August 3, 2006

Front Page

County approves PID in Meadows

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

In an effort to solve the county's long term road maintenance issues, the board of county commissioners approved the formation of what they deemed the first public improvement district (PID), where citizens living on a county secondary road will self-tax to provide for their future road maintenance.

The PID, made up of citizens living on Wapiti Place in Pagosa Meadows Unit 3, will provide revenue for routine road maintenance, including: grading, magnesium chloride, ditch and drainage maintenance, snow removal and re-graveling according to a long term maintenance plan. The estimated costs of the improvements are roughly $2,200 per year, and will be paid for by a 10 mill increase to Wapiti Place residents' property tax.

According to Archuleta County Commissioner Ronnie Zaday 10 mills is equal to about $80 per $100,000 of assessed value.

The commissioners' approval allows for the formation of the district, but under Colorado state statute and the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR), the decision to impose taxation, the decision to free the PID from TABOR restrictions and the setting of the assessment rate, must ultimately be decided by a vote of the registered electors living within the boundaries of the PID during an election. Thus, the commissioners' approval paves the way for final approval via a November ballot question.

Once the PID is finalized by Wapiti Place voters in November, the Wapiti Place PID will serve as a keystone PID, to which other neighborhood groups can then annex.

According to county special projects director Sheila Berger, annexation would allow all future annexing PIDs to avoid a ballot question. Instead, residents living in the proposed PID area would submit a petition for inclusion into the Wapiti Place PID to the PID board. The petition would include a description of the boundaries of the properties to be annexed and a map of the proposed PID area. Once the process begins, residents in the affected area would be notified by mail, legal notices printed and public hearings held. Berger said state statute does not mandate unanimous or a percentile approval rate from the residents of the proposed PID, and in fact, in the case of PID annexation, Berger said silence implies consent. Following citizen input, the PID board would decide on the annexation.

Berger said if future PIDs wish to annex on to the Wapiti Place PID, electors in the proposed PID would be agreeing to the tenets of the Wapiti Place PID, including the same, 10 mill self taxation rate.

Berger said county staff is willing to facilitate any part of the PID forming process, and to that end, the board of county commissioners also approved an extension of the PID forming grace period. According to the county road designation and maintenance policy adopted in January 2006, the county would donate staff time and waive all fees connected to the formation of PIDs until January 2007. However, with Tuesday's commissioner approval, the fee waiver grace period will be extended until January 2008.

The decision to extend the fee waiver deadline received unanimous approval, however the decision to form the Wapiti Place PID did not.

Commissioners Zaday and John Egan voted to approve the formation of the PID; however, Commissioner Robin Schiro abstained.

Schiro attended Tuesday's meeting via telephone, and received the commissioners' packet, including the Wapiti Place PID information via e-mail.

According to Schiro, the Wapiti Place PID information arrived as "a jumbled HTML document" - HTML is an acronym for hypertext markup language, a programming language designed for the construction of Web pages - and was unreadable, hence, her abstention.

According to Zaday, the document was scanned by county staff and sent as an Adobe PDF file, but "how it arrived, they don't know."

The same e-mail was sent to SUN staff both from Schiro and county staff, and in Schiro's e-mail cover letter she states: "As you will note it (the document) is upside down and since I only have Acrobat reader on my laptop I cannot rotate it to read it."

Both e-mails sent to The SUN, Commissioner Schiro's and county staff's did, in fact, arrive upside down. However, SUN staff testing of Acrobat Reader versions 4.0 and 5.0 (a free, downloadable program available on the Internet) successfully opened the document and both versions provide a rotation icon on the program's toolbar, allowing SUN testers to successfully rotate, and clearly view the document on the screen.

Public works director Alan Zumwalt said he and county staff had been working on the formation of the Wapiti Place PID for a number of months, and county administrator Bob Campbell said the county commissioners have been included in the dialogue for at least one month, if not more.

In the e-mail to The SUN, Schiro stated she was attending her father's wedding in Michigan.


Public outcry over 'big box' caps

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Two key town planning tools - ordinances regulating big box retailers and building height - passed muster on first reading at Tuesday's town council session, but not without strong citizen input and a degree of confusion.

First up for discussion was an ordinance governing impact assessments for large format retailers.

Under the ordinance, retail buildings greater than 50,000 square feet would trigger a lengthy impact assessment, which would analyze and address, among myriad factors: the long-term economic impacts, such as number and kinds of jobs including wages and benefits; housing impacts; impacts to the existing transportation system; infrastructure and environmental impacts; and others from a 15-item list.

The impact assessment tool will then be used to help planning commission and town council members review projects. In addition, as part of the legislation, but dealt with in a separate ordinance, retail buildings larger than 18,000 square feet would trigger the application of design guidelines.

Although citizens attending the meeting voiced a wide array of concerns, their comments focused largely on the proposed square footage cap.

In the ordinance, large format retail buildings are capped at 180,000 square feet - roughly the same size as the entire westside Pagosa Country Center with another City Market tacked on the end.

Town Councilman Stan Holt's comment that the 180,000 square-foot size cap represented a compromise from a previous size cap of 250,000 square feet drew a gasp from the audience.

And during the discussion, town council member Tony Simmons reiterated his stance, "I'm concerned this compromise isn't really a compromise, 180,000 square feet is out of scale with the community," Simmons said.

Following Simmons' statement, the council was bombarded with a barrage of outcry of a similar tenor.

Cappy White, speaking both as a private citizen and a former member of the town-appointed Big Box Task Force, asked the council what happened to the task force's recommendations.

"How did we get to 180,000 square feet? At the last lunch meeting, we capped it at 70,000; 180,000 is way out of scale for this community."

White was referring to a meeting last year between the task force and the town council where a 70,000 square-foot size cap was discussed. Since that meeting, the task force has been disbanded.

And White added, "It seems there is a blatant disregard for the voice of the people, and that's what concerns me."

White said, some members of the council had tried to convince the public and former task force members that citizens want big box retail in Pagosa Springs, but White asked the council why big box proponents do not attend public meetings and voice their concerns.

"As far as these other people, where are they? The silent majority needs to come forward and speak," White said.

Of eight formal commenters, all were opposed to big boxes in Pagosa Springs. And one, whose position wasn't entirely clear, said the decision shouldn't be decided by a few, and he advocated taking the decision to a vote by the people.

David Brown said, "There seems to be an inconsistency here in what the vision is for this community; 180,000 square feet doesn't fit, it is too big."

Brown asked the council why they were going to such great pains to preserve the central core, when just one mile away they would allow a massive, big box retail structure.

And John Egan and Lee Riley asked the council to honor the findings of the former task force, and to not approve regulations with such a massive size cap.

"I have to agree with everyone here," Egan said, "Big box does not belong in Pagosa Springs."

After Riley's comments, Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon tried to close public comment, despite hands in the air, saying, "It's just so redundant."

More public outcry followed and Aragon let Susan Ward speak.

"Why not just a flat-out size cap? Why not limit it (the size) at the beginning, you can always expand it later," Ward said, then added; "It's not a necessity. There's a lot of successful communities that don't have big boxes."

During closing comments, Simmons said, "I would plead with my council members, at least in the short term, to limit the size."

With a call for a motion, Councilmember Bill Whitbred spoke of the necessity to enact legislation prior to the September expiration of the current moratorium, and moved to approve the document on first reading with the stipulation that a meeting be held to hammer out the size cap.

Whitbred's motion passed and the square footage meeting was scheduled for Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. in the town council chambers.

Following debate on square footage caps, the council grappled with how to measure building height and a building height restriction.

In Town Planner Tamra Allen's opening remarks, she said, "We do not have a current codified definition of height."

The ordinance, according to Allen, would provide clear language on measuring a building's height, and rather than mandating a maximum height, would establish 35 feet as the maximum height for a building at the mid-span of the roof.

After reading the height definition, local architect Sean Thomson, who has pushed for clearer language regarding the measurement of building height, called the language murky and said, "It appears to be written from scratch. It has not been tested and appears pieced together.

"I would encourage the council to try not to reinvent the wheel. There are several good ordinances out there that have withstood the test of time."

John Hundley of BootJack Management encouraged the council to take more time if necessary to ensure the height ordinance produced was congruent with the tenets and vision of the downtown master plan and the town's comprehensive plan.

Following the discussion, Simmons moved to approve the definition with a 35-foot midspan maximum and a 40-foot maximum, overall roof height.

The council voted to approve the motion, but following staff consultation after the vote, Allen informed the council, that the ordinance and motion failed to take into consideration language written into the land use code that allows for varied building heights depending on their location within the various town zoning districts.

Simmons agreed to rescind his motion and the subsequent vote.

The height definition, height regulations and big box square footage caps will be hammered out on Aug. 10 at 5 p.m.


Collision claims one life, two Pagosans critically injured

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

A collision west of town July 29 claimed the life of Pagosa Springs resident Chase Regester, 20. Two other local residents - Michael Maestas, 22, and Travis Stahr, 28 - were critically injured in the accident.

Regester died Wednesday, Aug. 2 at Swedish Medical Center in the Denver suburb of Englewood.

At press time Wednesday, a Swedish Medical Center spokesperson reported Maestas was in "very critical" condition. Stahr was said to be in "critical but improving condition."

Stahr, Maestas and Regester were travelling westbound on U.S. 160 at approximately 6:35 p.m. when the 1999 Subaru reportedly driven by Stahr collided head-on with an eastbound Ford F-250 pickup truck driven by Gator Horton, 44, of Colorado Springs.

The accident occurred approximately six miles west of Pagosa Springs, near mile marker 134.

According to Brian Vining, Colorado State Patrol trooper, a vehicle had stopped in the westbound lane, its driver waiting to make a left turn across the highway. Stahr reportedly passed the vehicle, crossing a double yellow line into the eastbound lane.

The three occupants of the Subaru were not wearing safety belts, but Vining reported none were ejected.

Stahr, Maestas and Regester were transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Durango, then airlifted to Swedish Medical Center.

Horton was also transported to Mercy Medical Center by ambulance where he was treated and released. A 9-year-old girl was in the truck with Horton, but was not transported.

Funds have been established for the support of the victims and their families at Citizens Bank.


Commissioner arrested on DUI charges

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Archuleta County Commissioner Rhonda "Ronnie" Zaday was arrested for driving under the influence Tuesday night, according to a Pagosa Springs Police Department report.

Zaday allegedly backed her SUV into a parked vehicle at The Springs Resort in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Roadside sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test were administered to Zaday. An additional breath test was performed at the county jail.

Zaday voluntarily submitted to the testing and was determined by an officer to be driving under the influence. She was charged with DUI, DUI per se and a moving traffic violation. She bonded out shortly after her arrest and her booking at the county jail.

Commissioner Zaday released a statement Wednesday morning:

"Yesterday evening I was arrested by Pagosa Springs Police Department for driving under the influence of alcohol.

"I take full responsibility for my actions and the consequences that will follow. I deeply regret my behavior. I extend my most sincere apologies to the community I serve and the people who have entrusted me with the responsibility of my office."

Inside The Sun

Early voting ends, polls open for primary election Tuesday

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

With early and absentee voting ending tomorrow at 4 p.m., the next opportunity to go to the polls is next week, on primary election day, Tuesday Aug. 8.

On Aug. 8, Archuleta County voters will cast their ballots at one of three new vote centers using either the new electronic voting machines, or the more familiar paper ballot. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For unaffiliated voters, Aug. 8 also marks an opportunity to weigh in on one of the two contested local races - the three-way Republican challenge for Archuleta County Sheriff, and the two-way Democratic challenge for the Dist. 59, state representative seat. According to Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder June Madrid, unaffiliated voters can change their voter status on the spot, during the primary election at one of the polling places. The change, either to a Democrat or Republican will entitle that voter to cast a ballot for either race.

The winner of the sheriff's race, between candidates Peter Gonzalez, Bob Grandchamp and Steve Wadley, will be the next sheriff of Archuleta County, and either Colgan or Deitch, depending on the outcome of the primary, will challenge Republican Ellen Roberts in November for the Dist. 59 seat.

Following the primary, unaffiliated voters who joined a party can return to their unaffiliated status with a change form available from the county clerk's office.

Those affiliated with a party and who did not change their party affiliation prior to July 10, cannot change their affiliation Aug. 8.

Party affiliation is not a factor for participation in the general election in November.

Voters wishing to absentee or early vote must do so at the county clerk's Elections Office downstairs in the Archuleta County Courthouse.

Absentee ballots may be picked up and returned at the elections office. You may also drop off absentee ballots at the county clerk's office.

Early voting will terminate Friday at 4 p.m.

The following are the office nominations that will be voted on during 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.

Voters should not go to their former precinct locations to cast their ballot. Instead, registered electors will cast their ballot any one of the three new vote centers.

The vote centers are at the following locations.

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

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

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

To expedite the voting process, Madrid reminded electors to bring their signature cards. Signature cards should have been received in the mail prior to the Aug. 8. Electors who do not have a signature card can fill one out on election day at any of the vote centers.

In addition to a signature card, voters will need a valid form of identification. Valid identification includes: a valid Colorado driver's license; a valid Colorado identification card issued by the department of revenue; a valid U.S. passport; a valid pilot's license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration; a valid employee identification card with a photograph issued by the U.S. government, Colorado state government, or any county, municipality, board, authority, or other political subdivision of the state; a valid U.S. Military identification card with photograph; a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the elector's name and address (a cable bill, a telephone bill, documentation from a public institution of higher education in Colorado containing at least the name, date of birth, and residence address of the student elector, or a paycheck from a government institution are sufficient forms of ID); a valid Medicare or Medicaid card; a certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate; or certified documentation of naturalization.

Some forms of identification may not contain an address. If the address appears on the identification, the address must be in Colorado. Or you may also submit one of the following identification numbers: your valid Colorado driver's license number, your valid Colorado Department of Revenue identification number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.

If you have questions about voting or identification requirements, call the county clerk's office, 264-8350.


County considers vacating four bridges

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners is considering a resolution to vacate four county bridges and will hold a public hearing Aug. 15 to discuss the matter.

The bridges are: the Navajo Road bridge, Carrico Street bridge, Caracas bridge and the old Gallegos Road bridge.

According to County Engineer Sue Walan, all four bridges have fallen into disrepair, cannot support their weight ratings, serve few county residents and provide access to dead end roads.

For example, the Navajo Road bridge serves five parcels on a private road; the Carrico Street bridge serves 21 parcels; and the Caracas and Gallegos Road bridges both serve four parcels.

According to Walan, three of the four bridges are rated by the state as the three worst bridges in the county, and the fourth, because it is less than 20 feet long is not rated.

Walan said the estimated costs to repair the bridges are $780,000, $450,000, $942,500 and $100,000 respectively.

According to Walan and County Attorney Teresa Williams, if the bridges are vacated, the county would be absolved of responsibility for their ongoing maintenance, repair or replacement.

If vacation is ultimately approved, the bridges would receive a special posting regarding weight limit, or "Private bridge, cross at your own risk."

The hearing is scheduled Aug. 15, at 1:30 p.m. in the board of county commissioners' meeting room at the Archuleta County Courthouse.

Questions regarding the resolution to vacate the bridges can be directed to Walan, at 264-5660, or Williams, at 264-8300.


Health district works on loan for new hospital, sets Sept. groundbreaking

The Upper San Juan Health Service District Board of Directors met in regular session Tuesday night and, among other things, took a significant step in securing the final terms of a loan that will enable the building of a new hospital in Pagosa Springs. By press time, a formal groundbreaking was set for Sept. 5.

In a Friday e-mail from attorney Kimberley Crawford, of Sherman & Howard L.L.C., board chair Pam Hopkins received several attached documents pertaining to the actual funding of hospital construction. The most significant among them was a 53-page bond resolution, which according to Crawford, was "the master document in final form." The others were essentially supporting documents spelling out specific details in the district's relationship with its chosen lender, UMB Financial Corporation, headquartered in Kansas City, Mo.

As legal council for the district in its pursuit of hospital financing, Crawford sent the documents to Hopkins in order that the board review and ultimately approve them at its Tuesday meeting. In the body of her e-mail, she explained that, "by approving the (bond) resolution, the board is approving the issuance of the bonds."

With six board members in attendance, the ensuing discussion reflected mild concern over the language in the resolution, and whether it adequately represented district needs. However, because of the document's substantial length and legal terminology, members collectively agreed to trust the judgement of council and others who previously reviewed it and recommended approval.

Inevitably, the board unanimously endorsed the resolution and Hopkins' authority to sign it, once the bonds are sold. The actual sale of the bonds will occur on the morning prior to the loan closing, at which time, the final interest rate will be determined.

Though board members had hoped to approve the bond resolution much sooner, a "not to exceed price" had to first be established before the loan closing could be scheduled. That price is determined, in part, by how much the initial loan must be to cover projected construction costs, plus a 5-percent contingency. By Tuesday, $9.89 million was the not to exceed price, and closing of the loan was tentatively set for Aug. 17.

The remaining documents Crawford forwarded to Hopkins include a Registrar and Paying agent Agreement, Bond Purchase Agreement, Continuing Disclosure Agreement, Custody Agreement, and a DTC Letter of Representation. As mentioned, they relate to the relationship between the district and UMB.

As Crawford described it, the Registrar and Paying Agent Agreement depicts the duties of UMB Bank to pay the owners of the bonds. The district first deposits its bond payments with the bank, and the bank then pays bondholders.

The Bond Purchase Agreement is an agreement between the district and UMB, whereby UMB agrees to purchase the bonds, and describes the representations by the district that it relies on in purchasing them. It also explains the conditions under which the bank would not have to purchase bonds.

The Continuing Disclosure Agreement between the district and UMB requires the district to file an audit and other information each year, which goes to the bond market. Investors use the information to keep track of the district's financial status, thus protecting them in the market. The bank actually files the information for the district, but the district must supply it at specified times.

The Custody Agreement is another arrangement between the district and UMB, in which the district agrees to place mill levy revenues into an account held by the bank. The bank uses the amount necessary to make bond payments, then refunds the excess to the district.

In another matter, the district board discussed language for a proposed ballot initiative intended to alleviate financial constraints imposed on the district by TABOR and the Gallagher Amendment. The board ultimately agreed that, if approved by voters, the initiative should be valid for a limited period of time and re-addressed by a future board.

Under TABOR, the board can only retain all of a year's revenues, as long as the total amount is equal to, or less than, the amount generated the previous year, plus inflation and growth (based on the Consumer Price Index).

The Gallagher Amendment stipulates that revenues exceeding a 5.5 percent increase over the previous year must be returned to taxpayers through a mill levy reduction. For example, if revenues for a year totaled $1,000, the district would only be able to retain $1,055 the following year.

According to the district, as a service-based agency serving everyone in a tri-county area, in order to provide adequate uninterrupted service to all, it must be allowed to grow financially at the same rate the area population grows. However, board members understand the importance of keeping tax collections in check, and have agreed that a sunset provision of 10 years is appropriate. A preliminary version of the ballot question reads:

Shall Upper San Juan Health Service District be authorized to collect, retain and spend all revenues it receives from all sources, commencing January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2016, as a voter approved revenue change pursuant to Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution and regardless of the provisions of any other law, including without limitation the 5.5 percent property tax revenue limit of 29-1-301, C.R.S.?

Once the ballot question is finalized, it will appear on the November ballot in those parts of Archuleta, Hinsdale and Mineral counties within the boundaries of the health district.


Alpha property owners annual meeting to consider future goals

The Alpha Property Owners Association will hold its annual meeting and potluck luncheon Sunday, Aug. 20.

This year's business meeting will address recent events impacting the subdivision, and will include an idea-generating session conducted to determine the goals for Alpha's future. The agenda will also include the formation of a planning committee, discussion of a dues increase, and the election of the APOA Board of Directors.

Property owners are invited to come meet their neighbors and to enjoy a potluck luncheon. Those with last names starting A-O should bring a dessert. Those whose last names start with P-Z should bring a casserole or salad.

This event will take place from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the PLPOA Clubhouse, at 230 Port Ave.

Call Patsy Lindblad at 731-9961 for more information and to R.S.V.P. your attendance.


CU regent candidate Ludwig visits Pagosa

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

During his recent tour of Colorado, Stephen Ludwig, Democratic candidate for University of Colorado Board of Regents, at-large, stopped in Pagosa Friday to discuss his platform in the upcoming election.

The University of Colorado Board of Regents is responsible for selecting the president of the university, setting general policies, and approving budgetary matters including tuition rates.

Ludwig said the University of Colorado is the third largest employer in the state, with 24,000 employees and an annual $2 billion budget.

"The university needs to focus on working with other institutions to further economic development," said Ludwig. "It's a greater opportunity to create development, and it improves the overall state tax base."

In a July 24 press release, Ludwig said, "The three campuses of the University of Colorado clearly have dramatic impact on the economic development capability of Colorado. Alone, they are strong. Working in greater cooperation with other Colorado universities, research labs, and private industry can add jet fuel to economic development and research opportunities."

Ludwig said the university's impact on Colorado's economy is the main reason why even those citizens without children in school should be interested in the board of regents election.

Ludwig also calls for an increase in the university's expert availability to entrepreneurs, which would open communication between qualified university experts and businesses in rural areas.

Working with K-12 schools to address the issue of dropouts is another focus Ludwig hopes to pursue; he said 30 percent of Colorado students drop out of high school, and 50 percent of the dropouts are students of color.

"We need to get the public institutions together to work with this issue," he said.

