Letters

Event center

Dear Editor:

The proposed event center could be an economic engine for our community. With the nation’s economy a mess and construction here at a standstill, turning our efforts to expand our tourism may be a way to stay afloat.

 I see the proposed indoor arena as an event center with a usable dirt floor. I have horses and look forward to using it. I do not think it should be built so people can ride their horses inside but so Pagosa Springs can offer a dry, indoor facility for a potential endless number of events and activities summer and winter. Fully utilized, the event center could become an income generator for the county.

 We might look at the BoCC proposal of an event center as to what it can provide instead of what we might have to go without and help make it a success.

 How about providing our county commissioners with ideas of how the event center could be used to benefit our community and visitors? You might even have an event in mind that you would host or sponsor if the center is built. We have residents and visitors from around the country who bring a wealth of experiences, knowledge and ideas to our community. What events have you seen or participated in at an event center that you would like to see here?

 Would Pat Parelli bring back his annual Savvy Conference to Pagosa Springs? He says he needs to be able to accommodate 6,000 people in an arena. Can the town provide lodging for that many people? What about renting a room in your home as they do in Oshkosh, Wis., for their annual “fly-in” — the world’s greatest aviation celebration? People rent sleeping rooms, their RV pads and rent out their homes and go on vacation during the event. The rental of their home pays for their vacation.

 What about dog training and competitive events like agility, flyball, Frisbee? The county could require that repeat problem dog offenders take a basic dog training class there. Maybe a sheep herding competition as they do in Meeker, Colo. This competition, now called the “Meeker Classic Sheepdog Championship Trials,” runs five days, with competitors from around the world. This competition started out as a one-day event on a Sunday in September outside of Meeker, far from any real community and is now is considered a world-class sheep dog herding competition. People travel from around the world to watch and spend a week there doing so. 

 What would you like to see the event center host? Let the county commissioners know.

 Beverly Compton

Animal abuse

Dear Editor:

Chained dogs suffer in frozen yards.

While some cities and states pass laws against lifetime chaining, millions of dogs face an agonizing winter at the end of a chain.

Dogs Deserve Better, a national nonprofit working to end the suffering endured by dogs that are kept perpetually chained or caged, is fielding numerous reports this winter of dogs suffering and dying outdoors as bitter cold sweeps the country.

“In winter, our volunteers always see a large increase in the number of calls for help, often from concerned neighbors, who can no longer stand to hear a chained or penned dog cry or bark all night long, or who are just plain disturbed by the sight of a dog suffering through another winter,” said Tamira Ci Thayne, founder and director of the six-year-old non-profit, which works on numerous fronts to change laws and minds and to educate people about the suffering endured by dogs that are kept as prisoners on a chain or in a cage. In most places in the United States, it is legal to keep a dog outside and chained, no matter how far the temperatures drop.

“We encourage people to remember that although it can be hard to take a stand on behalf of neighbor’s dog, a concerned neighbor can quite often make the difference between life and death for these animals,” Thayne said.

Although the practice of 24/7 chaining is pervasive in many parts of the country, many states, counties, and cities have, in recent years, started to pass laws against the practice. California passed a law in 2006 and Texas followed suit in 2007. Hundreds of municipalities have passed, or are considering, similar legislation. In recent months, Frederick County, Md., Dallas, Texas, Moundsville, W.V. and Orange County, N.C., have joined the ever-growing ranks of jurisdictions that passed laws that either ban chaining entirely or put severe restrictions on the practice.

However, an estimated 6 million “backyard dogs” are facing another lonely winter with nothing but a leaky doghouse, frozen water, no exercise, and agonizing days of nights of cold. Perpetually chained dogs often become neurotic or aggressive from their constant confinement, often posing a danger to people.

Dogs Deserve Better provides a variety of services to people who agree to take their dogs off their chains, including providing help with socialization and house training and building fences. For more information, see www.dogsdeservebetter.org or call (814) 941-7447.

 Jackie Denton

Collateral for the bailout

Dear Editor: 

What doesn’t the U.S. government understand about fraud?

All these bailouts are collateralized by putting you and me, and all of our assets as guarantee that these bailouts will be paid for. In other words, they are forcing every American man, woman and child to enter into a contract which we have neither seen, agreed to, or signed.

This means every penny the government has given away in our name, is plain fraud and conversion. We, legally, do not owe one red cent of these bailouts, not to mention the rest of the national debt. It is all fraud, and we can “Just say no” to this debt, and demand that the Federal Reserve, the federal government (read all of Congress, and the administration personnel, and their assets), associated banks, all corporate recipients of these fraudulent bailout funds, and others involved with this Ponzi scheme, are left holding the bag and are liable for this debt.

Don’t be deceived by this fraud. It needs to come out of the hides of all those responsible, and soon!

