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Help available with seniors’ legal issues

After we enjoyed yet another gastronomic masterpiece last Friday, Todd Starr, our Archuleta County Attorney, answered general legal questions from our seniors during our “Ask the Lawyer” program.

It became painfully apparent that many of our seniors who needed further legal assistance could not afford representation. Todd deftly reminded us that the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging contracts with Colorado Legal Services to provide legal assistance to Seniors.

I called Colorado Legal Services and this is what I learned.

Colorado Legal Services is a non-profit agency that provides legal assistance to people who have low income and to people over the age of 60. There is no charge if your case is accepted and they do not assist with criminal cases.

Case priorities include simple wills, limited guardianship cases, assistance with public benefits, assistance with domestic law issues, housing, consumer and employment issues.

Kyla Norcross is the paralegal/pro bono coordinator and Arthur Jacobs is the attorney.

Applications to receive services are accepted either via telephone or in person Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number to call is 247-0266. If the answering machine picks up, staff is either with someone or on the phone. This phone line does not accept messages. The address for applying in person is 1474 Main Ave., Suite 200, Durango, CO. When you apply, please mention that you were referred by Archuleta County Senior Services.

Kyla acknowledges that transportation to and from Durango can be difficult and stated that they accept faxes from clients and try to minimize or eliminate travel as much as possible. Colorado Legal Services’ excellent Web site is . It contains valuable information, self help tools and links not just for seniors, but for all citizens. Thank you Colorado Legal Services, and thank you Todd Starr.

Senior Spotlight

Jim Estelle has been a good-hearted wild man most of his 84 years. When he was in high school he lettered in every sport because he didn’t like studying. Back in the day, 40 years ago, he rode his bicycle 20 to 30 miles a day (on a single speed bicycle) sometimes riding it from Fort Collins, Colo., through Estes Park to Loveland, “just for fun.” He has traveled all over the world and the United States and says, “It is all too wonderful” to pick a favorite place.

A former carpenter, roofer, dairy farmer and nursery worker, his favorite jobs were as a gunner’s mate in the Navy from 1943-1946 and working for the Woodward Governor Company until he retired. His best financial advice is to save money every month and to “buy a duplex instead of a house so the renters pay for the duplex, and when you get it paid off, buy a house.”

Jim’s secret to his great marriage to his wife, Judy, is to “stick with each other no matter what.” His favorite car was a 1956 Red Rambler Convertible. “I still have pictures of it sitting on my table.” Exercise and keeping busy is his best advice for a happy life and he advises sitting in a chair doing nothing is the worst thing a person can do. Jim loves to snowshoe and volunteer and help wherever he is needed.

Thank you

The Victorian Aid Society (not ever to be confused with Victoria’s Secret) presented “Dressing a Lady from the Inside Out.” Carrie Foisel, Darla Hill and Clair Lodahl traveled here from Durango in full, elegant garb to mention the unmentionables and show us the hidden clothing of the “Ladies” of the 1880s.

Pantaloons were the crowd’s favorite (if you don’t know what they are, I am not going to print it). The Victorian Aid Society can be found caroling in Durango during the holiday season in full dress. Their purpose is to celebrate and promote an accurate understanding of 19th and early 20th century history in Durango and surrounding areas, through costume, activities and education. They strive to represent citizens of Victorian life as correctly as possible in all of their public appearances.

To join the Victorian Aid Society, or to make inquiries, call Carrie Foisel at 385-5482 or Darla Hill at 247-7870. Thank you, ladies, for making history fun and for our discovery of pantaloons.

Thank you Frieda Martinez for volunteering to be a substitute Home Meal deliverer. Woo hoo, Frieda! Thank you Pat Vermilyea for volunteering for Monday lunch cleanup. Yeah, Pat! Thank you, Anita Gardner, for the video tapes and magazines.


We still need one regular in-town home delivery person. We still need dining room cleanup people for Tuesdays and Fridays, one for each day. No begging. No invitations for lunch where you have to talk to me. This week, I will bribe you with homemade chocolate chip brownies. A whole pan. Call me — Jodi Starr, 264-2167.

Healthy Cooking class

We are thrilled to offer a new series of classes to our seniors, entitled “Healthy Cooking,” by Rich Linblad. Linblad has taken more than 35 classes at the Santa Fe School of Cooking in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has also completed a one-week Boot Camp program at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.. He has hosted cooking classes locally and has been cooking for friends and family for over 40 years. He especially enjoys sharing his knowledge and techniques with others. There is space for 10 people, so please call the office for deadlines for registration, 264-2167. Here is his syllabus:

Oct. 14: This class is a combination of hands-on and presentation where we will be making authentic chiles rellenos with goat cheese and mushrooms. Be prepared to have some fun and savor the flavors of the Southwest. Please register with Jodi by Oct. 9.

Nov. 18: This class is done in a presentation style and is entitled “Things my mother never told me about cooking.” We’ll cover everything from pots and pans to the correct use of knives, useful kitchen tools, cutting boards and some interesting techniques to preparing foods. We’ll also be sampling some veggie snacks that are sure to excite the pallet.

Dec. 9: This class is a hands-on program where we will be making the best chicken soup that you’ve ever tasted. We’ll learn how to toast herbs, create our own chicken stock and use only the best ingredients while also incorporating some fun techniques to make all of our participants look like professional chefs.

Jan. 20: This class is entitled “How to jazz up plain foods with some simple sauces.” We’ll learn how to make a universal fat-free brown gravy sauce using nothing more than an onion as a base and then we’ll make two fruit sauces using ordinary ingredients found in the refrigerator. We’ll also snack on some of Rich’s favorite appetizers. Come prepared for an exciting close to the cooking series.

Rich is generously donating his time. We are very grateful for this opportunity.

Archuleta’s Seniors, Inc. has graciously funded this exciting series. Thank you ASI; we appreciate you.

Weekly activities at The Den

Friday, Oct. 2 — Geezers, 9 a.m.; Intermediate Tai Chi, 9:30 a.m.; Beginning Tai Chi, 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.

Monday, Oct. 5 — Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; Canasta 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 6 — Blood pressure checks, 11 a.m.; Gym Walk, 11:15 a.m.; Meditation for Healing, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 7 — Dance for Health, 10 a.m.; H1N1 flu presentation by Susie Kleckner from the health department, 12:45 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 8 — Administration Day.

Friday, Oct. 9 — Geezers, 9 a.m.; Intermediate Tai Chi, 9:30 a.m.; Beginning Tai Chi, 11 a.m.; Gym Walk 11:15 a.m.; ASI election, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ; last day to sign up for Healthy Cooking.

Our October Archuleta County Senior Center Newsletter is now available on Archuleta County’s Web site:


Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act, United Way, and Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other contributions and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $9.75. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 2 — Coconut fish, cocktail sauce, broccoli blend, grapes, roll, brown rice.

Monday, Oct. 5 — Hamburger, mustard and onion, lettuce and tomato, baked beans, French fries, fruit.

Tuesday, Oct. 6 — Orzo (pasta) with vegetables and ham, salad, oranges, bread stick.

Wednesday, Oct. 7 — Open-face hot turkey sandwich, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, fruit, ambrosia salad.

Thursday, Oct. 8 — Administration Day.

Friday, Oct. 9?— Mediterranean chicken, barley casserole, broccoli, mixed fruit, roll.