Ludwig believes higher education is very important in order for Colorado to remain competitive in the global market. He said last year India graduated 300,000 information technology engineers, whereas the United States only graduated 50,000.

"Colorado is no longer competing with the next state; we're competing with the next country," said Ludwig.

According to Ludwig, Colorado is currently ranked 48th in the nation for financial support of higher education.

"I'm calling for greater cooperation between institutions," said Ludwig. "This will spur economic development from centers that draw a lot of brain power, and that will help Colorado remain competitive globally."

More information about Ludwig's policy proposals can be found at, or by calling (303) 813-0011.


PLPOA holds annual meeting, elects directors

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Lakes Property Owner's Association elected three board members at its annual meeting last Saturday.

Fred Uehling was reelected and Alan Schutz was newly elected, both to three-year terms, while Ken Bailey, a former board member, was elected to a one-year term.

Property owners also passed one bylaw amendment to allow board members to vote when absent through strict direction and guidance to a proxy.

Following the votes, property owners had the opportunity to express concerns. Discussion focused on the confusion over the county's maintainance of roads and the possibility of a countywide vote to allow the mill levy to be adjusted on an annual basis.

The association's road committee stated its opposition to Public Improvement Districts, until it was clear whether or not the county would retain responsibility for the roads.

In a special meeting after the annual meeting, the board elected officers. Gary Gray was elected president. Hugh Bundy, Fred Uehling and Pat Payne were reelected as vice president, treasurer, and secretary respectively.

The board also approved a $117,300 bid to replace the driveway between the clubhouse and offices.


Operation Helping Hand seeks school supply donations for local youngsters

Perhaps the return to school, school clothing and supplies are not on your mind.

These things are, however, are on the minds of many parents and students in Archuleta County as the return to school grows near.

For many lower income families, providing school supplies may stretch the family budget already made tighter by rising energy costs.

Operation Helping Hand, a group of dedicated citizens, has been assisting those in need for more than 15 years now. The organization is 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.

Organizers report that donations are low this year and many more are needed to meet the need of our community's students.

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. Monetary donations are used to purchase school supplies and clothing vouchers to be distributed to those identified as needing assistance at this time of the year.

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


No. 2 pencils

8-count crayons

16-count crayons

24-count crayons

4 oz. bottles of glue

Small pointed scissors

12-count colored pencils

24-count colored pencils

Family-size box of Kleenex

Gallon-size zip lock bags

Quart-size zip lock bags

Supply box

Fiskars scissors

8-count markers

Large pink erasers

One-inch hard cover 3-ring binder

Pencil top erasers

Glue sticks

Loose leaf wide rule notebook paper

Loose leaf college rule notebook paper

Scientific calculator

Pencil pouch


7-subject dividers

Spiral notebooks

White out

Ruler with standard and metric scale

Erasable pens

Index cards

8-count classic, watercolor markers

Pocket portfolios, pockets on bottom

Red lead pencils

40-page spiral notebooks

Thin-tipped markers


Four dry erase markers

Basic calculator

Pad lock or combination lock

No. 3 pencils

Small pencil sharpener with shavings holder

Wide rule composition notebooks

Elmer's glue

Paper towels

Large scissors

Clear ruler with standard and metric scale

Medium size pencil box

Graph spiral notebooks

Pocket folders with brads

Small dixie cups

Small, rounded scissors


La Plata County girl infected with plague

San Juan Basin Health Department reported last week that a La Plata County girl had tested positive for plague.

This is the second confirmed case of human plague in La Plata County since last summer. There were two cases in 2005.

Over the past 30 years, there have been 49 reported cases of people in Colorado who have contracted plague, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that cases of human plague in the United States occur mostly in rural areas with an average of 10 to 15 persons each year nationwide.

Bubonic plague is the most common form of the disease in humans and begins two to six days after the bite of an infected flea, or contact with an infected rodent or cat. Typical symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, sudden onset of fever or chills, severe headache, extreme exhaustion, and a general feeling of illness. Bubonic plague can be successfully treated when diagnosed promptly. If you have a history of possible exposure to infected rodents or fleas and are experiencing these symptoms, consult a physician as soon as possible.

Seven animals (including squirrels, household cats, and prairie dogs) in southwest Colorado have tested positive for plague this summer. Cats become infected from flea bites or by direct contact with infected rodents. Plague infected cats will generally have a history of roaming freely in rural or semi-rural areas and their owners often report that they are known hunters.

Infected cats frequently exhibit swelling and sores around the mouth, head, and neck, and appear to be ill. Seek veterinary care for such animals. Since domestic cats can carry infected fleas into the home environment, it is also important to consult your veterinarian for information about flea control for your pets.


- Do not feed or entice any rodent or rabbit species into your yard, back porch or patio.

- Eliminate rodent habitat, such as piles of lumber, broken cement, trash and weeds around your home or recreational cabin.

- Make sure that houses and outbuildings are as rodent-proof as possible. Keep foundations in good repair and eliminate overhanging trees from roof and windows.

- When outdoors, do not linger in rodent-infested areas. Do not catch, play with, or attempt to hand feed wild rodents.

- Avoid contact with all sick and dead rodents and rabbits. Look for the presence of blow flies or dead animal smell as evidence of animal die-offs. Report such die-offs to San Juan Basin Health Department at 247-5702.

- While hiking, treat pants, socks, shoe tops, arms and legs with insect repellents.

- Restrain cats and dogs from roaming at all times in and around prairie dog colonies.

- Insecticide treatment should be used on cats and dogs during summer plague season. Contact your veterinarian for more information.

- If you hunt or trap rabbits or carnivorous wild animals, such as coyotes and bobcats, protect your hands and face while skinning or handling these animals. Fresh pelts may be treated with flea powder.

- Bites from wild carnivores and from cats and dogs have caused human plague. Such animals may be infected, carry the bacteria in their mouths or may transport infective fleas.

- The incubation period of two to six days and consult a physician if sudden unexplained illness occurs within that period after activities in the outdoors.

For more information on plague, visit


Women Helping Women holds first fund-raiser

By Joanne Irons

Special to The SUN

The Women Helping Women kickoff fund-raiser brought local women together last week at the home of JoAnn and Ray Laird.

Stories of hope and compassion, along with the get-together, created the bonding atmosphere for this grass roots organization. Women in our community may face unexpected medical challenges and Women Helping Women will be there to provide financial and moral support.

The first event brought in $2,000 and plans for future events were discussed.

The Women Helping Women logo is a sketch of a rose and was created by Bonnie Sprague and Barbara Rosner.

Roses from High Plains Nursery were sold at WolfTracks and Mountain Spirits in July and will be sold again through some of the area churches. If you would like to donate, buy a rose bush or volunteer for an event, contact Joanne Irons, 946-7545, or call Community United Methodist Church.


Local seniors meet to discuss issues, needs

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Local seniors got their say on aging issues Monday at a meeting organized by the Regional Advisory Council on Aging.

The event took place at the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center and was facilitated by Joe Nanus and Judy Collins. Seniors and caregivers were provided information on aid and opportunities, including legal, financial and health services.

Local emergency medical technicians also made suggestions to ensure senior safety. Seniors were encouraged to leave enough room for emergency services to access and work in their homes.

Attendees had the opportunity to discuss ways that area senior services could be improved. Suggestions and questions focused on affordable housing, transportation and access to care. Successful programs were also highlighted.

The discussion will be used to advise the Area Agency on Aging (AAA), as it works with Colorado government agencies to improve services.



Comment sought on proposed fuel reduction projects

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office (of the combined San Juan National Forest and San Juan Resource Area of the Bureau of Land Management) is seeking public comment on two hazardous fuels reduction projects involving 1,775 acres of Forest land. The 30-day comment period expires Sept. 2.

The Lefthand Canyon project area is located approximately 13 miles southeast of Pagosa Springs, in sections 1, 11 and 12, Township 34 North, Range 1 West; Section 6, Township 34 North, Range 1 East; Section 36, Township 35 North, Range 1 West and sections 29, 30, 31 and 32, Township 35 North, Range 1 East of the New Mexico Principal Meridian.

There, the district hopes to mow and shred understory oak, Rocky Mountain juniper, white fir and Douglas fir, and thin pine clumps on 654 acres of forest. It also intends to restore approximately 201 acres of ponderosa pine through commercial thinning.

The Echo Canyon project area is located approximately one mile east of Echo Canyon Reservoir and six miles southeast of Pagosa Springs. More precisely, it includes portions of Section 4, Township 34 North, Range 1 West; sections 23, 24, 25, 26 and 36, Township 35 North, Range 1 West; and sections 19 and 30, Township 35 North, Range 1 East of the New Mexico Principal Meridian. This project involves approximately 920 acres, where all treatment areas contain primarily ponderosa pine and Gambel oak.

According to Forest Service officials, the intent of both projects is to decrease wildland fuels in order to change wildland and prescribed fire behavior, to mitigate the risk of bark beetle outbreaks by reducing stand density, and to protect more large trees from wildfire.

Detailed information and maps of the proposed treatment areas are available at the Pagosa Ranger District office at 180 Pagosa St., Pagosa Springs. Summer hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. By phone, call Rick Jewell at 264-1509.

To comment on these issues, members of the public must do so orally, electronically, or in writing (via mail, facsimile or hand-delivered) within the next 30 days. The purpose of this comment period is to allow the public an opportunity to provide early and meaningful participation on a proposed action prior to a decision by the "Responsible Official," and regulations prohibit any extension of the comment period.

Individuals or organizations providing substantive comments will be eligible to appeal the decision under 36 C.F.R. Part 215 regulations. However, the following must be included: name and address; title of proposed action; specific substantive comments on the proposed action, including supporting reasons that the Responsible Official should consider in reaching a decision; and signature or other verification of identity upon request (identity of the individual or organization who authored the comments).

Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those commenting, will become part of the public record on this proposed action, and will be available for public review. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, but those submitting them will not have standing to appeal the decision under 36 C.F.R. Part 215.

Written comments may be mailed to District Ranger, P.O. Box 310, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147; hand-delivered (between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) to the District office at 180 Pagosa St., Pagosa Springs; or faxed to Rick Jewell, 264-1538. Oral comments must be made in person at the District office during normal business hours, at any official agency function designed to elicit public comments, or by calling 264-1509.

Electronic comments must be submitted as an e-mail message in plain text (.txt), rich text (.rft), or Word (.doc). To have appeal eligibility, a verification of identity is required, and a scanned signature is suitable. E-mail comments to: An automated acknowledgement should confirm receipt.

For further information, contact Scott Wagner at the district office, or call him at 264-1511.


Durango group hosts session with bear experts

Bear Smart Durango will host an evening of slides and discussion with two renowned authors, Benjamin Kilham and Linda Masterson, about their extensive experiences with black bears.

The event, which is part of Durango's annual Be Bear Smart Week, will be held Thursday, Aug. 10, at the Smiley Theater in Durango. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the presentation beginning at 6:30. Admission is $7 for members and $10 for nonmembers and proceeds will benefit Bear Smart Durango. There will be door prizes, as well.

The event is sponsored by La Plata County's Animal Damage Advisory Committee, San Juan Mountains Association, City of Durango, Colorado Division of Wildlife and Bear Smart Durango. Be Bear Smart Week corresponds with the annual migration of black bears to lower elevations in late summer in search of food prior to hibernation.

For more information about this event, contact Bryan Peterson at (970) 749-4262 or The Web site is


Chimney Rock books provide reflections of life at the archaeological site

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

Appreciation and enthusiasm for the beauty, mystery, and culture that surround our local Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, have culminated in the release of several new publications, making this the perfect time for Chimney Rock lovers to create personal library collections on this subject.

Archaeologists and astronomers, local photographers and writers, Chimney Rock Interpretive Association volunteers, and U.S.D.A. Forest Service personnel teamed up to create these new books and republish a third.

The most stunning representation of this local treasure is entitled "Visions of Chimney Rock: A Photographic Interpretation of the Place and Its People." This extraordinary book makes its debut at a special book signing on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, at this weekend's two-day Life at Chimney Rock Festival.

The long-awaited picture book on Chimney Rock is 130 pages long, in a 6x9 format. It contains 150 photos, mostly full color, and also contains 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.

Helen L. Richardson, a freelance writer with nearly 18 years experience in trade publications said the project has been 20 years in the making. Editor Richardson explains, "Many creative, knowledgeable people have contributed valuable resources to make this book a reality. The experts whose knowledge supplied the narrative were the first essential ingredient. The decision to make it a factual picture book rather than simply text opened the way for the input of many skilled photographers and illustrators who donated use of their creations."

Many local residents will recognize the names of the contributors: writers include Jennie Ferrell, Joanne Hanson, Sharon Hatch, Bill Hawthorne, Peggy Jacobson, W. James Judge, J. McKim Malville, Elizabeth Ann, Morris, Dick Moseley, Alan F. Peterson, Glenn Raby, Ron Sutcliffe, Dick and Ann Van Fossen, and Charley Worthman. Photos were contributed by Scott Allen, Bruce Anderson, Christie Calderwood, David Herrell, Jeff Laydon, Dick Moseley, John and Helen Richardson, the Anasazi Heritage Center, the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research at the University of Arizona, and the U.S. Forest Service Pagosa District. Richardson said that all photos of native people are used with permission. The cover is an original watercolor created by local artist Denny Rose.

Another collaborative book, entitled "Mysterious Chimney Rock - The Land, The Sky, The People," is a project that also included similar partnership, with the addition of Fort Lewis College. Victoria White, CRIA's Major Lunar Standstill Program Administrator, and member of the editorial committee, stated, "This publication was funded by the Colorado Historical Society with the expressed intent to serve the native population's understanding of the unique archaeoastronomy of Chimney Rock." The newly-published book has restricted distribution to mostly reservation libraries and classrooms. Free distribution is eventually expected to extend to local public libraries for appreciation by the general populace.

Chimney Rock volunteer and local archaeo-astronomer Ron Sutcliffe, has just published his new book, "Moon Tracks, a Guide to the Moon's Patterns on the Horizon." This book - a great tool for understanding the moon's travel pattern and the major northern lunar standstill phenomenon - explains the observational and astronomical basis for the moon's behavior. It is Ron Sutcliffe's mathematical calculations that have made it possible for CRIA to offer a public viewing program to witness the unique rising of the moon between the twin pinnacles, something that only occurs on an 18.6 year cycle. Those interested in adding this book to their collection will find it available for purchase at the Chimney Rock visitor cabin, along with Sutcliffe's archaeoastronomy posters.

The Chimney Rock Archaeological Symposium is a volume of papers from a gathering of archaeologists in October 1990 in Durango, that was themed on the topic of Chimney Rock. The symposium was sponsored by the Colorado Archaeological Society, the USDA Forest Service, and Fort Lewis College where presentations and discussions took place on the archaeology and management of Chimney Rock Archaeological Area; the Chimney Rock pueblo as a regional shrine for lunar ceremonialism; a calendrical observatory; a timber camp; a Chacoan mission-entrada, port-of-trade, fortress and tribute collection facility; and much more.

Back in 1993, when the USFS originally published these papers, Gary Matlock, USDA Forest Service Archaeologist for the San Juan National Forest in Durango, made these remarks regarding the symposium:

"I only intended for the symposium to help develop and protect the archaeological area through assessing the current state of knowledge about the area and the Piedra District

"The original proposal for the symposium grew from what was envisioned as a small gathering of scholars around a table to a full-blown, two-day symposium attended by approximately 200 people

"Originally there was no intent to publish the proceedings of the symposium. After the symposium concluded, several scholars and members of the public felt the publication was warranted because of the quality of the papers and the contributions that they made

"The papers included in this volume indicate a lack of enthusiasm for previous explanations for outliers and their role in the Chaco phenomena. They also indicate a continuing strong interest to understand and explain them, as they have important implications for our understanding of the Anasazi as a whole. The models presented here may not significantly solve the dilemma of Chaco and its outliers, but they do provide a number of fresh and creative directions in which to pursue such explanation. I suspect that we shall be having a good time with the 'Chaco Connection' for some time to come in southwestern archaeology. Certainly the authors of this volume are doing the best to stir things up."

This popular publication just received a facelift and now sports a spiral binding and new color cover sheet.

With the exception of "Mysterious Chimney Rock," these books can now be purchased at the visitor cabin at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, located three miles south on Colo. 151, which is 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs. The cabin is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through the month of September.

A truly special time to see these books is this weekend in conjunction with Life at Chimney Rock - a Festival of Arts and Culture. The celebration features insights and interactive demonstrations on the lifestyle of the Ancestral Puebloans, based on our interpretation of discoveries made over time. This free festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Life at Chimney Rock Festival is sponsored by CRIA, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District. The Chimney Rock Web site, found at, provides details on the site, tours, and programs.


Chimney Rock Festival and moon program

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 west of Pagosa Springs to celebrate the lifestyle of the Ancestral Puebloans, as understood through archaeological studies and interpretation of the findings.

This free festival takes place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

How the Ancestral Puebloans carried on their day-to-day affairs without the knowledge and many of the tools that mankind possesses today is a topic of much interest. While archaeologists have theories to address the still unknown aspects of this, using some of their finds and insights from our friends of native culture, they have also 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, using an atlatl hunting weapon, and sandpainting. Children will enjoy activities like the pinecone toss and making petroglyphs. All these activities provide hands-on opportunities for visitors.

Fest-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, with children under 5 admitted free. 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.

A special book signing is scheduled for the long awaited, "Visions of Chimney Rock: A Photographic Interpretation of the Place and Its People." This beautiful pictorial is a great collector's item. The book-signing event will be held 10 a.m.-noon Saturday.

As more and more travelers discover Pagosa Springs and its fascinating Chimney Rock archaeological treasure, the lure of the popular Full Moon Program, with its magical accompaniment of the Native American flute, has compelled CRIA to add a second viewing night to the August schedule. Tickets can be purchased for these events at the visitor cabin during the festival, as well as daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling 883-5359. Due to the limited viewing space at the mesa top, and to eliminate disappointing visitors who may be turned away, advance reservations are required. Tickets are $15.

Full Moon Programs this month will be conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 8 and 9. While the official, full moon is Aug. 9, visitors will hardly notice the difference on Aug. 8, as the moon is 99-percent full.

Aside from the enthusiastically awaited full moon, the program also features a popular Native American flute player and an educational program. 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.

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 opening gate time and is available only to those who have signed up for the early tour prior to the Full Moon Program.

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

The Chimney Rock Web site, found at, provides details on the site, tours, and programs.

The Life at Chimney Rock Festival and full-moon programs are sponsored by CRIA, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District.


Free admission Monday at Colorado State Parks

Colorado State Parks will celebrate Colorado Day by waiving admission fees at all 41 parks on Monday, Aug. 7.

Colorado Day was established by the state Legislature in 1988 to recognize Colorado's acceptance into the union in 1876.

The 41 state parks throughout Colorado showcase the state's diverse landscape from the prairies on the plains at Bonny Lake State Park, to the rugged mountains of State Forest State Park, to the unique geological landscape at Roxborough State Park. "Colorado truly has one of the most diverse and enviable park systems in the country. We encourage all Coloradans to get outside and experience all the state parks have to offer on Colorado Day and throughout the year," said Colorado State Parks Director Lyle Laverty.

All other fees will remain in effect on Aug. 7.

Attracting more than 11 million visitors per year, Colorado's 41 state parks are a vital cornerstone in Colorado's economy and quality of life, offering some of the best outdoor recreation destinations in the state. Colorado State Parks manages more than 4,000 campsites and 57 cabins and yurts, encompassing 246,000 land and water acres. For more information on Colorado State Parks or to purchase an annual pass online, visit


Pagosa Ranger District welcomes new ranger

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

At last, the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest has a new district ranger.

Kevin Khung, 41, reported for duty July 24, with 15 years of Forest Service experience in various capacities. His most recent was as Recreation Lands and Engineering Staff Officer with the Bighorn National Forest in Sheridan, Wyo. Before that, he spent eight years in the Durango office of the San Juan National Forest and two years in Vermont's Green Mountain National Forest.

Khung fills a vacancy created last December with the transfer of former District Ranger Jo Bridges, who has since moved to California. Bridges served as Pagosa's district ranger for 12 years, followed by "acting" district rangers David Dallison and Angela Parker.

Khung is originally from Foxboro, Mass. His formal education includes a bachelor of science degree in environmental design from the University of Massachusetts, and a master's in landscaping architecture from Kansas State University. He began his professional life as a landscaping architect, before moving to the Forest Service in 1991.

In an interview Monday, Khung described the Forest Service as a federal agency in transition. As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it is feeling the burden of ongoing budget cuts in the face of growing demand for its services.

"The national forests are multiple-use resources with demands from several different interest groups," he said, "and in the 15 years I've worked with the Forest Service, we've never seen much in the way of budget increases."

In fact, San Juan National Forest Deputy Supervisor Howard Sargent said recently, "We were hearing (from Washington) that there would be budget decreases of 2 to 4 percent annually over the next several years."

Forest officials added, "Since 2001, Congress and the administration have intensified scrutiny of domestic spending because of national and international pressures such as the war in Iraq and homeland security. The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (also part of the Department of Agriculture) expect to see shrinking and performance-based budgets for the foreseeable future."

With that in mind, the Forest Service and BLM have said they will cut more than 60 jobs in southwest Colorado over the next three years, and Khung acknowledged that 10 of them are in the Pagosa Ranger District.

"We currently have 39 permanent and seasonal employees in the district," Khung said, "and we'll have to eliminate 10 positions over three years."

