October 19, 2006
Front Page

Lower heating costs this winter?

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Energy providers are projecting lower natural gas prices and reduced consumer heating bills this winter.

Last month, Xcel Energy predicted that Colorado customers would see a decrease of 14 percent in typical residential natural gas bills in December, compared to the same month in 2005. Bills for typical small-business customers are expected to decline by 13 percent. The company further suggested that this month's natural gas prices would be 36 percent lower than last month, and 48 to 50 percent less than October of last year.

Though not required to file projections for winter-month bills, an Xcel spokesperson said the company did so because of strong customer interest in home heating costs. A home heating season runs from October through March, and projections are based on gas use in December, which is among the months seeing the highest consumption in a heating season.

Of course, projections are subject to future market conditions, pricing and weather patterns, and actual prices are established upon Colorado Public Utilities Commission acceptance of the company's annual Gas Cost Adjustment filing.

In projecting this year's rate decrease, Xcel said it expects more stable prices this winter, and does not anticipate overall increases of 25 to 35 percent, as seen in each of the previous three years.

In September, Ethnie Groves, of Xcel Energy Media Relations, said the company's projections reflect a likely drop in the market price of natural gas, along with a long-range forecast calling for a return to "normal" winter weather patterns. The 2005/2006 heating season was warmer than average.

Other factors influencing the projected price of natural gas include the normal decline in summer cooling loads, a lack of threatening hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and an increase in underground storage.

The Energy Information Administration reported 2.976 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in storage at the end of the first week in September. That was 312 billion cubic feet more than last year's totals for the same time frame, and 322 billion cubic feet higher than the five-year average.

According to Xcel projections, typical residential customers will pay an average of $135.18 to heat their homes with natural gas in December. That compares to $157.12 in December, 2005, based on a use of 143.8 therms. Small-business customers will pay $622.14, compared to $713.11 last year, with an average use of 679.4 therms.

Though Xcel Energy provides natural gas to areas in northern and central Colorado, Kinder Morgan, Inc. is the primary provider of the commodity to Archuleta County. Kinder Morgan Senior Business Relations Representative Natalie Shelbourn told The SUN that her company also anticipates a notable decrease in natural gas rates this winter, but was unable to specify how much.

"We haven't filed our annual Gas Cost Adjustment yet," Shelbourn said, "but when we do, we'll be able to project specific numbers then." Kinder Morgan plans to file its GCA today.

While this is good news for users of natural gas, the outlook for those heating their homes with propane isn't as rosy.

According to the owners of two local propane distributors, propane is a byproduct of natural gas and must be refined. Its price fluctuations typically follow that of natural gas, but changes are often delayed as much as a year. With that in mind, propane consumers will not likely see much, if any, real relief in home heating bills this winter. However, as of Tuesday, a gallon of propane cost $1.60, compared to $1.85 last winter.

 

Health service district seeks extended TABOR exemption

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Upper San Juan Health Service District is asking voters to approve Ballot Issue 4A in the Nov. 7 general election.

According to proponents, approval of 4A would, for another 10 years, continue the district's current exemption from limitations ordinarily imposed on it by TABOR. Voters approved the current exemption in 2002, but it expires at the end of this year.

TABOR, or the 1992 Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution), forces revenue collection, retention and spending limitations on state and local governments, including counties, municipalities, special districts and school districts.

Further, Section 29-1-301 of the Colorado Revised Statutes caps allowable annual growth at 5.5 percent.

Under TABOR, the amount USJHSD can raise, keep and spend each year is limited to an amount equal to inflation in the prior year, plus annual local growth (percentage of population). If 4A is approved, supporters say the district will be able to provide adequate health care to the entire community at a rate more in line with increasing costs and demand, rather than being tied to inflation and compulsory caps.

Though no one filed written comments in opposition to 4A by the constitutional deadline, proponents also point out that, upon passage, it would not increase the current property tax mill levy without subsequent voter approval.

As written, the ballot issue reads: "Shall Upper San Juan Health Service District be authorized to collect, retain and spend all revenues it receives from all sources, including without limitation the district's existing property tax, which property tax mill levy will not be increased without voter approval, commencing January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2016, as a voter approved revenue change pursuant to Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution and regardless of the provisions of any other law, including without limitation the 5.5 percent tax revenue limit of 29-1-301, C.R.S.?"

A "yes" vote is a vote in favor of changing current law or existing circumstances, and a "no" vote is a vote against changing current law or existing circumstances.

 

Demolition moratorium passes on first reading

James Robinson

Staff Writer

A re-worked moratorium prohibiting demolitions of buildings 50 years old and older passed muster on first reading during a special meeting Wednesday of the Pagosa Springs Town Council.

As approved the re-tuned moratorium, Ordinance Number 683, will replace the town's previous demolition ordinance, Number 666, and expands provisions for exemptions with changes in two key areas.

First, the new ordinance allows property owners to seek exemptions from the demolition moratorium if they can prove their building is structurally unsound. Second, the ordinance allows the town council to grant an exemption if the property owner can demonstrate that maintaining or keeping the building "as is" is an economic hardship.

As written, the ordinance does not define "structurally unsound" or "economic hardship," and lacks parameters, procedures or documentation required in order for a petitioner to support their case.

Ordinance 666 allowed exemptions primarily when the town's historic preservation board found a structure void of historic significance.

In both ordinances, the historic preservation board is an advisory board and the town council the final arbiter in all exemption requests.

Council member Tony Simmons said he was concerned because the re-worked ordinance lacked a definition or parameters for establishing "economic hardship."

"It's not in the code. We do not have an established criteria for that. It hasn't been included in here," said Tamra Allen, town planner. "It's something we could take a look at including if we needed to."

Simmons said the council was treading dangerous water without such language or criteria incorporated into the ordinance.

"We already have historic criteria that has been criticized for being vague. I would strongly urge my fellow council members to consider establishing a criteria," Simmons said.

Council member John Middendorf asked the council why they were repealing the previous demolition moratorium at the behest of a single property owner.

He said the town's willingness to modify or repeal legislation when it became inconvenient for a single individual sent the wrong message.

"My concern is with the process," Middendorf said. "We passed the law (Ordinance 666) six months ago, one person doesn't like the law, so we replace it. We're basically saying there's no backbone to anything we pass. We need to stick to our guns and plan for the future. We need to make decisions that are good for the whole, not just one developer."

Council member Darrel Cotton said the council wasn't simply bending to Pinewood Inn owner Charles Craig's or developer Harold Kelley's request for an exemption.

Kelley had agreed to purchase the Pinewood Inn contingent upon the town issuing him an extended, non-revocable demolition permit, despite the fact that the preservation board recommended that two structures on the property be bound by the previous moratorium. After nearly 10 hours of negotiations with the town, Kelley walked away from the deal, and Craig was left with a property he believes is saleable only with a demolition permit.

After Kelley walked away from the deal during the last town council session, Craig's lawyer William Darling asked the council to re-write the moratorium with provisions for exemptions based on economic hardship or a building's lack of structural integrity. The council agree to Darling's request.

Cotton said the push for the re-worked moratorium was an effort to rectify sloppy, knee-jerk legislation passed after a string of demolitions occurred along the east end of Pagosa Street. He added that contingencies for economic hardship and structural integrity give property owners options they are entitled to under the town's current historic preservation regulations.

In response to Middendorf's query of why the town council was unwilling to uphold the former moratorium until the council and preservation board could overhaul the town's historic preservation regulations, Cotton said, "We stopped the sale of a piece of property with the legislation and we shouldn't do that."

Council member Judy James motioned for approval of the new ordinance on first reading, contingent upon inclusion of criteria for establishing economic hardship.

James, Cotton and Mayor Ross Aragon voted in favor. Middendorf and Simmons voted against the ordinance.

 

U.S. Sen. Salazar conducts public meeting on 'Village'

James Robinson

Staff Writer

More than a 100 area residents turned out Monday at the Pagosa Springs Community Center to hear U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar speak about local issues, including fielding questions from the audience regarding the Village at Wolf Creek.

Of those who questioned Salazar, none spoke in favor of the Village, and their concerns ranged from water issues, to issues of public safety, energy, and severe environmental degradation.

During the discussion, Salazar said that United States Department of Agriculture Inspector General Phyllis Fong determined "no improprieties occurred" during the environmental impact statement (EIS) process, and that his aim was to visit constituents on both sides of the pass in order to hear their priorities and concerns.

"I take that (the inspector general's findings) for what it is. I have no way to question it," Salazar said.

Salazar and other Colorado legislators requested an inspector general's investigation in May 2006 following allegations of collusion between the developer and Forest Service staff and to determine whether Village developer Billy Joe "Red" McCombs had wielded undue political influence during the EIS process.

Ryan Demmy Bidwell of Colorado Wild, an environmental group which has long battled the controversial development, criticized Fong and the investigation process.

"If you don't look very far, you don't see very much." And he asked the Senator to help the United States Army Corps of Engineers "stand their ground and demand a 404 permit."

Fong released her findings in early September.

Salazar said he understands the concerns of his constituents on both sides of Wolf Creek Pass.

"We have to balance out the economics on that side of the mountain with the environmental issues on this side of the mountain," Salazar said. "You've had a developer come in and say 'It's my way or the highway,' and that's not good."

During the discussion, Salazar criticized the EIS and said it failed to address impacts fundamental to a project slated for housing 10,000 people and 2,100 homes at 10,000 feet. Salazar also questioned whether the 287.5-acre Village parcel adjacent to the Wolf Creek Ski Area had the capacity for such large-scale development.

Among the EIS' chief shortcomings, Salazar said, was that the document failed to look beyond the construction of an access road and to assess the impact of the development as a whole.

"The construction of a road is not the development that will cause the environmental impact. The EIS should address the impact of the Village itself," said Salazar.

Salazar suggested a significantly scaled down version of the project might be more palatable to area residents, however he emphasized the importance of assessing all impacts before any development occurred.

"I'm opposed to the proposal as it's configured, but is there some alternative?" Salazar asked.

Archuleta County Commissioner John Egan echoed Salazar's sentiments.

"A development of that size and scope doesn't make any sense," Egan said. And he suggested a possible solution might include the developer decreasing the size to a scope that could be "palatable and discussed in real terms."

Egan said before that discussion transpired however, McCombs and Village front man Bob Honts had some serious relationship mending to do with residents of Archuleta County.

"I would have to know the developer is respectfully and earnestly listening to Archuleta County," Egan said.

Salazar said he will visit residents of the San Luis Valley to hear their side of the Village debate.

 

Inside The Sun

Michigan hunter dies in back country

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

A Michigan man died suddenly Saturday afternoon while on a hunting trip near Clutter Mountain south of Pagosa Springs, from a "probable heart attack," said Archuleta County Coroner Karl Macht.

Eldon Cook, assumed by Macht to be in his late sixties (the coroner could not confirm a birth date), was an experienced hunter who spent many seasons in the Pagosa area.

According to Macht, the heart attack occurred while Cook was field dressing an elk. Cook's hunting partner attempted CPR and contacted emergency personnel.

Due to timing, weather and difficult terrain, Archuleta County Emergency Operations was unable to send personnel into the backcountry Saturday.

"By the time we received the call, it was too late to put in anyone safely," said Greg Oertel of emergency operations.

But despite snow and wet cold, Emergency Operations sent in a mounted search and rescue unit at first light, with Deputy Coroner Dick Cole, to bring Cook out.

Cook was pronounced dead on the scene by Cole, who discerned the cause as a probable heart attack, said Macht.

Macht said the search and rescue team and Cole responded well under difficult circumstances and conditions, and in the face of harsh terrain.

"I can't emphasize enough how important it is for agencies in the county to work together," he said.

Macht also suggested that it was important for the families of the deceased to know that Cook died doing something that he loved.

Emergency Operations extracted another hunter, an unidentified 57-year old Tulsa, Okla.,man with a broken ankle, out of the backcountry on the Turkey Creek Trail, near Jackson Mountain, on Monday, said Oertel.

As described by Oertel, the search and rescue unit went in as far a possible on ATVs, then proceeded on foot. After stabilizing the hunter, they packed him down to a landing zone, where he could be airlifted out to Mercy Medical Center in Durango.

 

School district opposes amendment 39

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Archuleta County School district 50 Jt. released a statement this week in opposition to proposed Amendment 39 to the Colorado Constitution on school district spending.

The proposed amendment, to be voted on in the November general election, would require school districts across the state to spend at least 65 percent of their operating budgets on instruction costs, such as teachers, classroom computers, books and extracurriculars - with the hope of improving student achievement.

Expenditures on support staff and services - including principals, counselors, nurses, transportation, food services, and teacher training - would not count toward the 65 percent requirement.

The school district statement, prepared by Superintendent Duane Noggle, says the amendment would violate the principle of local control, as it limits the authority of elected board members to make decisions "in the best interest of children," based on the particular needs of the local district.

"The Board believes the concept of one size fits all is just plain wrong," the statement says.

The district also argues in the statement that Amendment 39 would make it hard for schools to respond in the face of emergencies or unforeseen circumstances, saying that under the amendment schools could not hire additional security officers or counselors, in response to school violence; or health care providers, if a flu pandemic hit; or increase utility budgets, if fuel prices were to skyrocket - if the expenditures meant the district would not meet the 65 percent criteria.

The district statement concludes, "This amendment would have a tremendous impact on resource allocation and would do little to improve student success."

 

Stevens Field receives state aviation grant

Colorado Gov. Bill Owens announced that Archuleta County has been awarded a state aviation grant totaling $192,719 for improvements at Stevens Field.

The grant will be combined with $5.3 million of federal and/or local monies to fund taxiway construction and other improvements.

According to Elmer Schettler, chairman of the Archuleta County Airport Advisory Commission, the grant money is designated for three projects: $40,000 to a north ramp overlay; $25,000 as the state's portion for completed runway improvements undertaken last year; $127,000 for construction of a parallel taxiway in 2007.

On Oct. 13, 43 state aviation grants totaling $3.85 million were awarded by the seven-member Colorado Aeronautical Board, which over the past decade has awarded nearly 500 grants totaling nearly $35 million to Colorado public-use airports. The grants are to be used solely for aviation purposes and are funded from aviation fuel tax revenues. This year the projects awarded total $67 million in combined state, federal, and local funds.

"These aviation grant funds help Colorado's public-use airports bring in millions of dollars in federal project funds they might not otherwise be able to obtain," Gov. Owens noted. "That's good news for our airports and for their communities, which depend on airports for quick and safe transportation as well as critical services such as flight-for-life and search and rescue. This program has been a big boost for our public-use airports for many years."

Harold Patton of Greenwood Village, Colorado Aeronautical Board chair, called the grants "a reliable fiscal resource for improving and maintaining Colorado's 78 public-use airports. These grants allow us to help create better airport safety and services."

 

State to provide incentives for job creation

House Bill 1017, which was passed last legislative session, includes $3 million for job creation performance based incentives.

Businesses that create a minimum of five new jobs in rural areas and 10 in urban areas can receive the tax incentives.

The Colorado Job Creation Performance Incentive Fund (PIF) and the Enhanced Incentive Program (EIP) amounts are determined by how much a business pays above the average county wage.

Jobs will have to be created and maintained for at least one year before the business can receive any PIF or EIP incentives from the Economic Development Commission. Fifteen percent of the appropriate funding will be earmarked for job creation in Enterprise Zones outside the Denver Metro area, including southwest Colorado.

Applications for the PIF and EIP are available online at www.advancecolorado.com. Once on the Web site, click "Business Finance" under the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) departments.

For more information, contact Ed Morlan, Director, Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado at 247-9621, or Shela Tatro, manager of the Performance Incentive Fund, Colorado office of Economic Development and International Trade at (303) 892-3840.

 

Water conservancy district seeks to de-Bruce on November ballot

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The San Juan Water Conservancy District is asking voters to approve Ballot Issue 5B in the Nov. 7 general election.

According to proponents of 5B, approval of the issue would forever alleviate the district of revenue collection, retention and spending limitations imposed on it by Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution (the 1992 Taxpayer's Bill of Rights — TABOR) and Section 29-1-301 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. It would also enable the district to effectively pursue development of future water rights and storage to accommodate projected growth.

While TABOR restricts the amount of revenue the district can raise each year to an amount equal to inflation in the prior year, plus annual local growth (percentage of population), 29-1-301 C.R.S. caps allowable annual growth at 5.5 percent.

Together, these controls now prevent the district from qualifying for available state funding needed to help finance construction of the proposed Dry Gulch Reservoir two miles outside of Pagosa Springs. The state has recently announced a $40 million fund payable over the next four years, which is designated solely for reservoir projects. The district believes a portion of that fund would be attainable, if 5B passes.

Though no one filed written comments in opposition to 5B by the constitutional deadline, supporters also point out that, upon passage, it would not increase the current property tax mill levy without subsequent voter approval.

As written, the ballot issue reads:

"Shall San Juan Water Conservancy District be authorized to collect, retain and spend all revenues and other funds received from all sources, including without limitation the district's existing general operating property tax, which property tax mill levy shall not be increased without voter approval, commencing January 1, 2006 and continuing thereafter until repealed, to be spent for general operations and capital improvements as a voter-approved revenue change, offset and exception to the limits which would otherwise apply under Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution or any other law, and as a permanent waiver of the 5.5 percent limitation under Section 29-1-301 C.R.S.?"

A "yes" vote is a vote in favor of changing current law or existing circumstances, and a "no" vote is a vote against changing current law or existing circumstances.

 

Drop off donations to Operation Winter Coat

By Kathi DeClark

Special to The SUN

It'a a wonderful time of year: time to look in your closet for warm hats, coats, boots, gloves, sweaters and warm blankets that you are no longer using.

The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs is hosting Operation Winter Coat Friday, Nov. 17, at the Extension Building. Last year, the club handed out nearly 200 items to more than 65 families.

You can drop off your donated clothing at Gem Jewelers, the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Pagosa Springs Elementary School, Pagosa Springs Junior High School, the Lutheran School, and The Outfitter Carhartt Store. Items must be delivered no later than Wednesday, Nov. 15.

We encourage everyone needing some warm clothing to come by and get any items they may need.

For more information, call Kathi DeClark at 731-9920, Colleen Myers at 731-6378 or Karen Gray at 946-0033.

 

Courthouse tours offered Friday

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.

 

Larson endorses Sen. Jim Isgar

Continuing with his independent way of doing business, Colorado Rep. Mark Larson (R-59th District) has endorsed another Democratic candidate - this time, his colleague from southwest Colorado, Sen. Jim Isgar.

"I have worked with Sen. Jim Isgar for about six years now and I want to tell voters why he is the only choice for representing us in the state senate," wrote Larson.

"I can honestly say that Jim Isgar is one of the quickest learners in the Legislature. He grasps the 'meat' of legislation quickly and is able to juggle several issues rapid fire. Jim's expertise on a broad range of issues (particularly water, agriculture and tourism) has earned him the respect of colleagues from both sides of the aisle.

"Having listened to my constituents in a responsive and candid manor, I was pleased to see that Jim was responsive and candid as well. He has not cared what party a constituent belonged to or whether they had status in the community. True representation requires that all constituents are listened to equally and given the same amount of attention. Jim Isgar did that and constituents never went without having their voice heard and/or ideas represented well in Denver.

"Finally, SW Colorado needs to have leadership in the Legislature ... leadership as defined by playing a major role within one's party, as well as leadership defined by standing up for the district when the party is not in sync with the district. Jim Isgar has met both of these definitions and I see no reason to change now.

"Readers may know that I once announced a race against Jim, withdrawing shortly after. I reasoned that if someone is doing the job and doing it well, then why not allow them to continue? The job is not about individuals, it is about effectively representing the district... and Jim Isgar has done that job exceedingly well. Jim Isgar is experienced and tested, but more importantly, he has proven that he deserves to continue representing us. Vote Isgar for Senate."

 

High school bands, choir in concert Monday

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs high school bands and choir will perform in their first of four concerts this year, Monday in the high school auditorium, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The evening will begin with the concert band, followed by the jazz band and mixed choir.

The Pirates have a strong musical tradition, with students routinely being honored as members of the all-state band and choir.

This year, Kimberly Judd returns to the choir and band, after receiving all-state honors in both as a junior.

The music department has sent many students on to be music majors and music teachers. Judd will likely enter a music program, while Pagosans Matt DeWinter and Chris Baum are now freshmen musicians at Fort Lewis and Berklee college of music, respectively.

