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Letters to editor for October 23, 2008

Letter of Thanks

    I would like to acknowledge the many thoughtful people who attended my retirement celebration dinner which was held on September 27th at the Community Center.  Beautifully organized and prepared by Mary Vigil and Jill Homerding, the dinner allowed my many co-workers who have worked with me for several years both in Walsenburg and throughout the state to visit and to finally meet the other members of my family about whom they have heard many stories.  It was gratifying for me to share my personal feelings with the many positive individuals with whom I have been fortunate enough to work with for these last 28 years.  I thoroughly enjoyed my tenure at Social Services and now look forward to doing other things such as volunteering in the community.  I would also like to thank the many individuals who sent flowers, gifts, and cards to commemorate this milestone in my life.  They were much appreciated. Special thanks finally go to my daughters Judene Amidei, Darlene Paul, my granddaughters Taylor and Kaileigh Phelps, and my brother Carl for their help in making my various retirement celebrations both memorable and successful.

    Rosalie M. Amidei

Perkins a team player

    I have had the opportunity to work with Steve Perkins while he was CEO at SPRHC.  I say work with instead of for because he is a team player and he lets you know in action and word that you are part of his team.  He is truly the balance of compassion and intelligence our community desperately needs in a leader.  He is passionate about his mission to improve the lives in Huerfano County and smart enough to do something about it.  When you talk to Steve, you know you have been heard, better yet, something really gets accomplished.

    Besides his compassion, intelligence, and passion to improve our lives, he understands grants.  What an asset Steve will be as County Commissioner.  I have always found Steve to be honest, and yes, he really is that nice.  What you see and hear is really what you get.

    Steve was such a pleasre to work with and missed very much at SPRHC.  I count him as one of the best bosses I have ever had and a good friend.  I already know he will get amazing things done as County Commissioner.

    Charlene McArthur-Velarde

In support of Perkins

    I must speak out regarding Steve Perkins’ pursuit to become a Huerfano County Commissioner.  Steve and I worked very closely together during his tenure as CEO at Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center.  It was exciting to work with someone who shared the vision and passion that Huerfano County was truly the best place in Colorado and deserved programs and services of excellence.  I greeted his resignation with great sadness for the facility, but with joy for what it may mean for the greater good of Huerfano County,

    One of the strangest twists of things that I hear on the campaign trail is the questioning of Steve’s “nice guy” façade.  I must admit when I first met him, I had the same questioning.  He simply seemed too good to be true!  Let me assure you, that after working with him both at SPRHC, and in the community, he really is that nice–and honorable and fair and filled with integrity.  I have been in the healthcare workforce for over 30 years, and never (NEVER) had the opportunity to work with a person that was such a wise, hardworking, but humble, visionary.  He not only listens and sees what needs to be done, but then quietly sets about accomplishing the tasks at hand.  That is why he felt compelled to run for County Commissioner.  I can attest to the fact that Steve is a steward of service; it is not about him, it is all about doing the right thing.

    Steve cares passionately about the things he is involved in and always takes the “higher road” towards achieving the greatest good.  I cannot imagine more important qualifications for an elected official.  Feel free to contact me if you would like any further input.


    Sandy Dolak

Vote Yes on 48

    I cannot stress how important it is to vote yes on 48. We are talking about saving innocent babies’ lives, and it seems that all people care about these days is protecting their own.  A baby does not asked to be brought into this world, therefore if a baby is conceived, it should be protected.  If we had the choice to die now most of us would say "no ."  Why is it different to someone that cannot talk for themselves.  No baby would ask to die, or feel the pain of an abortion just like a grown person would not want to force pain among themselves or want anyone else to inflict pain on them.  What is wrong with adoption?  We should be protecting the unborn, who do not have a voice yet.  I hope that anyone who is considering voting no on amendment 48 takes the time to reconcider and really think about what we would really be doing to our children of the future.

