September 14, 2006

Front Page

Inspector General: No wrongdoing at Village

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Plans for the Village at Wolf Creek, a 10,000 person, luxury resort village slated for construction near the top of Wolf Creek Pass and near the base of the Wolf Creek Ski Area moved one step closer to fruition following a Friday announcement from United States Department of Agriculture Inspector General Phyllis Fong.

After a multi-month inquiry, Fong stated in a letter to U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar that her office had found no evidence of improper conduct or political pressure regarding United States Forest Service decisions pertaining to the controversial village development.

The village is planned for a privately-owned, 287.5-acre parcel bordered by the ski area and the Rio Grande National Forest. According to developer plans, the village includes 2,172 residential units and more than 200,000 square feet of commercial space.

In the letter, Fong writes, "Our interviews of key participants in relevant USDA deliberations and our review of related documents revealed no evidence that USDA/FS (Forest Service) officials failed to comply with laws, regulations, and departmental policies related to this proposed project. Further, our review of relevant information found that the allegation of improper political interference in the development of the FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement) was not substantiated."

A similar letter was mailed to U.S. Rep. John Salazar.

Fong's letter stems from a May 16 request by Sen. Salazar that the USDA Office of the Inspector General look into allegations of improprieties between village developers, Billy Joe "Red" McCombs, partner Bob Honts and Forest Service officials.

In his request, Salazar expressed concern over allegations Texas billionaire McCombs used his influence and political connections to shape decisions made by top USDA personnel, including Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey and his deputy David Tenny, during the EIS process.

Those concerns were shared by U.S. Rep. Salazar, state Rep. Mark Larson, state Sen. Jim Isgar and two area environmental groups - Colorado Wild and the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council.

In the letter, Fong writes that a key source in the allegations, former Forest Service Winter Sports Coordinator Ed Ryberg, stated in an interview with inspector general agents that "he had no direct knowledge or evidence of any USDA officials exerting improper pressure or influence regarding the EIS."

However, in a Sept. 8 Denver Post story, Ryberg said he stands by comments made in an April story published in the paper, and said the environmental review used to ultimately authorize the development's two access roads was fundamentally flawed.

Providing year-round access to the development across National Forest property has been a critical, and necessary stepping stone in the project receiving final approval, and access is the focal point of the final EIS.

In addition, Ryberg told the Denver Post, that Tenny had involved himself in McCombs' access problems to an extent that Ryberg found unusual, and that Tenny made efforts to help McCombs.

In the letter Fong states, for the purposes of her office's inquiry, the key determinations in the Forest Service/Village at Wolf Creek process occurred in March 2006 with the publication of the final EIS and the forest supervisor's special use authorization decision, and then on July 16, 2006 with the issuance of the deputy regional forester's appellate decisions.

Fong states Ryberg retired from the Forest Service on Sept. 30, 2005, six months prior to when the first of those determinations were made.

Sen. Salazar said he appreciates the USDA Inspector General's Office looking into the matter.

"I am always concerned when there are reports that suggest that there is improper lobbying and political pressure placed on agency employees. The fact remains that Inspector General Fong's investigation should serve as a reminder to agency officials and to those doing business with Federal agencies that their dealings are always subject to public scrutiny and accountability."

 

Historical designation process sparks controversy

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

A local motel owner, the town's historic preservation board, and the Pagosa Springs Town Council will square off tonight to argue private property rights versus the town's ability to unilaterally designate properties as historic.

The meeting, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs Community Center, will focus on the town's one-year moratorium prohibiting demolition of buildings 50 years old or older and a section of the town's municipal code stating requirements for designating historic landmarks, and how those documents affect Charles Craig's plans to sell the Pinewood Inn.

The meeting marks the most recent turn of events in the town's efforts to guide growth, development, demolition and preservation of old buildings in Pagosa Springs. And the push for the moratorium, adopted May 2006, came following a string of demolitions of old buildings along the east end of Pagosa Street. And now Craig finds himself at center stage, and in the thick of the debate.

Craig purchased the aging motel, located at 157 Pagosa St., about two years ago and now wants to sell. A developer wants to buy the property, demolish the buildings and redevelop the property at a later date. Craig and the developer have agreed to close the $1.4 million deal Oct. 16, but the developer wants a guarantee from the town that the property will be exempt from the moratorium, despite the building's age, before they finalize the deal.

Archuleta County Assessor's data indicates the original home, which now houses the hotel lobby and manager's residence was built in 1890, while a second structure, noted in county records as constructed in 1898, is the purported home/office of Dr. Mary Fisher.

During an Aug. 31 meeting, the Town of Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board determined the two structures in question meet the age requirements of the moratorium and, due to a number of factors, have historic value. The board recommended the two structures not be exempt from the moratorium and they will make their recommendation to town council tonight.

Despite the board assertions, Craig doesn't see things the same way. And Craig argues the recommendation will foil the deal, prohibit him from realizing his retirement, and if the town council upholds the board's recommendation, will violate his constitutional rights.

In a letter to the SUN, Craig writes, "I would like to offer my congratulations to the Pagosa Springs historic preservation board for their actions on Aug. 31. In one fell swoop they have managed to defile both the Declaration of Independence and the 4th amendment to the Constitution."

Craig says if the town council upholds the ruling it will prevent him from pursuing "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

At the close of the Aug. 31 meeting and following the board's recommendation he told the preservation board, "Be prepared for a fight."

And Craig added, "Just because something is old doesn't necessarily mean it has historical value."

With the true historic worth of the building viewed from vastly different perspectives, there remain issues of the language of the town's municipal code that governs the designation of historic landmarks and districts.

According to section 21.14.2, in order for designation as a historic landmark, a property must be 50 years old, be determined to have historic significance due to at least one of a number of criteria and must have the property owners written consent or application.

The final clause in the section states, "The HPB (historic preservation board) reserves the right to waive any requirement," but what requirements the sentence is referring to is unclear.

Town Planner Tamra Allen said, with the moratorium on the books, the moratorium is the guiding document.

"We have the moratorium to explore the possibility of whether someone besides the landowner has the ability to nominate a property for historic landmark designation."

She said the moratorium was drafted in response to the demolitions on the east end of Pagosa Street and citizen outcry that the community didn't have more say in the demolition of old structures.

Allen said the historic preservation board is working to fine tune the municipal code to take into account those issues. She anticipated the project will be completed within the year.

 

Town starts new phase of Riverwalk Trail

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

In the coming months, heavy machinery, work crews, surveyor's tape and silt fencing will become common sights near the wetlands behind Pagosa Springs Town Hall, following Monday's construction kickoff of the wetlands segment of the town's Riverwalk Trails project.

According to Town of Pagosa Springs Special Projects Director Julie Jessen, construction of the wetlands portion of the trail system is on a 90-day timetable, and involves laying an 8-foot-wide, quarter-mile long, concrete path along the eastern edge of the wetlands at the base of a rocky bench separating the wetlands proper from the drier uplands along Hot Springs Boulevard.

Jessen described the work as phase one of a two-phase wetlands area trails project, which will ultimately provide key linkages in the town's long-term, Riverwalk Trails System project.

Jessen said once the various components of the trail system are in place, including the wetland's segment, the Riverwalk Trails System will connect the river trail on the east end of town behind the River Center with the town's new Sports Complex facility on south 5th Street via a contiguous multi-use trail and a series of pedestrian bridges over the San Juan River.

The current wetlands phase involves constructing a trail from Apache Street behind Town Hall that will run northeast, skirting the eastern perimeter of the wetlands, to a point on the east side of the San Juan River downstream from McCabe Creek.

Phase two of the wetlands segment will connect the wetlands trail with Centennial Park via a pedestrian bridge over the San Juan River. Jessen anticipated phase two will commence in 2008.

Jessen said original plans for phase one called for the path to run along the banks of the San Juan River, however, the Southwest Land Alliance, which manages the conservation easement on the wetlands, expressed concern about work crews and machinery traversing the wetlands to build the project, the potential for habitat degradation and the trail inhibiting or prohibiting wildlife from moving between the wetlands and the river.

After further discussion, Jessen said the trail was rerouted to its current location on the wetland's eastern perimeter in order to better mitigate construction, wetland and wildlife movement impacts.

Jessen said the decision to build the trail with concrete instead of asphalt was also part of the effort to minimize present and future impacts.

"Concrete has a longer lifespan than asphalt. That's why you look at concrete for sensitive areas like this. You don't want to have to go back in there," Jessen said.

Jessen said the project is governed by a United States Army Corps of Engineers 404 permit. In addition to requiring a series of mitigation efforts, the permit requires a biologist on the job site to monitor the project. Jessen said Sandy Friedley of Ecosphere Environmental Services will conduct the monitoring.

"We're taking the utmost care and precautions to ensure the project is completed successfully and within full compliance of the Army 404 permit," Jessen said.

While Jessen is confident the project will comply with Army Corps requirements, the issue of bonding became a topic of concern during a recent town meeting.

According to Town Manager Mark Garcia, and Jessen, because the wetlands trail marks the contractor's first municipal project, the contractor was unable to obtain a bond for their work.

In his presentation to town council, Garcia said he consulted with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and due to the project's relatively small price tag, the agency was willing to give the go-ahead to an un-bonded contractor.

Jessen explained that funding for the project came from CDOT enhancement funds, and therefore the department is one of many oversight agencies. She added under the terms of the grant, CDOT pays 20 percent of expenses while the town is responsible for 80 percent, plus engineering costs.

She said partial funding for phase two has also been secured through the same grant program.

During the town council meeting, council member Darrel Cotton expressed concern about the risks associated with working with an un-bonded contractor, and urged staff to seek legal advice from town attorney Bob Cole prior to allowing work to begin.

Jessen said she discussed the bonding issue with Cole and she reported he was comfortable with waiving the bonding requirement.

Jessen said after reviewing the project's particulars, including the scope and the cost of the project, the contractor's references, and CDOT's willingness to waive the bonding requirement, town staff was comfortable following CDOT's lead.

In lieu of bonding, Jessen said the contract incorporates a 20-percent withholding clause which marks a 10-percent increase in the town's normal withholding procedures. Jessen explained that with a project bid of just under $300,000, the 20-percent withholding allows the town to retain nearly $60,000 until the project is completed and approved by CDOT, the Army Corps, and the town's engineer, Mike Davis.

In contrast, Jessen said the contractor's bid listed $9,000 for bonding and mobilization.

Planning for the wetlands segment of the Riverwalk Trails System began in 2001.

The wetlands segment and the Riverwalk Trails System are part the Town of Pagosa Springs 2003 Trails Master Plan.

 

Inside The Sun

Tri-State to increase wholesale rate to member cooperatives

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association's board of directors has approved the power supplier's 2007 operating budget of $991 million, which includes an increase in the average Class A wholesale rate to its 44 member electric cooperatives - from 5.1 cents per kilowatt-hour to approximately 5.65 cents per kilowatt-hour effective Jan. 1, 2007 - while cutting in half the premium charge associated with its renewable energy program.

Tri-State executive vice president/general manager J.M. Shafer said that the consistent increase in demand for electricity among the 44 member systems, combined with the fact that all of the association's existing baseload generation resources are fully committed, puts Tri-State in the unenviable position of having to raise rates in order to meet its obligations. "Until we get some new baseload generating facilities developed, we're going to have to buy expensive power on the open market to meet the growth. Because of that, our purchased power costs are projected to increase from $204 million this year to nearly $247 million in 2007, which makes up a significant portion of our operating budget," he said.

"Along with rapid system growth, comes increased financial obligations, which must be met to maintain our fiscal stability and the continued health of our power supply infrastructure," Shafer continued. "We're working toward a period of operational stability by building additional facilities to meet the growing loads, but in the meantime, we're facing numerous challenges - and pressure on rates is primary among them."

In August 2005, the Tri-State board took action to address the pending power supply deficit when it authorized a comprehensive resource development plan aimed at adding to the association's generation and transmission network through a series of projects over the next 15 years, which includes up to 2,100 megawatts of generation assets and the necessary related transmission infrastructure..

"To move forward and return to an era punctuated by reasonably stable member rates, we must take action to strengthen our financial standing in order to acquire the necessary funds to develop these much-needed facilities. Right now we are doing everything in our power to accelerate the process of securing those new generation and transmission resource," Shafer said.

Rates charged by each of Tri-State's 44 member distribution systems are set independently of each other and of Tri-State, depending on the specific financial and operational circumstances faced by each member system. Wholesale power supply expenses normally make up the largest component of retail costs.

Since the inception of its voluntary "green power" program in 1999, Tri-State has made available to all of its members energy derived from a variety of renewable resources, with a $2.50 per month premium charge on every 100 kilowatt-hour block per month sold. However, due to the current favorable conditions in the renewable energy credit market, that premium will be reduced by 50 percent (to $1.25 per 100 kilowatt-hour block per month), effective Jan. 1, 2007.

 

PAWSD considers water future, options

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

To meet future local water demands, the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District apparently needs additional raw water storage, now.

Though details are not entirely clear, a 2003 study by Steven Harris of Harris Water Engineering Inc. in Durango suggests the district has sufficient storage to meet estimated requirements through 2010. However, the enlargements of the Dutton Ditch pipeline and Stevens Reservoir would presumably increase storage volumes enough to meet projected needs through 2015. But after that, trouble may loom on the horizon.

In the meantime, the Dutton Ditch pipeline expansion is nearly finished, but work on Stevens Reservoir cannot begin until final engineering plans are approved and additional land acquisition is complete. District officials are hopeful that all will be in order by year's end, with construction commencing early next spring.

Once the work is done, which, under favorable conditions, may take a single construction season, the impoundment will be more than twice its current size, at approximately 1,844 acre-feet. That will allow the district a maximum storage capacity of 3,900 acre-feet. An acre-foot is a surface acre of water, one foot deep.

A Harris analysis of the PAWSD "firm water supply" in July noted that the rate of population growth within the district has slowed somewhat since 2003. As a result, he believes a continuing decrease, coupled with average or higher precipitation levels in coming years, will prolong adequate water supplies over the short term.

Though experts expect the growth rate to decrease further, Harris also thinks development of additional diversion capacity from the San Juan River should begin immediately. To do so, thus consistently providing more water from the river, Harris suggests three possible actions.

The first two are most likely, and involve the enlargement of the San Juan pump and pipeline and/or the Snowball pipeline. Combined, both currently provide a total of 7.1 cubic feet per second of raw water to the district system, which is considered adequate to supply demands to 2010, but not beyond.

The third option would be the development of a new pump site and pipeline, presumably at the proposed Dry Gulch Reservoir site. Harris suggests the pump site could be used to supply additional water to the district until the reservoir is built, at which time, it would be used to fill the reservoir and keep it at capacity.

While either or both of the first two choices could probably be accomplished sooner than the Dry Gulch pump site alternative, all three would be costly and time-consuming. What's more, treatment capacity would have to be expanded to accommodate the additional raw water.

Ultimately, the 2003 Harris report suggested new reservoir storage was necessary to adequately supply PAWSD with water to 2040 and beyond. According to PAWSD and the San Juan Water Conservancy District, three studies over the past 20 years examined potential reservoir sites in the San Juan basin, and each designated Dry Gulch as the most feasible location.

According to Harris, advantages to the Dry Gulch site include:

- A location largely under one ownership, requiring minimal land purchase negotiations.

- No existing development in the basin, thus eliminating a need for displacement.

- As an off-stream reservoir, it would be easier and less expensive to fill from the river.

- The reservoir site is near the diversion and close to town.

While PAWSD and SJWCD are now working jointly to acquire the land necessary to develop Dry Gulch, actual construction may yet be years away. The U.S. Forest Service owns property adjacent to the site, and will require a special use permit. The Army Corps of Engineers will require a permit to allow water diversion from the river, and the state of Colorado will need to approve design and construction of the dam.

To add to the complexity of the project, some political opposition exists, though most of it relates to the impoundment's overall size, and the amount of San Juan River water necessary to fill it. Few argue that additional water isn't necessary

Meanwhile, essential funding for the $145 million project may require grants, additional impact fees, increased mill levies and future bonding, which must be voter-approved. Consequently, experts believe the completion of Dry Gulch cannot be accomplished before 2025 at the earliest.

 

School district continues work on student achievement, testing

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

With the new school year in full swing, the district school board and administration are keeping their eyes on student achievement.

Bill Esterbrook, assistant superintendent for curriculum and development, presented the administration's student achievement plan to the board at Tuesday's regular monthly meeting.

Utilizing assessment results, the district seeks to standardize content and evaluation at the different grade levels, while addressing the academic weaknesses of individuals, classrooms and grades.

The primary tool at the administration's disposal will be communication. Administration has focused on facilitating teacher collaboration. Teachers work together to establish student standards and improve teaching methods, when their classes show areas of deficiency.

Teachers are also encouraged to monitor individual student achievement based on joint standards, in order to address issues as they arise.

On Sept. 29, the district will hold a seminar for all teachers on classroom practices, focusing on instruction.

An area of concern for the district is the discrepancy between standardized testing and student grades.

Students who get good grades often do not do as well on standardized tests, such as the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP). Similarly, students who do not get good grades sometimes do better on CSAP.

There are many reasons for the discrepancy: Some good students may not try as hard on standardized tests, while other students may do better, since standardized tests only measure knowledge, and not homework, participation or behavior.

Esterbrook noted that the more successful a group of students was on CSAP, the less the disparity.

However, a group of students that did not do as well on CSAP would still earn their share of A, B and C grades on report cards.

Administrators and teachers will work together in the coming weeks and months to understand whether the scoring disparity is significant to student achievement, determining whether districts and classrooms need to change their standards, methods or focuses.

According to Esterbrook, "Any reaction will be based on the opinions of educators."

An example of successful communication and collaboration occurred last year in an English common assessment at the high school.

Before the test, a group of teachers, who were instructing the same course, met to determine what standards should be taught and evaluated. They then constructed a joint-assessment based on those standards.

After the essay test was given, the teachers collaborated in its evaluation. They analyzed the results and discovered areas in need of improvement.

Over the next three weeks, the teachers focused on those issues in class. Then they gave a similar essay test, with only the prompt changed, and there was overwhelming improvement.

One standard might simply be the ability to construct a successful essay.

A student's first attempt might reflect a number of limitations - such as an argument that is unrelated to the topic or unclear, a lack of evidence or a reliance on summary.

Recognizing the areas in need of improvement could allow a teacher to focus on teaching what makes up an advanced essay. He or she might provide examples that provide strong, clear arguments and directly answer the intended question or topic, with the backing of evidence, analysis and interpretation. The teacher could provide further instruction through directed revision of student drafts.

Esterbrook described the English common assessment as an example of how testing can show teachers where they need to intervene, in order to help students reach the standards that are set by educators in the classroom, building, district and state.

In addition to its continued focus on student achievement, the school board took steps Tuesday toward constructing a facilities master plan. A request for proposals will be submitted in the next week to architectural firms across the country. The chosen firm will provide the district with consultation for upgrading existing facilities and constructing new buildings, if necessary.

This week, the district will also submit a ballot measure to the county clerk for the November election. If approved, the measure would increase the term limit of school board members from two terms to three.

New teachers across the district attended the school board meeting, in order to be introduced to and welcomed by the board and administration.

 

Rocky Mountain Riders hold annual horse show

By Jaclyn Harms

Special to The SUN

Members of the Rocky Mountain Rider's 4-H Club competed for high point awards Aug. 20 at their annual club horse show.

Members competed in a variety of classes, including several English, showmanship and western horsemanship.

For many of the 4-H'ers, this was their first experience at showing horses, and their participation confirmed the goal of sparking interest among members.

Belt buckles, clippers and bridle bags were among the prizes awarded to members receiving high point recognition. The day ended with several fun games on horseback, including musical chaisr and a ride-a-buck contest.

High points awards

First place in Level 1 was Jaclyn Harms riding Dodger's Duly; second place was Jamilyn Harms riding Jami's Jewel; third-place high point was Brooke Cumbie riding Bacardi Dark; and fourth-place high point for Level 1 was Bailey Wessels-Halverson riding Ivan.

High point winners in the novice group included: first place, Jennifer Smith riding Bobby; second place, Satara Arthaud-Vanderbeek riding Chaco; third-place high point for the novice group, Jessica Tanner, riding Banjo.

Members of the Rocky Mountain Riders' 4-H club want to express their thanks to Jack Adams, owner of the Lucky A Ranch, for allowing the club to use his facilities for the horse show. Recognition should also go to Kristy Rekers for volunteering her time to be the judge at the event.

Also, a special thanks to the parent volunteers for making the event possible and to Lynn Johnson, the club leader, and Kathy Gaskins, the horse project leader, for all their hard work and dedication to the program.

If there is any interest in becoming involved in this program for the upcoming year, notify Lynn Johnson, 731-5909, or contact the 4-H Extension Office for more information.

 

Boot camp for new dads

A boot camp for new dads is scheduled 1-4 p.m. Sept. 16.

Fathers expecting a baby in the next six months and fathers with infants 1-6 months are invited.

This workshop uses a man-to-man mentoring approach for new dads.

Registration deadline is Sept. 15. For information or to register contact Tecumseh at Tri County Head Start and Quality Early Childhood Programs 247-5960, Ext. 13.

 

Annual medical symposium takes place at BootJack Ranch

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Mayo Clinic physicians, benefactors, and their spouses gathered last weekend at the base of Wolf Creek Pass for a little rest and relaxation and to share information from their areas of specialty.

The second annual retreat was hosted by David and Carol Brown at BootJack Ranch. Area medical professionals were also invited to the conference to build relationships and improve care. After the morning meetings, guests were treated to a variety of outdoor activities.

Topics of the conference included heart health, osteoporosis, arthritis, sleep and Alzheimer's disease. Talks were presented by world-class physicians from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Local physician Tim Mazzola said the conference "brought in a lot of good topics."

More importantly, said Mazzola, it provided a "nice opportunity to get to meet the folks from Mayo."

Developing relationships will make it easier for local doctors to communicate with the Mayo clinic specialists about patients from the Pagosa area.

 

Learn about 'living foods' at ed center

By Renee Haywood

Special to The SUN

Food. It is such a basic and vital piece of our existence, and yet we spend so little time putting purpose and intention into what we put in our bodies.

The Archuleta County Education Center is offering a Living Foods class. Learning raw foods recipes and techniques will help members of this community learn a way of eating that revitalizes the body and spirit. Eating living foods helps prevent and cure cancer, candida, digestive and circular ailments and deals any number of other wellness issues. Raw foods are also a great way of controlling weight and increasing energy.

Learn how to prepare satisfying, delicious and unique living foods, including: manna breads, crackers, "cheeses," desserts and other treats. Discover the pleasure of growing nutrient-rich sprouts at home all year long and learn the benefits of incorporating local, wild plants into your diet.

The class tuition includes a living foods dinner for each of the four evening classes. The Living Foods class will run from 5:30 - 7 p.m., Wednesday evenings from Sept. 27 to Oct. 18.

Call the Archuleta County Education Center at 264-2835 or stop by the office located at 4th and Lewis streets.

 

Sign up for Beginning Spanish class

By Renee Haywood

Special to The SUN

There's more reason now than ever before to start learning to speak Spanish.

Here in the Southwest, knowing even a little Spanish will get you far, so sign up for Spanish Beginning Level I at the Archuleta County Education Center. The basic Spanish communication skills you learn will very likely help you both in your current job, or any new education or career opportunities you might pursue.

In addition, learning Spanish is a great way to jump-start your life outside of work and school. Widen your circle of friends here in this community to include members of our large Spanish-speaking population. Or get ready for that big trip you've always wanted to take south of the border.

Whatever your motivation, you're sure to find big returns by signing up for Beginning Spanish at the Education Center. Call 264-8395 or drop by the office located at 4th and Lewis streets.

 

Job training assistance available in Pagosa Springs

SUCAP/The Training Advantage, a partner in the SW Colorado Workforce Center, has programs available for adults and youth needing assistance with job training and employment. There is priority of service for veterans meeting the eligibility criteria.

For more information about services and eligibility requirements, contact the Workforce Center - Ruby at 731-3834, or Shana at 731-3835, 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7. EEO.

 

Joe Colgan to meet Pagosa Country voters tomorrow

Local voters are invited to meet Joe Colgan, candidate for the state House of Representatives, 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, at 1215 Cloud Cap (north on Piedra, 2 miles, west on Cloud Cap, around the lake, 1 mile).

Refreshments will be provided. Colgan will speak a 6 p.m.

Please R.S.V.P. to 731-6367. Hosted by Ray and Teddy Finney.

 

Pro se divorce, child custody seminar set for Pagosa Springs

Doing your own divorce and/or custody in Colorado will be the topic of a seminar at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, presented by Colorado Legal Services.

The seminar will be held at the Sisson Library, 811 San Juan St. in downtown Pagosa Springs.

The seminar is free and preregistration is not required; however, anyone wishing to apply for the free book forms and instructions available to low income individuals is encouraged to arrive 10 minutes early.

For more information contact Legal Aid at 247-0266.