He emphasized the importance of keeping key personnel in place and suggested some cuts will be made simply by not filling existing vacancies. Others may be eliminated as certain staff members retire, or transfer to other federal agencies.

Khung sees the Forest Service as an organization working to keep up with changing times. Information systems and human resources have been updated and centralized, duplicate personnel and services are being streamlined or eliminated, and managers are always looking to reduce costs, while maintaining vital services.

When asked about returning to southwestern Colorado and being assigned to the Pagosa Ranger District, Khung said, "I couldn't have asked for a better situation to step into. It's a beautiful area and we have good people here."

Khung's wife of 11 years, Lara, currently works with a Durango architectural firm, and, together, they have two young daughters, ages 7 and 3.


 Catch and Release

Tracks on a bank ... memories of a friend

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The game trail spilled over the edge of the ravine, zigzagged down the slope and disappeared in the canyon. I followed its faint, serpentine path, like delicate cervid switchbacks, around boulders and fallen aspens and to the meadow below. Once in the meadow, the path led through waist high grass and patches of wildflowers, its passage documented not by tree blazes or rock cairns, but by blades of bent grass, moist soil turned by a deer hoof, an awkwardly turned stone, and fresh scat. After crossing the meadow, the trail entered a stand of dense spruce, then a thick grove of willow and alder, and finally arrived streamside.

At the stream itself, two fresh, neatly imprinted deer tracks lay in sharp relief against the texture of a black sandbar adjacent to a deep pool. Across the stream, the path continued, and I crossed the river and followed, letting its downstream trajectory lead me deeper into the canyon. As it traveled, the trail wound through narrow meadows, up against the steep canyon walls, then back streamside, periodically diving into tangles of underbrush so thick, it was hard to imagine a deer, let alone a man, passing through.

After 15 minutes of brutal bushwhacking, I gave up, the slog was consuming valuable fishing time, and I plunged through the brush to the stream - travel would be easier in the streambed itself rather than through the alder and willow thickets. As evidenced by the deer tracks discovered along the bank, apparently, the deer had the same idea. And although, I had planned to venture deeper into the canyon, I was faced with a choice: continue traveling downstream and deeper into the canyon via the riverbed, spooking all the fish in the process; or, begin fishing upstream to water that was, as of yet, untouched. I chose the latter, lined up, tied on a fly and began to cast.

Moving slowly and cautiously, following the small half moons marking intermittent deer sign in the sand, I worked the fly along the edges of riffle runs and through deep stretches of pocket water and plunge pools. On occasion, black shadows darted up, hit the fly and retreated. For every five strikes, there was one solid take - typical skinny water, cutthroat fishing - and the fish, with their bold colors, fiery flanks, and flashy take embodied everything I love about high country fishing. But as I cast, a persistent truth was brewing, and before long it percolated to the surface. Despite my caution, I was in a rush and fishing sloppily. With noon fast approaching, and an early afternoon gathering planned to celebrate the life of a recently departed friend, I was distracted. And with just a few hours to fish, I knew it would be difficult to reach that place where I could focus, where all thought would melt away. Ted was suddenly in the forefront of my mind.

Ted died on July 5 after a three-year battle with cancer, and since those first few days after his passing, I had conveniently pushed thoughts of him and his struggle from my mind - maybe that's how we come to terms with a friend's death, maybe that's how we begin to move on. But while standing there in the stream, it seemed strange how a friend could be there one day, then gone the next, relegated to the most distant corner of memory. And I began to think about Ted's journey and all of our journeys, and that our lives, and memories of friends departed, are as fleeting and as transient as a deer's passage through a river bed.

As we travel upstream, in the river proper, we do not make footprints as long as we move within the river itself. But like the deer, occasionally we step onto a sandbar, leaving a footprint, a temporary mark of our passage. Perhaps our lives are like that. In the great cosmos, aside from the infrequent footprint in the sandbar, our passage goes unnoticed and unmarked. Our lives are essentially insignificant, and during the next rain or rush of high water, evidence of our passage is erased, consumed by an indefinable totality. Earth goes on. It's as though we never existed.

I cast, and continued pondering my own passage up the great river until thirst, hunger and biting flies drove me off the stream and into a shady clearing. Once there, I sipped from my water bottle and devoured a piece of cold fried chicken. As I ate, I gazed upstream to a waist deep pool bordered by a boulder the size of a Volkswagen bug. The boulder overhung the current, creating prime holding water, and I watched a hatch unfold and the trout begin to rise.

I looked at my watch. It was past the time I had deemed appropriate if I intended to arrive back in town on time. I looked back out to the stream and observed the mayflies as they hovered above the pool, swirling like a mass of airborne steel wool. As the mayflies buzzed, the trout rose with regularity, and I stashed the remains of my lunch, shouldered the pack and crept back down to the stream. I would be late. I accepted that fact. But Ted would have wanted it that way. He believed life is fleeting and in the importance of doing what you love.

With thoughts of Ted still lingering, I crouched low against the embankment and studied the current, the movement of the main channel, the backcurrent of the eddies, and the river's flow under and around the boulder. I had fished the hole before, but was hasty and sloppy, dragging the fly through the varied currents. I was determined not to make the same mistake again and I studied the location of the rises, holding my Australian shepherd back, keeping him from plunging into the pool with the excitement of rising trout. When I was ready, I rose slowly, kept my rod low, stripped line and began to cast.

I aimed first for the tail of the run, keeping the line short, working first the left edge, and gradually bringing the fly into the center of the run. On the third or fourth cast, a cutthroat rocketed out from below the boulder, hit the fly and retreated. I was accustomed to this behavior, and barely lifted the rod tip, letting the fly continue its drift down the run. I cast again, this time aiming the fly a little higher in the run, letting it drift down through where I received the first strike - nothing. After two more casts, another cutthroat plowed into the fly near the same place, but again, the trout did not take.

I was operating on the principle of threes - three more casts and I would go home, and rarely would the same trout strike the same fly three times. The odds were stacked against me, but I pulled more line, and launched a cast to the top of the run and let it make the same drift. When the fly reached the tail of the run, I watched a shadow bolt from deep in the pool, then observed the fly disappear amidst a flurry of fire orange flanks and pronounced red slits below the gills.

With the fly in its mouth the fish plowed deep into the pool, making for that dark aquatic world beneath the boulder, and I tightened the drag and let the fish run. By the bow of my rod and the weight on the line, I was convinced I had hooked the trout by the dorsal or tail fin - fish in tiny mountain streams just don't fight that hard when they are hooked clean. But with the fish digging hard into the upstream current, I would have to wait until I could bring it in closer to see exactly what had transpired; I would have to play this one out.

I glanced again at my watch. There was no way to make it to Ted's memorial party on time even if I tried to horse the fish in. The effort would undoubtedly result in an injured fish, a broken line or a lost fly. Instead, I secured my footing, keeping the trout on the reel, and studied the stream, planning the route where I would the play the fish out.

We began a slow game of cat and mouse, the fish surging deep, followed by a slow, gradual retrieve. During this aquatic tug-off-war, I worked the trout to the tail of the pool, but another fierce run told me this was a fish who was confident in its strength, and by sheer force of will and muscle, it would shirk its invisible burden.

After a time, and with a stroke of luck, I eased the cutthroat out of the pool, down the short riffle run and into the eddy where I had planned its release. During the fray, I realized two key factors - the trout was not hooked by the fin, and second, it was an extraordinary sample of the species and the largest cutthroat I had caught. In short, it was a brute. To remind me of this fact, when the fish was barely at arm's length away, it bolted again upstream and back into the deep water of the pool.

This time the fight was not as prolonged, and after a few minutes, I eased the trout out of the pool and back into the eddy. As I reached to release the fish, I tucked my rod under my arm and reached down with one hand to support it. As I attempted to hold the trout, I realized one hand was not sufficient and I needed both hands to support its hefty girth. With the fish cradled in my arms I felt the strength and energy of its body against my own, and with hemostats, I removed the hook and slipped the fish back into the current.

Upon leaving the stream, I discovered more deer tracks on the bank, ultimately leading up and out of the ravine and back toward the truck. In the back of my mind, I knew Ted wouldn't have cared that I was late, and in fact, although he was never a fisherman himself, if he had known what I was up to, he might have preferred it that way.


Middle East

Dear Editor:

"There's more work to do" (GW Bush).

Israeli General Gantz - "We have a long way to go and a lot to achieve," then he conceded that it would be difficult to stop the rockets that have menaced northern Israel with purely military means.

Israeli Army officers are saying that it is probably unrealistic to expect that the military can wipe out Hezbollah's well-hidden and widespread arsenal. Another commented, "All Hezbollah has to do to win, is not lose."

Sounds like the disconnected mindless garbage coming out of the gruesome twosome Bush and Rice on Iraq. Those two and the neocons have allowed Iran to profit, expand their influence and succeed politically beyond their wildest dreams. Then again, maybe it was intended ... another record quarterly profit for the oil companies and it looks to continue as even the author of the new book on Iraq, "Fiasco," says it's likely to take 15-20 years to get out of Iraq.

The presidential elections are coming up. Maybe, just maybe, Americans will choose somebody with at least minimal competency rather than another "joe blow" with whom you can have a beer!

Dave Blake


Dog problem

Dear Editor:

There was one very important letter to the editor last week and one article in the Pagosa Lakes News section that should have been on the front page. The letter concerned a tragic scenario of an unrestrained pit bull who wandered onto their property and killed a family pet. The same dog also killed two other animals and was seen chasing some children on the same day. After all of this, the dog was released to its owner. Unbelievable.

The other article is about a horrific attack on a woman who was trying to enjoy a bicycle ride and was attacked by two large dogs. When the writer of the article (Ming Steen) stopped to help the woman, one of the dogs tried to attack Ming through the open window. When the animal control officer arrived, the dogs turned on him. I don't have small children around, but if I did, I would be terrified to let them play outside.

This same article contained some staggering facts about the dog bite problem in the U.S. If something isn't done here, we could become the dog bite capital of the country.

I am an avid walker and refuse to give it up because of the fear of a dog attacking me, but when I am out walking with my dog, on her leash, (she also has a fence at home), there is that fear that around the next bend there could be a loose dog, who will come at us barking and snarling (and many times there is). I have been lucky so far. We have not been harmed. Terrified at times, and annoyed by dogs that follow us for several miles and make my dog crazy by trying to play with her while she is on the leash. I have had a number of dogs follow me home, and when I call the number on their tags, if they have them, the owner tells me not to worry, they'll come home. So, it is obvious that many people are oblivious to the laws regarding dog control - or they just refuse to take responsibility.

Where is the outrage?

Karen Dannewitz


Debruce for roads

Dear Editor:

Thank you and reporter James Robinson for continuing updates on the matter of secondary road maintenance and snow plowing in Archuleta County.

The county staff has been conducting a series of meetings on what can be done to resolve the road maintenance dilemma. In the meetings, a staff member has outlined three do-it-yourselves possibilities for residents. Unfortunately, none of these ideas is a solution.

A Local Improvement District is simply inapplicable to road maintenance; it can only be used for onetime capital projects, such as paving or lighting.

A Public Improvement District (PID) takes a minimum of two years from circulation of the first petition to expenditure of the first dollar. But because of ballot deadlines, it is probably already too late to get a PID approved by voters before November 2007, so the first road maintenance by a PID would commence in summer 2009. The agenda for the Aug. 1 meeting of the county board of commissioners includes a PID proposal for Wapiti Place in Meadows 3, but it would have to be expedited in every way to get on the Nov. 7 ballot.

A Metropolitan District is considerably more complex to set up and to administer. The local entity best positioned to create a Metropolitan District would be PLPOA, but its charter prohibits any such undertaking, and a proposal at the 2005 annual meeting to change the charter in that respect was soundly defeated. A Metropolitan District is not a realistic solution.

Only two plausible alternatives appear to be available: debrucing and/or rescission of the BoCC's policy decision of Jan. 17 to discontinue maintenance and plowing of secondary roads. Based on the lead headline in the SUN's July 27 edition, many residents may think that the rescission has already occurred. In fact, however, the policy has not been changed, just partly postponed.

The argument in support of the "no maintenance or plowing" policy is that spending limits make it impossible to care for all county roads properly, but there is enough funding to do primary roads right if the county could leave secondary road maintenance to other parties. Nevertheless, rescission is a good and proper near term solution: The recent level of maintenance (and plowing) is far better than none at all, and could certainly be continued until a sensible long-term solution is reached. The BoCC should in any case forthwith rescind the Jan. 17 "no maintenance or plowing" policy.

Debrucing can be a multi-year solution, although not necessarily a permanent fix. The BoCC is thought to be drafting a debrucing proposition for the Nov. 7 ballot. (Sept. 11 is the final cutoff for ballot propositions, so quick action is needed.) The debrucing ballot proposition can only pass with public support, which will require an effective public information campaign. I believe debrucing would be much more acceptable to the public if the proposition wording includes a five-year time limit to keep the BoCC on program - "misapply the funds and the voters won't renew them." A further incentive to the public would be a formal pledge by the BoCC that each year the net additional spending capacity from debrucing or $1 million, whichever is smaller, will be applied to secondary road maintenance and improvement.

There is an enormous amount of energy among people living along secondary roads to get to a real solution. Folks should turn out en masse at the BoCC meeting where debrucing is considered (probably Aug. 15) to ask for a sound and time-limited ballot proposition.

LeRoy Ellison


Commission politics

Dear Editor:

I had my first lesson in Pagosa Springs politics earlier this month. I attended the planning commission's meeting on Tuesday, July 18. The only controversial topic was the proposed Highland Springs development. During the public comment portion of the meeting, which took more than 30 minutes, at least 10 residents spoke against the development, citing a variety of concerns ranging from strain the development will put on the water system, to the high density of homes in the development relative to neighboring areas, to the uncertain road access to the development.

To my surprise, after the residents had spoken, there was no discussion among the commissioners. Instead, almost immediately after the comment period, one of the commissioners proposed a poorly-worded, virtually incomprehensible motion that turned out to be a motion to approve the project, subject to a list of items raised by the planning commission's staff. (The list included such critical issues as the routing of a trail through the development and whether to require curb and gutter on all the streets or just some of them. Few, if any, of the items reflected the concerns voiced by the residents.) With little hesitation, another commissioner seconded the motion, which was then approved by the commission.

I cannot see how the commission could possibly have assimilated and honestly considered what they had heard to the extent that would be necessary to make the decision they made in the amount of time in which they made it. A reasonable person does not make fair decisions that way. Therefore, I must conclude that the commissioners were not listening to the comments, but rather waiting for the residents to stop talking so they could make the decision they had planned to make all along.

Had the planning commission been listening to the residents, they would have at least pretended to consider the points that had been raised. Perhaps they would have taken 10 or 15 minutes to discuss the issues, to try to find a compromise that would have made everyone equally unhappy. Perhaps they would have delayed a decision for a couple of weeks so they could think about what the residents had said. Perhaps they would have acknowledged the residents' concerns but regretfully given some explanation as to why they made the decision they did.

Certainly they wouldn't have dismissed all of the residents' concerns without any apparent consideration.

I've come to the conclusion that the public comment phase of the planning commission's meetings is simply for show. It's a formality that must be endured by the commissioners to ensure compliance with the rules, but it is definitely not a forum for residents to effect change or influence decisions. It was a very disappointing and disheartening lesson in the workings of the town.

Krista S. Jacobsen


Dog problem redux

Dear Editor:

Shawn Curvey certainly has a legitimate gripe concerning the numerous dogs at large, and incessant barking in this city and county. Aspen Springs seems to be a heaven for such animals, many dogs in this area run loose and their continued barking day and night is most certainly an annoyance. I, personally, have been the victim of three incidents, two of which resulted in dog bites to my legs. The owner of such animals seems to enjoy the lack of control by county and city officials.

Pagosa and Archuleta officials should take lessons from the Durango officials who have the fortitude to establish animal control laws.

Ruben Luna

Editor's note: Pagosa Springs animal control officers have no jurisdiction over matters in Aspen Springs. The area is in unincorporated Archuleta County.


Go ahead, grovel

Dear Editor:

Since CDOT is so eager to "light up" Pagosa Springs, I have a couple of suggestions for them:

1. Please, please add a left-turn signal to the light that is already installed at Hot Springs Boulevard and U.S. 160. Since the light is already there, it should not take more than a day. It would help traffic movement immensely. Lines of cars waiting to turn to the post office and other government buildings are growing at the same rate as the population growth.

2. A three-way blinking yellow light on the tall pole in the center of the triangle at the intersection of U.S 84 and 160 would be a great safety project for dark nights. Anyone coming to town from Wolf Creek who wishes to turn left is faced with oncoming headlights which limits vision of where to turn onto 84. Same for anyone who turns right over Highway 84 from Pagosa Springs; headlights from oncoming cars blind your vision. It is kind of important to be able to see the lines on the road, which are sometimes too faint to see even in the daylight.

There is already a place for power to the intersection, so why is it not being utilized?

Right now would be a good time for the county and town fathers to unite on both projects and ask CDOT to shine a little light on the subjects.

A little groveling wouldn't hurt.

Lolita Manring


Dog problem 3

Dear Editor:

My letter is in response to Shawn Curvey's letter concerning dog control.

First, let me offer my sincere sympathy to the gentleman and the Carothers family. These tragic events need not and should not have happened. Hopefully, in the very near future we will have, as most counties do, a dog ordinance that states, off property, on leash, instead of the current Resolution 2002-31, definition 4 which states: "The dog is within sight and hearing distance of its Owner, possessor, keeper or a family member of the Owner, or any agent of employee thereof of the Owner, and, upon command, the dog returns to the immediate vicinity of such person, at least within four feet of such persons."

This is not sufficient control, as very few dogs, with the exception of police dogs, search and rescue and a few others, will stray or quickly return to owners upon command when wildlife or other animals are present, to pursue. Many owners do not realize the dangers they are exposing their dogs to by allowing them to roam, nor are they accepting the responsibility to their neighbors. They are creating a dangerous situation, which has to be changed. At least, the current law should be strictly enforced by all departments, as stated in definition 5: "A dog shall be deemed not under control when the dog inflicts damage or injury by biting, jumping upon, or harasses, chases or attacks persons, vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, equestrians, livestock, other domestic animals or wildlife. This provision shall not be applicable if the dog is acting in defense of the Owner, the Owner's family, or property of the Owner."

The resolution also states that "Vicious Dog" shall mean a dog that bites or attacks a person or other animal without provocation or a dog that approaches any person or animal in a vicious or terrorizing manner in an apparent attitude of attack, on any public or private property; except when the person is engaged in the lawful entry into or upon the dog owners property or vehicle where such a dog is kept or confined; or when the person is engaged in attacking or molesting another person.

For the animal control officer, if I read it correctly, to state that as the dog was not aggressive to people, it was not impounded but returned to owner, states to us that sadly he either didn't know the law or chose not to enforce it. On the more positive side, we do have more people moving into our area of Pagosa Lakes from areas which have and enforce strict animal control. More fences are going up, people are walking their dogs on leash and cleaning up behind them. This enhances the lifestyle for us all, while providing safety for all pets, wildlife and children at play, and a cleaner, safer environment for everyone.

Jennifer Matcham


Prayers, please

Dear Editor:

People of Pagosa:

In this time of need, we need you the most. We are a few kids that have either lived here most of our lives or less than a year. We ask for help to pray for our dear friends Chase Register, Travis Stahr and Mikie Maestas. Being part of this good, small town, we know you all will help us. In some way, these young men have touched us all. All we ask is that your prayers and hope be with them, and that you help us and their families get through this time.

Thank you for helping us, the young adults of Pagosa.

Brandi Pack, Dani Jackson, Cody Pack, Jeff Jackson, Bo Pack and Brad Rivas


   Community News

Take steps to make your fair experience the best yet

By Jim Super

Special to The PREVIEW

The Archuleta County Fair is in its final stages of preparation.

With a nominal price of admission, people can enjoy the festivities without breaking the bank. The assurance that everyone has a wonderful and a safe time is the fair board's goal. Below are basic fair regulations and some helpful advice to make your experience a pleasant one.

First, August is statistically the hottest month of the year. Patrons of the fair should dress appropriately to avoid the perils of heat. It makes sense to be as comfortable as you can when outdoors.

Second, proper shoes are necessary. I was surprised last year by the number of people who wore plastic flip-flops to the fairgrounds. Invariably, we had incidents where people tripped or had pieces of ground debris wedged in their foot. I also had a woman hobble up to me with a two-inch shoe heel in her hand, asking if I had anything to fix it. Why anyone would wear high-heeled shoes to the fair is beyond my comprehension. The fair grounds are covered with gravel and wood chips. Please wear shoes that are appropriate for this environment.

Sunscreen is also very important. Living at high altitude means living nearer to the sun. Dermatologists recommend a minimum of an SPF 15, with reapplications when needed. A nasty sunburn can spoil a good time. A little preparation can save you from days of grief.

Hydration is one of the most important things you can do in the summer heat. Water is, of course, the best way to hydrate your system. Drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine deplete your body and dehydrate your system. If you drink alcohol or caffeine drinks, alternate with water to assure proper fluid intake.

House pets are prohibited at the fairgrounds. Some people have tried to sneak their pets into the fair under coats or in handbags. There is an obvious sanitation issue with pets, along with the fact that some animals are unpredictable in temperament in crowds, creating a safety issue. I have many pets and love them too, but I am not bringing them with me to the fair. The only exception to this rule is if you are visually impaired and require a seeing eye dog to assist you.

