August 31, 2006

Front Page

Final push for 'Big Box' and height regs

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Two key planning tools, an ordinance governing big box retail development and another governing building height, will go before the Pagosa Springs Town Council for final approval Tuesday night.

The big box ordinance, if approved, will cap large format retail structures at 100,000 square feet, with a 15-point economic impact assessment report required for all retail projects exceeding 40,000 square feet. As drafted, the ordinance also contains a variance clause that allows retail projects exceeding the square footage cap to go before the town planning commission and town council for special consideration.

The ordinance that will appear before the council at 5 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers, represents a compromise from a previous version of the ordinance floated during a work session in late July. The ordinance, as proposed during the July work session, would have capped large format retail buildings at 180,000 square feet, with 50,000 square-foot buildings triggering the economic impact assessment.

Council member Stan Holt said the 180,000 square-foot cap represented a compromise from the previously proposed 250,000 square-foot size cap.

Angela Atkinson, a citizen active in the big box issue and a member of the Big Box Task Force since its inception in July 2004, said the 250,000 square-foot cap was a compromise from a push to impose no size caps at all.

The 180,000 square-foot limit drew public outcry during the July work session, and when the town council reviewed the ordinance during the legislation's first reading Aug. 1, the public spoke again in opposition to the pending legislation, citing concerns that 180,000 square feet was out of scale with the community.

Following public comment and council discussion during the Aug. 1 town council meeting, council member Bill Whitbred moved for a continuation of the proceedings to Aug. 7, where the council could explore lowering the size cap.

During the Aug. 7 meeting, the council did not discuss specific square footage size cap reductions, although council members Holt, John Middendorf, Tony Simmons and Whitbred said they would consider a decreased size cap.

The ordinance then returned to the town council Aug. 10, where Whitbred proposed the current ordinance's parameters. After public comment and town council discussion, the council unanimously approved the scaled down version of the ordinance on first reading.

Although language in the ordinance regarding square footage size caps is clear, the legislation refers to the application of the ordinance to "a unified retail development."

Further discussion of the language during the Aug. 10 session revealed the definition of "unified retail development" was unclear.

With the language vague, that left the future of two key properties slated for large-scale commercial and retail development uncertain, and Town Manager Mark Garcia said the language would need to be fine tuned before the ordinance receives final approval. He said town staff would clarify the language prior to Tuesday's meeting.

In addition to the big box question, the town council will hear a second reading of an ordinance that, if approved, will set the terms for measuring building height in the Town of Pagosa Springs.

As written in a draft version of the ordinance, building height would be measured to the midspan of a roof, rather than the current method of measuring to a roof's topmost point.

In addition, the proposed definition defines the parameters for measuring from the ground, and from either pre- or post-construction grade, and for measuring from grade under extenuating circumstances, such as when fill is required to avoid building in the flood plain.

The current height definition states, "Height shall be measured from the median ground elevation of the structure to the topmost point of the structure."

The proposed definition is built from a more comprehensive definition used in Telluride, although with a few local tweaks.

Like Telluride, the proposed definition mandates that height be measured to the roof's midspan, however, in a motion by Middendorf, the Pagosa Springs version puts a maximum 6-foot cap beyond the mid span measurement.

For example, in the D-1, downtown business and lodging district, 40 feet is the maximum height to midspan, but with the six feet buffer, buildings could achieve an overall height of 46 feet.

Local architect Sean Thomson, who was instrumental in crafting the town's draft definition, said he was generally pleased with the results, but said the definition still fell short of the mark.

"We kind of shot ourselves in the foot by putting a six-foot cap," Thomson said. "The cap can't accommodate both commercial and residential development. It precludes architectural diversity."

Thomson advocated reexamining the six-foot cap and suggested instituting a cap based on use, such as a seven and a half foot cap beyond the midspan for residential, and a 10-foot cap beyond the midspan for commercial.

"Even another foot and a half could have made an impact," Thomson said.

Furthermore, Thomson said, "A height limit without architectural guidelines is futile." And he said he hopes the town will weave the two planning tools together in the near future.

However, Thomson said the new definition, despite its shortcomings, is a vast improvement over the town's current definition.

"This is a definition that is tested and based on real world experience in design and building," Thomson said.

Although some may argue the proposed definition is incomplete, Allen said the decision to go ahead with the definition with the six foot buffer was due, in large part, to a desire by town council and staff, to craft a workable definition that might help those with pending project applications move ahead with their projects.

Parelli Natural Horsemanship is one such applicant, who's world headquarters project has been stymied since March, following denial of their plans based on the building exceeding the 35 foot maximum height, imposed by the current definition, by six feet.

Mark Weiler, president of Parelli, said they applied for a variance, which was also denied, in a process he described as "all over the map."

In an impassioned appeal to the town council Aug. 10, Weiler said, he believed town staff made a decision to deny the project based on height that "was not in compliance."

And he added, "The meter runs pretty hard for us. There are a number of projects where the same thing has occurred, but there is no economic consequence to the town. I would beg you to please make a decision tonight."

The new definition, if approved Tuesday, will allow the organization to build their project based on their original plans.

Allen said, if the definition is approved, pending projects such as Parelli's can get off the ground and if planning staff is directed to do so, they will then undertake a modeling and research project designed to determine if the maximum allowable heights as defined by the proposed height definition are compatible with the town's various zoning districts.

 

Pagosa Springs to receive special designation

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

The Town of Pagosa Springs will join the ranks of 13 other Colorado towns, two Colorado counties and 400 communities across the nation Friday, when it receives presidential designation as a Preserve America Community.

To commemorate the event, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett and John Nau, chairman of the advisory council on historic preservation, will commend and acknowledge Pagosa Springs as a newly-designated Preserve America Community at a ceremony in Durango.

Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon and Shari Pierce, chairperson of the town's historic preservation board, will receive the award on the town's behalf.

The Preserve America community designation program is a White House initiative that "recognizes and designates communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, use their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs."

Town Planners Tamra Allen and Joe Nigg submitted the application for the designation in July, hoping the town could receive national recognition for its ongoing efforts to preserve the downtown historic district and local historic resources.

Chief among the benefits of a "Preserve America Community" designation, is access to a multimillion dollar pool of grant funds that are designed to support a variety of activities and projects related to heritage tourism and innovative approaches to the use of historic properties as educational and economic assets. Individual grants range from $20,000 to $150,000.

In addition, the Preserve America initiative, signed by President Bush in 2003, offers Preserve America communities access to technical, financial and economic development assistance and other economic incentives.

Allen said the push for Preserve America designation is part of a national effort to ensure communities recognize the potential of their cultural and natural heritage assets. And she added, "The big draw is this pool of grant monies and assistance that is available to you once you become a Preserve America Community."

Pierce said, "I think it (the designation) opens more opportunities to preserving historic Pagosa. The grant funding is key."

Pierce said she looks forward to exploring grant possibilities that might fund expansion of the San Juan Historical Society Museum.

"I'm real excited for the museum," Pierce said.

Beyond the museum, Pierce said grant funding could help fund research and historic documentation, historic interpretation such as historic landmark or building identification signage or walking tour brochures, educational efforts, planning, marketing and training.

Aragon said he was proud of the forthcoming designation, and expressed gratitude to the town's historic preservation board, town staff and the volunteers who had made the designation possible.

"I think it's something of great magnitude for the Town and Pagosa Springs," Aragon said.

Other Colorado towns that have received Preserve America Community status include: Breckenridge, Cripple Creek, Durango, Fort Collins, Frisco, Georgetown, Glenwood Springs, Greeley, Lake City, Leadville, Pueblo, Silverton and Steamboat Springs.

 

Burglaries net $5,000

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

More than $5,000 in quarters were stolen Tuesday, Aug. 22, from bill changing machines at three businesses in town and one in the county, outside town boundaries.

The machines were located at local Laundromats and car washes, including Laundry on the Hill, Pagosa Laundromat and Car Wash, Mud Shaver Car Wash, and Sandie's Car Wash. The quarters were extracted from the machines, though none of the machines were damaged.

Three of the thefts were caught by surveillance cameras. The videos show a white male, approximately 6 feet tall, with short trimmed hair, sideburns, and a long, pointed nose. In all three videos he is wearing a tan or khaki parka, with a hood. Surveillance also suggests he was driving a silver or gray sedan of 1980s vintage.

Detective Scott Maxwell, of the Pagosa Springs Police Department, said the suspect "seemed like he knew what he was doing ... this was definitely not the first time he has done this ... I would describe him as a pro."

The earliest theft occurred at 7 a.m. The rest were spread throughout the day until 9:30 p.m.

Surveillance cameras recorded possible witnesses in the vicinity as the crimes took place. Laundromat or car wash patrons who noticed anything suspicious, or anyone who believes they saw the suspect near the businesses or at local hotels, are encouraged to call Maxwell at 264-4151 ext. 241.

"We believe the suspect may have been in town for a couple of days," said Maxwell. The time-frame and locations of the thefts indicate the suspect is not a local - and that he is probably not in the area now.

Two nights after the Pagosa area thefts, similar crimes occurred in Colorado Springs and Castle Rock. A surveillance video from Castle Rock shows a similar suspect.

Area law enforcement are working with agents from Colorado Springs and Castle Rock to find and arrest the subject and any involved parties.

 

Inside The Sun

Two workshops for women begin in September

A Women and Power Workshop will be held to help women to understand financial matters as well as prepare for employment and professional jobs.

The workshop begins Sept. 11 and continues until Oct. 9. Sessions are held 5:30-7:30 p.m. This workshop is especially formulated for women, and directed at enhancing understanding and confidence in assuming a more active role in personal finance. The job readiness portion will enable women to enter the workforce utilizing new skills and a professional demeanor.

The workshop will address financial concerns on Monday evenings and concentrate on such issues as interview skills, how to overcome barriers in reaching your goals and how to effectively evaluate a job offer on Wednesday evenings. Both segments of the workshop are free and are to be held in the South Conference Room of the community center.

Registration is required so that each participant may receive materials. To register, contact ACVAP at 264-9075, Ext. 2, or Colorado Workforce 731-3834 and ask for Ruby.

Training for Volunteer Advocates will begin Sept. 19. Classes will meet for six weeks 5:30-8 p.m. in the Town Hall conference room. Training will enable volunteers to respond to crisis calls of all types, including domestic violence situations and sexual assaults. Providing services to victims is guaranteed to enrich your life and provide skills to help people in a very special way.

For more information, and to register, call Karen 264-9075, Ext. 2 at Archuleta County Victim Assistance.

 

Firefighters respond quickly to trailer blaze

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

A plume of smoke climbed into the air Monday morning, when a trailer home caught fire approximately four miles west of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160.

The fire was reported at 7:56 a.m. and was quelled by the Pagosa Fire Protection District, before it could consume the residence.

According to Fire Chief Warren Grams, "We hit the fire really quick and got it before it got bad." The fire was contained in the rear third of the trailer and did not damage any adjacent buildings.

No one was seriously injured.

Grams said the fire was likely caused by a newly-installed water heater.

Firefighters also responded to a vehicle fire in the early afternoon of the same day at a Pagosa Lakes residence. The flames were quickly controlled, and the home where the truck was parked was not damaged.

 

Nurse-Family Partnership awarded grant

The Nurse Family Partnership Program, locally known as "Healthy Kids," was recently awarded its 2006-2007 grant award totaling $235,525 from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

These funds are from the Tobacco Master Settlement monies. The local program was fully refunded, which means that Healthy Kids will be able to continue serving 112 first-time families in Archuleta, La Plata, San Juan, Montezuma and Dolores counties next year.

Healthy Kids is a free program for women who are having their first baby. A specially trained nurse visits the woman in her home throughout pregnancy and continues to visit until the baby is 2 years old. The nurse provides resources, parenting skills, referrals and helps the woman set goals for her family's future.

For more information about the program, call 247-5702, Ext. 275.

 

Having a drink? Employ a trick: a designated driver

By Trooper Dawn L. Berry

Colorado State Patrol

Special to The SUN

With the holidays fast approaching, party season will soon be upon us.

The Colorado State Patrol would like to remind everyone about Colorado's "The Heat is On" campaign. The most recent update to the campaign is the addition of a new slogan, "Over the Limit, Under Arrest."

The message is simple: Anyone who is stopped by a law enforcement officer and is determined to be under the influence will be arrested.

On July 1, 2004, Colorado lowered the legal limit from .10 to .08, and now, every state in our nation has a .08 limit.

Most people may not think of DUI as a crime, but it is one of the most committed and deadly crimes in America. A DUI arrest is embarrassing and costly; statistics show that the average DUI arrest can cost upwards to $10,000, when all of the fees and fines are calculated. Some of the fees include costs for vehicle towing and impounding, bail, attorney's fees, minimum fines, restitution, license re-instatement fees, and large increases in insurance rates, if the insurance company doesn't cancel the policy altogether. This is not to mention possible jail time and probation, required community service, and alcohol education classes.

This is only for one DUI arrest and the fees and costs increase for repeat offenders. This is not to mention the worst that can happen when driving under the influence.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a person dies in an alcohol-related crash every 31 minutes in this country. Those who aren't killed can end up permanently disfigured or disabled. The emotional and financial tolls that these crashes cause are devastating. The average cost for a DUI related fatality within Colorado is 3.6 million dollars.

If we could reduce the amount of alcohol-related crashes by only 10 percent, it would save tens of millions of dollars in auto insurance claims.

Thanksgiving to New Year's is considered one of the most dangerous times of the year on the highways. So, when celebrating the upcoming holiday season, please employ one of the oldest tricks in the book: a designated driver or other available transportation, such as a taxi or bus, to get you home safely. Not only will you avoid a humiliating and expensive DUI arrest if caught, you will be able to enjoy the season with your family and friends.

Don't forget to call *CSP to report aggressive or impaired drivers.

 

Hillman to meet voters in Pagosa Springs

Former interim state Treasurer Mark Hillman will be in Pagosa Springs 7:30-9 a.m. Sept. 7 to share his vision for Colorado's Department of Treasury.

In his bid for the office this November, Hillman will discuss office efficiency, maximizing return for Colorado investments and financial literacy. Hillman will meet with local residents to discuss his long term financial strategy and also will discuss his plan to help young investors make wise decisions with their money and avoid costly mistakes.

The meeting will take place at Higher Grounds Coffee Company 189 Talisman Drive.

 

Fire and water districts reach hydrant agreement

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

In a special board meeting Monday, the Pagosa Fire Protection District (PFPD) approved a fire hydrant maintenance agreement with the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD).

PAWSD approved the fire hydrant maintenance agreement earlier this month, but the PFPD postponed approval in order to clarify the hydrant repair process with the water and sanitation district.

September's fire board meeting was rescheduled to Monday to allow PAWSD representatives to attend and to expedite approval of the maintenance agreement. PAWSD typically meets the same night of the month as PFPD.

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

Fire Chief Warren Grams said that there are currently 17 "no-flow hydrants" in the district. Some of the 17 are in areas where they are not needed.

The new hydrant maintenance agreement does not specifically detail a budget or time frame for the repair or replacement of faulty hydrants.

However, verbal agreements were made between PFPD and PAWSD officials. PAWSD is committed to replacing no-flow hydrants within 14 days, if the parts are available.

In addition, according to fire board chair Richard Moseley, the two agencies worked out a better reporting procedure.

PAWSD will inform the PFPD when it has repaired or cannot repair a hydrant, so that firefighters will know what hydrants can be used in emergency situations.

The next PFPD board meeting will be held Oct. 17.

 

SAC meeting set at junior high school

Pagosa Springs Junior High School has scheduled School Accountability Committee (SAC) meetings for the first Wednesday of every month from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the school library. The purpose of the SAC meetings is to have parents and staff of the junior high come together and discuss ways of improving the quality of education at the school.

If you would like to be a part of this committee, contact Principal Chris Hinger at 264-2794.

Healthier choices

You may notice some healthy changes at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.

To comply with the new District Wellness Policy, the school is offering healthier choices in the soda machines - water, flavored water sweetened with Splenda©, and unsweetened iced tea or light ice teas sweetened with Splenda©. The junior high school has also added eighth-grade physical education to the core curriculum. Mr. Olin Garrison has been hired as the new P.E. teacher and now all seventh- and eighth-graders will have 50 minutes of physical activity a day. School officials are certain these changes will play an important part in helping to keep local kids healthier, more energetic and focused during the school day.

 

Promoviendo la Salud to offer classes

Promoviendo la Salud, along with Operation Frontline Share Our Strength, will sponsor a six-week (bilingual) cooking, nutrition, proper sanitation, and how to budget for a family class Sept. 15, 22 and 29, and Oct. 6, 13 and 20.

The program offers these classes free to all participants.

Space is limited to only 12-15 participants per class.

The program with Operation Share Our Strength, is all volunteer-based. The program consists of a chef, nutritionist and budgeting advisor. The Promoviendo la Salud program needs these volunteers to help out, if possible, with at least one class. No one has to commit to all six classes. Volunteers: meals are made in the first four classes only the fifth class is a field trip to the grocery store, and the sixth and final class is a graduation/potluck.

If you or someone you know is interested in attending or volunteering to lead the classes, call Laurie at 264-2409, Ext. 31.

 

LPEA offers renewable generation rebate

The La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) board of directors has announced adoption of a new, staff-recommended policy that will pay members $2.00 per watt of capacity for installation of residential renewable energy generation systems, including wind, hydroelectric or photovoltaic technologies.

The renewable generation rebate works in conjunction with LPEA's net metering tariff and interconnection policy.

LPEA will provide a one-time renewable generation rebate, not to exceed the cost of the unit, to residential customers connected to LPEA's electrical system. The rebate is capped at $2,000 per renewable energy generation system installation and will be applied retroactively to generating facilities that have passed LPEA's interconnection inspection since Jan. 1, 2006. These rebates are per service and must meet LPEA's current liability insurance requirements.

Customers with new renewable generation systems can also participate in LPEA's net metering tariff, which allows members with these systems to spin their meters backwards, offsetting their electric usage. The tariff applies to renewable generating systems of 25kw or less and, currently, LPEA has 17 net metered accounts. LPEA's tariff has been in place for three years and has served as a model for other cooperatives seeking to develop similar programs.

"By approving this rebate and providing a financial incentive, the board of directors took a big step toward increasing renewable energy systems in southwest Colorado," said Greg Munro, CEO. "This policy is the result of the cooperative working with its members to meet their needs and expectations regarding renewable generation."

For more information on the rebate, net metering or the interconnection policy contact LPEA at 247-5786, or visit www.lpea.coop.

LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides reliable electrical power and related energy services to its nearly 40,000 members in the Archuleta and La Plata counties.

 

Health department to hold Pagosa open house

San Juan Basin Health Department staff invites the community to an open house Sept. 13 at the newly remodeled building at 502 South 8th St.

The health department's Pagosa office has almost doubled its space, now has new private offices for clients, and has upgraded its computer technology capacity.

Join the staff from 3-6 p.m. for a tour of the new and improved facility.

For more information, call 264-2409, Ext. 25.

 

Groundbreaking ceremony for new hospital Tuesday

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

And, so it begins.

The Upper San Juan Health Service District Board of Directors and the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Foundation Board are planning a special groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of constructing a new Critical Access Hospital in Pagosa Springs. The public is cordially invited, with festivities beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5.

The event will take place at the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center at 95 South Pagosa Blvd. Refreshments will be served, and architectural drawings of the planned facility will be on display.

In a special election last May, voters overwhelmingly approved a measure allowing the USJHSD to increase debt by $12 million to build the hospital. Since then, the district board has worked feverishly to raise private donations and finalize financing arrangements.

Design and construction details have changed periodically, as estimated costs have increased, but construction will now begin soon after the groundbreaking.

Board members believe the entire project will take approximately 14 months to build, with the hospital opening its doors for business by late 2007.

 

Area Agency on Aging seeks board candidate

The board of directors for the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging will have a vacancy for an Archuleta County representative, and candidates are needed.

The AAA administers the Older Americans Act Program for senior citizen services in southwestern Colorado. The involvement of local seniors is necessary for input and monitoring of programs available in the community. The term for the newly-elected member will be three years. Six meetings are held each year, the first in January.

Candidates for board of director positions must be at least 55 years of age and a resident of Archuleta County. The AAA Region 9 includes Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, and San Juan Counties. All seniors 55 years of age and over have the right to vote for their local representative to the AAA board. Elections will be held at The Den Senior Center in Pagosa Springs in October.

Contact Musetta Wollenweber, senior services director, 264-2167, to obtain a Declaration of Candidacy form. The deadline for declaring candidacy is Sept. 15.

 

Outdoors

Fall Equinox Sunrise Program at Chimney Rock

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

Autumnal Equinox marks the first day of autumn and is a day with equal amounts of daylight and nighttime.

The opportunity to watch the sun rise over the San Juans the first day of autumn, Thursday, Sept. 21, is offered by the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, along with a discussion on how the Ancient Puebloans may have survived and why they celebrated the Equinox.

This unique, two- to three-hour event begins at the Sun Tower, a place not visited on regular tours, and concludes at the mysterious Stone Basin, giving two viewing locations.

Tickets are $15 and reservations are required. Due to the hiking and the length of the program, it's suggested that children under 12 not attend.

Visitors need to come prepared for the outdoors by wearing appropriate clothing and good walking shoes. You may wish to bring a blanket or cushion to sit on during the program

The gate will only be open from 6:05-6:10 a.m., after which there will be no admittance. Sunrise is at approximately 6:55, and the program runs about two hours in length.

For those who have not yet enjoyed a full, guided tour with a Chimney Rock volunteer, the first tour following the sunrise program will be offered at 9:30 a.m., allowing just enough time for a well-deserved breakfast at a nearby restaurant, or an early morning jaunt down towards Navajo Lake.

The last day for guided tours this season will be conducted Saturday, Sept. 30, until the 2007 season opens in May. The site is accessible for guided walking tours at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., and 1 and 2 p.m. Adults tickets are $8; Children 5-11, $2; children under 5 are admitted Free. Reservations required for groups of 10 or more. Great Kiva Loop Trail is barrier free.

Chimney Rock Archeological Area is located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs, three miles south of U.S. 160 on Colo. 151. For more information or to make a reservation, call the Visitors' Cabin at 883-5359 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Web site visitors will find more information on www.chimneyrockco.org.

This event is sponsored by Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Inc., in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa District.

 

SJCD ranks high among Colorado districts

The San Juan Conservation District (SJCD) ranked third among the 77 conservation districts in the state for outstanding efforts toward conservation.

The Colorado State Conservation Board, with support from the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, implemented a performance-based evaluation system to allocate Direct Assistance Funding this year.

The Direct Assistance financial support is to acknowledge districts that are very active in providing conservation services to their community. The ranking process evaluated each district's activity in helping install on the ground conservation and land stewardship education to its landowners.

The SJCD is very active in the local community. It holds a conservation tour at the Rafter "T" Ranch each year for the sixth-grade class at Pagosa Springs Intermediate School. The students learn about soil, riparian, wildlife, and forest management. The district also sponsors a poster contest with cash prizes at the school.

Full scholarships are offered each year for two youngsters to attend a weeklong summer camp to learn about conservation. Scholarships are also offered to local teachers to attend a workshop to learn about how to integrate conservation teaching into their curriculum.

The SJCD sells grass and wildflower seed, specially formulated for the area, during the fall and tree seedlings during the spring. If you have a leaking ditch or pond, they offer a product called PAM to help seal them.

