August 10, 2006

Front Page

Gonzalez wins Republican primary, Colgan takes Dem race

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The results of the Archuleta County sheriff's race came first over radio waves from Archuleta County dispatch.

"The count is almost complete. It's Pete in a landslide, that's Mr. Gonzalez in a landslide."

Minutes later, the Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder's Office confirmed the count from Tuesday's primary election: Pete Gonzalez with 1,186 votes or nearly 58 percent of the vote, Steve Wadley 610 and roughly 30 percent, and Bob Grandchamp 258 or nearly 13 percent.

The unofficial results were announced just before 10 p.m. Tuesday, and will remain unofficial, according to Tomi Fredendall, election deputy at the clerk and recorder's office, for about two weeks until all the provisional ballots are counted.

Like many of the primary races in Archuleta County, the all-Republican sheriff's race lacked a democratic challenger. Thus, it appears with Tuesday's results, Gonzalez is a shoe-in for the post and will be the next sheriff of Archuleta County.

Among the list of county officials that also went uncontested by Democrats, June Madrid will serve another term as county clerk, Lois Baker as county treasurer, Keren Prior will serve another term as county assessor, David Maley as county surveyor, and Carl Macht as county coroner.

Among Democrats, the results of the 59th District standoff between accountant and former Durango city councilman Joe Colgan and Durango trial lawyer Jeff Deitch, has resulted in an unofficial Colgan victory.

In Archuleta County Deitch vanquished Colgan 242 votes to 115, however in La Plata County with 28 of 30 precincts reporting, preliminary figures indicate Colgan swept the field with 76 percent of the vote and a margin of 709 votes. In Montezuma County Deitch won by an unofficial 23 votes and in San Juan County, Colgan led 25 votes to Deitch's nine.

Although Colgan has claimed victory, Deitch has not conceded defeat, citing grave concerns regarding broken seals on two Durango voting machines - one touch-screen machine and one optical scanner machine - and the integrity of the voting process.

"I don't know all the facts. I don't think the county clerk knows all the facts," said Deitch.

Deitch explained that each machine has various seals to ensure the integrity of the votes, but that after inspecting two machines, he said the seals were tampered with, torn out and gone.

"It doesn't appear anything casual caused the seals to be torn out," Deitch said. "This was no accident."

La Plata County Clerk Linda Daley said after she was made aware of the problem, she interviewed the precinct election judges to determine how the seals were removed.

According to Daley, the judges said, in a written statement, the seal on the optical scanner machine was broken when the machine was being put back into its case. The judges asserted the seal had remained intact throughout the voting process.

The second damaged seal on the touch-screen machine, according to the Daley and the judges, was removed accidentally, and was one of many seals, but not the critical seal which covers the memory card where the election results are stored.

"It was purely, purely an accident and not intentional," Daley said.

Daley said the uncounted votes from the two precincts with compromised voting machine seals total about 150 votes, and would not change the outcome of the election.

Fredendall reported voting went without a hitch in Archuleta County, and despite some voters' reservations regarding the new electronic machines, the response was largely positive.

"Everyone who tried it loved it, and that's shocking to me. They think voting is fun now," Fredendall said.

According to Fredendall, there are 9,169 registered electors in Archuleta County. Of that number, 7,019 are active, and during Tuesday's primary 2,454, or 35 percent, of the active electors turned out to cast their ballots.


'Big Box' debate continues, meeting tonight

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

"Pagosa Springs will support new businesses that are compatible with and compliment our distinct character and community's values, and that avoid an "Everytown USA" image." From the Town of Pagosa Springs Comprehensive Plan adopted by the Pagosa Springs Town Council in April 2006.

There are 6,500 Wal-Mart stores worldwide; 1,500 Home Depots in North America; 354 Costcos in the U.S. and Puerto Rico; 1,250 Lowe's home improvement centers; and 1,019 Office Depots in 49 states and the District of Columbia. With the preponderance of large format retail stores such as these in small towns and large, from Gunnison to Cortez to Durango, and from Denver to Los Angeles to New York, big box retail has become a part of the commercial landscape in nearly every town in the USA. And yet, despite a clearly defined economic vision statement articulated in the town's comprehensive plan stating the town chooses otherwise, any one of a number of national, big box chains could soon be coming to Pagosa Springs.

According to a big box ordinance to be voted on tonight by the Pagosa Springs Town Council, large format retailers could, if they jump through the necessary hoops of an economic impact assessment, build stores of up to 180,000 square feet - 180,000 square feet is baseline square footage for many large format retailers.

According to Town Planner Tamra Allen, 180,000 square feet is roughly equivalent to a building double the size of the westside City Market/Alco complex.

The ordinance, as currently written, proposes that retail buildings of greater than 18,000 square feet would trigger the retailer's compliance with a number of design guidelines, while buildings of 50,000 square feet or larger would trigger an economic impact assessment which would analyze myriad factors, including the retailer's long-term economic impacts on the community such as numbers and kinds of jobs; wages and benefits; housing impacts; infrastructure and transportation impacts; environmental impacts and others from a 15-item list. The economic impact assessment would be required before final approval would be considered or granted. The ordinance also caps retail square footage at 180,000 square feet.

The ordinance was presented for approval on first reading during the Aug. 1 town council meeting, yet public outcry regarding the 180,000 square foot size cap forced a continuation of the reading, with a work session scheduled in the interim to work out a compromise on the square footage maximum.

Citizens attending the Aug. 1 town council meeting implored the council to honor the visions and goals of two key planning documents - the recently adopted comprehensive plan and the forthcoming downtown master plan - and expressed concern regarding the negative impacts of large format retail on the physical, social and retail environments of the greater Pagosa Springs area. In the end, those who commented urged the town council to consider a much smaller maximum size cap.

After citizen comments were heard, Councilmember Bill Whitbred moved for a continuation of the first reading of the ordinance, and asked the town council to meet in a work session Aug. 7 to explore lowering the size cap. The council agreed.

Monday's work session packed the town council chambers with opponents to the ordinance for the second time in two weeks, however Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon said, due to the format of the meeting, public comment would not be accepted. In lieu of spoken public comment, the council received 14 letters opposing the big box ordinance, including a formal statement of opposition from the board of the Archuleta Economic Development Association (AEDA).

"The board voted unanimously to not support this ordinance, and maintained its viewpoint of supporting the original Big Box Ordinance #646, which limits a single retail establishment to 55,000 square feet," the letter states.

In citing reasons for their opposition, the AEDA letter states that according to a 2004 survey conducted by RRC Associates, 59 percent of those surveyed opposed big boxes. In addition, public comments gathered for a Pagosa Springs economic development plan completed in May 2005, indicated big boxes were not what the community wanted. In short, the letter states, "We believe it's not what our community wants at this time."

The second reason for AEDA opposition is a matter of timing and magnitude.

"We don't sense the town needs a big box right now, because we feel like the leakage problems can best be solved with a mid box solution at this time. The EPS report suggests this exact point, that mid boxes can solve the issue, without placing undo stress on the local business owners."

During Monday's work session, Councilmember Darrel Cotton took issue with the findings of the RRC Associates survey.

"This is not a democracy. I've heard 59 percent, or numbers to that affect, don't want big boxes; but we don't kick the 41 percent under the bus because the majority don't want big boxes," said Cotton said.

And Cotton reiterated his argument that the market, not the town council, ought to dictate the scope and scale of commercial activity in Pagosa Springs.

Councilmember Judy James concurred with Cotton. "I agree with the 180,000 square foot size cap. I agree with Darrel," James said.

In her letter to the council, Angela Atkinson wrote, "One of the objections to size limits on large format retailers has been that it may 'preclude' some big boxes from entering our community."

During the work session, Cotton argued that big box retailers would not come to Pagosa Springs unless allowed vast amounts of square footage.

"Mid box doesn't work," Cotton said.

Councilmember Tony Simmons countered, "I'm looking at a study from professionals that says otherwise," and he held up a copy of the EPS report.

According to Atkinson, Wal-Mart has launched a new store concept called "Urban 99" which at 99,000 square feet or less is a direct response to many communities' size caps of 100,000 square feet.

In the June 24, 2004, issue of, the online magazine quoted Merill Lynch on the new, downsized Wal-Mart concept.

"We anticipate, that over 90 percent of our estimated 200 new supercenters that should be built in 2013 will be some variation of the Urban 99," Merill Lynch states in the magazine's report.

According to Forbes, an Urban 99 store requires less than 10 acres of land and is less than half the size of a typical, 187,000 square foot-plus, supercenter. A supercenter generally requires between 20 to 30 acres for the store footprint and parking.

But Wal-Mart is not the only large format retailer willing to work with smaller design caps and strict design guidelines.

According to the Kern Economic Development Corporation, an economic development association based in Bakersfield, Calif., in 2003, Home Depot opened a 65,000 square-foot store in the community of Ridgecrest.

Target has also followed suit.

In her letter, Atkinson writes, "Big box retailers have shown that they are willing to adapt to the scale and design requirements of the individual markets. Given these facts, I would strongly urge Council to consider reducing the size limit to 65,000 square feet. I beg you to listen to what the community, the economists, the task force, small business owners, developers, AEDA the Chamber, even the Comp Plan, have said they want for our Town - reasonable controls on retail development that are consistent with and proportional to the scale of our town."

During the work session, Councilmember Tony Simmons reiterated his position: "I am concerned that 180,000 square feet is out of scale with this community. Why are we looking to have a building so large in our small community?"

As part of his argument, Simmons advocated starting with a significantly smaller size cap that could be increased incrementally if and when the situation warrants it.

Councilmember Stan Holt said he was willing to accept a smaller size cap.

"I can live with something smaller," he said. "I don't have a problem with it."

Councilmember John Middendorf said the council should honor the findings of the Big Box Task Force and other key planning documents.

The Big Box Task Force was a town-sanctioned entity consisting of about 20 individuals from varying professions, backgrounds and perspectives charged with the task of exploring the impacts of big box retail on the Town of Pagosa Springs. Appointees to the task force included proponents of large format retail in the town.

"The task force report is a valid document, and I would support a smaller size cap," Middendorf said.

Whitbred urged those in attendance to consider that the size cap is actually 50,000 square feet, and any retail structure larger than that would trigger an economic impact assessment.

He also spoke of the need to consider the needs of low income citizens by offering a variety of stores.

"There's been a lot of changes in this town in the last 20 years, some good, some not. The low income people are getting forced out. I'm concerned we'll arrive at a Vail, Aspen, Telluride scenario and fourth generation people can't afford to live here," Whitbred said.

Aragon was the last to speak, but rather than discussing the size cap or a possible size cap compromise, Aragon criticized the "eight people that are adamant about no Wal-Mart," and those that don't live within town boundaries trying to weigh in on the discussion. In addition, he lamented the weight carried by a volunteer public servant.

"We don't get paid. It's not easy to be here. We're on the firing line," Aragon said.

And Aragon added, "It's a farce because they haven't been on this side of the table. Nobody said there is going to be a Wal-Mart in this town. Not in my lifetime."

However, the most recent moratorium, which was adopted unanimously in December 2005, and which is set to expire Sept. 15, was enacted following developer inquiries into a vacant, 60-acre parcel of land south of U.S. 160 across from the Pagosa Country Center and the westside City Market.

During the winter meeting between an unidentified developer, Town Manager Mark Garcia and Town Planner Tamra Allen, the developer outlined plans for a commercial center with a 250,000 square foot retail space along with a strip component of 272,000 square feet.

Garcia said the developer's preliminary plans looked much like the commercial strip center which currently houses Durango's Wal-Mart. Without big box regulations or design criteria in place, the town approved the moratorium.

With a stack of letters urging the town council to honor adopted and forthcoming planning documents, prior Big Box Task Force findings and to consider smaller size caps, the ordinance will go again before the town council tonight at 5 p.m. in the town council chambers. The proceedings are open to the public.

In the meantime, many big box opponents remain bewildered, frustrated and uncertain about the future. And many have argued, that the most equitable solution would be to put the big box question to a countywide vote.

In his letter of opposition to the town council, Reid Kelly wrote, "I could prattle on about how we don't need big boxes here. I could rant about how ugly they are; how they ruin the look and feel of a small community; how they don't provide the right kind of economic growth here. I could say all these things, because they are all true. But they have all been said; and they have been very eloquently by many of our community leaders and concerned citizens. So my real question is: Why isn't anybody listening?"

And Karen Aspin, a county resident continued in the same vein, "It deeply saddens me that the council would simply dismiss the task force's recommendations. I request enlightenment as to why the council seems so bound and determined to disregard the input and head toward a decision that is at odds with the best interest of the community."


Second young Pagosan succumbs to injuries

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs resident Michael Maestas, 22, succumbed to injuries sustained in a July 29 head-on collision, which also claimed the life of Chase Regester, 20, and seriously injured Travis Stahr, 28.

Maestas was pronounced dead at approximately 6 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 6, at Swedish Medical Center in the Denver suburb of Englewood.

The three men were not wearing safety belts when their Subaru collided with an oncoming Ford F-250, after attempting to pass another vehicle on U.S. 160, west of Pagosa Springs.

According to Brian Vining, Colorado State Patrol trooper, Maestas was the front seat passenger, Regester the rear seat passenger, and Stahr drove the vehicle.

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

At press time Wednesday, a Swedish Medical Center spokesperson reported that Stahr is in serious but stable condition. Stahr's condition has improved from critical.

A rosary service will be held for Maestas at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. His funeral service will take place at the high school Friday, Aug. 11, 2006, at 10 a.m.

A funeral mass will be held for Chase Regester on Saturday Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. at the rodeo grounds, followed by the Chase Regester Memorial Team Roping competition.

Funds have been established for the support of the victims and their families. Contributions can be made by calling Citizens Bank at 264-2235.


School Dist. considers CSAP results

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

Pagosa kids may still have a few weeks left of summer respite, but with the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) results out, the Archuleta County School District 50 Joint administration is already working on improvement measures.

The results are based on spring 2006 CSAP tests in reading, writing and mathematics for students in third through 10th grades and a science test for fifth, eighth and 10th grades. Depending on scores, students are placed into one of four categories: unsatisfactory, partially proficient, proficient and advanced. Students in the proficient or advanced categories are deemed passing.

Assistant Superintendent Bill Esterbrook presented the results to the school board at the Aug. 8 meeting. According to Esterbrook, CSAP "connects classroom instruction with the Colorado Model Content Standards. The standards reflect what we all want each of our children to know and be able to do."

Overall, Pagosa's scores stayed fairly close to the state averages. In a longitudinal growth comparison, which compares how one group of students scored to how the same group of students scored the previous year (last year's third graders' scores are compared to their scores as fourth graders, and so on), Pagosa outscored the state; passing students increased in 11 of the 21 content areas assessed, and the state increased in only eight content areas.

In grade level comparisons, the number of passing students increased in 13 of the 25 content areas tested, whereas the state of Colorado saw an increase in 14 content areas. All grades except fourth received higher reading scores than the state average, but only sixth- and eighth-graders received higher writing scores; all other grades fell behind the state's writing scores. And the sixth-graders were also the only students to score higher than the state average in math tests.

In comparing this year's test results to last year's, portraits of Pagosa's strengths and weaknesses emerge. According to Esterbrook there are areas that Pagosa can be proud of; for example, in writing, the number of passing seventh-graders increased 11 percent, and the number of passing sixth-graders increased 25 percent.

"The greatest growth happened in writing this year," said Esterbrook.

However, there are also areas of concern. For the past two years, Esterbrook has compiled actual cohort comparisons, which are like the longitudinal growth comparisons, but include only those students who actually took the tests. This gives the district a more accurate look at the actual growth or decline students are making.

"It shows those kids as they go through the system," said Esterbrook. "It's an indication of how well we've brought the standards home."

The actual cohort comparisons allowed Esterbrook to follow the achievements of individual students, and also afforded the district some insight into what Esterbrook called "trends and patterns we need to rectify." For example, from third to fourth grade, the number of students passing in reading declined 11 percent.

"That's a concern," said Esterbrook. "The key to success in education is reading ... we really need to key in on that."

Esterbrook said another area of concern for the district is the performance of new students. Comparing their scores to those of their classmates, students who are new to the district fall behind their classmates. A decrease in the number of passing students is seen at all grade levels and content areas except fifth-grade reading; some are severe, like the 29-percent decrease in seventh-grade writing and the 22-percent decrease in ninth-grade math.

"As a district we're not doing a good job of addressing the needs of new kids," said Esterbrook. "We haven't done a good job of assessing those new students when they come in. If they start behind, they're going to finish behind."

According to Esterbrook, gaps like this happen in other areas as well; for instance, gender and ethnicity gaps exist nationwide.

"It's a big area of research, how you close the learning gaps. And we need to ensure we have the best practices in the classrooms," said Esterbrook.

Scores also often drop when students move from elementary to junior high and from junior high to high school. These gaps are another area the district needs to focus on, he said. Communication between teachers here is key, and the five new math specialists hired for the elementary school will help provide that, as they will provide more time for teachers to collaborate.

"Grades need to be talking to each other and agreeing on the standards," said Esterbrook.

Compared with other districts in our region, Pagosa's scores beat out Ignacio and Del Norte, but Durango and Bayfield continue to outscore Pagosa's kids. At Miller Junior High School in Durango, 71 percent of students have passing scores in seventh-grade math, whereas Pagosa has a mere 39 percent passing and 20 percent unsatisfactory. Durango's 51 percent and Bayfield's 50 percent passing ninth-grade math scores greatly surpass Pagosa's 32 percent. And 85 percent of Bayfield's third-graders passed the math test, where only 62 percent passed in Pagosa.

Deborah Uroda, the director of public information for the Durango School District 9-R, attributes Durango's success to a high level of teacher training.

"The bottom line is that our teachers get a lot of training to know what the standards are. We spend about $75,000 each year on teacher training alone," said Uroda.

Durango's schools also have reading and math specialists at every grade level, and special tutorial support classes for struggling students.

"We strive to develop a culture of continuing improvement. It's a constant circle - teach, test, modify. Teach, test modify," she said. "And when I say testing, it isn't negative. It's taking a look at student work and using the data to improve."

At the meeting, Esterbrook acknowledged the fact that Pagosa's scores are low compared to other districts, but he said this information is all the better to learn and improve from.

"Other schools score better than we do. This is not a basketball game, it's not just about the scores, but it is an achievement issue. And it gives us better consciousness of what should happen to ensure the best practices are in the classroom.

"It's not to say we're a bad school; no, we're not. And it's not to say we haven't had some really good growth," said Esterbrook. "But we know where we need to improve, and that's what makes schools good."

The school district has been working on an improvement plan for about two years to address some of the concerns that emerge with CSAP results, identifying and isolating trends. And for Esterbrook, the time for action is now.

"We can't talk about it anymore. It needs to be in place on day one," he said.

Esterbrook told the board that two years ago results may have been "uninspiring," and last year, they could be called "unremarkable", but this year they were nothing but "not surprising."

"Besides the Reading First (program), fifth-grade math, and ninth- and 10th-grade English, we didn't really do anything different," said Esterbrook. "This coming year, we have to make these changes."

Esterbrook said that after ten years of CSAP scores, they can no longer be dismissed as mere "snapshots" of time.

"It's not a snapshot anymore. It defines where we are," he said. "With ten years of snapshots, we have a family album now, don't we?"

The district is using their new family album to ruminate and reflect on past scores, but more importantly to recognize deficiencies and work to make certain all standards are met.

"We have hardworking and dedicated educators in this district," said Esterbrook. "We have all the pieces. We just need to be willing to listen to what CSAP is saying, what ACTs are saying, and be accountable for the changes that need to be made."

While the district understands that the CSAP scores connect to instruction, they also realize scores aren't everything. Esterbrook placed his emphasis on ensuring that high quality practices are in every classroom, and that teachers do not "teach to the test," as is a common concern when it comes to standardized tests. Rather, Esterbrook wants to make sure ample time is spent on learning content and using teaching practices that can reach all students of varying learning abilities and levels.

"The answer is effective instruction in the classroom," said Esterbrook. "It's not to worry about whether our scores are going to go up, but to raise our expectations - not for scores, but for achievement."

In other school board news:

- Kate Lister, elementary school principle, recently cinched another grant for the school. She was able to resubmit the Reading First grant, which will result in $50,000 to $100,000 for the Reading First program.

"She went out there and really fought hard for our kids, and got a lot of money," said Esterbrook of Lister.

Lister also announced that the Read to Achieve grant had been tripled from $20,000 to $60,000, and the elementary school is considering hiring an interventionist for students at the intensive or strategic reading level.

- Board members motioned to place a question on the November ballot which would allow board members to serve three consecutive terms of four years, an extension of the existing term limit of two years. The cost to place the question on the ballot is estimated at $20,000 to $25,000.

"We just don't have the candidates to step up and run," said Mike Haynes, board president. "If we were to extend term limits to three terms, every once in awhile someone can run a third time and keep some continuity." He also added that board members could always be voted off if board conditions became stagnant.

- Another bus route was added to mitigate over crowding. It will incorporate many of the students on bus route two and bus route 15, and will serve the Village Lake, Talisman and North Pagosa area.


Inside The Sun

District to recruit volunteer firefighters

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

At its monthly board meeting, the Pagosa Fire Protection District (PFPD) focused on increasing the number of working fire hydrants and recruiting new volunteers to serve the community.

PFPD board members postponed endorsement of a fire hydrant maintenance agreement with the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) until concerns over hydrant function are addressed.

PAWSD approved the fire hydrant maintenance agreement at its monthly meeting the same night, but the agreement must be passed by PFPD board members before it can go into effect.

Board members said the agreement, in its final form, should specify an adequate budget for hydrant repair and ensure that out-of-service hydrants are fixed or replaced in a timely manner.

PAWSD owns all hydrants in the fire district but contracts out to PFPD to test and maintain the units. When PFPD deems a hydrant to be out of order, it is handed over to PAWSD to be repaired.

PFPD is updating a list of priority hydrants, giving special attention to high density areas. There is currently a backlog of hydrants in need of repair.

Despite the out-of-service hydrants, the PFPD is still able to respond effectively by extracting water from adjacent hydrants, sometimes over 100 yards away. However, repairs will enable quicker response times.

In order to facilitate the needed revisions and a future agreement, PFPD board members changed the date of their next meeting so PAWSD representatives can attend.

The need for new recruits and more officers was also discussed at the meeting.

