County unveils preliminary 2007 budget
Archuleta County staff unveiled the proposed 2007 budget Tuesday and the document emphasizes decreasing county spending while marshalling resources for the county road system.
Speaking to the board of county commissioners, Archuleta County Manager Bob Campbell and finance director Bob Burchett said the proposed budget represents a 4.61 percent decrease from the approved 2006 general expenditure budget; and marks a concerted push to ensure expenditures don't exceed anticipated revenues for the year.
Burchett said the 4.61 percent decrease equals $871,568.
Campbell and Burchett attributed part of the expenditure decrease to 10 county departments who submitted lower preliminary budgets than last year.
In addition to trimming expenditures, the proposed budget earmarks $5.5 million for the county road budget - nearly $3.2 million for the road and bridge budget, and $2.3 million for road capital improvements.
Burchett said last year's combined road budget equaled $6.3 million and included dipping into county reserve funds.
Reading from an introductory letter to the 2007 proposed budget Campbell said, "This budget proposes that secondary roads will be minimally maintained, to include one grading, and snow removal as necessary."
Commissioner Robin Schiro took issue with the statement, saying the proposal could cloud county Ballot Issue 1A, which asks voters to stabilize the property tax mill levy at 18.233 mills in order to inject more funds into the county coffers, part of which will be used for roads.
She said on the one hand, the county is telling people they don't have enough money for roads - hence the birth of the ballot question - but at the same time, Campbell's statement says the county is able to provide minimal maintenance.
In an interview following the meeting, Schiro said, "If they're planning on doing it (road maintenance) anyway, why vote?"
She also advocated rescinding the county policy adopted in January that excludes secondary roads from regular maintenance and snow removal.
Campbell responded that if the ballot issue passes, county staff will recommend the board rescind the portion of the policy dealing with secondary road maintenance.
In the introductory letter, Campbell also identified a need to replace "overcrowded and inadequate" county facilities.
Neither Campbell's letter nor the proposed budget earmarks funds for procurement of new county facilities, although Campbell cited numerous reasons for a new courthouse and jail and said, "The proposed sale of the county courthouse and other properties owned by the county will likely finance the purchase of land for new county facilities in a campus setting, and pay for part of the initial design."
Archuleta County staff submitted a legal advertisement to The SUN Oct. 6 requesting proposals to purchase the courthouse and courthouse property, although in an interview Wednesday, Schiro said the sale of the courthouse was not universally agreed upon by all three commissioners.
During the meeting, Schiro said statements in Campbell's introductory letter made it appear as though funds derived from the sale of the courthouse had been woven into the budget. She said the budget is good, but the letter is misleading to the public.
"I don't feel comfortable if we're putting things in that don't affect the budget as is, if this ballot measure doesn't pass, if the RFPs (request for proposals) don't work out," Schiro said.
Burchett said estimated ballot question and courthouse sale funds had not been calculated into the budget.
Campbell said the letter serves to inform the commissioners of proposed projects and to identify priorities for 2007, but that any financial commitments, including the final budget, will be part of a public process and subject to commissioner approval.
During the meeting, Schiro asked Campbell if county staff and consultants had fully explored the costs associated with demolishing the current courthouse and rebuilding on the same site.
Campbell countered: "The direction we had at the facilities meeting was to present to the public two campus sites on U.S. 160 and 84."
Campbell said the two options were distilled from months of extensive planning and numerous meetings, including a session Oct. 2 with James Lichty of Archetype Design Group, a firm which specializes in designing jails and justice centers.
"During the meeting with James Lichty, demolition and rebuilding of the current courthouse was not part of the discussion," Commissioner Ronnie Zaday said.
Following the proposed budget meeting, Campbell said he was surprised by Schiro's demolition suggestion.
Zaday said the board had previously given county staff direction to go forward with the request for proposals and to sell the current courthouse property.
"There has been no direction from the board for staff to investigate demolition and costs to rebuild. Staff has been directed by the board to get an RFP (request for proposals) out to sell the property and the building," Zaday said.
Zaday and Campbell listed numerous reasons for the decision. Chief among them, Zaday and Campbell reported, was board consensus that the county pursue a campus like facility in light of the limitations of the current courthouse site.
Campbell said the courthouse now sits on a .77 acre lot and offers about 43,000 square feet of usable space.
Campbell said studies indicate, in order to accommodate projected growth, the county will need 60,000 to 75,000 square feet over the next 20 years. To accommodate that much square footage on the current site, Campbell said, would require a six-story building.
A six-story building is not within the parameters of the town's current design guidelines.
In addition, parking constraints on the current property play a huge role, as do the Town of Pagosa Springs' plans for downtown development.
"We don't own all the parking lot," Zaday said.
With inadequate parking, Zaday said many visitors and county staff are forced to find alternate locations, including town parking areas such as in Centennial Park.
Campbell said the current courthouse does not contribute to the tax base and occupies prime commercial real estate.
Commissioner John Egan said Schiro had broached the demolition suggestion before, yet the option had never really emerged "as a contender.
"There are too many problems with tearing down the current courthouse and rebuilding on the same site," Egan said, and he described the process as a logistical nightmare.
"Where would the county go in the meantime? We'd be hanging by our fingernails. To move the county not once, but twice, it just doesn't make sense," Egan said.
Schiro said she wasn't necessarily advocating demolition and rebuilding but that the county should explore the costs associated with the proposal to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the current site will not accommodate the county's future needs.
"They have done the numbers for the new facilities, but have not done the numbers for the current site. I'm not advocating any one of the options, I just want the numbers so the people can decide," Schiro said.
Schiro said this was an essential bit of homework.
"How can we sell it outright and justify it to the public?" Schiro said.
And she added, "A campus setting would be ideal. But if the ballot measure doesn't pass, we'll never be able to afford it."
Campbell said he would investigate the costs associated with demolition and rebuilding on the current site if directed by the board.
The proposed budget includes five new proposed programs, including: a partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and the sheriff's office to fund a fraud investigator; a visitation and parent education program through the San Juan Basin Health Department; an updated community plan; acquisition of 120 acres of Bureau of Land Management property for future parks and recreation facilities, including the possibility of a college campus; and the hiring of a lobbyist focused on acquiring state and federal grant funds for use in Archuleta County.
The preliminary budget also recommends a 4 percent cost of living raise for county employees.
Campbell's letter of introduction and the 2007 proposed budget will be available online, at the county clerk's office and at the Sisson Library.
Dry Gulch Reservoir ruling clarified
By Chuck McGuire
District Court Water Judge Gregory G. Lyman has issued a revised judgement and decree, clarifying his ruling involving litigation over the proposed Dry Gulch Reservoir.
On July 14, Lyman rendered a decree granting two area water districts the rights to divert and store water at the planned reservoir site outside of Pagosa Springs. However, confusion over his intent quickly developed, with attorneys on both sides of a lawsuit ultimately filing motions for clarification.
In the original request filed Dec. 20, 2004, the San Juan Water Conservancy District and Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District, as co-applicants, applied for the rights to water storage and two direct-flow appropriations from the San Juan River.
The storage component was for the reservoir itself, with a total projected capacity of 35,300 acre-feet, including SJWCD's existing right to 6,300 acre-feet. The proposed site is about two miles northeast of town, and includes a dam approximately 3,000 feet long and 160 feet high. As currently designed, the reservoir's total surface area at high water line (elevation, 7,400 feet) would be roughly 621 acres.
Also in the request, the first direct-flow appropriation was for 200 cubic feet per second (cfs) "in combination from all sources," to fill the impoundment. The second was for an additional 80 cfs at the proposed Dry Gulch Pumping Station "for storage in reservoirs owned or controlled by the co-applicants." According to the districts, diversions from the pumping station could be used to fill Dry Gulch, or for tran-basin use and storage.
By April, Trout Unlimited, Koinonia, LLC, the Park Ditch Company and others had issued Statements of Opposition to the proposed project, citing its "excessive" size and "potential harm" to the San Juan River. The matter appeared in court in early May, and in July, Lyman approved conditional water storage rights for the reservoir, based on a maximum capacity of 35,300 acre-feet. However, he reduced the 200 cfs fill appropriation by half, to 100 cfs.
According to attorneys representing both sides of the issue, confusion over the judge's decision stemmed from his apparent approval of the additional 80 cfs diversion in addition to the 100 cfs fill rate, yet it appeared he limited the total diversion amount to 100 cfs at any one time.
Originally, Lyman's judgement and decree stated, "The districts may exercise the storage or direct flow rights independently or in any combination, with the overall limitation that the total diversion at the Dry Gulch Pumping Station shall never exceed 100 cfs at any given time."
The key phrase here is, " ... the total diversion at the Dry Gulch Pumping Station shall never exceed 100 cfs at any given time."
Following the decree, Trout Unlimited council Drew Peternell filed a Plea for Clarification with the court, seeking an explanation of the two approved diversions and the combined amount of water available at a time. The attorney for the districts, Evan Ela, filed a similar plea, hoping to better understand the judge's ruling on the total diversions.
In his latest decree, filed Sept. 25, 2006, Lyman revised the paragraph in question to read, " ... the total combined diversion from all sources, including the Dry Gulch Pumping Station, Park Ditch, and tributary inflow to Dry Gulch Reservoir, shall never exceed 180 cfs at any given time."
The final decree apparently provides the districts the water rights needed to construct and fill the reservoir. Now, they must gain sufficient funding, acquire the necessary privately-owned real estate, finalize engineering and design, gather the required permits, engage contractors to complete the various phases of construction, and pass a multitude of inspections throughout the entire process.
Needless to say, while the districts have cleared a major water court hurdle, a functional water storage facility in Dry Gulch still appears years away.
Sen. Salazar to hold meeting Monday
U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar will hold a community meeting Monday, Oct. 16, at noon in the Pagosa Springs Community Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd., to listen to the needs and concerns of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County residents regarding the proposed Wolf Creek Development.
A press release from Salazar's office indicates he "believes it is extremely productive and informative to listen first hand to the people of the community" so that he "can continue to be a strong voice for rural southwest Colorado as the Senate debates important legislation at our capitol."
All interested citizens are invited to attend.
For information, call the regional office at 259-1710.
Archuleta school board opposes Amendment 38
By Louis Sherman
The Archuleta County School District Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday in opposition to proposed Amendment 38 (dealing with petitions) which, if passed, would make school districts subject to governance by initiative.
Districts across the state have been advised to pass similar resolutions by the Colorado Association of School Boards, amidst fears that the petitions amendment would hamper school district administration and bring a negative financial impact.
The board of education's resolution "officially declares its opposition to Amendment 38 because it weakens representative government and invites abuse of the petition process by eliminating the checks and balances that are necessary to safeguard the integrity of the process."
The resolution further states that the amendment would make fraud and abuse of the petition process more likely, allowing a minority of individuals to sabotage, slow or obstruct district governance.
The amendment would require taxpayers and the district to pay for petitions and the distribution of proponent statements, while limiting a district's ability to provide voters information or analysis of a ballot issue and its fiscal impact, says the resolution.
If Amendment 38 is approved by voters, district officials and employees could be penalized for even discussing impending initiatives. If an employee were to answer a question or discuss an initiative, the employee and district could be fined at least $3,000 each.
The resolution also argues that making the district subject to the petition process would impair the board of education's ability to respond promptly to the needs of citizens and students, since it could not make changes to an initiative, even to errors, without consulting voters, and its decisions could be contested by individuals through the petition process.
Amendment 38 would not only affect school districts, but all other county, town and special governments or districts.
The board also discussed the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards instituted by the federal No Child Left Behind legislation.
To make AYP, districts must make incremental improvements in reading and math proficiency, obtaining 100 percent proficiency in the two areas by 2014.
Districts that do not meet proficiency levels, can still make AYP by decreasing the number of non-proficient students by 10 percent in one year.
The Archuleta County school district has been the only district in the area to meet AYP every year since the institution of the measurement.
If a school does not make AYP, it would need to create a school improvement plan, provide supplemental educational services and could eventually face reorganization if the problem were to continue.
Board member Ken Fox expressed concern that 100-percent proficiency was unattainable in any school and sets districts up for failure, though he recognized that standards and assessments were important to ensuring student achievement.
According to retired superintendent and principal Terry Alley, who presented the AYP results, the No Child Left Behind legislation is up for reapproval in the next congress, and he suggested that changes would potentially be made to hone, clarify and improve, if not change, the policy and its requirements.
After the meeting, Superintendent Duane Noggle said there is a positive side to requiring 100 percent proficiency, in that it forces schools and districts to "care about that one child" - not letting anyone fall through the cracks as exceptions to the 100 percent.
The trick for the next Congress will be to make the requirements achievable, while ensuring that no child is left behind (though they, pragmatically, may not be able to meet all the standards).
The trick for the district will be adjusting to any changes to the legislation and its resultant programs.
Forest Service plans field trip, controlled burns
By Chuck McGuire
The Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office of the San Juan National Forest will host a public field trip to the Jackson Mountain area Saturday, Oct. 21. Anyone interested in observing and discussing current forest conditions in that area is invited to attend.
The trip will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., during which forest officials will unveil plans to respond to local forest health concerns over a multi-year period. Planned activities could include forest thinning in the forms of commercial logging, mowing and/or prescribed burning of approximately 1,500 acres.
Field trip participants should bring a lunch and dress appropriately for adverse weather conditions and, with hunters in the field, wearing a blaze orange hat or vest may be wise.
Those coming from town should meet at the district field office at 180 Pagosa St., Pagosa Springs at 10:30 a.m. Those coming from the San Juan River Resort area can meet at the Jackson Mountain Road turnoff at 11.
For additional information on field trip details, contact Steve Hartvigsen, Pagosa Ranger District, 264-1513.
Meanwhile, in other matters, fire managers from the Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office will conduct prescribed burns at two locations in the Pagosa Springs area sometime later this month, conditions permitting.
The Devil Creek units are located approximately seven miles northwest of Pagosa Springs in the area generally called Turkey Springs.
More specifically, the 660-acre prescribed burn will occur in the east Monument Park Road (FR 630) and Newt Jack Road (FR 923) area, which was previously treated with hand cutting, slashing, and/or mechanical mowing and shredding of small white fir and Douglas-fir. The burn will reduce slash from those thinning projects and improve forest health, including deer and elk habitat.
Daytime smoke is expected to disperse north of the burn, while nighttime smoke may settle temporarily, mildly impacting Hatcher Lake and the Martinez Mountain Estates areas.
The second burn will occur on Vigil and Abeyta Mesas about 25 miles south of Pagosa Springs, and about two miles southwest of Chromo. The plan is to treat approximately 400 acres within an area managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Smoke will be visible from U.S. 84.
Radio announcements will alert the public prior to each burn.
Prescribed burns are low-intensity fires, which are set and carefully monitored by fire crews. They are used to improve forest health and reduce ladder fuels - those shrubs and other plants that can carry flames up into tree canopies. Spring and fall are generally the best times of year to burn, because temperatures are more moderate and the fuels have enough moisture to keep the fire at a low intensity.
Several conditions must be met before a prescribed fire is ignited. A burn plan specific to each unit spells out those conditions which include: temperatures; relative humidity; moisture level of the grasses, needles, and trees; wind speed and direction; and smoke dispersal. Such conditions are continually monitored throughout the burn.
Additionally, adequate crew and equipment, including back-up crew, must be available before burns are conducted.
For more information on these and other prescribed burns, contact the Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office at 264-2268.
Courthouse tours for public offered by county
With county voters facing a ballot question that, if approved, would pump more money into planning, design and construction of a new courthouse and jail facilities, the county is offering tours of the current Archuleta County Courthouse and jail Oct. 20.
Special Project Manager Sheila Berger said, "It's an opportunity for residents to see behind the scenes of county government, and it's another step toward government transparency."
Berger said tour participants will see, first-hand, working conditions inside the courthouse and the tours are part of the county's ongoing, public education efforts, and are designed to "generate awareness as to why we need new county facilities - particularly a jail."
Tours start at 9,10 and 11 a.m., and at 1, 2 and 3 p.m., Oct 20. Tours are limited to 10 people.
Participants will meet behind the courthouse in the parking lot outside the elections office.
For more information, or to make a reservation, call 264-8300.
County issues Request for Proposals on potential sale of courthouse and jail buildings
Archuleta County is advertising for bids from buyers interested in purchasing the courthouse and jail buildings at 449 San Juan St.
Together, the facilities comprise nearly 43,000 square feet and sit on .77 acre, and the property includes easements and other rights peculiar to the county's ownership of the property.
The property excludes senior geothermal water rights but the county is willing to lease these back to the successful purchaser. The Request for Proposal (RFP) is intentionally written and issued with very little guidance to prospective proposals in order to encourage and allow creativity on behalf of the proposals' authors. The full RFP will be published through Oct. 31, the date by which proposals must be received by the county.
There are several reasons for placing the property for sale. For several years, Archuleta County employees have been coping with issues and challenges with the county buildings. These challenges include the condition and size of the county jail, which is unsafe for inmate handling and fails to meet federal regulations. Also, the sheriff's department along with administration has inadequate space, as the staff has grown in response to rapid growth and the requirement to maintain services.
Currently, county offices that should be in the same building are spread up to 15 miles apart in six other locations. The annual cost of rent is in excess of $100,000 a year. This is causing a lack of efficiency, redundancy, and an inconvenience to the public.
In addition, the county courthouse building, including the jail, is outdated with inadequate and decaying infrastructure as evidenced by the recent water line break. The wiring for computers and phones, which should allow staff to be more productive is outdated and only provides for a fraction of optimal efficiency. There are problems with the roof, the ventilation system and, without expensive retrofitting, the building is not handicapped accessible, which is required by law. With an aging population, accessibility for voting and other vital county services is a serious problem.
Finally, the county courthouse is located on prime commercial property but does nothing to contribute to the tax base or tax receipts which the community depends on to support it's economy.
This request for proposals is part of a county strategy to finance new facilities at the least cost to taxpayers.
For more information and an opportunity to submit comments and ideas, residents are invited to attend one of several public information sessions. The first two will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 23 and Nov. 2, in the courthouse meeting room. There will also be a facility tour, including a tour of the jail, on Oct. 20.
Call 264-8300 for more information or for tour reservations.
Library district board deals with budget
By Louis Sherman
The Upper San Juan Library District's 2007 budget went before its board for final approval last night, after press time.
The $626,417 balanced budget does not include the additional funds that would be gained if ballot measure 5A were to be approved this November, increasing the library district's mill levy by 1.5 mills.
Every year, the library budget leaves enough money in its fund to cover three months of expenses. Going into 2007, the fund balance is estimated to be at about $160,000 - more than is necessary for the first three months of the year, before tax revenues come in.
The healthy fund balance will allow the library to make additional expenditures on items such as programs and technology.
The 2007 budget dedicates $5,000 to programs and slightly over $14,000 to technology - up from an estimated $1,400 and $3,000 in 2006, respectively.
The budget will put about $40,000 from the fund balance to expenses and development, decreasing the balance to about $120,000 for 2008 - which will still be enough to cover three months of expenses (based on current services and costs).
The 2007 budget - without additional mill levy funds - will, for the most part, only maintain the services the library currently offers.
Jackie Welch, library staff member and preparer of the budget, said the district is committed to trying to keep the services it has in the future, but if it is to extend services and offerings throughout the county and in the building, expenses will go up and more revenue will be needed.
Supporters say an increase to the mill levy would allow the library district to initiate services such as books by mail, book drops, satellite locations and a possible traveling book service, while increasing funding to programs and technology further.
Welch said the library district would likely be able to double funding for print materials (books and subscriptions) from $20,000 to about $40,000 if ballot measure 5A were approved by voters.
Additional funds could also be used to increase the hours the library is open, hire more staff and maintain the grounds.
Training Advantage programs available
SUCAP/The Training Advantage, a partner in the SW Colorado Workforce Center, has programs available for adults and youth needing assistance with job training and employment. There is priority of service for veterans meeting the eligibility criteria.
For more information about services and eligibility requirements, contact the Workforce Center - Ruby at 731-3834, or Shana at 731-3835, 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7. EEO.
Archuleta Democrats endorse ballot measure 1A
By Ben Douglas
Special to The SUN
The Archuleta County Democratic Party Central Committee has unanimously endorsed county Ballot Measure 1A, which will be on the November ballot, and asks all county voters to support the measure.
If adopted, Ballot Measure 1A will allow the county to retain funds essential to infrastructure maintenance and improvements, as well as the provision of needed services.
Voters to consider extension of school board term limit
By Louis Sherman
The local school district seeks to extend term limits for members of its board of directors in ballot question 3A of the November general election.
Under the Colorado Constitution, Archuleta County school district boards are limited to two terms of four years. However, the same section of the constitution allows localities and districts to limit or extend the term limits set by the constitution.
The school district would extend the term limitation to three four-year terms, if the ballot question is approved by voters.
The constitutional language, as amended in 1994, explains that term limits were instituted "in order to broaden the opportunities for public service and to assure that elected officials of governments are responsive to the citizens of those governments."
A school district statement asserts that voters would still be able to hold board members accountable, since the official would need to be reelected every four years, despite the extended term limitation.
Board President Mike Haynes said, "In the last three to four years, term limits have really hit our board and taken away our most senior members ... and we need continuity on the board."
Since term limits were imposed, it has been difficult to find someone to run for open seats on the board, when a board member has reached his or her term limit. Instead the sitting board has been forced to nominate a new member, without that member running for election.
Later, appointed members go on the ballot for retention.
"It would have been nice to allow the board member to run again, rather than appointing," said Haynes. This would allow experienced, senior members to continue in their office.
Current term limits are also likely to force multiple board members off the board at one time, requiring several seats to be filled by a limited pool of willing candidates, and greatly decreasing the experience on the board.
In answer to a common argument against extending term limits - that is, long terms of service give a few individuals too much power over policy and prevent new voices and perspectives from entering public debate - Haynes said, "I kind of have to chuckle when I hear that argument ... if someone has been in too long, find a good candidate to run against them and vote them out of office."
There are not many perks to being on the school board, said Haynes. Volunteer members receive no pay and give time in the morning and evenings throughout the month.
According to Haynes, the more practical concern for citizens should be finding candidates to serve. Term limits prevent experienced candidates from running, when it is difficult to find someone to run in the first place.
Haynes also suggested that most board members would not even run for a third term, if someone else wanted their place.
Twelve years is a long time to serve on any board, said Haynes, but ballot question 3A would make it possible when necessary.
The Colorado Association of School Boards has proposed and will vote to approve a resolution to extend term limits at the school district level. The resolution would also encourage districts to seek the extension of term limits by putting the question before voters, as the Archuleta County school district has done.
Crossroads Center now open to serve region
Southwest Colorado is an amazing place to live. The scenery is second to none, the people are independent and community minded and we always, always rise to the occasion in a crisis.
At the end of September, Southwest Colorado Mental Health, consumers and their families and the five-county region celebrated the opening of the Crossroads Center on the campus of the new Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango.
Crossroads is an acute treatment unit that assists citizens in significant mental distress. It also provides aftercare and is co-located with a detox facility. Through the vision of Dr. Bern Heath, the teamwork of his incredible staff and the efforts of every community in the five county region, consumers are no longer being shackled in the back of a Jeep for a six- to seven-hour trip over two mountain passes to the state mental hospital in Pueblo. Because of this new facility consumers will be able to remain close to home, family and/or their support unit when experiencing a mental health crisis.
Every city, town and county contributed to this new facility ... every one of them! The state of Colorado contributed a huge amount of assistance and the legislature provided budget support as well. The city of Durango and La Plata County played pivotal roles as well as Mercy Hospital, the Southern Ute Tribe and too many contributors to name.
Yes, southwest Colorado is an incredible place to live and because of your elected officials and SW Colorado Mental Health Center, it is now a whole lot better. Please be sure that you thank your town board members, city councilors, county commissioners, Mercy board members and mental health workers for their part in making this much needed facility a reality.
In 1971, Montezuma County school districts came together to build the San Juan Basin Technical Vocational School. With the idea spawned by the Mancos School District in 1963, it took 8 years of hard work, frustration, set backs and studies to get the project developed, funded and built. Southwest Colorado owes a great deal to those school boards for the vision, dedication and commitment to assure that regional students had the opportunity to receive a technical vocational education.