    Desiree Aragon

Vote No on 47, 49 & 54

    Amendments 47, 49 and 54 all concern our public employees–educators, firemen, healthcare workers, policemen.  These amendments ask voters to restrict what employers can do and limit the ways employees can participate in the political process.  Help our public employees, do not silence them.  Coloradoans need to remember our history and how the unions have benefited our state and its workers!

    Having union dues deducted from paycheck is a norm for the nation.  It is a courtesy to our public employees and is a kind and fair thing to do.  In this age of computers, collecting and remitting is a simple procedure.  This is a voluntary deduction to help schedule payments.

    All unions negotiate for employee benefits.  Any worker, even non-union members, reaps the benefits of this negotiation.  This amendment would forbid unions composed of public employees from asking non- union employees to share the cost of obtaining benefits without requiring them to join the union.   This amendment is unfair to those who work for the benefit of all.

    The Constitution gives all Americans, even public employees, the right to assemble and the right to speak or support any issue.  This amendment would silence their voice, even when they are no longer a public employee.  In other words, public employees would no longer have a voice, verbally or financially.

    Vote NO on these amendments

    Just so you know, members of my family belong to unions.  I was a public employee and have belonged to NEA and CEA since I graduated from college

    Norma Jean Wilson

Talk to find common ground

    If you′ve read letters to the editor recently, you may have concluded Obama is a revolutionary, socialist, Muslim radical and McCain a senile, self-serving, temper-tantrum-prone, war-mongering maniac.  You might have gone so far as to question your friendship with the neighbor whose yard signs announce she will neutralize your vote on Nov. 4th.

    Take a deep breath and reflect on reality.  We, Republicans and Democrats, are all human beings with more in common than not.  We all prefer peace, prosperity and love to war, poverty and hate.  Maybe we should find common ground and speak rationally and civilly with one another.  Maybe we should look at why we have an economy on the brink of failure, a healthcare system that has already failed, an education system that puts us on par with underdeveloped countries, a system that imprisons more people than any other country in the world.  There is one root cause for all these problems and it boils down to one word: corruption.

    Example: Virtually every developed country in the world regulates the prices drug companies can charge for life-saving medicines.  But not us.  Drug companies in the U.S. can charge as much as they can get and all we do is give them easier ways of getting their money – like Medicare Part D.  Then, we nullify the benefits of capitalism by giving them monopolies.  For the low price of $330 (reduced from $850 four years ago) a drug company can buy a 20-year monopoly, called a “patent” for a drug it sells for $100/pill.  In 2007, Americans paid nearly $59 billion for bioengineered and "specialty" drugs.  Why don′t Americans demand price controls in exchange for the monopolies we so cheaply dispense?  The answer lies in the $21.6 million that drug companies have contributed to political campaigns so far in this election cycle.

    As long as the political campaigns are paid for by industry and special interest groups, the interests of middle-class America won′t get fair representation in government.  But wait a minute! Something unprecedented is happening!  Senator Obama is turning campaign finance on its head!  He′s raised more money than any other candidate in history – from individuals.  In September alone, Senator Obama raised $632,000 from new donors each donating an average of less than $100.  According to, the respected source for campaign finance information, 90% of Obama′s contribution have come from individuals.

    While Obama is leading the middle class to a campaign victory over corporate interests, we need to make sure we don′t lose the war against corporate corruption made possible by inadequate laws regulating lobbying and campaign finance.  While you may not be among the throngs of true Americans who support Obama, I urge you, for the sake of Democracy and freedom, to get out and talk to that neighbor with the yard signs and find common ground.  Maybe you can talk civilly about issues that affect all of us like lobbying and campaign finance. If you′re among Obama′s supporters, VOTE and VOTE NOW!!

    Carla J. Dolce

Obama supporters

    In my opinion, an election reveals the median of understanding, as tallied by concerned citizens, regarding candidates and issdues whose endorsement has local, national, and international significance.  An election also reveals the median of appraisal, as implied by those citizens, regarding human nature with all its limitations and potentials.  It seems to me that in such matters of understanding and appraisal, Obama and his supporters hold, on average, a social vision more true and charitable than that held, on average, by their aroused adversaries.

