Pagosa Lakes News

Environmentally conscious yard work

Springtime is when many owners begin thinking about plans to get their lawns and landscapes ready for the summer.

Here’s a reminder to lakefront owners: PLPOA carries a special lakefront formulation fertilizer here at the association office. This is a special slow-release formulation designed to help protect the lake from harmful doses of phosphorous. It does contain some phosphorous but at a reduced level, and contains a good amount of nitrogen for healthy roots and iron for greening. This fertilizer comes in 50-pound bags, with one bag covering about 500 square feet (at a cost of $14).

Many communities and property owner associations across the country have actually implemented municipal codes and restrictions that require homeowners to use only reduced-nutrient fertilizers near lakes and waterways. Although PLPOA has not yet placed any such restrictions here, it is highly recommended for the benefit and health of our lakes.

If you would like to purchase a bag of lakefront formulation fertilizer, please come by the association office on Port Avenue where a supply is kept. Also available to Pagosa Lakes property owners (in good standing) are two types of grass seeds: “low-grow,” a drought-tolerant strain, at $4 for two pounds; and “carefree mix,” which produces a more lawn-like cover, at $6 for 2 pounds. Both the fertilizer and grass seed are sold to PLPOA homeowners at cost.

Springtime is when melting snow and rainfall make mud ubiquitous. Staff at the recreation center is requesting that all users of the facility wear clean shoes. The mud and gravel has already caused three treadmills to malfunction as a result of the grit becoming embedded between the belt and the deck. The courts, likewise, have taken a beating from the scouring effects of the dirt.

Swim team schedules
Special Olympians will again begin their swim training at the recreation center, starting next Tuesday (April 17) from 6-7 p.m. The group will utilize only a section of the pool, leaving the rest open to our members. Practice will be conducted every Tuesday and Thursday through May 10. On the morning of May 12, a swim meet will be held, also at the recreation center, for Special Olympians in our area and neighboring communities. More details will be provided as the time draws closer for the competition.

If you would like to work with the Special Olympics swimmers as a swim partner or coach, please contact the recreation center at 731-2051.

The Pagosa Lakes swim team follows a training schedule of Monday through Thursday, from 4:15-5:45 p.m. Since the team carries 36 swimmers, the entire pool time, 4:15-5:45 p.m. is closed for their use. However, the hot tub and kiddie pool remain open.

As the community grows, so do the demands placed on our facility. I realize it is difficult for some who remember the earlier days when the recreation center was quieter and each member was addressed on a first-name basis.

There will be a Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association board meeting at 7 p.m. today in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. All property owners are invited to attend.

Community Center News

Spring rummage sale Saturday at center

The Community Center Spring Rummage Sale is Saturday and it looks like it’s going to be a full house, so pack up the family and check out all the great “stuff” for sale.

We are excited about the wide range of items this year, including jewelry, furniture, clothing, antiques, tools, lighting, books, bikes, quilts and other assorted treasures.

There still might be a space or two left, so if you want to take a chance and grab one at the last minute, come down to the center today or tomorrow. Each 10x10 space is $20. Again, the sale is Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Pagosa Springs Community Center, with tables and chairs provided.

Spring Fling
The time for the Spring Fling dance has been changed to 7:30-10:30 p.m. to better accommodate those who work, but the date remains the same: Friday, April 20.

Tickets are $10 per person and will include music by popular DJ Bobby Hart, snacks and soft drinks. There will be a cash bar featuring Chardonnay, Merlot, and white Zinfandel wines, and assorted light and regular bottled beers.

The dance is a 21-and-over event. Tickets are available at the community center and at Higher Grounds in the Pagosa Lakes area. Watch for more details in this column.

Scrapbook Club
The Scrapbook Club will meet 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 21, in the North Conference Room. There is no cost for you to attend.

This month, our theme is ”A Luau Celebration!”  We will have hourly prize drawings and three “tropical” theme projects to work on, for a nominal fee. These projects are optional. We will also have snacks and beverages for you to enjoy. 

There will be tools for you to use including lots of different rubber stamps, inks, three Sizzix Machines, Sizzix Alphabets — Fun Serif Upper, Round-A-Bout, Shadowbox Upper & Numbers — several frame dies and various other dies. We also have dry and heat embossing tools, plus a lot more. 

If you are planning to attend, R.S.V.P. Allison Wylie at 264-7020, or Melissa Bailey at 731-1574, by April 18.

Cinco de Mayo
May is just around the corner and May 5 is Cinco de Mayo at the community center. We’ll have more details about the upcoming celebration and festivities in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

Line dancing
After missing two weeks of classes and several hours of sleep crossing the International Date Line, Gerry Potticary said Pagosa looks great!

Gerry spent two fabulous weeks in Japan watching the world’s greatest figure skaters and touring Kyoto, where she spent two years in a military high school back in the dark ages. 