Pirates will compete for honors next Thursday in the Intermountain League Honor Band tryouts and at all-state choir tryouts later this month.

 

United Way in Archuleta County

By Tom and Ming Steen

Special to The SUN

Demands and pressures on families have increased a lot in the last generation. In Archuleta County low wage rates and the high cost of living almost require that both parents work. Add to that the fact that the overall percentage of two-parent households continues to decline. Single parents often need multiple jobs to make ends meet. There is little question of the need for and importance of outside support for families.

United Way in Archuleta County proposes to financially support three agencies that provide family support services with funds raised during its campaign this year. These agencies are Seeds of Learning, Community Connections and Southwest Safehouse.

Seeds of Learning

Seeds of Learning is a nonprofit corporation that began in Pagosa Springs in 1998 to meet the pressing needs of infant and preschool childcare and early childhood development. Seeds of Learning provides a nurturing, safe environment with a focus on developing social skills, meeting developmental needs and providing educational training and school readiness for children ages 18 months to five years.

Since 2001 they have maintained an enrollment of 20, which is the maximum capacity for their current facility. Over 50% of enrollment is from low-income or at-risk families. Seeds of Learning is now in its eighth year of continuous operations and is the only center in Archuleta County that cares for toddlers as well as preschoolers. The toddler program helps to provide quality care for toddlers and support for their families.

Lack of quality childcare in Archuleta County continues to be a huge challenge. From government statistics, Seeds of Learning staff estimates that in 2005 approximately 590 children under the age of 5 needed childcare in Archuleta County. However, fewer than 200 children can be cared for in existing licensed homes, centers, and preschools. Seeds of Learning continually operates at maximum enrollment capacity, and its waiting list for entry in April 2006 was 56 children.

Seeds of Learning began a capital campaign for an enlarged facility in 2005. Community and institutional support has been great, and construction on this new building will begin soon. This new location will allow a 300% increase in enrollment; maximum enrollment will go from 20 to 60 children. This will help address the shortage of quality childcare in Archuleta County.

Southwest Safehouse

The Southwest Safehouse is the only residential domestic violence shelter in southwest Colorado. It provides emergency and long-term shelter for women and children survivors of domestic violence, rape, child abuse and other violent crimes. The Safehouse is open seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. By offering secure shelter, three meals a day and counseling, the Safehouse meets its clients' basic needs and offers a forum for the victims to set and achieve their own personal goals.

In the twenty-one years since opening, the Safehouse has sheltered approximately 4,600 women and children. In 2007 they expect to provide residential services to approximately 200 women and children with 5,475 nights of shelter. The Southwest Safehouse works closely with the Archuleta County Victims Assistance Program to identify local women and children in need of this service. In each of the past several years, approximately 7% of the Safehouse shelter services were provided to women and children from Archuleta County.

Community Connections

Community Connections helps to relieve the stress, both financial and emotional, that families encounter when they have a member with a developmental disability living in the family home. They provide financial support and resource coordination to families of children living in Southwest Colorado with developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, physical disabilities or sensory impairments. Four families in Archuleta County received family support services from Community Connections in 2005.

The Community Connections Family Support Services Program is intended to assist families who have children with developmental disabilities with costs that are beyond those normally experienced by other families, and to avoid or delay costly out-of-home placements. Examples of services and supports include medical or dental expenses not funded by Medicaid or other insurance; respite care; special equipment, clothing or diets; home or vehicle modification; therapies; family counseling; and homemaker services.

Having a child who is born prematurely or with a condition such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, epilepsy or autism changes the dynamics of the family in a way that has a huge and lasting effect on every member. Families' goals, hopes and dreams become centered on providing care and nurturing to their new member as they are forced to enter the often-confusing world of "Developmental Disabilities." Without the guidance and support provided by Community Connections, these families face a future of frustration and uncertainty.

United Way in Archuleta County hopes to raise $67,500 through donations during its current campaign. Part of this has been pledged to each of the above organizations to support their efforts to provide needed family support services 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 agency support for our senior citizens that United Way plans to assist with funds raised during this year's campaign in Archuleta County.

 

Look for ribbons, and Ripples of Hope

By Carmen Hubbs

Special to The SUN

Our town is flooded with color - golden yellows, bright reds, radiant oranges, and vivid purple.

Vivid purple? Yes, vivid purple - in the form of ribbons.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and purple awareness ribbons have been placed on trees all around our community. Each ribbon is dedicated to one victim who was supported by victim advocates of the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program during 2005. A total of 286 ribbons will honor each victim's courage, strength and spirit.

This year's theme, "Ripples of Hope," in the shape of a tear, symbolizes the individual pain each victim endures, but the ripples together convert into hope - hope for healing and life without abuse.

In 2005, advocacy centers around Colorado answered over 200,000 crisis and support calls to victims. Nearly 5,000 battered women and children fled their homes, seeking safe housing in Colorado shelters, with another 5,000 having to be turned away for lack of space.

In Archuleta County, advocates answered more than 2,000 support calls, sheltering 13 women, children and men for nearly 30 nights.

"Domestic violence strikes at the heart of our society. We must stand together and say this violence will not be tolerated in our homes, our work, and our communities if we hope to end domestic violence in all its forms," says Nancy Osborn Nicholas of the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Create your own Ripples of Hope by learning more about domestic violence, teaching your children about healthy relationships based on respect, and how you can help stop it if you see something that concerns you. Call 264-9075 for more information.

Special thanks to Joanne Irons, Scott Anderson and his troop of tenacious Pagosa Springs High School cross country runners, and all our dedicated volunteers.

 

Breast cancer support group forming in Pagosa Springs

By Kathi DeClark

Special to The SUN

Sam Conti, a licensed professional counselor with over 20 years experience in the mental health field and with support groups for woman survivors of gender violence, is starting a breast cancer support group in Pagosa Springs.

The group will meet once a month, at 4 p.m. on the second Sunday of the month at Conti's office in the Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Clinic on South Pagosa Boulevard. This group is for the newly diagnosed, and those who have trudged this road before. Everyone has something to share. Anyone interested should plan to attend.

Conti was diagnosed with a stage 2 B Lobar Carcinoma of the left breast almost eight years ago. After she had a complete left mastectomy, she went through a series of chemotherapy, and 47 days of radiation. She did this all the while working in Ignacio as the clinical supervisor at Peaceful Spirit Treatment Center.

"It was quite a struggle. If I hadn't had my friends and others that had gone before me, I couldn't have made it," said Conti. She went on to say, "I am so grateful every day for my life and for the experience I had with cancer, as I came out so far ahead of where I was. I learned so much about myself and I grew spiritually. I have so much to give thanks for today. The opportunity to facilitate this group will be one more opportunity to give back what I have gained. Won't you join us to share your questions, strength and hope with others?"

Call 731-9920 for more information.

 

Habitat for Humanity holds successful fund-raiser

By Janis Moomaw

Special to The SUN

Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County recently held its annual fund-raiser at the community center.

The evening started with a dinner catered by Wildflower Catering, served by members of the Pagosa Springs High School football team. President Bob Moomaw thanked the team for helping Habitat with the fund-raiser and passed a bucket around for donations for the teams' new uniforms.

The evening continued with dancing to the High Rollers.

Merchants from the community of Pagosa Springs donated gift certificates, clothing, lights, tools, tickets to the hot springs and ski passes, plus many other items.

Money raised by Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County is used to build affordable houses in Archuleta County. This year, the fund-raiser was changed from a luncheon to a dinner dance and was by far the organization's most successful fund-raising event ever. Habitat raised over $25,000 thanks to the generosity of Pagosa residents.

Members of Habitat would like to thank BootJack Ranch for a very generous donation that will go towards funding a new administrative director. Tim Horning also made a nice annual pledge towards the administrative director's salary. Anyone wishing to contributive towards the administrative director's salary should contact Bob Moomaw at 264-3010. With a new administrative director, the goal is to expand building capacity from one house per year to three or four houses per year.

The following business and individuals were table sponsors at the fund-raiser: Hart Construction, Hart's Rocky Mt. Retreat, Pagosa Springs SUN, Pagosa Springs Rotary Club, Bob and Janis Moomaw, KWUF Radio, Parelli Natural Horsemanship, Galles Fine Properties, Appraisal Services, Clarion Mortgage, Jean and David Smith, Terry Jackson, Bank of Colorado, San Juan Appraiser Group, Ears 2 U, Paint Connection, New Mark Landscape, Four Season Land Co., Kiwanis, Citizens Bank, Jack and Katy Threet, Stacia Kemp, Jack and Claudia Rosenbaum, Alley House, Farrago Market Café, and Bill and Fran Smith.

The following business provided items for our silent auction: United Methodist Church youth group, Home Again, Wolf Creek Ski Area, The Springs Resort, Wildflower Catering, Paint Connection, Pete Milan, Ponderosa Do It Best, Goodman's Department, Pagosa Nursery, Pine River, LLC, Hal and Becky Curling, Wolf Creek Angler's, Ace Hardware, Wrap It Up, Weddle Plumbing and Heating, Pagosa Electrical Service, and Comfort One Insulation. Habitat sincerely thanks these generous donors, without whom the organization would not be able to provide affordable housing. Thanks also go to Joann Irons, Sharon Crump and Jody Cromwell for their generous donation of time and expertise that helped make this fund-raiser so successful.

Habitat will hold a spring wine and cheese event to energize volunteers for another building season. Habitat will begin its 16th home in May 2007. Plan on joining the fun next year and help hammer a few nails; or, if you are interested, join the board of directors. Habitat for Humanity holds monthly meetings the third Monday of the month at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.

 

Mountain High gardeners create garden at community center

By Denise Rue-Pastin

Special to The SUN

With seed money from the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD), the Mountain High Gardeners Club recently completed work on a xeriscape™ demonstration garden at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Xeriscape™ is a term coined by the Denver Water Department in the mid 1980s and refers to low water use gardening. It should be noted that the xeriscape™ concept is now recognized around the world and is celebrating it's 25th anniversary.

Although PAWSD has a beautiful xeriscape™ demonstration garden at its facility (100 Lyn Ave.), which anyone is welcome to tour at any time, it was felt that a demonstration garden was warranted that was more centrally located and accessible to the public.

With that in mind, PAWSD donated $500 in 2005 to the Mountain High Gardeners Club. The club subsequently allocated $250 each for work at the Senior Center location and at the Ruby Sisson Library.

Under the competent leadership of Ron Chacey, work first commenced on soil amendments at the community center site. Multiple loads of llama manure were donated by the Sharp family. In addition, Paul Hansen donated composted sawdust. Topsoil was delivered and donated by the Town of Pagosa Springs under the stewardship of Jim Miller. The manure, compost and topsoil were tilled in by volunteers of the garden club. Three trees were then planted. Chacey and Miller relocated five large boulders to add hardscape to the garden. Bonnie and Larry Sprague, owners of High Plains Nursery, provided the trees and plants that garden club volunteers planted.

This was a team effort that could not have happened without the help of many dedicated individuals. Thanks go to all who participated. Visit the new garden and enjoy its beauty as it grows to maturity.

 

Outdoors

Forest Service to conduct public field trip Saturday

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Ranger District/Field Office of the San Juan National Forest will host a public field trip to the Jackson Mountain area Saturday.

Anyone interested in observing and discussing related forest conditions 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 responses might 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, a blaze orange hat or vest is advisable.

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 northeast of town, including the San Juan River Resort area, can meet at the Jackson Mountain Road turnoff at 11 a.m.

For additional information on field trip details, contact Steve Hartvigsen, Pagosa Ranger District, 264-1513.

 

Hunters asked to be cautious on wet roads

Heavy rains in southwest Colorado during the last two weeks are making for wet conditions in the high country during the start of the state's big game hunting seasons. Hunters are urged to stay on dry roads and avoid soggy areas with vehicles.

"We're asking hunters to exercise good judgment on where they take their vehicles," said Tony Gurzick, southwest assistant regional manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. "Heavy vehicles can seriously damage wet roads and affect access to hunting areas. Runoff from deep road ruts can damage water quality and wildlife habitat."

Western Colorado was particularly hard-hit by the rains which swelled rivers and creeks, and caused some flooding and rock slides.

The first rifle season for elk started Saturday, Oct. 14, and thousands of hunters headed to Colorado's high country. The first season continued through Oct. 18. Other rifle seasons follow until mid-November.

When setting up camp, hunters should drive off the road as short a distance as possible. Hunters also are reminded that all-terrain vehicles can cause resource damage.

Hunters are advised to contact local United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management offices to check on road closures and restrictions.

Hunters are asked to report road problems to wildlife officers or to federal agency officers.

"Forest roads are paid for with your tax dollars. Road repairs are very expensive," Gurzick said. "So hunters and anyone using the roads are asked to treat them with care."

 

DOW seeks landowners for walk-in access program

The "Walk-in Access Program" sponsored by the Colorado Division of Wildlife to provide hunters access to private land to hunt small game is expanding to western Colorado.

Property owners who participate in the program are eligible to earn from $5 to $20 per acre depending on the amount of property available for hunting. In southwest Colorado the DOW is asking property owners to consider providing access for spring turkey hunting.

The walk-in program has been in place for many years on Colorado's eastern plains. In that region, private landowners allow hunters access to hundreds of thousands of acres of land.

While most of the land in western Colorado is publicly owned, thousands of acres of private property are located in prime wildlife habitat.

Enrolled properties will be clearly marked with Division of Wildlife "Walk-in Access" signs and their locations published in a walk-in atlas. Landowners are not identified in the atlas. Access to enrolled properties is by foot only. No vehicles or horses are permitted.

The program is funded through sales of a mandatory Walk-In Access program permit which will be available for $20 at all DOW offices and all hunting and fishing license vendors. Enforcement of regulations is the responsibility of the DOW. All normal hunting regulations apply on Walk-In Access properties.

Interested landowners should contact their local district wildlife manager or the nearest DOW office for more information. Landowners in Archuleta County should contact the Durango area office at 247-0855.

 

Tamarisk Control Bill signed into law

U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) has announced that President Bush has signed legislation designed for the control and eradication of the salt cedar plant, also known as the tamarisk.

"The tamarisk is causing severe problems throughout Colorado and the West," said Allard. "The President's signing of this legislation marks a major milestone in the ongoing effort by Congress and this administration to provide critical resources for the removal of this destructive and invasive species."

The tamarisk has invaded the margins of streams, lakes and wetlands throughout the Western United States. An individual plant can consume up to 200 gallons of water per day, which has exacerbated drought conditions in the West, and is highly disruptive to native habitats and species.

"Eradication of this unquenchable shrub will save water, lower salinity levels and create a more congenial habitat for the Southwest Willow Flycatcher and a number of other riparian species in Colorado and across the West," Allard said. "This is an important element in mitigating the water shortages and environmental damage associated with the tamarisk."

Tamarisk Coalition Executive Director Tim Carlson also voiced his appreciation for Sen. Allard's years of hard work on this issue. "The passage of this legislation is a major step in reversing the devastating impacts that tamarisk causes to the state's river systems. It took the recent drought for us to realize the incredible value of Colorado's water resources and associated wildlife habitat," said Carlson. "This bill will help restore and protect these assets. Colorado's strong congressional leadership, especially from Senator Allard and his staff, was critical in passing this legislation."

The bill authorizes the provision of grants worth millions of dollars to states and public/private partnerships to control and eradicate the tamarisk. The Senate passed the House version of the bill, H.R. 2720, which is the companion to the Senate bill, S. 177. Allard was an original cosponsor of the Senate bill with U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.).

 

Hunting test goes to the dogs at Navajo Lake State Park

Every dog has his day, and that day will arrive for dozens of retrievers competing for the chance to be referred to as "master" - during the American Kennel Club's (AKC) Retriever Hunt Test at Navajo Lake State Park Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29.

Six judges (three from New Mexico) from the American Kennel Club, Albuquerque Retriever Club and Labrador Retriever Club will judge dozens of retrievers' hunting and retrieval skills at the event.

To earn points towards a coveted title, canines will be required to locate and retrieve a number of simulated ducks, planted throughout the area. Based on the number of birds retrieved, the dogs will advance to: Junior level (one bird retrieved), Senior level (two birds retrieved) or Master level (three birds retrieved.)

Each run can extend up to 100 yards and tests the canines' agility, retrieval skills and hunting abilities.

"We're excited to offer yet another recreational opportunity for visitors, as we host this event," said Steve Mueller, park superintendent.

Navajo Lake State Park and the neighboring San Juan River were chosen this year because of their ideal location, which provides a realistic setting complete with obstacles - such as ponds and a lake.

"Navajo is a central location in the four corners area and convenient for hunters from neighboring states," said Cheryl Heit, one of six AKC judges. "We're thrilled that State Parks' staff have been eager to work with us on this event - they've been wonderful."

So far, nearly 50 hunters from New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado have registered for the competition. Those interested in entering their retriever into the Hunt Test should contact Wendy Statkus, vice president of Albuquerque Retrievers Club, as soon as possible at (505) 238-4180.

For more information, log onto www.nmretrievers.org or www.nmparks.com, or call (888) 667-2757.

 

High Country Reflections

Indeed, it was a great escape

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

Even with the sun finally in full view, the numbing cold of a mid-October dawn lingered in my fingers and toes. Facing east, as the sun's slanting rays glistened through the ponderosas before me, I could feel the slightest warmth on my face, yet I was still freezing. I had to move.

I'd been hunting elk near 10,000 feet on the Uncompahgre Plateau, and sitting motionless in the crisp mountain air for too long a time had taken its toll. At one point, I stood up and walked in short circles to stimulate blood flow to the extremities, but when a dozen wapiti cows and calves suddenly appeared at the top of a shallow draw to the south, I froze again - both literally and figuratively.

It was opening day of the first combined deer and elk rifle season, and I had a license to harvest a cow elk. I'd obtained it in a state drawing for a particular game management unit on the plateau, and if necessary, I planned to hunt for nine days.

Admittedly though, as a hunter of small game for years, especially upland birds, I'd never killed a big game animal before, and wasn't exactly crazy about the idea. Neither field dressing it or properly caring for the meat were my concerns, I'd assisted fellow hunters with both on previous outings. I had just reached a point in my life where deciding who lived or died became increasingly difficult and consequently, found myself inadvertently passing on viable opportunities to take the shot.

For instance, while only a hundred yards distant, I probably could have taken a cow in that first encounter an hour earlier, but, for whatever reason, I simply watched as the entire band of amazingly nimble ungulates moved so eloquently through the trees, pausing from time to time, before disappearing over a ridge to the east.

Afterward, I thought, what the heck. There's no pressure. It's the first of several days in the field and as much as anything, I'm here to enjoy the quiet and solitude. Certainly, there will be other opportunities. Besides, I need to warm up and reenergize, perhaps with a bite to eat back at camp.

I'd set camp the day before on an undeveloped 40-acre tract of land a few miles southwest, as a crow flies. At 8,700 feet in elevation, the parcel is part of a small and secluded subdivision surrounded by national forest. Three friends own it, and I've enjoyed an open invitation to bivouac there, for much of the past 30 years. Because the property is part of an adjacent game management unit, I could not hunt there.

The property, like miles of surrounding countryside, is largely wild and unsettled. Mostly covered with mature aspens, it also bears open meadows and sporadic stands of giant ponderosa pines left over from commercial logging operations of decades past. To the immediate south, a broad clearing affords sweeping views of the lofty San Miguel Mountains and, as part of a western branch of the San Juans, Mount Sneffels dominates the southeastern horizon.

I pulled into camp by mid-morning. The 20-minute truck ride, along with a final cup of coffee from my thermos, had warmed me enough to shed outer jacket and hat, then swap pack boots for moccasins. The bright autumn sun, now much higher in the cloudless azure sky, spilled its warming rays over the campsite and the entire woodland landscape beyond.

As camps go, this was the model of efficiency. In a small clearing amid the tallest of aspens, two 8-by-10 tents faced each other, with approximately eight feet of space between them. One served as sleeping quarters, while the other held assorted hunting and fishing equipment, cooking and dining utensils, water jugs and extra fuel. A propane lantern dangled from the ceiling of each, while the sleeper included a braided rug, propane heater, cot, and small folding table and chair.