    David Geppert

Joe the Plumber

Dear Joe,

    I am writing this to you because of the attention you have been getting over your conversation with Senator Obama.  It seems that his comment of spreading the wealth around has caused quite a stir in the pockets of Americans.  I have heard comments that it is un-American.  It is un-American to spread the wealth around – think about that.  Is it really un-American to want to create jobs, make health care available and affordable?  Is it un-American to provide programs and opportunities that make college a possibility for all Americans?  Is it un-American to give special help and opportunities to those who are struggling to keep food on the table or to heat their homes, those who have to choose between health care and survival, whose children will never afford a higher education?  Is this really un-American?  This is what Senator Obama meant – to create programs and opportunities that open doors for those who are struggling to live and have no chance at reaching The American Dream.  It is not in the best interest of America to keep so many of its citizens in a state of basic survival.  It is a waste.  That child who suffers brain damage due to poor nutrition or lack of proper health care may have been the scientist who would discover the energy alternative of the 21st century.  It doesn′t matter how good the schools are or how great the teachers, without the basic needs of a safe home, nutritious food and proper health care he will never arrive at his full potential, and this is a waste.  This, to me, is un-American.  And, Joe, if you are thinking that every American has the same opportunity as you, but that they were lazy or unmotivated and have chosen their lot, go visit one of these families.  No, Joe, go stay with them, eat their food, sleep in their beds, go to their schools, become one of them, not for a day or a week, but for months.  Get to know them, Joe.  Cry with them.  Sit at their kitchen table and brainstorm with them on how to climb out of their hole.  Learn to love them, Joe.   Maybe then spreading the wealth around will have a different meaning for you.  Live long and prosper, Joe, and never be afraid to share your prosperity for this is what makes a real man rich.

    Arleen Feiccabrino

Voters need to think     From the McCain/Palin camp and some of its supporters we′ve been hearing many distracting charges. Those charges include governor Palin′s “fear” that Obama doesn′t “see America the way you and I see America.”  He′s different.  She states that he “pals around with terrorists.” He′s dangerous.  By emphasizing his middle name Hussein, supporters have convinced hundreds that he is a Muslim and by implication maybe a terrorist. He′s un-American. In short, they would have us believe that Obama represents the “Other.”

    When one wants to sway voters, one has a choice.  You can debate the issues in an honest and rational way or fight dirty.  It is hard work debating issues; you have to back up your statements with verifiable facts and be willing to accept that the other side may have a good point.  Or you can call your opponent names in an attempt to define him or her as different, unknown, and scary — the “OTHER.”  Sadly, it is too tempting for many to take that easy road.  Think back over our country′s “others” — krauts, chinks, gooks, commies, hippys, retards, ragheads, fags, terrorists, and now socialists.  These words and worse  invade our lives.

    How many innocent people have been hurt so very badly by being the target of one of the many hateful words whose only purpose is to save the hurler the work of intelligent debate?  And when will we learn to stand up to those who believe they can self-righteously define an opponent with dirty tactics?  What is the cost of not speaking out?

    Do I get to define you or you me?  Can either of us define the other accurately? As voters, we must think for ourselves; we must not trust those who would manipulate us.

    Roderick House

In response to Gnaizda;

    Mr. Gnaizda, your attempt to distract voters from appropriate issues affecting our nation’s security and economy today, by raising irrelevant nonsense dating back to the Civil War era, was not prudent.  Especially since it was Republicans who championed the civil rights movement.  In fact, Martin Luther King Jr., was a Republican.

    After insinuating that you have a monopoly on accuracy and truth, you state, “we cannot go back to 1913 and change what was done then…” which is neither accurate nor truthful.   We can and should change what was done in 1913.  In fact one brave statesman tried.

    On June 4, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order No. 11110 which returned to the U.S. government the original Constitutional power to issue currency.

    Executive Order No. 11110 would have prevented our national debt, ended government theft via inflation and returned power and control back to We the People!  Unfortunately, President Kennedy was assassinated five months later.

