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Letters to the editor- July 31, 2008

Dear Editor:

     Freedom is an overrated and misunderstood principle.  One man’s freedom limits another’s.  For example, the freedom to pollute the atmosphere limits my freedom to breathe clean air.

    An article by Darrell Arnold, “Is America Giving up on Freedom?” (Huerfano Journal; July 24, 2008; p. 3), reiterates the standard inaccuracies.  I can think of no smaller nor louder-whining a minority than public-lands ranchers, whose freedoms have been unjustifiably diminished according to the article.  In addition to more subsidies and exemptions than I can list, the public-lands grazing system of subsidies costs taxpayers about $1 billion a year to benefit about 30,000 grazing permittees.

    Historically established grazing rights are a revocable privilege, but revocation rarely happens.  I can only document three cases in the last 15 years.  Besides, native wildlife’s grazing rights are historically senior to the ranchers’ by a long shot.

    I have no documentation on family farms going out of business due to protection of endangered species.  I don’t see how that’s possible now that the Endangered Species Act has ceased to function.  A series of obscure laws enacted over the last couple of decades has completely undermined the ESA.  In the San Luis Valley, the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher was denied critical habitat and instead was given a “Habitat Conservation Plan,” which effectively replaced the ESA.  Under the Plan, landowners are not required to do anything and can continue to do whatever they have been doing for the last 150 years.  That’s a lot of freedom.

    Officials were so pleased with this that they extended this same Plan to the yellow-billed cuckoo and bald eagle.  Various other species have also gotten the HCP treatment.  Endangered prairie dogs are still poisoned and shot at whim.  Examples of wildlife losing to agriculture are too numerous to fully imagine, let alone list here.

    Ranchers in southeastern Colorado got a law passed that restricts others’ freedoms as well as property rights.  That law forbids prairie-dog relocation across county borders without the permission of the county commissioners.  The law was signed by Gov. Bill Owens just in time to prevent Southern Plains Land Trust’s plans to import prairie dogs for two square miles of land that they own in Baca County.  Thus, wildlife conservators are legally denied the right to restore wildlife and wild land.

    Freedom requires responsibility.  Until people get serious about preserving what’s left of the natural world, freedom has no future.

    Larry D. Bullock

To the Editor:

    Many individuals today pay little heed to primary elections, particularly local or regional elections. This indifference must be overcome for the upcoming Democratic primary for the office of district attorney. My sisters and I would like to share with the citizens of Huerfano and Las Animas Counties why this lack of attention or uniformed voting would be a grave mistake. Voters must be made aware of the vast difference between the two candidates and why Frank Ruybalid is deserving of their vote.

    We experienced first hand how important it is to have the right person in the district attorney’s office.  After our father was brutally murdered in 2002, Mr. Ruybalid, as district attorney, kept us informed of the investigation’s progress and prepared us for what to expect during court proceedings.  Unfortunately, a new district attorney came into office that did not appear to share Mr. Ruybalid’s conscientious approach to his duties. Communication, responsiveness, and oversight of our case were not hallmarks of the new district attorney.

    On August 12, the Democratic voters of Huerfano and Las Animas Counties have the opportunity to select the right person as their candidate for district attorney: Frank Ruybalid. His knowledge, dedication, empathy, understanding of the prosecutorial process, strong desire to protect the public from violent criminals, and concern for victims are traits very much needed in this all important office.

    David J. Turner

    Georgann Turner Gomez

    Bonnie Turner Adams

    Marilyn Turner Lessar

Dear Editor;

    In response to the letter by Nancy Russell (7/24/08), I appreciate her comments and do not dispute anything she wrote.  She is addressing the issue of animal tethering as a means of training and socialization for working dogs.  The dogs she described are cared for, monitored, and socialized.  These dogs are not the focus of my original letter.  I was referring to dogs that are left alone for hours, lacking adequate food and water, and have very little socialization.

