time, and he did the right thing. He changed radio and broadcasting forever.

Good night and good luck.

J.B. Smith is a local resident with a wide-ranging career. He taught high school, was a journalist, owned a newspaper in Cedaredge, served in the Peace Corps in Latin America, and developed a bus line that carried 250,000 passengers and 500,000 chickens. He has run for state Legislature three times in Colorado and for Archuleta County Commissioner once.

Pagosa Reads features book reviews of all kinds of books from the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library, reviewed by local readers Š just like you. If you would like to review a book and share it in this preview column, contact Jackie Welch, acting library director, at 264-2208.


Arts Line

Shows, camps, workshops highlight PSAC season

By Wen Saunders

PREVIEW Columnist

The third annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council Juried Painting and Drawing Fine Art Exhibit continues through July 18.

More than 20 pieces of art are displayed in the juried exhibit, all by local artists. A variety of art media is represented in the show including watercolor, oil, gouache, colored pencil, mixed, and batik using watercolor, and the pieces are offered for sale

The show is located in the Town Park gallery at 315 Hermosa St. and is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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

Volunteer at Harman museum

The Fred Harman Museum is looking for volunteer docents to work in the museum.

Museum hours are 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Summer hours include Saturday and Sunday. Both half-day and full-day hours are available.

Working in the museum provides the opportunity to preserve a part of our western authenticity and to meet visitors from across the world.

For further information, contact Fred Harman III, curator, at 731-5785.

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

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 July, the club will meet today, 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. The only materials you'll need are:

- Pencils: red, blue and green drawing/writing (not watercolor), a mechanical pencil such as a Sharpwriter and/or an HB drawing pencil.

- Pen: Ultrafine Sharpie.

- Ruler: Minimum 18-inch, maximum 24-inch.

- Triangle: with one side at least 10 inches long.

- A big tracing paper pad - 24x19 or 20.

Also, remember that 5-7 p.m. Thursday, July 20, there will be the reception for the "Ginnie and Denny and the Gang" show at the Art Center. If you are a recent student of Ginnie and Denny's (the last two or three years) you should plan to show one or more of your paintings and need to let them know as soon as possible. For the rest of you, please plan to attend.

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.

Today - 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.

Aug. 10 - Pierre Mion and Students Watercolor Exhibit and Sale opening reception, 5-7 p.m.

Aug. 10-29 - Pierre Mion and Students Watercolor Exhibit and Sale.

Aug. 31 - PSAC Pagosa Portraits: Ego and Alter-Ego by Sandy Applegate opening reception, 5-7 p.m.

Aug. 31-Sept. 19 - PSAC Pagosa Portraits: Ego and Alter-Ego by Sandy Applegate.

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

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

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


Tasting Notes

The glories of Apulian red

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

It was an impromptu invitation, but I gladly accepted.

A simple errand had turned into an extension for dinner from a well-heeled lawyer friend, and after serving the man and his wife for many months in the restaurant, I knew their tastes. My expectations were high.

I imagined an evening of fine food accompanied by exquisite Oregon pinot noir, classified Bordeaux, grand cru Burgundy, or some obscure, but sensational super Tuscan. For a man of significant financial means, I was sure his daily drinkers would be my once-in-a lifetime, or special occasion only wines, and I entered his home and crossed the threshold into a realm of oenophilic bliss.

As I walked through the house and toward the kitchen, I dreamed of the treasures he would pull from the cellar. However, in my delusional state, I had forgotten two key factors: First, this was a spontaneous event with little time for preparation, and secondly, he and his wife had spent a significant amount of time in Italy, where the interplay of wine and food in day-to-day life is perceived much differently.

Always the consummate gentleman, he showed me through the house, past a vast library and collection of Navajo and Middle Eastern rugs, and we chatted about common interests and experiences. Finally we arrived at the kitchen, where his wife was preparing a plate of cheese, olives and anchovies for an appetizer. Then, the moment of truth arrived when he asked me to join him in the cellar where we would peruse our options for dinner.

Before I could respond, he took a few steps toward a nondescript door on the far side of the kitchen, reached for the knob and turned. When the door opened, I expected a narrow flight of stairs leading to a subterranean, vinicultural holy of holies. What I found instead was a common kitchen pantry crammed full of cat food, flour, canned goods and trash bags, with six cardboard wine boxes stacked on their sides on the floor with the top panels removed, in a makeshift, and very wobbly, semblance of a wine rack.

The "rack" bristled with bottles, and like a well practiced purse snatcher, he knew his target and dove in. With a deft flick of the wrist, he extracted a bottle and emerged with a wide grin on his face, apparently immensely satisfied.

He turned the label toward me, "Salice Salentino. It's good, and at less than 10 bucks a bottle it's cheap, and I always keep some around for times like this."

Dreams of super Tuscan euphoria vanished, but I played along and was quickly educated on the glories of Apulian red.

The wines of Apulia, known as Puglia in Italian, hail from the southeastern portion of the country in an area commonly referred to as the "heel" of the Italian boot.

The region, and southern Italy as a whole, is steeped in winemaking history, and traces its vinicultural heritage back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. In fact, the Romans once called the modern day region of Campania, which lies northwest of Apulia proper, Oenotria, the land of wine.

Although Apulia and Salice Salentino in particular don't quite carry the same historical stature as Campania, the area has a long standing winemaking tradition, and recent efforts have been made to boost the areas' stature beyond that of being noteworthy solely for volume. Although volume is one of the area's claim to fame.

Some estimate the Apulia region produces more wine and grapes than any other Italian winemaking region and Apulia's output alone often rivals Germany. With 24 classified growing areas, known as DOC's, (Denominazione Di Origine Controllata) Apulia has as many classified wine zones as Tuscany, however just 2 percent of the region's total production qualifies for DOC status.

For decades, with such tremendous volume but and generally low quality, most Apulian wine was destined for blending in northern Italy or used to make vermouth. But in the 1980s, the emphasis on volume shifted when a number of Apulian winemakers began focusing on quality rather than quantity.

In order to create a new Apulian standard, winemakers sought to bring out the best the region's native grapes - malvasia nera, uva de Troia, negroamaro and primitivo - to produce medium bodied reds with leathery, peppery notes that were a true reflection of their appellations.

And like the appellations themselves, the varietals are also connected to a vast web of winemaking history. For example, malvasia nera, is a grape found both in Apulia and farther north in Italy's Piedmont district. Some estimate the grape has existed for about 2,000 years, and originated near the Aegean Sea in what is now the southwestern portion of Turkey and the islands between Turkey and Greece.

Uva de Troia is primarily an Apulian varietal, and hence the name, it is said its lineage can be traced to ancient Troy.

With more than 20 classified Apulian winemaking zones and a number of obscure varietals, it may sound difficult to choose wines that are inexpensive yet tasty enough to warrant their purchase. However, and fortunately, much of Apulia's production is drunk locally, and generally speaking, only the better Apulian reds reach the U.S. market. And of those that do reach the American consumer, two appellations - Salice Salentino and Castel Del Monte - are of particular importance and stand out as consistent producers of solid, value oriented reds that are worth exploring.

Castel Del Monte is the northernmost Apulian DOC and lies just outside of the bootheel proper. Winemakers in Castel Del Monte produce red, white and rosé, with the reds and rosés being the most highly regarded. For red wines, the principal varietal is uva de Troia, which is blended with aglianico, montepulciano, pinot nero and sangiovese according to the winemaker's, and the vintage's, temperament.

While Castel Del Monte produces wines that are generally softer and slightly more supple, Salice Salentino is its rough and tumble southern neighbor, buried deep in the Italian boot heel.

If the wines of Castel Del Monte are gentrified, Salice Salentino reds are medium-bodied, rustic and rough around the edges with notes of leathery astringency and peppery, earthy nuances. Part of the Salice Salentino character undoubtedly lies in the area's use of primitivo as the primary varietal.

Studies of primitivo show it may be related to California's Zinfandel grape, and a careful tasting of Salice Salentino may reveal some similarities such as undertones of acetone, and black fruits.

Winemakers in Salice Salentino often blend primitivo with negroamaro, malvasia nera and uva de Troia.

Red wines from both Apulian appellations are simple yet satisfying and pair well with roasted chicken, pizza with oil cured kalamata olives, anchovies and aged parmesan, hard cheeses and tomato based pasta dishes.

