August 17, 2006

Front Page

Voters face mill levy question

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Following Archuleta County Board of County Commissioner approval Tuesday, the question of stabilizing the mill levy to fund maintenance on county secondary roads will be put to voters in November.

The decision, made by a unanimous commissioner vote, allows only for the question to appear on the ballot. It does not authorize the stabilization, or "deBrucing," of the property tax mill levy. That will ultimately be up to Archuleta County voters to decide.

In his presentation to the board, Archuleta County Administrator Bob Campbell outlined a series of factors that he said warrant a ballot question. Among them, Campbell listed decrepit and inadequate county facilities - primarily the jail and courthouse - understaffed county offices, reductions in county services, inadequate parks and recreation programs and facilities, and of course, an ailing road system with road maintenance funding shortfalls and a secondary road maintenance policy that has drawn the ire of many county residents.

Under the current road policy, adopted in January 2006, the county will not provide maintenance nor snow removal on county roads classified as secondary roads, although Alan Zumwalt, director of public works, recently announced the county will plow this winter.

In order to address the issues brought forth by Campbell, the ballot language asks voters to stabilize the property tax mill levy at the current rate of 18.233 mills for a period of five years "for the purpose of funding general Archuleta County government operations to include routine maintenance of all county roads, and capital improvements, including parks and recreation facilities and county government facilities."

Campbell said routine road maintenance meant one blading per year and winter snow removal on county secondary roads.

Campbell said estimates indicate it will take an additional $500,000 per year to provide blading and snow removal on secondary roads, but that under the constraints of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR), the county suffers from chronic shortfalls.

"During the last three years, the county dipped into reserves to meet general fund obligations. We're not generating enough income," Campbell said.

In order to better supply the county coffers, the ballot measure, if approved, would stabilize the property tax mill levy at the current rate of 18.233 mills and would take effect in 2007 and would apply each subsequent year through 2011.

Campbell estimated the ballot measure could inject as much as $800,000 into county coffers during the measure's first year.

Archuleta County Finance Director Bob Burchett said as the scope of coal bed methane drilling becomes clear following the recently issued HD Mountains environmental impact statement and the forthcoming record of decision, projected revenue increases could change. Campbell and Burchett said increased oil and gas production in the HDs could be a significant source of tax revenue for the county. And Campbell added if the ballot measure is approved, "Individuals won't see a significant change in their property taxes."

Under the current rate of 18.233 mills, every $100,000 in assessed value on improved residential property equals $145 dollars in property taxes. For personal, commercial or vacant property, every $100,000 equals $529 dollars; and for every $100,000 in assessed value on oil and gas production, $1,550. And Campbell explained that although the property tax mill levy wouldn't increase under approval of the ballot question, one's taxes could still increase depending on the assessor's market analysis and valuation of the property. If a property's market value increases, so would the property taxes. Conversely, if a property's market value decreases, the property taxes would also decrease.

Campbell said under the constraints of TABOR, the county was forced to provide $600,000 in rebates to Archuleta County taxpayers last year, whereas approval of the ballot measure would allow the county to retain, spend and reserve all revenues derived from property taxes for the next five years.

"If we don't do something to solve this problem, we'll continue to see a degradation of services in the community," Campbell said.

And Campbell added, "Roads will continue to degrade. This is not the ultimate fix." And he said the county is still encouraging citizens to form public improvement districts (PIDs) to allow self-taxation for road maintenance. He said PIDs would play a pivotal role in the county's road maintenance future, although the county is banking on reaping the tax benefits of oil and gas production in the HD Mountains.

Archuleta County Commissioner John Egan said, "I see this as a pretty critical vote, am I characterizing that correctly?"

Campbell concurred. And Egan added, "If this were a company, we'd say we're running in the red right now."

Archuleta County Commissioner Robin Schiro questioned the rationale for not designating a dollar amount or a percentage of the property tax take under the ballot measure exclusively for roads.

"What keeps one item from dominating the other two items?" Schiro asked Campbell.

And Mary Bond, during the public comment session, followed in the same vein. Bond questioned if the county needs $500,000 to provide minimal maintenance, why not funnel the entire projected $800,000 into roads to improve their condition and the overall standard of service. She said trusting the county to spend responsibly would take a tremendous leap of faith.

In response to Schiro's and Bond's concerns, Campbell acknowledged a lack of trust between county residents and county government and said the five-year term allows the county to prove to residents it can spend responsibly and achieve the goals it lays out. If residents aren't satisfied with the county's performance, Campbell said the mill levy stabilization will sunset.

In addition, Campbell said county staff had considered more precise ballot language, for example, specifying dollar amounts, or a describing a particular road maintenance regimen. Instead, Campbell said, staff decided it would be best to tackle roads, and other projects as described in the ballot question, on a project by project basis as funding comes available.

He said if the ballot question passes, expenditures for road projects, county or parks and recreation facilities would go through a public budgetary review process and that the commissioners would be the final arbiters on how and where the dollars are ultimately spent.

Jerry Baier, during the public comment session, urged the board to consider clarifying the language of the question.

"To me, it smacks of almost total bureaucratic jargon," he said. And he described the text as incomprehensible and unintelligible to the average citizen.

County Attorney Teresa Williams said the language was the best the county could come up with in light of TABOR mandates, and she said TABOR requirements make it problematic to craft a succinct ballot question.

John Bozek likened the ballot question to the debate over Referenda C and D, and he cautioned against allowing the county free reign on spending.

Bill Downey also expressed concern, and asked how much the individual taxpayer would miss in refunds if the ballot question passed.

Downey did not receive a definitive answer to his question and he urged the board to have the courage to stand behind the current road policy.

"You did a good thing, stand by it," Downey said, and he added, "I caution you very strongly not to undo what you have done, it could put you in a world of hurt."

The question will appear before Archuleta County voters on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.


Council reaches 'big box' accord

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The battle of the big boxes ended in a compromise following the Pagosa Springs Town Council's unanimous approval of a scaled-down version of an ordinance that had originally capped large format retail structures at 180,000 square feet.

The compromise ordinance, put forth in a motion by council member Bill Whitbred during a special big box meeting Aug. 10, came after nearly two hours of public testimony and council discussion. In the motion, Whitbred dropped two key square-footage size caps - one, a 50,000 square-foot size cap triggering an economic impact assessment, and the second, a 180,000 maximum size cap for all retail establishments.

The 180,000 square-foot cap had drawn severe public criticism articulated in a flurry of letters to town council members and during the public comment period at a prior big box ordinance meeting. Many of the ordinance's opponents, both private citizens and council members alike, said the figure would allow for retail buildings that grossly exceed the scale of retail establishments currently in the community.

According to documents provided by Town Planner Tamra Allen, the westside City Market/Alco complex is roughly 90,000 square feet.

Council member Stan Holt described the debate over the 180,000 square-foot size cap and the big box question in general.

"It's been a very polarizing experience," Holt said.

With the public and the council divided on the issue, Whitbred proposed dropping the 50,000 square-foot cap to 40,000, and the maximum size cap to 100,000. With the council's unanimous approval, retail projects exceeding 40,000 square feet will trigger a 15-plus-item economic impact assessment, while retail buildings exceeding 100,000 will not be allowed. In addition to the two size cap modifications, Whitbred introduced a variance clause that will allow projects exceeding the parameters of the revised ordinance to be eligible for special consideration by the town council and the town planning commission.

Whitbred's original wording for the motion gave big box variance approval power to the town planning commission. However, after discussing the implications of the motion's wording with other council members, Whitbred modified the motion to keep the big box variance process consistent with the town's current variance process.

Under current town policies and procedures, variance requests go first before the planning commission for review. Once the commission has heard the request, it makes a recommendation for approval or denial. That recommendation is then presented to the town council which makes the final determination.

While the ordinance's square-footage caps make the general big box size parameters clear, one clause in the ordinance remains vague and will undergo fine tuning before the September town council meeting.

The clause reads, "The size restrictions and square footage measurements shall apply to individual retail buildings as well as all retail buildings located on a single lot or as part of a unified retail development."

As written, the ordinance makes the future use of certain properties slated for commercial development unclear, and Town Manager Mark Garcia said a "unified retail development" will have to be clarified before the ordinance receives final approval.

For example, Jeff Knuckles, who represents the owners of a 111-acre parcel near the intersection of U.S. 84 and U.S. 160, said the ordinance could have severe financial consequences on the property owners and the commercial development plan for the property.

According to Knuckles, 36 of the 111 acres are slated for commercial development, including big box retail, yet lacking a definition of what constitutes a unified retail development, the ordinance could limit the site to just one large format retail building. Knuckles said prior negotiations with former town staff allowed for a broader scope of retail development, including the possibility of multiple big box retail establishments. And Knuckles argues that those negotiations essentially grandfather the economic development plan in, making the site exempt from the ordinance with the clause as written and approved.

Garcia said with the language of the ordinance unclear, it could ultimately allow for multiple large format retail structures on Knuckles' site. And Garcia said once the clause is clarified, Knuckles will have a clear understanding of how the ordinance would govern the scope of retail development on the property. And Garcia added that although the developer had complied with the terms of the annexation agreement, including the comprehensive master plan and site cleanup, the town did not perceive the property as exempt from the forthcoming big box ordinance. Garcia said this was largely due to the fact that the developer had not completed the subdivision process, nor had they begun developing the property, or made infrastructure improvements.

Garcia said town staff is working to clarify the language for the council's review.

The Aug. 10 approval marks the ordinance's passage on first reading. The legislation must go before the town council again on Sept. 5 for a second reading and final approval.

Following the ordinance's approval, Mayor Ross Aragon encouraged town and county cooperation on the big box issue. "We have to work together," Aragon said. "I think it's imperative."


PAWSD projects: More water, better taste

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Upon completion, two ongoing Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) projects will help ease local water concerns. One will improve the taste and quality of area drinking water, while the other will increase raw water storage.

According to Gene Tautges, district assistant manager, the Hatcher Water Treatment Plant expansion is progressing well and should be finished by November. Once complete, the improvements will double discharge capacity and greatly reduce disinfection byproducts, thus minimizing taste and odor compounds on potable water serving the broader Pagosa Lakes area.

District drinking water comes from Hatcher and Stevens reservoirs (via Fourmile Creek and the Dutton Ditch pipeline), the west fork of the San Juan River and the main stem of the San Juan. All are surface water sources, and all contain at least some contamination, including natural minerals, possible radioactive material and substances resulting from the presence of animals or human activity.

While not all contaminants pose human health risks, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment prescribes regulations limiting the amount of certain impurities in water provided by public systems.

At Hatcher Reservoir last year, PAWSD experienced brief minor violations reflecting excessive levels of Total Organic Carbon, which is not hazardous, but provides a medium for the formation of disinfection byproducts (DBPs).

Such byproducts include trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, which, when ingested over prolonged periods, can lead to liver or kidney problems, nervous system disorders, a heightened risk of cancer, and other adverse health effects. DBPs are unfortunate side effects that typically develop through the necessary chlorination process.

The Hatcher work in progress includes the installation of a clearwell storage tank and Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) treatment system, a building to contain it, and all the pumps, pipes, fittings and connections necessary for a fully functioning filtration system. Its overall cost is approximately $1.6 million.

To aid in filtration, while further reducing DBPs, a new ultraviolet disinfection system will also be added to the Hatcher plant, and its final cost is $176,950, or about $20,000 less than the district originally estimated. Together, with the clearwell and GAC towers, the system will effectively reduce raw water contaminants, while improving taste and odor.

To increase raw water storage, Stevens Reservoir will soon be more than two-and-a-half times its current size. The district has obtained a necessary 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, design and construction plans are undergoing review by state engineers, and the district is finalizing land purchase negotiations with owners of adjacent properties. By press time, construction was scheduled to begin early next year.

In a Tuesday phone interview, Tautges said state engineers would utilize a new engineering model this week to determine the feasibility of the dam and spillway design currently under review. Tautges said use of the updated model has delayed approval a few months, but suggests its greater accuracy (than the old one) could reduce overall costs significantly. Final engineering acceptance is anticipated, yet this summer.

The project primarily involves increasing the size of the dam and raising it 10 feet, while relocating and doubling the size of the Stevens treatment plant. According to Tautges, the completed improvements will result in a reservoir storage capacity of 1,682 acre feet of raw water, and a more efficient plant with a maximum discharge volume of 4 million gallons per day. Today, the full capacity of the reservoir itself is about 635 acre feet, or the equivalent of 635 acres of surface area, one foot deep.

When asked how long the total Stevens project might take from beginning to end, Tautges suggested that, baring unforeseen delays or inclement weather, "it could be wrapped up in a single season." If so, the district water supply may become more "drought resistant" by the end of 2007.

At present, the district owns and operates four domestic water treatment plants, which treat raw water prior to distribution. According to the district Web site, the total treated water capacity is currently 7 million gallons per day from all sources. Water is distributed through a network of 256 miles of water mains, booster pumps and nearly 1,000 fire hydrants, with 10 storage tanks holding a combined 4.17 million gallons of treated water.


Inside The Sun

CenturyTel launches online foundation application

CenturyTel, Inc. has announced the development of an online application for its charitable foundation.

The online application allows interested agencies to apply for funding from the CenturyTel Clarke M. Williams Charitable Foundation on the CenturyTel Web site located at

The CenturyTel Clarke M. Williams Charitable Foundation (a 501(c)(3) organization) was established by CenturyTel with the fundamental belief that companies have an obligation to improve the quality of life where they do business.

Following the example set by its founder, Clarke M. Williams, the Foundation is committed to contributing to endeavors that improve the well-being of people in need throughout its communities.

The focus of the CenturyTel Clarke M. Williams Charitable Foundation is to fund programs that support family, children, safety, substance abuse prevention, disaster relief, technology and economic development in the communities CenturyTel serves. The Foundation values projects that take a creative and innovative approach to fundamental community issues.

Requests for grants from the CenturyTel Clarke M. Williams Charitable Foundation must meet criteria established by the Foundation Board, which include:

- Proposals will be considered from eligible tax-exempt organizations in certain 501(c)(3) subsections as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

- Must be based in and serve the communities in areas where CenturyTel currently offers telecommunications services in the United States.

- Should not duplicate or significantly overlap the work of government agencies at the federal, state or local level.

- Must have financial records available for regular independent outside audits and make the results available to all potential contributors.

- Must comply with applicable laws regarding registration and reporting.

Applications received by Sept. 30 will be considered for funding in 2006.

For more information visit the CenturyTel Web site located at


Water line break forces evacuation of courthouse, jail

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

A water main broke under the county courthouse Friday afternoon, sending workers home and jail prisoners to other facilities.

Water flooded the sally port under the courthouse, spouting up from cracks along the walls and columns.

The flood temporarily knocked out the county's phone lines, and the building was without water Friday. Offices in the building were closed.

Emergency personnel were placed on call, because the water break posed structural concerns. However, Friday afternoon, the building was deemed safe by a structural engineer, and employees were able to go back to work Monday.

On Tuesday, maintenance personnel found the problem with the line after breaking ground in the sally port on Monday. The break occurred on the line to the county's fire suppression system.

As of press time, the break is expected to be repaired by the end of Wednesday.

Plans are to return prisoners to the county jail by Wednesday evening. They have been held at Ignacio and La Plata County jails for the last several days.


Alpha owners to meet

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.


Blue Star Moms to hold auction

On Sept. 1, the Blue Star moms of Colorado will host an auction to raise funds for a ceremony honoring the mothers and fathers of Colorado service members killed while serving our country.

The auction, called by Calvin Story, will be held at the La Plata County Fairgrounds . The event begins at 5 p.m. with entertainment and wine tasting. The auction will start at 7 p.m.

Items for the auction have been donated from across the state and include everything from a generator, furniture, jewelry and artwork, to autographed items from the Broncos and the Avs. And, best of all, lunch with two Bronco cheerleaders the following Saturday.

For more information, contact Janna at (970) 588-2266 or Linda at (970) 385-5924.


Operation Helping Hand seeks school supplies for local youngsters

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

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

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

Operation Helping Hand, a group of dedicated citizens, has been assisting those in need for more than 15 years now. The organization is currently collecting donations of school supplies for area children.

You can help OHH make someone's first day of school (and in fact the entire school year) a brighter one by contributing some supplies.

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

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

Those who wish to make monetary donations to the drive may send them to Operation Helping Hand, Wells Fargo Bank, account number 6240417424, or Bank of the San Juans, account number 20014379. Monetary donations are used to purchase school supplies and clothing vouchers to be distributed to those identified as needing assistance at this time of the year.

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


No. 2 pencils

8-count crayons

16-count crayons

24-count crayons

4 oz. bottles of glue

Small pointed scissors

12-count colored pencils

24-count colored pencils

Family-size box of Kleenex

Gallon-size zip lock bags

Quart-size zip lock bags

Supply box

Fiskars scissors

8-count markers

Large pink erasers

One-inch hard cover 3-ring binder

Pencil top erasers

Glue sticks

Loose leaf wide rule notebook paper

Loose leaf college rule notebook paper

Scientific calculator

Pencil pouch


7-subject dividers

Spiral notebooks

White out

Ruler with standard and metric scale

Erasable pens

Index cards

8-count classic, watercolor markers

Pocket portfolios, pockets on bottom

Red lead pencils

40-page spiral notebooks

Thin-tipped markers


Four dry erase markers

Basic calculator

Pad lock or combination lock

No. 3 pencils

Small pencil sharpener with shavings holder

Wide rule composition notebooks

Elmer's glue

Paper towels

Large scissors

Clear ruler with standard and metric scale

Medium size pencil box

Graph spiral notebooks

Pocket folders with brads

Small dixie cups

Small, rounded scissors


DOW will hold elk plan meeting in Pagosa

The Colorado Division of Wildlife has scheduled two public meetings to discuss a new elk management plan for Game Management Units 75, 751, 77, 771 and 78 in southwest Colorado.

These GMUs are located in the area between the Animas River, Wolf Creek Pass and the Continental Divide.

The first meeting is in Pagosa Springs, 6 p.m., Aug. 23, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave. The second meeting is in Durango, 6 p.m., Aug. 30, at the DOW's Museum and Visitor's Center near the fish hatchery, 151 East 16th St.

The purpose of the plan is to establish population objectives, bull-to-cow ratios and harvest strategies.

DOW staff will talk about the current status of the elk herd, population numbers, bull-to-cow ratio and harvest information.

The public is asked to provide comments about elk management in the area.

After the meeting, the DOW will write the proposed management plan and submit it to the Colorado Wildlife Commission for review in November. The wildlife commission reviews all game management plans in the state.

The management plan will be in place for the 2007 hunting season.

Those who can't attend the meeting can send comments to: Andy Holland, Colorado Division of Wildlife, 151 East 16th St., Durango, CO 81301.



Comment sought on proposed fuel reduction projects

The Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office (of the combined San Juan National Forest and San Juan Resource Area of the Bureau of Land Management) is seeking public comment on two hazardous fuels reduction projects involving 925 acres of district land. The 30-day comment period for the Vega La Juana project expires Sept. 11. Comments for the Broken Off Point project should be received by Aug. 31.

The Vega La Juana project area is located approximately 13 miles west of Pagosa Springs, in Sections 11, 12 and 13, Township 34 North, Ute Range 4 West and Sections 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, and 35, Township 34 North, Range 4 West of the New Mexico Principal Meridian.

There, the district hopes to mow and shred understory oak, Rocky Mountain juniper, and Douglas fir, and thin pine clumps on 772 acres of forest.

The Broken Off Point area is located approximately 9 miles west-southwest of Pagosa Springs within the Aspen Springs subdivision. The project will take place on Bureau of Land Management land, in Sections 1, 12, 13, and 14, Township 34 North, Range 3 West of the New Mexico Principal Meridian, and will involve the treatment of approximately 153 acres of oak, juniper, and other shrubs.

According to Forest Service officials, the intent of the projects is to decrease wildland fuels in order to change wildland and prescribed fire behavior, to mitigate the risk of bark beetle outbreaks by reducing stand density, to protect large trees from wildfire, to reduce the risk to infrastructure and private property posed by fire, and to increase habitat diversity for wildlife species.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SOS screens 'Running Dry' tomorrow

By John Graves

Special to The SUN

The Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS) will screen "Running Dry," an alarming new documentary based on the book "Tapped Out" by former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, tomorrow, 7 p.m. in the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Fellowship Hall.