    I recommend for our readers who want further information on this topic to do the following: go to the computer and Google chaining vs. tethering. There are numerous articles from many sources on this topic. Many communities and some states have laws regulating chaining and tethering of animals.

    I want to thank the Huerfano Journal for giving me the opportunity to address this issue and to continue the discussion. I believe educating people helps them to make better decisions and seek more information when they have questions.

        Kathy Carpenter

Letter to the Editor;

    We at Dorcas Clothing Bank and Food Pantry would like to thank the community for your support.  First National Bank of Trinidad, Calvary Baptist Church, Mountain View Baptist Church, La Veta Methodist Church, Walsenburg Methodist Church, and individuals who support us with monthly donations help keep us solvent. Safeway shares with us and without them we would not be able to provide the food boxes we do.

    Unfortunately, because of limited space, we cannot accept furniture.  Drop off of other clothing, household items, etc., can only be accepted on Tuesday and Thursday during business hours 10 am to 4 pm because if left in the alley, it gets wet and scattered. Again, thank you for your support.

    Maryann Chamberlain


Dear Editor;

    I am responding to what Commissioner Roger Cain said last week in the Huerfano newspaper about wind farms.  My wife and I bought 44.5 acres of flat land over 20 years ago in Huerfano County in our hope of having a small farm, but our dream failed because of the wind.  It blows about nine months out of the year, 50-60 even 70 miles per hour, 24-7 sometimes.  We have a good gravel road, electricity, and plenty of wind.  Also a new transmission line is being built about 50 feet from our property.  We greatly appreciate that Mr. Roger Cain can talk to the right people now about us building a wind farm.

        John Maez

Letter to the Editor;

Re: Jaye Sudar

    I too lament our lost lesson of forty years ago when we had this environmental thing solved… three minute showers, 55 miles per hour, 35 MPG cars, walk, bike, solar, wind and wonder how we as a society could have forgotten so soon?

    On my worst days I think we were a different America then, the difference being the words, “We” and “I.”  I think at that time we had mutual respect for each other and the planet, we felt WE were in this together, and WE could get through it together.  Whereas now, I sometimes feel, Americans have little or no feeling of responsibility for each other, the planet or the common good, we are loners.  “I” has replaced “We,” as in “I” want it… ”I” want it all… and “I” want it now.

    Please prove me wrong, together let’s face this, our greatest challenge, simply the survival of Mother Earth and her people… ”WE” must!

        T.O. Curmudgeon

        Ken Back

Letter to Editor;

    Got a red tag lately?  Are you having troubles reading your utility bill?  Don’t feel alone, because the clerks in the utility office can’t read them either.  I got my business billing for June, due July 23rd which showed a previous balance $761.34 CR, subtracting the current usage, leaving the amount due $591.59 CR.  My account, looking at the bill obviously didn’t send the payment because there is a credit (CR).  I got a shut off notice on July 28th. In checking with the accountant, she said we had a credit.  I went down to the utility office to find out why there was a credit, both girls could not explain it, they said something about triple billing and tried to explain about LEAP, (I explained that we don’t have LEAP, she says, “but if you did have LEAP…”)  Finally, they confessed that it was a mistake, and didn’t know why there was a credit, and they are so busy with hundreds of billings they don’t have time to look at all of them.  Now I must be missing something here, they generate the billing on their computers, they key in the figures, the computer adds up the totals for them, but they are not looking at them?  Hello!  Somebody’s putting the figures in there. I ended up having to pay a bill of $169.75 (properly adding up the current charges) a far cry from the $591.59 CR and insult on insult, got a $25 late fee, which I refused to pay.  How many of the elderly or meek people in our community are getting ripped off by incompetence?  What is it going to take to get a qualified person to run that department, a Grand Jury investigation?  You can go to their meetings; you can go complain to the City Council, how many have done that with no satisfaction?  This reminds me of the Cripple Creek ad where a detective in interrogating someone who turns out to be a mule, does this fit?  I feel sorry for the Clerks in the front office who are, obviously, not trained properly, taking the complaints and the abuse from us customers, while the supervisor hides in her office. If you are one of the City of Walsenburg’s frustrated customers, I’d like to hear from you.