The SJCD is the lead sponsor of the Stollsteimer Creek Watershed Project. The watershed encompasses approximately 82,000 acres and affects around 8,000 residents. The master plan is complete and projects will be implemented starting in 2007. Watch for the announcement of a public meeting to be held in mid-October to update landowners.

Contact the San Juan Conservation District with any conservation questions at 731-3615 or stop by the office at 505A County Road 600 (Piedra Road, 1/4 mile from U.S. 160).

 

Chimney Rock Full Moon Program includes Native American flute player

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

The magical sound of the Native American flute, accompanied by the full moon in the ancient surroundings of Chimney Rock is a winning combination.

Visitors to Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, in southwest Colorado, can enjoy this experience as the popular Native American flute player, Charles Martinez, accompanies this educational program scheduled for Friday, Sept. 8.

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

While awaiting the moon's approximate 8:05 p.m. arrival near the Great House Pueblo site, visitors will learn about the Ancestral Puebloans, the archaeological relationship of Chimney Rock to Chaco Canyon, and archaeoastronomy theories

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

The gate will be open from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. for those attending the full moon program. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated. The program begins at 7:30.

As an added feature to the Full Moon Program, the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association offers an optional guided early tour of the lower archaeological sites at Chimney Rock for an additional fee of $5. The gate opens at 5:30 p.m. for those who have signed up for the early tour prior to the Full Moon Program.

Visitors need to come prepared for the outdoors by bringing a flashlight a necessity in navigating down the trail after the program, warm clothing, good walking shoes, and a blanket or cushion to sit on during the program. A "light brigade" of CRIA volunteers is stationed along the trail to assist visitors as they return to their vehicles. The view back to the mesa top from below features an unforgettable view as the stream of lights snakes down the trail. In the event of bad weather, the program will be canceled and possibly rescheduled for the following evening.

Chimney Rock Archeological Area is located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs, three miles south of U.S. 160 on Colo. 151. For reservations and more information, call the visitor cabin, at 883-5359, daily 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To learn more about Chimney Rock, visit the CRIA Web site at www.chimneyrockco.org.

Note: For those interested in the Major Lunar Standstill, the moon will not rise between Chimney Rock and Companion Rock during this Full Moon Program event. All 2006 MLS programs are sold out, with 2007 final season ticket sales resuming in May.

The Thursday, Sept. 21, Fall Equinox Sunrise Program and the Friday, Sept. 8, Full Moon Program are the last two CRIA offerings before the 2006 season closes on Saturday, Sept. 30.

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Inc., sponsors the Full Moon Program in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District.

 

CRIA concludes 2006 season at Chimney Rock

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

The end of another season for the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association draws near, as the Saturday, Sept. 30, closing date quickly approaches.

This date marks the end of vehicular access and guided tours of the archaeological site for 2006. The site will reopen in May 2007, with volunteers rested to take on yet another bustling season, something to look forward to after a long, cold winter.

There is still time, however, to enjoy one last stroll through this remarkable, ancient site with a knowledgeable tour guide at your side to provide interpretation based on archaeological theories and findings. The site is accessible daily for guided walking tours, averaging 2-2.5 hours long at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., and 1 and 2 p.m. for those who want to make the visit. Tour costs are: adults, $8; children 5-11, $2; children under 5 years, free. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more. The Great Kiva Loop Trail is barrier free.

The CRIA program, operates at the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area under a special-use permit, and in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa District.

The site is located 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs, three miles south of U.S. 160 on Colo. 151. For more information, call the Visitors' Cabin at 883-5359 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Sept. 30. During the off-season, inquiries on volunteering, programs, and how to make donations and program suggestions, can also be made through the CRIA office, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Web site visitors will find additional information on www.chimneyrockco.org.

Volunteers are always welcome - any time of the year. Administrative assistance is an on-going challenge and helping hands and hearts are greatly appreciated.

It has been a pleasure to serve the community and our visitors in 2006. To all our loyal, dedicated volunteers, we salute you and your heartfelt commitment.

 

Seed mixtures available from district

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

These mixtures have been specially developed to provide a ground cover that requires very little watering. Consider these mixes for establishing vegetation around newly constructed homes or for improving pasture condition. A Native Grass Mixture, Dryland Pasture Mix, Native Wildflower Mix and, new this year, a Wildlife Mix, are available. Erosion control blankets are also being offered.

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

For an order form or more information, contact the San Juan CD at 731-3615 or stop by the office at 505A County Road 600 (on Piedra Road, next to Piedra Automotive).

 

Bear activity increases during fall

By Michael Seraphin

Special to The SUN

Beginning now, until winter begins, bears will be persistently looking for food to bulk up for hibernation.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) reminds homeowners it is especially important to take care not to attract bears with garbage or other food sources. Because bears are eating more and more everyday, people might see more bears near their homes.

Tonya Sharp, district wildlife manager in Teller County, explains that if a bear enters a homeowner's yard it doesn't mean the animal is going to cause problems.

"Just because a bear is near your house doesn't mean it is being aggressive," said Sharp. "Black bears are not aggressive animals - it's probably looking for food. The closer we get to winter; bears will be searching for food up to 20 hours-a-day."

While bears eat some meat, they are not predators in the same sense that mountain lions are. Bears might kill chickens, rabbits and other penned livestock, but generally do not stalk food the way a lion will.

Up to 90 percent of a bear's diet is vegetation. The 10 percent that is carnivorous usually consists of insects and carrion (dead animals).

"When a bear is eating it is generally not aware of anything else," Sharp said. "If someone yells at a bear and it doesn't move, it doesn't mean it's being aggressive."

Colorado's black bears are currently in a transition period, moving from grasses, forbs, flowers and other summertime foods to berries and acorns. As bears become more active in their search for food, it increases the chance of encounters between people and bears.

Biologists estimate that adult bears need to consume up to 20,000 calories per day in the fall to store enough fat to sustain them through hibernation. Even when acorns and berries are plentiful, bears will try to find the easiest source of food available. "If that food is in a backyard, that's where they'll go," Sharp said.

"Bears are looking for high-calorie food, and they can find that in things like dog food, bird seed and human food scraps," said Sharp. "Bears can be tough, persistent, intelligent and aggressive animals when they want something, but if human food is not available, they'll go someplace else to find something to eat," she said.

The longer a bear hangs around where people live, the more dangerous it is because it becomes habituated to humans. In some cases, trapping, relocating or destroying them must be considered

The DOW takes a dual approach to solving bear conflicts. The first line of defense is to inform homeowners, campers, hikers and others on how to protect themselves in bear habitat. Rather than immediately removing problem bears, wildlife managers ask people to first remove whatever might be attracting the bruins in the first place.

Wildlife officers will use rubber buckshot, pepper spray and other techniques to persuade bears to leave an area. If those methods fail, wildlife managers will consider trapping and relocating bears. Anything that can attract bears must have been removed beforehand, however.

"If the reasons for the bear being there in the first place are still there after we trap a bear, we've only solved the immediate, short-term problem. In most of those cases another bear moves in and takes its place," Sharp said. "It's critical that we work toward solving the problem permanently."

The towns in Colorado that have had the most success reducing bear conflicts are the ones that have adopted communitywide standards. It only takes one person in an entire subdivision who refuses to remove attractants to cause bear problems for everybody.

Sharp encourages anyone who lives in bear country to "bear-proof" their house. She recommends keeping all lower level windows and doors secured and installing an electric fence around chicken coops, rabbit hutches and areas where livestock feed is stored.

Bears have a highly developed sense of smell. We might not be able to smell food inside a freezer, but a bear can. "Anyone with a refrigerator or freezer in their garage should remember to keep the garage door closed," she added.

Over the past decade, bear management has become more challenging because Colorado's human population has grown and expanded into bear habitat. "It might seem like there are more bears causing trouble. The fact is that we still have about the same number of bears but we have a lot more people living and recreating in places where bears live," said Sharp.

Colorado is home to between 8,000 and 12,000 black bears. Black bears are between 4-6 feet long and weigh between 150-450 pounds. They may be black, brown and even cinnamon in color.

The DOW offers these tips to reduce bear problems:

- Keep garbage in airtight containers and stored in an enclosed area such as a garage or shed. Place the garbage cans outside just before scheduled pick-up, not the night before. It is also important to clean your garbage cans with ammonia on a regular basis in order to remove food smells.

- Take down bird feeders, including hummingbird feeders, at night. Bird feeders have been found to be a common attractant for bears. Empty shells of sunflower seeds and other birdseed can still attract bears by scent, so be sure to clean up any shells under the feeder area.

- Do not leave pet food or bowls outside. Feed pets inside or bring the bowls in promptly after feeding.

- Do not put food items such as meat, fruit, or vegetables, in your compost pile.

- Clean up fallen fruit from bushes and fruit trees.

- Keep lower windows and doors closed and locked. Bears have been known to tear screens off trying to get at food they can smell inside.

- Put an electric fence around chicken coops, rabbit hutches or areas where livestock feed is stored.

The DOW urges you to keep your property clean of bear attractants. It is important that bears forage on natural food sources in order to maintain healthy populations throughout the state with a minimum of human/wildlife conflicts.

 

 Catch and Release

The journey's end is a true beginning

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

There's a place I know where the brook trout flash in primeval hues, and the cutthroats fight as though they've never been caught.

To get there, you must begin the journey on a Wednesday, after hours of synaptic anarchy, and you must start your travels with a belly full of frozen pizza and red wine - it is a strange formula for departure, but the journey must always begin this way.

Rest assured, you will sleep well Wednesday evening, although Thursday's dawn will greet you with both peace and longing - peace with a journey well undertaken, and longing for a destination not yet reached. By Thursday afternoon, when the trip feels interminable, you will ride waves of insufferable doldrums and all will seem lost. Nearly beaten, you will trudge along like an old soldier marching to the front, but when Friday comes, that feeling will change. On Friday, anticipation will buzz, and you will prep your flies, dress your line and begin to imagine that first cast, because on Friday, you know you will make it. And on Friday, all is right with the world because your destination is before you, and you know you have almost reached your journey's end, and its true beginning.

Saturday comes and you begin to walk, and soon you will enter the canyon. And it is then the real journey begins.

You will walk in the twilight of the season, and the interplay of light and shadow and uncertain sky will tell you that summer is coming to a close, and that autumn is arriving soon. These are your landmarks.

And as you walk through the glow of that certain slant of light, you will sense, in some indescribable way, that the world is on the cusp of a great change. You will stop for a moment to take in that light, and in your mind, you will see aspens bedecked in leaves of gold, and you will imagine frost-burdened grass crunching beneath the soles of your boots. For a moment, you will lose yourself, your eyes will close and your breathing will come quick, and when you exhale you will expect to see plumes of white mist rushing from your mouth and nostrils. But when you return to the present, and to the twilight of the season, your pulse will slow, and you will relax because you will know there is still time - time for a moment with a fly rod and a mountain stream rushing through a canyon.

But in that same moment, you will be stricken by a twinge of melancholy, by a twinge of autumn sadness so profound it tears you, albeit for mere seconds, utterly apart. Its passage will grind like a tectonic shift, like the slow cleaving of ancient geology, and when you emerge on the other side, you will have undergone an irrevocable change. Once complete, you will not, and cannot return to your former self; and you will, like the seasons, move on, marching steadily and incrementally toward your death, upstream and ever deeper into the canyon.

As the day unfolds, black clouds, burdened by the fury of a storm, will move down from barren peaks and will unleash hell and havoc into the canyon that appears hewn from the bowels of time itself. Massive boulders and water-sculpted cliffs will turn slick and black as rain pounds with a roar like disgruntled sheet metal. With the rain beating down, you will leave the stream, and as you make your exit for shelter, you will clamor over boulders covered in cake-like layers of prehistoric moss. As you climb, your fingers will probe deep into the green, organic carpet, and you will read the history of the ages spelled out in an ancient biological Braille. Once over the streamside boulders, you will seek cover in a forest of black spruce. And as you slip by the scaly-trunked trees, you will pass patches of wildflowers past their prime. And as you move through the forest, lightning will ignite the earth.

When the first bolt strikes, you will hunker down, seeking shelter beneath the forest canopy, and you will let the storm take you, because you did not make this journey without an acceptance of the risks, and because the storm makes you feel alive and connected to something beyond your comprehension. And as you sit, the lightning will terrify and dazzle, and when it hits the opposite canyon wall and the air glows blue and smells like ozone, you will know the journey has not been in vain. And when the storm moves down the canyon, you will line up your flyrod and you will cast.

You will throw dry flies to brook trout whose genes can be traced to primordial stock, and you will take cutthroats on old English streamer patterns that good sense tells you should have been discarded long ago. You will fish upstream, wading bare legged in the current; and you will travel far into the canyon, casting long easy loops into sinuous plunge pools.

Near day's end, you will fish back downstream, bashing through alder and thistle, and although soaked and weary, you will remain alert and will set the hook firm when a trout is on the take. You will cast until hunger drives you from the stream and darkness creeps in, and in the twilight of the evening you will emerge from the canyon, but your journey has just begun.

You will step quietly as you pass through a grove of aspens, and you will measure your breathing and silence the beat of your heart as you listen for the sound of movement in the trees. You will then stop, and drift your fingertip over the outline of a fresh deer track in the mud, and when you look up, your eyes will chase shadows.

Beyond the aspens, the trail will take you down into a broad lakeside meadow, and there, you will find water fowl silhouetted against the placid water. Trout will rise. These are your landmarks. This is the way to the canyon.

As darkness comes, you will follow the shoreline homeward, and you will make the long, slow walk to Wednesday where the journey will begin again.

 

Four new conservation easements announced

By Nancy Cole

Special to The SUN

The Southwest Land Alliance has announced four new conservation easements.

A conservation easement is an easement on land for the purpose of protecting its important characteristics. The landowner continues to own the land, but the use of the land is restricted to activities that do not impair the so-called "conservation values" the landowner specifies.

The contribution of a conservation easement is a substantial gift to the community as the landowner gives up the right to possibly lucrative development of the land. Instead, the land is preserved in its present state, helping to protect the character of the community. In the last several months, four landowners have signed conservation easement deeds with the Southwest Land Alliance.

Hott Easement

At the end of 2005, R. D. Hott placed 280 acres on Fourmile Road into a conservation easement to protect more of his beautiful land for the future. This easement joins Hott's earlier 880-acre Pagosa Peak Ranch easement. The two important properties add substantial land to preserve the undeveloped beauty of the Fourmile valley, support its wildlife, and provide for continued ranching so much a part of Pagosa's history.

Schick Easement

The Schick family, including local residents Jacquelyn Schick and Greg and Dena Schick, signed a 42-acre conservation easement, also in late 2005. The Schick land, Sunset Ranch, on the San Juan River, borders U. S. 160 east of town and preserves several ponds and forested land important to the local wildlife. The acreage also forms a part of the wonderful view from the highway.

Johnson Easement

In May 2006, Larry and Shirleen Johnson signed a conservation easement deed for their 113-acre parcel off Beaver Meadows Road near Yellow Jacket Pass. The Johnson land is part of an important elk migration route and nurtures other wildlife while producing agricultural crops. This secluded parcel on Beaver Creek supports the conservation values of protecting native wildlife and agriculture.

Bendheim Easement

In early August 2006, Paul Bendheim signed a conservation easement with The Conservation Fund and the Southwest Land Alliance. The local land trust will eventually hold the easement, but The Conservation Fund initiated the effort to encourage the conservation of this wonderful 323-acre parcel just south of Chromo. On the east side of U. S. 84. this meadow and forested undeveloped land frames the beautiful views from the highway of the upper Navajo watershed and the continental divide.

The duty of the Southwest Land Alliance is to ensure that the conservation values these landowners have specified continue to be protected into the distant future. Thanks to these land-loving owners, these wonderful properties with the open ranchland and forests so valued by our community will endure as we know them today.

 

Local meeting held to discuss elk management plan

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Representatives of the Colorado Division of Wildlife met with public lands officials, area ranchers, hunters and outfitters, businessmen and wildlife watchers last week to discuss possible changes in the local elk management plan. The event was the first of two such meetings scheduled by the DOW, each intended to gather public input on elk population objectives, bull-to-cow ratios and harvest strategies in Data Analysis Unit E-31.

DAU E-31 encompasses game management units 75, 751, 77, 771 and 78 in southwest Colorado. Generally speaking, the 2,800-square-mile region lies between the Animas River, Wolf Creek Pass, the Continental Divide and the New Mexico state line, and includes portions of five counties. Its management plan is reviewed or revised at least every 10 years.

Approximately 30 concerned citizens engaged in a lively three-hour discussion at the Vista Clubhouse in Pagosa Springs, and nearly all agreed that current elk population objectives are too low. At present, the post-hunt objective is 13,000, yet today's elk herd is estimated at around 20,000. According to the DOW, the number of elk within the DAU climbed to nearly 24,000 in the 1990s.

Early in the meeting, DOW terrestrial biologist Andy Holland explained that the 13,000 objective was established in 1980 when population models were not as accurate or reliable as those used today. Additionally, he said modern research has concluded that elk live and reproduce much longer than previously believed. Therefore, the DAU E-31 elk population was almost certainly underestimated 25 years ago, leading to an unrealistic post-hunt objective that continues today.

When Holland asked attendees whether the size of the herd should be increased, decreased or left the same, sentiment seemed to split along predictable lines. Hunters, outfitters and business owners dependent on hunting-related revenues leaned toward increasing the population, while ranchers suffering regular game damage to crops felt it should remain as is. Those concerned with shrinking habitat through increased development and human activity agreed with the ranchers, while wildlife enthusiasts sided with the hunters and outfitters. No one expressed interest in reducing the herd.

During the discussion, Holland referred to a handout containing three graphs, with the first illustrating population estimates over the past 25 years. The second showed bull and antlerless harvests over the same period, and the final one reflected post-hunt bull-to-cow ratios, again since 1980.

As mentioned, the first graph showed the estimated E-31 elk population in 1980 at around 13,000. It also reflected a straight-line population objective of 13,000, from then to now. According to the graph, the population stayed close to, or slightly above, the objective until 1987, when elk numbers rose steadily into the early 1990s. From then to 2005, population estimates remained at or above 20,000.

As the elk population stayed consistently higher than the objective, the DOW thought to reduce numbers by making "antlerless" licenses more available to hunters. This increased the harvest of cows and calves (with no antlers, or those less than five inches long), and decreased the overall size of the herd. However, numbers still lingered well above the objective.

Even as statistics suggest the population exceeds the preferred level in E-31, hunters, outfitters and others who spend a significant amount of time outdoors insist they are seeing fewer elk today, than in years past. What's more, the annual harvest of bulls and antlerless animals is now about equal, and many believe the herd has been reduced enough.

Therefore, the general consensus among meeting participants appeared to support a reduction in antlerless licenses, thus maintaining, or even increasing, the size of the herd. Meanwhile, nearly everyone advised increasing the objective to match current population figures.

While overall population seemed a primary concern at the meeting, the bull-to-cow ratio was also a topic of interest. The herd is now managed with an objective of 18 bulls to every 100 cows, with the average observed ratio from 1980 to 2005 being 13. However, between 2000 and 2005, the average was close to the objective at 17.

Again, opinion appeared divided along somewhat predictable lines.

Among the alternatives presented for establishing sex ratio objectives in E-31, two primary choices were apparent.

The first involves a license structure similar to last year, with limited bull licenses (and specific antler restrictions) available during the first and fourth rifle seasons, and unlimited over-the-counter bull licenses available during the archery, second rifle and third rifle seasons.

The second would limit all bull licenses in every season, which would increase bull-to-cow ratios, but decrease hunter opportunity. Limiting all bull licenses can only be accomplished through a public nomination process approved by the Colorado Wildlife Commission.

A second similar meeting took place last night in Durango, but details were not available by press time. However, with fewer elk on the west side of E-31, and more human activity influencing their movements, hunter concerns are sure to differ significantly.

Once public attitudes are clear, the DOW will write a proposed management plan and submit it to the Colorado Wildlife Commission for review by November. Once adopted, the plan will be initiated by the 2007 hunting season.

For those wishing to comment but were unable to attend either meeting, suggestions can be sent to Andy Holland, Colorado Division of Wildlife, 151 E. 16th St., Durango, CO 81301.

 

Letters

Humanitarian

Dear Editor:

Post Monica and Clinton's classic line: "It depends on what you mean by is." Since 2004, Clinton has campaigned to raise the profile of children with AIDS. A scant 20,000 children in the developing world were then getting drug treatment, while more than 500,000 a year were dying. The Clinton foundation has raised $4.4 million to buy drugs for 13,000 children, train health workers, negotiate low cost retroviral drugs in India, renovate pediatric wings and pay for lab tests.

"Children are alive in numbers we couldn't have imagined a couple of years ago because of what he's done," said Peter McDermott, chief of H.I.V. and AIDS programs at Unicef.

The Democrats controlled Congress only for Clinton's first two years in office. After that (during his administration), the Republican-dominated Congress fiercely resisted spending on foreign assistance then later supported Mr. Bush's $15 billion, five-year global AIDS plan. "And the only reason they gave money to George Bush for AIDS is they wanted to have something they looked progressive on since they were cutting taxes for rich people like me," said Clinton.

Fact is G.W. Bush has indeed sourced the most U.S. funds for this global plague (AIDS) but staying true to his evangelical conversion he simultaneously cut all U.S. government funding for prevention during sexual transmission.

Will George just go home in general shame to cut more weeds, gloating in self satisfaction that he provided funding for extending lives or will he similarly be acknowledged for finally recognizing the power of the presidency beyond war and corruption to also do something resembling non-judgmental humanitarian work?

Dave Blake

 

Clarify

Dear Editor:

In view of inaccurate and incomplete information contained in recent letters about roads in the county, permit me to clarify the origins of road construction in Pagosa Lakes vis-à-vis those in most other county developments.

When Pagosa Lakes development was platted some 30 years ago, their developers agreed to build roads in the several subdivisions in conformity with then-existing county road standards. This was done in return for a commitment by the county to maintain the roads in Pagosa Lakes. The cost of building the roads was added to the price charged by the developer for purchased properties.

In contrast to the custom in Pagosa Lakes, most other developers in the county made no provision for the construction and maintenance of roads. Consequently, property owners in those locales had no alternative but to pay their own road construction and maintenance costs - usually in the form of assessments to special taxing districts. Because property owners in Pagosa Lakes, in effect, had already paid "up front" for the cost of constructing (and maintaining) their roads, their situation is not comparable to those in other developments in which independent contractors subsequently were hired to build and maintain those roads.

It is important to understand the above distinction in light of recent decisions of the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC), especially those concerning the levying of taxes and expenditure of public funds on roads. Were they as fair and equitable as they should have been? As far as many taxpayers in Pagosa Lakes are concerned, probably not. For example, was it fair for the BoCC to disregard its predecessor's road maintenance commitments to Pagosa Lakes? And how about its ignored campaign promises of decent roads for all?

In January, the BoCC announced that after June 15 the county would discontinue maintaining all county roads that they designated as "secondary," while "primary" roads would thereafter receive quality maintenance. Was it a coincidence that the lion's share of "secondary" roads happened to be located in Pagosa Lakes? Was it also a coincidence that many of the roads identified as "primary" in Pagosa Lakes had recently been constructed or reconstructed by other than county funds?. The funding for that road work came from a court-ordered judgment against the developer for having failed to complete promised roads. The effect of that decision, intentional or otherwise, was to reserve more of the better "primary" roads for county maintenance while leaving the poorer "secondary" roads to be maintained by taxpayers in Pagosa Lakes.