The film focuses on the present developing water crises across the globe, including Asia, Africa, the Middle East, as well as the American Southwest. It points out that there is no simple answer as to why this situation is unfolding. Waste, overconsumption, climate change, overpopulation and pollution have affected various regions in many different ways.

Every day 14,000 people die because of a lack of water, and 9,500 of these are children. "I want every decision-maker in the world to put water as the number one priority," states James Thebaut, who wrote, produced and directed this project, which some have hailed as a masterpiece.

The film is sponsored as part of SOS's quarterly environmental cinema series. The SOS's hope is that this vivid and shocking film will open eyes to how precious our water resources are. The challenge is to stop taking them for granted, and take actions to seek solutions in a unified and educated manner.

The UU Fellowship Hall is located in 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.

For more information on the film, or SOS, contact Denise Rue-Pastin at 731-9672.


Free-use permits available for firewood collection

The San Juan National Forest Pagosa Ranger District will issue free-use permits for firewood collection at the Wolf Creek Campground.

The campground is located 20.7 miles from Pagosa Springs.

Firewood that is dead and down can be collected for one week, Aug. 19-26. Gates to the campground will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. during this week. There is a four-cord limit per family.

A free-use permit must accompany permittee.

Permits can be obtained at the Pagosa Ranger District office at 180 Pagosa St. Call 264-2268 for information.


Free volunteer naturalist training in Pagosa

Durango Nature Studies is again offering free volunteer naturalist training in Pagosa Springs, Aug. 23 and 26.

After attending the 11-hour training, volunteers will guide children on nature walks weekday mornings on the beautiful Four Mile Ranch.

Second-, third- and fourth-grade Pagosa Springs Elementary School students will attend these field trips in September.

No experience is necessary prior to the training; just a love of children and nature.

Contact Jennifer for more information or to register at 382-9244 or e-mail


What's new for Colorado big-game hunters for 2006

Colorado's wildlife resource is renowned. Every year hunters come to Colorado from around the world to hunt big game.

For the 2006 season, hunters need to be aware of some new rules and regulations.

Colorado is home to the largest migratory herd of elk in North America and overall has more elk than any other state or Canadian province. Colorado also has one of the largest mule deer herds in the nation. Additionally, the state's population of moose, pronghorn, black bear, and mountain lion make Colorado a destination for hunters from around the globe. With such a tremendous wildlife resource, it's no wonder that hunting plays an important role in the state's economy and heritage.

Big game hunting is big business in Colorado. According to a study by BBC Research and Consulting, big game hunting pumps nearly $450 million directly into the Colorado economy each year. Fishing, hunting and wildlife watching together combine to pump $1.5 billion dollars into the state's annual economy. All that money means that wildlife supports more than 20,000 jobs in the state.

One of the biggest changes local and visiting hunters will encounter in 2006 is the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp. The stamp will cost no more than $10, but is charged as a $5 dollar stamp on the first two hunting or fishing licenses purchased by an individual during a calendar year. Youth (under 19) and seniors (over 64) are exempt from the stamp.

Sportsmen's organizations pushed for the stamp to better fund habitat protection for Colorado's wildlife.

"With the growing human population and thriving energy development, protecting some space for wildlife is critically important," said Ron Velarde, DOW Regional Manager for northwest Colorado.

The Habitat Stamp is also required for anyone who uses a designated State Wildlife Area. Anyone who buys a hunting or fishing license will automatically have a stamp, others who use state wildlife areas will need to get a stamp at a license agent or DOW office. When purchased without license, the Habitat Stamp costs $10.

In addition to the Habitat Stamp, license buyers also pay a 75-cent surcharge starting this year to fund the Wildlife Management Public Education Advisory Council. The council was established by the Legislature in 1998 to develop a public education plan that explains the values of wildlife, wildlife management, and hunting and fishing. The program is focused on making sure that the urban public has at least a basic understanding of the need for hunting and fishing.

Deer hunters this year will find deer licenses more plentiful as the state's deer population recovers from some lean years in the 1990s. Doe licenses in northwest Colorado have become "List B" licenses, meaning that in some cases hunters can buy more than one deer license in a year.

Changes have also been implemented in Colorado's preference point system, which allows hunters to accumulate points towards hunts in high-quality areas have limited numbers of licenses. To receive a preference point, applicants must participate in wildlife management in Colorado through purchase of hunting or fishing licenses or by paying a $25 preference point fee.

Colorado also is the only state to offer over-the-counter bull elk licenses. Hunters can purchase an unlimited over-the-counter bull elk license at any license retailer or DOW office and have the opportunity to hunt in a variety of great elk units around the state.

Remember, a hunter education card is required to hunt in Colorado for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1949.

To learn more about hunting opportunities in Colorado, go online to or call the local DOW office.


Mushroom harvesters on national forest lands must have permit

With daily rains maintaining wet conditions on the San Juan National Forest, wild mushrooms are prolific this summer.

Harvesters who collect mushrooms for commercial purposes must first purchase a permit from the San Juan National Forest. The minimum permit costs $20 and is good for up to one week of collecting mushrooms for resale. A 30-day permit costs $75.

Harvesters who collect more than one or two pounds of mushrooms for personal use should carry with them a free-use permit available from the San Juan National Forest offices in Durango, Bayfield, Dolores or Pagosa Springs.

The San Juan National Forest encourages ethical harvesting when collecting mushrooms to maintain this natural resource on your public lands:

- Do not take more than you need or will use.

- Cover the hole from which the mushroom was harvested with needles or duff.

- Use a mesh bag or basket when collecting to allow mushrooms to spore.

Some wild mushrooms are edible, but others are very poisonous. Mushroom harvesters should be knowledgeable about varieties of mushrooms and not experiment with unknown mushrooms. Guidebooks to mushrooms are available in local bookstores and Forest Service offices. A free brochure with more information on harvesting mushrooms and other forest products is also available online at

For more information, contact Gretchen Fitzgerald at 264-1535.


AARP driving course for older motorists

Would you like to sharpen your driving skills and reduce your auto insurance premium?

You can do this by taking the AARP Driver Safety Program, a motor vehicle accident prevention course for persons age 50 and older.

Students will learn defensive driving techniques, how to compensate for normal age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time, how to deal with aggressive drivers and much more.

The course consists of eight hours of classroom instruction conducted in two half-day sessions. There is a $10 fee.

The class will be taught at the Community United Methodist Church Sept. 12-13. Class hours will be 1-5 p.m. both days.

Contact Don Hurt, AARP volunteer instructor, at 264-2337 for additional information and to make your reservations. Class size will be limited to 24 students.


Cowboy Benefit Dance and Auction tomorrow

A Cowboy Benefit Dance and Auction will be held at the 4-H Extension building Aug. 18 at 7 p.m.

The auction starts at 7, followed by the dance.

There is a $10 minimum donation per person at the door (all proceeds go to the families of Chase Regester, Mike Maestas and Travis Stahr).

Memorial T-shirts will be for sale at the door (proceeds go to families).

Join in and help the families and those who love them. This event is for all ages and put on by young adults of Pagosa.


Knights spaghetti dinner to benefit families

A benefit spaghetti dinner for the families of Mike Maestas, Chase Regester and Travis Stahr, hosted by the Knights of Columbus, will be held 4-8 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Parish Hall at 451 Lewis St.

Admission to the dinner for adults is $8, for children 12 and under $5.

All proceeds will be turned over to the three families to help defray their costs for travel, lodging and medical expenses.


La Plata Electric refunds $2 Million in patronage capital

La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) recently announced refunds of $2,000,000 in patronage capital to its member/owners. These refunds will be credited to electric bills or mailed as checks from now through early September. Since incorporation in 1939, LPEA has refunded over $23 million to members and former members.

LPEA Chief Executive Officer Greg Munro said of the refunds, "These refunds are a major point differentiating us from other types of utilities. We give the money back to our members instead of giving it to investors. Our sound fiscal policies combined with strong growth have allowed us to return to a positive financial position. As a result, we're able to refund patronage capital to our members."

Each year, the amount of electric payments above and beyond the cost of providing electric service (called margins) is accounted for in each consumer's name, in proportion to the consumer's contribution to LPEA margins. This capital, along with borrowed funds, is used to finance electric system improvements. In other words, LPEA invests the margins back into the system to help build owners' equity and reduce the amount of money the Association has to borrow (thereby reducing interest charges). This allows LPEA to maintain system reliability at its highest level and still keep rates low.

Patronage capital refunds are the method by which electric cooperatives return some of the excess capital to the members/owners. When times are good and certain equity requirements (set by the Rural Utilities Service mortgage agreement) are met, the LPEA Board of Directors determines the amount of capital to be refunded.

This year's refunds are a combination of the following: 1) $690,000 from 1986; and 2) $1,310,000, approximately 1.752 percent of the balance from years 1987 through 2005.

Capital Credits accrue in proportion to a member's usage. Members with accounts stretching back to 1986 will receive refunds for those years, plus a percentage of the money that has accrued in their capital accounts since 1986. Members who signed up after 1986, and before 2006, will receive a percentage of the money in their total patronage capital account.

The percentage is determined by factors such as cash flow, equity requirements, financial stability and cash needs for future construction. Balancing these factors ensures that LPEA refunds the maximum amount while keeping adequate operating cash on hand and keeping owners' equity up to certain minimum levels.

Refunds will show up as a credit on the electric bills of most members. Members with refunds over $250 and members with inactive accounts will receive checks. Applying the refund as a credit on most bills saves approximately $15,000 per year in printing and mailing costs.


 Catch and Release

Aggressive dogs cause outrage

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

This column is not about fishing. In fact, the only link between angling and this column is the incident that occurred last weekend probably would not have happened had I gone fishing in the San Juan Mountains instead of going to Albuquerque.

On Sunday morning, while walking with a friend and my dogs through the old neighborhood, my cocker spaniel was attacked by an unattended and unrestrained pit bull. The pit bull was in his yard, but with the fence gate wide open, and as we walked past, the dog surged from its property and into the street where it broadsided my cocker spaniel. The 12-year-old cocker was leashed and walking slow enough to be virtually standing still. The pit bull was running at full speed. The collision was tremendous, with at least 100 pounds of pit bull flesh slamming a deaf, partially blind dog of far less than a third the pit bull's weight, hard into the ground, then dragging the little pooch across the asphalt. None of us saw the pit bull coming until the last second, least of all the cocker spaniel.

In the split second before the attack, I saw a flash of grey and the body of a huge canine bounding across the street out of the corner of my eye, and realized we were in for trouble. When I saw the cocker tangled in his leash and trapped on his back with his legs pumping in the air while being dragged across the ground, I knew things were going from bad to worse. Miraculously, the pit bull kept running after trampling the little dog, and made a wide circle in preparation for another pass. In those few seconds, I had time to get between the pit bull and the cocker, and scooped him up before the pit bull could return. At the same time, my friend scrambled to restrain my other two dogs, also leashed, in preparation for an inevitable three-way dogfight.

As I cradled the cocker in my arms I feared the worst. He had already been slammed twice earlier in the year in separate events but in a similar fashion - once by another large dog in Pagosa Springs, and once, more recently, by the same pit bull under similar circumstances. Considering the force of the previous impacts, I didn't think his spine could take another hit - he already had difficulty lowering his body down into a laying position and sometimes his back legs refused to function while attempting to climb steps or stairs. With him in my arms, I quickly scanned his body, and aside from being scared and stunned, he was uninjured aside from a minor abrasion incurred while being dragged on the asphalt.

Obviously, the scuffle and the shouting drew various neighbors and the owner of the pit bill outside and into the street. As the owner approached, he squared his shoulders, was insolent and bristling for a fight. He offered no apology. In fact, he acted as though it was our problem for walking in the street. According to him, "His dog was just doing its job."

We called the police.

Because the area is a rural village south of the city, and considering no one died or was mauled in the incident, the police arrived within a reasonable amount of time. They listened to our complaint, earnestly took our names and social security numbers, and provided conciliatory nods and the appropriate "uh-uhs" at the right times. They assured us they would talk with the pit bull's owner to "find a solution." However, to the best of my knowledge, no formal complaint was, or will be filed, and that was precisely the intent of the call: to create a paper trail such that when the dog does eventually maul a person or kills another dog or household pet, there will be solid ground on which to have the dog expeditiously impounded or euthanized and the owner fined or sued.

When I consider the "what-ifs" of the incident, the list of possibilities is both endless and horrifying. What if it had been my former neighbor who used to walk with her newborn twins in a stroller and a tiny Pekinese on a leash? If the pit bull had toppled the Pekinese, could there have been babies, dogs, a mother and a pit bull scuffling in the street? And what about an elderly person who could have been easily knocked down and broken a bone, or worse, in the scuffle?

I list the "what ifs" because anything, as I have experienced, is possible. In 1999, two rottweilers, also from the same neighborhood, and who had essentially never left their yard in ten years, were accidentally let out one rare, snowy winter evening. In the hours between midnight and 7 a.m., the rottweilers, apparently thrilled with their new-found and unprecedented freedom, tunneled from an adjacent pasture into our horse corral, and spent the night slowly and methodically destroying our miniature horse. With deformed legs, she was crippled, not a show horse, but a good family pet, and she was utterly unable to defend herself against the two, 100-plus pound dogs.

During the night they literally ate her alive. And in the morning they stood proudly over her body, muzzles red and bellies fat with horse flesh, while she lay quivering and dying in a pool of blood and crimson snow. The provocation or impetus for the attack remains inexplicable, and visions of that horrifying scene are as fresh as though the incident happened yesterday. Thus, my patience is short for loose, aggressive dogs, and it is especially short for those breeds that have demonstrated a propensity for spontaneous and unprovoked savagery. And I think Shawn Curvey understands how I feel.

In a letter to the editor in the July 27, 2006 issue of The SUN, Curvey alleges a family pet was killed in the Curvey's own garage by a pit bull running loose in the neighborhood. According to Curvey, the animal allegedly attacked and killed two other animals the same night and was seen chasing children. In his letter, Curvey states the dog was not impounded and was returned to its owner because "it was not aggressive toward people."

Immediately following the Rottweiler attack on our miniature horse, the dogs were taken away and euthanized. If Curvey's allegations are true, and the pit bull did in fact kill three animals in the same evening, why wasn't the same action taken with the pit bull?

In the same issue of the SUN, columnist Ming Steen tells a terrifying tale of a female bicyclist in Pagosa Lakes trying to fend off two aggressive dogs with her bicycle after being bitten on the arm and leg. According to Steen, when she attempted to help the woman, the dogs lunged at her through the open car window. Ultimately, the two took shelter in Steen's car until an animal control officer arrived.

Just a week later, in the Aug. 3 edition of The SUN, Ruben Luna of Aspen Springs, alleges he has been bitten on the legs by loose dogs on two separate occasions.

And lastly, the most horrific incident occurred in 2002, when two loose pit bulls mauled Garrett Carothers. In the attack, The SUN reported Carothers was bitten on more than 80 percent of his body and suffered extensive wounds to his scalp and face.

In the Aug. 3 edition of The SUN, Karen Dannewitz, in a letter to the editor, writes of Steen and Curvey's experiences and asks in her final sentence, "Where is the outrage?"

In light of the Carothers attack, a recent flurry of letters to the editor, my own experiences and a police scanner that buzzes daily with loose dog calls, you can rest assured Ms. Dannewitz, I am outraged.



Bring it on

Dear Editor:

Pagosa Springs was once a neat small mountain town, not anymore. It has spun out of control in all areas. People keep coming and coming, making the change, always changing.

So why are there so many against the "Big Box?" They are here, look around.

There are houses on every hill, in every valley. U.S. 160 east and west look like anywhere USA. The crime rate is way up, traffic jams, rush hour, road rage and huge parcels of land raped, never to be the same beautiful open spaces.

Fast food chains, restaurants a'plenty, gift shops selling items (mostly alike) spread all down the main corridor. Old landmark buildings being destroyed, replaced (maybe) by the new look alikes. What a farce.

Bring on the Big Box, it sure won't do more damage than what has already happened.

So, to those of you that think it will destroy Pagosa Springs, look around, it's already gone ... and you missed it.

LA Baker


Treat equally

Dear Editor:

Archuleta County Commissioners: Robin Schiro, Ronnie Zaday, John Egan.

We live at 20 Beech Court in Twincreek Village. This street is a cul-de-sac off Caballero, which leads from North Pagosa Boulevard to Mission Street. When you published the list of primary and secondary roads, Caballero and Beech Court were secondary roads and would not be maintained.

In the last few weeks, the county has been grading and graveling all the roads around our address except Caballero and Beech Court. The purpose of a maintenance schedule is to assign status to all roads, which has been done. However, a maintenance schedule should also assign maintenance priorities to all roads, such as: full maintenance of primary roads, somewhat lesser maintenance on secondary roads, and minimum maintenance on the rest of the categorized roads. The published schedule states that the primary roads will be maintained and no maintenance will be performed on the rest of the roads in the county! This is not a maintenance schedule, this is giving preference to one group of roads and one group of owners and nothing to the rest of the roads and owners. However, all owners pay the same tax to the county in order to have their roads maintained.

What is the purpose of spending several years categorizing all the roads in the county when the commissioners do not intend to follow established maintenance guidelines? In addition, the gravel trucks that were performing maintenance on Escobar and Laurel used Caballero as a shortcut and further damaged an already bumpy and pot-holed road. If the county is going to plow all roads this winter, how can they plow damaged roads?

There is a huge gap in the level of maintenance of the roads on the current maintenance schedule. Why are we encouraged to form metro districts, which will cost each taxpayer a great deal of money in addition to the taxes we already pay to maintain roads? The county commissioners need to clarify the road policies and ensure that all residents of the county are treated equally and receive the benefit of the taxes they pay to maintain their roads.

Dave and Pat Payne



Dear Editor:

Does Pagosa Springs really need a Big Box double the size of City Market/Alco building? I think not! If the Town of Pagosa Springs planning, zoning and council members will stick with the Town's Big Box cap of 55,000 square feet and building architecture, the Wal-Marts of the world will compromise in order to build in Pagosa Springs. They always do! Then, it will be a win-win situation - the town gets what it wants and the Wal-Marts of the world get a little piece of Pagosa. And if they don't want to build in Pagosa, are we really going to miss them? Again, I think not. But, before all of the Wal-Marts of the world come, please commit and follow through with the downtown master plan development.

D. Smith

Denton, Texas


County fair

Dear Editor:

Archuleta County Fair is history for another year. The people who ran the exhibit building are truly something special. Since I was incapacitated at the last minute, the entire group of superintendents, in charge of their individual departments, as well as the ladies of the quilt guild and other members of the fair board, took over the complete production and did a fantastic job. I hope that our citizens who live in this special community realize what we have here. As we watch the news today, we may all forget what our town members are truly like. Please, if you know anyone of the fair volunteers from this year, thank them again for who and what they are - the best of the best in the USA.

Janet Meyer Karn

Archuleta County Fair Board member


Not fair

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter to you as the editor regarding a situation that occurred resulting from the last commissioner meeting dated Aug. 1. During that meeting, an issue related to roads came up. Since Commissioner Schiro was attending the meeting remotely by phone while attending her father's wedding, she commented that she could not read the document that had been sent to her by e-mail regarding the issue, and, therefore, she abstained from the vote.

During the meeting, James Robinson confronted her regarding why she could not read the document. I believe this totally inappropriate. She clearly stated in the meeting that she could not read the document and, therefore, felt it was wrong for her to make a decisive vote one way or another. During the meeting, she was "chastised" by the BoCC chair and it is becoming more and more obvious to me that Mr. Robinson has an agenda in his reporting, and I even suspect that his reporting is directly tainted by the chair's behavior and opinion. His reporting is not objective, and is continuously slanted against Commissioner Schiro personally and against positions that she takes. If you read the letters to the editor, you will clearly see that I am not alone in this conclusion.

Well, what actually occurred during that BoCC meeting is that the administrative assistant had scanned the document in upside down and sent it that way. That is specifically why Commissioner Schiro could not read it. Contrary to the current board chair, she did not feel it was appropriate to embarrass a county employee in a public meeting, and did not think it was necessary to explain or justify her actions to Mr. Robinson why she could not read the document.

To add injury to insult, once again, you, Mr. Isberg, have taken the opportunity from this situation to again backhand her in your weekly editorial, commenting something to the effect that, "What we need is a commissioner that won't abstain on votes regarding road issue." Not only was the original reporting inaccurate and biased, but obviously you, Mr. Isberg, have determined to continue your campaign of personal attacks on Commissioner Schiro, without all of the information as an armchair quarterback.