Although my first tasting of Salice Salentino occurred nearly ten years ago, more recent tastings have proved not much has changed. The Apulia region continues to offer value-oriented, Old World reds that consistently please.


Food for Thought

Fleeing gravity, on a beam of violet light

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer


Our true and fiercely persistent foe.

Forget Al Queda, pay no mind to Iran or North Korea or any new addition to the Axis of Evil that seems convenient for those who keep the list.

Asteroids? No problem.

Same with global warming.

Forget, too, the threatening simplifications fabricated by the complexity-challenged inhabitants of our political extremes, all designed to inspire fear and provoke mental vapor lock.

Gravity, kids; that's the beast that stalks us from the moment we're conceived.

It always wins. In the short run, and for keeps. Gravity sets the bar, and we never manage to clear it.

I am in the gym the other day taking a lesson in relativity and transience.

From gravity,

I am doing deadlifts with some pretty impressive weight - or so I think.

In a flash, as my knees yodel and my back sings a mournful tune, I realize two things: my body is old and seriously so; and what passed for impressive weight has done just that.


As in, passed me by.

The lesson: I fade, predictably, gravity remains the same, predictably Š gravity wins.

The weight is there, regardless of my presence (no matter what the good Bishop Berkeley said). And my ability to deal with it diminishes with each passing day, no matter how hard I work to stall the decline, no matter how much wine I drink to fuel my delusions.

Gravity wins.

Oh, this mortal coil.

I leave the gym and return home, depressed.

I slug down a few glasses of a cheap but nice Spanish red. I eat some olives. I hack away at a hunk of cheese.

As I sip and munch and listen to the birdies perched in the pines beyond the deck, I realize the day's lesson is about more than my pathetic vulnerability. It is a platonic lesson: The world of appearance, the physical world and its constant change, is one thing - but there is something more for those in need of comfort (and don't we all need this comfort?). A universe in which things do not change, a domain wherein are things immutable, absolute.

At this point (probably because, after three glasses of the wine I am no longer able to hold my head up, though I'd prefer to think it is for less coincidental reasons) my gaze drops to a magazine set on the ottoman in front of the couch.

It is one of Kathy's magazines from the Transform Yourself Or Else Corporation, an offering from folks dedicated to walking the mind's hallways and looking behind every door, no matter how goofy the sign on the glass.

It is a course listing from the Institute of Illusions. The magazine lists the summer's offerings at the institute, each course designed to erase from me the awful existential idea that gravity cannot be vanquished and that, when the battle is over, there is nothing more.

Just what I need.

I scan the course offerings, workshop after workshop, each description accompanied by a photo of the instructor. Many of the instructors wear odd hats and smile, perhaps a bit too broadly.

Long story made short: I'm outta here. Outta the gym, in full flight from the bleak reality of mass, off to a world in which myriad teachers and therapists work to improve my access to a realm where the very best is invisible, ineffable, free from the gravity that lurks in the shadows of ordinary experience.


The first course that attracts my attention is Couples Massage.

It takes less than ten seconds of conversation with Kathy to realize this is not an option. There is going to be no paradoxical transcendence of the physical via the physical.


So be it: I will fill my week at the institute with other, equally productive activities.

First, instead of hefting heavy objects, why not commune with flowers? This is right up my alley.

My first course will be Being with Flowers, Floral Art as Spiritual Practice. I will, as the catalogue suggests, come prepared with garden clippers, comfortable shoes and an open heart. Bring on the begonias.

I take serious note of Boot Camp for Goddesses, a class in which I can "trust, listen and follow the body's own intelligence" (and perhaps that of others) on the path to enlightenment. I have the requisite hiking boots, yoga mat, and sarong or cotton T-shirt. Alas, I have the wrong body parts; I possess the wrong bodily intelligence.

Same prob with the Women's Sexuality course and Organic Juice Purification for Women.

But, no problem at all with Pageant Puppetry. In this class I will "walk the line between contemporary street theater and ancient ritual procession." This is something I can bring home - to the two or three parades held in town each year. To various community fund-raisers. Who doesn't love a metaphysical puppet pageant?

Then, there are plenty of courses dealing with the Kabballah. Why not participate in the increasing trivialization of an ancient mystical tradition, the teachings of which used to be reserved for select scholars of the Torah and Talmud, all past middle age? I mean, if Madonna can do it, why not me? I can schmooze with fellow kabbalists, perhaps whip up some felafel during a break in our analyses of sephorah.

I can snack on leftover felafel during my Writing the Unthinkable class (while I try to figure out what I haven't yet thought).

I'll need a bit of Advanced Chakra Healing. I had a blast of kundalini surge through a couple of my chakras last week and the circuits are badly scorched.

"Whaddya think about me taking this course called 'Advanced Shapeshifting,'" I ask Kathy.

"No amount of shifting is going to do your shape any good," she replies. "And, I'm tired of you making fun of these courses. After all, people are simply trying to improve themselves and their lives - to move on to something greater. Not a bad idea, if you stop and think about it."

"I'm sure I'll realize that following successful completion of The Art of Translucent Living. But, why, if you're willing to go as far as translucent, wouldn't you want to make the short jump to transparent? Or maybe make the leap all the way to diaphanous? Just another of life's mysteries, I guess. Once I finish my Peaceful Warrior Courage Training, perhaps I'll know the answer. Peaceful Warriors know lots of answers. After all, they know how to kill, but refuse to do so."

"What are you getting at here? Why the cynicism and mockery?"

"I'm old, and things are too heavy. I'm seeking a safe haven - a universe free of gravity."

"Yeah, sure, very clever you and your double meanings. Cook something. Eat, Karl. You'll feel better."

I continue to study the course catalogue as I whip up a quick dinner, inspired by a Grace Parisi recipe in the Food and Wine 2006 recipe collection: chicken crusted in the above-mentioned felafel, sauteed and served on a bed of greens with a simple tomato salad and tahini sauce.

I pound out several pieces of skinless, boneless chicken breast, about a quarter inch thick.

I have my ingredients ready: a bowl in which there are four eggs, beaten with a teensy amount of water; a bowl containing seasoned flour; a bowl heaped with dry felafel mix.

A cutlet is dredged in flour then shaken to remove the excess. It is dipped in the egg wash then flopped in the felafel and coated. Each piece of meat gets the same treatment.

Into a quarter inch of shimmering hot oil go a batch of cutlets and they are cooked until golden brown on each side. The chicken is drained on paper towel and put into a 200 degree oven on a platter while the remaining pieces are cooked.

The salad: chopped tomato, big crumbles of feta cheese, olive oil, some minced serrano pepper (minus seeds and membrane), some chopped parsley, salt, pepper, a little bit of fresh lemon juice, a smidge of finely minced white onion. The salad is assembled and left in the fridge for the flavors to meld.

The tahini sauce? Easy. A big wad of sesame tahini is mixed with lemon juice, salt, pepper, mashed garlic, a little water. Do it by hand, do it in the processor. No matter. Taste and adjust.

Onto the plate goes a bed of fresh greens. On top of the greens goes a hunk o'chicken. On top of the chicken goes a mess o' salad. Tahini to taste with each bite o' chicken.

Earthbound, but marvelous.

Nearly marvelous enough to make one forget, for a moment, the awful pull of gravity.

To complete the relief of my burden I'm going to need to finish my week at the institute with the course "The Violet Light: The Power that Changes Everything." After all, I need everything changed.

In the course, I will learn that the "highest manifestation of love and consciousness in the human being shows as a radiation of violet energy Š it is an inevitable state for human beings, since it is their evolutionary goal."


Violet light -no gravity.

Perfect. Free at last.

I wonder what violet felafel tastes like?


Extension Viewpoints

Get ready for the chuckwagon dinner and auction at the county fair

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

July 14 - Noon, 4-H Shooting Sports meeting.

July 14 - 2 p.m., Colorado Kids Club meeting.

July 14 - 6 p.m., 4-H Sportsfishing meeting.

July 17 - 4:30 p.m., Dog Obedience project meeting.

July 17 - 6:30 p.m., Beef project meeting.

July 17 - 7 p.m., 4-H Livestock Committee meeting.

July 18 - 4 p.m., Fairgrounds Clean Up.

July 18 - 5 p.m., 4-H Council meeting.

July 19 - 6 p.m., 4-H Livestock Weigh-in.

