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Letters to editor for August 21, 2008

DEEPEST THANKS — The family of John Bechaver would like to express our sincerest gratitude and deep appreciation to family and friends, for the kindness and compassion extended to us during the recent illness and passing of our loved one. We are grateful for the prayers, visits, calls, messages, cards, food, flowers, and Masses that were offered during our trying times. Special thanks to Father Chris, the members of The Saint Mary’s Combined Choirs, the pall bearers, The U. S. Air Force Honor Guard, and Boise – Ortega Funeral Home. Our thanks to all the staff of Mountain Creek Home Health, especially to Kathy, Traci, Jacque, and all those who cared for him. Thank you!

    Agnes, Theresa, Phyllis,     Lorrie, and Will


    America is on the rocks and we Americans put her there: by failing to show up on our watch for our assigned duty we are near to losing our ship!  Our forefathers set the ship of state on a crooked course to be corrected at appointed intervals…we fail.  I’m speaking of course of our charge to elect commanders qualified in the art of democratic navigation to keep our ship in chartered waters and off the rocks.

    Our minds tire of the constant strain to stay alert and sort the buffoonery from the facts.  Our eyes wander to the many pleasures and distractions offered by the freedoms of domocracy, easily we forget our responsibility to quit gawking nd stand our watch.  We think surely someone else will do it while we watch tropical sunsets.  Of course evryone else is watching the sunset too and the steerage, manned by no one, drifts off course.

    A perfect example played out in our small town just last week.  Senator Salazar came to talk of health care, a topic dear to us all, seventy people showed up.  Mark Udall came by to learn of our pressing needs and maybe a hundred people showed up.  The Broncos came to town and hundreds, maybe a thousand or more showed up…

    Would it be far fetched then to imagine some old curmudgeon drawing the conclusion that we Americans are more interested in games, the out come of which matters not a whit, than the outcome of laws and policies enacted on our behalf, or on our behind, that help or hinder, free or bind?  We don’t know, we’re watching the sunset.

    We are in danger of being the shame of those who gave their all to make America great and democracy the best form of government ever… We need to be insulted by 30 second attack ads.  We need to dig deeply into all sorts of information, analyze it and elect politicians attuned to the needs of all people, not just the rich or radical.  VOTE, as if America’s very survival depends on us, it does!

        Ken Back

To the Editor,

In the Democratic Primary Aug. 12, the electors of the Third Judicial District voted to return me to the Office of District Attorney for Las Animas and Huerfano Counties, a position I held from 2001 through 2005. This letter is to thank you, the voters, for your ballots and for your confidence in me. I enjoyed meeting and conversing with so many of you over the course of my campaign. I look forward to again serving you in this demanding and important public office.

    I also thank the many supporters I encountered this primary season – who wrote letters to the editors of the local newspapers expressing their support for me, who let me put signs on their lawns and billboards on their properties along major roads, and who simply gave me words of encouragement. And thank you to the reporters of the various newspapers which covered the DA’s race for their balanced, professional journalism, and to Times Television of Trinidad and KSPK-TV of Walsenburg for their masterful treatment of the candidate forums featuring my opponent and me.

    I wish to publicly acknowledge their contributions and express thanks to my wife, Sarah Jane, and my two children, Nicholas and Sally, who helped me post yard signs and billboards, stuff envelopes, hand out cards, campaign door to door, fill helium balloons and throw candy in parades. My campaign was truly a family enterprise, and our memories of the election results, as broadcast on KCRT the night of Aug. 12, will last a lifetime. Special thanks to my mother-in-law, Sally M. Gansz, for the use of her truck (the one with the "Ruybalid for District Attorney" billboards mounted in the bed).

    After my loss in 2004, I was hesitant to get involved in politics again, but once I got started campaigning this year, I remembered how much I enjoyed visiting with the voters, catching up on family news with friends I had not seen for awhile, hearing about career advances, graduations and new grandchildren, and making new friends. Thank you all very, very much, for your votes, for welcoming me into your homes, and for the time you took to share with me what is important to you. I will do my best to live up to the expectations you have for me.

    Very truly yours,

    Frank Ruybalid

Letter to the Editor

    So big deal that Michael Phelps won eight gold medals in Beijing and set a new record in swimming. Who cares that discus thrower Stephanie Brown Trafton at 6’ 4” doesn’t fit the mold of what we think an Olympian should look like.  I wonder how they would perform at the Redneck Games.    