Smoking is permitted at the fairgrounds in outdoor areas, away from livestock and food.

Please use common sense when extinguishing your smoking materials. Again, the grounds contain wood chips which are an accelerant for fire. Smoking any substance that is illegal will be immediately reported to law enforcement officers, who are on the grounds at all times.

Alcohol will be served during the fair in the Beer Tent and during the Demolition Derby, on site. If you are not of legal age to drink, do not attempt to do so. If you are an adult, do not buy alcohol for someone under age. It will not be tolerated and it will dealt with by law enforcement officials. Furthermore, if you partake of the alcoholic beverages, please do so responsibly.

Firearms are not permitted on the grounds. There is no reason anyone would need to have them on their person at the fair. This is an obvious safety issue.

Coolers are not permitted on the grounds. This is the fair, not a family picnic. Plenty of food and beverage will be available from vendors and in other venues during the fair. Out of respect to the food handlers who are offering their services, we ask that no food is brought in through the entry gate.

Special needs parking is available at the fair. If you are handicapped or have a need due to injury, etc., let the parking attendant know, so you can be directed to the appropriate parking area. Shuttles are available to make the trek from the parking lot to the fairgrounds less arduous.

The Archuleta County Fair is a family-oriented event. The fair board is committed to creating a fun, but safe environment.

If at any time during the fair you have a need or a question, contact one of the fair staff who are on duty at all times. Emergency medical personnel as well as law enforcement officers are at the fairgrounds and ready if their services are needed.

Further information about the fair is available at our Web site,


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


Famed classical guitarist joins with orchestra at Music in the Mountains

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Classical music lovers and guitar enthusiasts will be treated to an extraordinary evening tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 4, when Sir Angel Romero performs with the full Music in the Mountains orchestra under the baton of Boris Brott, one of Canada's most revered conductors. Tickets for this concert have been sold out for months.

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

On the program are Mozart's "The Magic Flute Overture," Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra," and Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Opus 67."

This special concert is presented by BootJack Ranch and sponsored in part by Bob and Mary Hart, Hart Construction and Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat. Sir Angel Romero's performance is sponsored by Donna and Carl Carman.

Family of classical guitarists

Appearing as the soloist on this special evening will be Spanish classical guitarist Sir Angel Romero. Classical guitars are seldom paired with orchestras, but Sir Angel has set the bar on appearances with great orchestras of the world. In fact, he also conducts major orchestras in the United States and Europe.

Sir Angel is a member of the world's most prestigious classical guitarist family, famous not only throughout their native country of Spain but also around the world. Many of the musicians in the family have been knighted with the highest civilian honor bestowed by Spain, the Grand Order of Merit, with Sir Angel being the youngest recipient of this honor ever.

Since his professional debut at the age of six and his American debut at the Hollywood Bowl at age 16, Sir Angel has performed in more than 1,000 concerts and recitals around the world. Born in Malaga, Spain, he has performed in many notable events that were telecast globally, including the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus celebration in 1992 at the United Nations General Assembly.

Hailed as the Spanish maestro of the guitar, Romero's playing continues in the tradition of great guitar virtuosos like Segovia. He also is noted for his film activities, particularly his 1989 performance of the entire score for "The Milagro Beanfield War" directed by Robert Redford, and for his extensive recordings.

Conductor from Canada

Conducting the full festival orchestra will be Boris Brott, who has developed no less than six Canadian orchestras and also served as assistant to the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein. He enjoys an international career as guest conductor, educator, motivational speaker and cultural ambassador.

Brott currently serves as artistic director of the Brott Music Festival in Ontario, Canada, and conductor of orchestras in California and Montreal. A well-traveled guest conductor, Brott has led major orchestras in the United States, Mexico, South America, Central America, Europe and Asia.

His performance of Bernstein's "Mass" for Pope John Paul at the Vatican as part of Jubilee 2000 was seen by millions across southern Europe in a film directed by Carlo de Palma to commemorate the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 tragedies.

Brott has a corollary career as a motivation speaker, giving 35 presentations annually to Fortune 500 companies around the world. He plays on the juxtaposition of teamwork and creativity in helping business organizations and symphony orchestras perform in harmony to achieve their goals.

Food and beverages

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

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


'Let's Explore - Goldsworthy' at Shy Rabbit

By Leanne Goebel

Special to the PREVIEW

Andy Goldsworthy is a British environmental artist. Goldsworthy uses natural 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 gallery, 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.

Shy Rabbit gallery will remain open from 4-6:30 p.m. on Aug.10 for those who wish to see the "Select Works" exhibit prior to the film's screening. The film will be followed by group discussion.

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

In July, "Let's Explore" featured a slide show and lecture on Alfred Stieglitz. In September, a film on Isamu Noguchi will be shown, and in October we will begin the series Art 21, followed by a lecture and slide presentation in November with the juror from the "Forms, Figures and Symbols" juried exhibition of contemporary art.

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

"Let's Explore - Andy Goldworthy" is one night only, Aug.10, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. 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, stay on North Pagosa 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 or call (970) 731-2766.


Free interactive drama at community center

By John Gwin

Special to The PREVIEW

Men and women of Archuleta County - members of the ManKind Project and Women Within - will present an interactive drama 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

This free interactive drama sculpts a person's stages of emotional development and how a person can mend emotional injuries. One of the learning points of the presentation is how adults can learn to live more connected to their heart (feelings) and become more congruent in their thoughts and actions.

ManKind Project, ( and Women Within, ( are secular, non-profit, multicultural international organizations.

This drama is open to all adults, regardless of religious beliefs, marital status or gender. Refreshments and a question/answer period will follow this interactive presentation.

John and Cherlyn Gwin, 731-9666, and Steve Sewell, 264-4816 are available to answer your questions.


Elation Center presents 'An Empty Bench' and cabaret

By Paul Roberts

Special to the PREVIEW

A one-act play and cabaret is coming to Pagosa at 7 p.m., Aug. 22-23, at Stage Under The Stars.

"An Empty Bench" is an original musical play, written by John Graves and John Porter. This delightful love story includes six songs composed by Graves, who says the play has "a very positive message about people supporting each other and overcoming rather disastrous romantic beginnings. It has a joyous and uplifting ending."

An Empty Bench will be followed by a variety show featuring the play's talented cast: Kimberly Judd, Honor Nash-Putnam, Matthew and Tiffany Brunson, Larry Elginer, Sally Yates and June Marquez. Musicians include John Graves on piano, D.C. Duncan on drums, and Dan Fitzpatrick on bass.

Graves co-authored "An Empty Bench" with local producer John Porter, who also directs the play. Porter and Graves, who have collaborated on many theater and concert productions in Pagosa, are excited about launching their latest production in the woodsy atmosphere of Stage Under the Stars - a new venue in Pagosa, with its picturesque setting, concert tent, stage and professional lighting.

Local talent Kimberly Judd incorporates her considerable acting, singing, saxophone playing and dancing skills in the play and cabaret. "Being part of this production is an especially important opportunity for me," says Judd who has performed in many theater productions and concerts in the three years she has lived in Pagosa. Having racked up a long list of musical accomplishments, Judd, a high school senior, is a talent to be reckoned with. She has participated in the All State Choir, All State Band, Fort Lewis Honor Band, Western Slope Honor Choir, Durango Youth Symphony and Young Musician's Festival in Utah.

Honor Nash-Putnam is a highly inspired and dedicated young actor who enthusiastically plunges into every opportunity he has to perform, including many theatrical productions in Santa Fe and Pagosa. "The theater is my home," says Nash-Putnam. "I've been in every production I can possibly be in." All indications are that Nash-Putnam should have a long and tall acting career. "It's not uncommon for people in my family to reach seven feet," he says, and live to be a hundred." A six feet, four-inch tall sophomore, one of his interests, besides acting and singing, is basketball.

Nash-Putnam is intensely focused on an acting career, always honing his skills. "Whenever I see a movie and I like what I'm hearing, I learn the lines and study the voices of the actors." His recall is rather astounding. "I'll see it about twice and I have most of the movie," he says. "When I'm in plays, most of the time I memorize everyone's lines and all the songs."

Come enjoy the talents of Kimberly Judd, Honor Nash-Putnam and an immensely talented cast, as they evoke the Golden Age of Broadway through an inspiring one act play and cabaret.

Discount tickets to An Empty Bench can be purchased in advance, for $15, at WolfTracks Coffee House, or online at, , until Aug. 18. Regular priced tickets, for $20, will be available at the performances Aug. 22-23. Seating is limited, so advance ticket purchase is recommended.

Stage Under the Stars is located at 3700 Piedra Road. Directions: 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, a local nonprofit. For more information, call 731-3117.


Up and coming bands make Four Corners festival debuts this year

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

Residents and visitors alike will not want to miss the 11th annual Four Corners Folk Festival taking place this Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 1-3, at 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, Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem, Old School Freight Train, the Duhks, The Stringdusters, Brad Davis, John Moore and Company, the Hot Strings and Julie Lee.

Two up-and-coming bands will bring their talents to the Four Corners Folk Festival for the very first time in 2006 - Anne and Pete Sibley and The Biscuit Burners.

Husband and wife duet Anne and Pete Sibley love to get right to the heart of their audience. For them it is about the vocals, the words and the harmonies. Accompanied on guitar and banjo, theirs is a traditional, yet original sound. They are often compared to duet performers like Tim and Mollie O'Brien and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. The Post Independent's Bobby Magil of Glenwood Springs, said, "It's not hard to draw a parallel between the Sibleys' music and that of Gillian Welch, who's known for blending and passion." Anne and Pete have been singing together since they met in their high school choir.

Anne's powerful vocals and songwriting, paired with Pete's solid guitar, melodic clawhammer banjo playing and harmony, highlight their latest CD released in late 2005 entitled, "Will You Walk With Me." To their delight, the compilation has been receiving radio play in states around the West. During 2005, they spent the year introducing their music at festivals in the Rocky Mountains, performing at sold-out shows, opening for music legends and as in-studio guests on community radio stations - all this within their first two years of performing. The duet will share their original and traditional music twice at this year's event: on the late night stage Friday, Sept. 1, at 9 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 3, on the main stage at 11 a.m.

Hailing from the hills of North Carolina, The Biscuit Burners have established themselves as the complete package for acoustic entertainment. The year 2004 underlined this with several accolades that many artists can only dream of: In 12 short months, they were chosen as one of the select few bands to be showcased at the International Bluegrass Association Conference, performed on the legendary stage of the Ryman Auditorium with Vassar Clements, had their debut album chosen in the Top Ten Bluegrass Albums of 2004 by the Chicago Tribune, and had their song "Come On Darlin," chosen as the iPod Hot Pick Bluegrass Song of the Year.

With the combination of their immense talent, diverse backgrounds and youthful energy, the Biscuit Burners turn the heads of everyone who cross their path. Their self-proclaimed "Fiery Mountain Music" layers intricate picking and melodious vocals in a manner that stirs visions of the classic brother and sister duets that are deep in the roots of classic country and old-time mountain music. Their refreshing, yet reminiscent sound is winning new and diverse audiences as they continue to gain exposure. You can catch The Biscuit Burners' brand of "Fiery Mountain Music" on Saturday, Sept. 2, at 12:15 p.m. and later that day on the late night stage at 10 p.m. They'll also be doing a special set in the kids' performance tent on Sunday, Sept. 3, at noon.

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 Tickets are also available at Moonlight Books downtown or at WolfTracks Coffee and Books in the Pagosa Country Center by cash or check. The festival features on-site camping, free music workshops, food and merchandise vendors, free admission for children 12 and under and a free kids' program throughout the weekend.


Four Corners Folk Festival receives state arts grant

The Four Corners Folk Festival has been awarded a matching grant of $13,650 from the Colorado Council on the Arts, a state agency.

This grant was awarded through the CCA's 2006-2007 Grants to Artists and Organizations Program and it will support performing artists' fees at the 2006 Four Corners Folk Festival.

State grants are awarded through a competitive process. This grant signifies that FolkWest provides a high level of quality in its programs, community service and administrative ability. The Four Corners Folk Festival marks its 11th year in 2006, and has transformed Labor Day in Pagosa Springs from a low visitor weekend to one of the busiest times of the year, demonstrating that cultural tourism is an important component of a tourist-based economy.

When notified of the award, state Rep. Mark Larson offered the following comment. "The Colorado General Assembly knows that funding the arts is good economic development. The arts community leverages the small amount that we provide them ten times over and in incredibly diverse forms of artistic expression. The Four Corners Folk Festival is a multiple recipient of Colorado Council of the Arts grants because it is a model of cultural excellence that drives tremendous regional economic benefit. In the business world we call this a true win-win. Congratulations to the Folk Festival ... your superior quality deserves the repeat. "

The Colorado Council on the Arts is funded through an annual appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly and federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Information about the 2006 Four Corners Folk Festival is available by calling (877) 472-4672 or online at


Shy Rabbit announces exhibit schedule

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Shy Rabbit - a Contemporary Art Space and Gallery - is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. But 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 members of the creative development team are there working. You can also make an appointment for a private gallery showing at your convenience.

The creative development team (Michael Coffee, Denise Coffee, Leanne Goebel, Shaun Martin and Al Olson) has been busy this summer and is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibit schedule:

- Through Aug. 12 - "Select Works," featuring Susan Andersen (MarSan), mixed media; D. Michael Coffee, ceramics and monoprints; Sarah Comerford, painting; Ron Fundingsland, intaglio printmaking; Deborah Gorton, mixed media; Shaun Martin, painting; Al Olson, photography; Lisa Pedolsky, ceramics; and Kate Petley, resin on acrylic panels.

- Aug. 26-Oct. 7 - "Mind's Material: Sensation, Cognition, and Knowledge," featuring the master works of Doug Pedersen, Kelsey Hauck and Karl Isberg.

- Oct. 21-Nov. 28 - "Forms, Figures, and Symbols: A Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Works." The call for this show will go out the week of Aug. 7 and submissions must arrive by Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. The juror for this show has curated over 400 contemporary art exhibits in museums and galleries around the country.

- Dec. 9-Jan. 20 - "Hold it: An Exhibition of Contemporary Containers."

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4, west of downtown. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Boulevard, stay on North Pagosa to Bastille Drive (at UBC) turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located 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 or call (970) 731-2766.


Chama artist featured at Wild Spirit

Mary E. Cardin is the featured artist in August at Wild Spirit Gallery.

Cardin, a Chama, N.M., watercolorist, focuses on landscape, wildlife and flowers. She will perform demonstrations of her technique during an artist's reception at the gallery from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19.

Cardin is primarily self-taught, and loves watercolor as a medium because of its elusiveness and the challenge of working in the medium. Many of her works, created during a 35-year career, are inspired by her experiences in the unique Rocky Mountain region.

She equates the fast pace of watercolor with an emotional roller coaster ride; every stroke of her brush creates a reaction - a happening on the paper with which she then has to deal, almost never getting the same result twice.

Cardin credits her passion and interest in painting to her uncle, Charles A. Nichols, who was an Academy Award-winning director for Walt Disney.

Mary E. Cardin's works will be displayed through August at Wild Spirit Gallery, located in downtown Pagosa Springs.


Steamworks seeking work for juried art show

In celebration of Steamworks Brewing Co.'s 10th anniversary, and as part of the Inaugural Brewers Olympics and Beer Festival, the popular Durango brewpub will host the juried art show "Hair of the Dog," opening Fri., Sept. 22, the evening of Downtown Durango's Fall Gallery Walk.

A call for artists is underway, with the show open to two-dimensional art of all mediums. The works - ready for hanging - must be delivered to Steamworks Brewing Co. in Durango between 8 and 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 18, along with the entry fee of $20 per piece, $10 of which will be donated to the La Plata County Humane Society. Entry fees of those works not chosen for the show will be returned. Those selected will be displayed for approximately one month.

The jury will include a representative from the local brewing community, the Humane Society and the Durango Arts Center, with Best of Show receiving a cash prize - the dollar amount being the total of the remaining $10 entry fees contributed. Second and third places will enjoy gift certificates and, of course, free beer.

For further information on the "Hair of the Dog" arts show, contact Oyler, (970) 375-9686, or Sean Clark, (970) 259-9200, To receive an artist's specification sheet via e-mail, contact Indiana Reed,


Ducks and Knights at the park

Rubber Duckies will float through downtown Pagosa Springs on the San Juan River as part of the annual Knights of Columbus Duck Race and Picnic.

The fun will take place Saturday, Aug. 19, in Town Park.

Events this year include a Classic Auto Show, kids' games, a gigantic rubber duck race, prizes and, of course, a food court.

Activities 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 at 264-5435.

Activities continue with the food court and kids, games, opening around 11:30 a.m. This year, the Boy Scouts will sell hamburgers and hot dogs, the Flying Burrito will provide Hispanic flavor foods, and the newest vendor, Eddie B Cookin', will be on site with lamb gyros and pulled pork sandwiches.

A prize raffle will begin around 12:30 p.m. and the duck race follows at 2:30. First prize for the duck race will be $1,000. Second prize is $500 and third prize is $100.

For more information, contact the Knights of Columbus at (970) 731-0253.


Library seeks your input, conducts short survey at county fair

By Carole Howard

Special to the PREVIEW

Volunteers from the Woman's Civic Club, Friends of the Library and members of the library's board of trustees hope you will stop by the library's booth at the Archuleta County Fair this weekend to learn what's happening at the library and fill out a short survey about what other books, materials and services you would like the library to provide if funding were available.

Free bookmarks and candy will be available for everyone who visits the library booth at the fair.

"We would really appreciate your input on what more we can do to serve you better," said Scottie Gibson, president of the Woman's Civic Club and treasurer of the library board.

One of the questions aimed at helping the library in its planning and future operations is what types of books you want the library to purchase. Mysteries? Westerns? Sci-fi? Crafts? Home repair? More children's books? Spanish-language books? Large-type editions? Other? What books are needed to best serve our county's home-schoolers and book clubs?

What about other materials like magazines, newspapers, videos, CDs, DVDs and books on tape?

Computers available for public access also are important to many people's use of the library. Do we need more? What online data bases do you prefer? What about downloadable audio books and movies?

Another key issue for a county as geographically spread out as Archuleta is how the library can better serve patrons who live outside of Pagosa Springs. A bookmobile is probably too expensive, but there are other alternatives such as books by mail, book drops, pickup stations, satellite locations or a traveling book truck that might be feasible should funding become available. Are any of these options of interest to you?

In addition to being at the county fair booth, copies of the questionnaire also will be available at the Circulation Desk in the library. The survey will be short and easy to fill in, so you won't need to worry about taking too much time to answer the questions.

"Your free library card gives you access to a wealth of education and entertainment," Gibson said. "Our mission is to provide the resources you want so that the library is a valued center of learning for every Archuleta County citizen from babies to seniors, students to retirees."

The library's county fair booth will be manned by members of the Woman's Civic Club, which was formed in 1910 to support the library; by Friends of the Library, formed in 1963 to involve others with fund-raising for a permanent facility; and by the library's board of trustees. The Civic Club's major fund-raising effort for the library is the annual Holiday Bazaar held the first Saturday in November.


Summer Reading winners announced, Final Party planned

By Barb Draper

Special to the PREVIEW

This is a reminder to all kids who are participants in the Summer Reading Program: Tomorrow will be the last program day for 2006, and the last day to turn in your reading logs.

Each of who meets your contract and turns in the log will receive a free pass to the county fair. The pass is good for the immediate family, and is good only on Aug. 4. Your pass must be picked up at the library; passes will not be available at the gate.

Our program will be a continuation of this past Tuesday's "Day on the Farm." At the fair, you will be able see many of the farm animals we have read and talked about "up close and in person."

I will not have a formal program, since this is a day for you and your family to celebrate your reading success. However, I will be in the Education Tent at various times during the day, so drop by and let me know how you are enjoying the fair.

I appreciate the generosity of the fair board. This is another good example of community organizations working together to support one another.

The annual Final Party for summer readers who completed their contracts will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4. We will not meet at the library. We will meet at South Pagosa Park on South 8th St. This is the time when you can pick up your prize packet, choose one or more free books with the "book tickets" you have earned, and enjoy the refreshments and the various activities that are planned for you. If you are unable to attend the party, you may pick up your prize packet from the library circulation desk.

Congratulations to our three grand prize winners in the Imaginary Pet Contest. The preschool winner is Carter Rainey who created "Kaden."

Brianna Ashe's big bird creation earned her the grand prize in the grades one through three category.

The dragon entered by Lark Sanders is the grand prize winner for grades four and above.

These three artists will receive a free book of their choice at the party Aug. 4.

There were many other winners in the contest. Their names are posted at the library, and these 40 individuals have earned prizes as well. Thanks to all of you for entering, and a thank you as well to all our patrons who voted for their favorites. There were way too many wonderful "creatures" for me judge by myself. I could never make up my mind.

In addition to our weekly contests, we have jointly sponsored a pet coloring contest with the Humane Society. Entries have all been turned in to the Humane Society for judging, and results will be announced shortly. Prizes for these winners will also be presented at the Final Party.

We have had tremendous support from the adults in this community. I'll let you know next week who all these people who have shared their time and talents are.


Lifelong learning program being organized

By Biz Greene

Special to The PREVIEW

Opportunities for lifelong learning here in Pagosa Springs are expanding rapidly with the collaboration of the Sisson Library, Education Center, Community Center, the Senior Center, each offering a wide variety of opportunities for new learning experiences.