 

Southwest Organization for Sustainability to meet tomorrow

By Susan Junta

Special to The SUN

The next monthly meeting of the Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS) will be at 7 p.m. tomorrow. Sept. 15, at the Pagosa UU Fellowship Hall (Greenbriar Plaza, Unit B-15 - east side).

The guest speaker is Dick White from the Durango Sustainabilitiy Alliance of Southwest Colorado (SASC). His talk, "Sustainability: Localizing for the Future," will focus on the benefits of keeping money circulating in the local economy through improvements in efficiency measures, local agriculture production, and support of local businesses. White will describe the background and current efforts of the SASC, with a focus on exploring how people work together on local and regional sustainability efforts.

Individuals and representatives of groups are invited to attend and coordinate efforts related to key environmental issues. Also, mark your calendars now for the Oct. 20 SOS meeting and fund-raiser featuring Al Gore's acclaimed movie "An Inconvenient Truth."

Direct questions to Denise Rue-Pastin at 731-9672.

 

Outdoors

Chimney Rock book signing tomorrow

By Karen Aspin

Special to The SUN

The recent release of the long-awaited picture book on one of our greatest local assets is titled "Visions of Chimney Rock: A Photographic Interpretation of the Place and Its People."

This exquisite representation of the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is the first of its kind to feature Chimney Rock and its place in the Chacoan Culture. Those interested in adding this extraordinary book to their collections may appreciate the opportunity of added value by making their purchase at a special book-signing event Friday, Sept. 15, from 3 to 5 p.m., at Moonlight Books, in downtown Pagosa Springs. Light refreshments will be served.

In his introduction, Dr. W. James Judge notes, "This book presents an eclectic collection of subjects from archaeology to geology to history to the natural world of the Chimney Rock region. Of particular interest is the emphasis on the integration of the natural and cultural worlds expressed in the photos and the text. As a natural area, Chimney Rock is unmatched in diversity and the beautiful images contained herein speak well to the inspiration it provides."

This new book was published by the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association to help further support the interpretive program and its mission. Written for a general adult reader, it is 130 pages long, in a 6x9 format and contains 25 illustrations and 150, mostly full-color, photos.

Jo Bridges, former district ranger with the USFS Pagosa Ranger District, stated, "This book has been created and published through the talents and commitment of volunteers who present the theories of various researchers, illustrated with incredible photographs, capturing the awe-inspiring setting of this public jewel we know as Chimney Rock."

Helen L. Richardson, project editor and freelance writer, said the project has been 20 years in the making. It is the fifth book edited by Richardson, and one in which she takes particular pride. Richardson explained, "Many creative, knowledgeable people have contributed valuable resources to make this book a reality."

Among the contributors are the names of many highly regarded local talents, including artist Denny Rose, whose original watercolor graces the cover. Writers include Jennie Ferrell, Joanne Hanson, Sharon Hatch, Bill Hawthorne, Peggy Jacobson, W. James Judge, J. McKim Malville, Elizabeth Ann Morris, Dick Moseley, Alan F. Peterson, Glenn Raby, Ron Sutcliffe, Dick and Ann Van Fossen, and Charley Worthman. Photos were contributed by Scott Allen, Bruce Anderson, Christie Calderwood, David Herrell, Jeff Laydon, Dick Moseley, John and Helen Richardson, the Anasazi Heritage Center, the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research at the University of Arizona, and the U.S. Forest Service Pagosa District.

Several other books related to Chimney Rock are also worthy of attention: "Prehistoric Astronomy in the Southwest," by Professor Jim Malville; a general history of Chimney Rock, titled "In the Shadow of the Rocks," by Florence C. Lister; and "Wings for my Flight — the Peregrine Falcons of Chimney Rock," by Mary Cottrell Houle.

At the Chimney Rock Visitor Cabin, book lovers can combine a site visit through guided tours and an early holiday shopping spree for more books related to Chimney Rock and native cultures. One such book is the intriguing "Chimney Rock Archaeological Symposium," a popular publication that just received a facelift and now sports a spiral binding and new color cover sheet. This is a volume of papers from a gathering of archaeologists in October 1990 in Durango, that was themed on the topic of Chimney Rock. The symposium was sponsored by the Colorado Archaeological Society, the USDA Forest Service, and Fort Lewis College where presentations and discussions took place on the archaeology of Chimney Rock Archaeological Area; the Chimney Rock pueblo as a regional shrine for lunar ceremonialism; a calendrical observatory; a timber camp; a Chacoan mission-entrada, port-of-trade, fortress and tribute collection facility; and much more. Every bookshelf on local interest and Puebloan culture would benefit by including this book among its valued treasures.

Another treat is local archaeo-astronomer and Chimney Rock volunteer Ron Sutcliffe's recently released book "Moon Tracks, a Guide to the Moon's Patterns on the Horizon." This book - a great tool for understanding the moon's travel pattern and the major northern lunar standstill phenomenon - explains the observational and astronomical basis for the moon's behavior. It is Sutcliffe's mathematical calculations that have made it possible for CRIA to offer a public viewing program to witness the unique rising of the moon between the twin pinnacles, something that only occurs on an 18.6 year cycle. Those interested in this topic may also want to add Sutcliffe's archaeoastronomy posters to their shopping lists.

The visitor cabin, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Saturday, Sept. 30, at Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, is located three miles south on Colo. 151, is 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs via U.S. 160.

The book-signing event is sponsored by CRIA, in partnership with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District and Moonlight Books. The Chimney Rock Web site, found at www.chimneyrockco.org, provides details on the site, tours, and programs.

 

Chimney Rock offers final 2006 Full Moon Program

By Caroline Brown

Special to The SUN

Although the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association has concluded another season of guided tours at the archaeological area outside of town, visitors and locals alike get one last opportunity in 2006 to enjoy the magical sound of the Native American flute, skillfully mastered by our friend and neighbor, Charles Martinez.

This is one of the most memorable aspects of the Chimney Rock Full-Moon Program, which accompanies an informative educational talk. The season-closing program is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 6.

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 6:30 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 5 to 5:30 p.m. for those attending the full moon program. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated. The program begins at 6.

As an added feature to the Full Moon Program, the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association (CRIA) offers an optional guided early tour of the lower archaeological sites at Chimney Rock for an additional fee of $5. The gate opens at 4 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. The Chimney Rock Visitor Cabin closes Saturday, Sept. 30, so tickets can only be secured from this venue until 4 p.m. that day, by calling 883-5359. The cabin is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For reservations and more information, starting Monday, Oct. 2, call the CRIA office at 264-2287 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. General information is always available on the 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. This season's MLS tickets are sold out, with final 2007 season tickets going on sale to the public in May 2007.

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

 

Wildlife commission meets, takes action

The Colorado Wildlife Commission met in a regular meeting, Thursday, Sept. 7, in Gunnison. The Colorado Wildlife Commission sets policy for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

The commission took action on several items:

- Prairie dog shooting on public lands will be closed from March 1 to June 14. That is the time period when prairie dogs mate and raise young. The closure does not apply to private property. Land managers for city, county and other governmental entities are also allowed to control prairie dogs on a year-around basis.

- Starting Nov. 1, landowners whose property is damaged by prairie dogs will be allowed to use a propane/oxygen mixture that can be delivered into burrows and detonated to kill the animals.

- Mountain lion harvest limit quotas were finalized for the 2006-2007 mountain lion season. Harvest limit quotas are based on a five-year average and will remain virtually unchanged from last season.

- Operators of private fish hatcheries that stock fish in Colorado waters are now required to submit an annual report detailing their activities to the Division of Wildlife. The report will contain information about the aquaculture facility, date and location of stocking, species stocked and size of fish.

- The Walk-in access program has been expanded to include all small game and furbearers and scaled quail in the eastern part of the state, and geese and spring turkey hunting in western Colorado. The walk-in program gives hunters access to the private property of enrolled landowners. A walk-in access permit costs $20.

A citizen's petition to allow the use of raccoons to train hound dogs was withdrawn by the applicant.

The wildlife commission will meet next Oct. 5 in Rifle for a work session.

 

 Catch and Release

Go ahead ... slip 'em a Mickey

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Angling lore, like fish stories themselves, is full of exaggerations, fabrications and often-murky versions of the truth. Attempting to sort fact from fiction when it comes to the history of fly fishing can be a daunting task, particularly when it comes to the origins of North American fly patterns.

In many cases, North American flies are localized adaptations of Old World patterns. Others however, are unique creations, tied to address the specific conditions or peculiarities of a particular regional fishing environment. And in fact, although many basic trout fly patterns are essentially universal, there is an implicit dichotomy between western and eastern flies in North American angling. Nevertheless, there are some flies that fall through the cracks and don't fit into a neat compartment of angling history. The Mickey Finn is one such pattern, and although often deemed a "classic fly," it is difficult to discern where it falls on the historic or regional spectra.

In "McClane's Standard Fishing Encyclopedia," one of the few, if only, reference to the pattern, is listed under the "streamer" heading. There, McClane writes, "More so than in other methods of fly-fishing, the streamer-fly angler is dealing with an art that may provoke strikes because of hunger, curiosity, excitement or just plain pugnacity. The Mickey Finn pattern, for instance, is accredited with the power of exciting fish into striking."

The Mickey Finn is a bucktail streamer pattern - that much is certain. Of the streamer family of flies, it is often described as an attractor pattern because its gaudy yellow and red bucktail body and silver tinsel wrapped hook shank resemble no particular bait fish, but due to its color and profile, may excite fish into striking. For example, it is said the tinseled hook shank resembles the flashy belly scales of a small baitfish, while the red bucktail might appear as the lateral line of a small minnow or trout. In either case, the fly is effective on still water and slower moving rivers when cast with a sinking line and a count-down-and-retrieve presentation. In fast currents, a wet-fly swing and a quick, jerky retrieve can bring aggressive strikes, particularly when the fly swings taught in the current. In both cases, and under a variety of presentation styles, the fly has proved undoubtedly enticing to trout.

Combing the annals of fly fishing, it appears widely agreed the fly is indisputably effective for taking trout, particularly brook trout. But it is there the corroboration stops, and the murky water begins.

According to a number of sources, although bibliographic references and clearly cited sources are scant, the Mickey Finn was originally called the "Red and Yellow Bucktail," and was sold by a company called William Mills and Son in the early decades of the 20th century. During those years, it was one of many, somewhat generic bucktail streamer patterns available on the market, but, by the mid-1930s, in a stroke of serendipity, fortune would change for the Red and Yellow Bucktail, and it would earn two new names, first the "Assassin," and later the "Mickey Finn."

Apparently the shift in appellation came when John Alden Knight, author, noteworthy angler of the day and early promoter of the fly, introduced the pattern to Toronto Star journalist Gregory Clark while together on a fishing trip. As the legend goes, Clark found the fly particularly devastating for catching brook trout, and renamed the fly the "Assassin." Soon after the trip, after learning that a waiter or group of waiters had murdered actor and singer Rudolph Valentino by "slipping him a Mickey," Clark changed his tune and renamed the fly again, this time to "Mickey Finn." A Mickey Finn was a '20s and '30s era knockout drink used to incapacitate, or in the case of Valentino, kill the drinker. Considering the deceptive and devastating affects of both the fly and the drink, Clark apparently deemed the name change appropriate, and wrote about the pattern in a 1937, fall issue of "Hunting and Fishing Magazine," and thus, the Mickey Finn and its popularity were born.

As the legend goes, the magazine's arrival on newsstands coincided with the 1937 New York Sportsman's Show and the Mickey Finn took the event by storm. Some accounts report that 300,000 Mickey Finns were tied and sold during the show, and it is said sales of the pattern broached one million by the middle of 1938.

But what made the pattern so popular? Endorsements by outdoor writers and angling gurus undoubtedly helped. Maybe its bright colors, simple and elegant design and ease of tying made it appealing? Perhaps it truly was, and remains, a brook trout "assassin" and performance alone has kept its popularity alive until today?

Whatever the case, the experience of floating in solitude on an alpine lake, and feeling the impact of a hefty brook trout slamming into your Mickey Finn is hard to beat. The force of the take and the bend in the rod could send you tumbling out of your float tube. And when you come to, you may wander along the shoreline in a daze, rubbing the back of your neck like a gumshoe in a vintage detective movie, muttering to yourself something about, "Was it me or the trout who was 'slipped a Mickey.'"

 

High Country Reflections

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

No column this week.

 

Letters

A lot to lose

Dear Editor:

"Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose," (K. Kristofferson). We've got a lot to lose in the pending state/federal elections. If you define freedom as your right independent of responsibility then all you need to do is mix in some fundamental religious beliefs, the opinion that being different is bad, and you get your basic "Red States" voting pattern ya couldn't get further from the freedom dependent on individual responsibilities intended by our founding fathers.

No puzzle then that our current "President of the Red States" counts on your laziness and establishes his order through coercion and smearing best seen in Rumsfeld's recent speech where he likened critics of the Iraq war to appeasers of Hitler. The image that matches this total hypocrisy is the December 1983 photograph of Rumsfeld in Baghdad, warmly shaking the hand of Saddam Hussein, as emissary for President Reagan, to align the U.S. with Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war with our full knowledge of all Saddam's prior horrible deeds. Want an example closer to home? Pete Coors, one of Trailhead's principals (neo-Swiftboat smear group), recently accepted a plea-bargain deal on his drunken-driving case. Seems Coors may be deeply involved in smearing Bill Ritter who is running for Governor. Trailhead's decrying Ritter's record as soft-on-crime. "Plea bargain deals are good enough for Pete Coors but no one else" (Ritter).

The thing is, democracy depends on the underlying belief in "vox populi" or voice of the people with it's presumed basic wisdom and groundwork of fairness.

The midterm elections are within two months. Plan to vote, do some research, listen to your internal voice of reason, sound out your thoughts with neighbors, friends and strangers, and then vote for the person you choose, not the party. All choices are compromises, so pick the candidate with the strongest balance of performance, good sense, basic fairness, respect for the Constitution and then mix in a little risk.

Voting is a responsibility and a national service. We do get the government we deserve good or bad!

Dave Blake

 

Resolution

Dear Editor:

In June 2005 a lawsuit settlement resulted in the Forest Service halting drilling on Federal land in the Fosset Gulch area until the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Northern San Juan Basin Coal Bed Methane Project was completed. When a well was relocated from Federal land to our private land we challenged the issuance of an Archuleta County permit because the well was within a mile of the outcrop and no safer on private land than Federal land. Archuleta County had Resolution 2004-28 which did not support drilling within 1.5 miles of the outcrop.

Our written response from Archuleta County stated that the resolution was of no consequence or meaning to the well permitting issues or requirements. It was only a position statement taken by the board, at the request of some citizens, that the commissioners of Archuleta County oppose drilling in the HD Mountains and/or near the Fruitland outcrop.

The resolution was ineffective in preventing drilling within 1.5 miles of the outcrop. The county knew this yet last week they approved another resolution which extends their previous stance articulated in Resolution 2004-28. Why didn't the county ask the Forest Service and Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to extend the 1.5 mile buffer from La Plata County into Archuleta County last year when they discovered their original resolution was only a policy statement? Why did they wait until the Final EIS was issued and drilling is imminent?

The new resolution asks for further study into the hazards of drilling near the outcrop before CBM drilling begins. In May 2006, BLM requested permission to conduct a major USGS study of groundwater on our property. The study would collect baseline data and continue for ten years monitoring the groundwater effects of CBM drilling on the outcrop. Access for the study would be via Fosset Gulch Road which is no longer maintained by the county.

Our family has unconditionally allowed our ranch to be utilized in studies and monitoring by BLM, USGS and COGCC. We have done everything possible to have this road maintained by the Forest Service and Archuleta County. With the exception of Robin Schiro, Archuleta County has not supported our efforts. The Forest Service insists that Fosset Gulch Road serves primarily as access to our land and is therefore our problem. In terms of road maintenance, the Forest Service and county's position to protect public roads/land is seriously compromising public safety.

Archuleta County identified significant tax benefits to be received from oil and gas activity. However non-monetary benefits from ongoing studies and monitoring are crucial in ensuring public health, safety and welfare. The county denied a compressor station permit on Colo. 151 due to the potential effects it could have on Stollsteimer Creek (a tributary to the Piedra River). Now they won't maintain the road that would provide access to a major study and monitoring of the Piedra River itself.

Sincerely,

Leonard and Annette Candelaria

Tucson, Ariz.

 

Pinewood problem

Dear Editor,

Congratulations to the Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board. They have managed to defile both the Declaration of Independence and the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution in one fell swoop.

I have owned and operated the Pinewood Inn for the past two years. This year, I decided to put my property on the market with the goal of retiring. Recently, a contract was reached with a closing date of Oct. 16, 2006.

Immediately I traveled to Arkansas to look for my new home. I found one and soon had it under contract for closing a few days after the Pinewood Inn closed.

Two weeks ago the Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board decided they wanted to take a look at the property since it is at least 50 years old. I gave them a walk-through and answered all their questions. I could see then that a potential roadblock could be developing.

Sure enough, at their meeting of 8/31, which I attended, they recommended to the town board that the house, which also serves as an office/lobby, and one wing of the motel be given "historic" designation.

If the town board takes this recommendation, it will kill my deal. The house may be prevented from being torn down, severely impacting any redevelopment.

Prior to the vote, I asked what historic value the home in question has. I pointed out that just because something is old does not necessarily mean it has historic value. I never received an answer. The reason is simple: There is no appreciable value there. The place was used as a boarding house prior to the 1940s, and unless Calvin Coolidge slept there on one of his western sojourns, there is no real historic value there.

The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence asserts that every person is endowed with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If the town board votes to disallow any potential demolition, they will deny all three of these rights. My pursuit of happiness entails the liberty which comes with retirement. Denying this is denying life. The town will have seized control of my house, preventing the sale, a clean violation of the Fourth Amendment.

I moved to Pagosa 27 months ago for two reasons: 1) It was my favorite town in Colorado and 2) The Pinewood Inn was for sale and within my budget. How things have changed. For numerous reasons, I no longer desire to live here. Pagosa touts itself as a progressive town. In that spirit I ask the town board to allow this deal to go forward. Don't get mired in the past, but look forward to redevelopment into something which I'm sure will be controlled by the planning department and an asset to the town.

The final decision will be made by the town board at a public meeting today, at 5:30 p.m. Please attend if you are interested.

Sincerely,

Charles Craig

 

Workable plan?

Dear Editor:

It was one of those Get In, Sit Down, Hold On, and Speak Up sessions,

Last week's town council meeting had a packed agenda, and it was intense.

The number of items just barely fit on a legal size sheet of paper.

Nine public hearings. Plus 10 items of new business (just one of which dealt with seven different construction and development projects and subdivisions and a conditional use permit), plus four annexation matters.

Plus 10 pieces of Old Business (which included a public hearing on Guidelines and Criteria for Large Format Retailers), and Department Head Reports.

By my count, 36 items of business - many, certainly, crucially important to the individuals and business planners and companies and churches and other nonprofits whose activities called for a place on the council's agenda.

Case by case, the council plowed through it. That demanded extensive background knowledge, legal smarts, fiscal savvy, and considerable insight into local conditions on the part of the council members. And one more thing that was missing.

I sat in on two of the three hours of the meeting to learn how the town's Comprehensive Plan offers a framework for the council's business. If any, the connection was unspoken. That was especially notable when it came to the discussion of the "big box" ordinance in connection with the 35-acre development planned at the intersection of highways 160 and 84 - one that will surely have a major economic impact on the character of the town.

The section of the Comprehensive Plan dealing with economic vitality is all about values. It is not an argument for market-driven development. It says that this community does not want to look like Everywhere USA. That we want quality jobs. That we want to support small independent businesses. This values-laden guideline of the plan did not earn a mention.

From the council's discussion, one could not conclude that this development will or will not support the values of the Comprehensive Plan.

No, I am not going to ask "What would Jesus do?" As the old saying goes, you plan the work then you work the plan.

The open question is: Is this plan a "workable" plan - or is it just something nice to have on the shelf?

We'll see.

Michael J. Greene

 

Kudos

Dear Editor:

I was recently visiting my daughter over the Labor Day weekend and attended the Four Corners Folk Festival. What a wonderful addition to your beautiful community.

I was very impressed with the organization and professionalism of the event. The music was outstanding! It was so entertaining and delightful to see all of the individuals that came out to Reservoir Hill to enjoy the music, the many workshops, the wonderful children's programs and all the fun.

I had the misfortune of falling and was immediately attended by three EMTs working in the first aid tent and by two doctors. They cleaned me up and gave me a clean bill of health and I am ever so grateful for their kindness and caring.

Many kudos to Crista Munro, Dan Appenzeller, the Folk West board of directors, the sponsors, the musicians and all of the many volunteers who work together to put on such a wonderful and memorable event

Thank you,

Marilyn Henry

Belleville, New York

 

Write them

Dear Editor:

Folks, our county commissioners need to hear from you; tell them what you want. Write to P.O. Box 1507, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, i.e.:

Dear County Commissioners:

At this time, I am unclear whether the ballot wording is final for our roads. Please do everything possible to make it clear on the ballot that folks are not going to be taxed, that de-Brucing would allow money to be used in certain ways. We have many folks with their own road maintenance that would not vote for increased taxes for road care.

Also, I want to address the need to look at parks and the need, i.e., Pagosa Lakes area, what may now be changed from commercial and even if not could be a well needed park, the past proposed Peaks at Hatcher, off North Pagosa Boulevard and Saturn.

As I am writing, please let me also suggest, no big box. If this area needs anything, it is a good grocery store to give City Market a challenge and us some better food.

Personally, most of us moved here for what Pagosa is; please try and keep it a small town. Yes, we are dependent on tourism and that is possible to survive, especially with increased housing, which equals increased tax revenue.

Our biggest money income, my understanding, is the hunter. So we don't need frills and lace, most of us want low key. We like Pagosa, Pagosa.

Growth does not have to bring big changes. You all know this, so yes, listen to the people.

Thank you,

Pam Morrow

 

Editor's note:

Statistics indicate the real estate industry, including home construction, and general tourism, are both greater contributors to the local economy than hunting. This has been the case for quite a few years.

 

Concerned

Dear Editor:

We are very concerned about the town's possible approval of 38 units of Sunridge Villas in the Aspen Village development. The sketch plan review will be Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. at Town Hall. The public hearing is Oct. 3, again 5 p.m., Town Hall (upstairs). If you have concerns about the project, please come, or write the planning commission and town board

We know that this is a permitted use for this Aspen Village project. Our main concerns are numbered below:

1. Are they going to be building on the top of all that fill dirt (that we were told was just "storage" for backfills later on -- by Mark Garcia and Tamra Allen)?

2. Will there be sufficient setbacks to protect our properties?

3. Will tall and dense landscaping be required (not only to front of townhouses, but to back and sides)? Will this be in place before final occupancy or sign off on building permits?

4. Will town be checking to see if dust and erosion control is done on a daily basis, to prevent the terrible conditions that existed when roads and utilities were being installed?

We still feel that this connection of multifamily and commercial lots, adjoining 5-10 acres of "agricultural estates" property is poor planning, but at this point, since the development was made and approved prior to your new plan, we just have to make the best of it and hope you will give some consideration to the neighbors by reducing density, requiring above landscaping and any other mitigations.

From what I understand of the real estate market here, it looks like there are over 300 multifamily units available - either new or resale, plus under construction or "on the drawing boards." With most of them running over $300,000, it makes you wonder just how many more of those kinds of buyers are out there?

The market will determine this, but there is much concern for where future water, roads, and other public services will be coming from. Impact fees are great, but there are none that mitigate the quality of life that is slowly fading from Pagosa Springs.

Sincerely,

Harold and Joan Slavinski

Kate's Calendar

Today

Homemakers meet

The Mountain View Homemakers will hold the September meeting at the home of Maureen Marshall, 418 Carino Place. The co-hostess will be Mercedes Leist. The program for September will be given by Margaret Rourke who will talk about her method for cooking and carving a turkey. Those attending should also bring their favorite holiday dish with a copy of the recipe to share. Directions: Take Meadows Drive south off U.S. 160, turn right on Carino Place to 418. Everyone is welcome to attend and share in this holiday feast at noon.

Sept. 15

SOS meeting

"Sustainability - Localizing for the Future," is the topic of the monthly meeting of the Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS) 7 p.m. at the Pagosa UU Fellowship Hall (Greenbriar Plaza - Unit B-15, east side).

Sept. 16

Roberts visit

Ellen Roberts, Republican candidate for Colorado House District 59, will greet area residents at a coffee to be held at 10 a.m. at Boss Hogg's Restaurant. All voters in the community are invited to come meet Ellen and discuss issues important to them. Hosted by Archuleta County Republicans. For additional information, call Mojie at 731-4277.

Sept. 16

Colorfest dance

The Colorfest dance will be held at the community center at 7 p.m. There will be free snacks, a cash bar and music provided by the popular Durango band, the High Rollers.

Sept. 16

Soak at The Springs

Benefit the local United Way campaign as The springs offers 10 percent of bathhouse sales throughout the day to Archuleta County's 2006 United Way Campaign. Hours: 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Adult admission is $15 and children 2-10 are $7.50. Locals living within 60 miles are $10.