Whereas the department has relied in the past on potential volunteers coming to the district, it will now actively recruit new firefighters.

It will also begin an officer development program to move experienced firefighters up in the ranks.

The new recruitment efforts will seek to replace firefighters who have left for paying jobs in other departments.

Other volunteer firefighters have left the department due to increased training requirements, instituted by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which apply to volunteer and professional fire departments equally.

According to the PFPD, volunteers often do not have the time to fulfill all the federal training requirements. As a result, departments have difficulty retaining volunteers and are ineligible for federal grants.


Mighty good monsoon season ... so far

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

If you ask local weather guru Toby Karlquist, he'll tell you Pagosa Springs has had a good monsoon season, so far.

And, based on his monthly weather statistics, most would have to agree.

What's more, the forecast for the upcoming week suggests a continuation of cool, moist conditions.

Karlquist constantly gathers and maintains detailed meteorological information at his personal "weather station" in the Pagosa Lakes area and, according to his reported rain amounts, we've received a total of 6.27 inches since early July. By anyone's definition, that's a good monsoon for southwestern Colorado.

Of course, along with wet weather, we've also enjoyed cool weather. At a time of year when the sun is most intense, spectacular afternoon clouds have held it at bay, with average daytime highs remaining in the mid-70s. Average nighttime lows have hovered around 50.

According to the National Weather Service, scattered showers and thunderstorms are predicted every day and night through Saturday. Chances today and tonight are 20 percent, and those through Saturday jump to 30 percent. The likelihood of continued moisture remains into early next week.

As monsoon conditions continue, daytime high temperatures should stay in the upper 70s to low 80s through Tuesday. Nighttime lows will dip to the mid-40s tonight and tomorrow, and barely top 50 through the forecast period.


Water conservancy district to put issue on ballot

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The board of directors for the San Juan Water Conservancy District (SJWCD) met Tuesday and, among other things, approved a resolution and ballot issue for the upcoming November election. The overall purpose of the initiative is to alleviate financial constraints imposed on the district by the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR), the Gallagher Amendment and state statute.

The resolution declares the need and intent to submit a ballot question to eligible electors in the district, and specifies the election scheduled for Nov. 7, 2006 as the date it should be presented.

It also calls for a coordinated election, with the Archuleta County Clerk and Recorder acting as the Coordinated Election Official for the election. The county clerk will bear the responsibility of mailing the required notice pursuant to Article X, Section 20 of the state constitution (TABOR).

The resolution also describes the required Intergovernmental Agreement the district must enter into with the county clerk, regarding conduct of the election and mailing of the aforementioned notice. As part of the arrangement, the district agrees to cooperate with the county clerk and provide all necessary ballot titles, notices and various agreements with the county clerk for the conduct of the election.

The resolution further designates Carrie Campbell (a district director) as the Designated Election Official on behalf of the district, and authorizes her to proceed with whatever actions may be necessary to effectuate the provisions of the resolution, the Uniform Election Code, TABOR, and other applicable laws.

By approving the resolution, the district board also authorized Campbell to enter into the Intergovernmental Agreement with the county on behalf of the district.

The ballot issue approved by the board reads:

"Shall San Juan Water Conservancy District be authorized to collect, retain and spend all revenues and other funds received from all sources, including without limitation the district's existing general operating property tax, which property tax shall not be increased without voter approval, commencing January 1, 2006 and continuing thereafter until repealed, to be spent for general operations and capital improvements as a voter-approved revenue change, offset and exception to the limits which would otherwise apply under Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution or any other law, and as a permanent waiver of the 5.5 percent limitation under Section 29-1-301 C.R.S.?"

Under TABOR, the board can only retain all of a year's tax 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). According to Section 29-1-301 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, that amount is limited to 5.5 percent. For example, if revenues for a year totaled $100,000, the district would only be able to retain $105,500 the following year.

In another matter, board member Windsor Chacey shared a water information program designed to inform consumers of available water-saving measures and the ongoing need for wise water consumption. Devised by the Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD), the program utilizes a series of radio and newspaper advertisements to inform district residents of various ways to reduce water use in and out of the home.

Based on SWCD recommendations, attending board members discussed the feasibility of participating in the program, with an emphasis on increasing public awareness of the district and its mission. After weighing the costs and considering changes necessary to derive the greatest benefits from it, the board directed Chacey to work with SWCD personnel and the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (another participant), to incorporate the San Juan Water Conservancy District name in the ads. Members also asked for language that would explain the need for continued expansion of raw water storage, such as the proposed Dry Gulch Reservoir.

In the end, the board approved limited program participation, once a final draft is completed.


School starts soon - donate supplies to 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


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.



New test program at Chimney Rock

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

Volunteer enthusiasm for Chimney Rock is a wellspring of energy and activity that spills forth into the community in many forms.

The latest burst of inspiration has produced a new Archaeoastronomy and Sky Watch Program. The program is set for a trial run Saturday, Aug. 26.

According to Ron Sutcliffe, one of the program developers, "The program is about ancient sky watching, emulated to the best of our current understanding." Stargazing is only a small part of the overall program, which aims to offer much more to our general understanding. Current evidence is a strong indicator that there was probably a huge reliance on sky watching as an actual survival tool.

Similar to a full moon program in some respects, such as location and cost, this program will lead participants up the mesa top trail to the Great House in daylight, where there will be a discussion of the marvelous structure and the people who inhabited the area 1,000 years ago. As night falls upon the mysterious settlement at the base of the looming, twin spires, the discussion will turn to "how the sky works and how ancient people could have used it," stated Sutcliffe.

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.

Visitors need to come prepared for the outdoors by bringing a flashlight - a necessity in navigating down the trail after the program, warm clothing, good walking shoes, and a blanket or cushion to sit on during the program. No chairs, food, alcoholic beverages, or pets, please.

Tickets for this program will be limited to 40 people to provide a tranquil atmosphere. Reservations are required and will be available by calling the visitor cabin at 883-5359, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person.

The gate will be open from 7 to 7:30 p.m. for those attending the program. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated. The program begins 8.

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

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 Interpretive Program schedule and more detailed information about the archaeological site are available at

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Inc., sponsors the Archaeoastronomy and Sky Watch Program in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District.


Hunter education course coming soon

A hunter education course will be offered Aug. 24-25.

The course is open to anyone wishing to obtain a hunter safety card. If you were born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, you are required to have a hunter safety card before you can purchase a hunting license.

The course will be offered in the Colorado Mounted Ranger Building, 302 San Juan St. The Thursday session is 6-10 p.m., Friday's session is 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Students must attend both sessions.

All programs, services and activities of the Colorado Division of Wildlife are operated incompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need accommodation due to a disability, contact Doug Purcell or Mike Reid at 264-2131, or Don Volger at 264-4151, Ext. 239. To assure your needs can be met, call at least seven days prior to the sessions.

The course is sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Police Department, in conjunction with the Colorado Division of Wildlife.


High Country Reflections

Thoughts follow a flyover

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

Including the pilot, five of us piled into a small single-engine Cessna the other day, with hope of gaining a broader view of environmentally sensitive sites in and around the Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Alleged suspect politics notwithstanding, our overriding concerns stemmed from potential ecological impacts and the impairment of a vital wildlife linkage, should a proposed large scale development ever actually become reality.

In my mind at least, I had long since declared the Village at Wolf Creek proposal a frivolous one, but my earliest objections were born largely of common cynicism toward developers.

Over the years since, however, I have sought legitimate facts in order to better understand the true ramifications of constructing a city of 10,000 people in the middle of forest at more than 10,000 feet in elevation. What I've learned is disconcerting and seems to corroborate my earlier skepticism.

By now, most of us are aware of how, 20 years ago, the U.S. Forest Service suddenly and inexplicably reversed its original decision to deny a land swap, thus facilitating the manifestation of the village concept. We know that, despite overwhelming public opposition, Mineral County approved the scheme in its current form, even while developers had no legitimate, legally-required highway access to the site. And, we've recently seen the Forest Service approve developer access across public lands, while refusing to consider the environmental consequences of the venture as a whole, instead focusing on the relatively minor effects of access alone.

As I said, politics aside, we flew the site to survey the general surroundings and gain a better understanding of how a highfalutin town plunked next to the highway between two large wilderness areas would change the integrity of the landscape overall. From the air, even those of us lacking a solid scientific background in such matters could recognize the implications when viewed in context.

As Bruce Gordon, pilot and president of EcoFlight (a nonprofit environmental education and advocacy group), steered his Cessna over the ski area and Alberta Park, including the Village site and an adjacent 240-acre reservoir, it seemed impossible to imagine a town of any size, much less one larger than Aspen or Vail proper, sprouting up in the middle of nowhere. Only the narrow swath of U.S. 160, the all natural park, and a modest series of green ski runs descending the steeper terrain broke the otherwise broad expanse of lush coniferous forest sprawling in every direction.

The Weminuche Wilderness - Colorado's biggest - lies just two miles northwest of the village site, and not five miles southeast is the northern reach of the South San Juan Wilderness, considered the state's wildest and most remote.

These vast expanses of untamed back country, which collectively encompass more than 650,000 acres of high elevation landscapes, represent the two areas in Colorado most likely to sustain remnant populations of grizzly bears and wolverines. As it is, mountain lions, black bears, bobcats, pine martens, elk, mule deer and bighorn sheep are known to inhabit them, as do many different birds, amphibians and countless smaller mammals.

So do the federally threatened and state endangered Lynx Canadensis, or Canada lynx. Therein, lies a big ecological concern with the planned village.

As designed, the mini metropolis would sit squarely in the middle of the ski area boundary and comprise 287.5 acres of year-round commercial and residential properties, including hotels, retail outlets, townhomes, and single-family residences. As a buzzing hive of human activity, it would also directly and indirectly impair safe wildlife passage through a critical linkage between the two wilderness areas.

With Colorado's last known native lynx illegally trapped in 1973, the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) embarked upon an ambitious campaign to reintroduce them in 1997. By 1999, 41 cats from British Columbia and the Yukon Territory were released in the San Juan Mountains near Creede. The following year, 55 more were released, with another 70 let go in 2003 and 2004. By the end of last April, a total of 218 lynx had been placed in the Colorado high country, all north of U.S. 160.

To allow reasonably accurate tracking of their movements, all of the project lynx were fitted with radio collars. So too, were five of the documented 116 offspring born to them over the past seven years.

Through satellite telemetry, VHF radio transmissions, and the collection of snow-tracking data, DOW researchers have plotted each animal's location on a map at regular intervals. Though accuracy among methods varies, some patterns have emerged, and scientists now believe the area surrounding the village location is an essential corridor linking two year-round use areas - one in the Weminuche near the release sites south of Creede — the other in and around the South San Juan northwest of Platoro Reservoir.

Certainly, for lynx to reach the Platoro Reservoir area, they must successfully cross U.S. 160. But what's more, ongoing monitoring shows that a number of them actually move back and forth between areas, raising two primary concerns among environmentalists.

First, according to the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project (a non-profit conservation science organization and the outfit that arranged the flyover), if the village ever actually materializes, it will result in habitat conversion, fragmentation and loss. At full build-out and year-long use, all existing lynx habitat utility on the entire 287.5 acres, including opportunistic foraging, freedom of movement and diurnal security, will end forever. In short, the community will effectively reduce habitation, while impeding the flow of lynx between other vital habitats.

Along similar lines, mounting highway traffic to and from neighboring communities will further isolate lynx population centers and increase road mortality. While Wolf Creek Pass is one of the snowiest, most perilous wintertime passes in Colorado, anticipated year-round traffic increases of two to five times today's level will dramatically raise the likelihood of lynx roadway fatalities, ultimately placing the entire reintroduction program in jeopardy. As it stands, nine years and some $6 million have been invested in a very successful program, so far.

Meanwhile, as incredible as it may seem, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is charged with managing animals listed under the Endangered Species Act, has failed to come to the aid of the "threatened" lynx.

In a Draft Biological Opinion dated last October, the report reads, "The Service has reviewed the effects of construction and use of the Village at Wolf Creek access roads and utility corridors across Forest Service lands and determined that an appreciable, year-round increase in vehicular traffic of two to five times existing levels on Highway 160 would increase the likelihood of lynx mortalities from vehicular collisions and likely inhibit effective use of the parcel by lynx. Lynx avoidance of Highway 160 from the vehicular traffic increases would impair local and dispersing movements that would lead to reduced linkage between large habitat blocks in the San Juan Mountains, which are considered to be some of the best lynx habitat in the state, and are part of the core area for the Colorado Division of Wildlife's lynx augmentation efforts."

The report goes on to say, "The Service determined that the direct and indirect effects of the proposed action will not jeopardize the continued existence of lynx in the contiguous United States."


Perhaps true enough, but what of the lynx in Colorado? Isn't that what we're talking about, and shouldn't they be given every opportunity to survive and maintain biological diversity?

Incidentally, if lynx are listed as "endangered" by the state of Colorado, where is the state on this issue?

I posed that question to state Sen. Jim Isgar, who participated in a similar flight immediately preceding mine.

"I put forth that resolution with Larson (state Rep. Mark Larson), but it didn't get far. Land use issues are typically handled locally and the state really has little to do with them. County governments have a lot of power in that regard, but I'm confident that Richard Reynolds (of the Colorado Department of Transportation) will follow proper procedures, regardless of who the developer is. He's a stickler for that kind of thing. The developers will have to satisfy him."

In his comment, Isgar referred to the many requirements the developers must still meet before the project can ever get off the ground, some of which are dictated by CDOT.

When asked about the Village project in general, the senator said, "It's hard to see from the air how there's even room for a project of that size, with 10,000 people. I have a hard time believing that many people would want to live up that high."

Isgar also expressed concern over the availability of water for a project of that magnitude. "There's not that much (water rights) up there at that elevation," he said. "Even if they have the water rights, they're probably agricultural and they haven't converted them to the appropriate use. They have a long way to go yet."

The senator also talked of burdens on adjoining counties not benefiting by the tax base. "We don't have a mechanism in place to share those revenues," he said. "There should be a way to calculate financial impacts on neighboring communities, and maybe we should have impact fees.

"As far as the village itself, I don't think there'd be much opposition if they (the developers) were back to where they were originally. It's grown so much, but I'm under the impression that they could only rightfully expect approval of the original proposal."

Sen. Isgar isn't the only public official representing our district to question the validity of the village proposal. Rep. Larson has called for an investigation in the approval process, as has U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar.

U.S. Rep. John Salazar has said," I don't see how a project of this scope and size can continue. I will not support a project that hurts the community I represent."

That may be the bottom line, as it appears only the developers and the odd business owner do support it. Nevertheless, in time, we'll know just how much power those suspect politics actually wield.



Healing arts

Dear Editor:

The Healing Arts Gathering at the community center last week was a warm and wonderful occasion with a diverse group of practitioners meeting, networking and sharing. There were several nurses, a doctor and a variety of integrative, holistic and alternative practitioners in attendance.

In just a couple hours of presentations and circle discussions, this enthusiastic group committed to meet twice a month to further explore their visions. The next meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 20, at Pathways to Self Mastery, Suite A, in The Heritage Building, 468 Pagosa St. in downtown Pagosa. The meeting time is 5-7 p.m.

The intention for the gathering was to bring practitioners together precisely for this purpose, so it was, for me - someone who was participating as an organizer, not as a health practitioner - exciting to see this type of interaction take place. The sharing of personal and community visions was truly inspiring and is a good indication of the potential of future meetings and the positive outcome anticipated for the economic prosperity of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County.

One vision that interested many in the group was that of creating a wellness practitioner directory, whether an online or print version. Anyone interested in participating in the directory (not a requirement) should definitely pick up, fill out and drop off the simple inquiry form that is available at the bulletin board in the hallway, upstairs in the Heritage Building.

The information on this quick little form is designed as a first step in developing a local practitioner network and also asks a couple questions regarding the individual's vision for self and community. I'd like to encourage use of these forms prior to the next meeting, as the information collected from these questionnaires will be compiled for presentation at that meeting, and the more who participate, the easier it will be to identify potential areas of connection and future collaboration.

If you know anyone who might have an interest in this networking opportunity, please share this information and encourage him or her to check it out. We are especially interested in bringing more allopathic practitioners to this effort for a true practitioner partnership, so tell your doctor and nurse friends, too!

It was such a pleasure for me to get to meet so many more of the gifted healers in this area; I intend that this effort will grow and be successful, as I believe our county's future can surely benefit from it.

If anyone has questions about this next meeting, direct inquiries to Linda LoCastro at 946-7352 and Sophia at 903-2108.


Karen Aspin



Dear Editor:

Some thoughts regarding Citizens Concerned for the Character of Pagosa (CCCP).

As a relative newcomer to Pagosa, I'd like to offer some Big Box thoughts and comment on the perceived negative impacts a Big Box might have on Pagosa's unique "character."

It seems that whenever the Big Box subject is discussed it is inevitable hands will wring and voices will cry that the Big Box Bullies will forever change Pagosa's unique "character." Even the "unbiased" opinion of the EPS consultants echo grave concern for Pagosa's character. Statisticians and polling pundits claim, rather shout, that 59 percent of us don't want no stinking Big Box messin' up the character of our Little Box. Even a soon to be former state Representative took the time between job interviews to proffer a solicited opinion. Hmm. Something's happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear, but there's much ado about this thing called Pagosa's "character."

I recall the year of my arrival and remember joining a similar CCCP. Despite our emotional pleas, the then ignorant Archuleta County Commissioners and crooked Town of Pagosa Springs Trustees repeatedly refused to construct gates at the Archuleta County borders with La Plata, Hinsdale, Mineral and Rio Arriba counties. Had they heeded our pleas in 1975, the Big Box discussion wouldn't be on the table today and countless of us would have been spared the anxiety and fear associated with the big box boogeyman. But fast-forward, and today I'll take no satisfaction in saying "I told you so." Nor will I apologize for failing the 1975 CCCP by not screeching a little longer and louder. Our campaign was simply foolish and selfish.

We were smugly satisfied with Pagosa's 1975 "character." San Juan Lumber employed a bunch of us. A fella could get a good haircut at Mullins' and there were enough shaggy manes to make room for Ray's new shop. The gals seemed to like the bouffants that Elaine fashioned. The burritos, tacos and green chile at The Elkhorn were unbeatable. One must wonder how they've survived despite multiple competitors like Ramon's, Taco Bell and Tequila's.

Fact is, Pagosa's "character" enjoys a dynamic evolution. It has for the three decades I've witnessed. Thank goodness it's not static. Smell the proverbial coffee and it is easy to recognize that its character is market-driven by both us newcomers and a whole big batch of tourists. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a slow learner, but I've come to realize that NIMBYism fueled by subjective emotionalism is nothing more than an elitist wolf in sheep's clothing.

Our town's "character" will never be defined by preserving or creating Old West storefront facades, faux-Victorian turrets, and socially engineered small business protectionism. Nor will it be redefined by the presence or absence of a big box; even a humongous box. Instead, it always has and will continue to be appropriately defined by the socioeconomic diversity of its residents (characters) whether they're sporting a pair of designer jeans from Happy Trails, an odd pair of Wranglers off the sale rack outside Goodman's or, God forbid, some Chinese knockoffs from Wal-Mart.

Want to keep the Big Box Boogeyman away? Here's an idea: Gather more members and give the '75 CCCP "close the gates" idea another shot. Maybe it'll work this time if we scream louder and longer. Point more fingers. Proselytize, philosophize and criticize more. Oh, and paint some colorful signs. Protest, march and picket this time. Perhaps chant some rhythmic mantras. But you'd better call your friends and relatives who are considering relocating here on the off-chance you succeed with the coup.

Call me. On second thought, naw, I think I'll sit this one out and wish you a boxful of peace and love.

Andy Donlon


Ballot wording

Dear Editor:

The proposed wording of the ballot question for the hospital district "de-brucing," as shown in the Aug. 2 issue of The SUN, does not indicate that there will be no tax mill levy increase - as we have been promised.

Along with authorization to "collect, retain and spend all revenues received from all sources," other governmental entities which ask for a vote to relieve them from certain restrictions of TABOR, i.e., "de-bruce,": stipulate that "there will be no increase in the tax mill levy without approval of the voters."

The hospital district proposed ballot working contains no such stipulation. Thus, it seems to be taking away from us a very desirable portion of TABOR, which is the requirement that taxes cannot be raised without voter approval.

Hopefully, the district will revise its ballot wording to assure us that it won't raise our tax mill levy without our vote of approval.

A concerned district resident,

Fred A. Ebeling


Preserve character

Dear Editor:

After 13 years here, I guess I should blame myself for not having more foresight and vision, for not becoming more involved sooner. The past few years I, too, have experienced frustration with the response of our elected officials. Perhaps it is time for us to go to work and elect those whose platform truly revolves around desires of this community.

It seems we're in a reactive mode (and a poor one at that) to respond to the growth happening in Pagosa. "Boom Town USA," the 7 1/2 keys to big success in small towns’ states we are in a great population shift from urban areas to small towns. "Tired of trendiness and materialism, Americans are rediscovering the joys of home life, basic values and roots." He also tells us that to succeed, a town must be able to identify it's own strengths and build around those. "Vision marks the roadmap to success; it takes into account the destination, the surrounding terrain, and the roadblocks and hazards along the way."

On a recent road trip, I was amazed at the barrenness of much of the West, the homogeneous look of every town, and at the beautiful green island that is our Rocky Mountain paradise. Saddened that the Aspen Village development has erased the character of the land, I feel it's too bad we haven't put restrictions in place to retain the rugged beauty of our terrain and majestic trees. Will we wise up before it's too late?

Our fossil fuel civilization like a great behemoth hungers to swallow up every inch of open space for its overextended population. When only a few can afford dwindling petroleum, our town will still be here, Small businesses will have been pushed out by big box; we'll have lost the element of rugged independence that characterized the settlement of Pagosa. As recently as the 1950s people here prepared for winter with food storage, knowing roads would be mostly shut down for four months. When imports from China fall off, our town will still be inhabited by the ghosts of 180,000 square-foot buildings.

Before we are overrun, let's find ways to preserve our character with zoning and protective covenants, with vision and purpose for the rare special qualities that still remain. When we look beyond the pressure of developers and create a sustainable, localized vision for our town, with community gardens, inviting complementary small businesses, we will be able to hold our head up for the choices we made as a community.