Following its decision to discontinue maintaining "secondary" roads, the BoCC chose Public Improvement Districts (PIDs) as the preferred vehicle for taxpayers to maintain their own roads. Unfortunately, PIDs can easily become discriminatory. PIDs must have boundaries, and neighborhoods readily provide such boundaries. But neighborhoods also typically contain both "primary" and "secondary" roads. A neighborhood taxpayer who pays the standard 3.4 mill levy, but who lives on a "secondary" road, receives no road maintenance from the county. To obtain that service, the clear alternative for him is to pay an additional 10 mills to join a PID. But his lucky next door neighbor, by virtue of living on a "primary" road, will continue to receive quality road maintenance from the county, but for only the standard 3.4 mill levy. Is it fair for one taxpayer to receive quality road maintenance for 3.4 mills, while his neighbor is obliged to pay 13.4 mills for comparable service?

Why has the BoCC not addressed this issue of unfairness? It could do so by rescinding the artificial distinction between "primary" and "secondary" roads, at least with respect to the formation of PIDs. We taxpayers in Pagosa Lakes don't mind paying a higher mill levy in return for better roads; but we really believe the levy should be applied fairly.

Sincerely,

Gene Cortright

 

Use 9-1-1

Dear Editor:

The Labor Day holiday weekend presents risk of at-home accidents and injuries as families and friends gather for the last BBQs, neighborhood block and pool parties of summer. A recent survey reveals that Americans are concerned about emergencies that would prompt 9-1-1 calls including a fear of robberies, burglaries and break-ins both at their home (nearly 90 percent) and at a neighbor's home (88 percent); drowning (87 percent); serious falls during home repairs (87 percent).

For at-home emergencies, traditional, landline phone connections represent the safest, most reliable way to dial 9-1-1, yet 37 percent of survey respondents have only cordless phones in their home. More than half do not understand that cordless phones rely on electricity, and will not function if the power goes out.

Two-thirds of people don't think landline phones are necessary and consumers ages 18-29 use landlines least often.

Furthermore, 9-1-1 operators do not always receive location information when a caller dials from a cell phone - it often has to be communicated verbally between both parties, which slows emergency response time. Many people are beginning to discontinue their landline phone service prematurely. Technology is good, but not quite there.

When dealing with emergencies at home, dialing 9-1-1 from a traditional, corded landline phone is the safest, most reliable way. Before enjoying Labor Day weekend 2006, I urge you to visit www.connectforsafety.com.

Best regards,

Robert Martin

Executive Director

National Emergency Number Association

 

Outstanding

Dear Editor:

I want to second the comments in your excellent editorial about Mark Larson. He was truly an outstanding legislator who, I believe, always acted, as he saw it, in the best interests of the people of Colorado. His being term-limited is one of the best arguments against term limits. He will be sorely missed.

Merilyn Moorhead

 

Good works

Dear Editor:

This letter regards the good works of one of your local residents and readers, Chris Durfee.

About a week ago, I received a distressed call from my son, who was touring in California with his Swedish folk trio. His wallet had fallen out of his car unnoticed, and with it cash, a credit card, and various personal IDs.

As I set about canceling credit cards and the like, I remembered a conversation I had had with my brother earlier in the day, about how his son didn't want to receive more from a car accident than his injury warranted. My brother's son talked about Karma, and about how you try to do good and add to the good in the world. My son is the same way.

About twenty minutes after my son's call, I received another call.

The caller had come upon a scene of money blowing around in the air, and several cars stopping to scoop it up. Somebody quickly picked up the wallet and jumped back into their car. But this gentleman, Chris Durfee, managed to collect some of the money and IDs, which he used to contact me.

Both my son and I were most appreciative of Chris' integrity and kindness. In his note to my son that he enclosed with the money and material, he talked of Karma, and wished my son well.

I thought about this and wondered what would become of the wallet.

But today I found in my mail a notification of a package that was being sent from the post office in Monterey, Calif. And there it was, the wallet, and all its licenses, credit cards, and IDs intact.

So, if you see Chris on the street, thank him again for me, and know that he is one of the good guys in Pagosa. I suspect many already knew this.

Harv Teitelbaum

Evergreen

   Community News

11th annual Four Corners Folk Festival this weekend

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

It's finally here!

The 11 the annual Four Corners Folk Festival takes place this weekend, Sept. 1-3, on Reservoir Hill Park in Pagosa Springs.

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

Dar Williams - a major force on the New England folk scene - will take the stage on Saturday, Sept. 2. An idiosyncratic songwriter who writes folk songs from a unique, often insightful perspective, Williams takes pains to avoid the coy, and the quirky; her songwriting and performing style has been compared to that of Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez but with a few acidic and, at times, hilarious twists.

Her love of the folk scene stems from her admiration of its integrity toward honesty and real emotion, and a creative freedom not found in more popular music genres. Williams made her recording debut in 1993 with the independent "Honesty Room" to considerable critical acclaim for both her beautiful soprano voice and her lovely, intriguing songs. She signed to Razor and Tie Records the following year and reissued the album. Her second album, "Mortal City" (1995) was similarly praised, and was followed by 1997's "End of the Summer." She has released four full-length CDs since then, the latest of which is arguably her richest and most accomplished compilation to date, "My Better Self."

Lyrically "My Better Self" is a political album, in the most personal way. It combines songs of love and hate with tales that illustrate some of the many social and environmental issues that Dar Williams holds dear to her heart. "I'm thinking about where we are right now in history," Williams said. "The other common theme to this record is that the songs all put stuff I find important out on the table. Less metaphor and more me. As to the album's name," she continued, "it's best illustrated by the image on the cover, that your better self is not always the one you plan out or even motivate yourself to be.

"As much as I love to control what I write and perform, I know my better self is not an intentional construction," Williams explained. "It's a spontaneous creation that I stumble across while I try to tell the truth. I hope my audiences have seen that. I try to keep a window open in performance and in recording just as I do in songwriting.""

Dar took a new approach in the recording of this album. "I wanted to bring in members of my touring band who I have never recorded with before, along with the team I'd worked with on my last two albums," Williams explained. Featured are Ben Butler (guitars), Steuart Smith (guitars - currently with The Eagles), Steve Holley (drums/percussion), Julie Wolf (keyboards), Mike Visceglia (bass) and Rob Hyman (keyboards). "They each had their own ideas of how to go about recording this album so my role was to stay out of their way as much as possible. When I got home from the studio and listened to it," Williams continued. "I heard all these little things they had added to make a song come together and build momentum. I was really excited to hear these incredible details that were put in without my really noticing at the time." She summed it up by saying, "There was just this generosity of spirit to the recording."

"My Better Self" was recorded in Woodstock, New York's Allaire Studios' "cathedral of sound" and consists of 10 original tracks and three aptly chosen cover songs. The album includes amazing guest performances by Soulive, Ani DiFranco, Marshall Crenshaw and Patty Larkin. It continues an evolution in the sound and vibe from Dar's previous albums. The songs on this record are filled with blasts of guitar, xylophones meshing with organs, and interesting musical nuances that stretch across the record's landscape. In a way, this can be described as an updated version of a classic '70s record, the type that headphones were created for.

In addition to Williams' work on this most recent recording, she has been lauded for her debut as a novelist. Her debut, "Amalee," a compelling coming-of-age story for young adults, garnered a slew of excellent reviews. She has just completed the sequel, which will be out next year.

Williams has been winning rave reviews for festival appearances, including the Newport Folk Festival and the Mississippi River Music Fest, St. Louis. You can hear her at the Four Corners Folk Festival Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Main Stage.

The Four Corners Folk Festival is supported by a grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Colorado General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Tickets to this year's Four Corners Folk Festival can be purchased with a credit card by calling (970) 731-5582 or online at www.folkwest.com. Tickets will also be available at the gate on the day of show. 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.

 

Artist-in-Residence art show at Cortez Cultural Center

By Ann Bond

Special to The PREVIEW

The public is invited to meet artists from the Aspen Guard Station Artist-in-Residence Program at a reception at the Cortez Cultural Center, 25 N. Market St., Friday, Sept. 8, from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Those who attend will be able to view artwork inspired by last fall's residencies, learn about the program, and mix with the artists. Artwork will be on sale, and refreshments will be served. The show will be on display through the month of September.

Featured artists include: Miki Harder, Durango painter; Nancy Richmond, Durango photographer; Doug Rhinehart, Woody Creek photographer; Marilyn Harter, Sun Lakes, Ariz., quilter; Joni Tomasetti, Columbine Valley painter; Haz Said, Durango poet; and Andy Burns, Santa Fe, N.M., painter.

The goal of the Artist-in-Residence Program is to enhance public awareness of natural and cultural resources on public lands through unique artistic viewpoints. For the past 11 years, the San Juan National Forest has hosted painters, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, potters, sculptors and other artists at the historic Aspen Guard Station. The rustic log cabin, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, is a former ranger station set in an aspen forest north of Mancos.

In return for residencies, artists donate to the program, share their talents with the public and participate in the annual art show. Residents are selected by judges representing the Pinyon Arts Council, Cortez Cultural Center and Durango Arts Center.

For more information, contact Ann Bond, San Juan Public Lands Center, (970) 385-1219, or Deb Avery, Cortez Cultural Center, at (970) 565-1151.

 

'Mind's Material' continues with gallery hours at Shy Rabbit

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts hosted the opening reception for "Mind's Material: Sensation, Cognition & Knowledge" Saturday evening, Aug. 26, to a crowd of nearly 175 visitors. This groundbreaking exhibition features the masterworks of artists Doug Pedersen, Kelsey Hauck and Karl Isberg, and will remain on display through Oct. 7.

"Mind's Material" brings the work of Pedersen, Hauck and Isberg together for the first time since 1983, when the artists first met. Their friendship has continued through the decades, with each producing and showing their art in galleries and museum collections in the United States and Europe.

The human image is key to each artist's work, but is captured in such an intensely unique way by each artist as to obscure any other similarities.

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 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 deeper understanding.

Shy Rabbit 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. The contemporary artspace and gallery is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1 AND B-4.

For more information, log onto http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com, call (970) 731-2766, or e-mail shyrabbit01@aol.com.

 

In Step dancers win awards, next class sessions set

By Belinda LaPierre

Special to The PREVIEW

The In Step Dance Club's Deb Aspen and Charles Jackson have returned from the Aug. 5 Arthur Murray "Summer of Dance Showcase" in Albuquerque bearing 30 first place awards and one second-place ribbon in the freestyle divisions, and trophies for two solo routines and the Open Cha Cha category.

Since Albuquerque studio is Charles and Deb's dance-study home, there is more of an opportunity to not only compete as an amateur couple together, but in the Pro/Am divisions with their usual instructors, Bob and Cindy Long, and some of the other teachers as well.

This time, Charles not only danced eight freestyles, the Tango Open, and one solo performance in American Tango with Deb, but entered five freestyles with Cindy. He gleaned all but one first place in the freestyles, and brought home a nice trophy plaque for his solo routine with Deb.

Deb went all out, signing up for eight freestyles with Charles, seven with Bob Long, two with Ben Snell, and one with Rudy Romero. Along with all blue ribbons for the freestyles, Deb was awarded trophies for the Open Cha Cha freestyle and a waltz solo, both danced with Bob Long.

As well as being awarded ribbons or trophies for every entry danced, each participant in showcase-style competition received a critique on each dance performance. The visiting judge for the recent Showcase was Chris Lynam, a multiple-time National Latin Champion, who watched and scored every dancer according to the skill they demonstrated.

The freestyle dancing is scored on timing, footwork, lead and follow, and posture and styling. Each skill is ranked between 1 and 4 - 1 representing "fair" and 4 representing "excellent." The points are then tallied and a placement is awarded (first, second or third). The score is calculated differently within each skill level, because there are different skills that are emphasized at each level. Example: in the newcomer division, timing is 50 percent of the overall score, while in the gold division, styling is 50 percent of the overall score. Skill levels (or divisions) include newcomer, associate bronze, full bronze, associate silver, full silver, associate gold, full gold, associate gold bar, and full gold bar. Each student works his or her way through all the divisions by being tested in each level.

There are basically two main categories in amateur dance competition: freestyles and solos. The freestyles are broken down into two subdivisions: open and closed. The Closed Freestyle category involves several couples, not necessarily in the same dancing level or division, on the floor at the same time, dancing the same dance to a randomly picked song. For example, a freestyle listing may include three full bronze amateur couples, two newcomer Pro/Am couples, and four associate bronze Pro/Am couples. Each couple or amateur would only be competing with other couples or amateurs in their particular category. Usually newcomers and bronze categories dance together and the silver and above dancers are on the floor at the same time, which helps the judging be as fair as possible. Judges have individual sheets to record points for each dancer and each dance performed.

The Open Freestyle division means that all couples, all levels and divisions, dance at the same time to the same music, and the judge picks out the best of the whole group. This makes this trophy much harder to get, and more prestigious.

To enter the Solo Division takes decisively more preparation. A solo routine involves a selected song and dance (or medley of songs and dances), choreographed by the students with or without the help of a professional. It is performed by one couple on the floor, usually in a separate costume, in front of an audience and the judge. These dances are always the most entertaining, as they can include all the flair and embellishments imaginable.

September's dance of the month for the In Step Dance Club will be the Hustle, which is a swing-related dance that began in the 1970s and is usually danced to disco music written in 2/4 or 4/4 time, with a strong bass beat. It is a fast, smooth-looking dance, with the lady spinning almost constantly, while her partner draws her close and sends her away. Turns, spins and wraps are primary components to the Hustle with the more accomplished dancers using syncopated timing and fakes along with elaborate arm styling.

The Hustle originated in the early 1970s with Latinos and Gypsies in southern Florida. They were street dancers looking for some way to dance the hot influence of the Latin rhythms to disco music. There were many different versions, such as Double, 3-Count, Latin, Line, New York, Rope, Sling, Street, American, Continental and Tango Hustle. The latter three are now extinct, as they eventually merged into what is now called "Nightclub Two-Step's traveling right turn."

Deb will teach one of the most recent styles - the 3-Count Hustle.

Unlike its predecessor rock n' roll, disco music is not performed by a live band. Instead, people dance to music played by disc jockeys. The addition of colored lights and shiny mirrored disco balls, along with the strong electronic beat of disco music, made dancing even more fun. It was the Hustle, danced in discotheques to this style of music in the '70s and '80s, that brought partner dancing back into vogue. It can be danced as a "spot" dance, with no fixed orientation to the room, (as in East Coast Swing), along a "slot" (as in West Coast Swing), or in a slightly rotation "slot," making its own characteristics unique.

The upcoming schedule for the Hustle is as follows: classes will be held Sept. 7, 13, 21 and 28 from 7-9 p.m. Practice sessions are Sept. 10, 17, and 24 from 3-5 p.m. Also, there will be a Hustle workshop Saturday, Sept. 16 with national champions, and multiple Best Teacher award recipients, Bob and Cindy Long from Albuquerque. (Stay tuned for more details). All sessions take place at the PLPOA Clubhouse, 230 Port Ave. in Pagosa Springs. Arrive 10 minutes early to register, and have your attendance recorded towards merit points. Wear comfortable clothing, and shoes that have smooth or split leather soles; something that does not leave black marks or mud. There is no need to preregister.

For more information call Deb Aspen at 731-3338.

 

Call for entries: 'Form, Figures & Symbols'

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa's Gerry Riggs will jury "Forms, Figures, Symbols, A Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Works," set for Oct. 21-Nov. 28 at Shy Rabbit, a Contemporary Art Space and Gallery. Opening reception for artists is 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21.

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 and 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

Call for entries

Shy Rabbit has issued a call for entries for the Form, Figures & Symbols exhibit. 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 http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com/2006/08/forms-figures-symbols-prospectus_07.html; by e-mail request at shyrabbit01@aol.com; or may be picked up at Shy Rabbit, 333 Bastille Drive, B-1 and B-4.

For additional information, e-mail: shyrabbit01@aol.com, or call (970) 731-2766.

 

Community choir rehearsals begin Tuesday

By Matthew Lowell Brunson

Special to The PREVIEW

After a long summer break the members of the Pagosa Springs Community Choir are getting ready for Tuesday's long-awaited rehearsal. I myself am ecstatic to return to rehearsing with my fellow members and friends.

My wife, Tiffany, and I moved to Pagosa Springs just over a year ago. When we arrived we knew absolutely no one. We also had no idea of the quality of the cultural arts scene that exists here in Pagosa.

We first learned of the choir through an article much like this one and we decided to give it a shot. It truly was one of the best decisions that we have made in a long time. Not only have we learned so many things that have helped to further us musically, we have also made true friendships that will last a lifetime.

I encourage all of you that have a love for music and can carry a tune to consider joining us this year for the Christmas concert by attending our first rehearsal Tuesday night at 6:30 sharp at the Community United Methodist Church located at 434 Lewis St. We normally rehearse at 7 p.m., but this Tuesday we start registration a half hour earlier. The cost is just your time attending almost every rehearsal from now until the concerts and a $20 registration fee to help offset the cost of all the music you will receive.

This year our concerts will be held in the high school auditorium Dec. 14 and 16 at 7: p.m. and Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. Our directors will be Pam Spitler and Larry Elginer, and our accompanists will be the talented Kathy Isberg and Sheri Bahn.

Those choir members who still have their folders and any music should bring it back for the first rehearsal so we can replenish the folders.

Something new this season that the choir is offering is a sight singing class taught by "Doc" Carruth. The classes will be held from 6-6:45 before the choir's regular rehearsal begins on Tuesday nights. This class is open to everyone and it is not necessary to join the choir to take the class.

If you have any questions, call Pam Spitler at 264-1952 or Sue Diffee at 731-1305. We hope to see you there.

 

'Let's Explore' contemporary sculpture with Isamu Noguchi

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts, will show the 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.

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

The "Let's Explore" program brings 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 "Rives 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.

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

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

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

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

 

Wild Spirit features Pat Erickson in September

Pat Erickson is September's featured artist at Wild Spirit Gallery in downtown Pagosa Springs.

Erickson is known for her detailed portrayal of wildlife and horses.

The artist is influenced by the culture and natural beauty of the Southwest. Her great love for animals is evident in her wildlife paintings, which she renders in watercolor or Prismacolor pencil.

In her work, Erickson strives to portray the animal's spirit - to make each one an individual.

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay area, Erickson passionately pursued art, beginning in grammar school, and has pursued her childhood interests of wildlife biology and art ever since. She was originally a zoology major who then obtained her B.F.A. from California State University, in Chico. She moved to Pagosa Springs in 2002.

The artist will be present to discuss her work and her unique painting techniques during the Artist's Reception at the gallery, 1-5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 16.

Works by Erickson will be displayed the entire month of September at Wild Spirit Gallery.

 

Education center prepares fall programs

By John Graves

Special to the PREVIEW

The start of another school year is also the start of another year of fun and exciting after-school activities - for the whole family - at the Archuleta County Education Center. Here's a sample of some of the programs which will be offered during the 2006 -2007 school year, and when.

Elementary activities

Starting the third week of school, on Sept. 18, our elementary tutoring program will begin for the new year under the continued leadership of Coordinator Lucille Stretton. As usual, we will also have enrichment classes offered Monday through Thursday from 3:15 to 5 p.m. These classes will include art, drama, and cooking, to name a few. We will also offer our Fun Friday afternoons from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

Activities for students in grades 5-8 will be offered throughout the year on Fridays, 1:30-5 p.m. at the junior high school. These classes include fly fishing, babysitters' workshop, and more.

Intermediate school and junior high

The Homework Center is for kids in grades 5-8 who need assistance with their homework and school assignments. Coordinator Becky Johnson is looking forward to another successful year starting Sept. 18. We will also again be offering the Clubroom for students to come hang out and have fun from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Adult classes

Throughout the year we offer a number of computer, foreign languages and, for the first time, self-defense classes, along with first aid and CPR classes. Most of these sessions are held in the evenings from 5:30 to 9:30. The next first aid and CPR training classes will be held Tuesday, Sept. 12, and Wednesday, Sept. 13.

We also offer classes for those needing to complete their GED or learn English as a second language. Call our office for the new fall schedule.

The Archuleta County Education Center staff looks forward to another successful year of serving the community. Call (970) 264-2835 or stop by the office located at 4th and Lewis streets, for complete class listings. Make the Ed Center your center for the adventure and fun of learning.

 

Ed Center to offer tango class

Learn the tango, the elegant and romantic dance that originated in Buenos Aires in the early 1900s and has been featured in movies such as "The Tango Lesson," "Scent of a Woman" and "Moulin Rouge."

A beginner's class will cover basic steps, styles and moves of the Argentine Tango using traditional music. Instructor Les Linton has been dancing the Tango for 10 years and will be partnered with Rosalind Marshall.

No experience is required and both singles and couples are welcome. Classes will be held 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays, Sept. 5-26 at the Standing Mountain Yoga Studio located in The Club at 450 Lewis St. The cost is $46 plus a $5 annual registration fee.

Call the Education Center at 264-2835 to register.

 

Preschool Story Hour begins new season at library

By Barb Draper

Special to the PREVIEW

Now that the "big kids" are heading back to school, the preschoolers do not need to be left out.

The weekly Preschool Story Hour at the Sisson Library resumes at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6. This will be a weekly event, every Wednesday morning, from 10 to 10:45. These sessions are for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners who go to afternoon sessions.

There will be special theme stories each week. Here is the schedule for September:

- Sept. 6 - The School Bus.

- Sept. 13 - Grandparents.

- Sept. 20 - Apples.

- Sept. 27 - Hot Air Balloons.

In addition to stories for the children, information and ideas will be available for parents and other care givers regarding early literacy and the importance of both oral and written language in the daily lives of young children. This is also a great place for parents to meet and get acquainted with other young families.

No reservations are necessary. Just be in the Children's Room at 10 a.m If you happen to be running late (as can happen with young children in tow) just quietly come in, take a seat, and enjoy the program that may already be in progress.

Volunteers of all ages are always welcome to take part in these preschool activities. If you are interested in having a fun time with little ones, contact me at the library Tuesday through Friday at 264-2209.

 

Relax with other writers on Thursdays at Shy Rabbit

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 http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call (970) 731-2766.

 

Unitarians to hold annual 'Water Communion' service

On Sunday, Sept. 3, the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold its annual "Water Communion" service. Program leader Phyl Daleske asks, "Where did your vacation travels take you? What new insights and joys did you discover that you might share with the Fellowship?"

Members and friends of the Fellowship are invited each year to collect a small sample of water from locations visited on their summer vacations, to be brought to this service and added to a communal urn as a basis for sharing these insights with the congregation. (The water need not be geographically certifiable, and is not a requirement for participation.)

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

 

Chuck Bob at the Movies

Chuck Bob checks out thrillers

Charles Streetman

PREVIEW Columnist

This week, I took a look at two acclaimed thrillers new on DVD.

The first: a bank robbery turned hostage crisis unfolding through a battle of wits between the robbers and the police negotiator. The second: a provocative, high school-based murder mystery fashioned with bits of classic film noir.

First up is "Inside Man." It's the latest film from director Spike Lee ("Malcolm X") and, needless to say, it marks the career revival he so desperately needed after making the colossal bomb, "She Hate Me."