Sept. 16

LungBuster

LungBuster 2006 is a multi-sport event that includes hiking, mountain biking and flat-water paddling. The goal is to navigate existing trails within the Rio Grande National Forest, starting from Wolf Creek Ski Area. Please see www.lungbuster.com or call (505) 489-1416.

Sept. 17

Pagosa singles

The Pagosa Singles (PALS) will meet at Navajo State Park for a barbecue and fellowship at 4:30 p.m. Bring a dish to share and your own drinks. All singles age 40-plus welcome. Call 883-2402 for directions and to R.S.V.P.

Sept. 17

Healing Arts Gathering

A center for healing arts is the topic to be discussed at the Healing Arts Gathering, 5-7 p.m. at Pathways to Soul Mastery located at 468 Pagosa St. (The Heritage Building), Suite A. Call Sophia at 903-2108 or Linda at 946-7352 for additional information.

Sept. 18

Free talks

The official opening of Pathways to Soul Mastery, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 468 Pagosa St., Suite A,. Several free talks are scheduled: at noon, "How to Reclaim Unity with the Soul"; at 3 p.m., "Near-Death Experiences: The Proof of the Immortal Existence of the Soul Beyond the Body"; at 6 p.m., "How to Activate the Soul's Template (Light Body) for Access to the Soul's Multi-Dimensional Intelligence." Refreshments will be served all day.

Sept. 20

Garden club

The Mountain High Garden Club will meet at Pagosa Nursery at 166 Bastille, at 10 a.m.

David Durkee will host a tour of the nursery and give a short talk on fall planting here in Pagosa. The club meets the third Wednesday of every month; dues for the entire year are $5. Everyone is welcome, regardless of gardening experience. For more information, contact Frances Wholf at 731-2012.

Sept. 20

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas child, the shoebox ministry of Franklin Graham, will have an organizational meeting 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Pagosa Bible Church.

Last year, the local community gave 672 boxes of gifts for children all around the world, and the organization seeks to reach out to even more children this year. Come find out how you can volunteer for any size job. Call Nancy Burke at 731-5901 or e-mail nbuzzurke@yahoo.com to sign up to help or for more information.

Sept. 20 and 27

Story Hour

Preschool Story Hour at the Sisson Library, 10-10:45 a.m.

Sept. 24

Mountain Chile Cha Cha

Free event at Town Park featuring foods, beer garden, and music by Brave Combo, 1:30-6 p.m.

Sept. 29

"Nuncrackers" audition

Audition for Music Boosters' production of "Nuncrackers," a musical by Dan Goggin, 6:30-9 p.m., Pagosa Springs High School band room.

Sept. 30

Sorority luncheon

Women who were members of a Panhellenic sorority during their college days are invited to attend the first-ever luncheon of sorority alumnae to take place at JJ's Riverwalk Restaurant at 11:30 a.m. Prepaid reservations are required. Cost is $20 per person. Send your check by Wednesday, Sept. 27, to Marilyn Chipps, PO Box 3591, Pagosa Springs CO 81147 and indicate which sorority you belong to and what college you were initiated. For information, call Lisa Scott, 264-2730.

Oct. 1

Symphonia

Symphonia for a Sunday Afternoon. The Quodlibet Handbell Choir and Friends will present a concert at 4 p.m. at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. Special guests include Beverly Arrendell, piano; Bob Nordmann, saxophone; Harvey Schwartz, piano; and Natalie Tyson, harp. A free will offering will taken to support the mission work of Craig and Lisa Branch.

Oct. 6

Full Moon Program

Watch the full moon rise at the Great House Pueblo site at Chimney Rock, learn about the Ancestral Puebloans, archaeoastronomy theories, area geology, and enjoy Native American flute melodies by Charles Martinez. Gate open from 5-5:30 p.m. Program begins at 6. Moonrise at approximately 6:30. This moonrise will not occur between the twin spires. Allow two to three hours for entire program, which is not recommended for children under 12. Reservations required. Tickets are $15. Add $5 for an early tour of the lower area (Great Kiva Trail Loop), which starts at 4. This event is sponsored by Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District. For tickets, call the visitor cabin at 883-5359, from 9-4:30 daily through Sept. 30, and the CRIA Office at 264-2287, weekdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. thereafter.

Oct. 12

Homemakers

The Mountain View Homemakers will meet at the home of Pat Sallani at 380 Arbor Drive. The co-hostess will be Shirley Van Dyken Stone. The program for October will be a cookie exchange. Those attending should bring their favorite batch of holiday cookies with a copy of the recipe to share. Directions: Piedra Road (CR 600) north from U.S. 160 to the Lake Hatcher area. Turn left on North Pagosa Boulevard, then take a quick right on Falcon and another quick right on Arbor Drive to 380. Everyone is welcome to attend and share in the holiday cookie preparations at noon.

 

   Community News

Balloon chase crew members needed

Are you ready for some fun and excitement in your life this weekend?

If you are, here is something just for you: Come out and be a part of the action as over 40 hot air balloons break the earthly bonds of gravity and ascend into the heavens over Pagosa Springs.

Chase crew persons are needed for the Colorfest Balloon Rally taking place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16 and 17.

Ballooning is a "hands-on" participation sport, and the chase crew is responsible for helping the pilot set up the balloon for inflation, following the balloon in a chase vehicle during flight, retrieving the balloon upon landing and packing it up after deflation.

Crew persons should be physically fit and familiar with the streets and roads in the area. Leather gloves can be helpful.

Being part of a chase crew is a lot of fun and a great way to meet some new people and personally experience hot air ballooning up close.

Be at the tent in Town Park Saturday, Sept. 16, for the pilot briefing at 7 a.m. and be placed with a pilot for crewing. Or, arrive Sunday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 a.m. at the tent at Fairfield Pagosa for that day's ascension. There will also be a signup sheet at the Knight's of Columbus' Beer, Brats and Balloons Community Picnic Friday night from 5 to 8 p.m. in Town Park.

 

Arts Alliance to begin feasibility study

 

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

The vision of the Pagosa Springs Arts Alliance is: To help establish the Arts as a regional, cultural and economic focal point for the community and to provide gathering places for engaging experiences that will touch the human spirit. Our services include the building and management of a cultural arts and education facility with the philosophy focused on giving back to our schools, visitors and community.

The Arts Alliance is in the process of taking its next steps towards this goal through the facilitation of a feasibility study scheduled to begin in October.

Consultant selection has been ongoing this year with the alliance board developing criteria and requirements in their search for an organization that best matched community's needs, potential and opportunities. The Alliance is happy to announce the selection of ACG, the Arts Consulting Group based in New York City, with the contact being Willem Brans, vice-president.

ACG will be working with the alliance board, town and county representatives, local cultural and educational organizations, business owners, and individual community members during the course of the study here - expected to be completed early in 2007.

The Alliance wishes to again thank all local organizations, agencies and community members who are helping fund the feasibility study.

If you would like to be a part of this project, contact Susan Neder, board president, at 731-4735.

 

Boosters to hold 'Nuncrackers' auditions, other help needed

By Dale Morris

Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa Springs Music Boosters is pleased to offer yet another "Nunsense" musical, this time the holiday version, "Nuncrackers," of Dan Goggins' zany series about a small group of nuns and the trials and tribulations they encounter on a daily basis.

Several of Pagosa's original "nuns" will be reprising their roles: Mary McKeehan as Reverend Mother; Kathy Isberg as Sister Mary Hubert; and Candy Flaming as Sister Robert Anne.

Auditions for remaining cast roles will be held 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, in the Band Room at the high school.

We are seeking an adult woman (20 or older) to play a nun role; an adult male (20 or older) to play the role of the Father. We are also auditioning for the following student roles: one high school-age male (14-19), one high school-age female (14-19); one boy (10-13), and one girl (10-13).

All roles require singing. Please prepare a show tune for auditions and bring your music; an accompanist will be provided. Script reading and a group dance audition will be part of the audition selection process. Come be part of an outstanding theatrical production group.

We are also looking for musicians to be part of a small combo for this show, including pianist, keyboard, violin and percussion players. As always, we need technical support backstage, and with sound, sets and lighting.

All Music Boosters' profit is returned to our schools and community in support of the performing arts.

If you have questions or need further information, call Dale Morris, 731-3370, or check out our Web site at pagosamusicboosters.org.

 

Whistle Pig concert features Beth Wood

A Whistle Pig House Concert featuring Beth Wood will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 20, at the Karas house.

Beth Wood grew up in Lubbock, Texas, where she was classically trained in piano, violin, harp and voice.

After spending two years studying voice and piano at Brevard College in North Carolina, Beth moved on to the University of Texas, where she picked up a degree in literature and her first guitar. While teaching herself guitar, she joined a band and became part of the Austin music scene.

After a few years of playing around Austin with her band, and then in a duo, Beth kissed her day-job goodbye and moved to the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina to pursue music full time. The natural beauty of her surroundings provided inspiration while the supportive community helped Beth to become a standout in the Asheville songwriters' community. Now an established singer/songwriter, she resides in Arlington, Texas while continuously touring to support her six independent releases.

Among her many achievements, Wood was named winner at the 2005 Kerrville New Folk Contest and the 2004 Wildflower Festival Songwriters Contest. She was 2000 Campus Activities Magazine Coffeehouse Entertainer of the Year, 1999 Campus Activities Magazine Club Performer of the Year Finalist and, in 2000, 2001 and 2002, the Campus Activities Magazine Contemporary Music Artist of the Year .Tickets are $12 (all proceeds go to the artist) and/or bring a dessert. Call Chrissy Karas for reservations at 264-60026

To reach the Karas house, take U.S. 84, turn right, go 2.7 miles to Holiday Drive, turn right, go one block, turn right on Stagecoach, go one block, turn left on Shenandoah, go one block to Peregrine place, turn left and find the second driveway on the left —160 Peregrine Place.

 

Bartlett and Rose to meet, greet and sign new DVD

By Carol Fulenwider

Special to The PREVIEW

"Developing a Watercolor Landscape" is the title of a two-hour DVD just released by local teaching artists Denny Rose and Virginia Bartlett.

"It is aimed at other artists and those who hope someday to be," said Bartlett, "and allows an individual to continue to learn at home, at their own pace." The DVD, they explained, is equivalent to at least two days of private lessons.

Rose and Bartlett will be at Moonlight Books Friday, Sept. 15, from 3 p.m. to closing to visit with as many of their students and friends who can get by, and to sign copies of the DVD. They will join editor Helen Richardson, Glenn Raby and other contributors to the new book "Visions of Chimney Rock," who will be at the store to visit and sign books. Rose will be available to sign both, since her watercolor of Chimney Rock is on the cover of "Visions."

Rose and Bartlett are active, longtime local instructors. Each of them annually introduces around 200 people to the magic of watercolor in the three-hour classes at Fairfield Activity Center, a job they have shared for more than eight years. Another 50 or more adults are helped to become artists in the workshops they do separately or together, in Pagosa and away. "After years of wishing we could simultaneously stay in Pagosa and go home with every student to continue helping them develop as artists, we finally decided on a teaching DVD," said Rose.

Both were art majors in college, "a very long time ago," and they admit to more than 100 years of painting experience between them. They say it was personal frustration with the way watercolor was taught (or not taught) in college and at the many workshops they attended afterward, that led each of them separately on a quest to learn everything they could. Along the way they began sharing the techniques and lessons that had come through long years of study, by having workshops and classes.

Rose has been leading a weekly group of adults who work in a variety of mediums at Vista Clubhouse for more than 16 years. Eleven years ago, shortly after she and husband Bill arrived in Pagosa, she began offering watercolor workshops for "absolute beginners" for the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.

Bartlett's and Rose's paintings are juried into shows, and The PREVIEW often carries notice of their winning awards. Paintings by the two are shown locally at Moonlight Books and Gallery. Bartlett's's work is also available through the prestigious LINK Gallery in Estes Park; Rose is well known here and around the country for doing commissioned portraits of people's homes. Both are regularly featured in group and one-person shows.

"To do the DVD, we each took the same list of components," said Bartlett, "a Colorado sky with clouds, far distant mountains and nearer hills, trees including aspen, a body of water and lots of weeds. Bartlett chose autumn, and Rose took spring. "Each of us did paintings that contain lots of lessons for those who view and use the DVD."

"Neither of us is a professional actor," said Rose, "so there are a few awkward moments. But, we're experienced teachers, so it moves along at a pretty smooth pace. The feedback we've gotten on the way we teach has been phenomenal. Students say they learn easily with our teaching methods, and that they feel our love of sharing watercolor's magic."

 

'Let's Explore - Noguchi,' tonight at Shy Rabbit

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts, will show the documentary film about Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), "Stones and Paper," directed by Niro Narita, at 6:30 p.m. tonight.

Most people recognize Noguchi's furniture designs - kidney-shaped tables and mulberry paper lamps. But, in the art world, Noguchi is best known for his naturalistic designs of open space. In designing public spaces, Noguchi addressed all the senses by utilizing water, flora, carved and natural stone, honoring both nature and culture.

Noguchi was a sculptor, designer, architect and craftsman. Noguchi apprenticed with Constantin Brancusi, the father of modern sculpture. He collaborated with Martha Graham, the pioneer of modern dance, to create sets; and he was a friend of the visionary R. Buckminster Fuller. Noguchi was respected by many artists, including Frida Kahlo, Arshille Gorky and Willem De Kooning, but he never belonged to any movement or school or art.

Noguchi said: "The art of stone in a Japanese garden is that of placement. Its ideal does not deviate from that of nature But I am also a sculptor of the West. I place my mark and do not hide."

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

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 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.

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

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

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

 

Badly Bent, noted bluegrass performers, at ECA concert

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Elation Center for the Arts presents a concert of traditional bluegrass music with The Badly Bent, an award-winning band from Durango, Saturday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

The Badly Bent is known for its brilliant instrumental compositions, fine vocal harmonies and friendly stage presence. It is comprised of Mark Epstein (banjo), Patrick Dressen (guitar), Robb Brophy (mandolin), Bill Adams (dobro) and Jeff Hibshman (bass).

Last year, The Badly Bent took first place in the coveted Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition, winning the prestigious award over a field of bands from all over the world. This year, the band has performed at Telluride and other music festivals throughout the West. It has also performed concerts at Fort Lewis College and the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown. The group's self-titled CD is receiving international airplay and the group's banjo player, Mark Epstein, was a recent guest with the San Juan Symphony Orchestra.

Bluegrass music is truly an American form, inspired by the music of the Scots-Irish immigrants of Appalachia and the music of rural African-Americans. The name of the style came from Bill Monroe's band, The Bluegrass Boys, formed in 1939. With the innovations of five-string banjo player Earl Scruggs, bluegrass developed during the mid 1940s as an amalgam of old-time music, blues, ragtime and jazz. Traditional bluegrass relies on acoustic stringed instruments and affords musicians a marvelous format to explore vast possibilities for variation and improvisation.

Advance tickets - available through elationarts.org and at WolfTracks Coffee House - are $12 for adults. Tickets at the door are $15 for adults $6 for young people 18 and under.

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

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

This concert is produced by Elation Center for the Arts, a local 501(c) 3 nonprofit arts organization. ECA offers life-enrichment opportunities through the arts to people of all ages in Pagosa Springs. The concert is a benefit in support of ECA's arts education program. For more information, check out elationarts.org or call 731-3117. The organization seeks interested volunteers.

 

FLC exhibition includes work by D. Michael Coffee

Pagosa Springs artist, D. Michael Coffee, was recently invited to participate in Fort Lewis Art Gallery's David Hunt Invitational Ceramic Exhibition.

This fifth annual invitational exhibition features the work of FLC alumni and regional ceramic artists, all widely varying in style and form, and is considered to be one of the most impressive annual displays of ceramics in the Four Corners area.

Coffee's high-fired stoneware is known for its fine craftsmanship and refined aesthetic, and can be found in prestigious ceramic collections throughout the world. His Asian-inspired teabowls are in particular demand by tea-ceremony practitioners, who regularly seek out his Shino/Wood-Ash glazed bowls to add to their collections.

In addition to his fine teaware, Coffee will have on display a few select pieces from his latest "Intuition Marker" series of stacked-sculptural work. His solo show at the Lakewood Cultural Center in Lakewood, Colo., was voted the "Best Solo Ceramic Exhibition, 2005" by Westword. Coffee's work also appears regularly in "Ceramics Monthly."

Exhibition dates are Sept. 15-Oct.18, with an opening reception Friday, Sept. 15, from 5-7 p.m. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday - Friday. All are welcome.

For more information, contact Rita Cordalis, art gallery director, 247-7167 or e-mail cordalis_r@fortlewis.edu.

 

Do the Chile Cha Cha with Brave Combo

By Crista Munro

Special to the PREVIEW

Pagosa Springs may not be famous for growing large quantities of green chiles, but we sure do consume mass quantities of the spicy capsaicin-filled peppers each year. From green chile stew and quiche to chiles rellenos, the verde vegetable is an integral ingredient in the regional cuisine of Southwest Colorado.

I'm from the East Coast, where we mark autumn with fresh apple cider and the pungent scent of burning leaves. But in the 15 years that I've lived in Pagosa Springs, I have come to associate the season with the unmistakable smell of chiles roasting over an open flame. And what better way to welcome fall than with a celebration of the chile - the first-ever Mountain Chile Cha Cha!

The Mountain Chile Cha Cha will take place 1:30-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24 in Town Park (yep, it's over in time for the Bronco game).

The free event will feature a dance party with Brave Combo starting at 3:30. For those of you who attended Indiefest in June, you'll remember this is the band that had the entire audience up and doing the Chicken Dance. Based in Texas, the talented group of accomplished musicians is known for the wide variety of music it plays - including polka, Tejano, Latin and the most unique renditions of classical pieces you'll ever hear. They are an extremely in-demand Oktoberfest band - in fact they were the cartoon Oktoberfest band on the popular TV series The Simpsons.

There will be a beer garden and food booths featuring green chile bratwursts, green chile stew by Eddie B Cookin' and a range of gourmet delights from the Pagosa Baking Company. St. Patrick's Episcopal Church will have a fall-flavored booth with pumpkin pies, caramel apples, apple cider and decorative pumpkins.

The event is family-friendly and there will be activities for kids. Most importantly though, it is weather-proof, so come down even if the skies are less-than sunny!

FolkWest would like to thank the sponsors who have helped with the costs associated with putting on this free event: the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, the Pagosa Springs Town Tourism Committee, Doors & More, The Source for Pagosa Real Estate, A & L Coors/Dos Equis, Handcrafted Interiors and Lee Riley with Jann Pitcher Real Estate. If you would like to participate as a sponsor or vendor, call 731-5582.

 

Healing arts center topic at Sunday meeting

By Sonya Flores Lugo

Special to The PREVIEW

A center for healing arts will be the topic discussed at the Healing Arts Gathering 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at Pathways to Soul Mastery located at 468 Main Street (The Heritage Building), Suite A.

The creation of a center for healing arts has been a recurring theme at the Healing Arts Gathering. This is a uniform vision shared by many healing arts practitioners, who long to share their diverse healing services to the public within a healing arts cooperative.

In response, Sunday's special meeting has been called so attendees of the Healing Arts Gathering can move toward making a Center for Healing Arts a living reality.

Several attendees have made known the availability of locations that can be utilized as a center. More than one location may be considered so a variety of services can be offered at different locations. By bringing together those who have physical spaces available for creating a center and the healing arts practitioners interested in making their services available to the public, we may create the right alchemy for appropriate action.

If you feel you have come to Pagosa with a dream in your heart having to do with co-creating a center for healing arts, then this is the moment for appropriate action. Come ready to act and move beyond indecision.

For additional information, call Sophia at 903-2108, or Linda LoCastro, special projects coordinator, at 946-7352.

 

Pagosan's sculpture selected for national women's art exhibition

Linda Echterhoff's "Eve," a bronze sculpture encompassing the fundamental struggle between good and evil, has been selected for inclusion in the From Our Perspective: A National Women's Art Exhibition at Oakland Community College's Womencenter in Farmington Hills, Mich.

This year's juried exhibition "endeavors to give women artists a forum in which to share their singular position and outlook on the inner and outer worlds we all share." The exhibition will run Sept. 21-Oct. 13.

Echterhoff's art works have also been featured in several recent juried shows in the Four Corners and surrounding regions; Breckenridge Fine Arts Center 15th annual Juried Art Competition; Farmington Museum 2006 Gateway to Imagination: A National Juried Art Competition; The Durango Arts Center 2006 31st annual Juried Exhibit; and the Shy Rabbit 2005 Artists' Invitational and Open Juried Exhibition.

Echterhoff won Honorable Mention awards at both the Gateway and DAC shows for her piece titled "Seed Pod," a unique mixed media work composed of cardboard, paper tape and glue.

Echterhoff is represented locally by the Wild Spirit Gallery.

 

Gulliford to lecture at Sisson Library

By Biz Greene

Special to The PREVIEW

On Sept. 23, Dr. Andrew Gulliford will present a lecture on the new textbook "Preserving Western History," which he edited. The lecture will take place at 3 p.,m. at the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library.

A Colorado native, Gulliford is a renowned author and photographer of Western life, both historical and contemporary. He joined Fort Lewis College in 2000, serving as the director of the Center of Southwest Studies until 2005. Today, Gulliford works as a special assistant to the dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. He also teaches as a professor of Southwest Studies and History.

Over 30 authors contributed to Dr. Gulliford's "Preserving Western History," which was recently named one of the Southwest's books of the year by the Tucson Pima Public Library.

 

Observations: 'Mind's Material: Sensation, Cognition & Knowledge'

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

"Mind's Material: Sensation, Cognition & Knowledge" at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts features the master works of Doug Pedersen, Kelsey Hauck and Karl Isberg.

The exhibit, which runs through Oct. 7, is the first time the three artists have shown their work together, even though each has a long list of exhibitions and shows on their individual resumes.

Pedersen started the education program at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1966. In one of several recent conversations, Pederson talked about being in New York, with artists such as De Kooning and Rothko. He mentioned being a poet and said seeing the unfinished work of Michelangelo is what made him want to be an artist. Michelangelo had done with his sculpture what Pedersen wanted to do with his poetry.

From 1964-1969, Pedersen taught painting, art history and sculpture. In 1985, he earned his MFA in painting at New Mexico Highlands University. He and Hauck have lived and worked in Majorca, Italy, Mexico, Spain, New York, Boston, Portland, Ore., Santa Fe and Taos, among other places.

Pedersen has shown his work consistently since 1960 in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, Boston, Santa Fe, Taos, San Francisco, Salida and Wurzburg, Germany.

Hauck has shown since the '70s in many of the same locations as her husband, Pedersen.

Isberg co-owned 1418, Denver's first alternative art gallery, taught art-related courses in the department of philosophy at Metropolitan State College, showed his work in the '70s at the Denver Art Museum, at numerous galleries in Denver, at one of the galleries Pedersen and Hauck owned in Taos, and in several galleries in California.

Isberg met Pedersen and Hauck in 1983 in Taos. They have been friends ever since.

The human figure is key to each artist's work, but each represents the figure in his or her own unique way.

In the front gallery at Shy Rabbit are two early pastel drawings by Isberg, one a portrait of Pedersen, in dark reds and purples. Next to that is a drawing of a woman created in 1984, "Chris R.I.P." Chris has short, black, spiked hair and blue eyes. She is drawn in shades of orange, green and violet, contoured in white and a hint of yellow. A shade light orange spirals around her eyes and yellow arcs above her brows. Over her right eye is an arcing mark that fades into white dots, somewhat like an antenna. Through Isberg's expressive use of color and line he manages to capture the energy and aura of personality.

Collages by Hauck line the wall in front of me. Her figures are created with multiple layers of paper to create depth, and color provides vibrant juxtapositions. Some papers are filled with text, Chinese characters, map topography and each portrait has an individual life as unique as humanity. I will say more about her work later.

Pedersen's "Contari," a woman singing, is opposite Isberg's pastels. The woman wears a thickly textured charcoal gown against a blood red background. Her mouth is open and one can imagine hearing an aria spilling forth into the room, the tension in her lips and eyes as she hits high C. Her hair is yellow and her face is also painted in shades of yellow and orange, illuminated by the lights on stage.

The fourth wall in the front gallery features two of Pedersen's collages, one made with a red bandana. Pedersen's collages seem made of found objects and they are compelling. The dancing skeleton in "War God" is posed like John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever," dancing happily. It is an appropriate depiction of George Bush senior painted in 1991 during the first Iraq war.

In the back exhibit space, the left wall is lined with more of Pedersen's oil paintings, beginning with a piece with a green horizon and violet sky background setting off a white figure holding a bright orange and yellow mask. The mask is eerily similar to the face on the figure and when one gets very close to the canvas, the layers of color that Pedersen uses to achieve what appears to be white, reminds me of the theory of white light, that all color exists in white. Pedersen proves that to be true. The mask is colorful; the person is white. The mask conceals, but this person is removing his deceptive outward appearance. Masks represent the many types of human personalities encountered in life. A mask can allow a person to become the host of another spirit or being. As in many of Pedersen's paintings, the mouth of the face is agape and the teeth are bared.