Dinner and auction

Join your fellow Archuleta County citizens for a good meal and great conversation at the annual 4-H Chuckwagon Dinner, Aug. 5 at the county fair. The menu includes barbecue beef by the famous Harry Cole, cole slaw, baked beans, Texas toast, potato salad, and a hot fudge brownie and ice cream. All that and a drink for only $8 for ages 13 and up and $6 for ages 12 and under.

Tickets can be purchased for any 4-H member, at the County Cooperative Extension Office and in the Activity Tent that Saturday night at the fair. So, come out 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, for an excellent time.

Then stay for the excitement of the 4-H Livestock Auction starting at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited to participate in this year's auction as a buyer by registering at the Livestock Tent before or during the auction. Livestock animals can also be "split" for purchasing - so you and your family or friends can get together and purchase some top-quality meat.

Open Class animals

Have you ever thought about showing an animal at the Archuleta County Fair but aren't in 4-H?

Maybe you think you are too young or too old to do this?

If the answer is yes, or even if it's not, here's how you can show your prize animal at this year's fair. There is a class called Open Livestock and it has a requirement that at least three animals per species be registered in order for the class to be held at the fair. There are openings for steer, heifers, poultry, swine, rabbits, sheep and goats.

Preregistration is required on or before Friday, July 28. No entries will be accepted after 5 p.m. Call the Extension Office at 264-5931 if you are interested in learning more about showing Open Class Livestock. You can also read more about this in the Fair Exhibitor's Book on pages 43-46. To check out the Fair Book online visit www.archuletacountyfair.com.

Control aquatic vegetation

Aquatic vegetation is found in most lakes and ponds and is beneficial to the natural ecosystem in moderate amounts.

Vegetation is needed for food production and cover for fish. Aquatic plants produce oxygen, stabilize bottom sediment, protect the shoreline from wave erosion, and serve as feeding and nesting habitat for waterfowl. Aquatic vegetation can become so abundant it interferes with recreational use. When fishing, boating or swimming is seriously impeded, aquatic vegetation should be reduced. Periodic die-offs of dense vegetation also occur after periods of cloudy weather, long winter ice and snow cover, or the end of their growing season. Oxygen is consumed by bacteria that decompose dead plants. Microscopic bacteria can be so abundant that they can lower oxygen levels, inhibit fish from feeding and growing, and possibly cause death.

Probably the most essential thing to know in aquatic vegetation control is the type of plant causing the problem. Aquatic plants are classified into general categories based on their growth form and location.

- Algae - Algae are primitive plants with no true leaves or flowers. They have three classifications: planktonic, filamentous, and attached-erect forms. Planktonic algae gives the water a green to greenish-brown tint, but individual plants cannot be seen without a microscope. Filamentous algae, often referred to as "moss," float freely and form greenish mats on the surface. The attached, erect forms often are mistaken for higher plants. The best way to identify these advanced algae is by the musky odor and gritty feel. Common examples of algae are spirogyra, cladophora and chara.

- Floating Plants - This group includes plants that have leaves floating on the surface and roots hanging down into the water not connected to the bottom. Their leaves usually are smaller than the end of a wooden match stick, and they have hairlike roots. Duckweed is the most common floating plant, seldom creating problems.

- Submerged Plants - These plants are rooted to the pond bottom and grow to the surface. Submerged weeds usually consist of long flexible stems with clumps of narrow leaves around the stem. Flowers, if present, may extend above the surface. Common examples of submerged plants are potamogeton, coontail and elodea.

- Emergent Plants - This type of plant is rooted in the pond bottom with extensions above the water's surface. Shoreline plants are included in this group. Many are not truly aquatic, but can live in saturated soils or submerged in water for considerable time. Common examples of emergent plants are cattails, bulrush, smartweed and arrowhead.

Three methods of reducing or eliminating nuisance aquatic vegetation are mechanical, biological and chemical.

Mechanical control involves physically removing plants from the pond. Hand-pulling is effective to control cattails, willow trees and cottonwood trees while they are small. Rake to remove algae and submerged vegetation from the pond, especially around a swimming area. Submerged vegetation also can be removed by pulling a chain or cable through the pond between two tractors. Mechanical control is temporary and normally affects a portion of the pond's vegetation. It is the least effective method and may aggravate the problem because some aquatic plants spread through broken fragments and become new plants.

Biological control includes the most effective control for Colorado warm water ponds: the grass carp, an herbivorous fish. The grass carp requires large rivers for spawning and does not reproduce in ponds. The Colorado Division of Wildlife requires notification of stocking. Only triploid grass carp are permitted on the West Slope. Grass carp stocked on the West Slope must also meet the stocking criteria of the Upper Colorado River fish recovery program. Grass carp are expensive but can provide many summers of vegetation control with one stocking. Little evidence of control will be seen the first summer but change will appear the second. Stock fingerling grass carp (3 to 4 inches) at the rate of 10 to 25 fish per acre of vegetation. If adult bass are present, stock grass carp of at least 8 inches to avoid predation. After several years, additional grass carp will have to be stocked when consumption of vegetation by large grass carp declines. Ducks, geese and crayfish are also used to control aquatic plants. They produce inconsistent results, and some pond owners object to the mess waterfowl can make. Fertilization can be used to discourage other types of aquatic vegetation and promote phytoplankton. This method has produced inconsistent results, can cause oxygen depletion, and is not recommended for Colorado ponds.

No single, all-purpose chemical exists to control all aquatic weeds. Proper plant identification is important for selecting the best chemical for a specific vegetation problem. Generally, chemical applications are most effective when weeds grow rapidly and have not yet gone to seed. One to two treatments usually are sufficient to control submerged vegetation, whereas one to four treatments may be needed to control algae for a season. Do not apply chemicals in strong winds where drift might occur. Apply chemicals early in the day under sunny conditions and water temperature above 60 degrees F. Regrowth or belated appearance of dormant weed species requires re-treatment. After the nuisance plant is identified, choose the proper chemical and read the label carefully. Next determine the area to be treated. Application of the chemical can be done by hand, pressure tank sprayer, or by ladling the chemical from a bucket. Dilute the chemical tenfold with water to ensure uniform coverage over the area to be treated. Mix only as much chemical as is needed for the job. Usually plants begin to show signs of weakness, discoloration or drooping within two weeks; plants may even die. Filamentous algae often turn a pale green or yellow. When large masses of plant materials decay, nutrients are released and can lead to plankton or filamentous algae growth. Bacteria that multiply to take advantage of the rotting vegetation consume oxygen. At the same time demand for oxygen increases, production of oxygen by green plants disappears or is greatly reduced. Oxygen levels may be so reduced that fish die. Reduction of plants in the spring or early summer before large growth occurs usually prevents oxygen depletion. If treatment is not done until heavy growth occurs, treat the pond in sections with at least two weeks between treatments.


Pagosa Lakes News

Exercise, and die young at an old age

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

At the recent Bicycle Tour of Colorado, I noticed a preponderance of gray-haired riders who had to have been in their late 50s or early 60s.

They ride high-tech bikes that climb like a rocket, wear clothing of equally highly-technical material with the "look at me" designs, and in most cases carry an athletic physique.

To satisfy my curiosity, I researched the demographics of this particular tour's cyclists.

There were 16 cyclists in the 70-79 age group, with the two oldest at 78. Incidentally, the oldest is our own Pagosan, Elmer Thomas, who was born two months before the other 78-year-old.

Eight percent of cyclists were in the 60-69 age group; 30 percent in the 50-59 age group; 47 percent in the 40-49; 10 percent in 30-39; 2 percent in 20-29; and another 2 percent under the age of 20. The youngest rider was a 6-year old, riding a tandem with his dad.

Those turning 50 and 60, looking to stave off the inevitable, are descending on athletic events like running, cycling and swimming. And the big rush is yet to come.

As boomers age, the 55-and-older health club crowd will swell. At the moment, about one in 10 adult Americans belongs to a health club. Those who have never owned a gym card represent enormous potential for growth. Some industry players expect even larger growth over the next 10 years. That's partly because the big group of boomer offspring, known as the baby boomlet, are pushing into their early 20s.

From my experience at the recreation center, I know that another reason for the growth is the fitness consciousness among boomers who missed out on the fitness craze earlier on.