Many people in Archuleta County with knowledge or experience in a wide variety of hobbies, professions, avocation and interests have volunteered to share it with interested learners. There will be something of interest to almost everyone. The programs will range from one hour, an hour a week for four weeks, an all-day workshop, or an evening lecture.

This is a volunteer-based program. No fees, no homework, no papers to write, no exams. Presenters will share their experience and interests and learners will expand their awareness and knowledge - much like other lifelong learning programs in towns and cities across the nation.

The collaborating organizations already offer public participation programs. Organizing their offerings along with additional ones in a newly focused, comprehensive lifelong learning curriculum offers the prospect of greater participation by presenters and by learners.

Suggestions for program topics are invited. A beginning list of offerings includes The History of Jazz/Jazz in the Parking Lot, French conversation, Spanish for Travelers, Writing Your Life Story, Digital Camera Know-How, art Appreciation, and a Star Party at Lobo Overlook. The Professional Associates of Fort Lewis College (the group that plans programs for the Durango public) is interested in bringing some of their faculty lectures to Pagosa Springs in the fall.

Planning is ongoing. We want ideas from everyone interested in precipitating. What would you like to present? What would you like to learn?

Leave a message for Biz Greene with your suggestions at P.O. Box 3782, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, or at the Education Center, corner of 4th and Lewis streets.


Community United Methodist Church hosts mission event

By Karen Streiff

Special to The PREVIEW

The 2006 Rocky Mountain Conference Church Wide School of Christian Mission event will be held at Community United Methodist Church 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 26.

Registration must take place before Aug. 11. Cost is $40, which includes meal and textbook. Registration forms are available the church offices on Lewis Street..

The three available courses are:

1. Globalization - It's Impact on people's Lives. How do the economic policies of globalization touch the lives of ordinary people? We need a better understanding of what globalization means to all.

2. Shalom - Peace - Salaam. These three words mean "peace" in these "Abrahamic" religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This course will help us better understand this.

3. India and Pakistan. This is a continuation of last year's study and important considering what is happening now in and between those two countries

Community United Methodist Church is one of seven locations selected to host this event throughout the entire conference. The School of Christian Mission is co-sponsored by Rocky Mountain Conference, United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women.


Unitarians consider 'Environmental Spirituality'

On Sunday, Aug. 6, Ilene Haykus will lead the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in the first of a two-part sequence on "Environmental Spirituality."

She points out that Unitarian Universalism includes "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part" as one of its guiding principles. Many ancient religious belief systems, as diverse as Paganism, Judaism, and Buddhism, have ways of honoring our natural world as well.

In this service, Haykus will explore the religious imperative to stop the environmental devastation threatening our planet's fragile ecosystem, and lead a discussion on how we can turn our beliefs into action to help save the earth.

The service, children's program, and child care begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbrier Drive off of North Pagosa by the fire station, then left into the back parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.


Mountain Christian Fellowship hosts retreat

By Betty Slade

Special to The PREVIEW

Mountain Christian Fellowship in Aspen Springs is hosting a Family Creative Worship Retreat Aug. 11-13.

Shechem Ministries will be leading this exciting time of worship, creativity, learning and fun. Using theater, visual art, music and team-building, wewill "Raise our Ebenezer" to God, a lasting memorial of His faithfulness, provision and grace.

On Friday, from 6:30-9 p.m., we will kick off the weekend,, then following Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon, and 3-9 p.m. with a dinner provided. Sunday morning during the worship service R 10 a.m. will conclude this special weekend.

Please join us at Mountain Christian Fellowship. There will be no charge for his even and all families and individuals are invited.

For more information, contact Betty Slade at 264-2824.


Chuck Bob at the Movies

'Tsotsi' - one of the best films of 2005

Charles Streetman

PREVIEW Columnist

With "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" still making a major splash at the box office for three consecutive weeks, I found myself back at the local video store looking for something remotely worthwhile to view.

Scavenging through the usual Hollywood rehash that clutters the shelves in the summer, I had the good fortune to come across an Oscar winning film by the title of "Tsotsi," a foreign film from South Africa.

Yes, this means the film has subtitles, but if you endure them, you will be in for a great surprise!

"Tsotsi," is based on the novel by Athol Fugard. It is the story of a young gang leader, named Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae), which is slang for "thug" or "gangster". In the film, Tsotsi lives a violent and cruel life in the slums of Johannesburg. It is here, as a runaway child, he learned to fend for himself, ultimately becoming a hardened thug with every intention of assuring his own survival in this unmerciful existence.

This is shown in the beginning of the film as Tsotsi and his small gang mug a wealthy stranger on a packed subway train. They tell him if he makes a sound, they will kill him. The man doesn't even get a full sentence out before he is quickly and surreptitiously stabbed to death by Butcher (Zenzo Ngqobe), one of Tsotsi's companions. The murder goes unnoticed by the other passengers.

Later, a brutal argument over the recent killing erupts between Tsotsi and one of his fellow gangsters. The incident ends in violence, and Tsotsi flees the scene and runs as far as he can run. His escape leads him to an upper-class suburban home, where a young woman arrives at the front gates. Desperate, Tsotsi steals the woman's car, and when she attempts to stop him, Tsotsi shoots her, and drives off.

After several miles, Tsotsi makes the chilling discovery of an infant in the back seat of the car. He strips the car clean, and tries to make a run for it, but his conscience gets the best of him when he tries to leave the child behind. Tsotsi, despite his rough exterior, cannot abandon the baby, and takes the infant with him.

As the plot unfolds, it may be tempting to mistake this film for a feel-good drama. It is not. The film takes itself very seriously and Tsotsi quickly realizes he alone cannot take care of the child. A scene exposes Tsotsi's parental ineptitude, when he attempts to feed the child canned milk. He neglects to clean the dribble off the infant's face, leading to a scene involving ants crawling around the child. It is after this incident, he seeks the assistance of Miriam, (Terry Pheto) a young, local mother.

Over time, Tsotsi begins to bond with the infant. Knowing he can't keep the child, he begins to come to terms with his own troubled past involving his dying mother and a drunken father, and all the criminal acts he has committed. Finally, discovering much remorse for his transgressions, Tsotsi realizes the right thing to do is return the baby to its parents, allowing him to make one emotional act of redemption for not only the wrong committed to them, but for all the wrongs of his short, but violent life.

During the bittersweet, albeit inconclusive finale, Tsotsi acts on his decision, and this may be the film's weak spot. For some, the ending may arrive too soon and without sufficient closure. Nevertheless, and despite its limitations, it has a powerful impact on the viewer.

With that aside, everything else about the movie is terrific! Director Gavin Hood shows true skill with this film. He develops the film's characters well, with powerful performances by the cast. Presley Chweneyagae plays his part well. As Tsotsi, he transitions smoothly from being a ruthless criminal to finding his humanity through caring for the infant he takes in.

The photography is something to be admired as well. Cinematographer Lance Gewer conveys the bleak atmosphere of Tsotsi's life in the slums, and yet Gewer's photography also expresses hope for the young gangster in a number of touching scenes, such as when Tsotsi shows the child the slum where he grew up .

"Tsotsi" won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. I have heard some arguments on whether it deserved to win over last year's top contender for the prize, "Paradise Now." Because I haven't seen this film, I can only say that "Tsotsi," was a very worthy contender, if not truly deserving of the award. It's an exceptionally moving film about a young cutthroat gangster who, discovering his humanity by caring for a helpless infant, and seeking to atone for his past transgressions, ultimately changes for better. It is truly one of the best films from 2005!

The DVD is not short of special features either. The disc provides a feature length commentary from writer/director Gavin Hood. It also contains alternate endings, deleted scenes with optional commentaries, a "making of" featurette, a music video based on the film, and Director Hood's short film "The Storekeeper."

Read me now and believe me later when I say "Tsotsi" is your best choice for a video rental. Many of the recent, new releases have been some of this year's biggest bombs, including the critically slammed "Basic Instinct 2," the excessively gruesome and incoherent "Final Destination 3," the typically formulaic teen comedy, "She's the Man," and the moronic "The Benchwarmers," in which actor Jon Heder is predictably typecast as another Napoleon Dynamite-ish character and forced to co-star with SNL has-beens Rob Schneider and David Spade.


Local Chatter

A furry friend for a roommate

By Kate Terry

PREVIEW Columnist

Have you ever put an ad in the paper for a roommate?


Well, neither have I, but I got one last Monday, anyway. It happened this way.

I was dozing in front of the TV when my friend, Lenore Bright, came to see me. She quietly suggested that we call my family up the road to tell them there was a four-footed creature with a tail about a foot long running up and down on my window sill, inside my house.

Peggy and Mason Laverty and Lenore searched for the intruder in my three-room apartment for over 20 minutes to no avail. They left thinking the unwelcome guest had escaped.

I went back to dozing and heard more scratching on the window. I opened my eyes and my bushy-tailed friend jumped down on the back of the chair and hid again.

This time, I called Kitzel Farrah, and she and Mason again searched the rooms finding the critter between the drop leafs of my antique dining table. At last he was set free!

Kitzel is used to this, as I once volunteered to help herd a stray cow off the highway. I was waving my arms and yelling at the cow and she just stood there blinking at me as if to say, "You idiot!"

I am not one to round up a squirrel.

Lenore Bright added another squirrel story. When she was young, she had a fox terrier (all energy, on springs). Very often, they would hear a scratching on their screen door and the dog started barking. It was their squirrelly friend who was calling for the dog. They would open the door and the dog would take off on the chase. Eventually, when the squirrel tired of the chase, he would head for the next tree and up he went. Somehow it knew exactly how far the dog could jump and he would sit about an inch above that and chatter at the dog until even the springing terrier gave up.

Hope you enjoy!

Fun on the Run

Taken from The Anglican Digest

Our vicar tells of the time she was teaching a class of children. The topic was forgiveness and told the story of the thief on the cross. Finally, she asked the class, "And what were Jesus' last words on the cross?" A hand shot up and one little boy in his deepest voice answered, "I'll be back!"


Community Center News

Managing Diabetes program holds first meeting at center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Managing Diabetes, a new community center-sponsored program, had a productive meeting last week.

Some new members offered ideas for future programs: cooking for diabetics including hands-on chopping and mixing in the community center's kitchen; inviting a diabetes educator to speak; reaching out to a Diabetes Coalition in Albuquerque for resource and idea sharing; taking a trip to the grocery store to learn smart label reading and shopping; inviting a dietician to help with meal planning and recipe modification; learning relaxation techniques; and arranging an opportunity for regular water exercise for group members.

Please consider attending a session if you are diabetic or at risk for diabetes, if you live with someone who has diabetes, or if you think you have something to contribute to the group. Confidentiality is a must.

This is an opportunity to tap in to some local resources that we have available here in Pagosa. Please let us know if there are specific ways in which this program could help you. Watch here for the date and time of the next meeting.

Chimney Rock volunteers potluck

On the second Thursday of every month, the Chimney Rock volunteers meet at the center for a potluck. Their next get-together will be 6-8 p.m., Aug. 10.

This event is open to anyone who is interested in attending. But, please bring a dish to share. Tanis says that the speaker for the evening will be Glenn Raby, and Glenn's topic is "The Supernova."

New yoga schedule

The new schedule began Aug. 1 when the class started meeting on Tuesdays instead of Thursdays. The meeting time has also changed to 10:30-11:30 in the morning. This class, another community center program, is free to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Thanks to Diana Baird for leading this group.

Line dancing

This is from Gerry Potticary, our line dancing guru: "Line dancing will give you an aerobic workout that is a lot more fun than work. We have new people every week, and we promise that you will not feel new for long. Come at 10 a.m. on Mondays for an introduction. At 10:30 we will do more advanced dances."

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

Weight Watchers

WW meets at the center 5-6 p.m. on Wednesdays. Nancy Strait tells me that new members and drop-ins are always welcome.

Visitors to Pagosa Springs can come to weigh in and get credit for staying on program. It's an open and friendly group, according to Nancy, with cookbooks, encouragement, and many options for meeting your weight-loss goals.

Self-Help for Health

The open house to meet the facilitator of this program, Medora Bass, was last week. Several people attended and received the handouts which explain the process Medora uses to help people help themselves to better health. Medora was available to answer questions and provide explanations of the self-help method.

The actual class starts at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, and runs through Sept. 11. The cost is $50 for the entire program of six sessions. To benefit from this program one needs to attend all six classes.

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 about costs and location, call the center at 264-4152.

Computer lab news

Two new Beginning Computing classes will start Aug. 22-23. The Tuesday class is open to all ages, and the Wednesday class is for seniors.

Both these groups will meet for eight consecutive weeks, 10 a.m.-noon in the community center's computer lab.

The first class session focuses on the mouse and keyboard. Using a mouse properly is a question of practice and is the foundation for all the other class sessions.

As for the keyboard, there are some baffling keys there - the windows key, home, end, esc, to name a few. We'll learn what to do with all those strange keys and suggest some on-line typing practice programs, if you have a desire to learn how to type well.

We continue to offer the Thursday afternoon Q&A sessions at 1 p.m. This is the time to ask for help with e-mail attachments, Excel formulas, Word formatting, etc. During this time, the computer lab is not closed, but remains open for use by the public.

Call the center at 264-4152 for information about classes or computer use.

Center hours

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

Activities this week

Today - 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.

Aug. 4 - Perspective drawing workshop with Ginnie and Denny, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; 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.

Aug. 5 - Perspective drawing workshop with Ginnie and Denny, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; sewing class, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Aug. 6 - 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.

Aug. 7 - 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. 8 - 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.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; ManKind Project community open house, 6-9 p.m.; Creepers Jeepers, 7-8 p.m.

Aug. 9 - 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.; watercolor class, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Aug. 10 - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Chimney Rock potluck, 6-8 p.m.

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


Senior News

Strategies for coping with chronic pain

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

August is National Pain Awareness Month.

Pain is a highly personal experience. The degree to which pain interferes with the quality of a person's life is also highly personal. The isolation and fear that can overwhelm a person with chronic pain grows over time. And the return to a fuller, more rewarding life also takes time. Making the journey from patient to person is a journey with many phases. The American Chronic Pain Association describes these phases as Ten Steps:

1. Accept the pain. Learn all you can about your physical condition. Understand that there may be no current cure and accept that you will need to deal with the fact of pain in your life.

2. Get involved. Take an active role in your own recovery. Follow your doctor's advice and ask what you can do to move from a passive role into one of partnership in your own health care.

3. Learn to set priorities. Look beyond your pain to the things that are important in your life. List the things that you would like to do. Setting priorities can help you find a starting point to lead you back into a more active life.

4. Set realistic goals. Set goals that are within your power to accomplish or break a larger goal down into manageable steps. And take time to enjoy your successes.

5. Know your basic rights. Among these are the right to be treated with respect, to say no without guilt, to do less than humanly possible, to make mistakes, and to not need to justify your decisions, with words or pain.

6. Recognize emotions. Emotions directly affect physical well being. By dealing with your feelings, you can reduce stress and decrease the pain you feel.

7. Learn to relax. Pain increases in times of stress. Relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, visualization and other techniques are a way of reclaiming control of your body.

8. Exercise. Most people with chronic pain fear exercise. But unused muscles feel more pain than toned flexible ones. With your doctor, identify a modest exercise program that you can do safely. As you build strength, your pain can decrease.

9. See the total picture. Pain does not need to be the center of your life. You can choose to focus on your abilities, not your disabilities. You will grow stronger in your belief that you can live a normal life in spite of chronic pain with the above steps.

10. Reach out. Once you have begun to find ways to manage your chronic pain problem, reach out and share what you know. Living with chronic pain is an ongoing learning experience. We all support and learn from each other.

To learn more on chronic pain go to

Managing chronic pain

Coping skills are techniques that can be helpful in managing pain. American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) groups build on these coping skills with words of advice:

Do not dwell on physical symptoms of pain. Focus on abilities, not disabilities.

Recognize and talk freely about your feelings about pain and its control over your lives. Do not make judgments. Group discussions should be confidential. Use relaxation exercises to help ease the tension that increases pain and redirect attention away from your pain and suffering. If your doctor approves, incorporate mild stretching exercises into your daily life. Set realistic goals and evaluate them weekly. This helps to see that your desires can be achieved, one step at a time. Recognize your basic rights, including the right to make mistakes, the right to say no, and the right to ask questions.

Country Western Day

On Friday, The Den will be celebrating 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.

The winner for the Dale Evans and Roy Rogers look-alike contest will win two tickets to the Music in the Mountains concert Friday evening. This grand prize is worth $100 so strap on those boots, jump on the horse and ride down to The Den for a kickin' good time. 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 Friday after lunch, 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? Well, John Graves will be playing the piano for sing-alongs and enjoyment so kick off August with some fun (and some ice cream).

Good for body and mind

Yoga classes are back, with a new instructor.

Diana Baird will teach yoga classes every Tuesday, 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, join these classes free of charge at The Den, and experience a healthier mind and body.

Creede Repertory Theater

Created in 1966, the Creede Repertory Theater (CRT) is now one of Colorado's oldest and most reputable art organizations and produces the best of classic and new dramatic literature.

On Wednesday, Aug. 9, CRT presents "Crazy For You," with music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin.

In the land of George and Ira Gershwin, when boy meets girl, he just can't help singing. And when Bobby and Polly meet, they have plenty to sing about.

In the great tradition of musical theatre, this family show takes us back to the glory days of big song and dance numbers, sparkling chorus girls tapping in unison, and a celebration of American life. You won't want to miss this musical classic, which features jazz favorites such as, "I Got Rhythm," "They Can't Take That Away from Me," "Embraceable You," and many more from the genius of the Gershwin brothers.

Packed with cowboy humor and city slicker dancing, "Crazy for You" brings Broadway to the Wild West and stands as a hallmark of our own great musical heritage. Carpooling is available for those who registered by Aug. 2, and limited seating for five is also available for $5 each in the senior van on a first-come, first-served basis.

Thank you

I would like to personally thank Lorrie Church for all of her help with making the endless numbers of copies of the August newsletter. I could not mail the newsletter out on time without her. Thank you once again Lorrie for your time and your assistance.

Toothbrushes and waterpiks

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center received the electronic toothbrushes and the waterpiks you have all been waiting for.

There are two different choices of electronic toothbrushes for $30 each and the waterpiks are $22 each. Remember, there is a limited supply of these at this great price, so don't delay.

Largest picnic in the park

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center celebrated the summer with the largest picnic in the park last week. We had 128 people join us for an amazing lunch with great company. It was Hawaiian Shirt Day so the flowers and the aloha spirit were everywhere.

Thank you to all who helped with the setup and cleanup for the event and to all of you who came and participated in the fun. We hope to see you at our final picnic, Aug. 25.

Senior discounts

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

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

Not only will you receive generous discounts from local businesses, but you'll be eligible for our Mystery Trip program and other trips in addition to discounts at such senior activities as Oktoberfest. Membership also entitles those who meet annual income guidelines to scholarships for eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental, prescription drugs and medical equipment. 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.

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 Lupe Sanchez 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 for 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.

The first class session focuses on the mouse and keyboard. Using a mouse properly is a question of practice and is the foundation of all the other classes. As for the keyboard, there are some baffling keys there - the windows key, home, end, esc, to name a few. You'll learn what to do with all those strange keys and suggest some on-line typing practice programs, if you want to really learn how to type well.

Call Becky at 241-4152 for more information.

Activities at a glance

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.

Monday, Aug. 7 - Susan Stoffer available, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 8 - Yoga, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 9 - Basic computer class, 10a.m.; outing to the Creede Repertory Theater, 2 p.m. (reservations required.)

Thursday, Aug. 10 - The Den is closed.

Friday, Aug. 11 - Gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.; Seniors Inc. board meeting, 1 p.m.


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

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

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.

Monday, Aug. 7 - Salmon patties, steamed rice with cream sauce, mixed veggies, plums and whole wheat bread.

Tuesday, Aug. 8 - Chicken fried steak, garlic mashed potatoes with country gravy, cut broccoli, sliced peaches and whole wheat roll.

Wednesday, Aug. 9 - Chicken stew with veggies, Brussels sprouts, corn on the cob, diced pears and biscuit.

Friday, Aug. 11 - Beef stroganoff over noodles, broccoli and cauliflower, apricot and pineapple and whole wheat roll.


Veteran's Corner

New Web site for personnel records

By Andy Fautherlee

PREVIEW Columnist

The Archuleta County Veteran Service Office will be closed for the week of Aug. 7-12 while I am on vacation.

Records Web site

I recently received information regarding the new National Personnel Records Center Web site for obtaining copies of DD214s and all other military records.

I checked out the Web site myself and found it fairly easy to fill out the records request forms. Here is the Internet Web site address:

Speedy process

You can fill out the records request form at this Web site, submit it electronically, and speed up the process of obtaining copies of your military records that may be stored at the center, according to NPRC Web site information.

Signed copy

You still must sign and mail in a copy of the request. The NPRC requires a signature of the veteran requesting the records, or in the case of a deceased veteran, the next of kin can request the information. According the NPRC, if it does not receive your signature copy within 30 days, the request will automatically de-activate and be removed from their system. You may also fax the signed form to NPRC at (314) 801-9049.

Service request number

When you fill out the forms on the Internet you will be assigned a "service request number." Print or write down the number for future reference in case you do not receive the records in a reasonable amount of time.