In the "Great Turning, from Empire to Earth Community," we might take the quote by Joanna Macy to heart: "Future generations, if there is a liveable world for them, will look back at the epochal transition we are making to a life-sustaining society. And they may well call this the time of the Great Turning." Let's act with vision to preserve the character of our small town - its natural resources and its uniqueness in a surrounding world, before we become just another "Anytown USA."

Cary D. Ellis


Respect and gratitude

Dear Editor:

I have recently been compelled to attend local meetings including the town Master Plan, town council work sessions and town council meetings. I wanted to learn about the town and the issues it faces because I want to be involved and help contribute to the success of Pagosa Springs.

During my limited involvement, I've been pleasantly surprised by the care and concern of the community, the town administrators, the town council and the mayor. Truly, this town is blessed with people who love the town and give unrelenting energy and time to contribute!

Pagosa Springs is currently faced with major issues related to growth and planning. The amount of time the council and the mayor devote to the town as unpaid volunteers is staggering! I've sat through four-plus hour meetings and been overwhelmed with the amount of work these people, including the paid town administrators, are performing. I encourage every person in the community to attend some of the meetings and stay for the duration, walk in their shoes just for one full meeting. You will come away exhausted. These are difficult jobs and deserve respect for what they are doing.

Go to a meeting without an agenda to promote a cause, go with an open mind, an open heart and listen. If you do have an agenda you are promoting, still listen. Really, truly listen and try to hear the complexities of the issues being discussed.

I've heard people attend a meeting, drop instructions as to what the council should research and leave frustrated. Just take a minute to remember, these people have day jobs. They don't have spare time out of their tremendous meeting schedule to do research on your behalf. Take a minute and help provide clear, concise information. Volunteer to research more details. Present it in a non-conflict oriented manner. Help provide alternative solutions. It's too easy to throw mud rather than invest your time and energy.

I honestly believe everyone has the good of Pagosa at heart. When you are complaining, sneering or mocking those that are investing their best resource (time) for the betterment of the community, just stop and think: Is what you are doing in the best interest of the community? Is there perhaps a better way to contribute? Is there a way to build a bridge and help everyone feel respected and appreciated?

I'm proud to live in Pagosa, I'm proud to contribute and I'm proud of my mayor, council and administrators. I may not agree with every decision they make, however, I will respect their decisions and make sure I encourage them and support them for the effort they are making to contribute in a positive manner to Pagosa. Please join me by trying to show appreciation for what they do right, not just what you think they do wrong. Think how defeating it would be to just hear about everything you do that is wrong. They are human, they make mistakes. Let's show some support and gratitude and move together to a bright future of Pagosa!


Elaine Feeney


Not all alike

Dear Editor:

The display ad in our newspaper sometime past, superimposing Wal-Mart all across downtown and asking the question, "Is this what you want for your community?," leads me to say this: If you build it, they will come.

Downtown is not the location for Wal-Mart, that much is evident. It is not difficult for me to envision the revenue pouring into Wal-Mart. Pouring into any one of their stores. While I'm there lined up.

I happen to know that sheer numbers alone, into a business door, impact that business' revenue positively.

Do I want that for my community? You bet! Could my community use the revenue? You bet! Does an economical place to shop have the potential to turn an already negative into a positive? You bet! It could prove prudent to determine how to overcome the obstacle of increased prices, already inspired, by the previous mentality, and counter that by having an economical place to shop at, here at home.

I'm all for a positive, that behooves all community members and draws others in. I am less than enthusiastic about self-promoted greed tactics that behoove one party. Wal-Mart may provide additional work here. Workers, who may bring additional revenue here and a possible healthy draw of numbers form our surrounding areas such as Dulce, Chama, South Fork, any tourist traveling through, going through or visiting, and all of us. The current invasive mentality may drive those numbered and us away.

There are all types of us living here. We are not all alike, nor do we all think alike. I have heard, and read said: "I don't want Wal-Mart in my community." Well, I might. I represent input from a percentage of the populace in Pagosa Springs. A healthy community and its leaders embrace what will provide for the good of the whole community and all of its diversities.

Might we owe it to "ourselves" then, to provide for all in that entity, as part of a democratic society in a community setting?

We have all heard at one time or another, "We can't afford to shop here, we're going to Wal-Mart." We all appreciate fair value. The generation and dispersion of revenue for all and keeping that revenue in the community.

With a venue like Wal-Mart here, the revenue might stay local, circulate, and improve our community. We might save ourselves a trip, trip money, and we might shop locally. We may be experiencing times ahead of serious scrimping, saving or leaving because of a greater effort already in motion in our community, imposed upon us by wolves in sheep's clothing.

We have been given a course to run.

Lord, grant wisdom to find the best way. Endurance to face the trials of this life ... emerging a healthy, happy and prosperous community. Strength, hope and Wal-Mart, to help us carry on. Lord, Keep us from being the ones wolves pull down. Lord forgive us, what sheep we are. Taking the "lead" from a relative newcomer.

Carmen Ferguson


Ill-conceived policy

Dear Editor:

I applaud LeRoy Ellison's call for the Board of County Commissioners to rescind the resolution they adopted on January 17, 2006 to discontinue the maintenance of all secondary roads (Pagosa SUN, Letters to Editor "Debrucing for Roads," Aug. 3, 2006).

This ill-conceived policy was voted on in the dark of winter. The BoCC did not think it was necessary to mail out notification to all impacted property owners that their road maintenance was about to end. Their excuse is that there were plenty of town meetings. In a county where the majority of property owners live out of town, it is inconceivable that some sort of informational mailout was not done prior to the vote. What they have done is unethical. We should have been given the same consideration as those residents of Mill Creek Road (Ref. "Surveys mailed, options offered on Mill Creek Road problem," July 27, 2006 Pagosa SUN). The collective body of secondary road property owners could have come up with a better road maintenance policy than the BoCC.

Under the new road maintenance resolution there is built-in under-taxation of primary road property owners. All other county road property owners (except Pagosa Springs city) must pay an extra 10 mill levy as part of a metro district or a PID (Public Improvement District) for road maintenance. Meanwhile, property owners on primary roads get free road maintenance, compliments of the rest of us who pay the same Archuleta County mill levy they pay. This policy is just as inequitable as double taxation of metro districts. For a county that needs more tax revenue, why would they adopt a resolution like this?

Furthermore, this no-road-maintenance resolution decreases property values on non-maintained roads which will also decrease property tax revenues.

What were they thinking?

I am more than willing to pay an additional 10 mill levy for road maintenance and am currently working on forming/annexing onto a PID. I am meeting with my neighbors in an attempt to get this accomplished. I hope we can work together.

At the last board meeting I stated the above, and one of the commissioners wished me good luck on forming (annexing onto) a PID. Why should maintenance of a county road be based on luck? Luck that you live on a primary road, luck that you can get your neighbors to agree on a 10 mil levy? The no-secondary-road-maintenance resolution adopted by the commissioners has left our road maintenance to a matter of luck or no luck.

Citizens of Archuleta County, please call on the commissioners to rescind their January 17 resolution and replace it with a more equitable resolution or ballot proposition that requests a 10 mil levy for the maintenance of all county roads and providing exemptions for those who have their own metro districts or other road maintenance plans in place.

Commissioners, I ask you to address this issue in a manner that deems you worthy of your office. Do the right thing to make Archuleta County a viable place to live and not just visit.

Cynda Green


"Middle East" reply

Dear Editor:

Dave - Bush and the oil companies are not responsible for the high cost of fuel. You are! You and I and the thousands of Texans and Californians that drove 700-800 miles to get here this summer despite the cost. We outbid the rest of the world. The oil companies are simply at the right time with the right commodity.

Let's say you spot a house here in Pagosa that you want to buy. The asking price is $200,000. You offer $190K, but someone else finds out and offers $200K. You come back with $210K prompting more bidding but you finally get the house for $260K. Did the home owner gouge you? No, you gouged you. The home owner was simply at the right time with the right commodity.

Bush asked the oil companies to take some of this windfall and invest it in new refineries, to ease a part of the shortfall. It makes sense to me.

Dick Riethmiller


Dog problems

Dear Editor:

I understand there has been a problem with violent dogs. I too am afraid of dogs that are not with their owners. I have two dogs that are always with me and because my dog is larger (180 pounds) than most dogs, people and other dogs are intimidated by him. Even if people make aware their dog is very gentle, they are still afraid.

The problem also lies in the people that take walks in neighborhoods; my dogs are either in my house, in the garage, or on their leashes in the yard. People walk by my house daily and let their dogs roam in the bushes close to my house. When we walk out with our dogs on occasion to put them in the house or on their leash, the dogs sometimes spot these people and with excitement run up to say hello. Today a man continued to hit my big dog while I was trying to get him. He not once went after my little dog and when I restrained my dog the man continued to let his dog meander in the bushes close by. This same situation has happened a couple other times in the last three years and my complaint is that I am a nice person and I go up and take care of the situation right away and these people ignore me and do not try to help.

I think instead of hearing all the bad about animals we should also address the good and not make everyone afraid all the time. There are times to be scared of dogs especially when the dogs are not with someone. But my dogs are always with me and are very gentle. Diesel is a 180 pound lap dog and loves everyone.


Clancy Walter


Great concern

Dear Editor:

Council members and fellow Pagosans:

It is with great concern that I respectfully write this note to you regarding the consideration of allowing 180,000 square feet per building of "Big Box" development in our town.

Many thriving and successful communities have refused to allow this type of development. Do you realize that ALL of the commercial businesses in Pagosa would probably fit into a building the size that's being considered?

Have we considered the impact of one store, or of a number of these monster developments, on the economy, traffic, character, air quality, and the environment?

Do we realize that the Big Box Task Force, as well as other specialists in this field have recommended against this type of development and that it's detrimental to the town we all love and want to see thrive?

If Big Boxes are allowed into Pagosa, please consider the following criteria:

1. Start smaller. Limit the size to 50,000 square feet. That's still huge for Pagosa.

2. Require design review for all Big Boxes. We don't need to look like every other suburb in America where the WalMarts dominate the landscape.

3. We are setting a precedent. How many of these will we allow? One? Three? Five? At 180,000 square feet ... do we want three at 540,000 square feet in Pagosa? Then we're talking about the Town becoming secondary to the Big Boxes. Or will we allow only one? If so, which one?

4. If a Big Box is allowed, why not limit it to one that isn't within 100 miles of Pagosa? A Trader Joes, for example, would bring people to Pagosa to shop here; they would also go to the hot springs, eat at our restaurants, shop in our local stores, maybe even go to the movies or spend the night. A Trader Joes wouldn't compete with our smaller, local businesses, probably just with City Market.

5. Why not copy successful communities that don't allow Big Boxes? See what they're doing to thrive. We don't need to "reinvent the wheel."

6. And please, put this on the ballot. It affects the entire county. The town council should be considering the impact countywide and allowing all the citizens who live and work in Pagosa and Archuleta County to have a voice.

7. If it's not put to a vote of the citizenry, the town council needs to listen and respond to the people and the professional advisors on this issue. I trust that our elected officials will be wise, fair and sensitive decisionmakers. Our community is depending on them. What will be their legacy for Pagosa?

Susan Ward


   Community News

Boosters present 'Lily, the Felon's Daughter' this weekend

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa Springs encore presentation of Tom Taggart's hilarious melodrama, "Lily the Felon's Daughter," will play this weekend for three performances only at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium.

This tearjerker tells the sad but silly story of Lily Fairweather, pure as the driven snow; of Compton, her weak but handsome sweetheart; and how villain Craven Sinclair thwarts their plans for everlasting bliss. They are surrounded by a host of other sweet and dastardly characters.

Reprise rehearsals are underway, the set, scenery and props are back on stage, costumes have been dusted off and all are busy getting back into the mindset of the 1920s.

Director Scott Farnham, assisted by Michael DeWinter and Rick Artis, have been spending their evenings with the cast in preparation as the "Oleo" rises Friday evening. Reprising their roles are: Candy Flaming, Jeannie Dold, Lue Armbrecht, Betty Schwicker, Toni Tuller, Shawna Carosello, Rick Artis, Dale Schwicker, Sally Yates and Michael DeWinter. Dave Armbrecht will be stepping in for Don Ford as Jonas Fairweather. John Graves will be our melo accompanist once again, providing plenty of background music that hints at what underlies each character's personality and makeup.

"Lily" will be performed Aug. 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m., with an additional matinee Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. Reserved tickets are on sale at the Plaid Pony, or tickets can be purchased at the door.


Last chance to see 'Select Works,' show closes Aug. 12

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

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

The show will be on display through Saturday, Aug. 12.

Regular gallery hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. Chances are someone is at Shy Rabbit in the morning, too. Drop by for a cup of coffee with the Coffee's! Or feel free to call and see if anyone is working at the studio. You can also make an appointment to view the work in the gallery at your convenience.

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

Upcoming exhibits include: "Minds Material: Sensation, Cognition, and Knowledge," featuring the master works of three lifelong artists. "Minds Material" opens Aug. 26 and runs through Oct. 7. Shy Rabbit closes out 2006 with a juried show of contemporary art. Look for the call soon and information about the juror, who has curated over 400 shows during his illustrious career.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4, west of downtown, and just south of the Pagosa Lakes area. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Blvd., 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.


An Empty Bench,' theater and cabaret

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

John Graves has a play! "An Empty Bench" is a musical love story featuring six of Graves' original songs. The delightful one-act play and cabaret is coming to Stage Under The Stars in Pagosa at 7 p.m. Aug. 22 and 23.

Acting, singing, dancing, and an instrumental ensemble fill out a two-night run of "An Empty Bench" at a picturesque venue, nestled in a woodsy setting under a concert tent with stage and professional lighting.

Matthew and Tiffany Brunson, Larry Elginer, Sally Yates, June Marquez, Honor Nash-Putnam and Kimberly Judd are the actors, singers and dancers performing in "An Empty Bench" and in the cabaret that follows the play.

The play and cabaret also features The John Graves Trio, with D.C. Duncan on drums, Dan Fitzpatrick on bass and John Graves on piano.

"An Empty Bench" is Graves' first musical play. This will be the first time the play has been performed.

According to Graves, '"An Empty Bench' has a very positive message about people supporting each other and overcoming rather disastrous romantic beginnings. It has a joyous and uplifting ending."

Moving from a one-act musical play directly into to a cabaret variety show is a great way to keep that joy going.

As a man who has always exercised his creative impulses, John Graves has a fascinating life story whose chapters include being an executive in the film and television industries, university professor, pianist and cultural leader in Pagosa. Grave's new Web site - - is a wonderful romp through his memoirs, articles and photographs. "As a child," Graves writes in one of the articles on his site, "I was indelibly impressed by an article in the Reader's Digest entitled 'Obey That Impulse,' which illustrated how lives could be changed by acting upon that fleeting, improbable idea which our logical mind quickly suppresses."

Local productions aficionado, John Porter, is the director and producer of the show. Porter and Graves have collaborated on many theater and concert productions in Pagosa during the past 10 years.

Seating is limited. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Advanced purchase tickets are $15 and are available at WolfTracks and online at, until Aug. 18.

Tickets will be available at Stage Under the Stars before 7 p.m. on Aug. 22 and 23 for $20.

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.

This program is presented by Elation Center for the Arts, a nonprofit that provides performances and arts education in the Pagosa community. For more information call 731-3117.


Pagosan named La Plata County Fair photography judge

Pagosa Springs photographer Bruce Andersen has been named to judge the photography exhibit at this year's La Plata County Fair. Andersen is a prominent photographer in the Pagosa art scene as well as a photography instructor and working professional photographer. His work has appeared in books and magazines around the region and elsewhere and has been exhibited in a variety of gallery and exhibition venues.

Known for his photographic capture of nature, Andersen earned Best of Show honors at the Pagosa Springs Art Council photo contest upon arrival in Pagosa in 1999. Most recently, his photos have graced the pages of two new books about Chimney Rock Archeological Site as well as the cover of the 2006 Pagosa Springs Arts calendar.

Andersen's professional mantra "bringing people and nature a little closer together" guides everything he does. He strives to instill an appreciation for nature and the land through his imagery and through his workshops and instructional photo tours. Future projects include "Between a Rock and a Soft Place," a detail and patterns study of rock in the natural environment and symbolism and emotion they evoke, and "Thinking Outside the Frame," a creative exploration of photography beyond the boundaries of a matte or frame.

La Plata County Fair exhibits are open the public Aug. 10-13 at the fairgrounds located at 25th and Main in Durango.


A Summer Evening of American Folk Music

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Elation Center for the Arts presents A Summer Evening of American Folk Music, 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at The Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

From the banjos ringing across the Appalachian Mountains to the wail of the blues rolling down the Mississippi River, A Summer Evening of American Folk Music celebrates our unique cultural heritage.

Folk music reaches back to antiquity. Long before the advent of television, radio, and recording, music making and dancing emerged spontaneously from communities across the country. The beauty of folk music is its ability "to voice the particular quality of a land and the life of its people," as musicologist Alan Lomax once put it. Before commercialization and mass communication, folk music was the people's music, passed down through the generations.

A Summer Evening of American Folk Music features two musical couples from Pagosa: the Brunsons and the Roberts.

Through their theater and concert appearances, Matthew and Tiffany Brunson have taken a front-and-center position in the local performing arts scene. The Brunson's have a strong background as professional touring musicians. During the short time they're lived in Pagosa, they are already developing a reputation as being two of the finest vocalists in the Southwest.

Multi-instrumentalists Paul and Carla Roberts have lived in Pagosa for 10 years. They produce community concerts and teach music and dance classes through Elation Center for the Arts. The Roberts have been performing together for 34 years.

Besides the Brunsons and the Roberts, A Summer Evening of American Folk Music will include other exciting performers. Check out next week's PREVIEW and for updated information.

The program features several styles of American folk songs and folk dances. One of the oldest forms of traditional music in the United States, Appalachian music, will be among those represented. Appalachian music was developed from traditional Scottish, English and Irish music brought to the United States by immigrants.

The two instruments most closely associated with Appalachian music are the fiddle and the five-string banjo. The banjo was derived from African origins. One of the highlights of the concert will be an exciting percussive dance style known as "clogging," with the joyously bouncy sounds of the old-time banjo.

Come enjoy A Summer Evening of American Folk Music with the Brunsons, the Roberts and special guests.

Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for young people, 18 and under.

Tickets are available at WolfTracks Coffee House, online at and at the door.

Please bring a dessert to share at intermission if you wish.

Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse is located at 230 Port Ave. in the Vista subdivision of Pagosa Lakes. Take U.S. 160 to Vista Boulevard, turn north on Vista and left on Port.

A Summer Evening of American Folk Music is produced by Elation Center for the Arts, a local 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organization. For more information, or to volunteer, call 731-3117 and see on the Web.


'Mind's Material: Sensation, Cognition & Knowledge' coming to Shy Rabbit

By Denise Coffee

Special to The PREVIEW

Shy Rabbit, a contemporary art space and gallery, presents "Mind's Material: Sensation, Cognition & Knowledge," featuring the masterworks of Doug Pedersen, Kelsey Hauck and Karl Isberg. The exhibition runs from Aug. 26-Oct. 7, with an artist's reception 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26.

"Mind's Material" brings the work of Pedersen, Hauck and Isberg together for the first time since their fateful meeting in 1983. The human image is key to each artist's work, which ends any similarities that they might otherwise exhibit.

Pedersen's paintings are filled with heads: Heads that look like masks or ancient sculptures. Heads with mouths agape, or lips pursed. Heads with cratered eyes. Red faces on green backgrounds. Gobs of paint and layers of color masterfully applied to canvas, creating images of heads filled with expressions of the here and now.

Hauck's collage figures often incorporate fine Japanese papers that look as if they could be brush strokes of paint. Capturing movement, laughter, emotion and spirit in tiny pieces of paper all placed together to create an image that might be equally beautiful and disturbing.

Isberg paints abstracted heads and figures, using color and geometry to express desire and emotion. Some of his work is vibrant and colorful; other paintings are muted and subdued.

This work evokes passion and stirs emotion. It is art that expresses the human condition, with all its frailties and strengths. It is art that beckons a closer look, and that speaks in uniquely personal terms to each viewer who chances a better understanding.

Gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1-4 p.m., and 1-6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1 and B-4. For more information: log onto, call (970) 731-2766, or e-mail


Telluride gallery represents Pagosa artist Kathleen Steventon

Pagosa artist Kathleen Steventon has recently agreed to be represented by The Lucas Gallery in Telluride.

This is Steventon's first gallery representation. The artist's work focuses primarily on animals, and is done in the abstract expressionist style. The Lucas Gallery is a contemporary, abstract space situated in the heart of the resort town.

Recently, Steventon was an award winner in the All Colorado Show at the Curtis Arts and Humanities Center, and in 2006 has exhibited at several national juried shows throughout the United States. Steventon also had an informal exhibit of her work hanging in the Pagosa Springs Town Hall.

Inquiries about Steventon's work can be made through the Lucas Gallery, (970) 728-1345, or


Eddie from Ohio: Folk fest fan faves return to Reservoir Hill

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

Just a few more weeks until gates open on the 11th annual Four Corners Folk Festival taking place this Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 1-3, on Reservoir Hill Park in Pagosa Springs.

The three-day outdoor festival features nationally touring musicians Delbert McClinton; Dar Williams; Drew Emmitt; RobinElla; the Waybacks; Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem; Old School Freight Train; the Duhks; The Stringdusters; The Biscuit Burners; Brad Davis, John Moore and Company; Anne and Pete Sibley, the Hot Strings and Julie Lee with guest Sarah Siskind.

But it wouldn't be the Four Corners Folk Festival without our beloved band from Virginia - Eddie From Ohio. The foursome will bring their quirky and irreverent brand of music to the festival for the sixth year in 2006, much to the delight of regular festival-goers of all ages.

Trying to package Eddie From Ohio as if they were the "flava of the month" is like cramming your favorite entree into a Big Mac wrapper. The band is beloved for its spectacular harmonies, crisp instrumental performances, and songs that range from thoughtful to joyful, from the ridiculous to the sublime. The characters they create - the weary but tenacious Irishwoman on "Baltimore," the wife who has become a stranger to her husband on "Clear and Present Danger," the slimy nightclub owner in "Eddie's Concubine" - come alive in their live performances.

The band's been playing together since college and before (Mike Clem and Robbie Shaffer's friendship dates to fifth grade). EFO made a mark on the music scene even from their earliest gigs in the late '80s; their vocal blend, rhythmic vigor, and prolific, original material was unlike anything else on the market - sort of like Peter, Paul and Mary on high-octane French roast.