As you well know, there is a well-defined order of responsibility within a newspaper and journalism (if that really matters at the Pagosa SUN). It is well-accepted that a reporter has the responsibility of reporting objective, fact-based stories - not articles based on personal bias, assumptions, personally-drawn conclusions or a personal agenda. After that, if a reporter fails in this duty, it is the clear responsibility of the editor to insist on objective, accurate reporting and edit accordingly. Finally, if all of these checks and balances are not in place and utilized, it is the publisher's responsibility to ensure that their newspaper's readership is getting the correct story. Ultimately, Terri House, as the publisher, has that final responsibility. Certainly, there is some leeway in editorials and columns, but there should not be in articles presented as "news" which then spill over into editorials when you, Mr. Isberg, cannot come up with your own material for your editorials.

I believe Commissioner Schiro deserves a formal written apology/retraction for this latest occurrence of Mr. Robinson's behavior and story, and you, Mr. Isberg, for your inappropriate commentary on the same. The buck stops with Terri House. I believe it is time The SUN presents itself as a legitimate newspaper for the citizens that read it. I believe Commissioner Schiro deserves to be treated with common courtesy, and have what she states and does reported factually and accurately. After all, The Pagosa SUN was voted by the previous board of county commissioners to be the county paper of record. The ongoing (I believe intentional) twisting of Commissioner Schiro's statements and involvement as a commissioner must come to an end. I believe that needs to be now.

Marge Pantzar


Editor's note: Thank you for sharing your expertise regarding journalistic practice. In line with that, if you were at the meeting, you know the claim the document was transmitted upside down was not made. Further, you know Robinson's "confrontation" consisted of a question as to the electronic format of the document in question - HTML, Word, PDF, etc.

Commissioner Schiro was quoted verbatim by Robinson. A check of recorded proceedings of the meeting will show this.

We find it interesting you should isolate on a single sentence in an editorial the primary topic of which was the probable added expense of road maintenance. Since you choose to do so, we will agree to the limited perspective for the purpose of this comment. This is hardly the first time this commissioner has abstained on a vote. We believe we elect officials to cast votes - in particular on issues that have been under their consideration for significant periods of time; even if that vote is "no" and is supported on the record by the reasons for the vote. We believe an abstention should be used rarely, and generally only in a case of possible conflict of interest. Not casting a vote, in our view, is to fail to serve the interests of those in whose stead the elected official is trusted to act.

   Community News

ECA presents 'An Empty Bench'

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Elation Center for the Arts presents "An Empty Bench" - a one-act play with cabaret - at Stage Under The Stars in Pagosa at 7 p.m. Aug. 22 and 23.

Evoking the Golden Age of Broadway, the performance is one of a select group of theatrical shows this summer at Stage Under the Stars, a theater in a picturesque setting under a large performance tent.

Two exciting evenings of acting, singing and dancing feature the talents of Matthew and Tiffany Brunson, Kimberly Judd, Honor Nash-Putnam, Larry Elginer, Sally Yates and June Marquez.

Orchestration is by The John Graves Trio, featuring D.C. Duncan on drums, Dan Fitzpatrick on bass and Sire John on piano.

The legendary John Graves (after rediscovering six of his original songs in an old trunk that had washed up on the shore) noticed that if he assembled his long forgotten songs in certain way they told a story. "An Empty Bench" is Graves' first musical play, and this will be the first time the play has ever been performed.

According to Graves, the play has "a very positive message about people supporting each other and overcoming rather disastrous romantic beginnings. It has a joyous and uplifting ending." And moving from a one act musical play directly into to a cabaret variety show is a great way to keep that joy going.

Matthew and Tiffany Brunson are professional musicians who have toured in the U.S. and other countries. "I'm really excited about working in an ensemble like this," says Matthew Brunson. "Everyone is a very strong character with good singing abilities." Tiffany Brunson is Matthew's spouse and professional singing partner. She says, "It's a privilege and honor to work with John Graves. He's super talented. As a musician, he's one of the best that we've ever worked with."

Each of the six characters sings an original song composed and accompanied by Graves. Graves co-authored the script of "An Empty Bench" with local producer, John Porter. Porter is also director and producer of the play. The two have collaborated on several theater productions, concerts and radio plays.

Since he moved to Pagosa 10 years ago, Graves has generously contributed his talents to Pagosa's emerging cultural scene. He has a local following of fans that avail themselves every opportunity to see him perform. "I'm very pleased to have Pagosa be the launching pad for this play," says Graves. "Working with such talented performers is a great delight." Besides having a distinguished career — as an executive in the film and television industry — Graves has been a university professor and a lifelong professional jazz pianist. His beautiful new Web site,, shows some of his many creative sides.

So come enjoy "An Empty Bench," a one-act play with cabaret. The show's title notwithstanding, seating is limited. Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Please bring a dessert to share at intermission if you wish.

Discount tickets are available for $15 through Aug. 18 and can be purchased at WolfTracks and online at Tickets will be available for $20 at the door Aug. 22-23.

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

"An Empty Bench" is presented by Elation Center for the Arts. For more information, call 731-3117.


Local author, Sue Liescheidt, releases novel for young readers

PublishAmerica has announced publication of "Hatti on County Rd. 335," by Colleen Sue Liescheidt of Pagosa Springs.

"Hatti on County Rd. 335" is about adjusting to life in the country for teens. There are good morals and good judgment calls by both the young adults and adults in the story. The story is informative about country life, and life with horses and the natural wildlife of the Southwest.

The teens in the story are challenged with many obstacles, and they do a great job at resolving various tribulations. There is some humor and adventure in the story which will keep the interest of young readers. The main character, Hatti, reflects the personality of Liescheidt's stepdaughter, Beth.

Liescheidt and her husband, Gary, moved to Colorado in 1999 from Valencia, Calif. Her career is primarily in the public relations/financial industry and she writes as a hobby.


Healing arts group holds first meeting, sets second date

By Linda LoCastro

Special to The PREVIEW

What is your calling? What services are you able to offer? What is your personal vision? What is your community vision?

These were the questions answered by those who attended the first Healing Arts Gathering, held on Sunday, July 30, at the community center.

In sharing these answers, it became obvious a very talented, diverse group of both allopathic and holistic practitioners had come together: an M.D., an acupuncturist, several nurses, and numerous holistic practitioners offering yoga, reiki, massage, hypnotherapy, energy body work, herbology, craniosacral therapy, emotional freedom techniques, and quantum healing.

Elizabeth Kobren, M.A., R.N., together with Karen Aspin, co-organizers of the gathering, introduced the program objectives and encouraged a spirit of discovery through sharing. Co-facilitators Sophia and Linda LoCastro led participants through a break-out circle exercise in which the answers to the above questions were elicited and shared within the circles. A synopsis of each circle was then presented to the entire gathering.

Creating a healing arts community, fostering greater awareness and cooperation within that network, and offering free seminars for deepening the public's awareness of available healing modalities in Pagosa emerged as common personal and community visions. The group would like to network with each other on a regular basis, offering support and learning more about one another's healing modalities - thus, being able to refer clients to each other. They desire to be able to offer clients a more comprehensive treatment program by understanding other services and recommending those services, also.

Membership in a directory and the creation of a Web site were also discussed. The directory would be available throughout Pagosa and surrounding areas. The Web site would connect us with others globally. It would serve Pagosa by being another informative link promoting Pagosa as a healing oasis via the Internet thereby attracting visitors from all over the world adding to Pagosa's economy.

The group's next gathering will be held 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, at the Pathways to Self Mastery office, located upstairs in The Heritage Building, Suite A, 468 Pagosa St. The Heritage Building is across from the courthouse, just past the bend in the highway, in downtown Pagosa. Anyone with an interest in bringing forth these visions within the healing arts sector of our community is welcomed. By increasing our community's awareness, knowledge and use of a wide variety of healing modalities, both the healing practitioners and those they serve will enjoy a win-win situation. Contacts for this next gathering are Sophia (970) 903-2108, Linda LoCastro (970) 946-7352, and Karen Aspin (970) 731-3138.


Lifelong learning programs planned for fall

Volunteers from Pagosa Springs and Durango are now scheduling lifelong learning programs in Pagosa Springs for the fall.

Local musician, author and performer John Graves will kick off the fall program with a presentation on the highlights of jazz history on Aug. 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the library. A performance with his jazz group in the library parking lot will follow.

Fall offerings include lectures by members of the Fort Lewis College faculty on Preserving Western History, Women to the Rescue: Creating Mesa Verde National Park, Engineers Without Borders; and the Venus Figurine Controversy, among others.

Beginning in September, all these lectures will be offered on Saturday afternoons at 3 p.m. at the library. A schedule will be published weekly in The SUN.

Also planned for the fall are programs by local individuals who will share their knowledge or experience in a wide variety of subjects. All presenters are volunteers. All programs are free and open to the public.

Persons interested in offering a program may contact Biz Greene at the Education Center, corner of 4th and Lewis streets.


Hot Strings return home for Four Corners Folk Festival

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

Tickets are selling like hotcakes for the 11th annual Four Corners Folk Festival, taking place this Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 1-3, on Reservoir Hill Park in Pagosa Springs - and especially for Sunday's lineup which wraps up with the legendary Delbert McClinton.

The three-day outdoor festival also features nationally touring musicians Dar Williams, Eddie From Ohio, RobinElla, the Waybacks, Drew Emmitt, Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem, Old School Freight Train, the Duhks, The Stringdusters, Anne and Pete Sibley, The Biscuit Burners and Julie Lee with guest Sarah Siskind.

Kicking off the event for the 11th year in a row is Pagosa Springs' own Hot Strings. It has been such a treat to watch these boys turn into young men as they have collectively honed their instrumental, vocal and songwriting skills along the way. Today, the Hot Strings are an in-demand touring band with their own base of loyal fans.

That they have played together for 10 years seems like a stretch for a band this young. Their first "paying gig" was playing for tips at the bus stop at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 1996. Four years later, they opened that festival after winning its renowned band competition.

The Hot Strings have played many of the more prestigious festivals in the West including the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Rockygrass and the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kan. Josiah Payne was the 1998 Colorado State mandolin champion at age 14, and won the National Mandolin championship in 2000 at age 16. Carson Park was crowned Colorado state fiddle champion in 1998 at age 12. Jared Payne has earned his share of accolades and awards on the guitar.

Though cousins, the three boys were raised under the same roof. Carson's father, Dan, played bass with them for many years. Then, classically-trained Lech Usinowicz took over on bass in the summer of 2004.

Today, the Hot Strings wow their audiences with a high energy eclectic approach that includes elements of jazz, bluegrass, Irish, reggae and newgrass. The Hot Strings play mostly original songs.

They released their third CD, "Uncharted," in April 2005. Produced by Patt Flynn, former member of supergroup Newgrass Revival, the CD was recorded in Nashville at Monkey Finger Studio. The Hot Strings will christen the main stage on Friday, Sept. 1 at 3 p.m. and can also be heard at various workshops throughout the weekend.

If you're looking for a fix of traditional bluegrass, Brad Davis, John Moore and Company will hit the spot. The group features Brad Davis on guitar, John Moore on mandolin, Tim May on banjo and resonator guitar and Dan Miller on bass. Brad Davis is one of the country's hottest lead guitar players, singers, and songwriters. Combine Brad's talents with John Moore's blazing mandolin solos and Tim May's solid banjo and Dobro accompaniment, and this high energy band provides an extremely exciting and entertaining show.

John Moore is equally adept on mandolin or guitar and Tim May is also known for his flatpicking guitar talent. When all three of these incredible flatpickers bring their guitars on stage as part of their show, it is a guitar event not to be missed!

Lead man Brad Davis spent 10 years (1992-2002) performing on stage as a member of Marty Stuart's road band. For the past six years he has played lead acoustic guitar with Earl Scruggs and Friends, and for the past five years he has played lead electric and acoustic guitar with movie actor Billy Bob Thornton's rock band. He spent two years (2003-2004) as the guitar player for the Sam Bush Band and also performed with John Jorgenson's Gypsy jazz quintet in 2005.

A prolific songwriter Brad has had more than 45 of his songs recorded by various country and bluegrass artists, including country star Tim McGraw ("Ain't No Angels"). He has played on Marty Stuart's gold selling album "This One's Gonna Hurt You," the "Marty Stuart Hit Pack," and Marty's latest MCA recording "The Pilgrim." He performed music for Billy Bob Thornton's Miramax releases "Daddy And Them" and "Waking Up In Reno." He has also recorded with Sheryl Crow and others, on the Johnny Cash tribute album "Kindred Spirits" and played guitar on Warren Zevon's final Grammy-winning recording.

Additionally, Brad has worked for, or recorded with, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Pam Tillis, The Forester Sisters, Tommy Shaw (Styx), David Lee Roth (Van Halen), and The Sweethearts of the Rodeo. He is currently the host of Commerce County Line, a singer/songwriter television program on the iTelevision network. His two solo recordings, "I'm Not Gonna Let My Blues Bring Me Down" and "This World Ain't No Child Anymore," both on the FGM label, have been released to rave reviews. Brad is also a columnist for Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and has conducted guitar workshops, camps and clinics all over the world.

In addition to being the mandolinist, guitarist and vocalist for Bluegrass Etc., John was also the mandolinist with the internationally acclaimed band California, the International Bluegrass Music Association's 1992, 1993 and 1994 Instrumental Band of the Year. John's musical performances have led him throughout the U.S. and Canada, Europe and Japan, as well as in to the studio doing sessions for other artists. He does radio and television commercials, movie soundtracks including "Blaze" for Touchstone Pictures, "El Diablo" for HBO, "Christmas in Connecticut" in which he also appeared and "The Spitfire Grill" for Hallmark Hall of Fame.

John recorded the soundtrack for, and appeared in the CBS Television Special "The Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies" in a four-piece band with Roy Clark, Byron Berline and Earl Scruggs. He recently recorded a Grammy-nominated album with Byron Berline, Vince Gill, Bill Bryson, Dennis Caplinger, Rick Cunha and Jann Browne.

For 15 years Tim May was the guitar player for the Nashville-based newgrass band Crucial Smith. Since that band broke up a few years back he has toured with Patty Loveless, played on an all-star-cast Rounder project called "Moody Bluegrass: A Nashville Tribute to the Moody Blues," and recorded a bluegrass gospel project with Charlie Daniels. Additionally, FGM Records has released Tim's solo CD "Find My Way Back," and Tim is featured in a new FGM Records concert DVD with Brad Davis and Cody Kilby. While there are plenty of great guitar pickers in Nashville, Tim May adds great songwriting and singing to his list of many talents (which include being equally adept at resonator guitar, banjo, bass, and mandolin).

Dan Miller is the editor and publisher of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine. He is also the owner of FGM Records, a label specializing in acoustic guitar music. Over the past four years he has accompanied FGM Records recording artist Brad Davis on electric and upright bass during many of Brad's solo shows. This dynamic four-piece ensemble will play the main stage Saturday, Sept. 2 at 11 a.m., and each musician will teach a free workshop at the festival.

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 or at WolfTracks, 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.


Opening reception for 'Mind's Material' set for Aug. 26

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.

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

"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.

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


Shy Rabbit to host 'casual conversation'

By Denise Coffee

Special to The PREVIEW

Please join us for a casual conversation with artists Doug Pedersen, Kelsey Hauck and Karl Isberg from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, following the opening of the their exhibition "Mind's Material: Sensation, Cognition & Knowledge" on Saturday, Aug. 26.

All are welcome to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Shy Rabbit is located at: 333 Bastille Drive, in warehouse bays B-1 and B-4, Pagosa Springs. Directions: Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Boulevard. Continue on North Pagosa for approximately 1/4 mile. Turn left on Bastille Drive (at UBC). Continue on Bastille for approximately 1/4 mile. Shy Rabbit is on the north side of the street.

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


Annual Allison steak fry Saturday

The annual steak fry at the Allison Community Presbyterian Church will be Saturday, Aug. 19 from 5-7 p.m.

Cost is $8 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12; children under six are free.

Everyone is welcome and no ticket is required in advance.


Call for entries: 'Forms, Figures, Symbols'

By Leanne Goebel

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 Sept. 19, 5 p.m. Notifications will be e-mailed Sept. 25. Gallery ready artwork must be received by 5 p.m. Oct. 14. Non-refundable entry fees are $25 for one to three images, plus $5 for each additional image, up to a maximum of six. Slide entries must be accompanied by an additional $5 per slide for scanning fee. All works must be for sale.

Entry Forms are available at; by e-mail request at; or may be picked up at Shy Rabbit, 333 Bastille Drive, B-1 and B-4.

Juror Gerry Riggs served as director/curator of the Gallery of Contemporary Art and as and assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for more than 14 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 of 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, non-figurative 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 two- and three-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, please e-mail:, or call (970) 731-2766.



Student council sponsors Back-to-School Dance at high school

Although few high school students may look forward to a return to homework, most eagerly anticipate seeing their friends and engaging in the extracurricular activities the school provides.

The high school student council hopes the first-ever Back-to-School Dance will accomplish just that. The dance will be held outdoors (weather permitting) at Golden Peaks Stadium, 7:30-10:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25. In case of rain, the dance will be moved indoors to the Commons Area.

The cost for the dance is $5 for each person. However, if students bring a new box of crayons, pencils, colored pencils, or pens, or a package of notebook paper or a notebook, they will save $1. The school supplies will be donated to Operation Helping Hand and distributed to the schools.

Only students registered at the high school and their approved out-of-school dates will be allowed to attend. Out-of-school date forms are available at the high school office and must be returned to the office for the administration's approval no later than Wednesday, Aug. 23. No students younger than ninth grade may attend the dance. Students will be asked to pay and check their names on the student roster at the main ticket gate.

Members of the student council hope to see all high school students at the dance to help kick off the school year on an enjoyable note.


Children's Choir prepares for fall, winter season

By Sue Anderson

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Springs Children's Chorale, now in its fourth year, will begin rehearsals Sept. 13, on Wednesdays from 3:45-5:30 p.m. at Community United Methodist Church.

The Chorale offers local young singers the opportunity to participate in either of its two existing choirs, in addition to attending workshops and music camps.

Bel Canto is our entry-level choir for unchanged voices and is open to all boys and girls from ages 7 to 13 who love to sing and perform. It is in this choir that music reading skills are taught through the singing of rounds, call and response, and partner songs. Bel Canto performs locally throughout the holiday season.

Dolce Cantare was established last season for young women who wish to sing more challenging literature, are able to read choral music, and have learned harmonization skills either through singing in Bel Canto, at church, school or at home. Last spring, this choir of 19 young women, ages 8 to 17, received not only a Superior rating, but was awarded the Judge's Choice trophy in competition with similar choirs from a six-state area held in Denver. Self-disciplined young ladies who are seeking an opportunity to develop their vocal skills while being a part of a group that is both challenging and rewarding are encouraged to audition for this choir. Acceptance into Cantare is based on singing ability and desire, not age.

This season, the Children's Chorale is focusing on establishing a new Boy's Choir, featuring musical selections appropriate for young boys with unchanged voices.

For more information on participation in our Children's Chorale, call either 264-9060 or 264-0244 prior to Aug. 30. Leave your name and your child's name and age, with a callback number, and you will be contacted.


'Let's Explore' - Isamu Noguchi

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts will show A documentary film about Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, "Stones and Paper," directed by Niro Narita, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14.

Noguchi is best known for his naturalistic designs of open space. He has worked in various media including ceramics, furniture, interiors and gardens. Noguchi apprenticed with Constantin Brancusi, the father of modern sculpture.

The "Let's Explore" series is a new program at Shy Rabbit. "Let's Explore" 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 August, the film "Rivers and Tides" about environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy was shown. In October, Shy Rabbit will begin the series Art 21, followed by a lecture and slide presentation in November with Gerry Riggs, the juror from the "Forms, Figures, Symbols" juried exhibition of contemporary art.

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

"Let's Explore" - Isamu Noguchi is one night only, Sept. 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a suggested donation of $5. "Let's Explore" - Art 21 is one night only Oct. 12.

Shy Rabbit gallery will remain open from 4-6:30 p.m. Sept. 14 for those who wish to see the "Mind's Material: Sensation, Cognition & Knowledge" exhibit prior to the film's screening. The film will be followed by group discussion.