The Vo-Tech, as it became known, also provides post-secondary technical vocational training. Vo-Tech grew and offered skills training that benefited area employers and provided the economy with many high wage jobs. But the sailing was never smooth. The school was never adequately funded by the state legislature and the districts faced a constant funding struggle. But they prevailed and Vo-Tech became a tremendous asset for our community ... and it still is.
In 1987, the Vo-Tech recognized a need to offer degree programs since the certificate programs they were able to offer (particularly in electronics and nursing) were not widely accepted by the private sector. Employers were requiring applicants to have degrees. An agreement was struck with Pueblo Community College and they began offering associate degree programs to compliment the Vo-Tech training. But both institutions continue to suffer funding inadequacies.
Unfortunately such an agreement has complicated program delivery in our region. Having two post-secondary technical vocation providers (Vo-Tech that provides certificates and PCC that provides Associate Degrees) and the duplication and inefficiencies that duplicated programs entail, especially when budgets are tight and K-12 enrollment declining, is the focus of the K-12 and higher education community right now.
A study performed by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education is due out soon. This study will help us better understand the demographic realities of our region, what local economic development strategies hold for future job seekers, and what skills will be necessary to feed that economic development. It is my feeling that the study will obviate needed changes to the two year and technical vocation program status quo. Let's hope that all concerned maintain the same vision of what is best for the region, just like the founders of Vo-Tech did many years ago.
Health insurance, housing, tourism take center stage
Recent rains tend to make us forget how dry it was last winter and spring. But then I don't think we ever have a "normal" year.
Even if the year's moisture as a whole is normal, you can bet that there were both very dry and very wet stretches at different times. A good year, particularly for crops and forage, depends a lot on when snow melts and rain falls. The rains this year were generally too late for best crop growth, but did come in time to avoid the bad fire year that seemed likely.
The early hard frost ended summer and gardens in a hurry, but has made for some really spectacular views around southwestern Colorado. It seemed as though the colors were especially brilliant and the snow on the mountains magnified the beauty. This district may be the hardest to drive around, but it is definitely the most beautiful.
I attended junior livestock sales at each of the county fairs in the district this summer. I saw strong participation of 4-H and FFA youth and exceptional community support for these programs. Thanks to the businesses and individuals that purchase the animals at these sales. They are the ones who make it happen.
Many of the committees and boards I serve on met the last week of September, which allowed me to get a lot done with relatively few trips.
The CoverColorado board met and, even though it isn't final yet, there was a general consensus that premium rates could be reduced. A bill I carried last session, SB06-180, allows the rate to be reduced and the funding source is strong enough to allow that to happen. CoverColorado is health insurance for people who, because of a pre-existing health condition, have been unable to get coverage from private insurers. It is not inexpensive however.
The premiums run about 150 percent of comparable insurance in the market, which only covers about half of the cost of providing health care coverage for those in the pool. Hopefully we can get the rates down closer to 125 percent, which will help current enrollees and bring in more people. If you would like more information on the program, you can go to www.covercolorado.org or call (877) 461-3811.
I also attended the last meeting of the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. CHFA is the front-runner in Colorado's affordable housing industry, financing single-family mortgages and supporting the development of apartments for low and moderate-income residents. CHFA also has a business loan division that has assisted many small and medium-sized businesses around the state, including many in southwestern Colorado. CHFA is extremely well run and efficient and has by most measures outperformed all other state housing programs. The good news I can report is that CHFA is working on opening a Western Slope office in Grand Junction. It should be open by the first of the year. The energy boom on the Western Slope is making affordable/workforce housing hard, if not impossible, to find in many areas. CHFA is anxious to have a greater role in helping our communities meet their housing needs.
It has been an exciting summer for the Colorado Tourism Office Board. As you may recall, we passed a bill in the last legislative session that uses part of the gaming funds to fund the CTO Board. It will provide $19 million this year and should be a permanent and increasing source of funding. This should allow the state to have a strong and consistent tourism promotion program. We have expanded promotional efforts to several more foreign countries and have started to incorporate Heritage Tourism into all of our promotions. These will both provide positive results for our part of the state.
It's nice to have rain, but I wish we wouldn't get so much water that flooding becomes a problem. Is a "happy medium" too much to ask for?
Big game rifle season opens Saturday
By Chuck McGuire
Colorado big game hunting resumes Saturday, with the opening of the first of four high-country rifle seasons.
Running through Wednesday, Oct. 18, the first season is a "separate limited elk hunt," with all licenses available by drawing only. Over-the-counter elk licenses are not valid during this season, and hunters will not pursue deer.
The second season, Oct. 21-29, is a combined deer and elk hunt and, as the longest of the year, runs for nine consecutive days. Over-the-counter licenses are valid for elk, but all deer tags are limited to specific units by drawing only. Hunters must have separate licenses for deer and elk.
The third season, Nov. 4-10, lasts seven days and is also a combined deer and elk hunt. License restrictions are similar to those of the second season, but unused second-season licenses are not valid during the third season.
The fourth and final high-country rifle season is another combined deer and elk hunt, but valid licenses for both species are again by drawing only. Over-the-counter tags are not valid, and the season opens Nov. 15, closing at dusk, Nov. 19.
As in seasons past, residents must have lived in Colorado for at least six consecutive months prior to applying for a license, and anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1949 must have completed an approved hunter education course or bowhunter education course (for an archery license). Youths, ages 12-15, may hunt with a mentor, 18 or older, who is compliant with hunter safety requirements.
New for 2006, sportsmen and conservationists have joined in developing a habitat stamp, approved by the Colorado legislature, starting Jan. 1. Money from stamp sales is used to buy and manage habitat for hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing.
The stamp is $5 for those 19-64, and is required on the first two licenses bought in a calendar year. If bought without a license, the stamp is $10, and is required of those 19-64 who wish to visit a state wildlife area.
Also new for 2006, a Wildlife Management Public Education surcharge has been added to the cost of every hunting and fishing license sold in Colorado. The 75-cent fee generates funds for educating the public as to the benefits of wildlife, wildlife mangement and wildlife-related recreation.
For complete hunting season information and a good guide to carry in the field, hunters should obtain a "Big Game Brochure," available from any hunting and fishing license vendor, or the Colorado Division of Wildlife at: DOW, Southwest Region Service Center, 151 E. 16th St., Durango, CO 81301. On-line, information is available at http://wildlife.state.co.us.
Non-hunters wishing to utilize public lands during these seasons are advised to wear bright orange hats and clothing, and apply liberal orange flagging to horses or pets.
USDA announces 2007 CSP watersheds
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has announced that 51 watersheds in 50 states, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean Area will be eligible for the 2007 Conservation Security Program (CSP).
These watersheds represent more than 64,500 of the nation's potentially eligible farms and ranches, covering nearly 24 million acres of cropland and grazing land.
"This is the fourth year the Conservation Security Program has recognized farmers and ranchers for their ongoing stewardship on working agricultural lands," Johanns said. "Our investment in this voluntary program has already proved beneficial by creating many successful cooperative public-private partnerships across the nation."
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service began CSP in fiscal year 2004. Currently, there are 280 watersheds in CSP nationwide, covering nearly 224 million acres. Based upon President Bush's requested funding level for the program for fiscal year 2007, 51 additional watersheds would be eligible for enrollment. Eligible watersheds are being announced now to allow farmers and ranchers adequate time to gather resource information on their operations in preparation for a prospective sign-up.
CSP is a voluntary program that supports ongoing conservation stewardship on private agricultural working lands and enhances the condition of the nation's natural resources. Under this program, USDA rewards producers who practice good stewardship on agricultural lands and offers incentives to increase the use of conservation practices.
A list of the eligible watersheds can be viewed at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/2007_CSP_WS.html. USDA offers CSP in new watersheds annually on a rotational basis in as many watersheds as funding allows.
For more information about CSP, including a map of the fiscal year 2007 watersheds and eligibility requirements, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp.
Colorado wildlife officers receive anti-poaching award
Officers from the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) have been honored for efforts to reduce wintertime poaching by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Colorado representatives were presented with the 2006 AFWA Conservation Law Enforcement Award at the AFWA annual convention in Snowmass Village Sept. 20.
"This is a great honor for a great group of wildlife employees," said DOW Director Bruce McCloskey, while accepting the AFWA Award. "I'm proud of every one of the people involved in this effort."
The award honors the DOW Winter Range Patrol, which was undertaken in late 2003 to reduce the poaching of trophy mule deer bucks during critical winter months. As Colorado's mule deer population has steadily rebounded, wildlife officers discovered more poaching activity during winter months when animal are concentrated in low lying areas closer to communities and roadways. Beyond the known increase in poaching incidents, wildlife officers were also seeing an increase in headless carcasses found in winter range areas.
The initial Winter Range Patrol took place in areas along the Colorado/Utah border. The effort involved saturation patrols by marked wildlife units, decoy operations, day and night airplane flights by the DOW Terrestrial Section, unmarked patrols, media alerts to inform the public about the poaching problem, and Operation Game Thief sponsored billboards to help bring in public tips.
The 2003/2004 patrol began in mid-November and ran through January. More than 4,000 man hours were contributed by 65 wildlife officers. Officers contacted 800 individuals and wrote 41 citations. Public reaction to the program was extremely positive and, most importantly, the number of headless carcasses being discovered dropped by 75 percent in the first year alone. The decision was made to continue Winter Range Patrol in future years in other areas of the state.
For the winter of 2004/2005 the Winter Range Patrol along the Colorado/Utah border was expanded to the areas around Montrose, Gunnison, Saguache, Durango and Kremmling. The number of officers also expanded with 99 commissioned wildlife officers participating. More than 22 citations were issued and several cases are ongoing.
The 2005/2006 Winter Range Patrol covered some of the previous areas but also offered a special emphasis on the increasing activity associated with energy exploration in northwest Colorado. The expansion of natural gas drilling has brought increased traffic and, once again, increasing numbers of headless carcasses being found. While only two citations were written in this special emphasis area, the DOW hopes that the increased presence of wildlife officers will have a deterrent effect on any would-be poachers.
Plans have been completed and officers are preparing for the 2006/2007 round of Winter Range Patrol. Several new areas have been added to the upcoming patrol and DOW officers will once again be on the lookout for poachers that take advantage of the state's big game animals at a vulnerable time.
"This is an innovative and aggressive law enforcement solution to a serious problem," said Rob Firth, the DOW chief of law enforcement. "We have seen the benefits in the field and we hope to see continued results in the years to come."
AFWA represents fish and wildlife professionals in the 56 states and territories, and the federal agencies of the United States. The Association also represents many provinces of Canada and Mexico. Its core functions are inter-agency coordination, legal services, international affairs, conservation and management programs, and legislation.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife is the state agency responsible for managing wildlife and its habitat, as well as providing wildlife related recreation. The Division is funded through hunting and fishing license fees, federal grants and Colorado Lottery proceeds through Great Outdoors Colorado.
Partners Act could help protect species, restore habitat
On Tuesday, Oct. 3, President Bush signed the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act into law to enhance efforts of private landowners to protect species and restore habitat. The Partners Act provides a Congressional authorization for the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, a successful private-lands conservation program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that is popular with landowners and conservationists alike.
The law authorizes the Department of the Interior, through the Partners Program, to provide technical and financial assistance to private landowners to restore, enhance, and manage private lands to improve fish and wildlife habitats.
"This law formalizes a program that exemplifies cooperative conservation,' said Department of the Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne. "The program puts financial and technical resources into the hands of willing landowners to help them manage their lands for imperiled plant and animal species. Next year we will celebrate the program's twentieth year. The law represents a perfect anniversary gift for this conservation success story."
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife program is a cornerstone in the Service's cooperative conservation efforts - working with private landowners to restore valuable habitat for fish and wildlife. Since the creation of the Program in 1987, it has helped conserve fish and wildlife resources on nearly 800,000 acres of wetlands, 2,000,000 acres of uplands, and 7,000 miles of riparian and stream habitats through nearly 40,000 formalized partnership agreements.
In the Service's Mountain-Prairie Region, which includes Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming, the Partners program has worked with more than 12,500 landowners in the past eight years. The program has achieved significant results, restoring 164,000 acres of wetlands, 1,664,000 acres of uplands, and 1,898 miles of riparian and stream habitats.
In addition, the regional Partners program has helped foster several landscape level community-based conservation partnerships. These community-based partnerships are effective at conserving habitat for high priority fish and wildlife species and also promote sustainable agriculture and the preservation of traditional economies. In addition to working with many private landowners, Partners program in the Mountain-Prairie region enjoys strong working relationships with many organizations and agencies, such as The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bureau of Land Management, and state fish and wildlife agencies.
"Passage of the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act will enhance the efforts of the Service's already highly-effective partners program in the Mountain-Prairie Region," said Mitch King, regional director. "From northwestern Montana to southeastern Kansas, private landowners in this region have demonstrated a willingness to conserve wildlife habitat on their land. This law provides the Service with additional tools and resources to help these local stewards ensure the long-term health of the land."
In August 2004, President Bush signed an Executive Order on Cooperative Conservation asking all agencies to strengthen their efforts to work together and with Tribes, states, local governments, and landowners to achieve conservation goals. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Act affirms the Fish and Wildlife Service's dedication to cooperative conservation and its commitment to work with private landowners to further the country's conservation goals while honoring individual rights. This new law will provide stability, highlight the successes of private partnerships and habitat conservation, and recognize the importance of the Partners Program.
Hunters cautioned: Be sure of your target
The Colorado Division of Wildlife cautions big-game hunters to always be sure of their targets, to be aware of the different types of animals that are in various habitats and to know what might be behind their targets.
The rifle season for big game starts Oct. 14 and a variety of big- and small-game seasons continue through December.
"If you are in doubt about what you're looking at, or if you're not sure what's beyond the target, don't shoot," said Tony Gurzick, southwest assistant regional manager for the DOW, "When you're firing a rifle, a mistake can have serious consequences."
Hunters should not rely only on their rifle scopes. Use binoculars to scan areas and to get a positive identification of animals that can't be seen clearly.
Before pulling the trigger, big game hunters must be certain to be shooting at an animal that is legal to kill. Hunters with cow elk tags must be careful not to shoot a spike bull. It is illegal to kill yearling males. But because the small, slender spikes can be difficult to see, these young bulls often are mistaken for cows. It is illegal to shoot a spike bull. In most units, for a bull to be legal, the elk's rack must show at least four points on one side or one brow tine that is at least five inches long.
Look carefully before shooting at animals standing in a bunch. A bullet fired from a high-powered rifle can continue through one animal and hit another.
Hunters also are cautioned not to mistake a moose for an elk.
Be aware that lynx now live throughout Colorado's mountain areas and are listed as a threatened species. Killing a lynx could result in a serious fine and possible jail time.
Lynx look similar to bobcats. The season for bobcats starts on Dec. 1.
"Be sure to look closely at whatever kind of small game you are hunting. Lynx are often confused with bobcats," Gurzick said. "If you are shooting at a coyote, be absolutely certain that it's a coyote."
In late September, the DOW received a credible report about a possible sighting of three grizzly bears near Independence Pass. Colorado bear licenses are for black bears only. Grizzly bears are an endangered species.
Besides being aware of the variety of animals in the woods, hunters also must be sure that they aren't shooting towards any buildings. More and more homes are being built in remote areas and many of them are well hidden.
Domestic livestock also are present throughout Colorado.
"A shot from a rifle can be lethal from more than a mile, so study your hunting area to know what's there," Gurzick said.
Study reveals more about CWD
New Colorado State University-led research shows for the first time that chronic wasting disease may spread through saliva and blood of infected deer, which poses new possibilities that the disease may spread by bloodsucking insects or social contact between animals. The study also reinforces that no tissue from an infected animal can be considered free of prions, the disease-causing agent.
The study suggests that chronic wasting disease, called CWD, may spread by social contact such as grooming among deer in nature and environmental contact. The study, led by Edward A. Hoover, a Colorado State University Distinguished Professor in the department of microbiology, immunology and pathology, also was spearheaded by Colorado state researcher Candace Mathiason.
The research, released in the Oct. 6 edition of the journal Science, tested the blood, saliva, feces and urine of deer infected with CWD to determine ways the disease may be transmitted form animal to animal, which has remained a mystery to scientists.
"This study shows for the first time that CWD can be passed to deer that come into contact with the blood and saliva of infected deer," said Hoover.
"Although no instance of CWD transmission to humans has been detected, these results prompt caution regarding exposure to body fluids in prion infections such as CWD. This study also causes us to reconsider a potential role for blood-feeding insects such as mosquitoes and ticks in the transmission of CWD or other prion infections."
While this 18-month study focused on deer, CWD also affects elk and moose.
"Interactions among deer and elk, especially in high density situations, intensifies cross-contact among animals. This contact includes salivary exchange, which provides potential for CWD transmission," Hoover said. "Such things as grooming, liking and nuzzling are important in the social interactions of deer."
CWD was first discovered in deer in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming by Colorado State scientists in the 1960s. Related diseases belong to the family of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and include scrapie, which affects sheep, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Scrapie has existed in sheep populations for centuries.
Many mysteries continue to surround how TSEs spread from animal to animal or animal to human. CWD now has been detected in deer in 14 states and two Canadian provinces. CWD is contagious to a higher degree among deer, elk and moose than other TSEs.
Researchers biopsied tonsils to detect infectious CWD prions, showing that CWD infection could be detected as early as three months after exposure to saliva or blood from an infected deer - a surprising and important finding, Hoover said.
A seven-year, $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease supported the research.
The study represented a collaboration between scientists from several agencies and universities. Additional researchers within the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences were Gary Mason, Sheila Hays, Jeannette Hayes-Klug and Davis Seelig, and Terry Spraker, a scientists at the Colorado State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Other collaborators were David Osborn, Karl Miller and Robert Warren from the University of Georgia; Sallies Dahmes of WASCO Inc.; Michael Miller and Lisa Wolfe at the Colorado Division of Wildlife; Jennifer Powers and Margaret Wild of the U.S. National park Service; Glenn Telling at the University of Kentucky; and Christina Sigurdson at the University of Zurich.
ACT registration deadlines approaching
College-bound high school students can take the ACT college admission exam on Dec. 9, the next national test date.
Deadline for postmark or online registration is Nov. 3. The late registration deadline is Nov. 16 (an additional $19 fee is required for late registration). Students can get registration materials from their high school counselor or they can register online on ACT's student Web site (www.actstudent.org).
ACT scores are accepted by virtually all colleges and universities across the nation, including the Ivy League. The basic ACT exam includes four parts: English, reading, mathematics and science. An optional writing test is also available. Some colleges require or recommend a writing score, but many do not.
The basic exam takes three hours to complete, plus an additional 30 minutes for those who opt to take the writing test.
The basic registration fee for the ACT is $29. An additional $14 fee is required for students who choose to take the ACT writing test, bringing the total registration fee to $43 for these students. Free sample tests are available from school counselors and on ACT's Web site, which also offers additional free practice tests.
The ACT has long been popular in the Midwest, but its popularity is growing rapidly on the east and west coasts as students in those areas become aware that it takes less time to take the ACT, the writing test is optional, and virtually all school that require admissions tests accept ACT scores.
United Way in Archuleta County
By Tom and Ming Steen
Special to The SUN
Sometimes unexpected but dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval happens in a community or in a person's life. In some cases there are family, church, or other personal support systems that can intervene and help. In other cases there is no support system in place or the crisis or disaster may overwhelm the available assistance. United Way in Archuleta County will allocate some of the funds raised this year to assist the following three organizations that intervene in unexpected and incapacitating crises: American Red Cross, Pagosa Outreach Connection, and Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center.
The Southwest Colorado Chapter American Red Cross prepares for and responds to disasters affecting Archuleta County and the other four counties of southwest Colorado by recruiting and training volunteers, educating the community, collaborating with other community and emergency organizations, and providing relief in emergencies big and small. The National American Red Cross chartered this local chapter in 1917, and its basic mission has changed very little during the intervening 89 years.
The 2005 hurricane season presented unprecedented challenges to the Southwest Colorado Chapter. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in the end of August, the National Red Cross sent out a call for 30,000 to 40,000 volunteers to response to those events. To help meet that need, the local chapter trained 170 new volunteers and deployed 85 of these to the affected areas. Being part of a national organization requires reciprocal commitments of support. We have been lucky in Archuleta County that, for the most part, crisis intervention has usually involved one family at a time and the existing volunteers are adequately trained and able to respond.
Red Cross volunteers are trained first-responders and are dispatched with the local fire authorities or office of emergency management. This arrangement allows the volunteers to offer services immediately on site to the families impacted by the event. Services provided to the family can include food, clothing, shelter, health care, medicine, eyeglasses, household goods, mental health care, etc. There may be a time, perhaps on the scale of the Missionary Ridge fire in 2002, that we may require Red Cross support from outside of the county. Collectively, the goal of the American Red Cross is to be prepared for any scenario.
United Way in Archuleta County is a participating funding organization with Pagosa Outreach Connection. Pagosa Outreach Connection is a collaboration of community-based, faith-based, government and business organizations that work together to provide emergency financial assistance for families and individuals in crisis. Financial assistance is provided to help with needs such as housing payments, utility bills, health care, transportation and vehicle repairs in times of emergency. This emergency financial assistance is provided to persons who are usually self-sufficient but are facing an unexpected crisis. By establishing a single entry point for applicants, the likelihood of duplicate aid by funding organizations is eliminated.
Pagosa Outreach Connection (POC) began in August of 2003. Since then, more than $100,000 has been provided to individuals and families in need. Faith-based organizations, collectively, are the largest financial contributor to POC, followed by the Salvation Army, La Plata Electric Association, the Rotary Club and United Way. Individuals or families are referred to Pagosa Outreach Connection by any agency. They are screened and verified by the staff of the Archuleta county Department of Human Services. Representatives of participating organizations meet weekly to consider applications and to determine the type and amount of assistance to be provided if any. Although there are no specific dollar limits, available funding generally limits grants to between $150 and $600.
The third organization United Way plans to financially support with donations raised this year is the Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center. Their program, Crisis mental Health Services for the Working Poor, provides emergency mental health crisis services for people in Archuleta County. Thorough mental health assessments are conducted to determine whether inpatient psychiatric services are required or if alternative community-based services can support the individual through the crisis. Follow-up services are provided through the crisis or until the consumer is linked to the appropriate community resources.
Mental illness is an equal opportunity illness. It strikes persons in our community in every economic, age, racial/cultural, gender and social group. Symptoms can be mild, or they can be more severe, threatening the health and welfare of the person and those around them and requiring emergency, crisis services. Depression and suicidal thinking are among the most common symptoms. SW Colorado Mental Health Center reminds us that mental illness does not just strike an individual; it strikes the whole community. When a person is challenged with a disorder, it profoundly affects his or her relationships, family, friends, co-workers and all whose lives the individual touches.
Over the past year, 52 percent of those Archuleta County residents receiving emergency, crisis services had no insurance. The net cost of uncompensated, emergency service care to the Mental Health Center for evaluations alone for Archuleta County was $7,260. As the number of evaluations increases, the need for crisis follow-up and case management also increases. In calendar year 2005, they provided 45 follow-up contacts as well as 62 emergency case management contacts to residents without mental health coverage. Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center believes that by providing services early in the course of the illness and during crises where necessary, they are most effective in resolving and preventing more serious problems. In so doing, they build our community's strength and capacity to take care of its own.
United Way in Archuleta County hopes to raise $67,500 through donations during their current campaign. Part of this has been pledged to each of the three above organizations to support their efforts to intervene in family and individual crises in Archuleta County. Donations may be sent to United Way of Southwest Colorado, P.O. Box 4274, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
Next week we will report on two agencies targeting local education issues that United Way hopes to assist with funds raised during this year's campaign in Archuleta County.
Archuleta County cat tests positive for plague
Another cat in Archuleta County has tested positive for the plague. The cat is receiving antibiotics and is improving.
La Plata County has had four human cases and 14 dogs and cats have tested positive this season in southwest Colorado.
