September 28, 2006

Front Page

County outlines spending if ballot measure approved

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Two of three Archuleta County commissioners have signed a letter of commitment, outlining a series of steps they will take if a ballot measure, crafted in part to address county road maintenance issues, passes.

Commissioners John Egan and Ronnie Zaday inked the document Monday, and the text outlines, among other points, a spending plan for roads during 2007 and 2008

Commissioner Robin Schiro did not attend the meeting and did not sign the letter.

The ballot measure will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot, and it asks voters to stabilize the property tax mill levy at the current rate of 18.233 mills. If approved, the measure would take effect in 2007 and would apply each subsequent year through 2011.

Under the Colorado Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR), property tax mill levies generally fluctuate year to year, often with a portion of the tax rebated to property owners. If the measure passes, the mill levy will remain at its current rate, and property taxes will vary based on market, not mill levy fluctuations. For example, if a property's market value increases, so would the property taxes. Conversely, if a property's market value decreases, the property taxes would also decrease, yet in both cases the mill levy will have remained the same.

According to the language of the ballot question, money generated by the stabilization will go "for the purpose of funding general Archuleta County government operations to include routine maintenance of all county roads, and capital improvements, including parks and recreation facilities and county government facilities."

During an Aug. 15 meeting when the commissioners unanimously approved the ballot language, County Administrator Bob Campbell estimated the measure could inject as much as $800,000 into the county coffers during the measure's first year.

In the letter, that estimate has been refined, and based on a 40-percent increase in oil and gas production from new wells on public lands, a 30-percent increase in net assessed valuation, a 20-percent increase in net new construction and other factors from the assessor's 2006 preliminary assessed valuation remaining the same, estimated property tax revenue would be $1.3 million. However, according to county Finance Director Bob Burchett, if the measure passes in November, the county will not begin to see an increase in property tax revenue until 2008.

To remedy the road situation in the interim, the letter pledges the county will use $500,000 from savings to maintain all county roads in 2007. The letter pledges a minimum of one grading prior to snow fall and snow removal.

According to the letter, in 2008, the county will continue to provide at least the same level of service as in 2007, in the amount of $500,000 or 40 percent of the ballot question funds, whichever is greater.

In addition, during 2008, 20 percent of the ballot question funds will be allocated for "training staff and addressing technology needs to service the demands of population growth. This may include sponsoring a driver's license office or implementing a reverse 911 program."

Those expenditures will be determined during the budget process.

Campbell explained a reverse 911 program enables the county to contact county residents enmasse via telephone during times of mass disaster or emergency.

As part of the commitment, Egan and Zaday pledged to allocate 20 percent of ballot question-derived revenues to parks and recreation projects and the last 20 percent will be earmarked for architecture and planning required for construction of a new jail and sheriff's facilities.

Campbell explained that although constructing a new county courthouse had been named earlier as a top priority, "the more pressing need is a jail and sheriff's department."

Campbell explained facilities expansion planning, such as a new courthouse, could be addressed later in the five year, ballot question period.

Although Egan and Zaday signed the letter and supported its contents, Schiro said she was not satisfied with the document.

"We're asking for five years from the taxpayer to retain the funds, it's only fair that we provide five years of numbers," Schiro said.

The letter makes expenditure commitments to 2008.

She said allocating 40 percent of the ballot question funds was "better than nothing," but she would have liked to see 60, 80, even 100 percent of the funds dedicated to roads.

"I support the idea of de-Brucing, but I'd hoped we could put a lot more money toward roads the first two years," Schiro said.

Zaday and Egan both said they were reluctant to commit to a five-year program, saying that circumstances and county needs could change, and that burdening a future board with spending commitments was not a prudent course of action.

Egan said the strength of the commissioners' commitment lies in the fact that expenditure levels can be reviewed and modified, if necessary, on an annual basis, and the approach provides greater flexibility.

"It gives us the opportunity to assess needs on an annual basis," Egan said.

And he added, "We could make promises about all sorts of things, but I'd rather commit annually to what the county is willing to do. I don't want to sell the public on an idea that could change from one year to the next."

Zaday said, despite estimates, the role of oil and gas derived revenues in the county budget remained a wild card factor, and it was difficult at best to predict their true impact on the county coffers.

She said creating short term commitments and honoring them was key to building public trust and she said the entire process, including allocating expenditures, would be open to public review and input during the annual budget process.

Language in the letter pledges a yearly financial statement of extra property tax revenues made available by the ballot measure, including a list of projects completed and projects slated for the following year.

Egan said he would push for quarterly statements.

"I don't want people to wonder for one minute how that money is being spent," Egan said.

"I feel that it is absolutely necessary for the public to see the transparency of how the money is spent," Zaday said.

In response to Schiro's assertion that allocation percentages should be greater, Zaday said, "We're giving as much as we can with the dollars we have."


No compromise on Pinewood Inn ... yet

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Despite recent efforts to forge a compromise, the fate of an old motel on the east end of Pagosa Street remains undecided, as does a clear strategy for saving two key structures on the property from demolition.

The motel in question is the Pinewood Inn, located at 157 Pagosa St., and the parties involved, including motel owner Charles Craig, Craig's attorney Bill Darling, prospective buyer and investor Harold Kelley, and members of the town council and the town's historic preservation board met Sept. 21 to discuss options that might allow Craig and Kelley to achieve their investment goals while saving the structures from demolition.

Craig purchased the motel in 2004 for $800,000 and plans to sell it to Kelley for $1.4 million. Kelley wants to purchase the motel, then demolish the structures within two to three years and build an upscale hotel in the Pinewood Inn's place. However, according to an Aug. 31 recommendation by the town's historic preservation board, two structures on the Pinewood Inn property fall under the umbrella of a moratorium prohibiting demolitions of buildings 50 years old and older deemed to have historic value.

The two structures are the manager's residence, built in 1890, and the former home-office of Dr. Mary Fisher, built in 1898.

According to the moratorium - Ordinance 666 - the historic preservation board provides a recommendation and the town council makes the final decision. The council has yet to rule on the Pinewood question.

As conditions of the purchase, Kelley asked the town council to exempt the Pinewood Inn from the ordinance and to provide him with a three-year non-revocable demolition permit. He said if the town council decides to uphold the moratorium and prohibits demolition of the entire Pinewood complex, including the two structures in question, it would be a deal breaker.

Kelley said he was not interested in historic preservation, did not want to invest in a designated historic building or in a building in a historic district and was not willing to incur the costs for restoration.

"Not for the amount of money were talking here," Kelley said. "I'm not going to go under historic designation."

Kelley has argued that historic designation will be too restrictive in regard to his development plans, and that historic regulations could dictate everything from a building's doorknobs to paint scheme, to keeping buildings on the property that don't fit in with his development plans and aren't economically viable. He also fears future regulations might place him in a historic district.

"That's why I asked for a three year non-revocable permit, because things could change," Kelley said.

Historic preservation board chair Shari Pierce said she did not anticipate a historic district being established in the neighborhood when the moratorium expires April 1, 2007.

"On April second, there's not going to be a historic overlay district there," Pierce said.

Pierce said the preservation board is not asking the town council to designate the two structures on the Pinewood Inn property as historic landmarks; they are asking the town council to uphold the moratorium.

Motel-owner Craig has argued the moratorium blocks the sale of his property, constitutes unlawful search and seizure and is therefore a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. He said the ordinance prevents him from pursuit of life, liberty and happiness - namely retirement and the choice to do with his private property as he sees fit.

The town council, during two sessions, has tried to find a middle ground.

During the Sept. 21 meeting, a number of suggestions were put forth by both town council and historic preservation board members.

Betsy Carpino of the preservation board offered to take the former Fisher home and move it to a new location. Building off of Carpino's suggestion, Susan Ward, also of the preservation board, suggested keeping the manager's residence on the site and letting the Fisher structure be moved or demolished. Ward then suggested the manager's residence could be integrated into Kelley's future project as a suite, group accommodations, gift shop, restaurant or bed and breakfast.

Kelley was resistant to the idea.

"There's some real money bringing that building back. I can't go there, it's too expensive. I'm willing to deal with the town regulations, but not with the two buildings standing there," Kelley said.

As an alternative, Ward countered that a new lot could be created, essentially the footprint of the manager's residence, and the lot and structure could be sold and then renovated by someone interested in historic preservation.

Town Manager Mark Garcia said the task could be accomplished with a zero-lot-line, minor impact subdivision and he asked Kelley to consider the idea and an asking price.

Council member John Middendorf said it was premature to make an exception to the moratorium in light of pending legislation.

"I don't see how we can exempt one property owner from the ordinance," Middendorf said.

According to Garcia and Town Planner Tamra Allen, the moratorium was adopted to give the town time to refine its historic preservation regulations found in the town's land use code.

Consistent with earlier arguments, Middendorf encouraged working with the current town regulations, including upholding the moratorium, and using the time before its expiration to craft more comprehensive historic preservation regulations with a strong incentive package to make historic preservation more enticing to property owners.

"It seems to me we have a golden opportunity to create enough incentives to make historic preservation beneficial," Middendorf said.

During the meeting, council member Stan Holt suggested granting Kelley a two-year demolition permit, with the two buildings in question being donated to the town at the end of the two year period.

Holt said the two-year period would allow the town to find new sites for the buildings and time to craft an incentive package, although it wasn't clear if Holt was recommending the buildings be moved at the two year mark or if keeping them at their current location was a greater priority.

Glenn Raby of the preservation board said Holt's compromise wasn't a compromise at all because Kelley was getting exactly what he wanted - an extended, non-revocable demolition permit.

"There is no incentive, because the developer is going to get what he wants in the first place," Raby said.

Raby said the moratorium was adopted in response to citizen concern regarding numerous recent demolitions, and was the product of public input and a public process. He advocated honoring the moratorium, in order to give the town time to re-work its historic preservation regulations.

Ward suggested Holt's two-year deal should be explicit with a clear list of objectives and priorities, and an incentive package created to allow at least the manager's residence to stay in its current location. She said if keeping the house at its original location would not work, moving the structure could be an alternative, with demolition listed as a last resort.

Kelley maintained his reluctance at keeping the manager's residence on the parcel, but when pressed by Pierce said he would consider the idea.

Council member Judy James said, "I hate to see the old buildings going away, especially from the site they're on."

She did not press for incorporation of specifics, or priorities, into Holt's two-year plan nor did she speak in opposition to his suggestion.

Council member Darrel Cotton called the demolition moratorium and the criteria used by the preservation board subjective.

"If we want to preserve it, somebody's going to have to step up with the dollars. We have to be very careful here when we start making demands on property owners. We can't make the property owners pony up the dollars." Cotton said.

Toward the end of the meeting Pagosa Springs Mayor Ross Aragon declared consensus, although specifics of the compromise, beyond Holt's two-year, non-revocable demolition permit and timetable suggestion, were not clearly agreed upon.

Following the meeting and after discussing the issue with town attorney Bob Cole, Garcia said, "Our findings since the last meeting indicate our attorney is recommending not issuing a two-year, non-revocable, demolition permit based on language within the ordinance and also specific language within the uniform building code which is used by the town for the issuance of demolition permits."

According to Garcia, the building code allows a 180-day time period for demolition permits, while the moratorium grants the town council power to suspend issuing demolition permits for buildings 50 years old or older and determined to have historic significance. The moratorium allows the town council to issue an exemption from the moratorium, "upon a determination that the property has no historic significance based upon the criteria set forth in Section 21.14.2,A of the Municipal Code."

The preservation board used the criteria listed in the cited section of the municipal code to make their determination.

The town council will decide whether to grant Kelley his request and exempt the Pinewood Inn from the moratorium Oct. 3 at 5 p.m. in town council chambers.


Cat Creek intersection slated for closure

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Following board of county commissioner approval Sept. 19, the groundwork has been laid to close the east intersection of County Road 700 - Cat Creek Road - with U.S. 160.

The approval came as part of an agreement between Archuleta County and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and fits with the transportation agency's long-range U.S. 160 improvement goals.

According to County Engineer Sue Walan, CDOT has long-term plans to improve the highway through Aspen Springs, including acceleration and deceleration lanes as funding comes available, and asked the county to abandon and close the east Cat Creek Road-U.S. 160 intersection, once improvements on the west Cat Creek Road-U.S. 160 intersection are made.

Walan described the intersection as hazardous, and according to CDOT, during the last 10 years, the east Cat Creek Road-U.S. 160 intersection has been the site of 14 reported collisions involving 20 vehicles, nine incidents of significant property damage, four non-fatal injuries and five fatalities.

With federal funding secured to replace the west Cat Creek Road bridge, and CDOT hazard mitigation funds available for west Cat Creek Road-U.S 160 intersection improvements, the board of county commissioners agreed to CDOT's request.

Walan said the east Cat Creek Road intersection will be closed once construction of the west bridge and west intersection highway improvements are complete.

Walan said federal funding for replacing the west Cat Creek bridge is scheduled for disbursement during fiscal year 2008. She anticipates completion of design work that same year, and bridge construction in 2009.

Walan said bridge replacement will cost $450,000, with 80 percent in the form of a federal grant, and 20 percent from county funds.


Inside The Sun

Picnic to feature live music, Rep. Mark Larson

The Hot Strings will perform a free concert at the gazebo in Town Park, noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14.

Bring a picnic and join the Hot Strings and local residents in thanking Rep. Mark Larson for his service to Archuleta County as the District 59 representative to the Colorado House of Representatives.

Larson will update the crowd on the issues affecting Archuleta County, including the Village at Wolf Creek, a development proposal he has actively opposed. Other regional environmental groups will participate including Colorado Wild, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council and the San Juan Citizens Alliance.

For more information, contact Rich Goebel, Locals Opposed to Village Development, at 731-1841.


Airport commission discusses easement, improvements

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Airport Advisory Commission gathered at its regular monthly meeting last Thursday and discussed a number of topics related to operations and ongoing improvements at Stevens Field.

In response to a request by commission chair Elmer Schettler, the senior planner with the Archuleta County planning department, David Alvord, presented commission members with copies of an existing Avigation Easement, which property owners within a one-mile radius of Stevens Field grant the county for "aircraft operations."

The document defines airspace and conveys to the county the right to conduct various activities involving the landing and taking off of aircraft to or from the airport within that defined airspace. It also stipulates such things as type and size of structures that can be erected within specified approach zones extending from either end, or adjacent to, the runway; and further addresses height restrictions of trees and other "obstacles" within the so-called "airport influence area."

Alvord illustrated the document's weaknesses, particularly highlighting language considered largely incomprehensible to all but a professional planner or engineer. He recommended it be reviewed and revised, in order that subsequent users, or grantors, could better understand its ramifications.

The ACAAC concurred, and airport manager George Barter agreed to take the document to county attorney Teresa Williams for an overhaul.

The north aircraft parking apron (north ramp) near the midfield fixed base operations building (FBO) was another matter of discussion at Thursday's meeting. Its present condition is considered deplorable by most who use it, and everyone involved with the airport, especially pilots and aircraft owners, agree, the ramp needs resurfacing.

Of course, as one might expect, the problem is cost.

Recent repair estimates suggest it'll take $55,000 to resurface the north ramp, but that amount is apparently not available in the 2006 airport budget. A review of the budget earlier this year seemed to reflect sufficient funding for such a project, but a subsequent analysis reflected $80,000 in current-year payments for improvements actually completed last year.

Considered a top priority by ACAAC members, airport users and Avjet (the fixed base operator), all are now searching for creative ways to finance the north ramp improvements.

Another item high on the priority list is the relocation of a self-service fuel station. The station is currently located just west of the FBO, and is supposed to make fuel available to pilots after regular business hours. To now, the station has not been placed in operation, because of some safety concerns and its inconvenience to larger aircraft with broader wingspans.

County officials, ACAAC members, airport users and Avjet personnel intend to move the station to a more favorable position adjacent to the north ramp as soon as possible. However, most believe the work should be done at the same time the ramp overlay is completed and again, cost is a concern. Its estimated tab stands at $17,000.

For now, because an inoperable fuel station has cost Avjet and the county significant fuel sales revenues over the past several months, the ACAAC and airport staff have recommended that Avjet place it into operation at its current location until moving it becomes feasible.

Meanwhile, a new Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) will be installed on the north side of the north ramp during the final week of October. Installation will take about a week, and funding for the project has already been secured.

The AWOS system will help meteorologists, pilots and flight dispatchers prepare and monitor weather forecasts, plan flight routes, and provide necessary information for correct takeoffs and landings. The system provides continuous data on conditions at the runway touchdown level.

AWOS units provide a minute-to-minute update to pilots by VHF radio or non-directional beacon and every hour, AWOS data is available to off-site users by means of long-line telephone communication or satellite uplink.

At the close of Thursday's meeting, all agreed that the list of projects is never-ending and funding them is always challenging. But, as one commission member put it, "At least we're not putting out little fires all the time. Today, we're making real headway."


Police seek information about alleged abduction attempt

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

An attempt was allegedly made to abduct a Pagosa Springs intermediate school student, Friday Sept. 15, at approximately 1:35 p.m. near the west side of the junior high school on 4th Street, according to the Pagosa Springs Police Department.

According to a police spokesman, a child reported someone had attempted to force her into a vehicle after school. The child reported she escaped, then notified school officials.

The school has taken measures to protect students since the alleged event, placing more teachers on duty to monitor students outside and encouraging students to stay in groups.

Inconsistencies in information concerning the reported abduction attempt have led investigators to ask potential witnesses to come forward.

If anyone was around the junior high school, near 4th and Lewis streets on Friday, Sept. 15, between 1:30 and 1:45 p.m., they are encouraged to contact the police department at 264-4151 with any information about suspicious activity or a lack thereof.


Law enforcement investigates horse shooting

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Sheriff's Department is seeking assistance from anyone with information regarding the apparent shooting of a horse in Aspen Springs last week.

According to a press release issued by the department Sept. 20, at approximately 9:43 a.m. two days prior, Deputy A.J. White was dispatched to 1421 Ute Dr. to investigate the incident. At the time, the horse was pastured in a nearby common area greenbelt, where its owner had apparently left it the evening before.

The horse's owner told White the animal was in good health when placed in the pasture, but the next morning "there was blood emanating from its right shoulder."

The release states, "The wound was consistent with a small caliber firearm. The owner subsequently had the horse euthanized to end its suffering."

The release also reports a criminal investigation is ongoing, and asks anyone with information regarding the case to contact dispatch at 264-2131.


Gary Baldwin benefit set for Saturday

Gary Baldwin, of Pagosa Springs, was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer in August 2006. He has undergone numerous treatments for his cancer, including chemotherapy, which required him to travel daily to Durango for several weeks.

Barldwin has been a resident of Archuleta County since 1960 and his wife, Jeannie (Rivera), is a native of the area.

A yard and bake sale to benefit Baldwin will be held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Kiva Mini Storage at 80 Bastille Drive. From U.S. 160, travel north on North Pagosa Boulevard and turn west on Bastille Drive. The Baldwin/Gallegos/Garcia family will be frying bread from 11-2.


Annual Feast of St. Francis at Mission

A Feast of St. Francis Celebration Mass and barbecue will be held at 1 p.m., Oct. 1. The celebration is free and all are welcome.

St. Francis Mission is located at 8329 Colo. 151, between mile markers 25 and 26, about nine miles south on the right.

For more information, contact Flo Gallegos at 883-2448, or at work 883-2644.



Two young hunters dispatch charging bear

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Two Pagosa Springs teenagers unwittingly kicked off the 2006 big game archery season with a dangerous and disturbing experience that ultimately claimed the life of a mother black bear.

On the evening of Aug. 27, just before dark, Travis Richey, 18, and Cole Kraetsch, 16, had been bowhunting in thick oakbrush south of town. As they walked a ridgeline toward their pickup - still a few miles off - two black bear cubs suddenly appeared in a clearing, just 25 yards ahead.

As yet unaware of the camouflaged hunters, the two rambunctious cubs scampered across the opening, immediately followed by their quite wary, though unsuspecting, mother.

The young outdoorsmen, with backwoods experience beyond their years, knew of few situations more perilous than surprising a female bear with offspring to defend. At once, they thought to announce their presence and encourage the animals to leave the area. While each mindfully nocked arrows - just in case - they calmly declared, "Hey bears, get out o' here."

Unfortunately, rather than fleeing the scene as the teens had hoped, the frenetic sow sent her young up two separate trees, then lowered her ears and desperately charged from a distance of 20 yards.

With but seconds to react, the archers raised their bows, hoping against hope the bear was bluffing and would readily stop, or at least turn away. Yet, as she kept coming to within five measly yards, Kraetsch had little choice but to let his arrow fly.

Surprisingly though, it sailed high, passing just overhead of the oncoming beast. At that point, Richey let his arrow go, and as it found its mark near the sow's throat, she stopped a mere five feet from Kraetsch, then turned and darted into some shrubbery, seven yards away.

The boys knew she was seriously wounded but still alive, they could hear her thrashing about in the bushes beyond. They also knew they had a responsibility to end her suffering and salvage the meat, though neither held a legal bear license.

Richey was out of arrows, having lost all but one earlier in the day. So, Kraetsch slowly advanced and deftly dispatched the injured animal with a final shot through the lungs.

The larger of the cubs, meanwhile, scrambled down its tree and disappeared through the forest. The other stayed put until sometime after the boys had gone.

Needless to say, the young hunters were stunned with the sudden attack, but enormously relieved by the outcome. With nightfall rapidly approaching and no flashlights between them, they began doubting whether they'd find their vehicle. But, there was a downed bear to tend to.

Just then, Kraetsch dug into his pocket and pulled out a cell phone. Incredibly, there was a signal sufficient to call his father, Mike, who quickly advised him to field dress the bear and mark its location. Mike then agreed to contact officer Doug Purcell of the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) and report the incident.

Richey also phoned his parents and his father, Len, suggested the boys build a fire and stay put, while he drove the road in search of their location. It was nearly midnight before Len spotted a sizable blaze, found the boys and all finally headed home.