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

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


Writers gather on Thursdays

Every Thursday between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Brown Bag Writers, at Shy Rabbit, 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.


Rehearsals begin for community choir

By Matthew Lowell Brunson

Special to The PREVIEW

Attending the Pagosa Springs Community Choir Christmas Concert has quickly become a time-honored tradition among many families here in Pagosa Springs, as well as in surrounding communities.

This year's concert, filled with new music as well as the old classics we all love and cherish, will be sure to start new traditions for young and old.

The choir will start rehearsing at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday Sept. 5, at the Community United Methodist Church, located at 434 Lewis St. Anyone is welcome to join the choir as long as they have a love of music and can dedicate every Tuesday night to rehearsing to make this year's concert the best Pagosa has heard. (Being able to carry a tune might also help).

Normally, rehearsals begin promptly at 7 p.m. but Sept. 5 registration will begin a half hour earlier. This will give you time to fill out a small form as well as pay your $20 registration fee which will help offset the cost of the many pieces of new music that are being purchased for this year's show.

This year's concerts will be held in the high school auditoriumat 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 16. There will be a 4 p.m. concert Sunday, Dec. 17.

The directors will be Pam Spitler and Larry Elginer. Outside of their many accomplishments as musicians they are also wonderful stand-up comedians who give the rehearsals a wonderful feel. The accompanists this year will be Kathy Isberg and Sheri Bahn.

The community choir is a totally volunteer organization and its concerts are free as a gift to the community. This year, the choir has a Web site to keep the members and community informed of what they are doing. The latest on rehearsals will be posted on the site. Check it out at

If you have any questions, call Spitler at 264-1952 or Sue Diffee at 731-1305 and they will be happy to answer any questions you might have.


SOS to screen 'Running Dry'

The Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS) is screening "Running Dry," an alarming new documentary based on the book "Tapped Out" by former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, 7 p.m. Aug. 18, in the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Fellowship Hall.

The film focuses on the present developing water crises across the globe, including, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, as well as the American Southwest. It points out that there is no simple answer as to why this situation is unfolding. Waste, overconsumption, climate change, over population, and pollution have affected various regions in many different ways.

Every day 14,000 people die because of a lack of water, and 9,500 of these are children.

"I want every decision-maker in the world to put water as the number one priority," states James Thebaut, who wrote, produced and directed this project, which some have hailed as a masterpiece.

The film is sponsored as part of SOS's quarterly environmental cinema series. The SOS's hope is that this vivid and shocking film will open eyes to how precious our water resources are. The challenge is to stop taking them for granted, and take actions to seek solutions in a unified and educated manner.

The UU Fellowship Hall is located in 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.

For more information on the film, or SOS, contact Denise Rue-Pastin at 731-9672.


College sorority alumnae sought to attend Pagosa event

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Women who were members of a Panhellenic sorority during their college days are asked to save the date of Saturday, September 30 for the first-ever luncheon of sorority alumnae to take place in Pagosa Springs.

The event is being organized by members of the San Juan Pi Beta Phi alumnae group.

Prepaid reservations will be required several days before the luncheon, which will take place at JJ's Upstream restaurant. Cost will be $20 per person, including a pre-arranged entrée, dessert, non-alcoholic drink, tax and tip.

"Details still are being firmed up," said Lisa Scott, president of the local Pi Phis. "We will get more information out in mid-September. Right now we just want to alert local sorority women to our plans so they can put the event on their calendars."

As the date gets closer, the organizers will decide if the event will be held outside on the riverfront patio or inside in the large patio room overlooking the river. "We also hope the weather cooperates so that we can stage a group photo outside on the riverfront," Scott said.

There are 26 Panhellenic sororities whose alumnae are invited to this event: Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Phi, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Sigma Tau, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Delta Phi Epsilon, Delta Zeta, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, Phi Mu, Phi Sigma Sigma, Sigma Delta Tau, Sigma Kappa, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Theta Phi Alpha and Zeta Tau Alpha.

The San Juan alumnae group of Pi Beta Phi was formed in Pagosa Springs in March 2000. Chi Omega also has a local alumnae club, based in Durango. "Other than that, we only know of a few individual sorority alumnae," Scott said. "We hope this luncheon will help identify others, and give us all an opportunity to get together to renew the bonds of Greek life."

For more information, contact Scott at 264-2730.


Auction for the Animals coming Aug. 25

By Cristina Woodall

Special to The PREVIEW

Mark your calendars for the 12th annual Humane Society of Pagosa Springs Auction for the Animals. The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. This is the premier fund-raiser for the homeless dogs and cats of Archuleta County. Come share in the fun.

Items large and small will be available for you to bid on - from signed books, such as "High Tide in Tuscan," by Barbara Kingsolver, to a complete camping set with tent, sleeping bags, stove, chairs, wheeled cooler, and two-person inflatable kayak with paddles. There will also be a Resistol cowboy hat, a Sirius satellite radio receiver and docking station, and music CDs by artists such as John Tesh, Margaret Whiting and Kenny Chesney.

A gorgeous, handcrafted necklace has been custom designed and created for the auction by Summer Phillips, goldsmith. The elegant setting offers a 1.72 ct pink tourmaline accented by .12 tw diamonds. The 14K gold pendant is on a shimmering 16-inch omega chain. You must come and see this incredible, one-of-a-kind beauty.

Is there a young one in your family dreaming of being a firefighter someday? "Hot Time with the Fire Chief" includes half a day with Chief Warren Grams for one adult and one child. This package includes a private tour of the Pagosa Fire Station, a ride on a fire engine and lunch with the chief. In memory of your day at the fire station, take home a department T-shirt, hat and an official, collectible fire department patch.

Interested in a new splash of color for your next dinner party? Beautiful place settings for four with dinner and bread plates, goblets and place mats in earthy oranges, yellows and greens have been donated by Coyote Hill Lodge. The dinnerware is accented by a lovely silk flower arrangement and coordinating candles. Added to all of this is a five-piece, beautifully hand-painted ceramic bowl set for soup, salad or pasta.

All are invited. Advance tickets are available with cash or check at WolfTracks, Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books and the Humane Society Thrift Store. Ticket prices for this extravaganza are $25 in advance/$30 at the door. This includes wine, beer and a commemorative wine glass or beer stein. Tickets without wine and beer are $17 in advance/$20. at the door. The evening includes an array of appetizers by Farrago Market Café and Alley House Grille.

We want to thank all the local businesses and supporters who have donated items and services to this year's auction. The collection is amazing. Also, we want to thank the donors who have given financial help. It is greatly appreciated.

It's not too late to donate. Contact the Humane Society Administration Office located above the Humane Society Thrift Store or call 264-5549. The deadline for donations is Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Thank you to all who so kindly support the Humane Society. We hope to see you at Auction for the Animals Friday, Aug. 25.


Noted speaker at the First Assembly of God Church

Rev. Charles T. Crabtree, assistant general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, will be guest speaker at The First Assembly of God Church, 110 Trinity Lane, at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27.

Rev. Crabtree began his ministry as an associate pastor in southern California and traveled as an itinerant evangelist from 1960-63. He pastored two Assemblies of God churches. In 1963, he was elected pastor of First Assembly, Des Moines, Iowa, and in 1974 assumed the pastorate of Bethel Church in San Jose, Calif. In 1988, he was appointed as the national director of the Decade of Harvest of the Assemblies of God.

As assistant general superintendent of the Pentecostal denomination, Crabtree is a member of the Board of Administration and the Executive Presbytery. He presently serves as chair of the Church Ministries Division and is a member of numerous boards and committees. He has written a number of books on doctrine, church administration and pastoral theology. His articles appear regularly in denominational periodicals.

Crabtree and his wife, Ramona, have three grown daughters and 11 grandchildren.

All are invited to come hear the inspirational, camp meeting-style preaching.

Call the church office with any questions, 731-5767.


St. Patrick's plans annual Shamrock Festival

By Christelle Troell

Special to the Preview

Mark your calendar now for Sept. 9. Preparations are well underway at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church for its annual all-day Shamrock Festival. The fest will offer food, fun, music, entertainment and activities for the entire family.

Festival chairs Nancy Crouse and Linda Warren note there will be lots of activities for the children and a new dinner menu featuring barbecue, plus a country band to provide entertainment.

While mom and dad are browsing the festival, Just for Kids, under the guidance of Chantelle Kay, will feature a variety of games, along with the popular bounce house and corn shucking.

The Country Cupboard will include crafts, country items, as well as a bake sale and those popular frozen casseroles. Teri Sullivan, Joan Scott, Becky Dorian and Meg Boblit are sharing responsibilities for the Country Cupboard and welcome your craft items. Jo Kay and Sharon Vierbicher announce that there will be eight different recipes of frozen casseroles for you to chose from this year.

The popular Book Nook will be back with even more of your favorite books and novels. Mary Sickbert is accepting your donations of gently read books that may be cluttering up your bookshelves.

The men of the church are assembling dozens of items for their giant yard sale which will be held under a large tent this year. Brian Sickbert and Jim Vierbicher are collecting usable items. Lynne McCrudden and Judy Cole are collecting handmade items, jewelry, art work and other unique items that will be offered in this year's silent auction.

A drawing will be held to give away this year's handmade queen-size quilt. The brightly colored Jewel Box pattern was handcrafted of 100-percent cotton. Tickets for the quilt are $1 each, six for $5 or a book of 12 for $10 and are currently available at the church office, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd., and from church members. Tickets will also be available the day of the festival.

No one will go away hungry. Breakfast, including pancakes and breakfast burritos, will be prepared by Ken Jones and Bill Newell. Bill Crouse will run the Lunch Grill, serving hamburgers and hot dogs. Highlight of the evening will be a delicious barbecue dinner catered by Joanne Irons, along with live music and entertainment.

The Shamrock Festival, which will be held on the church grounds, offers something for everyone so plan to bring the entire family and join the fun.


UU service: 'Environmental Spirituality'

On Sunday, Aug. 20, Ilene Haykus will deliver part two of her series on "Environmental Spirituality" for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Haykus makes the point that though Unitarian Universalists often speak of their respect for the interdependent web of existence in terms of their relationship to the physical environment, they often do not stop to consider the ramifications of cultural and social interdependence. For instance, she asks, "How often do we stop to consider how our personal attitudes and actions unite or separate us from our human brothers and sisters?"

This program and following discussion will explore the ways in which acceptance of human nature, in all its complexity, can result in greater acceptance and compassion for others, as well as ourselves.

The service, children's program and child care begin at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed with a potluck luncheon. The UU Fellowship Hall is 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.


Precept Upon Precept Bible Study

Precept Upon Precept, the inductive Bible study pioneered by Kay Arthur, will begin Sept. 14 and will continue until Nov. 16. The study this session will be on Leviticus, the third book of the Five Books of Moses.

Do you know how to worship God? How are we to live as the priests and a kingdom that God's Word says we are in Jesus Christ? What do sacrifices, priesthoods and feasts teach us about how we can be holy and worship God as we were designed by Him to do? This study reveals tremendous insights into how we, as an unholy people, can approach the Holy of Holies to worship Him properly.

Join this study of Leviticus, a frequently overlooked book of the Bible because of its focus on temple sacrifices, as it lays the foundation for our Christian worship of the God of Israel.

Jerri Anderson, of Grace Evangelical Free Church, will be the study leader and teacher. Classes will be held at Restoration Fellowship's Berean Room and will begin at 9 a.m. each meeting day.

The workbook costs $14.50, and you can register to attend by calling the church office at Restoration Fellowship, 731-2937, Ext. 21, by Aug. 30.


Indoor Party in the Park

By Barb Draper

Special to The PREVIEW

I think everyone enjoyed the final party for the Summer Reading Program last week, even though the "park" became the children's room in the library because of the weather. Forty-plus kids, baby brothers and sisters, a few visiting friends, and many parents enjoyed all the activities.

The fun began as prize packets were handed out by Ann Rasich and Jennifer Hedrick.

The next stop for many was the refreshment counter where Paul Draper handed out refreshments provided by both City Market stores and by four of our volunteers.

Others headed directly to the bookshop where Siri Schuchardt and Josie Snow helped the kids select free prize books. In addition, Kathy Steen and her dog Allie returned to the program to greet old friends and meet new ones in one corner while Barry Ebersol made balloon animals for a seemingly endless line of waiting children. Several kids were busy at the book review table writing book reviews for future publication.

Countless photos of kids at the "unlikely animal zoo" were taken. Can you imagine sitting on a bearskin rug, having a boa wrapped around your neck, wrestling a crocodile, while petting the library dog? You had to be there to believe it!

The weather held long enough that many of the kids were able to be outside to play with the huge bubble-making setup provided by Marilyn Falvey.

Pagosa Pretenders

The final event of the morning was a presentation by The Pagosa Pretenders. This group entertains at the library on a monthly basis, usually the second Saturday of the month at 11 a.m. It was a treat to have the group here for the party (instead of the regularly scheduled time.) Come see what these talented teens have in store for you in September.

Jelly bean contest

The final guesses were made in the traditional jelly bean contest.

Mele LeLievre won the annual prize for guessing closest to the 978 jelly beans in the jar.

For those not-in-the-know, one jelly bean is placed in a large jar for each book that is read by the kids who turned in their reading logs. This year's total was 978. And this does not include all the books read by the kids who did not turn their reading logs in at the end of the program.

There were many guesses made at the county fair as well. All the logs had not been tallied at that point, but Zachary Graveson made the closest guess as of Friday morning. He guessed 759 and there were 778 jelly beans in the jar at that time. Congratulations to both winners.

Prize product recall

I do have one concern to pass along: We have received notification that one of the prize items we gave out (along with 22 other library districts throughout the state) - bendable animal critters - has been recalled by the supplier, due to a high lead content.

At least one of these critters was given to almost every individual in the program. If you have concerns about your child having one of these toys, especially younger children who put such things directly into the mouth, please return the item to the library in exchange for a new prize from the treasure box.

We regret the inconvenience. We did not learn of the recall until our program had been completed.

Thank you again to all - businesses, individuals, parents and kids - who made "Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales" such a success.


Humane society announces coloring contest winners

By Lynn Constan

Special to The PREVIEW

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is pleased to announce the winners of the coloring contest, sponsored in conjunction with the Sisson Library summer reading program.

The theme of the summer reading program was "Paws, Claws, Scales, and Tales," a perfect tie-in with the Humane Society's mission of caring for homeless pets and educating the public about pet care. Over 30 entries were received. The drawings are on display at the Humane Society Thrift Store.

Prizes were awarded in three age categories.

The winner in the pre-K through kindergarten category was Timothy Cochran, age 5.

Brianna Ashe, age 7, had the winning entry in the Grades 1 through 3 group.

Ten-year-old Sierra Monteferrante won in the Grade 4 and Up division.

Each of the winners received a hardcover book with a pet-related theme chosen by the Humane Society.

Timothy received a copy of "The Stray Dog," by Marc Simont, a story of a dog who finds a home.

"The School for Cats." by Esther Averill, one in a series of books about Jenny the cat, was presented to Brianna.

Sierra's prize was a copy of "Shiloh," by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, a story of a boy who saves a mistreated dog.

The Humane Society would like to thank Barb Draper, the children's librarian, for helping to organize the coloring contest and Susan Martin for her drawing which was used as the entry form.


Chuck Bob at the Movies

'V for Vendetta' entertaining and thought-provoking

Charles Streetman

PREVIEW Columnist

Imagine, if you will, living under the regime of a wickedly oppressive, fascist government. A society in which even the slightest act of rebellion results in your being detained and charged with sedition. Where the news media is forced to fabricate every news report in favor of the nation's leaders. Where certain types of people are considered unacceptable and are detained without question, based simply on their ethnicity, religion or sexuality. Imagine living in total fear of your own country - the place you call home, your friends, your neighbors, and the very people who you entrust with your protection.

This is the uncompromising vision of the future in the film "V for Vendetta," based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, written for the screen by acclaimed writer/directors Andy and Larry Wachowski ("The Matrix" trilogy), and directed by James McTeigue (his first film).

As the plot unfolds, it becomes clear one such government exists in the not-too-distant future, in 2020. The nation to fall victim is Great Britain.

Enter Evey (Natalie Portman, "Closer"), a normal working-class girl. On the night of November the fourth, she is caught violating curfew by the local authorities, and is about to suffer the deviant consequences of doing so. But then, a masked stranger (Hugo Weaving, "The Matrix" trilogy) appears and quickly dispatches her attackers. He introduces himself not-so-simply as V, and assures Evey that he means her no harm. V invites her to the nearby rooftops to witness a special music performance of his, involving hotwiring the central emergency-broadcast system with a recording of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" and a grand demolition of the Bailey synchronized to the music.

In the meantime, high chancellor Sutler (John Hurt, "Hellboy"), an arrogant dictator who is too cowardly to gives his underlings orders in person, relying on a wall-sized TV screen to converse with them, puts Inspector Eric Finch (Stephen Rea, "Breakfast on Pluto") in charge of the investigation and apprehension of V. The further he investigates the matter, the more he begins to question his own government's methods and intentions.

Evey encounters the masked man again when he hijacks the local news station where she works to deliver his message to the people of Britain to rally against their government and overthrow their corrupt leaders. V promises that in one year's time, on the fifth of November, a day remembered as Guy Fawkes Day, (when, in 1605, a man by that name attempted to destroy the houses of Parliament, but was thwarted and executed), he will take action against Parliament and the high chancellor and deliver freedom to the oppressed nation.

Local authorities do not hesitate, and ambush V at the station, but underestimate his fighting capabilities. During the fray, Evey helps him to escape, but is knocked unconscious in the process. She awakens in V's hideout where she learns more of his plans to defeat the high chancellor and destroy the houses of Parliament. It's his belief that people should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people. She also confides in V, telling him the story of her childhood - her parents were activists who were detained by the government. Evey does not believe she has the same courage her parents had to stand against her government. This is apparent when she begins to think that V is nothing more than a lunatic terrorist when he takes this year in waiting to exact his personal revenge against those who scarred him years ago.

Evey flees the first chance she gets, but soon is caught and detained. She is then tortured and threatened with execution if she does not give the identity and whereabouts of V. During her detainment he finds her courage, and chooses to side with V in his fight against the dictatorship. Meanwhile, V sets forth a chain of elaborate events that link together, ultimately creating a spirit of rebellion among the oppressed, ultimately leading to their joining V in making a grand stand against those who once controlled them with fear.

"V for Vendetta" doesn't really pull any punches as it tackles an array of controversial topics. From a stolen election, to chemical warfare disguised as a viral outbreak, to the implication that the symbolism of the destruction of a building can change the world, you name it, it's here. And although I found many of the film's ideas and messages highly thought-provoking and entertaining, the film was somewhat over the top: It's a comic book movie - what do you expect?

Contrary to many viewers' expectations "V for Vendetta" is not an action film. It is, in fact, a political thriller, and although the movie offers a number of exhilarating action sequences, the bulk of the film depicts V influencing the people to rise against their oppressors. While V's methods are similar to acts of terrorism, V is not a terrorist per se, but in fact a revolutionary. His intentions are not to produce fear among innocent civilians, but rather to deal with a government that does.

Ultimately I found "V for Vendetta" to be a highly entertaining and thoughtful film, complete with solid performances (although Portman occasionally struggled with her accent), and noteworthy direction from James McTeigue. Andy and Larry Wachowski have certainly redeemed themselves for their blowout finale to their signature "Matrix" trilogy with this film. However, if you're pro-government and are easily offended, you should avoid this movie at all costs.

As for special features, you once again have the option of buying the lousy one-disc edition that has only a "making of" featurette, or shelling out the extra $3 for the two-disc edition jam packed with features. These features include the "making of" featurette, plus featurettes on production design, the history of Guy Fawkes, a Cat Power montage, and much more!


Local Chatter

Why is it called 'Put Hill?'

By Kate Terry

This is a bit of history about the hill located just west of downtown Pagosa Springs.

The hill was named for Albert A. Putnam who homesteaded 166 acres in 1895. The homestead ran from Trujillo Road (about where KWUF is now located) to the west and included the hill now going up U.S. 160. Putnam's cabin is still standing and is located behind the Pagosa Springs Elementary School.

The old highway road to Durango ran through Putnam's homesteaded land down into the valley and it collected a lot of mud.

"Put" as he was called, helped push people up the hill so they started calling it "Put's Hill." In that the, "Put" sounds like the golfing term "putt," it has been easy for people to think it is "Putt Hill."