Dalton Russell (Clive Owen, "Sin City") and his partners are about to pull off the ultimate bank heist when it turns into a hostage crisis. However, they are prepared for this situation, as they quickly lock down the entrance to the bank and herd the hostages into the basement level of the building. There, they strip the hostages of their cell phones, pagers and whatnot. Then, they swap their clothes for attire identical to the robbers. By then, the crisis has already been reported by a passerby cop, and the NYPD sends in the necessary forces to deal with the situation. This includes detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington, "Man on Fire"), who becomes the lead hostage negotiator. As the situation unfolds, Frazier and Russell interlock in an intense battle of wits, with one trying to outsmart the other.

Things get even more complicated when the bank's founder, Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer, "The New World"), learns of the hostage situation at his bank. He has some secrets within the bank that he does not want discovered. So, Case then hires a power broker by the name of Madeline White (Jodie Foster, "Silence of the Lambs"), to look into the matter.

Honestly, I can't delve too deep into the details of this movie because, if I do, I'll give away far too much. "Inside Man," plays out much like you would expect a hostage crisis would, but then takes twists that make it break away from the more traditional formula of this genre of film. The movie jumps forward to a time after the crisis with scenes of Frazier and his partner interrogating hostages about what really happened, but Spike makes it a smooth and balanced progression, making it much less confusing, and more riveting.

Of course, Spike takes time to throw in some social commentary on post 9/11 anxiety. One of the higher points of this involves the robbers releasing a hostage wired with explosives who the police mistake for an Arab terrorist at first sight.

"Inside Man" is one of the better thrillers of the year. It's sharply written, skillfully directed and acted. It takes some unexpected but plausible twists, progressing though the many different powerplays that a hostage crisis goes through.

The disc doesn't have too many special features, but enough to keep your attention. The first is a feature-length commentary from director Lee, a "making of" featurette, 25 minutes of deleted scenes and another featurette on Lee and Washington discussing their several collaborations over the years.

The other thriller I viewed was "Brick."

This is one of the cleverest movies of the year.

Here's the deal: it is set in present time, and progresses like a classic detective story in an atmosphere that reminded me of a David Lynch or Brian De Palma film, but the main characters are high schoolers instead of 30-something adults. Yes, a teen movie, but don't stop reading yet!

The movie is about teen loner Brendan Frye (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, TV's "Third Rock from the Sun"), as he discovers a note slipped into his locker by his ex-girlfriend, Emily, asking for help. Later she calls him at a nearby phone booth, quickly and frantically tries to explain what has happened, but panics and runs away as soon as a suspicious vehicle drives past the area. Brendan tries to piece together what she was trying to tell him, but it's too little too late when he discovers her body lying in a concrete ditch.

Brendan becomes determined to find her killer and to unravel the mystery behind the trouble that brought about her demise. With the help of a fellow student knicknamed "The Brain" (Matt O'Leary, "Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams"), he begins searching for clues that will help him solve this mystery. He works his way through the social groups, and uncovers an underworld of crime, leading him to a drug lord known only as "The Pin" (Lucas Haas, "Mars Attacks!"), who he's certain had something to do with Emily's murder.

Probably the most ingenious part of "Brick" (and possibly the biggest drawback) is its dialogue. Everyone speaks fast, and in a lingo similar to late 1940s detective movies. This can actually be a bad thing for a lot of viewers, because they'll have a pretty hard time understanding what anyone is saying throughout most of this movie. The best strategy I can provide is to stop trying to understand it, sit back, and lose yourself in it. When you do, you actually begin to somewhat get what everyone's saying.

With that aside, the movie also suffers from some very minor clichés, such as whenever Brendan gets too close to the answers he's looking for, he gets the living snot beat out of him, and the absence of practically everybody's parents. Aside from that, "Brick" is a smart, stylish, and provocative whodunit, and certainly one of my favorite movies of 2006.

Special features on the DVD are few. To sum it up, there are commentaries from director Rian Johnson, as well as the cast of the film, over 20 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, and a casting featurette. Unfortunately this DVD could have used a glossary featurette that provided a list of the slang and lingo from the film along with explanations of what it all means, but unfortunately, there isn't. The good news though, is if you visit the movie's official site at www.brickmovie.net, there is a small glossary to help with some of the slang used in the film.

 

Local Chatter

Get ready for the Shamrock Festival

By Kate Terry

Leapin' Leprechauns! It's time for the Shamrock Festival!

St. Patrick's Episcopal Church will host the annual event Saturday, Sept. 9 The festivities begin at 8 a.m. with a hearty breakfast of Ken Jones' especially filling burritos.

Leprechaun Land will open at 10 a.m. featuring plenty of fun. For one reasonable price, kids may spend the morning engaging in various activities like Bounce House, corn shucking, craft activities and even have lunch.

Adults may shop in the new "Country Cupboard," the bookshop, the bake shop and take home some special frozen treats for the family. Come visit, have coffee and try a chance on the beautifully colored handmade quilt at only $5 a ticket. The always-exciting silent auction will tempt many bidders with items including one-week use of a home in Keystone, Imported Honduran cigars, woodturnings by David Brooks, arts, jewelry and much more.

A BYOB reception from 5 to 5:45 p.m. will end the final auction bids and the winner of the featured quilt will be drawn at 6.

Another fun-filled day will end with a barbecue dinner that is always a sellout. So, word to the wise, get your tickets early.

See you there!

Around town

Congratulations to Helen Richardson who edited the newly published "Visions of Chimney Rock: a photographic interpretation of the place and its people."

The photographs and artwork are impressive and much was done by local people. Denny Rose did the cover. Beside Helen, you will recognize the work of Dick Mosely, Bruce Andersen and Jeff Laydon. Many others contributed to this fine book.

Every family should have a copy of "Visions of Chimney Rock."

Fun on the Run

The guy had been working as a bag boy in a supermarket for five years.

One day, the supermarket got new orange juice machines, and the bag boy was very excited, so he asked the manager if he could work the juice machines.

The manager said no. The bagger said, "But I've been working here for five years - why can't I run the juice machines?"

The manager replied: "I'm sorry son, but baggers can't be juicers."

 

Community Center News

Still a busy season at the community center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Community Center will be closed Monday, Sept. 4, for the Labor Day holiday.

Happy end-of-summer picnicking!

Auction for the Animals

The 12th annual Auction for the Animals brought a large crowd of interested buyers into the community center last week.

The multi-purpose room was already stacked with items up for grabs; when the party-goers arrived, the multi-purpose room was filled to capacity.

The Humane Society reports that 414 people attended. A small army of volunteers helped to greet people at the ticket desk; set up furniture, tables, and items to be auctioned; collect money from the lucky buyers; and generally just keep things moving along smoothly.

Congratulations to Robbie Schwartz and to all of you who attended and helped with the auction.

Folk festival

The annual Four Corners Folk Festival will be held on Reservoir Hill and will feature three days of music, camping, arts and crafts, food and workshops.

The community center will provide showers to festival campers for $3 from 8-10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For more information about the festival, call 731-5582 or (877) 472-4672. The festival's Web site can be accessed at folkwest.com.

Colorfest dance

It's time to start thinking about the Chamber's annual Colorfest weekend, Sept. 15-17, when we celebrate what some of us think is the most beautiful time of year in Pagosa Country.

Friday, there will be a Beer, Brats, and Balloons picnic in the park during the early part of the evening.

After the picnic, everyone is invited to spend the rest of the evening at the community center where the High Rollers from Durango will provide music for listening and dancing.

As usual, there will be free snacks and a cash bar. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door and may be purchased at WolfTracks, the Chamber of Commerce and the community center. Buy your tickets now and reserve your table(s). Table reservations for six and eight people are available only with purchased tickets. Be ready to provide your ticket numbers when you make your reservation.

Yoga schedule

The class, which has changed its meeting day from Thursdays to Tuesdays, has also changed its meeting time to 10:30-11:30 in the morning.

Diana Baird reports she has had about 10 people attending the group. Participants have been working on stretching, balance, posture, and breathing.

Deep, even breaths are the goal. Balance has also been a focus; the idea here is to use your bones for balance rather than your muscles, which need to be left free for circulating your blood. Too much muscle tightness can lead to a light-headed feeling. In learning better balance, Diana has participants spread their toes - literally, each person uses his fingers to spread his toes. Then, when doing the poses, Diana reminds everyone to use this wide foot base for a relaxed and balanced feeling.

For those of you who might hesitate to join in because you think that the poses are difficult, Diana explains that each pose has degrees of difficulty. For example, if a pose requires some balance on your part, props are available to help. A hand or hip against the wall, or a chair close by can provide support while you learn the pose. Neckties help with some of the stretching exercises.

Thanks to Diana for leading this group. Call the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Line dancing

Did you know that eBay lists 267 items for sale if you search on line dancing - everything from how-to videos to cowgirl hats with pink ostrich feathers? There are line dancing magazines, competitions, surveys to determine the current favorite of all the line dances, and jigsaw puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles. Who knew?

Gerry did.

Gerry Potticary is our line dancing group leader. She gives selflessly of her time and is always ready with encouragement and advice. Thanks to Gerry and to Peggy Carrai and Elaine Lundergan who have been helping with teaching. Peggy has learned new dances and introduced them to the group.

Gerry reminds everyone that there will be no line dancing Monday, Sept. 4, due to the Labor Day holiday. Join the dancing group Mondays from 10 to 11:30. All are welcome, even those with no previous experience. For more information call the center at 264-4152 or call Gerry at 731-9734.

Self-help for health

You may remember that Medora Bass' self-help for health group was attempting to visualize their inner ability to heal.

One participant shared the process. This person thought the process was going to be difficult and had some expectations of what his/her inner healer would be. It tuned out these expectations actually hindered the process. Another person came up with a healing image, specific to her health challenge, of a person with bolts of lightning in each hand.

Another class project was to come up with ways of paying attention to oneself, since one unconscious reason some people get sick is to seek attention. Similar projects were to explore ways of nurturing ourselves and to learn about muscle testing as a tool to use at home.

Medora directed participants to work on several homework assignments. One directed participants to use a writing exercise to clear anger and also to dialog with the aspect of the self that is angry. Another homework assignment focuses on possible disowned parts of the self. Disowning aspects of ourselves that we value can sometimes lead to illness. Participants were also encouraged to see their childhood the way they would have liked it to be and to use their imagination as a tool for healing their past as well as their health.

The reaction to this group experience has been positive and optimistic. If you are interested in how this program works, call the center at 264-4152 or stop by for a handout which will explain the process. For more information call the center at 264-4152.

eBay Club

Since the eBay Club has been meeting in the computer lab, the time has been changed in order not to interfere with regular use of the lab. The club will meet on the same day, the third Thursday of each month, but at 5:30 p.m. instead of in the morning. Please join Ben Bailey for tips on buying and selling. Call Ben at 264-0293 or the Center at 264-4152 for more information.

Managing Diabetes

The Managing Diabetes group meets tonight at 5:30 p.m. At the last meeting participants agreed to keep a food diary and a log of resulting blood sugar levels. Several of those attending also agreed to do some investigation into getting help for the group, both from local people and also from Durango, Albuquerque and Denver resources; there will be reports on the progress of these investigations.

Everyone who has an interest in diabetes, the disease itself, or the methods of coping with the consequences of the disease, is welcome to attend.

The community center's Managing Diabetes group is a 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.

Computer lab news

We are taking reservations for the beginning computer classes which will start close to the end of October and last into the beginning of December. Please let us know as early as possible if you are interested in joining us at that time. Classes are free to everyone, and we try to tailor what is taught to your individual needs.

Stop by the center if you would like copies of the handouts from the first two classes. These are designed for new computer users, since they focus on keyboard and mouse skills. Many computer operations can be performed either with the keyboard or with the mouse. Most new users quickly decide which is their preferred method. In addition, there will be an extra handout for new users who have vision problems. A useful program called iZoom magnifies your computer screen and even reads it to you. Once you become accustomed to the somewhat mechanical computer voice, you can relax and let the machine do the reading for you. This program, by the way, can be gotten through a free download; the iZoom handout will explain where and how to download and install it and provide some tips on how to get started.

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

Center hours

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

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; line dancing with Terri Hoehn, 9-11 a.m.; computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; TOPS Tourism Board meeting, 4-6 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

Sept. 1 - 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.

Sept. 2 - Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sept. 3 - 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.

Sept. 4 - Community center closed for the Labor Day holiday.

Sept. 5 - Over-the-Hill-Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; watercolor class with Joye Moon, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Beginning Computing, 10 a.m.-noon; yoga, 10:30-11:30 a.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; TOPS, town council meeting, 5 p.m.

Sept. 6 - Watercolor class with Joye Moon, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Beginning Computing for Seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; Aikido class, 1-3 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

Sept. 7 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; watercolor class with Joye Moon, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; 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

September is Healthy Aging Month

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Healthy Aging Month, next month, is all about making a commitment to eat well, move more, and get support from family and friends.

Set realistic goals. Instead of trying to make many changes at once, take small steps for big rewards. Add a new challenge each week.

Great improvements in medicine, public health, science, and technology have enabled today's older Americans to live longer and healthier lives than previous generations. Older adults want to remain healthy and independent at home in their communities. Society wants to minimize the health care and economic costs associated with an increasing older population.

The science of aging indicates that chronic disease and disability are not inevitable. As a result, health promotion and disease prevention activities and programs are an increasing priority for older adults, their families, and the health care system.

Many Americans fail to make the connection between undertaking healthy behaviors today and the impact of these choices later in life. Studies by the National Institute of Aging indicate that healthy eating, physical activity, mental stimulation, not smoking, active social engagement, moderate use of alcohol, maintaining a safe environment, social support, and regular health care are important in maintaining health and independence.

Promoting the healthy lifestyles of older people is vital in helping them to maintain health and functional independence and lead healthy and independent lives. Providing information to you about disease prevention and health promotion activities will help us help you and your loved ones become more knowledgeable about the health problems you may face and how you can prevent, delay, or manage them.

Ice cream social

It is our very last ice cream social for the year, so come one, come all.

The Den will host an ice cream social Friday after lunch to celebrate the end of the summer months.

We will provide the ice cream for 50 cents and you bring your favorite sundae topping to share to add to the fun. John Graves will be playing the piano for sing-alongs and enjoyment so come on down to kick off your Labor Day weekend with friends, laughs, and ice cream.

Folk festival

The Four Corners Folk Festival is a grass-roots festival full of talented musicians playing an eclectic mix of folk and bluegrass music with acoustic sounds at their finest. And the best part is, this amazing music festival is located right here, in our scenic mountain town of Pagosa Springs.

Join The Den Saturday as we head up to Reservoir Hill for a day of hanging out, listening to live music with good friends and beautiful views of the San Juan Mountains. Thanks to Dan Appenzeller, founder of the Four Corners Music Festival, The Den has 16 free tickets available for the Saturday show for the first 16 folks who sign up to go to the music fest. We will meet Saturday at The Den at 10 a.m. We will walk to the corner by the post office and catch one of the free festival shuttles up to the top of Reservoir Hill where the festivities will begin. There is seating under the festival tent for about 500 people and we will be going to the festival early, so we can hopefully get some of the prime seats.

You are also welcome to bring low-back lawn chairs, coolers (no alcohol) and other necessities into the festival and set up your chairs in the huge meadow behind the tent where you can stretch out in the sun. Saturday's music begins at 11 a.m. with the final band appearing on stage at 8 p.m. You can leave the festival via shuttle anytime you are ready, as this will be an individual choice. There will be food vendors providing great festival fare on site, everything from bratwursts and roast corn to Thai/Chinese food - so bring extra money for food. Beer and wine will also be available in the beautiful Beer Garden.

This is a rain or shine event, so bring your rain gear, your sunscreen and bring layers for the changing temperatures. Donations for the tickets which will go to the Four Corners Music Festival will be accepted and appreciated, although they are not necessary. Join us for a day of fun in the sun with incredible music, dancing and relaxing with great friends, amazing views, and tasty food and drink. What a great way to celebrate Labor Day weekend!

Pagosa's public spaces

Join Jim Miller, Pagosa's park superintendent, at The Den at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, to discuss Pagosa's public spaces. Learn about the availability of outdoor activities, the accessibility of the parks, and balancing the maintenance with Pagosa's growing population.

A day in Arboles

The Den will be offering lunch in Arboles Thursday, Sept. 7. Reservations are required by Tuesday, Sept. 5. Following lunch, we will have an ice cream social. Get your scoop of ice cream for 50 cents and bring in a topping to share to make a scrumptious sundae. Seniors Inc. will be having its monthly board meeting in Arboles after the lunchtime activities. Join the board meeting to find out what is going on with your local council on aging. We hope to see you all there.

Grandparents' Day

In 1970, a West Virginia housewife, Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, initiated a campaign to set aside a special day just for grandparents. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents' Day. The Den will honor Grandparents Day Friday, Sept. 8, during lunch. We will have a small gift for all of you grandparents to say thank you for adding so much to the lives of the following generations. You are also welcome to bring in your grandchild for a free lunch

Medicare counseling

Beginning in September, The Den will offer Medicare counseling from 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays by appointment only. Call The Den at 264-2167 to make an appointment to learn more about Medicare, to receive answers to your questions concerning your policy, to sign-up for the Medicare Drug program, or for any other information regarding Medicare.

Senior Law Handbook

The Silver Foxes Den has received the new and updated Senior Law Handbook.

The Senior Law Handbook has an enormous amount of useful information concerning government and financial assistance, estate planning, family relationships, what to do when someone dies, plus much more. The Senior Law Handbook is available in our library for on-site use and it may also be accessed online at www.cobar.org then click on "For the Public," then on "Law Related Materials," then on "Senior Law Handbook."

Notice of election

Interested members of Archuleta Seniors, Inc. should know the board of directors is presently accepting nominations for officers and board members. Officers are elected annually and board members serve two-year terms.

Seniors Inc. is a non-profit organization that serves as the local council on aging. They are also an advisory board to the Archuleta County Senior Center and are responsible for the senior discount cards, mystery trips, Oktoberfest, and the scholarships for medical needs. A letter of intent must be received at the Silver Foxes Den Senior Center located in the community center at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. The mailing address is P.O. Box 1507, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 ad letters must be received by the end of the business day Sept. 22, 2006. You may either hand deliver or mail your letter of intent. Nominations will not be taken from the floor at the annual meeting to be held on the day of the elections, Oct. 9, 2006. For more information, call Judy Collins, nominating chairperson, at 731-1785.

Senior discounts

Join hundreds of other seniors in our community taking advantage of the many discounts available through local merchants by joining Archuleta Seniors, Inc. Memberships are available for folks age 55 and older and can be purchased at The Den for $5 on Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9-11. No memberships are sold Thursdays. Not only will you receive generous discounts from local businesses, but you'll be eligible for our Mystery Trip program and other trips in addition to discounts at such senior activities as Oktoberfest.

Membership also entitles those who meet annual income guidelines to scholarships for 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.

Oktoberfest volunteers

Archuleta Seniors, Inc. needs people on their S.W.A.T. team.

"S.W.A.T." or "Seniors With Available Time" are those who would like to donate their time to the senior community on a short-term basis or to help with a task.

One place where S.W.A.T. team members are in desperate need is Oktoberfest, the largest senior fund-raising event of the year. We need volunteers to help sell advance tickets, for food preparation, for food serving, and with other duties for the Oct. 14 event. If you are interested in being on our S.W.A.T. team, contact Susi Cochran at 731-0866. This is a great way to serve our local community, have fun, and get satisfaction from helping others.

Senior of the Week

We would like to congratulate Agnate Bartz as Senior of the Week. She will enjoy free lunches all week. We would also like to congratulate Lee Gladfelter in Arboles. He will enjoy free lunches at Arboles Meal Day during the month of September.

AAA seeks board member

The board of directors of the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging will soon have a vacancy for an Archuleta County representative and candidates are needed. The AAA administers the Older Americans Act Program for senior citizen services in southwestern Colorado. The involvement of local seniors is necessary for input and monitoring of programs available in the community. The term for the newly-elected member will be three years. Six meetings are held each year, the first in January.

Candidates for the director position must be at least 55 years of age and a resident of Archuleta County. The AAA Region 9 includes Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, and San Juan counties. All seniors 55 years of age and over have the right to vote for their local representative to the AAA Board. Elections will be held at The Den in October. Contact Musetta Wollenweber, seniors services director, 264-2167, to obtain a Declaration of Candidacy form. The deadline for declaring candidacy is Sept. 15.

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.

Make an immediate impact on someone's life and volunteer as a driver for medical shuttles to Durango to help those with medical appointments who are unable to drive themselves. A county vehicle and the fuel are provided for the shuttle. You must have good people skills and be a safe driver. Applications are currently being accepted in The Den office. A background check will be completed on all candidates. For more information, contact Musetta. Please make a difference, and volunteer.

Final picnic a success

The final summer Picnic in the Park was Friday, Aug. 25.

There were 124 folks who showed up to enjoy the sunshine, the food and the company. We had a Wild Egg Race with 24 participants racing to the finish line while balancing eggs on spoons. It was a great laugh. The first-place winner of the Wild Egg Race was Ron Gustafson, who took home a prize. There were also frisbees flying with Bruce Muirhead hucking them around with a few others.

We would like to thank the Town of Pagosa Springs for making Town Park so lovely and available for our picnics. And we would especially like to thank Jim Miller, Pagosa's park superintendent, for all of his hard work and help in making our picnics a success. Although our picnics have come to a close, you can still join us at The Den for the continued great food and company during lunch on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We would love to see you there.

Activities at a glance

Thursday, Aug. 31 - Bar D Ranch dinner and show (reservations required) with transportation leaving The Den at 4:30 p.m. The Den is closed.

Friday, Sept. 1 - The "Geezers" weekly meeting, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; veterans' services, noon; final Ice Cream Social of the summer and music with John Graves, following lunch; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 2 - Four Corners Folk Festival, 10 a.m.

Monday, Sept. 4 - Closed for Labor Day holiday.

Tuesday, Sept. 5 - Yoga, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.; Medicare counseling, 1-3 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 6 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; "Pagosa's Public Spaces" presentation with Jim Miller, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 7 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required); ice cream social in Arboles, following lunch; e Seniors Inc. board Meeting in Arboles, 1 p.m. The Den is closed.

Friday, Sept. 8 - The "Geezers" weekly meeting, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; celebrate Grandparents' Day, during lunch; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.

Menu

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

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

Friday, Sept. 1 - Stuffed bell peppers, whole kernel corn, brussels sprouts, pears with blueberries and whole wheat bread.

Monday, Sept. 4 - Closed for Labor Day holiday.

Tuesday, Sept. 5 - Pasta primavera with spaghetti and meat sauce, spinach, apples and pears, and garlic bread.

Wednesday, Sept. 6 - Cheeseburger on bun, split pea soup, cole slaw, and mixed fruit with bananas.

Thursday, Sept. 7 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). Baked ham with raisin sauce, yams, green beans, cranberry mold and whole wheat roll.

Friday, Sept. 8 - Hot turkey sandwich, whipped potatoes, asparagus, pineapple and mandarin oranges, and whole wheat bread.

 

Veteran's Corner

Funds in hand for reimbursement program

By Andy Fautheree

I am happy to announce that we finally have Veteran's Trust Fund Grant money in hand to assist our local veterans with their fuel and overnight accommodation needs while traveling to VA health care facilities.

Bring the following information to the Archuleta County Veteran Service Office for reimbursement.