And, after reaching that crossroads that leads either toward music as a weekend hobby or a way of life, all four members convened one day at Chili's to pledge their full commitment. Playing mainly covers at first, they soon began to emphasize Michael's and Robbie's originals in their sets. New songs came thick and fast - songs about a funeral for someone nobody liked, about being devoured by a crocodile, bombs that explode too quickly, the weatherŠ no subject was too bizarre or mundane.

In '96, having caught media attention with their first three CDs, EFO began to expand their performance horizons. In late 1998 the Washington Area Music Association picked EFO as "Best Contemporary Folk Group." They've shared stages with Roger McGuinn, Arlo Guthrie, Roseanne Cash, and other headliners at major folk festivals. Eddie from Ohio will perform on the main stage at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3, just before headliner Delbert McClinton.

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.


Call for Entries: 'Forms, Figures, Symbols'

By Denise Coffee

Special to The PREVIEW

Shy Rabbit, a Contemporary Art Space and Gallery, announces a call for entries for "Forms, Figures, Symbols," a juried exhibition of contemporary works, Oct. 21-Nov. 28.

Opening reception for artists is 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21.

Digital and slide submissions are due by 5 p.m. Sept. 19. Notifications will be e-mailed Sept. 25. Gallery-ready artwork must be received by Oct. 14. Nonrefundable entry fees are $25 for 1-3 images, plus $5 for each additional image, up to a maximum of 6. Slide entries must be accompanied by an additional $5 per slidescanning fee. All works must be for sale. Gallery will retain a 40-percent commission on all sold work.

Entry forms

Download at:

E-mail request:

Pick up: Shy Rabbit, 333 Bastille Drive, B-1 and B-4, Pagosa Springs, CO. (970) 731-2766.


Juror Gerry Riggs served as director/curator of the Gallery of Contemporary Art, assistant professor, at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for 14-1/2 years. Riggs also served as the curator of fine art/exhibition coordinator at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, and director/curator for the C.B. Goddard Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Ardmore, Okla.

Riggs' professional accomplishments include the installation design for over 400 exhibitions. He is credited for transforming the gallery at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs into one of the region's most important art spaces, and the only one dedicated to contemporary art, whether regional or from halfway around the world. He is a member of the American Association of Museums, and the AAM Museum Advocacy Team. One of Riggs' long-term projects is the Heller Ranch Center for Arts and Humanities on the UCCS campus, which when completed, will provide high-quality classroom, gallery and studio space for local and visiting artists. Riggs is an accomplished photographer, session drummer and avid skier.

Judging/selection criteria

"Shy Rabbit has wisely chosen the broad themes of "Form, Figures, Symbols" to maximize the range of contemporary expression that may be submitted. Most artists will likely find some affinity with the show's title and their existing work.

'Form' allows for abstraction and even work based on amorphic or undefined shapes and/or coloration, as well as realistically rendered, nonfigurative works.

'Figures' implies tangible, but not necessarily realistically rendered life based subject matter; figure studies, etc.

'Symbols' allows for iconographic, even Jungian 'dream-based imagery' to be submitted; this could include imagery incorporating virtually any known symbol, logo, or other highly-charged 'representative' cultural or socially based interpretations.

Given these broad themes, I will select those submissions that I feel are the most: compelling, interesting and/or well executed; appropriately and/or professionally presented; original in style, and/or contemporary/timely in feel or tone. I will also be looking for enough work in 2 and 3 dimensional mediums to allow for an interesting, varied and balanced installation, in keeping with the high level and broad range of contemporary work that Shy Rabbit has presented in the past."

- Gerry Riggs

For additional information, e-mail:, or call (970) 731-2766.


Writers gather at Shy Rabbit

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information: log onto or call (970) 731-2766.


Music in the Mountains awards scholarship to local student

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Bethany Wanket, 14, daughter of Craig and Brenda Wanket, recently returned from a week-long workshop at the Conservatory Music in the Mountains Suzuki Institute for promising young violinists at Fort Lewis College, thanks to a scholarship from Music in the Mountains.

Bethany was recommended for this award by Kate Kelley, her music instructor in Pagosa Springs and herself a previous Music in the Mountains scholarship winner.

Kelley called Bethany "a young violinist well worth the investment." She went on, "Bethany is a dedicated and hard-working student who takes her violin playing very seriously." Bethany has played the violin for a little more than four years. She also plays the piano, is active in 4-H and loves to snowboard. She is home schooled and will enter ninth grade in the fall.

Bethany was one of 15 students ranging in age from seven to 14 in her Conservatory course. "It was fun playing with other people in the group," she said.

Music in the Mountains is best known for its summer classical music concerts. But the festival's leaders also consider youth programs a vital component of their mission.

Each summer Music in the Mountains hosts a major benefit event to raise money for its many youth programs in Pagosa Springs. This year's benefit was a gala Broadway concert on July 8 featuring soprano Lisa Vroman, best known for her starring role as Christine in "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway and with the cast that had a record-setting run in San Francisco.

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

Events like these can seem more like fun than learning. But Jan Clinkenbeard, chair of the Pagosa Springs Music in the Mountains, points out that there are additional serious benefits to Music in the Mountain activities for Pagosa's school children.

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


Goldsworthy documentary shows tonight

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Shy Rabbit, a contemporary art space and gallery, will show the documentary film about British environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy, "Rivers and Tides," by filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer, tonight at 6:30 p.m.

This beautiful, award-winning film is not to be missed.

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

Shy Rabbit gallery will remain open from 4-6:30 p.m. tonight 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, tonight, 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, and just south of the Pagosa Lakes area. 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.


Oteka Theater: A Pagosa must-see

By Buz Gillentine

Special to The PREVIEW

What is Stage Under the Stars?

What is Oteka Theatre Productions?

If you don't know, you're missing a special opportunity.

Stage Under the Stars is a new venue graciously provided by Mike and Susan Neder at 3700 Piedra Road. Oteka Theatre Productions is Oteka Bernard and a cast of family and friends. Bernard is directing two productions at Stage Under the Stars.

"The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe" is the latest, a one-person play, being performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights for the next two weeks. The production stars Cynthia (Cindy) Neder, a recent graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, where she now makes her home.

It is always such a pleasure to see a young high school graduate leave home, follow their dream and start honing their skills at their chosen craft. Let me tell you, Cynthia (I'll use her stage name) has honed and honed. One could tell she had talent, but to see the end product of two years of experience is a true delight no one in Pagosa Springs should miss.

I had only seen excerpts of the original "Search," but Neder's performance rivals the original. In my opinion, Neder brings more energy to the role than did the famous Lily Tomlin. For those of you who missed the original play, "Search" was written by Jane Wagner for Lily Tomlin.

Neder plays 12 diverse characters for over two hours. (Talk about multiple personalities). As one those of us who forget to drop the trash off from the garage to the bottom of the driveway, I, for one, am in complete awe.

"Search" is an adult comedy, which will leave you laughing and digesting dialogue for months to come. The lead character, Trudy, is a bag lady from New York City. If you want to see a 20-year-old play a credible bag lady, it's a must. Neder describes Trudy as, a wise, spiritual guide, somewhat like an angel, who is here to teach us. With comments like, "Infinity is time on an ego trip" and "Reality is nothing but a collective hunch," I can see what she means.

For those of us who grew up and lived through the past five decades, the language and humor are familiar. Neder stated that she had to spend the first two weeks studying the script with reference books to figure out what was going on. Well, she sure got it.

If you don't take the opportunity to come see this outstanding production, I can only say I'm sorry. It's a must for everyone who has seen Cynthia (Cindy) in any of her many Pagosa performances.


Danae Holloman wins KWUF Colgate Country Showdown

By Will Spears

Special to The PREVIEW

The 25th Colgate Country Showdown local competition concluded Aug. 4, with Danae Holloman of Pagosa Springs named the local winner.

The local portion of America's largest country music talent search and radio promotion was held at the Archuleta County Fair. This win marks completion of the first step in the prestigious national contest.

Danae's combination of musical talent, stage presence, charisma, musicianship and originality caught the attention of the judges including Sue Anderson, Jeff Deitch, Alicia O'Brian and Carol Turner. The Colgate Country Showdown also featured Jennifer Gleason of Cortez and Mallorie Godbold of Durango.

Danae will advance to the state final of the Colgate Country Showdown Aug. 26 at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, vying for $1,000 and the opportunity to perform at one of five regional competitions in the fall. Regional winners receive an all-expense paid trip to the National Final, exuding talent and energy in their performances and winning the $100,000 Grand Prize and National Title.

Now in its 25th year, the Colgate Country Showdown finds the most promising country music talent in America, giving these performers a chance to launch a professional career. Nearly $300,000 in cash and prizes is awarded to the thousands of aspiring artists who compete each year. Nationwide, 2 million fans will experience the Colgate Country Showdown via hundreds of live shows and nationally syndicated television and radio broadcasts.


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.


Unitarian Universalist meditation service Sunday

The Meditation Service for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Sunday, Aug. 13, will focus on developing a deeper perception of the breath.

Leader April Merrilee says, "We will investigate the meaning of the 'essential breath' and participate in meditative techniques which enhance awareness of the breathing process."

This session will include simple practices which illuminate the relationship between movement, the breath and the mind. Merrilee extends an invitation to "Come experience your own breath as a powerful tool to connect body, mind, and spirit in the present moment."

The service begins at 10:30 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.


Humane society plans Auction for the Animals

By Robbie Schwartz

Special to The PREVIEW

It's August and everyone is already marking the calendar for the 12th annual Humane Society of Pagosa Springs Auction for the Animals.

As you know, Pagosa offers many festivities throughout the summer months, and this is one you don't want to miss. This annual fund-raising event is one of the highlights of the summer season. The auction will be held at the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Friday, Aug. 25,, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. This is the most important fund-raiser of the year for your humane society, which benefits the homeless dogs and cats of Archuleta County.

We have already received many wonderful auction donations, so there is something for everyone.

Perhaps you're a sports buff. How about a signed baseball from Hank Aaron, who was just 20 years old when he broke into the big leagues in 1954 playing for the Milwaukee Braves?

How about something for your father-in-law who plays golf seven days a week? Well, we have the perfect item for you. Place a bid on a pair of Rockport golf shoes signed and worn by Jack Nicklaus.

Perhaps you're not the outdoor type, but you enjoy curling up with a good book. Then, you're in luck. We have many autographed books, including "The Soul's Religion" by Thomas Moore, "Honeymoon" by James Patterson, and "Blow Out" by Catherine Coulter. We also have a very special donation of a signed and collectible limited edition of "Velocity" by Dean Koontz, plus two other autographed books by Koontz - "By the Light of the Moon" and "Life Expectancy." His books always become part of a bidding war, due to the personal inscriptions that he writes in each book. This is just a small sample of the many items that have been donated to the upcoming auction.

Advance tickets for this festive affair are available at WolfTracks the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books and our Humane Society Thrift Store, until noon Aug. 25, after which tickets will be available at the door.

Ticket prices for this extravaganza are $25 in advance or $30 at the door, which includes wine and beer, and a commemorative wine glass or beer stein. Tickets without wine and beer are $17 in advance or $20 at the door. In addition, an array of gourmet hors d'oeuvres will be served throughout the silent auction followed by delectable, delightful desserts. Ladies, this is your chance to dress up and to get your date out of those jeans and T-shirt.

This yearly fund-raising event would not be a success without the support of all the local business and financial donations. Custom jewelry, fine art and gift certificates to some local retail businesses and your favorite local restaurants are coming in daily. We want to thank all of you for your support.

To offer your donation, contact the Humane Society Administration Office located above the Humane Society Thrift Store, or call at 264-5549. Bring your donated item in by Aug. 10 in order to have your name listed in auction main program.

For more information, call the Humane Society at 264-5549. You don't want to miss the Auction for the Animals - its the event of the year!


Local Chatter

Annual Friends book sale in September

By Kate Terry

The book sale is on!

Good news from Cynthia Mitchell, president of the Friends of the Library, and Jackie Welch, acting director of the Sisson Library, that the annual meeting and book sale will be held at the Extension Building on Sept. 8 and 9.

Mark your calendars for this fun event. Jackie would appreciate all donations be brought to the library as soon as possible.

The Friends pre-book sale and meeting is Friday night. Membership is $5 for an individual, $10 for a family, and $100 for lifetime. The proceeds go to purchasing new materials for the library. The public sale is Saturday morning.

The Friends of the Library organization was formed in 1983 as an offshoot of the Civic Club to raise funds in support of library activities. In the past 23 years, the Friends helped fund the original Sisson Library, and the recent addition. The members also volunteer many hours to help the staff. You are invited to join the Friends and attend this year's annual meeting.

Wait until you see the lovely new floor 4-H had installed at the Extension Building. It transformed the Exhibit Hall into a warm, inviting area.

Jazz in the parking lot

More good news.

On Aug. 31 John Graves will give a brief lecture on the history of jazz in the Library Turner Reading Room from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. His lecture will be followed by a concert in the library parking lot from 7:30 to 8:30.

You are invited to bring outside chairs to comfortably enjoy John's music performance. Some have asked if they could bring a picnic. That would be fine, but please remember, no alcohol is permitted on public grounds.

County fair

We can always count on rain at fair time.

This year was no different, but the moisture and mud was welcome and didn't stop the activities.

Hats off to the volunteers who work so hard to put on this event. It is a joy to see the arts and crafts made by so many talented county residents.


Community Center News

Active schedule at community center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Tonight, the Chimney Rock volunteers meet at the center for a potluck at 6 p.m. This event is open to anyone who is interested in attending. 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."


The Archuleta Economic Development Association's director, Bart Mitchell, will hold a NxLevel reception for the 12-week class which met at the community center at the beginning of 2006.

The purpose of the class was to learn how to write and implement a business plan. The celebration will be held 6-8 p.m. tomorrow, Aug. 11, here at the center.

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-sponsored program, is free to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Thanks to Diana Baird for leading this group.

Line Dancing

No previous knowledge is necessary but you must be under 100 years old, ambulatory, and have a good sense of humor.

Gerry Potticary, Peggy Carrai, and Elaine Lundergan promise to have lots of laughs, a decent sense of rhythm, and some simple steps to good music. This group offers an aerobic workout too, and aims to please everyone.

Come try this fun, free program offered at the community center. For more information call the center at 264-4152 or call Gerry at 731-9734.

Weight Watchers

WW meets at the center 5-6 p.m. Wednesdays. 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 with cookbooks, encouragement, and many options for meeting your weight-loss goals.

Self-Help for Health

Medora Bass' class, which teaches people how to help themselves to better health, has started and if you are interested in the details of how this program works, call the center at 264-4152 or stop by for a handout which will explain the process.

This series of classes started 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.

Managing diabetes

At the last meeting, 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 truly 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. The next meeting time is 5:30 p.m. Aug. 31.

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 from 10 a.m. until noon in the community center's computer lab.

If you think you have signed up for one of these classes and have not yet received a call from me, call the center at 264-4152 to confirm your reservation.

A clarification is in order for the computer lab's hours. The general rule is that the lab is open whenever the community center is open. The exception to that is when the lab is closed to the public during computer class times (10 a.m.-noon) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Musetta Wollenweber of the Silver Foxes Den has offered her computers for our regular lab users during the Wednesday class, since that class serves our senior population. On Thursday afternoon, we continue to offer our regular Computer Q&A sessions from 1-4 p.m. During this time, the lab remains open for all regular users. These sessions are an opportunity to ask for whatever type of hardware or software help you might need. If I'm not able to solve your problem, I have contact information for others in Pagosa whom you can call.

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

Center hours

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

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; legal depositions, 9-10 a.m.; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Chimney Rock potluck, 6:00-8 p.m.

Aug. 11 - 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.; Archuleta County Economic Development Association, 6-8 p.m.

Aug. 12 - Pinon HOA meeting, 10 a.m.-noon; sewing class, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Wildflower POA meeting, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Aug 13 - 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 14 - 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.; Loma Linda Home owners meeting, 7-9 p.m.

Aug. 15 - 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.

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

The latest guidelines for good health

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

As we were growing up, our families taught us what foods to eat and those to avoid.

But, can we still use that wisdom when most foods are processed and preserved so they can travel over many miles and sit on supermarket shelves until we're ready to purchase them?

Health professionals' continually look to science to help us determine what we should eat to maintain out health. Through science, we now better understand how important the right combination of foods is for human health. The best guidance currently available is the new United States Dietary Guidelines which outline the basis of a healthy diet. These guidelines include:

- Variety: Eat a good variety of foods from each of the basic food groups while staying within your energy (calorie) needs.

- Activity: Be physically active everyday.

- Good proportions: Choose fats and carbohydrates wisely. Increase the daily about of fruits and vegetables, wholegrain foods and non-fat milk products in your diet.

- Moderation: Control the number of calories you eat to manage your body weight. If you drink alcoholic beverages or salt your food, do so in moderation.

- Gradual Improvement: Take small steps each day to improve your diet and lifestyle.

- Personalization: From among your favorite foods, choose to eat regularly the ones which are nutrient-dense.

- Food safety: Keep your food sage through proper cooking, cleaning, chilling and separation.

Beyond these general rules, to help you tailor your individual dietary needs, the USDA has redesigned the Food Guide Pyramid. Released early in 2005, MyPyramid is an interactive computer program that gives individual dietary guidance based on personal data. After you enter your age, sex and activity level, the MyPyramid computer program will tell you how many calories you need to maintain your optimal weight. The program also tells you the number of servings you need from each food group and provides information on individual serving sizes. With the dietary record portion of the program, you can record your good choices to get a better idea of what foods you can use to make your diet more healthful.

The MyPyramid is designed to show us how to meet our nutrient needs through selecting the right amounts from each food group. There are now six food groups: grain foods; fruits; vegetables; milk and milk products; meats and meat alternates; and oils. Each group includes nutrient-dense foods that are packed with nutrients compared to the calories they provide, but also includes less nutritious foods that contain fewer nutrients and/or more calories.

To find out what's just right for you, visit www. and enter your own age, sex and activity level. In a jiffy, you'll have a computer printout that clearly shows you just how much you should eat from each Pyramid good group each day.

Good for body and mind

Yoga classes are back and with a new instructor.

Diana Baird, will be teaching yoga classes every Tuesday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the South Conference Room in the community center. The older we get, the more important it becomes to stretch on a regular basis. Yoga is one of the best ways to stretch, relax and build strength. Bring a yoga mat, a towel or a blanket, a water bottle and wear comfortable clothing for class. Mark your calendars and join these classes free of charge at The Den to experience a healthier mind and body.

Sky Ute Casino

Step into the action and play to have fun during our monthly trip to Sky Ute Casino Tuesday, Aug. 15. Free transportation (with limited seating) provided by Sky Ute leaves The Den at 1 p.m. returning approximately 6 p.m. A $5 coupon to play the slots also provided by the casino makes it a hard bargain to pass up.

Visually Impaired Persons support group

The monthly meeting for folks with low vision, and their supporters, will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16. Susan Kimbler from the Southwest Center for Independence leads this informative and helpful support group. For more information, call 259-1672.

Physical therapy, pain management

Physical therapist, Nathan Trout will offer a presentation on "Physical Therapy and Pain Management" at The Den, 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16. Join us to learn what you can do to help ease the pain.

Health screening in Arboles

The San Juan Basin Health Department is hosting a Blood Draw Clinic in Arboles at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, at the meal site in the Catholic Church.

The blood health screening will be for cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, Body Mass Index, pulseoximetry and spirometer. Participants are asked to fast at least 12 hours for accurate results. A $15 donation is suggested. If you have any questions, call Laurie Echavarria at the San Juan Basin Health Department at 264-2409, Ext 0.

Birthday celebration

If you are age 60 or older and your birthday is in Aug. , come to Town Park Friday, Aug. 25, for lunch in the park and celebrate your birthday. Seniors, Inc. has graciously agreed to pay for a portion of your birthday meal, so it will only cost $1 for a great picnic lunch and lots of fun! Remember to let us know it is your birthday when you check in at the desk.

Free monthly movie

Our free monthly movie at The Den Friday, Aug. 18, is "Monster-in-Law," rated PG-13. Gorgeous Charlotte Cantilini (Jennifer Lopez) has finally met "Mr. Right," Dr. Kevin Fields. There's just one problem that stands in the way of everlasting bliss: Kevin's overbearing and controlling mother, Viola (Jane Fonda). Fearing she will lose her son's affections forever, Viola decides to break up the happy couple by becoming the world's worst mother-in-law. Join us in the lounge for free popcorn and this hilarious romantic comedy.

Day hike with llama and lunch

Join The Den and the San Juan Mountains Association Sunday, Aug. 20, for a beautiful full-day hike at the Durango Mountain Resort, with a llama.

We will ride the chairlift up the mountain and enjoy a moderate hike of approximately five to six miles, then enjoy the relaxation of riding the chairlift back down to the bottom. The llama will carry the wine, cheese and a delicious lunch for a mid-day picnic at a scenic overlook.

We will meet at the ticket office at the Durango Mountain Resort at 9:30 a.m. and complete our day at 4 p.m. The price for this incredible adventure is only $25 per person or $45 per couple, including the chairlift ride, wine, cheese and lunch. You will need to bring water, wear layers for the changing weather, comfortable hiking boots, a hat and sunscreen. Reservations need to be made with The Den office by Wednesday, Aug. 16. Don't miss out on the fun, the breathtaking views and the experience of hiking in the San Juan Mountains (with a llama!).

Country Western good time

The Den had a big celebration Aug. 4.

It was Country Western Day. We celebrated Dorothy Million's 92nd birthday, John Graves played the piano with Hoppy Hopson leading the singing and, to top it off, we had an ice cream social.

There were 78 people who joined in for the fun. Congratulations to Chuck and Kathy Jordan who took home first place, (two free tickets to Music in the Mountains), for being voted the "Roy Rogers and Dale Evans" lookalikes. Second prize went to Bruce Muirhead who had a snazzy western coat, cowboy hat, boots and a toy pistol to make his costume a hit.

We also had a blast celebrating our lovely Dorothy's birthday with songs and a cake. Thank you to everyone who participated. The fun never stops at The Den.

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 are only limited supplies of these at these great prices, so don't delay.

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 and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9-11. 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 eye glasses, 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.