A large tarp covered the gap between tents, where another table, cook stove, dish tub and lantern served as camp kitchen. A dozen feet beyond, an established fire circle and evening burns of crackling aspen provided warmth in the "open-air" living room.

Most days my appetite is slow to start, and opening day was no different. In the rush to be in position for the morning hunt, I managed only coffee, a piece of fruit and granola bar, before heading over a series of two-track roads in the predawn darkness. But once back in camp, I was starving, and quickly devoured an English muffin and large bowl of cereal. That became my morning routine for the next few days.

While eating breakfast, I thought about the elk I'd seen earlier and contemplated the feasibility of hunting mid-day hours. I remembered how, in years past, my friends and I had stalked the woods throughout each day, returning to camp only after nightfall and, while fairly exhausted, preparing evening meals before turning in for the night. I recalled the few animals we'd collectively harvested, and remembered how each was taken early, or very late in the day.

I also considered the fatigue factor. While presumably hunting, I was on vacation after a grueling stretch of work, and needed down time. Even if I hadn't drawn a cow tag, I'd have camped, fished and walked the woods for several days. With that in mind, I decided to hunt the early mornings, fish or hike during the day, and see what appealed by evening.

As it turned out, I hunted just three consecutive mornings, before shifting focus to fishing and leisurely late-day walks. Hunting meant getting up well before dawn, driving in the dark and venturing into the freezing cold, just to compete with dozens of other hunters for a chance to well kill something. After a few outings, I realized that, more than anything, I just longed for silence and seclusion.

Stream fishing, on the other hand, was practical anytime of day. Competition was negligible, and by using artificial flies with single barbless hooks, I could release whatever I caught, without inflicting mortal injury.

Over the course of the following week, my most enjoyable hours spent were in the privacy of camp, or on solitary walks through the surrounding forest. Affording the liberty to roam miles in any direction, the area sees minimal human activity. I never saw another person the entire time I was there, but on two separate occasions, while sitting outside the tents sipping coffee, I turned in response to a slight rustling of leaves, only to see a couple of mule deer bucks browsing just 50 yards through the trees.

Though deer were common as squirrels, small bands of elk were not exactly rare. One evening, while wandering just minutes from camp, I managed to creep to within easy viewing of a pair of bugling bulls, as they squared off in rivalry over a dozen cows.

That same evening, as I lay in bed listening to soft breezes wafting through the pines and now leafless aspens, a distant pack of coyotes let loose with a long series of yips and yowls. I listened for several minutes, before drifting off to sleep, but sometime later, they aroused me again, while scurrying about just outside the tents. At one point, I could hear at least one actually sniffing a tent corner, just feet from where I lay.

More often than not, following a long morning walk, I ate a sandwich and chips, then drove an hour over gravel forest roads to the San Miguel River. With several public reaches to choose from, I found ample places devoid of other anglers, and spent a couple of hours casting for an equal mix of rainbows and browns. The river is easily negotiable, and catching its trout is just challenging enough to provide great sport three seasons a year.

In every excursion to the great outdoors, there invariably comes a time when home and civilization hold renewed appeal. Doing dishes by hand, or bathing outside, becomes cumbersome and challenging, particularly when the clouds roll in and a stiff breeze kicks up. Meanwhile, a desire for the company of family and friends steadily swells within me, and I look forward to real conversation.

Therefore, after nine days alone and talking to myself, I eagerly broke camp one sunny morning, and packed the truck for the trip home. As always, I took a last stroll around the property, then pulled onto the dirt two-track toward Montrose and the highway beyond.

While failing to "harvest" an elk, I succeeded in regaining equilibrium. I managed to catch fish, relax and revel in the glory of the woods. As I drove, I thought, what began as a big game hunting trip, turned triumphantly to a great escape.

 Letters

Electoral College

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to that small part of Dave Blake's letter, "Tcch, tcch," Oct. 12 SUN, in which he wasn't directly insulting you for your editorial in an earlier edition.

In the second paragraph Blake writes, "Fear of rapid change lead (sic) 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)." That is the first time I have heard the creation the Electoral College attributed to "fear of rapid change." The fear was that the less-populated states would not ratify the proposed constitution if the election of the president was by a nation-wide popular vote.

The founders formed, and we still are, a federal union of states. Each state gets to say who it wants to be president. The more-populated states have an overwhelming advantage. California has 55 electoral votes while seven states have only three; three in the east and four in the west.

In 2000 Vice President Al Gore got 539,947 more votes than Mr. George W. Bush, former governor of Texas. The outcome depended on who got Florida's electoral votes. That is history and Blake obviously hasn't gotten over it yet.

In 2004 President Bush got 3,012,449 more votes than Senator Kerry. The outcome depended on who got Ohio's electoral votes. President Bush got them and is serving a second term.

If Senator Kerry had won Ohio, he would have become president, even though he trailed in the nation's popular vote by over 3 million votes. I doubt that Blake would be unhappy about that.

Earle Beasley

 CYA

Dear Editor:

U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar came to Pagosa Monday for 30 minutes of listening to constituents. When asked why he voted for the Military Commission Act of 2006, Sen. Salazar answered that it was an attempt to join with Sen. McCain in prohibiting torture by our government. His understanding of the effects of this bill, signed Tuesday by the president, was clear. He acknowledged the current government has the power now to label anyone an enemy combatant. He further acknowledged the bill he signed cancels the writ of Habeas Corpus.

Every U.S. citizen should be outraged by this bill. Any of us can now be detained at the pleasure of the government, without offenses named, for an indefinite period of time, without counsel, without notification to anyone, without a right to trial, without knowing who our accusers are. This bill nullifies seven of the 10 Bill of Rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. This bill cancels 600 years of civil rights since the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. Our founding fathers and the Continental Army began a revolution 200 plus years ago to give us these rights. And now they are gone.

Why was this bill brought forward? By reiterating a 50-year commitment to the Geneva Convention this legislation traded our most basic freedoms. This bill was a CYA (cover your a--) attempt to protect the administration from conviction as war criminals. Why would a U.S. Senator from the Democratic party want to participate in this legislation? Why would any elected official vote to betray the citizens?

Is it time for a Tea Party?

P.S. His brother, U.S. Rep. John Salazar also voted for this legislation.

Cristy Holden

 No guarantee

Dear Editor:

It's an autumnally aesthetic Thursday, Columbus Day, which would have been my father's 85th birthday. He knew Mrs. Kate Terry, whose memory also prompts the invocation, Borekh dayan emes (blessed be the righteous judge).

Like Dad, Mrs. Terry was admirable for her decency. I told her so the first time she came to Mother's home to assist in evaluating high school entries for the writing contest Mother sponsors each Veteran's Day. Exponentially modest, she rebutted my compliment. "Thank you, thank you," she responded, "but I don't know about that."

I was not about to waste a carpe momentum; tomorrow has no guarantee.

Arlene Marcus

 Prosaic explanation

Dear Editor:

I read with growing alarm Judy Humphreys' letter describing her experience in Town Park. She "tiptoed" through a "minefield" of a "huge number of dog droppings" and suggested the Town would do well to place dispensers of pick-up bags in its parks.

Although it is certainly possible that an errant dropping does elude our scrutiny, the parks crew considers the removal of canine essence an important aspect of our duties, so the presence of such quantities of it mystified me.

There are dispensers of plastic bags in prominent locations throughout our parks, and the rate at which they require replenishment indicates their popularity, though I guess it's possible they are being used by thrifty moms to wrap the kid's sandwiches. But a plethora of poo has never presented itself since we installed the Mutt Mitt containers, thanks to conscientious dog owners. Whence, then, Ms. Humphreys' minefield?

Two or three times per year, to benefit the microbial health of our turf, we perform an operation known as core aeration. Our tractor pulls an implement equipped with an array of tines, which punch into the soil four to six inches deep and pull out cores or "plugs" of soil, allowing the surrounding grass roots to breathe. The plugs are three to four inches long, three-quarters of an inch in diameter, and a rich, earthy brown color. They have been regularly mistaken for dog droppings. Our last aeration of Town Park was at the end of September.

Like the "crop circles" which mysteriously appear annually just before soccer season, the seasonal proliferation of poop has a prosaic explanation. I hope this information reaches those citizens whose concern about the state of our parks informs our efforts on a frequent basis.

Keep visiting those public spaces, folks, and keep a sharp eye out for the inevitable oversights and omissions we commit. Keep those cards and letters coming in, and we will continue our efforts to beautify, and sanitize, our parks.

Sincerely,

Jim Miller

 Perspective

Dear Editor:

It may be useful to provide a brief historical perspective on the college-in-Archuleta-County idea.

Those of you who have been paying attention to local educational issues know this is not a new idea. Pueblo Community College (PCC) has had a meaningful presence in Pagosa Springs - through beneficial partnerships with the Archuleta County School District and the Archuleta County Education Center - for most of the past 15 years. Many Pagosa Springs High School students have graduated with transferable college courses on their transcripts by taking PCC "dual credit" classes while attending school here. Pagosa Springs High School has also provided classroom space after hours and allowed many of its masters-qualified teachers to "moonlight" as instructors for evening PCC classes that have benefited many in the community over the years. The Education Center has provided an administrative home base - offering office space for PCC liaison personnel, assisting with diagnostic intake testing, registration, marketing, remedial education, et al.

Because of changes in state financing, high schools in Pagosa, Durango, Bayfield, and Mancos recently pulled out of the PCC dual credit program. Pagosa Springs High School has actively worked to replace this with a similar arrangement with the CSU Pueblo's "Senior to Sophomore Core Program." They are currently in the second semester of offering dual-credit courses through CSU Pueblo and expect this program to expand. PCC has continued to schedule evening classes, but demand is low. A minimum number of enrolled students (FTE) is required before a class is economically feasible. With insufficient student interest, classes are subsequently cancelled.

Without a cohort of like-minded individuals pursuing a common goal, local demand for college courses (outside of the high-school dual credit program) does not allow very many courses to survive. A group of local early childhood educators, for example, began pursuing a degree in tandem and were able to take much of their coursework locally. Fortunately, a wide range of online post-secondary degrees and courses are currently available from different colleges and universities for the motivated student. PCC plans to offer "hybrid" online courses in Pagosa that will involve e-mail communication with an instructor plus occasional face-to-face contact.

Yes, it would be great to have community and vocational/technical college facilities in Pagosa Springs for the benefit of all. However, recent real-life experience should give us pause by offering a sobering perspective on the current feasibility and financial reality of fantasizing about a community college campus for Archuleta County right now.

Tom Steen

 Concerned

Dear Editor:

Taxpayers should be very concerned with the upcoming local ballot issue on the county's mill stabilization issue. If it passes, each taxpayer's bill will increase.

Under current law, the county is governed by the provisions of the Tabor Amendment to the Constitution. While the provisions are complicated, basically the county can only increase its yearly spending by 5 percent. If the county collects more than that amount in property taxes, the excess amount must be refunded to the taxpayers, either by check or by credit on your tax bill. Our county currently credits each of us on our bill.

If the local ballot issue passes, Tabor will no longer apply. The county will keep all of the property tax revenue and is no longer limited to a 5-percent budget increase. You will no longer receive any tax credit, and your taxes will increase accordingly. Beginning in the 2008 tax year, your taxes will increase substantially, because property values in the county have increased by at least 30 percent. Your taxes will increase due to your increased property value.

Before the county is allowed to increase taxes, it should get its own house in order. County expenses are out of control. According to the county's own records, just personnel costs increased in 2004 by 9.36 percent, in 2005 by 30.57 percent, and in 2006 by 14.69 percent. Equipment expense has also increased greatly. How many of you have seen your income increase by these amounts? Before the county should increase taxes, let them control expenses.

Taxpayers of metro districts will be especially affected. Any increase in county taxes will not be applied to your roads. In fact, assuming the county will use some of the additional taxes for county road improvements, metro districts will get less funding from the state to maintain your roads since you are in competition for the state money with the county. The better the county roads, the less money for metro districts. You will not only be paying more taxes to the county, you will have to increase your metro district taxes to maintain the same quality of roads in your district.

I am not against all tax increases. For example, the tax issue concerning property purchase for a county reservoir is necessary for our future water supply. However, this mill stabilization measure has not been properly thought out. Please vote "No" on this issue.

Patrick D. Ullrich

 

   Community News

'Our Library,' from 1896 to now

By Carole Howard

Special to The PREVIEW

What's in a name?

Some people just call it The Library. Or they call it Our Library. Some call it the Pagosa Library - but that's not entirely accurate, as it serves all of Archuleta County. The name on the sign out front is Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library. And the official name for tax purposes is the Upper San Juan Library District.

Regardless of what name you choose, our library is a center of learning and life-long self-education, a resource for every citizen in the county from babies to seniors, students to retirees.

As many of its patrons will tell you, it also is a very fun place to go for special programs. And, as its first librarian Lenore Bright points out, it has changed with the times.

"Technology advances have affected every aspect of library service," Bright said. "We can now consider the physical library an 'information commons' with books and computers sharing the same space - a reminder to us all that valuable information comes in many forms."

Library launched with gifts of books

Our library actually started in 1896 with the personal collection of local attorney Frank Spickard. He made his books available to a young ladies' literary club whose members loved reading.

Meanwhile, a few years earlier a wealthy Methodist had died in New York, and his estate donated 48 books to be used as a library in Pagosa Springs. On Feb. 22, 1907, the collections merged and the Pagosa Springs Public Library opened in the basement of the Methodist Church.

At first the library was run by women volunteers. Then in February of 1910, the Woman's Civic Club was formed. Its members - again, all volunteers - took over operation of the library, which by then had a collection of 202 books. From 1910 until 1960, the Civic Club ran the library which, after residing in the church, moved to a log cabin and then to the town hall on the river.

In 1960, Civic Club members helped pay for a new town hall on the corner of U.S. 160 and Lewis Street. In 1966, Archuleta County took over the library. But they had very little money so the library became a "line item" in the county budget, receiving minimal financial support.

Searching for a permanent home

It remained the goal of the Civic Club to provide a permanent home for the library. Its members continued to give major support to the library, and donations were always important to keep the collection expanding.

In 1963, the Friends of the Library organization was formed to involve others with fund-raising for a permanent facility. It was not until l983 that Lenore Bright was hired as our first full-time librarian. In 1985, the Upper San Juan Library District was formed to give the library a stable 1.5 mill levy funding base, and the county no longer provided funds for its operation.

On Feb. 7, 1989 the library opened debt free on its current site, thanks to the Civic Club and Friends of the Library jointly raising more than $700,000 and Robert Lindner's donation of the property. At Lindner's request, it was named the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library after a long-time supporter who was a member of the library's first Friends group and also a generous contributor.

Library expands in 2005

In 2005 the library completed a $600,000 expansion, entirely paid for with grants and individual donations saved over many years. Not a penny of increased local tax dollars went toward the new building, one of only a few libraries in Colorado to accomplish such a feat.

Now the library is asking voters for a 1.5 mill tax increase in November — the first tax increase in 21 years - to maximize the benefits of the new facility and to expand services county citizens have asked for.

"All our books, programs and other materials are available free of charge to anyone with a library card," said acting library director Jackie Welch. "And don't forget that a library card is free as well!"

Welch said that virtually everyone knows books are available at a library - in print as hard-cover or soft, as audio books on tape or CDs, or in large-type editions. Less well known, she pointed out, is the fact that about 70 different magazines are available for borrowing, as are videos, DVD movies, music CDs and interlibrary loans.

There also are services for people with special needs, such as a machine that enlarges print material for those with eyesight problems and access to special books on tape for the disabled.

As well, the library's computers are extremely popular, especially because they offer state-of-the-art computer services with filtering to ensure safe Internet access.

Programs for all ages

In addition to providing books, computers, other materials and services, the library hosts a variety of programs for all ages.

Among the many programs for children are the Preschool Story Hour on Wednesday mornings, the Saturday morning Pagosa Pretender events, and the Summer Reading Program.

Created especially for adults and seniors is the Lifelong Learning program, with a wide variety of events including a jazz concert, guest lecturers and slide shows. Lecture topics include local history, water issues, engineering, physics and the arts.

Among programs for all ages are the annual Friends of the Library book sale and Pagosa Reads, a series of books reviews, lectures, slide shows and other events.

Other ongoing programs include conversational French Thursday evenings and the library's new chess club on Tuesday evenings.

Wealth of education, entertainment

"We hope everyone reading this article who hasn't come by the library lately will take the opportunity to visit us to see what we have available for you," Welch said.

"Our goal is to have all Archuleta County citizens consider the library a valuable resource for themselves and their families. We want everyone to be aware of the many free benefits of being a library card-holder, because we offer a wealth of education and entertainment at your convenience."

"Our democracy depends upon a citizenry that is well informed," Bright added, "and our library's main mission is to provide materials to help accomplish that goal."

She cited a quote from planetary scientist Carl Sagan, who said in his book "Cosmos:" "I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries."

 

'Music in the Celtic Tradition' at ECA Saturday concert

By Paul Roberts

Special to The PREVIEW

Elation Center for the Arts presents "Music in the Celtic Tradition," featuring Celtic harpist Sylvia Zurko, John Graves, Paul and Carla Roberts, Bob Nordmann, Harvey Schwartz and other performers at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse.

A master's degree in music education and several years of teaching experience have provided Zurko with a solid base from which to pursue what has become her first love - performing and composing on her Celtic (folk) harp.

She has worked to further the appreciation for folk music and dance in Durango, organizing concerts, festivals and dance groups since 1988. Believing in the healing power of music, especially harp music, Sylvia volunteered for several years in her local hospital, playing regularly for both patients and staff. Last year she traveled to France where she gave a concert in a 12th century church.

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).

The Celtic folk harp that Zurko specializes in has origins reaching back to the first millennium. The Gaelic harps called "clarsach" in Scotland or "clairseach" in Ireland were perhaps the most popular musical instruments during medieval times. There is stone carving evidence showing that the harp was present in Gaelic/Pictish Scotland well before the 9th century, and early instruments were strung with horsehair, gut, and in the case of the harp played by the Gaels of Scotland and Ireland between the 11th and 19th centuries, wire strings. The wire-strung harp was played with the fingernails, and it produced a brilliant ringing sound. Especially popular in 16th and 17th century English courts, it was played all over Europe and was usually called the "Irish Harp."

After a lull when harps fell out of use in Scotland and Ireland, a revival of Celtic culture brought the harp back into use. Since the 1970s, musicians, harp makers and scholars have kept alive the ancient art of the Celtic harp by spreading its beautiful music the across the globe.

Bob Nordmann takes the saxophone back in time to its reeded predecessors, with several period pieces. He will accompanied by pianist Harvey Schwartz for "Molly on the Shore," a lively Irish folk song. Nordmann also performs with the Roberts on several tunes. Nordmann, who has been very well received at several past ECA concerts, says, "I want to present the saxophone in a different light than most people get to hear it in."

Carla and Paul Roberts will perform Celtic tunes on the "Cittern" or renaissance mandolin, wooden flutes and the Irish drum called the "bodhran."

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.

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."

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, 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.

 

'Art: 21' makes contemporary art accessible

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

The PBS series "Art: 21" explores themes in contemporary art using living, working artists and their creations to challenge the viewer's concepts of place, spirituality, identity and consumption.

On Thursday, Oct. 12, Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts showed two sections from the first season: "Place" and "Identity." Each hour-long section delved into the studios and work of some of the best-known contemporary artists working today, as well as emerging young artists.

The theme of Place is explored through the work of Richard Serra whose gigantic steel sculptures invite viewers into spaces, to walk in them, around them, under them. Serra begins each sculpture with a model, bent aluminum semi-circles, stretching, reaching and twisting. The documentary follows Serra, as he and a team of engineers oversee the installation of "Charlie Brown" in the atrium of a building in San Francisco. The 60-foot tall steel sculpture with it's flowing waves of steel forming a square in the center expresses his acuity for containing space, holding space and giving context to space.

Serra is constantly drawing in a sketchbook and tells how he used to draw for his parents. His father would take apart the car and Serra would draw the parts. Serra explained that the eye is a muscle and the more you draw the stronger the muscle becomes and the better you see.

Another artists who expresses place is Sally Mann, a contemporary photographer working with traditional mediums. Mann photographs her children and the landscape of her beloved South - in Virginia, in their cabin without telephone or television. "If it doesn't have ambiguity, don't bother taking it," Mann says.