The next day, Drayton Harrison, a DOW officer from Bayfield, called Travis and Cole, took a report and asked that they retrieve the remains that afternoon. Once recovered, the carcass was inspected and a routine investigation by Purcell, Harrison and a third DOW officer, James Romero, ensued.

According to Romero, the investigation cleared the boys of any potential wrongdoing, and established that their actions were probably necessary in defending their own lives.

Eventually, the DOW donated the bear meat to a low-income family, and the hide was turned over to the annual Colorado Antler And Skull Auction.

When asked about the approximate age and probable fate of the orphaned cubs, Romero guessed they were born in January or February, with their chances of survival considered "uncertain." Kraetsch, however, described them as pretty big and seemingly independent, and expressed sincere hope that they would make it.

In a recent interview, Richey and Kraetsch were asked if they had any advice for other young hunters heading into the field. Both quickly suggested they always go with a partner, take flashlights and consider carrying pepper spray.

The DOW says there are no definite rules about what to do if you meet a bear. Most often, bears will detect you first and leave the area. Statistically, true attacks are rare, compared to the number of close encounters.

Nevertheless, if you meet a bear and it hasn't seen you, the DOW suggests you stay calm and slowly move away. Talking aloud will alert the animal to your presence.

If the bear sees you, back away slowly. Avoid direct eye contact, which it may perceive as a threat, and give it plenty of room to escape. Never run or make sudden movements. Do not attempt to climb a tree, but stand your ground. Speak softly and try not to show fear.

A black bear may leave or try and intimidate you by charging to within a few feet before withdrawing. But if attacked, fight back with whatever is available, including rocks, sticks binoculars or bare hands.


Full Moon Program set at Chimney Rock site next week

By Caroline Brown

Special to The SUN

Visitors and locals alike get one last opportunity in 2006 to enjoy the Chimney Rock site and 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

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.


BLM seeks applicants for recreation advisory council

The USFS Rocky Mountain Region and Colorado Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are seeking nominations to fill 11 positions on a Recreation Resource Advisory Council (RAC) to provide the agencies with recommendations on recreation fee matters for federal lands in Colorado. The creation of the Recreation RAC is a requirement of the 2004 Federal Lands FS & BLM Recreation Enhancement Act (REA), which helps the agencies deliver high-quality recreation services and facilities for public land visitors.

"Many recreation opportunities on our forests are free of charge," said Regional Forester Rick Cables. "Modest fees, however, are charged for sites where amenities are provided to enhance the quality of the recreation experience." Examples of amenities include picnic tables, trash collection, restroom facilities, potable water, boat ramps, and interpretive exhibits.

"The new Recreation RAC will help the agencies implement provisions of the Recreation Enhancement Act," said Sally Wisely, Colorado BLM state director. "Recreation RACs will play a vital role in helping us to achieve public satisfaction and participation."

All Recreation RAC meetings will be open to the public, and an open public forum is planned during each meeting.

Potential nominees must represent certain interests as described in the REA. These interests are:

- Five people will represent recreation users who participate in activities such as summer and winter motorized and non-motorized recreation, and hunting and fishing.

- Three people who represent, as appropriate, the following recreation interest groups: motorized and non-motorized outfitting and guiding as well as environmental groups.

- Three people who represent state tourism, Indian tribes, local government.

People selected for positions will initially serve two- or three-year terms and can apply to serve a subsequent three-year term. Council members will be recommended for appointment based on the following criteria:

- Does the person represent an interest group and how they are qualified to represent that group.

- Why they want to serve on the committee and what they can contribute.

- What is the person's past experience in working successfully as part of a collaborative group.

Nominations for these positions will be accepted through Monday, Oct. 23, 2006.

Additional information about recreation fees and REA is available at:

Persons interested in serving on the Recreation RAC may review the application criteria and obtain a nomination packet at: or by contacting Pamela Devore at (303) 275-5043 or Letters of recommendation are welcome, but not required. Submit packet to Pamela Devore, U.S. Forest Service, Recreation Fee Manager, P.O. Box 25127, Lakewood, CO 80225.


Big game hunters have new ways to report hunt

A big part of deer, elk and pronghorn management is hunters telling the Division of Wildlife (DOW) about their hunt through the big game harvest survey.

Beginning in 2006, hunters will be able to take the survey either online or over the phone. Through a new contract with Colorado based Corybant Inc., DOW is tapping into the latest technologies to gather hunt information from deer, elk and pronghorn hunters.

Corybant's system will automate many of the steps used in the previous phone survey system, according to Barb Rossner of Corybant. "The majority of the calls will be automated telephone IVR (Interactive Voice Response) with hunter responses entered via their touch tone pads. Other hunters will be notified by email and given the option to take the survey on the web or by IVR telephone. All hunters will have the option to transfer to a live Helpdesk operator at any time to resolve questions or get assistance in filling out the surveys.

"One of the most exciting aspects of our work with Corybant is that it will give hunters choices on how they want to tell us about their hunt," said Mary Lloyd, DOW project manager. "When hunters see an email from or 'CO HUNTERSURVEY' on their caller ID, they'll quickly know they've been selected for a DOW harvest survey. And right away they are given the choice of completing the survey online, via the IVR phone system, via a live operator or by calling back to a 1-800 number at a more convenient time."

Since 1986 the DOW has contracted with an outside firm to conduct phone interviews with deer, elk and pronghorn hunters. Hunters are asked various questions that relate to where and when they hunted, did they harvest, what they harvested, were they satisfied with their hunt and did they feel crowded by other people during their hunt. Each year, Colorado has over 375,000 deer, elk and pronghorn hunters making it unfeasible to contact each individual hunter by February. Instead approximately 125,000 hunters are randomly selected to participate in the annual harvest survey. The information from the participating hunters is then used with information collected by DOW biologists to estimate annual big game harvest and population numbers.

"A system like Corybant's allows hunters greater flexibility in how and when they respond, allows the DOW to customize questions for particular hunts, and hopefully all at a lower cost," said Lloyd.

Deer, elk and pronghorn hunters will be contacted for the 2006 big game harvest survey from October through mid February 2007. Results from the survey will be available on the DOW website at in March.


Out-of-state poachers nabbed

A Kentucky resident and two West Virginians have paid fines of more than $8,800 dollars for illegally getting a jump on Colorado's muzzleloader elk season.

Donald G. Wilshire of Georgetown, Kentucky was cited by Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) officers for shooting an elk with a muzzleloader rifle before the opening of the muzzleloader season. Darrell G. Wilshire and Betty J. Wilshire, both of Oak Hill, W. Va., were cited for unlawfully transferring a hunting license to another person and using an electronic device to further a wildlife crime.

Officers were alerted to the group in 2005 by hunters who suspected illegal activity in extreme eastern Mesa County. Alert officers noticed the arrival of the suspects in the area this year and started watching to see if any illegal activity would occur.

District Wildlife Managers Will Spence, Brian Gray and JT Romatzke were joined by a DOW investigator to monitor the Wilshire's camp near West Willow Creek and USFS Road 841. On Sept. 5, officers witnessed Donald Wilshire leave the family camp and proceed to a nearby hunting area where he used a scoped muzzleloader rifle to shoot and kill a bull elk. Donald radioed back to the camp and instructed Betty and Darrell to drive to town and purchase the proper hunting license to cover the kill.

Colorado's muzzleloader season ran Sept. 9-17, thus the kill occurred outside the proper season. It is also illegal in Colorado to use a scope on a muzzleloader outside of the regular rifle seasons, which do not begin until October. Additionally, it is illegal for an individual to purchase a license after killing an animal. Licenses are also non-transferable and it is illegal for someone to kill an animal using another person's license. Using a radio to communicate information to further a wildlife crime is also against state law.

On Sept. 6, officers from the DOW entered the Wilshire camp and confronted them with the evidence against them. During the course of the investigation it was also determined that Donald Wilshire had committed a similar violation in the killing of a cow elk in 2005.

Donald G. Wilshire, 41, was cited for illegal possession of a bull elk, unlawfully receiving another person's license, hunting outside an established season, and possession and transfer charges related to the 2005 incident. Donald was also issued a warning citation for conspiracy, hunting without daylight fluorescent orange, and failing to properly void an elk license. In all, Donald paid $5,000 in fines and was assessed 95 points against his hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado.

Betty J. Wilshire, 59, and Darrell G. Wilshire, 61, were cited for illegal possession of a bull elk, unlawful transfer of a license and unlawful use of an electronic device. Betty and Darrell each paid $1,918 in fines and were assessed 45 points against their hunting and fishing privileges.

The muzzleloader and radios used in the crime were seized and application has been made with the court system for forfeiture of the items.

Because the three individuals were all assessed more than 20 license suspension points, they also face the loss of their hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and 23 other Wildlife Violator Compact states. An administrative hearing will be held to determine the length of any potential suspensions.

"This was a blatant, premeditated and repeated poaching method used by this family," said DOW officer Will Spence. "And this activity might have continued if it weren't for the help of the ethical hunters who reported last year's suspicious activity to us," said Spence.

Sportsmen, landowners or citizens who observe or suspect poaching activity can anonymously contact Colorado's Operation Game Thief toll-free at 1-877-COLO-OGT (1-877-265-6648). Verizon cell phone users can dial #OGT at no cost. Callers do not have to reveal their names or testify in court. Rewards of up to $1,000 are offered for information that leads to an arrest or a citation being issued.


DOW to hold Bluebird Project meeting

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) and the Denver Audubon Society are teaming up on a project to increase the abundance of bluebirds in Colorado.

Persons interested in attracting bluebirds and putting up nest boxes are invited to attend an informal get together in Salida on Oct. 13.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at the Salida Senior Center (corner of 3rd and F Streets). Featured speaker is Kevin Corwin from the Denver Audubon Society.

"One of the goals of the bluebird project is to start an inventory of the existing bluebird boxes and nest sites for the area in Colorado that lies just north of I -70 south to New Mexico and from the headwaters of the Arkansas River east to Kansas," said John Koshak of the DOW.

"We want to teach people how to set up and maintain bluebird nest boxes in their communities. By gathering information about brood size and nesting success, we hope to increase the long-term survival of the species," he added. "If you've already been tending to bluebird boxes or want to learn how to get started, we would like to hear from you."

The number of bluebirds has dropped nationwide because of loss of habitat. The natural nesting place for bluebirds is in tree cavities, including holes excavated by woodpeckers. Forestry practices that remove dead and hollow trees and tree limbs reduce the number of nest sites. Other factors in the decline of bluebirds include harmful effects from pesticides, and competition with European Starlings and English House Sparrows for nest sites.

Colorado is home to three species of bluebirds - Eastern, Western and Mountain bluebirds. Mountain bluebirds prefer drier, open habitat. They can be seen at higher elevations during the summer and lower elevations during the winter. Western bluebirds prefer woodlands and pine forests. They can be found throughout the mountains and foothills during the winter and in warmer locations in southern Colorado during the winter. Eastern bluebirds are less common, but can be spotted at lower elevations on the eastern plains during the summer and occasionally during spring and fall migration.

For more information, contact Jena Sanchez or John Koshak at (719) 227-5200 or at


 Catch and Release

The killing frost - no ambiguity in its voice

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

There is finality in the killing frost.

When darkness lifts like the slow removal of a veil and the land is illuminated, it is clear the grass bears the burden of its crystalline weight. Places where feet have passed in the stillness of the dawn scar the turf, and later, when the sun rises and the frost melts, the scars remain. The grass is bent, blackened, bruised and dead in the shapes of dog paws and human feet. Its demise is final. It will not return until spring. The killing frost ensures this comes to pass.

The killing frost brings with it foreshadowing of things to come, of winter mornings when the cold aches your teeth, hammers your toes, gnaws your bones and seers your lungs. It speaks of the end to summer, of the demise of hope, and the disintegration of a season when you believed the world pregnant with possibility, your options limitless. And if there is anticipation and exuberance in spring's arrival, the killing frost brings foreboding and dread. It speaks of frozen rivers. There is finality in its diction. There is no joy in its arrival.

When the killing frost comes, it turns verdant leaves to copper, crimson and gold, and sets river valleys and aspen groves ablaze in autumn splendor. The colors dazzle, the beauty is staggering, but the leaves flutter like temporary flags in honor of the dead and dying. To revel in their grandeur is like admiring flowers at a funeral. It's like chewing aspirin. The killing frost reminds us this is so. There is no hope in its arrival.

When the killing frost sinks deep into the land, high country streams go silent. Gone are the caddis hatches and the slow easy flights of steel-grey mayflies. Under its pressure, cutthroats hunker down in deep pools and begin a slow torporific degradation until spring. When the killing frost comes, they will not boil on the take of a dry fly. Instead, the killing frost means evenings spent hurtling streamers into an early blackness, of heavy rods and sinking lines, of tiny midges and microscopic tippet, of a double-hauled line zipping through gloved fingertips, of boots found frozen in the morning, and of rivers gone silent with the weight of the season.

The killing frost means we chase down the last days of an Indian summer, fishing frantically in shirtsleeves, taking in the last of the sun's heat, before we are sealed inside the crypt of winter. But there is no time. The days pass like water through a sieve, and the killing frost returns each morning. It lies on the grass and blankets the fields. It waits patiently in the dawn like the coyotes on the far side of the river. There is no ambiguity in its voice. It's message rings clear, like a hammer pounding cold steel.

There is no time, but time to die.


High Country Reflections

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

No column this week.




Dear Editor:

National Security leadership? Presidents Truman and Kennedy demonstrated strong leadership. They were not soft on defense and national security. Those were the years the Democratic Party was respected as a party of reasonable people and not as the party of "appeasers" and "defeatocrats." Those years are long gone, just memories.

Since then, we have had a powerless Carter, a philandering, indecisive Clinton who treated terrorism as a law enforcement issue. Neither Carter nor Clinton demonstrated leadership qualities on defense and national security. The current leadership of the Democratic Party has not improved and continues to decline. In 2006, the quality of leadership the party has to offer, just to mention a few, are: the screaming Howard Dean, the embittered Pelosi, who opposed the enforcement of an immigration laws bill, the whining Reid, the cut and run Murtha, the I voted for it before I voted against it John Kerry, the vindictive Al Gore, and of course, Hillary Clinton, who wobbles from left to center and back again. These people represent a sampling of the leadership in the Democratic Party. They are political relatives of the godless ACLU who believe terrorism should be treated as a law enforcement problem.

The first month Clinton was in office, the terrorists bombed the World Trade Center. What did Clinton do? Nothing! He treated the terrorist act as a simple criminal offense - not as a national security matter. In 1995-1996, in Saudi Arabia, al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Iranian "Party of God" directed a car bomb attack killing American servicemen. What did President Clinton do? Nothing! In 1996, Sudan offered President Clinton the opportunity to capture bin Laden, What did Clinton do? Nothing! And that same year Mohammed Atta proposed to bin Laden the 9/11 attack. In October 2000, al Qaeda bombed the USS Cole, killing 17 sailors. What did Clinton do? Nothing!

The democratic party is rudderless, wandering aimlessly. They have no clue where they are going. The two major points advanced by its leadership are: bash Bush and cut-and-run from Iraq. That's it! Their tank is empty! The party is all over the place trying to find themselves. No workable plan. No optimism. Their expertise is doom and gloom. The Democratic Party's national level leadership posture for strength, decisiveness, conviction and faith in God is nonexistent.

The American people can be thankful they have strong leadership in President Bush. Some people may disagree with his policies, but they cannot disagree with the steadfastness of his convictions. He demonstrates courage and does not hesitate to state his faith in God. His leadership is worthy of what is required of a commander and chief.

Bush's focus as stated many times is to protect the American people. The Democrats' agenda is to disrupt Bush's leadership powers. They have stated their desire to impeach the president and to cut-and-run from Iraq. Their birth objective is to remove the tax breaks and to raise our taxes. That has always been a given. These are Democratic goals. They have nothing to offer the American people that would be worthy of their having control of Congress. They cannot improve upon nor even match the Bush administration's accomplishments: the American people have not experienced an attack since 911, the economy is good, gas prices continue to drop, and the most important testimony for the American people - we have a president who continues to protect us all.

This November's election is crucial. When we cast our ballot at the polls, our thought should be: for my family, self, friends and the future of this nation, do I vote for the current congressional support of a proven strong leadership, or do I risk my family, self, friends and the future of this nation with a vote for those who have opposed the Patriot Act and the NSA whose purposes are to protect the American people and for those who have a history of weak and indecisive leadership in the war of terrorism? The security of the United States rests with your vote.

Ray Baker


No on 41

Dear Editor:

On Nov. 7 many issues will be on the ballot. One, Amendment 42, the "Colorado Minimum Wage" measure, deserves a "No" vote. This proposed amendment would increase the federal minimum wage, mandate an annual wage increase based on the "Colorado Consumer Price Index (CPI)" and cement this governmental formula in the state's Constitution. This draconian measure can only be fixed by another vote in a general election.

While other states have increased the minimum wage above the federal, almost all have done so after deliberation of what is in their state's best interests - for example: in some cases they exempt small business, the mentally and physically handicapped, etc. In the few states that have an annual increase indexed to inflation they allow for legislative remedies in an economic downturn, Amendment 42 does not. There has been no input in Amendment 42 from employers or business leaders to address the economic diversity of the state. The Colorado General Assembly and the Department of Labor have the authority to raise the minimum wage.

Amendment 42 also contains a "fatal flaw" in the language with annual increases to the "Colorado CPI." There is no "Colorado CPI" only a Denver/Boulder/Greeley CPI. Once again the Front Range costs for housing, goods and services will dictate inflationary indexes to Western Slope communities. What if we experience another inflationary cycle as economists expect, and have either a 2001 4.7-percent rate or the Boulder 1980 inflation rate of 15 percent?

If Amendment 42 passes, consumers can expect higher prices at the grocery stores, retail shops, and for services. Workers will either be laid off or new jobs will not be created. All of these impacts will be the hardest on the entry level and less skilled workers. Unintended consequences plague this bad idea.

Amendment 42 is the wrong way to raise the minimum wage. Please vote "No" on Amendment 42.


Rep. Mark Larson


Community college

Dear Editor:

Being products of higher education, my partner Susan Day and I have discussed and postulated many times on the possibilities afforded by education and how it could fit into the fabric of our community.

We attended the Democratic Party picnic Saturday Sept. 16, and heard our commissioner John Egan in his remarks state that one of his goals for the future of Archuleta County is a community college. Egan's remarks have provided the impetus to get me moving on this cause.

I made a presentation to the county commissioners on Tuesday Sept. 19, and simply asked the question, "Would you like to have a community college in Archuleta County?" The response was very positive and encouraging, not only from the commissioners but also the people in the gallery. I started asking that same question and collecting names the following Wednesday at 10 a.m. By Friday Sept. 22, at 3 p.m. 65 individuals and three significant businesses had responded in the affirmative and have agreed to work on a task force to meet the objective of implementing a community college in Archuleta County. In fact, dialogue has been going on for some time and investigations have been made into the availability of land for a campus. Also, I have been informed by a researcher at the Colorado Commission on Higher Education that Sen. Isgar and Rep. Larson have commissioned a study of the financial viability, economic factors, population demographics and the basis of a continuing need for a community college or colleges in southwest Colorado. This report will be published Oct. 15.

I am ecstatic, this information combined with news that existing colleges have or are investigating the viability of siting satellite campuses in southwest Colorado, Archuleta County or Pagosa Springs validates the idea that our community needs a community college, not only for the obvious academic possibilities to our high school students, but also vocational and technical and continuing education for all of our population.

There will be an advertisement running asking the question, "Would you like to have a community college in Archuleta County?" A phone number and an e-mail address will be available to collect more public support and the names of those willing to work toward the accomplishment of this goal. Also, I hope to get on the agenda of the next commissioners' meeting (Oct. 3) and ask for the formation of a community-based task force to drive this cause to completion.

Thank you,

Steve Vaile


Kate's Calendar

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. For information, call Lisa Scott, 264-2730.

Sept. 30

Open house

Tara Mandala Retreat Center Open House, Pagosa Springs, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tour the land, enjoy a discussion with spiritual director Tsultrim Allione, and browse the bookstore. The day includes lunch; there is no charge. Please arrive by 10 a.m. and R.S.V.P. 731-3711.

Sept. 30

Bluegrass concert

Elation Center for the Arts presents a concert of traditional bluegrass music with The Badly Bent, an award-winning band from Durango, 7 p.m. at The Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse 230 Port Avenue . Advance tickets, available through and at WolfTracks Coffee House, are $12 for adults. Tickets at the door are $15 for adults $6 for young people 18 and under.

Sept. 30

Lifelong Learning Lecture

Engineers Without Borders: Building a Better World Once Community at a Time is the title of a lecture to be presented by Dr. Don May, professor of engineering at Fort Lewis College at 3 p.m. at the Sisson Library. As part of this program, he took 17 students to Thailand last May to develop sustainable solutions to health and water problems at the village level.

Oct. 1


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. 1

Adult Sunday school class

The Adult Sunday School Class at Mountain Heights Baptist Church will begin a new series titled "God Can Use Ordinary You." Class begins at 9:45 a.m. For information, call Rhonda LaQuey at 769-6544.

Oct. 5

San Juan Outdoor Club

The monthly meeting of the SJOC will be held in the community center on Hot Springs Boulevard at 6:30 p.m. Kim Vernon, a member of the Upper San Juan Search and Rescue Team, will present a program about how to be properly prepared for day hiking and backpacking. Sign-ups for activities this month include hiking, biking, 4WD, mushroom hunting and highway cleanup. For information, call Fred Reese at 731-0612. Visitors welcome.

Oct. 4

Writing Your Life Story

A free workshop on beginning to write a personal memoir will be taught by Leanne Goebel at the senior center at 10 a.m.