Senior of the Week

We would like to congratulate Lee Schmeltz as Senior of the Week. She will enjoy free lunches all week. We would also like to congratulate Rollie Campbell in Arboles. He will enjoy free lunches at Arboles Meal Day for the month of Aug. .

Carolee Blevins

In memory of our dear friend Carolee Blevins, we would like to thank the following people who made a donation (per the request of Carolee's family) to the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center: Jack Sherwood, Bill Riggs, Don and Linda Langenhorst, Midge Rapp, Stan and Lorrie Church, Carol Frakes, John and Marilyn McCann, Melissa and Mike McDonald, Jackie Schick, Mr. and Mrs. Dick Fyock, and James and Shannon McCumber.

Some of the donated funds be used to purchase the brightest colored card tables we can find. Thank you all so much for your thoughtfulness. We miss Carolee and carry her with us in our hearts.

Volunteers needed

Are you looking for a way to volunteer some time to your community and make an immediate impact on someone's life? The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center has an opportunity for you to make new friends while you donate one lunch hour per week to the home delivery meal program for our senior citizens. Applicants must provide their own vehicle and a background check will be completed on all applicants. Adopt a home delivery route today and brighten the lives of a few senior citizens. For more information, contact Musetta at 264-2167.

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center also has an opportunity for you to make an immediate impact on someone's life and volunteer as a driver for medical shuttles to Durango, helping those with medical appointments who are unable to drive themselves. A county vehicle and the fuel are provided for the shuttle. Volunteers must have good people skills and be safe drivers. Applications are currently being accepted in The Den office. (A background check will be completed on all candidates.) For more information, contact Musetta. Please make a difference, and volunteer!

Computer classes

A new Beginning Computing for Seniors class will start Aug. 23. The class meets 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. We'll learn what to do with all those strange keys and suggest some online typing practice programs, if you want to really learn how to type well. Call Becky at 264-4152 for more information.

Activities at a glance

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.

Monday, Aug. 14 - Susan Stoffer available, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; and Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

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

Wednesday, Aug. 16 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; Visually Impaired Persons (VIPS) support group, 11 a.m.; "Pain Management" with Nathan Trout.

Thursday, Aug. 17 - Health screening and blood draw in Arboles, 10 a.m.; lunch served in Arboles with $1 birthday lunch celebrations (reservations required), noon; The Den is closed.

Friday, Aug. 18 - Gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.; free movie, "Monster-in Law," with popcorn in the lounge, 12:45 p.m.


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

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

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

Monday, Aug. 14 - Spaghetti with meatballs, green beans, Mandarin oranges, and garlic roll.

Tuesday, Aug. 15 - Sloppy Joe on bun, scalloped potatoes, broccoli and carrots, and spiced applesauce.

Wednesday, Aug. 16 - Crunchy baked fish, whipped potatoes, mixed vegetables, pineapple tidbits, and whole wheat bread.

Thursday, Aug. 17 - Lunch served in Arboles with $1 birthday lunch celebrations. (Reservations required.) Roast chicken, scalloped potatoes, Harvard beets, cinnamon apple sauce, whole wheat roll, and birthday cake.

Friday, Aug. 18 - Chicken a la king, whipped potatoes, apricot halves, orange wedges, and biscuit.


Veteran's Corner

County to help veterans with advance of funds

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners has agreed to advance money for veterans' VA health care transportation programs through the Colorado Veterans Trust Fund Grant recently awarded to the local American Legion Post 108.

Strong county support

Archuleta County again shows its strong support for our local veterans by taking this step to speed up the processes of acquiring funds granted by the VTF that are often delayed because of the reports and authorizations process.

This means the money will be available to our veterans on a much more timely basis, to pay for a much-needed replacement transportation vehicle and to help defray VAHC fuel expenses and cost of overnight accommodations during trips to Albuquerque VA Medical Center.

The money will be fully repaid to Archuleta County by the VTF through the American Legion, so there is no cost to the county. Archuleta County officials continue to show leadership and vision in the role a small rural county can play in working with veterans' organizations and county veterans' services to provide outstanding service to our veterans.

New transport vehicle

Archuleta County will purchase a new veteran transportation vehicle through its fleet purchase program, thereby saving several thousands of dollars that would otherwise be spent if the American legion bought the vehicle itself. The savings will be added to the money available for the fuel and accommodations reimbursement to veterans traveling to Albuquerque, Farmington, Durango and Grand Junction VA health care facilities.

Reimbursement funds

The American Legion VTF Grant is for $32,710. Approximately $22,710 has been earmarked for the purchase of a new, suitable 2007 model vehicle to replace the 2003 Ford Taurus now in use. The Ford Taurus will be traded in on the new vehicle. The balance of the grant money, approximately $10,000, will then be used to reimburse veterans traveling to VAHC facilities. The Ford was the first vehicle purchased through a VTF Grant. A 2005 Chevy Trail Blazer, also used by our veterans, was also purchased through a VTF Grant.

A total of nearly $100,000 has been awarded by the VTF to Archuleta County veterans organizations since 2002 for the VAHC transportation program and assistance to local veterans to travel to the WW II Memorial in Washington DC two years ago.

Apply at VSO

Local veterans may apply to the Archuleta County Veteran Service Office for reimbursement of their fuel and accommodations expenses. Veterans are urged to retain their fuel and accommodation receipts, and proof of VAHC appointment, for retroactive reimbursement. Veterans will be reimbursed expenses whether they use their own vehicle or the veterans' transportation vehicle. It is expected there will be adequate funds for this program through June 30, 2007.


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.

The Archuleta County Veterans Service Office will be closed for vacation through tomorrow, Aug. 11. Anyone needing to schedule one of the VSO transportation vehicles can call Sherrie Vick at Archuleta County Building and Planning, 731-3877. Please hold all other veteran matters for my return.

Further information

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


Library News

Library seeks your input via short survey

By Carole Howard

SUN Columnist, and the library staff

If you didn't fill out the short survey at the library's county fair booth last weekend, we hope you will come by the library to do so during August. We are very interested in knowing what you would like the library to provide if funding were available.

One of the questions we're asking 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? Also, computers available for public access are important to many people's use of the library. Do we need more? What online data bases do you prefer?

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?

We promise that the survey is short and easy to fill in, so you won't need to worry about taking too much time to answer the questions.

Local donations

Speaking of new books and materials, we could not serve you anywhere nearly as well were it not for your generous donations. Thanks this week go to Jerome Baier, Larry Blue, Brock Gorman, Cliff Lieherland and Diane Sutherland. We also want to express deep gratitude for monetary donations from the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation and from part-time residents Sheila Rogers and her recently deceased husband Bealer of San Antonio.

Also, the library is the proud new owner of a huge 20-year-old jade plant donated by Burt and Anlaug Adams. Special thanks to Burt, Jan Jorgensen and David Bright for providing the muscle to move this beautiful plant into its new home in the northeast corner of the Turner Reading Room.

Save the date for jazz

Mark your calendars for the evening of Thursday, Aug. 31, when John Graves will entertain at a free jazz event. He will present a lecture in the library Great Room followed by a concert in the parking lot. Watch for details in future columns.

Prizes, free books for children

Summer Reading Program participants who fulfilled their contracts celebrated at an "end of program" party in South Park. They were treated to wild animal cupcakes, ice cream, balloon animals, visits from some local critters - plus a prize packet. Each child also earned one or more free books, depending on the level of participation. Children's librarian Barb Draper asks that if you completed the reading contract and turned in a reading log but have not yet received your prize, please come to the library as soon as possible to receive the goodies you earned.

New Chimney Rock book

A wonderful new book called "Visions of Chimney Rock: A Photographic Interpretation of the Place and its People," has been published by the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association and is available at the library. Edited by Helen Richardson, an active volunteer at both the library and Chimney Rock, the 124-page book contains excellent photos and an interesting narrative about this site of significant local history. The work of many local writers and photographers is included in this important work.

More new books

With mysteries being so popular among our patrons, you won't be surprised to learn we have some new ones for you. "Ark Angel," the latest in the bestselling Alex Rider adventures, is said to be packed with some of the most riveting scenes of the entire series. John Sanford's new "Dead Watch" is an exciting thriller that shows why this author is such a bestseller. Also on the adventure front, master storyteller Tim Parks, who has been called "the best British author working today," brings us a novel called "Rapids" about a kayaking adventure in the Italian Alps.

If you who enjoy love stories in an historic context, try Marek Halter's "Lilah," set in the magnificent culture of the Middle East more than four thousand years ago.

In the political arena, try "Armed Madhouse" by Greg Palast, said to be the top investigative journalist in America - and the funniest - or "The Good Fight" by Peter Beinart, called "an eloquent call to arms for liberals" and "an intellectual lifeline for a Democratic Party lying flat on its back." For a look at win-win solutions to growth and development, read "This Land: The Battle over Sprawl and the Future of America," by Boston Globe reporter Anthony Flint. And for some understanding of the difference between our perceptions of ourselves and how our country is seen by others, read "Why Do People Hate America?," by Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies.


Pagosa Reads

Relive local railroad history

By David Swindells

Special to The PREVIEW

You need not be a railroad buff to enjoy the compilation of original historic photographs that makes up "D&RGW: Durango to Alamosa and Salida," by Richard L. Dorman and Bob Hayden.

It covers the main lines of the Denver and Rio Grande Western roughly between Alamosa and Salida, Colo. Even though these railroad lines are, for the most part, 3-foot, also known as narrow gauge tracks, they were truly serious railroads, handling revenue freight of many types. The locomotives and cars used were proportionately smaller than standard gauge cars riding on 4-foot, 8 1/2-inch wide tracks.

The main line, known as the San Juan Extension, was completed in 1881 to Durango to supply the town and the mines in the area. A line to Silverton soon followed, and Otto Mears added the Rio Grande Southern in 1890. The last line - to Farmington, N.M. - was completed in 1905 to supply the new oil and gas fields in the area.

When oil was discovered near the main line serving Chromo, Colo., tank cars were loaded at Chama, N.M., for transport to a refinery in Alamosa. The Chama facility, originally a division point on the railroad, is now the headquarters of the Cumbres and Toltec scenic railroad. Today, visitors can see examples of narrow gauge rolling stock and locomotives at either Chama, or Antonito, Colo.

Part of the charm of this book is the historic photos of the old buildings and the local characters hanging around the depot. An especially interesting site is Gato (now known as Pagosa Junction) where the Pagosa branch takes off from the main line. The old store from Gato was moved to the Harman museum in Pagosa and preserved by Fred Harman and his gang.

Monero, further down the line from Gato, once served nearby coal mines. Although Monero Canyon is quite a scenic spot from the highway, it was not included in the photos.

The original station at Chama is well documented in several pages of historic photos, including a sheep dip operation there, the old depot (still in use), and the original Chama Hotel, formerly located near the water tank but now gone. There are also photos of tank cars being loaded. Although the line west of Chama was abandoned in 1967, some of the stock pens at Chama remain and have been restored.

Continuing eastward, there is a splendid photo of a train on the Lobato trestle. Windy Point is shown with the former snow sheds at Coxo. At Cumbres, the summit of the grade, many of the old buildings remain, but not the covered turntable depicted in the book.

The original buildings at Osier are displayed. There is a splendid old photo of the Rock Tunnel and a great painting by John Coker of a more modern train exiting the tunnel.

There are photos of the original buildings at Toltec as well as of recovery operations from the famous train wreck there.

Continuing on, there is a photo of the lava rock-constructed station at Antonito, now in dilapidated condition and unused. Long vanished coal and water facilities also are depicted in the book.

In time, Alamosa became the largest facility on the line, with a yard and extensive repair shops. A standard gauge line served Alamosa from the east and much of the yard had three-rail tracks to accommodate both standard and narrow-gauge equipment. The large depot there is still standing but is no longer used by the railroad. There are many pages of photos of the Alamosa facilities including inside the shops and roundhouse.

There are a few shots at points on the Valley line to Salida from Alamosa. The round house at Salida burned in 1892, shown in a photo taken after the fire. These facilities featured three-rail tracks and were largely abandoned before service ceased at Alamosa.

Railroading in winter was really difficult in the early days. The book does an excellent job of depicting those hazards with a section of photos of extreme snow conditions and wrecks on the snow. It probably was with a sigh of relief that the narrow-gauge lines were finally abandoned but, thankfully, many historic photos remain.

In addition to photos, the book contains numerous maps and diagrams obtained from railroad sources. These add a lot to the understanding of the railroad, helping to locate sites that today are open fields of cinders and weeds.

This second volume from the authors follows an earlier paperback book covering the lines of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad. Among Dorman's other books, readers of "D&RGW" might enjoy "Durango: Always a Railroad Town" and "The Chile Line," the latter covering the now abandoned line between Antonito and Santa Fe.

In compiling "D&RGW," the authors obtained photos, mostly black and white, from many sources and photographers all over the country. Some of the color photos could benefit from today's color enhancing techniques, but this is minor carping. There are acknowledgments, where appropriate, and an index. For me, this is an extremely interesting book.

A Pagosa Springs resident for eight years, David Swindells moved here from New Jersey. He has a master's degree in occupational safety and health from NYU. While he spent his working career in insurance, his leisure time hobbies are railroads and photography.


Arts Line

Reception tonight at Town Park gallery

By Linda Strathdee

PREVIEW Columnist

Pierre Mion and his students will exhibit work at the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery at Town Park for the next three weeks, Aug. 10-29.

The show opens tonight with a reception from 5-7 p.m. . Mion's illustrative works have been exhibited worldwide and are included in the NASA Fine Arts and the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum collections. His students' works reflect the joy and excitement of watercolor.

The gallery is located at 315 Hermosa St. and 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 PSAC at 264-5020 or

Summer camp for children

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.

Drawing workshop with Davis

PSAC is proud to offer a new, one-day drawing workshop with local artist Randall Davis.

This class will be held 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at the community center. The workshop will include a review of basic drawing techniques; students will leave with a completed drawing.

This session is appropriate for beginners as well as advanced students. Randall works well with students of all levels, providing a great deal of individual assistance. If you have never attended one of his classes, it's a treat to see what you can produce in a day under his guidance.

Supplies needed for this class include a sketch pad (preferably 11x14); assorted drawing pencils, including a 3H or 4H, a No. 2, and a 3B or 4B; eraser, ruler, pencil sharpener and folding chair to take outside for drawing buildings in the downtown area. Plan to bring a bag lunch.

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.

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.

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.

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

Today - 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.

August 17 - Watercolor club meets.

Aug. 26 - Drawing workshop with Randall Davis.

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.

Sept. 21 - Watercolor club meets.

Oct. 9-11 - Pierre Mion's Lake Powell watercolor workshop.

Oct. 12-31 - Juried photo show.

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.


Tasting Notes

Want to explore Spanish wines? Try Italy

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Wednesdays can be brutal at the paper. It's deadline day and, depending on what has transpired Tuesday, they can be a murderous ride through three or four stories in a matter of hours, plus copy editing. During the Wednesday haul, lunch is rarely an option and breaks are non-existent.

The Wednesday I write of in particular set a new standard on the brutality scale. With a county commissioner's meeting and town council session Tuesday, coupled with updates on the Village at Wolf Creek and oil and gas drilling in the HD Mountains I had my work cut out for me and I was ill prepared. Surviving Wednesday with one's sanity intact depends on two critical factors - what, and how much one eats for breakfast, and how much coffee one consumes. Breakfast, the most critical meal of the day, provides fuel for the brain, while coffee provides fuel for the fingers. The two together provide a potent, high-octane jolt, but a Wednesday without substantial amounts of both is a recipe of disaster. The Wednesday I write of lacked sufficient quantities of both.

After churning out stories on said topics, I wandered in a caffeine and food deprived haze deep into the late afternoon, making the final checks on Thursday's edition with stomach grumbling and synapses misfiring like the cylinders on my '67 Volkswagen Microbus. I was an etymological train wreck. Gastronomically, I was at DEFCON 1, the situation critical.

When 5 p.m finally arrived, I grabbed my things and raced to the store. One of the first rules of grocery shopping is to never go while you're famished. Unfortunately, with an empty fridge I had little choice, and as the glass doors of City Market slid wide, I breathed a sigh of relief, I had entered paradise. Shaking from low blood sugar and anticipation, and with my red basket in hand, I headed straight for the deli counter - $20 in French cheese, a half pound of olives, one roasted chicken, and a loaf of paté de campagne, then to the bakery for a loaf of bread. The next stop, frozen foods for a pizza and a pint of Ben and Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch; then off to produce for limes - gin and tonics - and a nod at eating right - two tomatoes and a head of romaine. With my basket full, I raced to the U-scan, paid for the goods and headed for the door. Two steps toward freedom and gastronomic salvation later, reality dealt me a crushing blow, I still needed wine. I stared dejected at the cold tile floor. I'd exhausted the local options. But then, like a beacon in the storm, Laura, a fellow imbiber of the fruit of the vine, appeared in the entryway. I lurched toward her.

"Laura, I'm out of wine, what's good?"

She made a few recommendations, including an inexpensive California meritage. Although inexpensive New World wines aren't really my thing, I was willing to try, if it meant I didn't have to think. Thanking Laura, I scurried over to the wine shop and scoured the shelves. The mysterious Laurel Glen was not to be found. Perhaps I was in the wrong wine shop. Perhaps I didn't look hard enough. Whatever the case, I was exasperated, and despite training, years of tasting and a month in Spain studying the viniculture, I buckled, and gambled on a low-end, 2001 Rioja de Crianza. What was I thinking?

I took the wine home and dumped the contents of the shopping bags on the kitchen counter. I'd bought a bunch of nifty eats, but if I was in gastronomical distress earlier, surely I'd be annihilated after a half pound of olives, various cheeses, a roasted chicken and a pint of ice cream. I opted instead for a meal that would best compliment the wine, and plated up the cheeses and dug into chicken flesh. I was ravenous, and as I stripped meat from the bird carcass, I managed to stop long enough to pull the cork on the bottle.

With the cork extracted, I poured a generous taste, swirled, sniffed, went through the perfunctory measures, and then slammed the juice. Redolent with hints of grain alcohol, rotten leather and acetone, it hit my throat like hot nail polish remover and removed the enamel from my teeth. It was like drinking cheap Bordeaux, but worse, and this should have come as no surprise - winemaking in both regions is utterly intertwined.

Although Rioja's winemaking history can be traced back 2,500 years, the region got its most significant boost in the 1800s when French winemakers migrated to the area after phylloxera ravaged their own vines. The French winemakers, hailing largely from Bordeaux, introduced their winemaking style to the region and soon Rioja winemakers embraced the oak-driven Bordelaise style. Keen to keep pace with French demand, and to make a name for themselves on the world wine market, the Riojans experimented with French varietals such as cabernet sauvignon, although the grape did poorly in Spanish soil. Instead, of trying to mimic Bordeaux, Riojans took the best the Bordelaise had to offer, namely the technique of aging in oak casks - called barricas in Spanish - and applied the technique to their native grapes, namely, tempranillo and garnacha tinta. The effort produced a distinctly Spanish red, and the two varietals became the workhorses of Spanish winemaking and form the backbone of Rioja production today. For example, a typical Rioja red might include 70 percent tempranillo, 15 percent garnacha tinta, 10 percent mazuelo and five percent graciano.

With a source of good local produce, a distinct terroir and sound winemaking practices, Rioja, in 1926, was the first Spanish winemaking region to earn Denominación de Origen (DO) status - a quality denotation roughly equivalent to France's Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status. By establishing DO standards, the Spaniards sought to create a clear method of measuring a wine's quality, however, as much as 50 percent of Spanish production soon fit into the DO realm, whereas only 25 percent of French production met, and continues to meet, the demanding AOC standards. With a glut of average, or below average Spanish wine receiving the nation's top quality ranking, the perception among the European wine community was that the Spanish were willing to bestow a mark of quality on inferior or mediocre juice. Thus, in an effort to regain credibility and to set the truly great Spanish wines apart, they created a second, or top tier, into which only the best wines could enter. They called the tier, Denominación de Origen Calificada, and Rioja entered its ranks in 1991, where it remains the sole inhabitant.

Like French AOC rules, Spanish DO and DOC rules govern winemaking in a given region, including specifying grapes grown, varieties permitted, vineyard and winemaking practices, alcohol content etc. Furthermore, Rioja DOC rules set clear criteria for aging, and aging forms the foundation of Rioja winemaking. According to DOC rules, Rioja wines are stacked into three, age-based tiers: Rioja de Crianza, Rioja de Reserva, and Rioja de Gran Reserva. Rioja de Crianza is the entry-level standard and the term "crianza" comes from the Spanish for "breeding" or "upbringing." In the case of Rioja de Crianza, its upbringing consists of the wine being released in its third year and after 12 months on oak and one year in the bottle. Rioja de Reserva is released in its fourth year with at least 12 months on oak and 12 months in the bottle. And lastly, like a vintage port, Rioja de Gran Reserva, is declared only in exceptional years and the wines are not released until their sixth year, and after 12 months on oak and 12 months bottle aging. One of the three classes will be clearly displayed on the front label of the bottle.

With aging playing such a significant role in the production and classification of Rioja reds, it is important to note that not only is the time spent aging important, but who does the aging is critical as well. In Spanish viniculture, bodegas play a huge part in both production and a wine's overall quality. Typically, a bodega doesn't necessarily own vines, but they do provide the barricas where the wine will spend at least a year of its life. Thus, a bodega's stock in French oak or new French oak barrels might provide foreshadowing as to the wine's ultimate character - new oak provides vanilla nuances common to Rioja wines.

It would seem such an elaborate and clearly defined aging hierarchy might give an indication of quality, however the mark of Rioja de Crianza, Rioja de Reserva, or Gran Reserva offers little for the casual buyer to base their purchase on. For example, I have found simple Spanish table wines of no significant "breeding" that were smooth and supple, and Gran Reservas from exceptional years that made the 2001 Rioja de Crianza seem like liquid velvet. With mixed experiences, it may seem tempting to discount the wine's breeding status, although it's demarcation on the aging hierarchy is part of the puzzle. The second part of the puzzle is linked to the bodega, and for that information, consulting knowledgeable staff at a reputable wineshop is key. Short of a solid staff recommendation, the next step might be to shop according to one the three primary subzones within the Rioja DOC - Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja.