    The Redneck Olympics started out as a parody of the Atlanta Olympics, with a propane torch lighting a barbecue grill to symbolize the beginning of the games. The first gathering drew a crowd of 5,000 ballooned to 10,000 people by 2001 and has drawn crowds of 15, .000 or more ever since.

    There’s the Bobbing for Pigs Feet contest, the Armpit Serenade (back in 2000 a 12 year old boy played “Dixie” with his underarm and palm), the Mud Pit Belly-flop, Hubcap Hurling, and Redneck horseshoes (played with toilet seats.)

    Can you visualize a Gold Medal winner bobbing for raw pigs’ feet, or a champion discus thrower playing red neck horseshoe?  Hey she might be pretty good at it.  Anyone who hunts wild boar has got to have a little redneck in her.   

    Here’s a thought, the town of East Dublin has a population of 2,500 residents.  Walsenburg has a population of 4,000 which is close to that of East Dublin.  Wouldn’t it be neat if the ‘Burg could do something similar?

    Consider naming our games the Piñon Games and instead of a seed-spitting contest we could have a Piñon-shell spitting contest.  For the underarm symphony the child who can belt out the best version of say, The Pennsylvania Polka, or Cielito Lindo or some such in keeping with our heritage here, would receive a medal as would all the winners in the other categories.  We could still use toilet-seats for horseshoes but the name would have to be changed. Instead of red-neck horseshoes we could call that game something like the Huerfano Hurl.  A mud pit belly flop contest is the same all over the world so there’d be no need to change the name of the contest.  Of course the judges would have to determine who made the biggest splat  and their form.  Keeping in mind that “form” in this context could be anything.

    The awards for this event would be for first, second, and third place. What they would look like would be dependent on what was on hand at the Walsenburg Wally-World at the time.

    Let the games begin!

        Jerry Skrzynear

 Dear Editor,

    In what was undoubtedly the largest political rally in Walsenburg in many years over one hundred enthusiastic and dedicated citizens met with Democratic Congressman Mark Udall at the Huerfano County Community Center on Sunday August 17th to support his campaign for the United States Senate.

    Although uncertain (but wonderfully wet) weather had caused a last minute move   from Heritage Park to the indoor venue no one was disappointed.  Operating under the proposition that Politics Can Be Fun (and winning can be a lot more fun) the day began with  some world class music from Ken Saydak of La Veta, keyboard and vocals, and  dedicated Democratic volunteer Mark Craddock of Walsenburg on tenor sax. .  For over an hour this great duo literally had folks dancing in the aisles.   The attendees were also treated to a delicious lunch of homemade burritos and green chile with salad and salsa.  The food was prepared by our friends and neighbors Esther and Juan Vialpando of Gardner.  Everyone, even the latecomers got to eat their fill. 

    The really important portion of the day began with our able County

Commissioner Art Bobian’s inspiring introduction of Congressman Udall.   Congressman Udall then began by describing his lifelong commitment to the State of Colorado and his unshakable belief that the United States has been going in the wrong direction for the past 7½ years.  He talked about the misguided foreign policy that has let our real enemies go free while sacrificing lives and treasure in a war that never should have been fought.  He spoke of the independent spirit of the West that has vigilantly defended the Constitution of the United States and the freedoms and liberties that it guarantees.  The Congressman spoke realistically about America’s energy crisis and the important role that the Western United States will play, not only as a source of fossil fuels but as the heart of the renewable resource revolution in solar, wind and geothermal energy.  After covering many of the myriad of problems that have grown huge under the misguided policies of the current (and soon to be past) administration, Congressman Udall answered question from citizens on every topic including the Pinyon Canyon Expansion, the Health Care crisis, No Child Left Behind Law and even the Endangered Species Act.  He didn’t promise easy solutions, he didn’t give the pat political answers.  He spoke to his audience as a friend and neighbor and only promised that he would listen to our needs and work with both his Democratic and Republican colleagues to meet the challenges of this new millennium. 

    I believe that everyone, including the Congressman, left the rally inspired to work even harder to make sure that we take back the Government of the United States from the special interests that have lined their pockets at the expense of millions of hard working Americans.  Congressman Udall is committed to restoring the honor and effectiveness of the United States Senate.  He believes in the Constitutional obligations of Congress; the separation of powers, checks and balances, and the obligation to maintain constant vigilance and oversight of the Executive Branch in this time of the Imperial Presidency.  I know that I was inspired and I believe that everyone at the Rally feels the same way.  Don’t forget to vote.   


    David Gnaizda

    Chairman, Huerfano         County Democratic Party


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