San Juan Basin Health Department is reminding Archuleta County residents that plague season in southwest Colorado lasts at least until the end of October and that plague is transmitted to humans primarily through flea bites. Therefore, it is still important to take the appropriate precautions with your home and pets. Either confine your dogs and cats or consult your veterinarian for recommended flea control.
Also treat pants, socks, shoes, arms and legs with insect repellant when hiking, and do not feed, catch or play with any rodent or rabbit species on your property.
Fall is a great time to eliminate rodent habitat such as piles of lumber, broken cement, trash and weeds around your home or recreational cabin. Keep foundations in good repair and eliminate overhanging trees from roof and windows.
For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/plague.
Task force to be created for community college project
By Steve Vaile
Special to The SUN
At the Oct. 3 Board of County Commissioners meeting, board chair Ronnie Zaday directed staff, through county administrator Bob Campbell, to begin the process of establishing a link to a grass roots-based task force that has been exploring the viability of the establishment of a community college in Archuleta County.
Several concrete steps have already been accomplished by the grass roots team directed by Steve Vaile. A Web site is up and running at www.archuletacommunitycollege.org.
There you will find overall information about the task force, updates on sub-projects, volunteer opportunities and a blog focused on the scope of the curriculum, location sites, funding requirements and other pertinent issues. More than 125 community residents and several business have "signed up" to support an effort to establish a community college in Archuleta County. A majority have also committed to working on a task force to meet that objective. The Art Alliance, directed by Susan Neder, is providing valuable input regarding all forms of the arts. Mayor Ross Aragon has placed an item on the Oct. 18 Pagosa Springs town meeting to review a presentation soliciting support and involvement of town government.
Sheila Berger, Archuleta County coordinator of special projects, and Vaile met Oct. 6 and began the process of establishing a collaborative and cooperative working relationship. This relationship will tie the directive of the BoCC and the actions of the grass roots task force together in a fashion that will capitalize on the "best practices" of both entities. An example of this is that advertising will begin today, Oct. 12, for persons from the community to submit letters of interest, qualifications and availability to the task force through Berger. She and Vaile will review the letters and invite those who meet criteria to take leadership roles on the task force. Acceptance of submissions will close Oct. 20.
An open community meeting is scheduled for Nov. 16 to formally launch the task force, introduce team leads, present a summary of work done to date, solicit input from public, discuss scope of curriculum, discuss potential location sites, discuss funding, establish preliminary target dates, and review Colorado Commission on Higher Education study of southwest Colorado Community College viability. This is an opportunity for all members of the community to support and participate in an effort that isn't political and will be of immeasurable and indefinite benefit to all.
Health department flu clinics delayed
San Juan Basin Health Department's Flu Clinics have been delayed until it receives its 2006 influenza (flu) immunization shipment.
While the department's vaccine manufacturer has been very reliable in the past, it is experiencing difficulties this year in determining an actual delivery date. Flu clinics will be offered as soon as enough vaccine is received to sustain multiple clinics.
The health department reminds those wanting flu shots that, while October and November are generally thought to be the optimum times to receive them, influenza protection can be received anytime during flu season and the illness itself typically does not arrive in our area until December and January.
Those needing flu shots earlier should contact their physician or City Market as they may have vaccine available now.
For more information, contact 247-5702, Ext. 1528, for the latest update
Local victim assistance program awarded FACTS grant
The Faith and Community Technical Support (FACTS) program, a collaboration between Baylor University's Program on Prosocial Behavior and the state of Montana's Office of Victim Services (OVS), has awarded $19,096 to the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program to help fund the expansion and strengthening of victim services in Archuleta County.
Beyond supporting direct victim services programs such as crisis intervention and victim advocacy, the grant will additionally address the impact of domestic violence on children who are exposed to it in their homes, as well as coordinate the local faith community on domestic violence issues.
FACTS oversees a national grant competition, which provides funds to support small, rural faith-based and/or community-based programs that provide services for victims of domestic violence and offers technical assistance to those organizations receiving funds. Of the 150 applicants, only 39 were chosen to receive funding, including the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program.
Victims of domestic violence residing in rural communities face unique challenges that are often times exacerbated by the geographic isolation that comes with living in rural areas, said Dr. Byron Johnson, professor and director of ISR. "For example, the delivery of social services in remote communities may be too late or even absent. This project is designed to be intentional in building capacity so that appropriate social service delivery can be made available even in remote places."
This project was supported by Award No. 2006-WR-AX-K001 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, Department of Justice. It is one of several grants given by the Office on Violence Against Women that will provide funds to faith-based organizations.
James the fisherman says all fishermen are liars
By James Robinson
My story begins with a familiar axiom: All fishermen are liars. And most of what I'm about to tell you is true.
My tale begins with my childhood and a friend I'll simply call Nick. Nick was a fantastic liar. He was the kind of guy who would tell you lightning just struck mere feet from where he was standing, but he'd forget that you'd been standing right there with him the whole time. When you told him you hadn't seen any lightning, he would say it happened so fast you couldn't have seen it, you would have had to have felt it.
Nick was also a fantastic outdoorsman. Since before 10, his exploits with his father and brother had taken him deep into the wilds of British Columbia, to alpine lakes, and granite peaks, to multi-week canoe trips on the region's remote lakes. If it wasn't for Nick, I probably wouldn't have become interested in backpacking. But thanks to his vast equipment cache, a beat up pair of Swiss mountaineering boots and unwavering enthusiasm, he got me, and most of our group, into the great outdoors. Still, he remained a fantastic liar.
As our adventures took us farther field and we grew in age, tales of his exploits grew as well. A simple walk-up on a North Cascades summit would become an epic slog, a true fight for survival, an absolute cliffhanger. Tales of quail and pheasant hunting would include details of his sniper-like marksmanship, rapid-fire reloads and scores of fowl wrecked from lead-sprayed carnage. Canoe trips required epic portages and battles with gale force winds. Large fish caught while trolling would swim deep, dragging the canoe tens of miles off course.
When we followed up with questions inconsistencies arose, details became muddy. He forgot key "facts." He slipped up. And we punctured the credibility of his stories like a pencil jabbed through a Styrofoam cup. The process was easy. Liars are forced to remember myriad, often conflicting details, and at times, it must have been impossible to keep track: "Was it 20-inch rainbow or a 22-inch steelhead I told them I caught on the Queets?" "Was it three shots or two that took down a half dozen pheasant?" When we pressed too hard he became flustered. He would throw insults, toss a rock or two and march home. Who were we to question his prowess?
It must have been murder to be weighed down with the burden of compulsive fabrication.
As we grew older still, we became tired of the game. When he would return from Alaska, or another trip to British Columbia, and the sauce started running thick, we would press hard - we wanted details. We would call him out in front of adults, his father or brother who had been on the trip, or worse, his girlfriend. We would jab through the foam cup of his lie like madmen, knowing most of the story was bull. And his father and brother would just smile and shrug their shoulders as if to say, "That's Nick."
At times, when our interrogation got too hot, Nick would coerce one or two in our group of lesser intellect to corroborate his story, although in most cases, they were hundreds of miles from where the purported incident occurred. Nevertheless, they would dive in headfirst, take the bait, and start thrashing like a brown trout stuck on a well-presented streamer. Poor saps.
It was as though Nick believed if he told the lie often enough it would become truth - and that a series of emphatically spoken lies could create a new reality. He never learned.
Unfortunately for Nick, he rarely traveled alone and someone always knew the truth. Besides, Nick had a track record, and in the end, he never grew out of his compulsion. His stories continue to flow until today.
And now I have a tale to tell of my own and all of what I'll tell you is true.
Unlike Nick, whose skills were unsurpassed, whose prowess never wavered, I'm willing to admit when things have gone bad.
I've lost the mojo.
I could tell you I've been slamming fish, that I've been hauling in brown trout by the metric ton, but truth be told, I've had a chronic case of the stupids, of bad juju, and someone's been working some super skanky voodoo.
In fact, I haven't caught a decent fish in more than a month. In fact, my 65-year-old father out-fished me in August. While I was busy matching hatches, monitoring insect life on river stones and hauling streamers through deep water on a sinking line, he was lackadaisically chucking size 12 Royal Coachmen and hauling in creels of trout. He chose the fly because it was "the neatest one in the box."
To add insult to injury, one of my last fair weather fishing weekends found me fishing wet on the first day in an early season snowstorm, while the second day found me miles from home and streamside without my wading boots. Later the same day, I broke my beloved Winston, the one that pulses slow and easy like a John Coltrane ballad. The one that moves long glorious loops of fly line and leader like stanzas of Sufi poetry, the one that lays a size 22 Parachute Adams down gently, like the landing of a butterfly.
How I broke it, I don't know. I didn't slam it in the tailgate of my truck. And I didn't step on it. I was just casting, long and slow, on another monumentally fishless day, when it imploded in my hands.
And since then, I haven't got the mojo back.
I've sent the Winston off for repair and replaced it with my six-weight Sage - the Argentine battleaxe - but things aren't the same. And now, with Monday's snow, I'm finished. Winter has come and the mojo hasn't returned.
This confession has been cathartic, and it is liberating to be free from the burden of fabrication.
I'll close my tale with a familiar axiom, but with one caveat - a piscatorial theorem of my own. All fishermen are liars, but not all liars are fishermen.
And all of what I've just told you is true.
What is populism or participatory politics Šis it Internet "blogs" espousing one-sided positions or is it Republican hooligans breaking into Congressional Representative John Salazar's headquarters a few nights ago, destroying furniture, equipment or making death threats against him or is its non-existence reflected in a disgruntled small town newspaper editor who has failed in his railing against inaction and pleading for local political involvement.
Certainly populism isn't bureaucracy restricting local or popular feelings, as the real "natural brake" on local popular extremism is the size, diversity and scope of the US. Fear of rapid change lead to the institution of the "Electoral College," an electoral process that allowed the election of more than one non-democratically elected president (say hay George).
Fear of change comes mostly from those most effected by change. Our editor didn't complain when the same personally disappointing good citizens of Pagosa Springs foully ridiculed students beginning their political involvement and education Š now Š now just because you've failed in rallying participation of the same good citizens Š tcch Š tcch!
Editor's note: "Republican hooligans?" "foully ridiculed?" Tchh ... tcch!
Bush fails, we fail
This letter is mostly in response to Henry Buslepp's letter, "Invent a crisis," of Sept. 21. He begins with "Last week a letter expressed deep concern for our president in dealing with what is imagined to be a war of terror against Christianity and the free world." Obviously Buslepp was referring to Franklin W. Anderson's letter, "Vote accordingly," in the Sept. 7 SUN.
Also in the first paragraph Buslepp writes, "believe the paranoia this poor writer suffers is the result of falling for a carefully crafted deception to save this November's election for the Republican Party and a presidency that has failed in every area of its endeavor with the exception of increasing the number of low-income wage earners."
I have known Franklin Anderson for more than 21 years. "Paranoia" and "falling for" are pejorative terms that don't fit the man I know. He is a retired U.S. Navy Commander, charter member of the Four Corners Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, rancher in the Tiffany area of La Plata County, and has family roots in Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs. He is civic-minded and has been active and a leader in southwest Colorado on several issues.
The gist of Anderson's letter is contained in its third paragraph: "However, we are at a crossroads that will determine not only the fate of our great country, but the fate of the world. We are currently in a battle that is close to becoming World War III. The Muslims are bent on world domination and have forces strategically located around the globe. It is about time our politicians woke up to this fact and start working together as one nation and give our military the support they need to win this war on terrorism." I agree.
The gist of Buslepp's letter is Bush-bashing throughout. He notes that New York Times correspondent David Brooks described Republicans as "highly disciplined fanatics" and Democrats as "undisciplined neurotics." After defining the words fanatic and neurotic, he suggests that readers "try applying them to just four of our nation's concerns and see if the neurotic Democrats could come up with some plans to help our president reach his goal." The listed concerns are: truth, lying, distortion; torture and illegal imprisonment; the national debt; and inflexible ideology. His elaboration on the concerns has little to do with the threat Anderson says we face.
I have never met Buslepp, but I suspect he is old enough to have learned that we can't go from where we wish we were. We have to go from where we are.
Unless he dies, becomes incapacitated, is impeached and convicted and removed from office, or resigns, George W. Bush will be the president of the United States of America until January 20, 2009. David Brooks also said that Bush understands the threat and knows what needs to be done, but has not done a good job of doing it.
If Bush fails, we all have failed; and all of us will suffer the consequences.
Did you know that there is going to be an initiative on the November ballot (Initiative 1A) that will increase your property tax for at least five years? If it passes, it will allow the county to spend as much money as they can get without the limit you, the voters, approved with the passage of TABOR.
The Board of County Commissioners' (BoCC) "commitment" letter, reported in The SUN, sort of commits to a spending profile for one year, yet the passage of the ballot initiative permits the county to spend your tax dollars for five years.
The "commitment" letter commits to spending 40 percent of the first year's windfall on roads. The next 20 percent will be spent on, as yet undefined, parks and recreation projects and another 20 percent on what can be classified as operating expenses such as personnel training, software and hardware. The remaining 20 percent of the first year's spending is reserved for new jail and sheriff's office plans.
If roads are major money and time problems in our county, why does the first year's spending "commitment" have less than half the windfall money spent on roads? Shouldn't it be higher, 60 to 80 percent? This higher level could meet the needs of the county as expressed by the county populous in many open forums and even in the 2004 election. This higher level of commitment to the roads would go a long way in reestablishing the long-lost trust between electorate and county on efficient use of public funds.
In summary, the county, via their "commitment" letter, seems to commit to funding areas for one year while we are asked to approve their yet undefined programs for five years. The county has planned a first year spending spree in areas that are apparently not high on the electorate's priority list.
One other concern. It must be noted that the "commitment" letter does not legally commit this BoCC nor a new BoCC possibly elected this year and/or in 2008, though it may morally commit present and future boards.
Oh, by the way, the first year's windfall to the county's coffers is estimated to $1,300,000. This, in part, is what your TABOR refund will be if you vote down the ballot initiative.
We believe that it is time for those of us who own real estate in the downtown area, and/or who operate businesses there, to join together and declare for the record that:
(1) We welcome growth, and that we welcome new high-quality development.
(2) We oppose the Town's ability to designate historic buildings at their own volition without the approval of the owner.
Under the Town's Home Rule Charter, the council must take into consideration the comments of the people, for the common good of the community. This also means to minimize the potential conflicts of interest that exist on the current Historic Preservation Board.
We are in favor of the preservation of "truly" historic or architecturally significant buildings. The town's current HPB preservation criterion does not maintain a high standard in this regard. If this trend continues, can Pagosa's downtown economic vitality be prevented from shifting even more dramatically west to the Pagosa Lakes area? We feel the town council's recent rulings that modify the HPB's decisions are positive. This is a step toward resolving some of the current issues that are creating controversy. This, together with economic incentives, can bring about a positive shift in the direction of downtown development.
It is time to ask ourselves if we want to see the "any town USA" type development continue to take place west of town because its "historic" downtown area has withered as a result of poor or restrictive planning. Downtown Pagosa's potential will remain crippled until the planning department implements a vision of strategically located public parking, coupled with suitably designed onsite parking, both of which can support a pedestrian-oriented shopping area.
We believe it is time to encourage and support the development of downtown Pagosa toward a unique and architecturally harmonious historic town that honors its past, yet prepares for the vitality of its future.
Ronald Halvorson and Bill Treitler
I am responding to a letter in last week's paper, written by Worrall. First of all, Worrall, congratulations are in order for actually looking up into our sky! It is unfortunate, however, that our beautiful blue skies are often polluted with these "white streaks." For your information, these white streaks are called chemtrails. They are not the same as the contrails that are left by "normal" jets, which disappear in a matter of seconds. You are right to observe that by the end of the day, the entire sky is white. If you want more information on chemtrails, you can search the Internet. You can type in chemtrails + pagosa springs co. A good site is educate-yourself.org. Our very own Pagosa SUN ran a great article a couple of months ago. Good luck on your search - but prepare yourself: it's not pretty!
My parents have lived in Pagosa Springs for 23 years. I have made frequent trips to your charming city to visit them. During my most recent visit, the first week in October, I was walking along the river walk near the Pagosa Arts Council building.
Unfortunately, my pleasure in the weather, the sound of the river and beautiful scenery was spoiled by the huge number of dog droppings in the grassy lawn area around the playground and down to the river. I felt like I was negotiating a minefield as I tiptoed across the grass from the parking lot to the path and attempted to keep my shoes clean.
I would like to suggest a solution that I have seen in other cities with lovely river walks. They have installed posts with small boxes containing plastic bags and a nearby trash can with signage requesting dog owners to clean up after their pets. I am sure that most dog owners would be glad to be responsible for their pets if they had the means to do so.
I hope that the town council will take this suggestion in the friendly spirit that I intend it. I look forward to many more wonderful visits to Pagosa Springs.
Morro Circle hasn't been graded since early last spring when they took off the snow. Now the paper won't deliver because of the potholes; next will be the fire truck, garbage man, propane fellow and all the rest of emergency equipment.
Please, commissioners and road crew, come see. I have lived here 21 years and this is the worst it has ever been.
Bonnie Jean Nigh
November is quickly approaching and the celebration of the Marine Corps will soon be upon us. Our annual event will be held Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Pagosa Lodge. Members of all branches of the Armed Forces and spouses or dates are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Our cash bar will open at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and dancing. Dinner options are prime rib for $36, grilled salmon for $26, or baked chicken for $24.
DJ Bobby Hart will be providing us with music from the '50s and '60s as well as country western. We look forward to celebrating the Marines' birthday, along with kicking off the holidays with young and old Marines (and the in between), along with our friends from the Navy, Army and Air Force. Please make your check payable to Pagosa Marines and send it to Carrie Toth P.O. Box 5158 Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 (264-9042, firstname.lastname@example.org) Please send dinner choice and check by Nov. 1. Uniforms are encouraged, but completely optional.
We look forward to a festive and fun birthday party.
Why the prices?
I just returned from a trip from Pagosa, to Durango to Silverton, then into Wyoming to Green River, Rock Springs, Jackson Hole, Yellowstone Park, Cody, Sheridan, Gillette and to many other little towns in Wyoming too numerous to mention, finally ending up Estes Park, Denver and Colorado Springs.
What a surprise: The highest gas prices I encountered were in my very own home town of Pagosa Springs.
Now, when remote places such as Silverton and various small remote towns all over Wyoming - and such tourists destinations as Jackson Hole and the Yellowstone National Park - can sell gas cheaper than here in Pagosa, oftentimes by as much as 66 cents per gallon, something seems very wrong here in river city.
On the last night of our trip (Oct. 4) I checked online and found the national average for a gallon of regular gas was $2.30. This morning, gasprices.com was reporting the average gas price in Los Angeles was $2.596 (a state with one of the highest gas taxes per gallon) and a national average of $2.265. One has to wonder what's going on here in our town. Certainly something to think about.
Buy tickets now for Boosters' Hallow-Swing
By Dale Morris
Special to The PREVIEW
Pagosa Springs Music Boosters sends out a reminder to everyone planning on attending their Hallow-Swing event on Friday, Oct. 27, to purchase tickets early.
The dance extravaganza will be held at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, soon to be transformed into a circa 1940s nightclub called "The Purple Orchid."
Bob Hemenger is assembling a spectacular swing band called "The Little Big Band" for everyone's enjoyment - to include Bob, Larry Elginer, John Graves and Walt Lukasik.
Deb Aspen and Charles Jackson will be wowing us as they demonstrate some of their award-winning dance moves, while vocalist Jeannie Dold, accompanied by Sue Anderson, entertains us with a couple of special tunes of her own.
A light buffet will be served, and beer and wine will be available.
Tickets are for sale now ($20) at the Plaid Pony, 731-5262. Advance purchase is recommended due to limited seating at this over-21 event.
For more information, see our Web site at www.pagosamusicboosters.org.
Free concert in the park this Saturday
The Hot Strings will perform a free concert at the gazebo in Town Park, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 (alternative location if it rains or snows is the junior high gymnasium).
Organizers urge you to 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.
Writing sessions open to all
Local writers are invited to attend "Brown Bag Writers" at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts.
Writers of all levels meet every Thursday between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
New writers come to learn about the craft. Experienced writers come to stir up the creative soup and take a break from their regular writing projects. "Brown Bag Writers" provides a relaxed, casual environment for writers to drop in, listen to their muses, tap into the creative river, and learn to not take themselves so seriously.
Facilitated by freelance writer Leanne Goebel, the group is informal and fun. Goebel provides writing prompts in the form of phrases, music or visual stimuli and writers are free to spend 20-30 minutes writing. Then writers share their work (don't worry, if you don't feel comfortable, you can pass).
This is a gathering for writers of all levels and abilities. It is an opportunity to practice writing, to prime the pump. Bring your writing tools (pens, paper, notebooks, laptop) and a sack lunch if you would like. The cost if $5 per session and drop-ins are welcome.
Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Boulevard, stay on North Pagosa to Bastille Drive (at UBC), turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental. (GPS coordinates are latitude N37 degrees, 15.193 minutes and longitude W107, 5.074 minutes).
For more information: log onto http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call 731-2766.
Music in the Celtic Tradition at ECA
By Carla Roberts
Special to The PREVIEW
Elation Center for the Arts presents a concert entitled "Music in the Celtic Tradition," featuring Celtic harpist Sylvia Zurko, John Graves, multi-instrumentalists Paul and Carla Roberts, saxophonist Bob Nordmann and other performers at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.
John Graves will show how easily a beloved Irish melody adapts itself to modern harmonies and different interpretations, with his entertaining musical style and zany professorial persona.
Sylvia Zurko will sing traditional Irish folk songs and play the Celtic harp, concertina and lap harp. Zurko has performed at both the Purgatory and Grand Junction Celtic Festivals, Durango's Art on Main Festival, Silverton's Blair Street Arts and Crafts Fair, Farmington's Showcase Recital Series, Riverfest and Renaissance Festivals. Her beautiful harp playing is captured on four CDs of both traditional and original Celtic harp. She has a master's degree in music education.
According to Zurko, The Celts originated somewhere in the Middle East and migrated across Europe to the British Isles. In addition to Ireland, Scotland and Wales, their influence on music and culture still remains very strong in other regions such as Brittany in France, and Galicia in Spain. Her performance features music from all of these regions, with a brief musical journey going back in time to medieval France with her small lap harp, (a result of her wonderful trip and experiences there two summers ago).
Local musicians Carla and Paul Roberts will fill in on a lively tune or two with their main instruments the "Cittern" or renaissance mandolin, wooden flutes and the Irish drum called the bodhran. Bob Nordmann accompanies them on his classical saxophone, an unusual but very pleasing combination.
Celtic music has captured the ears and hearts of people all over the world with its highly embellished a cappella ballads and lively jigs and reels. Although most commonly associated with Irish and Scottish music, Celtic musical influences are also scattered across northern France, USA, England, northern Spain, Canada, Wales and beyond. Modern day musicians from across the diaspora express their musical heritage with swirling fiddles, flutes, pipes, harps, guitars and mandolins.
Dancers imported from antiquity - can also be expected to grace the stage, when the Celtic meets the Southwest, for a concert of "Music in the Celtic Tradition," Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.
Advance tickets, for $10, are available through elationarts.org and at WolfTracks Coffee House. Tickets at the door are $15 for adults and $5 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 Ave. in the Vista subdivision of Pagosa Lakes. Take U.S. 160 to Vista Boulevard. Turn north on Vista and left on Port.
Elation Center for the Arts serves the people of the southwest region of the USA and beyond by cultivating an appreciation for the arts. ECA offers life enrichment programs focused on preserving our cultural heritage. These programs include community concerts; music assemblies and performance residencies for schools; performance opportunities for accomplished and aspiring artists; and classes in the arts for students of all ages and backgrounds. Proceeds from this concert will help support these programs. For more information, log on to elationarts.org or call 731-3117.
Two showings set for "An Inconvenient Truth"
The Southwest Organization for Sustainability (SOS) will present two showings of the critically acclaimed film "An Inconvenient Truth," a documentary about global climate change, at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, and Friday Oct. 27.
The film will be screened at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall (Greenbriar Plaza, Unit B-15).