    As for your assertions regarding the commerce clause; numerous legal scholars have argued that the commerce clause has been misapplied consistently during our recent “Progressive Era.”  We all know that “progressive”is merely a sneaky way of avoiding the word “socialist.”  Virtually every word written in the Constitution was originally intended to limit the power of government, not that of citizens.  Leftist Supreme Court decisions have allowed an un-constitutional expansion of government intrusion.  Look where it has brought us.  Government overstepped its constitutional boundaries by pressuring financial institutions to lend to sub-prime borrowers, using such things as the Community Reinvestment Act and threats of legal action.  There is no free market when federal government busybodies insist on running the show.   So how can anyone accurately claim that the free market policies failed? America’s economic crisis is merely a symptom of un-constitutional government meddling gone wild.

    Those who allow themselves to be persuaded by Marxist buzzwords such as “labor” and “hierarchical aristocracy” would naturally support Obama.  Despite the fact that Obama has for years allied himself with a long successions of people who have openly expressed their hatred of America.

    For those who reject collectivism and desire a return to the stability which our constitution and the rule of law offers, the McCain-Palin ticket is the only reasonable choice.

    Rene Sarafian

Responses to Blaine, Price and Arnold

Dear Republicans,

    What does a TRUE AMERICAN look like?   When and how did these "true" Americans get here?  Did they come here from Asia or Europe or directly from Eden?  Were they chased from their homeland like the Puritans or did they come here just so they could survive, like the Irish.  Did they come here for religious freedom or for freedom from religion?  Which Bible did they stick to, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the King James, the Catholic, the Hebrew, the Greek Orthodox?  Whose translation?   What part of the Constitution are you sticking to, the "separation clause", "unreasonable search and seizure," "habeas corpus", "trial by jury"?  Maybe it′s the concept of "checks and balances" or "privacy" or an "independent" judiciary.  Maybe you like the part that says only white, property owning males can vote.  Show me where it says that the Government, or anyone else, has the right to interfere in my family′s private affairs, in our personal medical decisions.  Show me in the Constitution where it says someone has to be heterosexual or Christian or native born to be a citizen.  Why should you read the Patriot Act, why study the "Bush Doctrine?"  Don′t even think about "extreme rendition" or "warrant less wiretaps" or "National Security Letters.".  Why confuse yourself with the facts. Someone told me the moon was made of cheese. I wonder what kind.

    V. A.  Blaine, your Magna cum Laude degree was obviously not in Logic.  I only compared factual backgrounds.  McCain was at the bottom of his class and Obama at the top.  Obama is anything but "destitute and derelict."   There is no probability involved.  I just set the record straight.  If you go to the YouTube site called "John McCain′s Rage is a National Security Concern." you can listen to a large number of American military professionals and Republican lawmakers who believe so strongly that McCain is temperamentally unsuited to be President that they will say so, on camera.  (You Republicans really shouldn′t challenge anybody on temperamental acceptability.)  And, if telegraphing a strategy means "I′ll kill him if we find him," that isn′t much of a give away is it?  Bush said "Dead or Alive" and has spent a trillion dollars and flattened two countries, what kind of strategy is that?

    Jerry, you are just making stuff up.  Show me where the word "perfect" even appears in anything I wrote.  And Jerry, quoting someone else′s lies about Obama′s temper or "clanking," (whatever that means), doesn′t make it the truth.  It was George Bush who sat there reading "The Pet Goat" on 9/11, not Obama.  And look what happened with the imaginary "weapons of mass destruction," Wolfowitz thought it up and told Cheney, Cheney told Rummy, Rummy told Bush, Bush told Cheney who said "Aha, corroborating evidence. I knew it was true."   

    What are you afraid of?  Maybe you should be afraid that the leaders of your own political party are liars (see Libby, I. Lewis {Scooter}) and thieves (see Cunningham, Duke), or pedophiles (see Muschany, Scott) or, worse yet terrorists (see Siljander, Mark D.).    Maybe your hero Reagan′s budget director (see Stockman, David) has been indicted in a $1.6 Billion bank and investment fraud. Jerry, there are literally hundreds of Republican politicians that have been indicted and/or convicted of everything from murder to espionage since 1998.  To be fair there were about a dozen Democrats indicted in the same time period.  You should check it out, it will be very informative.   