Requirements

Requirements for reimbursement:

1. Any kind of proof of VAHC appointment (receipt, letter, notice of appointment, etc.).

2. Receipts of fuel expense (start with a full tank and fill up tank upon return).

3. Receipts for overnight accommodations (Albuquerque or Grand Junction VA-reasonable and logical lodging expense).

4. Retroactive to July 1, 2006, and any VAHC travel expense.

5. Cannot be eligible for expense payment from another source which would constitute duplicate payment.

Fund all VAHC trips

It is expected that we have enough money this year and through June 30, 2007, to fully pay for all fuel and overnight accommodations expenses for all veterans traveling to VAHC facilities. This includes trips to Durango, Farmington, Albuquerque and Grand Junction VA, or any other required trip to any other VAHC facility.

You can use your own vehicle or one of the two Veterans Service Office vehicles.

Don't forget to stop by my office for reimbursement of your fuel and overnight accommodation receipts to VA health care appointments.

Lend a hand

Help a fellow veteran who may be going in the same direction to the same VA facility and give me a call if you can provide transportation or need transportation. I will keep a calendar of who is going where to coordinate this important program.

Durango VA Clinic

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

Further information

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

 

Library News

Jazz, book fair, children's programs and new books

By Carole Howard

SUN Columnist, and the library staff

If you are reading this in time, we want to remind you to come to the library this evening to enjoy John Graves entertaining at a free jazz event. He will lead a discussion of the development of jazz from the 1920s through the Big Band era of the '40s in the library's Turner Reading Room from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. That lecture will be followed by a jazz concert in the parking lot from 7 to 8 p.m. This musical treat is free and open to the public. Please bring chairs or blankets to sit on, and remember that no alcohol is permitted on library property.

Book sale

Mark your calendars for the Friends of the Library annual meeting and book sale to be held at the Extension Building at the fairgrounds on Sept. 8 and 9. If you are a member of the Friends, bring a finger food for the potluck starting at 6 p.m. Friday. After eating and a very short meeting, you get first dibs on the books on sale. Nonmembers are invited to take this opportunity to join this wonderful group. Membership is $5 for an individual, $10 for a family and $100 for a lifetime - and you can pay your membership fee at the door. On Saturday, books go on sale to the general public from 8 a.m. to noon. Please bring your donations for the book sale to the library by Wednesday, Sept. 6.

Children's programs

We hope you will bring your young ones to the Preschool Story Hour starting Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 10 a.m. and every Wednesday thereafter. Story time will last about 45 minutes.

Theme for the opening event is "Big Yellow School Bus."

Programs and activities are also being planned for older kids from kindergarten through high school. We'll give you details of these events as they are finalized.

Children's books

We've got a nice selection of new books for kids. "A Day in the Life of a Builder" is the latest in the Jobs People Do series. "The Construction Alphabet Book" is another fun book on this topic. "The Yucky Reptile Alphabet Book" is a great learning tool for young readers. For ages two and above, we have "When I Was a Boy I Dreamed " with Squeakers the mouse hiding in every picture. "The Quest to Digest" teaches kids what food does for our bodies after we eat it, using clever comic illustrations. "The Tail of Emily Windsnap" is about a seventh-grader who discovers she is a mermaid.

Books for parents and adults

If your child loves to go on the Internet, you will want to read Amber Frangos' "No Child is Safe from Internet Crime: A Guide for Parents," which is filled with practical and actionable advice to keep youngsters safe. Home Improvement buffs will enjoy "Sheetrock & Shellac: A Thinking Person's Guide to the Art and Science of Home Improvement" by David Owen. "Worst Pills, Best Pills" bills itself as a consumer's guide to avoiding drug-induced death or illness.

Books by famous people

"At Home in the World" is a new collection of the writings of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was killed by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002. "Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War" is co-authored by Republican leader Newt Gingrich. "Blood Memory" is the autobiography Martha Graham, the legend of modern dance who is also a choreographer, teacher and friend of many celebrities about whom she tells stories.

For an affectionate memoir with touching humor, read "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed" by Alan Alda, better known as Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H. More biting is Al Franken's "The Truth," his latest political book. For an inside view of George W. Bush's administration by one of his closest aides, we have "Ten Minutes from Normal" by Karen Hughes.

Books on CD

Feast your eyes in this wonderful list of varied new books on CD, a format that so many of you have asked for.

Non-fiction offerings include "The Journey: How to Live by Faith in an Uncertain World" by Billy Graham, John M Barry's "The Great Influenza" about history's most lethal influenza virus that killed 100 million people worldwide, and Simon Winchester's "A Crack in the Edge of the World" about the 1906 California earthquake.

Fiction CDs include "The Secret Supper" by Javier Sierra, a historical thriller about Leonardo da Vinci; "Telegraph Days" by Larry McMurtry, his most ambitious western novel since "Lonesome Dove;" Louise Erdrich's "The Painted Drum," which tells through the voice of an Ojibwe how a drum changes the lives of those whose path it crosses; and Agatha Christie's classic "Death Comes as the End."

Local donations

Many thanks for books and materials from Bob Adams, Larry Blue, Lenore Bright, Diane Burnett, Barbara Carlos, Ron Chacey, Joan and Gene Cortright, Harry DeYoung, Jan and Joe Donovan, Leatrice Foster, Norm Frazier, June Geisen, Cristy Holden, Sue Kehret, Virginia Kyle, Onalee McEwen, Merilyn Moorehead, Ginger Morris, Kate Pettey, M Stern and Jeanne Wood.

 

Pagosa Reads

Keep your child safe

By Peter Welch

Special to The PREVIEW

In the late 1970s, I built a Heathkit H8 computer and then moved on to an Apple IIe. My first experience with online communication (pre-Internet) was with a CompuServe BBS (Bulletin Board Service). I was searching for information on downloading a program and was immediately contacted by a "friend" who offered to help. After he asked for my age, I moved to other areas of the BBS. He followed me, ringing the bell on my computer to get my attention. I finally logged off the BBS, but it was a spooky experience.

I wish that Amber Framgos' book, "No Child is Safe," had been available then.

While "No Child is Safe," copyrighted in 2005, is already somewhat dated, it is an excellent guide for parents - even for those with little knowledge of computers and the Internet. I believe the topic is critical for parents who have children that surf the Internet and want to avoid sexual predators and cyber bullies. The author is an at-risk-youth educator who offers sound advice for parents who wish to protect their children from the ever-growing threat from those who mean to harm them.

The book is intended for parents with little or no knowledge of computers and online computer communication and offers chapters on - "Computers 101" (hardware and software), "How the Internet Works" (connections, web browsers, domains, Internet Service Providers), "Netspeak" (common abbreviations), and "Emoticons" (symbols that communicate emotions and feelings). A glossary of computer terms also is included.

Framgos suggests that your children may know more about computers and the Internet that you do, but offers advice on how you can understand the jargon of computers and the Internet. This portion of the book is designed to educate you on the basics and form a bridge for communication with your children.

The book begins with statistics that are intended to shock the reader, and they certainly do so. "The statistics were staggering and scary," says the author in the opening chapter. She cites data from the FBI to the effect that two in five children who are online will become victims of Internet crime. That translates to 40 percent of children under the age of 18 who will be exposed to Internet crime. Citations from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are also included along with examples of their efforts in prosecuting crimes against children.

The book continues with a profile of the Internet predator as a highly intelligent, materially successful, well respected, white, middle aged male who is "extremely savvy as to the workings of the Internet." Framgos discusses how predators approach your child and the patience they use in cultivating a personal relationship - how they build trust with your child. She states that if your child visits a chat room, he or she has a 100-percent chance of being approached by a predator and that the majority of abductions are initiated through a chat room.

Clearly the initial chapters of the book are intended to jolt you, the parent, into understanding the very real dangers of naive, unsupervised use of the Internet by your children. At this, Frambos is extremely successful. She continues with a recommendation that parents and children visit the Web sites for the FBI, NCMEC and the DHS if you are still skeptical of the potential threat of predation to your children. At this point, many parents might simply deny their children access to the Internet. However, the author argues that this is the wrong approach. Instead she offers concrete suggestions for dealing with the issues in her recommendations for "Predator Proof Activities." These recommendations are divided into age groups 8-10, 11-13 and 14-17. She suggests activities that encourage constructive use of the Internet and the computer, based on the very distinct differences among these age groups, all from an educator's perspective.

There is also some discussion of content filtering from either your ISP (Internet Service Provider) or from software installed directly on your computer. The author notes that "filtering software should be used in tandem with parental control and supervision." Monitoring software that retains a history of what sites your child has visited on the Internet is briefly mentioned.

The author has very strong opinions on Internet pornography targeted at children and large legal defense firms that specialize in defending Internet predators. Her outrage at these practices is passionate.

The most interesting part of the book, to me, is the practical advice provided in the chapter on "Critical Safety Tips." Suggestions include keeping the computer in a common area, instructing your child to never give out personal information and phone numbers, instructing your child in chat room manners, instant messaging risks, passwords (and the necessity of having one), monitoring your child's Internet and e-mail use, and communicating with your child regarding the dangers associated with using the computer.

The author provides a brief discussion of other threats: harassment, identity theft, and spam. However, the book was published before the advent of social networking sites like www.myspace.com, so new precautions may be necessary to guard your child from threats that exist for the unwary. I would like to emphasize that both the author and I agree that the Internet can be used safely and productively, but that dangers exist for the naive, trusting children that we love and want to protect from harm. To that extent, this book provides a strong foundation in educating both parents and children in safe surfing.

Peter Welch is a local computer consultant. He holds a B.S. (E.E.) from the University of Idaho, and an M.A. (Speech-Communication) from San Jose State University. He has worked in the computer and telecommunications industry for more than 30 years.

 

Arts Line

Applegate show opens tonight at PSAC gallery

By Linda Strathdee

PREVIEW Columnist

Sandy Applegate's one-person exhibit, Pagosa Portraits: Ego and Alter Ego, opens tonight.

In this exhibit, Sandy, known in the area for her whimsical, semi-abstract and sometimes realistic works, explores portraits of local people and animals. The show opens tonight with a reception, 5-7 p.m. at the Town Park gallery.

The gallery is located at 315 Hermosa St. Regular hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Plan to stop by and see Sandy's very expressive portrayals.

For more information, contact Pagosa Springs Arts Council at 264-5020 or www.pagosa-arts.com.

Wells Fargo grant

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council recently received notice that it has been selected to receive a $500 grant from the Wells Fargo Community Assistance Fund.

PSAC will use these funds to provide scholarships to low- and moderate-income students to participate in the arts. With these funds, PSAC will be able to further its mission to open doors to the arts for more children. PSAC is honored to have been selected and excited to have this opportunity.

2007 calendars

Have you bought your 2007 PSAC calendar yet? The second edition of the ongoing calendar project 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.

Joye Moon workshop

PSAC is sponsoring a Joye Moon watercolor workshop 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 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 264-5020 for advanced registration. For more information, visit www.pagosa-arts.com, 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, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 5-8.

October landscape workshop

Internationally known artist and illustrator Pierre Mion will teach his fall watercolor workshop, the Lake Powell Class, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 9-11. Classes will be held at the Arts and Crafts Room in the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

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.) An optional fourth day of instruction, Oct. 12, is available at $60 per person, minimum four students. For further workshop and supplies information, call Mion at 731-9781 or visit www.pagosa-arts.com.

Drawing with Randall Davis

Local artist Randall Davis will hold a one-day drawing workshop 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, 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. If you have never attended one of Randall's classes, it's a treat to see what you can produce in a day under his guidance.

Supplies needed for this class include sketch pad (preferably 11x14), assorted drawing pencils - including a 3H or 4H, a No. 2, and a 3B or 4B - eraser, ruler and pencil sharpener. Plan to bring a bag lunch.

PSAC firsts

The first Art and Photo Camp Student Exhibit will open Thursday, Sept. 28, featuring photos and artwork done in two summer camps. Soledad Estrada-Leo's classes with students whose ages range from 4-13 met throughout the summer and campers learned not only art skills but some Spanish as well. Wendy Saunders had photo-learn classes where students used their 35mm cameras to experience the basics of photography and selected from their work, images to be framed and mounted. Plan to support Pagosa's young citizens by attending the opening or visiting the gallery sometime during the exhibit.

PSAC will hold its first juried photo show Oct. 12-31. A call for entries will be going out soon. Watch for more information as it unfolds.

The PSAC Members Gift Shop Show and Sale will open Thursday, Nov. 2, with an open house from 5-7 p.m. All pieces in this show will be original, handcrafted and done by members of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. Mark the date on your calendar and get a jump on holiday shopping.

Photo club season

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club will meet Wednesday, Sept. 13, in the Arts Room at the community center to begin the new 2006-2007 club season. The social hour will begin at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments and the meeting will start at 7.

The first item of business will be the election of new officers in all positions to replace those who are stepping down. The remainder of the program will be a roundtable discussion about activities and programs for the coming year that members feel would be most useful and beneficial. For more information on photo club meetings, check the Web at http://photo-artiste.com/meetings.html/

Please note there will be no photo competition this month.

The photography club meets the second Wednesday of each month during the club year from September through May. Interested photography enthusiasts are welcome to attend the first meeting at no charge. Any and all are invited to join for a modest annual fee. For more information, contact Jim Struck at 731-6468 or jim@perfassoc.com.

Upcoming Music Booster events

On Oct. 27, Music Boosters is sponsoring Hallo-Swing, an evening of great music and dancing at the PLPOA Clubhouse at 7:30 p.m. You can step into the world of the 1940s and dance to the wonderful Big Band sounds. Soft drinks, beer, wine and other drinks will be available; '40s costumes are encouraged, others are not recommended.

"Nuncrackers" will play at the Pagosa Springs High School Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 2 (matinee on Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.). Auditions for this performance will be held 6:30-9 p.m. Sept. 29.

Tickets for both events will be available at the Plaid Pony (731-5262) or at the door. Advanced purchase is recommended. Hallo-Swing: adults $20. "Nuncrackers": adults $15, seniors $12, students/children 18 and under $6.

PSAC seeks new members

Started in 1988, The Pagosa Springs Arts Council, a non-profit organization, was conceived and developed to, in part, promote the awareness of the vast array of local artistic talent, provide educational and cultural activities in the community, sponsor exhibits and workshops by local and regional artists, and encourage and support continued appreciation and preservation of the aesthetic beauty of Pagosa Springs.

If becoming involved with such a dynamic organization excites you, we hope you will consider becoming a member. If you have questions or would like more information on joining, call the PSAC office, 264-5020.

Calendar

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 Gallery at Town Park, unless otherwise noted. For more information contact PSAC at 264-5020

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

Today-Sept. 19 - Pagosa Portraits: Ego and Alter-Ego by Sandy Applegate.

Sept. 5-8 - Joye Moon Watercolor Workshop.

Sept. 21 - Watercolor club.

Sept. 28 - Art and Photo Camp Student Show opening.

Sept. 28-Oct. 10 - Art and Photo Camp Student Exhibit.

Sept. 29 - Auditions for "Nuncrackers," 6:30 - 9 p.m.

Oct. 9-11 - Pierre Mion's Lake Powell Watercolor Workshop.

Oct. 12-31 - Juried photo show.

Oct. 27 - Music Boosters Hallo-Swing, PLPOA Clubhouse, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 2-23 - PSAC Members Gift Shop.

Nov. 4 - Randall Davis drawing class, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Nov. 30 - Dec. 2, Music Boosters production of "Nuncrackers," high school auditorium.

Dec. 1 - Gala Gallery Tour, 4:30-7:30 p.m.

Artsline is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, courtesy of The Pagosa Springs Sun. For inclusion in Artsline, send information to PSAC e-mail (psac@centurytel.net). In the subject area of your e-mail, please write "Artsline." 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, Colorado 81147. Deadline is at least two weeks prior to event. We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Artsline. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.

 

The Wine Whisperer

The Zen of dental mindfulness

By Laura Winzeler

PREVIEW Columnist

Drinking wine is bad for my teeth. Well, maybe not my real teeth, but certainly for my ultra-pricey porcelain veneers.

Despite an encouraging study that led researchers to conclude that components found in red wine can help in the prevention and treatment of gum disease, my mouth has funky wine karma. Shortly after moving here in 1996, when I labored under the delusion that I had money to burn, I decided that my horribly embarrassing, noticeably eroding tooth enamel was no longer acceptable. I put my money where my mouth was and invested in ten upper porcelain veneers. I drove to Santa Fe for all the work and had I one inkling of the number of hours I'd log in the dental chair and the sheer stress of the stress of it all, not to mention the pain, more stress, and the remainder of the pain, I never would've done it.

But I done it. And while my smile does rock, I have itsy-bitsy veneer flipping issues when I drink wine and try to eat low carb. (Again with the low carb food issues.) The wine makes me more reckless, I suppose, weakening the hyper-vigilant mindfulness that I bring to my bite when sober. I don't operate my car while drinking; I should probably stop operating my mouth.

Back in 2000 I lost a side veneer to - I kid you not - a very stale Y2K stockpile granola bar (the second one I seemed compelled to enjoy that evening.) Two years ago I flipped off a front tooth veneer while biting into an overcooked Atkins frozen low carb pizza (again with the Atkins anger issues). Last week, the enemy was a rice cake smothered with chunky peanut butter. The very same upper front veneer bolted from my mouth and stood proudly, a little white soldier, upright, at attention, in the rice cake. I came to as I was about to throw the half-eaten offender in the trash, extracted the veneer, mercifully still intact, washed it, and wrapped it up for safe keeping until I could get to the dentist for the reattachment. Talk about your buzz kills. Surely God's clever way of telling me to lay off low carb foods, right?

Speaking of buzz kills, I know I'm always harping on the importance of vintage and year-to-year variations in some of my beloved wines but there is good reason for this: It matters!

Wines that I adore one year can taste so different in the next that they are hardly recognizable. It's crucial when you read wine reviews that sound appealing that you seek out the precise vintage the reviewer has critiqued. More often than not, the shelf talkers in liquor stores boasting the rave recommendations of notables like The Wine Advocate or the Wine Spectator pertain to a vintage no longer in the rack.

A few months back, I found the newly-released, handy purse-size (1.5 liter) 2005 Beringer White Merlot in a store and quite liked it. I ran into another store and noting the bottle in the front of the cooler was a 2004, I asked the store's employee: "If you had the 2005 in stock, where would it be?" Her response was neither educated nor caring and implied that the new release was not yet in the store. I walked over to the floor display rack and found the 2005.

Only my dentist and I get paid to care about what I put in my mouth. After James Robinson bemoaned his inability to find the Laurel Glen Reds in a recent column, I went right out and found it for him. I was all set to walk into The SUN and leave it for him with a pithy little note attached: "Drinking new world wines and thinking are not mutually exclusive" until I realized the bottle I found for him was the 2004. My positive rantings about this wine in a previous column involved the 2003. While I was tempted to bet my life on the 2004, as I've never met a Laurel Glen Reds that I didn't love, it was simply incumbent upon me to taste it. To risk my already shaky, non-thinking, new world wine drinking reputation required that I be confident I could stand by my wine. And man, was I glad I sampled it first. I finally met a red I did not love. It was bitter. Just bitter.

In service to James, I will try it again once the autumn leaves turn just to be sure that I did not get a bad bottle, but there is no reason to seek it out now, in my opinion.

Two other recent disappointments include the Kenwood 2005 Sauvignon Blanc and the Montevina 2005 Pinot Grigio. Here again, I can't recall a Kenwood SB I've not enjoyed until two weeks ago when I tried the 2005 ($12). A very grassy and herbaceous nose paved the way for a tart green apple rush with bracing front-of-the-mouth acid. Refreshing lime peel and lemon rind flavors combined with a tropical fruit aftertaste and intense minerality. It was a very complex and multi-layered bottling with a lot going on, exploding upon the palate with every sip. There was a distinctive tobacco finish that became undesirable after the second glass, almost too powerful for some reason. I concluded my tasting notes with: "Consult winemaking notes. Did it touch wood?" Sho' 'nuff. I consulted Kenwood's Web site: "The lots were fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel to retain the natural fruity flavors of the Sauvignon Blanc grape. A small portion was aged in 2000 Gallon French oak tanks to mellow the wine without adding oak character." I beg to differ.

The 2004 Montevina Pinot Grigio rocked my world a few months back. Eager to see what delights the 2005 held, I found very promising lime and tropical sweet fruits on the nose with pronounced layering of citrus fruit flavors. Candied lime and a full array of exotic fruits like lychee and kiwi were there along with a strong vegetative aftertaste. This wine is very intense and focused. The 2004 is still around and I'd be inclined to snap that one up as it was a far more enjoyable bottle, but for $11 the 2005 will not disappoint.

When money is a consideration (days ending in "y") and I want maximum grape pluck for my wimpy wine buck, I grab my Beringer White Merlot 1.5. But this gets old toward the end of summer and the benevolent gods of cheap wine smiled down on me last week when a liquor store employee pointed me toward the 2005 Citra, saying his wife loved it. I love it! For $9.99 you get a 1.5 liter bottle of Italian Trebbiano juice, the second-most planted grape in the world. The wine is very light in color and style with soft, refreshing acidity and pleasing citrus flavors. No French oak, no vanilla chips, no acid reflux. Just a very quaffable, value-driven white wine. Citra: my new best old world wine friend.

 

Food for Thought

Sauce Carlos at Defcon 4

By Karl Isberg

Elwood and his wife Eileen are happy.

Very happy.

It's a gorgeous late summer day. The massive Collegiate Peaks are beautiful, rising above the valley just west of the brief commotion known as Johnson Village. The air is crisp and clean. Birdies are tweeting.

Eileen changes the CD in the stereo. She slips in The Greatest Hits of the Platters.

As melodious harmonies fill the cabin of Elwood's 40-foot Discovery Fleetwood RV, he shifts down to second gear to negotiate a curve in the road. Elwood looks in his rearview mirror to check the auto trailer hooked to the back of the Discovery. He is toting his Toyota minivan behind the massive RV.

". . . smoke gets in your eyes. "

Elwood glances lovingly at Eileen: a wrinkled version of the peppy gal he met in high school, the gal he married. They raised three kids - Bruce, Elwood Jr. and Patsy. Bruce is a bigwig in the auto leasing business, No. 1 producer in the Tri-state region. Patsy is a nurse, and a mother. Elwood Jr. works at a hair salon in Los Angeles; Elwood and Eileen prefer not to discuss Elwood Jr.

Eileen is wearing a green golf shirt and cream-colored shorts, calf-length argyle socks and a pair of white Korean tennis shoes. So is Elwood. They always dress alike when they travel in the Discovery, when they bowl, when they attend the BPOE convention, wherever in the good old USofA the convention is held.

Elwood smiles. He looks at the speedometer: 25 miles per hour. Max velocity. Safely around the corner, Elwood slows a bit to avoid a marmot, then slows a touch more to observe a cloud formation that looks just like Wayne Newton. Elwood and Eileen adore Wayne Newton. They take the RV to Vegas twice a year to catch Wayne's show.

Elwood checks the rearview again and he sees the auto trailer and the Toyota, rolling safe and secure behind the Discovery.

What Elwood fails to see, and has failed to see for the last half hour, is the line of cars and trucks stretching a mile behind him.

What he doesn't see is the short, fat guy in the Chevy truck about 20 vehicles back - the guy screaming at the top of his lungs, pounding his fists on the steering wheel, his eyes crossed and his blood pressure hovering at 220 over 140.

That's me.

My day is not going as well as Elwood's and Eileen's. I'm jacked up on five cups of Honduran Supremo and I'm listening to the Henry Rollins Band at 120 decibels. I am tense.

I must be patient, I tell myself. Things will improve. Soon, Elwood will accelerate to a whopping 35 miles per hour in a 65 mile-per-hour zone. I repeat my mantra - "cheeeeeeeese" and attempt to enter a meditative state.