Tickets are available for $5 at WolfTracks.
Mark your calendars for the IHM fashion show
By Marsha Preuit
Special to The PREVIEW
Mark your calendars. The Immaculate Heart of Mary fashion show committee is busy working on this year's show.
The date is Nov. 11, at noon, at the Parish Hall. The theme this year is "American Women on Parade."
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce. If you would like to reserve a table, contact Judy Cramer at 264-1156. Tickets sell out quickly so don't delay.
Next Shy Rabbit show features 43 artists from around U.S.
By Leanne Goebel
Special to The PREVIEW
Juror Gerry Riggs, former director of the Gallery of Contemporary Art at CU Colorado Springs, selected 59 works of art by 43 different artists for the upcoming "Forms, Figures, Symbols, a Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Works," Oct. 21-Nov. 28 at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts.
Opening reception with the artists is Sat., Oct. 21, from 5-8 p.m.
"I was delighted that there were so many submissions to choose from," Riggs said. "I thought the intake would be mostly from regional artists but, as it happens, there were entries from all over the country. This means that the show has a national scope, which is more than I had hoped for."
A total of 182 submissions were received from 61 artists working throughout the country, in various mediums.
Artists selected for "Forms, Figures, Symbols" include: Maude Andrade, N.M.; Kelly Angard, Colo.; Sandy Applegate, Colo.; W. Howard Brandenburg, N.M.; Sandra Butler, Colo.; Tirzah Camacho, Colo.; Lou Chapman, Texas; Sarah Comerford, Colo.; Deborah DeGraffenreid, N.Y.; Leah Dunaway, Texas; Lal B. Echterhoff, Colo.; Aaron Englert, Colo.; Ted Fish, Colo.; Ronald Gonzalez, N.Y.; Jean Gumpper, Colo.; C.J. Hannah, Colo.; Crystal Hartman, Colo.; Barbara Heinrich, Colo.; Diana Jacobs, Calif.; Gail Lois Jaffe, Florida.; Bradley Kachnowicz, Colo.; Rebecca Koeppen, Colo.; Shama Ko, Texas.; Marcie Lenke, Mass.; Patrick Linehan, Illinois; Don R. Long, Colo.; Mary Ellen Long, Colo.; Lara Loutrel, Mass.; Raymond Martinez, Colo; Marie McCallum, Colo.; Sid McCammond, Colo.; Daisy McConnell, Colo.; Lynne Medsker, Indiana; Paul F. Morris, Colo.; Maryellen Morrow, Colo.; Al Olson, Colo.; Linda Pampinella, Colo.; Joan Levine-Russell, Colo.; William Secrest, Colo.; Harold D. Seibel, Colo.; Marcy Sperry, Illinois; Don Weir, Colo.; Amy K. Wendland, Colo.
"I ended up selecting about a third of the submissions," Riggs added. "There is a limit as to what can be reasonably exhibited on Shy Rabbit's walls and I'm certain I pushed the number of selections right up to that limit. I recommended that particular related works be hung stacked in order to accommodate more work than is usually shown."
The work selected is diverse.
Riggs seemed surprised that "there was not an abundance of three-dimensional submissions, but I was particularly pleased with the 3-D selections as they were generally quite contemporary in treatment and varied in their themes, choice of materials and execution."
Yet, for a show entitled, "Forms, Figures, Symbols," there were not as many figurative submissions as Riggs expected. Many of the figurative submissions didn't make it into the show, he said. "Not because they weren't well executed, but because they were simply very traditional or academic in treatment. This is a contemporary show and that translates into original, unique or fresh approaches to the subject."
Riggs is pleased with the work and his selections.
"Overall, I think the show is comparable to many good contemporary exhibitions I have seen or curated in the past, and will prove to be a worthwhile, varied and interesting exhibition for viewers," he said, then added: "I'm sure it will also give some viewers something to consider, apart from the usual. I am grateful to Shy Rabbit for allowing me to select the show, as I'm sure they knew that my artistic leanings are far from timid or conventional."
Riggs spent more than 14 years at CU Colorado Springs as the gallery director and an assistant professor. Prior to that, he was a curator of fine art and an exhibition coordinator at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. Earlier in his career he served as the 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. He is an accomplished photographer, session drummer and avid skier.
Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, Units B-1, B-4. 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).
Gallery hours during exhibitions are 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 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 email@example.com, or log onto http://www.shyrabbit.blogspot.com.
'Creative power' topic at UU Sunday service
On Sunday, October 15, Pagosa resident Karen Kauffman will lead a program for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship entitled "Our Creative Power."
Kauffman is a longtime Science of Mind follower, a Reiki Master in Usui, Karuna and Shambala Reiki who specializes in inner-child work. She is also a DNA ll Theta Healing Practitioner, workshop leader and Conscious Language Facilitator.
She states: "We've often been told that we can create anything. In fact, we create everything in our lives. Sometimes this is hard to believe, and hard to accept. But it is an exciting realization that you, and you alone, can manifest all of your dreams and desires."
The service and child care begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, Unit 15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbrier Drive off of North Pagosa Boulevard by the fire station, then left into the back parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.
Food, frolic and fun at Oktoberfest
By Musetta Wollenweber
Special to the PREVIEW
Get ready for the second weekend in October and the fifth annual Oktoberfest extravaganza.
It's time to polka and zingalong to the music of Paukenschlagel. Enjoy the traditional German food and Germa- style beers while you celebrate Oktoberfest 4:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.
Just what is Oktoberfest?
The first Oktoberfest took place Oct. 12, 1810, to commemorate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen (hence: "Theresienwiese"). They organized a great horse race for the occasion. The marriage took place on Oct. 12, the horse race on Oct. 17, therefore there are different dates named with reference to the first Oktoberfest.
In 1819, the town fathers of Munich took over festival management. They decided that Oktoberfest should be celebrated every year, without exception.
History of the Chicken Dance
This dance song was composed by Werner Thomas in the 1970s in Davos, Switzerland, and was originally entitled "Der Ententanz," which means "The Duck Dance," but became known as the "Vogeltanz," " Chicken Dance," and also as "Dance Little Bird." There were many versions of this that became hit songs, but the song and dance have had the greatest longevity in the U.S., where it has become a popular German heritage song.
Oktoberfest just isn't Oktoberfest until you've participated in the Chicken Dance. For those of you who don't know this entertaining dance, we have a solution for you: About mid evening. The third-grade students from the Pagosa Springs Elementary School will entertain you with a demonstration and then l teach you the moves to make sure you are celebrating with just the right style. Once you've mastered the dance, hang on to your hats when Paukenschlagel gets you hopping as you participate in the largest chicken dance ever in the history of Pagosa Springs!
After a dance or two, sing along with your zingalong booklets provided at every table; rumor has it that Larry Elginer, band leader, will lead a few songs to get you started.
The freshly gathered colors of fall leaves, cattails and pine cones in decorative baskets, the brightly colored table settings, delicious pretzels and the aroma of the German meal all help set the theme for Oktoberfest.
As the music plays, you'll need to take a break from the dance floor and participate in the silent and live auctions. Over 60 items, some starting as low as $5, will be available for you as you scramble back to the bidding tables and raise your bids, making sure you take home your favorite items donated by local merchants. A few of the 60-plus items are tools, a rafting trip with lunch for two to be enjoyed in 2007, a massage, art by local artists and handmade porcelain baby dolls.
As the evening winds down and you are feeling a bit tuckered from dancing and singing, the live auction will have you screaming out your bids to get your hands on the fabulous large colorful centerpiece showing off it's brilliant fall colors (handmade by the folks at Plaid Pony), plus a huge basket full of yummy delights from the Choke Cherry.
This year, your ticket price includes a commemorative glass mug along with the traditional meal of bratwurst, (veggie brats too), German potato salad, sauerkraut and a variety of homemade cookies. Refreshing lemonade, coffee and tea are also included. The children's ticket price includes a commemorative non-breakable mug, hot dog, chips and cookie.
In our beer garden, we'll serve craft-brewed beer from three award winning breweries, Pagosa Brewery, Steamworks and Carver's.
You'll enjoy the delightful flavors of FallFest, a German Oktoberfest style beer From the Pagosa Brewery. The FallFest has a light copper color. Incorporating authentic German ingredients, FallFest starts out with a complex toasted maltiness that is followed by a clean, subtle hop finish - a perfect seasonal beer for the fall that you don't want to miss. Or maybe you'd like to try the Kayaker Cream Ale, inspired by the legendary German light lagers of Bavaria. The Kayaker Cream is golden in color, light in body, with malty aromatics, a sparkling brew that goes down easy. Wolf Creek Wheat an unfiltered, authentic German-style wheat beer, is smooth and flavorful with a slightly spicy aroma. A very refreshing beer. Brewmaster Tony Simmons of Pagosa Brewery won first place in 2005 in a national competition with his Poor Richard's Ale.
Steamworks Brewing Company is sending us their Slam Dunkel, a dark wheat beer, just right for Oktoberfest. This award-winning brewery opened its door in September of 1996 in Durango. In April of 2004, Steamworks-Bayfield opened its doors. Steamworks is proud of its four medals at the Great American Beer Festival, the nation's most prestigious judged beer event with a Gold Medal in 1997, a Gold Medal in 2000, a Bronze Medal in 2003, a Silver Medal in 2005 and a Silver Medal at the 1998 World Beer Cup.
Carver's Brewery provides us with its Harvest Festbier (Oktoberfest) for us to enjoy. Carver's opened a Durango brewery in 1988. Carvers is a craft-brewing pioneer in the Four Corners and has grown to a capacity of 1,000 barrels a year (a barrel is 31 gallons). The ales take from 14 to 40 days, depending on the style, to complete the boiling, cooling, fermentation and conditioning processes. All of the ales are unfiltered, unpasteurized, served at 41º F and less carbonated than American Lagers to allow their full flavors to be enjoyed and savored.
All frothy beers are just $3, and you can enjoy them from your commemorative mug.
If beer isn't your style, then try some of the real homemade Mutton Buster Root Beer from the Pagosa Brewery. This root beer is made with pure cane sugar, brown sugar and honey with no corn sweeteners - brewed specifically to be tasty and not too sweet, for only $1.
Be sure to be fashionable and come dressed in your best Oktoberfest costume, the best costume contestant will win two tickets to The Springs for a relaxing soak.
While being fashionable, you need to be sure to get out those dancing shoes. Not only do we have tickets to The Springs for best costume winner, we have a dance contest as well. First-place contestants will dance away with four tickets to The Springs; second-place winners will get two tickets.
Volunteers are working hard to make this the best Oktoberfest ever in support of Archuleta Seniors, Inc. This is a non-profit organization which assists seniors in Archuleta County age 55-plus in need of eyeglasses, hearing aids and medical transportation as well as supporting their health, well-being, social, cultural and intellectual activities. Contributions are tax deductible.
Tickets are on sale at The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center, Chamber of Commerce and the Plaid Pony. Adult tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Seniors, Inc. members are $10, Children 12 and under $5. Family tickets (mom and dad with kids 12 and under) are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Whether you are traveling from out of town or prefer to stay in town for the night, the Best Western, just down the road, has offered a special Oktoberfest rate of $64.99.
For more information, contact me or Jeni Wiskofske at the senior center, 264-2167.
Noted geologist to speak at Lifelong Learning program
By Biz Greene
Special to The PREVIEW
A Lifelong Learning lecture by Dr. Charles Burnham titled "Glaciers, Ice Sheets and Sea-level Rise: What's Happening Now," will be presented at the Sisson Library, 3 p.m. Oct. 21.
Burnham earned his Ph.D. in geology at M.I.T. During his 30 years at Harvard University in the Department of Geological Sciences he led seminars on glaciers and ice ages. He was departmental advisor to concentrators in geological sciences for 20 years.
Since retiring in 1996, Burnham has been lecturing on glaciers, ice ages and global warming all over the world. He is former president of the Appalachian Mountain Club, an avid skier, and currently vice president of the Rocky Mountain Ski Race Officials.
'Let's Explore,' tonight at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts
Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts will show the PBS Series "Art: 21 - Art in the Twenty-First Century," at 6:30 p.m. tonight. "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," featuring Laurie Anderson, Richard Serra, Sally Mann, Margaret Kilgallen and Barry McGee, and Pepón Osorio.
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," said Shy Rabbit's Michael Coffee.
"Let's Explore" 'Art: 21 - Place,' is one night only, Oct. 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 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. Take U.S. 160 to North Pagosa Boulevard, stay on North Pagosa to Bastille Drive (at UBC), turn left and stay on Bastille past Hopi. Shy Rabbit is located directly next to Pine Valley Rental. (GPS coordinates are latitude N37 degrees, 15.193 minutes and longitude W107, 5.074 minutes).
For more information: log onto http://shyrabbit.blogspot.com or call 731-2766.
Join the Knights of Sisson Chess Club
By James Robinson
The Knights of Sisson Chess Club is calling chess enthusiasts of all skill levels to join them in the Sisson library Tuesday nights, for three hours of play.
The club meets from 6 to 9 p.m. and is facilitated by library staff member David Bright, and two top-notch players with extensive competition experience - Karl Irons and Anthony Steventon."Acquiring those two was probably the key to the success of this club," Bright said.
Bright explained that, although advanced, both players are willing to guide novices through the basics and Steventon will keep a data base of club members' ratings.
Formal chess play uses a numbered rating system, which works like a golf handicap, allowing beginners to play grand masters, but more importantly, allows those of similar skill levels to go head-to-head.
Bright said unrated, new club members will start with a "provisional" rating, and after five games will earn a numeric rating of their own.
Ratings span between roughly 1,000, for novices, up to about 2,500 for grand masters.
Although maintaining a data base of ratings may seem too formalized for some players, Bright has plans for the club.
"My goal is to cultivate a crew that could play against other towns, like Durango," Bright said.
The library has five chess sets available for club use and a limited, but growing collection of chess books club members can borrow to hone their skills.
"The library is in the process of beefing up its chess book collection," Bright said. But in the meantime, Bright said the club would welcome donations of unused chess books.
Bright formed the Knights of Sisson Chess Club in September, and the club will continue to meet Tuesday evenings in the library.
Bright said chess enthusiasts are invited to stay for the entire session or can they drop in as their schedules allows.
While Bright hopes the club will foster friendly competition, he added education is also one of its key goals.
"This club is all about learning how to play chess," Bright said.
To learn more, contact Bright at 264-2208, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sisson Library is located at 811 San Juan St. in downtown Pagosa Springs.
Healing Arts Gathering continues organizational work
By Linda LoCastro
Special to The PREVIEW
The fifth Pagosa Healing Arts Gathering took place Oct. 5. The group met at the Wellspring Wellness Center, hosted by Susan James and Jana Heckerman for the first hour. The remainder of the meeting was facilitated by Sophia and Susan James.
The first hour was devoted to socializing and networking; the next two hours were devoted to discussing how to proceed in creating the basic structure for the organization.
Five people volunteered to work as a steering committee for the next three weeks so the questions the group faces can be addressed and made available to all members. The five people are Charlotte Goodwin, Arthur Sattva, Athena Raphael, Linda LoCastro and Sophia, who will temporarily fill this role until the next meeting. Those in attendance agreed upon these five volunteers.
At the request of the Healing Arts Gathering, the steering committee has put together a survey so everyone can participate in the important decisions needed to be made prior to the next meeting, which will be held at the Wellspring Wellness Center, 56 Talisman, Suites 3B and 4B on the second floor, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25. The survey results will be tallied via e-mail and presented at this meeting. In addition, voting for the next steering committee members and for a secretary and treasurer will take place at the Oct. 25 meeting.
The birthing of any organization is a process, which ultimately leads to fleshing out the organizational structure from the foundation up. We are in this process and are taking the steps necessary to solidify our foundation so we can move forward toward becoming a viable part of the community.
Shoe boxes become treasure chests
From Samaritan's Purse
Special to The PREVIEW
Picture a child's excitement at seeing his or her stocking filled with goodies on Christmas morning.
Now, trade the stocking for a shoe box packed with gifts, and imagine the joy it brings to a struggling child overseas who may be opening a gift for the first time in his or her life.
This year, Operation Christmas Child, the world's largest Christmas project, wants to share that feeling of joy with a record number of hurting kids - more than 8 million in some 90 countries.
Pagosa Springs kids, families, churches, school groups and civic organizations are playing an important role in helping to reach out to children around the world who are suffering from natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease, poverty, and famine.
"We have so much in our country, and yet there are millions of children around the world who have nothing and live in desperate conditions." said Nancy Burke, Relay Center Coordinator for Pagosa Springs. She has participated in Operation Christmas Child since 1998. "I love Operation Christmas Child because I know my boxes will impact children, families, and even entire villages of people somewhere else in the world. Perhaps this is the first time a child has received a gift or understood that someone on the other side of the world loves him."
Operation Christmas Child, a project of the international relief organization Samaritan's Purse, starts with a simple shoe box filled with school supplies, toys, necessity items, and often a picture and handwritten note of encouragement. It is a great opportunity, not only to bring hope and joy to a hurting child's life, but to also teach children in this country about generosity and compassion.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and hand-delivered more than 46 million shoe box gifts to hurting kids in some 120 countries.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (731-5901) or visit www.samaritanspurse.org. National Collection Week is Nov. 13-19; however, shoe box gifts are collected year-round.
Pagosa Pretenders kick off new season at Sisson Library
By Barb Draper
Special to The PREVIEW
Another year of stories, creativity and interactive literary fun begins Saturday, Oct. 14, when the Pagosa Pretenders begin the second year of their library program series.
This talented group of local teens and their director, Susan Garman, generously give their time and talent on the second Saturday of every month at 11 a.m. to present a wide range of stories.
Voluntary audience participation is a big part of their presentations. Past programs have included "The Polar Express," "The Cat in the Hat," folk tales, fairy tales, a train trip and more. This year's lineup of imaginative presentations will cover an equally innovative variety of authors and stories.
The Pretenders share stories that are age appropriate for all - from young children through the "young at heart." Join the Pretenders Saturday to find out what a fun hour this is for everyone.
Topics for the Preschool Story Club for October will all relate to seasonal events. Yesterday, the kids had a great time with colorful fall leaves and stories about autumn. Next Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 10 a.m., they will get to meet our local fire chief, Warren Grams, and another member of the fire department who will share stories and fun.
October 18 will be a day with spiders - not the deadly ones, but the friendly ones found in some of our story books. Children will learn to approach spiders with caution, but that there are stories about not-so-scary spiders out there as well. They will be able to take home their very own spider, too.
And, on Oct. 25, what else but some fun stories and crafts about Halloween? Costumes are optional for this occasion. The date is almost a week before the big day, but we know there are little ones who might love to show off their costumes a little bit early.
All Story Hour Club programs begin at 10 a.m. and last about 45 minutes. Moms, this is a great opportunity for you to come meet old and new friends while the children enjoy the stories.
Congregation Har Shalom schedule
The schedule of congregational activities for the Congregation Har Shalom for October-December is as follows:
- 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 email@example.com.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 email@example.com.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Friday, Dec. 15, 5:30 p.m. - Chanukah Party at Har Shalom. Potluck dinner and group menorah lighting.
Clothing giveaway Oct. 21 at St. Patrick's
There will be a clothing giveaway for children and adults at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd., from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Oct. 21.
Kate Terry: In her own words
Editor's note: Kate Terry, longtime Pagosa resident, and Pagosa Springs SUN columnist, passed away last week. Kate began writing her "Local Chatter" column in 1985, making her our senior writer at the time of her death.
Anyone who knew Kate realized she was the perfect writer for "Local Chatter" - she was deeply involved in the community and its events; she made a point of knowing people, knowing about what they did and why they did it. She loved the people of Pagosa Country.
Those of us who knew Kate for many years will miss her visits, her kindness, her humor, her absolute diligence, her obsession with Kentucky basketball, her goofy hats. Kate Terry was one of a kind; it was a great honor to have been her colleague and her friend.
From a 2005 conversation with Paul Roberts
"My maiden name was Katherine Travis Laverty. I was born in 1921. I'm a Kentuckian from three generations back; old Kentucky families going back to Virginia. I come from old stock. I had five ancestors at Jamestown, the first settlement in the original thirteen colonies. But it doesn't put an ounce of food on your plate.
"I'm kin to George Washington on one side of the family. On the other side of the family, I directly descend from President Jefferson's uncle. All these are fully documented. I got so many ancestors and no money.
"As a kid, I was into everything and I talked too much and I read a lot. I always wanted people to know what I'd read. I bored all my neighbors. I knew when one of the neighbors got their magazines, so I met the postman, got the magazine and went home and read it. I'd do anything to read. I read everything and I wanted to tell everybody what I'd read. People were always talking about how much I talked: 'She talks all the time.' I inherited that tendency on both sides of the family.
"I graduated from high school in Kentucky and I went to Western Kentucky Teachers College. I wrote for the school paper. My journalism teacher made my mother promise that I would go into journalism. My father was a reporter for the Louisville paper when he was a boy and I always wanted to be a newspaper reporter. I got a degree in elementary education and I was scared to death to get out on my own - working for a paper - when I could have a salary coming in every month from teaching. So I wrote the school column for the paper and letters to the editor. I was just always writing something. I've written some children's stories that were never published.
"I write about anything. I just have a lot of interests and I like to give information off to people. It goes back to like I was when I was a kid: I was reading something - the article might be on how to clean a house - and I might want to tell the man next door to me, the father, how to clean a house because I'd read it and I thought it was interesting. I like to write about whatever interests me, and what I think would be informative to other people.
"I like to read from several sources and bring them together into one column. That does me more good than anything else. I like to help people where they need it. That's why I like to write by getting it down to a point. I do not like writing that rambles and rambles and rambles. I do not like to write words for their own sake.
"My mother told me my vocabulary went down every year I taught school. People think I have a great vocabulary. I don't, but I am interested in words. I do not have the flow of words that I used to have. That's why I try to write something every day whether I use it or not. Writing is not the easiest thing in the world to do.
"I'm still interested in about ten different things at a time, and reading three books at a time. They're not always fiction. I like history and I like facts. Also, I follow basketball. I watch it on TV. In fact, that's about all there is to watch. I also like tennis.
"I'm a religious person. I belong to the Order of the Daughters of the King. That is an old organization within the Episcopal Church, dedicated to prayer and service. I wear my mother's cross. She belonged to that. Rather than being strongly an Episcopalian, I'm strongly a Christian."
Annual Ski and Sports Swap coming Oct. 28
The San Juan Outdoor Club has set 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, for its annual Ski and Sports Swap at the Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall.
The club sells ski and sports equipment and clothing from individuals and merchants. So plan now what you might want to sell or buy.
To sell equipment or clothing, bring it to the Exhibit Hall from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, or 7:30 and 9 a.m. Saturday before the Swap. The club charges a 20-percent consignment fee on merchandise sold. Unsold items must be picked up between 1 and 2 p.m. immediately after the Swap.
This annual event is sponsored as a service activity by the San Juan Outdoor club in order to make ski and sports equipment available to area residents at bargain prices. Proceeds support the costs of the Swap with extra funds used for college scholarships for area graduating seniors.
Call Nancy or Jim Cole at 731-2073 with any questions.
A great western and a muck thriller
Lately, it's been slim pickings for new releases, so I thought I'd backtrack, and shine some light on two new releases from a couple weeks ago.
The first is a violent, yet beautiful western set in the 1880s Australian Outback; the second is a twisted thriller sporting an all-star cast.
Up first is the critically acclaimed "The Proposition." As soon as the opening credits end, the film wastes no time in hurling the viewer into the ferocity of the land with a scene of a violent ambush led by one of the film's main characters, Capt. Stanley (Ray Winstone, "Cold Mountain"). The survivors of the shootout are outlaw Charlie Burns (Guy Pearce, "Memento") and his mentally challenged, younger brother, Mikey (Richard Wilson, TV's "All Saints"). Upon their apprehension, Stanley offers Charlie a cruel proposition: If Charlie can track down and kill Charley's sadistic older brother, Arthur (Danny Huston, "The Constant Gardener"), for a horrific crime he and his gang committed, Stanley will grant Charlie and Mikey a pardon. The deal has two caveats. First, Charlie has nine days to complete the task. Second, Stanley will hold Mikey as collateral, and if Charlie fails, Stanley will hang Mikey.
