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Letters to editor for Feb 26, 2009

Cards of Thanks

    I wish to express my gratitude to neighbors, friends and family for the cards, phone calls, messages and prayers, as well as visitations during my long recovery period. All of these helped me to achieve my goal of returning home.     Thanks so much.

    Velma Schecter

    WHAT FUN!!  I offered and was invited to present the Archaeology TRUNK (on loan from the Southeastern Colorado Heritage Center and Museum) to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders at the LaVeta school.  In Pueblo, volunteers take these trunks into classrooms and I had to BEG them in order to borrow the case full of artifacts.

    The La Veta students were attentive, polite, enthusiastic and eager to learn…as were their teachers.  I must have asked a hundred questions and received good answers.  In return, I tried to answer their all their questions.

    If you are fortunate enough to have a student in any of these 3 classes…you are lucky!  I was a school nurse in Kansas…and I know a GOOD teacher when I see one.  I certainly hope that the Superintendent and the School Board appreciate them.

    Then Rebecca McPherson and I were invited to do the presentation at the Spanish Peaks Library in Walsenburg.  I′m not sure how many were in attendance, but some were sitting on the floor in the basement meeting room.  Again, there were many questions from the group and also many good answers to our questions.  Vocabulary was a big issue.  Do you understand….petroglyph, sherd, pictograph, dendrochronology, etc. etc.  You′ll have to ask all of them what "goodies" were IN the TRUNK.

    I very much thank the LaVeta School and the Walsenburg library for taking advantage of my offer!!!

    P.S.  There are 10 other trunks available for loan (if I don′t lose any contents) including Zebulon Pike,  Rock Art, Railroads, Immigration, Old West, People of Colorado′s Past, Cowboys and Spanish History.

    Karen Clouse

Brand Board subsidy

    In "Brand Board seeks help from commissioners" by Larry Patrick (Huerfano Journal; Feb. 19, 2009), Lewis Edmundson renders a selective version of the history of the Colorado Brand Board. Conveniently omitted is the history of subsidization by the state. Historically, the Brand Board hasn’t been funded exclusively by fees collected from livestock owners.

    In "Ag inspection subsidies defended following state audit" by Tom McAvoy of the Chieftain Denver Bureau (The Pueblo Chieftain; ca. June 2001), "Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Don Ament defended subsidies for livestock brand and potato crop inspections . . ." ". . . employees of State Auditor Dave Barba gave their report questioning the modern-day value of ag subsidies."  "Lisa Gates . . . found that on top of fees paid by ag producers, the state subsidized brand inspections by $338,000 and fruit and vegetable inspections, mainly for potatoes, by $200,000…" "The report offhandedly acknowledged that livestock owners still would need government assistance, from law enforcement, to go after cattle or horse rustlers . . ."

    After hearing irrelevant and self-serving reasons to keep the subsidy, "Auditors complained that the Department of Agriculture gave the same response in its last audit in 1994…" "They said the response ‘shows a lack of concern for the challenges that currently are facing state budget makers . . .’"

    "Ament, a northeastern Colorado farmer and cattleman and former rural legislator, said later that he had to hold his temper and remain diplomatic . . ." during the auditors’ report. Anger is a typical response when one’s entitlements are questioned.

    In "Brand fees protected" (The Pueblo Chieftain; Mar. 22, 2002; p. 9A), "The Colorado Senate voted 21-12 to prevent the state from borrowing $2.5 million from brand-inspection fees paid by cattlemen." The House adopted a similar amendment. Agriculture gets special consideration from government.

    About a year before the 2001 audit of the Brand Board, I called the Dept. of Ag. and asked them directly whether the Brand Board was funded entirely by user fees or was subsidized. The person on the phone said, without hesitation, "user fees." This all-too common pattern of deception and entitlement in government and favored industries leads me to suspect that the Brand Board is still subsidized.

    The Huerfano Journal should assign an investigative reporter to this story to find out what the current subsidy is, if any.

    Larry D. Bullock

Lensky land

    Thank you for always publishing articles sent to your newspaper.  I feel, to publish the truth, to be a forum for truth and understanding of our failing government and legal system, in itself, is a chore.

    Newspapers were intended to publish facts with truth.  Freedom of the  press is to present problems and missed deeds, so the people can understand.  Our government and legal systems are operating in darkness, and those issues need to be exposed.  When the truth is revealed, there will be a public outcry and justice should be upheld.

    In the cases of Lensky vs Gardner citizens, the method of obtaining property was not enforced by the Huerfano Court.  Man should not bind with misinterpretation of law and fairness.  If Gardner residents do not gather together, they will be overcome one by one.  Men are endowed by their creator, with certain unalienable rights. Principles among righteousness.