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. 7

Meditation Day

Meditation Day at Tara Mandala Retreat Center, Pagosa Springs, with Tara Mandala directors Pieter Oosthuizen and Charlotte Rotterdam. An introduction to Buddhist meditation practice (shamatha) and tonglen, a powerful yet simple practice of compassion, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; $35 includes lunch. To register or for more information, call 731-3711.

Oct. 10

Republican Women

The Archuleta County Republican Women will hold their monthly luncheon meeting at Boss Hogg's Restaurant at 11:30 a.m. The program will be presented by Lvonne Wilson, owner of Home Again, and will be on the subject "Table Settings and Decorations for the Holidays." All Republican women in the community are invited to come and get acquainted. The group would like to attract new members but there is not an obligation to join. Call Barbara at 731-9916 for additional information.

Oct. 11


Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center's annual fund-raiser. This year it is a Golf Marathon where each player plays 100 holes of golf. The center functions 100 percent on donations and all funds raised can go to funding programs for clients. Currently, the center provides care and compassion to women facing unplanned pregnancies, along with relevant information and resources. For more information about the Golf Marathon, call 264-5963.

Oct. 12


The Mountain View Homemakers will hold its September meeting at the home of Pat Sallani at 380 Arbor Dr. (731-0472) 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. Come prepared to share what the recipe evokes for you. Directions to the Sallani's home are: from U.S. 160, go North on Piedra Road (CR 600) to the Lake Hatcher area. Turn left on North Pagosa Boulevard then take a quick right on Falcon and another quick right on Arbor to 380 Arbor Dr. Everyone is welcome to attend and share in the holiday cookie preparations at noon.

Oct. 14


Enjoy brats, beer and dancing at the fifth annual Oktoberfest, 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. This year, Oktoberfest will feature three German style beers and root beer from national award-winning brewer Tony Simmons of the Pagosa Springs Brewing Company and, as always, the music is provided by local band Pauken Schlagel. Bring the entire family for the traditional German feast along with German style beer and root beer.

Tickets on sale now at the senior center, Chamber of Commerce, Plaid Pony and Ski and Bow Rack. Adults $13 in advance, $15 at door. Seniors, Inc. members $10. Children 12 and under $5. Family tickets with kids 12 and under, $30 advance, $35 at door. For more information call 264-2167.


   Community News

Quodlibet Handbell Choir in concert Sunday

By Lynn Constan

Special to The PREVIEW

The Quodlibet Handbell Choir and friends invite you to join them for a concert Sunday, Oct. 1, at 4 p.m. at Community United Methodist Church.

Titled "Symphonia for a Sunday Afternoon," the concert will feature eight members of the choir: Berkey Branch, Lynn Constan, Jerry Hines, Jody Hott, Liz Kuhn, Barbara Preston, Kelley Simonson and Raymond Taylor. They will be joined by local musicians Beverly Arrendell, Bob Nordmann, Harvey Schwartz and Natalie Tyson

The name of the choir, "Quodlibet," is Latin, "quod" meaning "what" and "libet meaning "it pleases," or "what pleases you." The choir members think you will be pleased with the selection of music which ranges from traditional hymn tunes, to familiar classical themes, to original compositions for handbells. The program also includes a duet for saxophone and piano and a harp solo.

Handbells were first rung at the Methodist Church in Pagosa on Mother's Day in 1982. The initial two octaves of bells were given to the church in memory of Fern Hott. In the past 24 years, the number of bells has grown from the original 27-bell, two-octave set to a full five-octave set of 66 bells plus three octaves of hand chimes. "We will get an opportunity to use almost all of the bells plus the chimes during the concert," said Lynn Constan, choir director. The choir generally rings once a month during services at the Methodist Church and has played with the Community Choir, at the senior center, and at the Chamber of Commerce in the past.

There is no admission charge for the concert, but a free will offering will be taken to support the mission work of Craig and Lisa Branch. Craig is the son of local residents Mike and Berkey Branch. Craig has served with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) since 1999, serving as a group leader for mission trips into Turkey, Thailand, Tunisia, Mexico, and South America. In this country, he has also done mission work with inner city youth. Craig and Lisa met while working with YWAM and married in 2005. The couple is now in Jordan on a three-year mission trip.

In addition to the music, there will be a lovely selection of shawls for sale. The shawls are all hand knit by Joyce Hines who donates both her time and materials. All proceeds from the sale of the shawls will go towards the mission work.


'Mind's Material' final week at Shy Rabbit

By Denise Coffee

Special to The PREVIEW

"Mind's Material: Sensation, Cognition & Knowledge" continues at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts through Saturday, Oct. 7.

This awe-inspiring exhibition features the masterworks of artists Doug Pedersen, Kelsey Hauck and Karl Isberg.

"Mind's Material" brings the artistry of Pedersen, Hauck and Isberg together for the first time, each having shown extensively in galleries and museum collections throughout the United States and Europe. Viewed by nearly 300 art enthusiasts since opening on August 26, this is truly one exhibition that should not be missed.

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

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

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

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

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

Shy Rabbit gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1-4 p.m., and 1-6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. Private appointments are also available by request. SRCA is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1 and B-4, one block north of Hwy 160, off of North Pagosa Boulevard. For more information, log onto, call (970) 731-2766, or e-mail


'Let's Explore' the role of place in art in the 21st century

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts, a nonprofit corporation, will show the PBS Series "Art: 21 - Art in the Twenty-First Century," at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12.

Art: 21 is the first public broadcasting series to focus exclusively on contemporary visual art, and to approach contemporary artists through conversations about their lives, work and sources of inspiration.

The series, which ran for three seasons, features 12 one-hour programs, structured like an art exhibit around a broad category theme designed to help viewers analyze, compare and contrast the diverse artists presented. The four themes in Series One are: Place, Spirituality, Identity and Consumption. On Oct. 12, the first program shown will be Place.

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 November, join Shy Rabbit for a lecture and slide presentation with Gerry Riggs, the juror from the "Forms, Figures, Symbols" juried exhibition of contemporary art, which opens Oct. 21.

"The Let's Explore series is an opportunity to explore art in all its many forms and facets and to share in the experience," Michael Coffee said.

Let's Explore Art: 21 - Place is one night only, Oct. 12 Doors open at 6 p.m. with a suggested donation of $5. Let's Explore Contemporary Art with Gerry Riggs is one night only, Nov. 9.

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

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


Kathleen Steventon featured in Spanish Peaks show

Pagosa artist Kathleen Steventon is currently featured in The Spanish Peaks Arts Council (SPACe) Fall Show which opened Saturday, Sept. 16.

The varied exhibition can be viewed at The Gallery in the Park, 132 W. Ryus in La Veta.

In addition to Steventon's expressionist oil paintings, the show also includes a variety of original artworks in pastel, oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography and other media by 17 area artists.

Steventon's vivid, thickly-painted canvases unite her love of animals with her love of color in an outpouring of energetic expressionism. "I love to allow the viewer to fill in the 'missing' pieces by not revealing all in the image, by selectively leaving out subject details to be wondered about," said Steventon.

The artist recently received a First Place Award for her painting "Ghost Gaze" at the All Colorado Show in Greenwood Village at the Curtis Arts and Humanities Center.

Steventon completed her first body of work, "The Gaze Series," in early 2006, and is currently working on her second. She is represented by Wild Spirit Gallery in Pagosa Springs, and The Lucas Gallery in Telluride, Colorado.

The SPACe Gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m-3 p.m. The show will be on display until Oct. 14. For more information, call the gallery at (719) 742-3074 or visit the SPACe Web site at


ECA presents bluegrass concert

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Elation Center for the Arts presents an exciting bluegrass concert featuring the Badly Bent, Saturday, 7 p.m. at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

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.

Based in Durango, the group is known for its brilliant instrumental compositions, fine vocal harmonies and friendly stage presence.

The Badly Bent's performances have been enthusiastically received at festivals and concerts throughout the western states. The group's self-titled CD (produced with the help of two Grammy awards-winners) is receiving international airplay.

Patrick Dressen, known to many discerning music aficionados in Pagosa, is one of the most entertaining members of the band. Dressen is highly regarded throughout the Four Corners for his musical versatility and stage presence. A multi-instrumentalist, Dressen won the Colorado Flatpicking Guitar Championship in 1991 and the Rocky Mountain Mandolin Championship in 1994. He has played in several bands in the Durango area including Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge.

The band's other members include Mark Epstein (banjo and lead vocals), Patrick Dressen (guitar and lead vocals), Robb Brophy (mandolin and harmony vocals), Bill Adams (dobro) and Jeff Hibshman (bass and harmony vocals).

The Badly Bent explores the vast possibilities for improvisation and variation while maintaining the authentic qualities of traditional bluegrass music. Join us Saturday at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse for this great concert.

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

Desserts and coffee will be provided at intermission. Please bring a dessert to share, if you wish.

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

Elation Center for the Arts is a local nonprofit that cultivates appreciation for the arts by offering life enrichment programs focused on preserving our cultural heritage. The Badly Bent concert helps supports ECA's educational programs in Pagosa. For more information, log on to or call 731-3117. The organization seeks interested volunteers.


Selections made for Shy Rabbit juried exhibition

By Denise Coffee

Special to The PREVIEW

Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts will present "Forms, Figures, Symbols," a juried exhibition of contemporary works, Oct. 21-Nov. 28. Opening reception for artists is 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. All are welcome.

An impressive 182 submissions were received from 61 artists working in various mediums, and from throughout the country. The juror's selections were sent out via e-mail to all participating artists Sept. 25, resulting in 59 submissions (from 43 artists) being accepted into the exhibition.

The selection process was a welcome and familiar one for Gerry Riggs, who graciously accepted the challenge with the confidence and enthusiasm that years of experience in the art world provide.

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

Riggs' professional accomplishments include the installation design for over 400 exhibitions. He is credited for transforming the gallery at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs into one of the region's most important art spaces, and the only one dedicated to contemporary art, whether regional of from halfway around the world. He is a member of the American Association of Museums, and the AAM Museum Advocacy Team. Riggs became a full-time resident of Pagosa Springs in 2006, and is an accomplished photographer, session drummer and avid skier.

A full list of artists accepted into "Forms, Figures, Symbols" will be posted in the next edition of The PREVIEW.

Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts is located at: 333 Bastille Drive, B-1 and B-4, one block north of U.S. 160 off of North Pagosa Boulevard. Gallery hours during exhibitions are Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 1-4 p.m., and 1-6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. Visitors are welcome to call or stop by during non-posted hours. Private appointments are also available by request.

For more information, call (970) 731-2766, e-mail, or log onto


ECA provides performances, educational program

By Paul Roberts

Special to the PREVIEW

Elation Center for the Arts is celebrating in its third year in Pagosa with lively hand drumming classes, community concerts, folk dancing, singing, school assemblies, Native American flute playing, and other educational and fun programs for the entire family.

Thanks to the generosity of our many talented local performers, ECA's concerts at Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse have become a meaningful community event. Save the following dates for upcoming concerts: Saturday, Oct. 21; Nov. 24-25; and Dec. 23.

Another focus of ECA has to do with providing young people opportunities to develop their abilities in the arts. Our newest music appreciation class introduces 30 young people to the joys of rhythm and helps develop their fine motor skills in a fun and exciting way.

The ongoing clogging classes are going strong, with a new group of beginning students, as well as intermediate and advanced students studying this unique dancing style that embodies our American cultural heritage in such a delightful way.

Our hand drumming students are becoming quite adept at the lively rhythm styles of many cultures, and are having fun while challenging themselves to continue learning and developing, no matter their age or music background.

Life in Pagosa is an aesthetic experience, in itself, so it's natural that this is such a comfortable place for the arts to flourish, and for creative collaborations to blossom forth. After the success of John Grave's new musical "An Empty Bench," ECA is encouraging more original works. The November concert will be an ensemble production.

ECA's mission is to cultivate appreciation for the arts, by offering life enrichment programs focused on preserving our cultural heritage.

Serving people of the Southwest and beyond, these programs include classes for students of all ages and backgrounds, performance opportunities for accomplished and aspiring artists, community concerts, school assemblies and residencies.

For more information on Elation Center for the Arts, log on to or call 731-3117.


Congregation Har Shalom schedule

The schedule of congregational activities for the Congregation Har Shalom for September-December is as follows:

- Sunday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m. - Kol Nidre Service at Har Shalom.

- Monday, Oct. 2, 10 a.m. - Yom Kipper Service at Har Shalom, with discussion to follow; 4 p.m. - Intergenerational Family Service at Har Shalom; 5:30 p.m. - Yizkor and Tree of Life dedication; 6 p.m. - Neilah, Havdallah and Potluck Break the Fast at Har Shalom.

- Wednesday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m. - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom. Call Judith at 247-3292 or

- Friday, Oct. 13, 5:30 p.m. - Special Shabbaton Weekend with Rabbi Baskin begins with Sukkot Service at Flitter home, 6300 High Point Drive, Farmington, N.M. Potluck in the sukkah to follow. The film, Ushbizan, will be shown for adults. Childcare will be provided. Call Alice at (505) 327-4300 to R.S.V.P.

- Saturday, Oct. 14, 6:30 p.m. - Simchas Torah Service and Consecration. Unrolling of the Torah, dancing and candy apples.

- Friday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m. - Torah study led by Harold Shure at Har Shalom. Call Harold at 385-6793 for details.

- Wednesday, Oct. 25, 7 p.m. - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom. Call Judith at 247-3292 or

- Friday, Nov. 3, 6 p.m. - Shabbat Potluck at Richard and Gayle Brown's home, 1770 W. 3rd Avenue. Call 259-0344 for more information and to R.S.V.P.

- Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m. - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom. Call Judith at 247-3292 or

- Friday, Nov. 10, 7 p.m. ’ Torah study led by Harold Shure at Har Shalom. Call Harold at 385-6793 for details.

- Friday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m. - Mitzvah Weekend Shabbaton with Rabbi Baskin begins with a service at the new hospital chapel and dedication of mezzezah. Come learn about the mitzvah of Bikkur Holim (visitation of the sick) from Denver's Jewish Community Chaplain.

- Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m. - Shabbat Torah Service with a Gerim Gala celebrating our new Jews by Choice. Following services we will be donating our time to help our community in a Congregational Mitzvah Day. Please watch for details to follow. If you have ideas about projects, leave a message at 375-0613.

- Sunday, Nov. 19, 9:30 a.m. - Join the new incarnation of our adult education program, Judaism 360, that will run for 5767. Tentative topic: "The Invisible Chariot: An Introduction to Jewish Spirituality and Mysticism."

- Wednesday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m. - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom. Call Judith at 247-3292 or

- Friday, Dec. 1, 6 p.m. - Shabbat Potluck at Liberman home, 551 Oak Drive, DW2. Call 375-0955 for more information and to R.S.V.P.

- Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. - Jewish Meditation Group at Har Shalom. Call Judith at 247-3292 or

- Friday, Dec. 15, 5:30 p.m. - Chanukah Party at Har Shalom. Potluck dinner and group menorah lighting.


Congregation Kadima Yisrael holds Yom Kippur services

The Jewish community of Pagosa Springs, Congregation Kadima Yisrael, will hold High Holiday services for 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.

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.


'The Wonders of Egypt' at UU service

On Sunday, Oct. 1, author and astrologer Julie Gillentine will speak to the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on "Wonders of Egypt."

Gillentine, a resident of Pagosa Springs, has traveled to sacred sites around the world researching her books and numerous articles. Egypt is her favorite destination and she loves to take groups there to share a life-changing experience and to act as cultural ambassadors of peace. Her talk and slide show, accumulated over several journeys, will explore and explain architectural wonders, universal archetypes, ancient prophecies, and some of the unsolved mysteries of Egypt.

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


Pagosa Healing Arts Gathering creates Web site, sets meeting

By Sonya Flores Lugo

Special to The PREVIEW

The Pagosa Healing Arts Gathering will meet to discuss moving toward nonprofit status and Web site presence at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Susan James Wellness Center (Parelli Building), 56 Talisman Drive, Suites 3B and 4B.

The meeting will be co-hosted by Sophia, Susan James, Linda LoCastro and Caroleen Thompson. All healing arts practitioners are invited to come, as well as anyone interested in knowing more about the healing arts community in Pagosa Springs.

Since its inception, the Pagosa Healing Arts Gathering has created a prototype directory and has now drafted a Web site to feature the healing arts practitioners on the Internet. Caroleen Thompson has come forward as Webmaster to "gift" the creation of the Web site to the Healing Arts Gathering. Sophia chose as the name that would best represent the Pagosa Healing Arts Gathering. Any healing arts practitioners taking part in the directory will automatically be included in the Web site. The site will feature each practitioner with five pages of their personal bio, explanation of healing modality, articles of reference, etc.

In addition, by moving toward the status of a nonprofit, the Pagosa Healing Arts Gathering can apply for grants and solicit public funding so a Center for Healing Arts can become a reality, servicing the community at large.

Future discussions shall include: Pagosa Healing Arts becoming a member of the Chamber of Commerce, so its directory can be placed at the center of town and be made available to the public; Pagosa Healing Arts sponsoring an Expo in Pagosa, once or twice a year, for talks and demonstrations of available healing modalities within the healing arts practitioners; and becoming a presence at the Four Corners Expos taking place in Santa Fe, Durango and Albuquerque every year, to draw tourists from the Four Corners area to Pagosa.

As Pagosa Springs becomes increasingly known for its hot mineral springs within a spectacular mountain setting, Pagosa Healing Arts can assist in this regard. By having a directory and Web site, locals and tourists can be informed about the many services available from healing arts practitioners in the community.

Pagosa Healing Arts is an important step toward the creation of a well-informed community of citizens, seeking to open the way to the growth of an economic sector as important to Pagosa Springs as its identity as a healing oasis. As we gather, more steps will be taken in that direction.

We invite healing arts practitioners to bring us their business cards, brochures, and flyers describing their healing modalities. The public is also invited.

For further directions or details regarding the next meeting, call Susan James at 946-3880 or Sophia at 903-2108. If you have been unable to attend the meetings and would like to join, stop by and see Sophia at Pathways to Soul Mastery located at 468 Main Street, Suite A, in the Heritage Building, and be updated.


Chuck Bob at the Movies

Plot? Who cares, when there's bone-crunching action

Charles Streetman

PREVIEW Columnist

This week, I took a look at two, alternative new releases.

The first is an edgy psychological thriller in which an online predator gets what's coming to him, and the second is a fast-paced action film from France written by an acclaimed director.

First up is the new indie thriller, "Hard Candy." The movie opens with a risqué online conversation between 32-year old Jeff Kohlver (Patrick Wilson, "The Phantom of the Opera") and 14-year old Hayley Stark (Ellen Page, "X-Men: The Last Stand"). During the chat, the two arrange to meet at a nearby coffee shop. When they meet, Jeff is charming but checks himself after he learns Hayley's true age.

Although young, Hayley is mature beyond her years, highly intelligent, sociable, and she flirts with Jeff. One thing leads to another, and they find themselves back at Jeff's home. There, they have a few drinks, and Hayley begins acting drunk. She asks Jeff to photograph her. But before Jeff can begin snapping shots, he realizes he's been drugged. When Jeff awakens, he finds himself in a bizarre and disconcerting realm where the apparent vicitim has become the victimizer.

With the stage set, an intellectual battle of cat and mouse begins, and the movie plays out both as a psychological thriller and a revenge flick, although through much of the film the viewer is left questioning whether Hayley's accusations toward Jeff are true. True or not, it's obvious she's acting out of revenge, but it's not clear on behalf of whom - herself, or every and any teenager ever assaulted by a pedophile.

And this is where the film falls short. Although we learn much about Jeff during his desperate attempt to survive Hayley's attack, we are given very little detail about Hayley beyond the fact she is an obviously angry teenage vigilante. As the story unfolds, it appears that the bits of information we do get about her might have been fabricated in order to lower Jeff's guard.

In addition, scant details regarding Hayley, the other downside to "Hard Candy" is that the situation seems completely over the top. This comes across most clearly in the dialogue between the main characters. At times the banter sounds forced, even ridiculous and cliché, and leaves more questions than answers. For example, how did a 14-year-old investigate and determine Jeff's guilt? The answer lies in a sketchy bit of dialogue at the end of the film.

Despite the film's shortcomings, both actors give impressive and compelling performances throughout, and the plot twists should keep the viewer riveted to the screen. "Hard Candy" is a well-made, modern psychological thriller that may become a future classic.

The DVD features commentaries from the writer and director, plus commentaries from the cast, deleted and extended scenes, a making-of documentary and more.

Up next is "District B13," a new foreign action film written by one of my favorite directors, Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element"). This movie is pretty much France's answer to the 2005 martial arts hit "Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior," and boy, it's worth a look!

The movie set in 2013 Paris. The French government has built massive barriers over the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods in the city. The one this film centers on is District B13, which has become an uncontrollable crime sector ruled by the vicious crime lord, Taha.

The first 20 minutes are used to introduce the district and the main protagonist, Leito. Leito is about to learn the cost of crossing Taha, as Taha's thugs arrive to deal with him. What follows is a non-stop chase scene, with Leito leaping through windows, small openings, and from rooftop to rooftop, while dispatching any of Taha's thugs who get in the way, with amazing speed and spectacular fluidity!

Skip forward six months and we have the actual plot, what little there is of it. Taha's gang steals a new type of bomb that, if detonated, will destroy the whole district. And, unfortunately it is accidentally activated. The government sends in "straight arrow" cop, Damien, to stop the bomb from exploding in 24 hours. When he arrives, Damien teams up with Leito, who's trying to rescue his younger sister from Taha. Together the two of them try get to the crime lord before it's too late.

The plot is simplistic, if barely present at all, and provides scant character development. But that's not the film's intent: This film is about is an action. The stunt work and fight scenes are shot and choreographed with a fast and furious edge, and they are downright astonishing to watch. Although the movie remains fairly true to "Ong Bak," there is one significant and appreciated divergence. Whereas "Ong Bak" drags the viewer through two hours of martial arts mania - with no plot - "District B13" keeps things at a crisp 85 minutes, and for that we can be thankful.