Alfred Putnam was born in 1839 and died in 1918. He was a Mason and he was given a Masonic funeral.

The Homestead Act passed in 1863 allowed people to settle the acreage if they then lived on the property for three years, grew crops and made an improvement. Settlers had to pay a filing fee. The arrangement and reason for the Act was to encourage people from the east to move west.

Putnam's land is now possibly going to be a used for housing developments.


ECA is presenting "An Empty Bench," a new musical play featuring original music by Pagosa's illustrious man of the arts, John Graves. This production takes place at 7 p.m. Aug. 22-23 at Stage Under The Stars, a new performing arts venue in Pagosa.

For more information on "An Empty Bench" and "A Summer Evening of American Folk Music," log on to or call 731-3117.

Fun on the Run

A toddler walked into the bathroom while her mother was putting on make up.

"I'm going to look just like you, Mommy!" She announced.

"Maybe when you grow up," her mother told her.

"No Mommy, tomorrow. I just put on the 'Oil of Old Lady' you always use."


Community Center News

Something for everyone at the community center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

The eBay group meets this morning at 9 a.m. The topics of conversation are always varied and interesting.

This week, in addition to other subjects, we will remind everyone about phishing scams on the Internet.

Kurt Raymond and Peter Welch were kind enough to pass along an e-mail Kurt received in which he was asked, presumably by eBay, to confirm some personal information. This kind of personal information-gathering scam happens all too often and is something everyone who uses the Internet should recognize; then there are steps you should take to follow-up with the organization. Thanks for the heads-up, Kurt and Peter.

Thanks also to Ben Bailey for organizing and leading this group; his experience and expertise are so valuable.

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

New yoga schedule

The class, which now meets on Tuesdays instead of Thursdays, has also changed its meeting time to 10:30-11:30 in the morning. This class, another Community Center-sponsored program, is free to the public of all ages. Everyone is welcome to attend. Thanks to Diana Baird for leading this group. Call the center for information.

Creepers Jeepers

At their meeting in early August, these four-wheeling fans heard a talk given by Patti Brady from the San Juan Mountains Association about the "Adopt a Road" program, sponsored by the Forest Service.

The plan for Aug. 26 is to do a four-wheel drive trip and work session on Elwood Pass, their adopted section of roadway. Call Linda Dodson at 731-3498 for details.

Line dancing

Gerry Potticary, our line dancing group's wonderful leader, tells me to remind all of you that there will be no class on Labor Day. This must mean that the end of summer is bearing down upon us.

But in the meantime, make a resolution to try line dancing. It's a lot of fun and good exercise to boot. No previous knowledge is necessary. 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.

Chimney Rock volunteers

Last week the Chimney Rock volunteers meet at the center for a potluck. The speaker for the evening was Glenn Raby, whose topic was the supernova. The reports are that Glenn gave a wonderful and informative talk. If you have a chance to hear him, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity.

Auction for the Animals

Get ready, it's coming - the 12th annual Humane Society Auction at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25. Not only can you bid on all sorts of wonderful stuff and have a glass of wine with your gourmet treats, but you are supporting the Society in its caring for the dogs and cats of Archuleta County. One of the items donated for auction by the community center was a table for six for the Colorfest dance.

Tickets are available at WolfTracks, Moonlight Books, the Chamber and the Humane Society Thrift Store, or at the door.

More information is available from the Humane Society.

Self-Help for Health

According to Medora Bass, the teacher of this self-help class that teaches people how to help themselves to better health, the first class as a group came up with the characteristics of a person who is physically healthy. Each person formulated a goal he/she wanted to achieve during the course of the class.

The homework assignment was for each person to draw or visualize a major symptom and their own healing force. Each person was encouraged to revise the representation of the healing force, if necessary, so that it was seen as being very robust and capable of healing the symptom.

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 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

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States who have diabetes; that's 7 percent of the population! While an estimated 14.6 million have been diagnosed with the disease, 6.2 million (nearly one third) are unaware that they have the disease.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into the energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors play roles.

The community center's Managing Diabetes group is our small, but we hope not insignificant, way to help those in our community who have or are at risk for this disease. Please let us know if there are specific ways in which this program could help you.

The next meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 31.

Computer lab news

Two new Beginning Computing classes will start Aug 22 and 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. to 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 regarding 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) 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 enter at 264-4152 for information about classes or computer use.

Center hours

The community center is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Monday, 8-5:30 Tuesday through Friday and 10-4 Saturday.

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; retirement meeting for Archuleta County employees, 9-10:30 a.m.; eBay club, 9-10:30 a.m.; watercolor workshop, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Chimney Rock potluck, 6-8 p.m.

Aug. 18 - Legal depositions, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun and Duplicate Bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.

Aug. 19 - Grace Evangelical Women's Day Retreat, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; drawing class with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Aug. 20 - 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. 21 - Line dancing, 10-11:30 a.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; 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.; Colorado Housing first-time home buyers' class, 5-8 p.m.

Aug. 22 - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Beginning Computing, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.; yoga, 10:30-11:30 a.m.; senior Walking Program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Spanish/Art Summer Camp, 12:30-3:30 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Arts Council meeting, 5-8 p.m.; Colorado Housing first-time home buyers' class, 5-8 p.m.; Downtown Master Plan elected officials training, 5-9 p.m.

Aug. 23 - Beginning Computing for Seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; Spanish/Art Summer Camp, 12:30-3:30 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

Aug. 24 - Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

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


Senior News

Ten steps to prevent fraud

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Top 10 steps to prevent fraud.

1. Whether approached on the street, at your door or by phone - don't talk to strangers.

2. Don't make a major financial decision without getting several opinions from family, friends, attorney, banker or accountant.

3. No matter how well you know or trust someone, don't sign legal papers or make and investment that you don't understand or that seems unusual.

4. Guard your Social Security and financial account numbers from identity thieves. Don't carry your SS card, checkbook, or extra credit cards in public.

5. Don't pay fees, buy magazines or other premiums to participate in sweepstakes, prize drawings and contest. You never have to pay to win - that's the law.

6. Protect yourself from charitable fraud by making a plan and a budget every year that outlines how much and to whom you'll give.

7. Hire only licensed contractors.

8. Be cautious of heating contractors who use scare tactics that your furnace is leaking gas. Always get a second opinion.

9. Don't withdraw money from your bank account at the suggestion of a stranger who claims to have won the lottery or someone claiming to be a bank official.

10. Don't allow any "inspectors" in your home until you've validated their identification by calling utility or city authorities.

August Mystery Trip

Over the mountains and through the woods; to our next adventure we must go. Gold and copper way up high; the history and beauty will make you sigh.

On Thursday, Aug. 24, 18 lucky folks will meet at The Den at 9 a.m. The Senior bus will be our mode of transportation and the cost is only $5 per person.

All participants must be able to walk on uneven terrain at high elevations of approximately 11,200 feet. The road to our next adventure is rough and bumpy so not great for those who get carsick.

Everyone should bring a water bottle, a folding chair (to sit on at lunch), camera, sunscreen, sun hat and comfortable walking/hiking shoes, and dress appropriately for the weather (you will be outside and at high altitude). We will depart The Den at 9:15 a.m. and arrive at our destination at approx. 11:15. Lunch will be provided and we will return to The Den by 4 p.m. Please remember that reservations for the Mystery Trips are on a first-come, first-served basis and they do fill up quickly, so don't delay.

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

If yoiu made yoiur reservations by yesterday, you will 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 approximatley five to six miles and 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 compete our day at 4 p.m.

The price for this incredible adventure is only $25 per person or $45 per couple including the chair lift ride, wine, cheese and lunch. You will need to bring water, wear layers for the changing weather, and wear comfortable hiking boots, a hat and sunscreen. Don't miss out on the fun, the breathtaking views and the experience of hiking in the San Juan Mountains (with a llama!).

Elderwatch presentation

Elderwatch will visit The Den at noon Monday, Aug. 21, offering a presentation on "How to Prevent Fraud." Please join us for this helpful and preventative information.

Yoga - for body and mind

Yoga classes are back, and with a new instructor. Diana Baird, will teachyoga classes every Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. 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.

Picnic grand finale

Sunshine, hanging out by the river, eating delicious barbecue, enjoying friends, a wild egg race any of these happenings sound fun or outrageous?

If so, then join us for lunch and to celebrate the final and ultimate Picnic in the Park Friday, Aug. 25, in Town Park by the Arts Council building.

We are pulling out all of the tricks and going out with a bang! We will begin with a Wild Egg Race at 11:45 a.m. The race is one of balance, speed and pure craziness. There will be spoons, eggs (not hard-boiled) and a finish line to cross to win some great prizes! The Wild Egg Race will be followed by a delicious lunch under the shade trees, as we listen to the river flowing by.

We will also celebrate all of the August babies by recognizing their birthdays with a $1 birthday lunch, a birthday cake and the traditional birthday song. Friday is Spirit Day in the park so wear your Silver Foxes Den T-shirts to show your spirit. (T-shirts for $8 and polos for $15 will be available for sale at the picnic.) And, to add to our final picnic celebration, we will host our friends from Arboles as they come to Pagosa to join in the festivities. Bring your friends, your relatives, or just bring yourself with a smile and an appetite, to this special event. It is your last chance to enjoy the sunshine, the food, the camaraderie, the laughs and Pagosa's beautiful outdoors - all at the same time, with the summer finale of our Picnic in the Park.

Aikido classes

Aikido is a relatively modern martial art, although its roots go back nearly a thousand years to secret techniques of samurai warriors. Beginning in September, The Den will offer Aikido classes every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Sign up with The Den office by Friday, Aug. 25, if you would like to participate in the September classes.

The founder of Aikido, Morehei Ueshiba or O-Sensei, studied traditional martial arts as a young man. Many say he was the greatest martial artist who ever lived. A deeply spiritual man, he became convinced that the true purpose of the martial way was self-perfection and the loving protection of all beings. He named his art "Aikido", which translates to "The Way of Harmony with the Universe".

Aikido students learn hand techniques for armed and unarmed attackers, and train with the wooden sword and short staff. Most importantly, they learn to blend with and redirect an attacker's energy, controlling the attacker. There is no competition in Aikido because of O-Sensei's beliefs and because the techniques are too powerful. With the goal of bettering oneself rather than trying to be better than an opponent, students of all ages and skills can safely practice and learn together.

Aikido is beneficial for health, coordination, stress relief and character. Aikido is practiced by people of all physical abilities from children well into the senior years. To join the Aikido classes at The Den or for more information, call Jeni at 264-2167.

Birthday celebration

If you are age 60 or older and your birthday is in August, come to Town Park Aug. 25 for lunch and to 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.

Senior discounts

Join hundreds of other seniors in our community taking advantage of the many discounts available through local merchants by joining Archuleta Seniors, Inc. Memberships are available for folks age 55 and older and can be purchased at The Den for $5 Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m.-1p.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 eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental, prescription drugs and medical equipment. Archuleta Seniors, Inc. even offers financial assistance for medical shuttles to Durango handled by The Den. This is the best discount program in town, and a great way to help our senior community. Sign up now and acquire the benefits for 2006.

Senior of the Week

We would like to congratulate Walt Hinchman as Senior of the Week. He 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 August.

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.

Computer classes

A new Beginning Computing for Seniors class will start Aug. 23. The class meets on eight consecutive Wednesdays from 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.

Accept and respect yourself and others

- Celebrate and enjoy your unique self.

- Identify your strengths, talents, interests and build on your assets.

- Nurture yourself. Take time for yourself every day.

- Relax and relieve stress in your life.

- Trust yourself.

- Make peace with your genetic blueprint.

- Like yourself regardless of imperfections.

- Wear clothes that fit comfortably and look and feel good now.

- Accept that there is no ideal body size.

- Recognize that each person is responsible for taking care of his or her own body.

- Trust your ability to make choices for better health.

- To improve habits, if you choose, make small changes over time you can live with.

- Take what works for you, leave the rest.

- Stay in tune with your body.

- Be flexible, go with the flow.

- Focus on quality of life, health and well-being.

- Use positive language, think of joy, self discovery, acceptance, respect, self-care, healing, freedom, and fun.

- Celebrate life!

Activities at a glance

Thursday, Aug. 17 - Health screening and blood draw by the San Juan Health Department 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.; afree movie, "Monster-in Law," with popcorn in the lounge, 12:45 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 20 - Day hiking with llama and a lunch at Durango Mountain Resort, 9:30 a.m.

Monday, Aug. 21 - Susan Stoffer available, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Elderwatch presentation on fraud, noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 22 - Yoga, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; canasta, 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 23 - Basic Computer class, 10 a.m.

Thursday, Aug. 24 - The Den's Monthly Mystery Trip, 9 a.m. The Den is closed.

Friday, Aug. 25 - The Den's grand finale of Picnic in the Park, noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.


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

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

Thursday, Aug. 17 - Lunch served in Arboles with $1birthday 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.

Monday, Aug. 21 - Roast turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, spring blend veggies, pumpkin bar and whole wheat roll.

Tuesday, Aug. 22 - Roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, apricots and peaches, and whole wheat roll.

Wednesday, Aug. 23 - Enchilada pie with lettuce and tomato, zucchini, mixed fruit, and chips and salsa.

Friday, Aug. 25 - Picnic in the Park (lunch served in Town Park). Barbecue chicken, baked beans, broccoli salad, watermelon, whole wheat roll and birthday cake.


Veteran's Corner

County Veteran Service Officer Association warns of scam

By Andy Fautheree

PREVIEW Columnist

The National Association of County Veterans Service Officers, of which I am a member, has passed this warning to all VSOs and veterans:

"We have noted increasing reports of veterans receiving e-mail from the address, asking them to check an account by clicking on a link.

"This e-mail is a phishing scam, an attempt to gain personal information.

"The e-mail address is fake and link in the e-mail is to a Web site in Asia. Please notify all users of this phishing scam and instruct them to delete this e-mail if they receive it.

"DO NOT OPEN the e-mail. Be very wary of anyone or any Web site that doesn't take you to the official VA Web site or to when seeking information regarding the date theft."

Avoid responding

Phishing e-mails are being sent out in all forms and disguises. This office has received almost daily doses of phishing e-mails for banks, eBay, contest winners, etc. All of them are a scam to get you to enter personal banking, checking or credit card information in the disguise of "confirming" your account with the institution.

I urge all veterans and persons to be very wary of clicking on links that ask you for personal or financial information. Many of these scam artists make the links look very similar to the real Web site.

I guess it is the price we pay for the advancement in use of technology and an open society we enjoy in America.

For further information

For information on these and other veterans' benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7 (behind City Market). The office number is 731-3837, the fax number is 731-3879, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is 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

Who needs libraries when we have the Internet?

By Carole Howard

SUN Columnist, and the library staff

Recently a friend and I were talking about our library when she said, "Maybe we won't need libraries much longer. After all, everyone has a computer." I thought that provocative comment deserved some research - so I went to the Internet and the library.

At the American Library Association Web site, I learned that even today nearly half of all American households still do not have computer or Internet access. Those who remain unconnected often have lower incomes, and they are two to three times more likely to rely on library computers than wealthier people.

These national facts track with our experience here in Archuleta County. In fact, since our expanded library reopened in mid-November of 2005 with additional computer capacity, computer use has gone up by 85 1/2 per cent. Obviously our library's computers are very important to our community.

Also, it turns out that American Library Association records show national library visits have doubled in the last decade - and that's since the Internet gained popularity.

Armed with this knowledge from the Internet, I next went to our own library, where I repeated my friend's comment to some of the staff because they are experts on libraries as well as computers and the Internet.

"When you're doing research, you can only look at one page at a time on the computer, whereas you can quickly scan a book by flipping through the pages to find what you want," one said.

Another added: "You can take a reference book into the backcountry or read it when the power is out, as long as you have a flashlight or candle."

Another comment: "There's a lot of inaccurate information on the Internet, and it's hard to tell what is reliable and what isn't if you're not familiar with the source."

And one more: "Much of the best information you find on the Internet came from books in the first place."

Bottom line from this mini-brainstorming session: We need books and the Internet - and we will for a very long time to come. By the way, here's my favorite comment from this staff discussion: "You can't take a computer to bed!"

Warning: children's prizes

Our library, along with 22 others in Colorado, distributed bendable animal creatures as part of the Summer Reading Program. Now we have been advised that these items have been recalled due to the lead content in them. If you would like to return your child's prize, bring it to the library any time and exchange it for an item in the treasure box.

Save the date for jazz

Hope you have marked 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's Turner Reading Room from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a concert in the parking lot from 7 to 8.

Please bring chairs or blankets to sit on, and remember that no alcohol is permitted on library property.

Local donations

Special thanks to generous donors for books and materials in the last week: Marge Alley, Larry Blue, Terry Hershey, Kate Jackson, Patty Latham, Judy Lynch, Lori Moseley, Rebecca Sabia, Rick Simmons, Cathy Steen, Connie Sullens and Bill Wetzel.

More new books

Books with religious themes are very popular with local readers. A classic just in is "The Robe" by Lloyd C. Douglas, which sold 6 million copies and became a great movie.

Another inspiring read is "Rosslyn: Guardians of the Secrets of the Holy Grail" by Tim Wallace-Murphy and Marilyn Hopkins, which explores the existence of a configuration of seven pre-Christian sites forming the route of a pilgrimage of initiation used by Druids, Knights Templar and Christian mystics.

If you like history, try Nathaniel Philbrick's "Mayflower," which explores in detail the Pilgrims' first 50 years in America and the real people with whom the story of our country begins. Or for something very current, we have Seymour M. Hersh's "Chain of Command," one reporter's headline-making view of how American went from September 11 to the war in Iraq.

On the adventure front, there is Idries Shah's "Kara Kush: A Novel of Afghanistan," which historian Doris Lessing called "the best war novel I have ever read ... as exciting as 'Shogun.'' Or you can learn the real-world secret history of the Mossad, one of the world's most powerful and mysterious intelligence organizations, by reading "Gideon's Spies" by Gordon Thomas.

For humor interspersed with unusual facts, read "The Know-It-All," which chronicles NPR contributor A. J. Jacobs' quest to read the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z. Also funny is "Shanks for Nothing," another golfing novel by Denver author and Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly. For something more serious, we have the updated edition of "Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You to Know About" by Kevin Trudeau, about what he believes to be an intricate conspiracy among government and business to keep you sick.

For inspirational character development, try Zora Neale Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God," a novel about a Southern black woman in the 1930s that has been reissued by popular demand after being long out of print; or Louis Sachar's "Small Steps," about an ex-con trying to turn his life around.


Pagosa Reads

'Creature Feature' book reviews

By Jackie Welch

Special to The SUN

"Creature Feature" book reviews were one part of our Summer Reading Program this year.

Children of all ages were invited to rate a book by giving one spider web if the book was not really great, up to five spider webs for a book that was liked a lot.

We hope adults will enjoy the reviews and that kids might decide to read one of these books based on the review. All of these books are available at the Sisson Library.

"A Village of Round and Square Houses," by Ann Grifalconi.

How many spider webs does this book deserve? "Five."

Why do you feel that way? "I liked the pictures and the Africa girl. The grandma too".

Taleah Hauger, age 5

"Walk Two Moons," by Sharon Creech.

How many spider webs does this book deserve? "Five."

Why do you feel that way? "Because in some parts it makes you laugh but it also makes you cry. It's a page turner."

Anne Townsend, age 11.

"New Rider," by Bonnie Bryant.

How many spider webs does this book deserve? "Five."

Why do you feel that way? "Because it is a good book about horses so if you like horses I recommend you read this book."

Emma, age 8.

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone," by J.K. Rowling.

How many spider webs does this book deserve? "Four."

Why do you feel that way? "It's challenging, which I really like. It has lots of cool creatures. The vocabulary is really good."

Julia LeLievre, age 10.

"All American Girl," by Meg Cabot.

How many spider webs does this book deserve? "Four."

Why do you feel that way? "It tells the story of a girl who points out all of her rights and opinions. It's realistic. It spices it up with a little romance. I like it that way. All of her books have the same things, but they all tell different stories."

Mele LeLievre, age 13.

"Fire Truck," by Peter Sis.

How many spider webs does this book deserve? "Five."

Why do you feel that way? "This is a good story about a boy who loves fire trucks, just like me. He even turns into a fire truck and that is funny."

Carter Rainey, age 5.

"Pigs Ahoy!," by David McPhail.

How many spider webs does this book deserve? "Five."