Generally speaking, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta, situated in the Rioja highlands with its cooler temperatures, early spring sunshine, hot summers and mild autumns, produce wines of greater refinement and higher quality. At just 900 feet above sea level, Rioja Baja, which includes the area around Navarra, has a more Mediterranean climate with hotter, drier conditions and longer hours of sunshine, thus producing ripe grapes earlier. With a distinct microclimate, wines from Rioja Baja are generally softer and less astringent than those of the highlands, although with a higher alcohol content. In Rioja Baja, garnacha tinta, or grenache, comes into its own.

For those willing to gamble, exploring the realm of Spanish reds, can be an enlightening and sometimes pleasurable experience. And in fact, some of the best values to be had are wines of little breeding, in essence, simple country reds. Lacking a solid recommendation from knowledgeable wine shop staff, or some knowledge of the best Spanish vintages or bodegas, its best not to make one's decision solely on a distinction of age. If you do, the discovery of those few gems among gallons of Spanish mediocrity could be a long and costly process. If you've got 12 bucks to burn and educating your palette is high on your priority list, take the Spanish plunge. But if you are looking for an approachable, easy drinking food-friendly, after-work, value-oriented red, you'd do better by putting your money on Italy.


Food for Thought

Of cities different, and colorful fish

By Karl Isberg

I've had it.

I'm in Santa Fe. The City Different.

I'm fed up.

With The City Different.

With celebrity chefs.

With peace and quiet.

The City Different, The City Schmifferent.

As I told a friend the other day, before Kathy and I took off on a whirlwind trip to Santa Fe to see the opera: "It's a Southwest theme park; all it lacks is an adobe roller coaster."

I detest the place - for its pretense, its Baghdad architecture, the goofs who parade around in faux Southwestern gear replete with phony cowboy hats and turquoise (and, believe me, there is nothing as pathetic as a cowboy hat on anyone but a real cowboy), the crumbball galleries, the atrocious dysfunction of its real culture and economy.

There are, however, several reasons to draw me to this place.

I love opera and the Santa Fe Opera does some magnificent work.

I like a few of the restaurants.

There is a Whole Foods and a Trader Joes.

But, these pluses are not enough to bring me here regularly.

The real Santa Fe exists down Cerrillos Road, not on Canyon Road, It lives west of Saint Francis, not in the Plaza.

And that Santa Fe ain't pretty.

Nor is the Plaza with all its hype and nonsense.

OK, so we arrive on Friday midday and I am already in a bad mood. Kathy needs to purchase some items so down Cerrillos we go. We buy large glazed ceramic pots at a world-famous junk store; we buy running shoes at a discount shoe store; we stagger down the middle of the Santa Fe mall, like visitors from another planet.

I am grouchy.

"Get a smile on the mug, Bozo," says Kathy. "We're a-goin' to the opry. Plus, I've booked us into a place about 12 miles west of here that promises to be real nice. Your mood is bound to improve."

Not in Santa Fe, it's not, I think. The first time I came here was 55 years ago, when the streets downtown weren't paved and none of the crap was built. Back when architectural standards meant nothing. Adobe was just a cheap, indigenous building material. It was a truly interesting place back then.

And now Š? I continue my descent into depression until we drive out of town.

Kathy wheels west of the city and darned if she isn't right. She's found an oasis - a 69-acre compound built by spiritual types around numerous ponds and gardens fed by natural springs. We have our own little "casita" and it is beautifully appointed. It is quiet, an island in a sea of calm.

We walk around the grounds. We smell flowers (Kathy requires I smell flowers) and we look at flora and fauna (Kathy requires I look at flora and fauna). There are little nooks and crannies everywhere, most complete with a bench and a stone Buddha of some sort. Ducks swim, birdies tweet. Prayer flags flap in a weak breeze. Kathy fetches cups of cool lemon water. We unwind. I find Buddhists relaxing.


We watch Koi slosh around in ponds and pools. Fountains bubble everywhere.

I am at ease.

But, not for long.

Back at the casita, my rest is interrupted when I read an article in a Santa Fe periodical - one dealing with restaurants in the area.

And chefs!

You can't get away from these geeks!

We have created a cult of personality among chefs. And this periodical typifies the way in which certain writers have taken to lionizing chefs instead of dealing with the food they produce. Kathy is in the bathroom of the casita, getting gussied up for the opera and, as I read, I get more and more enraged.

Finally, when I read a comment by a chef named Rico or Ricci, or something like that, to the effect "our tongues shouldn't have to think about what they are tasting," the tranquil atmosphere is corroded. I explode.

"These freaks must be stopped," I yell, scaring the birdies on the patio. "This crap has to end."

Kathy busts out of the bathroom. "What's wrong?"

"Chefs. Chefs who think they are stars, Chefs who want to be personalities instead of cooks. Tongues can't think. What kind of moron is this? I'm making note of the name of the guy's restaurant - oh, here it is. Can you believe it? It's named after him! Dear God, when will it end?"

"The only cure, dear, is to find a decent restaurant - one without an egomaniacal chef - and have a great meal before we toodle off to the opry."

I relax somewhat when we arrive at the restaurant Kathy selected the week before. She is a first-class concierge.

Things get better as we are seated on the outdoor patio. The tables are full; people are chattering, the weather is cooperating. All is well again.

For starters, Kathy has a grilled Bibb lettuce salad with bacon and bleu cheese. I opt for a special - squash blossom beignets floated in tomato confit and goat cheese fondue.

Excellent start. I am able to do something beside complain about Santa Fe and chefs. As in, eat.

Kathy has steak frites. I have veal scaloppine with wild mushroom sauce. We down a bottle of Cotes du Rhone. Dessert? Why, yes, thank you. Me: a lemon tart with fresh berries. Kathy: pot du crème.

Life is suddenly better.

We shoot off to the opera, arriving a few minutes before curtain (though there is no curtain at the Santa Fe Opera). We watch a superb production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," with incredible staging and lighting. It is Opera 101 at its best: a somewhat homoerotic ode to Freemasonry and Plato in which, of course, the powers of light triumph over darkness and evil. Much of it bel canto.

All is well.

We repair to the casita and turn in at midnight.

The next morning, we rise late and take breakfast at the restaurant on site.

"Let's go for a walk," says Kathy.

I agree, since I am a tad nervous. To be honest, things are getting a bit too tranquil. I do not come from tranquil people. I am getting anxious about the fact I am not anxious.

So, I walk.

It doesn't work.

We end up on a stone bench in front of the long reflecting pool, a huge moss-covered, burbling fountain in front of us. Koi break brilliant through the murky water, colors flashing - yellow, orange, red, white and blue - the fish arriving at the surface like thoughts arrive in an overtaxed mind, stunning, clear but transient.

A group of overly calm people is meeting in the nearby meditation center. They chant. A drum sounds, again and again.

Dear God, this is way too serene. I need conflict, guilt, suffering. Perhaps a plague, some locusts, dying crops.

Kathy closes her eyes, breathes slowly, deeply. A breeze eases through a veil of willow branches.

A gong sounds.

I am distinctly uneasy with all this bliss. The chanting. The drums.

The Koi.

Then, finally, my kind of thought. My kind of meditation.

Can you eat Koi?

I mean, they're carp, aren't they? Fancy colored carp?

These mothers in the reflecting pool are so fat and lazy it would be no trick at all to snag one. A yellow-bodied gray hackle, set lightly on the surface and there's Koi in the creel for sure.

I have feasted in Chinese establishments in Manhattan and San Francisco that served carp, the skin crisped at the last second, tableside, in a bath of incredibly hot oil. A bit bony, but fairly tasty in a dirt-tinged sort of way.

How about Koi?

Heaven knows, the presentation would be aesthetically pleasing.

Bet there's not one smug, self-centered celebrity chef who features crispy Koi on his "small plate" menu.

Koi foam?

Not a chance.

I take to the Net for Koi recipes.

No luck.

Then I realize, as long as there are Chinese and Poles in this world, there are carp recipes. Koi is still in the food picture.

And, hoo boy, do I find them.

Poached carp (or Koi).

Koi cakes, cooked Koi with mashed potato, fried in bacon grease, etc.

Koi coated in a buttermilk batter and deep fried. Koi chowder. Koi sausage. Koi tacos.

Baked, whole Koi, with bay leaves, sour cream and lemon.

Serbian Koi, fillets sauteed in butter, served with tomato sauce and mushrooms.

Koi roe paste.

Simple, grilled Koi, remembering in this and all other recipes to remove the dark brown and reddish flesh from the fish - its "mud line" - before cooking.

I decide I'll experiment with a version of the grilled Bibb lettuce, with bacon and bleu cheese, to go along with the grilled Koi.

Kinda like "killed lettuce," wouldn't you think?

That is, unless a celebrity chef gets hold of the idea.

Killed lettuce is country cookin' at its best. Lettuce is "killed" just before it is consumed with a bath of scorching hot bacon drippings. Then hunks o'cheese, some baco bits and a bit of oil (if you're being fancy) complete the salad. Maybe some hunks o'hard-cooked egg.


Quick cut to the grill: A little char on the end of a small head of Bibb, moistened slightly with a mix of olive oil and bacon renderings, will lend a nice flavor to the salad. On top of that, a vinaigrette with plenty of bits of grilled bacon and large crumbles of high-quality bleu cheese.

Worth a try.

It might be enough to make a person forget self-centered chefs, pinheads wearing cowboy hats and Santa Fe.

And it provides a powerful incentive to return to the 69-acre, Buddha-infused oasis of ease, to the serene environs where people meditate and (gulp) find peace.

Anybody got a yellow-bodied gray hackle I can borrow?


Extension Viewpoints

Three-part program considers late-in-life legal issues

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

According to the American Bar Association, only 10-25 percent of Americans have documented their end-of-life choices or have appointed a health care agent to do so.

Consequently, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension developed Legally Secure Your Financial Future. This program was developed to help people understand the importance of evaluating their legal conditions related to later life issues and to have a plan to protect, distribute and transfer their assets after death.

Participants of the program will learn to recognize the importance of personal records, a valid will, powers of attorney, advance directives, a living will and other estate planning documents. Participants will gain awareness and knowledge of the kinds of personal information to gather, as well as organizing essential documents so family members can easily access them. They will also learn how to make sure their wishes are followed in case of a sudden injury or illness, what are myths and realities about Colorado's law regarding advance directives, how to assure that children are taken care of and property is properly distributed and what to look for when choosing a personal representative.

"Some people just never get around to making legal arrangements to protect their survivors or to be sure their wishes are carried out. Others have the mistaken belief that assets have to be of a certain size before the heirs will be affected by a tax liability. It is a false idea that estate planning is not important for young parents. It is important regardless of age or amount of assets. We will discuss concerns about the cost of preparing wills and important documents, and help with the discomfort of discussing end-of-life issues with family members," said Wendy Rice of La Plata County Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.

The Legally Secure Your Financial Future program is a joint effort by La Plata County Cooperative Extension, La Plata County Senior Services, and AARP. It involves a series of three seminars to help you prepare for difficult decisions that will need to be made.

The first session - organizing records - will help to lessen the confusion and stress when trying to find significant documents if an emergency should occur.

The second session - advance directives - will be presented by a local physician to teach participants about living wills and health care power of attorneys.

The third session - estate planning - includes advice from a local attorney as to probate items such as wills and trusts. We will feature Ellen Roberts, attorney at law and Dr. Kip Boyd, medical director at Mercy Medical Center.

Legally Secure Your Financial Future, the three-part series, will take place 1-3 p.m. Sept. 6, 13 and 27 at the fairgrounds on Main and repeated from 7-9 p.m. (same dates). The program costs $45.

For more information or to register for the event, contact Rice at 382-6461 or before Sept. 4. as space is limited

State leaders meet

Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Ament and his counterparts from across the West will be focusing on the future of agriculture at the upcoming Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture (WASDA) annual summer meeting.

"WASDA offers the opportunity to discuss agricultural issues through a multi-state collaboration," said Ament, who is also the president of WASDA. "Life on a farm or ranch is extremely gratifying, but it can also be difficult at times. A good example is the severe drought Colorado is currently dealing with. It is our responsibility as the leaders in agriculture to work in a cooperative manner to make the best possible choices for our producers."

Colorado will host the WASDA conference July 26-30, headquartered in Estes Park. Leaders from 17 states and Canada are scheduled to take part to discuss key issues surrounding agriculture including drought, ag policies and state partnerships.

"This is also a great opportunity to showcase Colorado's diverse industries," continued Ament. "We will be taking participants on a variety of tours highlighting our role as a leader in ag technology."

Colorado is among 13 states and three territories that are a member of WASDA, which is one of four regional associations within the National Association of the State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). The 16 members of WASDA are: Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guan, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and Canadian affiliates Alberta and British Columbia.

A Colorado native, Ament is considered an expert in areas of water and property rights. He graduated with an engineering degree from the University of Colorado and served 12 years in the Colorado General Assembly. In 1999, he was appointed by Governor Bill Owens as the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture. He continues to farm and ranch in northeast Colorado.


Pagosa Lakes News

Apply 'The Waitress Test' to learn about people

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

The recreation center pool will be closed from Oct. 5-31 for repairs and resurfacing.

This being probably the slowest month of the year, the staff is hoping that fewer members will be inconvenienced. Bear with us, please.

This summer, more so than ever, I'm seeing less civilized human interactions from visiting timeshare members. People are more inclined to shout their disagreements and less inclined to discuss them. They are more demanding and insistent on having their way and less tolerant of people who don't give them what they want or think they are entitled to have. I bemoan the loss of civility, and regret that my staff is subject to such poor manners.

On the positive side, listening to angry members and responding without infuriating them further is a valuable life skill. We are getting lots of practice. While we understand we are not controlling the other person's behavior, we are in some small measure controlling the situation with our response.

I believe you can often tell a great deal about a person by how they treat a waitress. Call it "The Waitress Test," if you will.

Did the Pagosa Lakes Triathlon have 80 or 118 participants? We had 118 - an error was made in the photo captions. The participants most definitely felt the impact of a group so large when they entered the pool for the swim leg. I liken the scene to the sinking of the Titanic - a lot of bodies flailing arms and legs everywhere.

Board meeting

There will be a Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board meeting at 7 p.m. today in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. Three board members, elected at the annual meeting in July are Fred Uehling (re-elected), Alan Schutz and Ken Bailey.

In tonight's meeting, there are two items under new business that should be of interest to property owners.

One is discussion of a proposal received for contracted reserve study for association assets. The other is a proposal submitted by Lakes, Fisheries, Parks Committee for Lake Forest trail. The proposed trail will begin from the south end of Lake Forest Circle at North Pagosa Blvd., proceed down Lake Forest Circle and connect with the previously planned trail in Lake Forest Estates - from Beaver Circle northward. Part of this proposed trail will be constructed with money ($139,000) from the Lake Forest settlement fund.

Since both items are in a discussion stage, property owner input would be valued. I wish to thank the PLPOA board of directors - Gary Gray (president), Hugh Bundy (vice-president), Fred Uehling (treasurer), Pat Payne (secretary), Ken Bailey, Alan Schutz and Fred Ebeling, for volunteering their time to serve property owner interests.



Gladys Fisher

Gladys Fisher, beloved mother of Arvold R. Fisher of Pagosa Springs, died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, Aug. 5, at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center. She was preceded in death by her husband, Arvold O. Fisher, and her daughter, Shirley Fisher Sincheff, as well as three sisters and two brothers.

She was born Sept. 1, 1909, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and married Arvold O. Fisher June 5, 1927. They lived at Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota, and moved to Richmond, California, in 1942, where they both worked in the Kaiser Shipyard. They returned to Lake Minnetonka in the summer of 1945, and lived there until they retired to Spring Hill, Florida, in 1977. Gladys moved to Pagosa Springs to live with her son and daughter-in-law in November, 2000. She entered Pine Ridge Extended Care December, 2003.

In addition to her son, she is survived by eight grandchildren: Terry, Bill and Tom Sincheff, Minnesota; Stacy Sincheff, California; Meryl Gilmore, Tennessee; Fred Fisher, Texas; Susan Saussaye and Diana Fisher, Louisiana; nine great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

The Fishers were original stadium bond holders of the Minnesota Vikings. In addition to being an avid football fan, Gladys loved to play cards and do needlework.

There will be a memorial service at Our Savior Lutheran Church Saturday, Aug. 12, at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the American Heat Association or Alzheimer's Association.


Gumisindo Gallegos

Gumisindo Eloy Gallegos passed away Aug. 7, 2006, in Colorado Springs. Eloy was born Dec. 13, 1945, to Jose Gallegos and Gumisinda Salazar in Pagosa Springs.

He is survived by two brothers, Chris and Ben Gallegos; three sisters, Julia Martinez, TeVe Martinez and Connie Archuleta; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Rosary will be Friday, Aug. 11, 2006, at 7 p.m. and mass will be held Saturday, Aug. 12, 2006, at 1 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, with Fr. Carlos Alvarez officiating. Burial will be in Hill Top Cemetery.


Michael Maestas

Michael Isaac Maestas was born July 28, 1984. He died on August 6, 2006, as a result of injuries due to a car accident. He was known to most people as "Mikie." His parents are Michael Maestas, of Dulce, New Mexico, and Todd and Eleanor Shelton, of Pagosa Springs. He is the brother of Anthony Maestas and Morgan Shelton. His grandmothers are Stella Lucero Martinez, of Farmington, New Mexico, and Miguelita Maestas, of Dulce, New Mexico. He is survived by numerous aunts and uncles, cousins, friends and other family who will miss him greatly.

Mike loved the outdoors and had a passion for hunting. He also liked to ride his dirt bike and snowmobile, team rope and ride bulls. He was a great athlete, as well. He lived life to the fullest. He will be greatly missed by many.

Rosary is 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Funeral services will be held at the high school Friday, Aug. 11, 2006, at 10 a.m. An account has been set up at Citizens Bank if you'd like to contribute.


Matilde Martinez

Matilde "Mattie" Martinez (Lucero), 68, of Lakewood, Colorado, returned to her eternal home on July 11, 2006. Matilde was born on August 18, 1937, in Blanco, Colorado, to Fidel Martinez and Clarita Vigil. She was known as the "Family Angel," was deeply loved by all who knew her and she loved with the passion and gentleness of Christ. Matilde is survived by her daughter, Emma Serna-Norwood of Thornton, Colorado; her son, Fidel (Tina) Lucero of Westminster, Colorado: five grandchildren, Angela Serna of Aurora, Colorado, Valene Serna of Thornton, Janay, Gabe and Alie Lucero of Westminster, and two precious great-grandchildren, Alex Perez and Davaya Lucero. She is also survived by brothers Roquez "Rocky" (Gloria) Martinez of Colorado Springs, Colorado, John (Linda) Martinez of Frederick, Colorado, and Herman (Donna) Martinez of St. Louis, Missouri; 16 nieces and nephews and 26 great-nieces and nephews. Matilde is preceded in death by her parents, Fidel and Clarita, brother Max Martinez and sisters Rosina Large, Mercy Martinez and Theresa Bahr. There will be a memorial mass for Matilde on her birthday, Friday August 18, 2006 at 1 p.m. at St. James Catholic Church in Trujillo, Colorado, with burial of her remains at Trujillo Cemetery immediately following mass.


Charles Regester

Charles L. Regester III (Chase) joined his heavenly family on Wednesday August 2, with all of his family at his side. Chase was born on May 29, 1986, at Mercy Hospital to Tiger and Sara Lee Regester of Pagosa Springs.

Chase was raised on the Regester family ranch in the Upper Blanco Basin, which was an ideal place for him to pursue his love for animals, ranching and the great outdoors. From an early age, Chase and Twyne spent most of their days with animals. Through 4-H, Chase raised many champion steers and lambs. He lived his passion as a cowboy training horses, roping and working on the Lindner, Shahan and Regester ranches.

Chase graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in May of 2005. He valued his fellow classmates and friends. Chase's family appreciates the young people of the community who have expressed heartwarming prayers, sympathy and stories that have sparked both tears and laughter that honor the friend that Chase was.

On his maternal side, Chase is a descendent of two large, local pioneer ranching families. He was a sixth generation Snow and a fifth generation Shahan descendant. The strong local ties and support have given Tiger and his boys tremendous reinforcement over the years and will continue to help and support Tiger and Twyne as they go forward.

A large loving family including his Daddy Tiger, and his older brother, Twyne, survives Chase. Chase will be greatly missed by his great-grandmother, Iola Shahan, grandmother, Betty Shahan, his aunts and uncles: Jeannine Taylor, Raymond Shahan, Tommy and Lannette (Shahan) Cress, Sara Regester and John and Katy Regester. As an image-maker and protector, Chase played the role of court jester for dozens of cousins including Randye Burk, Morgan and Mariah Taylor, Jessica, Danny and Cody Shahan, Blaze and Brody Cress, Laura, Emily and Charlie Regester.

Chase was preceded in death by his mother, Sara Lee, his grandfather, Bob Shahan, grandparents Chuck and Michael Regester, great-grandfather George "Babe" Shahan, and great-grandparents Howard and Mary Carpenter.

Chase's family would like the Pagosa community, and especially Chase's friends, to live life to the fullest and to make the choice to drive responsibly and BUCKLE UP!

There will be a Catholic Funeral Mass to celebrate Chase's life on Saturday August 26, at 2 p.m. at the rodeo grounds. Following the service, we will also celebrate Chase's life with the "Chase Regester Memorial Team Roping." For entry and other information on the roping please call Diane Talbot at (970) 731-5203.

Contributions in Chase's memory may be made to the, Chase Regester Memorial Fund, c/o Citizens Bank, P.O. Drawer 1508, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

The Regester and Shahan families would like to thank the incredible community of Pagosa for the overwhelming amount of prayers, support and assistance during this time.

Pagosa Springs is a very special place and we are all very fortunate to have had such a wonderful and positive character as Chase with us, if even for a short time.


Bealer Rogers

Brig. Gen. Bealer Theron Rogers, Jr., MD, USAF MC, (Ret.), age 76, passed away July 31, 2006, in San Antonio, Texas. Bealer and his wife, Sheila, were part-time residents of Pagosa Springs.

Throughout his life, Dr. Rogers was committed to serving others. He was dedicated to the mission of the Air Force, the welfare of the members of his command and his oath as a physician. He placed higher value on quality patient care than any other facet of his career. He retired as command surgeon, Air Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, in 1985.