Place is also explored through the work of Mary Kilgallen and Barry McGee, young artists who use graffiti and hand painted imagery of the streets in their work. Their highly graphic work is often painted direct on gallery walls for installations. The documentary follows them between gallery installations and painting graffiti on trains.

"The gallery art crowd is the same people," McGee says. "Outdoors its open to anyone to look at."

And finally, artist Pepon Osorio says: "I need to create a space that's overpowering. A place where you need to reflect and confront yourself: Who are you in relation to what you have just seen?"

Osorio's installations explore Hispanic culture and the artist says that he is always doing things subversive and contradictory. He takes his art on home visits, where an artwork stays in someone's home for several weeks and they get to live with it. Through that act, Osorio says that his displacement in the art world seems perfectly fine.

The theme of Identity is explored through the work of Bruce Nauman, who came to the realization that whatever he was doing in the studio must be art. Filmed at the artist's New Mexico studio and ranch, Nauman paints, sculpts, makes prints and does film and installation art. He comments while watching a videotape of mice in his studio: "You have to kind of not watch anything, so you can be aware of everything."

Identity is also featured in the work of Kerry James Marshall, an African-American painter who says he wants to "reclaim the image of blackness as an image of power." Marshall paints figures with emphatically black skin tones. But he also culls from the societal influences of his upbringing to create comic strips featuring powerful African-American figures.

For Maya Lin, art is "everything you have every known and everything you've ever done, somehow percolating up with ideas you might want to explore." Best known as the designer of the Vietnam Memorial, Lin is trained as an artist and architect and designs public spaces, parks and monuments that make a place for individuals within the landscape. Hired to create a sculpture for a park in Grand Rapids, Mich., the artist felt that a single work would not have as much impact as a complete redesign of the space that now includes a skating rink, embedded with lights mirroring the stars in the sky.

Summing up the theme of identity is Louise Bourgeois who says: "I am not what I am. I am what I do with my hands."

"Art: 21" is the first PBS series to explore contemporary art. The series ran for three seasons on PBS and Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts will show the remaining themes from season one: Spirituality and Consumption on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 6:30 p.m. as part of their "Let's Explore" series.

"Let's Explore" will feature Gerry Riggs, juror for the current "Form, Figures, Symbols" exhibition at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts. Riggs will share slides and work from some of his favorite contemporary artists on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. Riggs curated more than 400 exhibits during his gallery and museum career.

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 (970) 731-2766.

 

Lifelong learning considers ice sheets, glaciers, sea levels

By Biz Greene

Special to The PREVIEW

The next Lifelong Learning lecture is "Glaciers, ice sheets, and sea-level rise: What's Happening Now?," presented by Dr. Charles Burnham.

About 80 percent of the world's fresh water is contained in the earth's cryosphere, namely its glaciers and ice sheets. The cryosphere is made up of many tens of thousands of glaciers found in mountainous regions worldwide, a number of relatively small ice caps in arctic and alpine regions, and, of paramount importance, the immense ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.

For at least the past century most of the alpine glaciers and small ice caps worldwide have been receding, and thus could be characterized as being in "ill health." It appears quite possible that many of them may disappear completely over the next century.

As climate changes occur, the massive Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets, that now make up about 9 and 85 percent of the earth's cryosphere respectively, could potentially cause devastating rises in sea-level from their melting; that would significantly impact a large percentage of the world's human population.

Historically, it has been extremely difficult to assess the current net mass balance of these ice sheets, and hence knowledge about their contributions to rising sea level has been obscure. Over the past several years, however, new techniques have been brought to bear on this problem.

Burnham will present an up-to-date assessment of the current state of these huge ice masses, how they may behave in the near future, and what the implications of various possible scenarios are with respect to sea-level changes.

This free lecture is at 3 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Sisson Library. All are welcome.

 

'Forms, Figures, Symbols' opens Saturday at Shy Rabbit

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

"Forms, Figures, Symbols" opens Saturday at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts featuring 59 works of contemporary art by 43 artists from around the country.

Following Saturday'a artists' reception, the show will be on display through Nov. 28.

Juror Gerry Riggs, former director of the Gallery of Contemporary Art at CU Colorado Springs, selected works for the exhibition.

Opening reception with the artists is Saturday, 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 shyrabbit01@aol.com, or log onto http://www.shyrabbit.blogspot.com.

 

Stir the creative soup at Brown Bag Writers

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.

 

SJOC Ski and Sports Swap set for Oct. 28

The San Juan Outdoor Club will hold its annual Ski and Sports Swap at the fairgrounds Exhibit Hall 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday Oct. 28.

Items for sale are provided by individuals as well as businesses from Pagosa Springs and Durango. "We get great participation and assistance from these businesses," noted Jim Cole of the Outdoor Club. "We could not provide such a wide selection without them."

People with sports items for sale should bring them to the Exhibit Hall on Friday, Oct. 27, between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. or on Saturday morning between 7:30 and the 9 a.m. start of the Swap. The Outdoor Club manages the sale and takes a 20-percent commission on sales for its services. Proceeds after expenses go to fund scholarships for area graduating seniors to help with college.

The Swap also features a sale of baked goods provided by Outdoor Club members.

The Swap is the largest service activity of the San Juan Outdoor Club, with 40-50 members participating each year. "The swap makes outdoor equipment and clothing available for people to engage in outdoor activities at a low cost," said Nancy Cole, one of the Swap's organizers, "as well providing a place for people to sell their used equipment."

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Oct. 28, to find that sports equipment or clothing you have been wanting - and at a bargain price.

If you have questions call Nancy or Jim Cole at 731-2073.

 

New Red Hats chapter in Pagosa

By Marilyn Pruter

Special to the PREVIEW

"Once a Queen, always a Queen," stated Kathryn Heilhecker, as a new chapter of Red Hat Divas was launched in Pagosa Springs.

Sue Liescheidt will serve as co-Queen of the new chapter. Contact Kathryn at 731-6421 or e-mail fourcornersjafra@yahoo.com.

P.S. I Love Red Hats, the first chapter in Pagosa, continues to be active, with Ruler Queen Gloria Smith at 731-3817, e-mail gjsmith@centurytel.com. Past charter members and present members will receive an update calender. Founder Queen Marilyn Pruter may be reached by e-mail at tornadolynn @juno.com.

Both chapters are registered with The Red Hat Society. Members serve as Queen of the Month upon organizing and taking the responsibility to lead the chapter on a royal venture.

 

Explore contemporary art with noted curator, teacher

Gerry Riggs, juror for the upcoming "Form, Figures, Symbols" at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts, will share slides and work from some of his favorite contemporary artists at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9.

Riggs curated more than 400 exhibits during his gallery and museum career.

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 created regional or halfway around the world. He is a member of the American Association of Museums, and the AAM Museum Advocacy Team.

"I hope local art lovers, or even just curiosity seekers, will attend this slide presentation," Riggs said. "I intend to show contemporary artists' works that I have curated and/or exhibited over the course of my art career. This art is both challenging and intentionally provocative, and I hope to explain why I particularly like it, even though I know many will not. I find that over time this caliber of art will remain imprinted on the uninitiated, even though it may initially puzzle or even intimidate those who are used to tamer, more traditional work ... or even the generally sanitized fare too often seen in lesser art entities than the paradoxically named Shy Rabbit."

"Let's Explore" contemporary art with Gerry Riggs is one night only, Nov. 9. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a suggested donation of $10.

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 (970) 731-2766.

 

November rehearsals for 'Messiah' Sing-along

By Carroll Carruth

Special to The PREVIEW

All interested singers are invited to participate in sectional rehearsals Sunday afternoons in November at the Pagosa Bible Church in preparation for the annual "Messiah" Sing-along. The rehearsal schedule is as follows:

- Sopranos and altos: 2-3 p.m.

- Tenors and basses: 3:30- 5 p.m.

Music scores will be provided for those who do not have their own. Call Carroll Carruth at 731-5016 to reserve a score and for further information.

Participation in the Rehearsals is not required for anyone who wishes to take part in the sing-along in December; but the practices are provided, primarily, for those who have never before sung the choruses from Handel's "Messiah."

These rehearsals will give you an extra bonus: You'll learn how to use Julie Andrews' Tonic Sol-Fa method of reading music (from "The Sound of Music").

Anyone attending the rehearsals who is interested in singing a solo from the "Messiah" may arrange for an audition.

The sing-along will be held again this year at the Pagosa Community Methodist Church at 3 p.m. Sunday Dec. 10. Rehearsals will be held at the Pagosa Bible Church on Park Avenue, just north of North Pagosa Boulevard.

 

Sneetches and Greek theater at Sunday UU service

On Sunday, Oct. 22, the Rev. Joan Becelaere, visiting from Denver, will present a sermon for the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship entitled "The Sneetches vs. the Deus Ex Machina."

She explains, "'The Sneetches' is a wonderful story by Dr. Seuss which has several layers of meaning. Deus Ex Machina is Latin for 'god from the machine,' a kind of ancient theatrical device for saving the day at the last minute." Then the question, "What do Dr. Seuss and Greek theatrical devices have to say to us about risk and change and our lives?"

Van Becelaere is a Unitarian Universalist community minister and vice president for student services at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver. She has a background in public policy analysis and children's theater. And her favorite theologian is Dr. Seuss.

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.

 

Operation Winter Coat project

By Kathi DeClark

Special to The SUN

It is that wonderful cool time of year time to look in your closet for warm hats, coats, boots, gloves, sweaters and warm blankets that you are no longer using.

The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs is hosting Operation Winter Coat Friday, Nov. 17, at the Extension Building. Last year, the club handed out nearly 200 items to more than 65 families.

You can drop off your donated clothing at Gem Jewelers, the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Pagosa Springs Elementary School, Pagosa Springs Junior High School, the Lutheran School, and The Outfitter Carhartt Store. Items must be delivered no later than Wednesday, Nov. 15.

We encourage everyone needing some warm clothing to come by and get any items they may need.

For more information, call Kathi DeClark at 731-9920, Colleen Myers at 731-6378 or Karen Gray at 946-0033.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Workforce Center offers free online employment testing

Local employers are struggling to find qualified employees.

The Pagosa Springs Workforce Center, along with Workforce Centers around the state, has responded by incorporating online employability testing that can be tailored to meet an employer's needs. Job seekers also benefit because the tests are not academic, but test employment skills and can help them market their skills.

There are two testing programs - WorkKeys and Qwiz and 1 program, KeyTrain - that can help an employee build his or her skills in every area WorkKeys tests. Nationally-recognized companies provide WorkKeys (ACT) and Qwiz (Previsor). WorkKeys tests nine areas of employability from Applied Math to Teamwork; Qwiz has over 350 tests ranging from accounting skills and customer service to specific computer programs.

The Pagosa Springs Workforce Center will help an employer select the tests, which best represent the skills needed for the specific job description. Staff will also help job seekers identify the best tests for marketing their skills to employers. The Pagosa Springs Workforce Center is working on educating employers about the new value-added services to help them find qualified employees.

If you are an employer and would like to know more about all of the free services at the Southwest Colorado Workforce Centers and about using WorkKeys and QWIZ, including a demonstration at your office, call Kathryn Saley, special projects coordinator, (970) 563-4517, Ext. 220; cell (970) 759-5369; e-mail ksaley@brainstorm.net.

You can also call The Colorado Workforce Center, 731-3832, or come to the office at 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 4.

 

Community Center News

U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar holds public meeting at center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar appeared at the community center Monday to talk about the proposed Village at Wolf Creek development.

He explained that he was in the process of gathering information from both sides of the Continental Divide, the east and west slopes. He will listen to both sides in the debate.

After some introductory remarks, the Senator took questions from the audience, which numbered about 150 people. Questioners expressed concerns about the energy demands of a large development, water supply, the problems of dealing with waste water, the safety problems caused by increased car and truck traffic, etc. Several people were concerned that an environmental impact study has been done only on the access roads, not on the village development as a whole.

Halloween party - adding a dance

The Teen Center will sponsor a dance on Oct. 31, Halloween night. Part of the parking lot will be roped off; there will be live music provided by Lance and Karma's Music.

Look for appearances by Elmo Chesterhazy and mystery guests. All musicians will be dressed in costume and will be on the lookout for guests to be in costume as well. The best costume will receive a copy of the Wild Blooms' latest CD and a copy of Elmo Chesterhazy's latest CD.

Plans for the annual Halloween party are coming together. Several of our scrapbooking club people offered to bake cupcakes for Kathy Saley's cupcake walk; Dionigi's Restaurant is donating five pizzas; and Addie Greer just called this morning and told me that her Colorado Kids 4-H Club will sponsor a ring toss game this year.

This is the kind of giving spirit and involvement in our community that makes our Halloween party such a wonderful event. The party is an opportunity for Pagosa's youngsters to have a memorable and safe Halloween. All the activities and games are free and there is no entrance fee. The Kiwanis Club even donates free hot dogs and punch. Last year, we had over 1,000 people participating in the festivities.

If you have this kind of community spirit, call the enter at 264-4152 to let us know how you are planning to help with this year's party.

- Sponsor an activity (call about what this entails).

- Help someone else who is sponsoring a game.

- Help decorate the center.

- Donate game prizes.

- Donate cupcakes or cookies.

- Donate money.

Thanks for any help you can give us.

Community potluck with The Flying Elmos

Mark your calendars now! We all know how hectic the holidays are, so resolve to spend some time relaxing and having fun at the center on Dec 15. We'll have a potluck and a free concert by the Flying Elmos that evening at 6 p.m. Doors will open at 5:30, so 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.

Italian cooking class

The star of the second of Edith Blake's Italian Cooking classes was a wonderful Italian wedding soup with meatballs.

Edith has visited Italy and even taken cooking classes there, and she has a thorough knowledge of Italian ingredients and cooking techniques. On Oct 25 ,at 10 a.m., the next class will offer tips on how to make pasta from scratch. This is a grand opportunity to expand your cooking horizons and have fun at the same time.

There are still a few places left in the Oct. 25 class; the fee is $10, which covers the cost of ingredients and supplies and must be paid ahead of class time. Please remember that no reservations will be taken without the prepayment. And also note that class fees are not refundable, but they are transferable. If you find that you are unable to attend, you can give away or sell your space to a friend.

Managing Diabetes

The next meeting is today at 5:30 p.m. when members of the Managing Diabetes group will discuss complications of the disease and how to cope with them. If you have recently been diagnosed, please consider coming to this meeting. Each person in the group has experienced what you are now going through. There is helpful information here, and encouraging words can lighten the grim prospect of huge changes in your lifestyle.

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.

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

Yoga class

We urge you to visit Diana Baird's class at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday mornings. The class lasts for an hour. Attending will allow you to gain flexibility, stamina, 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.

Line dancing

The beginning dance group meets at 9 a.m. before line dancing; this is a very basic class. The object here is to encourage men just to get up and go around the dance floor using some very simple steps of the two-step and waltz. No skill is necessary; the men simply have to be able to walk. It makes their wives happy! Call Gerry Potticary for a free private introduction if interested.

Line dancing rocks on at 10 for beginners; at 10:30 there is dancing for those who are more advanced. Learn the Electric Slide; New York, New York; Old Bones; and last but not least, Trashy Woman and Trippin'. Call the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Canceled dates

Karla Dominguez reports that the baton twirling classes are going well, but that there is room for more students. The lessons are on Mondays and start at 3:30 p.m.; they last for an hour. All ages are welcome - kindergarten and up. Karla says that the first lesson will be free, and successive ones will be $3 per session. A discounted monthly rate is also available. Bring your own balanced baton or purchase one at the class, where new ones are for sale at $18 each. If you would like to sign up and order a baton, call Karla at 731-5365. Or, you can sign up at the community center by calling 264-4152.

There will be no class Oct. 23 because school is closed that day, nor on Oct. 30 when the gym will be decorated for the Halloween party. The next class will be Nov. 6.

eBay Club

The eBay Club has decided to meet twice a month instead of once.

Meeting dates will be on 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 Bailey for tips and advice on buying and selling. Call him at 264-0293 or the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Center hours

The community center's fall and winter hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. and Saturday from 10 to 4.

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Future Business Leaders of America, noon-3 p.m.; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

Oct. 20 - 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.; Democratic Party chili supper, 5-7:30 p.m.; Teen Girls Lock-in, 8:30 p.m.-9:30 a.m.

Oct. 21 - Drawing class with Randall Davis, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; bridal shower, 3:30-7:30 p.m.

Oct. 22 - 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. 23 - Line dancing, 10-11:30 a.m.; Senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.

Oct. 24 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Business Benchmarking, 9 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.; Arts Council board meeting, 5-7 p.m.

Oct. 25 - PSAAR Real Estate Education, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.- noon; Aikido, 1-3 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; IHM Kids' Halloween Party, 5-8 p.m.; Cloman Industrial Park POA, 5-8 p.m.; Democratic Central Committee meeting, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 - PSAAR Real Estate Education, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; watercolor club, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; TOPS Tourism meeting, 4-6 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Parents Meet & Eat with the Teen Center, 6:30-8 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.

 

Veteran's Corner

Choices in VA Health Care

By Andy Fautheree

For many veterans, VA Health Care is the number-one benefit that is most often asked about, applied for, or cussed and discussed.

Cussed and discussed if you didn't happen to apply before Jan. 16, 2003; praised if you just had a colonoscopy for $50 copay at the VAMC in Albuquerque; or back to cussed and discussed for the mountains of paperwork sometimes involved.

Eligibility

If you enrolled in VA Health Care before Jan. 16, 2003, you are grandfathered in the system. You get VAHC regardless of current income.

Enrollment eligibility is based on income if you enrolled after Jan. 16, 2003, and do not have any special considerations.

If you have VA-rated service-connected disabilities, a Purple Heart, POW status or fit in a few other special categories, you can receive free health care services for those associated conditions.

If your current income is above a certain threshold, at worst you have to pay copays for doctor visits, specialist care, prescription drugs and inpatient care. If your income is below a certain level you may get part or all of these services for free.

If you are currently enrolled in VAHC one of the "cussed" issues is an annual financial Means Test to determine copay status. This is always based on the previous calendar year. The VA sometimes matches the income you report with the IRS and what you report to the VA, and the two better match up or you get nasty letters from the VA demanding your declare the correct income, etc.

Means Test

The test is very intimidating to many, especially our older veterans. The VA sends out a two-page Means Test blank form called the 1010EZR for the veteran to completely fill out. Why they do this when they have the veteran's entire information in a data base continues to dumbfound me.

At the top of the 1010EZR form is the statement: "Federal law provides criminal penalties, including a fine and/or imprisonment for up to 5 years, for concealing a material fact or making a materially false statement."

Now, if that isn't intimidating to an 85-year-old WWII veteran, I don't know what is!

Use technology

It seems to me it would require low-level technology for the VA to pre-fill out the 1010EZR form for the veteran and ask them to update any information that is not current, thereby saving the veteran the task of filling in his name (two places), Social Security number (two places), address, phone numbers, next of kin, etc., and repeat this every year.

Frequently, if the veteran is over 65, their income doesn't change from year to year. Yet the VA still insists they fill it out.

Cussed again

Other "cussed" issues include that usually nothing will change in the veteran's VAHC enrollment priority status because of the information on the Means Test. Most likely the veteran is paying copays and will continue to pay copays.

However, if the veterans enrolled before Jan. 16, 2003, they can choose not to provide the financial Means Test every year, and agree to pay the copays, which again they are probably paying anyway.

Fuel money

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.

Further information

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

 

Library News

Civic Club Christmas bazaar, record number of booths, raffle, great food

By Carole Howard

PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

Christmas must be approaching quickly, because the Woman's Civic Club will host their annual Christmas bazaar in only a little more than two weeks - on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the community center.

This very fun event marks the beginning of the holiday season for many locals, and this year's bazaar will set records for the number and variety of vendors ready to meet your shopping needs.

In fact, there will be 63 booths - 13 more than last year - featuring myriad vendors including jewelers, weavers, pottery, woodwork, photography, frames, tole paintings, embroidery, Christmas items, fall decorations, knitting, paintings and leatherwork.

The Civic Club ladies will have their incredible baked goods booth so you can purchase goodies to eat now or put in the freezer for holiday entertaining. They'll also have lots of good food, including coffee for early shoppers and their famous beef brisket on a bun for lunch if you want to take a pleasant break from your shopping.