Why do you feel that way? "I liked this book because it was funny. The pigs played baseball at the dinner table and made a mess. The pigs are crazy! You should read this book!"

Cade Cowan, age 6.

"Pokémon Charizard Go!," by Tracy West.

How many spider webs does this book deserve? "Five."

Why do you feel that way? "Because it is very adventurous. Charizard doesn't want to obey ash in his final jimbattle. Ash lost to Richie in a Pokémon battle. I enjoyed all the Pokémon books I read."

Zack Curvey, age 10.

"Monster Trucks," by Sarah Tieck.

How many spider webs does this book deserve? "Five."

Why do you feel that way? "I think that this book deserved five spider webs because it tells you information all about monster trucks. It's a good book for boys and it's really cool."

Tyler Cowan, age 8.

"I Stink! Board Book," by Kate McMullan.

How many spider webs does this book deserve? "One."

Why do you feel that way? "My sister read this book to me so we both learned about trash. We memorized the whole book. The ABCs of trash."

Zachary Ligon, age 6.


Arts Line

Mion students' exhibit continues at PSAC gallery

By Linda Strathdee

PREVIEW Columnist

Pierre Mion and his students show continues through Aug. 29.

Mion's illustrative works have been exhibited worldwide and are included in the NASA Fine Arts and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum collections.

His students' works reflect the joy and excitement of watercolor.

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery is located at 315 Hermosa St. and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Plan to stop by and support your neighbors in Pagosa.

For more information, contact PSAC at 264-5020 or

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-Thursday. Classes are $150 for two weeks or $275 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 instructor, Soledad, you can reach her at 731-1314.

2007 Arts Council calendars

The 2007 Arts Council calendars are here.

This is the second edition in 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 pictured in the calendar 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.

Drawing with Randall 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.

Joye Moon watercolor workshop

PSAC will sponsor a watercolor workshop 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Sept. 5-8. Cost for 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 PSAC at 264-5020 for advanced registration. For more information, visit, or call PSAC.

In conjunction with Moon's workshop we will be fortunate to have some of her works on display in the community center's Arts and Crafts Room. Joye's work unleashes the power of watercolors; it is bold and intense. Please plan to stop by and see some of Joye's work - Sept. 5-8. from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Lockhart workshop cancelled 

PSAC regrets that the Tom Lockhart September workshop has been cancelled.

Watercolor with Mion

Internationally-known artist and illustrator Pierre Mion will teach his fall watercolor workshop, the Lake Powell Class, beginning Monday, Oct. 9, and continuing Oct. 10-11 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Classes will be held at the Arts and Crafts Room in the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Students can opt for a 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 on Thursday is available for $60.00 per person, minimum four students. The main workshop is limited to 10 students, so sign up for this fun-filled session right away by calling PSAC at 264-5020. For further workshop and supplies information, call Mion at 731-9781 or visit

Watercolor club

The PSAC Watercolor Club, (formed in the winter of 2003) has changed its meeting day to the third Thursday of each month.

The club now meets at 10 a.m. in the Arts and Craft Space 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, with watercolorists getting together to draw, paint and experience technique demonstrations from professional watercolorists or framers. Participants are encouraged to bring still lives or photos to paint and draw, or a project to complete. Attendees should bring a bag lunch, their supplies, and be willing to have a fun creative day! New participants are always welcome.

For more information, contact PSAC at 264-5020.


All PSAC classes and workshops are held in the Arts and Craft Space at the community center, unless otherwise noted. All exhibits are shown at the PSAC Town Park Gallery, unless otherwise noted. For more information contact PSAC at 264-5020

August - Summer camp for children, Spanish and art.

Today- Aug. 29 - PSAC Pierre Mion and Students Watercolor Exhibit and Sale.

Today - Watercolor club meets.

Aug. 26 - Drawing with Randall Davis.

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

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

Sept. 5-8 - Joye Moon watercolor 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.


The Wine Whisperer

R.I.P. Dr. Atkins - let's have a glass of wine

By Laura Winzeler

PREVIEW Columnist

Am I the only person in Pagosa who can't drink wine and lose weight?

My last sip of wine was prior to Memorial Day, if you can believe that, and I don't feel as if I've lost more than five pounds. I tossed the ancient scale in the trash last month when it said as much. (No, I've not lied to you. I made sure that I drank a whole lot of wine and took a whole lot of tasting notes before jumping on that wagon.) Enough!

How's a girl supposed to write a wine column if she's not drinking wine? It was a foolish idea all along. I blame Dr. Atkins, rest his soul. The "induction" phase on his low carb diet forbids wine. But induction is only supposed to last two weeks, really. (If one only has a tiny bit of weight to lose, it's meant to last two weeks. If one wants to lose a lot of weight, induction is forever.) Ugh. Eleven weeks has felt like forever on some days, trust me.

I overheard a snippet on the news one night that drove me straight to Google. MSN's Health and Fitness online offered an exciting article: "Weight Watchers Want Wine." Researchers at Colorado State University conducted a 12-week study and concluded that calories from red wine do not contribute to weight gain!

Over the study period, 14 healthy males drank two glasses of red wine with dinner daily for six weeks and abstained from drinking alcohol for six weeks, or vice versa. Halfway through the study, a variety of measurements were taken: "No changes were found in any of the participants whether they drank red wine or abstained." These findings were consistent with those of many other similar studies and the CSU scientists proclaimed: "Based on our study and other studies, it seems no support can be given to recommending that alcohol consumption be reduced in order to maintain or reduce body weight."

Take that, Dr. Atkins, may you slumber in eternally slender peace.

And then I came to and remembered that I am not a man and I am not drinking reds. But summer's almost gone, for heaven's sake, and I'm not ready to drink reds again already, even if it were the secret to my slimness. Time to play catch up on my favorite warm weather whites.

Last Friday I was ready to fling myself head first off the low-carb purist wagon. It'd been an exhausting week for many reasons, none of which would garner me much sympathy. Friday afternoon, I grabbed one bottle on the way home. And then, not even 48 hours into my 10-day-long stint as critter sitter for my neighbors' six animals, I came home to find the two dogs had busted out of their fenced yard and were surely cavorting in the canyon. "If this screws up my buzz tonight I'm gonna be so pissed," was my first thought. I'm selfish that way. But the dogs came back and the fence was being patched so I tried not to dwell on potential future escapes and how horribly inconvenient that could get if it interfered with my column research.

With a favorite guilty TV pleasure from Wednesday night on tape, I settled in with my own five animals, eager to savor the artistic eccentricities and petty squabbling on "Project Runway." It'd been a few years since I'd sampled the Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc from Chile so this was my refreshing choice for the evening.

The 2005 opens with a dominant overlay of fresh grass and grapefruit aromas. Vigorous sniffing and swirling coaxes the sweeter fruit notes to reveal themselves. I perceived the first sip as a bit hot and was not surprised to find a 13.5-percent alcohol level dominating the fruit flavors. Drats!

Then I was faced with that perplexing quandary: Do I press on, in the hope that maybe with a bit more chilling and a bit more opening it will improve? Do I stop right now and save myself the calories, the carbs, and the certain headache? Do I accept it for what it is and let my lofty expectations go because I was so looking forward to this and it's the only bottle in the house? Do I screw the top back on and pop open the 2002 Stag's Leap Cabernet I received as a gift that is lounging down in the garage till autumn?

Admonishing myself that even though it was only 70 on the deck I must not waste such a special red on warm weather conditions, I committed to the Veramonte. And I committed to the self-torture: "Maybe it's a food wine? Why don't I have any good food in the house?"

"Because your definition of good wine pairing food is high fat, high sugar and high carb. You know you are not to be trusted, that's why. You remember the deal: you are only allowed to drink wine if you eat low carb. Remember? We've been over this before. For years. REMEMBER?"

"I can't believe I spent money on a wine I don't love."

"You spent $8.59 on it, Laura. Heed the Wine Avenger's advice: 'Shut up and put it in the glass!'"

The wine has a very firm mineral backbone and a bitter citrus kick, neither of which I favor in this varietal. The wine's label promises flavors of fresh peaches but they'd left the building by the time this bottle reached my house. I reviewed my notes on the 2002 which proved my memory correct: "A grassy and herbaceous nose followed up by green apples and soft, lush tropical fruit flavors - mango, banana and pineapple. Fruit salad in a bottle!" Previous vintages have been far more exotic and multi-layered than the 2005 and packed with the juicy flavors I prefer. Not sure why, but that's the roll of the dice we accept when dealing with such sensitive and volatile influences like weather patterns and growing seasons. Sauvignon blanc is a cool weather grape and the flavors and aromas you find in the glass have everything to do with where it is grown. (For the sake of this column I will assume that the wine has not been fermented or aged in oak, as that ruins - I mean, changes - everything.) More on that in a future column.

I paired the 2005 Veramonte sauvignon blanc with boneless, skinless, Red Bird chicken breasts sauteed in olive oil along with organic baby carrots, shredded cabbage and yellow squash from the wayward, non-repentant dogs' garden. And then I paired it with the inevitable morning after headache.

It's hard out here for a low-carb lush.


Food for Thought

A tale of water, music, love and red

By Karl Isberg

I've got two pounds of fresh, Espanola red.

And you most likely don't.

And there's no time like the present (whether that present is summer, winter, fall or spring, morning, afternoon or night) to put the blessed powder to use.

I'm driving home from Santa

Fe. Kathy is messing around with our new satellite radio system. I "installed" the system prior to our motor trip. I use quotation marks because I installed the system. I possess the technical skill of a Luddite so, when wires and connections and electricity are involved, the Big Board at the MGM Sports Book would show the odds for success are definitely not in my favor.

I put the magnetized antenna base on the roof just above the rear gate of Kathy's vehicle, ran the wire into the interior and draped it over the back seat. From there, I took the wire atop the center console and attached it to the radio base. I plugged the radio base into the cigarette lighter and tuned the radio to the appropriate FM frequency. That much, I could do.

I couldn't figure out how to run the cord so it is out of sight and out of the way of feet, hands and fannies. I definitely couldn't figure out how to attach the base to a vertical surface - within sight and easy reach of driver or passenger — so I just tossed the base and the receiver in a console compartment.

But, the radio works and, someday, maybe, I'll procure the services of a semi-skilled technician who knows what he or she is doing, and get the whole package put in place in the manner intended, and as outlined in simple graphics and three languages in the instructions.

In the meantime, we've got Hip-hop Central, and all the vulgar comedy a person could want!

In stereo.

Without static.

Wherever we go.

And, particularly appropriate, since we have been in Santa Fe, there is a New Age channel, complete with dreamy, nearly inchoate tunes, velvety "everything's for the best in this best of all possible worlds" compositions.

Clearly, out of synch with our current situation, however.

Because we are in Espanola. Because we're cruising through a major league thunderstorm. It's been raining hard - emphasis on - "hard""- since we left Santa Fe, and I can barely see the highway.

I can hardly see the flashing lights on emergency vehicles and, due to the smooth sounds on the New Age channel, I certainly can't hear the sirens. (I'd know they were out there anyway, whether I could see or hear them. After all, I'm driving through Espanola).

I can see well enough, however, to recognize a river crossing the highway. The brown, roiling water cascades off the east side of the highway and into nearby lowlands.

I can see well enough to make out a family fleeing their doublewide, a Korean-made flat-screen television and several infants held high as three feet of water pours through the front door of the dwelling. A rusting Honda floats past the family and collides with several trash containers bobbing in the floodwaters.

Things seem to be out of control.

No surprise, really.

It's Espanola.

As I regard tragedy in the making on all sides of me, I switch channels on the radio. A Wu Tang Clan classic blares from the speakers, much to Kathy's consternation, and I realize I am near heaven and I must make a stop.

I peer through the curtain of rain, across the highway. I am looking for Padilla's fruit stand.

I slow to 10 miles per hour ( this is permitted - I'm driving in Espanola) and I peer. Finally, there it is - the source of so much pleasure over the years: Padilla's. The primo peddler of custom-blended, ground red New Mexico chile. I make a dramatic and unsignalled left across four lanes of highway (it's OK, it's Espanola) and slosh to a stop.

The stand is closed. From the looks of it, permanently.

I am sorely distressed. I stand in the pouring rain. I get very wet. I snivel.

Then, through the rain and fog, from down the frontage road, a sign flashes.

There is another stand, just to the north!

I had forgotten, but this one has been in business for decades and I, with my unbending loyalty to the Padillas, had always passed it by.

Kathy makes me walk the 50 yards or so to the store, since I am soaked and she is worried 1) about the leather seats and, 2) that, with all the exposed wiring, I will short out the system and set the vehicle, and her, afire.

I walk into the tiny, ramshackle shop. Behind the counter, a pudgy lass is perched on the lap of a skinny lad. The young buck wears an extra-long basketball jersey and an Albuquerque Isotopes hat (backwards). The coosome twosome is face to face, rocking ever so slightly, the girl apparently a dental school student practicing oral exams on a very willing subject.

I ignore the odd sounds issuing from the kids and turn to a rack set just inside the door.

There they are: stacks of large ziplock bags filled with red-tinted treasure: "Mild," "Medium," "Hot."

I turn to the kids at the counter to inquire about price. It seems as if the lad has dropped his keys down the back of his girlfriend's "Gosh, those-are-really-tight" Capri pants and has launched a frantic and determined search. I decide, diplomat that I am, to simply pay whatever the register requires of me. For two large bags of "Hot." There'll be no bartering today.

I take the bags to the counter.

I clear my throat.

I clear my throat again, louder.

The girl is performing CPR on her boyfriend. He probably suffered a seizure when he lost his keys.

I clear my throat again.

She breaks her grip and turns.

"You foun sumpin?

"Indeed I have, Juliet, but nowhere near what the two of you have found, and will no doubt continue to find until one or both of you go to prison."


"It's a snippet of a Wallace Stevens poem, unseen by anyone but the master until a serf cleaned out his desk drawer at The Hartford following his demise. Pay me no mind."

I fork over a nominal sum and after I towel off, we are on our damp way northward, home to Siberia With a View.

With two bags of alchemical red in our possession.

This stuff is transcendental,


You buy a package of ordinary ground red at the grocery store, you might as well purchase powdered cardboard.

This Espanola red is like a great wine - ramified, dramatic flavors on introduction, a stunning aftertaste, possessed of enormous depth, smoky, chewy, earthy - with a finish that stings. Now, and later.

This is prima materia, ready for its transformation, ready to become gold.

I have two pounds of the stuff.

And you don't.

I'll share a bit with my pal, Ronnie. Chile fills his veins. He grew up eating this stuff. Makes one of the best adovadas on the planet with Espanola red.

I'll give a measured amount to James; he adds it to couscous, and he, too, knows his red.

I might even shovel a bit into a baggie and take it to Ross. He's more than a mayor; he's a connoisseur of red.

But the rest all mine.

I'll keep it in the freezer and use it nearly every night.

There's not a whole lot of recipes that don't benefit from the addition of some red - the amount carefully coordinated with the application.

You can go all the way from a thick, fiery, traditional red chile to adding a teensy bit to vinaigrette. The powder can go into batters, in seasoned flours used to dust meats, fish and fowl prior to sautéing or deep-frying. It adds a kick to curries. Ever had a red chile hollandaise? A red chile velouté? A composed butter, with red chile?

There's a lot of room for innovation with this magical substance; it is fuel for a mighty interesting culinary trip.

I've disembarked at nearly every station on the line. Now, with two pounds on hand, I intend to find, or create, new places to stop.

The first stop: A red chile, halibut Provencal.

Could be made with sea bass or snapper. Maybe, in a pinch, with cod.

I preheat the oven to 400.

I finely dice a small white onion and five cloves of garlic. I chop about a half cup of Kalamata olives. I rinse and chop a bunch of capers. I roll a lemon on the cutting board, pressing down to release the juices, then halve it. I cut a tub's worth of cherry tomatoes in half. I pop open a can of crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes. I pull a bottle of dry white from the cooler. I fetch some basil from the plant on the deck and launch an awkward chiffonade.

I put a large ovenproof pan on the flame, medium hot, and when it's toasty in goes some extra virgin olive oil. I toss in the onion and sauté until translucent and soft. I splash in a bit of the dry white and reduce it. In go the cherry tomatoes and, jacking up the heat slightly, I cook them until they begin to soften. I season with salt, freshly ground black pepper. I toss in a half cup or so of the crushed tomato and the garlic and continue to cook until the tomato juices reduce and the fruit begins to sweeten.

Then, kablam, a teaspoon of Espanola red hits the mix.

To finish the sauce, I toss in the olives, capers and basil. I adjust the seasonings. I add a splash of fresh lemon juice.

I remove half the sauce from the pan and place the hunk o'halibut (which I've washed, skinned and seasoned) on the bed of sauce, I cover the fish with the remaining sauce and slide the pan into the oven. The cooking time depends, of course, on the size of the piece of fish; in this case, 10 minutes does the trick. When the fish comes out of the oven, I incorporate a wad of butter into the sauce in the pan.

In a nod to James, I whip up a batch of couscous, dressed with garlic butter and freshly grated Parmesan. A batch of greens with lemon vinaigrette completes a mighty fine triad.

The perfect marriage of Espanola and Marseilles.

Not a farfetched coupling, I'd say.

After all, surely, somewhere in that French Mediterranean mecca, a young man has lost his keys.

Anyone up for some Espanola red bouillabaisse ?


Extension Viewpoints

Flea control - a plague preventative measure

By Bill Nobles

PREVIEW Columnist

In Colorado, the most common flea that bites humans is the human flea, Pulex irritans. Despite the name, these fleas are normally associated with wild mammals such as skunks, foxes and coyotes. Human bites occur when the dens of wild animals are abandoned and fleas scatter. These fleas may get picked up by pets or move directly into a home. The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis is the most important flea in much of the U.S. as it can reproduce on both dogs and cats. Fortunately, it is uncommon in Colorado. However, people moving into the state from areas where fleas are common (e.g., Texas, California, Florida) can bring heavily infested pets with them. These cat fleas may become established in a home and perhaps even over winter indoors, provided there are sites within the home where humidity is sufficiently high. Other fleas that occasionally bite humans are associated with squirrels, ground squirrels, prairie dogs and other wild rodents. Of these, the rock squirrel flea, is the primary species which transmits the bacteria that produces plague.

Flea bites to humans appear as itchy, red spots usually surrounded by a red halo. Bites often occur in clusters, particularly at edges of tight fitting clothing. Some individuals are extremely sensitive to flea bites; however, others are fairly immune and may react little. Humans are not a favored host of fleas and most bites occur when the fleas are starved from the absence of favored animal hosts. Clusters of small dark spots on bedding, the excrement produced by fleas, is one clue that fleas are present. Flea eggs are laid around areas frequently used by animal hosts. The larvae that hatch from these eggs are rarely observed. They are worm-like and do not feed on animal blood. Instead, they consume blood-rich waste from adult fleas or other organic material around the host animal's den. Larvae require several months to reach the adult stage. Low humidity, which is common in this region, greatly prolongs development. Pupation occurs when the full grown larvae move to small cracks and produce a cocoon covered with debris.

All fleas found in Colorado homes are associated with wild animals nesting in or around the home. When the animal leaves permanently or dies, the fleas scatter in search of new hosts. For example, the human flea is commonly associated with skunks or foxes and occurs in homes when these animals abandon their dens. The adult fleas scatter at this time and may readily get picked up by domestic animals or humans. Orchopeas howardi is a species of flea associated with fox squirrels, often entering homes when carried on dogs. Related fleas are found on certain mice and wood rats.

Flea control usually involves treating domestic animals with insecticide shampoos, flea dips, flea collars, and using flea combs that physically remove the insects. Flea control measures should also include managing the egg and larval stages by washing or thoroughly vacuuming pet bedding on a regular basis. Insecticides can also be applied to carpets, cracks and crevices around areas where the pet resides. Adult fleas may also be trapped. Several traps currently on the market use colored light and heat to attract fleas. The fleas become trapped on a sticky surface. For limited infestations often found in Colorado, traps can be quite effective.

Plague is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by an infection of the bacterium Yersenia pestis. Even though plague rarely affects humans in Colorado, it still holds great historical importance including three major pandemics such as the devastating Black Death of the Middle Ages. Since its establishment in the United States at the turn of the century, plague has been a persistent concern in California, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. In the 43 year period between 1957 and 1999, there were 45 confirmed plague cases originating in Colorado, of which nine resulted in death. Plague can infect all rodents. Cats are also very susceptible. Dogs can become infected. However dogs are more resistant to infection than most mammals and seldom exhibit signs of illness.

