November 2, 2006

Front Page

Ballot Issue 1A, a leap of faith

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

TABOR - the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. Love it or loathe it, understand it or not, it governs taxation in Colorado, and on Nov. 7 Archuleta County voters will decide whether or not to exempt themselves, in part, from its constraints.

Called "Ballot Issue 1A," the question asks voters to freeze the property tax mill levy at the current rate of 18.233 mills, and if approved, authorizes the county to keep and spend - contrary to the tenets of TABOR - all property tax-derived funds, "for the purpose of funding general county operations, to include routine maintenance of all county roads, and capital improvements, including parks and recreation facilities and county government facilities."

If approved, the measure would take effect in 2007 and would apply to each subsequent year through 2011. After 2011, Ballot Issue 1A would sunset if not reapproved by voters.

Under TABOR and other state mandated taxation and spending restrictions, property tax mill levies generally fluctuate year to year, often with a portion of the property tax rebated to tax payers.

According to county documents, the tax credit in 2006 for a home valued at $100,000 is $23 and the property tax on the same value is $145. The same document states property taxes on a home valued at $300,000 are $435.

If the measure passes, the mill levy will remain fixed at its current rate of 18.233 and property taxes will vary based not on mill levy fluctuations, but on market trends.

For example, if a property's market value increases, so would the property taxes. Conversely, if a property's market value decreases, the property taxes would also decrease, yet in both cases, the mill levy will have remained unchanged. That is why proponents of the ballot issue do not consider the measure a tax increase: It's not the mill levy or assessment rates that would drive up taxes, it's the market.

Yet that explanation doesn't wash for opponents of the ballot question.

In 2008, under Ballot Issue 1A and with a certain set of assumptions - among them, a 30-percent increase in net assessed valuation - the county estimates taxpayers will pay $131 more in property taxes than they did in 2006 on the same $300,000 home which would be then worth $390,000.

Regardless of whether Ballot Issue 1A passes, Sheila Berger, special projects manager for Archuleta County estimated taxpayers may see a 10 to 30 percent increase on their property tax bill from 2006 to 2007.

But opponents say that voting no will keep TABOR intact, protecting them from mill levy increases, and under TABOR, the 2008 property tax mill levy would actually be reduced to 14.969 mills rather than the current rate of 18.233. Thus, the tax credit on a home valued at $100,000 dollars would jump from $23 in 2006 to $49 in 2008 - $26 dollars they could put back in their pockets. Further, TABOR incorporates a 5.5 percent limitation on property tax revenues, which provides added taxpayer protection. Approval of Ballot Issue 1A would throw the 5.5 percent provision out until 2011.

But proponents of the issue say the higher property taxes, whether perceived as a tax increase or otherwise, are absolutely necessary to fix the county's ailing road system, to capitalize on a projected boon in oil and gas development in the county and to help the county keep pace with the demands unprecedented growth has put on county facilities and services.

But one participant at a recent, county-sponsored ballot issue information meeting, said he lives on the upper Blanco River and sees little connection between the property taxes he currently pays and the county services he currently receives. With a perceived disparity, he wondered why he should give the county even more money, with no clear return on his contribution.

"I don't get roads, I don't get police, I don't get fire protection. What I do get is a tax bill for a bunch of people on a payroll," he said.

His sentiments have been echoed by county residents living far afield, and staunch opponents of the ballot measure such as John Bozek, have described the ballot measure as a "blank check," or "black hole," with little guarantee within the ballot language exactly how revenue derived from the mill levy stabilization will be spent.

Archuleta County Administrator Bob Campbell said the ballot language did, in fact, allow tremendous spending latitude, and if approved, the ballot measure would authorize the county to use the increased revenues however they see fit.

The county recently produced and mailed a flyer to registered voters - at a cost of $2,000 to taxpayers - citing the pros and cons of the ballot issue, and the flyer confirms Campbell's assertions.

The document states, "1A does not mandate how the county will use these extra funds, and there is no spending limit in any area."

Campbell and the flyer go on to say that the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners letter of commitment of September 2006 serves to address those issues.

The letter outlines a two-year spending plan, should the ballot question pass, and pledges $500,000 from savings to maintain all county roads in 2007. The letter describes maintenance as a minimum of one grading prior to snow fall and snow removal.

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

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

Those expenditures will be determined during the budget process.

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

Further, the letter pledges allocating 20 percent of ballot question-derived revenues to parks and recreation projects and the last 20 percent will be earmarked for architecture and planning required for construction of a new jail and sheriff's facilities.

Commissioners John Egan and Ronnie Zaday have stated unequivocal support for the ballot question and the letter, and Egan has used his position on the measure as a campaign platform.

Egan recently said passing Ballot Issue 1A was the county's most important task.

"1A gives us the funding to plan for the future. Without 1A the county is actually moving backward," Egan said.

Egan is the Democratic candidate for the commission seat he now holds and is facing Republican Bob Moomaw in the upcoming general election.

Commissioner Robin Schiro also signed the letter, and has stated support for the ballot question, but has expressed reservations.

She has called the ballot question and letter of commitment, "better than nothing" alternatives to solving road issues, but would like to see more than 40 percent of the measure's funds earmarked for roads.

Another shortcoming, Schiro said, is that the ballot question asks the voter to make a five-year commitment, and that the county should reciprocate with a five-year spending commitment of their own.

Moomaw said he basically supports the ballot issue, but he'd also like to see more money allocated to the county's neglected and worn out roads.

"I'd like to hit the roads hard the first year to get them back into shape," Moomaw said.

And although Moomaw said he sees the measure as a way to get the county's road maintenance program back on track, he wasn't happy with the process.

"They weren't totally open with the public," Moomaw said.

Moomaw added that if elected, he respects the letter of commitment, but "I am interested in prioritizing the budget, placing the most critical issues first, and that may or may not reflect the exact numbers in the letter of commitment."

If the ballot measure passes, questions remain. What is the role of public improvement districts (PIDs) in the county's long term plan to solve road maintenance issues?

A PID is a self-taxing entity where members of the district tax themselves in order to provide for their own road maintenance.

Literature provided at the one of the county's public information session shines some light on the question.

"If the mill levy stabilization were to pass in November the county will continue to maintain and upgrade primary roads. The county will also fulfill our responsibility for the maintenance of secondary roads. This maintenance would consist of one grading and snow removal on a priority basis. Although capital improvements will take place on primary roads over time, maintenance of secondary roads under this scenario is only a stopgap measure. The long term solution that includes upgrading, maintenance and snow removal will require greater participation by the public, most likely in the form of a public improvement district (PID)."

Campbell said PIDs might have a role in the county's long term maintenance plan, but the scope of their involvement would ultimately depend on the county's ability to capture property tax revenue derived from the oil and gas industry.

And that's perhaps many proponents' primary reason for supporting the measure.

Ron Chacey, during his presentation in support of Ballot Issue 1A at a recent League of Women Voters candidate and issue forum, said passing the ballot issue would free the county from the constraints of TABOR and would allow it to keep and spend all property taxes derived from the oil and gas industry, injecting unprecedented funds into a beleaguered county budget hamstrung by TABOR and outpaced by inflation.

According to data provided by Archuleta County, oil and gas is taxed at an 85 percent assessment rate, while residential property is taxed at 7.96 percent and commercial and vacant land at 85 percent. In the light of the oil and gas assessment rate, and depending on the scope of oil and gas development, particularly in the HD Mountains, the county could benefit greatly. Some estimate the figure at $203 million in oil and gas derived property taxes over the HD Mountains area's projected 40-year life span.

Moomaw said, beyond roads, one of his primary reasons for supporting the ballot question is because, "I find it difficult to give large amounts of money back to oil and gas companies. "

In the end, Berger said the question voters face is one of trust: Do they trust the county to honor the letter of commitment and to be responsible and effective stewards of constituent tax dollars?

"It's a leap of faith," Berger said.

Voters will decide whether to make that leap on Election Day, Nov. 7.


PAWSD board opposes Amendment 38

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Board of Directors recently acted on an item aimed at preserving government..

At their regular October meeting last week, under authorization of Section 1-45-117 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, the board unanimously adopted a resolution in opposition to a ballot issue of concern to the district. The issue, known as Amendment 38, will appear on the statewide ballot Nov. 7 and if approved, would amend the Colorado Constitution.

According to the PAWSD resolution, Amendment 38, as proposed, would limit the ability of governments to impose restrictions on the circulation of petitions by Colorado voters, while creating new constitutional rights regarding the petition process. Additionally, the amendment would limit ballot titles to just 75 words, and establish lighter standards for petition review.

The resolution also states opposition to the amendment's apparent omission of necessary checks and balances ensuring clear, legal and legitimate petition submittals. As written, the measure would remove the "single subject" clause, lower the signature requirement and eliminate verification of signatures, thus enabling easier submission of fraudulent petitions.

As it relates to PAWSD, Amendment 38 could conceivably delay implementation of voter-approved legislative action for 90 days, giving the opposition time to draft and circulate a referendum petition calling for another election to overturn it. Voters would be responsible for paying the cost of the election, including the printing and mailing of notices to the electorate. Meanwhile, delaying the effective date of the approved action could hamper prompt delivery of vital PAWSD services.

Because the district board takes legislative action on a number of issues every month, much of which potentially affects the public health, safety and welfare, it feels delays in implementation and challenges to every issue are contrary to a long-established concept of representative government. Therefore, it finds the provisions of Amendment 38 out of vogue with the best interests of the district and its citizens, and urges a "No" vote on Nov. 7.


Many vote early, vote centers open Tuesday

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

With registered voters in Archuleta County utilizing absentee and early voting opportunities, the Tuesday Nov. 7 general election should go smoothly, said June Madrid, clerk and recorder.

Early voting began Oct. 10 and will run through tomorrow, Nov. 3, so voters still have the opportunity to cast their ballots before Election Day at the county Elections Office, located on the ground floor on the back side of the courthouse .

Madrid said the turnout for early voting has been similar to other general elections. As of Wednesday morning, 767 voters had cast early ballots and 1,209 of 1,815 absentee ballots had been returned.

There are approximately 9,368 registered voters in Archuleta County, according to Madrid.

On Tuesday, Nov. 7, the polls will open for the general elections. Three vote centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. - at the county Elections Office, Our Savior Lutheran Church and Restoration Fellowship Church.

On Election Day, Mountain Express will offer free transportation from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. - in order to get citizens to the downtown polling site. The schedule and routes will not be changed, but there is a stop at the corner of Lewis Street and U.S. 160, near the county courthouse. More information can be obtained by calling 264-2250.

Madrid encouraged voters to come to the voting centers with valid identification and the signature card they received in the mail. If voters fail to bring the documentation, they will still be able to vote, after completing additional paperwork.

It is also important for voters to come to the polls prepared to vote, having reviewed information on candidates and ballot measures, in order to prevent delays for other voters, said Madrid.

A 10-minute time limit will be enforced, if necessary - while election information will be made available to voters who have not had time to prepare.

State and county officials have taken steps to strengthen the security and effectiveness of the voting process, after a court decision found measures inadequate.

Denver District Court judge Lawrence Manzanares ruled on Sept. 22 that Colorado Secretary of State Gigi Dennis had not put effective mechanisms in place to ensure the security of voting systems across the state and ordered the institution of statewide security standards. Dennis' office then worked with the case's plaintiffs to develop standards for counties to implement by the midterm election, according to a Colorado State Department news release.

According to the release, "The new standards for security plans include physical security requirements, temperature controls, security cameras and surveillance, equipment maintenance procedures, transportation requirements, and security training for election judges, as well as protocols for addressing evidence of any tampering with the equipment."

To secure the voting process, county clerk and recorders were required by the Secretary of State to produce a revised security plan by Oct. 20 to match the new requirements, demanded by the court order. Madrid said she submitted a new security plan by the deadline. After a review by the Colorado State Department, Madrid submitted revisions, as requested, and now waits for final approval of the plan.

In the meantime, the security of voting systems in Archuleta County has been addressed and new state requirements have been implemented. Though the changes will not directly impact voters at the polls, Madrid said it was important for the public to know that the county has security measures in place to prevent tampering or error and to address unforeseen circumstances in the voting process.

Now it is time for the people to do their part and turn out to vote.


Inside The Sun

State rep, county assessor candidates speak at forum

James Robinson

Staff Writer

In the second night of a two-part candidate forum sponsored by the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, state and local candidates squared off to answer questions from the league and members of the audience.

State District 59 candidates, Democrat Joe Colgan and Republican Ellen Roberts appeared first before the small group of Archuleta County voters gathered in the Extension Building at the county fairgrounds.

During the event, held Oct. 26, the state representative candidates fielded questions on a variety of issues including: water, the Village at Wolf Creek, illegal immigration, economic development, the state minimum wage and various ballot issues.

During opening remarks, former two-time Durango city councilman and Durango mayor Joe Colgan described himself as a "Western Democrat," fiscally prudent and with strong family values. He said energy independence, with a focus on alternative energy development, environmental protection, education and health care are among his chief concerns.

Colgan also touted a 35-year accounting career, including a doctorate in the field, and a lifetime of public service.

During opening remarks Roberts described herself as an attorney with 20 years experience and said her practice focuses primarily on estate planning, probate, and business formations.

Among her top concerns, Roberts said health care reform, a strong economy and quality of life take center stage. She said she has worked closely with Dist. 59 Republican incumbent Mark Larson on a variety of bills and is an experienced player in the Denver legislative fray - experience she said would be invaluable to constituents.

Larson is term-limited, and cannot seek re-election.

When asked to pick one issue of utmost importance and to elaborate, Colgan selected environmental protection and alternative energy.

"Our energy policy has an effect on global warming," Colgan said. And Colgan advocated focusing state efforts on alternative energy development, utilizing bio fuels, and harnessing wind and solar energy.

Roberts selected health care reform and called for a state health care vision, and expansion of public health care services such as health fairs.

Expanding further, Colgan proposed a tax credit or incentive program for conservation measures, the use of alternative energy and hybrid vehicles.

Roberts said increasing the frequency of health fairs, establishing primary and preventive care centers in communities and "tele-medicine" as key.

On economic development, Roberts said it was time for Colorado to develop an economy that would eliminate "boom and bust" cycles. She said the state must develop an economic plan for when Referendum C expires, and she cautioned against entangling fiscal policy into the state Constitution.

"Our Constitution is clogged with fiscal policy," Roberts said.

Colgan said alternative energy was critical for the environment and could form the backbone of regional economic development. He suggested alternative energy research and development, coupled with education programs targeted for the industry, could serve as economic engines for the region.

On Amendment 39 - a constitutional amendment mandating that school districts spend at least 65 percent of their yearly operating expenditures on classroom instruction - the candidates agreed. Both said they did not support the amendment and that local school boards should make those decisions.

On Amendment 43 and Referendum I, the candidates also agreed.

Amendment 43 proposes to amend the Colorado constitution such that marriage is defined as "the union of one man and one woman." While Referendum I would authorize domestic partnerships and "extend to same-sex couples in a domestic partnership the benefits, protections and responsibilities that are granted by Colorado law to spouses ..."

Roberts said, marriage between a man and a woman is already law so there is no need for the constitutional amendment. On Referendum I, Roberts said, "Domestic partnerships are about property rights," and she added the government has no business prying into people's private lives.

Colgan concurred on both points.

On Amendment 38, an amendment that would ease the process for petitioning all levels of Colorado government, Colgan said the measure would cause absolute governmental gridlock, and said neither Amendment 38 or 39 belong in the state Constitution.

On illegal immigration, both candidates advocated a guest worker program.

Colgan said he supported a strict, humanitarian program where the worker obeys laws and pays taxes.

Roberts said states need to pressure the federal government to take the lead.

Colgan said the Village at Wolf Creek remains a vexing question. He said a village of the size and scope proposed is out of scale and incompatible with the surrounding environment, and that the "process appears short circuited."

He suggested Mineral and Archuleta County discuss a revenue sharing program because Mineral County is poised to reap all the tax benefits while Archuleta bears the brunt of the impacts.

Roberts said it's important to "continue to shine light on the project," and said the village-related intersection improvements required on U.S. Highway 160 could strap the Colorado Department of Transportation's regional budget for the next 25 years, shortchanging other projects in the process.

She added, "It's very challenging to understand how the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) was crafted.

In closing remarks Colgan reiterated that, "Tax dollars are investments that ought to be optimized." In addition, he said the legislature had a duty to communicate how those tax dollars are spent.

Robert reiterated her legislative experience and said she would work for health care reform and stabilization of the economy while maintaining quality of life.

After Colgan and Roberts, incumbent Republican Archuleta County Assessor Keren Prior and write-in challenger Natalie Woodruff took the floor.

In her opening remarks, Prior said "experience is key to this election." And she outlined a list of professional credentials, including holding an appraiser's license, eight years as the Archuleta County Assessor and her position as board chair of the Colorado Board of Real Estate Appraisers.

During her tenure, Prior said she has taken action against appraisers who inflate values and contribute to mortgage fraud. And she added she will continue to fight to keep pedophiles and sex offenders from receiving an appraiser's license.

In her opening remarks, Woodruff said her experience in the title industry will contribute to her success as assessor. She added that she has experience working in the county clerk's office.

Woodruff is chief title officer at Great Divide Title. She has worked six years for the company.

During the question and answer session, the candidates were asked how they intended to keep the assessor's office in pace with growth. Prior said upgraded software would play a key role in meeting future data management needs.

Woodruff said she would work toward improved data sharing between county offices and departments, and toward centralizing data where all county agencies could have equal and efficient access when necessary.

One audience member asked the candidates how they would undertake reappraisal in 2007.

Woodruff said she would rely on knowledgeable staff to help through the process, but that she was up to the task.

In turn, Prior verbally walked the audience through, and explained the reappraisal process.

On a question regarding residential versus commercial assessment rates, Prior explained the Gallagher Amendment and the division of the property tax burden, but exhausted her one minute before she could complete her explanation. When it came time for Woodruff to answer the question, she deferred, donating her one minute in order for Prior to complete her answer.

Two questions during the event pointed directly at Prior.

The first asked why it had taken nearly eight years for Prior to implement key changes, such as software updates, in the assessor's office.

Prior said she has worked on implementing software upgrades and other changes during her tenure as assessor, but staff turnover has made completing the project difficult.

"I just now got someone to listen," Prior said.

Woodruff did not respond to the question.

The second question asked Prior why it took 15 months to assign parcel numbers to newly subdivided property. Prior said inaccurate legal descriptions, staffing shortfalls, and backlog contribute to delays, but despite the challenges, her staff aims to enter data and update records as fast as they can.

Woodruff said addressing delays is important, because delays have an impact on other businesses.

During closing remarks, Woodruff said, if elected, she will treat her constituents' problems as her own and she will strive for "integrity, dignity and accountability" in the assessor's office.

Prior said, she would guide her office to "work smarter not harder," and she encouraged attacking "the issues not the person."


Commission recommends Judge Jim Denvir be retained

The Sixth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge James E. Denvir, be retained.

Denvir was appointed to the Archuleta County Court for the Sixth Judicial District in August 1995. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Denvir was in private law practice. He received his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame in 1969 and his law degree from the University of Southern California in 1973. Denvir hears approximately 35 percent civil and 65 percent criminal cases.

The Commission reviewed court generated statistics, documentation from interested parties, surveys from both attorneys and non-attorneys, as well as a written self-evaluation completed by Denvir. The Commission also held a public hearing and conducted personal interviews with Judge Denvir.

Denvir's survey results were extremely positive - 95 percent of attorneys responding strongly recommended retention and 91 percent of non-attorneys responding recommended retention. He overwhelmingly exceeded the average grade for all county court judges and all trial court judges in Colorado on questions posed in the surveys regarding his performance in six different areas.

His position as a part-time County Court Judge (55 percent) and his position as part-time District Court Magistrate (25 percent) requires a broad knowledge of the law and an ability to handle a diverse and complicated caseload. With limited resources from the District Attorneys' Office and the Public Defenders' Office available to Archuleta County, he has had to work efficiently to minimize delays.

According to the commission report, Denvir is courteous to those appearing before him, has excellent communication skills, renders well-reasoned, fair and impartial decisions and has a judicial demeanor that commands respect without demanding it.


Larson endorses Moomaw in local commissioner race

State Rep. Mark Larson (R-Cortez) has endorsed local Republican county commissioner candidate Bob Moomaw.

In a recent statement sent to The SUN, Larson wrote:

"In this election Archuleta County has a choice for county commissioner. If one does their homework, they will see that Bob Moomaw is the clear choice to represent them. Bob's life accomplishments, military service and long list of community participation says it all. Read for yourself.

"Bob is a West Point educated Viet Nam veteran (also commander of 350 troops at White Sands, N.M.) who has earned multiple degrees (including a Master of Science degree and Doctor of Dental Surgery), owned and ran a high-tech medical business and served two terms on a Florida city council. Locally, he has worked for Congressman Scott McInnis as regional office manager and most recently as Chairman of the Archuleta County Republican Party. Bob has also served on the Habitat for Humanity board as president, been a member of the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Council, served on the Town Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee, served on his Homeowner Association board, is co-chair of the 4th of July Parade committee and participated in a host of other local boards and committees. Bob is committed to Archuleta County and his record of local service is outstanding. Bob cares deeply for his community and promises to listen, learn, help and then lead ... just like he has for many, many years.

"I sincerely hope that Archuleta County citizens do their homework on this election and search out the facts of who has a record of service in Archuleta County and is most deserving of serving as your next county commissioner. I've looked at both men closely and the circumstances that lead to this race. There is no doubt in my mind who deserves and has earned your support ... and your vote. Vote Bob Moomaw for your next county commissioner. He is prepared. He is committed. He will not let you down."


Free transportation on Election Day

On Nov. 7, Election Day, Mountain Express will offer free service from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

An Archuleta County press release stated the free transportation is designed "to encourage people to vote." Although there will be three polling locations (at the county courthouse, Restoration Fellowship Church and Our Saviour Lutheran Church, there will be no special routes or changes of schedule. Currently, Mountain Express makes stops at the Pagosa Plaza shopping center, and the corner of U.S. 160 and Lewis Street, west of the courthouse. Polling locations are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The last stop at the Plaza will be at 6:20 p.m.

Call 264-2250 for schedule information.


False alarm leads to school lockdown

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs Junior High School was locked down Oct. 26 and police were called to the school after an empty handgun box was found in a storage area near the gym by Archuleta County School District 50 Joint staff, though it was later discovered that no gun had been on the premises.

According to Pagosa Springs Police Department Chief Don Volger, a serial number on the box allowed the police to search for the weapon on their computer system and through dealers' sale records.

After those measures proved unsuccessful, the department put in an urgent request for a search by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which usually takes weeks to complete. However, the ATF responded to the request immediately and was able to quickly track the box to the owner of the handgun, John Kennedy, technology director for the school district.

The box had once contained a 9 mm Randall A112 - a stainless steel, semiautomatic handgun. Only 301 guns of the model were ever made, all in 1984. Kennedy's A112 was the last produced, and a collector's item.

Upon discovering the owner, the police turned that matter over to the school district for further investigation, said Volger.

The district found that Kennedy inadvertently brought the empty box to school, with other items for storage, said a school district news release.

Through district officials, Kennedy apologized for any stress that he might have caused by his oversight, according to the news release.

The box was found by Mark DeVoti, principal of the intermediate school, and Davey Belarde, of the custodial staff. Neither had noticed the box before, said DeVoti.

