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letters to editor for September 4, 2008

Dear Editor:

    I know I’m new here.  And it is true that I make my living traveling, and so even though I call this place home, I’m not here as much as I’d like to be.  When I am home, I try to read up on the local events, to see what I’m missing, and to try to stay connected to the everyday world here in Huerfano County.  It is with sadness that I read about the ‘Northlands.’  When I drive thru Main Street Walsenburg, I lose count of the empty, boarded up, or for sale properties.  Last attempt I got to 41 between the city limits signs, but I was distracted by a cat crossing the road, so I may have missed a few.  The point is:  We have so many lovely structures and such a rich history on ‘the main drags.’  Why, oh why, are we creating a ‘subdivision sprawl’?  If city and county energies could be put into the revitalization of our downtown district, it might actually entice travelers to drive through the ‘scary crack’ to see what a great town it is.  Could we attract businesses that want to create a sense of community rather than grab money from the freeway?  Maybe some of those millions of cars that ‘pass by’ Walsenburg might stop and spend some time… oh, and money too!  When the heart of a downtown is full of emptiness and blight, there are not enough chain businesses to cover it up.  Bringing in ‘known names’ doesn’t give unique distinction.  Because I live on the road, I can tell you that the towns that focus on the ‘name brands’ are cookie cutter towns, without soul.  Towns that create a healthy heart at the center, taking pride in their buildings and residents are the ones that people are drawn to, either to visit often or to live.  I know that there is a lot going on that I don’t know about, and I’m certainly out of the loop for politics or city planning.  But I do know that I see thousands of towns a year.  This is the one I chose to live in, and I’d love to see it blossom to its potential, rather than sell its soul to sprawl.


        Kim McKee

Dear Editor

     I was so shocked to read the article in the Pueblo Chieftain of Aug 27th where the Las Animas County Commissioners sent a letter to Sec. Keith Eastin spelling out orders to the Army.

    What it really says is “we are still opposed, but we can be bought and here is our price”.

    Well, Trinidad, enjoy your water while you can, it soon will be gone, along with all the farms in Las Animas County Their water will be gone also.  Colorado Springs long ago out stripped their water so they are trying to dry up Pueblo and the Arkansas Valley.  You are next, and be ready for the gangs that will follow the money.  How many billions have been dumped into Colorado Springs and El Paso County?  Look how well the City Council and County government are doing there. Money comes at a terrible cost.

    As for them agreeing to all the conditions you’ve mentioned, how many treaties and agreements did our government make with the Indians?  I KNOW where the Indians are, do you?                                                                                                        


    Betty Williams

 Carol Dunn…

    Regarding your article knocking the dirt roads in La Veta, hey girl…you’ve totally missed the point. Years ago, when I was living in La Veta, I was visiting a friend who was in the process of having a garage sale.  A woman walked up stating what a beautiful morning it was in La Veta. I responded, “It’s always beautiful in La Veta.”  She responded by saying, “That’s what I love about this town.  It’s like stepping back in time.”  Well put.

    I couldn’t have said it better.  Do you think if you took a step back in time, you would have seen paved roads?  Nada.

    I’m not against progress.  Some things are important like the cell tower.  That could help save lives in case of an emergency.  That makes sense, but you can’t get passed the little “clique” that runs that town who really only care about their own interests.

    If I were you, I’d turn your attention to that issue and fight for the cell tower vs. paved streets.  We can live with a little dust, but when someone’s life is on the line, that cell tower would count for something relevant.

    Thank you,

    Nancy Lynn

    Trinidad, CO

Dear Editor,

    A huge and heartfelt thank you to all of the Navajo Ranch/Resorts residents, Christ the King parishioners, and friends and neighbors who provided food, clean-up and emotional support after the death of my husband, Nick Difino.

    With deep appreciation,

    Barb Difino


    The City of Walsenburg has become mean-spirited.  I say this because a new policy has been adopted by the city concerning utility bill payments that reflects a lack of compassion on the part of those who had conceived the plan and those who have carried it through.

    In the past, the City of Walsenburg Utility Office did exhibit compassion for Walsenburg’s working poor (well-meaning people who struggle to pay their bills on time), and was not so quick to shut off their services when late payments were received.  Also in the past, if one asked for more time for which to catch up with a payment, the utility office would graciously allow one to.  Do not ask for such a consideration these days; you will not be allowed it. You will be denied and told your services will be disconnected.  In addition you will be charged a fifty-dollar disconnection/reconnection fee (and a twenty five dollar late fee).  For someone who is already in a financial bind, this presents an additional burden.

    Why has such a pollicy been pushed through with such swiftness and gusto?  Why is it that Financial Director, Krystal Vigil and City Administrator, Eric Pearson did not go after Aguilar residents for payment when it was found out that for months the City of Walsenburg had wrongfully been supplying them gas at a lesser rate than Walsenburg residents were paying.  This was an error that originated from within the city and cost Walsenburg thousands of dollars. We won’t see this money paid back. But not to worry, Walsenburg residents will pay this shortfall with our fines and fees.

    I am just one area homeowner who is finding it difficult to make ends meet in this environment of rising costs and stagnant wages. The new policy has hurt me personally. When I was told I would have to pay the disconnection/reconnection fee if I paid even one day after the deadline (without even having someone physically visit my home), I decided – in protest – to let them shut me off. At least someone would have to do the work for the money they will receive from me.