Some might argue that a movie with little or no plot isn't a movie worth seeing, but trust me, when the action is this good, the sketchy storyline becomes a mere footnote. There's something to be said for a movie that allows you to switch your brain off, sit back, and enjoy the bone-crunching action, and if that's what you're after, "District B13" delivers.

The special features on the disc include a "making-of" featurette, outtakes, and, if you didn't get enough action on the first go-round, an extended fight sequence.


Education News

No column this week.


Community Center News

The party continues at the community center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

This Friday evening is the annual Habitat for Humanity Dinner and Dance fund-raiser. Please come and support this event. Advance tickets are available for sale at the Chamber of Commerce, or call Jean and Dave Smith at 264-6647.

New dance floor panels

Thanks to Jack and Diane Litt for their donation of eight new dance floor panels. If any of you attended the Colorfest Dance, you know how crowded the dance floor was and how much an addition is needed. Mercy hopes to eventually enlarge the dance floor from 24x24 to 30x30 to accommodate more dancers.

We would appreciate your help with this project; each panel is 3x3 and costs approximately $130.

We also bought new round tables, which are durable and lighter in weight, hence easier to set up. Our dance volunteers are very happy about this.

We need help

The annual Halloween Party is the center's gift to the community - an opportunity for Pagosa's youngsters to have a wonderful and safe Halloween. All the activities and games are free and there is no entrance fee. Even the hot dogs are free, donated by the Kiwanians. Last year, there were over 1,000 people in attendance; we hope to have even more this year.

We are starting our pre-party campaign to raise money to put this party together. We'll be faxing a flyer to local businesses; then we'll follow up with phone calls.

Please help us with your donations of money or time (or both). Cash donations help buy decorations and the prizes the community center gives out, and your donation of time will help as you sponsor a game or activity. 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. Or, if you would like to be here and help, 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 support.

Baton twirling classes

Karla Dominguez is now offering baton twirling lessons for beginners on Mondays. Classes start at 3:45 and last for an hour. All ages are welcome - kindergarten and up. Karla says the first lesson will be free, and successive ones will be $3 per session. A discounted monthly rate is also available.

Bring your own balanced baton or purchase one at the class, where new ones are for sale at $18 each. If you would like to sign up and order a baton, call Karla at 731-5365. Or, you can sign up at the community center by calling 264-4152.

Karla hopes her students will participate in Pagosa's parades; we're all looking forward to the marching and twirling.

The Flying Elmos

The date and time of our community picnic be determined later and we'll announce it next week. But we do know the event will feature The Flying elmos.

The Flying Elmos is a five-piece band of local musicians who have combined their talents to write and play original contemporary music. Lance Foster and Karma Raley (who is one of our volunteers at the front desk) who perform under the name of "Elmo Chesterhazy" have joined with "Flying Casual" - Joel Auberg, Diane Auberg and Cordell VanHart, to form this exciting, fresh, fun mixture of multifaceted music.

Lance writes, sings and plays six-string guitar and flute; Karma plays congas and chimes and sings; Joel writes, sings and plays electric banjo, mandolin and keyboards; Diane writes, sings and plays 12-string guitar, violin and keyboards; and Cordell plays congas, banjos, the occasional tool turned percussion instrument and he also sings. Together they present a full, rich music with soaring harmonies from love songs to political satire to ballads to good old (new) rock and roll you can listen and dance to. Stay tuned for the date and time.

Italian cooking class

Have you registered yet for Edith Blake's reprise of her popular Italian Cooking class?

We have a few places left so it's not too late to come in to reserve your place. The dates for the classes are Oct. 5, 12 and 26, and they will start at 10 in the morning. Since the last series of classes, Edith has been to Italy in order to take cooking classes herself. We are eager to see what new ideas she has brought home with her.

If you are interested, come to the center to reserve your space. The fee is $10 per class which covers cost of ingredients, supplies and tasting of what the class prepares. Often, Edith prepares enough for everyone to have lunch, with dessert. Please be reminded that no reservations will be taken without the prepayment. 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.

Managing Diabetes

The Managing Diabetes group met last week to share information about its progress toward the goals set at the last get-together. Plans were made to visit The Spa for some water exercise, to contact Mercy Medical Diabetic Education office in Durango to get specific information about classes and the nutrition counseling offered there, and to keep in touch with group members who leave Pagosa during the winter months.

This group is for diagnosed diabetics, those at risk for diabetes, and also for those who care for or live with diabetics. Call the center at 264-4152 to let us know what this group can do for you.

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 and experience the gentle stretching and relaxation of this yoga session. Call 264-4152 for more information.

Line dancing

Gerry Potticary and her small, but mighty band of teaching volunteers are kind to newcomers and will make you feel right at home. Thank you Gerry, Peggy and Teri.

Line dancing meets Mondays, 10-11:30 a.m. New couples classes start at 9:15 a.m. classes on waltz and two-step, no experience is required - just a sense of humor. She adds that dancing needs no introduction, just come and start with the easiest dances. It is often suggested that line dances are more difficult today. Linedancer magazine, which started in 1996, confirms this. However, it also is true that the beginners of today are tomorrow's experts. Therefore, many of the most popular dances, the magazine states, are the ones that target those who are new to line dancing. All this is to allay your fears that line dancing is not for you; it can be a great deal of fun, and some exercise to boot.

Gerry is ready to do two evening classes each month on Tuesdays. Call if you are interested, 264-4152.

eBay Club

Another schedule change.

The eBay Club has decided to meet twice a month instead of once. The meeting dates will be on the first and third Wednesday of each month, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the computer lab. The next class is Oct 4. Ben Bailey, who began this class, says each session seems to draw a few newcomers. With that in mind, he offers an introductory training session, which is followed by problem solving and a time for sharing eBay experiences.

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

Computer lab news

Beginning classes (Tuesday morning for all ages; Wednesday morning for seniors) are filling up quickly. Register now if you wish to be included. The next series will last eight weeks and will begin in late October and last into the second week in December. Then there will be a short hiatus until mid-January, when new classes will begin. There is no charge for any of the Community Center's computer classes.

Remember that my question-and-answer sessions are Thursday afternoons, 1-4 p.m. The best idea is to call for an appointment; this will prevent your having to wait while I help someone else.

During Q&A sessions I can try to help you with problems or try to answer any questions you may have. General questions are fine, of course, but often people need some information about things which aren't covered in the beginning classes, such as using your computer to make phone calls, storing files on CDs, or gathering information about choosing a type of Internet service. It's also the best time to talk about the subjects covered in classes you have missed. It's always wise to find out what was taught while you were away, since each class builds on what was covered earlier.

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

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; United Country Sales meeting, 8:30-10:30 a.m.; TOPS Town Council meeting, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; watercolor class with Denny and Ginnie, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

Sept. 29 - Watercolor class with Denny and Ginnie, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun and duplicate bridge, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 2-8 p.m.; Habitat for Humanity Dinner and Dance, 6-11 p.m.

Sept. 30 - Watercolor class with Denny and Ginnie, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Oct. 1 - 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.

Oct. 2 - CO Rural Water Association class, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; line dancing, 10-11:30 a.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30-4 p.m.; baton lessons, 3:45-4:45 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

Oct. 3 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; water association class, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Beginning Computing, 10 a.m.-noon.; yoga, 10:30-11:30 a.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

Oct. 4 - Water association class, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Beginning Computing for Seniors, 10 a.m.- noon; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

Oct. 5 - Pagosa Springs Arts Alliance, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; water association class, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; San Juan Outdoor Club, 6:30-9 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

Recognizing signs of elder abuse

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

Over 1,600 cases of abuse against older adults and adults with disabilities are investigated annually in Colorado.

Family members are the abusers of the elderly in 90 percent of these cases.

Domestic violence against older adults should be reported to law enforcement, to the county Adult Protective Services program, and to the local domestic violence victim advocacy program.

Listed below are possible behavioral indicators of abuse by potential victims and abusers. Most or all of the forms need not be present for abuse to be occurring. One or two indicators may warrant further questioning and investigation.

A potential victim may exhibit some of these behaviors: Has repeated "accidental" injuries; appears isolated; says or hints at being afraid; considers or attempts suicide; has history of alcohol or drug abuse (including prescription drugs); presents as a "difficult" client; has vague, chronic or non-specific complaints; is unable to follow through on treatment plan or medical care; may miss appointments; delays seeking medical help; exhibits depression (mild or severe) or evidence of effects of stress and trauma such as chronic pain and other illnesses

Potential abusers may do some of these things: Is verbally abusive to workers or charming and friendly to workers; says things like "he's difficult," "she's stubborn," "he's so stupid," or "she's clumsy"; attempts to convince others that the person is incompetent or crazy; is overly attentive to the victim; controls the older person's activities and outside contacts; refuses to let an interview take place without being present; talks about the family member as if he/she is not there or not a person; physically assaults or threatens violence against victim or worker; threats of suicide or homicide or both; threats of harassment; stalking; cancels elder's appointments; sabotages older person's efforts to attend appointments by refusing to provide transportation or some other excuse; takes elder to different doctors, hospitals and pharmacies to cover up abuse; uses the legal system to harass the older person (e.g., mutual protective orders, making false charges). Please refer to for more information.

Online driver safety course

The AARP Driver Safety Program is the nation's first and largest refresher course for drivers age 50 and older, and has helped millions of drivers remain safe on today's roads.

The course is designed to help you: Tune up your driving skills and update your knowledge of the rules of the road. Learn about normal age-related physical changes, and how to adjust your driving to allow for these changes. Reduce your traffic violations, crashes, and chances for injuries. Qualify for an auto insurance premium reduction or discount.

Specific state insurance laws vary - consult your insurance agent for specifics in your state. The online course fee is only $15.95 for AARP members and $19.95 for nonmembers. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate mailed directly to your home. If you are not a member, you may join AARP and receive your discounted price and all the great benefits of membership for only $12.50 a year. For more information, visit

Mystery trip

The clue: Fall colors we will see, in the mountains we will be. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Our Monthly Mystery Trip participants will meet at The Den at 8 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, for a secret adventure. You will need to bring a water bottle, camera, comfortable walking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. We will depart The Den promptly at 8:05 a.m. and arrive at our destination at approximately 9. Lunch will be provided and we will return to The Den by 5:30 p.m.

Hat Day

It's Hat Day at The Den Friday, Sept. 29. Wear your favorite, most crazy or funniest hat to win some great prizes. Put on those top hats, tassel caps, or whatever head covering fits your personality the best, and come to The Den for lunch.

Birthday celebration

If you are age 60 or older and your birthday is in September, come to The Den Friday, Sept. 29, for lunch and celebrate your birthday. Seniors, Inc. has graciously agreed to pay for a portion of your birthday meal, so it will only cost $1 for a great lunch and lots of fun!. Remember to let us know it is your birthday when you check in at the desk.

Meet the candidates

The nominating committee of the ASI Board of Directors has announced the slate of officers and board member nominations. It is: president - Jim Pearson; vice-president - Mary Lou Maehr; secretary - Lorrie Church; treasurer - Kathy Betts. Nominated for the remaining three two-year board positions and the one-year position are Helen Hoff, Joe Nanus, Linda Veik, Margie Martinez, Jackie Schick and Susi Cochran. Nominated from Arboles is Mitch Appenzeller.

Take the time to meet the candidates during lunch Oct. 2. Members will have an opportunity to meet the ASI candidates and put faces with the names on the ballot for the upcoming election, to be held Oct. 9. Nominations will not be taken from the floor as per public notice posted 15 days prior to the election.

Write your memoir

Join instructor Leanne Goebel at The Den 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday, Oct. 4, for a memoir writing class title "Writing Your Life Story: How to Begin."

An autobiography is the story of a life and an attempt to capture all the elements of that life. A memoir, on the other hand, does not attempt to replicate a life. A memoir is based on a theme - say, your religion, or your relationship with your mother.

Gore Vidal wrote: "A memoir is how one remembers one's own life, while an autobiography is history, requiring research, dates, facts double-checked."

In this two-hour class you will learn how to begin writing a memoir. Bring a pen and paper, because after you discuss the basics, you will end the morning with a writing exercise to get you started on crafting your memoirs. Leanne Goebel is a freelance writer and writing instructor. She has been writing professionally for 24 years and spent seven years as the marketing director for a mid-size publishing company in Denver. Leanne taught creative writing at Colorado Free University and Arapahoe Community College in Denver. She coordinates the local "Brown Bag Writer's Group" at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts and is teaching a course on public relations with Fort Lewis College. Leanne has a B.A. in English and creative writing from the University of Texas, San Antonio.

Aikido class

Aikido is a relatively modern martial art, although its roots go back nearly a thousand years to secret techniques of samurai warriors. Beginning Oct. 4, The Den will be offering Aikido classes every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Sign up with The Den if you would like to participate in the October classes.

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. Aikido is beneficial for health, coordination, stress relief and character with the goal of bettering oneself rather than trying to be better than an opponent.

A day's drive

The leaves are changing and it is time for our annual drive to get out and experience the fall colors. We will leave The Den at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, for a drive to Cumbres Pass to see the changing colors. After some amazing views and scenic photo opportunities, we will stop and have lunch in Chama.

You will need to bring a water bottle, money for lunch, your camera and a jacket. Bus transportation will cost $5. Sign up with The Den by Wednesday, Oct. 4, to take advantage of this great adventure and encounter the splendor of the mountains during the fall.

Medicare counseling

Beginning in September, The Den will offer Medicare counseling on 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.

Senior discounts

Join hundreds of other seniors in our community taking advantage of the many discounts available through local merchants by joining Archuleta Seniors, Inc. Memberships are available for folks age 55 and older. Through the remainder of 2006, memberships can be purchased at The Den for $5 Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-11 a.m. No memberships are sold Thursdays.


Oktoberfest had its beginnings in Bavaria when King Joseph Maximilian held a celebration of his marriage to Princess Theresa of Saxonie in royal style in a meadow in 1810. It was meant to be a simple horse race, but in true Bavarian character it ended up being a cheerful beer fest. Although the Oktoberfest concept went back more than 300 years prior to the kings wedding, his wedding party is credited as being the original Oktoberfest.

On Oct. 14, Archuleta Seniors, Inc. invites folks of all ages to celebrate this tradition in style, 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the community center, as a benefit for our Archuleta County seniors. Whether you want to do the polka in a line dance, release a little stress by doing the Chicken Dance, try some "Craftbrew" beer, participate in the fun of a silent auction, or listen to some good German music while enjoying German food - there's something for the whole family to enjoy. Save the date: Tickets are available at The Den Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Other ticket outlets are the Plaid Pony and the Chamber of Commerce office. Cash or checks will be accepted. New this year is the family ticket. It gets mom, dad and kids under 12 in for $30 pre event and $35 at the door. Adult tickets are $13 pre event and $15 at the door. Kids under 12 are $5 and kids under 5 are free. Archuleta Seniors, Inc. members get in for $10. Adult tickets get you a full plate of delicious German food and an Oktoberfest mug, and the kids get a hot dog, chips, cookie and a festive mug.

This is the largest fund-raiser event of the year for our seniors, so help support a great cause and have some fun doing it. Come on down for the excitement and entertainment and join in the merriment of the fifth annual Oktoberfest.

Volunteers needed

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 help with a task.

One place where S.W.A.T. team members are in desperate need is for Oktoberfest. We need volunteers to help sell advance tickets, for food preparation, for food service as well as for other duties a 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 community, have fun and get the satisfaction from helping others.

Calling all bridge players

Bridge 4 Fun and duplicate bridge players are welcome at The Den Mondays and Fridays beginning at 12:30 p.m. Come to The Den to meet great people, play some cards and have some fun.

Senior of the Week

We would like to congratulate Beverly Arrendell as Senior of the Week. She will enjoy free lunches all week. We would also like to congratulate Paul Lemoines in Arboles. He will enjoy free lunches at Arboles Meal Day during the month of October.

Lifelong Learning

Opportunities for Lifelong Learning here in Pagosa Springs are expanding rapidly with the collaboration of the Sisson Library, Education Center, community center and Senior Center - each offering a wide variety of opportunities for new learning experiences.

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

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

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

Suggestions for program topics are invited. A beginning list of offerings includes French Conversation, Spanish for Travelers, Writing Your Life Story, Digital Camera Knowhow, Art Appreciation, and a Star Party at Lobo Overlook. The Professional Associates of Fort Lewis College (the group that plans programs for the Durango area) is interested in bringing some of their faculty lectures to Pagosa Springs in the fall.

Planning is ongoing. We want ideas from everyone interested in participating. What would you like to present? What would you like to learn? Leave a message for Biz Greene with your suggestions at P.O. Box 3782, Pagosa Springs, 81147, or at the Education Center, located on the corner of 4th and Lewis streets.

Activities at a glance

Thursday, Sept. 28 - Mystery Trip (reservations required), 8 a.m. The Den is closed.

Friday, Sept. 29 - The Geezers weekly meeting, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Hat Day and $1 birthday lunch celebrations, during lunch; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, Oct. 2 - Susan Stoffer available, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; meet the Archuleta Seniors Inc. board candidates, noon; Bridge 4 Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 3 - Yoga, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; Seeds of Learning kids visit, noon; canasta, 1 p.m.; Medicare counseling by appointment only, 1-3 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 4 - "Writing Your Memoirs" with Leanne Goebel, 10 a.m.-noon; basic computer class, 10 a.m.; Aikido class, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 5 - Fall color drive, 9 a.m.; lunch served in Arboles (reservations required); Archuleta Seniors Inc. board elections in Arboles, 11 a.m.; Judy Wagner with a presentation in Arboles on fraud, following lunch. The Den is closed.

Friday, Oct. 6 - 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.


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. 28 - Roast pork, mashed potatoes and gravy, parslied carrots, strawberry gelatin salad, and dinner roll.

Monday, Oct. 2 - Lasagna, Italian vegetables, seasoned cabbage, garlic roll, and ice cream.

Tuesday, Oct. 3 - Chicken and rice, seasoned asparagus, watermelon, and whole wheat crackers.

Wednesday, Oct. 4 - Meatloaf and gravy, cheesy potatoes, Brussels sprouts, tropical fruit, and whole wheat bread.

Thursday, Oct. 5 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). Italian sausage with marinara sauce, spaghetti, zucchini, tossed salad, and bread stick.

Friday, Oct. 6 - Crunchy baked fish, whipped potatoes, mixed vegetables, apricots, and whole wheat bread.


Veteran's Corner

A salute to a living American hero

By Andy Fautheree

The Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945 brought World War II to a conclusion, the bloodiest and cruelest conflict in American history.

Bloody and cruel not only because of the estimated 46,000,000 casualties of a global war, but because of the many atrocities inflicted on military and civilians alike by the then Axis enemies of Germany, Italy and Japan. Though these countries live in peace with America and the free world today, there are often wounds that are hard to heal for those victims of that conflict still living.

We have among us here in Archuleta County one who is a survivor of that terrible conflict with wounds inflicted by the former enemy of Japan. He is John Walker, World War II prisoner of war.

John is an inspiration to us all — an example of courage, determination, and the ability to live his life today and rise above the anger or hatred that could be the force that drives him through his life. If you saw John on a Pagosa Springs street today, walking with his cane, he would smile and say something nice to you, giving no evidence of what he suffered so long ago.

Bataan Death March

John's story is the kind of inspiration that John Wayne-style movies are made from. He is one of the "Battling Bastards of Bataan," a survivor of the infamous Bataan Death March which occurred when American, Philippine and other Allied armed forces surrendered to the Japanese in the early days of World War II and were made to endure a forced march down the Bataan peninsula in the Philippines. It is estimated 10,000 captives died in the cruel march in searing heat, deprived of even the basic necessities of life of water, food or medical attention for their wounds.

Determined that the enemy would not win this battle of wills, John survived by telling himself, "I hate you, you will not get to me." He placed pebbles in his mouth to overcome thirst, and forced himself to keeping going when others fell by the wayside and died, or fell and were promptly killed by the enemy.

Sentiment of the Japanese warrior code at that time had no regard for the life of any soldier who surrendered.

Following Bataan, John was interned in POW camp Cabanatuan, similar to the one made famous by the movie "Bridge on the River Kwai." This is the POW camp that was the subject of another, more recent movie of a daring rescue by commandos. Similar to the depiction in the earlier movie, John also was forced to construct a wood vehicle bridge for the Japanese.

While at Cabanatuan he relates how the standing order by his Japanese captors was that if anyone was missing from the required daily formation of captives, the five on each side of the missing person would be summarily executed. John said that happened one day and he was number six on the right from the missing person, once again narrowly missing death.

Again his mettle was tested when he was placed on one of the Japanese "hell ships" that transported POWs and captives to the Japanese homeland slave labor camps. John said that they were given little sustenance for the trip and those who died in route were simply thrown overboard. These ships, contrary to international agreements, were not marked with a red cross, signifying POWs and sick or wounded were on board, so they were frequently attacked by Allied forces as enemy vessels. John's ship was a coal-hauling freighter. In at least one recorded instance an American submarine sunk one of these ships, unknowingly killing many own comrades in arms.

John says he was next interned at a camp and forced in slave labor to mine lead and zinc for the Mitsubishi company. Again, he was made to endure and witness atrocities against captives that were so bad as to cause many to give up all hope or desire to live.

John believes it was divine intervention that kept him alive. When I asked him how he could endure and survive all those horrors, he would point upwards with his cane and say the "good lord was looking over me".

Weighed 65 pounds

John survived it all and when the war ended and he was liberated he weighed 65 pounds. When he arrived back in the U.S., there were no bands playing, no welcoming committees; there was one lady handing out little cartons of milk to greet the returning troops. John's ordeal was already all but forgotten with the end-of-war euphoria.

He was so brutalized and beaten by his captors, so starved, sick with dysentery and other medical conditions, and witnessed so many cruelties by the enemy, that most human beings would not survive either physically or mentally as he did. Yet in all the horrors that John was made to suffer during three and one-half years of captivity, he was never recognized by the U.S. government with the Purple Heart Medal.