DeVoti described the box as including an image of a handgun, along with the serial number. Inside the box, there were Styrofoam packing materials.

Upon discovery of the box, school officials immediately contacted the police department and locked down the school. Students were kept in their classrooms while officials searched approximately 300 lockers in nearly 30 minutes. No handgun was found. Students were then released after superficial searches by the school's crisis response team and counselors, said Superintendent Duane Noggle.

The district's news release said the event provided an opportunity to put emergency procedures into practice, in a true-to-life setting, and noted the speed and effectiveness of the junior high staff, in cooperation with the police department, in responding to the situation.


Annual popcorn sale benefits Cub Scouts

By Lisa Scott

Special to The SUN

Cub Scouts from Pack 807 have started their annual Pack fund-raiser, selling a variety of popcorn products.

Each Scout is responsible, along with his family, for raising money for the pack. This annual fund-raiser provides the budget for the year's activities of the pack. It pays for the supplies, badges, awards, necessary equipment, scholarships for needy scouting families and at least 50 percent of the fees for any scout to attend summer camp.

Over $21,000 was raised by pack members last year, which resulted in over $6,000 being retained for the local group.

The popcorn products are available from any Cub Scout until Nov. 17. The scouts have the products in hand, so it is a cash-and-carry fund-raiser. Products range in price from $8 to $50 and include microwaveable packets of popcorn and kettle corn and six different types of popcorn covered in chocolate, cheese or mixed with nuts presented in reusable decorative tins of several sizes.

A scout might visit your home or business. You might see scouts selling the product in front of several stores or at the Civic Club Bazaar Nov. 4.

Contact Lisa Scott at 264-2730 if you'd like to purchase a popcorn product and have not had a scout approach you about a purchase.

The pack currently has 47 boys in first through fifth grades enrolled for this year. The boys are assigned to dens and currently there are seven adult leaders coordinating five dens. There are many other adult leaders involved in the coordination and organization of pack activities.

Our mission is to provide a means of raising money for Cub Scout Pack 807 with which the pack can establish and expand its programs and give boys the best scouting experience possible. Community assistance and support through purchasing popcorn is greatly appreciated.


County creates new Web site

Archuleta County will open a long-awaited replacement of its Web site as part of an "ongoing commitment to providing the citizens of Archuleta County with up-to-date service," stated a recent county press release.

With a new look, frequent postings of news and events, easy access to important information, and commitment to providing up to date information, county officials hope residents find the new Web site a beneficial place to visit.

According to the county news release, the long-term plan for the Web site includes more functionality, community and tourist information, and additional online services.

Visitors can connect to the new site at tomorrow, Nov. 3.

For information or to comment, send e-mails to or call 264-8300.


Community flu shot clinics announced

San Juan Basin Health Department's Pagosa office will conduct community flu shot clinics every morning from Tuesday, Nov. 7, through Friday, Nov. 10. The time for these clinics will be 8-10 a.m. Adults and children are welcome.

Additionally, San Juan Basin Health Department will conduct flu shot clinics Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the senior center at the community center in Pagosa and Thursday, Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Catholic Church in Arboles.

Flu shots are $25, and are free for those who have Medicare, Part B or Rocky Mountain HMO. Bring your insurance cards.

For more information, call 264-2409.


New START hospitality training to begin

Anyone interested in the customer service/hospitality industry, but lacking experience or skills to secure a job in hospitality - or those who would like to expand their expertise in the industry - now have access to a skills-driven training program sanctioned by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLA).

Skills, Tasks and Results Training (START) was developed by AHLA and is based on a 180-hour curriculum that provides students with the real-world knowledge and skills needed to begin a hospitality career. Graduates of the program will complete intensive classroom and hands-on training to master the skills and competencies of 12 line-level positions associated with the lodging industry, with a focus on rooms division, food and beverage, safety and security, professionalism and extraordinary guest service.

A coalition of regional adult education centers in Pagosa Springs, Durango, Cortez and Ignacio will implement START, and the 180-hour program will be offered beginning this month on a scheduled basis, as well as offered in shorter skill-driven modules, as needed, throughout the spring.

START is designed to deliver integrated employment training services to individuals who have been identified as low wage, low skilled workers; and may include persons eligible for public assistance, adult basic education students, GED graduates, displaced workers, and others considered at-risk. In southwest Colorado, these trainings are also open to incumbent workers, students, current employees of the hospitality industry, or individuals who want to get into the hospitality industry.

Participants who complete the program will receive certification that should increase their chances of getting a job and a higher salary in a career track. The portion of the economy in Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, Dolores and San Juan counties based on tourism averages 30 percent, with a range of 16-47 percent.

Approximately 30 percent of workers in the region are in this field. In some industries, "entry level" is short for "no growth potential."

Not so in hospitality. The lodging industry is booming and opportunities abound for meaningful jobs with high-growth career paths.

Several regional hospitality partners will give hiring preference to START program graduates, and hoteliers also stand to reap some cost savings in training new or current employees who show promise. There are currently 52 AHLA workforce programs in 21 states, and research into their current programs shows that students of the START program take from 30-50 percent less training time to get up to productivity levels and the retention rate, once employed, is very high.

Classes are limited to 20 students and are free.

Classes will be held at the Pagosa Springs High School, Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-9:30 p.m., Nov. 28 through May 1 (includes Christmas, New Year's and spring breaks).

Deadline for signing up for classes is Nov. 27.

Applications are available at the Chamber of Commerce, Pagosa Springs High School and the Adult Learning Center. For more information or to sign up for Skills, Tasks, and Results Training program for hospitality careers, contact Connie Eckerman, project coordinator, at (970) 385-4354 or via e-mail at, or Kathy Saley at


County seeks public comment on 120-acre regional park

Archuleta County has begun making plans for a 120-acre regional county park located at the north end of Cloman Boulevard, west of Stevens Field airport. The county has the opportunity to acquire this property from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at virtually no cost, but must furnish a conceptual plan to the BLM as part of the acquisition agreement.

Using state Conservation Trust Fund money, which can only be used for recreational purposes, the county has hired the landscape architecture firm Winston Associates to create a conceptual design for this property and for the 30 acres of Cloman property currently owned by the county. As part of this process, the county seeks public comment on several designs prior to choosing the final plan. The chosen design will be used to acquire the BLM property and as a guide for future capital project planning and grant requests.

The designs will be available for view in the airport conference room located in Nick's Hangar from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9. This is an open house format, so there will be no formal presentations at this time. Representatives from Winston Associates and county staff will be on hand to answer questions and take comments.

Call 731-3877 for more information.


County to hold public hearings on 2007 budget

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners will hold two public hearings on the 2007 annual budget.

Hearing dates are Thursday, Nov. 9, and Tuesday, Nov. 14. Both public hearings will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will take place in the commissioners' meeting room at the county courthouse, located at 449 San Juan St.

The proposed budget is a 4.61-percent reduction from the 2006 budget, and significantly reduces historical reserve spending.

The departmental schedule for the hearings is available at the county administrative offices or by calling 264-8300. A final schedule will be published on the county Web site,, the week of Nov. 6.


Fire district open house and chili cookoff

By Guiseppe Margiotta

Special to The SUN

It's time for the Pagosa Fire Protection District's second annual chili cookoff and open house - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at Station 3, located five miles south of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 84.

Pagosa firefighters will put on several demonstrations, including:

- Fire extinguisher use.

- Vehicle extraction.

- Burn building tours.

- Smoke house tours.

- Live burn, hands-on demonstration.

Firefighters will be on hand to answer questions relating to fire equipment and home safety.

After our chili cookoff judging, the public will be invited to sample some of the 3-alarm chili recipes.

There is no charge for this event. We look forward to meeting and showing the public how we protect our community with the manpower and equipment available to the district.


Students schedule Veterans Day breakfast Nov. 10

The annual Veterans Day breakfast provided by eighth-grade students at Pagosa Springs Junior High School, will take place Friday Nov. 10, due to the Veterans Day holiday falling on a Saturday this year.

Students will cook and serve breakfast to all veterans who show up 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

The students and their sponsor encourage all local veterans to attend and enjoy the breakfast.


Study the candidate, and campaign, before you vote

As I watch this election from a term-limited perspective, I am increasingly thankful that I am not in a race.

During this campaign season of unprecedented ugliness in particular races as well as the third party intervention into campaigns, I am saddened. Add to the nastiness the constant pressure and required focus of raising money, one has to wonder why anyone would want to put themselves through such a gauntlet in the first place.

When I first ran for office in 1998 (the first election cycle to feel the full effects of term limits), neither candidate for the open 59th District State House seat had been an elected official before. While both of us had previous community service, that service was deemed more of a resume enhancement than a target for a smear campaign. As a result, all of our campaigning focused on who we were, what we had done to prepare ourselves for the job and what we stood for. It was kind of exciting back then to attend campaign forums and debates and set our own course for how our campaign was won or lost ... not constantly having to address negative campaign ads or outside influences prevalent today.

A majority of these ads are focused at candidates having previously held or currently holding elected office. Having the responsibility of casting votes in that elective office, it is easy for those votes to be portrayed as something they actually were not. Voters need to ask questions or read up about these issues and form their own "informed" opinion about the vote that was cast. While a vote on a particular issue may indeed cause one concern, the spin or tone of the negative advertisement may not be warranted and is only intended to add an inflammatory slant to the issue. I urge that voters keep this in mind when watching, reading or listening to any advertisement not generated from a candidate's own campaign, rather from some outside interest hoping to inappropriately influence who we elect. Know what a vote actually entailed, then decide. While it may not change your mind, at least you know the truth about the issue.

Watching the TV ads from Denver and Albuquerque, one could easily become nauseated. The tone and just plain contentiousness of those ads have many times prompted my turning the "idiot box" off and seeking other more relaxing activities. In those examples, it is the campaigns themselves that have launched the mud slinging in an attempt to discredit or embarrass their opponent. But in southwest Colorado and most western slope communities, the individual campaigns have shied away from such putrid assaults and focused on who they are, not what their opponent isn't. Unfortunately, this relative mutual consideration and respect has not kept others from outside our communities from intruding in a manner that has caused concern to both campaigns ... those that were purported to benefit from the negative campaigning and those that were the brunt of the assault. Significant and damaging unintended consequences can result by such outside meddling and voters need to stay focused on "our" candidates and "their" campaigns, not the special interest pandering that truly does not represent the person they are supposed to be supporting nor the factually-tainted picture being portrayed about their opponent.

In this election, more than ever, voters need to remain focused. It is all too easy these days to cast a vote based on actions taken by someone completely unrelated to a candidate's campaign. Voters absolutely should hold campaigns accountable for advertisements or actions they themselves take ... period. To allow outside meddling to influence your vote one way or the other only discredits those good candidates we are fortunate to have that have run honest, clean and issues-oriented campaigns.


Tipton campaign swings through Pagosa Country

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

Scott Tipton, Republican candidate for U.S. Representative in the 3rd District was in Pagosa Springs Oct. 26.

Among his primary campaign issues, Tipton listed energy self-sufficiency, accountability and responsibility in government and border security. On energy self-sufficiency, Tipton said the nation had to move beyond dependence on foreign oil and he supported "socially and environmentally responsible" drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, along the Gulf Coast, and in the HD Mountains in southwest Colorado. To minimize drilling-related impacts, Tipton advocated utilizing directional drilling and other new extraction technologies. He said energy conservation and development of alternative energy technologies were keys to achieving energy self sufficiency; and said it was time the nation marshaled its resources to support alternative energy research and development and create incentive packages for private enterprise wishing to forge ahead with alternative energy development.

On government accountability and responsibility, Tipton described himself as a "true fiscal conservative." He advocated a fair tax or flat tax, streamlining the IRS - calling it "too complex and too convoluted" - and said he would work to rein in government spending.

On border security, Tipton said, "We must secure our borders to protect us from terrorism." He advocated building a physical barrier on the southern U.S. border, and utilizing military technology and National Guard units to patrol the more remote areas of the frontier.

On immigration, Tipton advocated "not rewarding" illegal aliens by limiting their access to social services except in extenuating humanitarian circumstances. He acknowledged the economic role migrant workers play in the economy and advocated creating a program of "verifiable credentials" allowing states and the federal government to monitor a worker's time in the United States.

On Iraq, Tipton said congress should not micro-manage the war and added that a hard timetable was not necessarily the most prudent course of action. Instead, Tipton advocated reasonable disengagement when the Iraqis have proven they can take responsibility for their country. Tipton described Iraq as "part of the greater war on terror."

Lastly, Tipton said the key to maintaining the integrity of the ballot box was to require identification prior to voting. He said he supported an easily obtainable, free or low cost identification program for those who do not already have an identification document.

Tipton faces Democratic incumbent John Salazar in the general election Nov. 7.


Ritter makes campaign stop in Pagosa Springs

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

A group of about 40 people turned out at Town Park Friday to hear Bill Ritter, Democratic candidate for governor, speak.

During his speech, Ritter touched on the topics of education, economic development, health care and environmental issues.

On education Ritter said: "It's intolerable to have 30 percent of kids in the state not graduate from high school." He added that he supported, and continues to support Referendum C, saying the legislation is key to keeping community colleges open and funding coming to K-12 classrooms. He said investing in education is part of his economic development strategy.

On economic development Ritter said it was time to "look beyond the Front Range," and to develop plans for all the state's regions. He said development of alternative energy such as wind farms, solar research and development and bio fuels should play key roles in the state's economy and that state education programs should produce graduates capable of leading Colorado's alternative energy industry. Ritter said alternative energy is "great for the economy, great for the environment and key to national security."

On health care, Ritter said the fact that 770,000 Coloradans - roughly 17 percent of the state population - do not have access to health insurance is deplorable. He said the federal government has failed to come up with a plan and it is up to governors to provide solutions. If elected, Ritter said he would work to ensure that "every Coloradan has access to some basic health care package."

On environmental issues, Ritter said he would be a "stubborn steward" of the land, and emphasized the need to balance oil and gas development against impact mitigation efforts and roadless area protections.

Ritter served as Denver district attorney from 1993 to 2005. He faces Republican U.S Rep. Bob Beauprez Nov. 7 in the race for governor.


Region 9 announces appointment

Region 9 Economic Development District has named Laura Lewis as the Southwest Colorado Enterprise Zone assistant administrator in addition to her duties as assistant director of Region 9.

Lewis will assist EZ Administrator Ed Morlan and is authorized to sign all EZ documentations and assist participating businesses and projects.

In 1986, the Colorado State Legislature approved the Enterprise Zone Tax Credit program to assist economically distressed areas of the state. In southwest Colorado, all of Archuleta, Montezuma, San Juan and Dolores counties are designated enterprise zone areas. La Plata County has some areas considered not distressed, and thus not included.

Information about eligible businesses, programs, investments and donations to Enterprise Zone development projects are available by calling the Region 9 office or going online at


United Way in Archuleta County

By Tom and Ming Steen

Special to The SUN

One of the goals of United Way in Archuleta County is to help programs working with children and youth.

The following lists three youth programs that United Way in Archuleta County will help fund with money raised during this year's campaign.

Youth Corps

The Southwest Conservation Corps is a non-profit employment, job training and education organization serving the Southwest through a headquarters in Durango, a year-round office in Tucson, Ariz., and a seasonal office in Alamosa. Southwest Conservation Corps provides young men and women of the southwest with structured, safe and challenging work and education opportunities through employment projects that promote personal growth and the development of social skills and an ethic of natural resource stewardship.

Southwest Conservation Corps formed as a non-profit organization called the Southwest Youth Corps in April 1998.

By 2005, organizational growth had added the following new program components:

- Community Corps: introductory three- and four-week day crew program for 14-15 year-olds providing a mix of conservation work, service projects and education. The Community Corps employed 27 young people in 2005 and will expand to six sites in 2006.

- Fire Careers Training Program: fall and spring program that trains 18-25 year-olds for careers in the wildland fire management industry while providing comprehensive fire mitigation and prevention services across the Four Corners region.

- Los Valles Youth Corps: new youth corps program providing camping and day crew programs in the summer in the San Luis and Upper Arkansas valleys. Program operates out of a seasonal office in Alamosa.

- Crew Leader Development Program: six-month program that trains 21-25 year-olds to be leaders. Participants receive three weeks of training, work as a group for seven weeks and then become Assistant Crew Leaders for 12 weeks in the summer.

- Continental Divide Trail Alliance Youth Corps: in partnership with the Continental Divide Trail Alliance, the Youth Corps operates in New Mexico and southern Colorado for eight weeks in the fall and eight weeks in the spring building new sections of the Continental Divide Trail.

Earlier this year, the Southwest Conservation Corps merged with the Youth Corps of Southern Arizona. Individually, these two organizations represent two of the three smallest, independent non-profit youth corps in America. Combined, they fit squarely among the most sustainable, established non-profit corps in the country. Beyond increased financial stability, the Southwest Conservation Corps will benefit by gaining year-round programming by opening up a more diverse geographic region and by gaining programmatic flexibility.

United Way in Archuleta County has agreed to help Southwest Conservation Corps implement a Pagosa Springs Community Corps program for next summer. This Corps will employ 14- and 15-year-old Archuleta County youth in a summer service and education program that addresses key local public needs and builds civic pride, employment skills, personal growth and team building. A crew of eight to ten corps members and two adult crew leaders will work together for four weeks completing community projects. Corps members will receive a $300 - $350 service award at the conclusion of the program. Types of projects include park maintenance, trail maintenance, graffiti removal, community beautification, special event preparation and breakdown, tree planting and landscaping. Southwest Conservation Corps anticipates focusing on re-routing a trail connecting to the River Trail and revegetating along the River Trail.

Youth Corps across the country have found that 14- and 15-year-olds are drawn to the challenge, hard work and opportunities for personal growth provided in a youth corps experience. At least six different corps - including programs in Steamboat Springs and Boulder - offer comprehensive programs for 14- and 15-year-olds. These Corps offer a mix of service, education and recreation opportunities in a team environment, and provide a number of models for pilot Pagosa Springs Community Corps program.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

The Archuleta County Boy Scout program aims to provide constructive activities, opportunity for family interaction and positive adult role models for youth. Scouting is designed to mobilize parents, neighborhood, community leaders and other community organizations to serve as an extension of the Scout's family.

Today, scouting starts with Cub Scouts, and then moves to Boy Scouts, then to the new Venturing programs.

Archuleta County's Boy Scout program is within the Mesa Verde District. In this five-county area there are 50 scouting units serving over 1,200 youth. Active membership in Archuleta County was 101 scouts in 2004 and 113 in 2005. Each scouting unit is charted to a church, community organization, or service club that agrees to offer scouting as part of its youth program. In Archuleta County there are two units chartered to churches, plus one other unit.

The Girl Scout program helps girls in Archuleta County to build courage, confidence and character and to contribute positively to the community. Their "Step It Up" program, which United Way in Archuleta County will help support, aims to provide safe and affordable programming within the context of traditional Girl Scouting with a focus on health, safety and wellness activities. This will be the first time this particular Girl Scout program is offered in Archuleta County.

"Step It Up" is a program designed to meet three major goals. The first is to provide a safe, accessible alternative to daycare on in-service and schools holidays. The second is to address the growing obesity epidemic through the physical fitness component. The third is to provide girls who do not have access to traditional Girl Scout troops with the opportunity to participate in a Girl Scout program. This program will provide girls age 5-11 with five days of six-hour programming at four different sites on scheduled school holidays. It will provide a safe and affordable program on days when regular childcare arrangements may be disrupted. Each day will be self-contained to accommodate both girls who can attend every event and girls who may only attend sporadically. Each day will address a new topic through four program components: educational, experimental, physical activity and community service.

United Way in Archuleta County hopes to raise $67,500 through donations during its current campaign. Part of this has been pledged to the above programs targeting youth. Donations may be sent to United Way of Southwest Colorado, P.O. Box 4274, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.



A different path toward sustainability

Dr. Gregory Cajete (Tewa from Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico) will speak in Memorial Student Lounge in the College Union Building at Fort Lewis College at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8. His talk, "The Indigenous Paradigm: Building Sustainable Communities," will explore the unique perspectives that Native American traditions bring to issues of sustainability.

Cajete is the chair of the Native American Studies program at the University of New Mexico and an associate professor in the College of Education. Prior to his work at the University of New Mexico he served as dean of the Center for Research and Cultural Exchange, professor of Ethnoscience, and the chair of Native American Studies for the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M.

Cajete is the author of numerous articles and several books on indigenous worldviews, sustainability, and education, including: "Look to the Mountain: An Ecology of Indigenous Education," (Kivaki Press, 1994); "Ignite the Sparkle: An Indigenous Science Education Curriculum Model," (Kivaki Press, 1999); and "A People's Ecology: Explorations in Sustainable Living, and Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence" (Clearlight Publishers, 1999 and 2000).

The presentation is part of the Native American Center's Academic Speaker Series, a major component of Native American Heritage Month at Fort Lewis College. Cajete's visit is co-sponsored by the Fort Lewis College Environmental Center, Small Axe, Small Steps, and the Center for Southwest Studies. The presentation is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Native American Center at (970) 247-7221.


Veterinarians discuss national animal identification system

Colorado Department of Agriculture veterinarians and brand inspectors recently attended a national conference in which the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) was a hot topic.

South Dakota's State Veterinarian Sam Holland addressed the U.S. Animal Health Association meeting, which was held in Minneapolis. In his remarks to the I.D. committee, Holland outlined what is and is not common sense in the animal identification arena.

Reviewing the U.S. Department of Agriculture's NAIS strategic plan drafts from April 2005 and 2006, Holland noted that many people blur animal identification needs for animal health and for marketing. He maintains that government involvement should be, as it has been historically, focused on animal health including disease surveillance, mitigation, and eradication and that industry should drive the marketing needs.

"Dr. Sam Holland is a respected man in the western U.S. and has been state veterinarian in South Dakota for 22 years," said Colorado State Veterinarian Dr. John Maulsby, who attended the USAHA meetings. "I think his ideas have merit, and I am considering this system for Colorado.

"However," Maulsby added, "more research must be done in order to implement a program that would effectively control disease outbreaks."

Holland believes in a system that starts with identifying and tracking breeding animals at each change of ownership and each interstate movement and then is expanded as technology is improved and becomes more affordable and reliable.

"Holland's general philosophy is to utilize the components of an animal identification system that has been in place for years," said Maulsby. "His approach promotes the use of state registered brands and USDA approved identification in our breeding animals. This includes bright metal test tags, orange metal bang's vaccination tags and any approved electronic tags. Premises registration would also be a component of this system."

Colorado currently has a voluntary premises registration program. Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service agents, the Colorado Cattlemen's Association, and the Colorado Farm Bureau are holding informational meetings, beginning in November, across the state about this voluntary system.

For additional information on these meetings including times and locations, contact the local Cooperative Extension office. For more information on voluntary premises identification in Colorado, log onto <> or call toll free, 1-877-842-0102.


Support for Colorado agriculture remains strong

From water issues to food safety, Coloradans continue to support the state's agriculture industry.

A study conducted by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with Colorado State University, found that 74 percent of Coloradans believe agriculture is very important to the quality of life in the state.

"It is comforting to know that even through hard times such as drought, Coloradans continue to support farmers and ranchers in the state," said Don Ament, commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture. "Coloradans prefer to know where their food comes from and trust our producers to provide a quality product."