Faced with old age, the latecomers take comfort in the news that it's never too late to start getting fit. Besides keeping the aches and pains of old age at bay, there's an extra reason to get fit (and stay fit): the growing cost of medical treatment. I look forward to the day when health club membership will win health insurance discounts of the sort that nonsmokers receive now.

A word of caution - starting exercise means a medical "tune-up" first. Please consult with your doctor beforehand, because exercise actually can bring out minor medical issues and cause increased problems. Age, weight, body mass index (BMI), heart and lung function, cholesterol level, joint stability and the risk for heart disease, fractures and osteoporosis are among the factors a doctor takes into consideration when assessing or creating a patient's exercise plan.

What can exercise prevent? The list is long. I won't bore you by going there, since you already know.

But exercise isn't a cure-all. It can't prevent the damaging effects of bad genes. And of course, to no one - not even the owner of the toughest genes - can exercise promise immortality.

The day will come, probably late in the next century, when the last of the baby boomers is dead. By then, however, the boomers will have expanded and deepened mankind's knowledge of the potential of exercise to sustain good health into old age. Chances are, what the fittest seniors will demonstrate is what Jerry and Joanne Sager (80-something competitors) and Elmer Thomas showed: that exercise can eliminate old age as it is commonly regarded. What exercise offers is the possibility of dying young at an old age.

On Monday, July 24, a county road maintenance workshop will be held at Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. Scheduled for 6 p.m., this workshop will explain current road maintenance policies regarding primary and secondary roads and we will discuss and explain options for the maintenance of secondary roads.

A press release from Archuleta County Special Projects Manager Sheila Berger, states that, "Current options for secondary road maintenance includes the creation of special districts, such as local and public improvement districts, property owners associations, or individual contributions." Although other financial mechanisms to enable the county to continue maintaining the secondary roads are being discussed by county staff, in the event another viable solution is found the county advises that property owners attend the workshop in order to explore the current options available to them.


Carolee Blevins

Carolee Jane Blevins passed away Tuesday, July 3, 2006 at Mercy Regional Medical Center due to complications of coronary failure. She was 75 years young.

In life, Carolee was born June 28, 1931, in Salida, Colo., to Claude and Genevie Loser. She attended Center Consolidated Schools where she played basketball and was an avid horsewoman riding in the Ski Hi Stampede every summer in Monte Vista, Colo. After graduating from high school, Carolee attended Denver University where she earned her nursing degree and worked briefly for Dr. Bunch in the Alamosa Clinic.

In 1952, Carolee married her high school sweetheart, Harvey Skoglund, Jr. Since Harvey was deployed, Carolee returned to Center and gave birth to their son, David Wesley, on Dec. 27, 1953. After leaving the Navy, Carolee and Harvey remained in the San Luis Valley to attend Adams State College to earn their degrees in education. During this time, Carolee gave birth to their daughter, Leeann, on Feb. 6, 1956. The couple then moved to Climax, Colo., where Harvey worked as a chemist and Carolee worked as a nurse. Later, Carolee taught language arts and literature at the junior high and high schools in Alamosa and Leadville. After pursuing her degree in counseling, she worked in the Lake County School District as a middle school counselor. She was instrumental in initiating the Meals on Wheels program for homebound seniors and starting the Suicide Hotline in Lake County.

After the death of Harvey Skoglund, Jr., Carolee remained in Leadville and met and later married James (Jim) Blevins in 1977.

After Carolee retired from Lake County School District in 1980, Jim and Carolee moved to Archuleta County and set up housekeeping on a 40-acre ranch south of Pagosa Springs. During this time, Carolee kept busy working for a local plumbing company, bussing tables at Pagosa Lodge and helping out at the Silver Dollar Liquor Store.

Carolee and Jim began spending winters in Mexico and eventually moved to Yuma, Ariz., where Carolee began her full retirement, enjoying the desert heat and growing tomatoes. After the death of Jim in 2001, Carolee remained in Yuma for two years before returning to Colorado in the summer of 2003 to be near her children, family and friends.

Back in Pagosa, Carolee became involved and active in everything she could. She enjoyed fishing, sitting on her deck with a cold Coors Light and, most of all, watching the Denver Broncos. She loved watching her grandchildren, Kade Skoglund and Stephanie Skoglund, participate in their sports and school programs. She also became an active member of the Silver Foxes Den, enjoying afternoon bridge and such outings that included river rafting and hot air ballooning.

Carolee was always quick to smile, lend an ear, and eager to help in any way she could. She was the strength and backbone of her family and she will be dearly missed by those whose lives she so gently touched. A gathering to celebrate Carolee's life will be held at her home, 288 Ute Drive, Pagosa Springs, for all her family and friends on July 15, 2006 starting at noon. Please call Leeann at (970) 731-3225 for directions and more information.

Carolee has requested her ashes be taken to Bristle Head above Santa Maria Reservoir and released to soar with the eagles.

Carolee is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, David and Patti Skoglund of Hesperus, Colo., daughter Leeann Skoglund of Pagosa Springs, Colo., stepson Mark Blevins of Albuquerque, N.M., and grandchildren Stephanie and Kade Skoglund.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Silver Foxes Den, PO Box 1507, Pagosa Springs, Colorado 81147.


Giles Lockhart

Giles Harold Lockhart, 82, of Austin, Texas, passed away June 12, 2006. He was born December 12, 1923, in Brownwood, Tex., to Pearl Maples and Giles Henry Lockhart. Lockhart was a Pagosa resident for 10 years.

Giles served his country during WW II with the U.S. Navy until 1945. He then married the love of his life, Virginia Lee. For over 35 years, Giles owned and operated G.H. Lockhart Sheet Metal Co. He also served as a 21nd degree Mason with Round Rock Lodge 227.

Left behind to cherish his memories are his loving wife of 60 years, Virginia Lee Lockhart of Austin, Texas; son, Harold (Tony) Lockhart and wife, Yvonne of Georgetown, Texas; daughters, Vicki and husband, Ron Schwierking of Georgetown, Sherita and husband, Mike Meno, of Orland Park, Ill., and Regina and husband, Bill Robinson, of San Antonio, Texas; sisters, Mary and husband D. Ray Alford of Sweeny, Texas, Janell Caudle of Rising Star, Texas, and Greta Burkett of Sweeny; 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Giles' parents and sister, Dorothy Dunn, preceded him in death.

Visitation was Friday, June 16, at Cook-Walden/Capital parks Funeral Home, Pflugerville, Texas. Funeral services and burial were held privately at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the charity of your choice in memory of Giles.

Please join in celebrating Giles' life by visiting his memorial at www.mem.com. Through this site, you are invited to share your thoughts and memories with Giles' family.


Modesta Gallegos

Modesta G. Gallegos, 80, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, July 9, 2006.

She was born in Taos, N.M., the youngest of nine children, to Irene and Epifanio Garcia on Sept. 24, 1925. Mrs. Gallegos was preceded in death by her parents, six brothers and sisters, and an infant son, Phillip. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 64 years, Ben Gallegos; her five children: Ben Ronald Gallegos and wife, Reena, of Los Lunas; Charles LeRoy Gallegos and wife, Mary Louise, of Pagosa Springs; Rita Gallegos Logan and husband, Mike, of Los Chavez; Patricia G. D'Angelo and husband, Mark, of Albuquerque; Phillip A. Gallegos and longtime companion, Rudy Archibeque, of Edgewood; 10 grandchildren: Greg Gallegos and wife, Dolores, of Pagosa Springs; Melissa G. Ybarra and husband, Tony, of Albuquerque; Pamela Machac and husband, Gerald, of Albuquerque; Fred Gallegos and wife, Anna, of Albuquerque; Jason D'Angelo, Adam D'Angelo, Juliet D'Angelo and Trisha Modestine D'Angelo, all of Albuquerque; Derek Logan and fiancé, Faith, of Belen; Shanna Therese Logan of Los Chavez; nine great-grandchildren; two sisters, Adelina G. Romero and Irene G. Rosales, both of Albuquerque; numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, friends, and lifelong friend, Max Lucero and wife, Vi, of Rio Rancho.

Rosary was recited Tuesday, July 11, at St. Anne's Catholic Church. Mass was celebrated Wednesday, July 12, also at St. Anne's Catholic Church. Interment followed at Santa Fe National Cemetery. Pallbearers were Greg Gallegos, Fred Gallegos, Jason D'Angelo, Adam D'Angelo, Derek Logan, Matthew Gallegos and Michael Gallegos.