Purple Heart application

I first met John when he came to see me as the Archuleta County Veterans Service Officer in 2002. He told me it would be nice if he could have the Purple Heart medal before he died. I examined his discharge papers, and found there was not even a mention of POW status, and under the line "wounds received in action" the entry "NONE" was made. The Department of Defense did not even officially acknowledge that he was a POW for 3 1/2 years on his discharge papers.

As a matter of interest, John is completely disabled because of his service in the military.

Application for the Purple Heart medal had been made a few years previously by one of my predecessors in this office through normal channels and correction of military records, and the application was denied with a letter stating there was no record of John being injured at hands of the enemy. How could any sane person make such an evaluation?

Almost exactly four years ago to this date I took the matter to then U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell for his assistance, with a copy of all the supporting documentation.

Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Campbell, in July of 2003 John received his General Orders from the Department of Defense awarding him the Purple Heart and the Prisoner of War Medal.

In a simple ceremony in the Pagosa Springs Town Park I read the General Orders and pinned these much deserved Medal on John. A number of local citizens were in attendance to the event that also included state Sen. Jim Isgar.

A short time later we had the opportunity to honor John in another ceremony - the commemoration of the end of the Korean War in San Luis, Colo. ceremonies. This event was attended by three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, among many dignitaries and veterans. The three MOH recipients — Joe Sakato (Colorado-WWII), Hershy Miyamura (New Mexico-Korean War), and Jerry Murphy (New Mexico-Korean War) - paid tribute to John Walker by reading the General Orders and presenting him with his Purple Heart Medal. And, ironically, two of those MOH recipients were Japanese-Americans. What a befitting honor, genuine American heroes of the highest military order, honoring a fellow veteran hero.

In recent years the national news has reported the successful claims by World War II victims against European governments and entities for reparations for their losses of life, health and property in that theater of war. John has told me that he has joined in legal Class Action suits in the past against various Japanese WWII interests and these suits have been unsuccessful in obtaining any compensation for his 3 1/2 years in the brutal hands of the enemy in the Pacific Theater of Operations. He feels this is a unique legal issue to the United States, as Canada and other countries have filed successful claims against Japan or Japanese interests for WWII reparations. Various U.S. Attorney Generals have turned down such lawsuits, according to John.

In the early 1990s John made four trips to Japan to build and repair Christian churches for the church group he belongs to. While he was there he had the opportunity to visit the actual site of the POW camp he was interned at. It was much different today, and he did come across a local citizen who remembered a POW camp there when he was a child.

While he was there, John had hoped to find just one Japanese citizen who would apologize for their country's treatment of him and others like himself. One young citizen when hearing John's story did give him a hug and said he had no idea all this happened during WWII, that he was never told about it in school history lessons. Japan today still does not officially acknowledge or apologize for its cruel and inhumane treatment of WWII POWs and captives.

But John may have the last hurrah after all, because at 84 years of age, he has probably outlived most or all of those former enemies. He lived up to his self-disciplined determination to survive his enemy.

John lives quietly in our community with his lovely wife, Carolyn, celebrating almost 60 years of marriage. The memories of WWII are not forgotten, but diminished by time. He has learned to live with those memories and move on with life over the years. John could choose to live in hatred, but instead chooses to live in peace.

If you see John Walker in town some day, stop and shake his hand. Tell him thanks for his service and ordeals suffered for his country. He is a living American hero.

Fuel assistance

Don't forget to stop by my office for reimbursement of your fuel and overnight accommodation to VA health care appointments. 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 31-3837, the fax number is 731-3879, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.


Library News

What we learned from your surveys - Part 1

By Carole Howard

PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

Many thanks to the hundreds of you who took the time to fill out our survey at the Archuleta County Fair or at the library during August.

We asked what other books, materials and services you would like the library to provide if funding were available. Your responses are extremely helpful as we make plans to serve you better in the months and years ahead.

Not surprisingly, the most important thing you said you want from your library is a steady stream of new books, from bestsellers to classics, fiction and non-fiction. At the top of your wish lists are mysteries, historical fiction, biographies and children's books. Also very popular are westerns, science fiction, arts and crafts, home repair and language books. Another important category for many of you is books to assist home-schoolers. As well, Christian fiction, large-type books and books for teens were mentioned frequently.

As to formats, books on CD are rapidly gaining in popularity, and were mentioned on the survey by almost everyone. DVD movies also were cited often, as were more computer and Internet services.

The availability of books in outlying areas of the county was a major issue for many respondents, with people suggesting books by mail, drop-off points and/or some sort of traveling book service are needed. Many of you also offered comments about the need for additional programs at the library for children, teens, adults and seniors.

Interestingly, there seemed to be no differences of opinion between the people who filled out the survey at the county fair and those who did so at the library, even though some of the responders at the fair are not library card-holders.

Watch for next week's column for details of the write-in comments — the complimentary ones, the criticisms and the suggestions for improvement. All are welcome and very useful in our planning.

Junior fiction on CD

The complete unabridged set of "The Chronicles of Narnia" is now available on CD at your library. Each of the seven books in this C.S. Lewis classic series is included in this amazing collection, which is made up of 31 one-hour CDs. For fans of Christian fiction, Book 3 ("The Europa Conspiracy") and Book 4 ("The Edge of Darkness") in the Babylon Rising series are now here on CD. Renowned minister and author Dr. Tim LaHaye's deep understanding of the Bible makes this thrill-a-minute series especially popular.

Three of the great classic science-fiction works by "Tarzan" author Edgar Rice Burroughs are now available on CD. "A Princess of Mars" opens the long Barsoom sequence of novels set on Mars. "At the Earth's Core" and its sequel, "Pellucidar," tell of adventures of two young men who plunge through the earth's crust into the inner world of Pellucidar.

Adult fiction

In "My Life as a Fake," two-time Brooker-winning author Peter Carey creates a creature as indelible as Frankenstein in an amazing story of a literary hoax that has unexpected twists and turns even for the man who manufactured the plot. "The Book of the Dead," by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, tells of an FBI agent rotting away in a high-security prison for a murder he did not commit, and involves his brilliant psychotic brother and an ancient Egyptian tomb with an enigmatic curse. World-famous mystery writer Ruth Rendall's latest is "13 Steps Down," wherein she masterfully weaves the multiple narratives that connect an angry young man who longs for recognition, the model he dreams about and his elderly spinster landlady who hopes that romance may still find its way into her life. Charlaine Harris' "Definitely Dead" pits its supernaturally gifted heroine against the legacy of her own undead bloodline in New Orleans.

Lifelong Learning program

We hope you are planning to attend the third in the Lifelong Learning series of adult programs at the library.

On Saturday, Sept. 30, you can enjoy "Engineers without Borders: Building a Better World One Community at a Time," by Don May, a professor of engineering, at 3 p.m. Many thanks to Biz Greene, who is the inspiration and organizer of the Lifelong Learning series.

First Pretenders' event for kids

Please plan to bring your children to the first Pretenders' performance of the 2006-07 season at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. These fun events - a mixture of theater and story-telling - have been great hits with youngsters ever since their debut last year.

Thanks to our donors

We hope you know how much we appreciate all your donations, without which we would not be able to serve our patrons anywhere nearly as well. Thanks for books and materials this week go to Larry Blue, Darlene Cassio, Windsor Chacey, Valerie Halverson, Dorothy King, Charles Martino, Donna Michael, Dr. Richard Shildt, Ermalie Williams and Sara Wilson.


Arts Line

Art and photo camps student show opens tonight

By Linda Strathdee

PREVIEW Columnist

Our first Art and Photo Camps Student Exhibit opens tonight with a 5 -7 p.m. reception at the Town Park gallery and will continue through Oct. 10.

The exhibit features photos and artwork done in two summer camps. Soledad Estrada-Leo's classes with students whose ages ranged from 4-13 met throughout the summer. Students learned not only art skills but some Spanish as well. Wendy Saunders had photo-learn classes where students used their disposable cameras to do both color and black and white images. Students' work,includes framed photos and note cards.

Stop by the gallery tonight and meet some of Pagosa's young artists.

Wells Fargo grant

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council would like to extend special thanks to Wells Fargo for awarding PSAC a $500 grant from its Community Assistance Fund.

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

Call for entries

The Pagosa springs Arts Council will hold its first-ever juried photo show Oct. 12-31.

Entries will be accepted noon-5:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Arts and Crafts Room in the Pagosa Springs Community Center; mailed entries (shipped to 315 Hermosa St.) must be received by Oct. 6.

All work must be properly framed and wired for hanging. Maximum size is 16x20, including mat and frame. All entries must be for sale and PSAC will retain a 30-percent commission on all sales. Previous work displayed at PSAC gallery shows may not be entered.

Entry fees are $20 PSAC members and $25 general; $35 PSAC members (for two entries) and $35 general.

Categories include Amateur and Professional and there is a limit of two entries per category.

Cash prizes will be awarded for first-place Professional, first-place, Amateur and People's Choice.

Photographers should pick up work not selected for the show noon-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center. Accepted work can be picked up after the show 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Town Park gallery.

The opening reception for the show is 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Town Park gallery located at 315 Hermosa St. Entry applications may be obtained at the gallery or on online at For more information, contact PSAC at 264-5020.

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

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.

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.

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

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.


Today - 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 ( 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

A semi-sweet farewell to summer

By Laura Winzeler

PREVIEW Columnist

Have you caved in to your first fire of the season yet?

I did - a week ago Sunday. I woke to find freezing temperatures on the covered deck. I hopped onto to learn that Monday morning would bring 27 whopping degrees our way. With a garage full of chopped wood (my well-deserved and much-appreciated compensation for the 10-day critter sitting stint), I thought "whattheheck?"

Of course, by 4 p.m. I was opening windows and sliding glass doors, but that's par for my course. That cats are again snoozing on my legs and have stopped waking me at 5 a.m., sleeping in till 6:30, God bless them all.

Winter approaches. Ugh. This is my 11th winter here and it wasn't until the ninth, 2004, that my inner California girl had finally gotten her belly full of the angelic fluffy white stuff. That winter pushed me over the sanity ledge that I teeter upon so precariously. It was like living in freakin' Fresno, for all the gloom and unrelenting gray gunk of doom. We were "blessed" with the most snow since 1996, my first winter here. At least it felt that way. I vowed that I would not still be here last winter, yet here I sat. But it was mercifully dry and sunny, for the most part, and the shortest winter I can recall.

And now the time of dread is upon me again, and here I still sit. I'm lazy and listless, fearful and anxious a lot lately; attributes which pair poorly with snow and ice. I tire of shoveling, I resent paying for plowing, and I tremble and shake when I have to drive. I don't ski. Or board. Or shoe.

The thing that will probably cheer and fortify me more than anything else this winter is having a semi-legitimate excuse to drink a lot of new red wines. I'm always making lemonade - or grapeade. Like a prisoner requesting a last meal, I've been on a bit of a white wine binge recently. I know that I'll lose my taste for their refreshing ways - their slightly sweet flavors and zippy acids - once it gets cold and stays cold.

Here are four very good choices that I've tried in recent weeks:

- Kendall-Jackson Riesling 2005 ($11) The very quiet nose belies the super-tart apricot flavors that burst upon the palate. Lemon rind, orange peel and amazing acids keep the stone fruit sweetness from getting sickly. A bit steely/minerally on the aftertaste. The wine has a fantastic structure and by that I mean it stands up in the mouth. Some wines race through; some limp. The sensation is of the wine rushing up against the roof of the mouth and filling the whole cavity with its flavors. Buoyant and alive! With all that character and structure this would be a great food pairing wine and a perfect (warm autumn?) afternoon aperitif. Great value.

- Fetzer Gewürztraminer 2005 ($10.50) You're always told to look for notes of honeysuckle, jasmine and rose petals in this grape, but I am not one to find flowers growing in my wine. However, "floral" was the first word that popped into my mind as I sniffed my glass and sipped. And then came honey. Honeysuckle! Very lightly spiced and not so sweet as to border on syrup. Beautifully balanced. On day two it was all white peach and fresh apricot with a tangerine kicker. Serve this one in a wineglass that lives in the freezer when empty. Like the K-J Riesling, this is a no-brainer choice to keep in stock for all the winter holidays and festivities. Guzzle with turkey and ham.

- Alpha Domus Unoaked Chardonnay 2005 ($12) Because I was on a New Zealand kick and felt as if I'd picked on chardonnay in print enough for one summer, I decided to take a chance on this unoaked offering from the Hawkes Bay region. I honestly couldn't remember the last chardonnay I'd tasted. A quietly intriguing, musty, dusty nose is there, yet it was oddly comforting. There was something ancestral and nostalgic about the aromas: the back of grandma's closet? The corner of grandpa's woodshed? The flavors were hard to tease out although I did say aloud upon the second sip: "mmmmmm - that's lovely," so I obviously found something to like. The fruit flavors are soft tropicals, especially pineapple. There is a hint of light lemon with pleasing front-of-the mouth acid and a mineral aftertaste which comes across as salty. Don't overchill this one as you'll kill off the subtleties.

- Spinyback Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2005 ($10) This New Zealand offering was recommended by a store owner as a personal favorite. I always pay attention to recommendations from people who work in the industry but I did issue my paranoid disclaimer to him that I had to be careful about New Zealand sauvignon blancs because all that greenery in the glass disturbs me. As further inducement, he mentioned that a tiny portion of my purchase would benefit the native lizard. I told him I suffered from lifelong reptile phobia and put the bottle with the off-putting iguana-like creature back on the rack. But the shelf talker promised me it would be balanced and not too grassy or slimey and I was suddenly feeling unbearably neurotic and rigid, so I bought it. And in the end I was glad. This is a very interesting wine for under $10 and even though it's not a style that I normally prefer, I can certainly appreciate it for what it is. But you gotta know the nose terrified me: total jalapeno, green bell pepper and hay. Uh oh. The dominant flavors were all grassy and pink grapefruit with a vibrant lemon finish. Uh oh again. But wait - the great body, lovely texture, and very firm acid backbone started to seduce me. The wine was getting under my scaly skin. It grew on me with each glass and was still very interesting the next day with the grapefruit flavors dominating. This is a beautiful wine and is highly recommended for people who look for the citrus, herb and vegetative components in a sauvignon blanc. I ended up enjoying it so much that I plan to grab a few more bottles in hopes that we have an extraordinarily dry and sunny winter ahead of us.

But, as I finish this column today, the house is so cold and damp I am readying my second fire of the season. Blanco Basin residents woke to an inch of snow on the ground, and all the cats elected to stay in the house, under covers or quilts, when I left for work this morning. Winter has preceded autumn this year. There's no denying it. I need to accept it.

I also need to run out now and grab some mood elevating, body temperature raising, red wine.


Tasting Notes

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

No column this week.


Food for Thought

Carrie Nation saves a wino

By Karl Isberg

I should have known better.

Of course, this is a thought I could hook on to nearly every day; but, this day, it is especially clear.

It's Saturday. I've been out and about, shooting photos. I come home, I have a bit of time before I need to hop in the truck and motor east, across Wolf Creek Pass, past Del Norte, Monte Vista and Alamosa, down to the southern end of the San Luis Valley, to La Jara.

Queen City of Š

Anyway, I am looking forward to a drive to La Jara. In other words, things are kind of bleak.

Kathy is home and ready to do some last-minute work on the garden beds before hard winter arrives and the ground freezes.

Being the swell fellow I am, I volunteer to make a couple sandwiches (aka "sangwiches," to some of my friends). I slice up a bit of a crusty boule and toast the slices. I apply a bit of high-grade mayo to one slice of bread in each sangwich. On Kathy's, I put a few hunks of turkey from the deli, two pieces of provolone and a couple slices of tomato - the last from Kathy's ill-fated tomato-growing project. On mine, I slap a significantly greater amount of mayo (good for the heart, you know) a schmear of whole grain mustard, several slices of asadero, a layer of pepper-crusted hard salami and sliced tomato.


And then, I see it - there, in the side door of the fridge: a third of a bottle of a mighty fine Spanish red. One more night, I tell myself, and it's finito. Why not have a half glass with lunch?

Sounded like a swell idea to me, the red, warmed somewhat, opening up for a last gasp of life, pairing well with the spicy meat, the sharp mustard.

I should have known better.

I was, after all, having lunch with Carrie Nation.

Do we sit at the dining room table and talk about the weather?


Do we nibble on our sangwiches and discuss the situation in the Middle East? The sorry state of test-driven public education? The massive amount of weight I managed to deadlift at the gym? The latest Sudoku brain twister?

Do we have a feisty give-and-take on whether Heidegger's affiliation with Nazism disqualifies him as a serious thinker?


None of the above.

"Wine, with lunch?" She is glaring at me as I sit down at the table.


"Wine. That's wine in that wine glass, isn't it?"

"Well, uh, gee Š yep, I guess it is. A little bit."

"What do you think you're doing?"

"Uh, sipping a little wine with lunch."

"Get serious. What are you doing?"

" I am doing what millions of folks in France and Italy do every day; I'm having a small glass of wine with lunch. Parisian butchers are known to have a glass with breakfast."

"I'd say you're showing all the signs of alcoholism."

"Ahhh Š I Š uh Š."

"Now, it's a glass at lunch, is it? You've gone from almost nothing to having a glass or two with dinner. Now, lunch. Pretty clear what that means."

"Uhh Š I Š well, ahhh Š"

"I'm worried. You know as well as I do how you tend to get carried away with things. With that in mind, this doesn't look good, does it? You've got a problem, buddy."

"But, all I wanted to do was have a sip, just so what was left didn't go to waste."

"It's a well-known fact an addict can look you right in the eye and deny he has a problem."

"I'm not looking you in the eye, I'm trying to eat a sangwich and sip a little wine. Maybe gaze out the window and look for coyotes. I saw one the other day, you know."

"Sure, whatever you say."

"I mean, all I wanted was a sip. I never have wine with lunch."

"You're going to lose everything: your job, your house, your family. Mark my words, this ship is headed for the shoals."

"Because I wanted to sip a little Spanish red with my sangwich?"

"I have to go mix some soils, but make no mistake Š I'm watching you. If you can't monitor the situation yourself, I'll do it for you."


The dog is siting next to the table. He is looking at me.

Can dogs frown?

What a dilemma. It's not bad enough that Kathy is climbing all over me for a one-time transgression (I should have known better). But, she is doing it the day after the Wine Barge docked.

Yep, James and I have received yet another massive order of great and, in most instances, unbelievably cheap wines from our favorite cult importer in Berkeley, California. Seven and a half cases of the beauties, to be precise.

No, it's not all for me and James. It is for a covey of wine freaks we have gathered to participate in these periodic buys.

And this one is a doozy - a tease, if you will - coming as it does immediately prior to the big buys of October and November when the importer swings the new releases into play.

Each of us got a case - except Jerry, who buys half a case. We each received a slight variation on a theme: several everyday drinker reds, a few higher-grade reds, at least a couple barberas (breaking our normal French pattern), at least one medium high-grade red and - da dah - one Big Guy.

That's 12 bottles for me. From Kathy's perspective, that should hold me three days.

But, no, in fact it will hold me a little better than a month. And that is if I share an occasional glass with Carrie Nation herself. (When the wine is fine, she temporarily drops her objections and is up for an enjoyable, albeit brief, ride on the wine pony.)

And it will hold a bit less than average if we follow through on our plan for a Heck- let's- get-together—and- drink —all-the-Big Guys-at—one-time party.

The point: Why hold on to them? Hey, if you're looking at sitting on a bottle for three or four years, you gotta temper your restraint with the fact you might be dead by then, and some neer-do-well relative will be cracking the high-grade stuff and drinking it out of paper cups during a Broncos telecast as the beverage of choice with a platter of fast-food nachos.

The Big Guys this order are a Domaine de la Charbonnierre, Cuvee Mourre des Perdix 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape.

Whew, that's a mouthful, isn't it?

The darned stuff is ready to go.


What are we waiting for? Why not get together with ten or eleven people, have everyone bring something to eat that's appropriate to the wine, and finish off six bottles of the stuff?

James and I have an intense conversation about the proper food parings as we dive into the shipping cartons and sort out individual orders.

Plenty of things go with a great Chateauneuf du Pape.

We finally light on a perfect entrée.

Braised lamb shanks.

I'll trim and season lamb shanks, then brown them on all sides in a brasier.

I'll take the shanks from the pan and put them on a warm plate, add a touch more oil to the pan then throw in a mess of large-dice onion and carrot. I'll cook the veggies until they get all golden good, hurl in some celery, cook a while longer then toss in at least one and a half heads of garlic, the cloves thinly sliced and a couple tablespoons tomato paste. I'll continue cooking for a minute or two in order to get the tomato to a dark, reddish brown color. Then, in will go a serious measure of red wine (compatible with the Big Guy) to deglaze and reduce. When the wine is down by half, I'll add a bunch of stock, jury rigged with veal demi-glace. A cover goes on after the shanks are put back in, the liquid is brought to a slow boil and the pan goes in a 300 oven where the mix braises for an hour or so. The batch is degreased and some thyme, parsley and black pepper are added and back into the oven it goes for at least another hour, or until the meat is flat-out ready to fall off the bone.

The lamb comes out, the sauce is strained, reseasoned and reduced on the stovetop - slicked up off the heat with a heroic knob of butter. A shank. Some sauce. A starch. A salad.


For everyone but Kathy, who hates lamb.

To repeat: Perfect.

I'm up for the idea. And I'll do it if I can get my oven repaired (another story).

The sooner the better.

It's only a matter of time before Carrie Nation heads for the wine cellar with a hammer.

But, after all, it'll be for my own good Š won't it?


Extension Viewpoints

Meeting to consider Stollsteimer Creek Watershed plan

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Oct. 3 - 6:30 p.m., Colorado Kids Club meeting.