In the middle of the wall is another painting with mask symbolism. This painting, "Figure Holding Two Masks," features a turquoise blue background with a bright green horizon. One mask is on a stick and looks like the face in the painting. It's almost like a shrunken head. The other mask is again very similar to the face. And, interestingly, the hands have no thumbs. A large "Untitled" canvas with many heads, some happy, some grotesque, like a dream image, anchors the end of the wall.

Pedersen's paintings are heavy with oil paint and pigment in an almost German Expressionistic style, expressing a somewhat grotesque view of humanity with harsh colors and violent brush strokes. In "Head," from 1997, paint spews forth from an open mouth, in "Head," from 2000, an eye is blacked out, vacant and hollow.

More of Hauck's collage work lines the back wall. "Head" from 1989 is a small abstracted mask-looking collage, very graphic, with heavy black lines and lots of red. Next to this is "Bust of a Man," 1996 - a man holding his head in his hand. His face is made from a topographical map and contoured with lime green nose and lips. He appears to be speaking out of the side of his mouth. Dark gray comes from his mouth like heavy, cold words. His head is tipped in despair, leaning on an invisible palm. This is a man trying to find his way in a less than hospitable world.

The prominent "Woman with Pearls," 1988, is a woman with egg-shaped pearls at her long neck. Her portrait collar dress is made of butter yellow paper with black text, her hair is pulled up in a bun, but bangs hang on one side above her eye. She is elegant and the background of this portrait is of blue-gray rectangles of paper that look like block brush strokes. Layers of fine curls and strips of paper in yellows, grays and black form her hair, her nose is long, her cheekbones round, her mouth open as if greeting the viewer. She is the kind of woman who would kiss the air next to your cheek and say "Hello dahling!"

Each of Hauck's collages is a unique being with a personality, perhaps images of people the artist has met or known, or characters she envisions the way a novelist creates character. They have a story to tell, if only the viewer will stand and listen.

The other long wall in the exhibition space is filled with six acrylic paintings by Isberg. Two larger, muted canvases are created by painting the canvas black, then building layers of color on the ground. The first canvas on the left is the darkest of them all, cool in shades of blues and grays. It is called "Jupiter Eating His Children," and is of two boxy abstracted figures, one with what looks like the shape of a duck in its mouth.

Next to it is the warmer painting, "Love is Funny When You Don't Like Each Other," featuring two primitive, cubed figures with tubes and spirals, echoing the spirals in the pastel drawing of Chris in the front gallery, with similar arcing antennae extending from the head. They have big, boxy heads with eyes, long sausage noses. The figure on the left has lips. The legs are boxy with spiral cinnamon roll knees. It's hard to tell the gender of either figure. The one on the left has a sausage in an anatomically correct location for a male. The figure on the right has what appears to be large, sticky bun looking breasts. A hand reaches across from the figure on the right to touch the figure on the left. At least it looks like a hand, with three fingers. I think the figures are hermaphrodites and the painting reflects the confusion of gender roles in modern marriage. There is sexual tension in the painting, physical groping. We grow and change during our lifetime and in marriage that often means we take on new roles. This painting captures the idea of compatibility and companionship that come after being together a long time. Marriage is hot and cold and so are the colors of paint used in this painting: earthy caramels contrast with cool blue-grays.

The rest of the paintings by Isberg are smaller canvases painted more brightly, in yellows, golds, oranges, moss greens and sienna, with bug-eyed, cartoon-like images. "Just Outside the Rijksmuseum" is of two figures made from what appear to be fruits and vegetables. Or as one of the writer's from "Brown Bag Writer's" put it, it looks like two Kachinas celebrating the harvest. There is food all around, but the two figures seem to be devouring the same item.

Isberg uses color and geometry in his painting to express emotion and capture snippets of life, but he challenges us to view those snippets in a compelling way.

Pedersen said that art is observation. If so, then the world that these artist's observe is ferocious, humorous, expressive, vibrant and very much real. It is a world worth exploring.

"Mind's Material: Sensation, Cognition & Knowledge" is on display through October 7, at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts, 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1 and B-4. Regular hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 1-4 p.m. with extended hours on the second Thursday of the month from 1-6:30 p.m. For more information: log onto www.shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call 731-2766.

Leanne Goebel is a freelance arts journalist and a member of the creative development team at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts.

 

Plans underway for annual 'Messiah' sing-along

Preparations are being made for a "Messiah" sing-along, to be held again this year at the Pagosa Springs Community United Methodist Church on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 3 p.m. under the direction of Carroll Carruth.

The sing-along program is scheduled earlier this year to avoid any conflict with the Pagosa Springs Community Choir rehearsals which are held Tuesday evenings. The choir's concerts will take place Dec. 14, 16 and 17.

At the sing-along, the congregation will be invited to sing choruses from the Christmas section of Handel's "Messiah," to the accompaniment of an instrumental ensemble that is being organized and rehearsed by Lisa Hartley band and choral teacher at Pagosa Springs High School. Harvey Schwartz, local music teacher, will accompany on the piano. The program will also include traditional Christmas carols selected by the congregation.

Any soloist wishing to audition for one of the Arias (or anyone who is not familiar with the music and/or does not have a "Messiah" score), contact Carruth at 731-5016.

 

Author Addie Greene schedules Pagosa reading

Addie Greene is coming to Pagosa Springs for a reading of her book, "You'll Never Make the Grade, Dear."

Join Greene for coffee and conversation at WolfTracks Bookstore and Coffee House at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 16

Addie Greene has been a writer most of her adult life, having worked as a journalist for nine years and as a technical writer for 14 years. Greene's second novel, "The Eagle Rises," is still looking for a home. She also has written a humorous nonfiction piece, "Life in the Country and Other Tall Tails."

 

Congregation Kadima Yisrael to hold High Holiday services

The Jewish community of Pagosa Springs, Congregation Kadima Yisrael, will hold High Holiday services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

All members of the Jewish community of Pagosa Springs and surrounding towns, along with relatives, friends and visitors to the area are invited to attend. Services will be led by Jeff Deitch.

Services will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall located in Suite B15 in the Greenbriar Shopping Center. Go north on North Pagosa Boulevard past the fire station and turn right onto Greenbriar and left into the shopping center. People going south on North Pagosa can also turn left on Park and then right into the shopping center. The meeting hall is located around the back.

Erev Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat services will be held Friday, Sept. 22, from 7 to 9 p.m. Rosh Hashanah services will be held Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The congregation will have Kiddush, apples and honey, dessert and coffee Friday evening after services. Following Saturday services, those who wish will have lunch together at a restaurant to be designated. On Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. there will be a Tashlich service in which participants can throw breadcrumbs into the river, symbolizing the casting away of sins. Tashlich will take place at the San Juan River near the foot bridge. Go down 5th street towards the river, follow the road left, park anywhere behind the courthouse and head to the bridge. Wearing sensible shoes is suggested.

Yom Kippur services will begin with Kol Nidre Sunday, Oct. 1, from 7 to 9 p.m. Yom Kippur services will be held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2. Yizkor and concluding service will be held at 4 p.m. All services will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall. After concluding services a light break the fast will follow in a private home. Location and directions will be given out during the holidays.

It is suggested that men bring their own tallit and kippot and any extras to share with those who need them.

Donations are welcome but not required.

For further information, call 731-9610 or 731-2012.

 

UU service deals with hospice and near-death experiences

On Sunday, Sept. 17, the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship considers the question "Are Hospice and Near Death Experiences Changing Our Values?"

The speaker will be Pam Kircher, M.D., who works in hospice in Durango, and draws on her experience as a doctor, as well as that of a near-death experiencer.

Kircher is the medical director of the Wellness Center at Mercy Medical Center in Durango, where she is a member of the advisory board of the Hospice of Mercy and also maintains a counseling practice.

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. A pot luck luncheon will follow the service. All are welcome.

 

Lifelong Learning offers Spanish sessions

By Biz Greene

Special to The PREVIEW

Many of us have studied and love Spanish, but are losing our ability to speak and understand this beautiful language for lack of opportunity to use it.

Ana O'Reilly, fluent in Spanish from her long residence in Mexico and Panama, will lead an informal discussion Saturday mornings at the Education Center, 4th and Lewis streets, Sept.16, 23 and 30, and Oct. 7 at 10 a.m.

Ana is contributing her time and expertise for our benefit, and all who want to converse in Spanish are welcome to participate.

 

College sorority alumnae will gather in Pagosa

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

Women who were members of a Panhellenic sorority during their college days are invited to attend the first-ever luncheon of sorority alumnae to take place at JJ's Riverwalk Restaurant in Pagosa Springs on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 11:30 am.

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

Prepaid reservations are required. Cost is $20 per person, including a pre-arranged entrée, dessert, non-alcoholic drink, tax and tip. To reserve your place at the luncheon, your check must be received by Wednesday, Sept. 27. Mail reservation to Marilyn Chipps, PO Box 3591, Pagosa Springs CO 81147 payable to "San Juan Pi Beta Phi". Please indicate which sorority you belong to and what college you were initiated.

"We are hoping the weather will cooperate with us so we can hold our event outside on the riverfront patio," said Lisa Scott, president of the local Pi Phis. "We also hope to be able to stage a group photo outside on the riverfront," Scott said.

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

The San Juan alumnae group of Pi Beta Phi was formed in Pagosa Springs in March 2000. Chi Omega also has a local alumnae club, which began in August 2004. "Other than these two groups, we only know of a few individual sorority alumnae," Scott said. "We hope this luncheon will help identify others, and give us all an opportunity to get together to renew the bonds of Greek life."

If you cannot attend but would be interested in future events, please contact Lisa Scott at 264-2730 or sranch@centurytel.net to notify her of your affiliation.

 

Silent auction to benefit Aspen Guard Station program

"Art for the Cabin," a silent auction to benefit the Aspen Guard Station Artist-in-Residence Program, will feature more than 40 original works of art inspired by residencies at the historic cabin over the past decade.

Artwork will be on display from Saturday, Sept. 30. through Friday, Oct. 13, at the Main Book Company and The Gallery, 34 West Main, Cortez. Bids may be placed during this time, with bidding to culminate in a Grand Gala 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, with bidding closing at 7:30 that evening. Alumni artists will be in attendance at the gala, and refreshments will be served. In addition to an evening of mixing with artists and art lovers, those attending will be eligible for door prizes, including a free weekend at the Aspen Guard Station.

The Artist-in-Residence Program has been going strong for more than a decade, and a diverse collection - including original paintings, photographs, pottery, basketry, fabric art, books, music CDs, etc. - has been donated by the artists who have served residencies.

"Art for the Cabin" is sponsored by the San Juan Mountains Association, Main Book Company and The Gallery, and the Dolores Public Lands Office.

Funds collected will be held by the San Juan Mountains Association, a nonprofit interpretive partner of San Juan Public Lands, to directly benefit maintenance of the cabin and the residency program.

For more information, contact Ann Bond at (970) 385-1219 or Susan Bryson at (970) 385-1312.

 

United Way in Archuleta County

By Tom and Ming Steen

Special to The PREVIEW

Stacia Kemp is in her second year as the Archuleta County Coordinator for United Way of Southwest Colorado.

During this brief period, she has provided very effective leadership to our local United Way organization. Since the need of human services organizations in Archuleta County continues to increase along with the population, she is helping to guide local United Way volunteers to make informed funding decisions which will best leverage available resources to address ongoing and emerging priorities.

This year, Stacia, working with the Archuleta County United Way Advisory Council, recruited the knowledge and expertise of many community members to help better understand the community's social problems and needs and strategically plan for funding those needs. Beginning in early 2006, the advisory council gathered information from community leaders and residents in order to better understand public attitudes and opinions about issues related to the well being of the community. This allowed citizens a voice in determining goals and priorities of the local United Way organization.

This "Conversation with Community" involved a cross section of the local public, including representatives of local businesses, charitable organizations, community groups, government officials, health professionals, educators and faith leaders. One clear outcome of this needs analysis is that - while Archuleta county is a beautiful place to live and many people live comfortable, prosperous and hopeful lives here - as we continue to grow, the task of caring for the least among us and our ability to mobilize the community to solve problems at their source become increasingly challenging.

The results of the United Way Advisory Council's effort allowed them to prioritize community needs and will assist in the support of strategies and services that will have a positive impact on the identified needs within our community. The identified impact areas include: helping children and youth succeed, fostering health and welfare, developing self-sufficiency and independence, supporting vulnerable and aging populations and responding to those in crisis. They will provide a guide to ensure that United Way dollars fund programs that address real community needs in a way that will directly benefit the health and well being of our community.

Identified goals within each of the identified impact areas are:

- Helping children and youth succeed through initiatives that support healthy, strong and nurturing families; positive adult-teen relationships and mentoring; opportunities for activities that promote academic, physical and emotional growth and development; child care and early education; prevention of substance abuse, violence and other at-risk behaviors in teens; and out-of-school programs for school-aged youth.

- Fostering health and welfare through initiatives that support prevention, intervention and treatment of drug and alcohol abuse; supportive services for people and families with disability or mental health issues; and development of human care agendas within and across our community.

- Developing self-sufficiency and independence through initiatives that support access to affordable housing and economic opportunities; supportive services that foster safe and independent living; and opportunities for low income workers and those in transition to better themselves in the job market and through life skills training.

- Supporting vulnerable and aging populations through initiatives that aid prevention and intervention of child abuse, child sexual abuse and child neglect; advocacy for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; and caring services to enrich and sustain the elderly.

- Responding to those in crisis through initiatives that support emergency assistance for those in crisis; planning for and responding to community disasters; and transitional services to help individuals caught in cycles of abuse or addiction.

By building a relationship with the community and strengthening a coalition of local problem-solving partner organizations, Archuleta County's United Way will effectively use donated funds to improve lives and positively impact our community. Donations can be sent to United Way of Southwest Colorado, P.O. Box 4274, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Next week, we will report on two agencies United Way will help support with funds raised during this year's campaign that address the problem area of affordable housing.

 

Tom and Ming Steen to head up United Way campaign

Tom and Ming Steen have been chosen to lead the 2006 United Way community campaign in Archuleta County.

It has been 22 years since the Steens chose this small, caring community to raise their two children, Shawn and Courtney. Tom and Ming bring an experienced perspective to their extensive community involvement. They are both educators and worked abroad for 12years after they met in Malaysia. Ming has been the manager of the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center for 18 years and has been active in many organizations, including Rotary, where she just completed a year as club president. Tom spent 11 years developing the range of programs and scope of educational offerings now available through the Archuleta County Education Center and has sat on many local and regional nonprofit boards and advisory committees.

"We are honored to chair Archuleta County's United Way campaign this year," said the Steens. "One of the things the two of us have learned while in Pagosa is that individual efforts can and do alter the destiny of our community and its citizens. United Way has carefully identified and hopes to help fund the best local agency programs that have the largest impact on the well being of our community. United Way presents the best and most effective manner for others to financially contribute to those efforts making this a healthier and safer community."

United Way hopes to raise $67,500 in Archuleta County this year to support programs operated by 15 organizations that serve the citizens of Archuleta County, including: American Red Cross, Archuleta County Education Center, Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program, Community Connections, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County, Housing Solutions of the Southwest, Pagosa Outreach Connection, Seeds of Learning Family Center, Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center, Southwest Youth Corps and Southwest Safehouse.

Local volunteers and a part-time staff person raise money to support these programs through a variety of special events as well as a direct appeal for donations through one-time gifts or payroll deduction. Local volunteers are also responsible for seeing that the funds that are raised locally are best invested in the community and they determine how the funds are allocated to each program. The Archuleta County United Way Advisory Council includes Dick Babillis, Sam Conti, Mary Jo Coulehan, Gene Crabtree, Bob Eggleston, Brandie Flann, Cherlyn Gwin, Terri House, Carmen Hubbs, Mary McKeehan, Don McKeehan, Lisa Scott and Don Thompson. Stacia Kemp is the Archuleta County Coordinator for United Way of Southwest Colorado.

For more information about United Way in Archuleta County, call Kemp at 264-3230. Gifts to United Way are tax-deductible, can be designated to support a particular agency, and can be mailed to Archuleta County United Way, P.O. Box 4274, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

 

Relax with other writers at Shy Rabbit

Writers of all levels meet every Thursday between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts for "Brown Bag Writers."

New writers come to learn about the craft. Experienced writers come to stir up the creative soup and take a break from their regular writing projects. "Brown Bag Writers" provides a relaxed, casual environment for writers to drop in, listen to their muses, tap into the creative river, and learn to not take themselves so seriously.

Facilitated by freelance writer, Leanne Goebel, the group is informal and fun. Goebel provides writing prompts in the form of phrases, music or visual stimuli and writers are free to spend 20-30 minutes writing. Then writers share their work. Upcoming prompts include poetry, smell, and writing about visual art from "Mind's Material: Sensation, Cognition & Knowledge."

This is a gathering for writers of all levels and abilities. It is 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, 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).

 

Learn basic self-defense at ed center

By Renee Haywood

Special to The PREVIEW

What would it be worth to you to be able to prevent an attack, safely escape an attack, or rescue a loved one from danger?

In an upcoming series of classes at the Education Center students will learn not only to defend themselves, but to overcome the common "freeze response," and to manage fear and anxiety during intimidating situations.

The instructor, Dan Gnos, has been teaching self-defense classes for the past 28 years and has specialized in women's self-defense.

Here are some of the benefits you can expect:

- Take control over your emotional well-being.

- Build your self-confidence through self-defense training.

- Manage fear and perform effectively under pressure.

- Take full responsibility for your personal safety.

- Develop your most powerful weapon: your intelligence.

- Become more aware of your surroundings.

- Recognize and interrupt the "formula" a predator uses to select his victims.

- Become a "non-victim" - someone bullies, rapists and muggers will steer clear of.

- Understand a predator's game plan and how to defeat it.

- Learn to assess the psychology of a predator and what motivates him.

- Quickly size up your situation and select the most effective strategy.

- Learn when to fight and when to run; what's worth fighting for and what isn't.

The Archuleta County Education Center is offering these self-defense classes 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 19-Oct. 25. Cost is $59.

If you are interested in taking these classes, call 264-2835 or stop the office located on the corner of 4th and Lewis streets.

 

Chuck Bob at the Movies

Films grapple with incredible tragedies, triumphs

Charles Streetman

PREVIEW Columnist

It has been only five years since the tragedy of 9/11, and with the shock of that infamous day still fresh in our minds, it is unlikely any of us are truly ready to deal with one movie based on the disaster, let alone two.

Nevertheless, directors Oliver Stone ("JFK") and Paul Greengrass ("The Bourne Supremacy") have presented us with two films based on different events that took place Sept. 11, 2001, and while drastically different in both style and content, both tell tales of unwavering courage even in the most hopeless of circumstances.

Stone's film, "World Trade Center," chronicles the saga and survival of two Port Authority officers trapped beneath the rubble of the Twin Towers, whereas Greengrass' "United 93" explores the drama and tragedy of those aboard the ill-fated flight.

"World Trade Center" stars Nicolas Cage ("Lord of War") and Michael Peña ("Crash") as real-life Port Authority police officers John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno, who are just two of many Port Authority officers dispatched to the World Trade Center after the first plane crashes into one of the towers.

Stone opens the film on the early morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11, focusing on officers McLoughlin and Jimeno, as well as several other unsuspecting New Yorkers preparing for just another day in the city ... until the first plane crashes. Stone, very tastefully, never shows the planes crashing into the towers. However, when dispatched officers arrive at ground zero, he doesn't hesitate to display the horror and chaos of the scene.

Realizing the situation's dire circumstances, McLoughlin quickly recruits officers to enter the tower to gather emergency supplies and evacuate people trapped on the upper floors. But, in the course of the rescue attempt, McLoughlin and Jimeno become trapped when the towers collapse around them. Out of the group of officers they went in with, miraculously, McLoughlin and Jimeno are the only survivors; however, they are trapped beneath tons of rubble with no one aware they are still alive. Even with all the odds against them, the pair manages to survive, and they are eventually discovered and rescued.

"WTC" is meant to be an inspirational film about how disasters can bring out the best in us, and unite us to do the greater good - and, in that regard, the film is indeed inspirational and uplifting. To shape the emotional drama and to pull the viewer's heartstrings, Stone uses a variety of techniques, such as scenes of both men having flashbacks about the poignant moments of their lives. In short, the film is as "Hollywood" a movie about such a situation as it can be, but that doesn't make it a bad; it is just traditional and predictable, and Stone actually manages to pull this movie off, rather than turning it into the complete mess "Alexander" became. Cage and the rest of the cast give Oscar-worthy performances, in a film that inspires, but remains a challenge to view. It's now playing in theaters.

Greengrass' "United 93," on the other hand, is in a completely different world and is the more difficult of the two to watch. The film tells the story of the ill-fated United Airlines Flight 93, one of four planes hijacked by terrorists on 9/11, and how the 40 passengers aboard fight back against the hijackers to prevent them from carrying out their plans.

In documentary style, Greengrass tells the story in real time, from multiple points of view. For example, there are the points of view of air traffic controllers watching as the four hijacked planes deviate from their standard flight paths, of military officers attempting to officially confirm the hijackings so they can take necessary action, and of the passengers of Flight 93.

The movie opens with the four hijackers preparing to board the plane to carry out their plans and much of what happens on the flight is speculation. The hijackers do not take control of the plane until the last 45 minutes of the movie. When they do, they kill the pilots, and herd the passengers and crew into the back of the plane. What the hijackers didn't anticipate (at least in the film), was that the passengers would muster the courage to stand together and heroically fight back. The movie ends seconds before the plane crashes, with the scene filmed from the view from the cockpit while the passengers attempt to regain control of the plane.

Unlike "World Trade Center," this movie avoids emotional exploitation at every turn. For example, we are never directly introduced to any of the 40 passengers on the doomed flight; they remain strangers throughout the film. Instead, Greengrass chooses to put us right alongside them, as though we were passengers ourselves on the tragic flight. And this is perhaps the work's greatest strength.

"United 93," is a somber and heartbreaking film. It shows that, even in the face of inevitable death, any person can find the courage to selflessly stand and fight back rather than to go quietly and submissively. This is unquestionably the best film I have seen so far this year.

Special features on the disc include a feature commentary from director Paul Greengrass, as well as a featurette with interviews with the families of the passengers of Flight 93 and memorial pages consisting of 40 individually-written biographies on the passengers.

 

Education News

No column this week.

 

Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

No column this week.

 

Community Center News

Kick up your heels at the Colorfest dance with the High Rollers

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

This is it. The dance is tomorrow, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m.

You have only today and tomorrow to pick up your tickets to listen and dance to the music of the High Rollers. After beer and brats at the town picnic, come to the center for some music and fun. 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 and the Community Center. Table reservations for six and eight people are available only with purchased tickets. Be ready to provide your ticket numbers upon reservation.

Workshops

Women and Power: Financial Security and Learn the Keys to Job Success and Money Management.

Archuleta County Victim Assistance and Colorado Workforce are providing these two empowering workshops for all women, regardless of age or marital status.

The first one focuses on developing confidence in your ability to manage money and make financial decisions.

The second will help you to determine what type of job interests you, to learn where and how to gain job skills, and how to dress for and prepare for an interview. In addition, the trainers will discuss barriers to your goals and how to overcome them.

These workshops are being held Monday and Wednesday nights through Oct. 4, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Refreshments are provided. Registration is required so that each participant may receive materials. Both workshops are free, and you may sign up for one or both. To register, call Karen at 264-9075 or Ruby at 731-3834. The Victim Assistance office in the Town Hall has brochures with details of what is being covered during each session.

Halloween party

Did you attend the fabulous party we had last year on Oct. 31?

It's trite but true - a good time was had by all.

And that includes those who helped out by sponsoring or operating the games or activities. Several businesses and some individuals acted as sponsors. Pastor Jeff Daley of Grace Evangelical Church took charge of Treasures in the Sand, where youngsters sifted through sand for prizes and surprises. Mary Jo Coulehan and Kathy Holthus had a tight rein on the piñata game, making sure that everyone won something and no one got swatted. Bill Norton put together the maze. Picture this: it's a winding, twisting string of huge boxes, all taped together and covered so that no light gets in. The kids, the brave ones, crawl through, feeling their way along. Bill has put this maze together for us for several years. Other games were bowling for the little ones, a fishing game, a ring toss, and, of course, the always-popular bounce house.

Please consider sponsoring an activity at this year's party. You will be asked to decorate and man your booth, to dress in costume, and to provide prizes for all the kids who participate. Call the center at 264-4152 with your idea for a game or activity. If you would like to be here and help the kids but don't have an activity in mind, call anyway - we have some tried-and-true games that we know the kids love. Another way to help out is to make signs, duplicate and distribute flyers, help with faxing and follow-up phone calls. We need your input!

Baton twirling classes

Recently we have had an offer from Karla Dominguez to teach baton twirling to young people age 12 and older. A $2 or $3 donation per class would be appreciated. If you are interested, call the center for more information.

Italian cooking class

You asked for it, and the class is back!

Edith Blake is going to do another series of Italian cooking classes beginning in October. Dates for the classes are Oct. 5, 12 and 26. They will start at 10 in the morning. If you are interested, come to the center to reserve your space. The fee is $10 per class, and no reservations will be taken without prepayment. Please note that class fees are not refundable but they are transferable. If you find that you are unable to attend, you can give away or sell your space to a friend.