He was born on February 4, 1930, in Tallahassee, Florida, to Bealer Theron Sr. and Emma A. Gibbs Rogers. He was preceded in death by his parents and sons 1st Lt. William Theron Rogers, USAF, and Kenneth Gibbs Rogers. Bealer is survived by his loving wife, Sheila G. Rogers; children: Major Thomas B. Rogers, USAFR and fiancée, Holli Anne Gould, Daniel C. Rogers and wife Wendy, Bethany G. Clagett and husband, Kevin; grandchildren, Allison, Megan and Cullen Rogers, William Clagett and Faith Gould; brothers-in-law, Richard Barrett and wife, Marcia, Robert Barrett and wife, Sandy. Private Services will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Bealer's name to St. Chad's Anglican Church, 11919 Orsinger Lane, San Antonio, TX 78230. You are invited to sign the guestbook at


Terry Windnagel

Terry Windnagel, a former Pagosa Springs resident, passed away Aug. 9 after a long struggle with cancer, in Washington where he, his wife, Susan, and son, Corey, had recently moved.

Cards can be sent to Susan and Corey Windnagel, PO Box 1944, Maple Falls, Washington 98266.


 Business News

Chamber News

Guess who destroyed the dunking booth?

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Before too many rumors fly around town, I will admit it was on my shift at the dunking booth at the Archuleta County Fair that the chair broke.

OK, I broke the dunking booth chair!

So to all those individuals that had your dunking candidate picked out Saturday or Sunday afternoon, I'm sorry I spoiled your fun. To all the dunking candidates who lost the opportunity to be dunked, homage and/or payoffs will be accepted.

In all seriousness, the county fair this year was just great. Attendees seemed to like the improved chili cookoff and, of course, the livestock auction was jam packed. I think a new attendance record may have been set at the 4-H Chuckwagon Dinner, at least it felt like it behind the line!

Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge rocked the tent with western music and young and old alike enjoyed the Sunday activities at the Kid's Rodeo. As we mourned the loss of one of our young residents, Chase Regester, it was announced at the Livestock Auction that Robert and Betty Lindner donated funds to set up a scholarship fund in Chase's name on behalf of all his years of involvement with 4-H and equestrian activities in this community. What an honor. Details of the scholarship fund will be announced at a later time.

The fair is a community event. It takes great effort, coordination and commitment. Once again, thanks to all the volunteers who make this event successful. We had fun this year with the new tent setup and I can't wait to see what this creative fair board has in mind for next year. Congratulations on a successful 2006 Archuleta County Fair.

Lily is back

No grass grows under the Music Boosters' feet.

After a successful production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," the Music Boosters are right back with "Lily the Felon's Daughter." This Gay Nineties Melodrama will be performed Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a matinee Saturday at 2 p.m. The production will take place at the high school auditorium.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and students and children under 18 are $6. You may purchase advance tickets and reserved seating at the Plaid Pony or for you last-minute attendees, tickets will be available at the door. This delightful production has lots of audience interaction and is fun for the whole family. Join the Music Boosters again as they entertain us with their costumes, beautiful sets and lively stories.

Calling all ducks

If you hear duck calls all over town, it's the Knights of Columbus getting ready for all the festivities at the annual Duck Race Saturday, Aug. 19.

Town Park will be filled with games for the kids, the wonderful Knight's food, as well as some other food booths, and of course the ducks! Ducks can be purchased for $5 a duck and tickets are sold at Silver Dollar Liquor, Buffalo Inn, and Roy Vega Insurance Services. You could turn $5 into $1,000, $500, or $100.

Starting at about 12:30 p.m. there will be raffle drawings for over 30 prizes.

Ducks will go into the river around 2:30 p.m. highlighting the day's activities. This year, along with the ducks, there will be a classic car show held on the athletic field across from the park. If you have a classic car and would like to display it at the show, contact Frank Martinez at 264-5435. Here is just another fun event being held in our great town.

Four Corners Folk Festival

Tickets are available for the three-day music festival up on Reservoir Hill, starting Friday, Sept. 1.

The musical lineup continues to grow as artists such as Drew Emmitt, Rani Arbo and Delbert McClinton come in to entertain us. Repeat favorites such as The Waybacks and Eddie From Ohio will again wow the crowds.

Tickets are available by going online to or at Moonlight Books and WolfTracks. Children under 12 are free with an accompanying adult. Stop by the Chamber for the latest informational pamphlet. Get ready for another great Labor Day weekend of music with the Four Corners Folk Festival, celebrating its 11th year.

Chamber news

After 31 years of welcoming new residents to Pagosa Springs, Lyn DeLange has passed the baton to Kathy Calderone, new owner of the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service. Kathy hasn't just bought the business - she has been a star Welcoming Service greeter for over four years. Obviously, Kathy sees the value of what she has been doing and has enjoyed her work so much over the years that she invested in her future. As a past greeter myself, I would like to thank Lyn for all her years of serving Pagosa, her years of mentoring and putting up with me, and for walking the talk of doing business in Pagosa. As a past Chamber manager and then owner of the Welcoming Service, Lyn would take out ads advocating "Shop Pagosa First" and demonstrate the benefits of shopping in our area. Lyn also started the Newcomer Club now in its sixth year. How nice to gather and meet other "newbies" to the area in a relaxed setting while showing off some of our restaurants and meeting places. I'm sure Kathy will be no different as she loves this community and is an active member of it. Not only does she work with the Welcoming Service, but she also has been the coordinator for the GED program at the Education Center. I know Lyn, and she would never turn the Welcoming Service over to someone she does not completely trust to run the business with the utmost care and customer service. Congratulations to both ladies and they start on new endeavors in their lives. We look forward to another 31 years of welcoming people to Pagosa Springs.

Speaking of welcoming, we welcome the new owner of what was Point of View Eye Care and is now Mountain Eye Care - Dr. Jon Zissman, O.D. Mountain Eye Care offers professional eye exams for glasses, contacts or LASIK surgery. They also carry a large selection of frames and most insurance is accepted. They are still located at 190 Talisman Dr., Suite. B-4. Mountain Eye Care will also be having an open house and ribbon cutting Friday, Sept. 8, from 3 to 6 p.m. Mark that date on your calendars. Welcome aboard Dr. Zissman, and thanks to Ron Gustafson for yet another referral.

We also welcome as a new member this week the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. With Kevin Badgley at the helm in Durango, this group works to assist individuals whose disabilities result in barriers to employment to succeed at work and live independently. If you have a business that could employ or train individuals with disabilities a job skill, please call Kevin at 247-3161. It would be nice to have several businesses in our area participate in this worthwhile program. We welcome the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to the Pagosa Chamber.

On to renewals starting with long time member of the Chamber and participant in the community, Rio Grande Savings and Loan Association. We welcome back Lantern Dancer or The Green Group with Walter and Doris Green; Wayne Walls and Wilderness Journeys/Pagosa Rafting Outfitters; Pagosa Nursery Company and Susan and David Durkee; Chris Pierce and Arborilogical West; Pagosa Auto Parts/CarQuest; Summer Phillips, goldsmith; Higher Grounds Coffee Company; Design A Sign; Barbara Rosner and Rosner Creative; United Country-Northern New Mexico Real Estate located in Chama; Continental Divide Services with Don and Moira Howard, outside of Creede; Music in the Mountains; and Southwest Land Alliance.

We have two associate members on board this week. New member Cynda Green joins the Chamber. Thanks to Cynda for being a host family for Ride the Rockies. We welcome her community spirit. Also renewing is Joan and Malcolm Rodger. Both Joan and Malcolm are very involved in the community and can always be seen at one fund-raising event or another volunteering or attending.

Just a quick reminder that we have been given an extension on completing the Chamber survey. Since I will not be attending the conference where the nationwide results will be given out, they have extended our time period to collect more data. We would like to get back as many surveys as possible to get the broadest range of opinions. You can log onto to take the survey or we will be sending you a reminder e-mail and you can just log onto the link. Thank you again for a few minutes of your time in order to help mold our future as an organization.


Biz Beat

Lyn DeLange, left, welcomes the new owner of the Pagosa springs Welcoming Service, Kathy Platz-Calderone.

After 31 years, Lyn is passing the torch to Kathy who has been working for the Welcoming Service for the past four years.

Kathy plans to continue acquainting the newcomers with Pagosa in the same friendly manner that has made the Service such a success.



Healing arts

Our appreciation and gratitude go to the following local businesses and individuals for their generous support of the Healing Arts Gathering: Artemisia Botanicals Company for the wonderful organic Chai beverage; Enchanted Valley Farms for the incredible assortment of delectable, raw, organic hummus and pestos; Higher Grounds Coffee Company for the great coffees; and Plaid Pony for the huge discount on the beautiful fresh floral arrangement.

We'd also like to thank Mike Greene for collaborating with us in the planning stages, and purchasing pads and pencils (which he also sharpened with a manual sharpener!), Pilar Farnsworth for picking up the coffee, and Terri Miller for immediately offering to post event flyers downtown!

Thanks to all the practitioners who showed up "110 percent." We look forward to your continuing participation!

With gratitude,

Elizabeth Kobren, Linda LoCastro, Sophia, Karen Aspin


Kids' Rodeo

I would like to thank all the people who helped make the Kids' Rodeo a success. Working in the announcer's box - Jack and Claudia Rosenbaum, Gwen Ray, Tracy McRee and Diane Talbot. You guys were a great support, and I couldn't have done it without you. In the arena and behind the scenes -- Gene Snow, Richard Rafferty, Tim McRee, Wes Lewis, DuWayne Shahan, Shawna Snow, Brian Williams, Raymond Shahan, Melvin Chavez, Anthony Rivera, and so many people who stepped up to help. This rodeo takes a huge amount of effort and energy, but the kids are so excited for it each year. Thank you so, so much. Also, thanks to Wes Lewis and Steve Devorss for providing the cows, calves and sheep for the rodeo. Sonny and I can't say thank you enough to express our sincere appreciation. I apologize if I left anyone out, but there were so many who helped.

Lori Lucero

Kids' Rodeo manager


Horseshoe club

The Pagosa Springs Horseshoe Club would like to thank the following for their help in rebuilding the horseshoe courts at the county fairgrounds: the Archuleta County Fair board; Bob Campbell, county administrator; Hard Times concrete; Mountaintop Concrete, Chris Hart; Jay Dunham, Dunham Concrete Placement; Mike McDowell, San Juan Timberwrights; Sean Copeland; Doug Neuwald; Bard Creehan; Mason Carpenter; Jim and Pam Martin; and Mike and Cindy Halverson.


Lutheran preschool

Our Savior Lutheran Preschool and school would like to express sincere thanks to Kinder Morgan. We heartfully appreciate the acceptance of our grants and your monetary donations.


Pine Ridge

The folks at Pine Ridge would like to thank the following: City Market for the fresh flowers, the residents love them, Pagosa Piecemakers Quilting Guild, Karen Streiff, for the quilts for the Alzheimer's patients. John and Cindy McLaughlin of Gelato d'Italia, for the ice cream. Magazine donations, Jim and Marilyn Hutchinson, and Howard and Linda Humphries. McDonald's, Lisa Romero, for the ice cream cones for the residents. Thank you.



I would like to thank Ben Johnson for coming to my rescue last Monday, when I was stranded with car trouble. He is an angel.

Thanks a million, Ben!


Gloria Petsch


American Legion

We would like to express our appreciation to all of the people and organizations that helped to make the American Legion booth, both at the Fourth of July and during the county fair, a success again this year. Thanks to all Legion members who assisted with your time and materials. We especially thank the non-Legion members who spent many hours assisting us by purchasing supplies and working the booth: Sarah Baum, Betty Hodge, Alexia Huffman; Sandi Lowe, Gladys Marion, Sabra Miller, Tasha Rayburn; Joe Self, and Betty Willet. Also, a special thanks to the assistance we received from various businesses within the Pagosa Springs community: Boss Hogg's, which provided supplies at discount and freezer storage during the fair; City Market, which provided a gift card for condiments; Wildsprings Ice & Bottled Water who provided ice; and Lee Riley of Jan Pitcher Real Estate who contributed the use of his van for food pickup and on-site storage. We could not have organized and run the American Legion booth without your assistance and support and we sincerely appreciate all you have done for us.

Thank you,

James Huffman

Commander, American Legion Post 108



Ty Scott

Ty Scott, a 2002 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, son of Scott and Susan Scott, will graduate Aug. 12 from Southern Florida University. Ty will receive a bachelor's degree in business. He will then be inducted into the U.S. Air Force as a 2nd lieutenant. Ty and his wife, Carlena (Lungstrum), will be stationed at MacDill Air Force Base as Ty completes pilot training.


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 began 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.


Tough competition at horseshoe pitching tourney

By Mark Bergon

Special to The SUN

A small but powerful group of competitors assembled at the newly-rebuilt horseshoe courts for the annual Archuleta County Fair Horseshoe Pitching Tournament.

With only five teams participating in the doubles session, a round-robin format followed.

Sheldon Donagan and Doug Neuwald dominated the field going undefeated to take first place.

Durango's Jim Squires teamed up with Ignacio's ace, Dean Hudson, to finish second with only one loss.

Third place went to Larry Ulibarri and Mason Carpenter with a 2-2 record.

The singles double-elimination tournament was hotly contested with many fine, close games.

Mark Bergon fought his way through the loser's bracket to face undefeated Larry Ulibarri of New Mexico. Bergon reached down deep to defeat Ulibarri twice to take the championship. Doug Neuwald pitched a strong game all day, taking their place.

Over $200 worth of prizes were awarded.

Thanks to our sponsors: The Archuleta County Fair board, Susan King of San Juan Appraisal Group, Silver Dollar Liquor, Plaza Liquor, Old West Liquor, Mountain Spirits and Wine, Pagosa Liquor, The Spa and The Springs.


Coalition schedules inaugural Pagosa skate contest

By Jon King

Special to The SUN

The Skater's Coalition for Concrete will host Pagosa's first skate contest at South Pagosa Park on Sunday, Aug. 20.

All ages and abilities are invited to compete.

With support from local businesses and several skateboard companies, prizes, giveaways, food and refreshments will be available. All proceeds will go to the "Skater's Coalition for Concrete," an organization dedicated to a better experience and facility for the skateboarders in our community.

Contestant signup and practice is 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20. Contest runs will begin at 1 p.m.

Three entry levels will allow skaters to compete at the ability they can perform: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Following the three heats, there will be a 30 minute "Best Trick Event," where all contestants will try to stomp their best stunt. The biggest emphasis for the whole day is fun and getting folks out there to skateboard together.

Local businesses and several major skateboard companies will be supporting the cause by donating prizes, giveaways, food and refreshments. Contestants will pay a $5 entry fee. Coalition volunteers will circulate through the crowd selling raffle tickets for other prizes.

Please come out to help support your local skate park.

And stay tuned for news of future Skater's Coalition for Concrete fund-raising endeavors.


Sign up now for United Way golf tourney

Golfers are invited to chip in for United Way by signing up for the eighth annual United Way Golf Tournament to be held Saturday, Aug. 26, at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club.

The format will be a four-person scramble, with a shotgun start beginning at 9 a.m. Three different flights - Open, Couples and "Just Have Fun" - will be offered, as well as various contests, prizes and giveaways.

Cost is $75 (or $40 for members) and includes green fees, cart, lunch and a silent auction of various golf packages and other golf-related items. Golfers can enter as a team or as an individual by calling the Pagosa Springs Golf Club at 731-4755.

This golf tournament is the leading fund-raising event for Archuleta County's United Way campaign. The Archuleta County Advisory Council for United Way of Southwest Colorado has set a goal of raising $67,500 to aid 15 local agencies that address health and human services needs in the county, including: American Red Cross, Archuleta County Education Center, Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program, Community Connections, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County, Housing Solutions of the Southwest, Pagosa Outreach Connection, San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging, Seeds of Learning Family Center: Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center, Southwest Youth Corps and Southwest Safehouse.

For more information about the golf tournament or United Way in Archuleta County, call Stacia Kemp at 264-3230.


Women's golf association plays league day, hosts Seniors Tournament

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a low gross, low net format for their league day, Aug. 1.

The ladies played the Pinon Ponderosa courses with a par 71 rating. Lynne Allison and Barbara Sanborn tied for first gross in the First Flight, each with a 90, and Carrie Weisz and Josie Hummel tied for first net in the same flight, each with a 72.

Second Flight winners were Lynne McCrudden, who won first gross with a 104; and Carole Howard, who placed second gross with a 106. Claudia Johnson and Robyn Alspach tied for first net in this flight, each with a 72. In the special events category, Loretta Campuzano and Julie Pressley each won the closest to the pin competition on No. 3 Pinon and No. 8 Pinon respectively.

The Pagosa Springs Golf Club hosted a 36 hole Seniors' Tournament for men and women July 29 and 30. The participants played the Pinon Ponderosa courses the first day and the Meadows Pinon courses the second day, with a par rating of 71 and 72, respectively.

Barbara Sanborn won first gross in the Under 60 division with a total of 171. Sanborn also won the closest to the pin special event the first day on No. 2 Ponderosa. Josie Hummel won first net in this category with a 143 total. Cherry O'Donnell captured the longest drive special event the first day on No. 9 Pinon. In the Over 60 division, Carrie Weisz won first gross with a 185 total, and Doe Stringer won first net with a 137. Stringer also won the closest to the pin special event on No. 3 Pinon the second day.

Other association members who participated were Robyn Alspach, Sally Bish, Sue Martin and Cherry O'Donnell.


Pagosans fare well in Idaho golf tournament

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

Pagosans Jack and Katy Threet attended the Senior Golfer's Association of America tournament, hosted by the Coeur d'Alene Golf Club in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, July 23-26. It was a 54-hole tournament that featured a low gross, low net format.

Jack competed in the Super Senior's division (ages 75-79) and garnered second place gross with a 240 total for the three-day tournament. Katy competed in the Legends division (75 and over) and captured first place net with a total of 218. She was presented the "Pacific Northwest Championship-SGA" crystal vase.

Jack and Katy said, "The weather was great, the course was in beautiful condition, and the competition was very keen."


Fun Day Rodeo Series continues in August

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.


Pagosa's Bramwell takes title at Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo

By Jeremiah Johnke

CHEYENNE -- Forest Bramwell has stared hard luck in the face twice and both times he's been better for it.

The first time came in 2004, when the Pagosa Springs, Colo., cowboy suffered an unenviable string of injuries. He broke his back in February of that year, following it with a broken wrist in July. He rebounded from that injury only to tear the anterior cruciate ligament in one of his knees in the fall.

The second time came Sunday in the final round of the 110th Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo where Bramwell drew Brookman Rodeo Company's Hard Luck. An ominous name for a horse, but his ride turned out to be anything but.

The former Laramie County Community College and University of Wyoming bareback rider entered the go-round with 165 points in two rides - a point behind Mills' Kelly Timberman. He pocketed close to $16,000 during CFD.

Bramwell - who sits 10th in the latest Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association World Standings - spurred his way to an 85-point ride and the title at the "Daddy of 'em All."

"Words can't explain how good this feels," Bramwell said. "It's been a tough road and you kind of get down on yourself. But when you come back and do something like this it makes up for it twice as much. This one right here is one of my high points, that's for sure.

"I wondered if I was ever going to be able to come back. My back hurt me for a complete year. I went through a lot of therapy and I am just glad I am able to compete here."

Bramwell had to sweat out Timberman's 83 on Harry Vold's Sheep Tick, before claiming his prize package on the top of the arena's camera pit. The friends shook hands after Timberman - the 2004 World Champion - dismounted.

"I don't think either of us could have ridden our horses any better," Timberman said. "This was just such a great section of bareback riding. As cowboys, we just have to go out there and ride the best we can and everybody did that."

None of the 13 cowboys brought back for the final performance got bucked off. Only two recorded less than 80-point rides and even those were 78s.

Pavillion's Andy Martinez - who shared the 2005 CFD title with Rowdy Buechner - tied Scott Montague and Heath Ford for third at 243 points.

Defending world champion Will Lowe of Canyon, Texas finished tied for seventh with Wes Stevenson of Lubbock, Texas.

Sports editor Robert Gagliardi also contributed to this story.

Reprinted from the July 31st edition of the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle with permission of Cheyenne Newspapers, Inc., Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.


Pagosa Bow Club schedules last 3D shoot for year

The Pagosa Bow Club's last 3D shoot of the year will take place Sunday, Aug. 20, at the Laverty range, east U.S. 160 across from the Riverside Campground. Setup for the shoot is Saturday, Aug. 19.

The shoot will start at 9 a.m. with registration beginning at 8:30.

Fred Bear scoring will be used (12, 10 ,8, 0), and there will be a rangefinder class for those preparing for their hunts.

Cost is $15 for a single, $20 for a couple. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Club members will be able to adopt a target at the Saturday setup; the winning target placement will win a $50 gift certificate.

Call Herb (731-2401), or Kurt (264-5548) for more details.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

More than meets the eye with high school athletes

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

This essay is by parks and recreation department intern Kim Fulmer.

"Have you ever been to a Pagosa Springs High School athletic contest?

"If so, you have undoubtedly noticed all the student athletes who participate in the games. When these athletes perform, sometimes it seems as though they can jump and run effortlessly. Well, it's actually harder than it looks; especially, dealing with the pressures of being a student athlete.

"Obviously, there are two parts to this role. The first is being a student. I say this comes first because by school rules if you don't have proper grades, you are not allowed to participate in school sports. Being a good student comes easier to some than others. However, there are some great athletes out there who just aren't totally there academically. For them it is really tough to keep up school grades and also be able to play sports.

"The student life not only deals with school work and grades, but it also deals with other peers. High school is like its own little country with a distinct caste system. There are the so-called 'populars,' 'losers,' 'preps,' 'geeks,' 'skaters,' 'potheads' and 'jocks.' A student's hobbies, work ethic, character, or just who they are determines their caste rating.

"In most schools the 'jocks' would be considered the best student athletes, but in our local schools it seems that there are a variety of students from different groups who enjoy the reputation of being a student athlete.

"Along with the popularity contests, there is the pressure of being 'cool' in using drugs and alcohol. Everyone is faced with peer pressure to use drugs and alcohol, even the finest student athletes. In fact, I have come to notice that these substances are stressed even more regarding student athletes, in attempts to get them in trouble. I believe this is done out of pure jealousy. So, the pressures of being just a student can be overwhelming.

"The second part of this role is being an athlete. This is probably the more tedious part. Being an athlete takes a lot of energy from the person who's working hard.

"Sometimes working hard isn't enough. Besides some athletes not having the smarts, some just don't have the hops. In other words they're not fast enough, strong enough, or just plain athletically coordinated enough. In most cases, that's not their fault; it could come from genetics. With that, there's also the possibility of being a senior and being cut from a team.