     Darrell, now we know which side of the machine guns you would have been on at Ludlow and in the streets of Walsenburg.  Was killing women and children justified to stop the United Mine Workers?  If it was up to you there would still be 9 year olds in the mills and mines.  We′d still be working over 60 hours a week and be paid in company scrip.  John D. Rockefeller and the National Guard would control all the land in Huerfano County.  We′d have no unemployment insurance, no Social Security, no Medicare or Medicaid.  There would be no collective bargaining, no public schools, no Veteran′s Administration. No vacations, paid or otherwise. What do you think Darrell, how does that sound?  Do you really want to live in a pre-union world?  

    And your "creeping socialism" rant; the only "creeping socialism" I see is the White House bailout plan for the Wall Street thieves.  By the way, taking care of "society" is the sole role of government.  If you liked the idea of "society" more, maybe you all could have governed better.  You are losing this election because you have lost the confidence of the American people.  Enough is enough.

    David Gnaizda, Chairman

    Huerfano County

    Democratic Party

Response to Darrell Arnold

    Mr Arnold please don′t take this as a personal affront.  I′m sure you are a fine fellow and your opinion is as good as mine, maybe better and mostly I would have agreed with you…. thirty years ago.  So much has happened in those years that we no longer believe our senses.  Black is white, day is night,  but we must look at things as they are now, not then.  We must admit we the people no longer have control of our country.  America has been hi-jacked from us by this same capitalism in which you see such virtue.  Unchecked capitalism is like a cancer that can and will destroy the body that has given it life.  Our jobs have been shipped overseas, the unconscionable profits shipped to Wall Street and CEO pay approaches the pornographic while working America struggles…  We work for big box stores and fast food restaurants for peanuts while we are shipped Chinese made trinkets to buy at Wal Mart.

    Those strong virtues of Americans you talk about, individuality, independence, ambition and hard work are truly admirable but useless if your job is now in India or China…  All these virtues are now replaced by one word GREED!  Corporate greed without corporate responsibility in this age of deregulation has taken away our jobs, our middle class, our economy, our government and we rail against socialism!  I wonder what neocons call it when our government bails our Wall Street and  buys a few private banks as is now happening?  Socialism perhaps?

    Working Americans no longer feel in control of our destiny,  our democracy is at stake.  Our government under Bush/Cheney is headed for one branch imperial rule…  All government agencies have been staffed with incompetents and complicit fools. (Brownie, Gonzales, Chertoff) their only task,  deregulate.  The House and Senate have been bought and neutered and are unresponsive to the people′s needs or wishes.

    I think the question this election cycle is not capitalism vs. socialism,  but DEMOCRACY itself! Are we in danger of losing our democracy?  YES… IF WE DON′T VOTE WE ALREADY HAVE!!!

    Ken Back

More on Arnold

My dear Huerfano Journal,

    Last week’s editorial by Darrell Arnold made a few of us agree never to buy the “World” again.

    At the same time we read that you propose to start carrying him as well… Really???  Is that how you’re going to help those undecided voters decide???

    We would have thought that brand of tabloid journalism to be beneath our beloved “Journal.”

    Holding my breath-

    Bertie Cookingham

Dear Bertie,

    Don’t worry Bertie! The Journal has hired Darrell Arnold to be a La Veta correspondent for La Veta topics. 

    We feel that general election newspaper endorsements are not appropriate, and that they have not been particularly influential for a number of election cycles anyway.  Huerfano citizens should make their own choices based upon the facts, and that it is not our place to dictate to our readers how to vote.  Our job is to provide accurate information in our articles, and to provide a forum for all citizens to make their voices heard in the letters to the editor.

    Thank you all so much for writing!  We value your input!

    Gretchen and Brian Orr

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