Arthur Burns' crimes were indeed heinous, but it is never made clear if the younger Burns brothers were actually involved or deemed guilty by association. While Charlie must accept that one of his brothers will die, his intentions are to protect Mikey, as he apparently always has.
As Charlie begins the hunt for his brother, Stanley engages in a struggle of his own and his desire to civilize the land forces him to grapple with his conscience and his fellow citizens. As Charlie tracks his older brother down, Stanley faces the increasing hostility of villagers, instigated by a local affluent public official (David Wenham, "Van Helsing"). As the tension mounts and the villagers' anger grows, Stanley fears for the safety of his family and his prisoner.
Much of the film is familiar territory when it comes to the characters and the situation between them. The balancing of dynamics with the educated, uneducated, criminal and Aboriginal aspects creates a fascinating perspective. The film's historical background makes it stand alone in deliverance and director John Hillcoat succeeds immensely in capturing the brutality, vastness and remote beauty of the Australian Outback. Many of the film's landscape shots are breathtaking and should guarantee it a Best Cinematography nomination.
"The Proposition" is one of the best westerns made in recent years. Hillcoat presents a genuinely compelling story told with outstanding performances amidst both gorgeous and violent imagery. It's a classic in the making, and certainly one of the best films of 2006.
Unfortunately the disc is short on special features, although includes the usual director and writer commentaries, plus five behind the scenes featurettes, and a stills gallery.
Up next is "Lucky # Slevin," the first movie of 2006 that twisted and turned so much and so hard that I wound up with a headache at the end.
The whole mess begins with several scenes that entice you to keep watching just to figure out what the heck's going on - enter a man named Slevin.
Slevin (Josh Hartnett, "The Black Dahlia") arrives in New York to visit his pal, Nick, who strangely, is nowhere to be found. Instead, Slevin finds Nick's neighbor, Lindsey, (Lucy Liu, "Kill Bill"), who is also looking for Nick and enthusiastically assists, offering numerous quotes from her favorite private eye, Columbo.
What begins as a search for a lost friend, ends up in a case of mistaken identity, as Slevin becomes entangled in a vicious crime war between two rival mob bosses living across the street from one another, who both mistake Slevin for Nick.
As the story unfolds, or in this case, becomes more convoluted, Slevin first meets with the Boss (Morgan Freeman, "Million Dollar Baby"), and learns of the great debt Nick owes him. In lieu of payback, the Boss offers Slevin an alternative - assassinate the son of his rival, the Rabbi (Ben Kingsley, "House of Sand and Fog"), and the slate is wiped clean. Later, Slevin meets with the Rabbi, whom Nick also owes money, but unlike the Boss, the Rabbi offers no creative payback options and demands Slevin repay him within 48 hours. For this situation to spiral even more into the totally bizarre, there's a contract killer (Bruce Willis, "Sin City") playing both sides of the fence to get to Slevin. But Slevin isn't Nick. And where's Nick anyway? And how did Slevin get caught up in this mess?
The film is one big con job. At the beginning, the viewer is given all the clues needed to piece the puzzle together, but before they have the opportunity to do so, they're catapulted into a kaleidoscopic cluster of convoluted and very odd occurrences. The first half of the film tosses the viewer back and forth over and over again until the halfway point, when the big twist finally plays its part and things start coming together in a self-explanatory trap in the end.
Unfortunately, the movie tries too hard to be clever and stylish, and director Paul McGuigan's ("Wicker Park") camera work and editing deliberately confuse the viewer, dragging their questions further than necessary. Unlike such classics as "Pulp Fiction," "Slevin's" disjointed storytelling and arch dialogue don't add to the film. And, in fact, much of the script sounds like a cheap knock-off of a Quentin Tarantino film, and lacks genuine wit, feeling at times excessive and unnecessarily burdensome to an already overly elaborate mystery. It was like watching "Brick" again, except in "Slevin" I could understand what the actors were saying, but didn't really care.
Despite all its shortcomings, the movie is mildly entertaining. And surely, many movie fans will find "Lucky # Slevin" fascinating and intriguing, as they are kept guessing until the very end. However, I can't recommend this muck thriller when there are much better options out there, such as "The Sting," "North by Northwest" or the aforementioned "Pulp Fiction."
The DVD sports modest extra features, including the usual writer/director commentaries, a feature commentary from the cast, a "making of" featurette, deleted scenes and an alternate ending.
Teen Center to sponsor Halloween dance
By Becky Herman
The Teen Center will sponsor a dance Oct. 31, Halloween night.
Part of the parking lot will be roped off; there will be live music provided by the Flying Elmos.
The Flying Elmos are a five-piece band of local musicians who have combined their talents to write and play original contemporary music. Lance Foster, Karma Raley, Joel Aaberg, Diane Aaberg and Cordell VanHart form this exciting, fresh, fun mixture of multi-faceted 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, bongos and sings. Together, they present full, rich music with soaring harmonies - from love songs to political satire to ballads to good ole (new) rock and roll. Look for the band to be dressed up and ready to party!
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 a thousand people attending; we hope to have even more this year with additional activities.
As some of you may or may not know, when the community center offers free programs to the public, such as line dancing, yoga, or computer classes, we ask those of you who take part in those programs, and who are able, to give something back to the center and the community.
Right now our need is for some help with the Halloween Party. There are several ways to do this:
- You could bake a cake or a pie to be given away during the cakewalk contest. We also need bags of candy or other items which we can use as game prizes.
- You could agree to sponsor a game or activity. And, don't worry, if you don't have an idea for a game, we can come up with one for you to sponsor. Sponsorship includes a couple of things - decorating your booth or your space, dressing up in costume, being here for the party (that's only two hours of your time, plus a little getting-ready time), and providing prizes for all the kids who participate in the activity.
- If you can't sponsor an activity, maybe you could volunteer to help someone else who is sponsoring; we always need helpers on party night.
- Of course, a donation of money would be very welcome. We spend money each year on decorations, prizes, goodie bags, new games, new piñatas. Things like that.
Come to the center with your ideas, your community spirit and your checks.
We all know how hectic the holidays are, so resolve now to spend some relaxing and fun time at the center Dec 15. We'll have a potluck and free concert by the Flying Elmos that evening at 6 p.m. Doors will open at 5:30, so that we can set up the food tables.
Although there is no charge for this program, call to reserve your place at the table. That way we'll be sure to have space for everyone who shows up.
The Ruby Sisson Library is hosting a bimonthly meeting of Southwest Area Librarians at the community center today, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The librarians will have a potluck, a meeting, and a speaker, Jerry Gracy from Ignacio, who will talk about time management tips. The goal of the get-together is for local library people to discuss issues and share news and information.
Italian cooking date change
During the first of Edith Blake's Italian Cooking classes, the most wonderful aromas were coming from the community kitchen. The students learned to make a lovely pasta dish with lemon clam sauce. And then there was a green salad dressed with fig balsamic vinegar. If this is making your mouth water, call to sign up for the next class. The date is Oct 25, at 10 a.m. You will need a reservation to attend.
The fee is $10 per class, which covers the cost of ingredients and supplies. Edith prepares enough for everyone to have lunch; sometimes there is even dessert. Please be reminded that no reservations will be taken without the prepayment. And also please note that class fees are not refundable, but they are transferable. If you find that you are unable to attend, you can give away or sell your space to a friend.
The community center was alive with noise and fun, the sights and sounds of learning going on. Last week, our fifth- and sixth-graders participated in a retreat designed to teach them courage. The middle-schoolers were here with their teachers and several people from Youth Frontiers, an organization whose stated goal is "to change the way young people treat each other in every hallway, lunch line and classroom of every school in America."
They accomplish this by conducting retreats, and this particular retreat focused on courage. The group's Web site states, "Šit takes courage for a student to stand up for his or her own values when peers are heading in the opposite direction. In one action-packed day, the retreat empowers students in grades six through eight to examine their fears and commit themselves to acting with courageŠ and to build a more caring and inclusive school climate by encouraging students to accept people for who they are, resist following the crowd and act with moral courage despite their fears."
We can hardly think of a better use for this community center.
The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 19, when attendees will discuss complications of the disease and how to cope with them.
According to the American Diabetes Association, type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In type 2, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use sugar. Sugar is the basic fuel for the cells in the body, and insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can cause two problems:
- Right away, your cells may be starved for energy.
- Over time, high blood glucose levels may hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.
Finding out that you have diabetes is scary, but people with diabetes can live long, healthy, happy lives. While diabetes occurs in people of all ages and races, some groups have a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than others. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as the aged population.
Our Managing Diabetes 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.
We urge you to visit Diana Baird's class Tuesday mornings at 10:30 a.m.; the class lasts for an hour.
Attending will allow you to gain flexibility, stamina and strength, and to reduce stress. While yoga is mainly about static positions and stretching, the appeal of yoga lies partly in its celebrity endorsement, but also because it gives participants a chance to relax and offers a vital release from the rising stress levels many experience.
Diana'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 a yoga session. Call the center at 264-4152 for more information.
For you Line Dancers who are interested in different dances and choreography, check out the Web site at kickit.to. There you will find downloads for lists of dances, choreographers, and songs. There are also detailed instructions for downloading a BPM (beats per minute) counter. This software will allow you to determine the speed of a song by tapping your computer's keyboard!
Remember that Mercy is hopeful some of you may be interested in an evening class so she can join in. Well, Gerry is ready to do two evening classes each month on Tuesdays; so call if you are interested, 264-4152.
Karla Dominguez is offering baton twirling lessons for beginners. The Monday classes start at 3:30 p.m. and last an hour. All ages are welcome kindergarten and up. The first lesson is free, and successive ones are $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. 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 in the next holiday parade.
The eBay Club has decided to meet twice a month instead of once. Meeting dates will be the first and third Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the computer lab. The next class is Oct 18.
Ben Bailey, who began this class, says that 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 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
The next series of beginning classes (Tuesday morning for all ages, Wednesday morning for seniors) will start Oct 31 and Nov. 1 and will last for eight weeks.
At this time, there are 11 people registered for each class. I would still urge you to call the center if a beginning class interests you; sometimes there are last-minute dropouts and you might be able to attend. If not, your name will be placed on the waiting list, and you will be first on the list for classes starting after the beginning of the new year. By the way, there are already eight people signed up for the January classes, so don't wait until the last minute to register.
During the last session in this current beginning computing class, we will be discussing computer security. What programs should you have to protect yourself from phishing, spam, spyware, viruses? What are the cleanup tasks you should perform on a regular basis.? If you are familiar with computers but would like a security refresher, I would invite you to participate in that last class , 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, and Wednesday, Oct. 25. Note, if you are truly a beginner, this class will not work for you. Some of our summer visitors who were attending have left now, and there are four spaces in the Tuesday class and three in the Wednesday class. Call ahead to let us know you are coming, so you won't be disappointed if there is no space for you.
Call the center at 264-4152 for information about classes or computer use. There is no charge for any of the community center's computer classes.
The community center's fall and winter hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday from 10 to 4.
Activities this week
Today - Watercolor class with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.- noon; Southwest Librarians' meeting, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.
Oct. 13 - Watercolor class with Pierre Mion, 9 a.m.-4 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.
Oct. 14 - Oktoberfest, all day; Scrapbooking Club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Oct. 15 - 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. 16 - 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, 3:30-4:30 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.
Oct. 17 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Beginning Computing, 10 a.m.-noon; yoga, 10:30-11:30 a.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.
Oct. 18 - Beginning Computing for Seniors, 10 a.m.-noon; watercolor club, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Aikido, 1-3 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; photo club, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; eBay Club, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Oct. 19 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Pagosa Springs High School gathering, noon-3 p.m.; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.
Need a place to have a party or meeting? We have very affordable rooms for small, mid-size and large groups. A catering kitchen is also available. Tables, chairs, a portable stage, a dance floor and audiovisual equipment are available, too. The center is located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Call 264-4152.
It's important to exercise brain and body
By Jeni Wiskofske
How does your brain work?
How does learning change the brain?
What about memory? How can you enhance your memory or improve your thinking, learning, and creativity?
Your brain is made up of hundreds of billions of cells. You might think of each of these cells as a musician in an orchestra. Each person in the orchestra plays notes that - in harmony with all of the sections in the orchestra - results in elaborate music.
The complex concerto that the orchestra's musicians play is - in this case - your own behavior patterns. Your thoughts, actions, and senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing) affect distinct sets of nerve cells and brain chemicals.
Patterns of chemical and electrical signals travel between the nerve cells in your brain. Nerve cells (neurons) are the workhorses of the brain. Their fibers (axons and dendrites) form connections (synapses) with other nerve cells. When a nerve cell is activated, it sends a low-level electrical current down its axon. This releases brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that reach across the gaps between nerve cells and latch onto receptors. Nerve cells that receive neurotransmitters then pass the signal along, like runners in a relay race. When we repeat experiences (for example, practicing a musical score), we reactivate the same nerve cell connections (synapses) over and over again.
After many repetitions, the synapse changes physically, making the connections more efficient and storing the experience or behavior in our long-term memory. Scientists believe that your long-term memories are actually stored - or "encoded" - in specific synapse patterns in your brain's folds and ridges.
The part of our brains called the "frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex" - especially the so-called "prefrontal cortex" - is where important functions like reasoning and planning take place. Other areas of our brains (the hippocampus, the amygdala, and neighboring structures in the temporal lobe) are connected to the cortex by complex nerve cell connections, which form the core of your brain's memory-processing system.
Enjoy living actively:
- Be active your way, every day.
- Move for the sheer joy and power of it, for time spent with family, friends and nature.
- Celebrate activity as a natural part of you life; fitness feels good.
- Be creative - enjoy movement throughout the day.
- Enjoy the benefits - increase your energy, relieve stress, sleep better, strengthen bones, improve health and resistance to illness.
- Help your body regulate - when you're active it's easier to know when you're hungry and when you're full.
- Fitness not weight is the key to longevity.
- Add years to your life, and life to your years. Take time to care for yourself.
- Share the benefits with family and friends. Have more fun.
Enjoy eating well:
- Take pleasure in eating. Think of food as a friend - celebrate, enjoy, taste, savor.
- Emphasize regular meals and include the foods you like.
- Listen to your body - go to the table hungry, eat till you're full.
- Enjoy a balance of the 5 food groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, meat and alternates, dairy.
- Meet your body's energy and nutrient needs.
- Learn to like new foods - enjoy variety.
- Maintain a stable, diet-free lifestyle.
- Tailor your taste toward foods moderate in fat, sugars, salt.
- All foods can fit - there are no bad foods.
- Trust your body to make up for mistakes.
- Enjoy family meals and home cooking.
Bigger, better Oktoberfest
Want to do the Polka in a line dance? Release a little stress by doing the Chicken Dance? Try some "Craftbrew" beer? Listen to some great German music while enjoying tasty German food? Or enjoy the fun of a silent auction, all for the benefit of our Archuleta seniors?
If so, it's a must that you buy an Oktoberfest ticket. Archuleta Seniors, Inc. invites folks of all ages to celebrate this tradition in style Saturday, Oct. 14, at the community center as a benefit for our Archuleta County seniors. Come and enjoy the festivities from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at The Den Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Fridays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The community center will be selling tickets on Saturday and on weekdays when The Den is closed.
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 under the age of 5 are free. Archuleta Seniors, Inc. members get in for $10. Adult tickets include a full plate of delicious German food and an Oktoberfest beer mug, and the kids get a hot dog, chips, cookie and a festive mug. This is the biggest 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.
Sky Ute Casino
Step into the action and play to have fun during our monthly trip to Sky Ute Casino Tuesday, Oct. 17. Free transportation (with limited seating) provided by Sky Ute leaves The Den at 1 p.m. returning at 6. Play the slots, hang out with friends and win (or lose), you are sure to have a great time!
Visually-impaired persons support group
The monthly meeting for folks with low vision, and their supporters, will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18. Susan Kimbler from the Southwest Center for Independence leads this informative support group. Call 259-1672 for more information.
Subtle energy balancing
Join Kent Schafer at The Den at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, to discuss his ideas and awareness of energy balancing as used in his and other modalities, as it relates to the human body, mind and emotions. Questions, comments and the insight of others will be welcomed.
Dance for health
Dance for Your Health classes will be available at The Den at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18. Karma Raley, the dance instructor, enjoys sharing a love of dance which began when she learned to do the waltz while standing on her father's toes.
Karma blends basic ballet, modern jazz, jazz dance and just plain dance with yoga awareness to create a full body routine which makes it possible to work out to the degree you want and/or need to. In every class, she will do a simple combination so everyone can tap into their inner dancer. Wear loose comfortable clothing and bring a mat or towel if you have one. Join us at The Den and learn great dance techniques while having a fun time exercising!
Aikido is a relatively modern martial art, though its roots go back nearly a thousand years to secret techniques of samurai warriors. In October, The Den is 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.
Free monthly movie
Our free monthly movie at The Den on Friday, Oct. 20, is "Rat Race," rated PG-13. Loosely based on "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," this comedic adventure starts with six couples assembled at the Las Vegas casino of Donald Sinclair (John Cleese) and ends at a train station in Silver Lake, N.M., where a satchel stuffed with $2 million awaits. Scheming slapstick rules the day as Owen (Cuba Gooding Jr.), Enrico (Rowan Atkinson), Merrill (Lanei Chapman), Vera (Whoopi Goldberg) and others go for broke. Join us in the lounge for free popcorn and an hilarious comedy that will have you laughing out loud.
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 aged 55 and over. Through the remaining of the 2006 year, memberships can be purchased at The Den for $5 Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-11 a.m. No memberships are sold Thursdays.
Different colors can decrease glare and increase contrast for different types of eye problems. Yellow/orange lenses help people with macular degeneration and cataracts. Grey/green lenses help people with diabetic retinopathy. Grey/plum lenses help people with glaucoma.
For more information, join The VIPS (Visually Impaired Persons) Senior Support Group at The Den the third Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. or call Susan from the Southwest Center for Independence at 259-1672.
The new garden at the Senior Center is complete and it looks beautiful.
We would like to thank the Pagosa Garden Club and the many volunteers who worked so hard on this project. We would like to specially thank Bonnie Sprague of High Plains Nursery, Jim Miller, the park superintendent of the Town of Pagosa Springs, Ron Chacey from The Pagosa Garden Club and Denise Rue Pastin. We can't even begin to tell you how much we appreciate all of your hard work and how many compliments the members of the Silver Foxes Den have made regarding the newly landscaped area. Once again, thank you so much for putting in the time and the effort to make the Silver Foxes Den a more enjoyable place!
Activities at a glance
Thursday, Oct. 12 - The Den is closed.
Friday, Oct. 13 - 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.; Sisson Library mill levy presentation, 12:45 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 14 - Fifth annual Oktoberfest, 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 16 - Susan Stoffer available, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 17 - Yoga, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; canasta, 1 p.m.; Sky Ute Casino, 1 p.m.; Medicare counseling by appointment only, 1-3 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 18 - Dance with Health with Karma Raley, 10 a.m.; basic computer class, 10 a.m.; Visually Impaired Persons Support Group, 11 a.m.; Subtle Energy Balancing presentation with Kent Schaffer, 12:45 p.m.; Aikido class, 1 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 19 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required) with $1 birthday lunch celebrations. The Den is closed.
Friday, Oct. 20 - The Geezers weekly meeting, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.; free monthly movie, "Rat Race," rated PG-13, 12:45 p.m.
Suggested donation $3 for ages 60-plus and kids 12 and under; all others $5.
Salad bar available every day at The Den beginning at 11:30 a.m. Menu subject to change.
Friday, Oct. 13 - Combination burrito smothered with green chili, lettuce, tomato and salsa, black beans with cilantro, and plums.
Monday, Oct. 16 - White chili with chicken, carrot and celery sticks, cooked cabbage with red peppers, and pear halves.
Tuesday, Oct. 17 - Tuna salad with lettuce and tomato, pasta salad, orange juice, fruit mix with bananas, and whole wheat bread.
Wednesday, Oct. 18 - Beef stroganoff over noodles, steamed carrots, beet salad, mixed fruit, and whole wheat bread.
Thursday, Oct. 19 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). Tuna macaroni salad, cucumber salad, orange jello with bananas, peaches, cheddar biscuit, and birthday cake.
Friday, Oct. 20 - Oriental pepper chicken, steamed rice, broccoli, citrus cup, and whole wheat bread.
Important referendum for disabled veterans
By Andy Fautheree
Coloradans, statewide, will be asked to vote for Referendum E in November to show their support for 100-percent disabled veterans.
The Colorado General Assembly passed SCR06-001 during the 2006 session. Referendum E extends the Colorado Senior Homestead Property Tax Exemption to veterans with a 100-percent, service-connected disability. Just like the Colorado Senior Homestead Exemption, the exemption covers 50 percent of property taxes for the first $200,000 of value in primary residence.
This extension will cover disabled veterans who own a home for any length of time. There is no age requirement for the extension. This reduction will mean an average savings of $466 per year for an estimated 2,237 qualified veterans. This assistance will allow them to battle the rapidly rising costs for healthcare, fuel and home heating.
Many vets in need
Those who favor of the referendum are aware of some of the challenges our 100-percent disabled veterans face. The rising costs of healthcare include attendant care. Many of the disabled veterans who will qualify for this extension require daily attendant care. The cost savings in property taxes will allow them to continue to receive care in their homes and out-of-nursing-home care.
Many veterans who are 100-percent disabled have adapted their homes to accommodate their needs. The savings from this extension will allow veterans to modify their homes so they can perform tasks that able-bodied individuals take for granted.
Colorado lags behind
The State of Colorado currently does little for our veterans when compared with neighboring states. Many other states already provide property tax reductions to disabled veterans and six states do not require that disabled veterans pay property tax at all. This measure will help those veterans who have given so much of themselves and are now in need.
Support Referendum E
Supporting Referendum E is a tangible way to honor our veterans while helping them remain independent and in their homes. Referendum E in November deserves our support.
Don't forget to stop by my office for reimbursement of your fuel and overnight accommodation receipts to VA health care appointments. We are currently reimbursing 100 percent of your VA Health Care travel expenses.
Also, 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.
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 (new City Market). The office number is 731-3837, the fax number is 731-3879, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is email@example.com. 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's Web site: Access to the world's knowledge
By Carole Howard
PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff
We recently were asked by a library card holder, "Can we reserve library books on the Internet?"
The answer is a resounding yes. And your library's Web site lets you do a whole lot more than that.
Thanks to Ellen Wadley, who built and maintains the Web site on a volunteer basis, you can access a wealth of information on the Sisson Library site at http://pagosalibrary.org.
With a few clicks of your mouse, you can easily find what you want - not only from our local library but also from state resources and the Library of Congress - as well as many useful links.
For what's available locally, click on "Book Catalogue" to search for books by topic, author or title - and even to reserve them. "Library News" carries the library columns from The Pagosa SUN. "Clubs and Classes" tells you what learning opportunities are forthcoming. "New Books" describes some of the recent acquisitions. "Kids and Teens" outlines their special programs. "Meagan's Place" explains this unique section of the library devoted entirely to books and games for early teens in the sixth through ninth grades. "Lifelong Learning Program" describes all the programs for adults and seniors. "About Us" offers a brief history of the library.
Another link goes to "Colorado Virtual Library," with information available in English and Spanish. It offers a wealth of resources including materials for kids and teachers plus access to digital collections, interlibrary loans, Colorado's historic newspapers from 1859-1923 and geospatial data. There's also a live chat room.
"Ask Colorado," also in both English and Spanish, has a general questions site, an area for kids and teens, and a college research link.
"Ask a librarian" is a site run by the Library of Congress. Here you can take advantage of a huge collection on all topics from business to law, history to genealogy, arts to science, plus international collections and special formats like maps, music, photographs and rare books.
Back in Pagosa, the library's Web site also has links to local organizations such as performing arts and community groups as well as the Chamber of Commerce and local media.
So, next time you have a free moment, take a trip into the vast world of knowledge just by going into our library's web site from your computer!