The study has been conducted every five years since 1996. The purpose of the 2006 study is to understand how Coloradans currently perceive agriculture and whether those perceptions have changed over the past 10 years.

Survey highlights:

- 92 percent said that they would purchase more Colorado grown and processed products if they were available and identified as being from Colorado.

- 87 percent agree that food produced in Colorado is almost always or usually safe.

- 86 percent think agriculture provides food at a reasonable price in Colorado.

- 73 percent believe agriculture should be the top priority for water use in a dry year.

- 34 percent rank agriculture as the most important economic sector in the state.

- Respondents think it is important to maintain agricultural land and water in production because it provides food and fiber, open space, wildlife habitat and economic benefits.

Results from this year's survey remained relatively unchanged from previous studies. Survey questions ranged from managing land and water to pesticide use and genetically engineered food.

For more information, contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture at (303) 239-4119 or Colorado State University at (970) 491-5487. Complete survey results are available online at


Prescribed fire south of Pagosa Springs

Fire managers from the Pagosa Ranger District field office were set to begin the Vigil and Abeyta mesas prescribed burn yesterday and will continue for two to three days, conditions permitting.

The Vigil and Abeyta mesas are 25 miles south of Pagosa Springs, southwest of the community of Chromo, and east of Edith on Bureau of Land Management land.

The burn is being conducted by firefighters from San Juan Public Lands offices (Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service), including staffed fire engines from the Pagosa Ranger District.

The plan is to burn approximately 330 acres to reduce thinning slash and prepare the area for ponderosa pine tree planting. Daytime smoke is expected to disperse to the north or east of the burn and will be visible from U.S. 84 and 64, Dulce and Chama, New Mexico and Pagosa Springs.

Nighttime smoke may settle in the Navajo River drainage.

For more information, contact the Pagosa Ranger District office at 264-2268.


Firewood available at the Ute Campground

Ponderosa pine and juniper poles, posts and firewood are available at the Ute Campground, located west of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160.

Trees have been cut and limbed. A firewood permit must accompany permittee. Permits are available at the Pagosa Ranger District at 180 Pagosa St. Permits expire Dec. 31.

Firewood is also available along the Plumtaw Road (FSR 634).

White fir firewood is available with a "free-use" permit. White fir trees have been cut and limbed and are along both sides of the Plumtaw Road near the junction with Gordon Creek Road (FSR 625). A free-use permit is valid only for cut white fir trees and/or standing dead white fir, and will terminate on Nov. 30.

Firewood permits are $20 for a two-cord minimum. Pole permits vary depending on length and diameter of poles, but the average for about 40 poles with a minimum permit is $22.50. Cedar posts are $1 per post with a minimum permit of $22.50.

Permits (including free-use) and accompanying maps may be obtained at the Pagosa Ranger District office. If you have questions, call the office at 264-2268.


DOW reports endangered mammal making headway

As the effort to recover black-footed ferrets celebrates its 25th anniversary, biologists are analyzing results of another positive monitoring season for existing ferret populations in Colorado.

While tracking these nocturnal, tunnel-dwellers is extremely difficult, this year's spotlighting efforts located nine individual ferrets including two ferrets that were born in the wild earlier this year. The first wild born black-footed ferret in Colorado was found by searchers in 2005, so the discovery of two additional wild born ferrets is significant.

"We are encouraged by the increasing evidence of wild reproduction," said Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) biologist Pam Schnurr. "This indicates that we are turning the corner towards a more self-sustaining population. There's a long way to go for the species, but we feel like we're making good progress."

Since recovery efforts began in Colorado in 2001, 220 black-footed ferrets have been released in the state. In the coming weeks, more ferrets are headed for the northwest corner of Colorado. Biologists with the DOW, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are planning to release 15 more black-footed ferrets in the Wolf Creek Management Area. The Wolf Creek Management Area is a vast sage expanse east of the community of Dinosaur. It was selected as a recovery location due its remoteness and its existing populations of prairie dogs, the black-footed ferret's preferred prey.

The national black-footed ferret recovery effort is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. At one time, black-footed ferrets were believed to be extinct, but a small wild population was discovered in southern Wyoming on Sept. 26, 1981. That population of approximately 130 ferrets was studied extensively, but plague nearly wiped out the colony in the mid-1980s. To save the species, biologists rounded up the remaining ferrets, which were at that time probably the rarest mammals on earth. Scientists undertook an incredible recovery effort and used the last 18 black-footed ferrets to create captive breeding populations. Those populations are the roots of the national effort to recover the ferret.

While recovery is beginning, black-footed ferrets remain endangered and are protected by the Endangered Species Act. Under the black-footed ferret recovery plan, a coalition of federal, state and non-governmental agencies is seeking to establish 10 widely-dispersed, self-sustaining ferret populations.




High Country Reflections

Restless spirits and creatures of the night

By Chuck McGuire

SUN Columnist

Halloween has come and gone or has it?

According to some Christian beliefs, today is All Soul's Day, a day to commemorate the deceased, so they might "rest in peace." It is a time when spirits of the dead supposedly return to commune with the living. In recognition, family members leave offerings for the spirits, attend festivals while dressed in costumes, and decorate the graves of deceased relatives.

All Soul's Day coincides with the Day of the Dead, which is observed in Mexico and other Latin American countries every early November. As occasions honoring spirits of the departed, both are markedly similar to Halloween, which, of course, is recognized October 31 in the United States and western Europe.

Halloween revelry is based largely on folk beliefs concerning supernatural forces and spirits of the dead, and typical decorations feature imagery associated with bizarre beings like ghosts, vampires, witches and werewolves. Avowed creatures symbolizing bad omens, including black cats, bats, spiders and owls, are also commonplace. Hence, while the calendar suggests Halloween has come and gone, its mysticism clearly lingers. Meanwhile, the arcane creatures that exemplify its meaning are forever among us.

In the realm of analytical thought, the tangible existence of ghastly ghouls, goblins, witches and werewolves is surely questionable, but no one can deny the true presence of certain, much maligned and misunderstood creatures of the night. Perhaps the most passable are black cats.

In many cultures, cats are worshipped as spiritual animals capable of sensing good and bad spirits. Some western mythology suggests black cats have special powers enabling them to represent apparitions or incarnated humans, thus connecting them to the occult. Old wives tales tell of cats sucking the breath from sleeping babies, while upon encountering a dead human body, a black cat will snatch its soul, turning the person into a vampire.

In the Middle Ages, black cats were often associated with witches and Satan. Many were hunted down, tortured and killed. During the annual feast of St. John's Day, pure black cats were captured and burned alive, while through the Spanish Inquisition, which began in 1231, those who knowingly protected cats from harm were sentenced to death. The Catholic Church once believed that the nocturnal wanderings and screeching of cats during the breeding season were signs of secret orgies and ceremonies with the devil.

Certainly, not all societies have considered cats, particularly black cats, evil or diabolical. Many, in truth, have historically seen them as beneficial, or the bearers of good fortune. In southern France, for instance, black cats are regarded as "magician's cats," which bring good luck to those who care for them and treat them well. While in some circles, a black cat crossing one's path is a bad omen, in others it is a sign of good things to come.

Though seamen traditionally avoid the word "cat" at sea, many believe having one on board is lucky, especially if it is an all black cat. To throw it overboard would promptly cause a violent storm. Moreover, cats are rarely left aboard an abandoned ship, and are generally rescued along with the sailors.

Nevertheless, old superstitions persist. Due to reported widespread abuses, many humane societies now prohibit the adoption of black cats during the entire month of October. Most, in fact, advise families with black cats to keep them indoors always, or at least throughout the Halloween season.

Personally, my immediate live-in family consists of two humans and three cats, two of which are black. Fraser is a 10-year-old Burmese mix with short all-black fur, and an exceedingly affable and affectionate disposition. The younger Bob, too, is a loving domestic short-hair with black fur, but has a small, yet distinct, white star on his chest. At 17, Poudre is a long-haired tortoiseshell and a self-proclaimed household matriarch.

Because we adopted Poudre and Fraser as kittens, we have always kept them indoors, or walked them on leashes. Bob, on the other hand, adopted us during the construction of our home, and has always been an outdoor cat.

Now, nearly two years after he first walked up our driveway, Bob spends more time inside, yet still insists on going out daily. With foxes, coyotes, cougars and bobcats presumably on the prowl, we always fear for his safety, but this time of year, with other well fiendish souls apparently lurking in the shadows, we dread his occasional cries for freedom at the front door.

As black cats have suffered ill repute through the ages, so too have bats. With a thousand species equaling a quarter of all mammals on earth, bats aren't exactly strangers to mankind. Nevertheless, they remain cloaked in mystery and secular mythology has conferred them similar ranking to their feline counterparts.

In the Far East, bats signify good luck, long life, happiness and fertility, but for thousands of years, people in western civilizations have associated them with darkness, evil and the underworld.

In the first millennium B.C., the Celts of western and central Europe celebrated the end of the harvest season and the beginning of a new year with a holiday called Samhain. Samhain began at sundown on October 31 and extended into the next day. According to the Celtic pagan religion (Druidism), spirits of those who died the previous year roamed the earth at that time.

To hold the spirits at bay, the Celts built bonfires at sacred hilltop sites and performed rituals, infrequently involving human and animal sacrifices. The fires, of course, attracted insects, which in turn, attracted bats. Because bats flew only at night and emerged from caves, tombs and abandoned churches, their linkage to evil spirits was inevitable.

Contrary to longstanding beliefs and superstition, bats are harmless to people. In Mexico, Central and South America, there have been rare occasions when one of three known species of vampire bats has bitten and drank the blood of humans. However, bites are painless, only small amounts of blood are consumed, and the "victims" invariably survive without turning into vampires themselves.

Other beasts symbolizing bad omens, including spiders and owls, are commonplace creatures in our physical world. Because most of each are predatory species and active at night, they have long been allied with the macabre.

In Colorado, the spider of most concern to humans is the Western Black Widow. If bitten by one, its neurotoxic venom effects excruciating pain in the limbs, a tightening of the stomach muscles, facial contortions, sweating, and other unpleasant symptoms. Victims are unlikely to die, but the level of discomfort experienced may make them wish they were dead. Fortunately, black widows are extremely timid and reluctant to bite, and highly effective antivenin is readily available, if needed.

A variety of owls grace the forests of southern Colorado, and all are nocturnal birds of prey. Again, because they fly at night on silent wings, Roman and Native American cultures have largely portrayed them as secretive and mysterious servants of evil. However, many other western civilizations have connected them to wisdom and prosperity.

In Walden, Henry David Thoreau summarized owls when he wrote, "I rejoice that there are owls. Let them do the idiotic and maniacal hooting for men. It is a sound admirably suited to swamps and twilight woods which no day illustrates, suggesting a vast and underdeveloped nature which men have not recognized. They represent the stark twilight and unsatisfied thoughts which all [men] have."

Regardless of enduring attitudes toward creatures of the night, Halloween has become an exciting and entertaining rite of autumn. And, without a doubt, its most celebrated decoration is the jack-o'-lantern, or hollowed-out pumpkin carved to resemble a grotesque face.

The jack-o'-lantern derives its name from a character in Irish folktales. The story tells of the soul of a deceased person named Jack being barred from both heaven and hell, and condemned to wander the earth in darkness, with just a lantern to light his way. To this day, it is said that Jack o' the Lantern appears every Halloween.

Whether it be Samhain, Day of the Dead, All Soul's Day, or Halloween, legends suggest it is the season of restless spirits beware.




Dear Editor:

Mr. Bozek and Mr. Guckert are misinformed. Ballot Issue 1A will not raise our property taxes. The current mill rate is 18.233. The mill rate voted on and approved by Archuleta County residents prior to passage of the Tax Payer Bill of Rights was 21.145 mills.

Since 2003, our county property tax revenue as a portion of total revenue has decreased, our population has grown and the cost of doing business keeps rising.

Since 2004, Archuleta County has spent nearly $2.1 million in savings to provide basic services, including road maintenance. As we all know, the current level of road maintenance is below basic. Our roads require serious infrastructure improvements, including new road base and gravel, regular grading to keep the potholes and washboards from forming, and reconstruction and repaving on many paved roads. This cannot be accomplished without more money.

Ballot measure 1A will not solve all of these problems, but without 1A our roads will continue to decline unless we choose to do away with other basic services the county provides. Maybe we should eliminate the sheriff's office or the education center to pay for our roads?

Of course that is ridiculous. The county needs new facilities including a jail and a courthouse, we need to fund parks and trails, and our basic county services will continue to require additional staff to keep up with growth. We must vote yes on 1A to help move our county in the right direction.

In 2008, the BoCC has committed to spending 40 percent of the additional revenue on roads, 20 percent on general county services and 20 percent on developing parks and recreation.

A yes vote on 1A will allow the county to keep all the tax revenue from new oil and gas drilling. A no vote on 1A means we will give the oil and gas companies a tax refund! The county budget process is public and if we are unsatisfied with the spending, we have the right to speak out and the right to vote for county commissioners who will spend our money wisely.

Because of TABOR the county is making less money, despite rising property values. The TABOR formula does not recognize actual market value increases. When a new house is built on a vacant lot, the tax assessment rate actually goes down!

What would you do if you were making a decent living, then signed a contract that ratcheted down your salary every year, so that the size of your financial pie continued to decrease? Would you get a second job? Sell your home? Go without basic necessities? Deplete your savings? Guess what?

That's exactly what's happened to our county. The only way to return to the reasonable living we were earning before TABOR is to vote yes on 1A.

Rich and Leanne Goebel



Dear Editor:

The issue of this election is competence. We have seen over and over again from the current administration and its party only arrogance, to cloak incompetence. There is an extensive list of failures in both foreign and domestic policies. While the ideologues were happily assuming power, the running of our government was handed to cronies eager for the paycheck and the status. In the absence of any real plan for running the government, big business in all its forms stepped into the vacuum, wrote the policies and ran the country, rewarding itself. In fact, many government functions have been "outsourced" to big business, including many functions of war.

Government, while not intended to be "profitable," does need the efficiency of the business world. Business institutions generally have to be competent to survive, so it's not all bad. But in business, profit is the only mark of success. Problem is, with the profits already distributed to pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, oil producers, weapon makers and the like, there is no hope for accountability.

Vote. And hope your vote will be counted.

Cristy Holden


Eyes open

Dear Editor:

Have you seen one of our recent local developments, Coyote Cove, at Piedra slightly above Hatcher Lake, a main supply for drinking water?

I attended the county planning commission's public meeting, in hopes to stop such, but it was the final plat meeting.

As the development took place, roads developed; I questioned roads in wetlands. That led to county commissioners, county planners and myself making a visit to the site. The county planner's map had no road I mentioned. What a question. That then led my concerns to the department of health, storm drain, in Denver. After several phone calls and two months, an inspection took place, with many things found at fault. With a deadline to fix.

Folks, please look around, question what is being developed in your area and if you think, just maybe it is a wrong area to be developed, follow through, contact county commissioners, planning, etc. It may lead to wrong doings and save a wetlands, keep a home for wildlife, stop pollution to our drinking water or whatever.

Keep an eye or two open.

Pam Morrow


Pied Piper

Dear Editor:

Was mighty happy to read that Mr. Henry Buslepp "does not blindly follow any Pied Piper," which he proclaimed in the Oct. 26 SUN letters.

So, it must be obvious that Buslepp is not aware that the individual activity of one conservative with backbone will do more than ten thousand in trail liberals with a mere wishbone.

Jim Sawicki


Preview Calendar


Outdoor club

The monthly meeting of the SJOC will be held in the Community center on Hot Springs Boulevard at 6:30 p.m. Pam Morrow will give a program/slide show featuring the whales and flowers of Hawaii. Sign-ups for activities this month include 4WD trip, cross country skiing and snow shoeing. For information call Fred Reese at 731-0612. Visitors welcome.

Nov. 4

Lifelong Learning lecture

"The Venus Figurine Controversy," will be presented by Fort Lewis College president Dr. Brad Bartel. This lecture will review the modern archaeological evidence of female figurines dating back to the Upper Paleolithic and place these figurines in the proper social context. This is a free lecture at the Sisson Library at 3 p.m.

Nov. 5

PFLAG meeting

The Durango/Four Corners Chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays) will meet for support and discussion at 6 p.m. at Planned Parenthood's upstairs conference room, Bodo Industrial Park, Durango. Call Martha at 259-4977 for directions and information.

Nov. 8

Lifelong Learning program

"A Walkabout: How an Artist Looks at Art," will be an artist's personal impression of several paintings. This presentation is offered free to the community by Pierre Mion, internationally recognized fine artist and illustrator, at Wild Spirit Gallery at 10 a.m.

Nov. 8

Women's Club

the women's Club meets at 11:45 a.m. at JJ's restaurant. There will be holiday music by Tiffany and Matthew and a presentation on holiday hostess gift ideas by Bonnie, from Slices of Nature.

Nov. 9


The Mountain View Homemakers will meet at the Methodist Church at 434 Lewis St. The program, "Harping On It," will begin about 1:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Natalie Tyson will provide a brief history of the harp, explain the makeup of the amazingly precise instrument, and explain the versatility of the pedal harp with musical demonstrations. Hostesses for the meeting will be Jo Hannah and Alta Kimble. A brief business meeting will follow the noon potluck luncheon in the church Fellowship Hall before the program. Everyone is welcome to attend both the luncheon and the potluck. Please R.S.V.P. Jo (731-3560) or Alta (731-2429) for luncheon setup. Nonmembers may contribute to a free-will offering towards MVHM's community projects.

Nov. 9

Let's explore

"Let's Explore Contemporary Art with Gerry Riggs," at Shy Rabbit. Riggs, the juror for Forms, Figures, Symbols, will present slides and discuss contemporary artists whose work he admires. Doors open at 6 p.m. Presentation and discussion begin at 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 10

Veteran's Day breakfast

The eighth-grade breakfast for Veteran's day is scheduled for Friday due to the fact that Veteran's Day falls on a Saturday this year. Students will cook and serve breakfast to all veterans who show up at the community center, 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. All local veterans are encouraged to attend this annual event, hosted by students at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.

Nov. 11

Chili cookoff/open house

The Pagosa Fire Protection District's second annual Chili Cookoff and open house will take place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Station 3, located five miles south of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 84.

Pagosa firefighters will put on several demonstrations and answer questions relating to fire equipment and home safety.

After the Chili Cookoff judging the public will be invited to sample some of the 3-alarm chili recipes.

There is no charge for this event.

Nov. 11

Fashion show and luncheon

The Immaculate Heart of Mary Fashion Show and Luncheon "American Women on Parade" will begin at noon (doors open at 11:30 a.m.) in the Parish Hall. Tickets are $20 and are available at the Chamber of Commerce. Tables reservations can be made by calling Judy Cramer at 264-1156.

Nov. 11

Pagosa Piecemakers

The Piecemakers Guild's membership meeting is at 10 a.m. at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. Immediately after the meeting there is a Bee, and the Guild will work on community projects.

Nov. 12

Singles meet

Pagosa Singles (PALS) will meet for an early Thanksgiving dinner at Ken's home, at 4 p.m. All singles age 40 ad older are welcome to attend. Please bring a side dish to share and call 883-2402 for directions and to R.S.V.P.

Nov. 18

Lifelong Learning lecture

"How Does That Work?," by Dr. Chuck Carson, engineer, will be a light and informative look at the engineering and physics underlying gadgets and systems that we see every day. This is a free lecture at the Sisson Library at 3 p.m.

Nov. 19

Thanksgiving dinner

A communitywide Thanksgiving dinner for families and friends in the Pagosa area will take place at 5 p.m. at Centerpoint Church, 2750 Cornerstone Drive.

The public is invited and there is no charge for the meal.

Contact the church office (formerly First Baptist Church) at 731-2205 to make reservations.

Dec. 9-Jan. 20

Contemporary containers

"Hold it: An Exhibition of Contemporary Containers," featuring the uniquely creative works of noteworthy regional and nationally recognized artists, at Shy Rabbit. Opening night reception for the artists Dec. 9, 5-8 p.m.

Dec. 14

"Art: 21"

Let's Explore the PBS Series "Art: 21," at Shy Rabbit. The second installment of "Art: 21" will focus on the themes Spirituality and Consumption. Doors open at 6 p.m. The film runs from 6:30-8:30.


   Community News

Start your holiday shopping at the annual Woman's Civic Club Bazaar

By Barb Draper

Special to The PREVIEW

Why wait until the day after Thanksgiving to begin your holiday shopping?

You can get a head start and find beautiful items for everyone on your list at the 32nd annual Woman's Civic Club Bazaar Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Pagosa Springs Community Center.

Doors will open at 9 a.m. and you can browse 63 booths manned by 57 talented crafters and vendors.

In addition, the Civic Club ladies are providing shopping opportunities. The fabulous bake sale and raffle table will be one of the first displays you see as you come in the door. You can purchase baked goods to take home and eat or to freeze for your holiday entertaining. You can purchase raffle tickets ($1 each or 6 for $5) and take a chance on winning one of three holiday wreaths or a basket decorated with 50 $1 bills. (Won't that help with your holiday shopping?).

There is a beautiful black iron laser art wall hanging of a moose in the trees, stunning jewelry items created by some of our crafters, gift baskets of delicious food, personal products, and holiday decor, woven and knitted items, general home decor items, and more.

The bazaar has outgrown the big gym this year and the South Conference Room immediately to your right as you go in the door will have eight crafters. This is where you might begin your shopping.

What will you find this year? There are eight jewelers, each with a unique style and a wide variety of items. You will find items such as gold, silver, beadwork, beautiful stones and feather-enhanced jewelry. Some vendors will offer Christmas holiday items, while others will have a large selection of year-round home decor items to choose from. Don't miss the booths that are "mini giftshops," with too many choices to list here.

There will be artists who paint on stone, canvas, wood and glass. Are you looking for a few new ornaments, table pieces, candles or wreaths for holiday decorating? You will surely find whatever you want at the Bazaar. And not just for Christmas - we have a vendor who specializes in fall and Thanksgiving decor.

This year, we will offer woodburned and embroidered items, along with fiber choices that are knitted, crocheted and woven. These items will include both fashion and home decor choices.

There will be clothing, toys and books for the children. You will also find dried foods, food mixes, beverage mixes, mustards and jellies, in addition to a cookbook with recipes for you to try out later.

Turned wood pieces and elegant walking sticks will turn your eye. We will have photographers with wall art and note cards, as well as crafters offering frames. There will be baskets and Tupperware for you to package your gifts in, or for your personal use.

And, if this is enough to wear you down, and if you think you'll never get to see it all, stop and take a break at the Civic Club Cafe, in the main room. You'll enjoy coffee and baked goods in the morning, and closer to noon there will be soft drinks and the famous barbecued brisket sandwiches, hot dogs and chili dogs. (The brisket has traditionally disappeared fast, so don't get left out!). Take a rest, visit with your friends, and continue your shopping. The bottom line here is, do not miss this exciting event!


Walkabout at Wild Spirit Gallery

By Biz Greene

Special to The PREVIEW

What attracts you to this or that painting?

Medium? Composition? Values?

Local artist Pierre Mion will guide us through the Wild Spirit Gallery giving his personal impressions of several paintings, explaining what he believes to be their merits. He will point out such things as subject, composition, values and techniques.

Exceptionally gifted and well-known as an illustrator and fine artist, Mion's great joy is capturing the fragile beauty of our planet. His subjects include western landscapes, farm scenes, old buildings and houses, street scenes, boat, water and sea shore scenes, people, portraits and animals. His media are oil, acrylic, gouache, watercolor, pastel and pencil.