It doesn't work. I am going berserk. I feel enormous distress in whatever chakra it is that's located just above the pelvis.

Fortunately, Elwood's prostate (also just above the pelvis) is acting up and he needs to stop. He wheels the Discovery off the highway at the Johnson Village truck stop and, for an instant, I am tempted to pull over and have a chat with the geek.

I review a hypothetical conversation.

Me: "Hey, you withered feeb: You're a dangerous and simpleminded clown, a threat to society, and you need to go back to whatever lowbrow hole you crawled out of." Or, something like that.

Elwood: "Well, excuse me mister, apparently you're not aware of my constitutional rights."

Me: "What are you talking about, you loony pinhead." Or something like that.

Elwood: "It's the 134th Amendment to the state constitution, buster. It establishes that every citizen, native born or naturalized, who has not been convicted of a felony and who is not originally from North Dakota, has the right to purchase an absurdly large recreational vehicle and to tow another vehicle behind it. Further, he has the right to drive at whatever speed he desires.

"Our ancestors were wise men; they envisioned the day when people would complete a career at a mindless job and, with the illusion they had achieved something of value reinforced with a ridiculously large monthly retirement check, that they would engage in a spending frenzy and make conspicuous purchases designed to act as a grace note in an otherwise tedious and undistinguished life. And drive those ridiculous emblems of their silliness anywhere they want.

"The amendment is sandwiched between the 133rd Amendment, which guarantees the right to play mindless hip hop music at top volume and the 135th Amendment which protects the right of people who decline to purchase a gigantic RV to otherwise fill the vacuum of their lives by becoming members of property owners association boards of directors or to write letters to the editor defending worthless politicians.

" All this, incidentally, is the work of those patriots dedicated to government by initiative and the inclusion of the utterly ignorant everyday citizen in the creation of law. Put that in your pipe and smoke it."

Me: "Oh, gee, I didn't know. Forgive me - I have a major case of ADD and I was distracted by Karen Goodhue's ankles the day we discussed the constitution in fifth-grade civics class. Please, accept my apology."

Elwood: "Okay. But, slip up again and I'll sue you. It's real easy to sue people like you since we petitioned to have the 149th Amendment added to the constitution. Now get out of my way, I need to go to the bathroom."

Instead of pulling off the highway and accosting Elwood, I drive on, seething all the while. Two minutes later, I come up behind another huge RV.

I'm ready to explode.

I detest RVs. Put simply, they are a blight - gruesome symbols of an unrealistic culture, an icon for myopic microcephalics caught in the grip of fanciful and superficial consumption, the emblem of a nation in which a certain class of people has entirely too much money and no concept of how to spend it meaningfully. A symbol of self-indulgent goofs with no idea of the ominous prospects for a oil-based economy.

For the price of one of these motorized RV megasaurs and the enormous cash reserves it takes to move one of them any appreciable distance, a semi-sophisticated being could buy a lovely townhome in a temperate location then travel twice a year to Paris, Tuscany or the Greek Isles, stay in a three-star hotel for three weeks and eat spectacular meals.

But no, these clowns buy RVs, and they all drive in Colorado.

I'm peeved. I can't help myself. My anger has a deep source.

I'm a product of my Grandmother Minnie's relentless, lifelong work to prevent migration to the State of Colorado.

Minnie brainwashed me. Back in the early '50s, my cousin JR and I were packed into the spacious back seat of Minnie's DeSoto and, with Aunt Hazel at the wheel and Minnie enthroned in the passenger seat, we motored from Denver up U.S. 6 and Colo. 119 to our ancestral home of Central City.

During these trips, Minnie gave JR and me specific instructions: It was our job to lean out the windows of the DeSoto every time Aunt Hazel spotted a vehicle with non-Colorado plates and scream "Go home" at top of our lungs. We were instructed to extend our middle fingers in a salute if the license plates on the other car were white in color.

Minnie believed, as a third-generation Coloradan, it was my duty to express this idea as loudly and visibly as possible, as often as possible, for the good of our precious state - for the future.

"Don't worry dear," she would say, "only the Indians can shout at you."

Obviously, the best of plans can fail. I still occasionally mouth the words "go home" to people with alien plates who turn in front of me in the supermarket parking lot, but I realize at least half the people sporting Colorado plates have lived here less than five years. There's no way to get at these people anymore - no way to identify them and attack them. The battle is useless; it's like fighting a mutagen with iodine.

So, my hostility has been routed to RVs.

After I leave Johnson Village, I pass one after another of the abominations on my trip home. With each new RV, my fury blooms.

Then, I experience something that throws me over the edge, that puts me at Defcon 4 on the rage-o-meter.

I look to the side of the road. There are hundreds of RVs parked there, each no more than four or five feet from its neighbor. This is where the bozos stay! This is the Great Outdoors they seek. I peer into the graveyard of metal behemoths and I am seized by a profound depression. It is like getting ball-peened while you walk across a dark parking lot at a Coco's in Gallup, New Mexico. It's like a vision of hell. If Dante had known of RVs, Ugolino would be at the wheel, with Satan chewing his head.

There are hundreds of Discovery Fleetwoods, each with its own picnic table set next to it. I spot a miniature golf course and a square dance barn! (There are recent arrivals in my little town of Siberia with a View who are worried about "big box" development. You call that a problem? Ponder one of these RV circuses set next to your dream house!)

I am despondent.

They say RV sales are skyrocketing as more and more Elwoods leave their mundane middle-management jobs in search of the good life they've avoided for 40-plus years.

And they are inching their way toward my home. With minivans in tow.

I am alarmed. Something must be done.

I need to consult my advisory panel to determine, first, if my reaction is appropriate and, second, whether there is a solution to the problem - like spraying bleach on mold.

I hustle to the gym to lift heavy objects and put them back down again. Some of my pals are at the gym lifting heavy objects and putting them back down and I bring up the subject of giant RVs filled with goofs, RVs clogging the roadways, RVs filling acre after acre of previously agrable "pristine" land.

One friend is a police officer. He rides a Harley and has extensive experience with RVs and their drivers.

"Force the vehicle to the shoulder of the road," he says "roughly remove the occupants and what few valuables they possess and burn the RV. Reduce the vehicle to a puddle of molten metal."

He likes to get to the point. He expresses himself and goes back to the task of executing a set of brutal triceps pushdowns.

"I wish I had a couple of cannons mounted in the grill of my car," says another friend as he pauses from lifting heavy objects and putting them back down. He used to be an agent in the FBI. "If I had the firepower of an F-15 in the snout of my Chrysler, the problem of RVs would be solved, pronto. You better believe it."

This is a man who sees a problem and deals with it.

Following our brief but pithy conversation, I am convinced my attitude is correct but, since I respect the constitution and the rights it gives all citizens (even those I wish to eradicate), I conceive a gentler, more diplomatic solution.

I'm starting a petition campaign designed to deal with the Elwoods of this world. While Amendment 134 of the Constitution preserves Elwood's right to own and operate his RV, I think our state should enact regulations governing the use of the offensive contraptions. Why have government if the citizenry of a state cannot rise to act in the common good, huh?

In Colorado, I propose any recreational vehicle or trailer bigger than a pickup or an SUV be restricted to six-lane interstate highways. The far-right lane of such highways will be designated as "Feeb-Only RV Lanes," complete with appropriate signage. Severe penalties, including steep fines and public whippings will be levied for violations of the mandatory lane rule. A third offense, and the driver of an RV will be forced to negotiate the drive from Needles to Barstow, California, dressed in winter gear, in an un-airconditioned RV, at 20 miles per hour, at noon, on Aug. 1.

As for the acreage used to contain the miscreations when they are not on the road, I propose state-supported "RV Fun Ranches" placed at strategic locations along the six-lane Interstates. Since the RV drivers seem happy to congregate with their own kind in marginal, cramped spaces, there should be no problem converting areas previously used as steel mills, refineries, feed lots or plutonium manufacturing facilities into classy RV parks, complete with snackbars and horseshoe pits.

I feel better now that I've considered the problem and produced a viable, humane solution.

I need food.

At first, I think about producing a repast that would satisfy RV enthusiasts. Something like cold Beenie Weenies and Kool Aid.

But, I'm in such a comfy mood, I think I'll whip up a snazzy dinner and chant my mantra.

I'll duplicate a recipe I came up with last week: Pork Paillards with Sauce Carlos.

That's me: Carlos.

Take a couple three-quarter-inch thick slices of boneless pork loin and beat the bejeepers outta them, flattening them to a quarter inch or less. Season the cutlets, dredge them in seasoned flour and shake off the excess. Have half a white onion chopped fine, a large jalapeno pepper deveined and cut into small dice, nine or 10 cloves of garlic thinly sliced, a half cup of crushed fire roasted tomato, some ground cumin and dried oregano, a couple tablespoons of drained capers, a major wad o'butter and a half cup of chicken stock ready to go.

Quickly brown the meat in a large saute pan, in olive oil and butter, over high heat. Do not cook entirely through! Remove the meat to a heated platter and throw the onion into the pan, reducing the heat to medium high. Cook for several minutes and toss in the jalapeno and garlic, stirring and cooking for several minutes more.

Hurl the tomato into the pan and fry it until it begins to caramelize. Deglaze the pan with the stock, add cumin and oregano. Submit a teaspoon of chicken demi-glace (if you have some) to the mix, reduce slightly, introduce the meat and the capers and cook over medium heat until the sauce reduces a bit more. Adjust the seasonings, add several tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, stir and remove from the heat.

Pork Paillards with Sauce Carlos.

Serve with whole wheat or Israeli couscous, liberally buttered, some sauteed but crunchy zucchini and onion, a bowl of greens caressed with a lemon/mustard vinaigrette.

Oh, mommie.

After I eat, I'll chant. My chakras will feel a lot better.

"Cheeeeeeeeese (and Sauce Carlos) . . . and no RVs."

 

Extension Viewpoints

Manage screen time for better health

By Bill Nobles

Sept. 4 - Office closed for Labor Day.

Sept. 7 - 7 p.m. Shady Pine Club meeting.

Sept. 8 - 2 p.m. Colorado Kids Club meeting.

Livestock auction purchases

San Juan Meats of Kirkland, N.M., will be delivering livestock auction buyer purchases 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. Buyers wanting to pick up their products at the Kirkland facility will need to call and make personal arrangements to do so if they have not already been made.

Contact the Extension Office at 264-5931 for more information.

Make screen time count

You've heard it repeated many times: Most Americans are overweight.

Now, obesity is creeping into childhood, affecting about 20 percent of children. What used to be adult medical concerns are now starting in childhood, setting youth up for heart disease, diabetes and other problems connected to obesity.

One of the biggest contributors to this new trend toward childhood obesity is the increase in screen time. The average child today watches four or more hours a day of television. Since nearly half (48 percent) of all families with children have all four of the latest media staples - TV, VCR, video game equipment and computer - the likelihood is that a lot of time is spent sitting in front of a screen.

So how can you minimize screen time without wreaking havoc in your home?

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests finding fun, positive activities that children enjoy and smartly manage their screen time.

Here are some things you can do:

- It's all about balance. Talk to your child about the importance of balancing screen time against active time. Phrase your suggestions in a positive rather than a punitive tone. The parent makes the rules. If necessary, set a limit on the amount of screen time each child can have. And most importantly, be consistent. If you subscribe to the recommendation of no more than two hours a day of screen time, be certain that's what happens.

- Make television less important. Keep the television or the computer out of the child's bedroom. If it's already there, remove it. It's difficult to monitor screen time when the child is isolated from the rest of the family. Meal time is family time. Research has shown that families that eat together eat healthier meals. Make it fun to have family conversations and share the day's happenings without the interference of television. Be a positive role model. If you enjoy hours of screen time yourself, it's going to be hard to convince your child about the importance of limiting screen time. Kids love spending time with their parents, and screen time interferes with that special time together.

- Media influences. Have you ever thought about the negative influence television commercials and pop-up ads on computers can have on food choices? Explain that it's only a sales pitch to buy that product so the company can make more money. Get active. Another fun thing you can do with your child is use the time during commercials to get active. Do jumping jacks or toe touches to help get the wiggles out of your kids and help them burn calories, too. Help them understand why it's not a good idea to be a couch potato.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

Significance of Labor Day can vary

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

The history of Labor Day has left me puzzling for some time - how it came about, what it means. Since Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays which are more or less connected with battles, dedication to a man, race, nation or religion; what exactly is it recognizing?

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day Monday, just a year later, on Sept. 5, 1883.

In 1884, the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of new and celebrate a "working men's holiday" on that date. And thus, the idea spread with the growth of labor organizations.

The PLPOA administrative office will be closed on Labor Day. The recreation center will stay open, in celebration of the labor our members perform each time they work out. We look forward to seeing you on Monday, which is also probably the last somewhat busy day at the recreation center. Life assumes a structured schedule after this day and the children are back in school.

Labor Day has a different significance for me. I gave birth to my son, my firstborn, on Labor Day in 1977, in a little Egyptian hospital in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. It was during Ramadan, the month-long period for fasting from sunup to sundown for Muslims. Although the sick are exempt from fasting, I wasn't able to scare up any fluids or food while I labored for over a day in the hospital. For Muslims that adhere to this period of fasting strictly, swallowing of one's saliva is prohibited.

Have a good Labor Day while you bid adieu to the lazy days of summer.

 

Births

Cooper Zachary Hyde

Camren Elizabeth would like to announce the birth of her baby brother, Cooper Zachary Hyde.

Cooper was born at Mercy Medical Center in Durango Aug. 8, 2006, at 3:47 p.m., weighing eight pounds, 1.7 ounces.

Cooper and Camren's parents are Jesse and Tamara Hyde of Pagosa Springs. Proud grandparents include Roger and Kennie Persson of Pagosa Springs and Cheryl Hyde of Appalachian, New York. Great-grandparents are Dick and Harriet Giancaspro of Pagosa Springs.

 

Obituaries

Verda Kimball

Verda E. Kimball, 85, of Bayfield, Colo., passed away Saturday, Aug. 26, 2006, in Farmington. She was born Feb. 14, 1921, in Allison, Colo., to Robert and Lora Hotz.

Verda was preceded in death by a son, Lance Kimball, and a granddaughter, Amanda Kimball.

Verda married Glenn Kimball on Aug. 6, 1938, in Pagosa Springs. They were married for 50 years. They lived in Pagosa Springs, Oldfield, Missouri, and Bayfield.

She is survived by her children, Jay and wife Connie Kimball of Bloomfield, N.M; Donna and husband Dale Walker of Oldfield, Missouri; Gayle and husband, Robert Faverino of Bloomfield; Vickie and husband, Ronnie Miller, of Bayfield; Vernon and wife, Sherry Kimball, of Bayfield; and Danny and wife, Carla Kimball, of Kirtland, N.M. Also surviving are 27 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren; a brother, Vernon Hotz, of Cedaridge, Colo.; and two sisters, Beulah Christensen of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and Charlotte Freytag of Grand Junction.

Verda loved to read, garden, do crafts and kids.

The family will be at Eagle Park in Bayfield Sunday, Sept. 3, 2006, at 2 p.m. to celebrate her life with her many friends.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the charity of your choice.

 

Rada Joe Romine

Rada Joe Romine, a former resident of Pagosa Springs, died Aug. 23, 2006, in Shreveport, Louisiana. She was born Nov. 17, 1938, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the daughter of William F. McKay, a native of New York City, and Mable Crow, of Oklahoma City.

She is survived by her sons Marvin, of Pagosa Springs; James, of Atlanta, Georgia; Robert, of Pagosa Springs; and Gerald, of Shreveport; 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Rada was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Romine; a son, Larry Romine; a brother, Gerald McKay; and her mother, Mable Crow.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006, at Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs. Burial will follow at Hilltop Cemetery.

 

Jeannine Wegher

Surrounded by family, long time Durango resident Jeannine June Wegher passed away on Aug. 21, 2006, after an extended illness.

Mrs. Wegher and her husband started Riteway Carpet and Tile in the 1960s and operated it until 1986. They raised three children in Durango and were active in the community. She enjoyed many hobbies and was particularly talented with her yard and gardens. She worked at Mercy Hospital for many years in medical records.

Jeannine was born in Franklin, Neb., in 1928, and graduated from Colorado Women's College with a degree in radiology technology, a cutting edge education at the time.

She was preceded in death by her father and her son, Kevin. She is survived by her centurion mother, Florence McKee, and sisters Marilyn Whitelaw and Pat Diedrichs, all of Denver; daughter Susan Day of Pagosa Springs; son Mark Wegher of Durango; and daughter Kristie and husband Rick Holder, of Tucson, Ariz. She delighted in her grandchildren: Tanner Wegher, Lacie Holder, Kati Holder and Calin and Dustin Day, and great-grandchildren Lydia and Jacob made her laugh. She has many nieces and nephews and old family friends. Her loving and fun presence will be missed.

Memorial services will be announced.

 

 Business News

Chamber News

Pagosa Springs to be designated Preserve America community

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Pagosa Springs, along with Durango and Montezuma County, will be acknowledged Friday as newly-designated Preserve America Communities. Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett and Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation John Nau will present the awards.

Thanks to the work of Joe Nigg, and Tamra Allen of the Town of Pagosa Springs, an application was filed with the Preserve America Initiative.

This initiative, led by Laura Bush, honorary chair of Preserve America, encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy our cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include a greater shared knowledge about the nation's past, strengthened regional identities, local pride, increased local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of our communities.

This recognition is just another feather in Pagosa's cap as our town, included in the Southwest Travel Region Coalition, was also part of one of four regions in Colorado to be awarded a State Historical Fund Grant from the Colorado State Historical Society and the Colorado Tourism Office's Heritage Tourism Program. This pilot program is intended to establish heritage tourism opportunities throughout the Southwest Region while educating the public on preservation and stewardship. Our community is rich in many aspects of heritage including culture, ranching, architecture, and natural amenities.

Congratulations to all those who have been working hard to protect our region and celebrate our heritage while we move forward as a growing community.

Folk festival

The 11th annual Four Corners Folk Festival hits town Friday.

Banners are flying, businesses can pull out their "Welcome Festival Folks" signs, and patience will be a virtue as traffic on Hot Springs Boulevard increases exponentially over the weekend.

Our own Hot Strings will open the show Friday at 3 p.m. Local favorites, the Waybacks and Eddie From Ohio will return to the stage Friday and Sunday evenings respectively. Headliners - the, Drew Emmitt Ensemble and Delbert McClinton - will close the shows Saturday and Sunday nights.

Once again, the lineup proves exciting, as female vocalists like RobinElla, Julie Lee and Dar Williams grace the festival and rockin' bands like The Duhks and The Stringdusters are sure to get the crowd up and dancing.

Tickets can be purchased at Moonlight Books, WolfTracks or at the festival gate. Parking is at the bottom of Reservoir Hill and shuttle service is provided. Take a weekend or a day off and come up to The Hill, where great music, retail and food vendors, and activities for the children will be found.

Colorfest schedule

More information will come out about Colorfest activities in the weeks to come, but here is the general lineup, so you can plan your schedule for the weekend of Sept. 15-17.

First off, a calling to local artists. We will host our first Colorfest Art Show this year in Town Park. We would like to focus on local artists working in the following mediums: clay, leather, wood, glass, metal, painting, printmaking and drawing, photography, and mixed media. There are only a few slots still open, so call Kimberley at the Chamber at 264-2360 for an application. The art show will run Friday from 3 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. In this way, we can capitalize on the crowds at the community picnic and wine festival. Come out and show your stuff.

Colorfest weekend will kick off Friday evening with the community picnic and balloon pilot reception at Town Park, under the tent. Starting at 5 p.m. the Knights of Columbus will again wow us with their great food. The theme of this year's picnic will be Beer, Brats and Balloons. We'll have brats with all the fixins', suds provided by Ska Brewing, and balloonists galore. Tickets are $6 (such a deal!) and can be purchased at the Chamber.

Also on Friday night, there will be a Colorfest dance at the community center starting at 7 p.m. Live music will be provided by the popular High Rollers. Tickets for this event are $12 in advance and $15 at the door and can be purchased at the Chamber or the community center.

On Saturday, Sept. 16, there will be a mass ascension of balloons from the downtown area at around 8 a.m. The pilot meeting will be held in Town Park under the tent. Watch the balloons splash and dash in the river or volunteer to crew for a pilot.

The day will culminate at 6 p.m. with our second Passport to Wine. Wines from Spain, Portugal, South Africa, the American Northwest, and regions of Germany/France will be highlighted this year. There will be foods from Farrago Market Café, Alley House Grille, Pagosa Baking Company, Guido's Favorite Foods in Durango, Eddie B Cookin', Wildflower Catering and Pagosa Candy Co. paired with the wines. We are very excited about the wine and food lineup this year as we introduce some Ports from Portugal and tasty vintages from Washington and Oregon. Tickets are $30 in advance at the Chamber and $35 at the door for this event. There will be an enlarged garden area around the tent in Town Park from which you can watch the balloons as they glow in the activity field starting around 7 p.m. - weather permitting. Last year's glow was stunning and we hope this year's event will be equally beautiful. For those who prefer beer, Citizens Bank will again sponsor the beer table, also complete with food. Come out for an evening of entertainment with John Graves, great food and delicious wines.

Another mass ascension will take place Sunday, Sept. 17, on the west side of town at about 8 a.m. Then, after church services or ballooning, come to JJ's Riverwalk Restaurant where there will be a special champagne brunch to round out the weekend. Tickets for this event are also available at the Chamber. Enjoy a three-course brunch where the food is paired with three different sparkling wines. Last year, we feasted on wild mushroom, cream cheese and asparagus crepes, poached salmon with a citrus beurre blanc, and chocolate-dipped strawberries for dessert. Each course was matched with a complementary sparkling wine. I can't wait to see what delectable items are on the menu this year.

So, show off your community in a variety of ways to your visiting family and friends and treat yourself as we celebrate the start of the turning of the colors with the 2006 Colorfest and Passport to Wine extravaganza.

Hospital groundbreaking

The Upper San Juan Health Service District board and the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Foundation board break ground for the new critical access hospital at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5. Go to the current site of the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center and you can watch the dirt ceremoniously moved as we celebrate the start of the new hospital for our area. There will be architectural drawings of the new facility and light refreshments will be served. Come see what your vote is bringing to Pagosa.

Announcements

Don't miss the annual Friends of the Library Book Sale 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Great deals on great books will be available. This year's sale will be held at the Extension Building on U.S. 84.

You also have until Sept. 15 to get your order in for winter seed. There are a variety of seed mixtures available such as Native Grass Mixture, Dryland Pasture Mix, Wildlife Mix, and Wildflower Mix. Erosion control blankets are also being offered. Call the San Juan Conservation District at 731-3615 or stop by their offices at 505A Piedra Road.

Welcome members

We have several new members this week, starting off with Brian Vaughan and Chimney Rock Appraisals. Brian offers residential and land real estate appraisals. Having come from the California area where he has performed appraisals since 1990, Brian is very tied into the community. He listened to the Chamber show every Wednesday via the Internet for the past several years! We thank him for his participation with the Chamber and for his attention to your appraisal needs, you can call him at 264-1299.

We have a new player in town in the merchant card services: CardPayment Solutions. Representative Eldon McKinnis offers merchant services, credit card processing, check processing and guarantees, and gift cards. With competitive pricing, CardPayment Solutions is available to help you keep your credit card processing costs in line. Search for service and rates and call Eldon to comparative shop at (970) 398-0090.