Oct. 5 - 7 p.m., Shady Pine Club meeting.

Oct. 6 - 2:15 p.m., Colorado Mountaineers Club meeting.

Watershed public meeting

A public meeting will be held at the Vista Clubhouse at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 10 to present the Master Plan for the Stollsteimer Creek Watershed.

This plan includes a detailed study of the watershed and recommendations and design plans to improve and protect the watershed. There will be an opportunity for questions and comments after a 30-minute presentation. Refreshments will be served.

The Stollsteimer Creek Watershed encompasses an approximately 82,000-acre area from the lower portions of Pagosa Peak area down to the confluence of Stollsteimer Creek and the Piedra River, and includes portions of the Town of Pagosa Springs, all of the Pagosa Lakes subdivisions, portions of the National Forest, Southern Ute Tribal lands, large portions of the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District and most of Aspen Springs.

With your support, this watershed plan will help positively impact decisions made in the watershed for years to come.

Fall fertilizing

Fall is the best time of year to fertilize Colorado's bluegrass lawns.

Promotions about "lawn winterization" may sound mysterious, but there's nothing magical about it. Simply fertilize with nitrogen some time during late September through the early part of October if you live in the mountains.

Apply at least one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. If you're using a natural organic fertilizer like dehydrated poultry waste, you can double the rate. Also double the rate for non-organic fertilizers if this is the only time of year you fertilize, or if you fertilize just one other time in early summer.

Remember that turf must be green when nitrogen is applied. Also, make sure that the soil is moist so the nitrogen will dissolve easily. If not, irrigate and wait a day before fertilizing. Fertilizer applied to very dry, cold soil or to dormant turf won't be used efficiently.

While nitrogen is the most important nutrient, there is no harm if fertilizers also contain some phosphorous or potassium.

The benefits of fall fertilizing include a healthier turf before winter, a healthier root system, and a stimulated turf that greens up earlier in the spring without excessive top growth. Fall fertilization produces dense, green spring lawns without the mowing chores that come with spring fertilization. It should be a part of every good lawn care program.


Pagosa Lakes News

PLPOA Recreation Center pool to close for repairs

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

This is another reminder that the pools and hot tub at the recreation center will be closed from Thursday, Oct. 5 through the rest of that month.

Work that will be done during the closure will include resurfacing the pools; resealing of all woodwork, which includes the glue-lam beams that are accessible only from a tall scaffolding erected on the empty pool floor; cleaning and etching the pool deck with acid; servicing in-pool light fixtures; repairs and maintenance to the pool filtration system; and the list goes on.

We urge our members to be patient, to exercise flexibility by pursuing alternative types of workout, and to bear in mind that there isn't a perfect time for facility closure. No matter when we carry out the work, someone will deem the timing as ill-conceived.

It has been 10 years since the pool was last replastered. Last September, when the pool was drained for routine cleaning and maintenance, we also patched many pits in the pool plaster. One of our regular members, when he came back to swim, commented that raccoons had left marks while cavorting in the empty pool. He was dead serious and did not believe markings were left by humans. What else can I say?

I like where I live. I like it that so many folks who live here choose to play outdoors. This is the time of year when nature conspires to keep us outside with its polychromatic display.

Returning from Grand Junction last weekend, Tom and I drove over Red Mountain Pass. The beauty of fresh snow against evergreen, flaming aspens and dark hunks of rocks was a sensory overload. At that moment, I wished my mother could share of the experience with me. She'll never be able to because of her physical handicap. At best, she'll see the beauty I see captured on film through her rheumy eyes.

As you plan the rest of your lives, I thought you'd be interested in knowing that Archuleta County made the list of 25 counties with the highest life expectancy in the country.

The author of the article, "Where you live linked to life expectancy," Lauran Neegaard, an Associated Press medical writer, talks about the different factors that affect life expectancies. More than half a dozen counties in Colorado also made the list. Why?

Coloradans have created the environment which assists people in achieving a healthy lifestyle. It's really about how we eat, how we behave and how prone we are to physical activity. All of these in turn influence those health risks that we inherit from our ancestors.

On that high note, consider lacing up your tennies and getting out for a walk. Breathe that crisp mountain air and repeat after me Š "I love this place. I hate to have to go on vacation." There's no hidden meaning. I'm merely repeating what my sister from Singapore said when she was visiting Pagosa.

Stocking project

All four of the Pagosa Lakes will be stocked next week with a nice assortment of trout.

It's been a good spring and summer of fishing and this fall is shaping up as a great time to get out and enjoy some beautiful weather and hot action on the lakes. The bass fishing has been outstanding the past couple of weeks as they look to fatten up a bit before winter. The trout fishing, however, cooled just a bit in late August and early September as water temperatures peaked, but the good news is that it seems to be picking back up this past week and the coming weeks typically offer some of the best trout fishing conditions of the year.

We plan on stocking all four lakes Thursday and Friday next week. Hatcher Lake will be stocked with around 600 pounds of 12-14 inch rainbow trout and 300 pounds of 16-18 inch brown trout. Lake Pagosa will be stocked with 500 pounds of 12-14 inch cutbow trout (a rainbow trout and cutthroat trout hybrid). Both Village Lake and Lake Forest will be stocked with around 600 pounds each of 12-14 inch rainbow trout. The warm days and cool nights of fall are here and it is a great time to get out and enjoy the weather and take advantage of some newly stocked lakes.

Forest work

Have you seen the blue and orange flagging in the forest? Is this in preparation for the next Bronco's game?

Forest Service personnel from the Pagosa Ranger District have been using the colored flags to designate unit boundaries for an upcoming fuels reduction and forest health project under the Turkey Springs Environmental Assessment.

Oak brush and small trees will be thinned to reduce ladder fuels under larger trees and to reduce the risk of a crown fire in the area. Approximately 900 acres will be treated along Newt Jack Road and adjacent to the Pagosa Highlands Estates, Lake Hatcher Park and Martinez Mountain Estates.

A contractor will use mowing machines to mow and shred vegetation. These machines look like large front-end loaders with an 8-foot rotary blade deck mounted on the front.

Work could begin fall/ winter 2006 or spring/summer 2007.

Please use caution when in an area where this equipment is working. The mowers can propel debris up to 300 feet in all directions.

For more information, contact Scott Wagner, 264-1511.



Kylie Lane Ketchum


Jess and Casey Ketchum have been blessed with a baby girl. Kylie Lane Ketchum was born on Aug. 17, 2006 at 3:19 AM at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, Colorado. She weighed 5 pounds, 6.7 ounces and was 19 inches long. Her loving grandparents are Clyde and Adelia Ketchum and Doug and Barbara Smith of Pagosa Springs.



V. Robert Hayles

V. Robert Hayles was born September 29, 1921, to parents Champion and Mamie Hayles in Wichita, Kansas. He departed this life on September 21, 2006. He was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy L. Hayles on November 21, 2002, after 56 years of marriage. He is survived by his son, Dr. V. Robert Hayles, Jr., his wife, Debra Fuller Hayles, and son Andrew Hahn. He is also survived by his sister, Irene A. Weaver, and sisters-in-law Doris Hayles, Lucille Hayles and Erlyne Bell. He leaves many nieces, nephews, and close loving friends. His other siblings, two sisters (Emma and Elsie Hayles) and five brothers Sidney, Almond, James, Windle, and Sylvester) are deceased.

Robert was a veteran of WWII and retired from the Department of Labor in Kansas City, Missouri on July 1, 1984. He formerly resided in Wichita, Topeka and Prairie Village, Kansas. He and Nancy moved to Pagosa Springs in 1984 and finally to Colorado Springs in 1995.

Viewing was Wednesday, September 27, 2006, at Blunt Mortuary, 2229 W. Colorado Blvd., Colorado Springs, Colorado and services will begin there today at 1 p.m. He will be entombed at Memorial Gardens after the services at the mortuary. Family and friends are invited to the celebration of his life.

Robert asked that flowers not be sent. Rather, he requested that contributions to charities be made. His family asks that he be remembered for his wisdom, kindness, patience, generosity, and strength of character.


 Business News

Chamber News

Get ready for annual SunDowner sign-up

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Snow on the mountains, the smell of green chiles in the air and lively music all made for a great autumn afternoon Sunday in Town Park.

The musical group Brave Combo lived up to its awesome reputation for getting members of the crowd on their feet as they performed a free concert at the inaugural Mountain Chile Cha Cha. The activity field was alive with green chile roasters, food vendors and activities for the kids.

On Saturday, about 20 participants arrived in togas, funky hats, and other lively attire for the first Cruise-A-Thong, the race for the Average Joe. Numerous rest stops awaited the never-over-exerted participant. It was comical to watch the contestants work to "slow down" for this race. It was a "race" after all! The most Average Joe award went to Ron Bubb - Mr. Casual!

We look forward to another year of chiles, colors and music when the Cha Cha returns next fall. Thanks to Dan Appenzeller and Crista Munro for producing this event.

SunDowner sign-up

This is your last reminder for the SunDowner sign-up, Monday, Oct. 2. The official time to register is 8 a.m., however, numerous businesses arrive at the Chamber much earlier, especially if they want to host their event in a particular month.

For those who are interested in hosting an after-hours function, here are the guidelines.

There are 10 SunDowners held during the year. There is no SunDowner in January due to the annual meeting and no SunDowner in September due to Colorfest.

Interested hosts should arrive at the Chamber early Monday, Oct. 2, to sign up for their function. Some businesses arrive as early as 5:30 a.m.! When you arrive, there will be numbers posted on the porch, from 1-13. Grab a number; the lower your number, the better chance you have of securing a particular month. If you don't care, then a higher number should be just fine.

Numbers 1-10 will be given a month. Numbers 11-13 will be alternates. There is usually at least one business that drops out during the year.

By the time we arrive and open the doors at 8 a.m., everyone has already figured out the SunDowner order and we are there to record the results. The mornings have been cold, so dress warm! There will be coffee and goodies to sustain you while you wait.

This tradition seems to grow every year. Everyone is such a good sport and there develops a sense of camaraderie. So, set your alarm clocks just a little earlier on Oct. 2 and head down to the Chamber to sign up for the 2007 SunDowners. For more information, call us at 274-2360.

Chamber survey review

We will be reveal the results of the Chamber survey taken last summer in the October issue of the Chamber newsletter. There were 96 responses, giving us a 17 percent response rate. Not bad, but we were hoping for at least 20 percent. Thank you to all the members who took the time to complete the online form produced by 9g Enterprises.

I will leave the details of the results to the newsletter, but the information is very informative. Many of the concerns were not new to the staff or board of directors, and they are issues that we have been or are currently working on, such as improving the Web site, marketing and facility management.

We look forward to sharing the results of the survey, the fruits of our labor, and we hope the community sees the work that staff and board are putting into the process. We always welcome comments, and you can e-mail us

Nominations for Chamber board representatives are also just around the corner. If you would like to find out more about serving on the Chamber board of directors, give me a call. You must be a representative of a current Chamber member business in order to serve; terms are for three years. We love to have a mix of members, male and female, and a variety of business representation. Get involved.

Community reminders

Auditions for the Music Booster's production of "Nuncrackers" will be held tomorrow, Sept. 29, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the high school band room. There are slots for adults and children. The performances will be Nov. 30 , Dec. 1-2. This comical musical production will bring back the talents of Sister Mary McKeehan and Sister Kathy Isberg, so join their antics and try out for a character in "Nuncrackers." For more information, contact Dale Morris at 731-3370.

On Saturday, Sept. 30, at 3 p.m. the Ruby Sisson Library will host "Engineers Without Borders" with Don May, professor of engineering at Fort Lewis College. May and 17 students went to Thailand to develop appropriate and sustainable solutions to technical problems at the village level and implemented those solutions - including a 6,000-meter water supply pipeline and a school addition. They addressed some life-threatening health practices and gained an understanding of cultural and economic factors affecting this rural community in a developing country. This talk is free and is just one in a continuing series of talks offered by the Lifelong Learning program in conjunction with the college. Future talks will be: Glaciers, Ice Sheets and Sea-Level Rise; Great Geezer Artists; the Venus Figurine Controversy; and How Does That Work? Pick up a schedule at the library for these Saturday afternoon speaker events. What a great benefit to our community to have some of these notable professors come over and share their experiences and knowledge.

Also on Saturday, Sept. 30, the Durango bluegrass band Badly Bent will perform at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, starting at 7 p.m. This award-winning band is being presented by the Elation Center for the Arts, a new Chamber member. Tickets are available at WolfTracks , at, or you can call 731-3117.

Leanne Goebel will present a session on "Writing Your Life Story: How to Begin" Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the senior center. The two-hour class, 10 a.m. to noon, will start with how to write a memoir and the participants will end the morning session with a writing exercise. Come learn from this talented local resident as she starts you on your trip of remembering and writing about your life.

For those who want to hone their Spanish speaking skills, Anna O'Reilly will present Spanish Conversation Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 at the Education Center on Lewis Street, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. This class will give participants an opportunity to engage their Spanish speaking skills and listen and speak to others in this regionally important language.

Business bites

We have quite a few business open houses and anniversaries to mention this week. First on the list is the Harvest Festival Potluck Party sponsored by Growing Spaces. What a perfect opportunity for community members to share their growing stories, tips and tricks, and food with others. The party will be held at 1830 Majestic Drive in Piedra Estates from 3 to 4:30 p.m. A tour of the growing dome and manufacturing facility will start at 5, and the live music and campfire will begin at dusk. Celebrate fall with gifts from the land at this Growing Spaces Harvest Festival.

Pat Kahn at Victoria's Reign will be celebrating her 11th anniversary with an anniversary and pre-Christmas party 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, and 9-3 Sunday, Oct. 8. At this open house you will be able to experience some tasty treats, 20 percent off all items except sale items, and receive a free gift with purchase. Congratulate Pat and Gordon on another year of great product and service to our community. Locals can reap the benefits of her anniversary sale.

Then, on Thursday, Oct. 19, LaVonne Wilson of Home Again will have a very special dinner and demonstration affair. You can experience dinner, wine and demos on bow making and fall flower ideas and arrangements from 6 to 8 p.m., all for just $20. The dinner will be held at the store, so seating is limited. Call 264-3159 to reserve your spot. There will also be a 15-percent discount that night only on fall flowers, fall ribbon and containers. Prizes will also be given out.

Our local merchants are very creative, and they make shopping special for our residents. Take advantage of all these opportunities.


Two new members join the Chamber this week.

The first business is a new non-profit agency, the Elation Center for the Arts. This organization cultivates appreciation for the arts by offering life enrichment programs focused on preserving our cultural heritage. Programs include classes for students of all ages and backgrounds and offer performance opportunities for accomplished and aspiring artists, community concerts, school assemblies and residencies. Their current classes are Women's Hand Drumming, Native American flute and Clogging. For more information on the Elation Center for the Arts, contact Paul Roberts at 731-3117.

Joining from out of the area, we welcome Kathryn Retzler and San Juan Publishing. San Juan Publishing has been publishing fine magazines and books since 1996. They are the publishers of the San Juan Silver Stage, and the Royal Gorge Train, previously All Aboard magazines. Their beautiful books and visitor guides are well known in the southwestern area. You can check out their publications online at or give Kathryn a call at (970) 626-2000.

We welcome back Citizens Bank, Susan Kuhns and Pagosa Womens Health and Wellness, Richard and Susan Hampton and Black Bear Custom Homes, Creative Spirit Enterprises with Lyn DeLange, Bruce Spruce Ranch, Ken and Linda Morrison and Pagosa Insurance Agency, Dr. William Thornell and Pagosa Dental, Lynne Killey and Queen Bee Enterprises, Curt Christensen, CPA, Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts, Inc., the Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center, PACK, and associate member Elmer Schettler.

The snows subsided to give us a gorgeous Mountain Chile Cha-Cha day last Sunday. Enjoy the beautiful Indian summer season and get out and play in your huge, colorful, backyard filled with lakes, mountains, rivers and beauty. Remember why you live here and what you really love about our great outdoors.


Biz Beat

No article this week.



Cards of Thanks


I want everyone to know that my daughter, Kelly Glannon, who lives in Kansas City, Missouri, is in remission. She was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in December of last year and she went through intense chemo.

We are hoping she will be here for a short visit this fall and she can thank you personally for your prayers which brought about her current status.

Cindy Gustafson


Whispering Pines

Whispering Pines would like to thank the following participants for assisting in distributing a donation of 4-H beef to local churches and to those in need: Community United Methodist Church, Loaves and Fishes, Grace Evangelical Free Church, Seeds of Learning, Whispering Pines office staff, Whispering Pines sales office staff.



To all my dear friends:

I'd like to take this time to thank all of you for the outpouring of prayer, love and concern for me and my family during my recent illness. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by such caring friends. God bless you all.

Dennis Yerton



No weddings this week.


No engagements this week.



Reverend Phil and Mary Jo Janowsky

Reverend Phil and Mary Jo Janowsky will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary Oct. 6.

Their children - Peggy, Dan, Andy and Mark - invite their community friends to join them at a reception in their honor Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. at the community center.



No locals this week.


Sports Page

Pirate football back on track with win over Buena Vista

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Pirate football broke a three-game losing streak in a tight, come-from-behind victory against Buena Vista Friday, winning 18-14 to go 1-1 in league play and 2-3 on the season.

The game was punctuated by two long touchdown receptions by John Hoffman in the first and fourth quarter (for 86 and 62 yards).

After the first touchdown catch along the weak sideline, Buena Vista blocked the attempted PAT, making it necessary for the Pirates to eventually find the end zone three times for the win.

The second touchdown illustrated the intensity the Pirates relied on for their victory.

The quick scoring drive began following Buena Vista's second touchdown. Hoffman received the kickoff, and refused to go down easily, dragging multiple tacklers 10 yards, after being hit, to the 38-yard line.

On the next play, Hoffman duplicated the effort with another sideline catch that he cut back to the middle, breaking tackles all the way to the end zone.

The touchdown brought the Pirates into striking distance. With a failed two-point conversion, the score rested at 14-12.

After a 66-yard drive, the Pirates scored again in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

Key catches by Corbin Mellette, Derek Harper and Kerry Joe Hilsabeck, put quarterback Jordan Shaffer in place to push the ball over the goal line, after three consecutive runs.

Shaffer, who completed nine of 13 passes, threw for nearly 230 yards, 160 coming from Hoffman.

Like the offense, the Pirate defense put in a determined effort, thwarting Buena Vista's run-loving offense and standing firm against seven out of nine drives.

Demon quarterback Jake Fickle, who consistently runs for 200 yards in a game, was held to 165 yards. Running back Jordan Graff was likewise limited in yardage, though he has run for over 300 yards in a single game this season.

The Demons ran a single play repeatedly - Fickle faking the hand-off to Graff, then running off the left tackle. The play was often successful, but Buena Vista lacked the variety of threats needed to pull in a victory.

Both Fickle and Graff scored a touchdown for Buena Vista against the Pirates. But the Pirate's improved tackling kept them from running the game out of reach.

Fickle's TD came in the second quarter after a 71 yard drive on a quarterback keeper. Graff's came early in the fourth after a drive from midfield (aided by a face mask penalty) on a 9-yard run up the middle.

The defense's defiance was evident during Buena Vista's first two drives. The Pirates held the Demons with a sack by Harper and Zane Kraetsch and a tackle for a 6-yard loss by Adam Trujillo and David Dunmyre in the first drive. The second ended after a Casey Hart tackle in the backfield.

The defensive will held throughout the game.

Buena Vista threatened at the start of the second half, with a long kickoff return that nearly broke away. Dan Cammack chased the runner down from behind with a diving shoe-string tackle. If not for the effort, a squad of blockers could have seen the return into the end zone.

After the Pirates went up in the final minutes, the defense stifled any hopes of a demon comeback. The stand was cinched by a near-sack by Hart and Corbin Mellette, which forced Fickle to throw the ball into the turf, drawing a flag for intentional grounding.

Mellette went in to the game as a linebacker in the second half and made a strong showing as a headhunter.

Kraetsch and Joe Ducharme led the Pirates with six tackles and six assists each.

Coach Sean O'Donnell showed heightened intensity from the sidelines, as well. "We had our backs against the wall ... one more league loss would make it difficult to get in the playoffs," he said.

O'Donnell went on to say the Pirates have control of their destiny, but will face the same pressure every league game.

The Pirates still face a tough league schedule, playing Centauri, Monte Vista and Bayfield in the weeks to come.

Monte Vista is currently ranked in the top 10 in the state. Pagosa will have to knock them out of the standings, as they did Buena Vista this week.

But the Pirates "can't look past any team," said O'Donnell.

Bayfield has improved throughout the season and Centauri is a bit of an unknown.

First, the Pirates will have to contend with an off week, put into the schedule after Lake County dropped out of the league.

O'Donnell said he's never been in this position before - a bye week in the middle of the season - and knows it will be a challenge to maintain the team's intensity.

But a bye week has a positive side. The Pirates will have a chance to heal up, immediately before the final surge to the playoffs.

O'Donnell gave the team Monday off; they will take tomorrow off from practice as well, to do volunteer community service.

Next Friday, the team will face Durango in a non-league game. Durango is a larger, 4A team, with a 1-3 record. However, the Demons beat Kirtland Central, which handed the Pirates their second defeat.

The game should give the Pirates a chance to build up their intensity level, after the week off, in preparation for their game against Centauri, at home, on Friday the 13th - a day of good omen, if you're a buccaneer.


Riedberger qualifies for state golf tournament

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Pirate golfer Clark Riedberger qualified for the state tournament, shooting a 76 in the regional tournament at Colorado City's Hollydot Golf Course last Thursday - six shots behind the leader, five over par.

Riedberger was joined at the tournament by teammates Clay Vickers, Caleb Burggraaf and Josh Pringle - who also put in solid performances, according to Coach Mark Faber, but did not qualify.

Over 100 high schoolers and 26 teams competed at Hollydot. The top two teams and a select few individuals (such as Riedberger) will go on to compete at state.