Early reservation is a must. Edith's classes were extremely popular last time and filled up early. Since the last series of classes, Edith has been to Italy in order to take cooking classes herself. We can't wait to see what she comes up with this time. Call 264-4152 for more information.

Managing Diabetes

One of the ideas that was presented at an early meeting of the Managing Diabetes group was to obtain some software which would help group members analyze recipes and provide nutritional information.

The process goes like this: you list the quantity and type of ingredients you will use, next you determine how many servings your concoction will provide, then you add some details about the preparation, and finally the software spits out nutritional information such as can be found on those food labels which the government now mandates appear on all packaged foods.

This kind of information helps diabetics control portion size and count carbohydrates or calories, or whatever their doctors decide it's important to count. Not fun, we all agree, but necessary.

I have found several kinds of nutritional software, and trial copies of those programs have been installed on one of the computers (it's marked with a sign) in the computer lab. If you visit the lab and use one of these programs, I would appreciate hearing your comments about the software: ease of use, completeness of information, functionality. Thanks for your help with this.

The next meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 21. Call 264-4152 for more information.

Yoga class

An interesting Web site article by Harriet Russell is titled, "Getting Away Without Going Away." Harriet talks about the three factors that influence our lives: heredity, environment and lifestyle. Of course, our heredity is fixed, and, as Harriet points out, environment can be very tough to modify. But lifestyle is up for grabs. Our choices determine the stress or lack of it in our lives.

On a physical level, yoga can tone and strengthen our bodies. It has been shown to moderate high blood pressure and relaxes the nervous system. Harriet even assures us that yoga can be of benefit to our immune systems.

Diana Baird's yoga class has been well attended, but there is room for you to join in. Come experience the gentle stretching and relaxation of this yoga session. Call the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Line dancing

This comes from Gerry Potticary: "I may have started the group but it takes Peggy Carrai with her fantastic library of dances, Elaine Lundergan's soft shoe favorites, Beverly Chester snapping her fingers to 'Splish Splash' and Terri Hoehn stomping to the Cowboy Stomp - it takes all these people to keep things lively and easy for everyone.

"Special thanks to Jack and Dian Litt who donated a brand-new boom box to replace the aging machine previously being used. There are some very nice people in Pagosa."

Line dancing meets Mondays 10-11:30 a.m. Newcomers and old hands are all welcome. Also, we would like to know if there are some people out there interested in an evening class; call us and we'll see if Gerry or Terri or Peggy will be available and willing to extend their volunteer hours.

Self-Help for Health

Several of Medora Bass' Self-Help for Health group participants are still working on coming up with their inner healers.

One of the people attending formulated a story of what her ideal life would be like. This project was suggested because illness is often an indication that one is off course with one's life and not really doing what one wants to do.

Another participant found that when she visited her doctor, some of the things she had been working on in class were the same things the doctor found upon examining her. This confirmed for her the value of the class and what she had been doing as a result of attending the class. Some members shared dreams and how experiencing the dreams helped them.

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 that will explain the process.

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. Join Ben Bailey for tips on buying and selling. Call Ben at 264-0293 or the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Computer lab news

The Beginning Computing classes which start at the end of October are filling quickly. Call soon if you are interested in participating. Remember that the Tuesday class is a community center program and therefore open to all ages. The Wednesday class is a senior center program and open to seniors.

Call 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, 8 to 5:30; and Saturday, 10 to 4.

Activities this week

Today - Forest service meeting, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Board of Realtors meeting, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; TOPS Public Council meeting, 5-10 p.m.; Chimney Rock, 6-8 p.m.

Sept. 15 - Bridge 4 Fun and Duplicate Bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.; Colorfest dance, 7:30-11:30 p.m.

Sept. 16 - Drawing Class with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; HOA Aspen Woods III, 1-4 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sept. 17 - Grace Evangelical Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; Church of Christ Sunday service, 10 a.m.-noon; High Roads Baptist Church, 6-8 p.m.; Fairfield Activities information meeting for time-share visitors, 6-8 p.m.

Sept. 18 - Line dancing, 10-11:30 a.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; ACVA Workshop for Women, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Sept. 19 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Beginning Computing, 10 a.m.-noon; legal depositions, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; yoga, 10:30-11:30 a.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

Sept. 20 - Beginning Computing for seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; ACVA Workshop for Women, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Sept. 21 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; eBay Club, 9-10:30 a.m.; watercolor club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; TOPS Tourism Board meeting, 4-6 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

Take your brain to boot camp

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Some decline in brain power is natural as we age but memory boot camp, a 14-day plan to boost memory, can help keep your brain in top shape.

Gary Small, M.D., professor of psychiatry at UCLA and director of the UCLA Center on Aging is just as serious as a typical Marine DI about his two-week memory boot camp. Small believes that two weeks allows a person to get used to some lifestyle changes and see improved short-term results.

Although a decline in memory is normal with aging, people who reach the age of 65 have a 5 percent chance of getting Alzheimer's disease, so the more we can exercise our brains, the better. Small's Memory Boot Camp is designed as a four-pronged assault against this decline: It includes exercise, nutrition, stress reduction, and memory-enhancing activities.

The program's physical activity is modest, starting with light stretching and calisthenics, plus a five-minute walk in the morning and a 10-minute walk in the evening. This builds up to a 15- to 30-minute morning walk and a 10- to 15-minute evening walk two weeks later. "The physical activities are light," Small said, "because studies show that you don't have to become a triathlete to get brain benefits. Ten minutes a day may lower the risk of Alzheimer's."

The nutrition plan is not a diet-diet. "What we found is that most people lost weight without trying - two pounds over two weeks," said Small. "We ask people not to overeat, and to stop when they are full." The brain-healthy daily menu of three meals and three snacks is high in omega-3, antioxidants, fresh vegetables and fruits; avoids processed foods; and goes light on complex carbohydrates to keep blood sugar on an even keel. A high glycemic index may result in diabetes - and that's not good for a healthy brain.

Relaxation techniques, which again take only a few minutes a day, aim to reduce stress, which is bad for the memory.

Finally, focused mental activities take just a few minutes and increase their complexity over two weeks' time. These are the crux of the program. (Enclosed in our September newsletter available at The Den is an example of a week's worth of brain aerobics.)

A pilot study of the program, found that happy boot campers showed a significant five percent improvement in word fluency - that is, how quickly they could retrieve words from their memories. The program group also showed highly significant change in everyday working memory - the ability of the brain to retain information short-term, such as remembering a phone number from directory assistance and dialing it without writing it down. Also the systolic blood pressure of boot-camp participants dropped by seven points. Research has indicated a connection between normal blood pressure levels and a delay in the onset of Alzheimer's.

Protecting your eyesight

Take these simple steps:

1. Regular checkups: It's normal for vision to change with age. Serious eye problems like glaucoma and macular degeneration can be treated if detected early. Get early exams.

2. SPF for your eyes: Sunglasses not only prevent your from squinting, but they also block harmful UVA/UVB light that contributes to cataracts and macular degeneration.

3. Eye protection: Get safety goggles at the hardware store and wear them when working.

4. Contact care: Always have a pair of glasses on hand in case your contacts irritate your eyes. Simple irritation can turn into ulcers if you wear contacts when your eyes are irritated. Keep your contacts clean - use contact solution to care for lenses.

5. Eye candy: Are carrots really good for your eyes? Yes! And so are egg yolks, fish, green veggies and dark berries. These foods contain vitamin A, lutein, and omega 3 fatty acids which strengthen and lubricate your eyes. So eat up!

6. Eye lube: Drink lots of water, eat your omega 3 fatty acids, and use a lubricating gel.

7. Quit smoking: One more reason to quit.

8. Eye strain: When at the computer, use artificial tears to soothe your eyes.

9. Talk to your family: Eye problems can be hereditary. The sooner people are diagnosed, the better.

10. Stay healthy! Exercise. You get your oil checked regularly — get your eyes checked, too!

Barbecue and wagon ride

Take a ride on a horse-drawn wagon pulled by a team of big Clydesdales to a rustic setting where you will enjoy the best barbecue around, with all the fixins.

Meet at scenic Astraddle-A-Saddle at 5:05 p.m. with the wagon ride beginning at 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, and enjoy real outdoor home cookin' with chicken, brisket, corn, beans, rolls plus much more, all for $20. It's all you can eat, too!

After dinner join us singing and relaxing around the campfire. (Reservations were required by Sept. 13). Carpooling will be the mode of transportation. Winter is just around the corner so get out and enjoy the fall weather before it's too late.

Sky Ute Casino

Step into the action and play to have fun during our monthly trip to Sky Ute Casino Tuesday, Sept. 19. Free transportation (with limited seating) provided by Sky Ute leaves The Den at 1 p.m. returning approximately 6 p.m. Play the slots, hang out with friends and win or lose, you are sure to have a great time!

Visually impaired persons support group

The monthly meeting for folks with low vision and their supporters will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20. Susan Kimbler from the Southwest Center for Independence leads this informative and helpful support group. For more information, call 259-1672.

Free monthly movie

Our free monthly movie at The Den at 12:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, is "March of the Penguins," rated G. Award-winning photographer Luc Jacquet takes documentary film to new heights - and depths - with his first feature film, a stunning insider's look at the life of the emperor penguin. The product of more than a year of filming on the brutal Antarctic ice, this official Sundance selection presents never-before-captured footage of the penguins' underwater life and explores their steadfast quest for monogamous mates. Join us in the lounge for free popcorn for this fascinating documentary.

The martial way of harmony

Aikido is a relatively modern martial art, although its roots go back nearly a thousand years to secret techniques of samurai warriors. Beginning in October, The Den will be offer Aikido classes every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Please sign up with The Den office by Friday, Sept. 22, if you would like to participate in the October classes.

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

"Aikido," translates to "The Way of Harmony with the Universe."

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

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

Medicare counseling

Beginning this month, The Den is offering Medicare counseling Tuesdays, by appointment only, from 1-3 p.m. 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.

Emergency Operations

Emergency Operations is compiling a list of at-risk people in Archuleta County. If you or another senior you know would need assistance in the event of a long-term power outage, major wildland fire, huge snowstorm, or other emergency, call Musetta at 264-2167 and give her your name, location, phone number and a summary of your special needs.

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 such as 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 on line at www.cobar.org and then click on "For the Public" and then on "Law Related Materials" and then on "Senior Law Handbook".

Notice of election

The board of directors of Archuleta Seniors Inc. is presently accepting nominations for officers and board members. Officers are elected annually and board members serve two year terms. Archuleta 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 on Sept. 22. You may either hand deliver or mail your Letter of Intent.

Nominations will not be take from the floor at the annual meeting to be held on the day of the elections, Oct. 9. 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 over. Beginning Monday, Sept. 11, and through the remainder of 2006, memberships can be purchased at The Den for $50 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. No memberships are sold Thursdays.

Oktoberfest

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.

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.

Senior of the Week

We would like to congratulate Bill Coleman as Senior of the Week. He 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.

Activities at a glance

Thursday, Sept. 14 - The Den is closed.

Friday, Sept. 15 - The Geezers weekly meeting, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge-4-fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 18 - Susan Stoffer available, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 19 - Yoga, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.; Medicare counseling by appointment only, 1-3 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino, 1 p.m.; Astraddle-a-Saddle dinner, 5:05 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 20 - Basic computer class, 10 a.m.; and Visually Impaired Persons Support Group), 11 a.m.

Thursday, Sept. 21 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). The Den is closed.

Friday, Sept. 22 - The Geezers weekly meeting, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.; free movie, "March of the Penguins," 12:45 p.m.; final day to sign up for the October Aikido classes.

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. 15 - Beef stew with vegetables, black beans with cilantro, cauliflower, orange wedges and cornbread.

Monday, Sept. 18 - Scalloped potatoes with ham, veggie medley, peaches, and whole wheat bread.

Tuesday, Sept. 19 - Taco salad with salsa, lettuce and tomato, strawberry applesauce, cantaloupe and whole wheat crackers.

Wednesday, Sept. 20 - Oven baked fish, potatoes, mixed veggies, Waldorf salad, and bran muffin.

Thursday, Sept. 21 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). Chile con carne, yellow squash, pineapple and mandarin oranges, and corn bread.

Friday, Sept. 22 - Roast chicken with broth, potatoes, Harvard beets, cinnamon apples, and whole wheat bread.

 

Veteran's Corner

Armed Forces Support Coalition program tonight

By Andy Fautheree

The Armed Forces Support Coalition is presenting a "Veterans In Our Time" program this evening starting with a 6 p.m. dinner and program at 7 at the Stage Under The Stars theater located 3.2 miles north of U.S. 160 on Piedra Road.

Local veterans are on the program and will discuss their military and wartime experiences.

Cost of the dinner is $6. A $7 donation will be requested for admission, with all money going to the Armed Forces Support Coalition. Tickets are available at the door.

The Coalition is a non-profit organization with the mission of making the lives of military families less difficult. Emphasis is on assisting the families of military men and women deployed overseas, particularly their children. The coalition also provides aid to veterans and active duty personnel where a need might exist.

A few of the types of services provided recently include buying school supplies for the children of deployed military personnel, providing funds to repair a battery operated "scooter" for a handicapped veteran, staffing a get-well card station at Wal-Mart for a seriously injured Marine, arranging and paying for the installation of a water heater for a family of a deployed Guardsman, and publicizing activities for other organizations which would be of interest to military personnel and their families.

Fund assistance

A reminder to all Archuleta County veterans enrolled in VA Health Care: We have Colorado Veterans Trust Fund money available to assist you with your VA Health Care travel expenses for fuel and lodging as necessary.

You need only bring proof of appointment, fuel cost receipts and accommodation (motel/hotel) expense as required for your appointment, to this office. We can reimburse you for this expense and it is expected we will have adequate funds for this use for all VAHC travel expense through June 30, 2007.

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

 

Library News

How to raise an A+ student and other library news

By Carole Howard

SUN Columnist, and the library staff

When it comes to education, too many American children are in trouble.

Up to a quarter of our kids of don't finish high school. Of those who do and go on to college, more than four in 10 need remedial classes. There are plenty of reasons for these problems. There also is surprising agreement among experts about how to solve them.

Dozens of studies have shown that the most consistent indicators of student achievement - more than income or social status - are the home environment and parental involvement. The ultimate example: the success of so many home-schooled students. But lots of other young people do well too. The question is why.

Recently Reader's Digest magazine visited three families, including one headed by a single mother. Each family faces different circumstances and yet all have managed to raise A+ students.

Among the common traits: The children's exposure to books from a very, very young age. That's why we have so many free children's programs at the library. If you have youngsters, we hope you encourage them to take advantage. To learn more about how books can help your youngster excel at school, read the article in the September issue of Reader's Digest. It is one of about 70 magazines available for your enjoyment at the library, and it comes in the large-type as well as the regular pocket-size edition.

Meagan's Place students set example

If you want to meet young people who love to read, and also are top performers at their grade level, you should meet the members of the student advisory committees for Meagan's Place.

They are examples of exceptional youth we all would be so proud to have in our own Meagan's Place is a special section of the library devoted entirely to books and games of interest to early teens in the sixth through ninth grades.

Since its inception, materials in this special area have been chosen with advice from two student advisory committees. These young leaders also explore ways to get their peers more interested in reading, such as involving them in book reviews, reading to younger kids and other special programs. We hope you'll encourage your teens to stop by and take advantage of what Meagan's Place offers - free for anyone with a library card.

Save the dates for adult programs

Thanks to Pagosa resident Biz Greene, we have a wonderful series of free Lifelong Learning Lectures to look forward to. Two will take place this month.

On Sept. 23, Dr. Andrew Gulliford will present an illustrated lecture based on his new book, "Preserving Western History." September 30 brings "Engineers without Borders: Building a Better World One Community at a Time" by Don May, a professor of engineering. Both these events take place at 3 p.m. at the library.

New non-fiction books

Biography lovers will enjoy Kathryn Hughes "The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs. Beeton," the fascinating story of the woman who was the number one advice-giver on everything from fashion and food to domestic advice, sort-of a Dear Abby of Victorian times. If you like adventure, try "Devil's Teeth" about America's great white sharks by Susan Casey, editor of Sports Illustrated Women. For a piece of history that Britain tried to hide, read Harvard professor Caroline Elkins' "Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya" about the suppression of the Mau Mau rebellion against colonial rule. For outstanding Americana, read "Realistic Visionary: A Portrait of George Washington" by history professor Peter Henriques.

New fiction books

"Folly and Glory," the final volume of Larry McMurtry's Berrybender Narratives and an epic in its own right, is another great story of the American West. New Christian fiction comes to us in the three-part historical Dakotah Territory series by Lauraine Snelling featuring impressive heroines - "Pearl," a teacher; "Ruby," a young woman heading to see her long-lost gold-mining father; and "Opal," a rancher. Fans of Luanne Rice will love her latest, called "Sandcastles," about a family dealing with the return of a husband and father who deserted them six years ago.

In memoriam

Special thanks to Betty Beasley, who donated five needlework books in memory of Beverly Pruitt because of her love for embroidery and needlepoint.

Other donations

We also are grateful for generous donations of books and materials from other library supporters: Susan Aranias, Jerome Baier, Charlene Baumgarlica, Larry and Joan Blue, Edna Bone, Richard Boblitt, Jan Brookshire, Barbara Carlos, Windsor Chacey, Richard Clare, Pat and Georgie Curtis, Kent Davis, Barb Draper, Pat Everett, Ljiljian D. Eversole, Gerry Gammill, Brock Gorman, Cindy Gustafson, Cristy Holden, Evelyn Kantas, Stacia Kemp, Judy Mayer, Onalee McEwen, Merilyn Moorhead, Jan Nicholls, Kate Petley, Virginia Richards, Patricia Shoffner, Kathy Steen, Suki, Kate Terry, Ed and Martha White, Margaret Wilson and Carol Young. As well, a visitor named Glen Walton donated $20 to the library because he was so grateful for the help he got on the computer from staffer David Bright.

 

Pagosa Reads

Washington's inner circle from an insider

By David Bright

Special to the PREVIEW

Andrea Mitchell is a familiar face on the national television scene. She provides news commentary on the important world affairs as the chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC. She shares many of her interesting experiences in her book, "Talking back To Presidents, Dictators, and Assorted Scoundrels."

The fact that she is married to Alan Greenspan, who served as head of the Federal Reserve under four presidents, has given her a unique entrée to the Washington power base. How unusual it must be to be invited to intimate dinners with the Cheney and Rumsfeld families and then have to report on the dropping polls the next morning. She has gone from being one of the media hounds staking out a social happening to one of the important guests.

It is a professional challenge to be objective and not allow this insider position to color her reporting of the news. The fact that her opposition speaks so highly of her is remarkable. As Andrea explains in the book, getting a scoop on a story is like the super bowl and the World Series combined. She has been able to deliver the news in a non-partisan, unbiased voice throughout her career.

Andrea received her degree in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania and started as a reporter for a radio station in Philadelphia. When she broke into the field in 1969, women were unwelcome in the role of correspondent. Today, there are many prominent women in the profession and Andrea can take credit for helping bring this about.

Her many roles during the past 37 years include acting as White House correspondent covering presidential politics and appearing on numerous TV talk shows as panelist and political analyst.

"Talking Back" covers her countless unusual experiences interviewing the newsmakers of our time. It is a book for those interested in the inner circle of journalism as well as the inner circle of Washington. Mitchell is concerned with the "new" journalism that is taking over how we get our news.

The cyber journalists or bloggers concern her because she wants to know more about the writers' dedication to the truth. "True journalism involves seeking new facts, testing them with conflicting points of view, and presenting them in a balanced fashion."

Cable brought 24-hour news and constant deadlines along with the Internet and talk show rants on the right and the left. "Facts are incinerated in a blaze of rumor and accusation. The morphing of television interview programs into verbal food fights is now nearly universal. For an anxious nation in a post-9/11 world, the media have become an echo chamber, reinforcing our misconceptions and exaggerating our differences, real or imagined."

Technology presents new dilemmas for Mitchell's profession. In an age of instantaneous news, she worries that the news organizations sometimes put speed above accuracy and fairness is sacrificed in the process. She asks, "Is it acceptable to recycle rumors for which we have no proof simply because it was on a website? How many correspondents still require two sources before going on the air? How many are trained in the fundamentals of journalism?"

Mitchell relates, "The stakes are high, after struggling to find truth in competing claims about war, weapons and terror connections, we are still left with more questions than answers there has never been a time when our coverage of foreign policy and domestic politics was as important or as difficult."

"Talking Back" is special because of the front-row seat Mitchell has in Washington. The book gives insights into every president from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush and the men and women who surround them. It will be of interest to anyone interested in journalism, politics and current affairs.

David Neill Bright is a Colorado native, born in Denver and raised in Greeley. After a stint in the air force working as a jet engine mechanic, he attended Fort Lewis and Metropolitan State Colleges. David currently works with information technology at Ruby Sisson Library, cataloging magazines and coordinating the Sisson Chess Club.

 

Arts Line

Exhibit to feature work by local youngsters

By Linda Strathdee

PREVIEW Columnist

The first Art and Photo Camp Student Exhibit will open Thursday, Sept. 28, with a 5-7 p.m. reception at the Town Park gallery. The exhibit will continue through Oct. 10.

The exhibit will feature 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 participants learned not only art skills but some Spanish as well.

Wendy Saunders taught photo-learn classes in which students used their 35mm cameras to experience the basics of photography and selected images from their work to be framed and mounted.

Plan to support Pagosa's young artists by attending the opening or visiting the gallery some time during the exhibit.

Applegate exhibit continues

Sandy Applegate's one-person exhibit, Pagosa Portraits: Ego and Alter Ego, continues until Sept. 19. Sandy's whimsical and provocative work portrays egos and alter egos of a number of local individuals.

The exhibit is on display at the Town Park gallery at 315 Hermosa St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 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.

Juried photo show

PSAC will hold its first juried photo show Oct. 12-31. The call for entries will be going out soon. Watch for more information about the show as the date for submissions approaches.

Gift shop show and sale

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.

If you are an Arts Council member, you might want to think about entering some of your work for consideration for the gift shop show and sale. Applications are available from the gallery, 264-5020.

Gallery tour

The fourth annual Gala Gallery Tour is scheduled for 4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. Plan to gather with your friends and neighbors and support our local galleries, artists and artisans by attending this exciting PSAC fund-raising event.

CCA grant

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council recently received notice it has been selected to receive a $2,000 grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts.

PSAC will use these funds in support of its June 2007 Summer Arts Camp. Once again, PSAC will be able to further its mission and open doors to the arts for more children.

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 non-members 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.

Mion workshop 

Internationally known artist and illustrator Pierre Mion will be teaching his fall watercolor workshop, the Lake Powell Class, Oct. 9-11 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 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, Oct. 12, is available for $60 per person, minimum four students. For further workshop and supplies information, call Pierre 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.

Photo club season

The Pagosa Springs Photography Club meets the second Wednesday of each month during the club year from September through May. Interested photography enthusiasts are welcome to attend their 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.

Activities

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

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

You say fumé, I say sauvignon

By Laura Winzeler

PREVIEW Columnist

Sauvignon blanc enjoys wide appeal and wide distribution for good reason: It is one of, if not the most, affordable and food-friendly white wine grapes around today.

When referring to fumé or sauvignon blanc, the grapes are one and the same. We have that visionary California winemaking icon, Robert Mondavi, to thank for the liberal usage of the term fumé blanc in the United States as a synonym for sauvignon blanc.

In France, historic home to this aromatic and versatile white grape, the Loire Valley produces the varietal in the appellation of Pouilly, the best called Pouilly-Fumé. The wine is also called blanc fumé - fumé as in smoky - a flinty, mineral characteristic often found in the wines of the region. Some say the fumé refers to the toasted oak flavors from the barrel aging process, and still others claim the fumé is the fog from a river below the Loire. No matter.

In 1968, Mondavi, always the clever marketer, renamed his oak-aged, dry sauvignon blanc "fumé blanc," confusing the whole crowd, and many wineries have followed suit in the succeeding years. Though the grapes are identical, it is worth knowing that the wine itself may not be. While a fumé blanc (and Pouilly-Fumé) will always be made from 100 percent sauvignon blanc grapes, labels bearing the name of sauvignon blanc are allowed to blend in up to 25 percent of another grape, usually semillon, and still call themselves a sauvignon blanc.

While it can be found in northeast Italy, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and numerous other regions and states in America, California vintners have made great strides with this grape over recent years. While part of the viticultural landscape since the 1800s, it was only as recently as the 1970s that California winemakers began to focus on making a better bottle of sauvignon blanc. Tragically, they lost their minds for a while and started to treat the grape as if it were chardonnay, trying to tame it, subjecting it to all manner of humiliating and softening malolactic fermentation processes, punishing it by making it sit in dark oak barrels all alone to think about what it had done, being so sassy, brash and petulant. The bracing acids and irresistible vibrancy of this irrepressible grape were muted for a time but those dark days are (for the most part) over. More California producers now see the 100 percent stainless steel light, praise Bacchus.