The Woman's Civic Club hosts their 32nd annual Christmas bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the community center. This very fun event offers all sorts of food and baked goods to eat there and take home, plus untold goodies to buy for holiday gifts and to decorate your home for Christmas. Word around town has it that Dahrl Henley already is hard at work preparing a huge supply of her famous beef brisket, and Margaret Wilson is selling tickets and gathering terrific prizes for the raffle. You benefit while helping a great cause, as this is the ladies' largest fund-raiser of the year for the library. Mark the date on your calendars!
New non-fiction books
With the prices of oil and natural gas rising, you may want to read Dan Chiras' "The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy," which has practical tips to help you slash energy bills while improving comfort in your home. Gary Paul Nabhan, winner of the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing, has just authored "Gathering the Desert" about the Sonoran Desert. Two-time Pulitzer-prize winner Thomas E. Ricks has written "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq," with exclusive cooperation of an extraordinary number of American military personnel, including more than 100 officers.
New on CD
Veteran climber and journalist Jeff Long's "The Wall" is a thriller set on El Capitan in Yosemite. Janet Evanovich's latest Stephanie Plum novel, called "Twelve Sharp," is available both on CD and audio tape. Richard Morgan's "Woken Furies" is the third installment in the popular Takeshi Kovacs science fiction series. "Overthrow" by Stephen Kinzer chronicles the untold stories of America's toppling of 14 foreign governments, starting with the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893. "The Wal-Mart Effect," by Charles Fishman, tells of the amazing size and power of this huge retail company.
Chess club update
The Knights of Sisson chess club has relaunched and now meets in person on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m.
Thanks to our donors
As always, we are very grateful for your donations of books and materials. This week our thanks go to Jerry Brinton, Susan Dussell, Michael Desver, Gayle Hawkins, Suzan Jay, Dorthy King, Bill Wetzel and Phyllis Wheaton.
PSAC's first juried photo exhibit opens tonight
By Linda Strathdee
The Pagosa Springs Arts Council's first Juried Photography Exhibit and Sale opens tonight and will be on display until Oct. 31.
Tonight's reception will be from 5-7 p.m. at the Town Park gallery. Plan to attend, meet the artists and vote for the People's Choice award. The gallery is located at 315 Hermosa St. and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, contact PSAC at 264.5020 or www.pagosa-arts.com.
Judges for PSAC's first Juried Photography Exhibit are Dean Conger, a longtime staff photographer at National Geographic magazine, and widely-acclaimed local photojournalist, Wen Saunders.
Conger and his wife, Lee, are now retired and live in Durango. He was one of a few photographers granted broad access to the former Soviet Union in the 1960s; his pictures for National Geographic were also made into a book. His photograph of a small girl waving became one of the most popular pictures ever published in the Geographic. When he joined the Geographic staff, he was named Magazine Photographer of the Year. While working at the Denver Post, Conger was a three-time national Newspaper Photographer of the year.
In 1998, Conger produced a major multi-image show on Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." Five hundred photographs from 25 years of travel in Russia were edited to fit the themes of Mussorgsky's music. Seven projectors were synched live to his music on a 10x30-foot screen suspended over the Music in the Mountains Orchestra, playing in Durango's new concert hall at Ft. Lewis College. Reviewers called it "awesome, stunning, beautiful, and even breathtaking."
Wen Saunders resides in Pagosa Springs and Lafayette, Colo. (just outside Boulder). Saunders is a photojournalist known for documenting life events. Her images have appeared in publications and on Web sites throughout the country. American Cowboy Magazine recognized Saunders with a story about her rodeo photojournalism images. The article talked of the authenticity of black and white photography as western art. Saunders' images go beyond the "ride" of rodeo, as she photographs moments before and after the ride. When Saunders photographs, it is a juggling of cameras and lenses, within seconds to capture a moment. Saunders, petite in size, has been known to carry her weight in gear! Her western and rodeo fine art photographs have exhibited in shows throughout the country including Sedona Fine Art Festival, The Pagosa Springs Arts Council Art Exhibit, Open Shutter Gallery, and Cowboy Christmas (during National Rodeo Finals- Las Vegas). A permanent collection of her rodeo images is displayed at Café Blue Restaurant in Boulder.
In addition, Saunders has spoken at numerous state and national conventions for professional photographers. Saunders is known for her in-depth and vibrant seminar presentations, supported by the photographic industry, including Fuji, Kodak, Canon, Hasselblad, and Tamron for numerous years. Saunders conducts PhotoLEARN camps for aspiring adult and kid photographers throughout the country (see www.wendysaunders.com) providing participants a unique opportunity to study with a working photojournalist. Saunders has taught photography and graphic design classes at Jacksonville University (Jacksonville, Florida), Florida Community College, and John Tyler Community College (Chester, Virginia). Saunders holds a B.F.A., in communication arts and design from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Conger and Saunders will be judging entries in this exhibit in two categories, Amateur and professional.
One-day Davis workshop
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.
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.
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.
Pagosa Pretenders at library
Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater, a division of PSAC, will be back at the public library at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, with their "Pretending Books and Stories" program. This program started in December 2005, with monthly events the second Saturday of each month.
The goal is to promote reading and creativity. We appreciate the support of those in attendance and hope you have found this to be an enjoyable time to spend with your children. "Pretending Books and Stories" is free to the public and appropriate for all ages. The October program will be led by Sean and Darcy Downing. So join us for books, stories, skits, creative activities and whatever else the talented Downings bring with them.
The photography club meets the second Wednesday of each month during the club year from September through May. Interested photography enthusiasts are welcome to attend at no charge for the first meeting. Any and all are invited to join for $20 annual dues. For more information, contact club president Larry Walton at 731-2706 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A club field trip is scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 7- 29 in Bluff, Utah, to photograph the Valley of the Gods. Additional details for this trip can be found on the Web link: www.photo-artiste.com/workshops.html.
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.
All PSAC classes and workshops are held in the arts and craft space at the community center, unless otherwise noted. All exhibits are shown at the PSAC Town Park Gallery, unless otherwise noted. For more information contact PSAC at 264-5020
Oct. 12-31 - Juried photo show.
Oct. 27 - Music Boosters Hallo-Swing, PLPOA Clubhouse, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 28 - Great Geezer Artists: A Look at Creative Expression in Old Age. A free Lifelong Learning Lecture by Judith Reynolds, art history professor. Sisson Library at 3 p.m.
Nov. 2-23 - PSAC Members Gift Shop.
Nov. 4 - Randall Davis drawing class, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Nov. 8 - A Walkabout: How An Artist Looks at Art. This will be an an artist's personal impressions of several paintings. A free Lifelong Learning presentation by Pierre Mion. Wild Spirit Gallery at 10 a.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 (email@example.com). 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.
America's First Perfect - Groth '85 Reserve Cabernet
By Laura Winzeler
Hard to imagine, I know, but in the fall of 1988 I left a hot and miserable existence in Fresno, Calif., for a hot and idyllic existence in the Napa Valley.
Heck - I had close family there. It's not like the area offered anything else of interest to me. I landed a waitressing job at a French restaurant in Yountville (no, not the French Laundry, sadly) on my 31st birthday and thus began my accelerated introduction to the local wineries, winemakers, chefs, caterers, vineyard managers and other demi-gods of the valley.
Soon, I was waitressing at Auberge du Soleil, working for several of the Valley's busiest caterers, and eventually created my own little freelance food and wine service. I got paid a decent hourly wage for pouring wine and serving incredible food for a plethora of winery and private parties. Heaven, despite the brutal heat.
Fortune (and my manicurist) introduced me to Judy Groth, co-owner with husband Dennis of the Groth Vineyards and Winery in Oakville, Calif. Mrs. Groth was a wonderful cook and frequently found herself entertaining all manner of industry folk in the opulent winery dining room serviced by her perfect, self-designed catering kitchen. I was the hired help, upon occasion. The Groth's eldest daughter, Elizabeth, was the director of marketing, and we become fast friends.
All of this access allowed me to purchase two bottles of the Groth 1985 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was released on Feb. 1, 1989, and Robert Parker decreed it to be: "America's First Perfect," awarding it a perfect score of 100 points. I still have the winery's promotional T-shirt that says as much.
Needless to say, for him to crown a California Cabernet with a perfect 100 was marketing magic. The Wine Spectator chimed in with a 97, and the Groths had a winemaking coup on their hands.
Groth Vineyards & Winery was established in 1982. More than 100 tons of grapes from the family vineyards were crushed into the first vintage that year. Production increased quickly to 30,000 cases by 1984. In 1985, the winery needed full-time attention from Dennis and Judy and they moved their family to the Oakville property. The first phase of construction had been completed on the winery and by 1989 the winery was done. Over the next decade, Groth Vineyards & Winery firmly established its reputation as an outstanding producer of Napa Valley wines. Production increased to approximately 40,000 cases annually and Groth began to use all of the grapes from the estate vineyards.
Back in 1985, Nils Venge was the winemaker extraordinaire in residence. He founded his own Oakville winery, Saddleback Cellars, in 1982 and parted ways with Groth in 1993 to bask in his own full-time glory at Saddleback. The 1985 growing season brought a warm spring and an earlier than normal bud break. The rest of the summer was long and cool. The fluctuating weather slowed down the usually hectic picking and crushing frenzy, allowing the winery to concentrate on each of the varietals a bit longer during the hand-harvest and crush process. All of the grapes for the 1985 reserve came from one section of the Oakville vineyards that border the winery. The blend was 80 percent cabernet sauvignon and 20 percent merlot. It spent 24 months aging in new French oak and another year aging in the bottle. The alcohol level was 13.4 percent upon release.
I paid $25 each for my two bottles. I don't recall when or where I drank the first bottle, but it could have been one night at Piatti's in Sonoma with Elizabeth Groth. I know we opened someone's '85 Reserve Cab over dinner; hers, mine, ours - who can recall so many years later?
I do recall the wine. It was by far one of the most rich and complex reds I had ever tasted. The fruit was lush and silky, brimming with deep cherry and berry flavors and nuances of coffee, chocolate, and plum. The merlot grapes contributed the perfect portion of earth, pepper and tannins and the finish was smooth, long and lingering. The wine was all the rage and a prized possession to be treasured.
I remember my absolute commitment to not touching my second bottle for a long while, even when it was my last bottle of wine, and even when I was down to my last dollar. By then, folks were paying between $300 and $400 per bottle. Near riots ensued in the winery parking lot as wine geeks plotted their acquisition strategies. It was my first inside look at the lunacy often inspired by 750ml of fermented grape juice. A cult wine pioneer to be sure. I saved my second bottle, schlepped it to Monterey with me in 1991, and somewhere around 1992 or 1993, I finally broke down. I hauled it out of the garage and opened it, all alone, in my funky Monterey Bay apartment. It was good, it was "auspicious," but it was a bottle of wine, for God's sake.
I reflected upon just how much numinosity and sacredness I had projected upon this one bottle; so many memories and expectations spanning so much time. The experience again reminded me that perception and limited availability of anything is 95 percent of the magnetism. I still think fondly about the wine and those years; the very inspiring and educational times with the Groth family at their beautiful winery and vineyards. They also produce great sauvignon blancs, in case you ever run across one, and continue to operate their winery as a closely-held family business. Daughter Elizabeth relocated to Atlanta in 1993 and appears to run a very successful wine and food retail operation, Embry Village Wine and Spirits.
Speaking of long-standing Napa Valley cabernet classics and Boss' Day last Monday, my boss lady presented me with a congratulatory bottle of Stags' Leap 2002 cabernet sauvignon not too long ago. Despite my attempts to cellar it until winter, there inevitably came that one night when it was the only bottle around and I was down to my last dollar and, well, you know the rest.
I was surprised by the wine's light structure but enjoyed the trip down Napa Cab Memory Lane. The soft red berries and cherries were nicely supported by a hint of spice, chocolate and dark coffee. 92 percent cabernet sauvignon, 6 percent cabernet franc, 2 percent merlot, and 14.1 percent alcohol. You gotta know that the $48 price tag makes it one of the most expensive wines I've enjoyed all year.
And enjoy it I did!
Sloppy Joes in a tidy virtual world
By Karl Isberg
My friend is visiting, and he is a very smart person.
He forgets, however, I am an idiot, neglects the fact I can't concentrate on anything for more than 30 seconds or so, and attempts to have an intelligent conversation with me.
He tries to do this while I am watching TV. To avert an embarassing social faux pas, I hit the mute button on the remote and turn to a position where I can pretend to look at him, all the while keeping an eye on the screen in case something bright and shiny appears there. Bright and shiny things fascinate me, especially if they move.
My friend's topic: The possibility that our culture is now defined nearly exclusively by consumerism, by consumption and a slavish relationship to corporate America - no longer by reading, art, conversation, history (as if it ever was). He asserts, in fact, our culture relies more and more on an ignorance of history and the embrace of kitsch, on ignorance of the values available in literature and philosophy, on public education geared to a productive role in a corporate machine, on the total immersion of the individual in an ocean of transient goods and exposure to a relentless barrage of ideas - political and commercial (as if they are different) - so shallow they are no more than slogans.
As he mentions this, I notice a woman on the screen is blasting the living daylights out of her thighs and rear end with a medieval looking device - all elastic bands and springs. It must work: her thighs are magnificent, Olympian. Who wouldn't want thighs like that? She is in absolute control of her appearance and, therefore, of her universe. To look superior is to be superior.
My friend is still talking.
Šthat, with each passing day, what it means to be an American - and increasingly, a citizen of the globe in this ever flatter world - is defined by what one purchases, what one owns, where one lives, what one does to produce the income necessary to own more things, by the trite political labels they attach to themselves. That, in fact, what we are as persons is increasingly defined by our cooperative response to corporate ad media-driven political demands.
In short, he asks, are we trapped in a net cast by increasingly dominant commercial entities and a parallel economic and political elite, lured in by an appeal to a logo-burdened sense of self - a sense of self built with a deliberately short horizon line, resting on a foundation of indulgence and immediate gratification?
What kind of liberal freak is this guy?, I ask myself. But then, something moves on the periphery, and I fail to say anything. A guy on the tube is selling a product that removes mold from grout. Like magic! You've got a moldy bathroom, for example. Well, first, what does that say about you? Nothing good, you can be sure. Your neighbors, after all, do not have moldy bathrooms. One application of the magic formula and you can invite the Queen of England to have dinner, in your bathroom, and you will feel not an iota of shame. Buy it. Now.
My friend is still talking.
Could it be our major media are operated to shift consciousness to topics and events structured to divert us from consideration of certain realities - the growing gap between the wealthy and the poor, the intentional attempt to destroy public education with governmental mandates, the steady undermining of states rights and local governmental control, damage to the environment, the shrinking middle class, the commercialization and homogenization of politics, the increasing lack of loyalty of giant business interests to any and all nations, the impending serfdom of the overwhelming majority of the planet's population, misguided violence and political evil? Has our news become entertainment of a perverse sort, designed like sitcoms, as mindless filler between commercials?
Out of the corner of my eye, I watch a Hummer blast through a major league berm of snow. I decide I want a silver Hummer, with special hip-hop wheels and rims. My new vehicle will feature a sound system capable of breaking glass at a distance of 100 yards and I will have a television system installed so members of my posse can watch music videos as we blast our way through banks of snow, effortlessly, at 50 miles per hour and 8 miles per gallon. We will impress many, many people as we wheel carefree across their property. We will be important because my vehicle is huge, and loud. A lot bigger and louder than yours. I might even cover it with decals.
My attention wanders back to my friend's monologue.
Look at national politics, for example. Democrat or Republican? Isn't it kind of foolish to think there is a great difference between the two? The media's been in a frenzy to create the right versus left, liberal versus conservative distinction, to prime people's gullibility, massage them as they swallow the questionable distinction because it is made personal, shaped to fit their ego needs. But, upon examination, isn't each faction as beholding as the other to corporate money, interests and demands? Haven't people been conned into adopting false political identities, their energies diverted to an empty, loud discourse characterized by exaggeration, anger and falsehood? Haven't people been conned into becoming political caricatures and turned against each other so they don't get together and turn on those who really deserve the ire?
Suddenly, there it is, on the screen: something truly revolutionary. I halt the conversation.
"You want meaning? You want substance?" I ask my friend. "Don't hand me your kitsch-as culture crapola. Regardez, mon ami. I mean, check it out; it's incredible."
There it is, all bright and shiny, held in the hands of healthy, fit-looking people, who've gathered on a snazzy patio, each illuminated by the strongest of suns, happy in a way only fully satiated consumers can be. It's the Plate Caddy. Available through a one-time television offer. All major credit cards accepted.
Never again will your party guests have to fumble with a risky combination of plate, eating utensils and glass or cup.
Think about it. You can throw a luau, a cocktail party or a holiday bash at the new grotesquely large third home you built on former ranch or farm land, and never have to worry about a guest ruining a new outfit from Lord and Taylor with spilt food and drink. Nothing is going to slop on to those Dolce & Gabannas.
Not when you've got the Plate Caddy.
Could anyone criticize consumer culture once they've seen this beauty? It's a space-age piece of molded plastic that looks like it's straight from the bridge of The Enterprise. Look at it: Imagine Kirk and Spock and the rest of the interstellar gang putting their chow on these sleek wonders. The plastic plate is locked in place in the center of the caddy; a cup holder makes the drinks secure as the enterprise goes to Warp 7. There's a utensil slot on the side for knife, fork and spoon, just in case the crew needs to draw their phasers and rub out a Klingon or two.
Who says kitsch is lacking in depth and not related to fundamental needs? Who wants Chaucer or Rembrandt, who cares about Toynbee or Spengler, when you've got a creation like the Plate Caddy?
Plus, each caddy has a special, color-coded "snack pick" with it so you'll always know which caddy goes with which guest when it comes time to circulate with another platter of store-bought meatballs.
I ponder the purchase of a set of plate caddies.
Let's see, I say to my friend: I'm rabidly antisocial; I inhabit virtual space, full of jingles, low interest rates and special, one-time offers. I have little time left for real people. So, should the occasion arise when I actually allow people into my house and serve them food, how many caddies will I need?
I can't foresee inviting more than six people total for dinner, and that's stretching it. After all, I have a couch and two chairs in the living room, all placed directly in front of the television set. The idea of eight or more guests is out of the question; someone would not be able to see the screen, and someone would be likely to interrupt my favorite programs with things like "meaningful conversation."
Unfortunately, the caddies are sold in sets of four, so I will have to purchase two sets, keeping two caddies aside in case I lose or break one of the essential six. (Break a space age plastic plate caddy? Not gonna happen.)
When my caddies arrive (I'll have them sent next-day express) I'll surprise my socially deprived wife and throw a caddy party. We'll set the event to coincide with the prime hours on the Shopping Network - it's cubic zirconia month, you know. Talk about sparkly.
What to have? What is the perfect food for a plate caddy and an evening of rocking good commercial fun?
Obviously something that, with tan ordinary plate-cup-utensil combo, would set the stage for disaster. Something hot and messy, hard to manage without the help of modern industry and design. Something in harmony with contemporary tastes, with the consumer culture, with globalization. Something kitschy.
This is a fine one, both tastewise and in terms of symbolic meaning.
Think about it: A huge packing plant located somewhere in Nebraska uses uninsured illegal workers to grind random chunks of animals (and the occasional uninsured illegal worker) together to produce the meat I'll use as my base. How about some tomatoes, genetically engineered and grown to a point where they are full-sized, green and hard, then turned red through the scientific application of a gas while they are in transit in an abysmally hot truck? Oh yeah.
And I'll need some onion and garlic and green pepper, again genetically engineered to create the right appearance (Flavor? What's flavor? Who needs it?), sprayed repeatedly and kept bug free. Liquid smoke, produced in a test tube? OK, bring it on. Some spices finish off the list, the pungent goodies harvested somewhere in Southeast Asia by 10-year-olds working for 25 cents per day. I'll plop the saucy melange on top of hamburger buns saturated with preservatives and other additives, baked thousands at a time in an automated facility outside Spokane. For a beverage: simulated orange drink, chock full of artificial flavor and colorings. Ahhh. If it was good enough for astronauts, it's darned well good enough for me.
"That ought to suit the new cultural elite you're so worried about, eh?" I say to my weak-kneed intellectual friend.
In my zeal, I hadn't noticed he was gone.
I hit a button on the remote. The sound is back on. Life is good.
A talking head on the news says gasoline prices are down somewhat and Lindsey Lohan has barfed in a Hollywood club. The president is looking to pick a fight in North Korea or Iran and L'IL Bow Wow has advice for kids thinking about dropping out of school.
Did you know there's a new plastic wrap that seals with the touch of a finger?
Twenty more Americans died in Iraq. Two hundred Iraqis.
No child is left behind. An no child (who is not in a private school) is truly educated.
"You deserve a break today Š"
With nothing down.
Take steps to save energy at home
By Bill Nobles
Oct. 13 - 2:15 p.m., new 4-H Club meeting.
Oct.18 - 10 a.m., Garden Club meeting.
Mountain View Homemakers
The regular meeting of the Mountain View Homemakers will be at noon today, Oct. 12, at the Community United Methodist Church hall. Join members for a potluck luncheon and a cookie exchange.
Contact Jo Hannah for more information at 731-3560.
Conserve Energy in your home
Did you know that the average house uses 38 percent of its total annual energy use on heating? Start taking measures now to identify ways you can save energy in your home.
- Set your home thermostat as low as comfortable (65 to 68 degrees F is suggested) when the house is occupied.
- Set back the thermostat by as much as 10 F at night or when the house is unoccupied during the day.
- Set back the thermostat to 50 to 55 F when the house is unoccupied for over 24 hours.
- Install a programmable thermostat to automatically provide the setbacks mentioned above.
- Close the fireplace damper - except during fireplace use. Reduce heat to unused rooms in the house close doors and heat registers too.
- Close curtains and shades at night.
- Replace furnace filters once a month during the heating season.
- Remove any obstructions and clean heating registers regularly.
- Have certified maintenance personnel service and check your furnace regularly - every three years for gas fired furnaces.
- Seal all joints in sheet metal ducts in a forced air furnace with mastic or appropriate tape; insulate ducts passing through unheated spaces.
- Minimize the use of kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans or install a timer switch on them.
- Install insulating gaskets behind electrical outlets and switch plates on exterior walls.
- Caulk and weather strip doors and windows.
- Caulk and seal leaks where plumbing, ducting or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls, floors, and ceilings.
- Upgrade ceiling insulation to R-38 (higher R values mean greater insulation levels and thus more energy savings).
- Insulate exterior heated basement walls to at least R-11.
- Insulate floors over unheated areas to R-19.
- Install storm windows over single pane windows.
- Replace aging furnace, when needed, with an energy efficient model.
- Replace single pane windows with energy efficient double pane windows mounted in non-conducting window frames.
- Repair leaky faucets.
- Reduce the temperature setting of your water heater to warm (120 F).
- Add an insulating blanket to your water heater.
- Install low-flow showerheads.
- Wash clothes in warm or cold water using the appropriate water level setting for the load.
€Replace water heater, when needed, with an energy efficient model.
- Maintain refrigerator at 37 to 40 F and freezer section at 5 F.
- Maintain stand alone freezer at 0 F.
- Choose a refrigerator/freezer with automatic moisture control.
- Use toaster ovens or microwave ovens for cooking small meals. Adjust the flame on gas cooking appliances so it's blue, not yellow.
- Replace a gas cooking appliance with a unit with an automatic, electric ignition system.
- Run the dishwasher only with a full load of dishes.
- Air dry dishes in a dishwasher.
- Regularly clean the lint filter on your dryer and inspect the dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked.
- Shut down home computers when not in use.
- Select appliances (i.e., curling irons, coffee pots, irons) with time-limited shut-off switches.
- Replace aging major appliances, TVs and VCRs when needed, with energy efficient models. Compare the annual energy consumption and operating cost for each appliance by looking at the bright-yellow and black Energy Guide label when shopping for new appliances.
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Use task lighting whenever possible instead of brightly lighting an entire room.
- Install compact fluorescent lamps in the fixtures which receive high use.