Thanks to Dick for teaching the couples’ class for those two weeks. The class members said he really cracked the whip. Gerry came back to find the whole group doing a mean Electric Slide and a rowdy Cowboy Cha Cha, as well as with a good start on the Foxtrot. Peggy and Beverly did their usual good job with the line dancers. 

Party Time at PJ’s, with its great dance floor and good food, has added a great new dimension to dancing in Pagosa. Check it out. 

Come join us Monday mornings for fun and a few dance steps: 9 a.m. for couples and 10 for line dancing.  For more information, call 731 9734.

Spring Fling for the kids
Join Pagosa Springs fifth- and sixth-graders at the community center 7-9 p.m. Friday, April 27, for a fun-filled evening of dance, door prizes, beverages, food and a dance contest with prizes. Admission is $2 with a food donation (munchies like potato chips, pretzels, corn chips) or $4 without food donation. Parents are not required to attend, but are encouraged to join in the fun and will be admitted free of charge. The Pagosa Springs Community Center and the Kiwanis Club are sponsoring this event.

Let’s face it: Even life in Pagosa Springs can be stressful.
So, why not learn to relax the natural way through Yoga. Achieve muscle tone and flexibility, learn breathing techniques and body poses to help slow down life’s frantic pace in the quiet atmosphere of our yoga class?

The yoga group meets 10-11:30 a.m. every Tuesday with Diana Baird and Addie Greer, who volunteer their time teaching this free program. While Diana and Addie are not yoga instructors, they love to practice yoga and encourage others to join them.

Computer class
We don’t have a start date yet for the Basic Computer classes, however Becky is well aware that many people have been asking about her and about when she’ll be coming back to teach. As she continues to regain her strength, we’ll keep you posted on her progress and will notify you when classes are scheduled to begin.

Toddlers’ playgroup
Every Thursday, 10 a.m. to noon, the pre-schoolers’ playgroup meets in the gym. This is a free program sponsored by the community center. A parent or guardian must stay with the child (no dropoffs). Bring toys, balls, clean bikes, snacks and a spare clean pair of shoes if street shoes are dirty.

For more information, call Gwen Taylor, 731-0305.

Open gym
Sessions are available 8-9 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, with Larry Page as the contact person. Larry can be reached at 264-1024.

Another group meets every Friday noon to 1:15 p.m. Call Dan Aupperle if you wish to join this group, 264-2235.

Gathering place
The community center has several rooms to rent for all kinds of gatherings, meetings, seminars, parties and fund-raising events, at reasonable prices. Space is available for just about any size group, most rooms with the furniture and equipment you will need. Call 264-4152 to reserve a room for your next gathering

Current center hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10-4 Saturdays.

Activities this week
Today — Hoopsters basketball, 8-9 a.m.; Archuleta County Victim Assistance, 8:30-10:30 a.m.; toddlers’ playgroup, 10 a.m.-noon; AARP Tax Aide, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Teen Center open, 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Trinity Anglican Church Bible Study, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.; Grace Evangelical Congregational Meeting, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
April 13 — Senior Walk cancelled; open basketball cancelled; Bridge-4-Fun and duplicate bridge, noon-4 p.m.; Teen Center open, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
April 14 — Community Center Spring Rummage Sale, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; PSFD dinner, 6-9 p.m.
April 15 — Grace Evangelical Free Church and Church of Christ Services, 10 a.m.-noon; High Roads Baptist Church Service, 6-8 p.m.; High Roads Baptist Church, 6-8 p.m.; Fairfield/Wyndham Activities, 6-8 p.m.
April 16 — Line dancing, 9-11:30 a.m.; Senior Walk, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Bridge-4-Fun and duplicate bridge, noon-4 p.m.; junior high basketball practice, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
April 17 — USFS conference, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Hoopsters basketball, 8-9 a.m.; yoga session, 10-11:30 a.m.; AARP Tax Aide, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Senior Walk, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; Tourist Committee meeting, 3-6 p.m.; Teen Center open, 3:30-6:30 p.m.; junior high basketball practice, 5:30-7:30 p.m Mankind Project, 6:30-9 p.m.
April 18 — USFS conference, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Senior Walk, 11:15-11:35 a.m.; seniors’ Aikido class, 1-2 p.m.; Teen Center open, 3:30-6:30 p.m.; Weight Watchers, 4:45-6:45 p.m.; junior high basketball practice, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Food for Thought

We’re entitled ... to tenderloin

By Karl Isberg
PREVIEW columnist

It’s the Age of Entitlement in America, and as we Baby Boomers cruise ingloriously to the total destruction of Social Security and a gift of crushing indebtedness to future generations, the bar is being raised all around us.