The phone number of customer service at the NPRC is (314) 801-0800. I did call this number and found it fairly efficient except for the wait time to speak to a real person. The recorded message said the wait time could be from 10-40 minutes.

The phone message also gives an e-mail address to check on the status of a records request. This is where you would enter the "service request number." That e-mail address is


Physical address to mail your signed copy of the form is: NPRC Web, 9700 Page Ave. St. Louis, MO 63132-5100.

When you fill out the online request form you will be asked for information including branch of service, enlisted or officer, name, SS number, service number, date of birth, place of birth, etc. Some of this information must be entered in the format requested, such as "/" between month, date and year, or no spaces or hyphens in the service number. If incorrectly entered it will not proceed to the next step and will require you to fill out the space correctly.

Check off benefits

In the second step you will be asked to choose a category for your request. I would suggest you just check "benefits" rather than specific request reason. This will allow you to specify the type of records you want, rather than the NPRC sending you what they want to send you.

Deleted or undeleted

On the third step you can request a deleted or undeleted version of your DD214. Also, there is space available for additional information. This is where you can request all your military records including medical records, which could be important if you are filing a claim with the VA.

I expect more Internet-related methods of obtaining and filing benefit claims with the VA in the future. Using technology like this is the key to more efficient and accurate means of communicating.


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

Durango VA Clinic

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

Further information

For information on these and other veterans benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7 (behind City Market). The office number is 731-3837.


Library News

Donations, activities, winners and books

By Carole Howard

SUN Columnist and library staff

Last week, my husband Bob and I hosted dear friends from Stuttgart, Germany, who surprised us at the end of their visit by giving us a very generous donation for the library as a thank-you gift for our hospitality. Their thoughtfulness made us wonder how many other Pagosa visitors make similar donations of money or materials to the library.

The good news is that acting director Jackie Welch says it does happen - especially in the summer. Visitors tell the library staff that they want to make a donation because they really appreciate being able to check out books and have access to the library's computers while they are here. Just another example of the warm and wonderful hospitality of Pagosa!

Local donations

Closer to home, last week the library received monetary and material donations from several generous local donors as well. Special thanks to Cheri Fryar, Jennifer Hedrick, Daphne Henderson, Fran and Jon Jenkins, Charles McQuerry, Frank Meixers, Gail Reilly, Glenn Rutherford, August Weir and Barbara Wright - plus the ever-generous Anonymous.

Fun activities for all ages

The conversational French group taught by Sylvia Thompson meets Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. in the library. Belgian born, Sylvia is now a Pagosa rancher who enjoys helping all levels polish their French.

Library staffer David Bright is in charge of the Internet Chess Club and would welcome your participation. Call him at the library at 264-2208. You need a Yahoo games account to play. In the short time that Ian Roth has been a member of this internet chess group, he has had seven wins, two losses and a draw,

Creative new signage

Next time you're in the library, stop by the Great Room to see the wonderful new sign hanging over the Hershey collection of Southwestern history books. The sign is the handiwork of Will Dunbar, a talented local craftsman and husband of library staffer Nancy Cole. Will also is creating signs for the Turner Reading Room (otherwise known as the Great Room) and Meagan's Place, the library's special section for pre-teens.

Summer Reading Program winners

There are many talented artists, good readers and creative minds among the children in our Summer Reading Program.

July 3-7 winners: Readers of the week were Jesse Aragon, Taleah Hauger, Daisy Jones, Rhead Kay, Servando Ramos, Gavin Ross, Sarah Ross, Diana Scott, Josh Smith and Kai Wagner. Preschool coloring winners were Brenton Bowman, Ismael Escobar, Rosalia Escobar, Gabi Gallegos, Kelsey Hagman, Nolan Kay, Summer Mathews, Cameron Monteferrante, Sophia Raymond and Jessica Sullivan. School-age winners were Keaton Anderson, Tawny Armur, Angela Gallegos, Mele LeLievre, Josh Pike, Bryce Raymond, Tristin Rivas, Anne Townsend and Aisha Warren.

July 10-14 winners: Readers of the week were Ellie Arnsdorf, Paxton Fryar, Noah Gorman, Julia Groenwaller, Taleah Hauger, Zachary Ligon, Josh Pike, Josh Smith and Barak Townsend. Preschool artist winners were Kendyl Anderson, Connor Aragon, Timothy Cochran, Rosalia Escobar, Gabi Gallegos, Peyton Fryar, Zachary Ligon, Sarah Ross, Barak Townsend and Kai Wagner. School-age winners were Keaton Anderson, Brianna Ashe, Zack Curvey, Tavin Hauger, Marianna Ligon, Bryce Raymond, Anne Townsend, Emma Waddell and Kudra Wagner.

Pets and jellybeans

If you visit local businesses catering to animals, watch for posters about "Responsible Pet Care." These delightful posters are courtesy of our young artists, and they show how we should take care of our pets.

Meanwhile, the library's annual jellybean counting contest is underway now. Each book turned in on a Summer Reading Program reading log results in a jellybean being put in the jar. Tavin Hauger guessed the exact number - 62 - the first week.

New books: best-sellers and more serious stuff

The library just got copies of the latest novels of several popular authors. Janet Evanovich's "Twelve Sharp" is the latest Stephanie Plum mystery. Carl Hiaasen's "Flush" is another fun thriller set in the Florida Keys. Jeffery Deaver's "The Cold Moon" is the latest in the Lincoln Rhyme mystery series. "Alexander McCall Smith's "The Full Cupboard of Life" is the fifth book in the charming No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. And Matthew Pearl's "The Poe Shadow" explores the puzzling circumstances of the death of Edgar Allan Poe, in the manner of his earlier novel "The Dante Club."

In the real world: "Man of War: A Legend Like Lightning" by Dorothy Ours is a superb story of this great Thoroughbred racehorse. "In Flagrante Collecto: Caught in the act of collecting" by Marilynn Gelfman Karp is a fun book that explores our impulse to collect things from soap to baseball cards, stamps to buttons, matchbooks to coins. And on a very serious note, Douglas Brinkley's "The Great Deluge" chronicles the drama and desperation of people affected by Hurricane Katrina as it slammed into New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Brinkley is not only a brilliant historian but also a great storyteller.


Pagosa Reads

'State of War,' a window on current and future conflict

By A. John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

The prologue of "State of War," wherein President George W. Bush hangs up the phone on his father (who had been criticizing certain aspects of his son's governance), certainly gets our attention.

And any book with the underlying premise that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is inept and the president of the United States is uninformed is bound to be intriguing. (George W. did later call back to apologize.)

Author James Risen, who covers national security for the New York Times, names many names, but not many names of his high level sources which, as he explains, have to remain undisclosed. The degree to which the information and insights of these unnamed sources tend to converge lends a special credence to his disturbing and often shocking revelations.

During George Tenet's tenure with the CIA, with its disinterest in covering domestic intelligence ("We don't do America"), its checkered, secret history of abusive interrogation procedures is perhaps what motivated the president's irritated query, "Who authorized putting him on pain medication?" This was in relation to the lack of information the CIA was getting from the wounded prisoner, accused terrorist Abu Zubayda.

Risen tells us that the buildup of a vast international network of CIA prisons to house and possibly abuse high level suspected terrorists is still one of the most closely guarded secrets in the government. And many of the CIA's secrets were not even shared with the president.

While most Americans are quite familiar with the basic responsibilities of the CIA and the FBI, many of us may not realize that the largest organization in the United States intelligence community (double the size of the CIA), and truly the dominant electronic spy service in the world, is the National Security Agency (NSA). Though originally controlled by rules and regulations, Risen reveals that the Bush Administration has swept many rules aside and has brought the NSA into the business of domestic espionage. In addition to its ability to monitor virtually all telecommunications traffic as it enters and exits the United States, the NSA now has the capability to conduct surveillance on the e-mail of any American it chooses to target. Pretty scary stuff.

In Risen's view, the climate created throughout the government by the president and his advisors, the short circuiting of decision making, and the pitting of the Defense Department against the CIA were major factors in precipitating our involvement in the Iraq war. He reports that nearly a year before the invasion of Iraq, a special conference of CIA case officers stationed all over Europe was told by officials from the CIA's Iraq operation that war with Iraq was on the president's agenda even before he got elected, and that 9/11 only delayed it. Later, key leaders within the CIA had to face the uncomfortable fact that they had no proof to back up what the president was saying regarding weapons of mass destruction.

In February 2003, just weeks before the invasion, when Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki told Congress that several hundred thousand troops would be needed in postwar Iraq, both Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz publicly attacked him. The idea that the war might be a painful drain on the military was heresy. Many military leaders disagreed, but the subject was rarely brought up.

According to Risen, Iraq became a new breeding ground for al Qaeda. "Today, Iraq is the Super Bowl for jihadists," said one American intelligence official. The often-claimed connection between Iraq and al Qaeda was finally complete.

I'm sure many Americans share my curiosity about the roles played by certain individuals (some of whom seemed to have been at odds with parts of the administration's agenda) as the march toward war inexorably advanced. The author skillfully analyzes the key players in this critical period in terms of their abilities, their interrelationships, and their effectiveness. Within the power-wielding group composed of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld emerges as the single most powerful and controlling figure.

In Risen's opinion, one of Colin Powell's great strengths - and perhaps his fatal flaw - was his deep sense of loyalty. But, over time, this sense became a heavy burden. Powell became a marginalized figure, trapped in an administration over which he had little influence. He was repeatedly outmaneuvered by Rumsfeld and Cheney, but his sense of loyalty demanded that he stay at least through one full term. Unfortunately, his reputation never recovered from his speech to the United Nations on the weapons of mass destruction, which proved to be based on highly flawed intelligence.

It certainly is true that the power and influence over American foreign policy held by Saudi Arabia can be overstated. But Risen maintains that President Bush has displayed a remarkable lack of interest in aggressively examining the connections between Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and the Saudi power elite. These affiliations date back to the 1980s when their common interests, along with those of the CIA, had a common enemy - the Soviet Union.

There is, however, one positive aspect to the author's mostly negative disclosures. He does feel that President Bush deserves credit for making the spread of democracy in the Middle East a centerpiece of his agenda. However, he adds that this administration's biggest problems have come when it has ignored the realities of the Middle East - in terms of politics, religion and ancient antagonisms - while accepting tainted, overly optimistic intelligence, and supporting contrary views within its own government.

To me, the most bizarre series of events recounted in the whole book is the detailed account of the CIA's efforts to smuggle flawed plans for a nuclear device to Iranian scientists in hopes that they would construct a bomb that wouldn't explode; it would just "fizzle." It's a spy story worthy of Hollywood treatment, with many humorous overtones.

In his Afterword, Risen comments that, while the CIA had been weakened by five years under George W. Bush, the power of the neoconservatives who had been the agency's most implacable foes has recently begun to wane as well. By the end of 2005, the centerpiece of the neoconservative agenda - Iraq - had "turned into the burial ground of their fortunes."

Along with James Risen's astute reporting and insider revelations, his insights relating their relevance to events now transpiring, or perhaps about to explode, combine to provide a most sobering, yet challenging, read.

A. John Graves' resume includes work as a professional musician; in various executive roles in the film and television industries; and in a career as an educator - as professor emeritus of mass communication at Central Missouri State University following 10 years of teaching there; as an exchange professor at University of Glamorgan, Wales; as an instructor of media literacy at The Center For Transatlantic Studies in Maastricht, The Netherlands; and as adjunct professor at Adams State College.

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


Arts Line

Next exhibit opens Aug. 10 at Town Park gallery

By Linda Strathdee

PREVIEW Columnist                         

The Denny Rose, Ginnie Bartlett and students exhibit continues through Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Town Park gallery at 315 Hermosa St. Pieces include watercolor, oil and pastels.

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

For more information, contact the Pagosa Springs Arts Council at 264-5020 or visit

Pierre Mion students exhibit

In August, we look forward to an exhibit by students of Pierre Mion, an internationally known artist and illustrator who worked with Norman Rockwell for 12 years and has exhibited worldwide.

Mion brings a wealth of talent and experience to his classes, helping students discover the joy and excitement of doing watercolors.

The opening reception for this stimulating exhibit is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10, at the PSAC Town Park Gallery. We hope you will circle the date and plan to attend.

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. Calendars are also available at Moonlight Books, Lantern Dancer, the Chamber of Commerce, Pagosa Photography and other area businesses.

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.

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.

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, 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, 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

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 ( 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) e-mail. 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.


The Wine Whisperer

The Wine Avenger: A super hero for our times

By Laura Winzeler

PREVIEW Columnist

Have you ever read something that the writer has poured so much of their essential self into that you fall in love with them on the spot? A visceral recognition of a kindred soul, surely narcissistic at heart, but still an exhilarating identification.

Such was my experience upon discovering Willie Gluckstern's "The Wine Avenger," an utterly witty, wacky, wonderfully well-written wine resource published in 1998.

Noting Gluckstern's bold chapter: "Oak: The MSG of Wine," I knew I'd found a soulmate. Gluckstern has managed to "distill" all the essential elements that you need to understand and appreciate the often intimidating world of wine into a dynamic and beyond-understandable little paperback (5x7, 192 pages). The reading experience is more akin to a spin on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride than an education.

Willie Gluckstern is not only incredibly knowledgeable in all things wine, he is very freakin' funny. He fancies himself a super hero for the vulnerable and unsuspecting wine guzzling masses, pledged to defend them from gouging wine shops, pretentious wine lists and disingenuous wine writers. He conducts wine appreciation seminars for consumers, develops wine lists for restaurants, and has recently put his money where his palate is, importing his own line of food-friendly, value wines. The man married his wife (a German wine rep, natch') in a New York cheese shop. Top that!

I felt so alone in the late '90s when I was an online wine reviewer. I bemoaned the "morning dew on my redwood deck-like" over-oaked white wines I suffered through, often rendered even more unpalatable by that malicious malolactic magic. "Long live assertive acids!" had been my tired old refrain, and many a fellow reviewer on the site found great sport in chiding me for my "too sensitive to wood" palate. I'm sorry. I am repulsed by a wine that storms into the room and whacks me over the tongue with a 2x4. I am offended by wines so flabby and flat they slither into my mouth on slimy bellies, only to lie down and roll over.

Imagine my joy when I turned to page 22 and found Gluckstern discussing acidity in white wine: "A first-class white wine is not a 'mellow' wine. It should be a wake-up call anytime of the day." He even called new oak the Antichrist! Wooooooo Hooooooo - are you my Daddy? Regarding the type of oak and continent from which it hails used in barrel fermentation and aging he cautions: "If you are actually capable of identifying a specific sub-species of tree in your wine glass, you really need to get out more often."

Interspersed between his pithy quips in the first 45 pages Gluckstern offers clear and just-detailed-enough information on grape growing, winemaking, and sensory evaluation. He moves so adroitly, so fresh and funny, you hardly know you are learning something useful. From anyone else, this same data presented in such a rapid and condensed manner could intimidate novices and experts alike for the sheer complexity and terroir covered. Gluckstern makes it approachable and flat out fun - his ultimate goal as teacher, wine lover and importer. Gluckstern on Grapes: "Sauvignon blanc from Australia is for mutants." The Avenger makes no secret of his general distaste for chardonnay ("the world's most overrated grape") and merlot ("So what the hell happened to make this innocuous, also-ran variety the rampaging wildebeest of the wine world?"). His favorite white varietals include riesling ("nothing marries better with more foods than riesling"), and his adoration of German rieslings was on record long before his serendipitous marriage. He believes chenin blanc is overlooked and underrated and has a soft spot for sauvingnon blanc. He'll help you understand a wine label and introduce you to a few new white wine grapes.

A walk on the wild red side with Willie brings to you the desirable features and food pairing pleasures to be found in cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese, nebbiolo, syrah, zinfandel, pinot ( "'Noir' is for amateurs") - both Burgundian and American. How happy I was to see him dub pinot one of the sexiest wines on earth, and along with his beloved riesling, the most versatile food wine in the universe. You've got your barbera, your gamay, and your cabernet franc rounding out the red riff. Storing, decanting, and sulfites - oh my: "The most common source of bad wine is a muttonhead winemaker."

Gluckstern covers storing your wine and pouring your wine. How long will it keep? What is corked wine? At what temperature should reds and whites be served? And please, if you learn nothing else from him, don't hold your wine glass by the bowl: "We humans are a greasy species, so for God's sake keep your hot, sweaty mitts off the bowl of your wineglass. Always hold a wineglass by the stem or the base ... the right wineglass grip shows terrific breeding."

As for cooking with wine - here I am shamed: "Never put anything in your food that you wouldn't put in your mouth." So much for all that horrible wine that I save to cook with. (Of course, since I don't cook, it eventually gets tossed down the drain anyway.)

The second half of the book will help you learn to spot and patronize an enlightened wine retailer; how to find a good wine on a bad restaurant wine list; how to understand markup ("those bastards!"); teach you in one-and-a-half pages the protocol for bringing your own bottle into a joint (aka corkage policies); and advise you on how to conduct yourself once inside said joint when confronted with your wine choice: "Sniffing, squeezing, or otherwise fondling a wine cork is a sure sign you hail from an alternate universe. Only a total meniscus looks for color or clarity or legs or sheets or some such pretentious folderol. Two minutes to truly hip, yours for just 11 US dollars!"

"In a perfect world, everyone would have a glass of Champagne every evening, no later than 6 p.m. People with personality problems would begin each day with a glass." A full chapter homage to Champagne is followed by the über-comprehensive "Wines for Food." Gluckstern shines when pairing wine with food. He offers some general dos and don'ts and then follows up with specifics based on type of food and serving course along with a plethora of ethnic cuisine suggestions. He devotes separate sections to pairing wine with cheese: "A mystery to most people, sort of like North Korea or automobile transmissions" (all the more pertinent eight years after publication). On desserts: "dessert wines are dessert!"

"In case there is anyone in the wine industry I haven't offended in this book, be patient" he concludes. I have hoped for years that there would be a sequel to the Wine Avenger primer - but alas. If you love wine, or love someone that loves wine, or want to learn to love wine, this book is a must have. Paraphrasing his own final paragraph: Wherever a retailer tries to slip a crummy wine into a customer's basket, he'll be there. Wherever there's a wine writer pandering to the masses, he'll be there. And wherever it is they put lunatics who rant about the most unpopular wine in the world as if it were the Second Coming, he'll be there. Go visit him. Please?


Food for Thought

Long auto trip ahead? Beware the garbanzo

By Karl Isberg


Sounds like something an Italian circus performer shouts right before he leaps off the platform on the trapeze.

Sounds faintly sinister: "Hands off the garbanzos, buddy. Keep that stuff to yourself."

Or: "Whoa, that is the most incredible set of garbanzos I've ever seen. Are they real?"

Or: "As the drivers readied for the start, Fabrizio sat strapped tightly to the seat inside his powerful Garbanzo at the pole position at Monaco wondering if this would be his final grand prix."


A Mediterranean card game?

A Sicilian horse, renowned for its showy gait, favored at religious festivals and parades?


Does Ceci sound better - the Cs pronounced with a ch sound? Sounds like something from haute couture, doesn't it? "I bought her a brand new Ceci gown and she wore it to the debutante ball. When she came home, there were the strangest stains on it; we had to throw it away."

Go ahead, say each word aloud.





They mean the same thing; they refer to a legume, a bean. Sometimes called - to confuse things - the chickpea. A combination of two of my favorite words.

And it's a bean I really like.

The garbanzo, or Ceci bean is not a food product I grew up with - like pinto beans or kidney beans. I came up gnawing on burritos, chowing down on a particular kind of frijole. No one I knew put garbanzos in burritos.

The garbanzo was found only in the deepest reaches of North Denver during my childhood. It lurked in the traditional Italian neighborhoods out around Mount Carmel and Holy Family schools; on the shelves, dried and canned, in the old grocery stores on West 38th Avenue and Navajo, Osceola and Mariposa streets. At Carbone's and at Mancinelli's - exotic places with worn wooden floors and shelves and cases filled with stinky stuff.

Maybe there was a Lebanese family or two somewhere in town who knew the bean. Perhaps a French chef straggled into town by mistake and had a passing acquaintance with Provencal cuisine.

Garbanzos, Cecis, are familiar items in the southern Italian menu, in North African and southern French recipes.

Elsewhere, until fairly recently, they were as rare as a yogi studying the Talmud in a Lutheran church basement.

I first ran across garbanzos when I consorted with a hippie princess named Shrinking Violet, back in the mid '60s. I was making my living as a drummer and Shrinking Violet was profoundly concerned about my health, what with the late hours and whatnot. Particularly the whatnot.

Violet put me on a bizarre and all-brown nuts, grains, legumes, rice, nectar regimen, bound and determined to align my chakras, bring me to a peak of health, propel me into an enlightened orbit. Garbanzos were part of the daily dietary plan. Garbanzos and plenty of other beans. I was bloated, gaseous, unwelcome in cars on long motor trips. I lost friends. Not even Violet's German shepherd, Steppenwolf, liked me.

Fortunately, Shrinking Violet met another man - a Hell's Angel named Doctor Sound. She packed her legumes, corralled Steppenwolf and ran off with the lout, her solid thighs gripping the sides of his Harley, ready to work on his chakras.

I immediately transmogrified from a gaseous to a solid state, and went back to my bad habits. It wasn't until I moved to New York city to play clubs and studios that I ran across garbanzos again.