In previous columns, I have promised that you can look for reliable and consistent values from California producers Sterling, Kenwood and Chateau St. Jean, buying with confidence. All turn out the lightly floral, fruit-driven, heavy acid zap SBs that I enjoy the most.

New Zealand has become all the rage in recent years showering the world with super-crisp, tart, high acid sauvignon blancs with a very distinctive style and flavor. In my mouth they are usually very grassy, herbaceous and green citrus fruit-laden. Those in the know find them full of gooseberries, or even "cat's pee on a gooseberry bush." Never having tasted a gooseberry in my life, but having extensive experience with cat pee, I get the idea. The 2004 Fauna Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region in New Zealand ($13) is a perfect representative of this style: thick grass on the nose but a lemon bomb in the mouth. Yellow grapefruit and lime dominate the finish. I found that a very long chilling session in the freezer worked well to counteract the hot perception I get from so much herb, hay and the acidic bite of bitter citrus fruits like grapefruit. The moderate alcohol level of 12.5 percent is not to blame for the heat in this case; the flavor profile gives the sensation. Even though the 2005 is in release, the 2004 is still supported by a firm acid backbone. Racy and refreshing with far more intricacy than I expected, especially as it opens up in the glass.

Some of us believe that this grape turns out the most food-friendly white wine in the universe. (Others of us say riesling. I say bah!). Because it is a dry white wine with very little residual sugar, sauvignon blanc is a highly versatile food wine. It can be enjoyed with a vast range of cuisine and is one of the very best aperitif wines around.

While I am all about drinking the wine you love with the food you want to eat, even if that means sauvignon blanc with your pot roast or syrah with your eggs, there is much to praise in the food flexibility of a sauvignon blanc that is left alone in the winemaking process, allowing the bright fruit acids to shine. Because acidity in both wine and food tend to neutralize each other, a fresh, light-to-medium-bodied sauvignon blanc will taste better and less acidic when paired with highly acid foods like tomatoes, citrus, green vegetables and a vinaigrette-dressed salad. This makes it a great all around choice for many vegetarian dishes, including quiche and risotto. It is one of the few wines that has the character to take on artichokes and asparagus, notoriously hard to match. The grape is perceived as a bit sweeter when in the company of these challengers.

Just as a slice of lemon gives your fish dish the zip it needs, sauvignon blanc is the perfect partner to many seafood dishes. I love a slightly herbaceous SB with pesto pasta dishes and salads, but don't be afraid to try it with heavy cream and cheese sauce recipes like the Alfredos and Carbonaras. The biting acid structure slices right through the heaviness. Ditto with Mexican food. It's a match made in heaven for Thai and Chinese dishes that emphasize fish, pork, poultry and vegetables in curries, coconut milk sauces, garlic, ginger, soy, peanut and lemon-grass. Some claim that the best cheese to pair with a good sauvignon blanc is goat's milk, but I love it with smoked cheese and gorgonzola.

There is not much that a vibrant and tingling sauvignon blanc will not enhance, but as in all of life, perception is everything, and only yours counts.

 

 

Tasting Notes

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

No column this week.

Food for Thought

Can you pass the New Mexico driver's test?

By Karl Isberg

I am westbound on U.S. 160 leaving downtown Siberia with a View, straining to keep my 1992 Chevy pickup at the speed limit - a rip-roaring 45 mph.

There is a cement truck lumbering up the right-hand lane at a hefty 25 mph so I swing boldly into the passing lane to charge ahead of the behemoth.

But, no, this is not to be. As I move to the passing lane, I am greeted by an alarming sight: A Lincoln Town Car, doing all of 5 mph, in the passing lane. The car's brake lights go on, forcing me to burn some rubber in a Code Blue deceleration. The cement truck passes us like we are standing still.

Which, in fact, we are.

In the passing lane.

The goofball driving the Lincoln has seen a bright-shiny object somewhere off the side of the road and is gesturing wildly, directing the attention of his equally feeble passengers to what must be the most fascinating sight known to man.

Or, more precisely, to a New Mexico driver.

Yep, I have fallen in behind a New Mexico driver and, without a doubt, the average New Mexico driver is among the worst on the road.

A poor New Mexico driver (which is like deeming one limburger stinkier than the next) is the worst driver in the world.

"Now, hold your horses, Karl," I hear you saying. "The worst driver in the world?"

Yep. The worst.

Hands down. No contest.

And I have some sorry motoring experiences to use as comparisons. As examples, and to name only a few, I have driven midtown Manhattan, downtown Boston, the Bay Area freeways. I have been on the 405, the 5, the 10, the 110 in LA at the absolute craziest times of the day (which is just about any time of the day). I have attempted to take La Cienega from the 10 to the Beverly Center at 8 a.m. and have been on the Jersey Turnpike, both directions, at peak hours

Moreover, I have motored through London, been on the Boulevard Des Italiennes in Paris at rush hour (which, incidentally, is just about any time of day) and have attempted to cross or otherwise negotiate countless other deadly avenues here and abroad.

The New Mexico driver is the worst driver in the world, as I know it.

You see those N.M. plates on a car or truck get away as quickly as possible. They are bad mojo; nasty things are bound to occur.

Ever been to Charmington and tried to drive down the main drag?

Fun, huh?

How about St. Andrews in Santa Fe?

Rockin' good time, don't you think?

Oh, and how about a leisurely jaunt down Cerillos Road?

Wyoming, Lomas, in Albuquerque?

Death traps, all of them.

Courtesy of the typical New Mexico driver.

Did you ever wheel down the Beastmaster's Highway (Hwy. 666 between Shiprock and Gallup, before they had the good sense to change the number)? Ever been zipping along at 60 on that highway and looked ahead to spot a rooster tail of dust shooting down a side road, the invisible vehicle creating the dust plume rocketing along at 90-95 mph on the dirt road, heading toward the highway? Ever realized that darned vehicle is not going to stop? Ever watched one of those vehicles fly across the highway (and I do mean fly) the contraption airborne, the clown at the wheel blissfully unaware of the existence of other cars and trucks?

New Mexico drivers.

The worst drivers in the world. In the known universe.

As I attempted to escape the death trap outside town the other day, I got to thinking about what kind of skills are required of a New Mexico driver and what kind of driver's test the state administers prior to handing out a license.

I procured a copy of the test and analyzed it.

It is very short.

Question 1: Can you see?

a) Perhaps.

b) No, but I own a dog that sees for me. And he can drive.

c) Well enough to read, but not necessarily understand, this question — if I can hold it real, real close to my eyes.

Question 2: Where does the driver sit?

a) At home, in front of the TV.

b) Huh?

c) Somewhere in the front seat of a vehicle, either alone or on someone's lap. Must be able to reach the steering wheel, though someone else can work the pedals if necessary.

Question 3: You are in the far right lane on a four-lane roadway.

You look across the three lanes to your left and see a sign advertising a two-for-one sale on party packs of beer. Do you:

a) Slow to 30 mph and have a passenger jump from the vehicle?

b) Try to figure out what the word "sale" means?

c) Without signaling, crank a hard left, cross the lane next to you and the two lanes of oncoming traffic and pull to a brake-cooking halt at the front door of the liquor store screaming "Yahoo, load me up, I gotta do some drivin' tonight."?

Question 4: The posted speed limit is 55 mph. Do you:

a) Hold a steady 35 mph, straddling either the adjacent lane line or the center line of the roadway?

b) Put the pedal to the metal and accelerate to 85 mph?

c) Do a bit of both, the pattern depending on whether or not you are having a fistfight with your wife, husband, cousin, children, or all of the above - or your priest?

Question 5: When driving on mountain roads, how many times per mile should you apply the brakes?

a) Never.

b) 6,750.

c) Never, if you are on your way to the two-for-one beer party pack sale; 6,750 if you see bright, shiny objects near the side of the road, or if you are having a fistfight with your wife, husband, cousin, children or all of the above - or your priest?

Question 6: Does the color red on a traffic sign or traffic light mean anything to you?

a) Yes, it's a very pretty color. My cousin looks great in red.

b) I don't recall ever seeing the color red on a traffic sign or signal. In fact, I don't remember ever seeing a traffic signal.

c) No.

Question 7: A car is traveling 115 miles per hour, leaves the roadway and flips seven times end over end. How many empty beer cans will be ejected from the vehicle before it comes to rest?

a) I don't know. I didn't count them the last time this happened.

b) I don't know. I drink the hard stuff and you only lose a bottle or two.

c) Exactly 485.

That's the test.

The correct answer to each question is c.

You pass if you provide one correct answer. Otherwise, you still get a license, but you are photographed against a blue background rather than a yellow background (the dominant color on the state license plate).

Everyone passes because the basic skills on the test are taught from childhood, passed from generation to generation. Plus, all New Mexico residents are required to take a class in high school titled "Driving Stuff 100."

The written portion of the test is, of course, followed by a driving test. During the test, the applicant must be able to drive a two-block course accompanied by Johnnie and the Hurricanes, Busta Rhymes or Korn (driver's choice) played over the car's sound system at 550 decibels.

During the test, the applicant must also be able to talk, make wild gestures at other motorists, take drinks from a Big Gulp cup and eat French fries (with ketchup) while traveling 50 mph in a school zone.

The driving test requires the applicant to do a steady 15 mph for a distance of three miles, in the fast lane of a freeway, in a vehicle at least 20 years old with no oil in the engine and no coolant in the radiator. All applicants 65 years of age or older must take the test at night. You are given bonus points for each vehicle you hit in a mall parking lot, providing you are able to flee the scene without being reported to authorities.

Thank goodness, our Colorado Department of Transportation will soon finish constructing gates at each highway and road crossing between our state and New Mexico. Since our insurance companies will no longer let us drive in New Mexico, we will need to wave at New Mexico drivers from across the state line. They might see us if they're not driving too fast.

I have friends in New Mexico whom I will miss, once the travel ban is in place. So, I plan to invite them up for dinner, to say goodbye before the gates are complete.

I'm going to whip up a version of a penné dish I've been working on - serve it with some grilled chicken, mimicking a dinner my brother's family and mine enjoyed the other night.

I'll do my prep work and finely dice half a white onion and mince six or seven cloves of garlic. I'll roughly chop a cup or so of pitted kalamata olives, create a chiffonade of basil, halve the contents of a carton's worth of grape or cherry tomatoes. I'll have ready the zest of one lemon and the juice of one large lemon, a bit of chicken broth, a touch of chicken demi-glace, a splash of dry white wine, Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, a pack of fresh baby spinach, a half cup of toasted pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, butter and crumbled feta cheese.

I'll cook a pound of penné, al dente, while I sweat the onion in olive oil. When the pasta is done, I'll crank up the heat beneath the onion to medium high, and toss in the tomatoes and the garlic, drawing the liquid out of the tomatoes and reducing it. In will go the splash of wine, a splash of chicken broth, a half teaspoon or so of the demi-glace, and a bit more oil. I'll reduce this somewhat, before adding salt (reducing intensifies saltiness) and pepper. I'll toss in the olives, nuts and basil and cook for a while longer. Then, in will go a serious wad of butter and some of the lemon juice, and I'll adjust the seasonings in the sauce. When all is to my liking, I'll put the penné in the pan and coat the pasta. Lastly, I'll add the spinach, allowing a brief time on the stovetop and the heat from the pasta to wilt the spinach. Into a large, shallow serving bowl it will go and the cheese and lemon zest will go willy-nilly on top.

Mmmm.

My friends from New Mexico will love it.

I'll let you know what day and time they will be driving to Siberia with a View for our farewell dinner, so those of you with a lick of sense can get off the roadways.

 

Extension Viewpoints

Dealing with fungal growth in turfgrass

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Sept. 14 - 6 p.m., 4-H leader's meeting.

Sept. 15 - 1-5 p.m., 4-H Livestock Business Day.

Sept. 20 - 10 a.m., Garden Club meeting.

Sept. 22 - 6 p.m., 4-H Achievement Night.

Last chance for seed mix orders

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.

Orders are being taken until tomorrow, Sept. 15. The seed will be available to pick up on Oct. 3. Contact the San Juan CD at 731-3615 or stop by 505A CR 600 (next to Piedra Automotive).

Fairy ring in turfgrass

Fairy ring is caused by a number of mushroom fungi that live in the soil and thatch layer.

Early symptoms of infection appear as circular or partial ring-bands of lush green grass that vary from less than 1 foot to many feet in diameter. Most rings range from 3 to 12 feet.

Eventually the deep green grass in the ring-band dies. This pattern of stimulated and dead grass may be visible throughout the year and may slowly increase in size during following seasons. Mushrooms or puffballs of the fungus may appear in the rings following periods of wet weather.

How fairy rings begin is unknown. Fungi that cause fairy rings commonly live in forest areas. It is thought that they begin to grow on a source of organic matter such as an old stump, dead roots, or wood left over from building construction that was buried during the landscaping process.

The fungi grow radially outward in the soil or thatch layer of the turf grass. Fungi that cause fairy ring live by decomposing organic litter that is abundant in the turf grass thatch. The lushness of the stimulated zone occurs because the fungi release nitrogen as they decompose the organic matter in the thatch and soil.

The dead zone contains grass plants that may be killed or dormant, mostly as a result of insufficient soil moisture. This ring of drought-stressed plants occurs because of an extensive network of mycelium or dense mold produced by the fungus. This mycelial layer prevents water from infiltrating into the soil and reaching turf roots.

To prevent the disease, don't bury organic debris, such as stumps and waste lumber, before establishing a lawn. Maintain optimum growing conditions for turf grass with proper watering, fertilization and thatch control. To control an established fairy ring, aerate the entire diseased area every 4 inches, plus an additional 2 feet beyond its visible limits. Disinfect core cultivators after use to prevent accidental spread of the fungus into healthy grass. Following aeration, soak the infected area with water. Add a wetting agent to help water penetrate. Hand water these areas to prevent over watering of adjacent healthy turf grass. Areas of dark green grass often can be masked with light applications of nitrogen fertilizers that stimulate adjacent turf growth.

When the disease is severe, it may be necessary to renovate the affected turf. Remove and destroy sod (do not compost) or kill it with a nonselective herbicide such as glyphosate (Roundup). Thoroughly mix the soil from the ring with non-ring soil. You may use a fumigant, such as metam-sodium (Vapam) (restricted use) to eliminate fungal mycelium in the soil. Fungicides drenched into the soil are not recommended; their success has been very limited.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

PLPOA seeks advisory committee help

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

The Finance Advisory Committee (FAC) is an ad hoc committee to advise the board of directors of the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association in areas of financial planning, financial management and control.

Three members are being sought for the committee, which will be chaired by the association treasurer. Preference will be given candidates whose background and education are in one or more of the following areas: accounting/auditing, economics, management and financial management/analysis. Candidates should also have experience dealing with fixed income market investments. Should you have the background and the interest, contact the association administrative office at 230 Port Avenue, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, or phone (970) 731-5635.

Races galore

A small group of brave and tough runners from Pagosa participated in the Imogene Pass Run this last Saturday. At this time, I do not have details but the general information indicated a race that was rerouted due to 6 inches of fresh snow on the jeep/mountain goat trail over the pass. This is not a race for the faint of heart. If the rugged terrain doesn't get you, the thin air and/or the cold westerly winds above 12,500 feet will eventually cause you to question your sanity. A pat on the back to those of you who started, competed and completed.

Registrations for this year's adventure race - the LungBuster - is gaining momentum. This again is pretty hard-core stuff involving approximately 12 hours of trekking/running, mountain biking, paddling and orienteering. The course is entirely within the Rio Grande National Forest at elevations of 9,000 feet and above. For those interested in a suffer-fest, log onto www.lungbuster.com. The race will be held this Saturday.

The Cruise-A-Thon has most definitely caught my interest. Here is a race for the average Joe - as advertised on the event information. If you want to have fun, involve the kids, do absolutely no training in preparation and earn kudos for being the life of the party when you brag about the race, this is it. Get more information and register on-line at www.cruiseathong.com if you are interested in this Sept. 23 try-not-a-thon, or look elsewhere in this publication for details, and the significance of the "thong" in the Web address.

 

The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association monthly board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. today in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. Members and observers are encouraged to attend. Public comments are heard at the beginning of the meeting.

 

Births

Quincy Paige Lowe

Josh and Rachel Lowe, of Pagosa Springs, would like to announce the birth of their baby girl, Quincy Paige Lowe, at 3:13 p.m. Aug. 29, 2006, at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, Colo. She weighed 5 pounds, 9.5 ounces and was 17.5 inches long. Paternal grandparents are Deb and Dan Lowe of Craig. Maternal grandparents are Becky Hertzog of Craig and Wes Hertzog who is watching over her from heaven.

 

Trey Benjamin Garcia

Jacqueline and Kyle Garcia have enjoyed a summer full of activities with their new baby brother, Trey Benjamin Garcia, born May 30, 2006.  Trey weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and was 20 inches long.  Jean and Mark Garcia are the proud parents. Trey's grandparents are Jack and Alice Hassett of Pagosa Springs and Agnes Garcia of Santa Fe, N.M.

 

Obituaries

Abel Lister-Perea

In loving memory of our son, Abel A. Lister-Perea, 22, who passed away surrounded by family on Sept. 11, 2006, at UNM Medical Center, Albuquerque, N.M.

Abel was in a tragic four-wheeler accident which claimed the life of this lifetime resident of Pagosa Springs.

On May 14, 1984, Abel was born in Denver General Hospital. He is preceded in death by a twin brother and grandparents, Zeke and Fidelia Perea, Abel Lister and Grace Vigil.

He leaves behind parents, Gilbert and Debra Lister-Perea, and great-great-grandmother, Amanda Stollstimer, all of Pagosa Springs; a brother and sister-in-law, Tommy and Ofelia Hardin, of Denver; a sister, Suelenna Hardin, and an adopted uncle, John Feazel, of Pagosa Springs; nieces Fidelia Yolanda Salas, Anastacia Perea, Brisa Hardin and Gracie Farrel; nephew Tomas Hardin; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

A rosary is scheduled Friday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs. The funeral service will be Saturday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, followed by a dinner at the Parish Hall.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Bank of Colorado. For meals, please call Josie Rivas at 264-4875. May God bless his soul.

 

Donald Stubbs

Donald Stewart Stubbs, Jr., died Sept. 3, 2006, at Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas, after nearly a year-long, courageous battle with cancer.

Don was born Sept. 29, 1938, in Montrose, Colo., to Donald and Esther Stubbs. He graduated from South High School in Denver, and graduated from the University of Denver with a B.A. degree in communication arts in 1962.

He began his career in radio as a disc jockey while still in high school with KLAK, Lakewood, the Denver area's first and only country music station at that time. It was immediately apparent that radio and communications would be his career. He had a gift - a God-given gift. His career spanned 45 years in radio and television. He worked in Denver, Grand Junction, Tulsa, Las Vegas, each time gaining more experience in all phases of broadcasting. During the last 10 years of his career, he and his wife Dianna fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning and operating their own radio stations. The first radio station was in Ely, Nev., with the call letters KDSS - DSS being the initials of both Don and Dianna. In order to be closer to family, the next station was in Pagosa Springs, Colo. They named the station KWUF, which made a great local impression since it was located at the foot of Wolf Creek Pass. Their third station was located in Carlsbad, N.M. and had the call letters KATK. Don and Dianna were a team providing on-site managing and were available for live remotes. Don, Dianna and their dog, Doc Holiday, were on scene in each locality providing humor, local interest and up-to-date news.

Don had a wonderful way of looking at life with a sense of humor. Starting in childhood, he entertained anyone who would listen. His best audience was his immediate family and three girl cousins who just happened to have a gift of laughter. He found humor in the everyday routines, in the news, and had a special knack of finding the unusual in the usual.

Don and Dianna retired in Las Vegas because of all the wonderful friends Don had cherished during his career. Don was very active in the Las Vegas Press Club for many years, a member of the Old Time Media Club, the Republican Men's Club and the "Non Club Club - F.I.O.R.E.," a comedian's club.

Don was a loving husband to Dianna, and the proud father of Don III with wife Kim, and Bradford, stepchildren Wendy Stevenson and Wes Stevenson. He was the grandfather of Lindsey, Sam and Raven, and had two great-grandchildren.

The funeral service was Thursday, Sept. 7, with burial services to take place at Restland Cemetery, Dallas, Texas. Memorials are preferred to Nathan Adelson Hospice, 4141 Swenson St., Las Vegas, NV 89119.

 

 Business News

Chamber News

Start the season in style at Colorfest

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

The Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce kicks off its fall season Business Builder Series Tuesday, Sept. 26 with Financing Your Business: Getting the Right Money for the Right Reasons!

Five noteworthy business and financial experts will be on hand to conduct a three-hour seminar on financing your business. The lineup includes Ed Morlan with Region 9, speaking about revolving loan funds and other publicly funded resources; Joe Keck, with the Fort Lewis College Small Business Development Center, speaking about financial and business planning for accessing business loans; Jaki Polich, with the USDA, will speak about rural development loan programs; Mike Bonnell with Wells Fargo will talk about lines of credit; and Marion Francis with 1st Southwest Bank will educate us about conventional lending and other loans, and what might be right for you.

The seminar will be held 9 a.m.-noon at the community center. Admission is $20 for Chamber members and $25 for nonmembers. There will be a continental breakfast included in the price. Seating is limited.

This is the first seminar in the three-month fall series focusing on the small business. Future programs will address benefit options, the basics of running a business and how you can improve your profitability. Whether you are looking to start a business, expand a business, increase your inventory or refinance, this is the session for you. Lending institutions could send staff to make sure they are up to speed on the latest public funding resources. Not only will you get great insight, you will also make invaluable contacts.

Sign up at the Chamber by stopping by or calling to reserve a spot. Take advantage of these opportunities that your Chamber of Commerce is making available to you. We want to see you succeed; and these are some tools to make you better and more profitable.

The colors are coming

The colors are coming, the colors are coming!

Returning from a meeting in Grand Junction, I traveled over the passes to the west of Pagosa. From Silverton to Ouray, one can catch very discernible changes in the leaves. The red mountains, the multiple hues of the leaves and the low-hanging clouds made for a stunning drive home and created a heightened anticipation of our own changing of the colors and the celebration that rings in the season - Colorfest.

Here then, one more time, are the Colorfest activities for this weekend. There is also a clip and save ad in The SUN for ease of planning.

- Friday, Sept. 15.

The first-ever Colorfest Art Show will start in Town Park at 3 p.m. and last until 8. Local artists will have booths with beautiful art products for sale. This show came about as vendors and shoppers asked for a crafts fair, similar to our Park to Park Arts and Crafts fair, scheduled closer to the Christmas season. So, now you have it!

Starting at 5 p.m. the Knights of Columbus will host the Colorfest community picnic: Beer, Brats and Balloons. For only $6 per person, you can get tasty brats (several varieties) with lots of fixings. There will also be a cash beer and wine station with beer provided by Ska Brewing of Durango. This event will also be the hot air balloon pilot reception. If you're looking to crew, this may be the function you want to attend, to get a jump on the mayhem of Saturday morning. The picnic will go on until 8 p.m. in Town Park, under the big tent.

You can then head down the road to the community center to experience the sounds of The High Rollers at the Colorfest Dance. Tickets for this event are $12 per person in advance and $15 at the door. The dance will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. and a cash beer and wine bar will be available, as well as snacks. What a way to kick off the weekend!

- Saturday, Sept. 16.

The morning begins around 7 a.m. in Town Park under the big tent with the pilots' meeting. If you are interested in crewing for a balloon, be there to receive your assignment. Ballooning Saturday will take place in the hot springs area starting about 8 a.m. with pilot contests scheduled along the river around 9.

Take the day to drive up into the high country and catch the first glimpses of fall, or take your jeep to the Alpine Loop or the Silverton area. It is already pretty in that part of the mountains. Be sure you get back in time, however, to catch the second day of the Colorfest Art Show. The hours will be noon to 8 p.m.

You can also get back in time to do a little soaking at The Springs Resort on behalf of United Way. Regular passes for $15 or local passes at $10 are available with 10 percent of bathhouse ticket sales going to the Archuleta County United Way Campaign. Soak while helping out the community.

The big event for the weekend is the Passport to Wine Festival with unique wines and delectable foods being served again under the big tent in Town Park. Rain or shine the wine festival will happen! Come experience wines from six countries and complementary foods: Portugal - food provided by Pagosa Baking Co. and Guido's Fine Foods in Durango and partially sponsored by Appraisal Services, Inc. Spain - food provided by Eddie B Cookin' and Pagosa Candy Co. and partially sponsored by The Springs Resort. Northwest United States - food provided by Farrago Market Cafe and Enchanted Valley Farms and partially sponsored by Bank of Colorado; Germany/France - food provided by Alley House Grille and sponsored by Boot Jack Ranch; South Africa - food provided by Wildflower Catering and partially sponsored by Paint Connection Beer provided by Ska Brewing and sponsored by Citizens Bank.

Without these sponsorships, this event would not be of the caliber it is.

