July 27, 2006

Front Page

County will plow snow from roads this winter

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

When the snow flies, the county will plow.

That's the most recent word from Alan Zumwalt, the county public works director, who is actively working with county staff and elected officials to find a long-term solution to the county's road maintenance issue.

Under a resolution adopted by the board of county commissioners in January, the county created a road classification scheme dividing county roads into primary and secondary roads. Under the resolution, primary roads would receive maintenance and snow removal, while secondary roads would not. That resolution took effect June 15 and, since then, many homeowners have expressed outrage, frustration and concern over the legislation's impact on property values, and accessibility, including that of emergency services and law enforcement vehicles.

With the legislation in place, some homeowners have vowed to challenge the county assessor's valuation of their properties and will demand deductions in their property taxes for the elimination of services.

Newly-arrived county resident Cynda Green is appalled at the county road maintenance policy and said it has had immeasurable impact on both her home's value and her quality of life.

"I never would have considered purchasing property on an unmaintained road," said Green.

Other homeowners have threatened lawsuits in the event a death or medical emergency is the result of a road access issue, and the board of the Upper San Juan Health Service District lambasted the road policy in a letter to the county commissioners earlier this year.

Although the commissioners' resolution mandates maintenance hierarchy, according to Zumwalt and Archuleta County Administrator Bob Campbell, language written into the document allows the county public works director to maintain or plow any and all county roads at his or her discretion, and if finances are available.

"After discussions with commissioners and the new county administrator, we decided it was prudent to maintain snow removal throughout the winter," Zumwalt said.

Zumwalt explained snow removal will be undertaken on a priority basis with primary roads and school bus routes receiving top priority, with the plowing of cul-de-sacs among the last on the priority list.

"I'm not going to let anyone get snowed in," Zumwalt said. "It's not in the best interest of the county and not in the best interest of the public while we're seeking a long term solution."

Campbell said he concurs with Zumwalt and supports the public works director's decision.

"Continuing snow removal is an important part of working with the community as we work toward finding solutions." Campbell said.

Among the long-term solutions being explored by the county, the formation of public improvement districts - self taxation districts for road maintenance - or putting the question of adjusting the mill levy to voters top the list.

Green said although she has met with homeowners in her neighborhood, attended county-sponsored, public improvement district information meetings and met with county staff, the formation of a public improvement district is not as easy as she had anticipated.

According to Green, the formation of a special taxing district first requires homeowners in the district to approve the formation, followed by the question being put on the ballot.

Green said, "We've been told it's too late to get on the ballot." And she wonders why the county didn't start the push for the creation of special taxing districts much sooner, and questions the limited grace period and waiver of fees offered by the county.

According to Sheila Berger, special projects manager for the county, all fees for the formation of a public improvement district will be waived until Jan. 1, 2007. However, Green argues, that limited window of opportunity does not provide enough time in light of the ballot deadline having already passed. In addition, Green said she feels like the county is sending mixed messages - on the one hand, asking people to form special taxing districts while, on the other, asking residents to wait until the future of a countywide road maintenance ballot question can be decided.

In the end, Green and other taxpayers remain frustrated and confused. "We didn't move here to be in the road maintenance business," she said.

 

Plan opens HDs to drilling

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Under a recently unveiled plan for future drilling in the HD Mountains, more than half of the inventoried roadless area would be open for drilling, and drilling could occur within the 1.5 mile buffer zone along the Fruitland Outcrop.

Walt Brown, project team leader for the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Northern San Juan Basin Coalbed Methane Development Project, released these findings and others to the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners on July 18, as part of a preview of the forthcoming EIS document and the agency's preferred alternative for drilling in the HDs.

Brown said the final EIS would be released in early August with a record of decision published not sooner than 30 days after the release of the final EIS.

According to Brown, of the 20,000 inventoried acres in the roadless area, roughly 8,000 have been identified as unsuitable for drilling or drilling infrastructure based on current coal bed methane extraction techniques. That leaves roughly 12,000 acres potentially open to drilling with, under the preferred alternative, 72 miles of new roads and 227 new wells - 100 on private land and 127 on federal land largely in the HD Mountains Roadless Area.

Under the preferred alternative described by Brown, that would mean 140 new wells in the undeveloped portions of Archuleta County.

According to Brown, drilling in the Northern San Juan Basin project area, roughly a 125,000 acre swath of land between Durango and Bayfield, and extending east into Archuleta County and north of the Southern Ute reservation, has a 40-year project life, with an estimated production of 2.5 trillion cubic feet of gas production, at gross revenues of $15 billion.

Brown said the agency's preferred alternative stems from 68,000 public comments on the draft EIS responses, that were ultimately grouped into 412 public concern categories.

Brown said because the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are bound to honor lease rights, the agencies cannot halt coal bed methane drilling in the project area. However, Brown added they have the power to say how and where gas development should occur.

Brown said the preferred alternative would seek to balance public concerns with existing lease rights by: requiring the industry to gather data on drilling in less sensitive areas along the Fruitland Outcrop before development will be allowed in more sensitive areas; identifying areas that are not suitable for development at this time using currently proposed operating procedures; and requiring enhanced mitigation measures and bonding.

Brown said mitigation efforts could include surface and ground water monitoring for drilling related impacts, analyzing alternative drilling methods, and lease exchanges or lease buy-backs.

 

Two arrested on kidnapping, drug charges in Sunday raid

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

One public nuisance, gone.

Since February 2005, Pagosa Springs police officers had received information concerning suspect activities at the house at 503 South 9th St. in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Information continued to mount, leading officers to believe drug sales were occurring at the residence. For approximately a year, the department had the residence under loose surveillance, noting an unusually high level of traffic in and out of the house.

Still, the department lacked the concrete information required by law to establish probable cause and to obtain a search warrant.

That information came late Saturday night when an officer was dispatched to take a report on an alleged assault. The officer met with an unnamed 40-year-old male who, according to the report, indicated he had been taken to the South 9th Street residence, held against his will, threatened with a gun, and beaten about the head and face as a result of an alleged drug deal gone bad.

The victim told the officer he had escaped the house on South 9th Street and had fled to another location.

The information was enough for officers to obtain a no-knock warrant.

The public nuisance ended at 7:20 a.m. Sunday morning.

Eight Pagosa Springs Police officers and one volunteer evidence technician arrived at the address - five of the officers part of an entry team.

A so-called "flash bang" - an explosive device designed to create a deafening noise and a bright flash, was set off outside the bedroom window of the house and the entry team made its way inside. The device was used to distract the suspects, due to police concerns about the presence of weapons inside the home.

Within two minutes, Arsenia Perea, 42, and Paul Rivas, 31, were handcuffed and in custody.

A search of the house turned up evidence of sales of controlled substances, including scales and cutting agents.

Officers found approximately one gram of methamphetamine, less than a gram of suspected cocaine and approximately one ounce of marijuana. Officers also discovered two cigarette lighters - accurate facsimiles of small semiautomatic pistols.

Perea and Rivas were arrested on charges of first-degree kidnapping (a Class 1 felony - due largely to the fact the victim suffered bodily injury), felony menacing, unlawful possession of controlled substances, distribution of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and third-degree assault.

"We had been attempting to get the information we needed to establish probable cause for some time," said Pagosa Springs Police Chief Volger.

"This was no big operation at the house; there were no large amounts of drugs involved. But, regardless of the level of activity, it had to be stopped. Also, it was a public concern and a very serious public nuisance, and it had to be addressed. Finally, we got the information we needed and we were able to deal with the situation."

Inside The Sun

Help a child start the new school year right

The fall school term is fast approaching. It is important for students to have the proper school supplies to encourage their success.

For lower income families impacted by rising energy costs, school supplies may not be in the budget.

A local group is trying to assist students in need of school supplies.

Operation Helping Hand, a group of dedicated citizens, has been assisting those in need for more than 15 years. They are currently 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.

In 2005, 95 students in grades K through 12 were assisted through this program.

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.

Backpacks

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

Pens

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

Clipboard

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.

 

Primary election: vote early, or at vote centers Aug. 8

The primary election is set for Aug. 8 in Archuleta County (and all of Colorado) with early voting going on now.

The Aug. 8 election will be held in the lawful polling places designated for each precinct, and the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Archuleta County will be utilizing vote centers for this primary election.

The precinct for absentee/early voting is in the county clerk's Elections Office downstairs in the courthouse. Absentee ballots may be picked up or applied for and also returned there. You may also drop off absentee ballots at the county clerk's office. Early voting will be held in the Elections Office. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The following are the office nominations that will be voted on at the Aug. 8 primary election.

Note, there will be two ballot styles, Democratic and Republican. Republican candidates will be listed on the Republican ballot and the Democratic candidates will be listed on the Democratic ballot.

Representative to the 110th United States Congress - District 3: John Salazar, Democratic; Scott Tipton, Republican.

Governor: Bill Ritter Jr., Democratic; Bob Beauprez, Republican.

Secretary of State: Ken Gordon, Democratic; Mike Coffman, Republican.

State Treasurer: Cary Kennedy, Democratic; Mark Hillman, Republican.

Attorney General: Fern O'Brien, Democratic; John Suthers, Republican.

Regent of the University of Colorado - At Large: Stephen C. Ludwig, Democratic; Brian Davidson, Republican.

Regent of the University of Colorado Congressional District 3: Susan A. Hakanson, Democratic; Tilman "Tillie" Bishop, Republican.

State Senate - District 6: James Isgar, Democratic; Ron Tate, Republican.

State Representative - District 59: Joe Colgan, Democratic; Jeff Deitch, Democratic; Ellen Roberts, Republican.

County Commissioner District No. 3: John T. Egan, Democratic; Robert C. Moomaw, Republican.

County Clerk and Recorder: June Madrid, Republican.

County Treasurer: Lois E. Baker, Republican.

County Assessor: Keren L. Prior, Republican.

County Sheriff: Peter L. Gonzalez, Republican; Steven M. Wadley, Republican; R.E. "Bob" Grandchamp, Republican.

County Surveyor: David L. Maley, Republican.

County Coroner: Carl R. Macht, Republican.

Instead of individual precincts, there will be only three vote centers. All voters have the option to vote at any one of the three vote centers on Aug. 8. They are:

- Archuleta County Clerk's Election Office (downstairs in the courthouse), 449 San Juan St.

- Our Savior Lutheran Church, 56 Meadows Dr., U.S. 160 west.

- Restoration Fellowship Church, 264 Village Drive (behind the west City Market).

Please remember to bring your signature card you will be receiving in the mail.

 

Signature cards mailed, ID required of voter

Archuleta County Clerk June Madrid reports that, as promised, local voter signature cards are in the mail.

Registered voters will need the signature cards in order to vote at the Aug. 8, 2006, primary election at a Vote Center.

By mailing the cards out to all voters prior to the election, the clerk's office is trying to speed up the process at the Vote Centers.

If you do not take your card with you Aug. 8 you can still vote, but you will have to fill out a card at the center.

If you voted since the cards were printed (for example, early voting), you could still receive a card since there is no easy way to pull those cards prior to the general mailing. If you have voted absentee or early, do not try and vote again on Aug. 8.

Early voting and absentee voting is continuing in the Elections Office in the Archuleta County Courthouse. This office is downstairs in the courthouse building. You must enter the building from the back side, and there is easy access if you drive to the back of the courthouse and park in the lot next to the building.

Remember to bring your ID when you go to the courthouse or to a Vote Center to cast your vote. You can no longer vote without an ID. Even though clerk's officials may know you, the ID requirement is the law. You need to bring your driver's license or other state-issued identification. Passports, Medicare and Medicaid cards are also acceptable. If you have questions about ID requirements, call the clerk's office, 264-8350.

 

County zoning map work session Wednesday

AA joint work session involving the Archuleta County commissioners and members of the planning commission will be held Wednesday, Aug. 2, to consider a proposed Archuleta County Zoning Map.

It is expected the planning commission will recommend that the county commissioners adopt the proposed map.

The session will take place at 6 p.m. in the county commissioners' meeting room in the courthouse. The public is welcome to attend the session.

 

Conservation district has seed mixes for sale

The San Juan Conservation District is offering local landowners the opportunity to purchase a variety of seed mixtures for different conservation uses such as erosion control, weed suppression and grazing land improvement.

These mixtures have been specially developed to provide a ground cover that requires very little watering. Consider these mixes for establishing vegetation around newly constructed homes or for improving pasture condition.

A Native Grass Mixture, Dryland Pasture Mix, Native Wildflower Mix and, new this year, a Wildlife Mix, are available. Erosion control blankets are also being offered.

Orders are being taken until Sept. 15. The seeds will be available to pick up on Oct. 3

To obtain an order form, contact the San Juan Conservation District at 731-3615 or stop by the office at 505A CR 600 (next to Piedra Automotive).

 

Construction will close section of Cemetery Road

A section of Cemetery Road will be closed from the entrance to the cemetery to Bienvenido Circle.

Construction starts July 31 and ends Nov. 7.

Traffic will be routed through Pike Drive.

 

Parties seek clarification of reservoir water ruling

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

On July 14, District Court, Water Division 7, Judge Gregory G. Lyman rendered a decree essentially granting two area water districts the rights to divert and store water at a proposed Dry Gulch Reservoir outside of Pagosa Springs.

However, questions of the judge's intent remain, and attorneys on both sides of the issue are asking for clarification.

In the original request filed Dec. 20, 2004, the San Juan Water Conservancy District and Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, as co-applicants, applied for the rights to water storage and two direct-flow appropriations from the San Juan River.

The storage component was obviously for the reservoir itself, with a total projected capacity of 35,300 acre-feet, including SJWCD's existing right to 6,300 acre-feet. The proposed site is about two miles northeast of town, and includes a dam approximately 3,000 feet long and 160 feet high. As currently designed, the reservoir's total surface area at high water line (elevation, 7,400 feet) would be roughly 621 acres.

Also in the request, the first direct-flow appropriation was for 200 cubic feet per second (cfs) "in combination from all sources," to fill the impoundment. The second was for an additional 80 cfs at the proposed Dry Gulch Pumping Station "for storage in reservoirs owned or controlled by the co-applicants." According to the districts, diversions from the pumping station could be used to fill Dry Gulch, or for tran-basin use and storage.

By April, Trout Unlimited, Koinonia, LLC, the Park Ditch Company and others had issued Statements of Opposition to the proposed project, citing its excessive size and potential harm to the San Juan River.

The matter appeared in court in early May, and Lyman has since approved a conditional water storage right for the reservoir, based on a maximum capacity of 35,300 acre-feet. However, he reduced the 200 cfs fill appropriation by half, to 100 cfs.

According to attorneys on both sides of the issue, confusion over the judge's decision stems from his apparent approval of the additional 80 cfs diversion in addition to the 100 cfs fill, yet he seems to limit the total diversion amount to 100 cfs at any one time.

Lyman's final decree states, "The districts may exercise the storage or direct flow rights independently or in any combination, with the overall limitation that the total diversion at the Dry Gulch Pumping Station shall never exceed 100 cfs at any given time."

Trout Unlimited council Drew Peternell said he filed a Plea for Clarification with the court Monday, seeking an explanation regarding the two approved diversions and the total amount available at a time. He has also asked for an explanation of the court's rulings overall, which was not part of the final decree, but typically accompanies it.

Meanwhile, the attorney for the districts, Evan Ela, said he too, intends to file a Plea for Clarification with the court yet this week, in hope of better understanding the judge's ruling on the total diversions.

When asked how long it might be before the judge responds, Ela said, "There is no time limit, but I hope it's sooner, rather than later - perhaps a few months."

While the judge, in issuing a final clarification, could alter his findings, it appears the districts have cleared a major hurdle in developing a new reservoir in Pagosa Springs. Only time will tell how long it'll take to fill it, and what effect it may have on the San Juan River.

 

U.G.L.Y. challenge raises money for MS Society

The Western Slope Office of the Colorado Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is proud to announce the fourth Bud Light MS U.G.L. Y. Bartender Challenge.

The Challenge is a fund-raiser for the Western Slope Office and will run Sept. 1-Nov. 30

U.G.L.Y. is an acronym for Understanding Generous Loveable You.

Establishments nominate a bartender to vie for the title of the Grand Valley's Bud Light MS U.G.L.Y. est Bartender. Bartenders vie to win prizes and trips including Golf and Ski Getaways, Denver sports weekends. The Grand Prize this year will be a trip to Hawaii.

Pool tournaments, celebrity bartending, and golf tournaments are a few of the ways that last year's challengers raised money. Bars from Parachute, Cortez, Gunnison, Delta, Ridgway, Clifton and Grand Junction participated in 2005.

Proceeds will go the Western Slope Office of the Colorado Chapter of the National MS Society. One in 580 Coloradoans lives with the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis.

The Western Slope Office serves the 21 counties on the Western Slope, offering educational programs, information and referrals, a lending library and equipment lending closet, a free monthly medical clinic and monthly support groups.

For more information contact Lee Mathis, event coordinator at (970) 256-4656 or info@msugly.org or contact Priscilla Mangnall at (800) 371-2667.

 

County sheriff, state rep candidates featured at forum

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Despite a tense race and a bitterly divided public, the three Republican candidates for Archuleta County Sheriff met in a gentlemanly face-off Tuesday evening sponsored by the local chapter of the League of Women Voters.

Also in attendance at the event were the two Democratic candidates for State Rep. Dist. 59, Joe Colgan and Jeff Deitch.

Touted as a candidates' forum, the evening provided candidates with the opportunity to introduce themselves to voters, followed by a question-and-answer period with questions procured from both the League of Women Voters and members of the audience.

Speaking to a capacity crowd in the Extension Building at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds, Colgan and Deitch outlined their differences as candidates and their legislative priorities.

In his opening remarks, Colgan placed strong emphasis on his three-plus decades of public service, including a two-year stint as mayor of Durango and eight years on the Durango Town Council. He said his service in government coupled with 32 years as an accounting instructor had given him a wide range of skills, including leadership ability and a keen understanding of fiscal responsibility. He said his experience and skills developed in both the public and private sectors made him uniquely qualified for the job.

"I have the credentials, the skills and the energy to serve," Colgan said.

Among his legislative priorities, Colgan listed alternative energy, health care, responsible government spending and economic growth without major increases to Colorado's population.

"I'm running to make Colorado better," Colgan said.

Taking an opposite tack, Deitch said, "I come to you as a candidate who is not a career politician."

And Deitch outlined his connection to southwestern Colorado, including 18 years as a trial lawyer in Durango, and work as a part-time instructor at San Juan College.

"I have spent my 18 years representing people, not real estate developers, not insurance companies," Deitch said. And Deitch added that his experience representing working Coloradans gave him unique insight into the state's most pressing needs.

Among his priorities, Deitch listed health coverage for all Coloradans, decent jobs with decent wages, energy and water conservation, alternative energy and maximization of solar power, education, zero tolerance against methamphetamine and he vowed to fight against reckless development.

Both men said they were opposed to the Village at Wolf Creek, and promised to continue the efforts of state Rep. Mark Larson and U.S. Rep. Salazar and U.S. Sen. Salazar.

During the question-and-answer period, both men said they supported stem cell research, while Colgan said he did not support abortion, but encouraged family planning including birth control and emergency contraception.

On abortion and Roe v. Wade, Deitch said he supports the individual's right to privacy and added, "I will not get between a woman and her doctor."

During the sheriff's forum, and in their opening statements, all three candidates outlined extensive careers in law enforcement, with Peter Gonzalez highlighting 34 years in the profession, with time served as the Ignacio chief of police and strong connections to local and regional law enforcement agencies, including an endorsement from District Attorney Craig Westberg.

Among his goals if elected sheriff, Gonzalez said he would combat staff turnover and low morale, maintain 24-hour patrol coverage, provide training to improve service and would hire a full-time narcotics officer to work jointly with the county, town and within the schools.

"I'll do more, I'll do it better and with the same amount of resources," Gonzalez said.

Bob Grandchamp also touted an extensive law enforcement career, and he highlighted his track record and accomplishments while working as the current Archuleta County undersheriff, among them: implementation of a neighborhood and ranch watch program, rewriting of policies and procedures and training manuals, expansion of animal control services, doubling of patrol services, increasing wages, helping in the creation of an alternative sentencing program and the creation of an emergency operations unit and emergency operations center.

During the question-and-answer period, and in the most heated portion of the discussion, Grandchamp took issue with Gonzalez's assertion that the sheriff's department suffered from a morale problem, and argued deputies have resigned for myriad reasons, and that not all recruits or staffers are up to the high standards he has instituted as undersheriff.

Steve Wadley presented himself as a candidate who had climbed through the ranks at the Albuquerque Police Department, and had gained invaluable leadership and administrative experience in the process. He said he wanted the job as sheriff because he loves the community.

"I'm running for sheriff because I want the job; I don't need the job. I'm a candidate for change," Wadley said.

On meth, Gonzalez and Grandchamp agreed interagency cooperation would play a vital role in fighting the problem, and Wadley said he would institute a methwatch program that would create a system where citizens and businesses could alert law enforcement when meth related activity was occurring.

Gonzalez vowed to "put away the pushers and rehabilitate the users."

Grandchamp said education was key.

All three candidates said ongoing training, accountability, ethics, integrity, an open door policy and citizen involvement via a volunteer reserve force would be key components in their tenures as sheriff.

In regard to emergency operations, Grandchamp said he had created the county's new emergency operations division, which included fire fighting, and that he would continue to develop and train the organization.

Wadley said a centralized incident command center, long-term emergency planning and interagency cooperation were key.

Gonzalez said he would maintain the emergency operations division but would put county firefighting under the Pagosa Area Fire Protection District in order to better utilize training opportunities and to maximize resources.

Speaking on the most pressing law enforcement issue facing the county, Wadley said growth was the most significant issue. He said growth brings in crime, and as agencies plan development, they should be careful not to plant the seeds of future crime. He said high density low income housing was a recipe for future, significant law enforcement issues.

Gonzalez also said growth would play a major role, by magnifying and increasing thefts, assaults and drug crimes.

Grandchamp said the next Archuleta County Sheriff should be a steward of tax dollars and should provide solid leadership.

With three Republican candidates for sheriff and no Democratic challenger, the winner of the sheriff's primary Aug. 8, will be the next Archuleta County Sheriff.

Depending on the winner of the primary election, either Colgan or Deitch will run against Republican Ellen Roberts in November for the Dist. 59 seat.

 

Postal Service adjusts to changing local conditions

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Changes in postal services within Archuleta County will soon improve mail delivery for some customers, while temporarily disrupting it for others.

This week, Postmaster Jim Fait of the Pagosa Springs Post Office told The SUN that mail delivery in the Pagosa Lakes area has been split into two separate routes, with two carrier contractors now delivering the mail, instead of just one.

"About half the delivery in the area around the golf course is curbline, or personal boxes at the curb, and the rest is all cluster boxes," Fait said. "We've experienced a surge in growth over the past year that has really increased demand."

Fait said the previous single delivery route for the Pagosa Lakes area was split and reconfigured, allowing more timely and efficient mail delivery to the entire area. He suggested the same approach may become necessary in Aspen Springs, where growth and subsequent demand have also increased dramatically.

"We may have to do the same thing in Aspen Springs soon," he said. "The carrier out there also covers Trujillo Road."