 Business News

Chamber News

Chamber celebrates 30 years

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

According to the Articles of Incorporation for the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, the organization will celebrate its 30th anniversary Saturday, July 15.

Established in 1976, the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce was started to "encourage, foster, and stimulate commerce, trade, business, finance and professional interest; to obtain and distribute reliable information as to the reputation and standing of business matters and merchants; to stimulate, encourage, and promote cooperation and friendly exchange among the business members and others; to promote, advance stimulate civic, business, commercial, industrial and agricultural interests and general welfare in the Archuleta County area; to acquaint and inform the public as to its objectives and to stimulate public opinion and reaction to these ends by providing information and other civic, educational, commercial, industrial, social, and public features as will foster, encourage, and stimulate these purposes."

With these tenets in mind, be aware we will be sending out a chamber survey via e-mail to our current members. The survey will compare our performance and benefits with that of other Chambers; it will try to determine what we are doing right and what we need to work on, and what amenities our membership is looking for.

The survey takes only a few minutes to fill out and results are sent to a firm where your answers are tabulated confidentially. After the results are compiled, we should have them back some time in September. The survey is being conducted by 9G Enterprises.

I hope you will take the time to respond to this request. If you cannot complete the questionnaire online, let us know and we will get you a hard copy to fill out and send in. As we look forward to another 30 years of service to Pagosa Springs, we need to hear from our constituents how we can better serve the needs of our members and how to enhance what we are doing well.

Car wash

It is also time for the Chamber of Commerce annual car wash, to be held Saturday, July 22.

With all the recent rain, I've seen quite a few car candidates eligible to participate in this free car wash for Chamber members. The car wash will be held in the Chamber parking lot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This annual event is one small way we say thank you for your membership. The Chamber staff and board of directors will be armed with all the appropriate cleaning tools to get you back out on the road in a spiffy clean car! It takes just a few minutes to swing by the Chamber and let us wash your car. Don't miss this fun opportunity.

Music Boosters

Don't forget, you still have the upcoming weekend to see the Music Boosters' production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

This wonderful Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is brought to life in Pagosa by a talented cast. Show dates and times are Friday and Saturday, July 14-15, at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a matinee at 2 p.m. on July 15. All performances are at the high school auditorium. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $6 for students and children. They can be purchased at The Plaid Pony or at the door.

Just when I think there can't be a better show, the Music Boosters outdo themselves and come up with another winning performance. Don't miss another great Music Booster production.

Music in the Mountains

There are also still tickets available for Music in the Mountains performances Wednesday, July 19 and Friday, July 21.

"Dueling Violins" with Vadim Gluzman and Philippe Quint, is July 19. The world-renowned violinists will grace the stage together at BootJack Ranch, a rare opportunity for Pagosa music lovers.

The Adkins family takes the stage July 21, playing violins, violas, cellos and piano. Each a concert performer in their own right, five family members will come to Pagosa to mesmerize the Music in the Mountains audience.

Tickets for both concerts are $40 and can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce.

Chimney Rock activities

On Saturday and Sunday, July 22-23, go to Chimney Rock, where the area will be filled with beautiful Native American dancers. Performers from surrounding tribes and other areas will honor this archeological site with their native dances. For more information, call 883-5359.


We have 2 1/2 new members to celebrate this week .

The first two fall under the property management category.

The first is Mountain Mogul Properties with Judy and Larry Melendy. Mountain Mogul Properties has beautiful mountain townhomes in the San Juan River village area. For more information on these new townhomes, call Judy or Larry at 624-1404.

We also welcome lovely Carol Harper and Carol Harper Real Estate. A longtime Pagosa resident, Carol knows her real estate! She offers quality service if you are anticipating either buying or selling real estate not only in Pagosa, but anywhere in Colorado. For more information on Carol, stop by the Chamber for one of her cards or call 264-4457.

This company is not new, but has new owners and thus the half membership. We welcome Cathe Hill as the new owner of the Allstate Insurance Agency, formerly the Hanosh Agency. Cathe and Allstate are still located at 190 Talisman, Suite B-1. Allstate offers full insurance and financial services such as car, home, life, commercial, motorcycle, boat and RV insurance protection. The "good hands" coverage is now in the good hands of Cathe Hill. We welcome the transition and want to inform the public that you can still reach Allstate at 731-5190.

On to renewals. We welcome Bonnie Nyre and Slices of Nature; Charles Craig and the Pinewood Inn; Jan Brookshier Photo and Framing; Griselda Cervantes and the Hide-a-way at Pagosa Pines RV Park; Crowley Ranch Reserve and Ron Barsanti; Gary and Faye Bramwell and Astraddle A Saddle; The Rose restaurant and Jerry Frankel; Troy Ross Construction and Roofing; Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and owners Allen and Carol Harper (not the same as our real estate expert); and Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

We also welcome new associate members Randy and Joni Jill Barlow. You don't have to own a business to support the Chamber; lots of individuals are active members as well. Welcome to the Barlows.

We are grateful for the recent, abundant rain, with pastures greening back up and lawns looking fertile. Now, if we can just get the hay in!

Enjoy your family reunions, visiting friends or vacations. Please take a few minutes to help us help you by completing the Chamber Membership survey. We thank you for your involvement.


Biz Beat

Dr. Evette "Buzz" Polczynski

Dr. Evette "Buzz" Polczynski is pleased to announce she is relocating her internal medicine and endocrinology practice to Riverside Health Practices.

Buzz is a board-certified internal medicine specialist who graduated from Rutgers University Medical School in 1987. She did her residency at Dartmouth and followed that with a fellowship in endocrinology at Dartmouth.

Her special interest is the treatment and prevention of diabetes.

Riverside Health Practices is located at 103 Pagosa Street in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Call 264-2218 to schedule an appointment.




W. David Kern, the son of Robert and Leslie Kern of Pagosa Springs, has been named to the 4.0 Dean's List for the spring semester at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich.

Kern is a 2004 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.



Union University recently named Kyle Ashford Sanders of Pagosa Springs to the Dean's List for the spring 2006 semester.

Dean's List status is granted to full-time students who have achieved a GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale. This semester, 341 students were named to the Dean's List in recognition of their exemplary academic accomplishments.



Army Reserve Sgt. James M. Musbaum is currently deployed overseas at a forward-operating location in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Musbaum is a mechanic with six years of military service.

He is the son of Belinda A. Lapierre of Pagosa Springs.



Robert Kern, Jr., of Pagosa Springs, has received his bachelor of arts degree from Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Mich., in political economy.



Lt. Joel Lomasney, USMC, has just completed primary pilot training for the Marine Corps and has been chosen as one of a very few assigned to fly the new MV-22 Osprey. Joel will begin training first in multi-engine aircraft in Corpus Christi, Texas, next week for six to eight months, followed by helicopter training for the same amount of time in Pensacola, N.C. Lomasney is one of three USMC sons of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lomasney.


Sports Page

Pagosa couple brings home the gold from senior games

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

A lifetime of physical fitness has paid off, with Jerry and Joann Sager bringing home a combined nine gold medals and one silver medal from the 2006 Rocky Mountain Senior Games held recently in Greeley, Colo.

At 81 years old, Jerry Sager competed in the 80- to 84-year-old division and took seven gold medals - one each in the 50-meter backstroke and freestyle, the 100 backstroke and freestyle, the 200 backstroke and freestyle, and a gold in the 500 freestyle.

At 77 years old, Joann Sager competed in the 75- to 80-year-old bracket and took golds in the 50 freestyle and the 100 backstroke, and a silver in the 50 backstroke.

Jerry Sager downplayed his medal sweep when he said, "At my age, if you're the last man standing, you win a medal."

Sager said the couple enjoys the games more for the camaraderie and the health benefits rather than to experience the thrill of victory.

"We meet a lot of people. We keep in shape, and it's kind of fun to compete," Jerry Sager said.

The couple has lived in Pagosa Springs for the last 21 years and has competed in the annual event off and on since about 1987, although various injuries kept the couple out of competition during the last three years.

Joann said the couple swims regularly and throughout the year at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. She said fitness plays a major role in their day-to-day routines.

Jerry said he swam competitively in high school, and that the couple plans to attend the national senior games in Louisville, Ky. during June and July of 2007, "if we're still around," Sager said.