    Gwen Bayless



    A certain individual I know mentioned that the people at the bottom of our economy will get $800 from Obama’s “stimulus package with retires getting $250.

    How much help does that provide to someone with no job?  How long will it buy groceries, pay the rent/mortgage, make the car payment, or buy clothes for growing children?  Maybe back in the 1930’s it would have supported a family for a whole year but in today’s inflated economy it wouldn’t go very far.  What we need is something that will restore the earning power of the working person to a viable standard of living.

    The real problem for the economy is not the “working stiff” at the bottom of the economy but the “Krakataum” eruption of money out the top of our economy!

    In my opinion, if we can control the “runaway inflation”, the rest of the economy will take care of itself.  We need to stop wasting money, making the rich richer and assure a viable “standard of living for everyone.  If that hurts some rich parasite’s feelings, so be it!

    Jerry Price

Re. appreciating volunteers

    It is always hard to read negative comments about someone you hold dear.

    Mr. or Ms. Muniz  stated how the writers of “Mrs. Walsenburg” which appeared in the Huerfano World, had offended him/her: “how ignorant the writers are for the newspaper in question are by commending one person for having very little impact, and very little knowledge about what is going on in our community thus far.”   Ms. Alicia Bryant has a huge impact on the Museum of Friends Art Museum in which she has volunteered every Saturday for the last four months.  Not only has she researched the collection on view but has become a seasoned tour guide meeting our public with enthusiasm and a great understanding of our mission.  I am waiting with open arms for another volunteer who would present such a meaningful experience for our visitors.  For MOF, her impact is great, not “very little,” her “knowledge of what is going on” for the support of our new cultural institution is outstanding.

    Informing our community of Ms. Bryant’s work did not detract from the value of the other volunteers in town who give of their time, energy and money.   The content of the article was expressing how Ms. Bryant is interested in starting something new.  I think M. Muniz missed the point.  The point that someone comes from another place and does not live here very long does not disqualify him or her from making positive change. 

    I think we would all agree that change is needed, and directed at the origination of programs and activities for our youth, who let’s face it folks, don’t have a Y, or a pool, a school budget for cultural arts programming nor, a skate park.   M. Muniz gives us a choice “do you want the children to support the water park or a skate park?”   I don’t see it as a choice.   The water park is not free, if you can’t afford it, you can’t enter.  It is not up to the children, surely they all would like to go but maybe they can’t afford it.  I do think it would be their parents who make that decision.  Also, M. Muniz is so worried about “what effect will it have on their career, or influence will it have on doing your academics to be eligible?”  I am sorry, but I don’t follow your thought, eligible for what? You didn’t finish your sentence.

    Perhaps if I interpret what you attempted to say, you state that the water park is helping their career as scholars, athletes or well-rounded individuals in a caring society?  Sorry, I have been there, and attempted to swim laps.  It’s not possible, nor would it ever be possible due to the mission of the park, which is to encourage children to make a lot of noise, jump up and down in the pool, go down a slide, eat junk food, and under no circumstance swim or give a real swimmer the “right of way” in a lap lane.  As a matter of fact, I was asked to leave the pool, as I was in the way of the “fun.”  Sorry, exercise, scholarly pursuits, sacrifice to one’s community is not always FUN – perhaps some of the time it may be.  Eating junk food fried in oil, and empty carbohydrates is not nutrition.  Has anyone addressed the obesity in our community?  What is the water park doing about that?  Is there anyone here who would go out on a limb and actually question what has gone on before in the hopes of making it better for all?  Yes… Alicia Bryant and the others who see the need for change from the insistence that the old way is the best way. 

    Let’s open our eyes to what would be possible if we stopped being limited by a few people who think they know more than others because they have lived here longer.  We are all in this together, and can learn from one another, if we are open-minded, and accept that things are changing.

    Maria C-Berger

    Museum of Friends

Yes for Oil and Gas regs.

Dear Editor, here is a letter that I sent to every Colorado State Legistlator we have. You can find their Email, and regular addresses on the "Colorado General Assembly" websight.

    Hello, I′m writing to you from Walsenburg Colorado. I have been told that shortly you will be voting on the recommended restrictions on Gas Well drilling by the "Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Committee". I am asking you to please vote for, not against, these regulations. The people who live here are suffering severe consequences, because of the lack of regulations on the gas well industry. Our water wells are being severely affected by methane gas leaks, and pollution from the chemicals used in fracking. Our watershed is polluted by these chemicals (including salt), and this causes our wildlife and agriculture great damage. This doesn′t even include the fact that they′re waisting our precious water resources.

    The noise and dust from the trucks, and the actual gas pumps are so unbearable, that many people are forced to abandon living anywhere near the wells.

    Please do whatever you can to prevent this destruction.  Thank You so much.         Maridith Dressler