Fait said mail delivery in Aspen Springs involves a series of cluster boxes, where carriers can deliver mail to just a few convenient locations. Nevertheless, the mail must still be sorted and inserted into the correct boxes, and that takes time.

Aside from the post office itself, Archuleta County has eight rural routes involving mostly cluster boxes, and as new routes are added, the quality of service generally increases. Of course, so do the costs of delivering the mail, and Fait doesn't see the Postal Service expanding the post office, or switching to home delivery, anytime soon.

To make matters worse, the Pack N' Mail Plus store in the Pagosa Country Center (near the uptown City Market) is scheduled to close Aug. 31. As a U.S. Post Office outlet, the store has 190 private mail boxes serving customers in and around the area, and has not renewed its license to operate. Fait believes a UPS store will soon take its place.

When asked how closure of the Pack N' Mail Plus will affect mail service for those currently holding boxes there, Fait said the Postal Service will forward mail anywhere the customers choose, but it can't begin until the store actually closes.

"That may cause some delay in getting people's mail to them," he said, "but we will forward it to boxes down here (the post office), to General Delivery for 30 days, or wherever they want. We'll accommodate our customers the best we can."

Fait suggested the new UPS store, once in operation, may be willing to reopen the private boxes. He also mentioned the possibility of a new Pack N' Mail opening in the new Aspen Village development sometime, but he didn't think it would have mail boxes.

For now, Fait recommended that customers currently receiving mail at the Pack N' Mail Plus near the uptown City Market secure a new box at the post office by Aug. 31, or determine a suitable address where mail can be forwarded indefinitely.

 

Public meeting to evaluate needs of the aging

A public meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, July 31, to aid the Regional Advisory Council on Aging evaluate the needs of the aging in the Pagosa-area community.

The meeting will be held in the dining room at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Organizers urge seniors, local government officials, care givers and any other interested parties in the general public to attend.

The public meeting is sponsored by the Regional Advisory Council on Aging.

 

Surveys mailed, options offered on Mill Creek Road problem

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

A solution to degenerating conditions and winter access issues involving Mill Creek Road may soon be at hand.

However, of the three options now available, each carries a price some may be unwilling to pay.

On numerous occasions, a small group of concerned property owners met with officials of the San Juan National Forest and Archuleta County, attempting to resolve matters pertaining to poor conditions, insufficient maintenance and winter automobile access on a two-mile stretch of the road owned by the Forest Service.

With enthusiasm running high and government authorities expressing intent to cooperate, it seemed the only thing lacking was a plan acceptable to a majority of affected property owners.

That plan is still lacking, although the options have now narrowed to three, and property owners have little more than two weeks to choose between them.

Problems first arose following a snowy 2004/2005 winter and a wet spring, when increased road use rendered the stretch all but impassable for a time. County officials, meanwhile, announced that, after many years of plowing and maintaining the road under a loose agreement with the Forest Service, they would no longer be able to provide such services.

Ever since, Forest officials have reminded Mill Creek residents and landowners that the Forest Service portion of road was designed for seasonal use only, and was never intended to accommodate residential access, or the volume of traffic it now sees. They have also expressed interest in either turning the road over to the county, or closing it to vehicular traffic during the winter months.

As a result, some year-round residents are feeling shortchanged, with many believing the road was a county road when they purchased their land, and that it would always be maintained as it had been in the past.

Nevertheless, the stretch in question is a Forest Service road, and due to legal and financial constraints, the county will no longer maintain it. While the Forest Service has said it would consider turning the road over to the county, the county will only accept it upon improvement to an all-weather standard. The estimated cost of that improvement is $600,000.

In an effort to find a short-term solution last winter, the Forest Service agreed to issue a special use permit to a private contractor to clear the road of snow. In exchange, property owners were to manage a locked gate, which was supposed to prohibit access to all but authorized road users. The system failed and, according to the Forest Service, the gate was left open and unauthorized use caused significant resource damage.

At a public meeting last month, various ideas for road reconstruction and/or maintenance were discussed, but only a few property owners attended, making a decision impossible at that time. Therefore, Archuleta County and the Forest Service have mailed joint surveys to all Mill Creek Road property owners of record, asking them to select one of three options as their preference in resolving the matter. They are as follows:

- Mill Creek Road remains a Forest Service seasonal road with winter access restricted to over-snow travel only.

- Mill Creek Road becomes a Forest Service all-weather road with year-round access for property owners.

- Mill Creek Road becomes a county all-weather road with year-round access for the public in general.

Of course, each scenario involves costs, but the county and Forest Service are willing to provide administrative, engineering and legal services, and some level of in-kind service, such as equipment operation. The Forest Service will seek money for watershed restoration funds, and property owners will only have to bear two thirds of the reconstruction costs under options Two and Three.

In Option One, the Forest Service would add two inches of gravel, some silt fencing and stream bank stabilization, and assume all costs of the improvements and maintenance. Property owners would have to endure snow seasons with road closures and no plowed automobile access.

With Option Two, interested property owners would get together through a self-organized Property Owners Association and pay for upgrading the road to an all-weather standard. The Forest Service would maintain ownership and provide summer maintenance, while the POA would provide any additional maintenance, including snow removal. The road would be closed to public use in the winter, with access controlled by the POA.

The cost per participant of Option Two depends on the number of members in the association, with the total cost of reconstruction estimated at $420,000. The cost of winter maintenance depends on the level of services requested by the association, but the association will have to post a bond to protect against road damage.

Option Three would require property owners to form a Local Improvement District (LID) for the reconstruction phase, and a Public Improvement District (PID) for ongoing maintenance. The county would accept a grant of easement from the Forest Service to take over the road.

There are several possible ways of structuring Option Three, but both the LID and the PID would be methods of county taxation assessed to all property owners in the districts. Before their formation, property owners could object to being included, but the higher the number of participants, the lower the cost to each.

Following the reconstruction phase, the cost to the PID for on-going year-round maintenance would be an additional property tax assessment of 10 mills. Currently, that equates to an extra $80 a year per $100,000 in market value on residential property, and $290 a year per $100,000 in market value on vacant land.

Surveys are due back by Aug. 15, and more information is available by calling Sheila Berger, special projects manager for Archuleta County, at (970) 264-8540, or Glen Raby, special use permits for the Pagosa Ranger District, at (970) 264-1515.

 

Take a walk through Pagosa's past at our local museum

By Shari Pierce

Special to The SUN

Driving around Archuleta County, you see remnants of railroads - rail lines and rail cars abandoned; depots, pump houses and water towers neglected or in bad repair; or perhaps an old railroad grade through your property.

You may also happen upon signs of old lumber mills. It is all a part of the interesting history of Archuleta County.

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

Included in the exhibit is the safe from the Pagosa Lumber Company. This just isn't any safe; each door is estimated to weigh 700 pounds.

Also on display are the railroad bench from the old Pagosa Springs railroad depot (located on 7th Street), various logging tools, saws and a railroad mile marker.

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 were donated to the museum.

"Pagosa Lumber Company Railroads and Sawmills An Historical Record From 1880 to 1922" is the book written by Robert Sullenberger. It is available at the Sisson Library as a reference book to be used in the library only.

Another book you may want to explore on this same subject is "Logging Along the Denver & Rio Grande: Narrow Gauge Logging Railroads of Southwestern Colorado and Northern New Mexico." It was published in 1971, authored by Gordon S. Chappell. In addition to mentioning the activities of Alexander Sullenberger, it also outlines the New Mexico Lumber Company's business pursuits in southern Archuleta County. This book is also available at the Sisson Library, for library use only.

Logging and railroad activity in Archuleta County is closely tied to that of northern New Mexico and this is covered in both of the previously mentioned books.

Railroading and Pagosa Springs

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 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, N.M., 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 region 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.

However, 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.

This exhibit will remain on display throughout the remainder of the summer.

Gift shop

Be sure to visit the 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. Please join the society and help ensure the future of the museum.

Membership

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.

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.

Museum hours Tuesday through Saturday are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 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.

 

Program seeks host families for exchange students

Foreign high school students are scheduled to arrive soon for academic semester and year program homestays, and the sponsoring organization needs a few more area host families.

According to Pacific Intercultural Exchange (P.I.E.) Executive Director John Doty, the students are all between the ages of 15 and 18 years, are English-speaking, have their own spending money, carry accident and health insurance, and are anxious to share their cultural experiences with their new American families.

P.I.E. currently has programs to match almost every family's needs, ranging in length from a semester to a full academic year, where the students attend local high schools.

P.I.E. area representatives match students with host families by finding common interests and lifestyles through an informal in-home meeting. Prospective host families are able to review student applications and select the perfect match. As there are no "typical" host families, P.I.E. can fit a student into just about any situation, whether it is a single parent, a childless couple, a retired couple or a large family.

Families who host for P.I.E. are also eligible to claim a $50 per month charitable contribution deduction on their itemized tax returns for each month they host a sponsored student.

For the upcoming programs, P.I.E. has students from Germany, the former Soviet Union, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Macedonia, Hungary, Korea, Mexico, Australia, Yugoslavia, China and many other countries.

P.I.E. is also participating in two special government-funded programs to bring scholarship students from the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union as well as predominantly Islamic countries such as Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Kuwait, Iraq and Qatar to the United States. P.I.E. is a non-profit educational organization that has sponsored more than 25,000 students from 45 countries since its founding in 1975. The organization is designated by the United States Department of State and is listed by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET), certifying that the organization complies with the standards set forth in CSIET's Standards for International Educational Travel Programs.

Doty encourages families to contact the program immediately, as it will allow the proper time for the students and hosts to get to know one another before they actually meet for the first time.

Area families interested in learning more about student exchange or arranging for a meeting with a community representative may call P.I.E. toll-free at (866) 546-1402. The agency also has travel/study program opportunities available for American high school students as well as possibilities for community volunteers to assist and work with area host families, students and schools.

 

Outdoors

Life at Chimney Rock - a Festival of Art and Culture

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

Life at Chimney Rock - a Festival of Arts and Culture will be held at the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area to celebrate the lifestyle of the Ancestral Puebloans, based on our interpretation of discoveries made over time.

This free festival takes place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, and Sunday, Aug. 6.

Standing at the base of our beloved twin spires of Companion Rock and Chimney Rock, we often wonder how the Ancestral Puebloans carried on their day-to-day affairs without the knowledge and many tools that mankind possesses today. Archaeologists have theories to address the still unknown aspects of this, as well as some of their finds and insights from our friends of native culture, and have been able to shed some light on what life at Chimney Rock might have been like.

The fest will feature interactive demonstrations of the crafts and survival skills of the Ancestral Puebloan culture, utilized by the Native American people of this region. Exhibitors and volunteers of the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) will share the techniques of basketry, flint-knapping, pottery making, spinning of animal hair, making and playing the Native American flute, yucca pounding to make rope, corn grinding using a metate and mano, and using an atlatl hunting weapon. Children will enjoy activities like the pinecone toss and making petroglyphs. All these activities provide hands-on opportunities for visitors.

Festival-goers will also be able to shop for traditional pots, weavings, jewelry, baskets, and flutes. Food offerings will round out this cultural experience.

Optional, guided tours to the Great Kiva and up along the spectacular ridge to the Great House will be offered at the normal fee of $8 for adults, $2 for children ages 5-11 and, as always, the tours are free for children under 5. The tours average two to three hours in length and are conducted at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m. Access by motor vehicle to these sites is limited to those on paid, guided tours, which are also available daily, in season.

Two new slots have now been opened for anyone interested in a three-day, Puebloan Pottery Workshop, scheduled at the site Friday through Sunday, Aug. 4-6, with Coloradan potter Gregory Wood. CRIA has secured a special reduced rate for this 2006 event - a $120 course fee for the entire workshop also includes all materials. Participants will gain an understanding of the fundamentals of craftsmanship, design, and prehistoric technology required to create and fire an ancient pottery mug, as they hand form, burnish, decorate, and trench kiln fire using only prehistoric methods. Pre-paid registration is required. Two graduate credit hours are available for an additional $90 fee, payable at the workshop. For details on this program, visit www.ancientarts.org. You can register on the site or by contacting Wood directly at (970) 223-9081 or by calling CRIA weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 264-2287.

Aside from the pottery-making experience, some other new features at this year's fest include moving it to the lower visitor cabin and parking grounds area, where there is more shade. Since the fest includes free entry and parking is somewhat limited, visitors are encouraged to share rides out to the archaeological site and be prepared for a possible walk to the fest grounds.

A long-awaited picture book on Chimney Rock, titled "Visions of Chimney Rock: A Photographic Interpretation of the Place and Its People," is hot off the presses and makes its debut at the festival at a special book signing 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 5.

This extraordinary book is 130 pages long, in a 6x9 format. It contains 150 photos, mostly full color, and 25 illustrations. It is written for a general adult reader and is the only book that targets Chimney Rock and its place in the Chacoan Culture. The book was published by CRIA, and all proceeds will be used to further support the interpretive program and its mission.

In her foreward to the book, Jo Bridges, former district ranger with the USFS Pagosa District, states, "This book has been created and published through the talents and commitment of volunteers who present the theories of various researchers, illustrated with incredible photographs, capturing the awe-inspiring setting of this public jewel we know as Chimney Rock." The project has been 20 years in the making. It is the fifth book edited by Helen L. Richardson, a freelance writer with nearly 18 years experience in trade publications. The book is expected to sell for $19.95.

The Life at Chimney Rock Festival is sponsored by CRIA, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District.

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

 

Extra Full Moon Program added at Chimney Rock

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

As more and more travelers discover Pagosa Springs and beautiful, southwest Colorado, the lure of the mystical Chimney Rock has pulled record numbers of tourists to this wondrous archaeological treasure.

The magical sound of the Native American flute, accompanied by the full moon in the ancient surroundings of Chimney Rock has provided an unbeatable program and venue in the form of the Chimney Rock Full Moon Program.

The full moon event takes place on a very small, flat-topped area on top of the mesa, which limits the number of participants to around 150. For this reason, and to avoid disappointment to visitors, CRIA requires advance, program reservations.

Due to the growing popularity of this event, CRIA is adding an extra moon program to the August schedule. Tickets are being offered for Full Moon Programs on both Tuesday and Wednesday nights, Aug. 8 and 9. While the official, full moon is on Aug. 9 visitors on Aug. 8 will hardly notice the difference, as the moon is 99-percent full.

Having typically hosted a sold-out program the past couple years, the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) has braced itself to handle the increased numbers at this featured, monthly event. In July 2006, CRIA was overwhelmed by last-minute pleas from visitors requesting tickets throughout the day of the event. It was with regret that around 60 requests had to be denied to ensure visitor safety, by keeping the viewing site to its maximum holding capacity.

Aside from the enthusiastically awaited full moon, the program also features popular Native American flute player Charles Martinez, and an educational program, generally hosted by a member of the local Pagosa Ranger District or a CRIA volunteer.

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

While awaiting the moon's arrival near the Great House Pueblo site, visitors will learn about the Ancestral Puebloans, the archaeological relationship of Chimney Rock to Chaco Canyon, and archaeoastronomy theories.

Tickets are $15 and reservations, made as far ahead as possible, are a necessity, as these popular programs are generally sold out in advance of the scheduled program date. Visitors should schedule two to three hours for the evening's event. Due to the program length and the hike involved to the mesa top, the program is not recommended for children under 12.

As an added feature to the Full Moon Program, CRIA offers an optional, guided early tour of the lower archaeological sites at Chimney Rock for an additional fee of $5. The gate opens one hour earlier than the scheduled gate time and is available only to those who have signed up for the early tour prior to the Full Moon Program.

Visitors need to come prepared for the outdoors by bringing a flashlight - a necessity in navigating down the trail after the program, warm clothing, good walking shoes, and a blanket or cushion to sit on during the program. No food or pets, please. A "light brigade" of CRIA volunteers is stationed along the trail to assist visitors as they return to their vehicles. The view back to the mesa top from below features an unforgettable view as the stream of lights snakes down the trail. In the event of bad weather, the program will be rescheduled, if possible, or canceled.

Unlike the Major Lunar Standstill (MLS) Program, the moon does not rise between Chimney Rock and Companion Rock during this Full Moon Program event. The 2006 MLS Program is fully sold out, with 2007 being the last chance in this 18-year cycle..

On Tuesday, Aug. 8, the gate will be open from 6:30 to 7 p.m. for those attending the full moon program. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated. The program begins at 7:30. The early tour starts at 6.

On Wednesday, Aug. 9, the gate will be open from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m. The program begins at 8:15 with moonrise at approximately 8:41. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated. The early tour starts at 6:15 p.m.

For reservations and inquiries, call the visitor cabin, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, at 883-5359.

 

Outdoor club volunteers work on Martinez Canyon trail

By John Applegate

Special to The SUN

The San Juan Outdoor Club and the Pagosa Area Trails Council had a successful work day in Martinez Canyon Saturday, July 22.

Volunteers built trail beyond where the project had halted earlier in the summer. The new trail is being routed around obstacles and above the level where it might be flooded in the spring. This time workers got around two of the worst obstacles in this part of the canyon.

Some time in the past there was a log cabin further down canyon and a primitive road had been constructed. You need a practiced eye to recognize the road, but it is there. The new trail is close to the upstream end of the road. Volunteers will try to get another couple of work days in before hunting season begins.

If you want to be called for future work days, contact John Applegate at 731-9325.

 

High Country Reflections

In fear of bears and lightning

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

I arrived at my first campsite under the bright glare of a searing midday sun. The walk in was only a few easy miles up an old logging road, but I'd gotten a late start and the July heat seemed particularly oppressive that day. It might have been the whiskey shared with a friend the night before, or the lack of any real breakfast earlier in the morning, but I was definitely light-headed, as perspiration flowed freely from every pore.

Stepping into the thin shade of a lone ponderosa, I dropped my pack and grabbed a bottle of water. Still standing, I drank heartily, then wiped the sweat from my brow, as even the slightest westerly breeze felt warm on my face. A glance at the sky down valley revealed a single lengthy lenticular hovering motionless in the distance, over the buttes of a western plateau.

A pair of ravens, meanwhile, wheeled high overhead, their deep-throated croaks echoing off the golden sandstone cliffs just beyond the river's south bank. An occasional pallid-winged grasshopper rattled noisily through the air, doubtless in search of sustenance in the parched grasses forming either side of the riparian zone.

The river itself, though not 30 feet wide and fairly shallow, fell sharply with a soft steady babbling that would, later that evening, lure me to sleep. Its crystalline flow poured from the high peaks of Gore Range several miles to the east, and nearly throughout, offered fine unaltered habitat to a variety of trout.

Away from the river, the surrounding forest held a mix of piñon and ponderosa pine, various junipers, sage brush, yucca and small prickly pear cactus. Streamside, the upper banks were cluttered with cheatgrass, bitterbrush, Idaho fescue and golden current, while serviceberry and chokecherry shrubs, Rocky Mountain maples and medium-sized cottonwoods crowded the shores. That particular season, Indian paintbrush, scarlet gila, cow parsnip and showy fleabane added an array of color to the entire riparian corridor.

The campsite was part of a comparative wide spot in an otherwise precipitous canyon hundreds of feet deep and three miles long. As the only area near the river level enough to pitch a tent, yet free from the threat of sudden flash floods, it was on the north side of the stream under the tall solitary ponderosa where I'd dropped my pack. There, a stone fire circle occupied a portion of the site, leaving just enough room for my green two-man shelter and single-burner cook stove.

My thirst-quenching drink had revived me somewhat, but with the glaring sun still high in the sky, it was too hot to construct camp or gather firewood. Fishing held little promise until later, when lengthening afternoon shadows would gradually cool the river's riffles and pools, triggering an evening caddis hatch and ensuing trout feeding frenzy, most always predictable that time of year.

So, I sat in the shade, leaning on the tree, and settled in for a light lunch. Nibbling on homemade jerky and trail mix pulled from my pack, I watched heat waves dance over the rocks and volcanic boulders littering the sandy south-facing hillside before me.

For the most part, all was quiet - almost too quiet - as if even the ever-present songbirds had retreated to some hidden shelter to wait out the stifling heat. Only the faint buzzing of assorted flies and honey bees was audible over the constant drone of the nearby flow.

I finished my meal with a juicy Gala apple, then slowly drifted into an hour-long snooze. In more of a trance than actual slumber, I dreamed wildly of a number of oddities, not the least of which was a large bear peering menacingly through the open flap of my tent.

I dreamed too, of my friend Bobby, who'd been struggling financially and, with his golden retriever, had just moved into a tent for the summer. As his apparent drug and alcohol addictions steadily took command, his income diminished and he withdrew more and more. I wondered what would become of him, as his growing anger revealed an increasing intolerance of employment in particular and society, in general.

In my own moment of weakness, it was Bobby and I that finished the better part of a bottle of Jack Daniels the night before.

Eventually, as the sun dipped appreciably lower in the western sky, its lingering warmth fell upon my arm and awakened me. A golden-mantled ground squirrel rustled in the near brush, fidgeting with the apple core I'd dropped in my sleep.

I felt reasonably refreshed by mid-afternoon and worked zealously to establish camp. I placed the tent near the edge of the riverbank, with the entrance facing the fireplace, and rolled out my pad and sleeping bag.

Just a short distance upstream, where the opposing hills rise more abruptly and the canyon closes in, the forest turns to aspen, spruce and fir. There, I gathered an armload of dry wood and stacked it near the fire circle.

I removed a small stuff sack from my pack containing what little food I'd carried in, including the jerky, trail mix, a few apples and granola bars, a couple of potatoes, a ziplock of ground crackers and a plastic bottle of cooking oil. The potatoes, crackers and oil were luxuries that would enable me to cook a fresh fish dinner, should I manage a couple of brook trout from the river.

To protect the food cache and avoid attracting unwanted visitors, I tied a thin piece of rope to a small stone and threw it over the stout lower branch of a neighboring spruce. I then tied the bag to the rope and hoisted it about 10 feet from the ground, where it hung five or six feet from the trunk. I tied the rope off to a nearby shrub.

The afternoon wore on and along with the sun, the temperature slowly dropped to a more tolerable level. In the heat, my water supply had dwindled, so I set up the stove and boiled a pot taken from the river. After pouring it into two empty bottles, I added a halazone tablet to each and set them aside to cool.

It was time to fish.

With a light three-piece Winston and suitable reel, I wandered upriver to wet-wade a stretch through the heavier forest. It was cooler in there, and I hoped an Elk Hair caddis would entice a plump brook trout from a deeper pocket beneath the widening shadows. But, after a couple hours of casting, I'd spooked two tiny browns that rose so enthusiastically, each missed the fly altogether, then caught one average rainbow from a fast shallow riffle.

I've never cared much for the taste of rainbow trout, so I let the fish go and resigned myself to a dinner of jerky and fried potatoes. However, in the midst of the release, I noticed a fresh track in some mud alongside the stream.

A good-sized bear had been through a bit earlier and I quickly glanced about, hoping it was gone. Fortunately, it was nowhere in sight, but, with fingers spread, I could place my hand inside the track with room to spare.

I wandered around for several minutes and found a few more prints, all apparently made by the same animal. Therefore, I assumed it was a solitary male. Of course, males are notably larger than females, but a female with cubs might have been cause for greater concern. As it was, I decided not to cook potatoes that evening, and settled for a repeat of my earlier lunch.