Plus there are about 30 wonderful raffle items - including three wreaths and a basket, each containing $50 in either one or five-dollar bills - to tempt you. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5, available at the library.

The bazaar is the Civic Club's largest fundraiser of the year for the library. So we hope you'll come, enjoy yourself, do some holiday shopping and support a great cause - your library.

Preschool Story Club

Preschool Story Club meets Wednesday mornings from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Oct. 25 features witch stories, with costumes welcome but optional. November 1 will be pumpkin stories. November 8 focuses on authors with birthdays that month. All story events are free for you and your children.

Lifelong Learning series

"Glaciers, Ice Sheets and Sea-level Rise: What's Happening Now?" is the topic Oct. 21 when geologist Charles Burnham offers an up-to-date assessment of current glacier and ice sheet health, and the implications for a rise in sea levels. On Oct. 28, art history professor Judith Reynolds will speak on "Great Geezer Artists: A Look at Creative Expression in Old Age." From Michelangelo to Matisse, artists often have created their most profound work after age 75. Lesser talents run dry. Why? All Lifelong Learning events are free. They take place at 3 p.m. on Saturdays in the library.

New non-fiction

"Prisoners of Hope: The Story of our Captivity and Freedom in Afghanistan" tells the inspiring story of two extraordinary women - Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer - who were arrested by the Taliban for teaching Christianity and then rescued by U.S. Special Forces. Legal scholar Mark Tushnet has written "A Court Divided: The Rehnquist Court and the Future of Constitutional Law" about the views of individual justices on the Supreme Court. British historian and sociologist Godfrey Hodgson, a long-time fan of the U.S., has just published "More Equal than Others" that laments the turning away from what he feels have been most admirable traits in our culture.

How-to books

Vickie Howell's new book called "New Knits on the Block: A Guide to Knitting What Kids Really Want" promises mothers, grandmothers, aunts and anyone else that kids will love these projects and the results will not end up unused at the back of the closet. In "Home Sausage Making," two veteran sausage makers show you how to make delicious, healthy, one-of-a-kind sausages that they say are better than anything you can buy - and they even include a section on vegetarian sausage. Meanwhile, Bruce Aidells' eighth book, "Complete Sausage Book," teaches you how to make them and offers more than 100 recipes for serving them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

New Christian books

"The Expected One," by Kathleen McGowan tells of a journalist researching a new book who comes face-to-face with one of the great stories of all time - the tale of Mary Magdalene hiding a set of scrolls that were her version of the events and characters in the New Testament. "Revelation Unveiled," by Tim Lahaye reveals the Biblical foundation for the best-selling "Left Behind" series of novels and helps you better understand the final book of the Bible.

Medical books: Update on prostate health

Two new medical books are extremely informative. "The Men's Club: How to Lose Your Prostate without Losing Your Sense of Humor" is a unique approach to the issue co-authored by a patient (Bert Gottlieb) and a doctor (Thomas J. Mawn). "Dr. Katz's Guide to Prostate Health from Conventional to Holistic Therapies" covers prevention and treatment of prostate disease from traditional and alternative medicine.

Internet books on paper and CD

If you enjoy shopping online, you won't want to miss "Kovels' Bid, Buy and Sell Online," which offers information you need to sell your items on the internet and tips on how to buy at great prices while avoiding forgeries. The wildly successful " for Dummies" series now includes two new books to help people use the internet, available in the library on paper and CD. "Internet Searching for Dummies" bills itself as the fun and easy way to find almost anything on the internet. "Investing Online for Dummies/2nd edition" teaches you how to play the stock market online, including online trading and portfolio management.

Thanks to our donors

For books and materials, our thanks this week go to Cecelia Arnold, Melissa Bir, Barbara Carlos, Marilyn Copley, Colby Cabbiness, Sherrie Carlile, Edward Crutchley, Jean Crutchley, Barb Draper, Terry Hershey, Fran Jenkins, Sheila McKenzie, Lindsay Morgan, Debbie Orechwa, James R. Van Liere, Michael Whiting and Patty Yost.

 

Arts Line

PSAC Gallery features first juried photo show

By Linda Strathdee

PREVIEW Columnist

PSAC's first Juried Photography Exhibit opened last Thursday evening to a large and appreciative crowd.

Those in attendance enjoyed not only outstanding photography but soft background music from classical guitarist Stephanie Bouchier as well. Award-winning photographer Howard Rachlin, joined Dean Conger, a longtime staff photographer at National Geographic magazine and widely-acclaimed local photojournalist, Wen Saunders as judges for this first-ever show.

Saunders presented the following cash prizes: first-place Professional, David Reineke; first-place Amateur, Robert Ratcliff; honorable mentions went to Bruce Andersen, Barbara Conkey and Margaret Reeves.

Rachlin's specialty is photography in the Southwest and, in particular in the Four Corners area. He uses unusual techniques when possible to create more memorable photographs. Howard's award-winning photographs hang in homes and offices across the country and have been published numerous times in Durango Magazine, and the Durango Herald. He has several photographs in the 2006 Animas Conservancy calendar, has exhibited in many galleries and shows in the Four Corners area and is currently at the Habitat for Humanity Gallery.

Howard has joined the "digital revolution." His main cameras are a Minolta A2, 8 megapixel advanced digital camera and a Sony A100 digital SLR (10 megapixel). He prints his photographs using an Ultrachrome process on archival paper with an expected life of up to 75 years. This way he has total creative control over the quality of the print which also exhibits superior resistance to water, fading and smudging. Howard shares his knowledge and experience with members of the Durango Photography Club which he formed in February 2003.

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 10' x 30' screen suspended over the Music in the Mountains Orchestra, playing in Durango's new concert hall at Fort Lewis College. Reviewers called it "awesome, stunning, beautiful, and even breathtaking."

Saunders resides in Pagosa Springs and Lafayette, (just outside of Boulder). Saunders is a photojournalist, known for documenting life events. Her images have appeared in publications and 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's 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, who is petite in size, has been known to carry her weight in gear. Her western and rodeo fine art photographs have exhibited in fine art 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, Fla.), Florida Community College, and John Tyler Community College (Chester, Va.). Saunders holds a B.F.A. in communication arts and design from Virginia Commonwealth University.

The exhibit in the Town Park gallery, 315 Hermosa Street, continues through Oct. 31. All works from these featured photographers are for sale.

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.

Great Geezer Art

"Great Geezer Art: Creative Expression in Old Age, from Michelangelo to Matisse, Hokusai to Picasso" is the title of a slide talk to be given by Judith Reynolds as part of the Fort Lewis College Lifelong Learning series traveling to Pagosa Springs this fall. Reynolds is a journalist who specializes in arts writing. As a former art history professor, she brings a wealth of experience to her subject. Her talk has been designed as an overview and will be the first in a series on the subject of aging and the arts. This is a free presentation at 3 p.m. Saturday Oct. 28, at the Sisson Library. Everyone is welcome.

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-

Pagosa Pretenders at library

Pagosa Pretenders Family Theater, a division of PSAC, offers their "Pretending Books and Stories" program the second Saturday of each month at the Sisson Library. The goal is to promote reading and creativity. "Pretending Books and Stories" is free to the public and appropriate for all ages.

Photography club

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 lwalton@fhi.net.

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.

PSAC Calendar

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

Through Oct. 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 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 (psac@centurytel.net). In the subject area of your e-mail, please write "Artsline." Your attachment should be in a Microsoft Word file document format. Images should be limited to 2 (300dpi, 5x7 inches in size) and sent as a separate (individual attachments) e-mail. You can also mail a CD of images and information to PSAC, P.O. Box 533, Pagosa Springs, Colorado 81147. Deadline is at least two weeks prior to event. We would love to hear from you regarding suggestions for Artsline. Events in surrounding areas will be included when deemed of interest to our readers.

 

Tasting Notes

Chardonnay? I like white Burgundy

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

About two weeks ago, John Hundley asked if I liked chardonnay.

I responded, "I like white Burgundy."

Laughing, he said, "I knew I'd get an answer like that."

I'm not sure what he meant by his response, so let me clarify my answer.

Chardonnay is a grape. Burgundy is a French winemaking region - a region that uses chardonnay, and small doses of aligoté for its whites, and pinot noir for its reds. Chardonnay is also used in Champagne and I enjoy the produce of both appellations.

But when someone asks specifically if I like chardonnay, I naturally assume they are referring to wine produced in an area that identifies its juice primarily by grape variety and not by region. In the case of John's question, particularly his diction, I assumed he meant domestic or Australian chardonnay as opposed to the chardonnay-based whites of Burgundy and Champagne - we were in a meeting and I wasn't able to clarify - and hence, my answer.

To clarify further, it's not that I dislike chardonnay, in what I assumed was John's sense of the term; it's that I don't like what winemakers, particularly North American and Australian winemakers, do to chardonnay.

For years, the hallmarks of California chardonnay have been huge oak and loads of butter, with subtleties of terroir and fruit taking a back seat in the flavor profile. The wines were, and many remain, about power, to the extent that some taste forced, even doctored with synthetic flavorings and hints of vanilla extract.

White Burgundy is worlds apart.

If California chardonnay is a pole dancer at a grungy, downtown strip club, then white Burgundy is the object of your desire seen across the room, wearing heels, a black cocktail dress and a simple strand of pearls. The differences between the two are obvious and profound.

California chardonnay, and Australian chardonnay for that matter, can be a full frontal sensory assault, where the wines are crafted to browbeat the drinker into oaky-buttery submission - a trend that produced the familiar mantra "ABC: Anything But Chardonnay." White Burgundy, on the other hand, is about poise, elegance, subtlety and grace. White burgundy is about the allure and subtlety of terroir, the complex interplay of fruit, acidity and minerals, and of oak used with carefully measured restraint. If California chardonnay bares all at the pop of the cork; white Burgundy is a slow seduction. I am generalizing. And there are exceptions on both sides of the Atlantic.

The great wines of Corton-Charlemagne, Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet, Chablis and Pouilly-Fuissé can all be prone to delusions of oaky grandeur. For example, on a recent visit to my old digs in Albuquerque, a customer asked for an "oaky, buttery chardonnay," and a former colleague found an over-oaked Pouilly-Fuissé that knocked her socks off. In addition, I have tasted various vintages of Lavantureux Chablis, with their crunchy, toasted oak notes that were, and remain, some of my favorites among French whites.

During the years when I consistently tasted equal quantities of Old and New World wine, I occasionally found that rare Californian chardonnay that struck me as oddly and pleasantly Burgundian - exhibiting equal measures of terroir, fruit, oak and butter - and those too, I found immensely enjoyable. Unfortunately years have passed, and vintages change, and I am, I'm sorry to admit, out of the New World wine loop, although I know those Burgundian-style gems still exist.

So, John, do I like chardonnay?

My answer still stands. I like white Burgundy, but I'm open to suggestions.

 

Food for Thought

A new life for an old guy ... online

By Karl Isberg

I'm about to begin a sixth decade on this crusty and ever-weirder orb.

I'm far past middle age and not thrilled about it (despite what the perversely optimistic among us say - you know, the goofs who spout crap like "Fifty is the new thirty" or "The older I am, the better things get."

And yet, I'm still suffering the proverbial middle-age crisis.

This crisis has been dragging on for a long time now, and I need to end to it soon.

Before I die.

I need to find something new, careerwise, something exciting to do with my life - a pursuit that will allow me to make my mark. I need to achieve success in other areas in my life as well, in terms of money, health, relationships, self image.

I am tabula rasa, as it were; clear as a bell, ready, willing and able. I have finally given up my dream of being a space shuttle pilot. Same with being a theoretical physicist. I am, at last, resigned to the fact I will not play on an NBA basketball team or win the Olympic high jump.

In my dotage, I am a realist.

Armed with a levelheaded perspective, I have been on the lookout for a door in the ever-shorter hallway of life, one that will open on new possibilities.

I responded to a couple of those tiny ads in Popular Mechanics for home study courses. I sat up late at night for weeks, poring over the material, but nothing worked out; I failed to absorb skills in duct installation or emissions control device repair. Try as I might.

Then I began to read the many e-mails I receive at work (at my temporary place of employment, as a temporary newspaper editor). I get plenty of these hummers pushed through the digital tube by computerized hamsters, thousands a week, as a matter of fact. Previously, I casually deleted most of them (along with a large number of letters to the editor, obituaries, thank you notes from invalids and civic groups, and pleas for help in finding a lost spaniel or saving an endangered species).

Once I began reading the Internet missives and evaluating the opportunities offered therein, I realized there is hope! There are folks out there who care about my physical, emotional and economic well being.

What a swell, high-tech world this is.

Here I am, an old guy, adrift, bobbing slowly toward the Big Shore in a litter-filled, flat surf and what do I spy just ahead on the virtual horizon? A life raft, a means to propel myself back to the glittering cruise ship of life - that sparkly haven where existence is a full-blown, wear-your-best-Hawaiian-shirt party, and everyone on board is a rousing, totally fulfilled success. Life there can be magnificent, in every possible respect; so wonderful, in fact, it slops ceaselessly over the rim of the existential mug.

That vessel, that ark?

The Internet.

There's good stuff on the Net, for example the material from which a sturdy life foundation is constructed - vibrant and intimate relationships, financial gain, great health productive of frisky activity, sophisticated education and training.

Just what I need!

As I study the e-mails, it becomes apparent everyone who contacts me on the Internet is ultra generous, intensely concerned about the quality of my life.

They are, in effect, offering to paddle the life raft as I make my way to the cruise ship to join my fellow fully-realized passengers. (I have a hunch, once you are on board, you are immortal).

And, the best part of most of these Internet opportunities is you don't have to do anything tedious or time-consuming to receive accolades, degrees, love, money, certificates of achievement, glory. If you've got some bucks, they're yours for the taking.

As I read the titles of the e-mails, it is clear what benefits await me.

Personal relationships? What does "Girls Don't Like U?" have to say about the changes in lifestyle I'll undergo if I send a bit of cash to a Web site in return for "instructions?"

"Nobody Will No About Your Problims."

Perfect. I have so many of problims, any tips on how to hide them is a godsend. Girls will like me, and they won't have a clue about my problims. It doesn't get much better than that!

"Viagggra, Perscripshun Medicss for Every Alement."

By all means. (The "viagggra" might lead to an embarrassing moment in the produce section of the supermarket, but I'm pretty sure the blood pressure medication I receive from Mexico in "an unmarked package" will deal with the emergency.)

Once I've made these simple social and pharmaceutical adjustments to my personal life, I will "Look In the Mirrer, and enjoy the New U," compliments of a delivery including "miracle trim tablets" and "electromagnetic devices to melt fat and erase wrinkles." For only $25.

Wow. Couldn't be easier.

On the upward mobility side, the employment spectrum glows with this incredible opportunity: "Get the Rewards if a Colluge Degree: Join Success Univercity for Only $2."

Two bucks for a bachelor's degree! Another ten smackers and I have my Ph.D. in Global Finance.

From Success U.

You can brag about your Harvard Business School education, if you like. You can spout off about Wharton, if you are insecure. Me, I will be a graduate of Success Univercity. Get outta my way!

The moment I graduate with my doctorate from SU, I will discover "Martin Has Just Added U as a Frend."

Finally, "a frend." A social life! I hope I can hold back the tears. It's Martin: who woulda thought it possible?

With my new frend, unwrinkled good looks and prestige, I'll need a source of quick funds to support my high-roller lifestyle (after all, it'll take a few months for the cash to start rolling in from my career in Global Finance).

"Rescue Yourself From Rizing Intrest Rates." I need the lowest possible rate. For the mansion.

Once I've furnished the mansion using numerous "adjustable rate" credit cards, and between electromagnetic anti-fat treatments, after I am comfortably ensconced in my corner office at Big Time Financiers Inc. on Wall Street, I will go back to the Net and procure an "Affordible Real Good Brand Timepiece." I want a huge one. It's a sign of prosperity, you know. That's what the Net offer says, and what reason do I have to doubt it? I've never owned a Real Good Brand Timepiece, and I've never been prosperous. Pretty clear, isn't it? That's the beauty of mistaking constant conjunction for causality. Happens all the time on the Net.

The lure and beauty of the Internet is undeniable: everything is uncluttered, misspelled, easy, makes sense. It's a virtual universe in which nothing is checked, where opinion passes for fact, where credit card numbers disappear into a black hole, where no one is accountable, where evidence disappears in a microsecond and denial and rage are the rules of the day. The Net is a perfect place to reshape a life, to get all the "news," to tune into the finest minds of my generation. Or yours, for that matter.

Even after I've ascended to the pinnacle, life-stylewise, I intend to continue to prowl the Internet, enhancing my intellectual, economic and social existence. Sky's the limit on the Web.

I'll need the right kind of food to take along on my nightly trip. Since I won't be eating at the dining table any longer, but rather in my grotesquely over-decorated office in front of a bank of large-screen computer displays, the food will have to be served in a bowl (by one of the girls who find me unbearably attractive, or by Martin). Something I can eat with a spoon. Something with more substance than soup, which can gum up a keyboard in no time flat.

What could be better than a stew? Especially since I will be negotiating a thick "stew" of information and opportunities on the Web.

What kind of stew is preferred by a graduate of Success U., a streamlined babe magnet, a rising star in the world of international finance, and the owner of a "No-Hands Doggie Pooper Scooper?"

Something that includes fine wine, of course - "Get 4 Bottles of Connasur Wine per Month Delivered to Your Doors."

A simple variation on boeuf bourguinon. (I will know how to pronounce this in a matter of weeks. That's how long it will take me to complete my "Teach Yourself to Talk A Other Langage" course.

I'll need some chunks of beef chuck, maybe an inch and a half across. I'll need a few pieces of thick bacon, cut into hunks; a white onion, sliced; five or six cloves of garlic, thinly sliced; a bouquet garni with whatever's handy tied together (some fresh thyme, parsley stalks, a bay leaf, a small piece o'celery); a batch of frozen pearl onions, thawed; a mix of mushrooms, sliced (cremini, button, stemmed shitake, etc.); two carrots, chunked; a russet potato, peeled and chunked; maybe half a package of frozen green peas; some seasoned flour; tomato paste; a bit of Espanola red (optional - for you, not for me); a bottle of that "Connasur Wine;" two cups or so of unsalted beef stock; perhaps a smidge of veal demi-glace, if there's any hanging around the fridge (I can probably find a source on the Net).

The beef is rolled in the flour and the excess is shaken off. The hunks of bacon are crisped up in olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat then removed. The beef is cooked in the oil and bacon drippings, a few pieces at a time; when done, the browned pieces are removed to a paper towel to drain.

Next, into the oil (with a bit more added if necessary) goes the sliced onion and half the chunked carrot. When the onion softens and the carrot begins to caramelize, in goes the garlic for a moment or two then the pan is deglazed with the "Connasur Wine" and the mix is reduced by half. In goes the meat, a tablespoon or so of tomato paste, the bouquet garni, the cooked bacon, most of the beef stock and a teaspoon of the Espanola red (optional - for you, not for me).

The pan is covered and put into a 325 oven for three hours. I won't open the oven and the lid of the pan more than once.

A half hour before the meat is to come out of the oven, I'll put a heavy fry pan on medium high heat. I'll cook the pearl onions in olive oil, add the mushrooms once the onions start to get golden, cook until the shrooms have given up their moisture, add the other carrots, cook a while longer, season.

I'll take the meat out of the broth and strain. Add the broth back to the Dutch oven, put in the meat, pearl onions, carrots, mushrooms and demi-glace. Add the potato. Pop the mix back in the oven for another hour, or until the meat, potato and carrot are fork tender. Add the peas for the last ten minutes or so. Reseason with care with Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper when the melange emerges from the oven.

If the sauce is too thin for my liking, I'll strain the contents of the sauce, keep the meat and veggies in a covered, warm bowl and reduce the sauce on the stovetop. Once the sauce is to my liking, I'll add the goodies, put in a bowl, and enjoy.

I'll eat with a large spoon. In the company of a hunk of buttered, crusty bread.

I'll have a napkin handy; I don't want sauce on my mouse.

That mouse and I are headed for the ship.

 

Pagosa Lakes News

Inhaling and exhaling ... for health

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Last year, at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, staff members were scratching their heads about what to do with Maggie, an elephant who, at the time, weighed more than 9,000 pounds. Members of the species are, of course, supposed to be elephantine, but this particularly pudgy pachyderm had packed on too many pounds and was considered dangerously obese.