"Athletes who are well coordinated have to worry about other factors as well. This includes their friendliness or likability factor as a teammate - their relation to others and the coach. If an athlete doesn't get along with his or her teammates and coach, it's very likely that they will not benefit the team or themselves. In addition, deep behind the scenes in athletics, there is the possibility of another pressure, called politics, getting involved.

"One of the biggest pressures of being a student athlete is the physical activity. The physical training can be grueling. Because the training can be so harsh, it takes a toll on a person's mental toughness. Mental toughness is the key to becoming or being a top student athlete. You have to be able to handle the best of situations in a cool collected manner and the worst of situations with an optimistic viewpoint. Sometimes this is a very difficult concept to grasp.

"From my personal experience of being a student athlete at Pagosa Springs High School, I have learned from many good and not-so-good experiences. Thankfully, I have never had the problem of whether I would be eligible to play sports or not. I try to have as many friends in different groups around school as possible to stay out of the whole "clique" status.

"In being social, I have been introduced to drugs and alcohol, but know to say and do the right thing, and disappointingly, I have had peers try to get me in trouble for things that I didn't do. Once again, I believe this is done out of pure jealousy.

"Athletically, I was blessed with good genes from both of my parents. Not only that, but I have worked extremely hard to get to where I am today. In trying to have friends in diverse groups, I get along with just about all of my teammates who come from those groups. I think it's cool how people of opposing views can get together and have a common interest.

"Luckily, I love the physical aspect of being an athlete. I love to just go out and move around, work hard and have fun. Honestly, being mentally tough has been difficult for me, but I've realize that I have to work through that and become stronger. Overall, I have enjoyed my experiences as a student athlete at Pagosa Springs High School, and I am looking forward to my upcoming senior year.

"So, as you can see, it takes hard work and hard play, both mentally and physically to be a student athlete, with the goal of being the best that you can be."

Youth soccer

Registration for the 2006 youth soccer league has closed and teams for the 5-6 and 7-8 divisions will be finalized by the end of next week. Games for all divisions will begin the week of Sept. 4.

Player assessment day for the 9- and 10-year-old division is Monday, Aug. 21, at 6 p.m. at Pagosa Springs Elementary School. Assessment day for all players in the 11-13 division is Tuesday, August 22 at the elementary school at 6 p.m. All players and coaches in these divisions should attend. Assessments will last approximately 90 minutes.

The draft for the 9-10 and 11-13 divisions will be Wednesday, Aug. 23, 6 p.m. at Town Hall. All coaches in these divisions should attend.

We are still in need of a few assistant coaches and team sponsors for each division; anyone interested in coaching or sponsoring a team should call 264-4151 Ext. 231 or 232.

Adult open volleyball

Adult players are welcome to attend open sand volleyball play at the South Pagosa Park sand courts Monday evenings beginning July 24 from 6-8 p.m.

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.

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.



Something in common

A place in transition, population swelling, immigrants and resi-dents with differing needs, differing visions. Governmental bod-ies struggling to keep pace with demands, to stay in front of a massive wave. Conflict based on emotionally loaded perspectives, many ill informed, many informed by a rootedness not understood by newcomers.

Dealing with change is difficult, at best. There is no need to make it more difficult than necessary.

We have an example of this in the ongoing controversy over "big box" development. Some perceive these retail operations as intrusions on their vision of the community, as dangers to small business (though numerous studies yield varied results). Others see the retailers as opportunities for jobs and cheaper goods.

And opponents clash. Due, in this case, in part, to a political mistake by town council and staff. And a mistake made by many big box opponents.

Is it really a problem? Is it our most pressing problem?

The mistake by staff and council: releasing a proposed 180,000 square-foot cap for retail stores in town. A mistake because the council was considering two, concrete limits that would, coupled with precise design guidelines and economic impact analysis criteria, give as close to complete control over "big box" development as is possible. Part of the town's proposed ordinance is a set of design guidelines keyed by development greater than 18,000 square feet. Another part is an effective size cap - 50,000 square feet - a size at which significant impact assessment would be required. Why set the larger cap and paint a target on the issue?

The mistake on the part of big box opponents? Keying on the 180,000 square-foot cap, blinded by a reaction to the specter of retail behemoths, and unaware that any ordinance can be revisited, at any time.

What do the mistakes produce? Conflict and ill feelings.

All over a "problem" that pales by comparison to real difficulties that await. In particular, governmental response to development that will either support or sink the town as the economic center of the area. Why? Because it must involve case-by-case compromise, variance from (hopefully) precise regulations. Because it involves destruction of structures of little or no historical or aesthetic, but very great emotional value. Because it involves decisions regarding whether this community aims at high-quality commercial development and the prospects of jobs and economic vitality for the next generation or two, or low-grade development and stagnation resulting in the economic demise of the town.

This is when real conflicts arise. Not with big boxes.

How best to handle it? With reason, and civility.

To start, many residents of the county do not comprehend they cannot vote on town matters, that town officials are bound to serve their constituents first. Suggestions and ideas from nonresidents are fine, but when the cake is sliced, no one outside the town automatically gets a piece. Town ordinances and development are the business of town residents and their elected officials.

On the part of officials: Why not a willingness to hear everyone, resident or not? Put a stopwatch on comments if you must, have the police eject offenders, but hear everyone for an allotted time. It is the least you can do. There are many people who care about these matters. Hear them all.

That, perhaps, is the bottom line for everyone involved in this pseudo-issue and who will be involved in profound issues to come: Everyone cares. Those making comments care about Pagosa; elected officials tasked with making decisions care.

It will be wise if all of us remember this core fact. Somewhere, on every issue, sometimes so far in the distance it can't be seen, is a reasonable compromise. Remembering the love of place we share makes reaching that compromise easier.

Karl Isberg



Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 11, 1916

The heavy rains of the past few weeks have done a great deal of damage in this part of the county. Streamlets have become raging torrents, washing out wagon and railroad bridges. The railroad bridge at Pagosa Junction washed out last week was rendered unfit for use by Wednesday's heavy rain.

Many farmers are putting out poison for grasshoppers as there sure are a lot in this part of the country, and in some places they are eating up all the crops.

Three floods occurred in Allison the past week and considerable damage was done to the crops. The railroad bridge between the Holland and Degani ranches was taken out while many other bridges and flumes were taken out also. The only thing we missed was a camera

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 14, 1931

Last year the Woman's Civic Club persuaded The Pagosa Orchestra and assisting musicians to give a benefit concert. The few who attended complained that the concert was not of sufficient length. The orchestra has been asked by a number of people to give another concert and, upon promise of large attendance, has consented to do so at the High School Auditorium August 27th. The Pagosa Orchestra is self supporting. It is composed of a number of musicians who meet regularly to play a library of music purchased by themselves. The orchestra has been found willing to assist at all functions and is now lending its aid to one of Pagosa's most worthy causes - the Public Library. Proceeds of this concert will go to the Library Fund.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 16, 1956

County fair time is not far off. Be sure that you attend this annual event. If you have a garden, livestock, crops, flowers or are a good cook get your entry ready and enter it when the right time comes. The county fair is one function that nearly everyone can enter.

Today is registration day in the outlying precincts. If you didn't get registered there, you will have only a very few days to come into town and register for the primary. Don't be a second-class citizen, get registered and then VOTE.

The local Gambles store is this week observing its fourth anniversary with a big sale. The store is operated by Jim and Gay Whitefield and each year they hold this big sale on the anniversary date of the store opening.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 13, 1981

Three young peregrine falcons have been placed on Chimney Rock with the hope they will make it their permanent summer home. The project is sponsored by the Peregrine Association in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service.

County Assessor Genevieve Phelps reports that this year's county valuation is more than $6.3 million over last year. Showing the biggest assessed valuation was the residential category amounting to $25,674,070 of the total county valuation of $36,837,720.

Even though pummeled by large hail stones Sunday afternoon, area residents thronged to the Fair Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Record numbers of booths and spectators made the Fair one of the best ever.



A resolution fulfilled Pagosan wins Ms. Fitness Colorado & Ms. Physique Colorado

Next competition: Ms. Fitness USA

By Sarah O. Smith

Staff Writer

When New Year's Eve rolls around and the clean slate of the upcoming year is stretched out before us, any goal seems within reach. And with those extra calories of the holiday feasts crushing down on our consciences, it's no wonder that so many New Year's resolutions involve some sort of weight loss or fitness regime.

Yet, come February, many gyms that were once filled to the brim are abandoned and new treadmills are left collecting dust in closets.

But some people find that if you stick it out, those lofty goals can be realized. Such was the case for Pagosan Heidi Malano, 28, whose New Year's resolution came to full fruition July 29 when she was deemed Ms. Fitness Colorado, as well as Ms. Physique Colorado, qualifying her to compete against other women from across the nation in the Ms. Fitness USA competition Sept. 8 in Las Vegas.

On Jan. 1, Malano saw the Ms. Fitness USA competition on television, and right then and there she made her New Year's resolution.

"I saw it and said, 'I'm going to do that,'" said Malano. "It's funny; it seems like all my big fitness moves have been New Year's resolutions."

Although this was the first competition for Malano, fitness has always been an integral part of her life; she has a background in dancing and gymnastics, and past New Year's goals have included becoming certified by the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America in many fields like personal training, spinning, and yoga.

"I've always been very active," said Malano.

Five years ago, Malano left her career in journalism to enter the fitness industry full-time.

"I obviously had a passion for it, so I made fitness my full-time job," she said.

When Malano and her husband Mike moved to Pagosa from Scottsdale, Ariz. last October, they found a plethora of activities to keep them busy, like hiking, mountain biking and snowboarding. While Pagosa proved to be an outstanding environment for adventure, it also offered the support Malano needed to help realize her New Year's resolution.

"I only moved here in October, and this entire community has been so supportive," said Malano. She said the local radio station, KWUF, cut the music for her routine, and local gyms gave her space to train and practice.

Malano ran into some obstacles when she first began preparing for the competition; since she had never participated in a fitness competition, she was not sure how to train or what to expect. She actually overtrained and ended up with tendonitis in her wrist and an AC separation in her shoulder. After injuring herself, Malano decided to seek help from Tiffany Yee of Denver, a trainer who was the first runner up at the 2004 Ms. Fitness USA competition and placed ninth in Ms. Fitness World.

"I learned from the injuries, because they lead me to contact Tiffany," said Malano.

A veteran to the competition world, Yee helped Malano prepare, and according to Malano, was a "real godsend." As the competition consists of three rounds, Malano had to prepare for each. In the first round, competitors are judged on beauty, poise and projection, and must give a short speech about an important message they'd like to convey about healthy lifestyles; in the second round, they are judged on muscle tone, symmetry, and physique; and in the third round, each competitor demonstrates their strength, flexibility and endurance by preforming a 90-second routine.

Malano trained diligently to practice her routine and ensure she was in top shape for the competition. When it came time to prepare for the fitness speech, Malano drew inspiration from Pagosa; she emphasized how her experiences in Pagosa are heightened by her fit and healthy lifestyle.

"Living in Colorado, if you have the strength and stamina, you can enjoy Colorado for more than the views. You can hike miles up gorgeous mountain trails, or mountain bike, or snowboard," said Malano. "It not only benefits with physical appearance, but it benefits how you live every single day of your life."

Perhaps it is this refreshing attitude about fitness that allows Malano to stay motivated to maintain a rigorous lifestyle and succeed where others have failed. Malano has a very positive outlook on fitness; for her, fitness is not just about looking good, but more importantly about good health - one benefit of a fit lifestyle that is often forgotten.

"It's about listening to your body and caring about your body," said Malano. "It's asking yourself where you want to be in five years -- with a list of medical problems, or hiking Pagosa Peak?"

As a fitness instructor and personal trainer, Malano dedicates her time to helping others realize their own goals and resolutions, and she stresses the fact that fitness shouldn't be a burden on one's life, but rather a reward.

"I hate using the words regimen or routine," she said. "Really, it becomes a habit. It's something your body craves and desires, something you look forward to."

According to Malano, anyone who starts slow and cares about their body can develop a "fitness habit."

"The motivation alone with fitness is that you don't have to be diehard crazy, you don't have to be in the gym all day - no. The motivation is just that being fit makes you feel good - that's enough," said Malano.

"It doesn't take much. If you just care about yourself, you can find time. Our lives get really busy, it's natural; everyone puts too much on their plate. Give yourself ten minutes to take a walk around the block. After one week, it will become habit."

Malano's love for outdoor activities and adventures has lead her to create another goal, albeit a long-term one: she wants to one day open a destination fitness spa in Pagosa where she can help people develop healthy lifestyles and fitness schedules that benefit their own personal goals.

"You can check in and cleanse your body, start anew - whatever your goals are. Everyone's goals are different," she said.

She plans to keep the fitness spa small enough to stay personalized, and utilize Pagosa's paramount natural surroundings for physical activities like hiking, yoga, biking, and running, and also offer healthy cooking classes.

"Colorado is a fit state, a very healthy state; it's so easy to be active. We have all these natural surroundings," she said. "This town is beautiful. Year round, we can be outside."

But Malano's goals don't stop at the competitions or the fitness spa; she's also currently becoming a certified nutritionist.

"In the fitness industry, you're constantly learning more and gaining more knowledge," she said.

She also hopes to continue broadening her interests and scope in the fitness world, including using her journalism background to one day write for fitness magazines. According to Malano, the Ms. Fitness competition was the perfect opportunity to grow and meet new people in the fitness industry, and she's not stopping here.

"This (the competition) was my little goal for this year, and I plan on doing a lot more in the future. It's definitely going to be something I do."

For anyone else who also aspires to participate in fitness competitions, Malano enthusiastically encourages others to follow in her footsteps.

"I say go for it. Number one, it's such a great experience. And number two, with the months of training and exercise, sure there may be a couple of days when you just don't want to do it. But It's so fun to give yourself that discipline, to know you can do it," said Malano. "No matter what the result was, even if I came in last, I would tell anyone to do it."

Also, Malano added that it would "be great to have more Pagosans" at the competition.

"Everyone was from Denver," she said.

As for her next New Year's resolution? Malano already has it covered.

"I want to make a fitness video," said Malano. She plans to travel to Bahia de los Suenos, or the Bay of Dreams, in Mexico to shoot a fitness video with a friend.

But for now, Malano is enjoying her quick one-week break before she begins training for the Ms. Fitness USA competition, and of course continues to inspire others to lead healthier, happier lives.

"Just being able to enjoy every day to the fullest - it's a better way of living," said Malano. "Especially in Colorado. It's too gorgeous not to enjoy."


Pagosa's Past

Thirty-one years without a home

By John M. Motter

Open warfare between the Jicarilla Apache and the United States ended in 1856 when the Jicarilla were promised a reservation.

The actual reservation, the one occupied by the Jicarilla today just south of Pagosa Springs, was not awarded until 1887. How did the Jicarilla survive during the intervening 31 years when they had no place to call home?

Tribal historian Dr. Veronica E. Velarde Tiller sheds some light on this subject in her 1984 book titled, "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History, 1846-1970." Tiller's book remains in print.

Some of the Jicarilla activities are described by Juan Dedios, who served as an informant for Dr. Frank Hibben, and anthropologist from the University of New Mexico in 1933.

According to Tiller, Dedio's insights into Jicarilla life are not only interesting, they differ from the viewpoints of government officials. Dedios describes the Jicarilla as a group of people trying to sustain themselves by hunting and trading, making the best possible use of their land and its diminishing resources, and deemphasizing reliance on rations.

Dedios was born in the late 1840s, a Navajo by birth. As a very young child he was captured by a party of Spanish and Ute slavers who invaded his homeland in the San Juan River area. He was traded to the Gonzalez family in Abiquiu, and later adopted the name of Juan Dedios. (Motter's note: Dedios remains a common and prominent name in Dulce to this day.) In the service of his family, Dedios was a livestock herder and occasional farmer. He had no opportunity to learn the Navajo language, but soon became fluent in Spanish, Apache and Ute.

A memorable event occurred in Dedios' otherwise routine existence sometime during his late teens. The privilege of accompanying a trading expedition was offered him. This trip took approximately one year, traveling by ox cart from Abiquiu via Santa Fe, El Paso, and Chihuahua. In Mexico City, the expedition traded for items such as porcelain, guns, powder, knives, metal, cloth, and gold. On this trip he obtained a gun (which later gave him an advantage when he went hunting with his Indian friend). After his return from Mexico City, he married a Spanish girl from a family named Chavez and had two daughters both of whom married. It is not clear how long this marriage lasted.

Apparently after the death of his wife, Dedios hunted with his Jicarilla and Ute friends out of Fort bent on the Santa Fe Trail, and sold dried meat to the wagon trains headed to Santa Fe and to the people of Taos and Picuros (Motter - Picuros is a pueblo a few miles south of Taos pueblo.).

These hunting activities brought him into close contact with the Jicarilla. He began to travel widely over their territory and eventually came to know it quite well.

Buffalo were becoming scarce, but Dedios and his companions continued to hunt them east of the Canadian River and northeast of Mora on the Cimarron River. In Dedios' opinion, the Jicarilla were better buffalo hunters than the Utes and some of the Pueblos from Taos and Picuros.

When he hunted with the Jicarilla, they lived in tipis made of buffalo skins. While he used his gun, his Indian friends used bows and arrows, the arrowheads being made from the iron rims of wagon wheels.

More next week on Dedios' observation of the Jicarilla Apaches before they became reservation Indians.


Pagosa Sky Watch

Beware the astrobabble hoax

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 6:20 a.m.

Sunset: 8:06 p.m.

Moonrise: 9:12 p.m.

Moonset: 8:54 a.m. Aug 11.

Moon phase: The moon is waning gibbous with 97 percent of the visible disk illuminated.

Among avid skywatchers, August is often called the "month of meteors," and this is largely due to the fact that August marks the month of one of the most prolific meteor showers of the year - the Perseids.

According to astronomer Gary W. Kronk, for more than 2,000 years, the Perseids have been putting on spectacular shows, and the Chinese, in AD 36, were among the first skywatchers to formally document the shower's passage. Following that first recording in the Chinese historic record, further formal documentation continued between the 8th and 11th centuries, with Japanese and Korean skywatchers adding their observation notes to their own historic records.

Between the 12th and 19th centuries, historical documentation of the Perseids was less prolific, but in 1839, Eduard Heis put the shower back on the proverbial radar by providing one of the first hourly counts of the Perseid shower.

Heis's efforts spurred a renewed interest in the Perseids among astronomers worldwide, and in 1867, after calculating Perseid orbits, Giovanni Schiaparelli uncovered a strong connection between the Perseids' orbit and the orbit of the comet Swift-Tuttle. Further observations led Schiaparelli to announce the Perseids and Swift Tuttle were, in fact, related. And in his discovery announcement, Schiaparelli postulated that Swift-Tuttle had jettisoned tiny fragments of dust and debris as it hurtled past the sun through the solar system, and those tiny fragments of cometary debris ultimately became the fodder for the Perseid shower.

Building on his observations of the Perseids and Swift-Tuttle, Schiaparelli later suggested the Leonids, seen in November, were also the product of debris left behind a comet - in the case of the Leonids, Schiaparelli linked the shower to the comet Temple-Tuttle.

While Schiaparelli's observations were only postulates, later astronomers confirmed his suspicions, and it is agreed Swift-Tuttle is in fact, the father of the Perseid shower. Thanks to Schiaparelli's groundbreaking work, it is widely agreed that most meteor showers have a cometary origin, and if fact, astronomers have determined there are as many as 500, comet-born meteor showers.

While stargazers have numerous opportunities to view meteors throughout the year, the Perseids are undoubtedly the most famous, and often the most memorable. With pleasant, late-summer viewing conditions, dazzling pyrotechnics and rates of up to 100 per hour - in 1994 observers in central Europe documented rates of between 200 and 500 per hour - the Perseids under dark sky conditions are a sight to behold. Unfortunately, this year, during the shower's peak Aug. 12, the Perseids will be outshone by the waning gibbous moon. Thus, skywatchers will be lucky to catch glimpses of only a handful of the brightest Perseids streaking across the sky.

Skywatchers intent on viewing the Perseids should try in the pre-dawn hours Aug. 12, or during the following week as the moon gradually wanes. However, as moonlight diminishes so will the intensity of the shower, and as August progresses, the chances of viewing even a stray Perseid become less likely.

Although this year's Perseids could well be a bust, next year's shower should be exciting. In 2007, the Perseid peak coincides with a new moon, and dark skies will make for prime skywatching conditions.

Meteor showers such as the Perseids often cause quite a stir in the amateur skywatching community, as do reports of other spectacular naked-eye events. In the case of the Perseids, the shower is well documented and reliable, but unfortunately the latest Internet buzz about a close visit by Mars is not.

According to a recently received e-mail, Mars will make an unprecedented, close-encounter with Earth Aug. 27, and will not return to such proximity until 2287.

The message is rife with statistics and astronomical lingo and states "that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again." The message adds that Mars will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear next to the moon and as "large as the full moon to the naked eye." As an ominous, footnote, and typed in all capital letters the message states, "NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN." For the uninformed, the techno-babble is almost believable - almost.

I hate to burst the bubble, but the misinformed progenitor of the e-mail should note, that not only will no one alive see this again, no one will ever see such an occurrence. Why? It is simply impossible for Mars to appear the size of the full moon in our sky.

In short, the message is a hoax, and is a recycled version, with much astro-speak embellishment, of an e-mail circulated in 2003, when Mars did make a close and spectacular passage.

During 2003, Mars came closer to Earth than it ever had in recorded history. However, during that event, it appeared as a brilliant orange star, but not as a full moon.

According Deborah Byrd of Earth and Sky, "Mars comes close to Earth about every two years, whenever Earth passes between Mars and the sun. Every 15 years, Mars comes particularly close. That's what was happening in 2003."

Stargazers should note Mars inched toward a less prominent position in the sky during July and August, and is currently seen low in the west after sunset. Currently, Mars sets soon after the sun. By September, Mars won't be visible at all; but by the close of 2006, the planet will reappear in the east before dawn.

For a complete description of Mars' movement and proximity throughout the next year, and a thorough debunking of the e-mail hoax, visit

For adventuresome skywatchers willing to hunt down a real planetary happening, the gas giant Neptune is at opposition and is visible with high power binoculars as a blue, eighth magnitude star in the constellation Capricornus.



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