As nightfall approached, I noticed more clouds had gathered in the northwestern sky. I hadn't heard the weather forecast but knew that thunderstorms were always a possibility in July, especially after a sweltering day.

But, with a good tent and warm bag, it wasn't the chance of rain that bothered me - it was the thought of spending a long lonely night, with a large bear roaming the area. I guess, between the tracks and my earlier dream, I'd managed to shake myself pretty thoroughly.

By dark, I had a roaring fire going. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled in the distance. A lack of stars told me the sky above was overcast, and just beyond the fire's light, the blackness seemed impenetrable. I wondered if "he" was out there.

I'd planned to keep the fire burning as long as possible, but when lightning drew nearer and the rain started falling, I scrambled for the relative security of my tent. It was probably around 9:30 p.m., and I figured on at least eight hours of total darkness.

Surely, I thought, the bear knew enough to stay in out of the rain.

But by then, my imagination raced with all sorts of wild notions, and my fear turned to the possibility that lightning could hit the tree just a few feet from my shelter. A couple of bolts had hit very near by and the rain came in torrents. I was apprehensive, to say the least, and lay there for what seemed like the longest time, wide awake and listening.

In reality, as fast as it developed, the storm subsided, and for the first time since turning in, I could hear the soothing sounds of the river rolling by. I felt like I'd dodged a bullet, and my anxiety slowly dissipated with the intensity of the rain. At some point, I faded into listlessness and sleep inevitably followed.

I awakened to a bright morning, but instantly smelled smoke. Jumping up, I immediately opened the flap, only to see a soggy stone circle where my fire had been, but a few hours before. I crawled from the tent and looked around. There, in the forest 50 yards upstream, lay a smoldering snag I hadn't seen a day earlier. It had taken a direct hit and toppled in the storm not far at all, from where I slept so soundly.

Letters

Sharing visions

Dear Editor:

I am so grateful to live in a community that cares about creating a sustainable future for generations to come. I applaud the county commissioners for adopting a real land-use code, and for making decisions that move us forward, even if these steps feel like baby steps to some. To those folks, I assure you, they are huge steps for this rural county and, like me, you, too, will learn the fine virtue of patience!

I am thrilled that Angela Atkinson, a driving force for town planning, received a fellowship with the Bighorn Center in Denver, where this leadership session addresses economic development, and that Commissioner Schiro is also attending. I anticipate wonderful benefits from this exemplary organization.

In my 11 years here, I've seen what an attraction Archuleta County is to open-minded people who are interested in living in harmony with the environment, conserving resources, and preserving tradition. Through my community involvement, I've met many extraordinary people with diverse skills, interested in how a growing community addresses these concerns in a positive and sustainable way.

My reason for bringing this up is three-fold: first, Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth," struck an already vibrating chord with me as to what we can do at a grass-roots level to soften our environmental impacts; second, this community has for years expressed a desire to economically develop in a clean, green way, but without discovery; and third, our wonderful assets of natural, healing, hot springs, and what seems to be a large number of very gifted people who work in the ever-expanding field of healing arts, combined with an ever-growing influx of retirees and a graying populace, seem to all indicate the time may be ripe to explore how we might bring this together for the common good of Archuleta County.

In early 2000, when we were in the depths of the community visioning process, I participated in a Region 9 Economic Development Council brainstorming session to draft a Community Development Action Plan. I remember my head was swirling with ideas, which I submitted after that meeting. I recall my inspirations included creating a year-round, high-altitude, organic demonstration garden in a 42-foot diameter dome; an alternative institute where our knowledgeable locals could provide training on such topics as health, gardening, energy, and ecology; and a cooperative healing center where traditional and alternative health practitioners could teach and treat clients.

Such dialogues are sorely needed. I intend others' visions lead to more public conversations. To that end, a Healing Arts Gathering and Afternoon Tea for alternative, allopathic, and integrative practitioners, and all interested parties is scheduled for Sunday, July 30, from 2-4 p.m. at the community center. This is an opportunity for practitioners to get acquainted, share their personal and community visions, explore the possibilities and potential benefits for getting connected, and, perhaps, discover an encompassing health model for Pagosa. All we need are ideas and a willingness to participate. Bring tea and refreshments to share.

In gratitude,

Karen Aspin

 

Global warming

Dear Editor:

I would like to offer some thoughts on Karen Aspin's letter concerning Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." I respect Ms. Aspin's rights to her opinion, and my comments are not meant to disrespect or minimize her personal views.

First, Al Gore is a politician, pure and simple, in addition to being the "inventor of the Internet." I didn't know that he was also an environmental expert and geological guru. The Green House Effect and global warming question is a political issue, and one that the Democratic and Republican parties are at odds with. This is a big, important election year, so you draw your own conclusions whether or not it is simply a "moral issue" and "beyond being a political issue." By the way, I personally have very little respect for Al Gore as a person, much less his views or expert opinions.

I know that pollution, the ozone problem, our dependence on fossil fuels, and other environmental issues are important, and I do not mean to minimize everyone's obligation to do their part in helping to "save our planet." I do think this global warming issue has been blown completely out of proportion. In geological terms, our planet has been alternately warming and cooling for eons. Since records have been kept, the hottest temperatures on file for the U.S. occurred in the 1930s, and it's been relatively cooler nationwide since then. Ten to twenty thousand years ago, the North American Continent was covered in ice. In another ten to twenty thousand years, it may be covered in ice again. Geological changes will continue to occur until the end of time, and those changes occur very, very slowly. A geologist friend of mine once put geological time in perspective for me. She said, "Stretch out your arm - your arm's length represents the age of the Earth." Then she said, "If you take an emory board and brush it across your fingernails once, the amount of nail taken off represents the length of time mankind has lived on the Earth." Given that thought and analogy, my question is, "How can all of the environmental experts determine that in just a short twenty or so years, the Earth's temperature is now changing at the speed of light, compared to geological time?"

Relax folks! Mother Nature does things in her own time. The polar caps will still be around long after we are all dead, and our air conditioners will still be able to keep us all cool and comfortable until then. Don't loose sleep over concerns that things are now changing in nature in just a short twenty years that once took twenty thousand years. I don't know about anyone else, but personally, I have more relevant, short-term problems to worry about.

Roy K. Boutwell

Wichita Falls, Texas

Editor's note: NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has announced that average temperatures for the first half of 2006 were the highest ever recorded in the U.S. (with records kept since1895). NOAA scientists say that temperatures for January through June were 3.4 degrees F. above average for the 20th century.

 

Warming and war

Dear Editor:

I already bought Al Gore's book, and I will see his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." But do keep in mind that while it is a fact that it "is" getting warmer, blaming it on humans is not necessarily the "truth." And what's really "inconvenient" is that the warming is occuring almost simultaneously with World War III.

C. E. Cazedessus

Chimney Rock

 

Dog control

Dear Editor:

What is it going to take for the sheriff's department and animal control unit to open their eyes to see we have an animal control problem? In recent events, I had a family pet killed in my garage by a pit bull. Animal control showed up and stated to my family that he knew this particular dog and it was not aggressive toward people. The dog was not impounded - it was returned to its owner.

A few days later, I was informed on the same night the same dog attacked and killed two other animals before mine and, yes, it had been seen chasing children. Last Tuesday while on my way to work, I had a different pit bull run in front of my vehicle - I reported it as a dog at large. A different animal control officer responded and again the dog was released to its owner.

It is a real disappointment to know a dog at large or a dog that has attacked other animals can be returned to its owner without first being impounded. Can the sheriff's department really afford another lawsuit for a dog attack? Have they not learned their lesson? Evidently not, because during a conversation with a department official, he informed me he was not aware there was a problem. I am not against people owning dogs, as I myself am a dog owner. However, I believe if you cannot keep your dog in your own yard or under your control while giving it proper care, you should rethink owning one. So another family doesn't lose a pet or go through what the Carothers family went through, I hope the sheriff's department and animal control unit start taking their job seriously and do something to prevent future attacks.

Shawn Curvey

 

Pig plan

Dear Editor:

Pigs is beautiful.

Hear ye, hear ye the autoprennual fellow citizens of this here Pagoser Springs. About every two years I have what I call a "Revelation" that causes me to believe I can get rich. My last Revelation had to do with the methane gas well at my ranch. I actually had a printout inviting the neighbors to experience, for free, the sight and sounds of big rig drilling that can go on day and night. The idear almost caught on. I'd have made a million if it had.

But the Big, Big Revelation got started yesterday as I was shoppin for the spouse in downtown Pagoser. I met a feller I'll call Sam and we got to talkin about Mr. Red McCombs and his big idear of building that Village at Wolf Creek. Ol Sam, I seed right off, was on to something. He told me right off that invironmentalist, Jeff Berman, was a blatent liar and this hole thing was about property rights. Now I am immediately impressed with that feller, Sam, because hes the first person I ever met in Pagoser who seemed to favor Mr. McComb's "Village."

Well, to shorten this story, at exactly 3 a.m. this morning, the Revelation just smacked me right side the heid. Those words "property rights" just set off the green lights as to how I can make that cool million buks. And I want to share it with the other well-heeled folks in Pagoser so you can seed I'm on to something really big in American capitalism. And my idear is free.

Pigs. Yes, pigs! You seed I love pigs (pigs is beautiful) and I used to raise them in another county in Coloradee. But they run me and my pigs off. You seed I forgot about property rights. But it ain't goin to happen this time because I'm going to follow the sample of my minter, Mr. Red McCombs. Now here's my plan. I'm going to contact them foresty folks, trade my 80 acres near Tiffany for 160 acres up there at the top of the pass (preferably near Mr. McCombs property who also believes in property rights) and he'll have no problems with my 10,000 butiful pigs.

Now there may be a little griping from those lousy invironmentalist about the pig poop that flows downriver but keep in mind fello Pagosers, all that poop is heded toward Alamosa. And those tater farmers know pig poop produces the best taters.

Me and the wife are already buttering up Mr. Kin Salavar and we're looking for a real easy way out (just like my mintor). We'll donate a big pile of pack money so we will have our "ace in the hole." And I'll get one of my buddies piked to be hed of the American Ag Department who'll help me rite those eis papers.

Them butiful pigs is goin to make me rich. And I share this Revelation with my fellow Pagosers who may well profit by my advise.

P.S. Forgive me for the few misspelled words, but you folks will get the idea.

P.P.S. And don't any of you damnable environmentalists spoil my plans. This is a "done deal" and my wife and I are planning our retirement on Main Street, Allison, Colorado, next to Dennis Seibel's welding shop. We will be living "high on the hog." No pun intended.

Paul Lerno

 

More to do

Dear Editor:

To the Friends of Seeds of Learning.

It has been two months since Seeds of Learning Early Care and Education Center held a very successful "Once Upon a Time" dinner and auction over the Mother's Day weekend. A total of $35,000 was raised due to your generous hearts and helping hands. Since then, the Seeds' director and board have been hard at work seeking grants and making plans to begin the construction of our new home. We have you and the contributions of the Pagosa Springs community to thank for helping us procure the El Pomar grant, the Ballantine Family grant, and a $145,000 grant from an undisclosed Denver grantor. On a local level, Mark Weiler, president of Parelli's, is the magnanimous donor of a $60,000 gift to Seeds. The receipt of these funds, as well as the $500,000 CBDG grant we received through the Town of Pagosa Springs, are a direct result of our large-hearted community, one that has more than proven its commitment to its children through early childhood education.

There is still much more to do. Until we have received the remainder of our grant money, Citizens Bank President Dan Aupperle has committed to providing Seeds with a $200,000 unsecured construction loan so that we can begin building as soon as possible. Meeting monthly operating costs remains a constant challenge and will continue as a challenge as we increase the number of children we serve.

We are in awe of the benevolence coming from all of you. Together with the parents, teachers and children at Seeds, the board of directors say thank you and again thank you for your blessings and good will.

The Board of Directors of Seeds of Learning and Cynthia Mitchell, board vice-president

 

Plans

Dear Editor:

Please note my recent letter to our county commissioners.

We as a county seem to be out of control. There seems to be no plan. With this non-plan approach, we are at a growth rate that many issues are arising.

1. Water - in 2001 we were rationed water and had far less growth versus today.

2. Quality of water, i.e, most lakes in Pagosa Lakes suffer from treatments to lawns, etc. Now with Coyote Cove off Piedra Road and next to Hatcher Lake and the slope of roads being put in for the development, I question, what runoff from the roads, or lawns, etc., will flow into Hatcher Lake, our drinking water? Other Pagosa Lakes have problems from the above, but they are not a major drinking water supply.

3. Roads - For the county to even think of letting go of snow removal/maintenance, is a safety issue, and not to be allowed. I do see that the forest service roads need be taken care of, not by the county, as in the past.

4. Wetlands - we are destroying more and more wetlands with development. This is really a global issue and we need to learn from past mistakes. Do what you can to stop destroying more wetlands.

Living here year round, I see when these areas are wet and flooded. Yet Realtors continue to post for sale signs when these areas dry up. Hill Circle, especially the southwest side, is a prime area of wetlands. Houses that are built in wetlands live with flooding and a sump pump, this is wrong. I question, where are the wildlife to go as we continue to pave over. May we learn from Coyote Cover, i.e., the displaced wildlife.

5. Planning spoke of seasonal wetlands. I will tell you in northern California several years ago, I worked 15 years on a project to protect wetlands from dredge, fill and build. Never heard of seasonal wetlands. The wetlands were saved and still are, so I hope this area can move ahead and do what other regions have done years ago!

Overall, what I am asking all of you is please, vote on a move to limit building permits, as well to have sites inspected more closely, i.e., wetlands, etc. before construction or destruction takes place.

Thank you,

Pam Morrow

 

Great job

Dear Editor:

I wanted to tell Dan Janowsky and all the folks who helped with his wrestling benefit on July 21 what a great job they did. I know Dan was upset by the rain but you can't argue with Mother Nature and we really needed the moisture (just not Friday night!).

The entertainment just moved inside and continued. I'm sorry we were late and missed most of Mr. Janowsky's songs. How many bands do you know that can just step right up and entertain the crowd without all their microphones and amplifiers? The High Rollers are truly entertainers, not just a country band. Of course, I was disappointed that the dance didn't come off as planned, as dancing is one of my favorite things to do, but the pie and cake auction was fun, the silent auction was really a hoot (I had to sneak out to get my name last on the list for that Pumpkin Cake - sorry, David) and we did dance a few, too. For some of us, it brought back memories of the "Olden Days" when we had to ad lib if all of our hard work was trumped by Mother Nature. It was still great fun, and Dan, we will be there next year "with bells on."

Marsha Preuit

   Community News

Make plans now for the 2006 Archuleta County Fair

One week to go, and it's time for the 2006 Archuleta County Fair.

Listed below is the schedule of events for the fair. All events take place in the venues at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds on U.S. 84.

Wednesday, Aug. 2

Exhibit Hall - 1-8 p.m. Open Class check-in. All exhibits (except baked goods) must check-in today.

Thursday, Aug. 3

Extension Building - 8 a.m.- on. 4-H projects judging.

Education Tent - 11:30 a.m. U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture demonstration.

Exhibit Hall - 1-6 p.m. Open Class Exhibits judging.

Livestock Tent - 1 p.m. Swine, Steer, Goat weigh-in.

Livestock Tent - 2 p.m. Lamb weigh-in.

Education Tent - 4 p.m. EARTH QUEST! Open full time. Exhibits include National Resource Conservation Service, National Parks Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Gem and Mineral Display, 4-H Cloverbuds and Day Camp, CSU Master Gardeners, Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment, Archuleta County Sheriff Dept., Get Hooked on Fishing Program, Ruby Sisson Public Library Program, and more.

Activity Tent - 4 p.m. Chili Cook-Off entries accepted, contestants admitted free; 5 p.m. chili judging, red, green, salsa, and novelty.

Activity Tent - 6-10 p.m. A Hot Time in the Old Town! Chili tasting, live dance music with the Jeff Strahan Band, Salsa dancing, lessons and contest, fire juggling by Wade Henry, jalapeño eating contest. Lots of prizes for participants! Chili winners announced.

Exhibit Hall - 6-9 p.m. Open to the public.

Livestock Tent - 6 p.m. Goat Show.

Rodeo Arena - 7:30 p.m. Busted Spur Rodeo.

Friday, Aug. 4

Livestock Tent - 8 a.m. Swine Show, Rabbit Showmanship.

Exhibit Hall - 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Open to the public.

Fairgrounds - 10 a.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Activity Tent - 10 a.m. Cake decorating contest.

Education Tent - 10 a.m.-noon. Library Summer Reading Program.

Livestock Tent - 10 a.m. Rabbit judging.

Activity Tent - 11 a.m. Creative Cooks contest.

Fairgrounds - 12:30 p.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Education Tent - 1 p.m. Law enforcement dog demo.

Livestock Tent - 1 p.m. Turkey Showmanship; 1:30 p.m. Turkey judging; 2 p.m. Poultry judging.

Activity Tent - 1:30 p.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show.

Fairgrounds - 3 p.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Activity Tent - 3 p.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show.

Livestock Tent - 4 p.m. Heifer Show; 5 p.m. Steer Show.

Activity Tent - 5:30 p.m. Jana Burch tap dancer show.

Fairgrounds - 6:30 p.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Activity Tent - 6 p.m. Colgate Country Showdown

Derby Arena - 7 p.m. Demolition derby.

Saturday, Aug. 5

Livestock Tent - 8:30 a.m. Market Goat show.

Horseshoe pits - 9 a.m. Horseshoe contest.

Exhibit Hall - 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Open to the public.

Fairgrounds - 9:30 a.m. Wade Henry juggling, unicyclist show.

Fairgrounds Patio - 10 a.m. Mad Science show.

Livestock Tent - 10 a.m. Market Lamb show.

Fairgrounds - 11:30 a.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Activity Tent - 11:30 a.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show.

Fairgrounds Patio - 1 p.m. Mad Science show.

Education Tent - 1 p.m. Law enforcement dog demo.

Livestock Tent - 1 p.m. Round Robin.

Activity Tent - 1 p.m. Dog Obedience and Agility show.

Fairgrounds - 2 p.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Activity Tent - 2:30 p.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show.

Fairgrounds - 3:30 p.m. Wade Henry juggling unicyclist show.

Fairgrounds Patio - 5 p.m. Mad Science show.

Activity Tent - 4-6:30 p.m. 4-H Chuck Wagon Dinner.

Livestock Tent - 6:30 p.m. Livestock auction.

Activity Tent - 7:30 p.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show; 9-midnight, Fair Dance featuring Tim Sullivan & Narrow Gauge.

Sunday, Aug. 6

Activity Tent - 8-10 a.m. Pancake breakfast and Fellowship of Christian Cowboys Durango Chapter Worship Service.

Exhibit Hall - 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Open to the public.

Livestock Tent - 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Livestock Record Book judging.

Fairgrounds Patio - 10 a.m. Mad Science show.

Activity Tent - 11 a.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show.

Fairgrounds Patio - Noon. Mad Science Show.

Rodeo Arena - 1-4 p.m. Kids' Rodeo.

Activity Tent - 2 p.m. Alan Sands hypnotist show.

Fairgrounds Patio - 3 p.m. Mad Science show.

Exhibit Hall - 4-6 p.m. Open Class Exhibits mandatory checkout.

Did you know that over 200 Archuleta County citizens volunteer their time to make the Archuleta County Fair happen each year? To join, call 264-2388 or log on to archuletacountyfair.com.

 

Family Festivo today in Town Park

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

For the third year in a row, a musical performance starring local children and members of the festival orchestra will highlight the Pagosa Springs Music in the Mountains free concert schedule this summer. As well, for the first time ever the Bank of the San Juans is hosting a free concert and barbecue in their parking lot for their customers and the community.

Free Family Festivo

The first outdoor community program for families and "kids of all ages," called Family Festivo, will take place in Town Park today, July 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. At this event, Music in the Mountains will present the premiere performance of a totally new musical version of the Grimm Brothers fairy tale "Bremen Town Musicians."

After the concert, a free lunch with dessert will be served, thanks to the Bank of the San Juans, LPEA Roundup Foundation, Town of Pagosa Springs, El Pomar Youth in Community Service, and those who attend the annual Music in the Mountains benefit event each summer. Supplies also have been donated by The Springs Resort, Wildflower Catering, Edward Jones Investments and A&P Tents. The generosity of these sponsors makes it possible for Music in the Mountains to offer this event free to everyone.

During and after lunch, free games will be available for the kids until 2 p.m.

Children attending this event must be accompanied by an adult. Also, for safety's sake, please leave your animals at home.

Felicia Meyer and Mark Brown are program coordinators and directors of the children playing the parts in "Bremen Town Musicians." Costumes and set design are by Michael DeWinter and props design by Tasha Murphy. Larry Elginer will emcee the event.

The music will be performed by 15 members of the Music in the Mountains festival orchestra conducted by Mischa Semanitsky, founder and artistic director of the festival.

"Bremen Town Musicians"

The musical score for "Bremen Town Musicians" was composed by Simon Sargon to celebrate the birth of his first grandchild. Sargon, a professor of composition at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, enjoys wide recognition as a composer, pianist and music lecturer in the U.S. and internationally. Sargon will visit Pagosa Springs to attend the event and narrate the story.

All of the instruments involved in the story will be demonstrated for the audience, with the hope that this orientation may encourage some of the children attending to want to learn to play an instrument.

"Many adults who now love classical music were first introduced to symphonies in their childhood when they attended a children's concert like this one," said Lisa Scott, co-chair with Claudia Rosenbaum of Family Festivo. "We know everyone who comes will enjoy the music and the characters in the story. We also hope they will be encouraged to learn more about great music and the many instruments that bring it to life."

The story and the actors

"Bremen Town Musicians" is the story of four animals — a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster - who have been thrown out of their homes because they are getting old. They meet on the road to the town of Bremen, and decide to join together to form a musical group.

Of course they have several adventures along the way, including meeting up with a group of robber raccoons. We don't want to ruin the suspense, so we will keep the details of the story a secret until the performance on July 27.

Playing the musicians in the story are Cheyan Rice (donkey), Tyler Greenly (cat), Miah Pitcher (dog) and Zach Brown (rooster). The robber raccoons will be played by Josh Smith, Dylan Lindberg, Julia LeLievre, Molly Burkesmith and William Meyer.

Bank of San Juans concert

On Friday, Aug. 4, Bank of the San Juans will host a free barbecue and concert in the bank's parking lot from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Music in the Mountains fiddler Tom Demer will perform.

Grilled hot dogs, chips, sodas and other goodies are on the menu. Then the audience will enjoy the toe-tapping sounds of Demer on the fiddle.

Demer has been a classical violist with the Dallas Symphony for more than 20 years, and a kickin' country fiddler for more than 30. He is among the most entertaining and versatile string players in the country - and is almost as well known for his fun style as for his great music.

At age 16, Demer won his first old-time fiddlers' contest while already the youngest member of the Tucson Symphony. In addition to his extensive classical music activities, today Demer plays weekly nursing home jazz concerts, writes and records commercial pop and rock CD songs, and plays in nightclubs.

Hosting this community outdoor concert is a first for Bank of the San Juans in Pagosa Springs.