    Perhaps what is happening is simply a sign of the times; another symptom of unsympathetic leadership. We need not be intimidated when we are face to face with an unsympathetic bureaucracy. We need to remember there is no shame in being poor. We must remind the public servants that they have been elected (or hired, or appointed) to serve us, and that it is not the other way around.

    Tom Macedo

    Huerfano County



    This letter is in regards to the current application to place a 180 foot cell phone tower in the scenic corridor in front of the Spanish Peaks.

    For us, the Spanish Peaks anchor our identity as a community. People throughout Colorado recognize where we live by those peaks. Visitors come here to see and experience those peaks.  Putting a tower in sight-of-vision proximity to the peaks is comparable to putting a tower in front of Mt. Rushmore, Mount Vernon, or the Sand Dunes.  Why would our elected officials agree to do that? Especially when other non-obtrusive sites and other technologies are possible?

    This is not about improving or not improving cell service.  This decision is about protecting what we love and making time to gather information and expertise to find the best technology to meet our community’s needs.

    Citizens of Huerfano County, and lovers of the Spanish Peaks, please ask our Commissioners to give this issue the time and careful consideration it deserves.


    Robin Richards

    Ray Reynolds

To the Editor,

    I am writing to express my outrage related to the 180’ cell tower proposed for just north of the La Veta Town Lakes.  It’s puzzling that the County Planning Commission first had granted a public hearing and has now decided against holding one.  What changed?  Could it be that the Planning Commission and/or the County Commissioners do not want the embarrassment of a public meeting?

    I‘m confident that most area citizen’s desire improved cell phone reception, I’m also confident that they do not want it at the expense of ruining the scenic beauty of the area.  I support finding a solution to improving cell service in our area, as my cell phone does not work well in La Veta, but this tower is not the best option.

    Aside from a public hearing, I propose that the County Commissioner impose a temporary moratorium (several months at least) on any new cell towers.  We should take a step back and consider this issue in a county wide and well thought out fashion, rather than rushing it through in a less than transparent manner.  We need thoughtful leadership from the Commissioners that invites public involvement.

    During that moratorium, we should consider the following: 1) Can Subcarrier Communications and their representative, Mickey Villella, make any specific guarantees regarding improved cell service throughout the valley?, 2) Is it possible the proposed location could end up with additional towers, further damaging the scenic corridor?,  3) The proposed tower clearly violates several aspects of the County Land Use Guide; how is it this location is even on the table?,  4) What about other options like the much less obtrusive cell panels proposed by the La Veta town board?

    Write the Commissioners and insist on an evening public hearing on this issue!

    Bob Kennemer

Dear Editor,

    It was the sea of flags that best captured the spirit of Barack Obama’s historic   celebration at Mile High Stadium on Thursday Night.  County Democratic Party

Vice-chair Cindy Campbell along with Bertie and Owen Cookingham, Barry Kalish, Susan Kalman, Mark Craddock, Vickie Odell and long time Party Chair Steve Wachterman and family cheered as we shared the incredible feeling of patriotism and commitment.  We listened to political speeches from both professional politicians and typical, although never ordinary, Americans.  Many, like Susan Eisenhower, were life-time Republicans who had seen the Grand Old Party’s ideals of personal freedom and fiscal responsibility lost to the “military-industrial complex” that her Grandfather had so eloquently warned against.   Some of the best speeches of the night were delivered by our own, very able United States Congressmen John Salazar and Mark Udall.  They had the fiery conviction that comes from the heart that had the entire audience of more than 80,000 roaring in approval.  Vice-presidential Candidate Joe Biden, Governor Bill Ritter.   Al Gore, Colorado Senator Ken Salazar and many others energized the crowd with their irresistible call for change.

    It was Barack Obama, however, who gave substance to the emotion   He spoke with the simple authenticity of deep conviction.  Obama’s America is an America that not only lives up to the Words of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights but lives up to the Spirit of the Declaration of Independence and its revolutionary, world changing affirmation that “all men are created equal.”   It can be “Our America”. We can restore hope; we can restore our honored place in history.   We can be the shining example of what government by the people can really mean.  We have to work for Change and vote for Change.  Vote for Barack Obama and the entire Democratic Ticket.


    David Gnaizda,

    Chairman Huerfano         County Democratic Party

To: Huerfano Journal

Re: Health Care

    Is anyone buying Hillary’s promise of health care?  Did you ever hear her say one word of who is going to pay for it?  I pay $100 a month under Medicare; $170 a month for supplemental health insurance; $6 a month for discounted prescriptions with Humana and then pay an amount for the actual prescription.  I am healthy and do not need many drugs.  I recently had “same day minor surgery” at St. Mary Corwin.  Was in the hospital for 9 hours and the bill came to $18,000.  I received excellent care but this comes to $2,000 an hour. And that didn’t include the doctor. Our present government is taking care of 600,000 veterans – most pay a co-pay and have to travel many miles for care.  Congress just past a law stating doctors had to take patients who need care.  Now where in the world would money come from for a national health care system? Like Canada? Our health care professionals wouldn’t stand for that.  Our nurses are underpaid already and nobody wants to work that hard for so little money? I just read a book about what equipment the American soldier will be using in the year 2020. So war will never stop. It is the biggest business going. Our country is just about bankrupt right now. Nobody in government will take any cuts. If anything, they put in for raises; get .56 a mile reimbursement? Just don’t be fooled by all of this BS. It can never happen.


    Dorothy Mihanovich

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