We also welcome Pagosa Building Services Heating and Air with Gordon McIver. PBS Heating and Air is a full-service heating and air conditioning company, in Pagosa since 1995. They specialize in residential service and maintenance. They also have a safety and efficiency agreement that you should inquire about. Give them a call at 731-9977 or stop by their offices at 2105 A West U.S. 160. We appreciate all these new members to the Chamber and hope to see them at some of the upcoming SunDowners.

Our renewals this week are Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center; Old West Press; the Super 8 Motel; Piedra Automotive; Wings Over Pagosa; Shang Hai Restaurant; Gustafson Consulting Group; associate member Al Baird with Coldwell Banker; and associate member April Holthaus.

Remember to get out and shop this weekend with all the great sales inside and outside businesses from the east to the west side of town. Let's not forget all those great stores in the Silverado and Country Center Plazas. We also have downtown, midtown and the River Center to find new retail treasures. Do your holiday shopping a little early and shop Pagosa first!

Have a safe and sane Labor Day holiday and enjoy the first vestiges of fall as we feel the cool in the morning air.

 

People

Cards of Thanks

Music Boosters

Pagosa Springs Music Boosters would like to thank the cast, crew and community for their support of the reprise production of "Lily the Felon's Daughter," by Tom Taggart. The original show's attendance in March was affected by our biggest snowstorm of the year which prompted the decision to run the show a second time. The hilarious melodrama, with musical accompaniment by John Graves, was well received and inclusive of copious amounts of audience interaction, led at times by Cindy and Ron Gustafson. Directors Scott Farnham and Michael DeWinter, who are big supporters of the art of the melodrama, were delighted with the production's results. Your participation and support of "Lily" as a community, cast and crew raised funds in support of several of our students' college scholarship awards at schools within Colorado.

 

Shelton family

The Shelton family would like to express their sincere appreciation for all the prayers, phone calls, cards, food and kindness that have been poured out over the past three weeks. There are so many friends and family members that it would be difficult to thank you all individually, but please know that you have been a blessing to us. Special thanks goes to all the ladies from the church society who helped with the dinner at the Parish Hall, as well as to Father Carlos, the Deacons, and the church choir for all their help with the services. We truly appreciate the high school allowing us to hold the services there and Lisa Hartley, for helping with the sound and lighting. Thank you, Dan Janowsky, for a beautiful and very accurate picture of Mikey in the eulogy, and thank you to Andy and Gail Weber for your tremendous support. We know Mikey will be missed by many and we ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers as we go through the healing process.

Sincerely,

Todd, Eleanor and Morgan Shelton, Anthony Maestas and Kelly Kay, and extended family

 

Locals

Shelton

Lt. Commander Aaron D. Shelton, U.S. Navy, the son of Doug and Linda Shelton and brother of Todd Shelton, of Pagosa Springs, is currently serving at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq.

Aaron graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 1987.

He will be in Baghdad until November and reports that the temperature has been as high as 130 degrees during his deployment.

 

Sports Page

Pirates dominate Bayfield 34-0 in first win of season

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Despite some early-season jitters and mistakes, the Pirate football team run-and-gunned the lights out at Wolverine Country Stadium, shutting out Bayfield for their first victory of the season, 34-0.

The Pirates drew the yellow flag 13 times during the game, mostly on false starts, had a few bobbles and fumbles, and missed their share of blocks. But, aside from those misplays, the offense covered ground like a fiery quarter horse, while the defense reined in every Bayfield attempt at a drive.

Quarterback Jordan Shaffer led the Pirate offense with a nearly perfect evening, running the option like a seasoned veteran, though he only moved to quarterback from wide receiver in the middle of last season. Shaffer completed nine out of 10 passes, throwing for 145 yards and three touchdowns in less than three quarters of play, with no interceptions.

Shaffer's favorite target was John Hoffman, who pulled in three receptions covering 53 yards. But passes were spread around to the talented Pirate receiving corps. Derek Harper, K. J. Hilsabeck, and Adam Trujillo all caught touchdown passes.

Shaffer also led the Pirates in rushing with 60 yards and one touchdown and along with Eric Hurd, who rushed for 46 yards and one touchdown, made up for the absence of tailback Corbin Mellette.

Mellette broke his hand in practice but was scheduled to play. He was unexpectedly kept out of the roster because of a hamstring pull during warm-ups.

Coach Sean O'Donnell said Mellette is questionable for next week. Even if his hamstring heals, he will need to be able to take pitches with a cast on his arm, if he is to take part in the offense.

Intense play was focused into the first two-and-a-half quarters of play. The Pirates scored seven points in the first, 20 in the second, and another seven in the third. After the final touchdown, several backups were brought into the game, in order to keep starters healthy.

The final victory was prefigured by the opening Pirate drive.

"We had to overcome, we had to get past a lot of penalties ... but on the first drive of the season we were able to work through mistakes and score," said O'Donnell.

The Pirates did more than overcome mistakes as they covered almost 70 yards, claimed first down after first down and ate up the clock.

The team started the drive with pass completions to Harper, two to Hilsabeck and one to Hoffman. Then, after being pushed back by penalties, the Pirates regained yardage on a Hurd 10-yard run and a third down option scramble by Shaffer for a first down.

After another scramble, Shaffer threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Harper in the corner of the end zone to knock the wind out of the Wolverines. The hosts never regained their breath.

The Pirate defense made some big plays as well, including interceptions by defensive back Hilsabeck and defensive lineman David Dunmyre (who pulled in a pass, tipped at the line of scrimmage). But the Pirates were also a consistent force, resisting and thwarting every Bayfield advance.

The Pirates forced several three-and-outs, and Bayfield did not gain a first down until the third quarter.

The only bright spot for the Wolverines was running back Roy Westbrook, who occasionally broke past the first line of defense for moderate gains. In the middle of the third quarter, Westbrook broke into the defensive secondary for a 36-yard run that took the Wolverines well into Pirate territory. Bayfield failed to convert.

Three of the five Pirate touchdowns came in the second quarter. Hilsabeck gave the Pirates good field position on the first drive of the quarter, returning a punt 28 yards to the 25-yard line. Shaffer eventually rushed into the end zone on a 12-yard QB keeper.

The Pirates drove 64 yards midway through the second quarter on a 36-yard pass to Hoffman, a 20-yard Shaffer rush and an 8-yard bobbling reception by Trujillo for a touchdown.

The Pirates finished the half with another gun-slinging drive that covered 55 yards. After haltering with a penalty, a sack and a fumble (which the Pirates recovered), Shaffer threw a third-down-and-long touchdown to Hilsabeck, covering 20 yards.

After the 20-yard TD and with less than a minute remaining in the half, Pirate special teams regained possession after Bayfield failed to corral the kickoff, securing a 27-0 score at intermission.

The last touchdown of the game came after a drive that was all run. The Pirates covered 53 yards on a 17-yard gain by Shaffer, a 14-yard run by Hurd, another 22 yarder by Shaffer, and a straightforward Hurd TD from the 3-yard line.

The Pirates face a much tougher opponent this weekend in 3A Alamosa. According to O'Donnell, the Mean Moose are ranked No. 1 in the state by the three major ranking bodies, and they are bringing back most of their starters from last year.

So, the Pirates need to grow out of this week's mistakes if they want to beat Alamosa for the second year in a row. Last season, the Pirates outplayed Alamosa for the first time in 20 years.

Coach O'Donnell is nothing but optimistic: "It makes me happy as a football coach to have the win we did, but still have room to improve."

One area in need of improvement is blocking. "As a team we didn't block very well," said O'Donnell.

"Zero week" play caught Intermountain League teams off guard this year. Conference teams had to add games to their schedule during the usual scrimmage week, in order to make up for Lake County's failure to field a varsity football team.

Thus players did not have as much time to learn plays and responsibilities before the season opener. O'Donnell hopes that this week's practices will give lineman the experience necessary to read defenses, remember plays, and wait for the count.

The blocking issue is just an example of the kind of improvements the whole team needs to make, improvements that every team needs to make at the beginning of the season to the strategic elements of the game.

The Pirates seemed to do almost everything right on a day that should have been reserved for scrimmage. There is little doubt that they will be even better this week, when they face the Mean Moose in Alamosa, Friday at 4 p.m. They will need to be.

With a Pirate offense that can gain over 200 yards in a little more than one half of play and a quick, three-and-out defense, maybe the Moose of Alamosa won't be so mean after all.

 

High school golfers have best outing of year at Durango tourney

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Call it "crunch week" for the Pagosa Springs High School golf team.

The Pirates pulled out all the stops in the week prior to the start of the new school year, competing in tournaments in Cortez and Durango, and returning home to host their own tournament Friday.

The team made the trip to Cortez Aug. 23 and ended the day in fourth place in an eight-team field. The host Panthers and the Pirates were joined by teams from Durango, Gunnison, Telluride, Palisade, Grand Junction High School and Grand Junction Central.

"It was a good, intermediate course," said Coach Mark Faber. "You have to keep the ball in the fairway, like you do at a lot of the courses we play."

Joey Bergman and Cody Bahn did just that. The Pirates each shot an 84 on the Cortez course. Clark Riedberger shot an 87; Caleb Burggraaf carded a 95 and Clay Vickers shot 102.

The next day, the Pirates played the Hillcrest course in Durango as one of 10 teams at the tournament.

And it was a good day for Pagosa. The team took second place with a 237, a mere two shots behind Grand Junction.

"We beat Durango," said Faber. "They shot a 238; that's pretty nice."

Bergman and Bahn again led the way, and were joined by Riedberger; the three each shot a 79 at Hillcrest. Jeremy Lister finished the course with a 91 and Vickers carded a 92.

"It was a good outing for us," said the coach. "A thirty-minute rain delay didn't affect the kids; they really stayed after it. As a group, it's the best they've played this year, on a very long day. I am proud of the way they played."

Friday it was back to the home course at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club, where the team entertained six other squads: Durango, Fruita Monument, Cortez, Gunnison, Telluride and Alamosa.

Fruita Monument won the day. Durango was second and the Pirates - with a 239 and two strokes behind Durango - finished third.

Bergman and Bahn each shot 80. Riedberger ended the day with an 81; Lister shot 88 and Vickers shot 89.

"This was our one home tournament of the year," said Faber, "and I need to thank the Pagosa Springs Golf Club - Alan and Zack - for all they did. It was wonderful of them to let us hold this event. And we need to thank Terry Carter (greenskeeper) and his crew for the great condition of the course. Also, it was a great day because we had people out watching our kids."

The team goes to a lower gear next week, playing only one tournament, Wednesday at Delta.

 

Pirate volleyball season opens against traditional rival Cortez

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

With a preseason scrimmage under their belts, members of the Pirate volleyball team are ready for the real thing.

And Pirate fans should expect somewhat of a different look from this year's addition to the Pagosa volleyball tradition.

For one thing, the 2006 Pirates are not as tall as in some years past.

But, balancing that, is the fact there is great athleticism on the team and the promise of a much improved backcourt defense. The team serves as well or better than any in recent memory and overall will reflect Coach Andy Rice's preseason assessment of "solid but not spectacular."

And that is perhaps just what the doctor ordered, following a 2005 season that saw the Pirates fall short in what had been a given - the IML title and success in postseason play.

Rice and his charges are determined to reverse their fortunes and get back on track.

They have the tools to do it.

"Our strength this season," said Rice, " is our depth, our versatility. We have two setters (seniors Kim Canty and Erin Gabel) and two liberos (seniors Iris Frye and Mariah Howell) who could probably start on any varsity in the state."

Rice also noted that, despite the lack of overwhelming size (though senior middles Jennifer Haynes and Danielle Spencer, and right outside Alaina Garman are anything but short) the returning players bring with them a foundation of experience and maturity that will play a part in the team's performance.

"We are going to need a contribution from everyone to be successful," said Rice. "We have three starters coming back and eight letter winners from last year. And we have bench players who can play at the same level."

The core of the varsity will consist of eight seniors and one junior. Frye, Howell, Haynes, Gabel, Spencer and Garman will be joined by senior outside Kim Fulmer and junior outside Camille Rand.

Frye and Canty return following all IML designations last season - Frye as the defensive specialist and libero of the year, Canty as the first-team all-league setter.

Last year, the Pirates finished second in the regular season Intermountain League standings, behind Centauri, and finished second behind the Falcons at the district tournament. An unsuccessful trip to the regional playoffs in Colorado Springs ended Pagosa's year, short of the state tournament.

The trip back to the state tournament at Denver begins with league play.

This year, Centauri will be missing several veterans from the 2005 team, including two top-rank athletes, but the Falcons can always be counted on to field a team cut out of the same cloth as its predecessors - with well-schooled, disciplined, all-around athletes.

Bayfield might be the most improved team in the IML, bringing a veteran contingent to the court. A bevy of seniors, including one of the league's better setters, could put the Wolverines in position to finish high in the IML standings.

Ignacio has a new coach this season in Terene Foutz and, despite the presence of the talented A.J. Vigil, it could be a rebuilding year for the Bobcats.

Monte Vista is now two years into the tenure of Coach Michelle Schaeffer and that program, which has improved incrementally during Schaeffer's time at the helm, could take yet another step up this season.

League play is critical for all IML teams this year. An IML loss could count heavily against a league representative to regional action. And there will be only one such representative this year, since CHSAA has determined the IML will send only one team on to regional play one year, and two the next. This year is the first in which the league will have only one team move on.

That team, of course, will need to win the district tournament, where in the past the regular season leader passed automatically to a regional berth.

The situation also lends the non-conference schedule additional weight: a team set to move on to regionals, with a weak nonconference schedule, is less likely to host a regional tournament.

The Pirates will not need to worry about a weak nonconference setup - 2006 will bring a host of powerful opponents their way.

This year, Pagosa takes on 4A Cortez (a regular state tourney participant in recent years) 4A Alamosa (with significant power added via transfers), 5A Durango, 5A Farmington, reigning 2A state champ Fowler, regular 3A contender Lamar and 2A second-place McClave.

"We obviously aren't fooling around with our nonconference schedule," said Rice. "And we start out with a big one when we play Cortez."

As in tonight, at Cortez, where the Pirates have had trouble winning for several years now. While the Panthers might have lost some of the outside firepower that has led them to great success this decade, the team is always formidable ... and the Pirates are due to turn the tide. The varsity match is set to begin at 7 p.m.

The home opener follows Tuesday, Sept. 5, as the Farmington Scorpions journey to the Pirates' den for the first match between the two programs in two years. The varsity match is set for 7 p.m.

 

Pirate runners train hard prior to first meet Saturday

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

The Pirate cross country teams travel to Bayfield Saturday for the first meet of the season, starting at 9 a.m.

Seven runners will compete for both the boys' and girls' teams. Typically, the Pirates run five athletes and score four, but in this meet there will be a large contingent from New Mexico, where varsity squads run seven. Colorado teams will follow suit at this meet. However, only the top four runners from each team will be scored.

The Pirates will run Travis Furman, Jackson Walsh, Chase Moore, Logan Gholson, Kyle Brookens, Michael Gallegos and Aaron Miller for the boys' squad.

The girls' team will run Jackie Harms, Julia Adams, Chelsea Cooper, Katerina Medici, and freshmen Emmie Greer and Rachel Jensen, who are being moved up to the varsity since two seniors (Dell Greer and Laurel Reinhardt) are sitting out the meet to preserve their legs for later in the season.

The teams will face a challenging hill course that will require strength as well as speed.

During the first half of the season, the teams continue to train through meets. That is, they don't take it easy the days before competition. Rather, according to Coach Scott Anderson, "We look at meets as hard workouts."

Hard workouts are frequent for the teams, since they run up to eight miles during practice. However, training varies to allow muscles to heal and energy stores to be built back up.

The early meets do not impact qualification for postseason state competition. Later in the season, as state competition nears, the teams will be sure to rest up, but not soften up, before competitions.

 

PWGA has 'Christmas in August'

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

Five Pagosa Womens Golf Association members traveled to the Tamarron Resort in Durango Aug. 19 for the Second Annual Glacier Club Invitational.

A field of 40 women were grouped in foursomes with golfers of similar handicaps from other clubs in the Four Corners area. They played a two best ball gross and net format. The individuals who won low gross and low net in each of the four flights were honored. The ladies played the Glacier Cliffs courses, with a par 72 rating.

The golfers enjoyed the picturesque venues, the pristine course conditions and the large families of marmots on the courses - very Caddyshackesque.

Despite the rain, wind and cooler temperatures during the second half of play, the team of Josie Hummel (Pagosa Golf Club), Linda Atkins (San Juan Country Club), Trudy O'Brien (Glacier Club) and Nannine Reynolds (Dalton Ranch Club), fired a 118 net and won first low net in the entire field.

One of the many highlights of the day for the Pagosa contingent was witnessing a magnificently vivid double rainbow on the drive home.

The association featured a "Christmas in August" format for the league day Aug. 22. At the end of the round, each player was entitled to change her worst three holes to par and subtract 100 percent of her handicap for her final score. The ladies played the Meadows Ponderosa courses with a par 71 rating. This was a very welcome format, as the greens on the Ponderosa course had just been aerated.

First Flight winners were: Lynne Allison, first with a 55; Jane Day, second with a 58; Carrie Weisz, third with a 59; and Barbara Sanborn and Lynda Gillespie, tied for fourth, each with a 61.

Second Flight winners were: Toosje LaMoreaux, first with a 54; Robyn Alspach, second with a 57; and Claudia Johnson and Doe Stringer, third and fourth with 58 and 59 respectively.

 

'Sucker in a Bucket' and 'Blind Nine' league days

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa women's golf Association featured a "Sucker in the Bucket" format for its league day Aug. 8.

The women were in foursomes of A, B, C and D handicap players. After each group played the first hole, the best ball net was chosen. On the second hole, the best net ball from the three remaining balls was chosen, On the third hole, the best net ball of the remaining two was chosen. And, on the fourth hole, the net score of the remaining player was used. This format was repeated for the entire 18 holes. The ladies played the Pinon Meadows courses with a par 72 rating.

The team of Julie Pressley, Cherry O'Donnell and Robyn Alspach captured first place with a score of 64. Second place went to Marilyn Smart, Cindy Simpson, Doe Stringer and Carole Howard with a 65.

The association featured a "Blind Nine" format for its Aug. 15 league day. At the end of the round, the first group to finish made a blind draw of nine of the 18 holes played. The "Blind Nine" included Meadows Nos. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 and Ponderosa Nos. 2, 4 and 5. At the end of their rounds, the ladies tallied their scores with the "Blind Nine" draw and subtracted 50 percent of their handicaps from their aggregate scores,

In the first Flight, Loretta Campuzano and Jane Day tied for first place, each with a 31.5. Lynne Allison and Cherry O'Donnell tied for second, each with a 34. Second Flight winners were Lynne McCrudden who won first place with a 27; Claudia Johnson, second with a 30; and Leslie Fluharty and Robin Alspach tied for third, with 231 and 35 respectively.

 

Booster Club seeks volunteers, members, funds

Pagosa's Athletic Booster Club is soliciting community support for school athletics. Locals regularly attend various sports events to cheer on those involved in sports, but there are other ways to show support for school sport programs.

Pagosa Springs Athletic Booster Club was formed to augment the school district's sports budget. The Booster Club is run by volunteer parents, and it supplies uniforms for athletes as well as additional sports equipment, and provides for coach clinics and other special needs with revenues obtained in a variety of ways.

Volunteers run food concession stands throughout the school year at sports events. All profits from food sales go to the Booster Club which has provided approximately $25,000 annually to the athletic program. You can help by volunteering time at one of the stands at any sports event and by purchasing food at concession stands.

The easiest way to support the organization is through the City Market Cares program. Quarterly, the Kroger Corporation gives a percentage of sales monies tracked via City Market Value Cards to whichever organization the cardholder specifies. All that's needed is to give the number found under the card's bar code with your signature authorizing City Market to give back to the organization you designate. City Market gave more than $2,000 to the Booster Club last year.

The past years have been productive and successful for the Booster Club. A few of the many things the club was able to help provide for athletes last year included: boys and girls basketball uniforms; warmup tops; a Takedown wrestling system and climbing ropes with hardware for the wrestling team; home and away uniforms for the girls' soccer team; travel bags for football players; uniforms and a JVC camcorder for the volleyball teams; uniforms, warmup jackets and pants with team bags for cross-country; and, once again, accommodations for visiting teams during the Wolf Creek Classic basketball tournament.

Each year, club sponsorship levels grow and open new avenues for support. Club members have found that the category system provides options for support.

Last year, the club introduced the Gold $300 membership. It opened the door to introduce a new Yellow $150 membership this year.

Take a moment to decide the membership you would like to consider during this year's drive.

For a White $35 membership a member will receive Booster Club sticker.

The Black $75 membership brings a sticker and a name on a plaque located above the high school concession stand

With a Yellow $150 membership, a member will receive a sticker, a name on the plaque and recognition on a new promotional item being designed for this year.

Gold $300 members receive a sticker, a name on the plaque and name recognition on water bottles to be sold at the beginning of the basketball season this year. Please keep in mind, due to spacing limitations, only the first 12 Gold level memberships will be listed on the water bottles. Therefore, a prompt response is encouraged if you would like your name to appear on the water bottles. If you request a Gold membership and are not one of the top 12, you will be contacted to determine how you would like the club to proceed.

If you have questions about the Booster Club, need more information about club funding programs, or wish to obtain a funding form, contact Butch Mackey (president) 264-2715, Bobby Hart (vice-president) 264-0500, Debi Hilsabeck (secretary) 264-9646 or Kathy Fulmer (treasurer) 264-2117.

 

Pirates open soccer season at home Saturday

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Pirate soccer will begin its 15-game season Saturday, with a match on the home pitch at noon against 3A Manitou Springs, of the Tri Peaks League.

Last year, the Pirates lost to Manitou Springs in an away game, the second game of the season, by a score of 2-3.

The Pirates fell in overtime, after trading goals during the game. Both Pirate goals came from Caleb Ormonde, who will return to attack the Mustang net again this year.

The Pirate varsity squad is made up of seniors and juniors, many returning starters. If players remain eligible to play, the team has a good chance of returning to the playoffs, said Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason.

They may even advance farther than last year, when they lost in the second round of the playoffs to Faith Christian. The Pirates finished the season at 6-5-1.

A home win against the Mustangs would be a good start to the season.

They should face stiff competition yet again this year from Manitou Springs, only this time the game will be at home.

The Pirates take to the road Tuesday, traveling to Cortez for a 3 p.m. game against the Panthers. Following that non-conference contest, the Pirates are back at Golden Peaks Stadium for three consecutive league matches: Sept. 9 against Ridgway, Sept. 14 against Center, and Sept. 16 versus Telluride.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Summer volleyball ends, indoor program being planned

By Andy Rice

SUN Columnist

The youth volleyball and adult, sand volleyball programs have ended for the summer season.

The youth volleyball weekly series culminated last Tuesday night. An average of just over a dozen players ages 9-13 participated in 75 minutes of instruction and team play one night per week for six weeks this summer.

The program served as an invaluable introduction to the game, especially for the incoming seventh-graders getting ready to join their first volleyball team at the junior high level.

Adult sand volleyball nights were consistently plagued by bad weather, but a few hardy souls occasionally turned out for some relaxed doubles play and instruction.

We hope to begin an indoor "fours" volleyball league sometime in the fall.