        Delphine Ortega

Letter to the Editor:

BIG WEED BUST on Colorado… sleep well fellow Walsenburgians knowing no weed will go unturned, er, uncut.  The jury is still out as to whether the offending weed is clover or alfalfa, I’ll call it clover.

    We moved to Walsenburg almost a year ago and after spending many dollars and hours making livable a run down rental we now think looks rather well, especially the yard all abloom again after years of beglect.  We feel the city looks a little better because of our labors and … the thanks we get?  A warning from code enforcement to mow a patch of clover between our fence and the road.

    No one is more proud of a beautiful neighborhood than we, but drive around town and you will see unlicensed cars, junk cars, trash, furniture, barking dogs chained and a thousand other eyesires and to zoom in on our patch of overgrown clover pales the imagination? Give me a break… surely our tax dollars can be better spent!

    Ken and Joan Back

Letter to the Editor

July 21, 2008

    My aunt from California called the other day complaining that none of the presidential candidates were very appealing. Many of the people whom I had spoken to had the same attitude.

    It seems that some people like to ridicule John McCain by saying he’s so old that when God said, “Let there be light!” McCain was the guy who threw the switch. Other folks seem to like to recite the story of Chelsea Clinton, who met a highly decorated Marine during her mom’s try for the Democratic nomination and upon telling the Marine he must not be afraid of anything, he replied that he was afraid of only three things.

 When she asked him what they were he said,“Obama, Osama and your mama.”

    These stories illustrate the fears of most of the electorate. Age and power, or waffling on issues.

    A great idea came to my friend Tom Cordova and me one day last week on how to resolve these problems while we were sitting in the Starlight Inn.

    Watching Ben “Paco” Archuleta, the proprietor tendsto his customers made us think he would be an ideal candidate for the President of these United States

    Why would we think that a bartender of his caliber would make a good Pres?

For one thing, he doesn’t think the customer is always right. In fact most of the time the customer is wrong. With this thinking Mr. Archuleta wouldn’t be promising everybody everything.

    He doesn’t push people into buying something they don’t want. What ever they order is perfectly all right with home. Wouldn’t that be refreshing in the nation’s capitol?

Somebody not trying to sell you some snake oil to improve your life if only you would let the government tax you for it. And of course it’s bound to cost way more than what they say it will.

    This brings up another point. You get what you pay for no more and no less. If you want a beer that’s what you get. But you’d better pay for it. No budget deficits at the Starlight I can tell you. Just the program for the country. A pay as you go economy. There’s no free booze at Paco’s.

    As far as handling disputes, we’ve already seen that the customer is more wrong than right but he takes no guff from anyone and will use what force is necessary to achieve peace in his bar. What a difference between his actions and those of our state department and others who cozen up to our sworn enemies.

     Citizens of Walsenburg and Huerfano County here’s your chance to make a difference on Election Day. If you feel as many others do don’t elect another politician into the White House. Write in that Independent candidate Benjamin Archuleta, endorsed by his regular customers Tom and myself. (No we didn’t get a free beer for this ad.)

    And no, Ben Archuleta did not approve this ad either.

Jerry Skrzynear

Dear Editor:

    I noticed in your paper dated July 17, 2008 that someone advertised "Three family yard sale. Friday July 18… toys, children′s clothes and ladies!"  Oh really?  Aside from the fact that slavery is illegal in this country, eg. they buying and selling of people, you don′t give any particulars or descriptions of these "ladies".  Do they speak English?  Are they young or old?  Whatever?  My wife says I can′t have one; but, I was just curious…

    Would you like to hire a good "proof reader"?


        V. Price