 Jeff Maehr

Remember

Dear Editor:

My name is Kyle Nappi. I am 18 years old and I live in Ostrander, Ohio. I am currently a senior at Buckeye Valley High School. I have a big interest in history, specifically WWII. I collect military medals, patches, badges, insignia, field gear, and a very unique thing, veteran autographs. I have a collection of autographs from military veterans who served during WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, and the present war in Iraq.

 I have been interested in history for over seven years now, and I have collected the autographs and stories from nearly 2,000 veterans in 20 countries. The oldest veteran is currently 112 years old and the youngest enlisted at age 14. I have autographs from Pearl Harbor survivors, D-Day veterans, airmen, POWs, the last WWI veterans, generals, U.S. presidents, USS Indianapolis survivors, Holocaust survivors, and even German soldiers.

 Back in June 2007, I was interviewed by PBS, to talk about my collection for an interview that was to be shown online. After that, I was interviewed for “The Columbus World War II Roadshow.” I was recently interviewed by the American Legion for an article that appeared in their August magazine.

Recently, I also had the privilege of going to Washington, D.C. in March 2008. I was invited to the Pentagon by the Secretary of Defense (Robert Gates) for a ceremony honoring WWI veterans. I was able to meet with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, as well with the last American WWI veteran, Frank Buckles. He is the last surviving WWI veteran, out of nearly 5 million who served. He’s the last survivor. Before not too long, the WWII veterans will dwindle down as well (sadly nearly 1,100 die each day), and we must not only remember their stories, but the ones who did not come home. “All gave some, some gave all.”

 There are so many people, my age, who don’t fully understand the magnitude about the veterans and what they did for our country. I think it’s inspiring to these veterans when, someone is asking for their autographs/military experiences, but also when the person asking is that of my age. I have received letters from veterans who thank me for what I am doing and that it is unfortunate that so many people tend to forget these stories. Some veterans have even sent me their military insignia, medals, books, etc. (one veteran even sent his POW dog tag) simply because they say that there is no one in their family who cares about it. I think it’s amazing that they would send all this to me, a complete stranger..

 So, I am trying to obtain as many autographs/stories from veterans as I can to ensure their stories are not forgotten. This is a hobby that keeps me quite busy: I get over five things in the mail each day, followed by 10-15 e-mails, and phone calls. I send out letters to veterans, locate/find addresses, type up questions, translate letters (for foreign veterans), etc.

This is a daily routine so it’s almost like my job, so to speak.

If any veterans would like to get in touch at knap607@yahoo.com, I will provide them with a questionnaire, which includes some basic questions I have about their service. If you could print off the questionnaire, autograph it, answer the questions, and mail it to me (my address below), I would greatly appreciate it.

My main purpose for writing is to share with you that there are people from my generation who do remember the past and the sacrifices that were made for our country.

Sincerely,

Kyle Nappi

1890 Warren Rd.

Ostrander, OH 43061

New year, renewed hope

Dear Editor:

I am optimistically looking forward to brighter days ahead for our community, our nation, and the world.

Locally we have a new board of commissioners for the county soon to be sworn in. Hopefully they will begin to clean up the many problems of the last four years, and to put the people of our community first again. We have all seen enough of petty bickering and incompetence around here to last a lifetime.

Let’s begin by scrubbing the idea of spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need. This week’s question in the Pagosa SUN asks our opinions about the efforts made to clear the roads of snow from our recent storms. I have not seen the results of the survey, but my own opinion is not favorable at all. Several times during this last week, after clearing my driveway and the street around the front of our home, the plow raced by creating a berm two or three feet high of compacted snow and ice. It was more difficult to clear it afterwards than to do the entire driveway. When I called to complain I was told there would be a clean up truck by in a few days and there is nothing else to do about it. Fortunately for me, I am physically able to clear it myself. What about the many less fortunate who are unable to get out of their driveways after the plow goes by creating this mess? A simple solution would be to have the clean up truck follow the plow and clean up the drives as they go. Perhaps most people would agree under the current economic circumstances this would be a far better way to spend some of the Ballot Issue 1A funds than on a “multi-purpose” equestrian facility.

On the national level I sense a renewed spirit of cooperation and hope for brighter days. “Greed economics” again has been disproved. Yes, government does have a role to play in ensuring a level playing field and that those with money and power should not make the rules that they play by and let the rest of us try to catch the “trickle down.” Our proud nation has always been at its best when the chips are down. We rally together and help each other out, knowing that we are all in this together.

The global financial meltdown we have witnessed recently has shown that now more than ever we are a world connected. No one nation can stand alone. Whether it is the “global economy,” human caused climate change, or the war on terror we need to rely on each other to help do our parts to solve these issues. We are not an island, nor should we want to be. Only through cooperation, communication, and compassionate understanding will we be able to ensure a future for generations to come.

Let’s start now!

Donovan Porterfield