I also can't wait to try some of the tasty treats: smoked salmon with a sauce made from the Broadley Pinot Noir from Oregon; oysters poached in the Latour's Chassagne Montrachet, with a Dijon goat cheese brulee; Port wines served with desserts with a little Thai influence, or how about spicy curry meatballs or goat cheese and shrimp highlighting the South African Fairview Pinotage or Goats Do Roam wines?

These are just a few items to whet your appetites until 6 p.m. when the doors open up to a gastronomic party. Entertainment will be provided by John Graves who loves to play music special to the countries highlighted. Non-alcoholic wines and beverages will also be provided. Advance passport tickets are $30 and $35 at the door.

Then, at dusk, weather permitting, the balloons will glow on the field across from Town Park. If you are not attending the wine festival, you will be able to view the balloons best from Pagosa Street or Hot Springs Boulevard. If you are attending the Passport to Wine, you will be able to stay in Town Park in a private garden area to view the spectacle. If Mother Nature is kind, the viewing will be stellar!

- Sunday, Sept. 17.

The morning begins again with the hot air balloon rally in the Pagosa Lakes area. The morning meeting will be at the Fairfield activity tent right off U.S. 160. Balloonists will then launch from all over the nearby area. You can crew that morning as well by showing up at the pilot's meeting. Launching is around 8 a.m.

After ballooning or church services, head over to JJ's Riverwalk Restaurant where the Champagne tasting brunch will be held. Three different Champagnes will be matched with three delectable courses to test your taste buds. Combine these delights with the view of the river and you have a perfect Sunday. Tickets for this tasting are also $30.

One last event is available for your pleasure down at Bell Tower Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. - the sixth annual Colorado Springs Corvette Car Show. Corvettes of all generations will be on hand for the public to view and you can vote for the "People's Choice" award. Let's welcome the cars from Colorado Springs with true Pagosa hospitality.

We are very excited about all the activities planned for this year's special weekend. Tickets for events are available at the Chamber for your one-stop shopping pleasure. For more information, call the chamber at 264-2360.

Membership event deadlines

The first Monday in October, Oct. 2, is SunDowner sign-up day.

Be at the Chamber of Commerce early, by 8 a.m., to secure your space for a 2007 SunDowner. Actually, if you really want a particular month, you should be at the Chamber much earlier.

Here are the guidelines: When you arrive at the Chamber there will be numbers for you to choose, from 1 to 13. The lower your number, the better chance you have of securing your particular month. If you don't care, then a high number would be just fine. The first 10 numbers will be assigned a monthly slot; the three remaining numbers will be listed as alternates in case a monthly member needs to cancel a SunDowner.

Staff will be on hand at 8 a.m. to register participants. We will have coffee and goodies available for the early risers. With the recent cool mornings, you will need the fuel!

We appreciate all the members who choose to host a SunDowner. Only Chamber member businesses may host this after-hours networking opportunity. The business host provides the food and the Chamber provides the beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. This is a wonderful way for the business to show off something new or to reintroduce itself. This is also a great opportunity for Chamber members or newcomers to the area to get their name out. We provide the opportunity for you, but you need to also participate. And, oh yes, have some fun! So, put on your longjohns or winter coat and head down to the Chamber early Monday, Oct. 2. Call the Chamber if you have any questions about the registration procedure.

It is once again newsletter deadline time.

Newsletter inserts need to be at the Chamber by Sept. 22. The newsletter will be coming out the beginning of October.

In this fall issue, we will have the general overview of the Chamber Member Survey that was taken this summer. The results are enlightening and diverse. There are definite trends in the community that many people are concerned about, and we'll share some of the plans that we envision for our future. We will also finish rolling out our fall season Business Builder Series along with community highlights and more useful information. The cost of placing an insert in the newsletter is $50 and we need 700 copies. So, get your flyers to Kimberley or call us at 264-2360.

Check out the members

Our first new member this week is Professional Insurance Resources with Pam Slovak-Howard. Professional Insurance Resources is a commercial insurance agency insuring property, liability, workers compensation, equipment and business autos. They specialize in liability for architects, engineers and environmental professionals. You can contact Pam at 189 Talisman Dr. No. C or give her a call at 731-3644.

Also new to the Chamber is Pathways to Soul Mastery with Sonya Flores Lugo, Ph.D. pastoral psychologist and ordained minister, and Linda LoCastro, special projects coordinator. Located in The Heritage Building at 468 Pagosa St., Suite A, Pathways to Soul Mastery offers spiritual counseling and classes for understanding soul contracts, past lives, and present-day healing challenges. They also offer workshops teaching Native American traditions, healing arts, shamanism, higher intuition, and hypnosis certification classes. Visit the offices or call 903-2108 to schedule an appointment.

Our final new member this week is Sherry Eastman-Murray with Jerry Driesens and Associated Brokers of Pagosa. Sherry offers the full complement of real estate services. Located at 140 Solomon Dr. behind Rio Grande Savings and Loan, Sherry is an associate member of the Chamber and a welcome addition to Jerry Driesens Real Estate. Give Sherry a call at 731-4500.

Our renewals this week are: Ponderosa Do It Best Home Center; Prudential Triple S Realty; The Kahrs Insurance Group; C.M. Equipment Rentals; and Pagosa Springs Rotary Club.

We have several associate renewals this week. Two are honored Volunteers of the Year: Lisa Scott and Jan Clinkenbeard. They are joined by their equally community minded husbands, Bob Scott and Bob Clinkenbeard. We welcome both groups of associate members. What would we do without all your help towards this community?

While maybe not as visible to the public, this lady is certainly visible to us at the Chamber. We welcome renewing member and Visitor Center diplomat, Karen Kelley. Karen is always helping out at Chamber events, at the Visitor Center or contributing her time to some other organization.

Here at the Chamber we are very excited about the Colorfest activities scheduled this weekend as well as the Business Builder Series we will be offering this fall. Please take advantage of these opportunities; enjoy the festivities. With the cool mornings upon us, fall is definitely in the air. What better way to kick off the season than by partaking in one of the many activities this Colorfest weekend.

 

Biz Beat

No article this week.

 

People

Cards of Thanks

LASSO

Ahh, fall mini golf.

To all those who braved the cold, rain and yes, sleet, to enjoy the second annual LASSO mini golf tournament - thank you.

Thanks to those who gave a donation (and checked the weather before showing up). A most special "thank you" to John Voden, owner of Bogey's, who graciously allows LASSO the use of his awesome golf facility and allows all the profits to benefit our large animals. To all the people who organize our events - thank you; you are greatly appreciated and loved.

 

Weddings

No weddings this week.

 

Engagement

Skandera/Kurz

 

Harry and Carol Skandera, parents of Hope Skandera, and Dave and Julie Kurz, parents of JD Kurz, are delighted to announce the engagement of their daughter and son.

Hope is a teacher and running coach from Santa Rosa, Calif. JD is a science teacher and running coach in Pagosa Springs.

The couple will be married in Northern California this winter.

 

Anniversary

No anniversaries this week.

 

Locals

No locals this week.

 

Sports Page

Pirates drop home opener to Kirtland, face Salida Friday

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Pirates came out of the locker room with unmatched intensity for their game with Kirtland Central Friday, only to be cooled off by a rain delay, losing 31-21.

The Pirate defense defied the Broncos on two consecutive drives. On the first drive of the game, John Hoffman intercepted a Bronco pass to the sideline and dashed 52 yards for a touchdown, giving the Pirates an early 7-0 lead, after an extra-point conversion.

On Kirtland's second attempt, Hoffman thwarted the passing game again when he broke-up a long pass, preventing a gain that may have led to points for the Broncos. Though Kirtland converted on the following third down, the Pirate defense soon held them at midfield, forcing a punt.

Unfortunately, the Pirate offense did not have much time to build its own momentum before lightning forced a delay.

After the Kirtland punt, the Pirates started on offense from their own 6-yard line. Despite a Hoffman catch and some slashing gains by running back Matt Gallegos, the Pirates were forced to punt shortly after a 9-yard loss on a bobbled snap.

With 5:53 remaining in the first quarter, the game was stalled for nearly an hour, allowing Kirtland Central a chance to make strategic changes to its plan of attack.

For their part, the Pirates maintained their level of intensity during the delay. In fact, the energy in the locker room (with the help of AC/DC) was so high that coaching staff quieted the team.

However, though the Pirate defense was successful against the Kirtland shotgun offense that started the game, it had some trouble adjusting to the power-running game that won it for Kirtland.

For the rest of the soggy game, the Broncos ran a goal-line "diamond" offense, with handoff after handoff, 35 in all, to senior tailback Roderick Stevenson, who rushed for 201 yards, four touchdowns and a 2-point conversion in the game.

Stevenson has gained 447 rushing yards from scrimmage in the first three games of the season on 86 carries.

No doubt, Kirtland Central's rushing success was aided by its large offensive line, with four players over 250 pounds and one over 300. Generally, by the time Stevenson was touched by Pagosa's 3-5-3 defense, he was at full-speed, and the strong running back was often brought down only after long gains.

The diamond offense also utilized two tight ends and two blocking backs, in addition to Stevenson at tailback.

Despite Kirtland's overall success with the run, the Pirate defense stood firm on several drives, keeping the offense in the game until the final quarter.

Early in the second quarter, John Hoffman pulled in another interception, diving in front of the intended receiver four yards out of the end zone.

The Pirates often found success with blitzes that occasionally snagged Stevenson in the backfield.

Aside from Kirtland Central's first drive after the rain delay, in which the Pirates were caught off guard by the new offensive formation, every Bronco point came after a Pirate turnover, and every turnover gave Kirtland field position in Pirate territory.

Kirtland Central answered Hoffman's interception with a recovered fumbled snap, deep in Pirate territory, which was followed by a goal-line touchdown by Stevenson. After a false start, the Broncos missed the extra-point conversion.

The Pirates came back with a 65-yard drive for a touchdown. Shaffer spread the ball around to his talented corps of receivers with six passes, the final attempt finding Derek Harper on a slant into the end zone.

The Pirates held the Broncos on their next drive with a sack by Roy Vega and Harper and another by Eric Hurd, entering halftime with a 14-13 lead.

On the first drive of the third quarter, Corbin Mellette got his feet wet for the first time of the season, after a broken hand and injured hamstring. While receiving a pitch from Shaffer, Mellette took a tremendous hit from a Kirtland linebacker, which put both players on their back for a moment as they found their breath. Upon impact, the ball shot behind the Pirate backfield and was recovered by the Broncos in the red zone, allowing another Stevenson TD.

Stevenson again broke into the end zone standing on the two-point conversion, making the score 21-14.

The next points came in the fourth quarter, after Stevenson (now at defensive back) wrestled the ball from Hoffman after a reception. The turnover came as Hoffman put his head down and tried to press forward for extra yardage against two defenders. Stevenson returned the ball to the Pirate 12-yard line and was pushed out of bounds by Shaffer.

This time, the Broncos had to settle for a field goal, after a stand by the Pirate defense.

The final Kirtland Central touchdown came with 8:35 left in the fourth quarter, after Shaffer was intercepted on the Pirate 49-yard line. The Broncos drove down the field on seven-consecutive Stevenson runs, pushing it in from the 1-yard line.

The Pirates worked for the comeback victory on the next drive, with a 44-yard pass to Harper and a TD run by Shaffer, but there was not enough time on the clock to pull off the win.

After a failed on-side kick, Kirtland Central was able to run out the clock to make 31-21 the final score.

Though the game brought the Pirates to a record of 1-2, and dropped them out of the Top 10 (as ranked by coloradopreps.com), several players showed promise for the games to come.

Gallegos, first-time running back, rushed for 122 yards on 19 carries, including a 43-yard sweep in the third quarter, and Shaffer threw for 157 yards, despite the wet weather.

Receiver Travis Richey had a noteworthy game, providing solid special teams play, including consistent returns and a stifling tackle. Richey also caught a touchdown pass that was called back due to offensive holding.

Coach Sean O'Donnell said his team will need to work on the run defense in order to defeat 2-1 Salida this week in an away game, the first league battle of the season. According to O'Donnell, the Spartans like to run the ball up the middle.

Salida opened the season with a zero-week victory against state-runner-up Buena Vista, who is now ranked eighth in the state, and is also in the Mountain League.

O'Donnell attributed the turnovers to players who were trying to make something happen, but the team will undoubtedly attempt to remove avoidable mistakes from its game.

Despite the turnovers, the Pirates played Kirtland nearly evenly, trading points throughout the game, and O'Donnell was proud of his team: "In the face of adversity, they continued to battle," he said.

This week's game will kick off in Salida at 7 p.m. tomorrow night. It will be the first game that counts toward the Pirates' playoff aspirations, though they will have to shake off a two-game losing streak.

 

Pirates 1-1 as league play begins, two matches at home this week

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Pirate soccer split two games last week, losing 3-1 to Crested Butte on Friday and beating Ridgway at home Saturday.

Pagosa faced rain and the league favorite at Crested Butte, where they lost because of a weak first half of play.

Crested Butte scored two preventable goals in the first half. The first slipped by Pagosa's goalie Josh Stuckwish, and the second came after a pass to an unmarked offensive player in front of the net.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said that his team lacked energy in the first half and "didn't win the fifty-fifty balls."

But the second half was a different story for the Pirates.

After a strong Crested Butte goal from the top of the box, the Pirates "started getting more aggressive," said Kurt-Mason.

Shortly after Crested Butte's final goal, midfielder Caleb Ormonde shot from outside, scoring the Pirates' only goal. Though they could not pull off a win, the Pirates pressured Crested Butte and controlled the ball during the second half.

"The last 30 minutes of the half were played at their end," said Kurt-Mason.

The Pirates have had difficulty this season with defensive coverage. To address this problem, Kurt-Mason introduced a new defensive formation, in which defenders and midfielders move together as a grid up and down the field.

In the "Italian Defense," each player is responsible for a lane of the field and must mark offensive players who enter his area. The new scheme encourages players to coordinate their coverage as a team, while demanding individual responsibility for a given zone.

The Italian Defense prevents players from standing on their heels, thinking someone else will tackle the ball. It also allows the team to adjust its level of pressure, as a unit. If the team is trying to maintain a lead, the grid can play back, allowing opponents room to maneuver at their end of the field. Conversely, the grid can play up, fighting for a turnover and a quick transition into the attack.

The new defense was successful against Ridgway Saturday, as the Pirates earned their first shutout victory, 4-0.

Through teamwork and spreading the field, the Pirates created several scoring opportunities and converted with four clean goals.

Kurt-Mason challenged his team to have a shot on goal every minute of the game, and they very nearly threatened Ridgway with that frequency.

Seven minutes into the game, striker Clayton King scored on a header after a cross from wing Michael Schmidt. King moved to the front line after playing defender in previous games.

King went on to score a hat-trick, the second after a Zel Johnston corner produced several shots and rebounds, with King finally knocking the ball in the net; the third coming up front, after a cross from Thomas Martinez.

Ormonde also found the net for the Pirates, with a shot from 45 yards out over the keeper's head, after a run by Thomas Martinez. Ormonde nearly scored earlier on an even longer shot from midfield that went inches above the goal.

King finished the game with nine shots on goal, while Ormonde threatened with seven shots.

Wing Profirio Palma, playing his first year of organized soccer, kept Ridgway's defense honest with five shots and fast play.

According to Kurt-Mason, Palma was encouraged to spread out the defense with his speed and ball-handling, in order to open up the field for shots from center.

Felix Gutierez had a solid game in goal with nine saves, though he occasionally stressed Kurt-Mason by leaving the box to challenge the Ridgway offense. Defender Max Smith saved a goal in the second half, when Gutierez left an open net.

The Pirates face two quality teams this week, when they play Center at home tonight at 4 p.m. and Telluride Saturday at 11 a.m at Golden Peaks Stadium.

The Ridgway game may mark a change to the Pirates fortunes. Having successfully played as a coordinated team last Saturday, with strong individual performances, the Pirates will have their roster filled-out this week by the return of Kevin Blue and Shan Webb, who have been ineligible up to this point.

Blue was all conference last season, despite missing several games, and was called one of the most "creative" guys on the field by Kurt-Mason. Webb is a swift attacker with a good shot. Opposing defenses will have difficulty catching him when he's on a run.

 

Pirates win division title at tourney, open IML play tonight

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

They were 1-3 in matches played, but the one win was important - a confidence builder over Intermountain League rival Centauri, and enough to capture the Silver Division title at Saturday's Adams State College Tournament.

The Pirate volleyball team started preliminary round play against 4A Alamosa, came very close to winning the first game (24-25) then dropped the second, deciding game of the match 16-25, to move to the Silver Division for final-round action.

What the first match gave the Pirates - missing starting outside hitter Camille Rand - was the opportunity to exhibit some flexibility and to try players at new positions. In particular, middle hitter Jennifer Haynes moved to the right side to hit against the Mean Moose. The changes in the normal rotation would solidify over the course of the day.

Haynes' move suited her; she led the way on offense for the Pirates, with eight kills. Iris Frye had five kills from outside and Danielle Spencer added five from the middle. Haynes had two solo blocks, Mariah Howell, at libero, had 17 digs during the match and Kim Canty put up 10 assists from the setter's position.

The first match in Silver Division play was against 4A Pueblo South. It was a grueling match, going five games before Pueblo South edged Pagosa 25-16, 22-25, 25-18, 9-25, 17-15.

The Pirates took the early 8-2 lead in the first game, but the opponent closed the gap by mid game. With Pagosa in front 14-10, Pueblo South scored three times. The Pirates got a point on a South lift, but the Colts roared back, scoring eight unanswered points, four of them unearned, to take a 22-15 lead.

Spencer ended the run with a kill off a 1, but three Pagosa hitting errors gave away the final points of the game. The Pirates had owned the first part of the game, but were unable to sustain momentum to capture the win.

What the Pirates were able to sustain was their intensity and desire. There was no letdown in the second game. The team got out to an 11-6 advantage, using an ace by Canty, a kill down the line on the right side by Haynes, an ace by Erin Gabel and two more kills from the right by Haynes to forge the lead.

South got back into contention with six unanswered points before committing a hitting error. Canty aced a serve and a South ball went out to give the Pirates a 14-13 lead. The teams battled to an 18-18 tie; South scored twice; Alaina Garman scored with a kill for Pagosa. South went up 21-19 with a Pirate serve error, but Pagosa turned the tables, nailing five consecutive points, including a kill off an overpass by Lacy Jones and an ace by Garman. South got a point on a passing mistake but lost the game with a free ball hit out of bounds.

In the third game, the Colts finally managed the early lead, going in front 9-4, with five of the points coming as charity donations from Pagosa.

The Pirates remained within striking distance, getting a tandem block by Spencer and Canty and an ace to the corner by Canty, and trailed 11-15. The team could not make up the ground, however and South, scoring four of the last five points, took the win.

There was plenty of fight left in the Pirates, and it showed itself as the team dominated South in the fourth game. Pagosa got kills from Frye, Canty, Spencer and Garman, scored with a tip by Gabel, and on aces by Gabel and Garman (2). The Pagosa lead was 13-4. An ace by Spencer put Pagosa ahead 15-5. Then, South imploded, handing over seven points on mistakes. An ace by Frye and a putback by Spencer were enough for the victory.

It came down to a fifth game, to 15.

And the Pirates dug a hole right out of the chute, going down 5-1. A South passing error gave Pagosa a point but South came back with a kill.

In a game to 15, to be behind early is often disastrous.

Not so for Pagosa.

The Pirates turned the momentum in their favor, beginning an eight-point run with a tip by Canty. South hit the ball out and Gabel went high and hit hard from the right side - something the senior setter, playing outside in a 6-2 offense - did effectively throughout the afternoon. South committed three errors to hand over points, Spencer and Garman stuffed a South hitter for a point and the two returned on the next play to duplicate the feat. Pagosa was ahead 10-6.

South killed for a point and the Pirates came undone, handing over four consecutive points with a botched serve and two passing and hitting mistakes. A Pagosa set went over the tape and South tied the game 11-11. Another Pirate hitting error gave the 4A team a short-lived 12-11 lead.

Both teams made costly mistakes; South led 13-12.

Gabel soared again on the right side, scoring with a blast off the block. Haynes and Canty stuffed a South hitter and Pagosa was up 14-13 - game point, with only one score needed for the win.

A South stuff evened the score. The Colts hit a ball out and the Pirates were at game point again, 15-14.

A Pirate serve error surrendered a point and the game was tied. A Colt scored with a kill and the game went to South, 17-15, as the Colts got a touch on a ball headed out of bounds.

Garman was tops in kills for Pagosa, with nine. Canty hit four ace serves and logged 23 assists. Spencer had three solo blocks in the match and Howell managed 25 digs against the Colts.

The Pirates got a rest as Pueblo South and Centauri battled it out - Centauri taking a fatigued Colt team in three games.

Then, it was time for the game to decide the division winner. And it was a game that Pagosa relished, having lost to the Falcons three times last season when the team from the Valley took the league title and the district championship.

The first game of the match was close at the outset, the teams tying 6-6 . Centauri took an 11-10 lead, but the Pirates received a gift of six unearned points. Centauri scored three unanswered points and Pagosa led 15-14.

Spencer then stepped up with a solo block; Howell hit an ace; Gabel killed from the right side. Centauri benefitted from three unearned points; Garman tipped to the line. Pagosa was up 19-17.

The Falcons scored with a roll shot and Pagosa hit a ball out. The game was tied 19-19.

Haynes put the train on track with a successful 1 in the middle. Frye scored on a back-row attack, Centauri had a hitting error and Haynes scored with a soft 1 to give her team a 23-20 lead. Two Centauri hitting errors and a kill by Haynes sealed the 25-20 victory.

Pagosa forged a 6-1 lead in Game 2, but the Falcons pulled up to tie, Howell hit from the back row, Jones nailed a 1 and Pagosa went ahead 9-6. The teams then stayed close through mid game, when Pagosa led 15-13.

Haynes scored with a block, the Falcons gave away two points and Haynes went to the right side to score and give her team the 19-13 advantage. Centauri never threatened again. Garman scored on a tip, Gabel hit an ace, Jones got a point with a kill from the middle and Canty scored on a drive down the line on the right side.

With the Pirates ahead 24-16, the Falcons put one more point on the scoreboard, but Jones ended the game, 25-17 with a kill off the block.

The Pirates have shown a greatly improved passing game this season, with the resulting offense much speedier, featuring quick transitions to the offense from the back court. That speed seemed to get the best of the Falcons in the third game.

With a kill by Spencer in the middle and another blast from Gabel on the right side, Pagosa was up 8-4. The Pirates were never in danger of trailing throughout the remainder of the game and match. Haynes hit a 1 to the corner, scored with a sweep and stuffed a Falcon hitter. Garman scored with a kill from outside and Canty crushed an overpass. Garman hit an ace, Canty hit line from the right side, Haynes completed a 1 in the middle.

Centauri managed a few more points, most courtesy Pagosa mistakes. Spencer put a shoot set from Gabel to the floor, the Falcons committed three hitting errors and Pagosa had game and match, 25-12.

Haynes had a big outing against Centauri, with nine kills. Canty and Gabel each had seven assists. Garman and Spencer hit two aces each and Frye finished the match with 19 assists in a start at libero.

"We were a little up and down during the tournament," said Coach Andy Rice, "but we closed out well. I saw some significant things in the match against Centauri - particularly that there was no letup. There was total match focus. Danielle (Spencer) had a good day; she brings a good attitude, a competitive spirit to the floor."

In his review of the Alamosa match, Rice noted his team "came out strong, with good energy. We surprised them, and had game point. We ran Jen (Haynes) and Kim Fulmer on the right side in the 6-2 and they hit five hundred (.500 percent). We had our best team hitting performance to date (.280). We had a very strong offense; we just didn't block or dig enough balls to make it a match and we lost steam that second game."

Against Pueblo South, Rice saw his team "show some good fight, but our hitting percentage (.067) was too low." What the coach liked was the fact his team ran a pure 6-2 offense, " and we had great team chemistry with both setters out there. We didn't wilt when we were down two to one. We killed them in the fourth game, but lost our focus at the start of the fifth game."

Rice called the Centauri contest "a statement match. Coming off a five-game loss, we didn't look tired. Our passing was outstanding and Mariah (Howell) and Iris (Frye) were doing their jobs. Our players at the net - Lacy Jones, Jennifer Haynes and Danielle Spencer, hit above three-hundred and we hit two hundred as a team. It was a good mental hurdle to clear after losing three times to Centauri last season."

The Pirates will see the Falcons again Sept. 23 in La Jara, with the IML season underway and the matches counting in the standings.

First, though there is Ignacio. Then, Monte Vista.

The Pirates open the IML schedule tonight, at Ignacio. The varsity match against the Bobcats is set for 7 p.m. Monte Vista comes to Pagosa Saturday for a 7 p.m. contest.

With the impressive versatility shown by the team at Alamosa, with players able to move to different positions and fill different roles, the Pirates are rounding into form for the league fray. "The first two league matches are important," said Rice. "And its important we continue our improvement. We are ready to get into that mode where players don't worry about the score, where they play better every time out, focus on each point and play in the present."

 

Pirate runners finish well in Aztec

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

The Pirate cross country team traveled south Saturday to compete in Aztec, N.M., claiming podium finishes in both boys' and girls' races.