The zoologists devised a high-fiber, high-fruit diet, and a "behavioral enrichment" approach e.g., placing food in hanging baskets to simulate natural foraging - to entice her to work for her food. But they also wanted Maggie, 25, to get more exercise, so they ordered a 20x5 treadmill to help her get in shape and lose weight.

She's since lost 1,000 pounds - even though her treadmill workouts are just beginning to get underway. Getting acclimated to the unfamiliar machine has posed its challenges. Ultimately, the goal is to get Maggie walking on the treadmill three times a day, for 30 minutes each session.

So, while the Anchorage Zoo installs a 20x5 treadmill to the tune of $150,000 to help its elephant get into shape, McDonald's attempts to fill orders for healthier kids.

Trying to sidestep any blame for the world's rising obesity levels, McDonald's has aligned itself, in a little way, with the fitness industry. Recently, the company unveiled its first two McDonald's R Gyms for kids at restaurants in Tulsa, Okla., and Whittier, Calif.

Acknowledging that childhood obesity and diabetes have become widespread, McDonald's has now adopted a "Balanced Active Lifestyle" banner. The new gym, a refreshed version of the McDonald's Play Place, will offer "a fun, easy and convenient way for children to increase their physical activity."

The facilities are equipped with a variety of interactive game zones designed for children ages 4-12. Among the options: stationary bicycles attached to video games, dance pads, basketball hoops, monkey bars, obstacle courses and a number of other diversions intended to get kids to shape up before chowing down. There's also a Toddler Zone, which offers age-appropriate games to help develop physical coordination and social skills via climbing, sliding and ball play; an Active Zone, for kids 4-8, which promotes fitness through play; and a Sports Zone, which targets children ages 9-12 with a series of sports-oriented activities that encourages aerobic exercise.

Aerobics exercise for some folks is as natural as inhaling and exhaling. I wish to congratulate the following for running in the Durango Double: Morgan Anderson, Karen Ross, Julie Greenly, Joe Gilbert, Jeff Ross, Leigh Gozigian, Stacia Aragon and Tammy Speeze. All eight ran the half marathon on Oct. 8 with 250 other runners who logged the 13.1-mile foot race, while 183 runners did the 26.2 miles of the full marathon.

If you are looking for a small, fast, scenic half or full marathon next fall, the Durango Double is worth traveling an hour to. Besides, it's also a certified course for the Boston Marathon.

This weekend, Karen Bunning, Cindy Gonzales, Sandy Gnos and Nikki Alley will be running a half marathon in Moab, Utah. Good luck, run well, and may the wind be to your back. Treat yourself to a McFlurry in Cortez on your way home.

 

Obituaries

Cecil Hawkins

Cecil Ray Hawkins, loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, friend and respected demolition contractor and businessman, died suddenly at Bartlett Lake in Phoenix, Ariz., on the evening of Sept. 16, 2006, of heart complications, at the age of 71.

Born on Aug. 9, 1935, in Liberal, Kans., he was the youngest of four children. He married his high school sweetheart, Evelyn "Doris" Hawkins, on June 17, 1956, and they settled in Colorado in 1957, where they founded Hawkins Trucking and Excavating. He lived in Pagosa Springs from 1972 to 1984, and expanded the company to include a sand and gravel pit and ready-mix plant on Put Hill. They moved to Phoenix in 1984, and further expanded the company to include heavy demolition. They formed Hawkins Enterprises, LLC in 2000. Cecil technically retired in 2004, however, never could stay away too long from the business that was his passion.

A man of tremendous energy and kindness, Cecil was passionate about boating, fishing, hunting, traveling in his motor home and flying his own plane, until he was grounded by diabetes. He lived life with an unparalleled zest that was even demonstrated at death by the fact that he died while in the water at Bartlett Lake, where he enjoyed spending as much time as possible on his houseboat. Cecil never met a stranger, and was known for helping those who had a difficult time helping themselves. There was never a more kindhearted good samaritan. Although it was his heart that failed him in the end, he was a man of great heart who valued honesty and integrity above all. This world has lost a truly fine man, and he will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved him.

He is survived by Doris, his wife of over 50 years; his two children, Arla and Eric Hawkins; a daughter-in-law, Stacy Hawkins; four grandchildren, Nicholas and Nathan Stenzel, and Baine and Laurin Hawkins; two great-grandchildren, Beau and Seth Stenzel; a sister and brother-in-law, Jean and Joe Titus, of Arvada, Colo.; a sister-in-law, Helen Hawkins of Amarillo, Texas; a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Eleanor and Bennett Galyean, of Macon, Ga.; four nieces, six nephews, numerous grandnieces and nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by both parents, his brother, Ronald Hawkins, and a sister who died in infancy.

Funeral services were held on Monday, Sept. 25, 2006, at Phoenix Memorial Park and Mortuary.

 

Ruth R. Wilson

Ruth R. Wilson, mother of former Pagosa Springs resident Katherine Cruse, died Oct. 10, 2006, in Dayton, Ohio, after a short illness. She had moved to Dayton in April 2006.

She was preceded in death by husbands Lt. Thomas Morton Roscoe, USNR, of Two Harbors, Minn., and Lon H. Wilson, of Oakland, Calif., former chief photographer of the Oakland Tribune.

A registered nurse, Mrs. Wilson was a hostess for Transcontinental and Western Airlines in 1939-40. She was a member of Gold Star Wives of America and the CVG (Cincinnati) and East Bay Diablo chapters of TWA Clipped Wings International, an organization for retired airline flight attendants.

Survivors include a daughter, Katherine Cruse and her husband, Tom Cruse; a sister, Evelyn Willis, of Live Oak, Calif.; grandson Michael Cruse and wife Brett Covington and great-granddaughter Taylor Cruse, all of Round Rock, Texas; granddaughter Emily Cruse and husband Greg Wilder of Philadelphia; and several nieces.

 

 Business News
Chamber News

Series helps build better businesses

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

On Tuesday, Oct. 24, the second in a series of three seminars to enhance small business effectiveness will be conducted.

The mini-class will be held at the community center starting at 9 a.m. and will run until approximately noon. Continental breakfast and snacks at breaks will be provided.

This month's class will be headed up by Joe Keck, director of the Small Business Development Center at Fort Lewis College and the topic will be getting the most out of your profit statement (if you even have one), maximizing your profits, and benchmarking (what's that?).

Have you noticed that, though you work harder, you don't seem to be getting ahead? Are you running your business day-to-day, or can you run some comparables to analyze the past couple of years? Do you know why you are not doing as well as in previous years, or why you are doing so much better?

This class is designed to help you take a serious look at your business and give you tips on how to maximize your revenues. Also, if you don't know where you've been, how do you know where you want to go?

Cost of the class is $20 for Chamber members and $25 for nonmembers. Even if you are interested in starting a business, this seminar is a must in your business education. Call the Chamber at 264-2360 to reserve a spot, as seating is limited. Even if you think you know how to run your business well, I bet you can learn a few more tricks and run it even better.

In November, a third class will be dedicated to educating small business owners about benefit packages. Speakers will present information about health benefits for owners and employees. We will also look at benefit savings plans that can afford businesses potential tax breaks. Your business may be able to offer benefits or savings plans. Come find out about the latest packages for your business.

These mini-classes are offered in conjunction with the Fort Lewis College Small Business Development Center and Region 9 to help you be the best business owner or manager you can be. Invest in yourself and your business and attend one of these helpful seminars.

Community happenings

Congratulations to the senior center for a very successful Oktoberfest. Record attendance, great food, tasty local and regional brews, and lots of dancing made for a fun evening. Thanks to all the volunteers who made this event possible for our community.

Halloween party

The community center will once again host the Community Halloween Party. The center will be filled with games, a bounce house sponsored by BootJack Ranch, a maze, haunted graveyard and lots of other fun activities. The Kiwanis Club will provide free hot dogs and punch and there will be prizes awarded throughout the night.

Festivities start at 6 p.m. and last until 8. This gives attendees enough time for neighborhood trick or treating before going to the community center for the big party. If you would like to volunteer to help with this evening's activities, or you need more information, contact the center at 264-4152.

That same evening, there will be a Monster Bash Dance for teens in the Town Hall parking lot. The Flying Elmos will start the music at 6 p.m. and the dance will last until about 8. This event is also free, so bring the family out for a fun, safe, community good time.

Celtic music concert

Celtic harpist Sylvia Zurko will perform Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. This Elation Center for the Arts presentation will also feature John Graves, Paul and Carla Roberts, and Bob Nordmann. The music will start at 7 p.m.

Advance tickets can be purchased at WolfTracks Coffee House and online at elationarts.org for $10. Tickets at the door will be $15. Come and celebrate this beautiful music and culture. For more information, contact the Elation Center for the Arts at 731-3117.

Glaciers, ice sheets and sea-level rise

Is it just a cycle, or is it global warming?

Attend the Sisson Library Lifelong Learning Series Saturday, Oct. 21, and get an up-to-date assessment of current glacier and ice sheet "health" and what the implications are for a rise in sea levels. The talk will begin at 3 p.m. and Dr. Charles Burnham from Ft. Lewis College will be the facilitator. This free educational series is presented by the Ruby Sisson Library in conjunction with Fort Lewis College and the series presents lectures on a number of varied subjects, from art to the environment. Take a few hours and broaden your horizon.

For the schedule of talks, stop by the library or call 264-2209.

Teen involvement

How many times have you heard your teen say, "There's just nothing to do"?

Have you heard suggestions from your teens on what activities they would like to be involved with (besides mall shopping)?

Now is your opportunity to voice your opinion and get involved with the youth of our community. On Thursday, Oct. 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. You will be able to express your ideas and concerns at the community center gymnasium regarding the Teen Center, and discover how you might become more involved in the lives of the young people in Pagosa Springs.

Bring your favorite finger food and share some creative brainstorming and fellowship, as you see how you can positively impact the lives of Pagosa youths.

For more information about this evening meeting, call Rhonda LaQuey at 264-4152.

Membership

We have two new members to welcome this week.

The first is Trinity Anglican Church, R.E. Mission. Trinity Anglican Church is evangelical in its message, liturgical in its worship, and historical in its beliefs, welcoming all in the name of the Holy Trinity. Services are at the Pagosa Lodge at 8:30 a.m. Sunday mornings. For more information about the services or the group, you can contact Rev. Marvin Moncrief at (970) 884-0273 or visit their Web site, www.trinityanglicanchurch.org.

Holding wellness court at the Touch of the Tropics Spa, we have Matthew Marturano, ND joining us this week. Matthew offers naturopathic wellness services focusing on women's health and chronic pain. This talented individual adds his knowledge and gifts to the always expanding services of Touch of the Tropics. For an appointment or consultation, contact him at Touch of the Tropics at 264-1890.

It's under new ownership, and we get to welcome the Pagosa Springs Welcoming Service, under the direction of Kathy Platz-Calderone. Greeters have been welcoming newcomers to Pagosa for over 32 years. This independently owned business offers newcomers a packet of goodies about the community and various organizations, business coupons, maps, and other helpful orientation information. If you are a newcomer and were not "visited," call Kathy at 731-3857.

Renewing with two businesses this week, we have Nan Rowe with Oso Grande Ranch and Rocky Mountain Reefs and Ponds. Also renewing are Eagle Eye Inspection Service; the Sheppeck Insurance Agency; Pagosa Springs Music Boosters; and the Pagosa Ranger District.

I also want to use this space to thank the numerous businesses for again giving so generously to the Visitor Center Tourism Ambassador Thank You Gift Bag. Many of these diplomats will now continue their volunteering primarily on the weekends throughout the winter, an enhancement that we instituted last year at the center.

Travelers appreciate the face-to-face interaction, especially when information is needed on state road conditions or activities and places to enjoy if everyone in the family is not skiing. These wonderfully-informed volunteers know that enhancing a visitor's stay strengthens the economy, for businesses, for the community. Without their generous participation, it would be difficult to keep the Visitor Center open seven days a week. Their assistance allows our staff to continue to provide other services to our visitors and to the community. Thank you to the businesses for showing their gratitude, and on behalf of the staff and board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce, I thank our tireless ambassadors for all their hard work and never-ending smiles!

 

People
Cards of Thanks

Carnley

Thanks Mom, you are an inspiration to all of us! Your faith in God has given you the strength to beat breast cancer and never let breast cancer beat you. Keep up the faith and know that "For with God nothing shall be impossible" Luke 1:37

Love,

Carmin and Jake

 Janowsky

The Janowsky family would like to thank all who participated in the 50th anniversary celebration for Mary Jo and Phil held at the community center Saturday, Oct. 7. The attendance and letters from those who could not attend made it a very special, heartwarming event for those honored.

"Partners in the Gospel" was the theme of the celebration, taken from a favorite Scripture verse in Philippians 1:5 (KJV) where the Apostle Paul refers to his fellow workers as "partners in the Gospel from the first day until now."

The Janowskys were married in the college church of Houghton College in Western New York, where they met, and in 1956 began years of ministry together, concluding with Phil's pastoring the Community United Methodist Church here in Pagosa Springs until retirement in 1998. Mary Jo has taught school here for 10 years, currently at Our Savior Lutheran School kindergarten.

Friends from churches in Kansas and the San Luis Valley joined community friends for the reception given by the Janowsky's four children; Peggy Haslar, Dan, Andy and Mark Janowsky, with their spouses and grandsons. Andy Janowsky presented pictures on screen of family through the years, accompanied by his original songs, "Family Portrait," "I Am My Father's Son" and "The Love of My Mother."

Once again, thanks to all who have supported them in their marriage and ministry over the last 50 years.

 Casa de los Arcos

Thank you from Casa de los Arcos to the following people and organizations for their generous donations:

Robert Kear for the donated food items; May Lou Bahr for the computer; Loaves and Fishes, as always, for the delicious lunches and the leftovers, and Harold Morrison and the other volunteers for delivery of the meals on Thursdays; Coyote Hill Lodge and Gina for the chuckwagon dinner tickets at the music festival; an anonymous donor for the coffee cups; and Ray Bush for the ice packs.

Sincere thanks from Casa manager Molly Johnson and all the Casa residents.

 Francavilla

On Friday our fox terrier Token took off scared because of the gunshots going off around our house. We looked until dark for him but to no avail. Saturday we were posting posters and looking once again and then we returned home.

He never made it back home; someone had hit him on the highway.

To the lady that stopped and got him off the highway and called our vet's office, we want to say a big "thank you" for being so kind as to not leave him on the highway and for getting his collar and informing our vet.

To Mike (who saw a poster) a big thank you for calling us and letting us know where the nice lady had placed our little guy, and for waiting there until we came for Token.

It makes our hearts feel a little less heavy knowing there were two kindhearted people who cared. Once again a heart felt thank you to you both.

The Francavilla family

 Kate's family

Kathryn (Kate) Terry's family wish to thank all her many friends for the flowers, food, phone calls, prayers and words of encouragement during these past six months.

We especially wish to thank Rev. Robert Pope, the Episcopal Church, Dr. Mark Wienpahl and Pine Ridge Extended Care Center for their compassion and excellent care.

God bless you all.

The Laverty and Farrah families

 Habitat

Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County would like to thank the following table sponsors who purchased tables at our fund-raiser on Sept. 29: Hart Construction, Hart's Rocky Mt. Retreat, Pagosa Springs SUN, Pagosa Springs Rotary Club, Bob and Janis Moomaw, KWUF Radio, Parelli Natural Horsemanship, Galles Fine Properties, Appraisal Services, Clarion Mortgage, Jean and David Smith, Terry Jackson, Bank of Colorado, San Juan Appraiser Group, Ears 2 U, Paint Connection, New Mark Landscape, Four Season Land Co., Kiwanis, Citizens Bank, Jack and Katy Threet, Stacia Kemp, Jack and Claudia Rosenbaum, Alley House, Farrago Market Café, and Bill and Fran Smith. Without these sponsors Habitat for Humanity of Archuleta County could not build affordable homes for families in need. Thank you to each and every one of you.

 Stahr family

The Stahr family would like to thank this wonderful community for the prayers, loving help and support given to us during this difficult time. We have lived in Pagosa for over 30 years, we have deep roots here, all of our children went through school in this town and we have made many friends over the years. I guess you never think of all the people you know until you have a tragic moment in your life and they are all there for you.

As you know, Travis spent six and half weeks at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood. During that time we received much comfort from the community back home. It has been a very trying time not only for us, but for the whole town, and especially for the families and extended families of the boys in the accident. Even though we were in Englewood, we felt the love and support from home. The prayers, visits, donations, phone calls, e-mails, cards and letters were so much comfort. We were astounded by the outpouring of love and support. When employees of the hospital would comment on it we would say "only in Pagosa."

Since Travis has returned home, we have continued to feel the support. Although Travis is still recuperating, with daily therapies and a court trial pending, he has had countless visitors and phone calls. We constantly hear "we're still praying for you." That speaks volumes, and warms our hearts through the tears.

People often ask after such a tragedy, "How do you handle all this?" We feel the answer is strong faith, and good friends. You just keep doing what you have to do, and before you know it, you realize you are not walking alone.

We know this is not God's fault. It was just as Eccl. 9:11 states: "I returned to see under the sun that the swift do not have the race, nor the mighty ones the battle, nor do the wise also have the food, nor do the understanding ones also have the riches, nor do even those having knowledge have the favor, because time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all." Our loving Heavenly Father, Jehovah, does not orchestrate the bad that happens to us, He just gives us the support we need to endure the trials that come our way.

We also want to extend our deepest sympathy to the Regester-Shahan, and the Shelton-Maestas families. Our hearts ache for you. It is so hard to make sense of tragedy. Our family has lost before and we know the hurt of that loss. In a way we can understand your loss now. Please remember that Jehovah is the God of all comfort. He alone can help us all heal.

Again, thank you friends, neighbors and community for all the love and support given by you during this time of trial in our lives. Know that you are loved and appreciated in return.

With hearts full,

The Stahr family

 DNS

Durango Nature Studies would like to thank the following volunteer naturalists for their invaluable help with our Children Discovering Nature program at Four Mile Ranch this fall: Bob Bigelow, David Boyle, Margaret Burkesmith, Christa Casler, Judith Clarke, Barry Ebersol, John Gwin, Andy Hemphill, Linda Medici, Michael Whitting and Ben Witting. These outstanding volunteers contributed over 200 hours during September to more than 330 Pagosa Springs Elementary School students in second, third and fourth grade.

In addition, we would like to recognize the generous support of Terese Hershey, Kate Lister, the staff of Pagosa Springs Elementary, the tireless efforts of Alan and Joyce Farrow, and the contract services of Linda Newberry.

Thank you all for helping Durango Nature Studies bring hands-on, outdoor science and nature education to the students of Pagosa Springs. You help us make our community a better place every day!

Allison Pease

Anniversary

Lujan

Santana and Emma Lujan are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary Oct. 20.

In celebration of their anniversary, their children and grandchildren flew the couple out to Cedartown, Ga., to visit their youngest daughter, Deanna Rader, and family. While there, the couple took a trip to Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, and visited Tupelo, Mississippi. The family is so blessed to have Santana and Emma in their lives.

 Locals

Adela Trujillo Golosky

Born in 1911 in Chama, Colo., in the San Luis Valley, Adela Trujillo Golosky now lives in Pagosa Springs at the Archuleta Housing senior residential facility.

Adela recently celebrated her 95th birthday with family and friends - including daughter Delores Butler, the Laydon grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a great-great-grand child.

 

Sports Page

Pirates beat Centauri, face Monte Vista Friday

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Faced with a must-win homecoming game, the Pirates shut out the Centauri Falcons 26-0, scoring a touchdown in every quarter and gaining nearly 350 yards total offense.

Pagosa pushed it into the end zone the first drive of the game, after starting with good field position at their own 45-yard line. After a 24-yard pass completion from Jordan Shaffer to a diving Adam Trujillo, which put the Pirates on the 1-yard line, Corbin Mellette drove through the line for a goal-line TD.

The Pirates' second touchdown came on a 30-yard sideline reception by John Hoffman, with eight minutes remaining in the half. The offense was put in striking distance by a 31-yard reception by Kerry Joe Hilsabeck.