Indicative of his humor, Sager attributes the couples' recent athletic successes not necessarily to skill but attrition.

"As you get older, there aren't as many competitors," said Sager.


High Rollers to entertain at wrestling club fund-raiser

There will be an evening of outdoor family entertainment featuring the High Rollers at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds on Friday, July 21.

Music will begin at 7 p.m. with Andy, Phil and Dan Janowsky singing traditional western music, accompanied by the High Rollers. From 7:30-11, the High Rollers will perform their popular brand of country and western music with '50s, Spanish and classic rock and roll numbers mixed in to entertain dancers and listeners alike.

Barbecue beef sandwiches and soft drinks will be sold, and a pie and cake auction conducted by Mike Branch will take place during the breaks.

The Pagosa Springs Wrestling Club and Pagosa Springs PeeWee Wrestling Club are sponsoring the event and proceeds are used for club travel expenses.

Cost is $5 per adult and children under 12 free when accompanied by an adult.

Call 264-4554 for tickets or purchase tickets at the gate.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Recreation department offers two new volleyball programs

By Andy Rice

SUN Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department is pleased to announce two new volleyball programs.

A youth volleyball instructional league will take place 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights, beginning July 18. The program will consist of five sessions, ending Tuesday, Aug. 16.

All sessions will take place in the lower gym at Pagosa Springs Junior High School. Boys and girls ages 9-13 are welcome to attend. Sessions will be instruction-oriented, with some informal team play. The cost for the season is $15.

Registrations will be accepted at the recreation office through July 18, or from 5:30-6 p.m. at the junior high the first night of the program.

In addition, adult players are welcome to attend open sand volleyball play at the South Pagosa Park sand courts 6-8 p.m. Monday evenings, beginning July 24.

Instruction will be provided if desired; the goal of the program is to give interested players a chance to have a regular night to meet other players and to introduce outdoor volleyball to those who have mainly enjoyed the indoor game.

Open play will continue through Aug. 14, with the possibility of more sessions depending on interest shown. Outdoor balls will be provided. Don't forget your sunglasses and sunscreen! There is no charge for open play.

Contact Andy Rice, recreation coordinator, at 264-4151, Ext. 231, for more information.

Youth baseball photos

The Mustang division played its final games of the season last night at Pagosa Springs High School. We will acknowledge the outstanding support we had this year from all of our Mustang division parents, coaches and sponsors, in next week's recreation column.

Parents and coaches who ordered youth baseball photos this season can pick them up at Pagosa Photography, 480 San Juan St. For information concerning photo orders, contact Jeff Laydon at 264-3686.

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 17 - American Legion vs. Pagosa Falcons at 5:30 p.m. on Field 1, Four Corners Electronics vs. Ben Johnson/D.E.S. at 6:50 p.m. on Field 1 and Boss Hogg's vs. MBM Construction at 8 p.m. on Field 1.

- July 19 - Pagosa Falcons vs. American Legion at 5:30 p.m. on Field 1, Ben Johnson/D.E.S. vs. MBM Construction at 6:50 p.m. on Field 1 and Boss Hogg's vs. Four Corners Electronics at 8 p.m. on Field 1.

The coed schedule for the coming week includes:

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

- July 18 - Dionigi's vs. Grass Roots at 5:30 p.m. on Field 1, Old School vs. Priority One Jayhawks at 5:30 p.m. on Field 2, Aaron's Fitness vs. Snowy River Construction at 6:50 p.m. on Field 1 and Radio Shack vs. Galles Properties at 8 p.m. on Field 1.

A reminder: the double-elimination tournament for the coed league will begin July 20; tournament brackets and pairings will be available immediately after the games played July 18.


Horseshoe pitching at South Pagosa Park will continue 5-7 p.m. each Tuesday, 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 whenever you can.

Park Fun

Registration for this year's Park Fun program is ongoing daily at Pagosa Springs Junior High School. Stop by to get your child enrolled for fun now.

Thus far, Park Fun has hosted bike days, swim days, hiking, talent shows, the Diffendoofer cookout and a special movie day.

Future activities include a cookout at the Fireside (hosted by Fireside Cabins), water fights, treasure hunts and 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 any additional 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.



A society of law

We are a society of law. And it is only as a society of law that we continue to exist and to flourish as a nation. Talk all you will about the more attractive concept of freedom, but it is as a society of law that we do our business day to day.

This week, we have a potentially new "package of law" in Colorado with which to confront a significant problem: illegal immigration. As a result of a special session called by Gov. Owens, we now have what some describe as a "tough, secure, effective immigration package."

Make no mistake, regardless of the arguable value of illegal immigrants to our economy, regardless of the fact many of these individuals are willing to do work "everyday Americans" are no longer willing to do, illegal immigrants have chosen to violate our laws in order to be here. No matter how heartfelt their desire to be incorporated into our society, these people have shown the willingness to pick and choose the laws they will obey. A society of law cannot survive this.

And there are those among us, American citizens, who have done the same - employers who utilize the cheap labor, criminals who provide false documents and identities.

State legislators took a step to stop the trend.

They determined that to obtain state benefits, a person must provide verifiable proof they are in the state legally.

A proposed maximum penalty for falsifying immigration-related information is set at a year and a half in jail, with a $5,000 fine for each offense,

Restrictions are proposed on retirement, welfare, health, disability, public and assisted housing, postsecondary education, food assistance and unemployment benefits from state and local governments. Public grants, contracts, loans, professional and commercial licenses would be similarly restricted.

HB 1017 would hold employers accountable for the hiring of illegal immigrants. They must examine and save proof workers hired are here legally and the state can audit that proof. A violation can incur a fine of $5,000 for a first offense, a $25,000 fine for any additional offense.

Voters could be asked to approve a penalty for employers who hire illegal immigrants, one that would take away state tax deductions from the employer (federal law prohibits any other state penalty).

The voters could be asked to authorize a lawsuit against the federal government that demands enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Despite this, there is little a state can do regarding illegal immigration.

It is the federal government that has the clout, whose first step must be to close the border, make illegal passage more difficult. The second step is to accurately assess how many have chosen to violate our laws, then deal with them - perhaps by removing them to their country of origin.

Then, the problem becomes more difficult. This country and its industries needs these workers. We need a sensible and enforceable federal program that allows willing workers into the country, legally- much as did the bracero programs of days past that relieved pressure on the border. We need to keep the path to citizenship open to those who want to take it.

This is not a simple problem. Not all is clear cut.

But what is clear is there are laws to be respected. And penalties to be put in place for their violation. We cannot allow our sovereignty to be degraded, our type of government and way of life to be diminished for expediency's sake.

Hat's off to the state legislature for taking these first steps. Here's hoping we move on a national level to find a fair, efficient and lawful solution to a major and growing problem.

Karl Isberg



Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 14, 1916

Upwards of fifty people attended the picnic dinner near the W.H. Snow home on July 4th. One of the striking features of the big feast of trout and other good things was devil's food cake, deviled eggs, etc., served on the banks of Devil Creek. It was thought Harold Selby got around more ice cream than the rest but we doubt it.

The daily showers are making the grain and meadows look some better.

The dance at the school house the night of the 4th was a fine success. The largest crowd in years attended so there wasn't much room left to dance. The dancers grew weary about 2 o'clock and beds were found for the ladies but the men slept around a campfire in Chamber's park.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 17, 1931

With perfect Fourth of July weather, with enormous crowds from the surrounding territory, and with one of the best and most varied programs ever arranged for a similar event, Pagosa Springs' two-day celebration on July 4th and 5th was voted by all as one of the best and most entertaining ever given in this city which is saying a lot. The opening day began with the parade, led by the Pagosa band. Joy's Market was awarded the cash prize for the best float, while the "Sully & Mick Inc." entry captured the best kid float. In addition, Harvey Catchpole took the comedy prize with their tandem bicycle. The remainder of the morning was devoted to the kid sports and tracks events in the park, the prizes being awarded by the business firms of Pagosa Springs.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 19, 1956

Pumping records at the town water plant show that the amazing amount of 364 gallons of water a day for every individual in the town is going through the water system. This makes a total of 21,220 gallons per hour for the town and that is a lot of water anywhere. Stream flow is adequate to maintain this rate, however, as is the capacity of the water system. With the extremely dry weather thus far the month, the town waterworks has indeed proved a blessing to local residents. The pumping records show that the old system would have been totally inadequate for this year. The system that was used prior to its replacement a couple of years ago could pump about 18,000 per hour at full capacity.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 16, 1981

Frequent rain storms hit this area during the past week. Often accompanied by thunder and lightning, the storms dropped 1.27 inches of rain in town, much more in the mountains surrounding town. Temperatures have been mild.