Jackson Walsh followed up his first-place finish last week in Bayfield, coming in fifth, behind a trio of Bayfield runners and the winner from Farmington, who finished only eleven seconds ahead of Walsh. Though he did not beat the field, Walsh improved on last week's time by over a minute at the lower altitude. He was followed by Travis Furman, a second behind in sixth place, and Chase Moore in ninth place.

For the second week in a row, the varsity girls' team rested two of its varsity runners, Julia Adams and Jaclyn Harms, in order to save their legs for a peak at the end of the season. Last week, Jessica Lynch and Laurel Reinhardt took the week off, but returned this week in Aztec to finish fourth and sixth, 16 and 32 seconds behind the leader, respectively.

Coach Scott Anderson said top runners will not sit out next week.

The Pagosa boys had a combined score of 52, second behind Bayfield at 27. The girls finished third, with a 62, behind Bayfield at 53 and Kirtland at 55. In the New Mexico meet, the top five finishers from every team were combined in team scores.

Anderson thought the Pirates fared well against the defending state champions from Bayfield. "We were able to inch a bit closer ... we continued to run a tactical race as we did last week. Soon we will take the bit out and just let them run. When that happens, it could prove interesting as to how close we can get to those guys," said Anderson.

Anderson also said that his teams were confident they could catch Bayfield by the end of the year.

The Pirates will face 5A competition this Saturday at a meet in Durango. Next week, they will run at home.

 

Reidberger shoots 73 to win tournament

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Clark Riedberger brought home the first tournament win of the season for Pirate Golf this week.

At the Canon City tournament Monday, Riedberger shot the top score of 73 on the par 70 course.

Out of 75 players at Canon City, only five broke 80.

According to Coach Mark Faber, the players "had to hit the ball really straight" to succeed on the tough course.

The Pirates finished fifth out of 12 teams. Riedberger was joined by Cody Bahn, Jeremy Lister and Caleb Burggraaf.

Tuesday, the four Pirates competed at the Rye Invitational on Hollydot Golf Course. Out of 28 teams, the Pirates finished 10th.

Jeremy Lister had the low score for the Pirates, shooting a 79 on the par 71 course.

The Rye Invitational was a good test for the Pirates, since the Hollydot course will be the location of regionals next Thursdays.

Coaches will decide who is to attend regionals following practices this week.

The top two teams at regionals will go on to state, joined by the top six to eight individual finishers.

Teeing off against 28 teams, the Pirates will need the round of the season if they are to go on to the state tournament.

 

Pagosa team wins Southwest Colorado Tennis Challenge

By Dale Schwicker

Special to The SUN

A team of local tennis players won the Southwest Colorado Tennis Challenge held Sept. 9 at the Fairfield Tennis Center. They competed against teams from Durango and the San Luis Valley.

Matches were held for Men's and Women's Singles, Men's and Women's Doubles and Mixed Doubles at the 4.0-4.5 level and the 3.0-3.5 level. Winners were named in each event and for teams as a whole.

The team from Pagosa Springs was named champion at both levels of play after winning the most games overall. The Durango team came in second at the 4.0.-4.5 level, and the San Luis Valley team placed second at the 3.0-3.5 level.

Winners in the individual events at the 4.0-4.5 level were: Men's Singles winner - Lloyd Fickett from Durango; Women's Singles winner - Sharon Carrizo from Pagosa Springs; Men's Doubles winners - Steve Rolig and Sharp Atkinson from Pagosa Springs; Women's Doubles winners - Sharon Carrizo and Susan Junta of Pagosa Springs; Mixed Doubles winners - Don and Karwyn Gustafson from Durango.

Winners in the individual events at the 3.0-3.5 level were: Men's Singles winner was Dick Clark - San Luis Valley; Women's Singles winner - Tammie Searle from Pagosa Springs; Men's Doubles winners - Jon Bernard and John Porter from Pagosa Springs; Women's Doubles winners - Jennifer Alley and Rosanne Pitcher from Pagosa Springs; Mixed Doubles winners - Mark and Julie Faucett from the San Luis Valley.

This was the first year for the Southwest Colorado Tennis Challenge. In spite of the rain that ended play prematurely, the event was a great success.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Some time in the slammer ... for a good cause

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

About three weeks ago, I received a late-afternoon phone call at the office from a young lady who politely asked if I was "Mr. Car-o-sello."

"Yes," I replied, immediately tuning out somewhat because I expected the usual, rambling pitch from some far-off sales rep hoping to convince me to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars of deluxe croquet equipment.

"Mr. Carosello, I'm calling to inform you that an acquaintance of yours, Jim Amato, has put us onto you and that you will be placed under arrest and incarcerated "

"Whoa, wait!" I exclaimed. "I know Jim (a frequent volunteer for our youth programs), but you've got the wrong Mr. Car-o-sello, I think."

But she continued, and though she must have sensed my alarm, she started to laugh a little.

"Mr. Carosello, you have been charged with having a big heart and with being caring, good-natured and influential with your friends and associates. You're hereby sentenced to serve time at the Muscular Dystrophy Association's maximum appreciation jail site on September 21 until you have raised enough bail to be released."

The gig was up; I'm going to do time for "Jerry's Kids."

She then explained that I would be "going away for awhile" to help raise money for the Western Slope Chapter of MDA. She said I would join others who had been ratted out behind bars at J.J.'s Upstream from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. next Thursday.

She took my e-mail address and a few other essentials, and then asked if I could think of anyone else who might want to go to prison for a day.

I promptly referred her to Dreux Williams, town building inspector and another frequent volunteer for our youth sports programs, and despite his lighthearted protests, he'll be one of my many cellmates come next Thursday.

On behalf of all of us who are going to the Big House next week, I ask those in our community who are able to contribute to MDA's cause to do so; tax-deductible donations in any amount will be gladly accepted.

Your bail money will be put to good use locally and worldwide; 76 percent of every dollar MDA spends goes directly to research, health care services and education.

Contributions can be made in cash, by checks made payable to MDA and by credit card. To contribute, please contact me or Dreux Williams at 264-4151, or simply stop by J.J.'s Upstream between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. next Thursday to help bail out any of our fellow prisoners.

As for Mr. Amato, we suggest you reserve bail money for him until the latest hour, allowing him to suffer behind bars as long as possible for being the kindhearted rat he is.

To learn more about MDA and Jerry's Kids, visit www.mdausa.org.

Youth soccer

The second week of youth soccer continues tonight at the elementary school with all four teams in the 11-13 Division slated for play; Orange faces Maroon at 5 p.m., and Navy takes on Forest at 6:15 p.m.

The remainder of the youth soccer schedule for the coming week includes:

- Sept. 16 at Town Park - Maroon 5-6 vs. Dulce at 9 a.m., Navy 5-6 vs. Dulce at 10:15 a.m., Orange 7-8 vs. Dulce at 9 a.m. and Red 7-8 vs. Dulce at 10:15 a.m.

- Sept. 16 at the elementary school - Navy 9-10 vs. Dulce at 9 a.m., Maroon 9-10 vs. Dulce at 10:15 a.m., Navy 11-13 vs. Dulce at 9 a.m. (upper field) and Maroon 11-13 vs. Dulce at 10:20 a.m. (upper field).

- Sept. 18 - In the 5-6 Division (all games 5:30 p.m. at the elementary school), Forest kicks against Navy on Field 1, Black faces Orange on Field 2 and Purple takes on Maroon on Field 3. The 7-8 Division contests at the elementary school feature Black vs. Navy at 5:20 p.m. and Forest vs. Maroon at 6:15 p.m.

- Sept. 19 - Players in the 9-10 Division should arrive at least 20 minutes prior to game time to have pictures taken. After pictures are taken, Black will face Maroon at 5 p.m. and Navy goes against Royal at 6:10 p.m.

Sept. 20 - In the 5-6 Division (all games 5:30 p.m. at the elementary school), it's Black vs. Purple on Field 1, Navy vs. Maroon on Field 2 and Orange vs. Forest on Field 3. Games in the 7-8 Division include Orange vs. Red at 5:20 p.m. and Navy vs. Forest at 6:15 p.m.

Schedules for all youth soccer divisions are updated daily on the sports hotline (264-6658) and posted on the recreation department link at www.townofpagosasprings.com.

Picture day for 9-10

Picture day for all players and coaches in the 9-10 soccer division is Tuesday, Sept. 19. Players and coaches for the Black and Maroon teams should report to the elementary school at 4:40 p.m. for photos, while players and coaches for the Navy and Royal teams should report at 5:45 p.m. for photos.

Horseshoes

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

From beginners to experts, everyone is welcome to play and improve. If there's enough interest, we'll hold a town tournament in October.

So remember to attend Tuesday evening practice and pick-up games at South Pagosa Park's horseshoe courts, just north of the basketball courts.

Sports hotline

General information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department can be obtained by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to 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

Successful leadership

With Pam Hopkins' departure from the chair of the Upper San Juan Health Service District board, we have occasion to make note of not only her successful leadership of the board and district, but of the organization's steady and productive transformation during her tenure. Her time as chairman, and the board's activities dealing with what seemed an untenable situation, serve as examples of sincere, high-quality, and unpaid public service.

When Hopkins and other members of a unified slate of candidates took office in May of 2004, the district was in a sorry state - financially and in terms of morale and public opinion. There were few workable plans for improved, immediate operation or for long-range expansion of health-care services in Pagosa Country. The district was dysfunctional; it had been damaged by poor leadership and administration for a number of years and members of the regime in office immediately before the election, despite their best efforts, had not been able to put the ship on a steady and clear course. It was time for a change and that change, to date, and under Hopkins' chairmanship, is a great local government success story.

The new board took immediate, drastic steps to stem a frightful situation with the books, eventually closing the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center - a controversial move in some quarters. The board made changes in administrative leadership and used consultants effectively as it moved to take the district on a different course.

A little over two years later (and, granted, with the help of an infusion of tax revenues) books are now in order; the turmoil within and without the district has ceased for the most part, the board is creative and cooperative, current systems are in order and major plans are underway to create what will eventually be a Critical Access Hospital for the area. A ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of the hospital - the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center site - took place last week and it is expected construction will be complete by late 2007.

Hopkins and members of that slate of candidates from two-plus years ago - Jim Pruitt, Bob Goodman, Bob Scott and Neal Townsend - remain on the board, with Townsend now taking over the chairmanship. Together, they have set the district on a financially sound and constructive path, and have done so in a way that can serve as an example to other boards in Pagosa Country - many, themselves, faced with major problems. There is not a significant governmental entity in this county that is not now dealing with the pressures created by growth and the need to secure and allocate the revenues needed to deal with those pressures. And there are several boards that appear somewhat, if not totally dysfunctional - boards characterized by back biting and bickering, by petty differences, by members who find it difficult to act, by ego-driven needs and by a lack of diplomacy and consensus building skills. There are boards that are led by the nose by administrators, befuddled by statistics.

The health service district board, with Hopkins in the lead, has been remarkably civil in its dealings. Discussions have been well informed and administration of departments has followed direction from the top. Board members serve on subcommittees, all do their homework, and all vote in all cases but those involving possible conflict of interest.

This board has dealt with emotionally-loaded issues, setting things right and determining a clear future for one of our most important tax-funded services and, so far, it has succeeded magnificently.

Here's to Hopkins, for her fair-minded and steady presence, for her sterling but quiet leadership, for her selfless contribution to our healthcare community. And to the board, for its continuing efforts to provide a system that serves us all.

Karl Isberg

 

Legacies

Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 15, 1916

Pierce Baldwin went to Trujillo to look at the church and school house with the intention of painting them. He has finished painting the bridge above town and will soon have the steel bridge on San Juan Street completed.

Warren Hall of near Dyke was brought to town Tuesday suffering from stomach trouble. He is at Greene's hospital.

The school election held Saturday for the purpose of voting bonds for school improvements in District 1 carried by a large majority.

George Crouse talks of going back to Ohio by auto this fall and spending the winter with relatives, and coming back to Missouri next spring.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 18, 1931

Mrs. Mary Hatcher this week installed baking ovens in her establishment on Pagosa Street, and has put Fred Cotton, an experienced baker, in charge. The place will be known as the Pagosa Bakery and the product is the splendid Blue Ribbon Bread now on sale in Pagosa Springs.

An open season on elk in La Plata County has been declared by State Game and Fish Commissioner R.G. Parvin from Nov. 5 to 10, according to the Durango Herald-Democrat. A similar request has been made by the county commissioners of Hinsdale County, so we understand. If both requests are granted, people in this community will soon experience a real treat in tasting their first elk meat, which the old-timers say cannot be excelled.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 20, 1956

After laying off during the busy summer months, volunteer workers last Sunday again began the work of filling in and widening Main Street towards the river. Several dump trucks were busy all day hauling dirt and dumping it between the city hall and the part that has been filled and are continuing to work this week. The main street widening project has resulted in adding some very much needed parking space in the business section of town and its benefits were especially felt during the tourist months when there was plenty of parking space for tourists and residents alike while shopping. When the filling is completed all the way to city hall, it will certainly add to the attractiveness of the town as well as relieve the parking situation.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 17, 1981

Bears are everywhere in Archuleta County. Most years that is not a problem. This year it is. According to Colorado State Wildlife Conservation Officer Herb Browning his department has handled 18 bear calls during the past two weeks. Browning and WCO Glen Eyre of Pagosa Springs have trapped and moved seven of those bears.

The Wolf Creek Ski Area plans to add five new chair lifts after their 10-year plan is approved by the Forest Service. The plan is being revised after the Forest Service suggested that Wolf Creek was not making the best use of some of the areas developed in the plan. Wolf Creek Ski Area architects and engineers plan to present the revised plans in the near future.

 

Features

Land Stewardship:Managing change

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

If we've heard it once, we've heard it a thousand times - "change is coming to Pagosa Springs and you can't stop it."

That may be true, but if approached wisely, we can manage change in a way that preserves our rural small-town character and quality of life. After all, those are the concerns that invariably rise to the top amid serious discussions involving local growth-related issues.

Good management comes in many forms. Responsible government is one, and effective special districts are others. But, according to Michael Whiting, executive director of the Southwest Land Alliance (SLA), "One of the marks of a thriving community is a healthy land trust."

The SLA is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit land trust dedicated to assisting people who wish to protect their land from subdivision and development. With an 11-member board of directors and two full-time staff (including Land Stewardship Coordinator Karin Freeman), its mission is, "To secure our future through conservation and stewardship of the beautiful private lands that define and sustain our communities."

In the face of modern large-scale development, Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County have each taken vital steps to govern it according to the consensus of public opinion. The county has recently adopted a long-awaited and revised land use code and zoning map, and is now studying the feasibility of initiating certain impact fees to help offset public development costs.

While the town has had zoning in place for some time, it has just adopted specific impact fees and a new comprehensive plan, and anticipates completion of its downtown master plan, yet this fall. By this writing, the large format retailer (big box) issue hadn't been resolved, but was expected this week. All will further guide growth and development within town jurisdiction.

Though government changes have essentially evolved under the mounting pressures of recent growth, the SLA was founded in 1981, and serves private property owners and communities in Archuleta, Mineral and Hinsdale counties. It does so by providing clear and concise information about private land conservation options and benefits for landowners and the broader community.

A primary tool of many land trusts is the "conservation easement," which provides the closest thing to perpetual protection of land available. Landowners donate a conservation easement by voluntarily placing deed restrictions on their property, which stays with the land forever. Landowners benefit by reduced taxes, while communities enjoy the preservation of views and open space. SLA board chair Nancy Cole said recently, "This is a private act with community-wide implications."

In its 25-year history, the SLA has assisted in the development of 30 private land easements, totaling 13,247 acres of protected land, with another 720 acres pending by the end of the year. In a recent phone conversation, Whiting said at least 50,000 acres are currently under some kind of conservation easement with the SLA or other groups. The SLA is working on additional easements for 2007.

According to Whiting, easements are easier understood when thinking of land ownership as owning a "bundle of rights." Such rights include water rights, mineral rights, subdivision and development rights - anything you can legally do with the land.

An easement, however, is a second deed placed on land, which either allows or restricts access, or certain activities. It may preserve or prohibit a specific property right, or it may grant certain uses by non-owners. A common example is a utility easement, which prevents a landowner from constructing improvements on a defined piece of land, yet allows public utility companies to install electric, water, sewer, or phone lines above or beneath it.

A conservation easement is based on the same principle, but differs in its consideration of certain intrinsic values associated with the land, and how property rights might negatively impact them. Referred to as "conservation values," they include such things as the worth of agricultural use, open space and view corridors, wildlife habitat, and watershed protection.

Because development has quickly gobbled up otherwise pristine lands in Colorado and across the country, the state and federal governments have created generous financial tax incentives for landowners willing to give up specific property rights that may adversely affect certain conservation values.

The SLA cites the right to subdivide and develop productive agricultural land as one of the biggest threats to our nation's stability, and suggests it was the catalyst in shaping the Colorado Conservation Easement Tax Credit, as well as federal tax benefits available to easement donors. Such incentives allow property owners fiscal advantages, without having to sell or subdivide.

To determine the value of a conservation easement, a specially trained real estate appraiser analyzes the market and extracts an actual dollar value of each property right and conservation value specified in the easement. The sum of the rights and values equals the "easement value," from which tax benefits are calculated.

Beginning January 1, 2007, new state laws governing the valuation of conservation easements will increase the annual value cap from the current $500,000 to $750,000, with each dollar of easement value creating 50 cents in tax credits.

The SLA believes the new law will avail the citizens of Colorado by encouraging conservation easements on larger properties with greater conservation value, while requiring fewer transactional steps. Technical adjustments to the formula structure will ensure that landowners are making a "charitable gift" of at least 50 percent of the easement value, which should ease concerns of "donative intent" raised by the Internal Revenue Service and others.

Of course, there are certain transactional costs involved in creating conservation easements, and most are paid by the donor prior to signing the deed. Land trust expenses, appraisal fees, mineral reports, documentation of conservation values and property condition, legal and financial advice, survey and title work can add up to between $11,000 and $29,000.

A Stewardship and Legal Defense Endowment is an amount of money set aside and invested to provide sufficient funding for annually monitoring and maintaining a conservation easement. Currently, it costs the SLA $593 a year to manage and defend a single easement forever. Most of it is provided by the land trust through generous donations of others recognizing the community value of such an easement, but the SLA generally asks for a donation from the landowner as well.

The SLA is quick to note that it is not a tax consulting agency and, "does not base its decision to accept and manage a conservation easement on state or federal tax considerations or ramifications." Rather, its decision is based "foremost on the ongoing value to the community, both human and wildlife, that the easement possesses."

To learn more on conservation easements as they pertain to agricultural practices, water and mineral rights, real estate sales and taxes, land development, income and estate tax benefits, and cash benefits, the SLA is sponsoring a full day of speaker presentations at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, Oct. 6. Admission is free and lunch is provided.

To visit with the Southwest Land Alliance directly, its office is located at 450 Lewis St., Pagosa Springs. You can also call Michael Whiting or Karin Freeman at (970) 264-7779.

 

Pagosa's Past

By John M. Motter

No column this week.

Pagosa Sky Watch

Take time to find The Great Square of Pegasus

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 6:49 a.m.

Sunset: 7:17 p.m.

Moonrise: 11:07 p.m. Sept. 13.

Moonset: 2:56 p.m. Sept 14.

Moon phase: The moon is at last quarter 5:56 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time.

As fall fast approaches, the constellation Pegasus moves into a position high overhead, and its prominence serves as a harbinger of the changing seasons.

In Greek mythology, Pegasus was the winged horse created by the god Poseidon from the blood of the snake-haired Medusa after she was slain by Perseus.

From its birth, and according to the mythology, Pegasus lived an adventuresome life. For example, the horse helped Perseus rescue Andromeda from the sea monster Cetus, and Bellerophon to kill the Chimera. Later, Zeus conscripted Pegasus to carry his thunder and lightning to all points in the heavens.

Although the constellation itself is not quite as spectacular as the winged steed's heroic deeds, it is, due to its famous asterism - the Great Square of Pegasus - one of the most notable and eye-catching sights in the night sky.

To explore the constellation, the Great Square and its environs, skywatchers should begin their observations after 9 p.m. when the sky is completely dark and the constellation has climbed above the eastern horizon.

To locate Pegasus, face due east and look for a large square-shaped pattern of stars about one quarter of the distance between the horizon and a position directly overhead. The Great Square is marked by four key stars, one at each corner, and with the square's orientation relative to the horizon, it will appear standing on end in a large, boxy diamond shape. The Great Square outlines the equine's torso, while the constellation as a whole depicts the horse's head held high and its front and back legs outstretched as though galloping across the cosmos. From our perspective, Pegasus appears upside down in the night sky.

With the Great Square's position marked, skywatchers can begin their observations at the asterism's lowest star - Algenib - the star closest to the horizon. And, like the other stars in the asterism, Algenib's name is derived from Arabic - Algenib meaning "side."

Observations of Algenib indicate it glows a bright blue white, at magnitude 2.8, and astronomers have determined that Algenib is a beta Cephei type, pulsating variable star.

Beta Cephei type stars fluctuate in brightness due to pulsations on the star's surface and the point of maximum brightness corresponds roughly to the maximum point of contraction of the star.

A second hallmark of Beta Cephei type variable stars is that they have relatively minor fluctuations in brightness, ranging from 0.01 to 0.3 magnitude. In addition, their variable period is relatively short, ranging from 0.1 to 0.6 days. In the case of Algenib, the star varies only 0.1 magnitude every three hours and 40 minutes, and unfortunately, the change in magnitude is too subtle for detection with the naked eye.

Moving from Algenib in a clockwise fashion to the nine o'clock position, the next star of the four-star asterism, is Alpheratz. Although accepted as part of the Great Square asterism, Alpheratz technically belongs to the constellation Andromeda, and is a magnitude 2.1 blue-white star lying 97 light years away.

Moving clockwise again to the 12 o'clock position, stargazers will find Scheat, Pegasus' beta star. Scheat means "shin," and the star is a red giant varying in magnitudes form 2.3 to 2.7. Unlike Algenib, Scheat's variable period is irregular.

Moving to the three o'clock position and the last star in the Great Square, skywatchers will find Markab, meaning "shoulder." Markab is the alpha star in the constellation and is a magnitude 2.5 blue-white giant lying 140 light years away.

Once stargazers have finished their tour of the Great Square, they can then move on to a handful of other key stars in the constellation.

Among them are Enif, Arabic for "nose," a magnitude 2.4 orange super giant lying 670 light years away. The star, hence its name, lies beyond Markab and marks the celestial steeds' nose. Observations with binoculars will reveal Enif has a magnitude 8.4 blue companion star, while those with telescopes will discover a third, magnitude 11 star.

The presence of two stars in such proximity to Enif leads astronomers to believe the trio make up a triple star system.

Also of note is 51 Pegasi, a magnitude 5.5 yellow, main-sequence star found about midway between Scheat and Markab, and just to the right of the Great Square asterism.

Astronomers estimate 51 Pegasi lies about 50 light years away.

In 1995, 51 Pegasi made headlines when astronomers discovered a planet in orbit around the star. They estimated the planet to have about half the mass of Jupiter, and the event marked the first discovery of a planet, outside of our own solar system, in orbit around a star.

Because 51 Pegasi lies at the naked eye viewing threshold, binoculars and dark skies will prove invaluable in locating the object. In addition, a star chart will help.

 

Weather

Date High Low Precip.
Type
Depth Moisture

9/6

77

39

R

.09

.09

9/7

64

39

R

.73

.73

9/8

59

46

R

.36

.36

9/9

64

44

R

.40

.40

9/10

66

37

R

.10

.10

9/11

72

37

R

.01

.01

9/12

75

39

-

-

-

 

Daylight diminishes, fall approaches

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

While the calendar says autumn is yet a week away, fall colors are sprawling and the peaks north of Pagosa Springs received snow twice last weekend. Obviously, these are signs of things to come.

Shorter days and cooler temperatures also indicate our rapid approach to the "high-country" autumnal equinox. Daylight hours are diminishing at a rate of nearly 20 minutes a week now, and the average lows in the Pagosa Lakes area have dropped to the mid-30s. Monday's early-morning reading dipped to 36.5 degrees, while yesterday's low barely topped 40 for the first time in five days.

Typical of September, which is arguably the loveliest time of year, daytime highs are still reaching the low 70s. By press time yesterday afternoon, it was 73 degrees, while Tuesday made it to 74.6. Of course, during the lingering monsoon storms of Friday through Sunday, high temperatures ranged between 58.7 and 66.4 degrees.

As mentioned, precipitation has continued this month, with .87 inches of rain falling on Pagosa Lakes in the past seven days. For the month, the area has received 1.77 inches of moisture.

The National Weather Service is calling for more moisture today and into the weekend, with chances this afternoon and evening at 40 percent. The probability of precipitation gradually diminishes to just 20 percent by Saturday.

Daytime highs will range from the mid-60s to around 70, with nighttime lows dropping to near freezing Saturday through Monday.

A drying and slight warming trend will follow Saturday, and last until month's end.

 

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