In the city, I found the bean in Middle Eastern cuisine. I played in a club on St. Mark's Place called the Balloon Farm and had to traverse quite a distance to return home to a little apartment I shared with a lithe, red-haired Wiccan from Boston, near the corner of Charles and Bleeker streets on the West Side. Generally, I started home at four in the morning or so and, luckily, since that darned rock and roll music makes a feller mighty hungry, there was a stand on Bleeker Street, open 24 hours. The stand provided me felafel and hummus - both composed primarily of garbanzo, Ceci, chickpea.

Felafel is a spiced, moist concoction with a base of coarse-ground and highly spiced garbanzo, formed into balls, deep fried and served inside a warm pita with various vegetable condiments and a healthy dose of garlicky, sesame-saturated sauce.

Hummus is a paste-like concoction with ground garbanzos and tahini paste, lavished with plenty of garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and, sometimes, fresh mint.

I bought garbanzos. I ate garbanzos. I liked garbanzos.

Plus, the food at that stand - and at many more I discovered - was cheap and readily available.

Like me.

When I moved back to Denver, felafel and hummus disappeared for a few years, until the city experienced an influx of Middle Eastern eateries.

Meanwhile, I became acquainted with Provencal cuisine - the food of southern France. A well-known element in that cuisine, and in that of several North African taste-alikes, is a pancake-like, bread-like food made with chickpea flour and caramelized onion. I never quite mastered the recipe, and I need to try it again soon. You make a runny batter with the flour, which you can often find at health food stores, in a barrel next to the flax seed. (Since health food stores frighten me, I rarely go in search of the flour.)

You mix the chickpea flour with a bit of regular flour and water, then spice it any way your little heart desires: garlic, a touch of lemon, cumin, the onion, garlic. Use whatever you've got. Batter is put in a hot, oiled frying pan in a thin layer and cooked like a pancake, or a grainy crepe. Or it is baked in the oven and cooled. The texture is somewhat chewy and the cake goes beautifully with any dish made with copious amounts of olive oil, garlic, tomato, peppers. It is great with beef and lamb and serves as a heck of a scoop when you get impatient during a meal, failing to capture that last little bit of sauce with your fork and too socially tender to go after it with your finger or by licking the plate.

You can add garbanzos to salads (a move encouraged at tacky salad bar operations), or you can make the bean the centerpiece of a salad, mixing the cooked beans with a bit of oil, lemon, parsley, salt and pepper, minced garlic and shallot. Let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours so the beans absorb the flavors.

Ceci go great with a cold pasta salad and even better with a hot dish, the beans tossed with the pasta, oil, garlic, maybe a bit of finely minced anchovy, and plenty of freshly-grated Parmesan.

Shrinking Violet would have a tantric breakdown if she knew I was about to say this, but she's probably a housewife in Santa Cruz now, just returned from a stint at rehab and has better things to worry about - like her son, Lothar, who needs a special gown sewn for his debut with a transsexual roller skating revue.

Don't go to all the trouble of soaking and cooking dried chickpeas. Oh, you can do it and the results are peachy, but why waste your time? Buy canned garbanzos, high grade, rinse them and drain them; they'll work pretty darned well in any application.

I've experimented recently with two uses of chickpeas and found one result very likable.

The bean makes a fine side dish.

I cook some minced onion or shallot in butter over medium heat until soft, but not brown. I add the beans and a bit of salt and pepper and warm the beans through. I squeeze in a measure of lemon juice and add a bit of mashed garlic and a teensy splash of chicken broth and a bit of chicken demi-glace, keeping the mix over low heat until nearly all the liquid is gone. In goes some chopped parsley and then, depending on what I am serving the side with, in goes a sprinkle of spice with a hint of butter. Cumin is great, as is a whisper of oregano. Nothing but salt and pepper works wonders as well. This goes great with roasted or grilled chicken or meats.

The beans can also be pureed, with the addition of a touch of heavy cream, salt, pepper, and butter, and used almost like potato - carrying the cargo of a red wine reduction with a beef dish as well as mashed potato.

Say it rough, like a two-bit con in Livorno.


Say it soft, like a nun saying hello at the convent gate.


Try this baby - it's an unusual bean.

Give the garbanzo a shot.

If you overdo it, don't take that long motor trip.


Extension Viewpoints

4-H activities highlight this week's fair

Aug. 3 - 6 p.m., Goat Show —Breeding, Dairy and Fiber

Aug. 4 - Before noon, Rabbit & Swine Shows, Cake Decorating Contest, Rabbit Judging, and Creative Cooks Contest

Aug. 4 - Afternoon, Turkey showmanship, Market Turkey and Poultry Judging

Aug. 4 - 4 p.m., Heifer Show

Aug. 4 - 5 p.m., Steer Show

Aug. 5 - Before Noon, Market Goat and Lamb shows

Aug. 5 - 1 p.m., Round Robin Competition

Aug. 5 - 1 p.m., Dog Obedience Trails

Aug. 5 - 4:30-6:30 p.m., Chuckwagon Dinner

4-H Dog Rally

Bring your friends, bring your family - to the 2006 4-H Dog Rally.

This new event will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, in the Activity Tent at the Archuleta County Fair. According to Jan Nanus, Dog Obedience Project leader, this course will be partially designed by a member of the Dog Obedience project as part of their year-end project completion.

So what is a "rally" you might ask? Rally Obedience has some characteristics of rally sports car racing, dog agility, and traditional obedience combined into a new fun sport.

Rally is a competition where the dog is judged on its ability to walk at heel with the handler on and off leash, stand and stay for a cursory examination by the judge, and come to the handler when called. So, if you like dogs and love 4-H, come out and support this new event which will be held in the Activity Tent at the fairgrounds.

4-H Livestock Auction

The Archuleta County Fair is here.

The 4-H program has geared up for this big-time event. Come on out to the fair and see the displays, projects and the animals. It will be well worth your time. 4-H is America's largest out-of-school educational program for boys and girls. It's a worldwide youth development program available in every state and many countries. Youth who participate in 4-H get what all young people need to succeed in life - the confidence, compassion and connections with caring adults to make contributions to their communities.

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 slaughter house for you at the end of the fair, or you take home your animal.

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:

- Helping to promote 4-H youth "learn by doing" programs.

- Obtaining high quality meat for your freezer or locker.

- Free advertising you will receive as a buyer, both in various newspapers and the 4-H Livestock Auction Program booklet next year

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 the best auction ever by becoming a buyer at the 4-H Livestock Auction.

Chuckwagon dinner

Get your tickets now for the annual 4-H Chuckwagon Dinner, Aug. 5, at the county fair. The planned menu includes barbecue beef by the famous Harry Cole, cole slaw, baked beans, texas toast, potato salad, and a hot fudge brownie and ice cream. All that and a drink for only $8 for ages 13 and up, and $6 for ages 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased for any 4-H member, county Cooperative Extension Office and 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.


Pagosa Lakes News

Young and old alike ... truckin' at the Tri

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Have you ever had the experience of striving for something challenging and finding out at the end of the road that you had within you the perseverance, the energy, and the motivation to follow though until completion? To achieve your goal? To succeed?

And, even better, you didn't damage yourself physically, mentally or spiritually to accomplish that goal, even if you thought you might? And you enjoyed (almost) every single bit of it - the training, the discipline, the focus and, finally, the energy and excitement of the challenge?

This, I believe, was the sentiment felt by a large number of the 118 participants at the end of Saturday's 14th annual Pagosa Lakes "Hi-Tri" Triathlon. There were big smiles all around.

Those that finished in the front of the pack joined a couple hundred spectators to cheer and encourage the mid-pack "sloggers." In just under three and a half hours, every single competitor was back in, showered and sharing war stories over a banana and bagel.

The event, made up of three legs - a 7.2 mile run, a 14.5-mile mountain bike ride, and a half-mile swim - had all the makings of a beautiful day. The morning was cool. The wind slept in, and the sun was bright and cheery. In short, Mother Nature cooperated.

This year we had 30 teams competing: 89 athletes ranging in ages from 9 to 65.

The youngest team was made up of runner Nicky Toth (10 years old), mountain biker Daisy Jones (9), and swimmer Dean Scott (10). I've given them the name "Team Courage." Kudos to them for being willing to get out there along with all those big-footed folks thundering down the trail behind them. Kudos also to their parents for training with them, encouraging and supporting them along the way. There were five other team competitors who were preteens: Sydney Aragon (12), Bryce and Stefan Dudzinski (both 11, from Arizona), Kalie Ray (11), and DJ Brown (9).

Having spoken of the young, let's not forget the equally tenacious spirit of the old. Although age and cunning are a winning combination, the arena of triathlons is still dominated by youth and speed. There were three men over 65 competing on Saturday: Sonny Parrish, Richard Stam and Gary Hopkins - all "graybeards" who came out to keep on truckin'. A wise old goat who ran into his late 80s once told me that aging seems to have built into it a perpetual slight-insult machine, whereby your memories of what running was like at your peak become sharper in inverse proportion to your ability to replicate the feel and feats of those days. Oh, well, success is to be measured in the complete picture of a well-constructed life, not just finish times. That's why these old athletes keep on chugging.

Although some teams were put together through the recreation center, other teams represented local businesses and families. BootJack Ranch put together two teams of just family members. Other family-only teams included the Bergers, Dickhoffs, Fargersons - all locals. Plus the Dudzinskis (Arizona) and Rumerys (New Castle, Colo.).

In team competition, the threesome of Emily Schur, Mike Adamski and Gage Lovett came in first with a time of 1:53:21. Following in second place was the Briliam Engineering team of Patrick O'Brian, Will Solenthaler and Chris Nobles in 1:56:14. In a close third was a young team of our local high schoolers: Jackson Walsh (16), Chase Moore (16) and Dylan Caves (15), who crossed the finish line in 1:56:53. It was a close race and very exciting.

In the men's overall division, Tim Webb (Cheyenne) pushed into first place with a time of 2:05:40. Second-place finisher, Bryan Slekes (Denver) completed the race in 2:06:28 and was followed by a Pagosan, Morgan Murri, in 2:07:13.

The women's three top winners were: Becky Freeman (Albuquerque) 2:25:42; Kate Machusick (Ignacio) 2:26:11 and K.C. O'Connor (Mancos) 2:30:53. The times for all other competitors are posted at the recreation center.

It was a good triathlon - a fantastic success for all the smiling, exhausted athletes. Everyone was applauded, not just those finishing first. We gave it everything we had, all pounded out the mileage and all are proud of having competed and completed.

Many volunteers offered logistical support the entire morning. These fabulous volunteers gave form, order and direction to the event. Sponsors and businesses, as usual, provided generous cash support and door prizes. The Pagosa Springs High School cross country booster club is the beneficiary from the proceeds of this event, which pays for the runners' three-day training camp at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.



Ebba Percell

Services were held Friday, July 28, 2006, at the First United Methodist Church in Durango with Pastor Jeff Huber officiating, for Ebba E. Percell, a retired Durango school teacher who passed away in Mancos at The Valley Inn, Wednesday, July 25, 2006. She was 89 years old. Burial followed at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango. She died of natural causes.

Mrs. Percell was born in Pagosa Springs Nov. 27, 1916, the daughter of Swedish immigrants John and Hilda Swanson. She attended the public schools in Pagosa Springs and after high school, attended Old Fort Lewis at Hesperus. She later attended and graduated from Adams State in Alamosa. She began her teaching career in the rural schools of Archuleta and Montezuma counties. She started teaching in Durango in the elementary schools in 1955. She retired in 1981. She was principal of the old Animas School when it closed in 1967.

She was a member of the First United Methodist Church, a Past Matron of Harmony Chapter - Order of the Eastern Star at Pagosa Springs, the DELTA Kappa Gamma Society, the Retired Teachers, and active in Community Hospital Auxiliary.

She is survived by one daughter, Gay Percell, of Durango; two sons, Richard H. Percell of Granite Falls Wash., and Kim S. Percell of Wilmington, N.C.; two grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to: First United Methodist Church, 2917 Aspen Drive, Durango, CO 81301 or to Children's Department of the Durango Public Library, 1188, E. Second Avenue, Durango, CO 81301.


 Business News

Chamber News

A busy weekend in Pagosa Country

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Residents of Pagosa Springs have been busy for months getting ready for this weekend.

With this being the first weekend in August, it is Archuleta County Fair time. But residents and volunteers have also been getting ready for celebrations at one of Pagosa's famous landmarks: Chimney Rock. So, locals and visitors have a very busy time ahead of them. The SUN always provides great coverage of the events, but if you're in a hurry, here is the quick rundown. Let's start with the fair first.

County fair

It's a Hot Time in the Old Town when the fourth annual Lee Sterling Chili Cook Off takes to the stage at 6 p.m. tonight, Aug. 3. There will be a salsa competition, salsa dancing and a dance contest. The Swing Rays will be in concert. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students for unlimited chili tasting, while supplies last.

All you potential singing stars need to get your tapes into KWUF for the Colgate Country Showdown. With all the talent we have in this community, don't you think that one person might try for the $100,000 grand prize? Entertainment begins at 6 p.m. Friday.

The rock 'em, sock 'em Demolition Derby starts at 7 p.m. Friday.

On Saturday, evening entertainment begins at 4:30 p.m. with the 4-H Chuck Wagon Dinner, followed by the Livestock Auction at 6 and the Fair Dance with Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge starting at 9. Remember that all day Friday and Saturday there will be events at the fair for the whole family. Don't miss the exhibits in the Fair Building. You can also check out the building's facelift if you haven't seen it yet.

The fair concludes Sunday with the Kid's Rodeo, starting at 1 p.m. A lot of work goes into putting on this yearly event for our community. Head to the fairgrounds on U.S. 84 and enjoy the fruits of all the hard labor. Thanks to the fair board members who work diligently all year for this one weekend.

Chimney Rock

This weekend, take some time and head out to Chimney Rock to experience how life might have been thousands of years ago, before we had the tools that mankind possesses today.

Experience the arts, crafts and survival skills of the Ancestral Puebloan culture. See how this culture may have made hunting weapons, pottery and the food of the time. You can also shop for traditional pots, weavings, jewelry, baskets and flutes. Food offerings will round out this cultural experience.

The festival takes place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entry to the festival will be free; however, tours to the Great Kiva and Great House will be offered for the normal tour price of $8 for adults and $2 for children, ages 5-11.

There are also a few openings available for the Puebloan Pottery Workshop to be held Friday-Sunday, with Coloradan potter Gregory Wood. A participant can acquire two graduate credit hours for an additional fee. Go online to, or call the Chimney Rock Interpretive office at 264-2287.

As I mentioned last week, we have so much history, culture and fun right in our back yard. Here is a perfect opportunity for you and your family, friends and relatives to go play. Experience all that Pagosa has to offer this weekend.

Hot off the press

Right on the heels of ColorFest - to be held Sept. 15-17 - we will see the start of another fun event heralding the sights and smells of fall: a Green Chili Festival on Sept. 24.

Along with the sights and smells, there will also be sounds, with a free concert in Town Park. The entertainment will be the band that stole the show at IndieFest, Brave Combo. Having had such a good time at the Bike Tour concert, Dan Appenzeller and Crista Munro decided to take the concert idea one step further: include some great food. As the time draws nearer, we will have more details. Just mark your calendars now for ColorFest weekend with lots of hot air balloons, a community picnic sponsored by the Knights of Columbus on Friday, the Passport to Wine and balloon glow on Saturday, and the Champagne Brunch and Corvette Car Show on Sunday. Then get your taste buds ready for the Green Chili Festival Sept. 24, and dance to the sounds of Brave Combo. It's going to be a fun-filled fall!

Member mentions

I want to give our businesses a heads up that we will be starting up our Chamber sponsored mini-classes again in September.

The first class will be a great one, with different lending organizations and experts present to help you better manage your financial structure. In the next couple of weeks, we will give you more information. The tentative date for the class will be Sept. 26. We will let you know time and location after we have secured the speakers. Make sure you hold a few hours on this date aside.

We welcome a few new members this week. Hearing good reviews of the show in an outdoor setting, we welcome Oteka Theatre Productions. Performing two shows this summer: "I Ought to be in Pictures" and "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," Oteka Productions includes a cast of local actors and actresses. The theater is located 3.7 miles north on Piedra Road. For more information, you can call 759-3142, or inquire about tickets at

Also new this week is Aspen Village Investments. While the location and name is similar, Aspen Village Investments is separate from Aspen Village. Aspen Village Investments is a Timberline Builder, a premier builder in southwest Colorado. They are currently developing The Cottages patio homes and The Enclave townhomes in Aspen Village. They offer housing in the right place, at the right price and the right time. For more information about these beautiful homes, call Angie Andersson at 731-6611. We hope to be doing a ribbon cutting out there some time soon. Look for more information.

Joining us from the health and holistic world is Barbara Raggio and BARBSWellnessClub. BARBSWellnessClub is a free educational Web site dedicated to self healing and helping. The site promotes natural holistic care for humans and their animals. Barbara is a 4life Rep for the Four Corners area and offers biologically active substances for improved immune function. She also offers pet safe cleaning supplies and is a natural holistic pet consultant. For more information, you need to go to her Web site, or call 903-3078.

Rounding out the newcomer list this week is Tom's Design and Fine Woodworking with Tom Nayman. Tom works with architectural design and fine woodworking, furniture, cabinets, hutches, entertainment centers, wet bars, custom stairs and fine finish carpentry. It is nice to have Tom added to the list of the fine quality craftsmen that we have in our area. If you are building or renovating your home, call us for a list of craftsmen (and women) who are part of our Chamber of Commerce. Tom Nayman is added to that list and he can be contacted at 264-0883. You can also go online at www.tomsdesign& Thanks to these four new members this week for their membership.

Our renewals this week include Tim Horning and Southwest Custom Builders; Bank of Colorado under the direction of Mark Horn; Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate; Colorado Land Title Co.; BootJack Ranch; Bogey's Mini Golf; Subway; Sharon Garrison and Sharon's Cottage Creations; Marsha Preuit and Exodus Shipping; Jackisch Drug; Coyote Hill Lodge, under the direction of Gina Willis; L Bar Z Ranch Cabins; and the Riverbend Resort in South Fork.

I love to welcome back our associate members and these two ladies are some of Pagosa's finest. Both of these ladies are ambassadors here at the Chamber and longtime residents. One is a quilter extraordinaire and the other was our Town Clerk for over 25 years. Welcome back Jean Sanft and Jackie Schick. You can be so proud of these ladies and their knowledge of Pagosa, the businesses, and how well they treat everyone at the Visitor Center. We are honored to have them on our volunteer staff. Thank you ladies.

We hope the rains abate just a little for the fair, though we are grateful for the moisture. But it wouldn't be fair time without a little rain! So, come rain or shine, head out to the fairgrounds for fun and good food. Or head out to Chimney Rock for an eye-opening experience of life as it once was. Thanks again to all the volunteers, without whose help none of these events would be possible. See you out and about!



Cards of Thanks


I've heard it said there are two good days in retail; the day you open and the day you close.

My heartfelt thanks go the following who made our 10th year celebration at Let it Fly a rousing success, and showed me that there may actually be a couple more good days in retail: John and Lori Unger, BossTin Jody McAllister, Clarion Mortgage, Tony and Nancy Gilbert, Elk Meadows, Ladies in Wading, Jim Hill, Reno Scott and, as always, the one percent that give the sport a bad name.



Accident victims

The families and friends of Michael Maestas, Chase Regester and Travis Stahr appreciate the tremendous outpouring of love, prayers and support from the community during this most difficult time.



Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center thanks Durango Orthopedics, Wells Fargo Bank, M&M Drop Service, Briliam Engineering, Pedal and Powder, and Ski and Bow Rack for sponsoring the Pagosa Lakes Triathlon. We thank the volunteers: the high school cross-county team, Kimberly from the chamber, Sandy Caves, Carole Walter, Tom Steen, Natalie Carpenter, Sheila Berger, Steve Williams, Mike Adamski, Shirley and David Hunter, Julie Burch, Polly Parrish, Chris Coleman, Peter Van Hercke, Richard Anderson, Lorna Medici, Addie Greer, Matt Aragon, Ken and Jan Harms, Wendy Adams, Mike and Travis Dudzinski, Fran O'Brian, Alicia O'Brian, Eric Suttles, Doug Call, Tracy Bunning, Lindy and Mike Moore, Deb Mackey, Roger and Rita Jenson, Pat Artis, and the Mounted Rangers.

We also thank these businesses for door prizes: Pedal and Powder, Boss Hogs, Pagosa Springs Golf Club, JJ's, Chavolo's Taqueria, Treasures of the Rockies, Home Again, Switchback, Terry's Ace, Touch of the Tropics, The Springs, Summit Ski and Sports, Ski and Bow Rack, City Market, Dawei, Tina Valles and Peak Physical Therapy for great refreshments.

To my faithful staff: '"You're awesome!" To co-race director Scott Anderson: "You lighten the load." I thank you all.

Ming Steen


Fair board

The Archuleta County Fair Board would like to thank the following sponsors for helping provide buckles for the kids to receive as prizes at the County Fair Kids' Rodeo: Ace Appraisal, Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park, David Cordray, Jeanette Bean and Allan Armstrong, Alicia and Mike Brodner, Dolly and Jim Cowley, Pati and Mitch Frank, Marti and Bill Gallo, Nancy and Jeff Grovhoug, Karen and Bruce Hoeh, Eileen and Bill Ide, Susan and Mike Johnson, Stacia and David Kemp, Ann and Larry Mowen, Deborah and Ron Parker, Margie and David Richter, Debbie and Loyd Robeson, Peg and Tom Sebanc, Jean and Gautam Shah, Gail and Dan Shepherd, Kathy and Harvey Syverson, Sylvia Goosens and John Thompson, Susan and Tom Thorpe, Mary and Bob Wood, Robyn and Bob Harrington.

