Squandered dollars

Dear Editor:

I just finished reading the 2008 annual report of the Scleroderma Research Foundation. Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease, which affects about 50,000 people in the USA every year. Among these victims is my 25-year-old grandson. The word “scleroderma” is Greek for hard skin, the most visible characteristic of the disease. For more information, see www.sclerodermaresearch.org.

The charitable Scleroderma Research Foundation raises and spends about a million dollars per year on very impressive research. I am inspired with the progress that is being made on the understanding and treatment of scleroderma.

What motivates this letter and raises my ire are the trillions of taxpayers’ dollars being squandered on worthless thieving bankers. I would like someone to tell me why these guys are worth 100 million dollars a year. I’m sure there are plenty of far more qualified people who would gladly fly from golf course to golf course for a mere million a year. Our representatives just gave these crooks the money without even asking for an accounting. If anyone reading The SUN knows where the money went, I hope they’ll write a letter telling the rest of us what we got for our money.

Imagine what a trillion dollars could do if it had been spent to benefit mankind instead of a few Wall Street bankers.

It is my opinion that bailing out incompetents and thieves will be the ruination of the country.


Bob Dungan



Dear Editor:

When the chips are down, the goodness comes out.

Aren’t the new little trees on Lewis Street pretty, dressed up in their holiday attire? Too bad someone needed lights so much, they removed the strings from the tree in front of the Methodist church; but they have been replaced.

Then one night last week we enjoyed a delicious complete turkey dinner together at the Parish Hall and it was free. We played games, had fun and enjoyed each other, and where were you?

And, how about the wonderful snowman and Santa on top of the Elkhorn being blown and battered about — but always smiling.

I love the beautiful nativity scene, but I doubt if Joseph enjoys being thrown into the river.

Joy to everyone at this time of year.

Cindy Gustafson

Free to move

Dear Editor:

One of the freedoms we enjoy in the United States is freedom of movement: as citizens, we are free to pick up and move from one community to another, across states if we wish, whenever we wish. This is not the case everywhere in the world, and has not always been the case in this country. Utes, Navajos, Cherokee, Nez Perce, Americans of Japanese descent, among others, have been physically detained and forced to relocate to places not of their choosing. I do not believe anyone living in or around Pagosa Springs today was forced to relocate or remain here against their will.

I chose to move here in 1999, despite having no friends or family here, not knowing anyone, never having vacationed here other than a quick pass through two years earlier. My husband and I chose Pagosa Springs because of its proximity to Wolf Creek Ski Area, the South San Juan and Weminuche Wilderness areas, redrock desert, hiking, skiing, hunting and other outdoor opportunities. It was a big move, one we did not undertake without some consideration. We continue to struggle to make a living here, but neither the geography and climate of the Four Corners area, nor our love of this geography and climate, have changed. We chose to come here, in part, because of all the snow; also because of the summers, the autumns, the springs. We lived in other ski resorts prior to moving here, where locals rejoice at mounds of snow in winter. Yes, it is a lot of work to shovel, and it is a hassle to drive on icy roads. But the joys of skiing fresh powder or cross-country skiing across an open meadow are like no other. Why anyone who dislikes snow would choose to live close to a ski area whose motto is “the most snow in Colorado” is far beyond me.

So, Pagosa, stop complaining about the snow. Stop abusing your plow driver and making his work harder by throwing snow into the road. Get out and play in the snow and be grateful for our blessings. If you want to live in a hot climate with no snow, you are still free to move away from here. If you choose to stay, get out and have fun on your skis, snowboard, snowshoes, sled, ice skates, or just solid winter boots!

 Lisa Jensen

Need the arena

Dear Editor:

Fiddling while Pagosa burns (economically).

For many years, this was a lumber town with scant tourism. For the past 14 years, tourism, construction and real estate have been the economic engine of Pagosa Springs. We all know what has happened to construction and real estate. Now we are left with tourism. We have no major airport connection and we cannot support adequate employment in Archuleta County with mom and pop driving up for a weekend with the kids. We must do everything we can to keep the town alive through our only remaining economic vehicle — tourism. We cannot attract special events without some type of covered facility. These attendees stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop locally. We are surrounded by major cities within a one-day drive, where the summer temperatures reach over 100 degrees. These people would love to bring their special event to beautiful Pagosa Springs, but cannot due to the lack of a facility.

Gil Johnson

The enemy 

Dear Editor:

It is becoming much more apparent to millions of people across our country that the greatest enemy we have, the greatest domestic terrorist organization who has declared all-out war on the American people, is government itself. Like a cancer that starts small with no symptoms, governments, federal, state and local, have grown into a life-blood sucking vampire stealing everything from money to freedoms and rights, and doing so under the color of law, but are, in fact, violating our  laws and Constitution at every turn. Our economy is a direct result of lawlessness at multiple levels, and things will only get much worse until we wake up and fight this disease, and soon. Join the fight!

 Jeff Maehr

Let us prosper

Dear Editor:

As I read weekly in The Pagosa SUN about all the money that our elected officials want to spend in the city of Pagosa Springs, I wonder, “Do the people of Pagosa forget where this money comes from?” I think about where the money comes from: my wallet!

Since when have cities, counties, states or federal government been responsible for entertaining us or supplying our needs? Most government-funded recreational facilities are not profitable and continue to take money out of the taxpayer’s pocket. If there were money to be made from a swimming pool, recreational center or public transit system, these services would have been built and opened by a private individual or corporation. Most of these public services do not make enough profit to support themselves and that is why private companies do not tend to build them. The city, county and federal governments charge so many fees, taxes, permits, etc., that investors don’t want to involve themselves with projects like that.

Government, get out of our lives and wallets. Let the United States of America prosper.


Mark Zelhart