Mion's paintings of both undersea and space exploration have been widely acclaimed. Five of his pieces were included in the National Geographic retrospective illustration exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, a show that is now traveling throughout the country. Among the many prominent individuals he has worked with are Norman Rockwell, Jacques Cousteau, Gilbert Grosvenor, Carl Sagan, Wernher VonBraun and Isaac Asimov.

Mion teaches three watercolor workshops a year here in Pagosa, and currently has seven private commissions for paintings.

This is a free Lifelong Learning program at Wild Spirit Gallery, 10 a.m. Nov. 8.

Everyone is welcome.


Teresa Ross and The Actual Proof, in concert in Pagosa

By Paul Roberts

Special to the SUN

Extraordinary jazz vocalist Teresa Ross performs in Pagosa Springs with an exciting jazz ensemble, The Actual Proof Quartet, at 7 p.m. Nov. 25 at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. The concert is produced by Elation Center for the Arts.

According to jazz piano virtuoso John Graves, "Teresa Ross has a rare ability to bring any lyric to life. Through her amazing timing, articulation and control, she expresses an unerring sense of romance, drama and comedy."

The Actual Proof Quartet consists of Lee Bartley, piano; Bob Newnam, trumpet and flugelhorn; Bob Cordalis, bass; and Brad Tarpley, drums.

This upcoming concert features "talented and trained musicians," according to Graves, "blending tight, well-rehearsed arrangements, (featuring inspired ad lib solos by all the instrumentalists), with the swinging, sophisticated style of Ross. Their play list includes straight-ahead jazz, classic standards, bossa novas, a scattering of bebop, and occasional special material."

Pianist, composer, arranger, and recording artist Lee Bartley is well known to local audiences as Graves' keyboard partner in the group Rio Jazz. "He plays with the technique and assurance of a classical artist, but his innovative arrangements and jazz solos bring a distinct identity to The Actual Proof Quartet," said Graves.

Other comments by Graves:

- "Bassist Bob Cordalis has played with just about every kind of musical group in the area: blues, rock, jazz - and he was even principal bassist for the San Juan Symphony. His powerful driving beat and inventive solos reflect this versatile background."

- "Bob Newnam's trumpet and flugelhorn will not blast your eardrums with screeching high notes. But every mellow note he plays will reflect his good taste and creative instincts."

- "Percussionist Brad Tarpley, unlike many drummers, can play with subtlety and nuance, or with wild abandon - whatever the style and the arrangement requires."

Come enjoy Jazz in Pagosa with Teresa Ross and The Actual Proof Quartet, on Nov. 25.

Advance tickets, for $12, are available through 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.. Take U.S. 160 to Vista Boulevard, go north on Vista and turn left on Port.

Elation Center for the Arts serves the people of the southwest region 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 or call 731-3117.


Renowned New York sculptor and Colorado printmaker in 'Forms, Figures, Symbols' at Shy Rabbit

By Denise Coffee

Special to The PREVIEW

Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts is proud to show the works of renowned N.Y. sculptor Ronald Gonzalez, and nationally-recognized Colorado printmaker Jean Gumpper, in "Forms, Figures, Symbols," a juried exhibition of contemporary works, on view through Nov. 28.

As part of an ongoing profile, two to three noteworthy artists from "Forms, Figures, Symbols" will be featured each week, selected from a lengthy list of artists from around the country whose work was selected for this exhibition by juror Gerry Riggs.

Ronald Gonzalez was born in Johnson City, N.Y. in 1952, where he currently resides and teaches as professor of sculpture at Binghamton University. Extraordinarily prolific and inventive, over the past 30 years Gonzalez has produced thousands of figures that range in size from the very tiny to the monumental in scale. His humanlike figures are often made from organic materials and found objects.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., recently hosted "Fated Objects and Strange Progeny," a solo exhibition by Gonzalez. The exhibition featured hundreds of small figures and several life-size figures produced by the artist. Additional information on Gonzalez and his work can also be found in the November issue of Sculpture magazine.

Shy Rabbit is showing two pieces that were featured in the "Fated Objects and Strange Progeny" catalogue. "Pin Cushion Man," 2005, is one of Gonzalez' small figures, and measures 11x6 inches. It is creatively fashioned from pin cushions, pins, and wire over rusted and welded steel. A second, small figure, "Mournful Drum," 2005, is 12x5 and consists of a drum, leather, buckles, buttons, string, wax, and wire over rusted and welded steel.

"I am interested in a figure that is spontaneous, intuitive and direct", Gonzalez said, "one that is time worn and delicate with an elegant sense of disintegration; a figure that comes from the deeper regions of the unconscious where objects and organic things speak to the facts of our existence as mortal beings who create new forms of the human condition."

"Gonzalez's work unapologetically references mortality, yet also revels in personal history and demands sympathy", said Anthony Cervino, director of exhibitions for the Corcoran College of Art and Design. "His hybrid forms are known to draw the viewer in to take a closer look at the inventive construction of the sculptures. In fact, it is only on close inspection that some of the figures reveal the odd and surprising materials from which they are made", added Cervino.

Gonzalez has received numerous awards including two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Artist's Grants and multiple New York Foundation for the Arts S.O.S. Exhibition Project Grants, among others. He has exhibited extensively throughout the United States in galleries and museums such as Allen Stone Gallery in New York; the Hudson D. Walker Gallery of Art in Provincetown, Mass.; and Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse. Gonzalez's work is widely represented in both private and public collections.

Jean Gumpper currently lives in Chipita Park, Colo., where she teaches printmaking and drawing as a visiting associate professor at Colorado College. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and her B.F.A, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Gumpper left a tenured position as associate professor at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., in order to move to Colorado in 1995.

As a nationally-renowned printmaker, her large-scale reduction woodcuts have been exhibited nationally and internationally, and have been reviewed in dozens of publications.

"As an artist and printmaker, I work with landscape as a visual metaphor for emotions and experience", said Gumpper. "The carving of the woodblock and the layering of the ink, echo natural processes such as erosion and the strata of leaves, water, trees and light. I often find myself drawn to close-up images with reflective light and still waters. Some of the prints, in their spatial relationships and attention to nature, honor Asian painting and woodcuts."

Shy Rabbit is pleased to be showing two of Gumpper's woodcut prints in its current exhibition. "Aspens" is from an edition of 13, and measures 20x42. In addition to being labeled as a woodcut, it is also described as a "pouchier," which is French for a stencil class of print, usually hand-colored through a series of carefully cut out stencils. When asked about this technique, Gumpper explained that she uses goache through a stencil to create more gradations of color and value than are possible in woodcut. It can be seen in the pinkish colors that appear in "Aspens." It is a new technique for Gumpper, and one that she feels holds a lot of possibilities for expanding her work. The second print, "Wetlands," is from an even smaller edition of 7, and measures the same as "Aspens."

Gumpper has received numerous awards including a Visual Artist Fellowship Award from the Colorado Council on the Arts in 2001, among others. Her prints are in the collections of the Cranbrook Institute of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center; CU; Rocky Mountain National Park, CU, among others. She is also widely represented in private collections in the United States, Canada, Japan and Nepal.

"Forms, Figures, Symbols" runs through Nov. 28. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 1-4 p.m., and 1-6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. Visitors are welcome to call or stop by during non-posted hours. Private viewings are also available. Call (970) 731-2766 to schedule an appointment.

Shy Rabbit is located at 333 Bastille Drive, B-1 through B-4, one block north of U.S. 160, off of North Pagosa Boulevard. For additional information, e-mail or visit


'Let's Explore' contemporary art at Shy Rabbit

By Leanne Goebel

Special to The PREVIEW

Gerry Riggs plans to show 160 images of contemporary art during his "Let's Explore" presentation at Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts, 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the presentation will last approximately 90 minutes.

Most of the artworks Riggs will share are from artists in Colorado and the surrounding region, including Bayfield-based printmaker Ron Fundingsland. A few nationally established artists will also be included: Keith Haring, Tom Wesselman and Red Grooms, specifically.

"My talk is not so much about the artists as the contemporary execution of their subject matter and why I like the work so much, or feel it is important," Riggs said.

When asked what some of the specific subjects might be, Riggs responded via e-mail with a lengthy list:

"Flying saucers; smoking versus glamour; race relations; Hispanic-American culture and notions; dealing with health issues; the American flag as a charged symbol; childbirth and reproductive issues; religion and its influence on our daily lives; uncontrolled growth and development; Native culture; the vanishing west; classic/iconic photography; war and patriotism; gender issues and sexism; neo-classical painting; the nude in contemporary art; angels and ghosts; animal rights; Columbus Day and indigenous peoples attitudes about it; the premature death of black males in America; love and sex; the cycle of life; rampant consumerism; bending the rules versus breaking the rules; the pervasiveness of drugs in society; what sculpture can be, apart from what most are familiar with; 3-D printmaking; Asian culture in America; working in multi-media; new directions in landscape; body packaging; the bomb; burial rituals; aging; the charm of Aboriginal art; contemporary abstraction; notions about the new geography; Native spirituality and mysticism; art and the law; trends in printmaking."

Riggs said the tone of his talk is about contemporary art that serves a specific purpose, takes a stand about or makes us more aware of timely issues, and shows us what a particular culture sees or feels, apart from mainstream perceptions.

Riggs curated more than 400 exhibits during his gallery and museum career in Oklahoma and Colorado Springs.

"I hope local art lovers, or even just curiosity seekers, will attend this slide presentation," Riggs said. "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."

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 or call 731-2766.


Go wild for books at elementary school fair

By Lisa Scott

Special to The PREVIEW

Pagosa Springs Elementary School will host a Scholastic Book Fair Nov. 6-16 during school hours in the school library.

Families, teachers and the community are invited to attend the Fair, which will feature a special theme: Reading Rain Forest - Wild for Books! Many activities at the school accompany the book fair and the rain forest theme.

Students at the elementary school are currently participating in the Reading Rain Forest Challenge which is a month-long, read-aloud contest. Students that read aloud with an adult for 15 minutes will be able to check off an image of a rain forest animal on a tally sheet. When 30 animals have been checked off, the form may be turned in for a credit to that classroom. A picture graph that shows each class and grade level progress is on display on the west wall near the cafeteria. The contest runs 30 days and a winner will be determined Friday, Nov. 10. The winning class will receive a $75 gift certificate to the book fair and will earn the privilege of possessing the new reading challenge traveling trophy for the next quarter. The second-place classroom will receive a $40 book fair gift certificate and $20 will be awarded to the third-place classroom.

On Thursday, Nov. 9, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. the Partners In Education Committee (P.I.E.) will host a family night Rainforests and Rhythms, which invites families to attend and enjoy an evening of making instruments and entertainment with Josiah and Jared Payne of The Hot Strings.

To elaborate the rain forest experience, the wall in the hall near the library has been decorated to show the five layers of the rain forest. These layers, with the accurate flora and fauna, will be on display for a week before the animals of the rain forest will be added to further enhance this exhibit.

The elementary school has been hosting a book fair since 1982. The fall and spring book fairs during 2005-06 netted the school over $3,900 in cash, over $2,300 in books and $500 in resource materials for the library. Proceeds from book fairs are used for reading and educational improvements, like purchasing software for reading achievement programs, and help fund many other improvements and purchase necessary unbudgeted supplies for the school.

Individuals attending the event can also help build individual classroom libraries by purchasing books for teachers through the Classroom Wish List Program which is highlighted within the book fair.

The book fair will offer specially-priced books and educational products, including newly-released titles, award-winning titles, children's classics, beautiful hardback books, interactive software, and book titles from more than 150 publishers. There are products for all age ranges and many excellent gift ideas.


Venus figurine controversy

By Biz Greene

Special to The PREVIEW

Archeologist Brad Bartel steps out of his role as president of Fort Lewis College when he comes to Pagosa Springs Lifelong Learning series to lecture on Venus, the female figure in images going back to the Upper Paleolithic era some 10,000 years ago.

Bartel's 35-year professional archaeological research career included excavations in Turkey, Yugoslavia, Ireland, California, North Carolina and Florida, and sparked an interest in the reappearance of Venus figures in a wide variety of cultures around the world.

The Venus Figurine Controversy will be the topic of his lecture at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Sisson Library.

Bartel's contributions to archaeological theory and methods range from the significance of symbolism in human societies to prehistoric burial practices. His work his been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution, and his teaching career has included over 30 different courses in anthropology at three universities.

Interestingly, Venus figures are found in cultures, mythologies, religions and art around the world, from cave paintings in France to temples in Rome, Comanche Indian petroglyphs and Mayan images.

Bartel became president of Fort Lewis College in June, 2004, after serving as executive vice president of Florida Gulf Coast University.

This Lifelong Learning lecture is free and open to the public.


Precept Upon Precept Bible study

By Laura Manley

Special to The PREVIEW

The next session of Precept Upon Precept, the inductive Bible study pioneered by Kay Arthur, will begin Nov. 20 and will continue until Feb. 1.

The study this session will be on Numbers, the fourth book of the Five Books of Moses.

When the Israelites cried out to God, he raised up Moses to bring them out of slavery and into the Promised Land. The people rebelled and suffered the terrible consequence of wandering in the wilderness. Are you following the Lord to the place where He wants you to be?

Join us for this study of Numbers. The study leader and teacher will be Jerri Anderson, of Grace Evangelical Free Church. Classes will be held at Restoration Fellowship, 264 Village Drive, in the Berean Room and will being at 9 a.m. each meeting day.

The workbook costs $14.50, and you can register to attend by calling the church office at Restoration Fellowship, 731-2937, Ext. 21, by Nov. 14.


November-December at Congregation Har Shalom

The schedule of congregational activities for Durango's Congregation Har Shalom for November-December is as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Glenn Raby to speak at UU service

On Sunday, Nov. 5, the speaker for The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will be Glenn Raby, Forest Service geologist for the Pagosa Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest. His topic will be archaeoastronomy at Chimney Rock, including the current Major Northern Lunar Standstill.

Raby's responsibilities include geology, paleontology and minerals management for the District. He is the Forest Service liaison for the Chimney Rock Interpretive Program.

And his involvements in the life of Pagosa Springs don't stop with his job; he is president of the Education Center's board of directors, was heavily involved with the library's transformation, and he edited a recently-published book on the history of Pagosa Springs, sponsored by the San Juan Historical Society.

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


'Messiah' sectional rehearsals begin Sunday

The "Messiah" sing-along sectional rehearsals will begin Sunday, Nov. 5, and will be held each Sunday afternoon in November in preparation for the annual communitywide Christmas Sing-Along, Dec. 10, at the Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs.

The first sectional rehearsal will be held at the Pagosa Bible Church Sunday.

The schedule is:

- Sopranos and altos, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

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

Participation in the rehearsals is not required for participation in the sing-along in December; but the practices are provided, primarily, for those who are interested in participating in the sing-Along and who have never before sung the choruses from Handel's "Messiah" and for those who do not own a vocal score.

Call Carroll Carruth at 731-5016 for further information.


Community Center News

Two cooking classes today at community center

By Becky Herman

PREVIEW Columnist

Edith Blake is presenting the last in her series of Italian cooking classes this morning. This time, she is featuring a chicken rollatini, chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto and cheese. Yum!

If any of you have some cooking skills and could teach a cooking class here at the center, call Mercy at 264-4152 to volunteer your expertise.

Healthy cooking for Latinos

Laurie Echavarria of San Juan Basin Health is presenting some healthy cooking tips for Latinos today from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. All are welcome. Laurie will offer ideas for healthy alternatives to traditional Latino recipes, nutrition information, and some label reading how-to's. If you haven't called to let SJBH know that you are coming, Laurie says that it's fine to just show up. And if you miss today's class, she will be repeating the same information in the future, when she'll present different recipes. Watch here for dates and times. For more information call San Juan Basin Health at 264-2673.

Halloween party

As of this writing, we are in the midst of decorating for the party. A dedicated group of volunteers are all over the center putting up bats and spiders, pumpkins and goblins. We thank Mercedes Leist, Patti Theisen, Shonna Gomez, Bill Norton, Veronica Johnson, Christa Casler, Bonnie Van Bortel, Karma Raley and Ann Conkey for helping with the party setup. Watch here for details about the party in next week's paper.

Festival of Trees

Do you have a fantasy Christmas tree idea floating around in your head?

Years ago, I saw a magnificent tree covered with all sorts of natural materials - dried grasses, leaves, and flowers, feathered birds perched on their nests, little black bats (covered with black sesame seeds) hanging from the branches, and twig sculptures in all kinds of holiday shapes. Perhaps you have your own wonderful tree idea. Be a part of the community center's new holiday tradition, and bring your holiday tree idea to life.

We invite all of Pagosa's creative talents to participate. Let's fill the multi-purpose room with decorated holiday trees.

This is how the process works: First, sign up at the center if you wish to participate. Then purchase a 6- to 8-foot-tall tree and decorate it here at the center. Decoration of the trees will take place Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 4 and 5.

The trees will be on display for public viewing Wednesday, Dec. 6, through Friday, Dec. 8.

On the final evening, the trees will be auctioned off and the money will go to a non-profit organization of the artist/sponsor's choice. More details to follow.

Mercy is hopeful your creative juices are flowing and your ideas are taking shape. Call her at 264-4152, Ext. 22, to share those ideas. She will appreciate any help or suggestions. It is up to you to make this event another annual tradition in our beautiful Pagosa.

Choosing a digital camera

This is a free program, provided by Bruce Andersen.

Thinking about buying a digital camera? Perhaps you're thinking about purchasing one for the holidays.

There's a lot to think about. Demystify the selection process by knowing what to look for.

This seminar presents the various key ingredients in selecting a digital camera: image quality and file size, camera features, storage media, battery options and more. This will be a one-hour presentation.

Bruce has previously given Photoshop classes at the center, and more will be offered in 2007. We are pleased to welcome him to our wonderful group of volunteer teachers and presenters.

This is a community center-sponsored program and free to anyone who wishes to attend; donations to the center, however, are always welcome.

Community potluck and Flying Elmos concert

This event will be a fun and relaxing evening in the midst of all the holiday madness.

Mark your calendars for Dec. 15. Bring your favorite holiday dish to share; hot casseroles and chili are always in demand during this time of the year. We'll have dinner at 6 p.m., and the free concert will start at 6:30. Doors will open at 5:30, so that we can put the food out on the tables. The center will provide the paper products and hot and cold beverages.

There is no charge for this holiday get-together; please call to let us know that you plan to attend. That way we'll be sure to have seating for everyone.

Yoga class

Thanks to Addi Greer who has agreed to lead the class while Diana spends seven weeks of winter in California.

The yoga class is held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday mornings and lasts for an hour. Every beginning yoga student has some trepidation about old injuries, aches and pains. Several of those who attended this group when it first began said that they were horrified at what they couldn't do. Most of them simply made commitments to continue. Yoga is a "practice" and an unfolding process.

Attending will allow you to gain flexibility, stamina, strength and to reduce stress. Call the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Line dancing

Line dancing continues with the Electric Slide, Trashy Woman, Cowboy Cha Cha, Trippin', and other intellectual pursuits (Gerry's words, not mine).

Gerry Potticary, the originator of this group, is happy to tell everyone that Peggy Carrai is back. And thanks to Beverly, Teri and Nancy for their help while she was gone.

Line dancing will continue through November, then take a break for Christmas and resume in January. Gerry hopes you will join in for fun and exercise. No experience is necessary.

The center's 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 for a free private introduction, if you're interested.

Line dancing rocks on at 10 for beginners and, at 10:30, there is dancing for those who are more advanced. Call the center at 264-4152 for more information.

Managing Diabetes

The next diabetes group meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 16. The discussion topic will be tips for coping with the holidays.

Plan to come and bring some of your own ideas to share, especially how you have successfully navigated through difficult holiday situations. This group is designed 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 types of programs could help you.

eBay Club

Ben Bailey learned how to sell on eBay when he volunteered to help the Humane Society sell some items donated to their Thrift Store.

Now we are benefiting from the tricks Ben learned. He started this class so folks who attended could share their eBay experiences with each other. However, since so many people have attended who have never used eBay at all, Ben decided to offer an introductory training session. In the remaining time, participants discuss problem solving, and Ben answers questions.

The meeting dates are on the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the computer lab. The next class is Wednesday, Nov. 15.

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

Computer lab news

The next beginning computing classes started this week.

Next week, however, we will need to skip classes while I work as an election judge one day and have jury duty on the other. The regular schedule will resume the following week, with classes Nov. 14 and 15.

Call the center for information about these classes or any of the community center-sponsored programs which are offered free of charge as a service to the Pagosa Springs community.

Fall and winter hours

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

Activities this week

Today - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; Italian cooking class, 10 a.m.-noon; Healthy Cooking for Latinos, 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.; Computer Q&A session with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; San Juan Outdoor Club, 6:30-9 p.m.

Nov. 3 - 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.

Nov. 4 - Animals are Souls, Too, 9-11 a.m.; Women's Civic Club Bazaar, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Teen center open, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Nov. 5 - Grace Evangelical Church service, 10 a.m.-noon; Church of Christ Sunday service, 10 a.m.-noon; Fairfield Activities information meeting for time-share visitors, 6-8 p.m.

Nov. 6 - Line dancing, 10-11:30 a.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30-4 p.m.; baton twirling class, 3:45-4:45 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; youth basketball, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Special Olympics, 6-8 p.m.

Nov. 7 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; legal depositions, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; yoga, 10:30-11:30 a.m.; senior walking program, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; youth basketball, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Nov. 8 - Legal depositions, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Aikido, 1-3 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; photo club, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Nov. 9 - Over-the-Hill Hoopsters, 8-9 a.m.; legal depositions, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; computer Q&A with Becky, 1-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 4-8 p.m.; Chimney Rock, 6-8 p.m.

Need a place to have a party or meeting? We have very affordable rooms for small, mid-size and large groups. A catering kitchen is also available. Tables, chairs, a portable stage, a dance floor and audiovisual equipment are available, too. The center is located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. Call 264-4152.


Senior News

Valuable health and nutrition advice for seniors

By Jeni Wiskofske

SUN Columnist

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center has been experiencing consistent growth over the last couple years.

Our meals and transportation services, our activities, and the ASI membership have increased tremendously. As of September 2006, we have served 7,661 meals, delivered 1,593 meals to those in need, and have provided 3,977 rides year-to-date.

And this does not take into account all of the activities that are now available at The Den like the enjoyable Mystery Trips.

As you can see, we are a great support to you and our community. Please help us to continue our excellent service while continually improving to meet the needs in our ever-growing community by donating tax deductible monies to the Silver Foxes Den. (Any amount is greatly appreciated.) We thank you for your contributions, your support and your patronage here at The Den.

Nutrition support

For more than 40 years, programs established under the Older Americans Act (OAA) have had remarkable success in providing essential nutrition to at-risk older adults.

Thanks to measures signed into law, these programs soon will be better able to help our nation's elderly maintain and improve their nutritional status, according to the experts at the American Dietetic Association, the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.

Both House and Senate last month unanimously passed HR 6197 to reauthorize the Older Americans Act. OAA is the most significant federal law governing the organization and delivery of a number of social services for older Americans. The largest component of the OAA is the nutrition program, which provides both congregate and home delivered meals ("Meals On Wheels") to millions of Americans.