"We wanted to do something special to help Music in the Mountains celebrate its fifth season in our town," said Angie Beach, vice president and marketing director for the bank. "This concert is our way of saying thank you for banking with us and for making this such a great community to live and work in."

 

John Graves to perform at fund-raiser

Pianist John Graves will highlight "Song and Speech with Jeffrey Deitch," a fund-raiser concert to benefit the campaign of Democratic State Representative candidate Jeff Deitch.

Graves and his band will perform at the Unitarian Hall, 301 North Pagosa Blvd., Greenbriar Plaza, Unit B-12, Friday, July 28, from 6-9 p.m. Admission is $10, which includes snacks and beverages. Tickets will be available at the door.

For further information, call 259-2474.

 

World-famous pianist joins orchestra for Music in the Mountains concert

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Classical music lovers will be treated to an extraordinary evening Saturday, July 29, at 6 p.m. when the full Music in the Mountains orchestra will perform with Bruce Hangen, principal guest conductor of the Boston Pops, and Van Cliburn medalist Aviram Reichert on piano. Tickets for this concert have been sold out for weeks.

The concert takes 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.

On the program are Mozart's "Symphony No. 38 in D," known as the "Prague Symphony"; Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio Espagnol Opus 34" and Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor."

This special concert is presented by BootJack Ranch and sponsored in part by Coyote Hill Lodge.

Conductor from Boston Pops

Conducting the full festival orchestra will be Bruce Hangen, who holds multiple prestigious positions in the American music world.

He is principal guest conductor of the Boston Pops, a post created in 2002 especially for him, the first such position in the 117-year history of this celebrated orchestra. He also is director of orchestral activities at the Boston Conservatory, and he has just completed his eighth season as music director of the Indian Hill Symphony in Littleton, Mass.

World-famous soloist

Appearing as the soloist on this special evening will be Israeli pianist Aviram Reichert. A frequent soloist with all the leading orchestras in his native country, he also has toured extensively in the Far East, Europe and South Africa. This is his fifth appearance on the stage in Pagosa Springs, where he is a perennial favorite with local audiences.

Reichert won the bronze medal at the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997, only months after he had been awarded the top prize in an international piano competition in Seoul, Korea and also placed first in competitions in Japan and France. One reviewer said of a recent performance, "Reichert offered more than clear strong playing - with beautiful tone - he brought the music to life."

Reichert is the featured soloist on "A Three-Piano Salute to Mozart," a CD recorded with the Music in the Mountains festival orchestra in 2002.

Food and beverages available

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.

 

Oteka Theatre productions debuts today

By Libby Neder

Special to The PREVIEW

After an exciting and crowd pleasing preview, Oteka Theatre Productions is pleased to announce the opening of its summer season to the public today, July 27.

The preview took place Saturday at the newly unveiled Stage Under the Stars, a new performing arts venue in Pagosa. The threat of rain did not deter many in the Pagosa arts community from coming out for this special performance. What might have become a weather disaster, ended up being one of the most intimate theatre experiences in Pagosa history. With hail and rain starting to fall just before intermission, the actors continued the show, sans set and props, indoors, as the appreciative audience members crammed themselves into the adjoining house.

Originally, Oteka Theatre Productions planned to open a week earlier, July 20, with Neil Simon's heartwarming classic, "I Ought to Be In Pictures." However, shortly after announcing the theatre company's summer plans, it was clear that summer in Pagosa was going to be the monsoon season that farmers and firefighters alike had been hoping for. Plans were immediately made to protect against future occurrences.

"I Ought to Be In Pictures" will be performed July 27-29 and Aug. 24-26 The three weekends in between (August 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19) will feature Pagosa's Cynthia Neder as the sole actress in a show originally made famous by Lily Tomlin on Broadway, "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe."

Tickets for all shows are available at the Plaid Pony and Moonlight Books for $18 or at the door for $20. Call 759-3142 for more information.

Oteka Theatre Production was formed with the goal of promoting the arts community in Pagosa Springs. Director Oteka Bernard's philosophy is that "the arts community benefits most when everyone works together." Oteka's theatre company feels so strongly about this that they will be contributing part of the proceeds from each performance to benefit arts in Pagosa Springs, including the Pagosa Springs Arts Alliance.

Stage Under the Stars is excited to offer a new and unique venue for the performers and artists of Archuleta County and southwest Colorado.

Food this week will be provided by Eddie B. Cookin'. Eddie will donate $1 from each entrée sold to the arts pool as part of his, "All the food goes in your stomach and some of the money goes to the arts," campaign.

 

Boosters reprise 'Lily, the Felon's Daughter'

Pagosa Springs Music Boosters will offer an encore showing of their spring melodrama, "Lily, the Felon's Daughter," by Tom Taggart, in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 11 and 12, with an additional matinee Aug. 12 at 2 p.m.

The cast is brushing up on their character portrayals, including rehearsals designed to bring back to life their assorted roles as heroes, heroines, villains and "cads." John Graves complements the cast with his melodic and sometimes sinister piano character music.

Reserved tickets are available at the Plaid Pony, 731 5262, or at the door. See pagosamusicboosters.org for additional information.

 

Healing Arts Gathering in Pagosa Sunday

By Karen Aspin

Special to The PREVIEW

A Healing Arts Gathering and Afternoon Tea for alternative, allopathic, and integrative practitioners, and all interested parties, is scheduled 2-4 p.m. Sunday, July 30, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard.

It's no wonder that the natural beauty and healing qualities of Pagosa Springs and its surrounds attract both providers and seekers of all aspects of better health - physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual.

Having somewhat resolved our community struggles to define itself in this area, perhaps the time is now here to extend our conversation to discover what other healing skills and services may already exist in our community.

The Healing Arts Gathering is offered as a venue and opportunity to get acquainted with other practitioners and share our visions.

Is there an encompassing health model for Pagosa Springs? What is your calling? Do we hold any common personal or community visions?

Let's explore the possibilities and potential benefits for getting connected.

This free event is not a presentation of any specific agenda, so please come prepared with your ideas and a willingness to participate. Bring tea and/or light fare to share.

Organizers are Elizabeth Kobren, M.A. RN. 731-1227; Karen Aspin, 731-3138.

 

Music and dance classes offered by ECA in August

Elation Center for the Arts announces two new classes beginning in August.

Clogging is a uniquely American dance form that evolved in the Appalachian Mountains. Instructor Carla Roberts will teach the beginning steps necessary to learn many of the exciting line dances in this beginner's class. No partner is necessary. Paul Roberts will provide accompaniment on the banjo, playing the lively traditional American dance tunes perfect for clogging. A great way to get in shape, clogging is fun and easy to learn in this relaxed, low-pressure setting. You can clog in street shoes and comfortable clothes. Classes start Thursday, Aug. 3, and continue through August for a total of five one-hour sessions. Each session is $5. Call 731-3117 for information on exact times and location.

Elation Center for the Arts brings Pagosans an opportunity to learn more about hand drumming - a musical style with a history going back to Biblical times. Hand drumming is an immediately engaging social activity, keeps your brain activated, and helps develop coordination, one that doesn't require any great physical effort and can be learned quickly by young and old alike. Now a very popular addition to the American music scene, hand drumming is used by many groups to get in the rhythm groove. If you can tap your foot to a beat, you can play a hand drum, and you don't need to carry a tune or have a good voice. The rhythms are exciting to play, even for beginners. On Thursday mornings, ECA has two drum classes. The 10 a.m. class is for families. Learning a new musical skill is a fantastic parent/child activity. If you don't have a drum, there will be drums provided at the class.

The 11 a.m. class is hand drums for women, one of ECA's most popular classes. Drum classes are $5 per person per class. Call instructor Carla Roberts at 731-3117 to register and receive directions. Call soon to register and get an invitation to ECA's private class party this weekend where you will see demonstrations by advanced students.

Elation Center for the Arts is a local nonprofit. Through community concerts, recording, touring and educational programs, Elation Center for the Arts strives to serve the people of Pagosa Springs through artistic excellence. Find out more about ECA on the Web at elationarts.org.

 

'Let's Explore - Andy Goldsworthy,' at Shy Rabbit

Andy Goldsworthy is a British environmental artist.

Goldsworthy uses found objects from nature to create site-specific sculpture and land art in natural settings. Often using only his bare hands and twigs, thorns, leaves, flowers, mud, snow and icicles, Goldsworthy creates work that is striking and ephemeral.

Shy Rabbit, a contemporary art space and studio, will show the documentary film about Andy Goldsworthy, "Rivers and Tides," by filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer, on Thursday, Aug. 10. This beautiful, award-winning film is not to be missed. The film will be followed by group discussion.

The "Let's Explore" series is a new program at Shy Rabbit and will bring in guest speakers, slide presentations, films and experts to discuss the many facets of art and art history. In July, "Let's Explore" featured a slide show and lecture on Alfred Stieglitz. In September, a second film, on Isamu Noguchi, will be shown, followed by a lecture and slide presentation in October.

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

"Let's Explore - Andy Goldworthy" is one night only, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Aug. 10. Doors open at 6 with a suggested donation of $5. "Let's Explore - Noguchi" is one night only, Sept. 14.

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

Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental. For more information, log onto http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call (970) 731-2766.

 

'Voices in America,' tonight at Fort Lewis College

Fort Lewis College's Voices in American Drama play reading series continues it's critically-acclaimed presentation of new work with an evening of three one-acts by young writers.

One-Acts for the Future takes place 8 p.m. today, July 27, in the Fort Lewis College Amphitheater. Admission is free.

Selected plays include:

- "Perspect Prospect," by Alex Gagne-Hawes , directed by Katie Brost. Gagne-Hawes, a playwright based in Portland, Ore., theatrically explores the interconnectedness, awkwardness, and small moments of beauty inherent to platonic and romantic relationships in his short play about a group of friends.

- "My Life in a Former Life, or The Butterfly Exhibit," by Tina Satter. Feathered appendages, a country at war, a ridiculous courtroom trial . . . Tina Satter puts an absurdist bent and poetic language to play in a one-act about a woman with wings in love with a soldier.

- "Wednesday's at Ten," by Martin Dittiger, directed by Kurt Lancaster. Dittiger received an M.A. in theater from the University of Maine, where he developed this two-person comedy that puts a surprise spin on the male/female relationship.

The ensemble cast includes: Angela Garbardi, Joseph Martinez, Marilyn Leftwich, Geoffrey Johnson, Don Doane, Jimmy Johnson, Athena Gundlach, Dawson Cole, Rachel Gressler, and Katie Brost.

For more information call Tina Satter at (971) 222-5088 or e-mail kristinasatter@yahoo.com

 

'An Empty Bench' presented by ECA

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Audiences love musicals.

But these days it's unusual to see an original musical production. Local luminary John Graves has composed songs for his original one-act musical play, "An Empty Bench." The first public presentation of this delightful love story will take place at Stage Under the Stars, Pagosa's new performing arts venue, Aug. 22 and 23 at 7 p.m.

Through its superb music and lovely story, "An Empty Bench" evokes the tradition of the Golden Age of Broadway. The second half of the production is a variety show in a cabaret setting featuring a multi-talented cast: Matthew and Tiffany Brunson, June Marquez, Sally Yates, Larry Elginer, Kimberly Judd and Honor Nash-Putnam.

"I've only written six songs in my seventy-two years of performing," says Graves. "I wrote them in the sixties and just a few months ago, I discovered that if I put all those songs together in a certain order, they tell a story."

Graves scripted the storyline with his longtime co-producer and collaborator, John Porter, director and producer of "An Empty Bench." Since Graves and Porter met in Pagosa 10 years ago, their many creative contributions have included musical theater, straight theater, concerts, radio programs and vaudeville shows. Two of their notable productions were "Boom, Bust and Battle," music and the culture of the '20s, '30s and '40s, and "The Hills Are Alive," a tribute to Rogers and Hammerstein.

"We did several benefits, raising money to try to start a performing arts center," said Graves of his collaboration with Porter. "We work very well together. He's a great detail man, a nuts and bolts guy. I'm just the opposite. I don't want to deal with nuts and bolts, so it works out pretty well. His function as a producer is to make sure everything is where it's supposed to be, everyone knows what they're to do and that the costumes, lights and sound - everything - is taken care of. He's very good at that."

Porter, a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, has been directing and performing in plays since 1959. He is a prolific playwright and many of his original plays have been performed.

Tickets to "An Empty Bench" can be purchased in advance for $15, at WolfTracks or at the performance for $20. Seating is limited.

Stage Under the Stars is located at 3700 Piedra Road. Take U.S. 160 to Piedra Road; 3.7 miles north on the left side.

"An Empty Bench" is presented by Elation Center for the Arts.

For more information, call 731-3117.

 

Drop in for coffee and see 'Select Works' at Shy Rabbit

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

Regular gallery hours are 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Chances are someone is at Shy Rabbit in the morning, too. Drop by for a cup of coffee with the Coffees! Or feel free to call and see if they are there working. You can also make an appointment to view the work at your convenience.

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

Upcoming exhibits include: "Minds Material: Sensation, Cognition, and Knowledge," featuring the master works of three lifelong artists. "Minds Material" opens Aug. 26 and runs through Oct. 7.

Shy Rabbit closes out 2006 with a juried show of contemporary art. Look for the call soon and information about the juror, who has curated over 400 shows during his illustrious career.

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

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4, west of downtown. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Boulevard. Go north to Bastille Drive (at UBC) turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental. (GPS coordinates are latitude N37 degrees, 15.193 minutes and longitude W107, 5.074 minutes).

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

 

Daisy Mayhem, Julie Lee on Four Corners Folk Festival bill

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

Hard to believe that the eleventh annual Four Corners Folk Festival is just around the corner, taking place Sept. 1-3 on Reservoir Hill Park in Pagosa Springs.

The three-day outdoor festival features nationally touring musicians Delbert McClinton, Dar Williams, Eddie From Ohio, RobinElla, the Waybacks, Drew Emmitt, the Biscuit Burners, Old School Freight Train, the Duhks, The Stringdusters, Brad Davis, John Moore & Company, Anne & Pete Sibley, the Hot Strings and Julie Lee.

Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem is a new band to the festival - sort of. Rani played the Four Corners Folk Festival one time before in 1999 with her previous band, Salamander Crossing, which has since morphed with a couple original members into Daisy Mayhem.

Daisy Mayhem possesses wicked percussion, sublime lead singing, great harmonies, sparkling original songs and a deep repertoire and four members who share an irresistible chemistry on stage. Think of them as a young, hip, crackerjack string band in love with American music. Their sound starts with a fiddle, a guitar, and a standup bass. Add to that a cardboard box with a suitcase bass drum and tin can cymbals, played by an ex-rock and Zydeco drummer. Over that fine groove, hang Rani Arbo's expressive alto, seamless four-part harmonies, and a splash of banjo and ukulele.

The Boston Globe described their sound as "neo old-timey with cosmopolitan splashes of contemporary pop and jazz." It's an exuberant mix of musical idioms, held together by superb musicianship, impeccable taste, and the band's charismatic vocals. Their stage show dips into country blues, vintage swing, modern songwriter fare, and Appalachian fiddle tunes and songs. It's a bracing fusion: listen to Arbo deliver Bessie Jones' version of "O Death" accompanied by fat, bluesy guitar solos and a groove that owes allegiance to the Meters, and you'll see. This is a band that picks up what's lying around - from tin cans to traditional music - and creates something new.

Daisy Mayhem is Rani Arbo (vocals and fiddle); Andrew Kinsey (vocals, bass, banjo, whistle and ukulele); Anand Nayak (guitar and vocals) and Scott Kessel (drums and percussion). They are scheduled to play Saturday, Sept. 2, at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 3 at 12:15 p.m.

For the past three years, FolkWest has partnered with Sonicbids, an Internet-based company that hosts "electronic press kits," or EPKs, for musicians. This state-of-the-art technology allows musicians to send out press kits and music to prospective festivals with the click of a button, eliminating the need to mail expensive CDs and paper kits. The festival has booked one Emerging Artist exclusively through Sonicbids in 2004 and 2005 - including We're About 9 and K.J. Denhert. The 2006 selection from a pool of more than 400 applicants is Nashville-based singer/songwriter Julie Lee.

Julie grew up on a steady diet of family stories, jazz and folk music, learning early the connection between history and the creative act. The raw ability of music to convey and preserve story mesmerized young Lee. After relocating to Nashville, Lee experienced for the first time the music of the South: bluegrass and blues and Gospel sat alongside her experience of jazz and folk. "Blues, bluegrass, and jazz to me are very similar," Lee discovered. "It's all a basic structure, and people veer off of that to create these amazing melodies with dissonance."

With a smooth, lilting voice, which gracefully slips across the borders of musical genre, Lee began to experiment with her songwriting, assembling melodies and stories like a patchwork quilt. The result of Lee's experimentation with story and song is an ever-growing collection of timelessness and change. Her music is homespun and raw, marrying together the traditional melodies of her musical roots with something new, yet warmly recognizable to the listener's ear.

Featuring some of the most talented players in Nashville, Lee's latest release, "Stillhouse Road," is a quilt of bluegrass, jazz, blues, and folk. And, much like the appeal of a quilt, Julie Lee is not afraid to let the seams show. A neat, overproduced, perfectly-packaged CD is not what she had in mind. With the talents of such collaborators as Alison Krauss, slide guitar player Colin Linden ("O Brother, Where Art Thou" soundtrack), and bluegrass artist Dave Peterson, she pulls it off beautifully. Julie will bring her talents to the main stage of the event on Friday, Sept. 1 at 4:30 p.m.

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 and Books in the west City Market 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.

 

How Peace Works, a Tara Mandala retreat

How Peace Works: Native American Teachings with Chief Arvol Looking Horse, will take place July 28-30 at Tara Mandala.

All are invited to join in for a powerful weekend of talks, discussion and ceremony with one of the world's greatest peacemakers.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse will share his insights and experiences gained over a lifetime dedicated to worldwide peace efforts, a vision of respectful relationship with Mother Earth, and the preservation of his people's culture and way of life.

In his own words, he has dedicated his life to "work for change and to let the world know how beautiful our way of life is, so the Seventh Generation can have a better life".

The retreat will offer deep connection to the earth and our larger human family. Chief Looking Horse's message is to bring the spiritual beliefs of all nations together in a joint prayer for the global healing of our Mother Earth.

Arvol Looking Horse was born on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. Raised by his grandparents, he learned the culture and spiritual ways of the Lakota. He is the 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe. In the course of his life's work dedicated to peace, he has organized the World Peace and Prayer Day, and met with spiritual leaders such as Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.

This retreat is open to all, including families with children and teens.

Tara Mandala is a Buddhist retreat center located near Pagosa Springs offering opportunities for retreat and renewal.

For more information or to register, call 731-3711 or e-mail info@taramandala.org.

 

Knights of Columbus host Duck Race

The annual Knights of Columbus Duck Race and Picnic is set for Saturday, Aug. 19, and you'll enjoy a classic auto show, kids' games, a gigantic duck race, prizes and, of course, a food court - all at Town Park.

The fun will begin around 10 a.m. with the classic auto show. Owners of four-wheel drive or two-wheel drive classic cars and trucks from pre-1930 to 1980 are welcome to enter their vehicles. There is no registration fee and a trophy or plaque will be awarded for Best in Show. For more information about the car show, contact Frank Martinez in the evening at (970)264-5435.

The food court and kids' games will begin around 11:30 a.m. The food court will include the Boy Scouts selling the American classic hamburger and hot dogs and the Flying Burrito providing a Hispanic flavor in foods. A prize raffle will start around 12:30 p.m. and the duck race will follow around 2:30.

You can purchase tickets for the duck race at several locations around town. First prize in the duck race will be $1,000, with a second-place prize of $500 and a third-place prize of $100. All proceeds will go to the Knights of Columbus charities.

For more information, contact the Knights of Columbus at 731-0253 or 731-3741.

 

UU Fellowship holds music and poetry service, picnic

On Sunday, July 30, the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold its annual Music and Poetry Service and Picnic.

Led by Lindsay Morgan and coordinated by Tim Bristow, this "Performance Sunday" will feature members and friends of the Fellowship as they share a song, reading, poem, dance, joke, or any other performance art. Some will offer their personal and original works. A potluck picnic luncheon will follow the service.

This unique program begins at 10:30 a.m. and will be held outdoors at Susan Junta's home. Take Piedra Road north from U.S. 160 about a mile, turn left on Handicap and follow to the end. Turn left on to Pines Club Place (by the clubhouse) and continue to the eighth house on the left, 226 Pines Club Place (phone 731-0918). All are welcome.

 

Upcoming activities at Congregation Har Shalom

Following is a schedule of activities at Congregation Har Shalom.

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

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

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

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

Friday-Sunday, Aug. 18-20 - Weekend Shabbaton with Rabbi Baskin.

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

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

 

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.

 

Community Concert Hall announces 2006/2007 schedule

With the announcement of the upcoming shows for fall 2006, the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College will launch another exciting and ambitious performing arts season that will culminate in spring 2007 and serve as the springboard for the Hall's 10th anniversary season (2007-2008).

Tickets are now on sale for confirmed shows scheduled for September through December 2006, and further information is available on the Community Concert Hall Web site, www.durangoconcerts.com. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 247-7657.

A rundown of the lineup for fall 2006, including show descriptions, plus an abbreviated listing of confirmed winter-spring 2007 shows, follows below:

- Little Big Town, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m.

Devoted to harmony, the contemporary country vocal quartet Little Big Town offers a distinct sound with sharply hooked and lyrically steeped songs that incorporate the band's multiple lead vocals. The harmonies are complex and unique in the country arena, as the band reminds its audiences, intricately interwoven vocal arrangements are the only way their songs could be sung.

- An Evening with Robert Mirabal Wednesday, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m.

An award-winning Native American flutist and composer, Robert Mirabal is crafting a musical legacy that defines, preserves and communicates the essence of his culture. Offering "exquisitely nuanced flute playing," according to the New York Times, Mirabel creates music from his soul that honors the spirits of the earth.

- Shooglenifty, Thursday, Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m.

As one of the key original matchmakers in the on-going romance between Scottish traditional music and contemporary dance sounds, Shooglenifty mixes Celtic roots music with a kaleidoscopic array of rhythmic influences both ancient and modern, and originating from points all across the globe.

- The Commander Cody Band, Saturday, Sept. 23, 7:30 p.m.

With a repertoire that stretches from old time rock 'n' roll to swingin' jazz, the Commander Cody Band represents the essence of American roots music. The irreverent Commander Cody (aka George Frayne) leads the musical mayhem and controlled chaos, and sports his legendary antics with memorable songs such as the twangy "Hot Rod Lincoln."

- Lunasa, Friday, Oct. 6, 7 p.m.

Christened "Ireland's newest 'supergroup' the hottest Irish acoustic band on the planet," Lunasa takes traditional Irish instruments - fiddle, pipes, flute and guitar — and shifts them into rhythmic overdrive with intricate arrangements, all proving that Celtic music can be as vibrant and musically adventurous as any genre.

- The Kennedy Center IMAGINATION CELEBRATION on Tour presents Roald Dahl's "Willy Wonka," Saturday, Oct. 7, noon.