Now you have reviewed the above items in the checklist and made note of those you need to address. The next step is to prioritize these items according to their cost and appropriateness for your situation and lifestyle. Next, refine your home energy conservation plan using these prioritized items as a guide. Finally, implement the plan as time, your energy, and budget allows.
It's a mud bog now, but be patient
By Ming Steen
The parking lot at the PLPOA administration building, which is being rebuilt, is one muddy mess.
We luxuriate in this wet weather, but it sure does change the pace of outdoor construction. Overall, the progress on the parking lot is slow (even with the workers pushing themselves hard in fine weather), and it will be at least two weeks before completion, inshah allah (God willing).
The muddy parking lot reminds me of the good ol' days. Why do we say "good ol' days," because not everything of the past is good?
Another reminder that the PLPOA will be hosting an orientation meeting next Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the clubhouse. This meeting is open to new owners, old-timers and any property owners who would like to obtain more information about their association.
The Road Advisory Committee will present a discussion on the proposed "de-Brucing" of the TABOR Amendment, and its impact on your pocketbook and road maintenance services. Come learn and share.
The PLPOA monthly board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. today in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. Members and observers are encouraged to attend. Public comments are heard at the beginning of the meeting.
The board will be reviewing three recommendations for lake use from the Lakes, Fisheries and Parks Committee. When approved, the recommendation will go into effect Jan. 1, 2007.
A special lake use regulation for Lake Hatcher proposes reducing the daily bag limit of three trout and two bass to a daily bag limit of one trout or one bass, and reducing fishing methods to artificial flies and lures only. This proposal is intended to improve the quality of fishing experience at Lake Hatcher by protecting larger fish. The other three lakes - Pagosa, Forest and Village - will remain offering the current bag limits and fishing methods.
The second recommendation is for modification to the fishing hours at Village Lake. It is currently open to fishing from one hour before sunrise to midnight. The change will bring Village Lake fishing hours in line with the other three lakes - which is from one hour before sunrise until dark.
The third recommendation is to establish a property owner boat registration program to take effect in 2007. This will require all boats on the lakes to be registered annually with PLPOA for a fee of $5. The registration will help the association keep track of the numerous boats that are utilizing the lakes, as well as those being stored in the common lake areas. This will also ensure that all boat users are provided with safety and boat use regulations for the lakes.
Diplomats: Pagosa's tourism ambassadors
By Mary Jo Coulehan
So, you think you know Pagosa?
How would you like to have 40,000 people ask you all sorts of questions about our area and expect you to know the answers?
Pagosa's Chamber diplomats or tourism ambassadors are the people who hear the questions, and who have the answers.
While every year at our diplomat thank-you luncheon, we try to remember the funniest or most unusual question heard at the Visitor Center during the summer, the average visitor wants to know where to eat, sleep, and shop, about tourist attractions to visit and where they can look for real estate.
Many people are intrigued by our community and want to know the amenities we have; they want to know about our town and county governments, and they want to know about what businesses are here or what businesses might come into the area.
Our volunteers strive to keep up with all the latest "happenings" around town. It is for this reason that it is critical for us to receive the latest and greatest information from businesses about changes in hours, days or services. Nothing is more frustrating than giving out wrong information, just because we weren't included in the loop!
These volunteers take great pride in their work.
Many volunteers have a regular shift where they come and work on a particular day each week. Volunteers fill in for someone who is sick or goes on vacation. We have volunteers who have been serving our community for over 20 years. We also have people new to our area. We have two 90-plus-year-old volunteers who can tell our visitors and staff members stories about how Pagosa was and where certain businesses used to be.
In 2006, with the help of our volunteers, the Visitor Center was open seven days a week. We were open six or seven days a week last winter and plan to do the same this coming winter season.
In 2005, our tourism ambassadors welcomed over 35,000 guests. In 2006, up to August, our volunteers have greeted over 38,000 people. They worked the holidays and helped man the information booths at both bicycle tours.
These volunteers work here because they love this community. Actually, one volunteer says it's the only job he has had where he can tell the people where to go and not get in trouble. Many of our volunteers also volunteer for other organizations such as the Humane Society, Chimney Rock, the library and the senior center. They lead tours for the San Juan Outdoor Club or give of their time to the schools.
On Monday, Oct. 16, we will once again thank these wonderful community ambassadors.
We also thank the businesses that have been kind enough to donate a coupon or little gift item for the volunteer thank-you bags or as door prizes. We appreciate you letting the diplomats know you value their hard work.
If you would like to be a tourism ambassador for the Pagosa Springs Visitor Center, contact us at 264-2360. We have training sessions in May, but will be happy to work with you over the winter months. Thank you to the over 50 volunteers who represent our community here at the Visitor Center, and in so many other ways.
The second of three business-builder seminars is slated for Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the community center.
The talk was originally slated to be about benefit packages that small businesses might be able to offer or afford, but we are going to switch this seminar to November. The class originally set for November is now going to be offered in October and it will be on benchmarking and working your profit margins.
The class will be conducted by Joe Keck, director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College. Joe comes to the Chamber the fourth Tuesday of every month to consult with existing or future business owners.
Imagine this: you open a free standing small retail store, then a super center store moves in across the street. Can you survive? Keck and his wife not only survived but have a thriving business where they found their "niche" in the retail gift market.
This class will be geared to looking at how to work your profit margins and build your business once you find that niche in your market arena. Can you figure out why you're working harder, you're busier, but you aren't making any more money? Perhaps it's in your profit margins. Joe will show you ways to look at your cash flow statements and will show you how to manage your balance sheets. You say, "Well I've been in business a long time and I know how to do all this!" Do you? Learn some tricks that might help you squeeze more profit from your business.
This is the second of the three series seminar geared at helping our small business owners expand their businesses, manage better, and perhaps even look at benefit opportunities for themselves and employees. Seating is limited at these classes. The class will be held from 9 a.m. to noon and the cost of attending is $20 for Chamber members and $25 for nonmembers.
We hope you take advantage of this fall business-builder series.
Another opportunity offered to the community by the Chamber is the monthly SunDowner. These events are made available to Chamber members and invited guests as a way to network a business and see the facilities and services of the hosting business.
This month, the after-hours mixer will be held at the beautiful cabins at Hart's Rocky Mountain Retreat on U.S. 84. The October SunDowner will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25. Come out to the Hart's and see their well-appointed and gorgeous cabins, all the work that they have done to the grounds, and view examples of their workmanship. It's not only a fun time, but you never know what referral you might pick up or give out.
Don't forget to take some time Saturday, Oct. 14, to come out and celebrate Oktoberfest, Pagosa style.
This event, hosted by the senior center, is the big fund-raiser for the year and a great time for the community.
Genuine German fare will be served along with local craft-brewed beer. Attendees will also be able to dance to the music of the Pauken Schlagel band. Advance tickets are still available at the Chamber, the senior center and the Plaid Pony. Adult tickets are $13, and ticketholders will receive a commemorative beer stein. There are family pack tickets available for $30; children under 5 get in for free. In case your child doesn't want the sauerkraut, there will be a children's menu available.
Come out and support the senior center and have a rousing good time while you're at it. They'll be lots of dancing and even a silent auction. The doors open for the festivities at 4:30 p.m. and you can dance the night away until 8:30 . See you at the community center.
We have two new businesses and new associate members to add to our list this week. We also have several important renewals to announce.
The first business is not necessarily new, but has a new owner. Condo Pagosa, formerly owned by Natalie Carpenter, is now owned by Darlene Peterson. Condo Pagosa is a one-bedroom, deluxe rental in town. It is fully furnished and rents nightly or weekly. Call Darlene at 264-5119 or 946-5119 to inquire about availability at Condo Pagosa.
Next, we welcome April Merrilee of Stream of Life Therapeutics, LLC. April teaches individual and group yoga classes, including private yoga therapy for children and adults. She also offers occupational therapy services for children and adults - all ages and abilities. April has a Web site for you to check out: www.kidsmusicandmovement.com. Stream of Life Therapeutics, LLC is located at 301 N. Pagosa Blvd., Suite B-15. April can be reached at 731-3426. She also has a toll free number: (888) 276-3716.
Our new associate members this week are Kathleen and Anthony Steventon. Kathleen and Anthony were referred to us by Angie Gayhart. Thank you Angie, for that nice recommendation. As always, if you refer a new member, you will receive a free admission to the SunDowner of your choice! Welcome Darlene, April, Kathleen and Anthony.
Our many renewals this week include Maria from Happy Trails; Ghost Ranch in both Abiquiu and Santa Fe; Pagosa Candy Company; Hunan Chinese Restaurant; Creative Functions for Offices and Home formerly known as Reeve & Associates; The Pagosa Springs Arts Council; and Trophies Tomorrow.
Dr. Vanderbeek is a renewing associate member. And last, but not least, we have Aspen Springs Metropolitan District and Echo Canyon Ranch Association, Inc.
A warm thank you to all of our new members as well as our renewals.
Perea, Lister, Rivas
We would like to thank the very many people who have been there for us during the loss of our son, brother, grandson, uncle, cousin, nephew, boyfriend and friend, Abel. He will always be in our hearts and never forgotten. Thank you for all your prayers, cards, phone calls, flowers, food and support. Special thank yous go out to Ernie Rivas and Antoinette Lucero who did CPR at the scene of the accident. You gave us that extra time to be by Abel's side in Albuquerque. Thanks also to downtown City Market, Dennis Martinez, Steve and Barbie Voorhis, Father Carlos and the Guadalupanas, Chris Gallegos, Pam and Randy Roader, and Nikki Kinkead.
Thank you and God bless you.
The Perea, Lister and Rivas families
We wish to thank our Mom, Jan Carnley, for her bravery.
As many are aware, this month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Jan was diagnosed on Jan. 14, 2004, with breast cancer, but through her faith in Christ and the medical attention she received, we are proud to call her a survivor and cancer free. Praise the Lord.
Jan has gone through a lot these past few years, but with each trail she has persevered and has given the credit to God.
Mom, we are proud to have you here and so blessed to have you in our lives. Thank you for always giving your all, no matter what the cost. You have been, and still are, the best Mom I could ask for, and you have taught me how precious life really is and to never take our family for granted. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13.
Chadd and Christa
Pagosa 3-1 at Fowler tourney, three league matches remain
By Karl Isberg
It was time to step up.
And that's what the Pirate volleyball team did at the Fowler tournament Saturday, going 3-1 and boosting the record to 8-7 heading into the last three Intermountain League matches of the season.
The Fowler tourney takes place in the heart of Colorado volleyball country - in an environment ripe with tradition. This year, the tournament was tougher than usual, pitting the Pirates against four teams that competed at the state tournament last year in their respective classifications.
Fowler is the returning Class 2A state champ; McClave took second place in Class 1A; Sierra Grande was third in 2A: Lamar was, again, in the final eight in 3A.
By tourney's end, the Pirates had bested all but Lamar, and emerged from that match in an obvious dead-heat talentwise with the Savages.
The McClave Cardinals were the first opponent of the day and Pagosa dispatched them 25-18, 25-23.
"We came out a bit flat," said Coach Andy Rice. "They (McClave) were scrappy, with good outsides, but not much height."
The match was won with one of the better Pirate team hitting performances of the year. The Pirates hit .267 as a team and had four players - Danielle Spencer, Kim Canty, Jennifer Haynes and Alaina Garman - with no hitting errors.
The Pirates also logged other statistics that generally signal a winning effort: more aces than serve errors (seven versus four) and more stuff blocks than blocking errors (10 versus eight).
"I called a time-out when we were at 23-23 in the second game," said Rice. "They went back out and Fulmer (senior outside Kim Fulmer) pounded the ball. She's not afraid to swing."
Camille Rand led the way against McClave with five kills. Haynes had three solo blocks. Canty and Erin Gabel each hit two aces; Canty had 12 assists; Iris Frye, at libero, had nine digs.
Next was a 29-27, 25-16 win over Sangre de Cristo, a team that had beaten Pagosa in pre-season, summer play.
"At first," said Rice, "it seemed we had no energy." Not a good thing, when the other team brings an all-state hitter the likes of Brittany Brown against you.
The saving factor?
"Our blocking was the best we've had all year," said the coach. The Pirates held Brown to two kills. "We pretty much shut her down," said Rice, "but the first game still went back and forth, and we saved a couple game points. With her team ahead 28-27, it was Fulmer once again putting a kill to the floor in a tight situation."
The loss in the first game deflated Sangre and energized Pagosa. The Pirates cruised to a second win to end the match.
Fulmer had six kills; Garman, Rand and Spencer had four kills each (Spencer with no hitting errors). The team hit .269. Garman and Haynes each had two solo blocks. Spencer hit two aces; Canty had 12 assists; Gabel had four digs.
"At one and one," said Rice, "it was make-or-break time."
Lamar was next in what Rice called "a big match. The teams were, clearly, evenly matched." Lamar took the first game 25-21. The Pirates won the second 25-17. Lamar captured the tie-breaker, 25-21.
"Lamar is solid on defense," said Rice. "They dig a lot of balls. This was a very even match; they had a little better ball control and hit some good serves, keeping us off balance at times."
In the second game of the match, with her team in a 5-1 offense, Garman played all the way around and performed very well. Mariah Howell contributed in the backcourt, with effective passes.
The third and deciding game was a back-and-forth affair. "It came down to who made the little plays," said the coach.
Fulmer had 10 kills for Pagosa; Haynes hit six kills, with an outstanding .455 hitting average. The Pirates had 11 aces to seven serve errors, with Rand hitting three ace serves. Frye contributed eight digs and Gabel put up nine assists.
"I challenged them after the Lamar match," said Rice, "and they responded."
Responded by beating the host Grizzlies 25-18, 25-20, the first Pirate win over Fowler since 2001.
The returning 2A champs lacked some of the firepower shown by last year's team, but still had a formidable offense.
"Their middle had hops," said Rice, but we handled her."
With the teams tied 7-7 in the first game, Rice said he "worried about a letdown. I asked the players if we wanted to make a statement in this game, or take a step back. Our kids went on to play a really strong game. We hit four twenty-nine (.429) as a team - the best we've done all year. We had twenty-two kills to four errors. The matchups worked in our favor."
Pagosa had a big lead in the second game, let Fowler back into contention, but halted the home team's momentum to take the win.
"We had them 22-12 and they came back," said the coach. "But, we had a balanced effort and prevailed. Fulmer had another game-winning point."
Fulmer had her best kills-to-errors showing of the year, with six kills and no errors. Haynes logged the most points during the match - kills, aces, blocks - had four kills (hitting .800), four aces (with only one error) and three stuffs. Spencer had five kills.
"It was a big win against a state champion, in their gym, in a hostile environment," said Rice. "They bleed tradition over there."
Now, three IML matches to end the regular season, with the Pirates one game behind Bayfield for the league lead.
"We're looking to run the table," said Rice.
Ignacio is first up, coming to town tonight for a scheduled 7 p.m. start, and the Bobcats have made it a habit to give the Pirates fits in the home gym.
"They (Ignacio) are well coached and they have nothing to lose," said Rice. "We can't look past this match."
Next Tuesday brings a critical road trip to Bayfield, for a rematch with the Wolverines who beat the Pirates in the PSHS gym earlier in the season.
"We're excited about this one," said the coach. "We look forward to being the underdog Tuesday. We respect them and their coach; they are a mature and solid team. We don't believe we played our best in the first match and we're anxious to take them on again."
The final league match is at home, against Centauri, Oct. 21.
Pirates lose slip-and-slide to Durango, homecoming tomorrow
By Louis Sherman
This week, Pirate football is synonymous with hope.
Though the Pirates consistently thwarted a 4A offense last Friday in Durango, and only lost 3-0, the real spark for team members this week is knowing that their fate is in their own hands.
That is, if Pagosa wins its final three regular season games, the team will make the playoffs in the second-place slot of the Mountain league.
Before Monte Vista convincingly beat Buena Vista, 38-19, the Pirates were in third place, behind Salida and Buena Vista.
The Pirates also beat Buena Vista, 18-14 in a come-from-behind win earlier this season.
Pagosa and Monte Vista each have one league loss, behind undefeated Salida (in league play).
If the Pirates win the rest of their games, including an important contest against a threatening Monte Vista, only Salida will hold a better conference record.
The top two teams move on to the playoffs.
Finishing the season with a three-game winning streak will be far from easy, but hope is a strong support for underdogs.
First, the Pirates will face Centauri, tomorrow at home. Though the Falcons have not won a league game, they have shown the potential to win. Last week they nearly came from behind to beat league-leader Salida in their homecoming game, but lost 20-27.
The next week, the Pirates will go on the road to face Monte Vista, which fielded a dominating offense in the win against Buena Vista. Monte Vista is 4-2 overall, with a league loss against Salida.
The Pirates will close the season at home against Bayfield, a team Pagosa beat handily in the first week of play.
Hopefully, the Pirates' strong showing against Durango will help them build the momentum needed for a three-win finale to the regular season.
The field was flooded for Friday night's game, limiting both teams' offenses. The conditions challenged the Pirate offense, said Coach Sean O'Donnell, since much of its success is dependent on the pass.
Throughout the game, the Pirate defense stood firm against Durango's drives. "The defensive line and linebackers did exceptional jobs," said O'Donnell.
But there was one small blemish on the shutout tie. At the top of the fourth quarter, Durango capitalized on great field position, and a short drive, with a 32-yard field goal.
The field goal came on a second attempt, after the first kick was whistled dead after an offensive false start. The first kick was blocked by the Pirates, and it didn't have the height to make the uprights, even if it hadn't been stuffed.
But, O'Donnell said the flag and whistle came at the beginning of the play, likely causing the kicker to relax in his attempt.
Either way, three points was enough to win it.
The Pirates were not without opportunities to score. Their first drive began on the Durango 21-yard line and pushed its way to the six.
On fourth-and-four, Jordan Shaffer passed to Derek Harper for what would have been a first down and possible touchdown, but the wet ball slipped through the receiver's hands.
Pagosa's next chance took them near Durango's 20-yard line, but the drive was ended by a fumble.
One threatening Pirate drive in the second quarter was ended prematurely when a Durango defensive back clearly interfered with a Shaffer-to-John Hoffman pass attempt. No call was made.
Durango elected to receive to start the game. Since they were unable to move the ball, the first half stayed at their end. Every punt or turnover gave the Pirates good field position; when they gave the ball back, the Demons were often pinned deep.
The second half was the first's mirror image - played mostly at the Pirates' end of the field, since they elected to receive to begin it.
In hindsight, O'Donnell said he would have liked to make the rare decision to kick off in the second half, as the Pirates did in the first.
"On a field like that, you're not going to have a long drive," he said.
This would likely have pinned the Demons in their own field, again, and given the Pirates the opportunity for a field-goal attempt.
But it would have been a very difficult decision to make, in the moment - to give up a drive, and opportunity to score, for strategic position.
O'Donnell said he would keep the idea under his hat for a future game in the mud or snow.
Two Pirates sustained minor injuries in the slip-and-slide game - Shaffer a bruised spleen and Hoffman a sprained ankle. Both are expected to play tomorrow, by their own choice, but Friday night will show if they are hampered by pain.
Tomorrow's game against Centauri is Pirate homecoming, and will begin at 7 p.m. at Golden Peaks Stadium.
The Pirates are sure to come out fired-up and ready to play. Let them be determined - and let fans hope.
Pirates drop game to Ridgway, still tied for league lead
By Louis Sherman
Though the Pirates lost a league match to Ridgway, 1-0, and came up even against Bloomfield, 1-1, they are still at the top of the conference standings, after a Crested Butte loss to Center.
Both Crested Butte and Pagosa have lost two league games.
But, like the Pirate football team, Pirate soccer needs to win the rest of their conference games to insure a spot in the playoffs.
In the upcoming weeks, they will play Center, Telluride and Bayfield - all potential playoff contenders in a well-matched league.
A winning streak will be a challenge, because the Pirates will play two of the games without their top scorer, striker Shan Webb.
The loss against Ridgway came as a surprise, since the Pirates beat Ridgway easily earlier this season, 4-0.
The game was 0-0 at half, but 25 minutes in to the second an "errant kick," as described by Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason, got past two defenders and caught goalie Felix Gutierez in bad position, glancing off his fingers into the net.
Kurt-Mason singled out the play of midfielders Caleb Ormonde and Kevin Blue for their consistent ability to distribute the ball to the open field. They kept pushing the ball into Ridgway's side of the field, he said.
The offense continued to threaten throughout the game, despite the loss.
Webb was slowed against Ridgway by a bruised knee - which he sustained in a rough game against Durango last week.
With Webb unable to score with sprints on the goal, the Pirates were left with trying to adjust their attack, said Kurt-Mason.
Webb was unable to play in the game against Bloomfield and will be sidelined for away matches with Center and Telluride this week.
The games against Ridgway and Bloomfield began the Pirates' move to develop a more balanced offense, based on strategy, passing and conversion in the box - which will be essential if they make the playoffs.
Against Bloomfield, in a non-league game, the Pirates showed a stronger attack, though they had difficulty converting with their shots on goal.
The lone Pirate goal came off the foot of Kevin Blue with 32 minutes left in the second half, tying the game after a Bloomfield goal in the first, which was deflected into the goal off a corner kick.
The game was played primarily at Bloomfield's end of the field, and the Pirates repeatedly put the ball in the box. Chance was often at play, making it difficult to put a decisive kick on the ball, but the Pirates also frequently hesitated when there was an open shot or made too many touches on the ball, losing the opportunity to score.
But despite problems with converting, the Pirates pressured Bloomfield with determination throughout the game. The team was at its best when it settled down and controlled the ball, opening up the wing and several threats to the middle.
With Webb, Pagosa's fast break has generally been up the middle. His absence has given more opportunities for Thomas Martinez and Zel Johnston to threaten along the sideline to set up more methodical scoring opportunities.
Fast breaks were difficult in the game, and the midfield sideline was nearly impassible, due to standing water and mud. On several runs down the sideline, with open field, the ball was stopped suddenly by water.
The Pirate offense is in the process of finding itself again, but on defense the Pirates continue their strong play. Felix Gutierez had several fingertip saves on the day and Keith Pitcher firmly anchored the back line.
Pirates like Blue, Dustin Anderson and John Jewell consistently won airballs, and the whole team (including the front line) got in on the high-pressure defense.
The Pirates took several steps forward in their strategic adjustments against Bloomfield. Hopefully, the transition will be complete today when they travel to face Center at 4 p.m.
The Pirates will play Telluride Saturday at 11 a.m. in an away game. Next Tuesday, they face Bayfield at home for the final regular season game , at 4 p.m.
Then, if the best team wins, the playoffs ...
Runner prepare for push to end of season
By Louis Sherman
Pirate cross country runners took the week off from competition to rest up for a push through the end of the season, to the state meet.
Both girls' and boys' teams will go into the league meet in Monte Vista this Saturday having seen considerable success.
The girls' team has won its last three meets, and also claimed second- and third-place finishes (when Coach Scott Anderson chose to rest runners for later in the season). They are undefeated at full strength.
Jaclyn Harms has been the top individual finisher in the last two meets, in Pagosa and Mancos, as her team swept the podium in the two races.
The boys' team has run for five second-place finishes, and continues to gain on state champion Bayfield.
This season, Jackson Walsh has finished first in two meets, and claimed second and third in other runs.
The two teams have combined for 13 podium finishes this season.
After the league meet this Saturday, Pagosa runners will return to Monte Vista next Saturday for the regional meet. Qualifiers will then go on to state.
Women golfers scramble on last league day
By Lynne Allison
Special to The SUN
The Pagosa Women's Golf Association featured a scramble format for its last league day of the season, Sept. 26.
The ladies played in foursomes comprised of A, B, C and D players, and played the Pinon Ponderosa courses with a par rating of 71. The teams of Jane Day, Loretta Campuzano, Sue Martin and Maxine Pechin, and Lynne Allison, Audrey Johnson, Carole Howard and Katy Threet tied for first place, each team with a 71.
Immediately following play, the ladies reconvened at the lovely home of Audrey Johnson to enjoy a delicious luncheon, end of the year awards presentation and general meeting.