Optimizing nutritional status is a powerful way to enhance the lives of older Americans. Studies show that poor nutritional status, excessive or inadequate intake of nutrients and fluids, is a major problem affecting millions of older Americans. Inadequate intake is estimated to affect more than a third of community dwelling individuals over age 65.

Dietary quality ratings of free-living Americans age 65 years and older, as measured by the Healthy Eating Index, show the vast majority have diets that were ranked as needing improvement or that were poor. And even in hospitals and nursing facilities, undernutrition can prevail.

Meanwhile, more than 80 percent of older Americans have one or more of the chronic diet-related diseases including hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia, singly or in combination. These conditions have adverse health consequences that could be prevented or reduced with appropriate nutrition intervention.

Healthy aging for all Americans requires adequate nutrition to maintain health, prevent chronic diet-related disease, and treat existing disease. Those seniors who routinely eat nutritious food and drink adequate amounts of fluids are less likely to have complications from chronic disease or to require care in a hospital, nursing home or other facility. Thus, it makes sense to emphasize nutrition, nutrition education, nutrition screening, counseling and assessment by dietitians for seniors.

Registered dietitians are familiar with benefits of strong, functioning nutrition programs such as the OAA programs. It is not uncommon that nutrition screening can identify problems before they become life threatening. For the patient who may be admitted to the hospital for weeks in order to care for sore on the foot, knowing how to control diabetes is the real key to his or her health and independence. If wounds do not heal, amputation might be necessary. But medical nutrition therapy provided by a registered dietitian along with home delivered meals through the Meals on Wheels program can work together to help the patient control the diabetes, resulting in a more rapid healing. The total cost of a nutrition intervention, which includes nutrition counseling related to meal planning, food preparation, and diet enhancement - is several hundred dollars - far less than the cost of even one day in the hospital, not to mention the additional costs in health care and support services had the foot been amputated.

To support our seniors locally and to help ensure those in need are receiving a nutritious meal at least once a day approved by a registered dietician, please see the above information regarding The Den's annual fund drive. Or call The Den at 264-2167 to inquire about volunteer opportunities delivering meals once a week.

Surviving cold and flu season

(From NSW Health).

There are some ways to lower your risk of catching colds, coughs or flu this winter - but if the worst happens, there's also some good advice on how to get better soon.

Keep your lifestyle as healthy as possible. Eating a diet which includes plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit each day, going for regular walks and avoiding too much alcohol all make it easier for your body to resist any kind of infection, including colds and flu. Be a non-smoker. One great advantage of not smoking is that you get fewer colds, coughs, sore throats and flu than if you do smoke.

Keep away from people who have a cold or flu. Because the viruses that cause these infections are coughed and sneezed into the air you share with other people, it helps to stay away from people who are ill, and to avoid enclosed, crowded places if you can. Don't touch other people's used tissues or handkerchiefs. If you have flu yourself, it's better to stay away from work so you don't pass it on to others.

Wash your hands more often. It's very easy to pick up cold and flu germs from things other people have touched - telephones, door handles or money, for instance - or from shaking hands with someone who is infected. Reduce your risk of catching a cold or flu by washing hands frequently; using warm water and soap removes germs better than a quick rinse under the cold tap. It's also important to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands; these are all ways that germs can get into your system.

Have the flu vaccine, if you need it. Most people don't need immunization against flu, however it's recommended for people over 65, people of any age who have a chronic disease affecting their heart or lungs, or who have diabetes or kidney problems, or who take certain drugs which affect the immune system, or staff in institutions which care for these people. Check with your doctor if you're unsure.

What should you do if you catch a cold or flu? The best treatment is to rest, keep warm and drink plenty of fluids to help flush the germs out of your system. There are two types of germs - bacteria and viruses. Antibiotics can only kill bacteria; they don't kill the viruses which cause colds and flu. But if a person is already ill with a cold or flu, they may also become ill with an infection caused by bacteria. When this happens a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection. Although there are no drugs to cure colds and flu, there are some non-prescription medications available from pharmacies which can help relieve the symptoms. As for buying cough medicine, ask your pharmacist to help you choose the best one for your type of cough. Whenever you buy painkillers or cough and cold remedies, always read the directions carefully. Some of these drugs shouldn't be taken with other medication, others can cause drowsiness which can be dangerous if you're driving or operating machinery. If in doubt, ask your pharmacist.

So, with all of this said, take care of yourself and help reduce the risk of the cold and flu viruses this winter season.

American Diabetes Month

During American Diabetes Month this November, the American Diabetes Association together with the American College of Cardiology, are working to increase awareness of the link between diabetes and heart disease.

Through an initiative called "Make the Link! Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke" the organizations are urging people with diabetes to learn how they can lower their chances for heart disease and stroke. To learn more go to or call 1-800-342-2383.

Diabetes, cholesterol and heart disease

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is in all the body's cells, including the blood. Your body needs cholesterol to make some hormones, vitamins, and to help you digest. Your body makes all of the cholesterol it needs. Cholesterol is also found in some foods you eat.

In the blood, cholesterol is carried in small packages called lipoproteins (lip-o-PRO-teens). Two kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol through your body. It's important to have healthy levels of both LOW-density and HIGH-density lipoproteins. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) can lead to a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. Some people call LDL "bad" cholesterol. You can remember LDL by thinking; L is for "Lousy." The higher the LDL level in your blood, the greater chance you have of getting heart disease. That's pretty lousy, indeed! High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are also known as "good" cholesterol (think, H is for "Happy"). HDL helps remove cholesterol from your body, so the higher your HDL, the lower your chance for getting heart disease.

Generally speaking, you want your LDL cholesterol to be less than 100. Here are some things you can do to lower your LDL cholesterol: Stay physically active; eat a diet low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fats; keep your weight in a healthy range; and avoid smoking.

If your HDL cholesterol is lower than 40 you may want to work to raise it. There are many things you can do to raise your HDL cholesterol: Stay physically active; maintain a healthy weight; avoid smoking; and cut trans fats.

Flower Fairy strikes again

Who is the Flower Fairy?

Well, the Flower Fairy is an anonymous person who brightens the days of many people by giving them beautiful flowers. The Flower Fairy struck again Monday, Oct. 23, and delivered attractive fall-colored flowers to those who receive home-delivered meals. The flowers brought smiles and joy to many folks who were delighted to receive such a lovely bouquet. A big thanks to the Flower Fairy for helping bring cheer to someone's day!

Ballot Issue 1A

Should the County be allowed to override TABOR regulations (DeBruce)? Join County Administrator Bob Campbell at 12:45 p.m. today, Nov. 2, 12:30 p.m. in Arboles at the Catholic Church (the meal site for Arboles lunches) as he discusses what this ballot issue means for you and county services.

You are what you eat

Join Lori Yenser, a registered dietician, will be at The Den at 12:45 tomorrow, Nov. 3, for an informative presentation on general nutrition. The Den will distribute bags of free sample products from Zanios Distributors, Joy's Natural Foods, Alacer Corp. and Rainbow Light. Be sure to attend to discover more about the benefits of what you put into you body. Receive your bag of sample products and learn how to stay healthy at the same time. This is a presentation that can benefit everyone.

Annual flu shots

Flu shots will be provided by San Juan Basin Health Department for seniors at The Den in the lounge 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8. The flu shots at The Den are for those who are most likely to get serious complications from the flu which include people 60 years of age ad older. Medicare and Rocky Mountain HMO are accepted and will cover the cost of the flu shot, but you must bring your card with you. For others, the cost for the flu shots is $25 per person, either cash or check. For more information, call the San Juan Basin Health Department at 264-2673.

Medicare presentation

Join The Den at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8, for a Medicare presentation including information on Medicare Part D. Medicare's Part D (drug plan) open enrollment begins Nov. 15.

Now is the time to evaluate your current plan. Has it met your needs this year? Medicare recommends taking this quick Rx Enrollment Checkup. If you are satisfied with your plan, you do not have to do anything to re-enroll.

Take a few minutes now and ask yourself these three questions: 1) Cost: Will your premium and costs change in 2007? 2) Coverage: Do you need more coverage in 2007? Will the prescription drugs you take be covered by your plan in 2007? 3) Customer Service: Are you satisfied with your plan's service?

The following are important Medicare Enrollment Dates you should be aware of: Nov. 15 - open enrollment begins; Dec. 31 - open enrollment ends; Jan. 1 - coverage begins.

Remember to enroll early to make sure you can get the prescriptions you need on Jan. 1. To help you prepare for open enrollment, attend our Medicare presentation Nov. 8, compare plans on or make an appointment at The Den with one of the counselors to help you reevaluate your plan.

Dance for Your Health

Dance for Your Health classes are held at 10 a.m. Wednesdays at The Den. Karma Raley, the dance instructor, enjoys sharing her love of dance and blends basic ballet, modern jazz, jazz dance with yoga awareness to create a full body routine which makes it possible to work out to the degree you want and/or need to. Wear loose comfortable clothing and bring a mat or towel if you have one. Join us at The Den on Wednesdays and learn great dance techniques while having a fun time exercising!

Aikido classes

Aikido is a relatively modern martial art, although its roots go back nearly a thousand years to secret techniques of samurai warriors. The Den offers Aikido classes every Wednesday at 1 p.m. with instructors Bill Trimarco and Lisa Jensen. Sign up if you would like to participate in the November Aikido classes. Aikido students learn hand techniques for armed and unarmed attackers, and train with the wooden sword and short staff. Aikido is beneficial for health, coordination, stress relief and character with the goal of bettering oneself rather than trying to be better than an opponent.

Closed for the holiday

The Silver Foxes Den Senior Center will be closed Friday, Nov. 10, for Veterans Day. Have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you all for lunch on the following Monday.

Activities at a glance

Thursday, Nov. 2 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required); Ballot Issue 1A presentation with Bob Campbell in Arboles, 12:30 p.m. The Den is closed.

Friday, Nov. 3 - The Geezers" weekly meeting, 9 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; veterans' services, noon; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30 p.m.; duplicate bridge, 12:30 p.m.; nutrition program and presentation with registered dietician Lori Yencer, 12:45 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 6 - Susan Stoffer, nurse and counselor, available 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; Bridge-4-Fun, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 7 - Yoga, 10:30 a.m.; gym walk, 11:15 a.m.; blood pressure checks, 11:30 a.m.; Seeds of Learning kids visit, noon; canasta, 1 p.m.; Medicare counseling, by appointment only, 1-3 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 8 - Medicare presentation, including information on Medicare D, 10:30 a.m.; Dance for Your Health with Karma Raley, 10 a.m.; basic computer class, 10 a.m.; annual flu shots for seniors, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Aikido class, 1 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 9 - The Den is closed.

Friday, Nov. 10 - The Den is closed for Veteran's Day holiday.


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

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

Thursday, Nov. 2 - Lunch served in Arboles (reservations required). Stuffed bell peppers, whole kernel corn, spinach, applesauce with raisins, and whole wheat bread.

Friday, Nov. 3 - Oven fried chicken, potato salad, asparagus, peaches, and corn bread.

Monday, Nov. 6 - Sloppy Joe on bun, scalloped potatoes, broccoli and carrots, and spiced applesauce with strawberries.

Tuesday, Nov. 7 - Salmon patties with cream sauce, steamed rice, mixed veggies, apricots, and whole wheat bread.

Wednesday, Nov. 8 - Lasagna, whole green beans, seasoned cabbage, pear slices and garlic toast.

Friday, Nov. 10 - The Den is closed for Veteran's Day holiday.



Veteran's Corner

Time for Colorado to step up to the plate

By Andy Fautheree

It is time for the state of Colorado to step up to the plate with a much deserved "Yes" vote on the Referendum E for 100-percent, service-connected disabled veterans property tax exemption.

Referendum E

Voters will be asked to approve an extension of the Colorado Senior Homestead Property Tax exemption. The exemption will cover 50 percent of property taxes for the first $200,000 value of their primary residence.

At a recent League of Women's Voter's forum I was asked why we need a referendum to change the Constitution? The answer is property tax issues cannot be something that can be changed on a legislative whim from year to year. I'm no tax expert, but that seems to be the case, like the senior exemption.

Veterans that are ruled 100-percent disabled by the VA deserve a tax break. Most states have some property tax exemption, some are 100-percent exempt. Colorado ranks among the lowest of the 50 states in veteran benefits.

About the only Colorado state benefits to disabled veterans are a free hunting and fishing license and free license plates to those ruled 50 percent or more service-connected disabled. Of course, any veteran can be buried in a Colorado state veterans cemetery when they die. It would be nice if Colorado would do something for disabled veterans while they are still living.

Colorado veterans have often returned from wars and military with both physical and mental scars as a result of their service to their country. For some, missing limbs and other physical disabilities are obvious. Often not so obvious are the mental scars from their military service.

Easy choice

Many among us today have never faced military service, especially in long-ago, all-but-forgotten wars. I think if you thought about facing an enemy who is determined to kill you, shoot you, blow you up, and put you in a prisoner of war camps not fit for humans, or all the other horrors that veterans have often faced, the decision to assist them with a little easier life would be an easy one to make.

Disabled veterans most frequently live in much less than average conditions, compared to those who are working in society and who can expect to live a productive life with increased earnings and quality of life. Disabled veterans typically live on fixed incomes and have little hope for income growth in the future.

I have never seen a disabled veteran smiling all the way to the bank, carrying their meager disability pay from government sources.

A yes vote for Referendum E tax exemption for disabled veterans will allow them a better quality of life and show that Colorado citizens can step up to the plate and say "Thank you for your service to our country".

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.



Library News

'Tis the season: Christmas books, music, Civic Club holiday bazaar

By Carole Howard

PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

Thanks to the recent generosity of many donors, we have a super collection of how-to books at the library for people who like to make or bake their own Christmas gifts and decorate their homes in special ways for the holidays.

You'll find books showing you how to make all sorts of crafts plus woodwork, scrapbooking, carving, knitting, basket making and candles. There also are books on ornaments, decorating and holiday baking.

To put you in the Christmas spirit, you also may want to borrow some of the holiday music CDs in the library's collection, also gifts from generous donors. Examples include a Celtic Christmas package, special Christmas albums by Elvis Presley and Barbara Streisand, and holiday instrumental music by Gathan Graham of Norman, Okla.

You'll find these Christmas offerings on a special cart in the library.

Christmas bazaar Saturday

The Woman's Civic Club hosts their annual Christmas bazaar this Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the community center.

This year's bazaar will set records for the number and variety of vendors ready to meet your shopping needs with 63 booths - 13 more than last year. The Civic Club ladies will have their incredible baked goods booth, plus lots of other 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. The bazaar is the Civic Club's largest fund-raiser of the year for the library. Please come, enjoy yourself, do some holiday shopping and support a great cause - your library.

Survivor skills for young people

OK, kids - you've survived the skatepark, school, little brothers and sisters. Now find out if you have what it takes to survive in the wilderness surrounding Pagosa.

Greg Oertel, emergency operations director of the Archuleta County Search and Rescue, and others on his team will give a special demonstration geared for pre-teens and young adults at the library on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. This is your chance to learn wilderness skills — and maybe save your own or a friend's life.

Lifelong learning programs

We have two more interesting talks in this popular series, thanks to organizer Biz Greene. Dr. Brad Bartel will speak on the Venus Figurine Controversy Saturday, Nov. 4. Dr. Chuck Carson will present a light and informative look at gadgets and systems on Nov. 18. All Lifelong Learning events are free. They take place at 3 p.m. on selected Saturdays in the library.

Thanks to our donors

Our thanks this week for books and materials donated by Jessie Bir, Jean and Larry Blue, Donna Bouwer, Anne Centers, Alan Hintermeister, April and Sam Matthews, Aidan McGinn, Sheila McKenzie, Donna Michael, Debbie Orechwa, Lisa Peterson, Diana Phelps, Jean Smith and Jeff Versaw.

New books on CD

"Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies" is a collection of fun anecdotes and essays that teaches you practical language lessons while making you laugh. "Theft" is two-time Booker Prize winner Peter Carey's new novel exploring what people will do for art, love and money. "The Colony," by John Tayman, reveals the stories of many people who lived in the infamous leprosy colony on the Hawaiian island of Molokai.

"Animals in Translation," by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson, speaks in the voice of a woman who emerged from the other side of autism, bringing with her an extraordinary message of how animals think and feel.

"To the Lighthouse" is a classic novel by Virginia Woolf, among the 20th century's most important and influential writers.

Non-fiction: Adventure and advice

"Touching the Void" by Joe Simpson is an incredible true tale of a climbing accident and rescue in the Andes that has been made into a movie. "You Don't Need a Lawyer," by James M. Kramon, shows you how effective letters can lead to successful self-advocacy and avoid the expense of litigation. "Snow Caves for Fun and Survival," by Ernest Wilkinson, is based on the author's extensive experience in the Colorado mountains. "Working with Independent Contractors/fifth edition," by attorney Stephen Fishman, is an updated guide for those who hire programmers, writers, designers, consultants, janitors and others on a contractual basis. Read this to avoid having them considered employees by the IRS.

Fiction: India, a circus life and thrillers

"Shantaram," by Gregory David Roberts, is a novel of India that is getting rave reviews for its writing. "Water for Elephants," by Sara Gruen, is a poignant novel about a young man who worked for a third-rate circus in the early part of the Great Depression. Oliver North's latest is called "The Assassins," an adventure story of terrorism that draws on the author's own experience as a combat-decorated Marine. "TripTych" is a mystery by Karin Slaughter, whom the Washington Post called one of the best crime novelists in America.


Arts Line

PSAC Members Gift Shop opens with reception tonight

By Linda Strathdee

PREVIEW Columnist

The PSAC Members Gift Shop will be open for the next three weeks at the Town Park gallery, 315 Hermosa St.

The gift shop opens tonight with an open house and reception, 5-7 p.m. at the gallery.

All pieces in this show are original, handcrafted and done by members of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council. Plan to join in the festivities as we salute our members and kick off our final exhibit

Drawing 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.

"Walkabout" with Mion

Take a "Walkabout" with Pierre Mion Nov. 8 at Wild Spirit Gallery and listen as a master artist discusses his approach to the appreciation of art.

Pagosa's Pierre Mion is well known nationally and internationally as an illustrator and as a fine artist.

Today, Mion spends most of his time working as a watercolor artist. His works have been exhibited worldwide and are included in the NASA fine arts collection and the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum's collection. His illustrations and photographs have appeared in National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Look, Life, Popular Science and Readers Digest.

During his storied career, Mion has worked with Jacques Cousteau, Gilbert Grosvenor, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clark. If you are a philatelic, you might recognize Mion's work on some of your postage stamps.

Mion's fine art reflects his love of nature. His subjects include western landscapes, farm scenes, old buildings and houses, street scenes, boat, water and sea shore scenes, people, portraits and animals. His media are oil, acrylic, gouache, watercolor, pastel and pencil. His fine art is in the private collections of Edwin Link, Gilbert Grosvenor, the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, Robert Ballard, Michael Collins, Wilbur Garrett and Norman Rockwell.

Norman Rockwell once said of Mion, "(he) has packed a lot of remarkable experience and fine work into what, to me, seems a short career. When working with me he has always been so kind, intelligent and understanding. He has a great deal of talent."

This is a free presentation by Mion at Wild Spirit Gallery at 10 a.m.

Music Boosters holiday show

"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.)

Tickets for "Nuncrackers" are available at the Plaid Pony (731-5262) or at the door. Advanced purchase is recommended.

Adults pay $15, seniors $12, students/children 18 and under $6 to see "Nuncrackers."

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 Pagosa Springs Photography Club is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Note that the meeting will not be held at the community center this month; Jan and Ken Brookshier have graciously invited the club to their home for a presentation on matting prints.

Detailed directions on how to reach the Brookshier's home are available at The directions are very clearly spelled out, but their home is not easy to locate after daylight hours so it is suggested that anyone who thinks they will have difficulty finding it in the dark can meet by 6 p.m. in the community center parking lot to caravan or carpool to the Brookshier residence.

The photo competition will be deferred to the November meeting when members will again be allowed to enter one image in each of two the competition categories: Open, in which any subject matter is allowed, and Theme, where the subject matter must fit the November theme of "Fall Colors."

Interested photography enthusiasts are welcome to attend their first meeting of the photo club at no charge. Any and all are invited to join for $20 annual dues.

For more information, contact club president Larry Walton at 731-2706 or

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

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.

Jan. 15-17 - Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett workshop, Beginners I - The Basics of Watercolor.

Jan. 18 - PSAC open house, community center, 4-7 p.m.

Jan. 22-24 - Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett workshop, Beginners II - Building Blocks of Watercolor.

Jan. 29-31 - Pierre Mion watercolor workshop.

Feb. 12-14 - Soledad Estrada-Leo's, Big Little Angelos Workshop.

Feb. 19-21 - Denny Rose and Ginnie Bartlett workshop, Intermediate - Using Photos, People and More.

Artsline is a communication vehicle of the Pagosa Springs Arts Council, courtesy of The Pagosa Springs Sun. For inclusion in Artsline, send information to PSAC e-mail ( In the subject area of your e-mail, please write "Artsline." Your attachment should be in a Microsoft Word file document format. Images should be limited to 2 (300dpi, 5x7 inches in size) and sent as a separate (individual attachments) e-mail. You can also mail a CD of images.


Tasting Notes

What to drink when eating enchiladas? A French wine, of course

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

I'm an adventuresome eater. I'll try just about anything, and there's not much I don't enjoy. But I am not a gambler. When you've spent much of your life in the company of those who also enjoy food, who prepare it well, with care and reverence, its difficult to pop into just any restaurant on a whim. Often, what many might say is "food to die for," is really just uninspired, mediocre fare at best.

But part of the excitement of food and wine is discovery, and gambling is an integral part of the process. There is always an element of risk. The question is, how do you gamble wisely? Knowledge is key, as is a certain, gastronomical sixth sense.

When overseas, I tap into intuition. I seek out restaurants off the beaten path, tucked away is some forgotten corner of the city and packed with locals - the "packed with locals" phrase is the key component to the equation. The second clue is the menu. Is it written in the native language? Does it contain regional specialties, or oddities you might not find anywhere else?

Granted, these clues are hardly dead giveaways, however, a bit of sleuthing can help stack the odds in your favor.

Such was the case on a recent visit to Albuquerque. I've been burned many times going on hunches in the Duke City, so I've learned to place my gastronomical bets carefully - I eat with friends in their homes, cook myself with friends, or pick restaurants where I know it's a chef-owner operation - although chef-owner gigs provide no guarantees, but that's another story. Further, I generally avoid Mexican or New Mexican food. Why? Albuquerque is undoubtedly the capital of low-grade, heat-lamp-irradiated, chile-smothered, melted-cheese slathered mediocre south of the border culinary drive. The restaurants are everywhere, and in light of the population, it should be a Mexican culinary Mecca, but often, it's an overpriced culinary mess.

But I was hungry. And me and a friend found ourselves wandering the north Fourth Street barrio looking for a place to eat.

Our journey took us just a few blocks, to a dubious looking Mexican restaurant. I was skeptical.

"Not Mexican," I said.

My friend responded, "Let's just have a look. I'll check the menu."

Unwilling to part unceremoniously with my hard earned cash on another average "Mexican" meal, I opted to wait outside. I would fast. She went in.