Join Willy Wonka and his band of Oompa Loompas as they lead Charlie, the spoiled-rotten Veruca Salt, gluttonous Augustus Gloop, gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde, and television junkie Mike Teavee through a labyrinth of lemon drops, life lessons, and giggles galore. Featuring live actors, puppets, plenty of surprises, and many memorable songs-including "The Candy Man," "I Want It Now!," and "Pure Imagination," "Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka" is a scrumptious musical theater treat for the entire family. "Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka" is based on the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl with music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. It has been adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse and Tim McDonald.

- So Percussion, Sunday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m.

Built around the fact that percussion has a unique ability to thrill and captivate, So Percussion seeks to immerse audiences in sound and imagination. So, a form of the Japanese verb meaning "to play," coaxes a range of colors and voices from the instruments, astonishing and entrancing audiences of all ages.

- Natalie McMaster, Friday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.

Back by popular demand: Celtic fiddling virtuoso Natalie McMaster returns to the Community Concert Hall to charm, enthuse and inspire. Blond mane flying as she stepdances and furiously fiddles, Natalie presents the perfect mix of Celtic and bluegrass in an ever energetic, amazing and joy-filled show that is sure to once again have the audience on its feet, enthusiastically basking in her beauty and talent.

- Martin Sexton, Saturday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m.

One of the most talked-about recent arrivals to the "new folk" acoustic music scene, singer-songwriter and guitarist Martin Sexton returns to Durango. Said to combine the best of Van Morrison, Al Green, Aaron Neville and Otis Redding, Sexton is a down-home virtuoso with a voice that can groan like an alternative rocker, slide like a soul man or leap up to a pearly falsetto.

- Spyro Gyra, Thursday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m.

Spyro Gyra has been a driving force in contemporary jazz since the early '70s, long before such a thing as "smooth jazz" came into being. Not a band to be so easily labeled, Spyro Gyra creatively blends jazz, rock, pop and world rhythms such as Caribbean, African and Brazilian, to form a trademark sound all their own. Spiro Gyra loves to make music and loves to play it live.

- Golden Dragon Acrobats. Saturday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats are revered as the world's leading Chinese acrobatic company, and return to Durango by popular demand. Actors, athletes and artists with an unmistakable love for their art, the troupe offers spellbinding feats of physical boldness, enhanced by elaborate traditional costumes and a melding of ancient and contemporary theatrical techniques — including authentic Chinese music.

- Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's Wild and Swingin' Holiday Party, Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 11 and 12, 7 p.m.

Jumpin', jivin' swing renaissance band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy returns to Durango for two nights bringing the band's special holiday show to the stage, "Whatchu Want for Christmas." Riding a perpetual wave of popularity and hipness, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has toured nearly nonstop since coming together in the mid-1990s. Contributing architects of this generation's swing music revitalization, the band has delivered a series of contemporary recordings and super-sizzling live performances, fashioned from the swinging days of the '40s and '50s.

- Bar D Wranglers Christmas Jubilee, Saturday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m.

Durango's much-beloved cowboy crooners come off the Bar D and step on to the Community Concert Hall stage for a special cowboy Christmas show. A warmhearted and fun-filled show for the entire family, the Bar D Wranglers are sure to inspire audiences remember the true meaning of the holidays.

  Winter/spring lineup

- Paramount's Original LaserSpectacular featuring The Music of Pink Floyd, Jan. 26.

- Hubbard Street 2, Feb. 6.

- Laura Love Duo, Feb. 17.

- Circus Nexus, Feb. 20.

- Capitol Steps, Feb. 20.

- The Ant and the Grasshopper, March 4.

- An Evening with the David Grisman Quintet, March 6 .

- Glenn Miller Orchestra, March 13.

- Marcia Ball, March 17.

- Arlo Guthrie, May 5 and 6.

- Spotlight to Stardom, May 19 .

 

Brown Bag Writers meet Thursdays

Writer's write. They sit down in front of a computer, a typewriter, or with pen and paper and put down their observations, their thoughts, the stories filling their head.

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

Every Thursday between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Brown Bag Writers provides a relaxed, casual environment for writers to drop in, listen to their muses, tap into the creative river, and learn to not take themselves so seriously.

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

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

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

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

Local Chatter

Marvelous Music in the Mountains

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

This is the first Music in the Mountains season that I've missed and I so deplore the absence.

The season has been one of my joys. To think that we can hear the artists who are a part of this program in our community. It is like a dream come true.

Last year, I went to Music in the Mountains with Michael and Lynn McCrudden and I miss hearing Michael applaud a number with "Bravo."

The Music in the Mountains program is 20 years old - all that time in Durango - and it has been here in Pagosa Springs for five years, at BootJack Ranch.

BootJack is a beautiful ranch belonging to David and Carol Brown, located in one of Colorado's most beautiful valleys and, as we sit there, we can marvel at the experience of hearing classical music at a ranch with such spectacular views. The tent is spacious and this year a full symphony orchestra is performing.

The front of The PREVIEW two weeks ago featured a photo of the tent. It overlooks a meadow, with roaming cattle. But, something special is added - buffalo: two babies, two moms and a bull. They are fenced separate from the cattle. What a picture!

The musicians are spectacular. There aren't enough slots to fill, what with all the artists who want to come each year. The performers long to come to Music in the Mountains because the audience is always so responsive.

As someone said: "Music in the Mountains is a spectacular performance on a ranch in the sky."

Jan Clinkenbeard is the president of the Pagosa chapter of Music in the Mountains.

Fun on the Run

What he says ... what he means:

"I'm going fishing," really means "I'm going to stand by a stream with a stick in my hand all day, while the fish swim by in complete safety."

"It's a guy thing," really means "There is no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no chance of making it logical."

"Can I help with dinner?," really means "Why isn't it already on the table?"

"Uh-huh, sure honey; yes, dear," really means absolutely nothing. It's a conditioned response.

"It would take too long to explain," really means "I have no idea how it works."

"We're going to be late," really means "Now I have a legitimate excuse to drive like a maniac."

"Take a break, honey, you're working too hard," really means "I can't hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."

"That's interesting, dear," really means "Are you still talking?"

"Hey, I've got my reasons for what I'm doing," really means "And I sure hope I think of some pretty soon."

"I can't find it," really means "It didn't fall into my outstretched hands, so I'm completely clueless."

"You look terrific," really means "Please don't try on another outfit. I'm starving."

"I'm not lost. I know exactly where we are," really means "No one will ever see us alive again."

 

Community Center News

Center hosts health-related programs, sessions

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

"Managing Diabetes."

Mercy asked that we adopt this name for our community center program, and her point was a good one: We are planning to offer much more than just support to participants, although that will certainly be a part of the program. Information and education will be a key component. To that end, we have secured commitments from several local people for help.

Laurie Echavarria is one of those people; she works for San Juan Basin Health and will be providing materials in Spanish and English to help determine ways to control blood sugar levels. SJBH has been targeting not just those who have already been diagnosed with diabetes, but also those who are at risk. Laurie also has access to some testing supplies purchased with grant money.

This is an opportunity to get to know others who are battling the same disease. Please let us know if there are specific ways in which this program can help you. And, of course, please plan to come to the next group meeting, which will be held today, July 27, at 5:30 p.m. Confidentiality is a must in this group.

Self-Help for Health

A class titled Self-Help for Health starts Monday, Aug. 7, at the community center at 5:30 p.m. and runs through Sept. 11. Cost is $50 for the program of six sessions.

To benefit from this program one needs to attend all six classes. In order to make a decision as to whether or not this self-help opportunity appeals to you, there will be an open house during which you can meet the facilitator, Medora Bass, Ph.D.. The open house will be at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, July 28, at the community center.

Come with questions; Medora will be happy to explain what will go on in class and how you can use the information you gain to help yourself. Refreshments will be served.

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

For more information call the center at 264-4152.

Blood drive

Last week United Blood Services held a blood drive at the community center. Nine people came to donate blood, with a total of 10 units donated. Thanks to those who came to donate and also to UBS for performing this service. The next blood drive will be Aug. 10 at Community United Methodist Church at 434 Lewis St.

Yoga class

Today's yoga class is cancelled.

A new schedule begins in August when the class will meet Tuesdays instead of Thursdays, from 10:30 until 11:30 in the morning. This class is free to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend. Thanks to Diana Baird for leading this group.

Over-the-Hill Hoopsters

This group continues to meet 8-9 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Join in if you are interested in basketball and need a little regular exercise. All are welcome, regardless of age.

Line dancing

Our line dancing weekly sign-up sheet has expanded to three pages!

Gerry Potticary's idea of providing some line dancing classes has been very popular, because Gerry and Peggy Carrai, who keep up with new dances and come prepared to share them with the group, are enthusiastic leaders and good teachers. They feature new moves and new dances every week.

Newcomers are welcome at 10 a.m. for an introduction or refresher course. Gerry and Peggy and the group do more difficult dances from 10:30 until 11:30. The group gathers every Monday morning for fun and a little exercise.

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

eBay Club

At the last eBay Club meeting Ben Bailey, who organizes and teaches the group, suggested we meet in the computer lab to practice listing items for sale on eBay.

After the group came up with a fictitious antique clock, Ben demonstrated the preparation and actual process of entering the clock into eBay as an item for sale.

Some of the tricks of being a successful seller include doing research on similar items which have been successfully sold, learning how to garner positive feedback from buyers, and managing to navigate cleanly through the eBay maze.

This is the group for you if you have ever thought about using eBay to buy or sell. The next meeting is 9 a.m. Aug. 17. There is no charge for the class, and all who are interested are welcome.

Call the center at 264-4152 or Ben at 264-0293 for more information.

Computer lab news

A new Beginning Computing for Seniors Class will start Aug. 23. The class meets eight consecutive Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon in the community center's computer lab.

The topics in Week 6 of the current beginning classes include files and file organization, file extensions and how to display them, using Windows Explorer to view the tree structure of your computer, creating and naming directories and files, and how to get a handle on file sizes. What exactly is a gigabyte?

Please stop by the reception desk if you are interested in getting copies of any of the class handouts.

Call me with computer questions at 264-4152

Teen Center

The Teen Center hours are 4-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2-8 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Rhonda LaQuey, the Teen Center coordinator, is currently in need of more volunteers to maintain these hours. If you would be interested in giving one night per week, one night per month, perhaps for special events, or even if you could donate a partial shift, contact Rhonda at 264-4152, Ext. 31. She would love to hear from you.

Center hours

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

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; watercolor class with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Grace Evangelical Vacation Bible School, 4-9 p.m.; Managing Diabetes, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

July 28 - Senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun and duplicate bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.; Self-Help for Health open house, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

July 29 - Sewing class, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

July 30 - Church of Christ Sunday service, 10 a.m.-noon; Grace Evangelical Free Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; High Roads Baptist Church, 6-8 p.m.

July 31 - Line Dancing, 10-11:30 a.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Kids' Spanish/Art Summer Camp, 12:30-3:30 p.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

Aug. 1 - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Beginning Computing, 10 a.m.-noon; yoga, 10:30-11:30 a.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Kids' Spanish/Art Summer Camp, 12:30-3:30 p.m. and 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

Aug. 2 - Beginning Computing for Seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; Wednesday bridge, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Kids' Spanish/Art Summer Camp, 12:30-3:30 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.

Aug. 3 - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; perspective drawing workshop with Ginnie and Denny, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; San Juan Outdoor Club, 6:30-9 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

Tips for eye injury prevention around the home

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Believe it or not, the average home is full of dangers that often go unnoticed.

In fact, accidents involving common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year. Ninety percent of these eye injuries can be prevented through understanding, safety practices and the use of proper eye protection.

You can reduce the risks of eye injuries for yourself and other family members by using this simple checklist for different areas of your home.

Indoor safety: Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs; provide lights and handrails to improve safety on stairs; pad or cushion sharp corners and edges of furnishing and home fixtures; install cabinet and drawer locks in kitchens and bathrooms; and store personal-use items (cosmetics, toiletry products), kitchen utensils, and desk supplies where they are out of reach of children.

Outdoor safety: Inspect and remove debris from lawns before mowing; keep paints, pesticides, fertilizers, and similar products properly stored in a secure area; keep your tools in good condition; damaged tools should be repaired or replaced; and wear safety glasses or dust goggles to protect against flying particles, and chemical goggles to guard against exposure to fertilizers and pesticides.

Chemical safety: Wear chemical safety goggles when using hazardous solvents and detergents; read and follow all manufacturer instructions and warning labels; do not mix cleaning agents; and know that regular eyeglasses don't always provide enough protection.

First aid for eye injuries

Knowing what to do for an eye emergency can save valuable time and possibly prevent vision loss. Here are some instructions for basic eye injury first aid.

Be prepared:

- Wear eye protection for all hazardous activities and sports - at school, home, and on the job.

- Stock a first aid kit with a rigid eye shield and commercial eyewash before an eye injury happens.

- Do not assume that any eye injury is harmless. When in doubt, see a doctor immediately.

Chemical burns to the eye

In all cases of eye contact with chemicals:

- Immediately flush the eye with water or any other drinkable liquid. Hold the eye under a faucet or shower, or pour water into the eye using a clean container. Keep the eye open and as wide as possible while flushing. Continue flushing for at least 15 minutes.

- Do not use an eyecup.

- If a contact lens is in the eye, begin flushing over the lens immediately. This may wash away the lens.

- Do not bandage the eye.

- Seek immediate medical treatment after flushing.

Specks in the eye

- Do not rub the eye.

- Try to let tears wash the speck out or use an eyewash.

- Try lifting the upper eyelid outward and down over the lower lid.

- If the speck does not wash out, keep the eye closed, bandage it lightly, and see a doctor.

Blows to the eye

- Apply a cold compress without putting pressure on the eye. Crushed ice in a plastic bag can be taped to the forehead to rest gently on the injured eye.

- In cases of pain, reduced vision, or discoloration (black eye), seek emergency medical care. Any of these symptoms could mean internal eye damage.

Cuts and punctures

- Do not wash out the eye with water or any other liquid.

ª Do not try to remove an object that is stuck in the eye.

- Cover the eye with a rigid shield without applying pressure. The bottom half of a paper cup can be used.

- See a doctor at once.

For more information on eye safety, e-mail info@preventblindness.org, contact us online, or call 1-800-331-2020.

Eye health presentation

Dr. Zissman from Mountain Eye Care will offer a presentation on "Eye Health" at The Den at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2. As your eyes age, you will experience greater difficulty focusing on small print items among other eye problems. Join Dr. Zissman to learn what you can do to help your eyes as they see through time.

Mystery trip

Take us back, to the old western times. Horses and cowboys, spurs sounding chimes.

Cover your eyes, peek but don't hide. Hang on to your hats; it'll be quite a ride.

On Thursday, July 27, The Den is going on the monthly Mystery Trip.

Those 18 lucky people who signed up to go should meet at The Den at 9 a.m. The senior bus will be our mode of transportation and you must be a member of Seniors Inc. You must be able to walk short distances and climb a few stairs. Bring a water bottle, camera, sunscreen, sun hat, comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather (you will be outside some of the time).

We will depart The Den at 9:10 a.m. and arrive at our destination at approximately 10:45. Lunch will be provided and we will return to The Den by 3:30 p.m.

Picnic in the park

Get outdoors and enjoy yourself this summer.

And what a better excuse to get outside than our monthly picnic in the park!

Come to Town Park by the Arts Council Building at noon Friday, July 28, for a great lunch in the great outdoors.

We'll relax by the river, enjoy the shade trees, play some horseshoes or croquet, and hang out with good friends. Not to mention savor the wonderful food, like oven fried chicken.

Bring your relatives, bring your friends or just bring yourself and a smile to this summertime social event. We will also be celebrating all the July babies by recognizing their birthdays at the picnic, which gives us even more reason to celebrate. And if that's not enough fun, then put on your most colorful shirt for the picnic because it is Hawaiian Shirt Day! It is time to enjoy the sunshine, the food, the camaraderie, the laughs and Pagosa's beautiful outdoors with a picnic in the park

Birthday celebration

If you are age 60 or over and your birthday is in July, come to Town Park Friday, July 28, for lunch and a celebration of your birthday. Not only will we sing to you, but Seniors, Inc. has graciously agreed to pay for a portion of your birthday meal, so it will cost only $1 for a great picnic lunch and lots of fun.

Needs of the aging

Join us at a public meeting at 10 a.m. Monday, July 31, in the dining room of the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center located in the community center at 451 Hot Springs Blvd.

We need your input to help create a plan to assist the aging to live dignified lives. Seniors, the general public, local government officials, care givers and any other interested parties should attend. Let's come together to learn how to help the elderly in our community live their final years in comfort and happiness.

Good for body and mind

Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 1, yoga classes are back, and with a new instructor.

Diana Baird, will be teaching yoga classes every Tuesday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the South Conference Room in the community center.

The older we get, the more important it becomes to stretch on a regular basis. Yoga is one of the best ways to stretch, relax and build strength. Bring a yoga mat, a towel or a blanket, a water bottle and wear comfortable clothing for class. Mark your calendars and join these classes free of charge at The Den to experience a healthier mind and body.

Country Western Day

On Friday, Aug. 4, The Den will celebrate the county fair by hosting Country Western Day. Put on those chaps, spurs, bandanas, cowboy hats and old western shirts and come on down to The Den for lunch. There will be some great prizes for those who most resemble Dale Evans and Roy Rogers. Yeeehaw!

Ice cream social

Hot fudge, cherries, toffee crunch; peanuts, whipped cream, lots to munch. Make a sundae two feet tall; come on all, let's have a ball!

The Den will have an ice cream social after lunch Friday, Aug. 4, to start the month off right. We will provide the ice cream for 50 cents and you bring in your favorite sundae topping to share with everyone to add to the fun.

And what about some music?

John Graves will play the piano for sing-alongs and enjoyment so join us to kick off the month with some fun (and some ice cream!)

Senior discounts

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

Memberships are available for folks age 55 and older, and can be purchased at The Den for $5 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. No memberships are sold on 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.

Arthritis support group

Are you interested in participating in an arthritis support group? The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center would like to start a support group for people who suffer from arthritis.

For more information, call Musetta at 264-2167.

Health screening

The Promoviendo La Salud program 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. 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.

Senior of the Week

We congratulate Ruth Bankhead as Senior of the Week. She will enjoy free lunches all week. We also congratulate Rollie Campbell in Arboles. He will enjoy free lunches at Arboles Meal Day during the month of August.

Computer classes

A new Beginning Computing for Seniors class will start Aug. 23. The class meets on eight consecutive Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-noon in the community center's computer lab. Call Becky Herman at 264-4152 if you would like to register.

If you are tired of paying for directory assistance - and who isn't? - check out the new free 411 service offered by Jingle Networks. Approximately 6 billion directory assistance calls are placed every year, and the average cost of one of these calls is $1.

Becky placed 11 test calls. The down side is that during the course of a call, you will listen to one or two advertisements. However, none last longer than 12 seconds. So it was a relatively painless way to obtain a phone number.

This is how it works: You dial the 800 number. A welcome message greets you, and you are asked if you want a residential, business or government number. A voice recognition program on the other end listens to you and directs you to the location and listing of your choice. Of the 11 calls Becky placed, only one seemed confusing to the listening software. It was a request for the Pagosa Springs, Colorado, U.S. Forest Service office. As soon as the automated voice on the other end realized that it was confused, I was immediately bounced to an operator who provided the number quickly.

The free 411 service is accessible at 1-800-373-3411. Try it.

Activities at a glance

Thursday, July 27 - Monthly Mystery Trip, 9 a.m. The Den is closed.

Friday, July 28 - Hawaiian Shirt Day; Qi Gong, 10 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; picnic in the park, noon; $1 birthday lunch celebrations in Town Park, noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, July 31 - Public meeting on needs of aging, 10 a.m., Susan Stoffer available, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 1 - Yoga, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; Seeds of Learning kids visit, noon; canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 2 - Basic Computer class, 10 a.m.; general eye health presentation, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 3 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required); ice cream social following lunch in Arboles. The Den is closed.

Friday, Aug. 4 - Country Western Day; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; ice cream social with music by John Graves, following lunch; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.

Menu

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 28 - Picnic in the park, lunch served in Town Park and $1 birthday lunches. Oven fried chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, cantaloupe, whole wheat roll and birthday cake.

Monday, July 31 - Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy, spinach, plums, and whole wheat bread.

Tuesday, Aug. 1 - Scalloped potatoes with ham, spinach, perfection salad, applesauce, and whole wheat bread.

Wednesday, Aug. 2 - Meatloaf with gravy, cheesy potatoes, asparagus, pineapple tidbits, and whole wheat roll.

Thursday, Aug. 3 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). Roast beef and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, apricots and peaches, and whole wheat bread.

Friday, Aug. 4 - Lasagna, herbed green beans, orange wedges, and bread sticks.

 

Veteran's Corner

Monitor health problems to determine service connections

By Andy Fautherlee

PREVIEW Columnist

"Every veteran will be assumed to have been in sound medical condition when examined, accepted, and enrolled for service, except any defects, infirmities, or disorders noted at the time of the examination, acceptance, and enrollment, or if there is clear and unmistakable evidence showing that the injury or disease did exist before acceptance and enrollment, and the injury or disease was not aggravate by such service."

Whew, that is a mouthful.

It is the official opening paragraph by the VA regarding presumptive sound condition leading to presumptions of service-connected conditions relating to certain chronic diseases and disabilities.

Agent Orange example

What does all this mumbo-jumbo have to do with a vet here in Pagosa Springs?

Well, the simplest examples that many of our veterans are familiar with are the medical conditions related to exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. Little did the military know at the time that, by exposing our soldiers to Agent Orange herbicide, there would be long-term consequences of certain medical conditions and disorders.

Presumptive condition

So where does the "presumptive" issue come in to play?

If you have certain medical conditions today, the VA considers these particular medical conditions as "presumptive." In our example of military service in Vietnam, it is presumed that if you were on the ground in most areas of Vietnam you were exposed to Agent Orange, and if you have certain medical conditions today, those medical conditions are "presumed" to have been caused by Agent Orange.

Exposure to Agent Orange itself is not a medical condition, only the current, identified medical conditions that may be the result of exposure to the herbicide.

Don't have to prove

This means you do not have to essentially prove your case, only that you have current medical evidence of a presumptive disorder related to that exposure or cause. In our example of Vietnam, some of the presumptive medical issues for exposure to Agent Orange herbicide are: Type II diabetes, certain skin conditions or cancers, Hodgkin's disease, respiratory cancers, prostate cancer, Lymphocytic Leukemia, and several other complex medical conditions.

There are also presumptive medical conditions for other causes and exposures, such as being a prisoner of war, exposure to radiation, and service in the Persian Gulf War. There are also some presumptive medical conditions for peacetime military service.

Long list

The list of presumptive medical conditions for military service is very long and complex. And growing.

I would urge every veteran to examine any medical problems they may be having that are possibly related to their military service. Some may be presumptive, some may need proof that the condition is the result of military service.

The list of presumptive medical conditions has grown greatly over the years. Many medical conditions have been added just since I have been your CVSO for the past five-plus years. So, a medical condition you may have checked into some years ago as possibly relating to military service, that was turned down, may now be on the list or considered presumptive.