Interested players are encouraged to contact Andy Rice, sports coordinator, at 264-4151, Ext. 231, for information regarding game times and nights.

Youth soccer schedule

Due to rainouts during assessments last week, the draft for all players who registered in the 11-13 divisions did not take place until Tuesday night, and coaches will contact their players for practice as soon as possible.

Games in all divisions begin after Labor Day. Games in the 5-6 and 7-8 divisions will be played Mondays, Wednesdays and some Saturdays (against teams from Dulce, N.M.), while games in the 9-10 and 11-13 divisions will be played Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays (against teams from Dulce, N.M.).

The 5-6 division schedule (all games to be played at 5:30 p.m. on the elementary school fields) for Wednesday, Sept. 6, includes Navy vs. Purple on the upper-west field, Maroon vs. Orange on the upper-east field and Forest vs. Black on the lower-west field.

Games in the 9-10 and 11-13 divisions will begin Thursday. Sept. 7. Schedules for these divisions will be finalized early next week and game times for opening night will be posted in next week's column, on the sports hotline (264-6658) and on the recreation department link at www.townofpagosasprings.com.

To familiarize parents and spectators with game play in the 9-10 and 11-13 divisions, this year's general game rules are provided below.

9-10 division rules

Game consists of two halves of 20 minutes each and a five-minute halftime; ball size is No. 4. Nine players take the field for each team, including the goalkeeper (or lowest number of players available to each team).

A five-minute minute, sudden-death overtime will be played if the game is tied at end of regulation.

Players shall play a minimum of 50 percent of total playing time, if they have attended practice. One parent from each team will be asked to volunteer as a sideline judge.

Free kicks and penalty kicks will be awarded; opponents must be eight yards away. Direct free kicks will be allowed; offsides will be called. Red and yellow cards will be issued, if necessary.

Substitutions can be made prior to a throw-in, in the throwing team's favor, or if opposing coach makes a substitution during their throw-in. Substitutions are also permitted after a goal by either team, prior to a goal kick, after an injury and when the referee stops play.

11-13 division rules

Game consists of two halves of 25 minutes each and a five-minute halftime; ball size is No. 5. Nine players take the field for each team, including the goalkeeper (or lowest number of players available to each team).

A five-minute minute, sudden-death overtime will be played if the game is tied at end of regulation.

Players shall play a minimum of 50 percent of total playing time, if they have attended practice. One parent from each team will be asked to volunteer as a sideline judge.

Free kicks and penalty kicks will be awarded; opponents must be eight yards away. Direct free kicks will be allowed; offsides will be called. Red and yellow cards will be issued, if necessary.

Substitutions can be made prior to a throw-in, in the throwing team's favor, or if opposing coach makes a substitution during their throw-in. Substitutions are also permitted after a goal by either team, prior to a goal kick, after an injury and when the referee stops play.

Horseshoes at South Pagosa Park

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 pits, 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 townofpagosasprings.com and going to the parks and recreation link.

All schedules and upcoming events are updated on a weekly basis. If you have questions or concerns, or need additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, call 264-4151, Ext. 232.

 

Editorial

Troublesome fix

There it sits, nestled among seven initiatives listed on the upcom-ing November general election ballot: proposed Amendment 41. If ever there was an indicator of some of the things that have gone wrong with government, this proposal is it - an indicator of things that must be fixed and, we believe, of the wrong way of fixing them.

This proposed amendment would put the lid on gifts to state officials, banning public and government officials from accepting any money or gift worth more than fifty bucks. It would ban lobbyists from providing legislators and officials with tickets, cash, trips, gee-gaws, etc. and require a two-year waiting period before ex state legislators can act as lobbyists. It would establish an ethics commission to hear complaints and enact penalties for offenses.

Proponents of the amendment claim it will extend beyond the reach of current ethics regulations, all the way down to county elected officials and to most employees at all levels of state government.

Putting an end to influence by gift and donation seems a fine idea - as long as law recognizes necessities like legislative office accounts, particularly for rural legislators, and cash contributions to such accounts that are strictly regulated. Creating committees to deal with ethics violations, likewise, seems an appealing idea.

But, in our opinion, only so long as they are left unexamined.

We believe this is a task best left to effective and honest legislators.

Unfortunately, we live in times where suspicion of elected officials is extreme. In many cases, from the national to the local level, that suspicion is well-founded: there are far too many elected officials who are unduly influenced, and too many whose overall performance is pathetically unproductive, a paltry production masked by dog and pony shows and the wailings of untutored and less than bright supporters - groups and individuals alike — that seek to divert attention from a lack of accountability.

We have reasons to mistrust many elected officials, and to want to halt at least one way by which they can be swayed.

But, there's a problem: the voters.

Remember, it is we, the voters, who elect those whom we increasingly mistrust. One has to question the judgment of the voters and of the "power brokers" who do their ego-riddled deeds behind the scenes in party politics, helping select the candidates who then botch their terms in office.

What evidence is there that the voter is going to be any less blind when it comes to passing this, or any other, proposed constitutional amendment? There is little evidence - witness TABOR as well as some of the other initiatives coming up in November, not to mention many of the individuals now in public office - that the average voter is any more reliable than the politicians they mistrust.

The first priority should be to clean house, to put others in office when there is an obvious dereliction of duty. Then charge newly-elected officials with the task of participating in responsible, accountable representative government. If they are doing their jobs, we will have the ethics regulation we want and, in fact, little need of the regulations being enforced.

The downside of proposed Amendment 41, and the other amendments to be voted on in November, is the damage continued government by initiative can do to our political system, to our ability to enjoy effective, responsive government. Constitutional amendments are difficult beasts to drive from the yard. When they are misguided, that difficulty damages us and our future.

Perhaps Amendment 41, and other initiatives, are worthy of a yea vote. If so, it is a shame. And it is a greater shame if we continue to put substandard folks in office and to load our constitution with excess and unnecessary baggage.

Karl Isberg

 

Legacies

Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 1, 1916

The dismantling of the big Pagosa Lumber Co. mill, preparatory to removal to Dulce, was completed this week. The planer machinery will come next.

Fred Catchpole set a pace for the Pagosa-Denver run last Sunday when he made the 380 miles between 5:10 a.m. and 11:20 p.m., 18 hours, beating the Rio Grande passenger train between the same points by several hours.

On account of school facilities for the children the F.A. Heintzes have moved from their ranch to town for the winter. They are living in the park.

Font Neal, a brother of Mrs. Sylvia Pargin and uncle of the Pargin boys, an old soldier and G.A.R. man, was brought up Sunday suffering from an attack of paralysis.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 4, 1931

The new marriage law went into effect Tuesday, and thereafer it requires five days following aplication before a marriage license can be issued by the county clerk. Also the fee has been advanced from $2 to $3.

J.W. Bright and family, who reside on the former Hortenstine ranch, have moved to town in order that the son may attend school. They occupy the Rogers cottage east of the Sun office.

While riding the Four Mile range Tuesday morning, Sam Thomas discovered and extinguished a forest fire that had started from lightning. His prompt and efficient action is greatly appreciated by the forest service in particular and the public in general.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 6, 1956

The Town Board at a special meeting on Wednesday night of last week voted to vacate the west half of Sixth Street from the highway north to the alley. This automatically causes the property to revert to the abutting property owner. In this instance, it is J.F. Whitefield and he plans to construct a butane tank on this property to serve his present store building and also plans to enlarge the building toward the back of his present lot. Whitefield agreed to build a bridge across Cade Creek on the other half of the street so that access might be obtained for the houses and buildings in this area. The bridge is to be constructed according to specifications to be set up by the town board at a later date.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 3, 1981

The one-percent sales tax increase and two-percent use tax proposed by Archuleta County Commissioners and Pagosa Springs Trustees was defeated by a sparse voter turnout Tuesday. The tax changes lost in all five precincts by a total of 327 to 202 votes.

Traffic should be flowing freely over Wolf Creek Pass within six weeks. That's the word from Roland Smith, an employee of Peter Kiewit and Sons Contractors, who is supervising the widening project. "The project is coming along pretty week," Smith said Monday, "We hope to be putting the guard rail up by the middle of October, and that's usually considered the finishing touch." About 70 men will be working until the night shift is discontinued in a few weeks.

 

Features

Working behind the scenes

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Tuesday marks the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year, and while students try to get the most out of the last days of summer vacation, administrators, teachers and staff are hard at work.

In the weeks before school starts, the district must work on the budget, make sure all new equipment and supplies are obtained, and oversee personnel reorganization. Most importantly, administrators are focused on putting the mechanisms in place to ensure higher levels of student achievement.

Superintendent Duane Noggle said the district is committed to "helping all students to reach their greatest potential.

"It is important that we all have that same vision," said Noggle.

According to Assistant Superintendent Bill Esterbrook, administrators are "really working with the principals and recommitting ourselves to the improvement plan and how we are going to raise the achievement levels of our students."

That means taking the results of the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) and learning from them, using the data to highlight areas in need of improvement.

CSAP tests reading, writing and mathematics for students in third through 10th grades and science for fifth-, eighth- and 10th-graders.

Sixth-graders led the Archuleta County School District 50 Joint in CSAP scores, showing double-digit improvement in all subject areas tested.

Despite the success in the intermediate school, Principal Mark DeVoti still sees room for improvement.

He described his primary purpose as preventing teachers from becoming overwhelmed and providing them the tools they need to do their jobs, which they are already fantastic at, he added.

To this end, DeVoti has focused on facilitating cooperation between teachers as they address areas that could be improved.

Last year, DeVoti was accepted into a leadership program, with only 60 participants, that sought to help administrators encourage teacher networking.

DeVoti described his school as a "professional learning community," in which teachers work together to improve their knowledge base and improve in areas of teaching where they are less effective.

According to DeVoti, Teachers can learn a lot from the "expert next door," rather than rely on occasional interaction with educators on the outside, who may not be able to understand the characteristics that make the district distinct.

DeVoti, among other administrators, sees CSAP as a way to focus and strengthen a culture of collaboration.

"Assessment used to be like an autopsy, too late to do anything ... now assessment is more like a physical," said DeVoti.

With the tests, teachers can cooperate to prescribe a course of treatment, as well as develop their treatment skills.

Assessment helps teachers be more objective when dealing with students. It defines students not as problems, but as individuals with skill-sets that can be improved, DeVoti explained.

In addition, DeVoti said student assessment is not a once-a-year thing but a continual process: "Reassess and readdress, that's the key ... the big thing is the response."

Chris Hinger, principal at the junior high school, said, "All four buildings are aligned with the collaboration model."

"Friday will be dedicated to digging into the data to see where we can improve," he said.

All teachers in the district will undergo extensive orientation and training before school starts.

The junior high school administration will provide teachers with a "focus notebook" — a staff handbook including CSAP scores.

Hinger said he wants his school to know the students, with their weaknesses and strengths, the first day of school, rather than months down the road.

Principal David Hamilton, of the high school, described CSAP as a Friday night basketball game that shows the effectiveness of what you do in practice during the week. For Hamilton, it is a tool to help administrators improve how a school runs its plays.

The high school administration is working to ensure classes meet state standards and student evaluation is reliable and accurate.

The first issue will be addressed by defining proficiency standards for every subject. According to Hamilton, teachers will work together to establish the standards. Then they will cooperate to make sure grades reflect those standards.

Hamilton is enthusiastic about the improvements that are in process. "I feel like this is my first year. I am excited about what is in the future," said the veteran educator and administrator.

In her first year as principal, after 16 years as a teacher, Kate Lister is overseeing significant changes at the elementary school.

Math specialists have been hired for every grade-level. This will free-up the home-room teachers to focus on literacy, and while students are working on math, the home-room teachers will have substantial preparation time, something that was lacking under the old system.

Home-room teachers are also responsible for integrating social studies and science into their lesson plans.

This is the second year the elementary school has received funding under the U.S. Department of Education's "Reading First" grant program.

The grant program encourages professional development. Last year, teachers received 1,000 hours of training to help them teach literacy. They will receive an additional 1,000 hours during the next year. Teachers have participated in online classes and training seminars.

And as for the traffic concerns at the elementary school, "We've had lots and lots of meetings over the summer to try to make it work," said Lister.

The recent move of the maintenance and transportation building, with the bus barn, has made additional parking available at the elementary school. Teachers will now park by the old bus barn, allowing parents to park by the school - potentially reducing some of the traffic on U.S. 160.

But still, "It's just a patience game ... if the parents are patient, we'll keep everyone safe," said Lister.

Lister said that the school will use a valet lane to facilitate efficient drop-offs and pick-ups. She urged parents to let the teachers on duty help children out of and into vehicles, to avoid accidents.

There will also be cross-guards to help parents and students cross the valet lane between the school and parking area.

To help ease traffic congestion around the elementary school, Superintendent Noggle encouraged parents to have their children ride the bus.

"It's statistically the safest way to get children to school," he said, "and it saves fuel."

Traffic peaks at the elementary school from 7:45-8:05 a.m. and from 3:05-3:30 p.m.

In other back-to-school news, the district will begin to enforce its attendance policy more strenuously, with the goal of reaching a 95 percent attendance rate. After a student reaches 12 unexcused absences, the district will consider filing truancy charges with the courts. This will only occur after many letters to the parents and meetings with school officials.

There will also be a change in schedule at the intermediate and junior high schools. Breakfast will be served before school starts, from 7:55-8:15 a.m. This will allow teachers more prep-time before school.

The junior high school will hold an open house potluck from 5:30-6:30 p.m. tonight. Students and parents will have an opportunity to meet teachers, get acquainted with the building, and receive class schedules.

Parents of new students should visit the office of their child's school to register and arrange for the transfer of records.

At the elementary school, new students will be assessed by one of two retired teachers so that the school will be aware of their individual needs.

 

Pagosa's Past

The Jicarilla continue to search for a home

By John M. Motter

Settlers from the United States were rapidly taking up the land in New Mexico and the Four Corners area during the 1860s, following the Civil War.

Providing impetus to the settlement was the discovery of vast amounts of gold and silver in the San Juan Mountains and in the mountains north of Taos.

Complicating the times was the salient fact that the gold was being discovered on lands used by indigenous bands of Indians who had no place else to be.

The San Juan Mountains had long been home to the Southern Utes. These mountains were already promised to the Utes as a reservation, a fact which scarcely slowed the infiltration of miners and their supporters.

Also affected were the Jicarilla Apaches who had no promised reservation as yet, but were hoping for a home somewhere near where they had always lived in the vicinity of Cimarron or Taos. A tract of land at Rayado south of Cimarron was first choice for the Jicarilla but the Anglo citizens of Cimarron had enough clout to prevent that.

Another tract of land in the mountains north of Taos was also hoped for by the Jicarilla, but the discovery of gold resulting in the gold rush boom town of Elizabethtown ended that hope.

In her tome titled "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History, 1846-1970," Dr. Veronica E. Velarde Tiller described the situation this way: "The invasion of miners and businessmen transformed the tranquil farming region into a bustling community. For the Jicarilla it meant an assault on their sanctuary. As one agent put it, they had so long held this section as their home, as a resting place, retreating to it as a point of safety if punished in war with their enemies, the Indians of the plains, most of them were born here, their ancestors for years past have been buried there, they entertain heathenish superstitions, they hold these valleys sacred, there they make medicine, hold their feasts, and perform their ceremonial of lamentation to the dead."

The newcomers intensified the strain on already limited resources, according to Tiller. As a result, the settlers demanded removal of the Indians, not just anywhere but somewhere out of sight, out of mind. This increased Jicarilla reliance on government rations.

"While the dependency increased," Tiller writes, "the amount and quality of the rations decreased. They arrived at Cimarron at irregular intervals and produced only problems for the Indians. Adding to the logistical headaches, the agents at Cimarron were not the least interested in the welfare of their charges. At the height of the gold rush, agent Capt. Alexander S. B. Keyes was so preoccupied with his personal affairs that he neglected to distribute the rations when they were available and failed to follow up when they did not arrive.

"The dire economic situation facing the Indians did not help. In the early summer of 1866, the small herd of buffalo on the plains and the deer in the mountains were unusually scarce, while back at the agency, Maxwell was running a deficit by feeding the Indians and refused to extend any more credit. Out of desperation, they resorted to their only alternative, requisitioning the livestock of the people around them.

"Superintendent A.B. Norton calmed the settler's nerves when he authorized the payment of $500 in July to Maxwell to provide meat and flour for the Indians. Norton was immediately reprimanded by Commissioner D.N. Cooley, who made it clear that Indian policy was not a question of humanity but of law. He pointed out that so long as Indians were fed at public expense, they were not going to make an effort to support themselves, especially Indians whose habits were nomadic and whose hunting grounds were unlimited. It was crystal clear that Cooley was completely ignorant of the conditions under which the Jicarilla and Utes lived."

Norton was astonished, Tiller tells us. Norton knew that peace hung on the subsistence of the Jicarilla and Ute.

More next week on the search of our current neighbors, the Jicarilla Apache, for a place to call home.

 

Pagosa Sky Watch

Alas, Pluto, you're out ... for now

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 6:38 a.m.

Sunset: 7:38 p.m.

Moonrise: 2:15 p.m.

Moonset: 11:32 p.m.

Moon phase: The moon is at first quarter at 4:57 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time.

Pluto is no longer a planet.

The decision to demote our distant, diminutive and embattled planetary neighbor came Thursday at the close of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) general assembly in Prague, and followed a fierce, multi-day debate over the definition of a planet that was described by Rick Fienberg of Sky and Telescope magazine as a borderline barroom brawl.

Under the new planetary definition adopted by the IAU, Pluto was reclassified as one of "a new distinct class of objects" called dwarf planets. In addition, the IAU decision recast planets and other planet-like objects into three separate and distinct classes: the classical "planets," Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune; "dwarf planets," Pluto, Ceres, our solar system's largest asteroid, and 2003 UB 313, an object larger and more distant than Pluto; and a third class of objects, called "small solar-system bodies," which includes all other objects, except satellites, that orbit the sun.

As part of the new classification scheme, the IAU defined "planet" as a celestial body that orbits the sun, has enough mass that the object's own gravity pulls the object into a round, or nearly round shape; and thirdly, has cleared its orbit of other objects.

According to the IAU, Pluto, with its eccentric and tilted orbit which overlaps Neptune's, fails the planetary test on the third part of the new definition, thus providing grounds for its demotion.

Under a previous, planetary definition proposal fielded at the assembly Aug. 16, Pluto would have retained its planetary status while Ceres, Pluto's moon Charon and 2003 UB 313 would have been added to the planetary roster, with roughly another dozen planetary candidates waiting in the IAU wings.

That proposal, and a number of subsequent drafts, were shot down and the new IAU definition has stuck. However, critics of the IAU decision are not pleased, nor are they convinced.

Alan Stern, the executive director of the Boulder-based Southwest Research Institute's Department of Space Studies and NASA's point man for the New Horizons mission to Pluto, lambasted the IAU decision and the voting process, and said the vote to approve the definition hardly represents the consensus of professional astronomers.

According to the IAU, the general assembly drew more than 2,500 attendees, however reports from Prague indicate that only about 400 astronomers stayed until the final day of the convention to decide the fate of Pluto and the proposed planet definition. According to Stern and IAU planet definition committee chair Owen Gingerich, only those present and in the conference room on the final day of the assembly were allowed to cast a vote, and therefore, thousands of professionals were excluded from the process, including both Gingerich and Stern.

Speaking to the BBC, Stern said, "I was not allowed to vote because I was not in a room in Prague on Thursday 24th. Of 10,000 astronomers, four percent were in that room - you can't even claim consensus."

Following the vote, Stern criticized the agency for not allowing astronomers to weigh in via electronic or online voting.

"Astrophysics, space science, and planetary science are a high tech field. It's ludicrous to have prohibited online voting, which is much lower tech than spaceflight or advanced telescope development," said Stern.

But it is more than just the process that has Stern agitated, it's also the new definition - particularly the third criterion.

Stern explained that under the parameters of the new definition's third point, Earth and Jupiter should also be excluded from the planetary club because both planets make their respective orbits accompanied by thousands of asteroids.

Referring the new IAU definition, Stern said, "Cleared zone of other debris? That's ridiculous."

Fort Lewis College physics and astronomy professor Craig Tyler agreed.

"'Clearing the neighborhood' doesn't make any sense," Tyler said. "I agree with Alan; I think he's totally correct."

And Tyler added that if Pluto deserves to be demoted because it hasn't cleared its orbit of Neptune, then Neptune should be demoted because it hasn't cleared its orbit of Pluto.

"The criteria they set up doesn't make sense," Tyler said.

Stern's second point of contention regards Pluto's status as a dwarf planet.

"I have no issue with Pluto being classified as a dwarf planet - I coined the term," Stern said.

However, under the new definition, dwarf planets are a distinct class of objects, and separate from the "true planets." Stern explained that's like saying some humans, although sharing the same basic genetic fingerprint as all other humans, aren't human at all because of some arbitrary trait such as height.

"It's (the definition) completely artificial, and frankly it's unscientific. It's just a flawed definition and it's sloppy science," Stern said.

Christopher Wilcox, an optical engineer at the Naval Research Labs adaptive optics program in Albuquerque works extensively with astronomers and has heard both sides of the Pluto planetary argument.

"It's one of those 'you say tomato, I say tomahto,' arguments," Wilcox said.

And Wilcox argued that perhaps Pluto should "be grandfathered in" as a planet.

"It has been 75 years since its discovery, it has done it's time," said Wilcox.

American astronomer, Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930, yet among astronomers, and particularly in recent years, its status as a planet hasn't been universally accepted. Those opposed to Pluto's classification as a planet cite its small size and elliptical and tilted orbit as the chief reasons for a planetary demotion.

And Tyler continued in a similar vein. Regardless of whether Pluto is a called a Kuiper Belt object or a dwarf planet, Tyler said, it doesn't make our distant neighbor any less worthy of study.

Dr. Paul Hertz, chief scientist for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters, said NASA will adopt the new IAU definition, however, nomenclature or classification will have little affect on NASA's interest in Pluto.

"We will continue pursuing exploration of the most scientifically interesting objects in the solar system, regardless of how they are categorized," Hertz said.

To that end, NASA launched the New Horizons mission to Pluto Jan. 19, 2006, and the agency expects the craft to reach Pluto and Charon in July 2015.

Steven Peterzen of the Pagosa Springs-based firm, International Science Technology and Research (ISTAR) said, "I really don't see the designation as a planet or a number as changing the progress of Pluto at all! Of all the paper spent, phone calls, meetings and scientific concerns surrounding the issue of Pluto's status as a planet ... none of these has any effect on this small planet or any of the Trans-Neptunian Object (TNOs). However, it is somewhat entertaining to watch organizations such as IAU take this sort of thing so serious."

Peterzen added that he has approached the Pluto debate as a casual observer, and that his work has little to do with planetology.

Peterzen is the lead scientist for ISTAR and the Long Duration Balloon Program, a program which contracts with the Italian and Norwegian space agencies and La Sapienza university in Rome to launch high altitude balloons equipped with deep space observation equipment over the polar regions.

Wilcox echoed Peterzen's sentiments, and said astronomers engaged in the Pluto debate may be taking themselves a little too seriously.

While lines of have been drawn and the debate over Pluto and the criteria for designating planet-like objects appears far from over, local eighth-grade earth sciences teacher, J.D. Kurz, sees the Pluto debate as prime fodder for this year's eight-week astronomy curriculum.

"This shows how science is a dynamic process and how it changes over time. This is a great opportunity for the classroom," Kurz said.

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