She returned with a menu and together we scanned its contents on the sidewalk outside. It was written entirely in Spanish. We were off to a good start. A quick scan of the various dishes revealed so-called "oddities" and true Mexican specialties - cow lips, tongue and cheek, menudo etc. - formed the backbone of the menu. They were dishes I see rarely on New Mexican menus, and further, were recipes I had really only encountered on forays into Mexico.

I was intrigued. I scanned further.

In a small section, relegated off to the far right of the three page menu, I located a small section called "Platos Nativos." There I found five or six New Mexican dishes. By their number and placement on the menu, it was clear they were not the focal point of the cuisine.

I was almost sold.

I ventured inside. A television screen beamed the latest telenovela. Good. A newspaper rack had a stack of the latest noticias from Ciudad Juarez. Better. I listened. No one on staff uttered a word of English and even the diners' conversations were in Spanish. Perfect. I grabbed my friend and we dove in.

We spent a few more minutes scanning the menu, then made our selections. But what to drink? Wine certainly wasn't an option, so we ordered Modelo Especials, and sat back, sipping cold beer while munching on chips with a variety of homemade salsas.

We gorged ourselves on chile rellenos and simple tacos and finished the meal with flan, a slice of Tres Leches cake, and stout cups of strong black, Mexican diner coffee - classic.

The meal had ignited an intense craving for spicy food, and when I returned home to Pagosa with a batch of freshly roasted green chile and Espanola red, I sought to replicate my experience. The meal: red and green chile stacked enchiladas.

With a little guidance from our own, in-office culinary maestro, I crafted a roux with olive oil and flower, heating the paste under a low flame until the flour was just browned. I added in red chile, cumin, garlic and oregano and heated further until the house smelled of smoky chile and toasted garlic. After that I whisked chicken stock into the roux, again under low heat, until a velvety enchilada sauce was formed.

Leaving the sauce on the burner under the lowest possible heat, I browned pieces of chicken breast seasoned with sea salt, olive oil, and black pepper in olive oil and butter. I added more red chile for good measure.

When the chicken was done, I laid 10-inch tortillas in a baking dish, piling each one with roasted green chile, grated cheddar cheese and chicken, then slathered the filling and tortilla with enchilada sauce.

I repeated the layering process until the baking dish was full. I placed a final tortilla as a cap, covered it in enchilada sauce and more grated cheese, then put it in a 400 degree oven and let the creation bake.

With a little time on my hands, the question reappeared: What to drink?"

Modelo Especial was out, but I was staring eye to eye with a case of French wine recently arrived from Berkeley. I scanned the box's contents and extracted a muscular Provençale red from the Vaucluse.

I pulled the cork, swirled the contents, took a big whiff - black cherry, black currants and spice notes greeted me in the glass. I took a slug. On the palate the wine was robust, and muscular, with ample layers of fruit, but was not overly dry or tannic. Solid pepper notes showed through to the finish, and this was clearly more than just a vin de table.

In the end, I quaffed half a bottle of Vaucluse while wolfing down more enchiladas than my cardiologist would recommend. I was in heaven.

My enchiladas were not exactly a perfect substitute for my meal in Albuquerque, but it would do, and short of Modelo Especial, the wine hit the mark.

The wine: 2005 Vin de Table Rouge Domaine Durban.


Food for Thought

Sic Transit Gloria Aqua Vortex

By Karl Isberg

I'd waited a long time.

Finally, there it was.

I watched as the delivery truck backed down the driveway to the front door. Two burly lads got out, lowered the lift and tugged the crate out to the back of the truck.

Down the crate came and on to a dolly it went. The lads wedged the box through the front door of the house and I tore into it like a greedy only child, assaulting a birthday gift.

At last.

My new stove.

How long had I waited for this day?

Well, considering I had never purchased a new stove it had been a while.

But I had dreamt of it.

Oh, yes. In bed, at night, as the weak light from the overhead lamp illuminated the articles in the glossy food magazines, I gazed longingly at the photos of kitchens inhabited by snappy, successful looking folks, their lives full of good food, good drink, good friends.

And great stoves.

They all had them. And they all hosted glamorous parties at their neato mansions and penthouses and country homes and hip urban lofts. Everyone gathered in the kitchen as Boots and Bitsy or Ned and Heather prepared mango granita for their fascinating, surgically-altered guests. They nibbled tapas in the kitchen prior to dinner as Hillary and her pal, Tara, put the finishing touches on a tagine.

The centerpiece in those kitchen photos?

The stove, of course.

And that stove was never a flimsy electric four-burner or a ratty vintage-1970 avocado-colored gas model with a stinky pilot light and a grease-slicked timer.


In the cooking mags, the kitchen's centerpiece was a brute - a heavy, high-tech marvel. A monument.

I wanted one.

Oh, yes, I wanted one.

And, after a mighty long time, I finally opened the box.

There it was: the Aqua Vortex RPD-2000 Turbo-Gold Deluxe.



OK, it wasn't a super-monster commercial number, nor a cult-favorite French six-burner, all enamel and copper and high-class, shiny doodads. It was domestic, but it was top of the line, from the Aqua Vortex Corporation - an "American" manufacturer of long and laudable standing.

It was the RPD-200 Turbo-Gold Deluxe.


The stove was moved into place and leveled, the gas line attached.

The truck lumbered out of the driveway as I stood in the center of the kitchen, stunned by the beauty of my new acquisition.

I re-aimed two of the spotlights above the counter so they shone directly on the Turbo-Gold Deluxe. I sat on a stool at the counter and gazed at the stove, imagining the meals I would produce on its husky stovetop grate, in the maw of its massive "Accu-Control" oven. Cassoulets, osso buco, braised veal, coq au vin, the velvetiest green chile known to man.

I read the manual. The stove was "digitized" for my convenience, a true 21st century marvel. All I needed to do was enter my instructions, and the stove's "industry-leading computerized system" would do my bidding. About all the stove wouldn't do, said the instructions, was mix the food prior to its introduction to insanely precise monitored heat. The stove, according to its makers, is a whole lot smarter than I am.

Wooo-hoo! I had graduated to the Big Leagues. At last, I was a player.

That first night, I fired the stovetop burners and whipped up a simple, sauteed chicken cutlet, some buttered egg noodles and a batch of haricots vert. I lightly dusted the chicken (pounded to about a quarter inch in thickness) in seasoned flour, popped the pieces in the pan and sauteed them over medium high heat in extra virgin olive oil - about two minutes on each side - throwing in some minced shallot at the end. I removed the cutlets and deglazed the pan with a bit of dry white then, when the wine was nearly gone, hit it with a half cup or so of chicken stock, some chopped parsley and a teaspoon of chicken demi-glace. As the stock reduced, I seasoned it, then introduced the cutlets, some freshly-squeezed lemon juice and a wad o' butter, turning off the heat so as not to break the sauce.

I realized: I was cooking on a mighty powerful burner. There were some giganto BTUs created in the two biggest burners on the stovetop.

I turned off the lights in the kitchen and the living room and ignited one of the big burners (one without a pan on it, of course) and scurried to the far end of the living room.

Sure enough, I could read the fine print on my stove warranty by the light given off by the burner.

Good thing I would soon need to know every detail of the Aqua Vortex warranty.

It was, after all, an "American-made" device.

The next afternoon, I hustled to the store to fetch the fixins for a braise: a nice-looking hunk of chuck, pearl onions, assorted mushrooms, a bottle of relatively decent pinot noir (actually, two - one for cooking and one for drinking) a russet potato, green peas, a turnip, a butternut squash, a carrot, parsley, etc.

I did my mise en place and finished the prep work for the braise on the stovetop. In the meantime, I alerted the Accu Control system. The stove sprang to life, data aglitter on the readout. I instructed the Accu Control system to prepare the oven - 325 degrees, please.

The system snapped into action, indicating it was now in control and asking me for - no, demanding - a cook time.

I complied.

The system then asked if I was sure of my instructions.

The Accu Control buzzed and told me, in no uncertain terms, that the oven was at temperature and all was ready. Was I?

Yep. I had sauteed a mire poix and some mushrooms and removed them from the pot, I had browned the floured meat, removed it and deglazed the pan with wine. I had tossed in a sachet, put in the stock and some veal demi-glace, added some crushed fire-roasted tomato, a teaspoon of Espanola red, about ten peeled cloves of garlic everything was going swimmingly.

I popped the covered casserole in the oven. Life was good.

So, I thought.

I should have known something was wrong since, as time passed, I couldn't smell the casserole. I figured, American-made product that it was, the darned oven sealed so tight not even an odor could escape.

I'm a moron.

Two hours later, I cubed the potato and the squash and opened the oven to fetch the pot.

Wait a minute, here. The oven isn't hot! The casserole, in fact, is cool enough to grab with my bare hands.

I took a glance at the control panel. The Accu Control monitor indicated everything is swell: oven temperature a steady 325; timer clicking away in perfect order.

But, no heat.

Plus, there was a loud noise coming from the rear of the stove: a tortured, whirring sound.

Not good. Not a pleasant baking sound, in my experience.

Sic Transit Gloria Aqua Vortex.

A call to the Aqua Vortex Corporation was met with demands for warranty information and the promise a service rep would visit - some time.

Four weeks later, the rep arrived.

"Faulty heating element. It'll be about two weeks or so before the part gets here, and since I have to drive ninety miles, it'll be the next week after delivery that I can get over."

So - three weeks passed. Three weeks of no oven; three weeks of stovetop cooking (and the occasional reading of the fine print on the warranty by the light of the big stovetop burner).

The repairman showed up, took a look at the stove and realized he got the model number wrong. "Gotta order another element," he said, hitching up a pair of dangerously loose pants with one hand and picking at an odd growth on the side of his face with the other. "I'll be back with these parts in about four weeks."

Hoo, boy.

I worked the stovetop hard, using the burners to prepare every meal. A month later, the new element was in.

I cranked up the oven and tested it an hour later to see if held temperature.

It did, but the noise from the rear of the stove had increased. It sounded like an F-16 was taking off behind the stove. A rickety F-16.

"Must be the fan," said the repairman when I phoned him late at night. "They tend to go out on that particular stove."

Among other things.

I used the oven for two months, but the din was incredible; I could hear the noise outside the house. Whenever I fired up the oven, the neighbor's dogs started to howl.

The solution - order another fan, and wait.

Three months.

"That oughta do 'er. New fan, new element. Everything's hunky dory."

Oh, really?

I'm whipping up a batch of potatoes dauphinoise, all cream and butter and clotted, golden-brown goodness. The Aqua Vortex is humming right along (the fan making only a moderate amount of noise) and I am preparing some pork medallions on the stovetop.

A frantic display on the Aqua Vortex Accu Control computerized control readout panel gives me the hunch something is wrong.

More than a hunch, really.

The panel, where the temperature and time is normally displayed in style-neutral digital numbers, was flashing like a Vegas strip club sign. Numbers raced across the panel, helter skelter. The fan went off. The panel began to flash 79, then 14, then 55 the sequence repeating again and again.

I opened the oven door, knowing what I'd find.

As in, no heat.

"Aqua Vortex Corporation, customer service. My name is Bernice; may I help you."

To make a long story short: No, Bernice could not help me.

I whined to Kathy and she got riled. "I'll handle this," she said, setting her jaw, and she proceeded to pursue the Aqua Vortex Corporation like a Rottweiler chasing a gimpy kitten.

Of course, it took the Rottweiler nearly three months to finally annihilate the kitty. With the help of a local repairman, John - a guy who knows his stuff. And a guy who doesn't particularly like the Aqua Vortex Corporation.

Finally, last week, a full year after the first Aqua Vortex was hooked to a gas line in my house, a new stove arrived.

An Aqua Vortex RPD-2000 Turbo-Gold Deluxe.



I haven't dared use the Aqua Vortex oven for fear of what it will do. It is, after all, an American-made product that is allegedly smarter than I.

But, I know I'm going to have to use it.

And soon.

After all, I'm inviting Binky and Felice over next weekend for mango granita and tapas.


Extension Viewpoints

4H Open House tomorrow at fairgrounds

By Bill Nobles

SUN Columnist

Today - 7 p.m., Shady Pine Club meeting.

Nov. 3 - 2:15 p.m., Colorado Mountaineers Club meeting.

Nov. 3 - 4-6 p.m., 4-H Open House.

Nov. 3 - 7 p.m., 4-H "How 2B A Leader" Camp.

Nov. 6 - 4:30 p.m., Mandatory Beef Project meeting.

Nov. 6 - 6:30 p.m., Livestock Committee meeting.

Nov. 7 - 6:30 p.m., Colorado Kids Club meeting.

Nov. 8 - 6:30 p.m., Pagosa Peaks Club meeting.

4-H Open House

Make plans to attend 4-H Open House tomorrow, Nov. 3.

We are very excited to be having this event; 4-H Open House is a prime opportunity to explore 4-H in general and check out more information concerning specific projects and clubs that will be represented.

If you are interested in learning more about 4-H then this is the place to be. There will be goodies for new members enrolling as well as 4-H merchandise for sale for all members and adults.

So, again, join us out at the fairgrounds from 4 to 6 p.m. for a great time.

Master Gardener Training available with Breeze

The Colorado State University Cooperative Extension will offer the Colorado Master Gardener Program in Pagosa Springs via Breeze Technology starting Jan. 30.

The Colorado Master Gardener Program is an 11-week training program designed to provide the public with information about fostering a successful home garden in Colorado.

People interested in participating in the Master Gardener Program need to contact the Cooperative Extension Office at (970) 264-5931 for an application. Applications will be taken until Dec. 1.



Pagosa Lakes News

Porpoises swim team to begin training for next season

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

The pool at the recreation center is now open, and the staff is pleased with the end result. We hope our members will like it, as well.

The Pagosa Lakes Porpoises will take to the water on Monday, Nov. 6, to begin their training. The team will be in the pool from 4:15-5:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Pagosa Lakes Porpoises, a swim team started by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association in 1988, currently carries a roster of 21 swimmers ranging in age from eight to 18.

The team had an outstanding season this past summer, with many personal best times, team records, pool records and state records achieved. The team also had individual high point winners at both the Western Slope Championships and the Seasonal Championships.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in the swim team, the following are some requirements. New swimmers are expected to have the ability to swim 25 yards free-style and 25 yards backstroke without stopping. If you child is unable to do so, private swim lessons should be arranged beforehand.

There will be a two-week trial period for a new swimmer before the following requirements have to be met. Every swimmer is required to have a current recreation center membership, U.S. Swimming Association registration, and to pay a monthly $20 team fee ($15 for every subsequent child in the same family). USSA registration is $25 for the year, and this is required for insurance purposes.

Swimmers are also required to purchase their own team suits. Mandatory participation in the team's annual fund-raising event is expected. While the recreation center pays a large part of the coaching costs, the money raised through the team's fund-raising efforts covers travel expenses for the coach and cost of any additional training equipment.

When competition gets going, generally in late spring, registration fees at meets run about $2 to $3 per event entered. Parents should add to that the cost of travel and lodging. At most swim meets in the summer, camping areas are available and lodging costs can be kept to a minimum by camping.

Although this is clearly a major family commitment, the rewards justify the efforts. Competitive swimming is a marvelous sport; it encourages self-discipline and builds self-confidence.

Interested parents and swimmers can call the coach, Jennifer Fenton, at 731-0717, or stop by after practice.



William Wilson

William Robert Wilson, 62, died Oct. 19, 2006, at his home in San Antonio, Texas.

Robert was born Oct. 11, 1944, in Lubbock, Texas, to James R. and Margaret Lindsey Wilson of Pagosa Springs.

The Wilsons were former Brownsville, Texas, residents. He graduated from Brownsville High School. After serving in the United States Marine Corps and in Viet Nam, he returned home and attended Texas Southmost College.

Survivors are his wife, Nicki Weaver-Wilson of San Antonio, Texas; his parents; his children, Dean Stuart and Alice Louis Wilson of Dallas, Texas; his two stepsons, Michael Weaver of Palacious, and Dr. Eric Weaver of Rochester, Minn.; his brother, James Rodney Wilson, a niece, Lora-Jean Wilson, and great-nephew, Jesse James Wilson, all of Brownsville, Texas; a nephew, James Patrick Wilson, of Leander, Texas; an aunt, Mrs. LaVerne Scott, of Perryton, Texas; numerous cousins and his cat, Flash.

Interment was Oct. 31, 2006, at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Memorial contributions maybe made to the Ruby Sisson Library, Box 849, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

His parents may be reached at Box 1289, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


 Business News

Chamber News

New hiring opportunities for employers

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

As an employer, have you ever had a job applicant enter your office with a good-looking resume, interview well, take the position with your business, then fall short of proclaimed qualifications?

The process can be difficult and costly if you have to let the employee go, rehire and train again.

The Colorado Workforce, along with The Training Advantage, now offers two great programs to employers: QWIZ and WorkKeys.

QWIZ is a short, online testing program that can help predict employee performance while adding objectivity to the hiring process. There are over 300 tests available, from math and accounting tests to customer service. The candidate can take this test from a computer at your business, or go to the Workforce Center and take it there. Test results are given in most cases within 24 hours, so there is no long wait before making a hiring decision.

The other test, WorkKeys, is a job skills assessment system measuring "real world" skills that employers believe are critical to job success. These test results are provided as levels that outline work skills. If an employee is not at the level you think necessary for them to assume a particular occupation, skills training can be provided through this program. If you have identified an employee in your business whom you would like to see grow with the company, or who has demonstrated management skills, the WorkKeys program is for you.

Both tests are free to the employee and the business.

As an added benefit, Colorado Workforce has secured the training and coordinating skills of Dynamic Workforce to help facilitate a quick and smooth testing session. These tests are not meant to be stressful - just a help to the employer seeking to verify skills and identify need and exemplary skill levels.

Businesses needing to fill positions such as tellers, hospitality jobs, clerks, receptionists or office managers, can benefit from this program.

The Colorado Workforce Center is geared to help you determine what kinds of tests to administer to potential employees in your attempt to minimize job turnover and create a good match between your business and the employee.

For more information about this free service, contact the Colorado Workforce Center at 731-3876 or Kathy Saley at 563-4517.

Civic Club Bazaar

Start working on your holiday shopping list, then attend the 32nd annual Women's Civic Club Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the community center.

Doors will open on a room filled with arts and crafts from more than 60 vendors. There will be handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, gift items, soaps, lotions, and so much more. You don't even have to stop your shopping to go to lunch; there will be food for sale at the Bazaar. There will also be a bake sale, and raffle tickets available for wonderful prizes.

Proceeds will be donated to the Sisson Library.

We thank all the wonderful participants for bringing Pagosa a quality craft show for 32 years and thank the members of the Women's Civic Club for the great work and contributions they make to Pagosa.

See you at the community center Saturday.

Fashion show

Tickets are flying out the door for the 10th annual Immaculate Heart of Mary Fashion Show and Luncheon. It will be held Saturday, Nov. 11.

All the latest winter, casual, evening and holiday fashions will be seen on the runway. A delectable lunch is expected from Christine's Cuisine and many a gift will be given away. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the Chamber.

This year's luncheon theme is "American Women on Parade," honoring the women in the armed forces.

For tickets or more information, call the Chamber at 264-2360.


Don't forget, because of the Thanksgiving holiday this month, the SunDowner usually held on the fourth Wednesday of the month will be held on the third Wednesday, Nov. 15.

The host this month will be the Education Center on Lewis Street. You cannot believe all of the changes at the center and you should see what this organization has to offer our community - for students old and young.

John Graves will provide entertainment and, of course, tasty food and beverages will be served. Chamber members will receive their invitations early, so make sure your calendar is marked correctly.

Membership mentions

We welcome new members Todd and Kellie Stevens, with Alley House Grille. Todd and Kellie offer a casually elegant dining experience with globally-influenced cuisine and unique gourmet pizzas. The Alley House Grille offers a full bar and is open Monday through Saturday. Reservations are recommended by calling 264-0999. The Alley House Grille is located at 214 Pagosa St. and is the second business for Todd and Kellie.

Atlas Chiropractic & Wellness is new to Pagosa Springs and we would like you all to welcome Summer Wollam. Summer offers family chiropractic and wellness care, help with sports injuries, massage, custom orthotics, acupuncture, nutritional consults, gait analysis and, coming soon, equine chiropractic and massage. Summer will also do ski boot fits, as well as lactic acid testing. After searching many Colorado mountain towns, Summer fell in love with Pagosa (can you blame her?) and decided to open her practice here. Summer can be reached by calling 264-2060, or stop by her office at 138 Pagosa St., Suite A.

Our last new member this week is Dr. Timothy Mazzola, an associate member. Dr. Mazzola is with Pagosa Springs Sports Medicine. His practice is with Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center at 75 S. Pagosa Blvd. Dr. Mazzola offers in-depth evaluations and care of all "athletes." He has served as a team physician to the CU Buffaloes, DU Pioneers and the Air Force Falcons. Dr. Mazzola can be reached by calling the Family Medicine Center at 731-4131.

Welcome to all of our new members and we wish you all the best of luck.

We have many renewals to report this week - all equally important to our community: Flexible Flyers, of Durango; Michael Branch, C.P.A.; Carl Nevitt of Big Sky Studios; Access Pagosa, LLC under the direction of Binh Pham; Kip's Grill and Cantina; Margaret Dix-Caruso of Envelopment Architecture, LLC; P.R.E.C.O. Inc.; H & R Block and Talent Financial Services, Inc.; AAA Travel Insurance in Durango; PhotoWebb DVD Creations; Econo Lodge; and Bernard Schuchart of Cabin Fever Log Homes.

Welcome all new members and welcome back to those renewing their memberships.


Adult and youth training and employment programs offered

SUCAP/The Training Advantage, a partner in Southwest Colorado Workforce Center, has programs available for adults and youth needing assistance with job training and employment.

Priority service is provided to veterans who meet the eligibility criteria.

For more information about service and eligibility requirements, contact the Workforce Center 731-3834 or 731-3835, 46 Eaton Drive, Suite 7, Pagosa Springs. EEO.



Cards of Thanks


General election forum: The League of Women Voters for Archuleta County did a wonderful job of presenting the candidates and ballot issues. Mary Beth McAuley was a great moderator.

We attended the first Forum and listened to the second Forum on KWUF radio. Thank you KWUF for providing this service to the residents of Pagosa Springs.

Also, many thanks to all those who participated - candidates, those who addressed ballot issues, and the audience members who asked questions. The information provided will hopefully make all of us better informed and more intelligent decisions will be made.

Lili Pearson



Ay and Audrey Vining

Ay and Audrey Vining recently celebrated their 58th anniversary at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center in Pagosa Springs.


Sports Page

Pirates girls second, boys sixth at state meet; Harms, Walsh all-state

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Jaclyn Harms and Jackson Walsh - two Pirate sophomores - earned all-state honors by finishing in the top 10 at the state cross country meet in Colorado Springs Saturday, leading the girls' and boys' cross country teams through a treacherous course to second- and sixth-place finishes, respectively.

The El Pomar Sports Complex, where the races were held, became a bog after 15 inches of snow melted in a matter of days.

The girls' team came in second behind three-time defending champion Classical Academy - which had three runners finish in the top 12, coming in with a combined point total of 43.

The Pirates had a low combined score of 61, with Harms finishing sixth, with a time of 20 minutes, 13.75 seconds; senior Jessica Lynch in 15th, 20:51.00; freshman Julia Adams in 16th, 20:53.55; senior Laurel Reinhardt in 24th, 21:19.40; and senior Chelsea Cooper in 51st, 21:59.35.