Pagosa Springs water system users can expect to see muddy water flowing from their faucets each time there is heavy rain, according to Water Superintendent Modesto Montoya. A Thursday night deluge muddied the water for about four days last week. By the time a night rainstorm is reported to Montoya and the necessary valves have been adjusted along the 15 mile long main transmission ditch, muddy water has already entered the town's water supply system.



Park Fun ... a dream summer vacation, at home: Town program keeps kids busy, parents happy, staff prepared

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

Hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, art - sounds like a dream summer vacation.

But for many Pagosa youngsters, that dream vacation is right here at home.

Every summer, the Town of Pagosa Springs offers a unique childcare program for local children, Park Fun.

Park Fun boasts a wide array of activities for children that encourage exercise, creativity and involvement, all of which bridge the gap between summer fun and the average childcare experience.

"Basically it's organized, safe fun," said Heather Hunts, program director. "Our motto is, 'If it's not fun, we don't do it.'"

While the kids get plenty of exercise and spend most of the day outdoors, Park Fun isn't sheerly recreational. The kids create art every day, whether it's sewing pillows or sculpting with clay. Cooking lessons every Thursday teach the kids to make healthy meals and small snacks, and special events are often held, like the Christmas in July party and the Park Fun Olympics. Since the ages of the kids range from 5 to 12, Hunts said the activities vary.

"We accommodate and differentiate for the different needs," she said. "With this group, you have to be quick and ready to change."

With so many fun things on their plate, every child can find something they love about Park Fun, whether it's playing in the park or simply having fun with their counselors. When asked his favorite thing about Park Fun, Colton Peterson, 8, pointed at counselor Emily Buikema, who was helping him piece together a puzzle. Lili Abrell, 6, said she enjoys going swimming.

"I think we all just love swimming. We'd do it every day if we could," added Becca Blauert, program director.

Some children, like Maison Hessman, 7, find it hard to pick just one thing they love about the program. "I like everything about Park Fun," said Hessman enthusiastically.

"A lot of these kids ... enjoy it so much they come back to Park Fun every year," said Hunts. She added Park Fun is great for parents as well. According to Hunts, the cost boils down to about $16 a day, or $1.75 an hour, and that's not including the multi-child discount.

"It's cheaper than most baby-sitters," she said.

And the counselors agree that Park Fun is a unique option for parents and children.

"It's a nice alternative for parents to babysitting or having their kids sit at home and watch TV all day," said Buikema.

"It's nice being outside and playing as opposed to being cooped up inside," said counselor Kaitlin Forrest.

But perhaps one of the most extraordinary characteristics about Park Fun is the amount of support it receives from the town. Hunts said many local businesses allow Park Fun to use their facilities. The children swim at the Spa Motel every Tuesday and Thursday, visit the library every Monday, and the Power House is used for rollerskating, basketball, karaoke, talent contests and other indoor activities. She said the Liberty Theatre invited Park Fun to watch a special viewing of the movie "Cars" this summer, and many local businesses offer tours for the kids.

Local EMTs gave the Park Fun kids a tour of the ambulance July 7, allowing the kids to try on equipment, test the blood pressure machine and blare the ambulance sirens.

"Can I try that? I haven't been drinking any water lately," asked one child about the IV in the ambulance. When the EMT giving the presentation, Angela Myers, explained exactly how the IV worked, he changed his mind.

"There are many volunteers who dedicate their time and do show and tell sessions for the kids," said Tom Carosello, recreation supervisor for the Town of Pagosa Springs. "People in town are happy to have them come through."

According to Hunts, the program has grown in the three years she's been director. Carosello said expansion of the program is a possibility but, at the moment, the town doesn't have it's own facilities for the children.

"We're kind of limited facility-wise, which makes the cooperation of local businesses and facilities that much more appreciated," said Carosello.

Hunts said much of the fun wouldn't be possible without the kindness and support from Pagosa.

"I'm so thankful to all the local businesses. It's a town program supported by the town. We've had phenomenal things done for us," she said.

The generosity of the town and local businesses not only provides summer fun for the youngsters, but also a priceless learning experience for Park Fun's counselors, many of whom plan to work with children in the future.

"I have a very lighthearted and excellent group of counselors," said Hunts. "I'm almost overstaffed, so the kids receive a lot of individual attention."

Hunts and Blauert are joined by four full-time counselors; Forrest, Buikema, Misha Garcia and Kade Skoglund.

Blauert, 20, has worked with Park Fun for five years; three as a counselor, and two as director with Hunts. In the fall she'll enter her second year at Pueblo Community College in Durango, where she's pursuing a degree in elementary education.

"It's definitely given me a lot of experience," said Blauert. "I come back every year because I love it, I love the kids. And a lot of kids come back each year."

Garcia, 16, said she plans to become a pediatrician in the future. Forrest, 17, and Buikema, 18, both graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in May and plan to attend college in the fall, where they'll also seek degrees in education.

Forrest, who will attend Southwestern College in Phoenix, has been a counselor at Park Fun for five years, and she said the experience has helped her prepare for future endeavors.

"It definitely reaffirms I could do something like this for the rest of my life," she said.

This is Buikema's first year as a counselor at Park Fun, and she said she's already learned important lessons from the children.

"I think it helps you learn how to talk to them, how to handle them. Being with them every day is almost like being a teacher --- you have to discipline them and tell them what to do. And you're making relationships with them -- I think that's a big part about being a teacher," said Buikema. She will attend the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

But of course, it's not all work for the counselors; after all, they're there to have fun, too.

"I love them (the kids), they're fun to be around," said Forrest.

And the feeling is mutual. The youngsters' affection towards their counselors and directors is evident; they trust and respect them, and certainly have fun. Monday morning at the library the counselors took turns reading Dr. Seuss' classic "The Lorax," while the children laughed and asked them to read as fast as they could, or in different accents. They all requested that Skoglund read in "his accent," which no one could actually identify, but everyone loved. These unique interactions and the close friendships that evolve through Park Fun make it stand out as an unforgettable summer experience for kids and parents alike.

"There's no regular daycare that takes them to the Liberty Theatre, or to the Spa Motel, or hiking on Reservoir Hill, or makes s'mores with them. And the parents like it because I send them home tired. They're happy and tired and ready to go to bed," said Hunts. "And so am I," she added with a laugh.

Park Fun meets at the junior high school Monday through Friday. Drop off for kids is 8 a.m. and pick up is 5 p.m., and registration is ongoing. For more information, call Hunts at 731-1146.


Pagosa's Past

Peace on the horizon in 1854 war between U.S. and Jicarilla Apache

By John Motter

Today the residents of Archuleta County live peaceably side-by-side with the Jicarilla Apache, their neighbors to the south in Dulce.

It wasn't always so.

When the U.S. moved into the Southwest following the Mexican-American War, one of their first collisions was with the Jicarilla Apache whose homeland centered around Cimarron, N.M., along the Santa Fe Trail, the U.S. route into New Mexico.

Following a number of incidents over a period of years, the U.S. set out in 1854 to put the Jicarilla down with military force. This week we continue reporting incidents from that campaign as reported by Dr. Veronica E. Velarde Tiller in her 1984 book, "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History, 1846-1970." Tiller is an enrolled Apache and her book remains on the market. For an overview of the Jicarilla during the dates mentioned in the title, Tiller's book is a good, reliable read.

Following a successful June, 1854, attack on a Jicarilla stronghold on Fischer Peak, U.S. forces moved south toward the Canadian River in northeastern New Mexico. As always, the Jicarilla had scattered into a number of small bands. Several units of the U.S. force also scattered, trying to locate the various bands.

The group combing the Canadian drainage was searching for Flecho Rayado, an Apache war leader. On June 9, after searching the valley of the Vermijo, the soldiers became convinced that Rayado was not there. The tired troops returned to Taos by way of Cimarron. We return to Tiller's narrative.