Sports Page

High school sports practice schedules, meeting set

The fall sports program at Pagosa Springs High School is just around the corner.

Football, volleyball, cross country, boys soccer and cheerleading begin Monday, Aug. 14.

Boys golf begins one week earlier on Monday, Aug. 7.

Athletes must have all paperwork signed and turned into the high school office before they will be allowed to practice.

To find out practice times, contact the head coach of the sport you are interested in.

Football: Sean O'Donnell - 731-5849.

Soccer: Lindsey Kurt-Mason - 731-2458.

Golf: Mark Faber - 731-2231.

Cross country: Scott Anderson - 731-5687.

Volleyball: Andy Rice - 264-1951.

Cheerleading: Renee Davis - 731-3127.

There will be a mandatory meeting for the parents of all Pagosa Springs High School athletes (not just fall athletes) at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, in the high school auditorium.

If you have questions regarding this meeting, contact Pagosa Springs High School Athletic Director Jim Shaffer at 946-2430.


Kids Rodeo at fair Sunday

By Lori Lucero

Special to The SUN

Come out and watch the Kids Rodeo Sunday, Aug. 6 at the rodeo grounds.

Action begins at 1 p.m. with the mutton bustin', calf riding, steer riding and wild cow riding.

It will be followed by the timed events: barrel racing, pole bending, ribbon race and roping events.

Events are open to ages 19 and under, and entry forms can be picked up at the Extension Office, Boot Hill, Goodman's or The Sewing Source.

For more information, call Lori Lucero at 264-4750.


Preseason football camp for junior high, high school players

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a "Florida Scramble" for its league day, July 25.

The ladies played in foursomes, and each team consisted of an A, B, C and D handicap player. They played the Meadows Ponderosa courses with a par 71 rating.

The team of Lynne Allison, Loretta Campuzano and Josie Hummel captured first place with a 69; second went to Marilyn Smart, Cherry O'Donnell, Doe Stringer and Maxine Pechin, with a 73; and the team of Jane Day, Bonnie Hoover, Claudia Johnson and Sue Martin placed third with a 74.

Immediately following their round, the ladies reconvened at the home of Nancy Mackensen for a delicious buffet luncheon and general meeting.


League day features a 'Florida Scramble'

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a "Florida Scramble" for its league day, July 25.

The ladies played in foursomes, and each team consisted of an A, B, C and D handicap player. They played the Meadows Ponderosa courses with a par 71 rating.

The team of Lynne Allison, Loretta Campuzano and Josie Hummel captured first place with a 69; second went to Marilyn Smart, Cherry O'Donnell, Doe Stringer and Maxine Pechin, with a 73; and the team of Jane Day, Bonnie Hoover, Claudia Johnson and Sue Martin placed third with a 74.

Immediately following their round, the ladies reconvened at the home of Nancy Mackensen for a delicious buffet luncheon and general meeting.


Fun Day Rodeo Series continues in August

A Fun Day Rodeo Series events are scheduled at the Western Heritage Event Center on U.S. 84 on Aug. 12 and Sept. 9. All rodeos begin at noon.

Events are goat tying, barrel racing, pole bending, keyhole race, breakaway roping, flag race and ribbon roping.

Ribbons are awarded at each rodeo and year-end prizes are awarded for the four-rodeo series.

Entries are accepted beginning at 11 a.m. the day of each rodeo. Fees are $15 for the day or $5 per event. Exhibition runs are $5.

For more information, call Randy Talbot, 731-5203, or Lori Lucero, 264-4750.


MLS soccer camp starts Monday in Pagosa

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.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Sign kids up now for soccer, football programs

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

Youth soccer registration deadline is Aug. 9.

Parents who have not yet registered their children for this year's youth soccer league have one week left until deadline.

The recreation office will accept registrations for children ages 5-13, through Aug. 9. 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 (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.

Youth football

This week is the last chance for boys entering fifth or sixth grade to register for Pagosa's Young American Football League.

For more information on this exciting new league, call Clifford Lucero at 731-2478. (This league is not administered through the Pagosa Springs recreation office.)

Adult softball

Schedules for this year's adult men's and coed leagues have been posted online at (recreation department link). Schedules are also updated regularly on the sports hotline, 264-6658.

The men's league tournament will begin Aug. 7; team managers will be notified with pairing and game time information as soon as tournament seeds can be determined.

The coed league tournament continues tonight at the high school sports complex; tournament brackets and pairings are available online at 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.

Adult open volleyball

Adult players are welcome to attend open sand volleyball play at the South Pagosa Park sand courts Monday evenings from 6-8pm.

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.


Horseshoe pitching at South Pagosa Park will continue each Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. through September.

From beginners to experts, everyone is welcome to play and improve. 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.

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.

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 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.



Get real about roads

There is a price to be paid if one wants to live in "paradise." And, in Pagosa Country, a place some deem a "paradise," that price is increasing. It must be paid if we want to live here and motor about relatively unimpeded by obstacles in the road.

Last week's announcement by the county that secondary roads will be plowed this winter does nothing to alleviate the need to do something about long-term road maintenance. Many people, riled by an announcement earlier in the spring that the county would no longer maintain secondary roads, have expressed confusion with the latest announcement.

No need: the situation is clear. Despite claims that county road and bridge operations have been less than efficient, once any inefficiencies are corrected, there likely is not enough money to maintain all the roads in the county system.

What the county did by announcing cessation of maintenance and simultaneously announcing the option of formation of Public Improvement Districts, was to try to spur the creation of taxing entities that would take some of the burden of maintenance from its shoulders.

What the announcement of plowing this winter, and a declaration that a deadline for formation of PIDs has been extended is probably intended to do is keep the option alive. At the same time a ballot issue could ask for an increased mill levy, with revenues earmarked for road maintenance.

If this happens, it is time to face the music: It will cost more to maintain roads - taxing ourselves as members of new districts, or increasing our contribution to the county.

There are some seasonal residents who squeal when presented with this scenario. "Taxation without representation," they cry. Blather! Register to vote here, have your say. Otherwise, make your contribution.

There are residents who claim they pay property taxes and don't get the service they "deserve." Baloney.

There are those who continue to complain about the split of sales tax revenues between town and county, proclaiming the right of the county to take a greater share. Ain't gonna happen. Get used to it.

Then, there are those whom an increased tax burden could hurt, older members of our community with genuine concerns about additional taxes and the effect on fixed incomes, and about the need for maintained roads. Access becomes more important as one gets older; the notion that emergency services cannot make it to a residence is a real worry. But, harsh as it may sound, living in "paradise" requires expense. If the expense cannot be met and the situation cannot be tolerated, is this the right place to live?

And what of the neighbors whose complaints about road conditions center on unrealistic demands concerning road quality and service?

To put it simply: You did not move to a suburb of San Diego or Denver. You moved to a mountain community - many of your residences set apart, in relative isolation. Even if you moved to one of our subdivisions, you moved to a decidedly rural area. You are not going to have paved roads, roads without some potholes, dust, washboard. If you want other than this, you must pay, or you should move.

The time for whining is over. We need to demand accountability - efficient services, elected officials who do more than abstain on votes regarding road issues. And we need to ask ourselves: What is the additional cost of living in "paradise?" What standards should I accept, and am I willing to pony up? Bring it on, Archuleta County. Let us know what it will cost to continue maintenance of a rural road system. Let us compare it to the cost of forming our own districts, and let us vote.

Karl Isberg



Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 4, 1916

During the thunderstorm Tuesday Mrs. Aleck Allen, who, with her little girl, was walking in front of the Newton residence in South Pagosa, was struck by lightning, the bolt passing through her hat, riddling the upper portion of her clothing and burning her shoes almost to a crisp. Her hair and one side of her face were severely burned, other portions of the body but slightly. That the stroke was not fatal is certainly a miracle, but at this writing the good lady is getting along nicely and will make a complete recover in a few days. Mrs. Allen's little girl, who was with her at the time, was also considerably shocked.

Luis Montoya, a section man, was badly shocked from an electrically overcharged rail above the depot during the storm Tuesday. He has recovered.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 7, 1931

Geo. W. Crouse, who resides about two miles west of town on the Pagosa-Durango highway, had a narrow escape from instant death about 10 o'clock last night when an unknown assailant fired a shotgun from the dark at him from a distance of about eight feet. The bulk of the shot plowed a furrow through his hair on the left side of his head, and he also received a few powder burns near his left temple. His escape from death was only a matter of less than an inch. It is believed that two parties were in the act of attempting the theft of one of the Crouse cars. Mr. Crouse had retired, but hearing a noise had arisen and had barely stepped out the door when the shot was fired.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 9, 1956

The County Commissioners on the 19th of last month let a contract to Telluride Iron Works of Durango for a new steel building to be built just north of the present county garage. The contract price for the building erected is $5,421.60. The new building is 28 x 80 feet in size and is practically all steel. There is one wall that will be concrete up several feet. The building should be completed by the end of the month. It will be used to house county equipment during the winter months that is used during the summer only. This will leave the large heated garage for use in storing snow plowing equipment. The commissioners also announced that they had completed construction of a bridge across the San Britas, south of Allison, at a cost of approximately $5,500.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 6, 1981

Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week, the greatest local show of the year, the County Fair is being staged. Livestock, produce, arts and crafts, cooking, baking and sewing will be on display. There will be dances, a barbecue, kid's rodeo and livestock sale.

In spite of a two cent per gallon increase in Colorado's gasoline tax, average gas prices only rose one cent during July, according to a survey by the Rocky Mountain AAA Auto Club. Gas prices from previous years show a clear rise in process during the summer travel season. Last year, gas prices increased 4.2 cents per gallon between Memorial Day and Labor day. During 1979, when fuel supplies were tight, prices jumped 13 cents during the same period.



New building ready for school

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

The school district's new maintenance and transportation building (MaT) was completed June 19 by general contractor Jaynes Corp. Over the last month, staff and equipment have taken up residence and offices are now operational.

The project began over two years ago in response to issues surrounding structural concerns and traffic at the elementary, intermediate and junior high schools.

Located south of the high school and the sports complex, the new multipurpose facility provides dedicated space for the transportation and maintenance offices, as well as the bus garage, vehicle parking, and shipping and receiving warehouse.

The old site will be used for district storage and elementary school parking.

To date, MaT has cost the district over $1.6 million. According to Nancy Schutz, the district's business manager, the project was funded by the capital reserve fund, which has been built up over the last several years for the purpose, and by a philanthropic trust. The trust fund was willed to the district by rancher, banker and veteran of the two world wars Whit Newton in 1970.

Dolly Martin and Steve Walston, directors of transportation and maintenance respectively, stressed that the project was focused on enhancing the safety of students, visitors and staff.

Martin said the old building was below grade and subject to flooding. Standing water encroached upon electronic devices and was a hazard for parents registering their children for busing.

"I was always afraid of someone falling," Martin said.

The old offices and bus garage were located next to the elementary school, while the shipping and receiving warehouse was located at the administration building on Lewis Street, adjacent to the intermediate school. At both locations, traffic was a safety issue.

According to Walston, "People were having to park in very compromised areas at the elementary school." Illegal parking blocked buses and backed up traffic.

Walston went on to suggest that moving the offices and garage would free up parking and help traffic flow.

Safety was also an issue at the intermediate and junior high schools. "There was simply no space at administration for shipping and receiving, and the truck traffic was a definite concern for the students," said Walston.

When asked about the traffic issue, Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger was optimistic that moving the garage and offices would have a positive impact at the elementary school, but warned that it would have little effect on the traffic on U.S. 160. "But we don't know what will happen until school starts," he said.

Martin was also cautious. "Our biggest traffic issue is still all of the parents driving down Put Hill. There will still be a backup on 160," she said.

Walston explained that the new building was part of "continuing process" to improve safety in the school district, which will involve future adjustments.

"The next step is to reconfigure traffic flow at the elementary," he said.

MaT has already rearranged barricades at the elementary school to begin the necessary changes. For instance, buses will be rerouted to avoid a steep grade that accumulates ice in the winter.

Addressing all the problems will take time and further consideration. "All the traffic issues won't be solved by one building," said Walston.

A series of meetings between district and town officials will be scheduled as part of the second phase of planned change.

Relocating MaT will bring some traffic issues of its own.

The loop that provides access to the new building was originally intended for one lane of traffic. With the arrival of MaT, it will be used by buses, delivery trucks and visitors.

Walston urged visitors to pay close attention to the posted signs. "It is really important that we get that message out," he said.

Walston stated that visibility was good and would prevent difficulties. Bus and truck drivers will also be made aware of the joint use of the access loop. "A lot of thought has been put into traffic flow," he said.

He diagrammed a traffic plan for the new building, in which visitors would approach the MaT from 5th Street and proceed around the loop to the second entrance, in order to avoid buses exiting from the east end of the parking lot.

To reduce traffic and delays, Martin encouraged parents to register their children for busing before school starts, between Aug. 22 and 29. With the combination of buses, trucks and visitors, "The first day of school is a madhouse," she said.

In addition to addressing safety concerns, the new MaT building includes numerous structural improvements and additions.

More space will be allocated to shipping and receiving in comparison to the previous location at the administration building.

A training room will be used for bus driver training and as a conference room. The school board has met there during the summer but will return to its normal location at the junior high library.

The dispatch station now has a view of the buses. In the old location, the dispatcher was required to direct bus traffic without being able to see the parking area.

"One of the nicest features of the new building is the separate wash bay," said Martin. The bus-size car wash will include drive-through access, an undercarriage sprayer, and an oversized power washer.

In the old location, the buses were washed in the maintenance garage.

The new maintenance garage is larger than its predecessor, including three large bays and a smaller one for the staff vehicles housed on location. One of the large bays also has drive-through access.

For added safety, there is dedicated space for garage storage and enclosed areas for battery and oil containment.

Martin and Walston are confident that the new situation will help maintain a more reliable and cleaner fleet of buses and vehicles, as well as encourage safety in the school district.

For more information on bus registration or directions to the building, MaT staff will be available at 264-0296 or 264-0392.


Pagosa's Past

The Jicarilla face tribulations following treaty

By John M. Motter

For the past several weeks we have been reporting on the 1854/1855 warfare between the Jicarilla Apaches and the United States.

Tired of warfare and constant pursuit, the Apaches attempted to negotiate a peace treaty in 1855. Our source of information has been "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History, 1846-1970" by Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, herself an enrolled Apache tribal member with a doctorate degree.

The Jicarilla Apache Treaty of 1855 was not approved by Congress, according to Tiller, and the problems which had led to war continued. The Jicarilla continued their traditional lifestyle on denuded homelands, rapidly being settled by whites. The competition for limited natural sources of food made the Jicarilla increasingly dependent on food rations issued by the federal government at Abiquiu, Taos and Cimarron.

The ration system was intended to be temporary until a reservation was provided on which the Jicarilla would become self-supporting. The reservation was not created until 1887, when the current reservation with headquarters was established. How did the Jicarilla survive during the 32-year span while waiting for a reservation? The picture is not pretty.

Under the 1855 treaty, the Jicarilla agreed to remain at peace and to surrender claim to their traditional northeastern New Mexico lands. In return, the government was to set aside a reservation in Rio Arriba County northeast of Abiquiu approximately 40 miles long and 10 miles wide.

The Indians were also offered bimonthly rations, and yearly annuities consisting of small farming implements, clothing, blankets, shoes and household items. The rations were to be obtained from Abiquiu and Taos Indian agents who were also issuing rations to the Southern Utes now headquartered at Ignacio and Towaoc. The agent at Taos was Kit Carson, the agent at Abiquiu a man named Lorenzo Labadie.

A constant flow of families entered the areas around the two agencies during 1855 as the Jicarilla quietly recuperated from their wartime losses. Both Labadie and Carson commented in their reports that the Jicarilla seemed demoralized, had no particular aim for the future, and constantly complained of their misery.

Both agents pointed out that the Jicarilla were destitute and the availability of wild game constantly decreasing. Especially disturbing to Carson was the situation of Indians who lived many miles from an agency and were forced to travel long distances, wearing out their horses and having to steal food on the way. Tiller points out the irony of a people forced into pillage in order to obtain meager rations that were supposed to prevent pillage.

A number of small, disaffected bands committed depredations near Mora and at Maxwell's Ranch south of Cimarron at Rayado. According to Carson, these raids were committed by alienated warriors taking revenge for the killing of their families by whites.

By 1856, some of the families were planting crops on land loaned to them by Spanish friends around Abiquiu and El Rito. Jicarilla living near Taos tried to provide for themselves by selling pottery and willow baskets, and some earned wages by working for people at Taos. Others hunted in the mountains of Colorado and when there was a surplus of meat, sold it.

More next week about the difficulties faced by the Jicarilla Apaches in obtaining a reservation.


Pagosa Sky Watch

Search for the teapot in the southern sky

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 6:14 a.m.

Sunset: 8:14 p.m.

Moonrise: 3:23 p.m.

Moonset: 12:55 a.m. Aug. 4.

Moon phase: The moon is waxing gibbous with 64 percent of the visible disk illuminated.

As we continue observations down the band of the Milky Way, the constellation Sagittarius marks one of the most fascinating and southernmost stops on the celestial journey.

The constellation lies deep along the southern horizon, is tucked between Aquila, Corona Austral and Scorpius, and is a treasure trove of objects for both the naked eye and telescopic observer.

According to the Romans, Sagittarius depicted a centaur - half man, half beast, wielding a raised bow and arrow - and is an older constellation than Centaurus, which also depicts a centaur. Although the two constellations may represent the same creature, they lie in different areas of the sky and Sagittarius appears quite different than its celestial cousin. Whereas Centaurus depicts Chiron, the scholarly, four-legged tutor to the Greek gods and heroes, Sagittarius appears malevolent, poised, and ready to launch an arrow into the heart of nearby Scorpius, marked by the star Antares.

Like many constellations, Sagittarius vaguely resembles the creature it is said to represent, and stargazers attempting to view the constellation will find it sprawling like a misshapen pinwheel across the southern sky. Therefore, those intent on viewing the bow-wielding, half man, half beast, may be best served by first locating a familiar asterism found within the constellation - the teapot.

By about 10 p.m., stargazers can locate Sagittarius and its teapot almost due south, and directly to the right of the J-shaped constellation Scorpius. To begin, lambda Sagittarii, or Kaus Borealis, marks the pointed lid of the teapot. Kaus Borealis translates roughly as the "northern part of the bow," and is a magnitude 2.8 orange giant lying 77 light years away.

Moving northward along the lid of the teapot, and the next star in the asterism, is Kaus Media, or delta Sagittarii. Kaus Media, translates roughly as the "middle of the bow," and Kaus Media is a magnitude 2.7 orange giant lying 306 light years away.

Again working northward, the next stop, and the star marking the bottom left corner of the teapot, is epsilon Sagittarii - also known as Kaus Australis, the "southern part of the bow." At magnitude 1.8, Kaus Australis, a blue-white giant, is the brightest star in the constellation.

Moving from Kaus Australis, back up to Kaus Media, and then immediately to the left, stargazers will find gamma Sagittarii, or Alnasl - from the Arabic, for the "point of the arrow." Alnasl is magnitude 3.0 orange giant lying 96 light years away.

From Alnasl, moving up and slightly to the left, is an invisible point marking the center of our Milky Way - a region of rich starfields, and the home of a truly bizarre object known as Sagittarius A*. Observations indicate Sagittarius A*, although invisible, is roughly the size of Earth's orbit and millions of times more massive than the sun. Initially, astronomers speculated Sagittarius A* might be a black hole. And In 2002, using the Chandra X-ray telescope, they confirmed their suspicions and it is now widely accepted a supermassive black hole lies at the center of our universe.

By retracing your steps back to Kaus Borealis, stargazers can then explore the opposite side of the teapot formed by the stars, lambda, phi, sigma, tau and zeta Sagittarii. Together, the stars make up the side and handle of the teapot, and represent an asterism within an asterism - commonly called the Milk Dipper. The name Milk Dipper comes from the four star's quadrilateral shape which resembles a miniature ladle or dipper, dipping into the milky band of the Milky Way galaxy.

Although black holes and our own galactic center are essentially invisible, other highlights in the Sagittarius region are not, and skywatchers equipped with binoculars or telescopes should have plenty to explore, including 15, Messier-catalogued clusters and nebulae.

Among the highlights are: M8, also know as the Lagoon Nebula; M17, the Swan or Horseshoe Nebula; M22, a spectacular globular cluster; M24, a rich and extensive Milky Way starfield and M25, a scattered star cluster. All the objects listed can be viewed with binoculars, and some, such as M8 and M22 can be viewed, under prime skywatching conditions, with the naked eye. A starchart will prove invaluable for stargazers intent on viewing all Sagittarius has to offer.

And while you are exploring Sagittarius, watch for both Delta Aquarid and Perseid meteors streaking across the sky.

The Delta Aquarids have been active since the last week of July, and the shower, although not one of the most prolific, should continue in fits and starts throughout the second week of August.

The Perseids generally put on a good show, however during their peak, Aug. 12, moonlight will make viewing the shower difficult at best. Thus, this week marks the best chance to glimpse one of this year's Perseids whizzing across the night sky.



Date High Low PrecipitationType Depth Moisture