This office has extensive information and experience in assisting with VA service-connected disabilities claims. The best part, as always, is the cost - nada, nothing. Just part of the service the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office offers every day.

Share-A-Ride

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 keep a calendar of who is going where to coordinate this important program.

Durango VA Clinic

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

Further information

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

New books, special thanks, fun events for children

By Carole Howard

SUN Columnist and library staff

For the past few years as the library expansion project dominated our efforts, contributions from grants and individuals went to the building fund. As a result, we got behind in purchasing new books, CDs, DVDs, books on tape, videos, etc. That means your contributions of these materials to the library collection have been appreciated even more than usual.

Volunteer Cindy Gustafson, who tracks donations to the library, reports that we are behind in our acknowledgments. With apologies and fervent thanks for everything you give us, we want to thank the following: Bobbie Akers, Meryle Bauchees, Maureen Balog, Tracy Barkees, Charlene Baumgardner, Larry Blue, Diane and Jan Bower, Donna Carman, Sandy Caves, Cristie, Wayne Crosby, Kerry Dermody, Barb Draper, Susan Dussell, Kathleen Faulkner, Karen Feldt, John Gabel, James Gavic, Brock German, Cristy Holdan, Marie Khoury, Allen Layton, Marie Layton, Elizabeth Mackey of Lubock, Texas, Paul Matlock, Mac McQuiery, Donna Michael, Lori Moseley, W. Nolan, Merriam Paul, Lisa Peterson, Martha Pyatt, Vivian Rader, Dick Redfield, Anna Royer, Pam and Tom Schoemig, Robbie Schwatrz, Pamela Spaling, Suki, Neysa Thorell, James Van Liere, Victoria's Reign, and Pat and Gene Wissler.

New books

When it comes to books, Pagosa readers love mysteries.

"Plant Them Deep," the latest tribal detective story by Aimee and David Thurlo, offers a great story while also teaching us about Navajo culture. If you like Tony Hillerman, try these married co-authors. There are 11 other of their books in our library as well. David grew up on the Navajo Reservation in Shiprock and Aimee is from Havana, Cuba, and their non-Anglo background adds credibility to the characters and events.

Another who-done-it is the international bestseller "The Death of Achilles," by Boris Akunin. Mystery writer Ruth Rendell called him "the Russian Ian Fleming." His novels feature a Slavic Sherlock Holmes who speaks Japanese and English, is skilled at martial arts and has ladykiller good looks.

Speaking of international settings, try "Maps for Lost Lovers," a novel by Nadeem Aslam about Pakistani immigrants, unmarried lovers who disappear in England. It is getting raves from reviewers across the country for its superb writing and sensitive storytelling.

In the world of non-fiction, "Who Controls the Internet - Illusions of a Borderless World," by Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu, tells the fascinating story of the Internet's challenge to governmental rule in the 1990s and the ensuring battles with governments around the world. Readers learn of Google's struggles with the French government, Yahoo's capitulation to the Chinese regime, e-Bay's fight with fraud, how the European Union sets privacy standards on the Net for the entire world, and much more.

"The Da Vinci Code" book and movie caused millions to become more interested in the history of Christianity. Michael Baigent, author of several bestsellers on religion and one of Dan Brown's sources for "The Da Vinci Code," now gives us "The Jesus Papers." It challenges many things we think we know about the life and death of Jesus. Meanwhile, "Peter, Paul and Mary Magdalene," by Bart D. Ehrman, well-known for his "Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code" (also available at the library), takes readers on an engaging tour of the early Christian church, illuminating the lives of three of Jesus' most intriguing followers.

Children's summer fun

Imaginary pets have taken over the library!

Participants in the Summer Reading Program have used wonderful skill and imagination to create imaginary pets for one of the library's fun contests. These adorable creatures are on display throughout the library, so be sure to enjoy them when you come in. They'll be in the library until August 1, at which time they go home with their owners.

Children's librarian Barb Draper reminds Summer Reading program participants that you may turn in your reading logs any time between now and Aug. 4. Remember, one of the rewards for completing your reading contract is a free admission the first day of the Archuleta County Fair.

Parents and children also are reminded to claim your prizes from previous weekly contests. Lists of winners are posted in the Children's Room. Come on in and check to see if your name is there.

 

Pagosa Reads

'Water Wars' - history and analysis of a basic need and resource

By William F. Wetzel

Special to The PREVIEW

"Water Wars: Drought, Flood and the Politics of Thirst," by Diane Raines Ward; Riverhead Books, August 2002 (ISBN 1573222291).

"Water Wars" presents both an in-depth historical review and a contemporary examination of the human struggle with a most basic need - water. The water problems studied are global in scale.

Diane Raines Ward is a competent journalist with a diverse background including science writing. To research this book, she traveled the world for 10 years to five continents investigating the problems of water management and interviewing people affected by, and those involved in, solving the problems.

Hydrologists, politicians, engineers and farmers all had their own, often conflicting, views of the problems and solutions. With the population of the planet exploding, the consequences of dwindling, usable water supplies presents an almost certain catastrophic situation. Ward presents information to educate the readers and make them aware of the need to understand the delicate situation of water and humanity.

Aspects studied vary widely: Tremendous efforts that have to be expended keeping the seas out of the lowlands of Holland; saving Venice from slowly sinking into the Adriatic; solving the precarious situation of New Orleans; supplying potable water for increasing population; providing water for agriculture; flood control; generation of electricity; clean water for the environment.

The historical background presented ranges from water management at the beginnings of civilization, through the worldwide projects of the engineers of the British Empire, to the early 20th century projects in the American West. Many failures, and the few successes, are reviewed and analyzed, offering an informative picture of the problem of water.

At the heart of our water problems are two causes that we seem powerless to address.

The growth of the earth's human population is explosive, taxing all resources, daily creating more human, industrial and agricultural pollution, changing the biosphere itself. Population numbers can be stabilized as is being demonstrated in China, but worldwide there will be no solution to the problem in the foreseeable future. The rapidly changing climatic conditions have seriously affected water problems worldwide. Wether you lay the blame to humankind or the natural rhythms of the planet, global warming and the resulting changes are a fact. Dealing with the results of these two causes is the main challenge in solving our water problems.

Ward demonstrates that the technology exists to deal with the majority of water problems, but projects all too often sacrifice efficiency to political and immediate economic gain. The examples of the Tennessee Valley Authority in this country and the Snowy Mountain project in Australia offer solutions that could address multiple problems. A well-designed system could offer flood control, clean electricity, economic benefits, clean water and environmental benefits. Small-scale, local efforts can provide many of the same benefits in our own communities.

"Water Wars" offers the reader valuable information, by an objective and skillful writer, that will help us make our own water decisions responsibly.

 

Arts Line

Ginnie, Denny and the Gang at PSAC gallery

By Linda Strathdee

PREVIEW Columnist

More than 50 people attended the opening of the Ginnie, Denny and the Gang Exhibit Thursday, July 20.

The show, with a variety of art media represented, continues to Aug. 8 at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery at Town Park, at 315 Hermosa St. Pieces include watercolor, oil and pastels.

The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Plan to stop by and support your neighbors in Pagosa.

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

2006 tour a big success

This year's Home and Garden Tour was a huge success, with over 200 visitors.

We would like to give a hearty thanks to all the hosts for their generosity in opening their homes. Our appreciation goes to: Edward and Barbara Simpson, Ron and Val Halvorson, Tom and Susan Thorpe, and Dan and Darlene Gonzales.

Additionally, we would like to offer a special thanks to Marti Capling, our tour chairperson for the last six years. Sadly, Marti is leaving the area; good luck to you, Marti. Pagosa's loss will be Las Cruces' gain!

Summer camp for kids

Pagosa Springs Arts Council is sponsoring a Children's Summer Art/Spanish Camp, taught by Soledad Estrada-Leo. Ongoing classes began June 5 and will 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 through Thursday. Classes are $150 for two weeks, or $275 per month. Classes are filling up quickly so please 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.

2007 calendars

The 2007 Arts Council calendars are here.

This is the second edition of the ongoing calendar project. The calendar features works from local artists Claire Goldrick, Betty Slade, Jan Brookshier, Art Franz, Diana Baird, Al Olson, Jeff Laydon, David Hunter, Barbara Rosner, Jeanine Malaney and Emily Tholberg. Artwork exhibited includes photography, oil, fabric art, watercolor and mixed media.

Calendars are available at the gallery for $9.95 plus tax for nonmembers and $8.95 plus tax for PSAC members.

Perspective drawing

A perspective drawing workshop will be held Aug. 3-5 at Pagosa Springs Community Center for artists and those who hope someday to be an artist.

Cost is $150 for three full days for PSAC members and $175 for nonmembers; the additional $25 goes for an annual membership to the arts council. A per-day fee of $60/members or $75/nonmembers is also available.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. Bring your lunch.

Perspective is a non-painting class that is open to all - those who have never painted and those who want to make their paintings better. It covers drawing man-made structures, landscapes and still-life setups. 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.

Materials: drawing/writing pencils in red, blue and green; a mechanical pencil such as a Sharp writer; pen - Ultrafine Sharpie; ruler: minimum 18-inch, maximum 24-inch;. triangle with one side at least 10 inches long; a big tracing paper pad - preferably 24 inches wide, by 19 or 20.

Register now, class size is limited. Take your check by the Arts Center in Town Park Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., or call 264-5020 to sign up with a credit card. If you need art supplies, try to have them well before the class. If you have questions, call Denny 946-0696 or Ginnie 731-2489.

Joye Moon workshop

PSAC will sponsor a Joye Moon watercolor workshop Sept, 5-8, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day.

Cost of the workshop is $250 for PSAC members and $275 for nonmembers. The workshop will explore new methods and techniques in watercolor painting. The four projects are totally new for the PSAC so if you have taken one of Joye's workshops in the past, you will be getting different projects and methods.

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

Tom Lockhart workshop 

PSAC will sponsor a plein aire oil painting workshop with Tom Lockhart. The workshop will be held Sept. 11-13, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Cost is $300 for PSAC members, $325 nonmembers. An additional day maybe scheduled. Call 264-5020 for advanced registration. For more information, visit www.pagosa-arts.com, or call PSAC.

Pierre Mion workshop

Internationally-known artist and illustrator Pierre Mion will teach his fall watercolor workshop, the Lake Powell Class, Oct. 9, 10 and 11, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Classes will be held in the Arts and Crafts Room at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Students may opt for an optional fourth day, Thursday, Oct. 12.

The price of this three-day workshop is $240 for PSAC members and $265 for nonmembers. The extra $25 will automatically give you a one-year PSAC membership. The optional fourth day is available at $60 per person, minimum four students needed. The workshop is limited to 10 students, so sign up for this fun-filled experience right away by calling PSAC at 264-5020. For further workshop and supplies information, call Mion at 731-9781 or visit www.pagosa-arts.com.

Watercolor club

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 Room at the community center.

Watercolorists of all levels are provided the opportunity to use the room for the day. Attending members contribute $5 for use of the space. The goals for the day vary as the watercolorists get 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! New participants are always welcome. For more information, contact PSAC at 264-5020.

Harman Museum volunteers

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 shifts are available.

Working in the museum provides the opportunity to preserve a part of our western authenticity and to meet visitors from throughout the world. For more information, contact Fred Harman III, curator, at 731-5785.

Changing of the guard

Hats off to Wendy Saunders who has so ably written this column the past year. Her competence and diligence have been appreciated by all.

It is my hope that I will be able to at least partially fill her shoes. Thank you, Wendy!

PSAC calendar

All PSAC classes and workshops are held in the Arts and Craft Room at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, unless otherwise noted. All exhibits are shown at the PSAC Gallery at Town Park, unless otherwise noted. For more information, contact PSAC at 264-5020

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

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 - Pagosa Portraits: Ego and Alter-Ego, opening reception, 5-7 p.m.

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

Sept. 5-8 - Joye Moon watercolor workshop.

Sept. 11-13 - Tom Lockhart oil painting workshop.

Arts Line is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, courtesy of the Pagosa Sun. 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." 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) email. You can also mail a CD of images and information to PSAC, P.O. Box 533, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. 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

 

Hard to go wrong with rock-solid southern Rhones

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

There are seasons for almost every beverage - gin and tonic in the summer, single malt in the fall, and port in the winter. One beverage however, and my beverage of choice - red wine - transcends the seasons, and is fair game for any day of any season, hot or cold, rain or shine, summer of winter. And in fact, my wine choices have little do with the weather, and everything to do with the meal.

Sea scallops? Meursault.

Steamed muscles? Muscadet.

Halibut with sauce hollandaise? Montrachet. Flounder? Entre-Deux-Mers. Couscous, a salade Nicoise or bouillabaisse? Rosé.

It's not to say that I'll only match poultry and fish with white wine, but that's when whites truly shine and the rest can be well matched with red. And this was the case when a friend prepared slow roasted pork tenderloin, with cinnamon, cardamom, stewed apricots and black cherries. The complexity of the dish screamed for red, but it was a delicate act. The pork required something bold but not overpowering. A gutsy pinot noir was the first thing that came to mind.

However, after rummaging through the wine cabinet, I realized our options were limited - Argentine malbec, Cahors, and a Vacqueyras - all heavy hitters, all three, in some circles, not a good match for the season, and two, definitely not a match for the meal. The third, however - the 2003 Perrin and Fils Vacqueyras Les Christins - had promise.

Vacqueyras is one of the premiere southern Rhône appellations, and ranks a third, or close second - after Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and Gigondas - in the area's appellic triumvirate.

Made from 60 to 80 percent grenache, with varying amounts of syrah, cinsaut, carignane and mourvèdre, wines from Vacqueyras can be powerful creatures, with elements of black fruits, dark chocolate, pepper, and leather, with solid tannins that make the wines good candidates for cellaring. At their most delicate, the wines are medium-bodied, spicy, and herbaceous. At their most intense, they are robust, gamey and jammy - you can spread them on toast.

Although I hadn't tasted the '03 Les Christins, I was banking on the vintage, the vintner and that unique herbaceous, spicy quality imparted by the apricot orchards and fields of wild herbs — called garrigues - so typical of the southern Rhône, Vacqueyras and the Provencal countryside.

In the end, the gamble proved successful, and the pepper, apricot, cinnamon, cardamom and cherries meshed with the supple texture and elegant nuances of smoke, dark chocolate and spice of the Les Christins.

And while the Les Christins, and many of today's wines from Vacqueyras could easily be described as elegant, quality production, despite the region's rich viticultural history, hasn't always been the case in the appellation or in the region.

According to historians, southern Rhône viticulture began around 600 B.C. with the arrival of the Phocaeacan Greeks from what is today the western coast of Turkey. Those early Greeks settled near the Mediterranean coast, and founded what would later come to be called the French city of Marseille.

After the Greeks, came the Persians who brought with them the Syrah grape, which is used extensively in the south for blending, and as the principal grape in the renowned appellations of the northern Rhône. Although, some argue syrah is a varietal indigenous to the southern Mediterranean. After the Greeks, came the Romans who fully developed viticulture in the region then extended it northward, into what is now modern day France.

Over the course of centuries, the wines of the southern Rhône grew in quality and stature, and ultimately earned status equal to the great estates of Bordeaux and Burgundy. But by the end of the 18th century, with the French embroiled in the Napoleonic Wars, wine production in the Rhône would take a turn for the worst. With the British blockading French ports, the Bordeaux merchants lost access to Spanish markets and Spanish wines, which, except in the best vintages, were used to bolster Bordeaux reds. Lacking an outside source, the Bordelaise looked south, to the inky, syrah and grenache based reds of the Rhône. For roughly 60 years, both Bordeaux and Burgundy houses pilfered the best of the Rhône, and the area, once a premier producer in its own right, slipped gradually into decline.

To add insult to injury, by the early 20th century, phylloxera decimated the Rhône's vines, and by 1930, amidst the Great Depression and lacking cash, vintners did not replant and the land was left to lie fallow. By the 1950s, vintners' fortunes improved, and slowly the land was returned to the vine, with winemakers in the southern winemaking regions, seeking to regain their former stature by creating wines of distinction that reflected the character of the appellation - among them was Vacqueyras.

For most of the 20th century, Vacqueyras was, first, part of the Côtes-du-Rhône winemaking region then, in 1955, was elevated to Côtes-du-Rhône Villages status. After 35 years of Côtes-du-Rhône Villages status, the French Institut Nationale des Appellations d'Origine (INAO), recognized the quality and unique terroir of Vacqueyras, and in 1990 bestowed the village with its own Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status. Under AOC law, Vacqueyras produces only red wines, which are dominated by up to 80 percent grenache, and the village is now one of the 11 AOC areas in the southern Rhône.

The elevated status has been good to Vacqueyras, as has recent success with a string of rock solid vintages. Overall, the late 1990s were kind to the southern Rhône and Vacqueyras, and the 1998 and 1999 vintages proved stunning. In 2000 and 2001 the region's luck continued, capping a series of four outstanding years. By 2002, the southern Rhône took a downturn, the vintage bombed, and some producers limited production, or produced nothing at all. Although hot and dry in 2003, rain came at the right time, and the vintage marked a tremendous comeback after the prior vintage's lackluster performance. During 2003, southern Rhône vintners produced wines of depth, intensity and concentration - wines that should prove excellent for aging, and that are drinking well today. Recent reports from the wine press indicate 2004 and 2005 look promising. Here are a few of my favorites Vacqueyras producers.

Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux - Translated as the "Blood of the Stones," the name says it all, and the wines drink like an elixir pressed from the cobble-strewn soil of the appellation. Often called a wine with a cult following, Sang des Cailloux creates wines that are rich, powerful, black and gamey. In the best vintages, the Sang des Cailloux has tremendous aging potential. Outside of mail order, Sang des Cailloux can be difficult to find, but with the quality of the '03, snatch up a case if you see it and enjoy its transformation over the next decade.

Domaine de La Charbonnaire - a blend of 60 percent grenache and 40 percent syrah, made by the Maret family, which also produces a stunning Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The Vacqueyras is aged in oak for six to eight months, and the wines exude huge peppery notes, loads of character and the distinct southern Rhône terroir.

Perrin and Fils 2003 Les Christins - 80 percent grenache blended with syrah. From the vintners of Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the Les Christins is another quality bottling from Perrin family. The wine earned 91 points in the Wine Spectator and a ranking on the Spectator's list of 100 best wines. At $19, the Les Christins offers a midrange entry into the Perrin line, but for a less expensive quaff, try the family's Vieille Ferme, for a simple, everyday Rhône red.

 

Food for Thought

Hoooooo whee, it's time to eat an owl

By Karl Isberg

I am saying goodbye to some friends and I am just about to the open the front door to let them out of the house.

Michael looks out the glass at the top of the door, points outside and whispers: "Quiet. Look: an owl."

Sure enough, there it is - hanging precariously on the stuccoed wall above the garage door, under the eave, looking away from us to something on the hillside next to the house. No doubt doing a bit of odd-hour mousing

The bird senses motion as we move to get a better look and it flies away.

"It's a sign," exclaims Denise. "A good omen."

With my propensity to saddle up and ride any notion that bodes well for me, I swell with positive feelings, about myself, my prospects, my overall signficance in the grand scheme of things.

"Nah," says Michael. "I think the owl signifies death, doesn't it?"

Oh geez.

With my propensity to saddle up and ride any notion that bodes ill for me, the air rushes from the balloon of my swollen ego; I deflate and fall earthward, consumed by despair.

Now, with my propensity for obsession, I can't get that darned owl out of my mind. Kathy is off turning pages for a concert pianist and I can't relate my concerns to her so she, in turn, will ridicule me and herd me back to a relatively stable state of being.

That owl!

Obviously, I'm gonna die soon.

Just when I am finally exposing myself to a bit of sunlight and sloughing off the burden of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Always with the bad luck.

I rush to the Internet and begin a frantic search for information about the owl in mythology.

I find a bit of respite in the fact the ancient Greeks associated the owl with Athene - goddess of wisdom and arts and crafts.

Its comforting to know the Romans linked the owl with Minerva, their goddess of wisdom.

Through the two associations, the owl came to symbolize prophecy and philosophy in these ancient cultures.

Then, as I read on, things slide downhill, quickly.

In general, eastern cultures have associated the owl with death, disaster and crime. And the bird fared much the same in many Native American myths.

A Romanian, hearing the hoot of an owl, knows a neighbor will die soon (of course that's always the case, isn't it?). This news is not all bad, since there are older folks in my neighborhood. And, in a way, it is a good thing - after all, I didn't hear the owl hoot and I saw it in broad daylight.

But, a preponderance of people, including the Celts, associate the bird's nocturnal habits and its extraordinary eyesight in the dark with death. Remember, the Celts invented the bagpipe; they are well acquainted with frightening things.

My trip into mythologies ultimately serves me poorly; this association of owls with death dogs me.

I am sitting in the living room as darkness falls. I have no light on in the house. I have no music playing. I have banished the dog to the downstairs porch.

I am listening for the hoot of an owl.

And, sure enough, I hear it.

It's that, or a snippet of a Black Eyed Peas tune issuing from the sound system in a car that drives past on the street down the hill. The Peas do that "hoo hoo" thing in the choruses of some of their music.

I sleep fitfully.

Enough, I tell myself the next day: Karl, you are a rational being; a fairly well educated person and no stranger to analytic, pragmatic thought. You are not prone to fall victim to goofy, loose-minded superstition. Shape up, man.

I ponder the situation, and I decide to eat an owl in order to neutralize the nasty mojo.

Then, I remember two things: first, the owl might be an endangered species. The last thing I want is some game warden showing up at the barbecue to cuff me and take me away to wildlife violators' prison. And, second: you're not supposed to chow down on owls, for otherworldly reasons.

To confirm this, I go directly to the roots of the Judeo-Christian tradition. I locate a dusty copy of the Tanakh (JPS 1985) and speed directly to the Torah, make a hard right and come to screeching halts at Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 - and thar she blows.

"The following you may not eat " this, that, this, that, etc "the little owl, the great owl, and the white owl."

That seems to include all owls.

Also on the list are the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the kite, the falcon and the buzzard of any variety (drat!), the pelican, the bustard, the cormorant (and me with a great source for fresh cormorant), the stork, any variety of heron, the hoopoe (whatever that is) and, thankfully, the bat.

I assume, in some distant corner of Islamic dietary law, there might be a prohibition on feasting on owl and, for sure, there's no owl appetizer for our Muslim friends if the bird dies naturally or is killed by an animal.

Since early Christians were officially relieved of the burden of Jewish dietary law by the Council of Jerusalem, there would seem to be no reason the owl can't take its place alongside other delicacies at an Episcopalian's table, but it has not been the case.

I hustle back to the Internet and search for owl recipes. There's a hint of a dish or two in the annals of Apicius, but nothing other than a hint. (Those Romans would consume anything, though. I know of a great Roman recipe for braised flamingo.)

No mention of owl at medieval banquets; no owl paté at the court of the French kings. Ortolans, yes; owls, no. Escoffier doesn't mention the owl. Nothing out there, recipewise, other than simpleminded jokes made about the spotted owl by one-fanged anti-environmentalists.

I have enough confidence in my cooking ability to know I can come up with my own take on the wily bird, but I lack the hunting skills to stalk and murder one myself. As a result, I search the Internet for commercial sources of owl flesh.