In this Age of Entitlement, the notion that much should come of nearly nothing is becoming more universal in our society with each passing day.
Going beyond the idea that a culture is rightly judged by the manner in which it treats its children, the aged and the helpless, it is not difficult to see when and where the entitlement train leaves the tracks.

Take, as one example, the idea of what children are entitled to, just because they are children.

There was a time, not long ago, when being a child — given you weren’t starving, beaten, homeless or worse — did not mean much of anything other than you were a child. You weren’t entitled to much. Go back a mere 50 years, and children from age 8 or so were most often left to their own devices, to do kidlike things. Kids had been freed of the burdens born by youth a century before — when children often worked in sorry circumstances, when sod-hut dwelling dryland farmers and scrub ranchers bred kids as a labor force. Kids worked in factories back then, in mines, as street hawkers, etc. But, that changed.

With the post-World War II “Dad’s-just-off-the-troop train-so–watch- out-Mom” phenomenon, there was a flurry of births and that, and unprecedented prosperity produced by diligent vets, led to a large group of kids who were allowed to be kids — if only because the parents were working so hard.

Not so in the Age of Entitlement. Not only are the little monkeys overly protected, jacketed in overly-paranoid parental concern, but many are being raised to believe great things come their way just because they exist.

Things like adulation.

In the newspaper business, as in the school administration business, one is constantly reminded this society places increasingly undue importance on the glorification of children and the creation of false entitlements for them.

In short, many children now function as projections of the parent — a “little me,” bright as a Hollywood Boulevard theater marquee. The parent lives out unrealized aspirations through the child, their own unsatisfactory being remediated by a triumphant offspring.

As a result, more and more kids cannot be judged; they cannot be criticized or cast in a less-than-golden light. It is now better to classify a child as somehow disabled and incapable of cleaving to regular standards than to have anyone label them “average.” It is better to have standards lowered than to have standards unmet. Woe be to the person or institution that rattles the wrong parent’s ego by deeming what their child does as anything but excellent, unparalleled and profound. Frequently, children are lauded for mere participation; they receive standing ovations for simply showing up.

No need to wonder about the potential damage being done here — nor to ponder what the children in other, more pragmatic, realistic societies are learning and doing. No need to wonder what strengths, if any, might come of indulgence and the sense of unearned entitlement, nor about how well those qualities might serve their bearers in a wider world in which self-esteem counts for little when compared to toughness, discipline, desire, persistence, the ability to delay gratification.

We in the news business see this phenomenon nearly every workday. Like clockwork, materials arrive, submitted by parents — huge photos, accompanied by glowing reports of the child’s accomplishments, penned by … guess who? But, in so many cases, the accomplishment is invisible. Little Bobby received the highest mark in the balsa wood eating competition, in which every entrant got a similar mark. Precious Betsy was named a finalist in the Little Miss American Spray Paint Pageant, as was every other contestant whose parents paid the entry fee. Little Timmy put on a football helmet … the right way!

In come demands — not requests — that mere participation be lauded. Followed by disdain when it is not. The guideline, according to many, is not accomplishment; the new standard is that the child simply exists, rises in the morning and breathes. Activities that even a generation ago went unheralded and, thus, were unadorned fun for youngsters — sports, for example —are now dominated by adult organization and given an import that, in truth, they do not have. Not when compared with the hunger that propels a child in less indulgent circumstances.

If, as a society and a community, most of us see nothing wrong with unearned attention and the glorification of the ordinary, then the least those of us who are daily defined by average accomplishment can do is provide a link with reality, some tether to a world in which fact plays at least a minor role.

I propose we focus on sports, and start by changing the nickname of our local school athletic teams.

For those of you who don’t know, that nickname is “Pirate.”

The problem begins here, eh? ... this disconnect with reality.

What manner of twit came up with this name?

Pirate? When was there a pirate in Pagosa Country, unless it was a retired pirate who bought a timeshare here?

Pagosa is not alone in the use of the utterly inane nickname. There are several other nearby schools burdened with the same, unfortunate moniker: Monte Vista and Olathe, to name two. They need to do something about it too.

I propose righting this situation … for the kids. We need to get rid of the name, paint over the snazzy-looking, French Pirate image in the gyms, do away with any mention of “Pirate” in the school system, in the community — unless, of course , it has something to do with the above-noted sale of timeshares.

We need a new nickname that accurately reflects the history of the area or its current condition. There has to be a link with fact. Since parents can’t deal with reality, they should at least have to refer to a mascot that has some substance when they shine the spotlight on the tykes.

As a result, I am starting a Name the Mascot contest. I am throwing down the gauntlet— providing five of what I consider great nicknames in order to prime the pump. If you think you can top these, give it your best. Mail or e-mail your ideas to the school district.

