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Letters to editor for Dec 18, 2008

    Thank you, Lourae King, Program Director, Walsenburg COG, for writing and receiving the SSCOG Colorado Trust Healthy Initiative Grant and for giving me the opportunity of organizing the recent COG party at the community center, “Stories, Songs, and Snacks: A Time to Remember.”  I learned and enjoyed.  Thanks to the lunch site diners for interest.  Thanks to Carol Reynolds who rescued me clerically and supplied “quick energy” from her candy dish. Thank you, Yvette Vialpando for warm coffee.  Thank you, Lourae, Shauna Day, Becky Ramas, and Randy Vialpando for setting up all of the tables and chairs.  Thanks to everyone who came and enjoyed the event.  Su, my daughter, baker and general administrator, kept me pretty much on track with pertinent information.  Her slide production, “Stories, Songs, and Snacks Revisited,” will be enjoyed by many.  Viola Maldonado greeted and charged the atmosphere with warmth and Walsenburg people knowledge.  Thanks to the performers: John and Faye Stroh, Judy McCutcheon, Karen Tripp, Maxine Pazan, Louise Vigil, Ann and Suellen Levy. Thanks to Margaret who helped with recruiting stories.  Thanks to Dorcas Circle as door prize source.  Thanks to everyone who swished everything over to the car in a mad rush at the end of the event.  Thanks to the Huerfano Journal for encouragement.  A special thanks to friend and Older Adult minister Herb Bowman for traveling from Denver and for moral support over many years.  Thanks to everyone who is spurred to write their family history.  We had a grand time.

    Ruth Major, Organizer         and Family History         Writer

Dear Editor,

    It definitely felt like winter when the Huerfano County Democratic Party and alumni of the Colorado Campaign for Change met at the Huerfano County Community Center this past Sunday.  The President elect had charged us with a task we all welcomed with unfeigned enthusiasm.   He had asked us to brainstorm those issues that we regular, unassuming, middle class, rural Americans thought were the most important tasks that he had to accomplish on our behalf.  No political figure has ever asked us to do that before and it was not an opportunity we wanted to miss.  

    Our topics included the environment and the obvious impacts of Coal Bed Methane on our air and water.  Concerns were also expressed that our alternative energy resources, wind and solar, are sited so as to have a minimum impact on the esthetic quality of life in our beautiful corner of the world.  

    Education was just as important.  The teachers at the meeting all called for No Child Left Behind to either be dropped or fully funded.  All wanted increased spending for teacher training and low income scholarships for qualified students.

    The needs of the returning veterans were discussed.    Concern was expressed about the extremely conflicted and confusing water laws.  Health care was of particular importance and everyone wanted an end to "for profit" health insurance.  Transparency and accountability in government was called for.  We garnered ideas for rural economic development, care of our elderly and disabled and repair of our local and national infrastructure as well as election reform, border security and developing a vibrant educated constituency.

    Perhaps most importantly we agreed to form a non-partisan community service organization "The Sangre de Cristo Volunteers for Change" which will coordinate projects serving Huerfano County, Custer County, Colorado City/Rye and Beulah.  Huerfano projects include tutoring for elementary and high school students, visits to the Spanish Peaks VA and the Walsenburg Care Center and community gardens in the spring.   As our new President has said " we are the change we′ve been waiting for."  

    Attendees included Susan Kalman, Mark Craddock, Paul Biron, Melissa Robinson, Arlene Feiccabrino, Ray Fisher, Charles and Alicia Bryant, Peter O′Brien, Julie Klaker, Steve Wachterman, Nick Vigil, John Carlson, Cindy Campbell, Owen and Bertie Cookingham, Dr. Margaret Hecht, Marilynn Gnaizda, Roz McCain, Krystal Mustos, Stella Dunn, and Dottie and Alejandra Tenorio.  We need your ideas and your energy.  Please contact me to join.

     David Gnaizda, Chairman

    Huerfano County

    Democratic Party

Auto Industry Bail Out

To: Huerfano Journal

I have a solution to the auto industry problems:

    1. The three top executives sell their jets.

    2. The three top executives sell their expensive electric cars.

    3. They give back to the share holders or their employees, the true “spoils of war”.

Between these six items, the monetary worth is will over fifteen million. The amount they want to bail out their iindustry. Gad, why didn’t they think of this simple solution?

    We can all walk or take buses?

    Dorothy Mihanovich


An open letter to Representative John Salazar;

    We wish to express our appreciation for the ongoing support Representative John Salazar has extended to us in Las Animas and Huerfano Counties. Representative Salazar has been a leader in supporting land owners in both counties regarding Coal Bed Methane impacts to our valuable water resources. Representative Salazar and his local representatives have been thorough in looking into the issues rural land owners have been facing and has made a commitment to protect resident’s health and welfare. Many of us have been experiencing degradation to our water well quality and to our streams due to CBM drilling and operations.

    We are concerned about what chemicals are being used during drilling processes near our homes. We are justifiably concerned about the methane impacting our wells and the surrounding area posing a significant risk to our welfare and safety.

    We want to thank Representative John Salazar for co-sponsoring an important bill in Congress, HR7231. HR7231 would help restore the Clean Drinking Water Act by requiring Oil/Gas operators to disclose the chemicals they use during operations to protect public health, welfare and safety. Representatives Dianne De Gette of Colorado and Hinchey in New York State are also sponsoring this effort. If you have concerns about impacts to water quality on your property or in your area, please contact Representative Salazar at

    We encourage Representative Salazar to continue his efforts to protect our precious water resources throughout Colorado by requiring responsible energy development by CBM operators. Please write him and support this effort to restore the Clean Drinking Water Act by requiring Oil and Gas Corporations to disclose toxic chemicals used in operations.

    North Fork Ranch         Landowners

    Weston, Colorado

Dear Editor,

      This year marks the third annual cops vs jocks fundraiser basketball game and I might say with the weather conditions as cold as they were that night we did have a better then expected turn out.  Everyday should be a day to give and to help out family, friends, and even strangers, but this time of the year even more so. With the economy the way it is today times are going to be tough for some familys this holiday season, and this is the time when you can make a difference.  If you are in a position to help by donating a toy to a toy drive, food to a food drive, or any other donation to our community then do so. There is no better feeling in the world than to know that you were a part of  bringing a smile to some child on Christmas day, or  you were a part of  helping to  feed or cloth  a family  for Christmas  or any other time of year.  I would like to take my hat off to those who have given to local charities and to those who will continue to give. You may not see it but you have helped to make a big difference in someone’s life. Doesn’t that make it worth it?  And I would like to thank those of you who helped to make the Fundraiser basketball game a success. First, to the community for showing your support by attending on that cold night. And to our sponsors  Carl’s Jr, KSPK, Main street Office Supply, Morning Star,Susans Flowers, George’s Drive Inn, Crown Lanes, The Denver Nuggets,and  Pizza Hut. I would also like to thank Jimmy Ray Garcia, Tina Price, Darla Haught, Chris Galvan, Sheriff Bruce Newman, the Colorado State Patrol, the Walsenburg Police Dept, the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Re-1 School District and its staff, and to everyone else thanks for giving the best gift you can ever give this time of year -“your kindness, your generosity and your heart “.  May you all have a safe and wonderful Holiday Season!

    Capt. Kevin G. Vallejos