Nada. Apparently there are no owl farms.

My quasi-homeopathic, culinary cure is falling to ruin.

So, I must turn to the surrogate. There is powerful juju in the use of a surrogate.

Since I need to procure the meat pronto, I forage at the supermarket. I suppose it's going to have to be chicken, turkey or duck. The ducks at the store are frozen and I don't have time to thaw my food, what with this storm gathering on my psychic horizon. I'm flat-out tired of chicken. Turkey it will be.

I buy a pack of turkey "cutlets" and set out to make a simple dish, with lemon and white wine. I will call it "Owl Piccata."

I pound out the cutlets to a quarter inch or less. I dredge them in seasoned flour and tap off the excess, setting each cutlet on a wire rack.

I have some dry, white wine ready, along with chicken stock, chicken demi-glace, chopped parsley, minced shallot, rinsed capers, butter and extra-virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice. As a laugh, I finely chop some oil-packed, sun-dried tomato; it's got nothing to do with piccata, but it seems compatible.

I put a half-and-half mix of oil and butter in a pan over medium high heat and, when the butter begins to bubble, I begin to saute the cutlets - several minutes on each side, until golden brown. I remove the cutlets and drain them on paper towel while the others cook. When the cutlets are done, I remove most of the oil from the pan, pop in the shallot and tomato, saute for a while without allowing the shallot to brown, then deglaze the pan with white wine, cooking until the wine has nearly evaporated. In goes the broth and a heaping tablespoon of the demi-glace, and I reduce by two thirds. I add a bit of lemon juice, let the mix heat, add the capers, parsley and a huge wad of butter, turn the heat off, taste, season with salt and pepper, and put the cutlets back in the pan, coating them with the sauce.

Perfect, served with a round of fried Gorgonzola polenta and some greens dressed with a lemon vinaigrette. No polenta, you say? How about some al dente angel hair pasta, dressed with garlic-infused extra-virgin olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese?

I artfully arrange the food on my plate, pour a glass of the same dry white I used in the Owl Piccata, and repair to the deck to do some healing.

The sun has set.

All is not right.

Have you ever had the feeling something is out there, in the trees watching you?

Hooooooo.

 

Extension Viewpoints

Enter Open Class exhibits at the fair

July 28 - 6 p.m., Sportsfishing Project meeting.

July 29 - 8 a.m., county fair Quilt Show registration and judging.

July 31 - 4:30 p.m., Dog Obedience Project meeting.

Aug. 1 - 1 p.m., Rabbit and Poultry Project meeting.

Aug. 2 - 1-8 p.m., county fair Open Class Exhibit entry registration.

Aug. 3 - 8 a.m., 4-H "Inside" Project Record Book judging.

Aug. 3 - County fair Livestock weigh-in (4-H and Open Class).

Aug. 3 - 6 p.m., Goat Show.

Open Class exhibits

Have you been canning, painting, brewing wines, beers or spirits, baking, making crafts, snapping pictures, sewing, knitting or crocheting?

What about occupying your time by building home furnishings, doing ceramics, growing flowers, plants, fruits or veggies?

Have you cultivated field crops or completed needlework? Did you make any quilts to keep your toes warm this winter? Have you been working on merit badges for Boy or Girl Scouts?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then enter your item(s) in the Open Class exhibits for the county fair.

You can pick up the Fair Rules and Regulations book around town or at the Extension Office. We even have it online this year at www.archuletacountyfair.com.

Read the rules and regs, bring your item to be registered Wednesday, Aug. 2, from 1-8 p.m. No items will be registered Thursday, however, due to freshness issues - baked goods, field crops, fruits, vegetables and floriculture must be registered Wednesday but brought in Thursday morning, 7:30 -9 a.m. Set-up and judging for Open Class will begin Thursday and the exhibit will be available for viewing 6-8 p.m. Thursday evening.

4-H Livestock Auction

Animals with colored ribbons.

Anxious, young livestock breeders.

A barn full of interested buyers.

An evening full of showing, bidding, buying and selling championship livestock.

An event.

This is the Archuleta County 4-H Livestock Auction.

The 4-H Livestock Auction is the culmination of a long project year for many 4-H members. At the auction, they have the opportunity to sell their animals and learn first-hand how the marketing process works.

It is an educational project that begins with the selection of an animal many months before and continues until the animal is shipped to the slaughterhouse for the buyer at the end of the fair, or when the buyer takes the animal home.

So, you may be asking: "Why should I purchase an animal from the 4-H Livestock Auction?"

The answer is quite simple. You will receive personal satisfaction through: 1) helping to promote 4-H youth "learn by doing" programs; 2) obtaining high-quality meat for your freezer or locker, and; 3) free advertising you will receive as a buyer, both in the newspaper and the 4-H Livestock Auction Program. Everyone is invited to participate in this year's Livestock 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.

The 4-H members who sell livestock at the auction are very appreciative of the special people who buy their animals each year. The support they give makes the auction a success. Help us make this year's the best auction ever by becoming a buyer at the 4-H Livestock Auction!

Chuckwagon dinner tickets

Get your tickets now for the annual 4-H Chuckwagon Dinner, Aug. 5, at the Archuleta County Fair.

The menu includes barbecue beef by the famous Harry Cole, cole slaw, baked beans, Texas toast, potato salad, and the 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 at the Activity Tent Saturday night at the fair. Come out 4:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, for an excellent meal and stay for the excitement of the 4-H Livestock Auction starting at 6:30 p.m.

Questions and answers

Q: Why would brown patches develop in a lawn that is watered every other evening for an hour?

A: If a well-watered lawn develops brown patches, more likely than not, it has developed a fungal problem. Here are some pointers that might help identify a lawn fungus:

- Dead grass that pulls away from the roots easily;

- Grass blades that are green on their lower portion with upper parts pinched together and brown;

- Yellow-green blotches on blades that eventually bleach to a white or straw color.

Controls for fungus include good cultural methods. Lawn watering is best done early in the day so that grass blades may become dry before nightfall. Watering at night causes grass blades to remain wet for long periods of time, which is a good way to promote fungus. If the lawn has a thick layer of thatch, it should be core aerated in either the spring or fall, or at both times if thatch is heavy. Chemical control would include the use of a fungicide such as Daconil, applied following label directions. To be sure it is a fungal problem, you should submit a turf sample about six inches in diameter that shows the marginal area between the living and dead grass, and includes a couple inches of roots.

Q: How can you tell if botulism is present in home-canned vegetables?

A: Before using home-canned food, critically examine the product and container. A bulging lid or leaking jar are signs of spoilage. When you open the jar, look for other signs of spoilage such as spurting liquid, an off odor or mold. As an added precaution, boil all home-canned vegetables and meats without tasting for 10 minutes plus one minute per 1,000 feet above sea level (15 minutes at 5,000 feet). Boil home-canned spinach and corn 20 minutes before tasting. If the food looks spoiled, foams or has an off odor during heating, discard it. Dispose of all spoiled food in a place where it will not be eaten by children or pets. One sure way to prevent the spread of toxin is to boil suspect foods 30 minutes before disposing. This will ensure destruction of any toxin that might be present and prevent its spread.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

Aggressive dogs, dog attacks a growing problem

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

On Sunday night, while driving home from work a little before dusk, I saw a woman on the side of the road. She was holding up her bicycle to put it between herself and two large dogs. I saw some bleeding on her one arm and one lower leg.

When I stopped my car to yell at the dogs, one of them charged at me through the open car window. I pulled back, got the window up and yelled at the woman to get into the passenger seat.

We stayed inside the car until the county animal control officer arrived, in quick response to our cell phone call for help.

As soon as the officer stepped out of his vehicle, the dogs turned on him and he radioed for backup. Emergency medical technicians were on the scene and they provided good care for the victim.

There is a dog bite problem in the United States. There are almost 5 million victims annually - about 2 percent of the entire population; 800,000 need medical attention. One thousand per day need treatment in hospital emergency rooms. Between 15 and 20 die per year. Dog bite losses exceed $1 billion per year, with $345 million paid by insurance.

And the problem appears to be growing. In a seven-year period during the 1990s, the number of dogs rose by 2 percent, while the number of bites increased by 33 percent. The property/casualty insurance industry paid $250 million for dog bite claims in 1995, $310 million in 2001, and $345.5 million in 2002. Additional losses were paid by other segments of the insurance industry, such as health insurers.

The majority of dog attacks (60 percent) happen at home or in a familiar place. That is why I find little comfort when a dog owner tells me, "He won't bite," as the animal comes running after me.

An American has a one in 50 chance of being bitten by a dog each year. These statistics can be changed when dog owners are willing to take full responsibility for the training and care of the animal and the full observance of leash laws.

Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association continues to contract with Archuleta County commissioners and the sheriff's department to provide animal control in the Pagosa Lakes area. Should you have any animal control issues, you may reach the sheriff's office by calling 264-2131.

Triathlon

With the Pagosa Lakes Triathlon taking place this Saturday, be reminded that the pool at the recreation center will be closed until 11 a.m. The rest of the facility will remain open, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Between 90-95 competitors will be participating in the triathlon and I wish everyone fun and personal satisfaction.

The race course includes the rim trail in Martinez Canyon. Trail users are cautioned to be alert to runners and mountain bikers from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Saturday. The best location for supporters and spectators is at the transition area - on the front lawn of the recreation center.

Annual meeting

Pagosa Lakes property owners are reminded that the PLPOA annual meeting will be held on Saturday morning at the Pagosa Lakes Community Center on Port Avenue. Social hour and voting will begin at 9 a.m., with a prompt start of the meeting at 10. Please plan on attending. This is another opportunity for property owners to voice their ideas and to give direction for the future planning of the association.

On Wednesday, Aug. 2, another county road maintenance workshop well be held at Pagosa Lakes Community Center. The workshop will begin at 6 p.m. Maintenance policies regarding primary and secondary roads, options for the maintenance of secondary roads and any other road maintenance related issues will be discussed.

 

Births

Quinlan Roane Sanders

Quinlan Roane Sanders was born Thursday, July 20, 2006, at Chandler Regional Hospital in Chandler, Ariz. He is the son of Jason and Kim Sanders. He weighed 7 pounds and was 18 1/2 inches long. His big brothers Tyrel, Cole and Jedrick are so proud. Maternal grandmother is Rita Strickland, great-grandmother is Mary Pierce of Pagosa Springs. Maternal grandfather is Darrell Strickland of Grand Junction. Paternal grandparents are Jenny Sanders and Curtis Wilcox of Alamosa.

 

Obituaries

June Nickerson

June (Frumpy) Nickerson was born February 14, 1924, in Sawton, England.

June is survived by her husband, Harlan Nickerson, and children, Stephen, (wife, Alberta), Karen, (husband, Charlie), Geoff and Jody, (husband, David); grandsons Robin, Chaz, James and Miles; granddaughters, Gidget, (husband, Gustavo), Antoinette, (husband, Daniel), and Megan; great-grandchildren, Sergio, Caitlin, Adrian and Daniel Jr.

June met Harlan during World War II in 1944 while he was stationed at Duxford, England Air Force Base. They were married the following year and came to California in 1945, where she raised her four children, as a full-time mom and tending to her rose gardens. She was a wonderful wife, mom and grandmother.

June was one classy lady who was a ball of fire and full of life. June and her husband, Nick, moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1991 and lived there until 2005, at which time they arrived in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

June had many friends and was loved by all her family. She will be truly missed by all. A memorial service will be held for Frumpy on Sunday, July 30, at 1 p.m. at Juanita, Colorado, CR 500.

 Business News

Chamber News

Take advantage of the region's riches

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

It's the middle of the night and the clouds clear long enough for you to see the moon rise between two rock spires - in a way you may never experience again.

A shooting star rockets through the sky and it takes your breath away. You sit on a rock ledge relishing music that is design-specific for this event.

You overlook a site that is centuries old and a national park that is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

You're with your children on a train that is over 125 years old, revisiting and sharing your love and excitement of the rails that you felt when you were a child.

You play in a park and watch children catch the spark of the appreciation of music, or the stage, or the love of playing an instrument as they watch a concert production in the park. You smile, and it takes your breath away!

This year in the Pagosa area has been magical for me and, I am sure, for numerous other residents of the community.

We have experienced the Major Lunar Standstill at Chimney Rock, the 100th anniversary of Mesa Verde, the 125th anniversary of the Durango/Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, the fifth anniversary of Music in the Mountains, stellar Music Booster productions, and so much more.

The time and talent it takes to create these events is Herculean in nature.

We live in a special place, with so much natural beauty. We are given opportunities to stretch ourselves as individuals and to work in groups in a region that has so very much to offer.

Many times, we cannot afford to attend all these events; but we shouldn't let that stop us. Look for ways to expose yourself and involve your family in volunteer opportunities. Take advantage of the "locals" days that so many major tourist sites offer. You live here for a reason. Find out how you can help others while giving yourself a gift. As we struggle to make ends meet and try to balance work and family, we can't lose sight of one of the main reasons that we are here: it's what's in our back yard!

Take some time and discover the treasures in our back yard.

Annual car wash

There were no major water fights, we had a ton of towels to wash, and numerous members and visitors drove away in shiny cars!

We washed more than 30 member vehicles and about 15 visitors' cars.

It was also nice to see many new members enjoy this annual perk. We decided to give local resident and car wash participant, Scott Townley, the Bug Award. Scott's car had the most, and the most adhesive bugs on it of all those we washed. We also noted Bud Short's vehicle had the most "add-ons" to wash around.

Thank you to all the members who came out to let us wash their cars. Thank you to the Chamber board of directors and staff who once again gave of their free time. I told you if we washed a lot of cars it would rain!

Chamber survey

I would like to thank all those individuals and businesses that have participated so far in the Chamber survey.

We have more than enough responses to receive the analysis we need in September. But don't stop there; if you haven't responded, you have this week to voice your suggestions about your Chamber of Commerce.

We want to be a better organization for you and cannot do this unless we receive your feedback. You can go online at http://survey.leader.bz?code=0z57rh to take the survey. We will also send out another e-mail reminder that you just click on to take the survey.

As we grow as a community, we need to know what our businesses expect of us and we need to analyze how we can best serve the needs of our members.

Members

We welcome several new memberships to the Chamber this week.

Let's start off with Pagosa Time Vacation Rentals. Pagosa Time offers full service vacation condominiums and information for short or long term stays. Although their Web site is still under construction, they can be reached at 731-9017 for more information about their rental properties. Welcome to Kate Goldsworthy and Pagosa Time Vacation Rentals.

New owners, new name but the same location. Welcome aboard to Sharan Comeaux and Frame and Photo Depot. Sharon took over Mountain Snapshots, located at 189 Talisman Dr., Suite B, next to Higher Grounds Coffee. Frame and Photo offers film and digital processing, enlargements up to 24x36, photo restoration, scanning, retail film, camera accessories, frames and custom framing. She also offers in-studio or on -location portraits. Check out the new owner and some new photo amenities, all at the same great location. You can also call for information at 731-4511. Thank you for your membership.

On to renewals. This week we welcome back Wolf Creek Run Motor Coach Park; Mike Marchand and Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures; Renner's Mini Storage; Andy Bauer and Edelweiss Construction and Roofing; Ladies in Wading; and Big Brothers Big Sisters. BBBS matches local at risk youth with positive, caring adult mentors who assist them in becoming happy, healthy, peaceful contributing citizens - one child at a time. If you would like to volunteer as a Big or would like to have your child involved in the program, please call 264-5077.

Pagosa and surrounding areas offer residents and visitors alike an active natural playground. Take advantage of all that is here for you and your family. There are lots of opportunities nearby. Don't look back some day and say, "I wish I would have." Make sure you can say, "I'm glad I did."

 

Biz Beat

Jon Zissman is the new eye doctor in town. He recently bought Point of View, changed its name to Mountain Eye Care and is open for business at 190 Talisman Drive, Suite B-4.

Zissman earned his O.D. from Pacific University, in Oregon, and has served patients in Oregon, Florida, Hawaii and Durango. He is now available to see patients full time offering comprehensive vision and eye health testing, no obligation LASIK consultation and the guaranteed Contact Lens Success Program among many options.

Mountain Eye Care is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and will hold an open house Friday, Sept. 1.

Call Mountain Eye Care at 731-4347.

 

People

Cards of Thanks

Wrestling clubs

We would like to express our appreciation to all those who supported our efforts to put on an outdoor dance last Friday night at the fairgrounds.

Thanks to all who donated concessions, helped with the set-up and turned out to listen, dance, or bid on a pie. While this is the third year we've held this event, it's the first time the weather thwarted our plans, when a sudden downpour soaked the sound equipment. Thus, we were forced to settle for a lively indoor auction and an "unplugged" performance by the band. In spite of the adverse conditions, your support and interest still made it a special evening. Hope the rains continue and we'll adjust our plans for future outdoor events.

We will gladly refund ticket purchases with our apologies. Contact 264-4554.

Sincerely,

Dan Janowsky

and Pagosa wrestling clubs

 

Bramwell

I want to thank the staff at the Pagosa Super 8 Motel who were so very kind to me and Nikki when we stayed there while in town for Mom's (Virginia Bramwell) memorial services in April.

Marvel Bramwell

Reno, Nev.

 

Nickerson

A heartfelt, big thank you to all the administration, nursing staff and friends at Pine Ridge Extended Care, Pagosa Family Medical Center, Mercy Hospital and their staff for all their efforts and sincere care in watching over our wonderful Frumpy (June Nickerson). We can't thank you enough. We would also like to thank all our friends and family who came and supported us in our time of need. Thanks for all the wonderful food, cards and your loving care.

Harlan (Chico) Nickerson, the Nickersons and family, the Wheelers and family, the Bergsmas and family

 

Engagement

Williams - Kohlhagen

Donnie and JoAnn Williams of St. Louis, Mo., are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Melinda Ann Williams, to Tron S. Kohlhagen, son of Steve and Gale Kohlhagen of Chromo, and Charleston, S.C.

Melinda, a 1997 graduate of Parkway South High School in St. Louis, earned her bachelor's degree in philosophy from Saint Louis University in 2000 and her juris doctorate from Georgetown Law Center in 2003. Melinda is currently an Assistant United States Attorney in Washington, D.C.

Tron, a 1992 graduate of Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Conn., earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics and English literature from Vanderbilt University in 1996 and his juris doctorate from The College of William and Mary in Virginia in 2003. Tron is currently a lawyer with Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, D.C.

A spring wedding is planned at the home of the groom's parents in Chromo. The couple will reside in Arlington, Va.

 

Anniversary

Shock

Lawrence and Emma Shock celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary July 8 with a meal at the home of Darlene and Steve Wylie. It was hosted by the Wylies, Tony and Rhonda, Atlee and Devon Beam, Justin and Angela, Tyler and Sara Wylie; Scott and Zenda Wylie; Jean and Del, Travis and Shelby Benson; Dick and Sherry, Jason, Craig, and Casey Schutz. House guest Valerie Keen, from California, and extended family were also on hand to help celebrate.

 

Sports Page

Two Pagosa teams qualify for regional soccer action

By Chris Smith

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Sting Soccer Club participated in the Kickit3v3 soccer tournament in Albuquerque, July 22 and 23.

The tournament was sponsored by the Sports Illustrated for Kids magazine. There were 176 teams playing on more than 30 fields. The top four teams in each division are invited to play in the regional tournament in Vail, Aug. 4 and 5. The top five teams in each division there advance to the World Championship Tournament at the Wide World of Disney Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.

Pagosa's 13-year-old girls' team played in a combined 13- and 14-year-old division. The team consisted of Madelyn Davey (9), Megan Davey (11), Sydney and Kassidy Smith (both 12), and Erika Pitcher, the only 13-year-old player. They scored several goals against tough opponents in four games.

The 12-year-old boys' team included Brandon Church, Matthew Fisher, Sullivan Smith and Garrett Lyle (Smith and Lyle are 11 years old), and gave all four opponents tough games.

The 14-year-old boys' team included Sawyer Smith, Ryan Searle, Jordan Davey and Jacob Ormonde. Davey and Ormonde are 13 years old, playing up an age group. The team started off with a tie, won two games in a row, lost a very close contest in the quarter finals, then won the consolation championship to place third. Smith, Searle and Davey will be trying out for the High School boy's soccer team this year

Both boys' teams qualified to attend the regional tournament in Vail in two weeks.

 

MLS soccer camp to be held in Pagosa Springs

The Pagosa Sting Soccer Club will conduct its 10th annual Major League Soccer Camp Aug. 7-11 at Pagosa Springs High School.

MLS camps cater to players of all ages and soccer abilities through the application of Kidriculum, a child-appropriate curriculum. Program themes include: Play S.A.F.E. (Play, Soccer, Awareness, Fun, Education) for ages 5-11, and A.T.T.A.C.K. (Attitude, Training, Techniques, Awareness, Competition, Knowledge) for ages 12-18.

Campers will receive an evaluation, an MLS gift and a free companion ticket to an MLS game, in addition to an MLS camp shirt and ball.

The Recreational Program, for 5- and 6-year-olds, will run from 9 to 10:30 each morning.

The Intermediate Program, for players 7-11 years of age, runs from 9 to noon.

The Competitive Program is for 12- to 18-year-old players and will run from 5-8 p.m.

The Extended Team Training Program takes place from 9-noon and 5-8 p.m.

Costs are $75 for the Recreational Program, $115 for the Intermediate and Competitive Programs and $160 for the Team Training. Any camper enrolled by June 15 will receive a $10 discount.

The parents of any camper, or adults intending to coach soccer in the fall, are eligible to attend a free coaching clinic during the week.

Registration forms are available at the parks and recreation department in Town Hall.

For more information about the camp, contact Lindsey Kurt-Mason at 731-2458.

 

Preseason football camp for junior high, high school players

Attention all junior high and high school football players.

There will be a preseason football camp 6-8 p.m. Aug. 7-10 at the high school football field.

The camp is free and open to all boys in grades seven through 12.

It will be a non-contact camp, during which participants will have the opportunity to work on football fundamentals such as stance, footwork, ball handling and other non-contact everyday drills that are done throughout the regular football season.

The camp will be an excellent opportunity to prepare for the upcoming football season.

If you have any questions contact Sean O'Donnell at 946-0962.

 

Pagosa golfers fare well in tourney and league play

By Lynne Allison

Special to the SUN

Sixteen Pagosa golfers played in the annual Western Roundup Couples Invitational Golf Tournament, hosted July 15-16 by the San Juan Country Club in Farmington, N.M.

The event included 80 teams from the Four Corners area, playing a best ball gross and net format.

Even though temperatures topped the century mark both days, several Pagosans prevailed, and won or placed in their respective flights in the very competitive field.

Barbara and Ranza Boggess (nee Sanborn) placed fifth net in the Championship Flight with a 136.5.

Kathy and Mike Giordano captured first place net in the Fourth Flight with a 134.4, and Sue Martin and Rich Broom placed second in the same flight with a 135.

In the special events, Carrie Weisz won two closest to the pin honors on the first day. The first closest to the pin was on the 158 yard, par 3, No. 7 hole for 20-30 handicappers. The second closest to the pine occurred on the 164 yard, par 3, No. 14 hold for the entire filed. No one else even reached the green.