"While army forces combed the mountains for the evasive Jicarilla, militia forces (New Mexico militia ... Motter) were chasing the destitute bands that appeared among the villages stealing livestock. On June 30, Companies D and H, Second Dragoons, under Sykes and 2nd Lt. Joseph E. Maxwell, Third Infantry, followed a band of ten to fifteen Indians along the Mora River into the mountains. Maxwell and four of his men pursued them as they escaped up the side of the canyon. When the soldiers reached the top, they were met by a volley of arrows and Maxwell was killed instantly. The Jicarillas escaped, and the men returned to the fort with the body of the fallen officer.

"For the most part, hostilities subsided after these incidents, although scattered clashes occurred between the Jicarillas and the soldiers and citizens. By the end of June Gen. Garland was convinced that the war had come to an end. He reported to army headquarters that the 'Jicarilla have been most thoroughly humbled, and beg for peace.' This reflected wishful thinking more than realty. In late August, however, Chacón did send three Ute Indians with a message of peace to Gov. Messervy. The Utes informed him that Chacón's band of sixty lodges had gone to the San Juan River area in northwestern New Mexico to avoid the soldiers and hoped to return after a peace was made. Messervy responded willingly to this overture, but he wanted Chacón to know that his safety would be guaranteed only if he was prepared to live up to this agreement."

Peace plans and negotiations were launched. According to Tiller, "As a result of this unfortunate war, Congress appropriated $30,000 in July, 1854, for negotiating treaties with the Navajo, Apaches, and Utes, and $25,000 for the Indian budget of New Mexico. Messervy recommended that the 'Jicarillas should relinquish their present claim to lands and be removed to the country of the Gila Apaches, and that an annuity of $5,000 be paid to them for the first three years and $3,000 each year thereafter.'"

In addition, according to Tiller, they were to be furnished one farmer and one blacksmith for ten years. The superintendent made tentative plans to hold peace talks and distribute provisions to the Utes and Apaches after July 1855. More next week on war and peace between the U.S. and the Jicarilla Apaches.


Pagosa Sky Watch

Check out the road to Valhalla

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 5:58 a.m.

Sunset: 8:29 p.m.

Moonrise: 10:44 p.m.

Moonset: 9:59 a.m. July 14.

Moon phase: The moon is waning gibbous with 91 percent of the visible disk illuminated.

While the plots of countless science fiction films and television series have taken place in galaxies "far, far, away," contemporary, professional astronomers are well aware that our own Milky Way galaxy is a fascinating place whose vastness has not been fully probed and whose mysteries are yet to be revealed.

For amateur skywatchers, the Milky Way is our own astronomical backyard, and when we gaze at the heavens, what we view with the naked eye - from the constellations, to globular clusters, to planets - is all part of the Milky Way and our home galactic realm.

With the warm nights of summer creating comfortable skywatching conditions, all it takes for the backyard astronomer to appreciate the grandeur and mystery of our galactic home is a trip outside after midnight and the ability to gaze directly overhead.

After midnight, and looking toward the northeast, stargazers will note a swath of wispy, star-packed sky ranging in width from 10 to 30 degrees that continues across the sky, passing at its brightest through the constellations Cygnus, Aquila, Scorpius and Sagittarius, and to the south-southwest, where it disappears below the horizon. Modern astronomy tells us the swath is the star-studded disk of our own galaxy viewed edge-on, from inside the galaxy looking out, but early cultures and ancient stargazers found the band mysterious, and created stories to explain the celestially inexplicable.

Ethnographic research indicates some mythologies linked the Milky Way to death and transition, and the early Seminoles believed it was a road leading the dead to a fantastic city in the sky. The Vikings shared a similar view, and their mythology said the starry swath was the road to Valhalla.

Farther east, the Egyptians and Chinese linked the Milky Way with water. And according to Chinese legend, the Milky Way represented a vast river separating two lovers marked by the stars Altair in Aquila and Vega in Lyra. The ancient Egyptians perceived the milky band as a heavenly representation of the Nile. But it wasn't until the ancient Greeks that the Milky Way earned the name that persists through today.

According to Greek mythology, the Milky Way was created by the goddess Hera when she sprayed the heavens with her milk. And in fact, "galaxy" is a word derived from the ancient Greek word "gala," meaning milk.

From the naming of the Milky Way and numerous constellations, there is no doubt the ancient Greeks contributed much to our understanding and the organization of the heavens. However, it wasn't until the advent of modern astronomy that the structure of the Milky Way was revealed.

According to the Hubble classification of galaxies developed by Edwin Hubble (1889-1953), the Milky Way is barred spiral galaxy, 100,000 light years wide and comprised of between 100 billion and 400 billion stars, at least nine known planets and vast clouds of gas and dust so thick they block the transmission of visible light and views of most of the galaxy's stars.

According to Hubble, a barred spiral galaxy has three key components - a huge dense sphere at the center, called the galactic bulge; the galactic disc, with its spiral arms of gas and dust radiating out from the bulge's center; and a column-like bar of gas, dust and stars traversing the center of the galaxy from which the spiral arms flow.

According to the Hubble classification scheme, a barred spiral galaxy is one of three types of galaxies - the others are called elliptical or spiral galaxies.

Observations of our own, and other spiral, and barred spiral galaxies, indicate the galactic bulge is home largely to aging, red-orange stars, called Population II stars, while the spiral arms provide the fodder for new star formation and a home for nebulae, open clusters, and hot, young stars called Population I stars. Our own solar system lies about 25,000 light years from the galactic center, in one such arm, known as the Orion Arm.

Like the planets orbiting the sun, our solar system orbits the galactic center, but at a vastly different speed than the planetary orbits. Astronomers estimate the solar system whizzes around the galactic center at roughly 140 miles per second. Traveling at such tremendous speed, it would seem our solar system would move quickly out of the Orion Arm and on to other parts of the galaxy, yet due to the vastness of the Milky Way, one solar system orbit around the galactic center takes about 225 million years, and astronomers don't predict a move from our current location in the Orion Arm any time in the near future.

Beyond being noteworthy for scale, current astronomical calculations indicate that, at roughly one trillion solar masses, the Milky Way is also a massive galaxy. However, contrary to popular assumption, the bulk of the mass is not due to the preponderance of stellar masses, but rather to an invisible and mysterious substance astronomers call dark matter.

Astronomers estimate as much as 90 percent of the Milky Way's mass is made up of this bizarre stuff that envelops the visible portion of the galaxy in a dark halo. But what is dark matter? Unfortunately no one really knows, and its presence remains one of the Milky Way's most vexing mysteries. And when you couple dark matter with the presence of a strange object lurking at the center of the Milky Way our, we have the plot of a science fiction film right in our own galactic backyard.

In 2002, in order to understand the strange and mysterious object, astronomers pointed the Chandra X-ray telescope at the center of our galaxy, and discovered something unusual - an object roughly the size of Earth's orbit around the sun, and millions of times more massive than the sun itself, but essentially invisible.

Further Chandra observations indicated the object was the source of strong radio signals and astronomers concluded the object was a super massive black hole, which later came to be known as Sagittarius A*.

With the discovery of Sagittarius A*, the Milky Way has become a much stranger place. Will Sagittarius A* eventually pull our solar system and the rest of the Milky Way in its gravitationally powerful maw? If so, will our galaxy be crushed under the force, or will it be transported through a worm hole to another realm of the universe? And what of dark matter?

While physicists and astronomers search for answers to these questions, backyard stargazers can spend the summer gazing at the Milky Way's wispy, beautiful band, confident that not all astronomical mysteries lie in "galaxies far, far away."



Date High Low Precip
Depth Moisture













































Mostly sunny skies in short-range forecast

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Monsoon moisture has dampened forest fire concerns in recent days, but the weather forecast for the coming week suggests sunshine, with little rain.

The entire month of June brought just 0.45 inches of rain to Pagosa Springs, but according to local weather statistician Toby Karlquist, the Pagosa Lakes area received 2.32 inches in the first 12 days of July.

While monsoon rains came earlier than normal this year, the pattern seems to have shifted somewhat, and the National Weather Service is now calling for mostly sunny skies, with daytime highs in the low 80s, through Wednesday.

There is a chance of showers Monday into Tuesday, but at this point, they appear slight. Meanwhile, moonlit nights will be clear and mild, with lows hovering around 50.

Though recent rains have dropped the wildfire danger to "low" at the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest, parts of the area remain relatively dry, and fire management officers recommend back-country users continue exercising caution and common sense with campfires and cooking grills.