The Pirates finished 10th as a team.

The state tournament will be in Steamboat Springs at the Haymaker course. The two-day tournament will begin on Monday for Riedberger.


21 couples play Fall Frolic tourney

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Springs Golf Club hosted its annual 54-hole Fall Frolic Couples Golf Tournament, Sept. 16-17.

The 21 couples played the Meadows course in a scramble format; an alternate shot format on the Ponderosa course, and a best ball format on the Pinon course both days. Despite incredibly windy and cooler conditions both days, all participants persevered, and finished the two-day, 54-hole marathon.

Marilyn and Lee Smart led the Pagosa contingent with a 195, to capture first place net in the First Flight. Other Pagosa club participants included Audrey Johnson and Norm Utz, Cherry and Mike O'Donnell, Sue Martin and Rich Broom, and Nancy and Russ Mackensen.


Cross country girls put together perfect meet

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

In the only home meet of the season, Pirate girls' cross country runners claimed the top four finishes, for a perfect team score, while the boys' team finished second to Bayfield, but claimed a victory of its own.

Jaclyn Harms won the girls' race, finishing at 21 minutes, 8 seconds, followed immediately by Julia Adams, Jessica Lynch and Laurel Reinhardt. The top four girls finished within 30 seconds of each other.

Jackson Walsh won the boys' race, at 17:36, followed 10 seconds later by Travis Furman in third.

Despite strong competition, the girls pulled off the feat of sweeping the podium, plus fourth. "This is a truly amazing team that these girls have created," said Coach Scott Anderson. "Any one of our top four runners has the potential to win a race, and even with that potential they still work extremely well together, never getting jealous when one or the other has a better day.

"Our main goal from here is to keep focused and continue to work together to improve within ourselves, as we will most likely not be seriously challenged until the end of the year," said Anderson.

The boys' team continued to come closer to state champion Bayfield's team score.

Walsh won his second race of the year. He and Furman have consistently finished in the front of the pack - this time after an exciting finish to the race.

"The guys' race was amazing. They ran a smart and patient race, waiting until the last 600 meters to attack, and when the attack came, it was amazing. There was a four way battle with several lead changes, and it wasn't really decided until Jackson pulled away in the last 20 meters," said Anderson.

The Pirates will run in Mancos Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m., followed by a week off from competition, which will allow the Pirates to rest up before the more competitive stretch of the season, leading to the state meet.


Pirate soccer team wins two, Crested Butte here Saturday

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Pirate soccer netted two wins this week, against Farmington Saturday (7-0) and Bayfield Tuesday (4-2), to continue a five-game winning streak and build a record of 4-1 league, 5-3 overall.

The Pirates played Farmington's JV at home last Saturday and got off to a quick start with four scoring shots from Shan Webb in the first 20 minutes.

Farmington should have sent their varsity.

Webb scored twice within one minute, early in the half. Both goals came off of his incredible speed.

For the first goal, Webb beat several defenders on a run from midfield. About a minute later, he beat a defender to a free ball in front of the net and kicked it in.

Webb scored again on a break after a bounding ball, which he controlled with a header, 15 minutes into the half; on a ground shot that slipped under the opposing goalie's hands, 19 minutes in; and on another run-on-goal from midfield midway into the second half.

Despite Webb's five goals, the Pirates were anything but a one-man team. Throughout the game, the team supported its speedy striker with strong play at midfield, allowing offensive conversions.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason highlighted the "great team effort" - citing the team's consistency at making space in the center and moving to the open field.

Additionally, forward Profirio Palma had several scoring opportunities in the box and converted for one goal in the first half, while Clayton King scored late in the second half off of a two-on-one finesse pass from Webb.

The blowout came despite the absence of Caleb Ormonde and Kevin Blue - both all-conference caliber players at midfield.

The Pirates brought in another decisive victory against formidable league rival, Bayfield, in an away game Tuesday night.

Again, Webb led the team with four goals, number one coming in the first five minutes, with one assist each from Palma and Thomas Martinez.

Webb had 14 shots in the game, many coming after beating defenders one-on-one.

But again, Kurt-Mason ascribed the win to a solid team-effort. Early in the game, the Pirates got a shot off every two minutes. When they got ahead, Kurt-Mason encouraged them to play possession, and they controlled the tempo at midfield for the rest of the game.

Bayfield's final goal came in the last minutes of the game, after the Pirates relaxed, smelling victory - making the game appear closer than it actually was.

Kurt-Mason said the wings played exceptionally well during the game, spreading out the offense and opening the middle for shots on goal.

He also singled out midfielder Blue for his defense against Bayfield star and threat, Juan Guzman.

Blue seemed to win every ball in the air, said Kurt-Mason.

Felix Gutierez had seven saves in each game and only allowed one goal.

The Pirates play conference leader, Crested Butte, 4-0 in league play, this Saturday. The game is at 11 a.m. at Golden Peaks Stadium.

Kurt-Mason is confident that if his team keeps up the strategically sound play, it will pull in a key victory.

The Pirates have momentum and morale on their side: "They're a fun team to be around; they have a lot of zip ... and they leave everything on the field," said Kurt-Mason.


Pirate volleyball beats Centauri in five, now 2-0 in IML

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It was a critically important volleyball match.

For both teams.

It's early in the Intermountain League schedule, but when Pagosa visited Centauri's gym Saturday night, each team was in the must-win mode.

The gym was loud, the environment typical of the sports-savvy environment in La Jara.

Centauri, last year's league and district champ, had lost its IML opener to a formidable Bayfield six and needed to get in the win column. The Pirates had one league win on the books and were looking to stay even with Bayfield - looking at a Sept. 30 battle with the Wolverines.

The Pirates got it done.

The hard way.

In five games, 25-18, 18-25,18-25, 25-12, 15-8.

Beside the victory, and perhaps more important, was the confirmation that this year's team has the determination and the ability to win the tough match, to dig itself out of a hole, to persist to the last point.

Pagosa got off to a good start, taking a 5-1 lead in the first game, helped by a kill from middle hitter Jennifer Haynes and a stuff block for a point on the next play by Haynes. The home team then ran off four straight points to knot the score.

With kills from outside by Camille Rand and Kim Canty, a successful attack of the short set in the middle by Danielle Spencer (who hit the ball with strength all night long) an ace by Haynes and a stuff by Spencer, the Pirates had what appeared to be a comfortable 13-7 advantage.

Kim Fulmer began what would be an impressive night on offense with a kill, helping her team to a 16-9 lead.

With the Pirates up 16-12, Haynes crushed a short set, Fulmer stuffed a Falcon for a point then nailed a kill from outside. Centauri managed six more points in the match, five courtesy of Pagosa errors in a tightly and, at times, oddly officiated game, but Pagosa got the win, riding points by Fulmer (on a tip of a Falcon overpass) and a kill off the block by Rand.

Pagosa had momentum, but lost it near mid game in the second go-round. The Pirates led early, 4-2 and 6-4, before a Pagosa ball went out and the Pirates were called on a lift. Rand got the lead back at 6-6, then the dam broke, with five consecutive unforced errors by the Pirates. The home team was ahead 11-7 and would not trail again.

Near game's end, the Falcons held a 21-10 lead, but the Pirates showed the determination that would produce the eventual match win.

Erin Gable killed for a point, then teamed with Haynes on a stuff. Rand put a free ball down, Spencer crushed two quick sets in the middle, Mariah Howell hit an ace. Though they lost the game, the Pirates outscored Centauri 8-4 down the stretch in the effort.

The run didn't dampen the hosts' enthusiasm. The Falcons went ahead 4-0 in the third game, and never looked back. For Pagosa's part, the reaction to the onslaught was a circus of errors, handing over point after point to the home team.

With her team trailing 9-14, Fulmer nailed a put-back of an errant Falcon pass then scored with a kill from the strong side. The brief run ended, however, as Pagosa gave up five unearned points in a six-point explosion by Centauri, to fall behind 11-20. There was no making up ground; Centauri got four charity points and went to game point, 24-14.

Then, as in the second game, Pagosa showed some spine. Rand came up big with a kill off the block. Centauri was called for a double hit, Spencer converted the 1 and Haynes served up an ace. The Pirates had 18 points before the Centauri middle ended the game, crushing a Pagosa pass that strayed above the net.

With their backs against the wall, the Pirates went out to a 7-2 lead in game four. Alaina Garman started what would be a key performance on offense going to the strong side and putting a kill to the floor. On the way to the lead, the Pirates got earned points on a kill by Rand and two more successful attacks by Garman.

Centauri was not finished, and used a bevy of Pagosa errors to take a 9-8 lead.

It would be the Falcons' last lead in the game. Rand got points with a kill and an ace. Spencer converted the 1 and a Falcon lift put Pagosa up 12-9. The Pirates got a kill from Canty, an ace from Spencer and three gifts from the hosts to extend the advantage to 17-10. Then, it was a race to the barn, with the Falcons getting one point on a Pagosa hitting error and the Pirates surging to the win with a stuff by Fulmer, a tip by Haynes, a tip by Garman and an ace by Fulmer that rolled down off the tape.

It came down to a fifth game, to 15.

Centauri got the first point, on a double hit by the Pirates, and it was the last time the home team would have the lead.

Garman provided the spark that ignited the Pirate attack. The senior outside hitter nailed a kill off the pass then put another kill down from the right side. Fulmer hit an ace, Centauri was called for lifts on two consecutive exchanges. The Pirates led 5-3 - a crucial advantage in a game to 15.

A Centauri hitter nailed a kill from outside and the Falcons got a point on a Pagosa passing error.

Garman took the momentum back with a kill cross-court from the right side. Centauri was called for a lift, the Pagosa blocks were up, causing a Falcon hitting error, Haynes hit an ace, the blocking again forced an error on Centauri's side of the net. Pagosa was in front 10-3.

A rotation error cost Pagosa a point and a Falcon hitter put a ball down from outside. The Falcons surrendered a point with a serve mistake then stuffed the Pirate quick attack in the middle for a point.

Spencer halted the Falcons with a stuff of her own. The Pirate blockers were in place yet again and a Falcon was called for a hitting error on a tip. A Falcon attack went out and Pagosa was at game, and match point. The victory came as Canty went up on the strong side and put the ball to the floor off a Falcon defender's hands.

The victory put the Pirates at 5-4 on the season but, most importantly, sends the team to the Sept. 30 meeting with Bayfield tied for the IML lead.

"Our players fought hard," said coach Andy Rice. "Their heart was good. Our setting was better, especially on our quick sets. Our passing was good and everyone played their role. We had thirteen aces versus ten serve errors. Our defense was solid and our tip coverage was there. Danielle Spencer stepped up her game and hit three-thirteen (.313) with three stuff blocks. She was an emotional leader out on the floor. And Alaina Garman came off the bench after not playing the first two games and hit four twenty-one with ten kills and only two errors. Kim Fulmer stepped up her game, too.

Garman and Fulmer each had 10 kills.

Fulmer and Haynes each hit three ace serves.

Haynes and Spencer each contributed three solo blocks, allowing the team to meet a goal of more than one player with two or more stuffs.

Canty had 24 assists against Centauri, Gabel eight.

Mariah Howell led the way with 12 digs, Iris Frye had 10."

The biggest match of they year takes place Saturday at 7 p.m. as the Pirates and Wolverines clash at the PSHS gym.

"Both teams are unbeaten in league," said Rice, "and the schedule lends itself to a classic, early-season battle. Both teams have now beaten last year's league champ. Bayfield is on a roll; they're scrappy and cohesive; they present a unique set of challenges. They are very solid. What a match: It should be as exciting a match as we've seen here in quite a while."

Following the Bayfield match, the Pirates go to a nonleague schedule for a week, traveling first to Durango Tuesday for a 7 p.m. battle with the 5A Demons.


Pirates fall in five to Kirtland, Bayfield here Saturday

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It was a Pirate loss, but it was one of the most entertaining volleyball matches seen in the PSHS gym in a long time - the kind of match that can make a devoted fan out of a first-time spectator.

Pagosa's loss came in five games, to Kirtland Central - the No. 2 Class 4A team in New Mexico last season - 25-21, 18-25,16-25, 25-22, 11-15.

The Broncos are without some of the firepower shown by last year's team. The firepower belonged to the Pirates, so long as their fast-paced offense clicked. What the Broncos had was a great serve receive, a strong backcourt, great court sense (in particular with the tipping game) and smart setting. What the Pirates suffered was a lack of execution at critical junctures in the match.

But, not much in the first game, as the Pirate outside attack was at its strongest thus far this season. Transitions from passer to setter to hitter were fast and the Broncos were caught in a defensive mode throughout the game.

The first half of the game went the Broncos' way, as the visitors took a 12-6 lead but, with two kills by senior outside Kim Fulmer, and a passing error by Kirtland, the Pirates closed the gap to 12-9.

Fueled by a stuff of a sweep by the Bronco setter by middle blocker Jennifer Haynes, and a successful tip by Haynes, the Pirates put together a run to tie the game 14-14.

The game stayed close, with the Pirates taking two-point leads and the Broncos scrambling to tie. Up to 18-16, following a rousing kill from the strong side by Camille Rand a successful deep push by Mariah Howell from the back court and an ace by Erin Gabel, the Pirates were unable to protect the advantage, It was a three-point run, with a kill by Kim Canty from the right side and another by Fulmer from the strong side, that put Pagosa went ahead to stay, 21-18. Danielle Spencer put a 1 inside the block for the only other earned point as the Pirates captured the first game.

The second game of the match stayed close, with the teams tied at 5, 6, 9, and 12. Pagosa scored with kills by Haynes (2), Canty and Fulmer and on aces by Canty and Haynes. The teams were tied 13-13 when a 6-1 Bronco run gave the visitors a lead they wouldn't surrender. Pagosa's quick offense to the middle broke down, with the sets and timing off; passes were not accurate and fewer sets went to the outside attack that had been so effective in the opening game. Kirtland's game.

The third game also went to the Broncos as Pagosa gave away point after point with disjointed play, including five points with serve errors.

The Pirates needed the fourth game to stay alive, and they got it in exciting fashion, the teams neck and neck until the final three points of the contest.

Pagosa's outside attack came alive again, with Rand firing away from the strong side, getting a kill cross court off a deep set, another kill out off the block and a point on a tip. Spencer hit a 1 and Fulmer went cross court to the line. Canty hit two aces and the game was tied 10-10.

Kirtland's attack widened in the third and fourth games, with several quick sets to the middle, a successful slide in game four and several accurate plays off shoot sets. Rand continued to blast kills from the strong side, Fulmer hit out off the block and Pagosa was ahead 17-13. The teams traded points with errors and the Pirates led 19-16. Three consecutive Pagosa hitting errors erased the advantage and it was anyone's game at 19-19. A Bronco serve went out; a Bronco hit a back-row attack cross court for a point: 20-20. Rand came up big from the strong side with a kill through the block and a Kirtland hit went out. A Pagosa serve error gave away a point and a Bronco hit successfully off the block: 22-22.

Kirtland made a critical serve mistake to surrender a point. Rand put a kill down off a Bronco blocker's hands. A Kirtland attack went out of bounds.

And the fans got to see a fifth game, to 15.

Each team benefitted from the opponent's mistakes and from some effective offense as they went to a 9-9 tie. Pagosa got earned points on a stuff by Haynes, a tip by Alaina Garman on the right side, a kill by Rand, a tremendous drive by Gabel cross court, and an ace by Canty.

Kirtland broke the tie with a tip - a move the Broncos used well throughout the match. A Pirate passing error gave away a point and the Broncos tipped again for the 12-9 lead.

The Kirtland serve went out, but the Bronco middle stole any Pagosa momentum with a kill off the block.

A Kirtland serve went into the net as the visitors seemed willing to let the hosts back into the game.

Any hope vanished, however, with a Pirate attack out of bounds, and a Kirtland ace on a Pagosa serve-receive mistake.

Rand had her career-best performance with 17 kills during the match. Fulmer, too, shone for the Pirates, with 10 kills. Canty logged 25 assists, Gabel 17. Canty hit three aces, Haynes two. Haynes had four solo blocks against the Broncos. Libero Iris Frye had 15 digs during the match, Rand had 12.

The Pirates return to the home court Saturday for a critical Intermountain league match against Bayfield. Pagosa and Bayfield are currently tied for the IML lead, with 2-0 records. The varsity match is slated to begin at 7 p.m., but could go earlier depending on the length of C -team and junior varsity matches.

Tuesday, Pagosa travels to Durango for a contest with the 5A Demons.


Pagosa women play 'Remorseful Golf'

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a "Remorseful Golf" format for its league day Sept. 5.

Each member of each foursome could ask one other member of that foursome to replay one shot, one time during the round. So, all participants had to replay a shot at least three times during the round. This format was not very popular with the players as they could be asked to replay a very good shot, and many times the replayed shot was not nearly as good as the one they had to replay. The ladies played the Meadows Pinon courses with a par 72 rating. At the end of the round, each player subtracted her full handicap form her gross score for the net total.

First Flight winners were Doe Stringer, first, with a 66; Bonnie Hoover, second, with a 68; and Cherry O'Donnell, third, with a 77. In the Second Flight, Robyn Alspach captured first with a 67; Katy Threet was second with a 68; and Carol Barrows and Maxine Pechin tied for a third, each with a 78.

In continued action, the association featured a low net format for its league day, Sept. 19. The ladies played the Meadows Ponderosa courses with a 71 par rating.

Lynne Allison captured first place with a 65; Bonnie Hoover placed second with a 68; and Josie Hummel was third with a 69.

The association sent eight of its low handicap players to Pinon Hills Golf Club in Farmington for team play, Sept. 21. The Pagosa ladies persevered in the face of very cold and blustery conditions on recently aerated greens to garner 28 points against the Cortez Conquistador team. The Pagosa contingent included Kay Crumpton, Lynne Allison, Jane Day, Carrie Weisz, Bonnie Hoover, Bev Hudson, Audrey Johnson and Josie Hummel.

The team is currently in seventh place with one more team play event slated for Oct. 5, at the San Juan Country Club in Farmington.


Golf tourney raises money for Operation Helping Hand

On Sept. 9, 80 generous golfers teed off to raise over $5,100 for the local Operation Helping Hand program.

Afternoon showers brought an early end to the fund-raiser, but it was still a huge success for the first-ever annual charity event.

The following sponsors donated generously toward the proceeds and the prizes: Pagosa Springs Golf Club, Lynne Allison, Lindy Bauer, Citizens Bank, Dorothy's Restaurant, Don Ford, Goodman's Department Store, Beverly Hudson, Audrey and Gil Johnson, Matt Mees, Moore and Co. Inc., Big O Tires, Julie Pressley, State Farm Insurance, Treecology, United Building Center, AAA Propane Inc., Robyn Alspach, Jon and Diane Bower, Cruise Planners (Tom and Sally Bish), Fairfield Pagosa, Grace Church, High Country Fire Equipment, Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate, Pagosa Land Company, Bob and Lynn Mollet, The House of Muskets, Ole Miner's Restaurant, Lee and Marilyn Smart, Terry's ACE Hardware and Taminah Framing Gallery.


Pagosa Springs Recreation

Sign up soon for 7-8 youth basketball

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

Registration for 7-8 youth basketball begins Oct. 4.

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department will accept youth basketball registrations for the coed league through Oct. 23.

The 7-8 division season is tentatively scheduled to begin in early November.

Registrations will be available at the recreation office, which is now located upstairs in Town Hall. Registrations will also be available online in Adobe format at (click on the town departments link, then the recreation link).

Cost is $25 per player and $15 for each additional child in the same, immediate family who participates.

Please note that registration for the 9-10 and 11-12 divisions will begin in mid-November; the season for these divisions will not begin until early January.

Coaches and team sponsors for all divisions are needed and appreciated.

Cost for sponsorship is $150, which includes sponsor's name on team uniforms, commemorative plaque with team picture and recognition in media articles.

For more information call 264-4151 Ext. 231 or 232.

Input sought

The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department staff is currently exploring the feasibility of forming separate leagues for boys and girls in the 9- and 10-year-old and 11- and 12-year-old age divisions this year.

Input from local coaches indicates participation among these age groups is higher when teams are divided according to gender, because players tend to feel less intimidated and more comfortable competing in separate leagues.

However, with increased participation comes the probability of fewer games per season due to a potentially higher number of teams, plus the usual constraints of limited facilities and court times.

For the next few weeks, the recreation department staff would like to obtain feedback from coaches, parents and players concerning this proposal.

Anyone interested in commenting can call the department office at 264-4151, Ext. 231 or 232. Comments by e-mail may be sent to or

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter; the decision on whether or not to separate this year's 9-10 and 11-12 youth basketball leagues according to gender will depend heavily on public comment.

Youth soccer

Youth soccer continues tonight at the elementary school with teams in the 11-13 and 9-10 divisions scheduled for play; 11-13 Navy faces 11-13 Maroon at 5 p.m. and Black takes on Navy in the 9-10 contest at 6:10 p.m.

The remainder of the youth soccer schedule for the coming week includes:

- Sept. 30 at Town Park - Black 5-6 vs. Dulce at 9 a.m., Forest 5-6 vs. Dulce at 10:15 a.m., Forest 7-8 vs. Dulce at 9 a.m. and Black 7-8 vs. Dulce at 10:15 a.m.

€Sept. 30 at the elementary school - Maroon 9-10 vs. Dulce at 9 a.m., Black 9-10 vs. Dulce at 10:15 a.m., Orange 11-13 vs. Dulce at 9 a.m. (upper field) and Navy 11-13 vs. Dulce at 10:20 a.m. (upper field).

- Oct. 2 - In the 5-6 Division at the elementary school (all games at 5:30 p.m.), Purple faces Orange on Field 1, Black takes on Navy on Field 2 and Forest faces Maroon on Field 3. The 7-8 division contests at the elementary school feature Red vs. Maroon at 5:20 p.m. and Navy vs. Orange at 6:15 p.m.