On the history side, I have pared down the options to four names that represent our home

First, the Shepherds (or, if we need a bit of bluster, The Battlin’ Shepherds). The logo painted in the gym could be a representation of an isolation-addled guy with cowl and crook or, better yet, a Basquelike character accompanied by a pack of fleabitten dogs.

Second, the Stockmen. Picture a wiry, sun-creased wrangler spotted with precancerous skin lesions, slumped in the saddle, hung over, plagued by saddlesores and piles, bored to death with a diet consisting solely of wormy flour, boiled coffee, beans and unbearably tough beef. A related nickname would be The Rustlers, but the graphic image of a body swinging on a rope hung from a tree limb might be too much for the folks in the bleachers.

Third, The Loggers. This could provide a powerful image: a brawny guy, muscular arms held overhead, an huge ax in one hand, the figure standing on a clear-cut mountainside, smoke from a mill rising behind him. “Go Loggers: Cut ’em down, saw ’em up.”

Fourth, and most poetic: How about the Ancestral Puebloans? The football team could rip through a giant paper reproduction of Chimney Rock as it takes the field for the homecoming game. The cheerleaders’ outfits could be emblazoned with designs taken from ancient pottery. One of the cheerleaders could dress up like Kokopelli and scamper impishly while tooting a crude flute during the halftime show.

All these would be nifty nods to the past, and each is certainly more meaningful than a Pirate.

Better yet, let’s go for something with immediate value — something that represents today … and the future.

How about The Subdividers?

The graphic?

Picture this: A gigantic reproduction of a top-of-the-line SUV (or, better yet, a Hummer). A guy with a very large head waves wildly from the driver’s seat. He has a neato haircut, an impossibly huge smile, and is wearing one of those Starship Enterprise earpieces for his cell phone.

Beneath the immense graphic on the gym wall: “Welcome to the Home of The Pagosa Subdividers. We’ll tear you up, sell you and bank the profits.”

Should put the fear of God in a visiting team and its fans, wouldn’t you say?

And it should inspire some of our local youngsters to set their sights high. To ignore the false-front praise and the cheap accolades, and aim for the stars.

That reminds me, after all this superficial griping and pointless quasi creativity, I need something out-of-the-ordinary for dinner.
Something totally out of step with my piddling effort at the keyboard.

Roasted beef tenderloin with two sauces: béarnaise and a wine reduction with wild mushrooms.

No space left to tell you how to make a béarnaise sauce. Suffice it to say I make the best béarnaise since the invention of tarragon. Call me, congratulate me.

The wine reduction: A full bottle of Cabernet and an equal amount of beef stock, reduced over medium high heat by two thirds. A roux, salt and pepper, sautéed onions, sautéed mushrooms, the reduction used as the liquid. A bit of thyme. Perfecto. As always.

The tenderloin: Room temperature and dry. Seasoned with salt and pepper and browned on all sides in olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy sauté pan. Pan goes into a preheated 400-degree oven for about 45 minutes — until the internal temp of the tenderloin registers 130. Out it comes, and it goes under a tent of foil to rest for at least 15 minutes, so the juices redistribute in the flesh.

I intend to whip this baby up and invite a couple friends over for dinner.

That way, they can tell me it is the absolute best tenderloin ever cooked in the history of beef.

I’m entitled to that, aren’t I?

What's Cookin?

Vegetarian Brown Gravy

By Kim Vernon, CSU Extension
PREVIEW columnist

small onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cube veggie bullion
2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
salt and pepper
1. Sauté onions and mushrooms in oil until well done. Dissolve bullion in water and add to pan.
2. Bring to boil and add cornstarch, dissolved in a small amount of cold water.
Cook one or two minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Makes a little over 2 cups.


Harlan “Chico” Nickerson

Harlan “Chico” Nickerson, 86, died Saturday, April 7, 2007, at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center in Pagosa Springs.

Born in Pasadena, Calif., in 1921, he served in the Army Air Force in World War II, stationed in England where he met and married the love of his life, June Nickerson. June passed away in July of 2006.

Chico was a legend in the southern California area for resolving complicated title issues specializing in oil and gas leases. He loved to listen and dance with June to Dixie Land Jazz and both he and June were able to see some of the greatest jazz performers ever (Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Jelly Roll Morton, Turk Murphy and many more). Chico retired to Santa Fe, N.M., where he lived from 1989 to 2005, at which time he moved to Pagosa and resided at Pine Ridge Extended Care Center.

He is survived by his son, Stephen Nickerson (Alberta), of Pagosa Springs; daughter, Karen Wheeler (Charlie), of Santa Fe, N.M.; son, Geoff Nickerson, of Corpus Christie, Texas; daughter, Jody Bergsma (David), of Scottsdale, Ariz.; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

We know Chico will be jitterbuggin’ with his Junie on that big dance floor in the sky. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Sunday, April 15, 2007, at Pagosa Junction. We love you, Chico, and will miss you.