Pagosa threatened with another score at the close of the second half, after an interception was returned 59 yards by Hilsabeck. On the next play, Shaffer launched a missile, traveling over half the field's length in the air, to hit Hoffman in the end zone. Hoffman had to twist awkwardly to receive the pass, and the ball bounced off his chest.

Halfway through the third quarter, the Pirates found success through the air again - with a 21-yard screen to Trujillo, a slant to Hilsabeck that moved the chains 45 yards after several broken tackles, and a 16-yard TD catch by Hoffman.

The Pirates' final score came when Shaffer ran back an interception, his second of the game, 35 yards into the end zone.

The Pirates did not convert extra-points in the second half, after kicker (and receiver) Derek Harper left the game with an injury.

Shaffer threw for 168 yards, with two touchdowns (to go along with his interception return). He also led the team in rushing with 73 yards, most of which came on a 58-yard run in the second quarter, slightly ahead of Mellette, who finished with 67 yards.

Hilsabeck gained the most receiving yards, with 76 on two receptions, while Hoffman's two receptions went for TDs.

The shutout game belied several threatening drives by the Falcons. After a fake punt, Centauri's opening drive came within striking distance, but two pass attempts were thwarted by the Pirates. Joe DuCharme tipped a pass incomplete, and on the next play, Shaffer made a tip and followed through to pull in an interception on his own 1-yard line.

The Pirates would punt shortly after, giving the Falcons excellent field position, but the defense held, forcing Centauri to turn the ball over on downs.

In the second quarter, the Falcons maintained a plodding drive for over six minutes, covering 59 yards. But, again, the Pirate defense held, this time with a goal-line stand that stopped a quarterback keeper on the 1-yard line.

Another Falcon possession went to naught in the second quarter with Hilsabeck's interception deep in the red zone.

In addition to the Pirates' 346 yards total offense, the Pirate defense gained 101 yards on returns.

The Pirates were not able to bask in the glory of their homecoming win this week, since they face a tougher opponent and more decisive game Friday in Monte Vista, against the Pirates of the San Luis Valley.

The two Pirate teams will draw battle lines with only two Mountain League losses between them.

Both teams lost to league-leader Salida, while beating competitive Buena Vista.

Each team has a 2-1 league record.

Coach Sean O'Donnell said it is not unusual for the season to come down to the Monte Vista game, but usually the two teams battle it out for first place. This year they fight for second and to avoid elimination from playoff contention.

If Pagosa wins against Monte Vista, and then beats Bayfield the following week, they will be guaranteed a playoff birth.

With a loss to either team, the Pirates will need to rely on a wild card, which is not guaranteed.

Monte Vista is 5-2 overall, and beat Bayfield 32-15 last week. After their game with the Pirates, they will face Centauri, so Pagosa cannot count on someone else beating them.

O'Donnell said Monte Vista will come out hungry, since they have not beat Pagosa in several years - and now it is for survival.

"The biggest key is to match their intensity," he said.

He went on to say that Monte Vista has run the same offense and defense for many years, so there won't be any surprises.

It will be a matter of winning a game of smash-mouth football.

Though the Pirates came into the year with a one-back, shotgun offense, it has added plays from under the center and a two-back set. The defense came in running a 3-5-3 formation but now frequently runs a four-man front.

The run-and-gun, slash-and-sack team has balanced its speed game with pounding the trenches - which will be a good match for Monte Vista.

Expect a battle.

The game starts at 7 p.m. at Monte Vista High School. The volleyball team plays in Monte Vista the same night, so expect a strong Pagosa contingent over the pass.

The Pirates will face Bayfield next Thursday at 7 p.m., in Pagosa, for their last regular season game - the game rescheduled from the original Friday night date to avoid conflict with the volleyball district tournament Friday.

 

Pirate girls capture league title, Harms is Runner of the Year

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Six Pagosa runners won all-conference honors and Jaclyn Harms claimed the title of Runner of the Year in the Intermountain League, while the girls' team came in first at the league meet last Saturday in Monte Vista.

Harms was joined by Jessica Lynch, Julia Adams and Laurel Reinhardt on the girls' all-conference team. Jackson Walsh and Travis Furman made the boys' all-conference team.

Both teams were successful at the meet, with the girls claiming first place, yet again, and the boys winning the silver behind Monte Vista - beating Bayfield for the first time, who finished third.

Harms won the girls' race, taking the lead less than a mile into the race, followed by Lynch in third, Adams in fourth and Reinhardt in seventh - who combined for a team victory with 15 points.

According to Coach Scott Anderson, "Jacie is feeling more comfortable running on her own at the front now, and watching her run that strong after our bye week was impressive."

Regarding the strong girls' team, Anderson said "We know that, as a team, we should not be seriously challenged until state, so every race we try to keep focus and work on the mental side, so we are ready when we are challenged, because that state meet will be a whole other story."

Walsh and Furman ran as a tandem in the boys' race and finished neck-and-neck in third and fourth places, respectively.

"Although we were a bit disconsolate about being runner-up yet again, we got one monkey off our back by finishing ahead of Bayfield, and have showed that we are true contenders," said Anderson.

He went on to say, "This was another very good day for our program - the kids performed well and brought home an impressive haul of hardware."

The teams will return to Monte Vista this Saturday for the regional meet, where they will attempt to qualify for state.

 

Pirates beat Ignacio in three, IML season ends this weekend

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

It was the Pirates' homecoming volleyball match.

There was a large and enthusiastic crowd in the PSHS gym.

The match itself was a short, one-sided affair as Pagosa skated past the Bobcats 25-10, 25-10, 25-17.

That Ignacio broke into double figures in any of the three games was a measure of Pagosa's generosity. The visitors seemed listless and dispirited from the outset, and the Pirates were intent on securing the Intermountain League victory.

With the Bobcats' attack reduced to the occasional hit by junior A.J. Vigil, a significant number of Pagosa's points came on Ignacio errors on offense. On defense, the Bobcats' inability to block the quick attack from the Pirates' side of the net made life doubly difficult for the league cellar dwellers.

The first game of the match was tied at 2-2. Soon after, Pagosa had a 12-5 lead, with two kills by Alaina Garman and aces by Erin Gabel and Danielle Spencer. Kim Canty was at serve for five points.

Gabel hit cross-court from the right side, Jennifer Haynes nailed two aces and the Pirates were ahead 16-7.

The Bobcats got two points on Pagosa hitting errors, gave up a point and scored their final point of the game on a tip (only the second earned point for the visitors).

From there, it was all Pirates, as Pagosa went on an eight-point run to end the game. The Pirates got earned points from Canty with a kill from the right side, on a stuff by Spencer and Kim Fulmer, on a kill of a quick set from the middle by Spencer and with a kill of a short set on the outside by Spencer.

Fulmer got her team off to a fast start in game two, the senior putting a kill down from the strong side. She and Haynes scored with a stuff, Haynes solo blocked an Ignacio hitter, Canty hit an ace and Haynes put an errant Bobcat pass to the back corner of the court. Pagosa was up 7-0.

The visitors scored with a tip, but Haynes responded with an off-speed shot on the quick set. Pagosa gave away three points with hitting errors; Gabel (who hit .375 during the match) nailed a shot down the line from the right side then went up to crush a Bobcat pass that strayed over the net. Gabel then went to the right side and hit another kill.

Ahead 11-6, Pagosa put together a five-point run that began with a kill from the middle by Garman and ended when Spencer scored, putting another errant Bobcat pass to the floor.

Ignacio's points came one at a time.

Pagosa's points came six at a time, with Ignacio handing over five freebies with mistakes and Spencer hitting an ace. A serve error gave the Bobcats a point; Canty killed for a point and Fulmer put the Pirates at game point with a stuff.

Ignacio scored one more time to break into double figures; Haynes nailed a quick set in the middle, putting the ball to the sideline. Game over.

But for a series of charity points given to Ignacio with sloppy play, the Pirates would have finished off the match in near-record time. Canty killed to start the third game then hit an ace on a jump serve. Gabel scored with a tip off a poor pass, but the Pirates committed three serve errors and a line violation to allow the Bobcats to stay two points behind at 6-4.

Canty, who hit .500 on the night, took back serve with a kill and, with a blast from outside by Fulmer, and Garman at the line hitting two aces, Pagosa was suddenly up 12-4.

The Pirates went ahead 18-8 with a kill from the middle by Lacy Jones and another point from Fulmer, this time on a back-row attack, and it seemed Pagosa would cruise to another quick victory. But, play on Pagosa's side of the net got sloppy at times and a series of passing errors gave away points. The Pirates got their share of giveaways, scored a point on a rocket from Fulmer and led 22-13.

Ignacio received three unearned points from Pagosa and scored with a stuff; Fulmer took back serve with a kill, Allison Hart hit an ace and a Bobcat hit went out to end game and match.

"It was a good, balanced effort," said Coach Andy Rice. "We gave away too many points, but we kept the pressure on. We had a nine-player rotation and everyone contributed."

With starting outside hitter Camille Rand resting a leg injury, Rice said the Pirates needed some additional effort. "With Camille out, we needed people to step up. Kim (Canty) and Erin (Gabel) shouldered a lot of that burden."

Rice put several of his swing players into the third game of the match and the coach was happy with the result. "This was a good chance for some of our other players to get in and feel some pressure.

"We were trying to get on a roll (with the win, Pagosa had four victories in five matches) and we took a good step."

Fulmer led the way on offense, with seven kills; Canty had five kills against the Bobcats.

Gabel put up 12 assists during the match and had two digs in an evening that saw few opportunities for stellar Pirate back-court play.

Haynes logged two solo blocks and she, Spencer and Garman each hit two ace serves.

Pagosa returns to action at week's end to play the final two Intermountain League matches of the season. Friday night, the Pirates travel to Monte Vista for a scheduled 7 p.m. match. Saturday, Centauri comes to town for a 7 p.m. contest in the PSHS gym.

 

Pirates drop second match of year to Bayfield

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The Bayfield jinx continued Tuesday night as the Pirate volleyball team dropped its second regular-season match to the Wolverines, the second league loss for Pagosa this year.

The Wolverines sewed up the league title with the 25-18, 25-23, 25-22 win before a large and noisy crowd in their home gym and, as in the first match of the season, with two teams evenly matched in talent and experience, the difference came down to composure and mistakes.

The victory was not easy for the hosts, though the Pirates started slow, dropping behind 14-7 in the first game. Bayfield put together a four-point run to extend the lead to 19-11 before Pagosa outscored them 5-2 to close the gap to 21-16.

A three-point Wolverine run, keyed by two Pirate errors, put the home team at game point. Junior outside hitter Camille Rand gave the Pirates a point with a kill and a Bayfield hitting error provided another point for Pagosa. The comeback stopped dead in its tracks when a Pirate serve went into the net, giving the Wolverines the victory.

The Pirates struggled to keep up through the first half of the second game of the match, finally tying the score at 15-15. The offense began to click, with kills from Rand, Alaina Garman, Jennifer Haynes and Danielle Spencer. The Pirates also scored with tandem stuff blocks by Rand and Haynes, and Spencer and Erin Gabel.

It was a seesaw battle from that point on. Bayfield went ahead 16-15; Gabel tied it with a kill from the right side. Bayfield went up 17-16; Kim Fulmer killed from the strong side. Pagosa went ahead 18-17 on a kill by Garman; Bayfield returned the favor. Haynes hit a soft shot to the back line; a Pagosa error gave Bayfield a point and the 19-19 tie.

Pagosa managed to create some distance: Haynes put a short set down from the middle then hit an ace serve. But the Pirates could not hold the 21-19 advantage; two hitting errors and a Bayfield kill put the hosts back in the lead 22-21.

Rand tied the score 22-22 with a kill but a Pirate attack went out. A Bayfield serve error knotted the teams at 23 and it was anyone's game. A Pirate hitting error and a Pagosa player into the net made it Bayfield's game, 25-23.

The Pirates went out to a 6-5 lead in the third game, using kills by Garman and Haynes and an ace by Haynes.

Bayfield fought back to take a 10-7 lead and, despite kills from Garman, Rand and Haynes, the Pirates remained behind until the end-game. With her team lagging 17-21, Mariah Howell hit an ace off the tape, but a serve error gave a point and serve to the Wolverines. Garman responded with a kill down the line and Bayfield committed a passing error to surrender a point. Garman hit line again and yet another Wolverine mistake knotted the score 22-22.

That would be it for the Pirates. A Bayfield hit went down inside the block and two consecutive balls hit out surrendered the game and match to Bayfield.

Garman led the way on offense for Pagosa with seven kills; Rand had five. Kim Canty had 15 assists; Haynes solo blocked Wolverine hitters three times during the match, Spencer twice. Iris Frye had 19 digs.

Now, Pagosa has to wait, win and hope for another crack at Bayfield.

The Pirates need to win their two remaining league matches - tomorrow at Monte Vista and home Saturday against Centauri - to secure second seed when they host the district tournament Oct. 27-28. With only one team advancing out of districts to regionals, it all comes down to a round-robin win the third week of October.

Friday's match at Monte Vista is set for 7 p.m. as is the last regular-season home match against Centauri, Saturday at the PSHS gym.

 

Pagosa soccer ends season with 5-1 win

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

The Pirates ended a two-week drought and three-game conference losing streak, which took them out of playoff contention, by beating Bayfield 5-1 Tuesday.

With the win, the Pirates ended the season by successfully meeting a challenge they have faced all year.

Pagosa has been hampered by the ineligibility of key players. And while the playoff race was on, the Pirates lost key games to Center and Telluride due, in large part, to starters who were ineligible.

Roster instability sapped morale and challenged game plans. When the Pirates have had a full team this season, they have utilized quick attacks on offense. With front-line players ineligible or injured, the team was forced to adapt its offense and lineup.

Coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said that the ineligibility issue made the season particularly difficult, because the players never knew who they would be playing with. Faced with key roster changes, it can take a team "weeks and weeks and weeks to adapt," he said.

It only took the Pirates two weeks, though the transition time meant losing two important games, including last Thursday's loss against Center, 2-1.

The Pirates' lone goal in Center highlighted the significant contributions of freshman this season, especially with upperclassmen ineligible.

Late in the game, Josh Whipple fed Dustin Anderson from midfield. After receiving the pass in the open field, Anderson took three touches before taking an outside shot on the far post, finding the net.

The Pirates lost more convincingly against Telluride last Saturday, away from home, 5-1.

Profirio Palma scored the Pirates only goal 26 minutes into the first half, and the Pirates were neck-and-neck with their opponents at intermission, 2-1.

But three Telluride goals in the second half put it away for the hosts.

Kurt-Mason noted Telluride was the better team that day, faced with a Pagosa squad missing three starting forwards, but said the game could have gone the other way if not for a collection of unfortunate miscues and calls that didn't go the Pirates' way.

After the tough losses, Kurt-Mason made the difficult decision to bench starters returning from ineligibility in order to keep the lineup stable and maintain the cohesion that had been built in their absence.

As a result of Kurt-Mason's confidence in his team, the Pirates completed their adaptation against Bayfield and clicked as a unit, relying on control, passing and conversion in the box.

And on that cold, rainy Tuesday, the Pirates put in their best play of the season.

The Pirates did not rely on the fast break, but consistently converted off passes into the box.

Senior midfielder Caleb Ormonde led the Pirates to a 2-0 lead at the half. His first goal came off a defensive feed from Tesh Parker to Palma, who passed it to Ormonde in the middle. Ormonde dribbled around three defenders in the box for the shot and goal.

With a minute remaining in the half, Ormonde scored on the "play of the year," said Kurt-Mason.

On the Pirates' side of midfield, Ormonde shouldered-up against a Bayfield player for an air ball. The Wolverine went up for the header, but was out of position. Ormonde made the appropriate read and let the ball fall. He then headed it off the bounce to control the ball and start a run.

Ormonde dribbled through defenders to the sideline, where he was met by several attempted tackles. One defender threatened to clear the ball out of bounds, but Ormonde fought for possession and to keep the ball in play, while running along the sideline.

"There was a guy on his back the whole way down," said Kurt-Mason.

After fighting to keep the ball in play, Ormonde drove into the box and put a controlled shot into the net, past the goalie.

Ormonde was a workhorse throughout the season, said Kurt-Mason. He was a consistent force at midfield, stuffing opponents' transitions into offense and frequently threatening with strong shots.

A minute into the second half, forward Clayton King converted in the box, off a pass from Thomas Schmidt.

A minute later, Whipple scored on a rebound off an outside shot by Kevin Blue.

Whipple threatened frequently during the game, knowing right where to be as a striker, despite being a freshman.

Freshmen, like Ryan Searle, Whipple and Anderson, played like upperclassmen and were a significant part of the team effort.

The final goal of the game was also a conversion goal, off the head of Blue. Zel Johnston chipped the ball from the left side, giving Blue the opportunity to punch the ball in from the near to far post.

Bayfield's only goal came on a penalty kick with 15 minutes in the game.

Though not slated to start in the goal, Michael Schmidt put in several diving saves and would have had a shutout, if not for an unnecessary penalty in the box.

With the win, Pagosa finished the season with a 6-4 league record, behind Crested Butte and Telluride.

The effort showed what they were capable of as a team -- and would likely have accomplished if not for ineligibility.

"We should have been 10-0," said Kurt-Mason.

Along with Ormonde, the Pirates are graduating six seniors - Tadd Beavers, Tesh Parker, Max Smith, Clayton King and Palma.

But six juniors will return next year, along with several varsity sophomores and freshmen.

Kurt-Mason said there is also a strong JV team to fill in the ranks.

The Pirates are at their best as a controlled, strategic team. If they learn from improvements this year, 10-0 might be in the realm of possibility next season.

 

Pagosa women finish golf league season

By Lynne Allison

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Women's Golf Association fielded eight of its lowest handicap players to play the last team play event of the season at the San Juan Country Club in Farmington, Oct. 5.

The Pagosa ladies managed to garner 27 1/2 points against the host San Juan Country Club team on a cold and rainy day. Playing conditions were less than desirable, as it rained the entire round except the last two holes. Then, to add to the misery, it rained and stormed the entire trip home.

Competing for Pagosa were Barbara Sanborn, Lynne Allison, Cherry O'Donnell, Jane Day, Bonnie Hoover, Bev Hudson, Josie Hummel and Loretta Campuzano.

Final team placement points for the season were as follows: 1. Pinon Hills Golf Club, 306.5; 2. Cortez Conquistador, 302; 3. Aztec Hidden Valley, 298.5; 4. Kirtland Riverview, 288; 5. Dalton Ranch Golf Club, 283; 6. San Juan Country Club, 281.5; 7. Hillcrest Golf Club, 277; 8. Pagosa Springs Golf Club, 267.5.

Team captain Sanborn said, "Our team's final placement in the league does not indicate how we played. Many of our team members dropped their handicaps during the season, and competed very well with our opponents. We did the best we could, and we can only improve." She added, "The forthcoming team play season looks really bright." Sanborn extends her many thanks and deep gratitude to all of the women who participated in team play this year - their dedication and willingness to compete are commendable.

Also representing Pagosa during the season were Kay Crumpton, Jan Kilgore, Marilyn Smart, Jane Stewart, Carrie Weisz, Julie Pressley, Nancy Chitwood, Audrey Johnson, Doe Stringer and Sue Martin.

 

Pagosa Springs Recreation

Last chance to register for 7-8 youth basketball

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

Monday, Oct. 23, is the deadline for registration in this year's 7- and 8-year-old youth basketball league (a coed league).

Children who will be 7 or 8 years old as of Nov. 15 are eligible to register. Games in the 7-8 division will be played Tuesdays and Thursdays at the community center, beginning Nov. 7. The season will end Dec. 14.

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 parks and 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.

Adult volleyball begins Monday

Adult volleyball open gym will take place once a week, 6:30-8:15 p.m. Mondays starting Oct. 23, 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.

Youth soccer championships

The final round of games in this year's 9-10 and 11-13 youth soccer tournament will be played Saturday at the elementary school soccer fields.

Action begins at 9 a.m. in the 9-10 tournament and at 11:15 a.m. in the 11-13 division.

Continuous wet weather has made this year's soccer season a challenge, but participation has been great; this year's schedule featured 20 teams from Pagosa and four from Dulce.

Next week's recreation column will recognize all of the dedicated coaches and sponsors for their contributions to this year's youth soccer program.

Comment on youth basketball leagues

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

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

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.