"If someone would have told me that we would score 61 at state and not win, I would have said 'ain't no way.' Forty-three is an incredible score, and something we just could not match. (Classical Academy) ran an amazing race and deserves to repeat yet again as champion," said Coach Scott Anderson.

Twenty-five teams and 146 runners competed in the girls' race. The top finisher was Kristin McGlynn of Platte Canyon High School, for the second straight year, in 18:39.30, over 40 seconds faster than the second-place finisher.

Classical Academy also won the boys' race, with a combined score of 80. Pagosa earned sixth-place with 142 combined points - behind Monte Vista in third and Bayfield in fifth.

The muddy terrain turned the speed-course into a strength-course, helping Aspen's Noah Hoffman, a senior used to hilly courses requiring strength, to first place, 15:45.20.

Jackson Walsh edged out another sophomore, from Monte Vista, for 10th place, finishing in 17:31.25, despite being hampered by a stomach virus. According to Anderson, it was only after warm-ups that the decision was made to let Walsh run.

Senior Travis Furman finished 15 seconds behind Walsh at 17:46 in 22nd place; senior Aaron Miller finished in 54th, at 18:26.80; senior Logan Gholson was in 56th, 18:28.25; junior Chase Moore took 63rd, at 18:32.60.

Twenty-nine teams and 168 runners competed in the boys' race.

Both Pirate teams will lose valuable seniors this year.

Lynch and Reinhardt, for the girls' team, frequently finished in the top five this season and notably joined with Harms and Adams to sweep the top four on occasion - making the girls unbeatable at league and regional meets, while Cooper pushed at the heels of her teammates and came in sixth at regionals.

Furman, for the boys' team, ran neck-and-neck with Walsh throughout the season, finishing in the top 10, if not the top five in many races; and the finishes of Moore, Miller and Gholson helped the Pirates win the regional championship.

Despite the loss of the seniors, strong runners will return to both teams next year, especially sophomores Harms and Walsh, Moore and freshman Adams, but also several fast JV runners.

With the all-state finishes of Harms and Walsh, the Pirate teams also boast six all-conference runners: Harms, Adams, Lynch, Reinhardt, Walsh and Furman.

Next season, with some accomplished veterans and new legs, both teams will look to run for even more accolades.


Pirates spoil Bayfield's party, take district crown

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

The district championship, and a trip to a regional tournament, came down to a match - the third this season - pitting Intermountain League champ Bayfield against their hosts, the IML second-place finisher, Pagosa Springs.

Bayfield entered the match with a gaudy 20-1 record. Pagosa took the court with a 13-8 record. The Wolverines had beaten the Pirates twice during the regular season.

For many longtime fans of both programs, the scenario was eerily reminiscent of the district tourney in 2003, when Bayfield had a fine season and hosted the district tournament with every expectation of going on.

And got beat.

So it was Saturday night, as a battle-hardened Pirate team (many of its losses coming to highly-ranked teams and to programs from 5A and 4A schools) defeated the Wolverines 21-25, 25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 15-8 to end Bayfield's season and earn the opportunity to face four teams at Saturday's regional tourney at Valley High School.

The win did not come easily. The teams were evenly matched in physical terms, with Pagosa, perhaps, having an edge in hitting power and Bayfield having a small advantage defensively.

Every game in the match - even the fifth and deciding game - was closely contested, with either team in position to win.

The PSHS gym was loud, with each squad backed by enthusiastic fans. The resulting match was one of the most exciting seen in Pagosa in a number of years.

The Wolverines had a five-point run at the outset of the first game to erase Pagosa's 2-0 lead and forge an advantage they would not relinquish. At the same time, Bayfield began to show some weaknesses that would haunt them later in the match, notably a tendency to serve poorly and lose focus and momentum.

Pagosa kept within striking distance. Behind 18-11, the Pirates got a kill as outside hitter Kim Fulmer slid to the middle to put the ball down. Bayfield committed two hitting errors in the face of a formidable Pagosa tandem block formed by Jennifer Haynes and Alaina Garman. Mariah Howell served an ace and Haynes - who played the finest match of her pirate career - put a short set to the floor. Bayfield hit a ball out and Pagosa trailed 18-17

That's when the Wolverines rode a second run of unanswered points (caused largely by poor back-row play by the Pirates) to another advantage. A Pagosa serve mistake coughed up a point, two Pagosa attacks went out and the Pirates committed a passing and setting error. A Bayfield ace put the visitors comfortably ahead, 23-17.

But the comfort was short-lived.

Pirate outside hitter Camille Rand killed off the Wolverine block. Haynes hit two unreturnable serves and, following a tremendous get by Kim Canty and a set by Rand, Garman killed cross-court. Pagosa was behind 23-21. Bayfield went on to the 25-21 win with a stuff block and a point on an errant Pirate attack, but Pagosa had shown its mettle.

The second game remained tight throughout, the teams trading the lead until they tied 13-13. A Bayfield hit went out and Rand killed from outside to give the Pirates a bit of breathing room, but Bayfield came back to tie 16-16. A Wolverine player went over the line beneath the net and Bayfield committed a hitting error; Erin Gabel hit an ace and a Bayfield free ball went out of bounds. Pagosa led 20-16.

The Pirates extended the lead to 23-18 and seemed poised to take the game. The Wolverines had other ideas. A Bayfield tip found the floor as did a kill from outside. A Pagosa hit went out; the Bayfield middle connected on a quick set and a Pirate passing mistake propelled Bayfield into a 23-23 tie.

Senior middle hitter Danielle Spencer ended the Wolverines' momentum, demolishing a short set, then serving an ace for the win.

Pagosa had the momentum at that point and went ahead in game three, 11-8. Bayfield again capitalized on poor back-row play by the Pirates and tied at 11-11.

The Pirates then put together a six-point run that, in other situations, would have been enough for the victory. Bayfield surrendered a point on a passing error; Haynes stuffed Bayfield's setter, Whitney Howard, as the Wolverine veteran attempted a tip; Rand killed cross-court; Haynes and Garman stuffed a Bayfield attack; Rand killed again. Pagosa was ahead, 17-11.

A kill off a quick set by Haynes, a Bayfield attack out and an ace by Haynes gave the Pirates what appeared to be a comfortable advantage, 21-13.

But the Wolverines - an experienced team - refused to fold and began to inch back into contention. With the Pirates up 20-14, the Wolverines used a Pirate serve mistake, passing and hitting errors by Pagosa and a soft shot that fell off the block to close to 22-18. Pagosa scored a point but surrendered a point and serve with a service error. A Bayfield ace went untouched by the Pirate back row; Wolverine outside hitter Carrie Bulwan killed for a point and a Pirate hitting error put Bayfield behind by one, 23-22.

Haynes ended the streak, taking a spectacular one-hand, left-handed set fro Gabel and putting the ball down. The next Pirate set went from Gabel to Fulmer, who ended the game with a kill off the Wolverine block.

One more win, and the Pirates had the upset.

Bayfield was having none of it. The Wolverines overcame a 9-6 Pirate lead with a six-point run, only two of the points earned. Spencer stopped the bleeding, scoring with a soft shot off a quick set and Bayfield hit the ball out to put Pagosa within one point, 12-11. Another mistake in the Pirate back court gave up a point, but Fulmer placed a soft shot to an empty spot in the middle of the Bayfield defense and the Wolverines lost a point with a serve-receive error. The teams were tied 13-13.

Bayfield went up 16-13; Pagosa closed to 16-15. The noise in the gym was deafening.

Bayfield led 17-15 when Garman killed from the right side, then tipped for a point. Haynes put a soft shot down and, following a great get, Rand tipped to give the Pirates a 19-17 lead.

Bayfield roared back, using two kills off the block to go ahead, 21-19.

Rand took back serve with a kill down the line, killed to the back line and put yet another point on the board with a hit off the block. Pagosa led 22-21.

That was all she wrote for the home team. Pirate miscues, two of them in the back row, one a serve-receive error, gave the visitors the win and the match was going to a fifth game.

To 15.

A scan of the first four games showed each team reached the magic 15 mark twice.

It was anyone's game, and match.

And early on, the two teams traded the lead, keeping fans on the edges of their seats.

Pagosa got a point on a stuff by Haynes then went out front 2-0 on a kill by Garman.

A Pirate into the net surrendered a point; a Bayfield serve went into the net.

A Pirate passing error gave away a point and a Bayfield hit went out off a Pirate blocker's hands. The game was tied 3-3.

Rand came up big on the outside, scoring twice, but a botched Pirate serve lost a point and two Pirate hitting errors gave the Wolverines a 6-5 lead.

Garman scored with a tip, Rand hit cross-court and a Bayfield hit went into the net. Pagosa 8, Bayfield 6.

A Pirate attack then went out and a Bayfield serve fell just inside the back line. The game was tied 8-8.

Gabel then put a fantastic set up for Rand, and the junior crushed the ball to put Pagosa ahead for good. She hit two unreturnable serves (and would stay at the serve line until game's end) and a Wolverine pass went awry. The Pirates led 13-8.

As the previous games proved, the Pirates could not assume the lead was insurmountable; they would need another effort to win game and match.

They got the effort from Spencer. The senior middle hitter tipped a short set over the block to produce game point then sealed the win with a stuff block on a Bayfield hitter.

"You know," said Pirate Coach Andy Rice, "we were eight of nine in our last nine matches and we have started getting a contribution from every position. That was the case against Bayfield; our girls have accepted their roles and their confidence and composure has grown. Those are the keys.

"Danielle Spencer really took charge, and Camille Rand was tremendous during the match. We took it from them (Bayfield) and had some extraordinary efforts in doing so. It was a huge win - it's why you play the game. To be at eight-eight (in the fifth game) then sideout and have a junior (Rand) step up to serve six in a row is just great.

"As much as we're proud, and happy, we had one day to celebrate and then its back to practice. We're going to give it everything we've got at the regional tournament and there is no reason we can't go on from there."

Rand put 15 kills down in the win over Bayfield; Fulmer had seven kills. Canty ended the match with 20 assists.

Haynes made it tough for the Wolverines with her serve, scoring with four aces. Spencer and Rand each served four aces.

Haynes stuffed Bayfield hitters four times; Garman had two solo blocks.

Rand led the way in the back court for Pagosa with 19 digs; Canty had 16.

Saturday, the Pirates participate in a regional tournament at Valley High School, one of the perennial powers in the always-tough Patriot League.

Valley won the Patriot league and the district tournament and comes into the weekend with a gaudy 21-2 record.

Pagosa is the second seed in the tournament.

The third-seeded team is no stranger to Pagosa - St. Mary's of Colorado Springs. The two programs have seen each other numerous times in regional and state tournaments since the early '90s. They faced each other at the state tournament in 2004 and met again last season at regionals.

The No. 4 team is Holy Family, from the Metropolitan League - a team the Pirates faced at the 2005 regional tournament.

Pagosa will meet St. Mary's first, Holy Family second, and end tourney play against Valley. The Pirates and Valley have played only once - at the 2004 state tournament.

Valley High School is located in Gilcrest, south of Greeley.


Pagosa takes 3-1 win over Monte at districts

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

A 25-14, 25-14, 20-25, 25-17 win over Monte Vista propelled the Pirate volleyball team into a showdown later that day with Bayfield, with the district title on the table.

Getting past the team from the San Luis Valley was not an easy ride, however: Monte Vista's program has steadily improved during the past few seasons and the team put up a hard battle, despite the loss of their top hitter for the match.

Pagosa got off to a 10-5 lead in the first game. Getting two kills from junior outside hitter Camille Rand, kills from Jennifer Haynes in the middle and Alaina Garman on the right side, and three unreturnable serves by Haynes. The Pirates were hitting with relative impunity, with Kim Fulmer scoring with a shot to the back corner and Danielle Spencer connecting on an ace to the back line. A tip by Fulmer gave Pagosa the serve and a 14-8 advantage and the Pirates went on a run that sealed the deal. Fulmer killed from the outside, Kim Canty scored with an ace, Haynes crushed an errant Monte pass and Garman tipped down the line. Pagosa was ahead 18-8

A stuff block by Haynes and Garman and an ace by Mariah Howell gave Pagosa a 20-11 advantage. With her team ahead 22-14, Rand slid to the middle for a kill then served an ace. A Monte hit out of bounds ended the game.

Monte grabbed the early 2-1 lead in the second game, and that was the only lead the visitors would manage. Despite inconsistent play, the Pirates got points from Fulmer, Garman and Haynes to go ahead 4-2. Another kill by Garman, an ace by Erin Gabel and a cross-court kill by Canty extended the lead to 8-4.

Fulmer had her way with the Monte Vista defense through the middle section of the game. The senior outside killed off the block and was followed by Spencer with a tip off the quick set. Fulmer killed inside a block and Canty put a ball off Monte blockers' hands, out of bounds. Fulmer scored to the back line; Canty hit an ace. Garman killed off the block, Fulmer scored yet again to the back line and Canty hit another ace. Pagosa led 15-1 — in the midst of a run of 10 unanswered points that ended with Canty's third ace and a 21-10 Pirate lead.

Monte would score four more points, two of them earned. Pagosa would get five and win - with a kill by Fulmer, another tip by Spencer and a cross-court kill off the block by Rand.

The teams tied at 6-6 in the third game, and Pirate Coach Andy Rice began to substitute some of his swing players into the action. Monte used a series of Pagosa errors to go ahead 14-9. The teams traded two-point runs, Canty scoring with a tip and an ace for Pagosa.

With Monte leading 16-11, Garman killed off the block and Howell hit an ace serve. Monte got a point on a Pagosa serve error then the Pirates put together five unanswered points to take the 18-17 lead. Garman tipped for a point, Haynes served three unreturnable balls and Cherese Caler killed from the outside.

Monte answered immediately to tie with a kill inside the Pirate block then got points on a Pagosa hitting error and a stuff block. Rand answered with a kill but a Pirate serve error and back-row mistake gave the visitors the unexpected victory.

Monte's thrill was short-lived. The visitors managed to lead in the fourth game up to 15-13 before the tide turned.

In a big way.

Rand stuffed a Monte attack and a hitting error gave the Pirates another point. The score was tied 15-15.

Pagosa gave away a point on a serve mistake (a problem that dogged the team throughout the tournament) but Monte hit a ball out to produce another tie.

And to start yet another monster run for Pagosa - this time nine points.

Canty killed inside the block, Rand hit two aces; Monte committed two hitting errors; Canty nailed a Monte overpass and the visitors made three consecutive mistakes, surrendering points.

Pagosa was at game and match point, 24-17. A Pirate attack went into the net, but it was the final mistake for the home team. Canty put the next ball to the back corner to seal the win.

"We took care of business," said Rice. "In the third game, I felt as though we hadn't been playing our best, and I saw the opportunity to give some playing time to younger members of the team. They earned it, and we had confidence in them. We found a way to win the match."

Fulmer led the way on offense with nine kills. Garman had eight kills.

Haynes and Canty each served six aces.

Rand and Spencer each logged two solo blocks.

Canty put up 10 assists, Gabel eight.

Iris Frye had 15 digs, Howell had eight.


Pirates defeat Centauri in district tourney opener

By Karl Isberg

Staff Writer

Pagosa's opening match of the district championship tournament Friday night was against Centauri, the third-place team in the final Intermountain League standings and the returning district champ - a team that beat Pagosa three times during the 2005 schedule.

This year, however, the tables had turned. Pagosa beat Centauri at the Adams State tournament, then defeated the Falcons twice during the IML regular season.

Now, it was down to a fourth match.

And the Pirates prevailed: 25-15, 25-19,23-25, 25-12.

Pagosa trailed 1-0 in the first game of the match. That was it.

With kills by senior outside Kim Fulmer and junior outside Camille Rand (who had a spectacular match on offense), as well as stuff blocks by Alaina Garman and Jennifer Haynes, the Pirates were on the way to a 7-5 advantage.

Garman killed from the middle, Rand from the outside, Erin Gabel hit an ace, the Falcons committed a hitting error and Gabel stuck a second ace. Pagosa 12, Centauri 6.

The Pirates ran out to a 22-14 advantage with a tip of a quick set by Danielle Spencer, an ace by Rand, two kills each by Fulmer and Rand, two kills by Haynes in the middle, and a tandem stuff by Haynes and Garman. Centauri got a final point on a Pirate serve error before committing two mistakes and watching as a Gabel serve hit the floor.

In the second game, Centauri led 5-4 and everything was going smoothly for the visitors.

Until Pagosa put together a lengthy run of unanswered points. Rand killed to take serve then stayed at the serve line for another 12 points, hitting four unreturnable balls along the way. Fulmer killed twice during the run, Spencer once - on a quick attack. Canty and Spencer stuffed a Falcon attack for a point and Centauri fumbled away the rest of the points during the run. When the dust cleared, Pagosa led 17-5.

Centauri was not finished, though, thanks in large part to a bevy of Pagosa errors. And, with five unanswered points, three of them unearned, the Falcons trailed 21-18.

Rand responded with a kill that rolled along the top of the net, then dropped. Haynes hit an ace, the Falcons were called for a rotation error then scored with a kill. Pagosa had game point, 24-19, and Rand ended the game with a missile that went off a Falcon back row defender for the score.

In game three, the visitors played well through the first two thirds of the game, building a 19-11 lead. Pagosa came back tough, closing to 19-20 with a five-point run on kills by Fulmer and Rand, a tip by Rand and two ace serves by Mariah Howell. Following a Falcon point, Haynes scored with a soft shot to the middle of the court and an ace to the sideline. Rand put another point on the board with a cross-court kill.

Centauri responded with a kill then got a freebie on a Pagosa attack out of bounds. The Pirates would not retreat: Rand killed again, Canty hit an ace and Centauri gave up the 22-22 tie with a hitting error.

Pagosa gave up a charity point with a player into the net and a soft Falcon shot fell at the feet of a motionless Pirate back row. Centauri was at game point, 24-22, and after giving away a score with a mistake on offense, the Falcons received a gift with a Pagosa serve mistake and had the win.

The loss awakened the Pirates. Ahead 4-2 in the fourth game, Pagosa put together seven unanswered points. Garman killed off a quick set; Rand killed inside a block; Spencer nailed an errant pass for a point then stuffed a Falcon hitter; Centauri committed a hitting error and Rand killed off the block. A Centauri attack went out and the run was complete. Pagosa was in front 11-2.

With Pagosa leading 12-5, Rand carried her team on a three-point run, killing cross-court from the right side and hitting two ace serves. Pagosa led 19-7 with a tip by Canty, an ace by Spencer and a kill in the middle by Haynes. A Fulmer kill off the block made it 20-8.

With the Pirates ahead 23-10, courtesy Falcon hitting errors, Spencer scored, putting an errant Falcon pass to the back line. The Falcons got a charity point then a point on a kill before Rand put an end to game and match with a tip that fell behind the Falcon blockers.

"I thought we came out strong," said coach Andy Rice.

"Camille (Rand) continued with the prowess against Centauri that she established in our last league match with them. She led the way. We had a bit of a hiccup in that third game, but I was very pleased that we beat them four times in one year. That's an accomplishment."

Rand had 17 kills on 31 attempts against the Falcons, hitting .516. Haynes and Fulmer each put eight kills down in the match.

Rand served seven aces against the Falcons, Gabel five.

Canty ended the evening with 20 assists, Gabel 16.

Four players had two solo blocks during the match - Fulmer, Haynes, Rand and Spencer.

Howell had 16 digs, Canty nine.


Football season ends with 47-0 Pirate win

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

The Pirates scored eight touchdowns last Thursday, seven in the first half, to blow out Bayfield 47-0 and finish the season with a 4-5 record, 3-2 in the Mountain League.

The 4-5 season could easily have been 5-4, qualifying the Pirates for the playoffs, if only the Pirates had not barely lost in overtime against Monte Vista the week before.

The Pirates played close games throughout the season and many of them could have gone the other way, said Coach Sean O'Donnell.

O'Donnell said he was proud of his team's effort and accomplishments, in spite of the 4-5 record.

Pagosa missed some key players early in the season due to injury, such as running back Corbin Mellette and defensive lineman Karl Hujus. It took a while for the team to adjust and form into a well-tuned machine, finding the perfect place for every player, said O'Donnell.

A few more wins in the first half of the season would have put the Pirates in the playoffs.

But, since finding its rhythm, the Pirates have played exceptional football - upsetting Buena Vista, nearly beating 4A Durango, shutting out Centauri, playing Monte Vista neck-and-neck, and destroying Bayfield in the season finale.

The Pirate defense got last Thursday's game off to a good start, forcing the Wolverines into a three-and-out situation, well into Bayfield territory. The punt-snap went over the kicker's head, but he managed to scramble to get off a long punt, setting the Pirates at their own 35-yard line for the start of their first drive.

The Pirates would not have the ball for long, not because of a three-and-out of their own, but due to a quick score that would set the tone for the whole game.

On the Pirates' first play from scrimmage, Matt Gallegos took the ball around the left tackle and ran 65 yards for a touchdown, with the help of good blocking.

Bayfield was not able to answer. And after another three-and-out stuff by the Pirate defense, the Pirates began another drive near the 50-yard line. Two Mellette 15-yard runs and a 16-yard reception by Adam Trujillo led to a 2-yard, fourth-and-goal run by Mellette for a touchdown.

The Bayfield offense struggled yet again and failed to make a first down. John Hoffman broke several tackles to return the ensuing punt 20 yards to the Bayfield 34. Hoffman finished what he started when he caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Shaffer, thrown over the defensive back on the sideline.

For the second time in a row, the Pirates failed to convert a two-point try, so the score rested at 19-0 just nine minutes into the first quarter.

The Pirates continued to thwart Bayfield's offense in the second quarter while maintaining their own momentum.

After a 31-yard Trujillo reverse and a 19-yard, fourth-and-16, catch by Hoffman, Hoffman caught another 5-yard TD pass to start the quarter.

Mellette went off the left tackle to complete a two-point conversion, bringing the score to 27-0.

Things continued to go badly for Bayfield. After Bayfield's initial first down of the game, taking the Wolverines to the Pirate 39-yard line, defensive back Dan Cammack knocked the ball loose when he sacked the Bayfield quarterback. The ball was recovered by defensive lineman Spur Ross and returned 50 yards for a quick TD, 30 seconds after the last touchdown.

The Pirates' final scoring drive of the first half, and last touchdown by the starting offense for the season, came after a punt forced by a sack by linebacker Steve Jaramillo. Jaramillo had an excellent defensive game, with eight tackles and five assists to lead the team.

Two strong runs by Mellette and a screen to Trujillo took the Pirates from their own 31 into striking distance. From there, the starting offense closed its season with a little fun. Shaffer handed off to Mellette for an apparent sweep around the left tackle, but Mellette handed the ball to Trujillo on a reverse. Meanwhile Shaffer ran from his position in the pocket down the right sideline, and before Trujillo turned up field on the run, he lofted a pass to Shaffer on the sideline for a 33-yard TD, making the score 40-0.

Hoffman intercepted a Bayfield pass at the close of the half, which he returned for 24 yards, to continue the shutout.

Though most of the scoring came in the first half, the Pirate second team got a taste of the end zone in the second half. After giving his first team the start, O'Donnell pulled his starters out of the game, as they drove down the field to begin the third quarter.

Starters like Mellette and Gallegos came up with big runs, but next year's probable starters - including running back Eric Hurd and quarterback Joe DuCharme - continued the drive, DuCharme closing with a 5-yard touchdown run.