The 2006 season league awards were presented to: Loretta Campuzano for the most chip-ins on league days with three; Lynne Allison who had the most birdies on league days with seven; Sharon Tabu who received the most improved player - she started the season with a 46 handicap and finished the season with a 34 handicap. Bonnie Hoover and Allison also received their "hole-in-one" pins for their respective aces on No. 2 Ponderosa. Toosje LaMoreaux earned a "break 100" pin for breaking 100 for the first time ever during league play, and Allison earned her "break 80" pin for breaking 80 for the first time ever during league play.
Twelve Pagosa golfers traveled to Aztec for their annual Hidden Valley Couples Tournament, Sept. 23-24. The 40-couple field played the 36-hole even in a best ball format, and all of the participants were assigned to the four flights according to the lowest handicap player of each couple.
Loretta and Fred Campuzano captured second gross honors in the First Flight with a 155. Fred also won low net honors among the men in the First Flight with a 138. They also placed second in the "shootout" in their flight. Carrie and Dalas Weisz captured second gross in the Fourth Flight. The other Pagosa participants included Kathy and Mike Giordano, Judy and Jim Horkey, and Sue Martin and Rich Broom.
Youth soccer tournaments start tonight
By Tom Carosello
The 9-10 and 11-13 youth soccer tournaments (double-elimination) begin tonight at the elementary school, with Pagosa's 11-13 Navy team taking on Dulce at 4:45 p.m. and Pagosa's 9-10 Navy team facing Dulce at 5:45 p.m.
Action in both tournaments will continue Oct. 14 at the elementary school upper field, and will include the following:
At 9 a.m. - Maroon 9-10 faces Royal 9-10; the loser of this game will play again at 10:15 a.m. against 9-10 Navy or 9-10 Dulce.
At 11:15 a.m. - 11-13 Forest faces 11-13 Orange; the loser of this game will play again at 12:30 p.m. against 11-13 Navy or 11-13 Dulce.
Complete tournament schedules are available at the recreation office in Town Hall and online in Adobe format (go to www.townofpagosasprings.com, click on the town departments link, then the recreation link).
Game times for next week have been moved up to 4:30 and 5:35 p.m. weekdays for the 11-13 tournament, and 4:45 and 5:40 p.m. weekdays for the 9-10 tournament.
For the 11-13 tournament, games will be played Monday, Oct. 16, Wednesday, Oct. 18, and Saturday, Oct. 21.
In the 9-10 tournament, games will be played Tuesday, Oct. 17, Thursday, Oct. 19 and Saturday, Oct. 21.
Adult volleyball open gym will begin, with sessions held once a week from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. on Thursdays starting Oct. 19 at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.
There will be two courts set up to accommodate varying levels of play, and instruction will be provided if desired.
A goal of having a coed "4s" league playing once a week in November will be discussed at the open gyms.
Contact Andy Rice, sports coordinator for the Town of Pagosa Springs, at 264-4151, Ext. 231, for more information.
Register for 7-8 youth basketball
Registration for this year's 7- and 8-year-old youth basketball league (a coed league) began yesterday and will run through Oct. 23.
Children who will be 7 or 8 years old as of Nov. 15 are eligible to register. The 7-8 division season is tentatively scheduled to begin in early November.
Registrations are available at the recreation office, which is now located upstairs in Town Hall. Registrations are also available online in Adobe format at www.townofpagosasprings.com (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.
The Pagosa Springs Recreation Department staff is currently exploring the feasibility of forming separate leagues for boys and girls in the 9-10 and 11-12 youth basketball divisions this year.
Anyone interested in commenting can call the department office at 264-4151, Ext. 231 or 232. Comments by e-mail may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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.
General information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department can be obtained by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to townofpagosasprings.com and going to the parks and recreation link.
All schedules and upcoming events are updated on a weekly basis. If you have questions or concerns, or need additional information about any of the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department adult or youth sports programs, call 264-4151, Ext. 232.
Build our history now
The events that led to the imposition of a moratorium on demoli-tion of older structures in the downtown area were unfortunate and ill-timed in some cases, but perhaps unavoidable. Growth, the demolition of several at least emotionally valuable properties, the lack of complete and specific planning and design regulations - all, and more, contributed to the situation.
With the recent hubbub about the Pinewood Inn, the situation is magnified. And with significant development possible - and a need to mix that which is old (and not simply old, but worth preserving for other than merely sentimental reasons) with high quality development that will be worth preserving in 50 to 100 years - it is time to move quickly. We are building our history now; we need to get on with it.
The town council and town staff are working on the problem. We believe progress can be made on three fronts, and we hope it is done with an eye fixed firmly on a principal.
The first front: creation and implementation of comprehensive and unambiguous regulations - design guidelines and the like - with clear, smooth planning analysis and approval processes defined for property owners and prospective developers. Ambiguity in regulations and processes serve no one well. Individuals and groups wishing to invest money in this town and to erect something other than fake frontier villages and low-rent buildings must be able to negotiate the territory smoothly, recognize the rules, then adhere to them.
Second, how about a regulation that prohibits demolition of any property that is more than a shed, without a plan in place? Before a structure can be torn down, a developer should have a plan ready, one that has passed successfully through the system, is approved and primed to make the transition from potential to actual (theoretically, with the developer ready to build the day following demolition).
Lastly, put together a clear and substantial incentive package to be offered to the owner of any property deemed to have historic value.
And the principle kept in mind throughout? Private property rights - basic to our belief system, our economic and social way of life.
Town council member Darrel Cotton has repeated the private property rights mantra over and over; we agree with him. The fate of a property must ultimately rest with its owner.
There are those who blanch when confronted with this assertion, who believe "the community" should have a say in what happens to certain properties (aside from "takings" for the identifiable common good - highways, utilities, etc.). There are those who think the value of a property can be diminished if "the community" wishes, or should be purchased by the "community" in the form of government. We disagree with them. Ironically, seldom are those who espouse these ideas themselves the owners of properties subject to "the community's" will.
The trick: have a historic preservation committee that uses objective criteria to determine whether or not a property qualifies as "historic," then offer incentives to the owner. Make it worthwhile to a property owner/developer to consider keeping properties, or portions of properties, intact. Give them a reason: tax breaks, fee breaks, compromises on heights, setbacks, parking, lighting, signage Š what you will. If the package is legitimate, some may opt to accept it.
Others will not. And they should have that right.
Create the incentives, finalize the guidelines and the regulations now. Do it before the next building season, at the latest. Do it, or the Town of Pagosa Springs will lose some valuable opportunities - to secure a positive economic future for its residents and to build a history that will stand the test of time.
90 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 13, 1916
Not one vote should be cast in Archuleta County for any of the amendments or initiative laws on the ballot in November. Every one of them are fathered by special interests and all are particularly vicious, especially the abominable herd law and beer amendment. You'd make no mistake by putting an X opposite the word NO on every one of them.
County Superintendent Vermillion visited the school at Pagosa Junction September 10, and found the school lacked one or two points of being a standard school of the state. The board is making the improvements which he suggested. W.J. Hatch is the teacher.
Boston copped the world series from Brooklyn yesterday by winning its fourth game.
75 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 16, 1931
Complete solution of the murder of Wilbur Crowley, 22-year-old Chromo, Colo. rancher, who was shot and his body burned beyond recognition on Aug. 23, appears imminent, State Officer James W. Melrose announced Thursday upon his return from Pagosa Springs, Colo., where he has been investigating the mystery, says the Denver Post. Altho Melrose refused to reveal the nature of evidence in possession of authorities, he said arrests are expected in the case this week.
The new chapel, which is being constructed at Arboles by the Theatine Fathers, will be completed in about a month, according to Father Mas. The building, which is being constructed of adobe, will be 48 by 18 feet.
50 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 18, 1956
It appears that TV may be in the offing for Pagosa Springs in the not too distant future as a result of actions by the REA and the local Lions Club. A survey is to be made by a television engineer within the next week or ten days to determine definitely whether or not reception here is possible. The whole matter depends upon the outcome of the survey to be made and the willingness of local citizens to donate towards the cost of the equipment as to whether or not TV will be had here. It would certainly be a nice thing to have during the World Series, other sporting event, and for the long winter nights in this country.
The 1956 big game season got underway Monday morning with a bang under the driest conditions in the woods for a great many years.
25 years ago
Taken from SUN files of October 15, 1981
Elk season started October 9 and hunters seemed to be everywhere. Hunter success seemed to be good. Snow in the mountains moved hunters and elk to lower elevations.
Rains dropped 1.18 inches of moisture on town between Saturday and Wednesday of this week. Snow fell above 8,000 feet. Hunters reported as much as three feet of snow at some higher elevations. The storm is expected to remain here through the coming weekend.
According to Pat Pool, the Archuleta County Library has issued 1,578 adult cards, 905 children's cards and is overflowing its present quarters. Pool says they issue an average of 800 books a week during summer months and 500 books a week during winter months.
Home schooling in Pagosa Country Exercising a viable option
By Louis Sherman
Over the last month, Pagosans have undoubtedly noticed the activity of the public school system - with extra traffic on U.S. 160, high school sports and school buses making their daily appearances around town - but, relatively unnoticed, there are dozens of other youth in the district who are primarily educated at home.
Many critics of home schooling are quick to suggest it is too unregulated and that children who are not taught around peers will not receive the socialization that is key to success in society.
However, home schooling is not a disorganized enterprise.
Frequently, home-school parents have previous experience teaching in public and private schools. They are also required to register with the school district, keep records, and administer state-required standardized tests.
The district estimates that approximately 60 home-schooled students will be registered this year.
Though many home-schooling parents question whether or not socialization into contemporary culture is to be desired, others are sure to point out that there are many outlets for socializing home schoolers.
In a gathering of parents involved in Pagosa Area Christian Home Educators (PACE), several mothers jokingly dispelled many of the misconceptions regarding home-schooling families: "I don't have 12 kids ... I'm not wearing a jean skirt, or pajamas ... My children are socialized," they said.
PACE is one of several opportunities in Archuleta County for home-schoolers to interact with other children their age, in addition to sports, musical groups and selective participation in public school activities.
According to Cathy McIver, an active member and organizer of PACE, the group was formed to provide support for parents and their children in home schools.
Sharing with others helps you overcome the obstacles and challenges associated with teaching your own children, said McIver.
Now PACE meets every Friday at the United Methodist Church and organizes "cooperative education" for its members, who are asked to pay a modest fee to fund activities.
While students receive the bulk of their formal education at home, PACE allows them to attend classes that are more effectively and efficiently taught in group settings - such as choir, drama and science labs.
The group also facilitates family activities, including theme and holiday parties.
A few moments at a PACE Friday gathering revealed that the home schoolers are not all the introverts we may presume them to be.
During the assembly that followed Friday morning classes - and included prayers, music and games - the students accumulated in groups of friends, whispered back and forth and even exhibited restlessness, just like public-school kids.
The assembly included an "initiative quotient" test, in which students competed to answer questions on get-up-and-go in game-show style, and the participants did not take part grudgingly, but actively attempted to answer questions first, without apparent self-consciousness.
And when it came to the music, not only did students help lead it, but those in the audience could actually be heard singing.
Apparently not all home schoolers are shy.
One student, who wished to remain anonymous, said that she considered herself to be shy (though she was able express herself clearly in an interview). But, she suggested, shyness depends on the person, not on the type of schooling. There are many students in public or private schools who keep to themselves.
According to parents, home-school kids are like any others; they try to negotiate over rules, balk at getting started in the morning and occasionally need to be brought back to task. However, parents feel that by home schooling they build up an educational relationship that allows them to handle issues as they arise.
The students also choose to be home schooled, because it provides them flexibility to pursue their individual interests (whether music, sports, work or a foreign language), while accomplishing their lessons in shorter periods of time than group education, said parents.
McIver explained that there are several reasons why parents choose to home school. Some make the choice in order to take care of children with special needs.
Others home school in order to individualize their child's education: "Home schooling gives a more customized education that specifically goes to their learning style," said Julie Church, a teacher and mother.
Church went on to point out that a parent could keep his or her student focused on a subject until the student fully understood it.
At PACE, it is apparent that there is another reason for the decision to home school that goes beyond pragmatics, that is faith.
Caroline Reed explained that parents did not choose to home school out of arrogance. They do not think they are better or more capable than public school teachers, and they rely on good curricula. Rather it comes from feeling called.
"I felt like it was my responsibility as a parent," Reed said, to develop her child's moral character.
Students who exhibit good character and initiative are recognized as the knights and maidens of the week. Last Friday honored Sir Dustin Anderson, squire Keaton Anderson and Dame Carrie Patterson.
McIver said that home-school parents "want to make sure their kids are grounded, well adjusted, strong before they send them out into the world."
Other parents showed concern that popular culture could have a negative impact on their children - including modes of dress, language use and exposure to media. "They're able to be children longer," said Church.
Parents involved in PACE consider their ability to teach morals and boundaries to be dependent on being able to express their faith.
"We want to be able to freely talk about beliefs," said McIver.
While the majority of home-school parents decide to take on the full-time job based, in part, on explicitly Christian beliefs, others home school on the basis of a nondoctrinal ethos.
A group of parents in the Pagosa Area utilize Waldorf-inspired curricula in their home schools. Like PACE, the group meets to enable support, interaction and activities.
Though there are traditional Waldorf schools across the country, including a kindergarten/preschool in the area and nascent plans for a full elementary, several curricula have been created to make it possible to employ the method at home.
Waldorf education seeks to teach the whole child, employing physical activity, imaginative creativity and scholarship to strengthen the mind, body and spirit.
Waldorf values include respect for humanity and the world; the ability to find rhythmic balance between the internal and external; and open-mindedness - explained Sky Gabel, who uses the method.
Children in the local group of Waldorf-inspired home schools experience and learn from handicrafts, nature walks and field drawings, Spanish and traditional holidays (like Michaelmas and Christmas) - as well as learn to read and do arithmetic.
They also learn about the world's religious traditions and show an intuitive ability to understand the spiritual truth implicit in the stories and rituals, according to one parent and teacher.
Many of the parents in the group became interested in home schooling in response to the federal government's "No Child Left Behind" legislation, which emphasized literacy and math at the expense of a child's creativity and other faculties that are in need of nurture, said Gabel.
Blue Lindner, who teaches a Waldorf-based curriculum, said she chose to home school for "a number of reasons."
But high on the list was the close relationship home schooling builds with her children.
"Teaching my own children is the most fun I've had teaching, because I am so invested in their education," said Lindner, who was once a public school teacher.
"You're so connected," she said.
Many home schools are based in a parent's simple desire to be a consistent and predominant presence in his or her child's life.
Executive order falls through, still no home for the Jicarilla
By John M. Motter
The big question for the discouraged Jicarilla Apaches in the mid-1870s was: "Will we ever have a place to call our own?"
White officials had been promising the Jicarilla a reservation of their own since the 1850s, more than 20 years. In the meantime, traditional Jicarilla lands had been taken up by whites. Unable to live by hunting and foraging as in the past, the Jicarilla were reduced to relying on the white man's handouts in order to feed their children. Unfortunately, the ration system didn't work well. Too many crooked agents and officials took advantage of the system to line their own pockets. Too many whites did not regard Indians as real people.
A glimmer of hope appeared on the horizon in the mid-1870s when Indian Agent Arny began to point to an area in New Mexico just south of the Ute Reservation in Colorado as a likely place to locate the Jicarilla.
Instead, the government pushed to move the Jicarilla south to southern New Mexico on the Mescalero Reservation. In June, 1873, New Mexico Superintendent L. Edwin Dudley held a council with San Pablo, José Largo, and their 376 followers, informing them that the lands they were living on now belonged to a company over which the government had no control and that the country was rapidly being settled by people whose actions could not be predicted. The superintendent explained that the government could not guarantee protection against unfriendly settlers. If they would transfer to Mescalero, land would be assigned them and their rations would be doubled. The Apaches were impressed, but reluctant to make a commitment without first conferring with the rest of the Jicarilla at Tierra Amarilla. This was a clue that the Apache were making an effort to build cooperation among the various bands.
In September of 1873, Felix Brunot and Nathan Bishop of the Board of Indian Commissioners again attempted to persuade the Southern Utes to cede the San Juan portion of their reservation. They met with the Utes at Los Piños Agency in Colorado. Again, Jicarilla leader Huero Mundo attended. He secured a promise from Brunot that all information would be presented to proper officials in Washington. Mundo made it clear that the Jicarilla were opposed to locating with the Mescalero, but a reservation near Abiquiu where the land was suitable for farming was highly desirable. Again, no action was taken on the Jicarilla position. The commissioners were successful at obtaining title to the Ute San Juan cession, an act known as the Brunot Agreement which opened Pagosa Country for white settlement.
A Ute delegation headed by Ouray went to Washington in November to witness congressional approval of the Brunot Agreement. Huerito Mundo, son of Huero Mundo, was allowed to accompany the Utes to present the Jicarilla case. As a result of his efforts, definite plans were made to establish a reservation on the headwaters of the San Juan River in northwest New Mexico. Special agent Thomas A. Dolan was directed to call a meeting of the Jicarilla to obtain consent to give up the lands they occupied in favor of the anticipated reservation.
In mid-winter Dolan summoned the various Jicarilla bands to meet with him at Tierra Amarilla. The Jicarilla gathered there Dec. 10, 1873, the first meeting attended by both Jicarilla bands where they jointly considered their permanent location.
Dolan's presentation described a reservation with boundaries commencing at the headwaters of the San Juan River, following along its course south until it intersected with the eastern boundary of the Navajo Reservation, and then east along the Colorado boundary to the place of beginning. The Jicarilla were to relinquish their rights to all other lands, and in return, the U.S. promised $10,000 over a five-year period and $3,000 for educational purposes over the next 10 years. The terms also included the usual promise of protection under U.S. law, the Jicarilla were to allot their new lands, send their children to school, have their affairs administered by the Southern Ute Agency, and grant necessary rights-of-way through their lands.
The agreement was approved by Executive Order in March of 1874. Unfortunately from a Jicarilla viewpoint it never happened. It was simply the first of a barrage of executive orders setting aside several Indian reservations in various locations for the Jicarilla.
For information disclosed in this and other articles concerning the Jicarilla, we are indebted to Dr. Veronica E. Velarde Tiller for her book titled "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History, 1846-1970. Tiller is a direct descendent of the Huero Mundo mentioned in these articles. Descendants of the Jicarilla leaders mentioned in Tiller's book continue to live in Dulce. One important purpose of this series of articles is to impress the reader with the idea that the Jicarilla are real people with family trees and traditions as important to them as our own personal family histories are to us.
More next week on the Jicarilla search for a home.
When the skies clear, look for a comet
By James Robinson
The following sun and moon data is provided by the United States Naval Observatory.
Sunrise: 7:13 a.m.
Sunset: 6:35 p.m.
Moonrise: 10:52 p.m.
Moonset: 2:32 p.m. Oct. 13.
Moon phase: The moon is waning gibbous with 63 percent of the visible disk illuminated. Last Quarter is Oct. 13 at 6:26 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time.
A recently-discovered comet is streaking across the sky, providing northern skywatchers ample opportunity for both naked-eye and binocular-assisted observations.
Called Comet C/2006 M4, or Comet SWAN, the icy ball of galactic debris can be seen hurling through space with a bright, blue-green coma and stunning tail just below the handle of the Big Dipper.
Under prime sky watching conditions, comet seekers may spot the comet with the naked eye, although binoculars, with their magnification and wide field of view, are the best tool for the job.
Current reports indicate Comet SWAN burns at magnitude six.
To locate Comet SWAN tonight and through the weekend, sweep the region below the handle of the Big Dipper with binoculars as soon as the sky is dark - Comet SWAN should appear near the end of the dipper's handle, near the star Alkaid - look for small, round, fuzzy ball of light.
As October progresses, the comet will remain in view, however stargazers will need to extend their search farther west and slightly higher in the sky toward the constellation Hercules . By Halloween, the comet will appear near Hercules' spectacular globular cluster, M13. As Thanksgiving approaches, Comet SWAN will climb gradually higher in the night sky, and by the holiday, look for the comet near the star Altair in Aquila.
Observations are best begun either just after dark, or in the hours before dawn.
According to astronomer Gary W. Kronk, Comet SWAN first appeared in images taken with the SWAN ultraviolet camera - hence the name - aboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft between June 20 and July 5. And although NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) designed SOHO specifically to study the sun, SOHO has emerged as a formidable comet hunter.
As of August 2005, SOHO had spotted 1,000 comets, and astronomers estimate that about half of all known comets were discovered by the craft.
According to Jimmy Westlake, astronomy and physics professor at Colorado Mountain College, SOHO and the SWAN camera have discovered dozens of comets during the last decade, although Comet SWAN is unique because most never achieved naked-eye visibility.
According to NASA, the key to SOHO's comet-finding success lies in a battery of scientific equipment, including the SWAN camera, engineered to observe solar eruptions, solar flares, magnetic bursts and space weather that follows violent, highly energetic solar events.
Part of the equipment includes a visible light camera - called LASCO (Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph experiment) - which blocks light from the sun's main disk, while it makes images of the solar atmosphere, namely the mid- to outer corona, and surrounding space.
And while LASCO blocks light from the sun's disk for its own purposes, it also inadvertently allows other SOHO instrumentation, such as the SWAN camera, to capture images of a special breed of comet that fly close to the sun but would otherwise go unnoticed, lost in the sun's glare. Astronomers call these comets sun grazers.
Observations indicate sun grazers pass at varying distances from the sun's surface, and depending on their proximity, share two possible fates. Those that travel too close are drawn by the sun's gravity into the star's core and are vaporized. Others, such as Comet SWAN, travel farther away, continuing past the sun on their wild elliptical orbit to the outer reaches of the solar system.
In either case, SOHO has captured many sun grazers during either one phase of their cosmic journey or en route to a fiery demise.
Astronomers call Comet SWAN's orbit a hyperbolic orbit, meaning it will likely whiz off into interstellar space, never to return.
NASA and the ESA launched SOHO in December 1995, and the craft began regular observations in May 1996.
The agencies originally planned SOHO for a two year mission, but after 10 years in space, the craft continues to pump solar data back to Earth. And in fact, SOHO remains the main source of near real-time solar data used for predicting space weather.
With the recently-launched Solar-B craft, SOHO's mission may soon end, although, with 1,000 comets located and counting, SOHO may go down as the most formidable comet hunter in history.
Date High Low PrecipitationType Depth Moisture
October rainfall on record pace, with two weeks to go
By Chuck McGuire
With all the rain that's fallen on Pagosa Springs and the surrounding mountains in the past few months, I'm increasingly convinced that Noah was onto something. In fact, the National Weather Service is calling for another chance of showers, Saturday.
According to local weather statistician Toby Karlquist, the Pagosa Lakes area received 2.51 inches of precipitation in the first 10 days of October, including a half-inch of snow, Tuesday morning.
The total is a quarter-of-an-inch more than the entire monthly average, dating back to 1906. October is now the fourth consecutive month of above-average precipitation, with two-and-a-half weeks yet remaining.
Even with 2.17 inches of rain over the past week, temperatures stayed relatively mild. Daytime highs were not always particularly balmy, but still managed to range between Monday's cool reading of 47.4 degrees and last Friday's high of 65.3 degrees.
On the other hand, by press time yesterday, evening (or early morning) lows had remained well above freezing on all but two days since last week's edition of The SUN hit newsstands. Tuesday's low hovered right at the freezing mark and yesterday's dipped to 28.2 degrees.
While fall colors seemed to come and go rather quickly this year, all the rain - and some gusty winds - certainly played significant roles. In fact, since Thursday, though winds remained fairly mild for the most part, gusts up to 25 miles an hour ripped leaves from their branches on Friday and Sunday.
Meanwhile, as the National Weather Service predicts a 30 percent chance of additional rain Saturday and Saturday night, the forecast through Tuesday calls for mostly clear to partly cloudy skies and seasonal temperatures. Daytime highs will hang around 60 degrees, with low temperatures hovering around freezing.
While the short-range forecast fails to mention snow, it's now mid-October, and simply a matter of time. After all, Wolf Creek Pass received 12 inches in the latest storm. Better get scrapers, shovels, gloves and boots ready.