Sports hotline

General information concerning the Pagosa Springs Recreation Department can be obtained by calling the Pagosa Springs Sports Hotline at 264-6658 or logging on to townofpagosasprings.com and going to the parks and recreation link.

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

 

Editorial

After all, you are the boss

You are a taxpaying citizen; you cast your vote in local, state and national elections. You elect representatives you believe will inform themselves about issues in ways you haven't the time or energy to do; you elect them to then make reasonable decisions for the best for the greatest number of people they represent. And for you. Their boss.

And how do you, the boss, and your fellow bosses keep track of the representative system you put in place, of the elected officials, and the administrators and bureaucrats those officials hire? How do you stay abreast of the biggest and hottest issues, as well as of the minutiae of business in a structured society?

You obtain information. In many cases, the bosses rely on others to ferret out the information - journalists of all sorts. Yet, other times, when it comes to certain records, less than spectacular information that can, nonetheless, make a big difference in a life, the boss must procure it him or herself.

In the newspaper business, we are constantly seeking information, asking for records, asking to see the minutes of meetings, to listen to tape recordings made at meetings of elected officials.

Here in Pagosa Country, resistance to requests is rare. Seldom has a district or official refused information and been forced to turn over records following a formal legal request. Generally, when we ask to hear the tape of a meeting, we meet no resistance. Seldom have we been refused data concerning an issue or process in the public realm. This is appreciated; it is our job to bring that information to light. It is also positive for the governmental bodies, the elected officials, the administrators and other employees. Resistance sends a clear signal there is something wrong; it engenders more pointed suspicion and leads to a more vigorous pursuit.

But, for the ordinary citizen, it is not always easy. So says a study conducted by 23 newspapers of The Associated Press and the Colorado Press Association. The study was conducted in 21 communities across the state and sought to obtain records from counties, municipalities, special districts and school districts. Survey participants included reporters, members of the general public, interns and others.

In some instances, a vast array of records was already online and other requests were met promptly, with attention to the law. In too many cases, requests were met with confusion, rudeness, suspicion. Survey members found school districts, overall, regarded requests with the most suspicion, often quizzing those who made requests about who they were and why they wanted information, The law does not give any district more latitude than others. Court rulings have made it clear requests - even for things like e-mails between elected officials and employees - can be made without identifying who you are or why you want the information. The questions can be asked; they need not be answered.

In cases where information is not readily available, government can wait three working days before providing it - but why wait if it is readily available?

Bottom line: Under the Colorado Public Records Law, with some exceptions for personnel or proprietary commercial information, a citizen is entitled to see any public record, in any form, that has been created, maintained and used in the carrying out of government's duties or in the receipt and use of public funds.

If you want to know something about government and elected officials - with the slender prohibitions in the law in mind - ask. Having information, from all manner of public entities, can make a significant difference in your life. If you meet resistance, do not give up your right.

After all, you are the boss.

Karl Isberg

 

Legacies

Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 20, 1916

The big stock firm of Brown & Reavis shipped out 300 head of cattle for the Denver market yesterday. This is their second heavy shipment this season, with more coming up. This firm sure delivers the goods - three ways from the ace - to the seller on the range, the distributing commission house and themselves taking the small end as usual.

The court house is in the throes of a remodeling. A new cement floor will be laid in the back court room and in about half of the front room.

The Henry Borns have moved to town from the lake for the winter.

Dr. Milton, one of Pagosa's tooth artists, returned Tuesday from a professional trip to outside points.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 23, 1931

With the approach of colder weather and hotter fires, it behooves every householder and businessman to be extremely cautious in the matter of avoiding over-heated stoves, defective flues and any other dangerous fire risk.

Just to wind up the trout fishing season more or less properly, S.A. (Bingo) Cox strolled down to a favorite hole near the light plant on the San Juan River last Saturday evening and returned with a five-pound rainbow - the prize fish that has been caught in this section during the entire 1931 season.

Mrs. Henry Kohler of Blanco Basin will have charge of the Carlsbad Lodge property this winter during the absence of the proprietress, Mrs. Cora W. Wood.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 25, 1956

The weather certainly made a big change this week and it looks as if we can expect some moisture in the next few days. The moisture is most welcome to almost everyone, but there are probably some out of state hunters that are breaking camp and getting out of the high country at near record speeds.

The storm started Tuesday afternoon with hard winds and sprinkles of rain. By late evening it was raining hard and .82 inches of moisture had been recorded up until 8 o'clock Wednesday morning. It started snowing here in town Wednesday morning and as we go to press (Wednesday night) it appears as if we may be in for a good storm. Winter has been a long time getting here this year and everyone has been anxious for its arrival.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of October 22, 1981

County building permits are up 29 percent over last year at this time. The dollar value of real estate transactions recorded in the county clerk's office is $368,879,000 this year to date compared with $267,227,000 last year for the same time base.

H. Ray Macht was reelected chairman of the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission Monday night. Macht has been a commission member since its founding. The commission makes recommendations to the county commissioners.

There will be two pep club buses traveling to Monte Vista Saturday. The Pagosa Springs Booster Club raised the funds necessary to defray the expenses of the buses. Cost for the trip is $1.00 per student.

 

Features

Students complete campground projects

James Robinson

Staff Writer

Getting young people interested in the outdoors is one of Elizabeth Parker's passions, and what began as a senior project for her bachelor's of science degree in human services, has become woven into the service learning curriculum at the Archuleta County High School.

To date, the program has included two maintenance and cleanup projects of area campgrounds, and marks a collaboration between the high school, the San Juan Mountains Association, the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest and United Land Management.

The students completed their most recent project at the Ute and Blanco River campgrounds Oct. 12.

According to Parker and Danielle Sullivan, the service learning coordinator at the high school, the thrust of the program is to get the students outside and engaged in physical activity, while bolstering the high school's service learning curriculum that, in part, teaches students the importance of giving back to the community.

"The project began last March with an e-mail from Liz. She wondered if I would be interested in the alternative school kids doing a public service project," said Hal Hess, area manager for United Land Management.

United Land Management operates under a permit from the Forest Service to administer and maintain many of the area's campgrounds.

Hess was receptive to the idea, and Parker took the lead, making the connections with Forest Service personnel and staff at the alternative school.

"Kevin gave us his blessing, and the staff at the alternative school was really supportive," Parker said.

Kevin Khung is district ranger on the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest.

In early May, armed with gallons of paint, rollers, paint brushes and sandpaper - supplied largely with a $200 grant from Terry's Ace Hardware - 16 students and five faculty including Doug Bowen, director of the school, arrived at the Ute Campground near the junction of U.S. 160 and Colo. 151.

"In three and a half hours, they painted the outside of two bathrooms and sanded and painted about 36 picnic tables," Hess said.

The day was chalked up as a tremendous success, however Hess wasn't sure what he'd gotten himself into after gauging the students' attitudes upon their arrival at the campground in the morning.

"They were not happy campers when they first arrived. They didn't look happy to be there," Hess said.

But after about 30 minutes, Hess said, their moods changed.

"After a while, they started challenging each other - 'Who can paint a table the fastest?' They had fun," Hess said.

But moreover, Hess said, the students exhibited a sense of pride and satisfaction in what they had achieved.

"It was quantitative. They could see their work. There was pride in the job they'd done," Hess said.

Although, Parker's senior project was behind her, the success of that first service project led her to approach Hess and school staff for collaboration on a second undertaking scheduled last week. Sullivan and Hess agreed, and Oct. 12 brought 29 students back to Ute Campground where they piled mountains of slash left after a Forest Service fuels reduction and thinning project.

Hess said about 400 green trees had been marked for thinning and the result was hundreds and hundreds of sticky, pitch-covered limbs in need of hauling away.

"The kids spent about three hours, they worked like little beavers, piling it all into big piles," Hess said.

While some students hauled slash, Hess had others filling potholes in the campground's roads with wheelbarrows and shovels, and pruning trees using pole trimmers.

Parker said the morning began much as Hess described last May.

"At first they act like they've been forced to come. They're kind of resistant at first, but after thirty minutes into the project, I notice a change. The way they get into it is amazing." Parker said.

After tackling the clean up at the Ute Campground the students then traveled to the Blanco Campground where they sanded and painted all the tables and benches in the Blanco River Picnic Area and the campground - a task they completed in two hours Hess said.

Hess said the success of the last two outings has led key players to talk of making it a regularly scheduled twice yearly event.

"It's a win-win. We need the work, they need the public service and work experience, and learning to finish what they've started. That's so important these days," Hess said.

And Parker added "Service learning is important, you're doing it for yourselves, the public and the community."

"Service learning is something I try to emphasize. The learning is an important part of the phrase. You need to know how and why your doing the project. It also give us a chance to interact at a totally different level. We're out there side by side, hauling brush and painting tables - we're on equal ground," Sullivan said.

Although two of the students, Lastin Johnston and Ryan Bromley both spoke about the experience in slightly different terms than Sullivan - "pretty cool" was their shared description - both enjoyed being outside and working alongside their friends.

Bromley said in addition to the campground projects he is also involved in a long-term service project with the Archuleta County Victim's Assistance Program, and helped create a teen-oriented educational campaign called KPASA - Kids Preventing Abuse and Sexual Assault.

Sullivan said Bromley's work with the victim's assistance program is just one example of myriad service learning possibilities available to the students. Sullivan said she maintains networks with numerous local agencies, from the humane society to the sheriff's office, in order to match students interests with the needs of the community. Sullivan said the service learning projects are an integral part of the high school's curriculum, and projects can last from one or two days to a full semester.

"We're trying to teach them to be proactive citizens and often they haven't had exposure to that," Sullivan said.

Parker said she hopes to create a long term partnership between the three agencies, getting the students outdoors, while providing a combination of practical, educational and social experiences.

"It's interpretive and educational and how to be a good steward of the land," Parker said.

Parker said winter will curtail most outdoor-oriented service projects, although she hopes to squeeze in a reseeding and fencing project on the recently-improved Dutton Ditch pipeline before the snow flies. Parker was enthusiastic about the undertaking which she said would tie in nicely with their science curriculum.

"Right now they're studying water, so Dutton Ditch is perfect," Parker said.

During the most recent work on the Ute and Blanco campgrounds, Parker said although 29 students participated, she's well aware that not all the students will take something away, that some will see it simply as a chore, as a school project and little more. But at the same time, Parker said, for some students the experience taps into something deeper.

"Not all 29 kids will remember the experience, but one or two will take something away," Parker said.

And that was proven to Parker after the first project in May.

Parker said one student wrote an essay reflecting on the experience, and how it had changed his view of Forest Service staff and the value of campgrounds.

She said before the project he had a negative attitude toward Forest Service personnel and the agency's regulations but that the work experienced changed those attitudes for the better.

For Parker, if just one student comes away with a new way of looking at the Forest Service, the land and the outdoors, the project is well worth the undertaking.

 

Pagosa's Past

Jicarilla delegation goes to Washington D.C.

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

During 1873, while waiting for the government to designate a reservation for them, many of the Jicarilla were living near Abiquiu, especially members of the White Clan. A good percentage of the Red Clan remained near Cimarron. Various bands of Jicarilla were scattered in other places.

The overall Jicarilla goal was to obtain a reservation, a place of safety and a place to make a living. Unfortunately, the various bands of Jicarilla did not agree on a reservation location. The prevailing government opinion at that time was to place the Jicarilla on a reservation in Colorado on the upper reaches of the San Juan River. Another idea crowding its way to the forefront was a plan to move the Jicarilla onto the Mescalero Apache Reservation in southern New Mexico, a move the Jicarilla did not sanction.

Nothing but talk took place 1874 and 1875. By March of 1878 the decision had been made to move the Jicarilla to Mescalero. The commander of the military district was ordered to enforce the removal and Indian Agent Russell was ordered to provide the Jicarilla with provisions for the journey. Consequently, the Cimarron and Abiquiu Agencies were closed.

Initially, only Jicarilla leader San Pablo and his band were found. They agreed to go to Mescalero and sent out runners with orders to locate the other Jicarilla bands. Wagons loaded with supplies pulled out, cattle were driven by men and boys, and it seemed the task would soon be accomplished.

Those hopes evaporated when San Pablo's people slipped away to join their relatives near Abiquiu. Only San Pablo and 32 of his people arrived at Mescalero. San Pablo explained that for some unknown reason his people had deserted him on the road. He asked for permission to look for them, but was denied permission. Later, he slipped away and returned north.

Removal from Abiquiu was not attempted until August 1878 after the Southern Utes had been relocated to the Los Piños Agency in Colorado. On August 18, Government Inspector Watkins called a council of the Jicarilla who assembled immediately. The Jicarilla refused to go, using the excuse of the Lincoln County War, the famous or infamous conflagration involving Billy the Kid. A frustrated Watkins recommended removal of the Jicarilla to Oklahoma Territory, but nothing came of this suggestion.

Because the Jicarilla were all at the temporary agency at Tierra Amarilla attending Watkins's council, an attempt was made to keep them there by making that location the source of their rations. The attempt failed when many Jicarilla returned to Cimarron. Troops were requested to hold the Jicarilla at Tierra Amarilla, but were not sent. An agency police force made up of tribal members was organized but could not contain the departing Jicarilla. The agency police resigned en masse in May of 1879, unwilling to work against their relatives. The Cimarron Jicarilla spent the summer of 1879 back in their own territory.

In Abiquiu the other Jicarilla remained peaceful. Mundo and his son Huerito visited Ouray on the Ute Reservation to seek his advice. Ouray advised them to seek a conference with the President of the United States. When he returned home, Mundo conferred with tribal elders, and then asked Agent Thomas to seek the desired presidential conference. Permission was granted Dec. 13, 1879, and three months later a delegation of leaders visited Washington D.C.

Those leaders were San Pablo, Juan Juli-n, Santiago Largo, Huerito Mundo, and Augustín Vigil. They met with Acting Commissioner E.J. Brooks to discuss the location of a reservation. The outcome was an apparent victory for the Jicarilla. Brooks appointed E.B. Townsend to select land for the tribe.

By August of 1880, Townsend had examined some land that the Jicarilla wanted west of Tierra Amarilla in northern New Mexico. He described the place as one of the best that could be found in the territory with fine land along the Navajo River suitable for agriculture. He found only four or five settlers on these lands. The settlers had erected some buildings he thought would be suitable for agency headquarters. Townsend advised the government to buy out the settlers.

More next week on the Jicarilla Apache search for a reservation. Information used in these articles is taken from "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History, 1846-1979," written by Dr, Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, herself an enrolled Jicarilla Apache tribal member.

Pagosa Sky Watch

Look for meteors between midnight and dawn

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 7:20 a.m.

Sunset: 6:26 p.m.

Moonrise: 4:57 a.m

Moonset: 5:17 p.m.

Moon phase: The moon is waning crescent with 5 percent of the visible disk illuminated - New Moon Oct. 21, 11:15 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time.

With the moon gradually waning and a new moon approaching, the night sky is shaping up to provide prime viewing conditions for two celestial happenings - the passage of Comet SWAN and the annual Orionid meteor shower.

Unfortunately, viewing conditions aren't linked solely to the interference of moonlight, and if the current weather pattern persists, the Orionids and Comet SWAN will pass virtually unnoticed.

If the clouds ultimately part, skywatchers should keep a keen watch on the northwestern sky as night falls in the area just below and slightly to the west of Alkaid - the terminal star in the handle of the Big Dipper.

According to Sky and Telescope Magazine, the comet is travelling on its predicted trajectory, and this week, skywatchers can use two stars - beta and gamma Boötis, part of the kite shaped constellation Boötes - to help them locate the whizzing clod of galactic slush.

Observations undertaken last week at night fall and under excellent dark sky conditions, indicated the comet was visible with the naked eye and binoculars. The comet appeared as a bluish-green, slightly hazy point of light.

At this point in its journey, Comet SWAN has already made its pass around the sun and is hurling out of our solar system. It will make its closest brush with Earth toward the end of October, and by Halloween, stargazers can see Comet SWAN passing near M13, the great globular cluster in the constellation Hercules. By Thanksgiving, look for Comet SWAN near Altair in the constellation Aquila, although the comet will grow dimmer as it journeys to the outer reaches of our solar system and beyond.

Astronomers say Comet SWAN is traveling on a hyperbolic orbit, meaning it is not gravitationally bound to the sun. Astronomers once speculated hyperbolic comets may have originated in another solar system and eventually wandered into our solar system, but studies of the orbital paths of other hyperbolic comets indicate otherwise. In fact, is it now widely accepted that hyperbolic comments originated in our solar system and orbited the sun, but a close brush with the gravitational field of a massive planet, such as Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn or Neptune, may have been enough to jerk the comet from its gravitational bond with the sun, thus flinging it into a wild, new hyperbolic orbit, sending it on a trajectory far beyond our solar system.

Where Comet SWAN's journey will end is anybody's guess, and it is likely Earth-based stargazers will not witness its passage again.

Although viewing Comet SWAN may be a once in lifetime opportunity, the Orionid meteor shower is an annual occurrence and astronomers anticipate the shower will peak this year on Oct. 20 and 21. The best time to look for meteors is between midnight and dawn - expect to see about 20 meteors per hour or one every few minutes.

With no moonlight to interfere, and although relatively sparse compared to the Perseids or Geminids, the Orionids could put on a stunning show.

In addition to counting meteors in the hours before dawn, you can take advantage of the dark sky conditions to locate a number of our night sky's most prominent stars.

Looking to the south-southwest, start by locating Orion and the three stars in the hunter's belt. Orion will be found slightly less than midway between the horizon and a position directly over head. Orion also marks the point of origin, or radiant, of the Orionid meteor show - hence the shower's name.

Using the belt stars as a pointer, look to the right and you'll notice the belt stars direct the viewer to a bright, reddish-orange star. This is Aldebaran, the alpha star in the constellation Taurus, marking the eye of the celestial bull.

Going back to Orion's belt stars and following them to the left and then dropping slightly downward, stargazers will find Sirius, the brightest star in our night sky.

And lastly, for those at more northern latitudes, be on the alert for a weekend of possibly spectacular auroras.

According to spaceweather.com, an X-ray image from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's GOES-13 satellite indicates a gaping black hole on the sun.

Astronomers call this black spot a coronal hole.

A coronal hole is a place where the sun's magnetic field opens, allowing the sun's magnetic field to extend indefinitely into space. Astronomers call this solar wind, and they estimate the stream of charged particles rushing from the coronal hole should reach Earth Oct. 20 possibly sparking a geomagnetic storm and stunning auroras.

 

Weather

Date High Low PrecipitationType Depth Moisture

10/11

60

28

R

.01

.01

10/12

60

27

-

-

-

10/13

62

28

R

.01

.01

10/14

56

33

R

1.22

1.22

10/15

60

35

R

.19

.19

10/16

55

31

-

-

-

10/17

47

31

R

.29

.29

Break possible in wet weather trend

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

Rain, rain, rain, will it ever end?

The answer may be a resounding yes, although it snowed lightly for a time, yesterday afternoon.

According to the National Weather Service and AccuWeather.com, Pagosa Springs and surrounding areas have seen the last of torrential rains for awhile. While yesterday's online satellite image showed a rather large disturbance in the northwest, which appeared to be heading directly for us, meteorologists suggest it will avoid Colorado.

We'll see.

Meanwhile, the Pagosa Lakes area received another 1.71 inches of moisture over the past seven days. Incredibly, that brings the monthly total up to a whopping 4.23 inches since October 3. Between a rain and snow mix, the record is 7.8 inches, recorded in 1972.

In spite of all the clouds and precipitation through the week, temperatures have stayed fairly mild. Daytime highs have averaged in the mid-50s, with last Friday's reading at 62 and Tuesday's at only 47. Low temperatures have hovered around the freezing mark, ranging between last Thursday's 27 and Sunday's 35.

Sustained winds were light and variable through the period, but gusts of up to 29 miles per hour were recorded on Tuesday. Occasional gusts between 12 and 19 miles per hour were recorded through the week.

The forecast for the next seven days calls for fair to partly cloudy skies, with no precipitation and seasonal temperatures. Daytime highs will range in the mid-50s and nighttime lows should dip into the mid-20s.

At this point, it appears Halloween will be a clear and brisk evening, with a bright waxing moon (between First Quarter and Full) and hundreds of ghouls and goblins in the streets of Pagosa. Beware, as nighttime temperatures should fall well below freezing.