Also representing Pagosa were Sally and Tom Bish, Kay and Del Crumpton, Josie and Jack Hummel, Claudia and Gene Johnson, and Dalas Weisz.

The Chili Pepper Challenge Women's Golf Tournament was a very competitive, hot and festive event. The July 19 annual invitational was hosted by the Hillcrest Golf club in Durango with 120 participants from the Four Corners area, playing the par 71 course as twosomes in a best-ball gross and net format.

Leading the Pagosa Women's Golf Association contingent were Carole Howard and Sue Martin, who captured first place net in the Third Flight with a 62.

Other participants from Pagosa were Barbara Sanborn, Jane Stewart, Jan Kilgore, Marilyn Smart, Jane Day, Julie Pressley, Lynne Allison, Audrey Johnson, Loretta Campuzano, Josie Hummel, Bonnie Hoover, Carrie Weisz, Robyn Alspach and Sally Bish.

The association played an "Aces Wild" format for its league day July 18. At the end of the round, the ladies subtracted their total handicaps from their scores and then subtracted all one putts from their net scores.

Carol Barrows won first place with a 68; and Sharon Utz and Bev Hudson were fourth and fifth with a 74 and 76 respectively.

 

Local volleyball camps scheduled

A home high school volleyball camp will take place Aug. 1-3 from 8:30-11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. each day. A junior high school camp will be held Aug. 9-11 from 8:30-11 a.m. each day. All returning Pirate varsity players are asked to assist.

The cost for the camp is $30. Checks can be made out to Pagosa Springs Volleyball Club.

High school-age club scrimmages are planned against Durango and Alamosa in early August, with dates and times to be announced.

The high school volleyball practice season begins Aug. 14. Players can expect two-a-day sessions with morning and early afternoon workouts for two weeks. An up-to-date physical is required before a player can practice after Aug. 14.

For further information, contact Coach Andy Rice at 264-1951 or 903-9604.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Soccer registration continues, coed softball tourney tonight

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

The recreation office is accepting 2006 youth soccer registrations through Aug. 9 for children ages 5-13.

Registration forms are available at the recreation office, which is now located upstairs in Town Hall. Registrations are also available online in Adobe format at www.townofpagosasprings.com (click on the town departments link, then the recreation link).

Cost is $25 per player and $15 for each additional child in the same, immediate family who participates. The season is tentatively scheduled to begin in late August.

This year's age divisions will be 5-6, 7-8, 9-10 and 11-13. Coaches and team sponsors for each division are needed and appreciated. Cost for sponsorship is $150, which includes sponsor's name on team uniforms, commemorative plaque with team picture and designation in media articles.

For more information call 264-4151, Ext. 231 or 232.

Adult open volleyball

Adult players are welcome to attend open sand volleyball play at the South Pagosa Park sand courts Monday evenings from 6-8 p.m. The program began 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

Parents and coaches who ordered youth baseball pictures 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 have been posted online at www.townofpagosasprings.com (recreation department link). Schedules are also updated regularly on the sports hotline, 264-6658.

The men's league schedule for the coming week includes the following (all games to be played on Field 1):

- July 31 - Boss Hogg's vs. Ben Johnson/D.E.S. at 6 p.m. (make-up game from July 24), MBM Construction vs. American Legion at 6:50 p.m. and Four Corners Electronics vs. Boss Hogg's at 8 p.m.

- Aug. 2 - Pagosa Falcons vs. MBM Construction at 6:50 p.m. and American Legion vs. Four Corners Electronics at 8 p.m.

A reminder: men's league games that were rained out July 24 will be made up as soon as possible. Team managers will be contacted with make-up dates as soon as they are determined.

The coed league tournament continues tonight at the high school sports complex; tournament brackets and pairings are available online at www.townofpagosasprings.com. Coed league players can also call the hotline at 264-6658 or the office at 264-4151, Ext. 232, for current pairings and game times.

Horseshoes

Horseshoe pitching at South Pagosa Park will continue through September, each Tuesday from 5-7 p.m.

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.

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, and treasure hunts.

Activities also include hiking, wading, rollerblading, art and daily field trips. Your child will get plenty of fresh air, exercise and fun at Park 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.

Editorial

Difficult choices

With processes underway to set construction requirements and "big box" policies, we are drawn to ponder the role of gov-ernment - of staff and elected officials - and express our relief we are not in the position of having to make certain pending decisions for our community.

The job of a staff member in the face of growth and development should be simple: to ensure that regulations are observed. That is the nature of positive bureaucracy and, given the system is not flush with unacceptable motives or fueled by too many, difficult sets of rules, that bureaucracy forms a buffer between one who proposes development (or its opposite) and those who must decide whether or not a project is approved - elected officials.

Regulations must be clear, reasonable, applied to all. If, say, a developer approaches a planning staff, that staff must be able to ascertain whether the development in question meets standards and must be able to do so without ambiguity. That information can then be passed on to elected decision makers.

What we have seen in recent discussions of the need to create clear rules - in this case, the town setting height limitations on new construction or standards for big box projects - is a move to ensure staff has viable regulations with which to work. And that developers have clear guidelines when it comes to design and plans.

We are also seeing similar moves in the attempt to finalize the town's Downtown Master Plan.

With clear regulations, proposed projects can make their way through the pipeline. Developers can understand the rules of the game and officials can allow their staffs to do the basic work, staying clear of charges of improper associations, and of potential litigation.

But, once a project and its proponents have made the way through the bureaucratic process, there is yet another level of action, and it is political and practical. And it often relies on incomplete evidence and, yes, sometimes, on a hunch.

This is the point at which elected representatives enter the picture and make the final decision, whether or not a project is approved.

And, make no mistake about it, the elected officials often have the right, and we would say the obligation, to go against the rules.

Such a move can be difficult. What should be the reaction of an elected official, pledged to understand and protect the best interests of all constituents as well as he or she can, when confronted with a request to vary from the rules - based, say, on the promise of jobs for residents, of added revenues in the community? What if that request is reasonable, with a discernible quid pro quo involved?

A developer approaches a council and says: "I have met all your requirements but one, and I ask you to grant a variance in the height or size of my building. If I construct this building I will bring 40 jobs to the community, regular salaries and benefits to 40 or more residents - people who pay taxes, who spend much of their income where they live."

Do you grant the request?

What if, with the price of oil escalating, tourist travel to the area is restrained, requiring more funds to complete? Do you, as an elected official, deny reasonable requests and compromises to those willing to risk money on higher-grade commercial development, the kinds of facilities and amenities needed to compete in a tourist industry that is increasingly small and more competitive?

We do not know the answers, since we are certain they are situational. We do know a combination of clear regulations, competent staff and non-ideological action on the part of elected officials might be the only formula that ensures this growing community continues to prosper.

Karl Isberg

 

Legacies

Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 28, 1916

Your 1916 dog tax is now due and payable. If you desire to comply with the law and keep your dog, see the marshal at once, who will give you dog tag and receipt for payment. Sol Thayer, Town Marshal.

The first hay cutting is pretty well under way with everyone and prospects good for second crop. Grain also is coming out fine.

The Pagosa Lumber Company camps shut down permanently this week and the mill will soon follow suit, preparatory to the move to Dulce, where several families are already located.

Bessie Murray, teacher at the O'Neal Park school, was taken suddenly ill this week and was obliged to come to town for treatment.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 31, 1931

A volunteer fire department was organized in Pagosa Springs Monday with L.C. Jackisch as chief, J.C. Maloy assistant chief, and Harry Sharp and Everett Dunagan captains.

Mrs. L.C. Jackisch and little daughter returned to Pagosa yesterday from a visit to Cedaredge, and departed for that place again today, accompanied by Mr. Jackisch, who will assist them in moving household goods to this city.

We note the inroads that the grasshoppers are making in this state in the Arkansas Valley, which reminds us that the pests, despite everything that could be done, have practically ruined the hay and grain crop of W.H. Hurt on the Brooklyn Ranch near Dyke.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 2, 1956

Some most welcome moisture, .86 inch, was received this past week. The rain here in town was mostly of the slow, easy-falling variety and is really soaking into the ground. The rains seem to be pretty general throughout the county and in the high country. The moisture will do much to help the fire hazard situation and will also be of immense benefit to ranchers and farmers.

The two ranger districts here in this area report a total of 21 forest fires thus far this year. All but one of these fires were small, being less than a quarter of an acre. The exception was one on the ridge between Trail Creek and Williams Creek. This fire covered approximately three acres. Practically all of the fires were caused by lightning storms.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of July 30, 1981

Like virtually every other service in Archuleta County, the Pagosa Springs Post Office is struggling to keep up with population growth. Growth has rapidly outstripped the mailbox capacity of the post office, and Postmaster Dick DeVore foresees no immediate relief. The Pagosa Springs Post Office now has 1,440 mailboxes, and well over 100 people are receiving mail general delivery until more boxes are available. The last expansion came in spring of 1978 when there were about 790 boxes. When asked if there are any plans to install any more boxes, DeVore responded, "Where? We're looking at installing more boxes, but it is down the road a piece. At some time we'll have to build a larger facility."

 

Features

Archuleta Economic Development Association:Quality of life through economic diversity

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

It's simple advice: Don't put all your eggs in one basket; don't bet all your money on black.

And it's advice, Bart Mitchell, as the executive director of the Archuleta Economic Development Association (AEDA), is both preaching and practicing.

"Sixty-three percent of our direct based jobs are in tourism. That's okay, that's not bad, but we've got to diversify. That's my job, to diversify the economy," Mitchell said.

To that end, a group of representatives from town and county governments, area banks, local businesses and utilities formed the AEDA in 1987 with an ongoing mission to "provide business development and support in Archuleta County in order to nurture a diverse, local year-round economy that supports the needs, values and quality of life of our community."

Mitchell puts the agency's goals more concisely: "We spend a lot of time trying to better the lives of the residents of Archuleta County."

And since its inception, the organization has focused on ways to strengthen the local economy, often working behind the scenes or in less than high profile ways.

For example, and according to AEDA documents, during the late 1980s, the agency focused much of its efforts on helping to expand the fire district. By restructuring the district and adding fire stations, the agency realized it could help bring insurance costs down countywide.

By the early to mid-'90s, as the organization and the Pagosa Springs area evolved, the agency played a role in two key projects: the first San Juan River Restoration Project (in order to help bring tourist dollars in to the area), and the development of Cloman Industrial Park near Stevens Field airport.

Since 1993, and two executive directors later, much of the agency's focus has remained on Cloman Industrial Park, although much within the organization and within the community has changed.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between 1990 and 2000, the Archuleta County population nearly doubled from just under 6,000 residents in 1990 to 10,000 in the year 2000. During the same decade, the county's growth rate spiked at roughly 40 percent - 10 points higher than the Colorado average for the decade, and nearly 30 points higher than the 11.6 percent national average.

Between 2000 and 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Archuleta County as the third fastest growing county in Colorado, with a 14-percent growth rate over the three-year term. And between April 1, 2000, and July 1, 2002, the census bureau ranked Archuleta County 30th among the 100 fastest growing counties in the nation based on housing units.

With an unprecedented influx of newcomers and unprecedented pressures on town and county infrastructure and services, the AEDA recognized the need to capitalize on the area's desirability, while recognizing the impact unrestrained growth would have on the county.

"Pagosa is discovered. It's a done deal. Growth is going to happen and we can't stop growth. All we can do is be proactive and get ahead of the curve so that we can be smart about how we grow," Mitchell said.

Hired in April 2005, Mitchell is the AEDA's most recent executive director, and the man charged with taking the organization into a more traditional economic development role by focusing the organization's efforts on business development, relocation, expansion, mentoring, infrastructure, employment, education and other economic issues in the county. At present, "smart" development means much of Mitchell's time is spent on recruiting, direct-based, small companies that are complementary to Archuleta County area.

Mitchell defined "direct-based" companies as those whose revenue or sales come from outside the county. Mitchell said the ideal, direct-based candidates are "green" companies, or companies that have 10 to 40 employees, and operate in such a manner that they would have a neutral impact to area infrastructure and the environment.

For example, Mitchell said a manufacturer that wants to locate warehousing, distribution and administration operations in Pagosa Springs is a desirable addition to the area's economic mix.

Mitchell is currently working on finalizing an economic incentive package for toy rocket manufacturer, Quest Aerospace. According to Mitchell, manufacturing would be done in China, while the warehousing and administration would be handled in Pagosa Springs at Cloman Industrial Park.

One of the big incentives, for many companies, Mitchell said, is "amenity living."

"They want to live in a place where they can enjoy their life," Mitchell said. And the benefits of the potential relocation trickle down, ultimately providing as many as 10 Pagosans with a new, higher paying job, which Mitchell said is key to creating a higher quality of life for area residents.

Parelli Natural Horsmanship is another business Mitchell has worked closely with that meets the AEDA profile - low infrastructure impact, a direct-based corporation, and the ability to provide locals jobs at better-than-average wages in Archuleta County.

And although Parelli Natural Horsmanship is not physically linked to the county airport, Mitchell said the upgraded airport and adjacent Cloman Industrial Park is essential to the economic development of the area. In fact, many companies he is seeking, such as FedEx, UPS, outdoor equipment manufacturers, and aerospace technology companies, will rely on the improved connectivity the upgraded airport provides.

In addition, Mitchell said other infrastructure improvements such as fiber optic connectivity between Pagosa Springs and Durango, and improved telephone service, are absolutely vital in order to attract small tech firms, Web-based businesses, entrepreneurs, call centers, or technical support centers, data processing businesses, and lone eagles - those who work for corporations based outside of Archuleta County but who live here and work from their homes.

"Fiber optic connectivity between Pagosa Springs and Durango will play a critical role in attracting small tech companies, or companies that rely on high bandwidth," Mitchell said.

In addition to seeking companies to broaden and expand the local economy, Mitchell said his organization provides a number of services for existing local businesses and individuals.

As part of the agency's mission, Mitchell said the AEDA seeks local and state economic incentives, often in the form of property tax rebates, sales tax rebates or enterprise zone tax credits, to entice new businesses into relocation, while working locally with business owners on business mentoring and legislative advocacy.

In January, the AEDA hosted a 12-week, entrepreneurial development course, which Mitchell said was a first for Archuleta County. He added that the AEDA will sponsor another clinic in January 2007, and that the goal is to offer the clinic twice yearly.

In addition, the AEDA works with Joe Keck of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College. Keck comes to the Pagosa Area Chamber of Commerce the fourth Tuesday of each month to provide one-on-one business mentoring services.

"We have to develop the local or existing economy to the best of our ability. We've got to do both, develop what we have, and attract," Mitchell said.

As part of its business outreach mission, Mitchell envisions the AEDA as an advocacy group that is willing to work as a legislative liaison on behalf of business. For Mitchell, this means being a voice for business at local government meetings, and helping to keep business owners informed and knowledgeable of legislation that could affect the local economy. In addition, Mitchell approaches local government on behalf of companies to obtain economic incentive packages, when necessary.

Most recently, Mitchell has secured economic incentives in the form of property tax rebates from Archuleta County for both Parelli Natural Horsmanship and Quest Aerospace.

Among the list of short-term projects, Mitchell is revamping the AEDA's Web site, including the addition of a link for local job listings, "making it easier to post jobs and find jobs," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said long-range planning includes working on a marketing plan for the county and an Archuleta County workforce survey.

Compared with national rates, Mitchell said the Archuleta County area has a relatively high rate of college educated adults. But, in order to successfully recruit companies, Mitchell said the AEDA needs to fully understand the local workforce and the various skill sets they can provide.

"We need to understand our workforce in Archuleta County. We can't bring in all sorts of direct-based companies without a workforce," Mitchell said.

The survey will help illuminate what skills the workforce currently possesses, what training gaps might need to be addressed, and what sorts of companies might be a good match for the workforce that is available.

Two of the most daunting tasks include a recently completed 20-year economic development strategy, and balancing economic growth and issues such as impact fees, big box retailers and affordable housing with potential impacts to quality of life.

And the key to quality of life, Mitchell said, lies in business development, diversification of the economy and better wages, which in turn puts dollars and opportunity back into the local economy.

The Archuleta Economic Development Association is a non-profit entity governed by a board of directors, including four officers, eight directors and four at-large directors from both private and public institutions.

To learn more about the AEDA, business mentoring or other programs or services, call (970) 731-1443, or visit the AEDA on the Web at archuletaeconomicdevelopment.org.

 

Pagosa's Past

A peace treaty is signed in 1855

By John M. Motter

We're in the midst of a series of articles describing armed confrontation between the Jicarilla Apaches and the U.S. Army.

Tension between the two had become so intense that in 1854 the U.S. entered all-out warfare against the Apaches. We've described the major battles of 1854 and this week begin describing the battles that took place during 1855, the second year of the war. Our source is a book titled "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe A history, 1846-1970, by Dr. Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, herself an enrolled Jicarilla Apache.

In March of 1855, the combined Army and militia force commanded by Col. Thomas T. Faunterloy followed a mixed band of Utes and Apaches to the headwaters of the Arkansas River. The two Indian groups split. The Army unsuccessfully followed the Apaches led by Chacón and captured their horses, but failed to make contact with Chacón. Faunterloy's men retired to Fort Massachusetts (Motter: later known as Fort Garland) to regroup.

From Fort Massachusetts, Faunterloy headed toward San Luis in an attempt to finish off the Utes. (Motter: Muache Utes, now at Ignacio). Lt. Col. Cerain St. Vrain was assigned to press the Jicarilla between the Sangre de Cristo Pass and the headwaters of the Huerfano River. He found one camp of Indians on the Rio del Oso. For two days the troops fought the Indians, killing or wounding 13 of them. The remainder fled toward the Purgatoire River (many oldtimers called it the Picketwire River). St. Vrain encountered this group or some other on the Purgatoire near Long's Canyon, according to tiller. When they say the troops approaching, most of the Apaches fled toward the Raton Mountains. A few engaged in a skirmish with the soldiers. A company ordered to overtake the Apaches apprehended a few prisoners who were taken to Fort Union.

In May, volunteers searching for Chacón and his band in the Red River area met little success. The soldiers again returned to Fort Union to resupply, then continued to search for Apaches in southeastern Colorado. Even after being spotted by the soldiers, the Indians invariably escaped. At the end of four months of hide and seek, the soldiers found relief when their enlistments ran out and they were disbanded.

By that time, Tiller tells us, the Utes and Jicarilla were weary of being constantly pursued. In addition, they suffered from harsh weather and casualties. In August of 1855, a delegation of Muache (often spelled Moache) Utes and Jicarilla Apaches opened negotiations with Gov. Merriwether. A peace treaty was signed at Abiquiu in September.

We read from Tiller, "In the 11 years of American tutelage over the Jicarilla Apaches, a relationship characterized by misunderstanding on both sides developed. The Americans arrived with a set of preconceived notions about the Indians, a rigid set of practices for dealing with them, and indifference toward their predicament. The superficial concern exhibited by the Americans was governed by the needs of the white population, whose overriding desire was to push the Indians out of the path of settlement and then keep them at minimum expense."

More next week on war between the U.S. and the Jicarilla Apaches.

 

Pagosa Sky Watch

View the dolphin and meteors tonight

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 6:09 a.m.

Sunset: 8:20 p.m.

Moonrise: 8:24 a.m.

Moonset: 9:57 p.m.

Moon phase: The moon is waxing crescent with 6 percent of the visible disk illuminated.

During the last few weeks, many of the observing highlights have focused along the band of the Milky Way which traverses the sky from north to south and at a point almost directly overhead on summer nights.

In keeping with observations along the band of our own galactic disc, this week's skywatching focuses on Delphinus, a tiny constellation located between the constellations Cygnus and Aquila, and just east of both the Summer Triangle asterism and the Milky Way band.

Delphinus, the dolphin, is a constellation that originated with the ancient Greeks. According to legend, dolphins were the messengers of the sea god Poseidon and were credited with saving Arion, the famed singer and poet, who leapt from a ship and into the sea to avoid being murdered by a band of scurrilous sailors intent on stealing his riches.

Although the Greeks viewed the constellation as a celestial representation of a favorite sea creature and a celebration of the link between humans and their intelligent aquatic kin, Arab astronomers saw something entirely different when they gazed at Delphinus high in the heavens. To their eyes, the shape of Delphinus represented a camel - a unique creature from their own, arid world.

Depending on one's culture, experience or world view, a constellation may resemble countless shapes, although the location, for contemporary humans and regardless of perspective, remains the same.

To view Delphinus, begin stargazing tonight after 10 p.m., and start by locating last week's featured constellation, Cygnus, and its alpha star Deneb. Deneb is also the northernmost star of the Summer Triangle asterism. From Deneb draw an imaginary line south and slightly east to Altair, the alpha star in the constellation Aquila and the southernmost star in the Summer Triangle. About midway along this line, and slightly to the southeast and just outside the band of the Milky Way, lies Delphinus.

By astronomical standards, Delphinus is a tiny constellation, and stargazers hoping to locate the dolphin swimming in vast sea of stars will want to look for the constellation's most noteworthy feature - a diamond-shaped grouping of stars commonly called Job's Coffin. Job's Coffin forms the dolphin's body, while a single star dangling from the diamond shape marks the dolphin's tail.

The two brightest stars in the constellation are located in the diamond. The first is beta Delphini, or Rotanev, a magnitude 3.6 white star lying 97 light years away. The second brightest star, alpha Delphini, or Sualocin, is a magnitude 3.8 blue-white star lying 241 light years away.

The names of Delphinus' alpha and beta stars, Sualocin and Rotanev, are the backwards spellings of Nicolaus Venator, the Latinized form of the name Niccolo Cacciatore. Cacciatore was the assistant, and ultimate successor to Italian astronomer, Guiseppe Piazzi at Palermo Observatory.

The last star of note, and the easternmost star in the Job's Coffin asterism, is gamma Delphini - a spectacular double consisting of a magnitude 4.3 golden star and magnitude 5.1 yellow-white star. The pair can be neatly separated with a small, amateur telescope.

Delphinus, along with its neighboring constellations Vulpecula, Cygnus, Sagitta and Aquila, lies in rich part of the Milky Way. With little interference from the moon, and weather permitting, views of Job's Coffin and the surrounding Milky Way should prove stunning.

In addition, after viewing Delphinus, stargazers should take advantage of the new moon, to scan the sky for Delta Aquarid meteors streaking across the sky. Astronomers estimate the shower will peak Friday after midnight, and best views will occur between midnight Friday and the pre-dawn hours Saturday morning.

Historically, the Delta Aquarids are not very prolific, although it may be the best show of the late summer meteor shower season. Unfortunately, the Perseids, which are due in early August, will largely be obscured by moonlight, but with a waxing crescent moon setting before midnight Friday, conditions should be prime for a night of Delta Aquarid meteor watching.

To observe the meteor shower, find a comfortable, dark sky location, sit back and keep a keen eye on the sky. The Delta Aquarids, due to their southerly oriented radiant, can appear in almost any portion of the night sky.

 

Weather

Date High Low Precip
Type
Depth Moisture

7/12

82

46

-

-

-

7/13

85

45

-

-

-

7/14

89

47

-

-

-

7/15

85

48

-

-

-

7/16

88

48

-

-

-

7/17

91

49

-

-

-

7/18

87

60

R

.01

.01