After a final extra point by Mike Smith, the score was 47-0.

O'Donnell was impressed by the performance of his second-teamers. He said they could have scored more, if he had not made the decision to limit the playbook, so as not to run up the score against struggling Bayfield.

Hurd ran for 46 yards on nine attempts in the second half, despite running virtually the same play over and over, and DuCharme had a good game under center, said O'Donnell.

"I feel confident with the group of kids we have coming back," he said.

As for the seniors, Gallegos ran for 138 yards on eight carries, Mellette gained 79 on eight - as the Pirates ran for over 300 yards as a team in the game.

Along with his 33-yard touchdown pass to Shaffer, Trujillo caught three passes for 40 yards, and Hoffman pulled in four catches for 63 yards - as part of a 140-yard passing day.

O'Donnell said the game was "one of those tough ones; they knew their season was over." But he wanted the team to "make sure they (the seniors) went out right."

The Pirates did just that, with an incredibly fun game to watch. And what's more, the team gave us a glimmer of what is to come next season - when, hopefully, a few more games will go the Pirates' way.



Pagosa Springs Recreation

Youth basketball season for 7-8 division begins next week

By Tom Carosello

SUN Columnist

Rosters for this year's 7-8 division youth basketball teams have been finalized.

Parents who registered a child and who have not been contacted by a head coach should call the recreation office at 264-4151, Ext. 232, for coaches' contact information.

Practice slots at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. are available at the community center on Monday night; coaches who wish to practice can call the office to reserve court time.

The season will start Tuesday night and will include the following: Red vs. Black at 5:30 , Purple vs. Royal at 6:20 and Orange vs. Forest at 7:10 . Uniforms will be handed out to each team before game time.

Complete season schedules will be distributed at practices and opening night, and are also available online in Adobe format at (click on the town departments link, then the parks and recreation department link and scroll down to "7-8 Youth Basketball").

Coaches and parents are reminded that water is permitted on the sidelines during games, however all other snacks and drinks are prohibited in the community center gymnasium. Please distribute all post-game snacks in the lobby or in the parking lot.

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 the 9-10 and 11-12 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.

Youth soccer photos

Coaches and parents who ordered youth soccer pictures can contact Jeff Laydon at 264-3686 to check the status of their orders. The recreation office will provide sponsors with team plaques and pictures as soon as they are available.

Adult volleyball

Adult volleyball (open gym) is being held Mondays from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. at Pagosa Springs Junior High School.

There are 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.

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 9-10 and 11-12 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 or

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

Sports hotline

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

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



It will end, for a while

This election season brings with it the usual questions and com-plaints concerning our practice of not printing candidate en-dorsements in the Letters to the Editor section. The policy has been explained before and merits yet another go-round.

We do not print candidate endorsements in our letters section for several reasons. First, it has become clear that many of the letters endorsing candidates are engineered by campaigners. The timing and content of letters makes this obvious. Aside from this, too many endorsements are tendered by individuals who (in most cases, wrongly) believe their name will influence the masses. We wonder, in these cases, about the true motives behind the missives.

More important, however, we think material of a political nature in the letters section should deal with issues - the reader then making a connection with a particular candidate's position, easily obtained by steady digestion of news in this paper, or by a reading of the Election Tracker features run during election season.

Lastly, this is a weekly publication. An increasing flow of endorsements highlights a position we refuse to take: selecting which statements make their way to print, and which do not. And which will be deemed authentic enough to replace other letters, dealing with other topics. We do not, and cannot, print every letter that arrives.

Thus, our policy: issues, not endorsements. It is a policy we review, and which, at some time, we might change.

We do, however, read every letter sent to The SUN. And, as a result, we can say our general reaction is disappointment, for the letters too often reflect the increasingly nasty, small-minded, unexamined partisan character of politics in America - and here in Pagosa Country.

The tone of too many letters is mean-spirited, often libelous. They are often colored with a lack of concern for truth, and apparent distaste for tested fact. There are many writers unable to deal with rational argument, who must rely on cliches and fabrications. The nature of political action, here and elsewhere, is fast becoming subterfuge and sneaky dealings - the transmission of rumor and, in many cases, of lies.

This began this election season with a sheriff's primary race. Issues? Not in the end, no. Instead, crafty legal moves, engineered actions by outsiders, personality smears, too much low business.

And it continues now. Instead of dealing with candidates' ideas, we find individuals inside and outside the community being fed falsehoods and relaying those falsehoods to sources which, without concern for the truth of the statements, pass them on to others. Many individuals relish the chance to fuel misconceptions, or to blithely pass them on. And there is the squawking of those unfortunates who, by virtue of their limitations, must think in terms of cartoonish partisan characterizations, and who get louder as Election Day approaches.

Further, a local government entity risks an ethical transgression when it prints literature purportedly urging voters to go to the polls to vote on important issues - making sure the messages contain a few "con" remarks to negate any legal responsibility to notify the recipient of the identity of the sender - without letting the taxpayer know who it is that is paying for the glossy, brightly-colored mailer. Namely, the taxpayer.

What a distressing time of year. From the national level to the local level, it seems we cannot muster the integrity and courage to deal civilly with issues, avoid the tendency to deride those with whom we do not agree, evade the mire of shallow partisan thinking, demand clear ideas and plans from our candidates, deny the urge to subterfuge, tell those who live elsewhere to mind their own business, and expect our own government to be honest with us.

At least, next Tuesday, it will end.

For a while. Karl Isberg



Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of November 10, 1916

Mesdames Hayes and J.T. Manning, of Allison and Arboles respectively, came up Wednesday on the train, bringing the ballot boxes. The former returned yesterday and the latter this morning.

I take this means of thanking my friends, Republican and Democrats alike, for their generous support in the campaign. I will show my appreciation by a strict adherence to my duty to all alike. - Geo. A. Dutton.

The Hersch and Dunagan families and Mabel Hatcher are planning to leave by machine next week for Phoenix, Ariz., to spend the winter. Mabel will enter a musical conservatory to specialize on the piano and violin.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of November 6, 1931

Dr. A.B. Vodian of Alamosa, eyesight specialist, will be here next week to serve all patients in the section on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. He has already made arrangements with the School Board of District No. 1 for the examination of the children in the Pagosa school, which is not compulsory, however, to the patrons. You will find him at the Metropolitan Hotel.

The board of county commissioners met in regular session Tuesday for the transaction of routine affairs. In addition, the board appointed Dr. A. Miskowiec, county health officer, and Frank Matthews county coroner to fill the vacancies created by the recent death of Dr. A.J. Nossaman.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of November 8, 1956

The 1956 election will go down as one of the closest elections in the history of Archuleta County, with unofficial tabulations showing Albert McCarty elected over Claude Hurt to the post of county commissioner in district two by a two vote margin. All of the local county races were close and all were in doubt until the final returns came in. The last precinct to report its returns was No. 1 in town at 7:25 a.m. Wednesday. In other county races Mrs. Nellie O'Neal won over Edna Kimball for the office of county clerk and recorder by a 689 to 400 vote and Lewis Hopper won over Melvin Lattin by 663 to 440 votes for county commissioner in the first district.

The town board met Monday and passed ordinances raising the dog tax and retailer cigarette licenses.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of November 5, 1981

Tuesday night the Pagosa Springs Town Board approved a $649,801 budget for 1982. The mill levy will be raised seven percent to 11.272 mills, the maximum permitted by state law. The budget is an austere one, but allows for some capital improvements.

Archuleta County Commissioners are still working on the 1982 budget. Their problem? They will have at least $120,000 less income next year, but the same expenses. They requested permission to increase the mill levy above the state seven percent limit but were turned down by the Colorado State Department of Local Affairs. In other action, the commissioners sent a letter to the State Department of Highways requesting a stop light at the Fourth and Pagosa Streets intersection in town.



A powerful resource

By Louis Sherman

Staff Writer

Computer technologies have become inseparable from social life - whether cell phones, e-mail or digital pictures. Further, it has even become a dominant way we are informed as citizens, via the Web.

Technology also frequently makes the news. Google bought YouTube, the popular video-sharing site, for $1.65 billion dollars. MySpace, the most notorious social-networking site, has been criticized as a threat to children, while the 109th Congress has been scandalized by electronic messages.

Without being intimidated by the speed of technological progress or the negative headlines, the Pagosa Springs community continues to develop public computer technology as a powerful resource, while remaining aware of and guarding against its attendant threats.

The Pagosa Springs Community Center, with the senior center, sponsors computer programs that seek to educate a broad demographic of Pagosans - giving them experience in technologies much more advanced than simple word processing or e-mail.

The community center has a computer lab for public use and holds computer classes on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon, the latter under the auspices of the senior center.

The classes, taught and organized by staff member Becky Herman (who volunteers her personal time for the purpose), start at the very beginning, literally, from powering-up to holding a mouse. Inexperienced techies come in wanting to do sophisticated things, said Herman. So, first things first; then they can move on to desktop programs, Internet use, digital imaging and security.

Herman said she seeks to answer the question, "What are the best practices for you and your computer?"

According to Herman, the community center classes take a populist approach to the technology, informing the public about good software programs that can be downloaded for free.

"If you are able to get yourself a computer, you can use it safely ... with free programs," said Herman.

Though the programs primarily served seniors at first, the classes now educate a wide variety of citizens, according to Herman.

If you are unable to make the classes, or have more specific questions, Herman is available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-4 p.m. to answer computer questions.

Like the community center, Sisson Library recognizes the importance of new technologies.

In 2006, the Upper San Juan Library District spent around $3,000 on technology, according to Jackie Welch, acting director at the library.

The district has budgeted over $14,000 for 2007, which will likely increase if voters approve a higher mill levy rate for the district in the November general election.

Up to 100 patrons utilize 13 library desktop computers daily for a variety of tasks including e-mail, Internet research and entertainment. There were an average of 89 users per day in September and 106 per day in August.

Wired and wireless Internet access is available for laptops, while library staff remind patrons that wireless connections are insecure.

The library also holds a subscription to the online research database EBSCO Information Services, which provides access to online journals, books, newspapers and academic research.

Welch said this was an important resource that she would like to see more patrons use. Generally, fewer than 10 people use EBSCO in a month.

EBSCO provides access to a glut of information and electronic texts. But effective searching techniques are necessary, in order to limit the number of hits and find the resource you want.

According to Welch, the library is also looking into purchasing Envisionware, a computer-management program which would ease the work loads of staff members, by authenticating users with their library card and keeping track of the time they spend at a computer and the sites they access.

Envisionware would also manage printing tasks, while ensuring the privacy of patrons, in regard to their printing.

Welch said the library is considering putting up privacy screens between computer stations, as well.

According to Peter Welch, who manages library technology, one of the most popular uses of library computers is for accessing MySpace. The library currently filters Internet usage for adult language, pornography, violence and streaming media, but does not prevent access to MySpace.

Instead, library staff monitor Internet use in person. When there is an issue with use of MySpace, or any other site, the issue is addressed with patrons, said Peter Welch.

"As long as they respect the rules, it's okay," said Jackie Welch.

If a patron is engaged in serious research, and needs to access a site which is filtered (perhaps a medical site restricted due to anatomical references), the library staff can revise the program to allow access to the site.

Like Sisson library, the high school has measures to monitor and restrict (when necessary) Internet use.

In a bulletin prepared for parents last April, the high school defined the intended use of its available computers, while it addressed Internet safety and MySpace:

"All use of District's electronic network must be in support of education and/or research or for a legitimate school business purpose."

The bulletin revealed how widespread the use of MySpace is by Pagosa Springs High School students: "Doing a simple search [of MySpace], we found 223 students (well over half) who identified themselves as Pagosa Springs High School students. Surveying a few of those sites, we were able to find phone numbers and sometimes inappropriate photos, etc. Although the minimum age required by MySpace is 14, if a student of any age simply indicates that they are 14, they can be a user."

The bulletin went on to encourage monitoring of the sites outside of school:

"As for home access, discussing the issue of Internet safety with your child is extremely important. Parental supervision is equally important."

The high school currently filters for obscenity and harmful content. It also restricts MySpace and other social-networking sites that are considered a problem.

Counselor Mark Thompson said teachers and staff monitor students' computer use and can block out sites if and as they become problematic.

But this is a continual process, since new sites are always popping up, and known problems like MySpace are constantly changing themselves to get past filtering, said David Hamilton, high school principal.

As in the library, school administers are able to exempt sites from being filtered or override the filter for educational purposes.

The school and library districts adhere to state and federal legislation regarding the protection of children who use the Internet.

The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) of 2000 requires libraries and schools to have an Internet safety policy and to monitor the online activity of minors. It mandates the restriction of obscene and harmful content from minors and the institution of policies to address issues such as the safety and security of minors using electronic communications.

However, the act only regulates those institutions that receive federal funding for Internet or networking technologies. Nor does CIPA specifically address or restrict social-networking sites like MySpace.

To remedy federal CIPA's deficiencies, a 2003 addition to the Colorado state statute, also titled Children's Internet Protection Act, extends the monitoring and filtering requirements to all public libraries and schools, regardless of funding. The statute does not address social-networking sites.

Current federal legislation would take the mandate farther, limiting access to social-networking sites, like MySpace.

The "Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006" was passed by the House of Representatives before the break, and has been passed on for the Senate's approval. The bill would require schools and public libraries to "protect minors from commercial social networking Web sites and chat rooms," such as MySpace. If eventually signed into law by the president, the high school's voluntary restriction of MySpace would become mandatory and the library district would have to broaden their filters to restrict access to MySpace.

Like CIPA, the bill would require schools and libraries to monitor minors' use of computer technology and institute measures to filter Internet sites - protecting against obscenity, and pornography, with the addition of social networking sites and chatrooms (which may provide easy access to harmful content and unlawful sexual advances and harassment, since the sites allow minors to display information about themselves on a public forum), says the bill.

As passed by the House, the new bill would toughen regulations, regarding Internet access in libraries and schools, regardless of federal funding.

As is the case under CIPA, schools or libraries could disable filtering measures for adults, or supervised minors, engaged in educational research.

Though computer programs and use at the community center are not regulated by current or proposed legislation, Herman emphasized the importance of being conscience and cautious regarding Internet technology.

"No filter substitutes for parental supervision," she said. "Parents need to be vigilant.

Public institutions in Pagosa Springs are keen on the potentials of Internet technology, but they are also committed to checking potential problems and informing the public, while providing access to a valuable, perhaps necessary, resource.


Pagosa's Past

Reservation double-cross

By John M. Motter

SUN Columnist

During the period from July 1881 to October 1882, while agents were trying to locate the Jicarilla at Amargo and run down San Pablo, other people were attempting to prevent the Jicarilla from permanently occupying the land assigned to them.

When a number of interested parties heard of the newly-established reservation, an avalanche of complaints flooded the Indian office. Leading the complainants was New Mexico Territory Acting Governor M. B. Ritch. People living in the area of the proposed reservation petitioned Ritch to stop the move.

On July 19, 1881, Ritch wrote the Secretary of the Interior asking that the "Jicarilla Apache Reservation be opened to settlement and that the Jicarilla Apaches be removed from the section they now occupy to one not detrimental to the public interest."

He felt moving the Jicarilla to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) would have no negative consequences, especially when compared to the positive benefits to be derived from the settlers who had property interests as well as prior rights to the land.

Ritch also argued that the Jicarilla would be demoralized inadvertently if they lived near the communities, due to the liquor traffic. It is interesting to remember that in August of 1880, Indian Agent Townsend had visited the site of the reservation and found only four or five settlers living on the land. That is one of the reasons Townsend recommended this particular site for a reservation leading to President Rutherford B. Hayes' September 1880 executive order creating the reservation.

Obviously, the reservation lands had been subjected to an influx of a considerable number of settlers between the time the reservation was created and the time the Indians attempted to occupy the land ... or what? Just as obvious is the fact that those who settled after September of 1880 were trespassers.

And so what happened? Did the government remove the trespassers?

Indian Agent Thomas, charged with helping the Apache occupy their new home, objected to the swelling outcry to move the Jicarilla somewhere else. He wrote, "The proposition to continue to carry the Apaches further back from the demoralizing influences of society is absurd because the time for hiding away the Indians from civilization ... has passed, and they must stand or fall in the very midst of civilization."

The Indian Office was not the least bit interested in Thomas's remarks. It listened only to political pressure. The government officials responsible were in a bind. On the one hand, they were not that strongly in favor of abolishing the Jicarilla Reservation. On the other hand, they were being pressured by citizens in southern New Mexico to rid that country of the Mescalero Apache.

Some talk was held proposing to move the Mescalero Apache from the south to the new Jicarilla Reservation.

After inspecting the Jicarilla Reservation in 1881, Townsend compared the existing conditions to those of his first visit a year earlier. The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad was under construction across the northern part of the reservation, and a temporary railroad town had sprung up at Amargo. He also found a coal mine operating near the town, but the number of settlers within the boundaries of the reservation had remained constant. Townsend recommended retaining the reservation within the original boundaries, but recommended that the settlers be compensated for their homes and improvements.

He also recommended that operation of the coal mine be halted and that restitution for this privilege, unlawfully obtained, be paid. He recommended that Thomas not delay the placing of the Jicarilla on this reservation any longer. Finally, he recommended that the Mescalero be consolidated with the Jicarilla.

Neither the Mescalero nor the Jicarilla approved the consolidation. Huerito Mundo made it clear that the Jicarilla were not friendly with the Mescalero and did not wish to have anything to do with them. Fortunately for both tribes, consolidation plans on the Jicarilla Reservation were dropped.

Instead, landed interest groups intensified efforts to move the Jicarilla to the Mescalero Reservation. This time the groups were supported by Secretary of the Interior Henry M. Teller, formerly a senator from Colorado and a friend of the Archuleta family for which Archuleta County is named.

With Teller's help, Congress was convinced that moving the Jicarilla to Mescalero was the best plan. Only a few months earlier, military officials had expressed concern because the Mescalero appeared to be starving.

Nevertheless, on July 13, 1883, orders were given and the expenditure of money authorized to move the Jicarilla to Mescalero. The Jicarilla were understandably irate.

Were it not for governmental delays and fumbling, the Jicarilla would already have occupied the land issued them by executive They were so upset troops were needed to affect the move.

Information concerning the events leading to establishment of the Jicarilla Reservation as we know it today has been taken from "The Jicarilla Apache Tribe, A History, 1846-1970" written by Veronica E. Velarde Tiller, herself an enrolled Jicarilla Apache and a descendant of the Mundo family.


Pagosa Sky Watch

Prime views of the winged steed, Pegasus

By James Robinson

Staff Writer

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

Sunrise: 6:34 a.m.

Sunset: 5:09 p.m.

Moonrise: 3:27 p.m.

Moonset: 4:18 a.m. on Nov. 3.

Moon phase: The moon is waxing gibbous with 89 percent of the visible disk illuminated. The full moon is Nov. 5 at 5:58 a.m. Mountain Standard Time.

Although the constellation Orion is undeniably the king of the winter sky, the constellation Pegasus rules late autumn, and Pagosa area skywatchers can enjoy prime early-evening views of the winged steed galloping high overhead.

Tonight, the nearly full moon will provide a bold landmark for stargazers intent on viewing the celestial equine, however, bright moonlight will also obscure all but the constellation's brightest stars. Not to worry. The constellation's key features and one of the night sky's most famous asterisms - the Great Square of Pegasus - will remain in full view.

As night unfolds, the constellation will gradually shift from the east-southeast to a position almost due south by 9 p.m. If you begin skywatching early, the moon will prove a useful guide.

Begin observations by locating the moon, then shift your gaze up and slightly to the left to the next bright point of light. This point marks the star Algenib, and the lowermost corner of the square-shaped asterism.

If you imagine the four points of the asterism oriented as though marking numbers on the face of a clock, Algenib would hold the six o'clock position. A quick scan in a clockwise fashion from Algenib should reveal the asterism's remaining three stars.

Algenib, comes from the Arabic for "side," and true to name, the star marks the horse's flank. Algenib is a magnitude 2.8 blue-white star 333 light years away. And although it is a pulsating variable of the beta Cephei type, the fluctuations, at just 0.1 magnitude, are to slight to discern with the naked eye.

Moving to the left, or clockwise from Algenib and to the nine o'clock position, the next star of the asterism is Alpheratz. The star is sometimes called Sirrah.

Although located in the Great Square asterism, the star is technically part of the constellation Andromeda and is a magnitude 2.1 blue-white star 97 light years away.

From Alpheratz, and moving left again to the 12 o'clock position, stargazers will find the star Scheat - meaning "shin."

Scheat is a variable red giant lying 199 light years away. The star fluctuates between magnitudes 2.3 and 2.7 over and indefinite period.

Moving left again to the three o'clock position and the last star of the asterism, stargazers will find Markab, from the Arabic for "shoulder," and the alpha star in the constellation.

Markab is a magnitude 2.5 blue-white giant whose total luminosity is 205 times that of our sun. Markab lies 140 light years away.

Depending on moon glow, stargazers can follow the outline of the constellation beyond Markab up, and slightly to the right to the star Enif.

Enif is from the Arabic for "nose," and hence the name, the star marks the terminus of the celestial equine's snout.

Enif is a magnitude 2.4 star lying 670 light years away.

Professional astronomical observations indicate Enif may be part of a triple star system, although a large telescope is required to view the trio. Those with lesser viewing apertures, such as backyard hobbyist telescopes or binoculars, might find the second of Enif's companions, a magnitude 8.4 bluish star.

As the night progresses and around 9 p.m. look for the constellation and its famous asterism almost due south. Stargazers will note the Great Square is large, easily discernible and stunning, and for these reasons, it remains a pleasure to view and an easy target for the novice skywatcher.



Date High Low Precip
Depth Moisture












































Now, we're waiting for that one, good storm

By Chuck McGuire

Staff Writer

By 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Wolf Creek Ski Area reported 25 inches of packed powder at its mountain summit, with 18 inches midway. No new snow had fallen in the previous three days, and the season total stood at 65 inches.

Under early-season conditions, with obstacles present, 19 of 77 trails were open, serving 400 acres of skiable terrain. Three lifts were in operation, and the Divide Trail was Wednesday's "pick of the hill."

The Alberta Peak area is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., but the Waterfall area, Knife Ridge and Horseshoe Bowl remain closed.

With all that in mind, we could certainly use some snow. However, the dry and mild conditions we've seen in the past seven days will apparently continue for at least the coming week.

Since last week's edition of The SUN appeared on newsstands, the Pagosa Lakes area has enjoyed sunny skies and daytime highs from the low 50s to low 60s. Saturday and Sunday topped out at 61 and 60 degrees, respectively. In the past few days, however, highs have stayed in the low to mid-50s.

Under bright stars and a waxing moon, low temperatures dropped to the low 20s most nights, with Monday's low falling all the way to 17 degrees. Sunday's low was the warmest, but still seven degrees below freezing.

According to the National Weather Service forecast, skies will remain clear through Saturday, with daytime highs climbing near 60. Low temperatures will fall to the low 20s.

Sunday through Tuesday should bring partly cloudy skies and cooler temperatures, but still no precipitation. Highs will reach the low 50s, with lows again, in the low 20s.

For the following week, predicts partly cloudy skies, with highs only in the 40s, and lows dipping into the teens and low 20s.

Following four months of above-average precipitation, the first half of this month looks dry. Although, with precipitation totals averaging just 1.39 inches in November, including 10 inches of snow, it'll only take one good storm to get there.

Here's hoping