Among rodents, where the disease is maintained, almost all spread occurs via fleas. Not all fleas effectively transmit plague. Those that do become infective days or weeks after ingesting blood from a plague-infected rodent. In Colorado, the primary flea vector is the rock squirrel flea and the primary hosts are rock squirrels, prairie dogs, wood rats and other rodents that live in burrows or elaborate stick nests. The human flea, most commonly encountered in homes, is not involved in transmitting plague in Colorado.

Once the plague bacteria are ingested by the flea, it reproduces within the gut and may form a plug of the flea's digestive system. Some time is required between when a flea is infected and when it is capable of transmitting the organism; for the rock squirrel flea this averages 53 days. Since the plague organism also is lethal to the flea, due to the gut obstruction, fleas often die before they can transmit the disease. However, an effect of the bacteria blocking the gut is that the infected flea becomes starved and thus more actively bites and seeks a host. Fleas capable of transmitting the disease usually do so in the course of biting; less commonly, the plague organisms are transmitted when scratching the flea feces into bites or wounds.

Symptoms of plague include rapid rise of temperature two to three days after exposure. This is usually accompanied by headache and general feelings of illness. As the disease progresses there is swelling and inflammation of lymph glands, most often at the base of limbs. This swelling of lymph glands, called buboes, gives rise to the term bubonic plague for the most common clinical form of the disease. Plague also has a much rarer pneumonic form. This occurs when infectious respiratory droplets are coughed or sneezed from infected humans or animals and inhaled by a susceptible human. Pneumonic plague can also occur secondarily as a complication of inadequately treated bubonic plague. This is the means by which some historical outbreaks of plague have primarily been spread.

A recently recognized source of human infections involves contact with infected cats. Plague-infected cats are clearly ill. Most characteristic of infection are swollen lymph glands, generally under the chin and these may drain pus. Persons that are bitten or scratched by infected cats typically develop bubonic plague but those that inhale infectious material coughed by a cat can develop the more dangerous pneumonic form of the disease. Plague can be successfully treated given prompt diagnosis and appropriate medication. A physician's immediate attention is essential if plague is suspected! Mass rodent die-off is a good indication of plague outbreak in an area. If such an event is observed it should be promptly reported to local health department authorities for confirmation and, if necessary, prevention recommendations.

If there is plague in your area, treat pets that roam outdoors for fleas. Dips are recommended for this purpose. Flea collars are not recommended for this purpose as they may not be sufficiently reliable for prevention of plague. Various medications fed to pets are also available through veterinarians. Monitor the pet closely for symptoms of plague development. If any suspicious symptoms are detected, take the animal promptly to a veterinarian.


Pagosa Lakes News

Seeking adventure? Try the Lung Buster

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

You may think of adventure racing as the latest extreme sport, where only the most gung-ho athletes dare to tread. But since you live here, you may want to know that adventure racing and Colorado exist synonymously.

This state has the perfect trails to run, climb and bike for miles and miles. This means endless possibilities for an adventure racer or an aspiring one. Lung Buster 2006 - a 12-hour adventure race - will be held Saturday, Sept. 16. This race was designed by Carole Walters and Richard Cyr and started in the fall of 2004.

Lung Buster is a multi-sport adventure race consisting of trekking/running, mountain biking, paddling and, of course, a little orienteering. Otherwise, where would be the adventure. The course is entirely within the Rio Grande National Forest at elevations of 9,000 feet and above, including a portion along one of the most beautiful sections of the Continental Divide Trail. The exact course will not be revealed until the pre-race check-in.

Adventure racing, for me, was more than merely playing to my ability as a runner and biker - the orienteering definitely spiced it up. It's not uncommon to be tearing around the woods to successfully reach the assigned checkpoints. Another plus was the teamwork and camaraderie that developed with team members. For more information, log onto

Parking lot project

The PLPOA administrative office parking lot will be undergoing reconstruction starting Tuesday, Sept. 5. The work could last as long as six weeks or as short as three weeks, depending on the number of rainy days. Although half of the parking lot will remain usable for most of the time, there will be periods when none of it is available to vehicular traffic. I suggest you leave your high-heeled shoes in the closet and put on comfortable walking shoes if you are visiting the office.

U-Way golf

Local golfers are invited to participate in the United Way Golf Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 26. This is a four-person scramble with various contests, golf giveaways and golf-related silent auction items. Even if you are not a golfer, there's plenty of fun to justify signing up for and supporting United Way in Archuleta County. Enter yourself or your team by calling the golf shop at 731-4755 to sign up.

Money raised from this golf tournament will enable United Way in Archuleta County to help fund the various selected nonprofit agencies and their programs. Collectively, these programs will help children and youth succeed, foster human health and welfare, develop self-sufficiency and independence, support vulnerable and aging population, and respond to those in crisis. The list of needs go on. So far, Pagosa, true to its generous nature, has come forward with monetary and in-kind support.


Beverly Pruitt

Beverly Moore Pruitt passed away peacefully on the morning of July 4, 2006, after her 10-year battle with cancer.

Beverly was born in Atlanta, Ga., on August 20, 1951, to Ted and Betty Moore. She moved to Pagosa Springs in 1981. She was a medical transcriptionist, elementary school teacher, accomplished artist in quilting, pottery and weaving, and an inspiration to everyone she met.

She is survived by her sons, Dylan and Clay Pruitt; her granddaughter, Dakota Blue Pruitt; her mother, Betty Moore; her three brothers, Steve, Randy and Philip Moore; and countless friends and distant family.

A ceremony will be held the afternoon of her 55th birthday, Sunday, August 20, 2006, at 2 p.m. in Centennial Park, behind the courthouse. This ceremony is open to anyone who would like to attend.


Helen Hatfield

Helen Amanda Stoner Hatfield, 91, passed away peacefully on August 12, 2006 in Albuquerque, N.M., with her four children and loving caregiver by her side. Mrs. Hatfield was born on November 27, 1914 in Wichita, Kansas. She is preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, A. Max Hatfield. She is survived by her children, Judith and husband, Don Lambert of McKinney, Texas, Nancy Hatfield of Albuquerque, N.M., Stephen and wife, Linda Hatfield of Roswell, N.M., James and wife, Susan Hatfield of Bosque Farms, N.M.; her beloved caregiver, Maria Benavidez; nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

As Helen was growing up, she was an avid horseperson, swimmer and music lover. She was a caregiver for her parents who lived with them while she raised her four children. She spent most of her adult life in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico. Her children remember how she enjoyed making cinnamon rolls, crescent rolls and apple dumplings for her family and friends. After raising her children, Helen worked in banking for many years before retiring to be the first mate to her captain Max on their sailboats. She played the piano and organ at church, Sunday school, and Bible studies well into her 80s.

A private family service has been planned. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Peralta United Methodist Church, Music Ministry, 25 Wesley Road, Peralta, N.M. 87042, (505) 865-9334.


Edward Row

Edward Kinzie Row, known to his friends and family as Ed, Eddie or Mr. Ed, was born in Susanville, Calif., on Feb. 6, 1939. Ed lost his battle against Parkinson's disease on July 21, 2006.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Edna, and a great-grandson, Zane.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley, of 32 years; a daughter, Donna, now of Somerset, Calif.; two sons, Vernon of Arizona and Jimmy of Somerset; two sisters, Mary from Somerset and Diane from Colorado; son-in-law, Curtis; and daughter-in-law, Kay. Also surviving him are seven grandchildren and six-great-grandchildren; aunts, Helen Girardin, from Pagosa Springs, and Rose from California; one stepsister, June; two stepbrothers, Bob and Earl; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Ed worked in sawmills most of his life and was very active in Snowline Little League. Ed was also very active in his church, Pleasant Oak Baptist Church, where he sang in the choir and has been a member since 1983. Ed will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. He had a great sense of humor and a great smile.

Ed lived his teenage years in Pagosa Springs, working for Vic Poma and attending high school where he played football and basketball, graduating with the Class of 1958.

A celebration of Ed's life, followed by a potluck lunch, will be held Saturday, Aug. 19, 11 a.m., at the American Legion Hall in Town Park.


 Business News

Chamber News

Events produce deep sense of community

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

It's all about community.

In the next couple of weeks, some of our non-profit agencies will be hosting their major fund-raisers for the year.

As we go through our community growing pains, it is important to remember why many of us moved here: it's the sense of community! This town lives for its volunteers because there is such a huge amount of support from individuals in this community who volunteer for organizations and follow their passions: children, seniors, animals, the arts, history, the outdoors, and more.

It is also important to remember that this is a small community, and when tragedy strikes, the community pulls together. This was never more evident than it was in what occurred following with the injury of Travis Stahr and the deaths of Chase Regester and Mike Maestas. To support these longtime resident families in their time of grief, numerous fund-raising activities and memorials were and are being planned. Please note the events that are in the works to support the families.

There will be a dance with a live band after the Little Britches rodeo Friday, Aug. 18. The dance will be held at the Extension Building starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are a minimum donation of $10. Special T-shirts have also been designed and will be sold at the dance.

On Saturday, Aug. 26, the day will be filled with laughter and tears. Starting at 2 p.m. at the fairgrounds, there will be a memorial for Chase Regester. Following the memorial, at around 4 p.m., there will be the Chase Regester Memorial "Buckle-Up" Team Roping. You can register for the event either the day of, or by calling Diana Talbot at 731-5203. Even if you're not a roper, stay and watch these talented cowboys and cowgirls.

Also on Saturday, Aug. 26, the Knights of Columbus, fresh off the duck race, will host a spaghetti dinner for all three families at the Parish Hall. You know how good the Knights' fish fries are, so don't miss the spaghetti. A full meal will be served, including homemade sopapillas for dessert. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger, and may be purchased here at the Visitor Center. The dinner will be from 4-8 p.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall on Lewis Street.

Please also remember that funds have been set up at Citizens Bank for the families of these young men. When tragedy strikes, this town becomes one big family and is the essence of what a community should be.

Auction for the Animals

For a 12th time, the Humane Society will host its Auction for the Animals - a live and silent auction Friday, Aug. 25. Starting at 5:30 p.m. at the community center, this auction and wine tasting is always a major event.

I remember when we auctioned off a jersey of Lance Armstrong's at a time when he wasn't as popular as he is now. Lucky person who has that jersey!

This organization works hard to bring unique, collectable items to the auction to help fund its successful operations. Tickets for the event may be purchased here at the Chamber, as well as at the Humane Society Thrift Store, Moonlight Books and WolfTracks. Wine and beer tickets are $25 and regular tickets are $17. Enjoy the fabulous food provided by Farrago Market Café, sip some tasty wine, and see what kind of goodies or collectable you can score!

Perfect weather for ducks

The river's running, the guys are cooking and there's just enough time before school starts up again to enjoy Town Park as a family, as the Knights of Columbus host their annual Duck Race fund-raiser, Saturday.

It is not only a duck race. This day is filled with games, activities, raffles, food booths and a classic car show. Starting at about 10 a.m., the Knights will have games and booths available for young and old alike. The classic cars will be displayed across Hermosa Street from Town Park. If you would like to enter your car, give Frank Martinez a call at 264-5435.

The running - or floating - of the ducks will take place at about 2:30 p.m. Raffle prizes will be given away around 12:30 p.m. Ducks may be purchased for $5 a duck at the Buffalo Inn, Roy Vega Insurance Services and Silver Dollar Liquor, or on the day of the race. Turn your $5 into a $1,000 first prize, a $500 second prize, or a $100 third prize. Come out and enjoy the day and watch the ducks race down the San Juan River.

Calling all golfers

United Way of Archuleta County will host its annual golf tourney Saturday, Aug. 26, at the Pagosa Springs Golf Course. This four-person scramble is a fun event that includes various contests and golf giveaways, and it begins at 9 a.m. with a shotgun start.

I'll be out there with donuts in the morning and selling those "get out of jail free" cards, otherwise known as mulligans!

To enter, you pay $75, which includes green fees, cart, lunch and, of course, fun! If you are a member of the Pagosa Springs Golf Club, the entry fee is only $40. Everyone is invited to participate, even if you are just visiting Pagosa. To enter yourself or your team, call the golf shop at 731-4755. This annual event benefits the agencies here in Archuleta County, so you know your donation stays in your community. See all you golfers on Aug. 26.

Evening events

Whether you're visiting or a resident, here are some more local events to attend. Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge will be at JJ's Riverwalk Friday, on the patio. Come out for some lively western entertainment.

On Saturday, Aug. 26, the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association will host an Archaeoastronomy and Sky Watch Program at Chimney Rock. The gates open from 7-7:30 p.m. and the program begins at 8. Tickets are $15 per person, attendance is limited to 40 people, and the program is not recommended for children under 12. You can reserve tickets by calling 883-5359.

Oteka Theatre Productions presents Cynthia Neder in "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," tonight, tomorrow night and Saturday. This one-woman show will be held 3.7 miles out Piedra Road, starting at 7 p.m. This is the last week this show will be performed! The following week, Aug. 24-26, the Neil Simon play, "I Ought to be in Pictures," will be performed at 7 p.m. We are hearing rave reviews about both shows, so don't miss out on this opportunity to see some dynamic local talent.

No matter the season, there is always lots to do in Pagosa Country. Take advantage of all the fun and activities right in your own backyard, and stay involved in your community.

Membership news

We have one new member coming on board this week: John Chrzanowski and Abel Electrical Contracting Company. Here is an interesting tidbit about what "Abel" means: Always Buy Everything Locally! Now isn't this someone that you would like to do business with? John offers quality professional service whether new construction, remodeling, or electrical repairs. Every job is done with care and customer respect. For more information, or to set up a consultation, call John at 731-9130. Welcome aboard, we hope to see you at future SunDowners. And thanks to Craig Taylor with Treecology for the referral.

Renewals for this week include La Plata Electric; Pagosa Springs SUN Publishing; the Bear Creek Saloon and Grill; Abracadabra; Coin Crafters and Engravers; Larry Johnson and Johnson Builders; Diane Ludwig and Fireside Inn; Piedra River Resort and Backcountry Outfitters; Chimney Rock Adobe; Sportsman's Supply Campground and Cabins; Greg and Linda Schick with Sunset Ranch Cabins, the Rock House Haven and condos in the Fairfield area; Power House Ministries; American Red Cross Southwest Chapter; The Area Association of Realtors; and last, but certainly not least, one of Pagosa's most active couples, Ron and Cindy Gustafson.

The remainder of August is filled with activities and last-minute vacations before the school season starts. Many of our local youth will be leaving for college and - can you believe it? - the change of season will soon be upon us.

Take time to participate in some of the upcoming festivities and events and enjoy your sense of community.


Biz Beat

"I didn't know Aflac was in Pagosa Springs."

It is, and in fact Erin Kirk has been helping local businesses and individuals obtain health insurance for the last 18 months.

Aflac is a different kind of health insurance that pays cash to policyholders directly, so they can keep up with their personal bills while they are hurt or sick. That matters more than ever, as according to a recent study, half of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

Individuals with or without health insurance can purchase Aflac to help keep up with the personal bills that major medical insurance wasn't designed to cover like mortgages, car payments, tuition and gas.

Businesses looking to provide health benefits for their employees can offer Aflac at no direct cost to the company. In a tight labor market, offering benefits can make the difference in attracting good people.

Kirk has 25 employers offering Aflac benefits locally. She also works with several companies outside Colorado. This has made her the No. 2 Aflac agent in the state and 32nd companywide.

Kirk has been a Pagosa resident for nearly five years and recently married Sam Kirk of the Rio Blanco Ranch. Her office is upstairs in the Hersch Building. Contact her at 264-0241 or



Cards of Thanks

Wild Turkey Federation

The National Wild Turkey Federation Women in the Outdoors would like to extend a thank you to the following for making our event on July 7 and 8 a huge success.

NRA wildlife officers Patt Dorsey, Melody Miller, Mike Reid, Justin Krall, Doug Purcell; Don Volger, Pagosa chief of police; Emzy Barker; Charlie Rogers; Mike Alley; Steven Lynch; J.P. Rappenecker; Ponderosa Hardware; Natalie Woodruff; and Carol and Mary at the Malt Shoppe.

Pam Lynd, Kim Lynch, Melinda Volger and Stacey Barker, Committee for Women in the Outdoors


Demolition Derby

The Demolition Derby staff would like to recognize those generous merchants in Pagosa for their support of the derby. The 2006 derby sponsors are Buckskin Towing and Repair, Pagosa Auto Care, A&M Construction, Hard Times Concrete, Napa Auto Parts, Sonoco, Mud Shaver Carwash, Frontier Towing, anonymous donation.

Additional sponsors for fence banners and cash donations are Comfort One Insulation, Copper Coin Liquor Store, Hi Mesa Auto, Moore Chiropractic, Pagosa Power Sports, Smithco Enterprise, Timothy Miller Custom Homes, Walters Body Shop, Colorado Dreamscapes, Conoco, Conyers Saw and Mower Repair, Daylight Donuts, Domino's Pizza, GIG Enterprise, Flame Tools, Fireside Inn Cabins, High Mountain Performance, Lucero Tire, Navajo Rental and Wolf Creek Run.

The Demolition Derby staff would like to thank the businesses who donated gift certificates: DNK Auto and Truck Repair, Dorothy's Restaurant, The Flying Burrito, The Spa Motel and The Springs Resort. A very special thanks to KWUF Radio (Will Spears); the derby announcer, Chris Olivarez, who did a wonderful job; Andy and Gale Weber, for bringing their equipment and helping out; Brisa Burch for singing The National Anthem; Cody and Dawn Ross for bringing tow trucks and helping out; Gerald Manzanares for tow truck and help. Additionally, Lori Lattin would like to thank the Pagosa Fire Department, ambulance crew, sheriff's department, everyone who helped, including all the volunteers, fair board, and anyone we may have failed to mention, for dedicating their time to make the 2006 Demolition Derby such a success.



I would like to thank all my many friends who came to help me celebrate by 80th birthday.

Albert Schnell


Lady in Ranger

I would like to express my deepest thanks to Scott at Big O Tires.

Yesterday, Aug. 10, at 5:57 p.m., I just got off work and was at City Market getting gas when I noticed my left rear tire was flat. I quickly called Big O Tires and they said they closed at 6 p.m. When I explained my problem and where I was, they said, "Come on over, we will stay open for you." It was dark and gloomy out and started to rain heavily. The gentleman at the window at the gas station turned on the air so I could get the tire inflated enough to drive down the street.

When I arrived at Big O, Scott was there for me and within minutes the tire was fixed, and I was on my way home feeling so grateful for "small town" hospitality.

Please, Pagosa, don't change into some "big-city" mentality - please let there be more Scotts out there.

Thank you again.

The lady in the Ford Ranger


Kelly Barsanti, daughter of Ron and Pam Barsanti and a graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, has received a postdoctoral appointment in the Advanced Study Program (ASP) of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, in Boulder. It is a two-year appointment that began Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Barsanti's research interests are understanding the chemical composition of atmospheric organic aerosols. The objectives of the research include characterizing chemical transformations of aerosols and providing information to improve air quality and climate models.

Research at NCAR includes studies of atmospheric dynamics (on all scales), climate science, cloud physics, atmospheric chemistry and radiation, turbulence, upper-atmosphere physics (including ionosphere studies and aeronomy), solar physics, oceanography, and societal impacts related to these scientific areas. NCAR has related programs in atmospheric technology, computational science, and applied mathematics. The NCAR program also includes studies of the interaction of the atmosphere with the oceans, the cryosphere, the Earth's surface, and human society.


Sports Page

Pagosa skate contest Sunday at South Pagosa Park

By Jon King

Special to The SUN

The Skater's Coalition for Concrete will host Pagosa's first-ever skate contest at South Pagosa Park 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.


Archuleta County Fair Kids' Rodeo results

Following are the results from the 2006 Kids' Rodeo held at the Archuleta County Fair.

Calf riding: David McRee, Tyreese Tyndall.

Wild cow riding: Waylon Lucero, Michael Moats.

Barrels (6-10 years): Payton Shahan, David McRee.

Barrels (14-19 years): Breann Decker, Malorie Godbold.

Pole bending (11-13 years): Kelsi Lucero, Katelyn McRee.

Ribbon race (7-10 years): Morgan Smith and Payton Shahan, Shayla Lucero and Payton Shahan.