- Oct. 3 - In the 11-13 division, Orange faces Forest at 5 p.m. on the elementary school upper field. At 6:10 p.m., Navy goes against Maroon in the 9-10 division game.

- Oct. 4 - In the 5-6 Division (all games 5:30 p.m. at the elementary school), it's Maroon vs. Purple on Field 1, Orange vs. Black on Field 2 and Navy vs. Forest on Field 3. Games in the 7-8 division include Red vs. Navy at 5:20 p.m. and Black 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


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 and going to the parks and recreation link.

All schedules and upcoming events are updated on a weekly basis. If you have questions or concerns, or need additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, call 264-4151, Ext. 232.



A Pagosa time of year

It's a Pagosa time of year, the autumn. The leaves of trees, if not beaten mercilessly by prematurely poor weather, turn brilliant reds, golds and yellows. The Indian summer afternoons are balmy, graced by oh-so-slightly-warm breezes. The occasional cloud scuds across a wonderfully blue sky.

Sounds like the worst of the drivel produced by ad agencies, doesn't it? Even though it is true.

But, it is not the weather or the color of foliage we refer to when we speak of a Pagosa time of year. It is the fact that autumn, specifically the period between Labor Day and the opening of the ski season, is one of the few times of year when Pagosans are left largely to themselves, when the events and activities center on local residents, not on the visitor who, admittedly and thankfully, brings us trade that is the foundation of one of our major and most needed industries.

Check out the calendar in this week's PREVIEW, or the many notices printed in each section of The SUN, if you need a reminder of the fact we are in a Pagosa time of year.

Look at the activities held during the past two weeks.

Colorfest, while it draws a significant number of balloon pilots, crews and aficionados, is an event tailored especially for locals. It is locals who form most of the crowd at the picnic, at the wine and cheese tasting, the balloon ascensions.

And how about the wonderful, first-ever Mountain Chile Cha Cha, held Sunday at Town Park, graciously organized and sponsored by Dan and Crista from FolkWest? The free event, the great music, the dancing, the food and drink - all there for the local participant.

High school sports are in full swing, drawing crowds of locals — parents and other fans. Plans are underway for school concerts and plays.

Also on the calendar: the Music Boosters are holding auditions, seeking local talent for their next show - another in the "Nunsense" series; Shy Rabbit Contemporary Art is preparing to open a juried show, with talent from far and wide; the PSAC gallery has an exhibit up displaying the work of local youngsters; Elation Center for the Arts is featuring performers in concert and readying yet another schedule of cultural enrichment programs; a new, Lifelong Learning program is presenting a series of informative lectures; the Quodlibet Handbell Choir at the Methodist church will present a concert; Tara Mandala is holding an open house and a Meditation Day for locals; a congregation has formed for Pagosa's Jewish community and High Holiday services for Yom Kippur are scheduled; a new Bible class begins at a local Baptist Church; the Pregnancy Support Center is holding a golf fund-raiser to support its efforts with and for local women; Chimney Rock Interpretive Association has scheduled its final program of the season with a full moon viewing and music by Charles Martinez. It goes on and on and, finally, on the cusp of the new season, there's Oktoberfest and the community Halloween party at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

It's a Pagosa time of year - one that provides us all, if we are willing to admit it, with a feeling of community, and numerous opportunities to join with old friends and to meet new ones.

And, if the entertainment runs thin (though it is hard to imagine it will) there is the ultimate in local entertainment available: upcoming political races, with elections held in November and the heat generated by races and issues increasing until then.

In cases of utter desperation, one can always attend local government meetings.

There's no lack of great, local things to do, fellow Pagosans. Dive in and enjoy, before a new and crowded season begins.

Karl Isberg



Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of September 29, 1916

About 250,000 trout fry were recently placed in the San Juan and its tributaries.

Tom Teeson and family were down from the Blanco ranch Tuesday on a shopping and dental expedition.

Dr. A. J. Nossaman was honored with the vice-presidency of the State Medical Association at their meeting in Glenwood Springs this month.

Tom Mee is out with a party of sportsmen. They are after bear or a hat-full of porcupine quills, if nothing better turns up.

There is an epidemic of cow pox in southwestern Colorado which threatens to become general. A cure sent out by some of the creameries to their patrons is one part crude carbolic acid and seven parts linseed oil.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 2, 1931

L.J. Goodman and Ivan Johnson departed Sunday by auto for St. Louis to attend the opening games of the World's Baseball Series. They were accompanied by Dr. B.D. Ellsworth, who will visit his mother and other relatives at Hill City, Kansas.

Bert Roush and Day Strong motored Monday to Durango, where the latter, who has been seriously ill for some time, had X-ray pictures made.

A new cement walk is being laid in front of the court house under the able direction of J. Jacobson.

County Clerk Philip R. Johnson informs us that since the new marriage license law of Colorado went into effect on September 1st, not a single application for license has been made in Archuleta County.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 4, 1956

It was announced by J.F. Thiele this week that he had sold the Pagosa Springs Telephone Co. to Oswald Reeves and family of Chama, N.M. Mr. Thiele is retaining the Allison exchange portion of the telephone company and he and his family will move there to make their home. The Thiele family purchased the telephone company here slightly more than eleven years ago and since that time have built it into one of the finest independent telephone companies in the entire country.

What was perhaps the largest forest fire in the history of the San Juan National Forest was finally brought under control this past weekend and is now in the mopping stages. This fire burned for nearly ten days before firefighters finally got it under control.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 1, 1981

For the second time in seven days School District 50 Joint held a special board meeting. Acting upon advice of Mike Vaggales, attorney for the Colorado Association of School Boards, the board voted unanimously to reject all bids submitted on the high school remodeling and expansion project. The successful motion had been presented by Havens who was of the opinion, "The bids were too darn high."

Ronald J. Backus is the new town building inspector. He is responsible for enforcing all codes and zoning regulations within town limits. Backus has been a builder in the Pagosa Springs area since 1976. Before that he was Planning and Zoning Director for Somerton, Arizona.



'Are you ready for some college?'

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Monday night was "College Night" at Pagosa Springs High School, and rather than lounge on the sofa with pizza and soda watching Hank Williams, Jr. sing, "Are you ready for some football," over 100 students and parents listened to Mark Thompson, high school counselor, ask: "Are you ready for some college?"

Thompson took students through the playbook of entrance exams, admissions and financial aid, with practical advice on what students could be doing to help their cause.

Thompson's 60-page handout includes requirements, resources, samples and tips on preparing strong applications for admission and financial aid. Additional copies are available for students who could not attend. Contact Thompson at 264-2231, Ext. 226, for more information.

According to Thompson, Pagosa students are very successful. Approximately 70 percent begin higher education and are awarded $800,000-$900,000 in grants and scholarships per year. "It's a college-bound school," he said.

In order to be accepted to college, students must first take an entrance exam - either the ACT or SAT. (It is not too late to sign up for either test, though time is running out for the ACT.)

Thompson outlined ways to be successful on the tests. Students should study before taking their test; there are study resources online or in most bookstores. It also improves test scores to take the test more than once. Colleges take the highest score and recognize that students may have bad test days.

The complexities of admissions policies and requirements demanded additional attention.

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) - which sets policy and standards for post-secondary education in the state - established new admissions requirements in 2003 for new high school graduates applying to college. These requirements were enshrined into statutory law by the Colorado General Assembly.

The commission formalized an index to measure a student's admissability and set standards for the coursework that a student must complete.

Since the change, the CCHE's "admission eligibility index" has undoubtedly given high school seniors their share of confusion and insomnia, while future changes under the "precollegiate curriculum requirement" or "higher education admission requirements" (HEAR), bound to take effect incrementally by 2008 and 2010, will affect students' entire high school careers.

By 2010, HEAR will require high school students to take four units of math and two units of a single foreign language, in order to be admitted into a state school. Currently, a student need only take three years of math and can refrain from taking any foreign language.

Because of this change, the high school added an additional math requirement and has cut back to one foreign language, Spanish, to encourage students to complete multiple units.

The admission eligibility index combines a student's GPA and graduating rank with their ACT or SAT scores to establish a reference number. The larger the number, the higher the student's measured achievement.

A student with a 2.5 GPA and a score of 20 on the ACT, for instance, would have an index of 85, while a student with a 3.8 GPA and a 30 on the ACT would come in with a 129-point rating.

The admission eligibility index sets different admissions requirements for each Colorado public school.

For instance, Metropolitan State College of Denver requires the lowest index for admission — at 76, or 2.0 GPA and a 20 on the ACT - while Colorado School of Mines requires a higher index of 110 — or a GPA of 3.5 and a 23 on the ACT.

Schools in the Pagosa area have moderate indices - Fort Lewis with an 86 (to become 92 in 2008), Adams State (80), Mesa State (85) and Western State (80).

However, the admission eligibility index does not have the final say. Each school has the flexibility to admit students with lower indices.

Up to 20 percent of the freshmen admitted by moderately selective schools - such as Fort Lewis, Adams State, Mesa State, and Western State - may have index scores lower than that set by the CCHE.

More selective schools have a smaller window. Colorado State, University of Colorado and Mines can currently admitted 18, 16 and 10 percent of entering freshmen under the index, respectively. By 2010, all three schools will be at 10 percent.

According to Andrew Burns, director of admissions at Fort Lewis, students with indices 76 and higher could potentially be admitted to Fort Lewis.

"We don't want the index to be the end-all and be-all," he said.

Generally, students who are accepted below Fort Lewis' index will be asked to take remedial courses the summer before they begin to work toward degree requirements.

To be considered for admission, despite low indices, officials at University of Colorado and Colorado State suggested that students apply early, include essays that express why they want to be admitted and how they will succeed, and letters of reference.

It is also an advantage to show improvement in the last year or years of high school. Even if a student had different priorities (or responsibilities) in high school, they can turn it around and be a success in college. If the applicant is able to show that ability and drive, it is likely that they will be admitted, in some form, to a state four-year college.

Other regional colleges have additional options for students who do not meet CCHE requirements but are determined to further their education.

Regardless of the index or course requirements, any student can be admitted to the two-year associate's degree program at Adams State.

After completing 13 credits, and resolving any deficiencies, if the student has a GPA of 2.3 or higher, he or she can transfer into the four-year program.

Mesa State College has a similar associate's degree admissions program.

In addition, all two-year colleges in the state are open to all students, despite their level of achievement. If students are successful in those institutions, they can move on (or transfer to) a university program.

Admissions officials across the state said the numbers are not the only determining factor. Applications will not be thrown out because of an inadequate GPA or test score. Rather, they also look at course work, signs of improvement, extenuating circumstances, and supporting documents.

Thompson counseled his students to apply to schools of interest if they were close to the requirements.

While there is hope for students who do not meet CCHE requirements, some students who score a high index may not be admitted, based on a deficiency revealed in supporting materials.

Burns of Fort Lewis warned that students should not decide where to apply based solely on the admission eligibility index. "Choosing a college should not be a matrix of GPA and SAT score ... it should be based on the faculty, financial aid, location, and academic offerings," he said.

In his talk Monday night, Thompson concurred, saying students should consider a college's atmosphere, culture and even food. If a student cannot be comfortable living at a school, they will be less likely to succeed.

Thompson generally encourages students to attend in-state institutions, since they are more affordable and often closer to home.

Any student, who has the will, can be accepted into a college of some type, but the question remains, can they afford to go.

As junior Brad Iverson said after the presentation, "Nothing is guaranteed in any of this." Iverson is interested in an architecture degree, but may attend Fort Lewis before transferring to a more focused program.

Senior Jon Cartrette is also interested in a degree that would take him away from home, maybe even to the Atlantic Ocean. Cartrette is considering a career in marine biology and excavation, but will likely begin his college career in the only marine biology program in the state, a two-year program at Rangely, and later transfer - due to the cost of attending an out-of-state school.

But as a first-generation applicant, Cartrette may stand to receive enough aid to attend a private school back east. He is eligible for federal grants for first-generation students, as well as the Daniels Fund.

The Daniels Fund, centered in Colorado, supports "students who show academic promise, strength of character, leadership potential and a well-rounded personality, but who would never be able to go to college without financial assistance, mentoring and personal support," according to the fund's Web site.

The Daniels Fund pays for all higher education expenses that are not covered by grants or other scholarship, including room and board, books and incidental expenses.

Federal programs, such as Upward Bound and Talent Search, work to mentor and support low-income and first-generation college hopefuls, in addition to private organizations like the Daniels Fund.

First-generation applicants must often face the preliminary hurdle of realizing that college is a possibility.

Thompson spent much of Monday night addressing students' financial aid concerns, making the point that any student can afford school, if they are willing to wade through a little bureaucracy and perhaps take on some student loans.

Thompson categorized several types of financial aid, including grants, loans, scholarships and work study.

The single most important thing a student can do to guarantee financial solvency while attending school is complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

FAFSA can be completed online (at and makes a student eligible for grants, which he or she will never have to pay back; loans, which the student will need to pay back (but can defer while in school or under financial hardship; and work study, which allows the student to seek part-time work at the school of attendance.

After college graduation, students can have their loans forgiven by participating in a number of programs, such as the Peace Corps and Americorps, or even by taking a teaching job in a disadvantaged community (such as a reservation or urban center).

FAFSA can only be completed after a student's parents finish their taxes, so parents should do their taxes early, so that students can complete FAFSA before deadlines. More aid will be available earlier in the year, so it is important for students to fill out FAFSA as soon as possible.

If students do not receive enough aid, they (and their parents) can contact the financial aid office of their future school, expressing their difficulty, and it is likely that their aid will be reworked to be more generous.

Students can also find support through scholarships. Scholarships are available through local, state and national agencies and can be found through online search tools, such as

In addition, scholarships are posted in the paper, on college Web sites and in the high school guidance office.

Thompson warned students to distrust any scholarship or financial aid service that promised money for college, for a price. Financial aid searches and resources should be free, said Thompson.

Students should also visit the College Opportunity Fund Web site, to ensure that they receive Colorado state funds. They must register at if they are to receive the governmental tuition subsidy.

If students do not register, they will pay around $2,500 more for the school year. Registration can be completed immediately.

With tests, applications, school visitations and decisions, the final years of high school are also the beginning years of college. If a student is driven and proactive, he or she will not only survive the admissions process, but will lay the framework for being a success throughout their college career.


Pagosa's Past

It's 1868: Still no home for the Jicarilla

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

The year was 1868. The U.S. government had just negotiated a treaty calling for removal of all Utes from New Mexico. The Utes would soon be occupying reservations in Colorado.

What about the Ute's Indian friends, the Jicarilla Apaches? The Jicarilla still had no promise of a place to live.

Some government officials wanted to place the Jicarilla on the Ute reservations in Colorado. How did the Jicarilla feel about that proposal?

When William F.N. Arny returned to the Abiquiu Agency in August of 1868 following the negotiations calling for removal of the Utes from New Mexico, he was met by Apache leaders Huero Mundo, Vicenti and Pantaleón, and a large group of their followers waiting to hear about the recently completed meeting.

Arny listened as the Jicarilla told him they wanted to remain west of the Rio Grande, a right they insisted they had been promised several years earlier.

According to tribal historian Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, the Jicarilla proposed entering into a treaty with the United States whereby the government would purchase all their lands with the exception of an area to be designated as their reservation.

If the government agreed, Tiller says, the Jicarilla leaders urged that their annuities be protected from theft and fraud by having the government disburse them outside of the towns and settlements. In this way, unscrupulous whites would not steal them, nor would the Jicarilla forfeit them to whiskey peddlers. Furthermore, this Jicarilla council reaffirmed their commitment to peace and self-support and hoped that the government would make diligent efforts to establish a reservation for them.

By November, Arny had himself appointed agent for the Jicarilla living west of the Rio Grande. One of his assigned duties was to ask them to merge with the Utes of Colorado. They made their viewpoint clear, asserting that "if the Great Father desired them to go to Colorado or Utah, he would have to kill them and take their dead bodies."

As a result, Arny urged the formation of a separate Jicarilla reservation in northern New Mexico, adjacent to the Ute reservation. Others agreed with Arny, including the territorial governor of Colorado A. Cameron Hunt, who asserted that the Utes did not approve of consolidation of the two tribes, but did approve the adjacent Jicarilla reservation.

This ended government efforts to locate the Jicarilla in Colorado. Still nothing transpired in the way of obtaining a reservation for the Jicarilla. When negotiations with the Utes resumed in 1872-1873, the Jicarilla against pressed for a reservation of their own.

More next week on the Jicarilla Apache search for a home of their own.


Pagosa Sky Watch

Capricornus swings into prime viewing range

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 7:01 a.m.

Sunset: 6:56 p.m.

Moonrise: 1:09 p.m.

Moonset: 10:16 p.m.

Moon phase: The moon is waxing crescent with 33 percent of the visible disk illuminated. The moon is at first quarter Sept. 30 at 5:04 Mountain Daylight Time.

With nearly one week of "official" autumn behind us, Capricornus, an ancient, southern constellation is swinging into prime viewing range; and by 9 p.m. tonight and through Oct. 5, the constellation will appear almost due south in the sky.

Depending on the mythology, Capricornus depicts a wide variety of creatures. For example, the ancient Aztecs viewed Capricornus as Cipactli, the whale, while Indian mythology links the constellation to Makaram the antelope. The Chinese also viewed the constellation as a horned creature, but perceived it as a bull.

Despite the variations, water has played a key role in the tales behind the constellation, and the ancient Egyptians associated Capricornus with the water god Chnum.

For the Assyrians and the ancient Greeks, Capricornus was associated with a half-goat half-fish creature, and it is the Assyrians who are credited with identifying the celestial pattern as a group.

Building off the Assyrian perspective, the ancient Greeks linked Capricornus to their own mythology and the goat-headed creature Pan. According to the Greek story, Pan jumped into a river to escape the sea monster Typhon, and during his frantic escape, turned the lower half of his body into a fish to ensure a successful flight from his attacker.

As is common with most constellations, Capricornus hardly resembles any of the creatures in the legends, and in fact, appears more as an obtuse scalene triangle than any manner of beast. Capricornus is also the smallest constellation in the zodiac.

To view Capricornus, begin observations about 9 p.m. when the constellation lies almost due south.

Unfortunately, Capricornus' stars are faint, and, to make matters worse, the constellation lies in a relatively empty part of the southern sky with few celestial landmarks to guide stargazers to its location. Nevertheless, and despite the challenges, tenacious skywatchers can easily find the goat-fish creature if they gaze southward, well past Deneb and Altair, two key stars in the Summer Triangle asterism, and to a point low on the southern horizon.

Once in the southern realms, look for the oblong, scalene triangle shape of Capricornus, with the point of its obtuse angle pointing toward Earth.

Capricornus as a whole contains more than 40 stars, although only a handful are visible to the naked-eye observer and fewer yet provide the faint outline of the constellation's shape. Of those visible, just a few are noteworthy for the casual observer, and they are generally found along the uppermost, nearly horizontal side of the triangle, opposite the triangle's obtuse angle.

Starting on the left terminus of the constellation's nearly horizontal line, stargazers will find the alpha stars of Capricornus. Called, alpha one and alpha two, or, "Algedi" and "Giedi" - both from the Arabic for "kid" - keen-eyed skywatchers will be able to separate the alpha Capricorni system into its component parts. Although the pair appears as a double star system, astronomers have learned the two stars have no direct relationship and are separated by more than 1,000 light years.

Although alpha one and alpha two are not a true binary system, each star does have its own companion star and create binary systems of their own. In order to resolve the alpha one and alpha two binary systems, a telescope is required.

Moving just slightly below alpha one and alpha two, the next star of note is Dabih, the beta star of the constellation. The name "Dabih" is said to translate from the Arabic for "the lucky stars of the slaughterer."

Although the translation may sound dubious, what astronomers do know is that Dabih is a magnitude 3.1 golden giant lying 340 light years away. For those viewing with binoculars or telescopes, Dabih has a blue-white, magnitude 6.1 companion.

From Dabih, and moving to the right corner of the constellation, skywatcher will find first Nashira, a magnitude 3.7 white star; followed immediately to the right by Deneb Algedi, "the kid's tail."

Deneb Algedi, or delta Capricorni, is a magnitude 2.9 star and is the brightest in the constellation. It, like the other key stars in Capricornus is part of a binary system. However delta Capricorni is an eclipsing binary, varying a virtually imperceptible 0.2 magnitude over 24.5 hours.



Date High Low Precip.
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Bright fall colors short term, above-average moisture long term

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

As local weather conditions reflect autumn patterns, fall colors are peaking everywhere.

In fact, areas around Silverton, Creede and Lake City have already passed peak, with the forests surrounding Chama (Cumbres Pass), Telluride, Delores, the West Mancos River, and Kenosha Pass expected to reach full glory by Saturday or Sunday.

It may be my imagination, but colors among the Gambel oak, narrowleaf cottonwoods and low-lying shrubs here in Pagosa Springs seem notably more brilliant this year, than last. Nevertheless, a drive over Piedra Road, Plumtaw Road, or along the San Juan River will afford color seekers breathtaking vistas this weekend, most between 7,000 and 9,500 feet in elevation.

Area temperatures have remained cool over the past week, with highs in the Pagosa Lakes area ranging mostly in the mid-40s and 50s. The last few days have moderated some, with highs in the upper 60s.

Nighttime lows dipped well below freezing every night since last Thursday, with Saturday's low in Pagosa Lakes falling to just 22.5 degrees. Low temperatures have dropped into the 20s every night, with the week's warmest low being 29.8 degrees the night before last.

Moisture patterns have tapered off some in the past few days, but another .19 inches of rain fell on Pagosa Lakes since Thursday. Most of it came Friday afternoon.

While summer 2006 was a damp one, the National Weather Service long-range forecast seems to indicate the trend will continue. Average or above-average precipitation is expected throughout, with good late winter and early spring moisture predicted. Higher-than-average temperatures are also expected through spring 2007.


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