Hitchhiking race: Berkeley Ruthardt, Bailee Ruthardt.

Team roping: Waylon Lucero and Cayden Chumly.

Family ribbon robing: DuWayne Shahan and Payton Shahan, Tim McRee and Katelyn McRee.

Steer riding: Joseph McConnel, Stetson Ruthardt.

Flag race (6 and under): McKenna DeYapp, Deann Schaaf.

Barrels (11-13 years): Katelyn McRee, Caylin Chumly.

Pole Bending (6-10 years): Dalton Lucero, Payton Shahan.

Pole bending (14-19 years): Malorie Godbold, Breann Decker.

Ribbon race (11-13 years): Kelsi Lucero and Katelyn McRee, Cheyann Dixon and Katelyn.

Breakaway roping: Bailee Ruthardt.

Steerhide drag: DuWayne and Payton Shahan, DuWayne Shahan and Cody Snow.


Demolition derby results

Following are winners in this year's Archuleta County Fair Demolition Derby, and their prizes.

First place, large division: Eric O'Brien (La Jara), $1,000, jacket, trophy.

First place, small division: Joel Flaugh (Pagosa Springs), $1,000, jacket, trophy.

Second place, large division: Dominick Cisneros (Alamosa), $300, trophy.

Second place, small division: Cody Pack (Pagosa Springs), $300, trophy.

Third place, large division: Steve Cordova (Manassa), $200, trophy.

Third place, small division: Jeremy Boulet (Pagosa Springs), $200, trophy.

Joel Flaugh also won the "Last Man Standing" jacket.

The Beauty Car prize was awarded to Cody Pack, $100.

Chris Rudy Edwards, winner of the spectator giveaway car, also took home "Most Aggressive Driver."


Pagosa Bow Club 3D shoot at Laverty range

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

Youth soccer coaches needed

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

Registration for the 2006 youth soccer league has closed and teams for the 5-6 and 7-8 divisions will be finalized within the next few days.

We are still in need of head coaches for the 5-6 and 7-8 divisions; anyone interested in coaching a team can call 264-4151, Ext. 231 or 232, for more information.

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, Aug. 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. Games for all divisions will begin the week of Sept. 4.

Games in the 5-6 and 7-8 divisions will be played on Mondays, Wednesdays and some Saturdays, while games in the 9-10 and 11-13 divisions will be played Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays.


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.


A new season arrives

This is one of our favorite times of the year. We anticipate the ap-proach of fall, the events at the end of the summer season. Soon, that certain slant of light will tell us summer is over, the foliage will begin to turn, the summer tourist crush will ease.

We also look forward to the advent of the high school sports season this time of year. We admit it: we love sport, and more than those levels of sporting activity that follow - college and professional - high school sport has the capacity to delight us, to fully engage us, to provide unvarnished drama and excitement.

Unfortunately, the spectacle of school kid sport has been in decline, and it is a shame - for we spectators who enjoy it, but more so for many of the youngsters who participate.

The problem: some parents, and some coaches. Not all, but some. And, in the ranks of parents, the number of spoilers grows every year.

This comes as no surprise. Look at public school systems in general; observe many parents when it comes to discipline in the schools (not to mention, at home ) when it comes to academics and a realistic judgment of children by teachers, with grades, and administrators, with disciplinary action. Too often, the reaction from the parent is to protect, to excuse. The result: public schools have been undermined, in all respects. Academic standards, despite vaunted testing programs, have declined. Student behavior in classes and hallways has eroded. The "parachute parent" has done little to guarantee a high probability of success for the child. On the contrary. While parental enabling behaviors diminish pressure at home, allowing children to be more like friends than responsibilities, they do little to produce skilled and resilient citizens.

That same type of activity has stained the athletic experience as well. We live in a community of standing ovations - where every performance, every activity by children is applauded vigorously, designed to boost "self esteem." At the same time, criticism and the label "average" are rigorously opposed. And it is so regarding activities on athletic fields and courts. Too many parents live through their youngsters, seek to bask in a golden light cast by their child's heroics - regardless of reality. Too many parents focus on whether a team or individual wins, on whether there is a standing ovation. If it doesn't happen, it's not because the athlete or team was beaten: it's the coach's fault. If a child is not picked for a team, it's not because he or she is not as capable as another: it is the coach's fault. The situation is made worse by an alarming willingness of many administrators and elected officials to support this illusion.

The bottom line: the student athlete should have a rewarding and, yes, fun experience - as absent parental intrusion as possible. It is an experience that can fortify values (though it cannot create them), but it should be enjoyable. Very few high school athletes go on to a higher level athletic career, and those who do will someday fail. It must be fun, now.

It cannot be fun, or realistic, if parents complain, yell and browbeat coaches, run to administrators and school board members. Any more than it can be fun with coaches who cannot relate to players, cannot understand and inspire them, cannot provide them with examples of character to serve them well in the future.

We hope, knowing such hope is futile, that this year will be different.

We want local athletes to win - this is the most fun an athlete can have. And, when that does not happen, we hope parents, coaches and school officials have the wisdom to illuminate something more meaningful in the youngsters' experiences.

Karl Isberg



Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 18, 1916

Don Archuleta arrived last night with 23 trunks containing 3,000 lbs. of samples of hats and dry goods, the finest and largest line ever shown in Pagosa. Don is traveling for two eastern firms and is more than making good.

S.H. Dickerson has installed a popcorn and peanut roasting machine that cost just $700 to install.

H.H. Russell of Nebraska has purchased 320 acres of land from Tom Mee on Sheep Cabin and has already taken up his residence on it. He expects his family in this evening.

As no rain has fallen for a few hours the ranchmen are beginning to smile and the grouch isn't so much in evidence.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 21, 1931

The string of tools which was lost in the Fitzhugh well, on the Chromo structure, has been recovered and drilling has been resumed. Two crews are employed on the job and the hold will be sunk to the Dakota sand as rapidly as possible. Those in charge of the drilling operations believe a few weeks will tell the story, and feel confident they will bring in a commercial producer.

The 1931-1932 term of the Pagosa Springs schools, both grade and high schools, will begin on Monday, September 7th. Registration will be held on that date and it is very important that all children be present on this day. Tuition will be charged on all students from outside districts, it has been announced by the board of education.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 23, 1956

It was announced this week by Duke City Lumber Co. and the San Juan Lumber Co. that the Duke City sawmill just west of town had been sold to the San Juan company. This company also purchased some of the Duke City timber and will saw the rest for Duke City under contract. They will take immediate possession of the mill and will start its operation this week. This is the second mill that the San Juan Lumber Co. has bought in recent months, the first being that of the Ponderosa Wood Products Co. on the Piedra. Mr. Vernon Burda, president of San Juan announced that his company would continue to operate both of these mills and that lumber from them would be planed and dry kilned at the facilities to be constructed near Pagosa Springs.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 23, 1956

It was announced this week by Duke City Lumber Co. and the San Juan Lumber Co. that the Duke City sawmill just west of town had been sold to the San Juan company. This company also purchased some of the Duke City timber and will saw the rest for Duke City under contract. They will take immediate possession of the mill and will start its operation this week. This is the second mill that the San Juan Lumber Co. has bought in recent months, the first being that of the Ponderosa Wood Products Co. on the Piedra. Mr. Vernon Burda, president of San Juan announced that his company would continue to operate both of these mills and that lumber from them would be planed and dry kilned at the facilities to be constructed near Pagosa Springs.



Preserving the pioneer past

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

A few blocks from the boom and bustle of U.S. 160, the early history of Pagosa Springs lies hidden and almost forgotten.

Old Fort Lewis Cemetery (also called Pagosa Springs or Pioneer Cemetery) is not nearly as expansive as the town's Hilltop Cemetery, but it holds some of the town's oldest artifacts. Marked grave stones date back to the 1880s, while there are likely unmarked graves from even earlier.

Most of the graves are damaged, toppled, or overgrown with weeds and brush. The cemetery is nearly invisible to passersby on South 10th Street.

Ryan Hamilton, a freshman at Pagosa Springs High School, would like to see this change.

As part of his work to earn the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, Hamilton plans to reclaim Old Fort Lewis Cemetery, removing much of the vegetation that obscures the graves, stabilizing the fence that deters vandals, and repairing grave stones that have been damaged by time, weather, or human hands.

The centerpiece of his project will be the construction of a sign to let people know the significance of the site off of South 10th Street. Hamilton will construct the sign of timber and sandblast the name "Old Fort Lewis Cemetery" on it.

Hamilton's medium will match the rugged terrain of the cemetery. He will stylize the timbers in order to allude to the fort that once interred its fallen there.

Hamilton said he chose the project because he was upset that the cemetery had not been better cared for.

"It's part of Pagosa's history, and when people drive by, they don't even know it's a cemetery ... It could be one of our major attractions, if it were fixed up," he said.

Before he can begin his project, Hamilton will need permission from town officials, since the land was given to the town in 1908 by Hannah E. Gross, "to be used as a Cemetery, a place for the burial of the dead and for no other purpose whatsoever," according to the deed.

If given the go-ahead, Hamilton will begin work in the next week or two.

Ann Oldham, curator of the San Juan Historical Museum, is happy that someone is taking interest in the old cemetery again. Other volunteer groups have worked to maintain Old Fort Lewis Cemetery in the past, but none are currently active.

"We need to put a stop to the vandalism in the cemetery," she said. According to Oldham, she belonged to a group that had run-ins with people who put the cemetery to recreational uses. The volunteers had to vie with youngsters on dirt bikes for access to the graves.

Today, a brief walk through the cemetery will reveal broken markers, shattered beer bottles, and even a large, well-built children's fort. The size and construction of the fort indicate that it required a sustained effort to be built. Presumably the youngsters received help.

Oldham suggested that reclaiming the cemetery is about respecting those individuals who have come before us. But it is also about preserving our collective history.

The cemetery was used by Fort Lewis from October 1878 to January 1881 until the camp was relocated to Rio de la Plata, near Durango. When the fort was moved, most of the soldiers buried in the cemetery were moved to the new fort. However, some of the soldiers' graves were missed. A few were later exhumed and moved to Leavenworth, Kan., but it is likely that some still remain at the cemetery.

Civil War veterans were also buried in the old cemetery, but later moved to "Hilltop."

Among the numerous pioneers buried at Old Fort Lewis Cemetery, Archuleta County Commissioner William Howe was shot and killed by Juan Montoya in a gun battle with sheep ranchers in 1892. Montoya was prosecuted for murder in a well-reported trial, but was found to have acted in self-defense. Howe's grave stone has been knocked over.

Howe's wife and son, Jennie and Abraham, are also buried at Old Fort Lewis Cemetery. Jennie Howe died at 17 after a hard labor, and Abraham died in his infancy.

Others likely buried in the cemetery, but with unmarked graves, include the first white woman to settle in the area, Matilda Kemp; a stagecoach driver, J.H. Lusk; and a man killed by a bear, W.F. Robbins.

Reclamation of the cemetery could involve more than clean-up and repair. It is possible to discover the locations of unmarked graves through either simple or advanced technology.

Graves can be found by probing the soil with metal rods. Graves are located where the ground is discernibly softer than the surrounding soil from being disturbed by burial.

Alternatively, ground penetrating radar can locate coffins, remains, and buried objects from above the surface.

Many unmarked graves could be found by clearing the cemetery of brush and weeds, revealing small stones and decaying wood markers. Controlled burns have even been used for this purpose in other cemeteries.

According to Oldham, there is a family plot at Old Fort Lewis Cemetery that is marked only by a circle of small stones. Currently those graves are hidden by vegetation.

The town does not have significant funds set aside for maintaining or reclaiming Old Fort Lewis Cemetery.

The town is not responsible for maintaining grave sites, since they are owned by their purchasers. This poses a problem in an inactive cemetery, like Old Fort Lewis, since close relatives no longer exist to maintain the graves.

It may also mean that portions of Pagosa Springs' active cemetery, Hilltop, will need reclamation in the future, as relatives move away or pass on.

"As a town grows, it may have to consider doing something about that," said Street Superintendent Chris Gallegos, who is charged with maintaining the roads at Hilltop cemetery.

It is possible to obtain funds for the upkeep and restoration of old cemeteries. According to a representative of the Colorado Historical Society, the Old Fort Lewis Cemetery would be eligible for state historic funds if the town were to designate it as a historic landmark.

According to the town's "Historic Preservation Ordinance," a site may qualify for landmark status if it is at least 50 years old and meets one or more of 10 qualifications - including connection to the development, heritage, or culture of the town, state or nation; relationship to a significant historic event; or identification with people who contributed to the history of the town.

Town Manager Mark Garcia and Town Planner Tamra Allen both said that Old Fort Lewis Cemetery has potential to qualify for designation as a local landmark.

According to Allen, anyone could complete the application to designate Old Fort Lewis Cemetery a local landmark. First, she suggested that interested individuals should seek permission from the town council at one of its meetings, before completing the application. It is also advisable to communicate with the planning department before beginning the application process.

Following completion of the application, the proposal for landmark status is considered by the Historic Preservation Board. If the board approves the application, it goes before the town council for a final vote.

After landmark status is granted, the town, or its agents, could more easily obtain funds for preserving the cemetery.

The town has taken steps to protect the cemetery in the past. In the late eighties, it built a chain-link fence to deter vandals. And when South 10th Street was constructed, it was made to curve around the cemetery to avoid damaging the ground, said Street Superintendent Gallegos.

The location of the street still causes concern for some. The lone grave of James Voorhees is visible from South 10th Street and stands out from the chain-link fence. "One of these days, some snowplow is going to take it out," Oldham said.

According to Gallegos, up until about 10 years ago, the town would maintain the fence when broken. But more recently, it has been put on the back burner, in order to see to other priorities.

Town officials expressed their willingness to work with members of the community who are interested in Old Fort Lewis Cemetery. For more information about applying for historic landmark designation, forms are available through the planning department's section of the town's Web site.


Pagosa's Past

Dedios recalls the Jicarilla Apache lifestyle

By John M. Motter

We've been repeating a first-hand account of how the Jicarilla lived circa the 1860s and 1870s before moving onto the reservation they still occupy in New Mexico just south of Pagosa Springs.

Our account is taken from "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History, 1846-1979," written by Dr. Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, an Apache historian.

Tiller records first-person recollections of Juan Dedios made in 1933. Dedios is reporting his personal experience during the 1860s and 1870s.

Tiller writes: "While moving from place to place (Motter: with the Jicarilla), Dedios invariably came upon other Jicarilla bands. He recalled meeting them at their hunting camps in the Jemez Mountains, along Huerfano Creek in Colorado, in the Estancia Valley, and even on the Llano Estacado in Texas. He became acquainted with the major trails and campsites used by Jicarilla hunters and travelers.

"The semi nomadic Jicarilla moved from place to place, following game, but there were favored places where they always camped while on hunting expeditions. Dedios showed many of these sites to Dr. Hibben (his interviewer), most of them near hunting areas. In the upper end of the Estancia Valley were three camping spots that accommodated Jicarilla hunters when they were after deer and antelope. For buffalo hunts, Dedios identified one near the small town of San Jon at the edge of the Llano Estacado, another east of Logan on the Canadian River, and one at Trinchera Pass east of Raton.

"Dedios and the other Jicarilla informants located many sacred places within Jicarilla territory: for example, Rabbit Ears Mountain and Tucumcari Butte. These were meeting places where hunters gathered and prayed before leaving for the plains. Dedios recalled that once he and some other Jicarilla discovered a herd of buffalo east of Tucumcari Butte in a river bottom. They killed the whole herd, but could not butcher them all and so left some behind. Killing more buffalo than was needed was rare. The next year, he lamented, they experienced little luck with their hunting.

"One fall Dedios went hunting in the Arkansas River region with Juli-n and his entire band of 36 lodges. Several of these Jicarilla had good buffalo horses. Their trip began at Vermejo on the Little Cimarron, headed north, and wound up on the plains. While on this trip they met another Jicarilla leader, San Pablo, who was camped near Cienega, one day's travel east of Rabbit Ears Mountain. Cienega was a camp where the men left the old men and boys while they hunted buffalo."

More next week on the Jicarilla Apache lifestyle as described by Juan Dedios.


Pagosa Sky Watch

The eagle flies in the August skies

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 6:26 a.m.

Sunset: 7:57 p.m.

Moonrise: 12:23 a.m.

Moonset: 4:02 p.m.

Moon phase: The moon is waning crescent with 32 percent of the visible disk illuminated.

Although the month of August is rapidly coming to a close and it seems autumn is just around the corner, there is still time to enjoy views of a variety of objects and constellations along the band of our own Milky Way as it traverses the night sky north to south during summer evenings.

One such constellation along our galactic band is Aquila, the eagle. Aquila is a relatively large, diamond-shaped constellation located in a portion of the Milky Way with rich starfields. In addition, astronomers have noted the southern portion of Aquila, near the boundary with the constellation Scutum, is an abundant area for novae, thus, a visit to Aquila should provide much for both the novice and experienced skywatcher.

The observing history of Aquila can be traced back to the earliest Arab and Persian astronomers, and this is evidenced by the names of Aquila's primary stars which are derived from either Arabic or Persian. However, although the Aquilan nomenclature is decidedly oriental, the predominant Aquilan mythology is undoubtedly Occidental.

According to the ancient Greeks and classic Greek mythology, the constellation resembled a wide-winged, soaring bird which was identified as the carrier of Zeus' thunderbolts. In the mythology, the eagle was sent by the deity to fetch the shepherd boy Ganymede, whom Zeus desired to be placed on the top of Mount Olympus, where the boy would serve as the wine pourer to the gods. Ganymede is represented by neighboring Aquarius in the night sky.

While the Greek story of Zeus and Ganymede is an integral part of the classical mythology, the tale also sheds light on the nomenclature behind Jupiter and its largest moon. Jupiter was the Roman name for Zeus, and Ganymede, in both the Roman and Greek tradition, remained the servant boy.

To view Aquila, begin observations after 10 p.m. when the constellation will appear high overhead. For skywatchers new to Aquila, locating the constellation will require some celestial leapfrogging and a basic knowledge of the night sky including the Summer Triangle asterism. Novice stargazers, or those unfamiliar with the region around Aquila, will want to consult a star chart to assist in the location process.

For celestial leapfroggers, begin at Polaris and hop southward, past the constellation Cepheus, to the constellation Cygnus and its alpha star Deneb. Deneb is a magnitude 1.2 blue-white supergiant, which also marks the northeastern point on the Summer Triangle asterism.

From Deneb, the next leap is to the left, or west, to the brilliant, blue-white Vega. Vega is the alpha star in the constellation Lyra, the second point on the Summer Triangle, and the fifth brightest star in the sky.

From Vega, skywatchers will make their last leap southward and slightly to the right, arriving ultimately at Altair, the alpha star in the constellation Aquila, and the last point on the Summer Triangle.

The name Altair comes from the Arabic, "al-nasr, al-tair," for "the flying eagle." Altair is a magnitude 0.76 white star lying roughly 17 light years away, making it one of the closest naked-eye stars.

From Altair, and moving slightly to right, stargazers will find Aquila's beta star, Alshain. Alshain is a magnitude 3.7 yellow star roughly 45 light years away.

Moving back to Altair, then slightly to the left, stargazers will find Tarazed, Aquila's gamma star and a magnitude 2.7 orange giant lying 460 light years away.

Contemporary skywatchers, like their Persian predecessors, will undoubtedly note that Alshain and Tarazed hover poised like sentinels on either side of Altair, and in fact, it was the Persians who first gave the stunning trio its name - "shahin-i tarazu" - which is a Persian translation of an Arabic word meaning "the balance."

After locating Altair and its companion stars Alshain and Tarazed, stargazers can then trace the torso of the eagle - depicted by the constellation's horizontally-oriented diamond shape - and the eagle's tail, a line of three stars jutting toward the southwest and the constellation Scutum . Although the rest of Aquila's stars, as compared to the constellation's dominant triad, are relatively faint, they generally fall within the parameters for naked-eye observing, and thus, should be easy to locate.

And lastly, some astronomical food for thought.

Although most of us don't consider the gravitational implications of the food we eat, the role of gravity is a key consideration when astronauts plan meals and meal times.

According to NASA, "Flour tortillas are a favorite bread item of shuttle astronauts. Tortillas provide an easy and acceptable solution to the breadcrumb and microgravity-handling problem, and have been used since 1985.



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