Support scouting

Dear Editor:

Tomorrow’s leaders.

Where will they come from? Who will teach them our timeless values? They are the youth of today and the hope for tomorrow. They are your, and my, kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. They are also your neighbors and theirs. They are part of our community. Churches, schools and other groups all enter the equation as our youth develop into successful adults.

The Great Southwest Council, Boy Scouts of America, including parts of Arizona, Northern New Mexico and our own Mesa Verde District of Southwest Colorado, including Pagosa Springs, have been guiding youth since 1912. The National Boy Scouts of America, since 1910.

In our district, there are 51 scouting units of which Pagosa Springs has two cub packs, two scout troops and one crew. All are individually sponsored by community organizations. Each unit is led by adult men and women volunteers like you; with over 300 in our district and 5,000 in the council.

The Great Southwest Council services these scout units. What is meant by servicing units? It means a well-trained and knowledgeable staff of commissions and district executives to ensure that scouting units have a quality program for the youth they serve. It provides a good program of marketing support to help make the opportunity of scouting available to every family and youth. It means administrative and resource support to adult volunteers. And it means to serve individual scouts where there is no scout unit and servicing youth in “at risk” neighborhoods by getting youth into “good gangs” and off the streets. It means providing outdoor camping facilities like Camp Frank Rand on the edge of the Pecos Wilderness.

The program at every level is designed to prepare our youth for success as adults. Community service projects such as Scouting for Food, conservation improvements and individual scout projects are just some of the ways demonstrating and encouraging youth to community commitment.

The success of these programs depends on those who support it including adult volunteers, the encouragement of parents and financial support and through grants. Ninety-two percent of expenses are to service units and only 8 percent for management and fund-raising.

I urge you to consider partnering with families, the adult volunteers and the Great Southwest Council, BSA, by offering your donation. Your check, made out to BSA, may be mailed to the 2009 Friends of Scouting Campaign, c/o Don Bartlett, P.O. Box 4308, Pagosa Springs, CO 81157. For more information and questions concerning Matching Gifts, call (800) 368-9218.

Yours in and for scouting,

Don Bartlett

Republican woes

Dear Editor:

It is interesting that the three Republican senators voting for President Obama’s stimulus package are from Maine and Pennsylvania.

One hundred forty-six years ago, in the state of Pennsylvania, at the town of Gettysburg, the men in the 20th Maine regiment, about 350 backwoodsmen, under Lt. Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, were called on to save the Union Army and perhaps the Union. Their task was to prevent the Rebels from capturing Little Round Top, which they did. After running out of ammunition, they prevailed by making the most famous bayonet charge of the Civil War. There is little doubt that if Rebel artillery, instead of Yankee artillery, was firing from Little Round Top, Picket’s charge would be written up in the history books as a great Confederate victory instead of a heroic defeat. Most likely, we wouldn’t have Lincoln’s Gettysburg address to memorize, and perhaps we would not even have a United States of America.

The Republican Party in Lincoln’s time was the progressive party, the party that supported Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation and saw the 13th amendment, banning slavery, incorporated into the Constitution. The party, under Lincoln, passed, in the midst of the Civil War, the railroad expansion act, the Homestead Act and the Land Grant College act.

President Nixon’s Southern Strategy transformed the noble Republican Party of Lincoln into a cabal of negative nabobs. The party spokesman, Rush Limbaugh, has stated, “I hope he fails,” referring to President Obama. Of course, Rush Limbaugh and the current Republican Party would have said the same about Lincoln.

I learned Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in the Lincoln elementary school, played on the Civil War cannons in the town park, visited the graves of the Civil War veterans on Memorial Day, and heard their stories (second hand, as told by my dad).

I was raised a Yankee and a Republican. I will die a Yankee, but not a Republican.

Bob Dungan


Generous businesses

Dear Editor:

I was one of many people attending the Mercy Hospice fund-raiser, Soup for the Soul. Once again our restaurants were asked to donate their food and time and once again they came through.

I truly wonder how these businesses make any money as they are constantly donating to so many events. We Pagosans are fortunate to have such giving people in our midst.

We must, in turn, frequent their establishments because we need to keep these wonderful, charitable people in business. A thank you to them for their charitable giving would be appreciated when eating at one of their places.

I also hope each charity on the receiving end always sends a personal thank-you letter.

Restaurants giving at his event were: Alley House, Boss Hogg’s, Dorothy’s, Eddie’s, Farrago, Floured Apron, Higher Grounds, JJ’s, Pagosa Bakery and Victoria’s. Also donating were CO Cowboy Catering, Pagosa Brewing and Mountain Spirits.

Thanks to you all.

Marilyn Falvey


Dear Editor:

After reading “Problems Everywhere” (Letters to the Editor, Feb. 12), it soon became evident that the author still has a fixation not on current events, but rather on continuing his diatribes on the Republican party.

In the last election, Iraq was the last thing on the voters’ minds with the economy ranking number one. Now, after the election, Mr. Blake again tries to place all the blame for the current status of the pending “Stimulus Bill” as offered by the Obama Administration getting “derailed” by the Republican Party. The Democrats control the House, so it matters not what the Republicans think, which is why the Stimulus Bill passed the House with all Republicans and 11 Democrats voting against its passage. Only in the Senate do the Democrats not control that legislative body, but as of this writing (Feb. 16, 2009) the Stimulus Bill passed the Senate with three Republicans voting in favor of the bill allowing its passage where it now awaits President Obama’s signature to become law.

Unfortunately, the ability of this legislation to create meaningful employment is merely propaganda. It is a handout to government, states, special interest groups, unions and the usual Democrat constituencies. Much ado was made about capping corporate CEO salaries, but that doesn’t apply but to very few institutions, primarily ones that take bailout money after the bill is passed. Of course, this bill is desperately needed because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) CA, has said we are losing 500 million jobs a month. Since the population of the U.S. is about 320 million souls, was she referring to the jobs sent overseas or just indulging in some of the BS that Mr. Blake accused the Republicans of doing?

The government cannot spend its way out of the current economic disaster we find ourselves in, but I find it rather disingenuous to place all the blame on former President Bush and his administration. One would have you believe that there were either no Democrats in Congress or none saying stop the spending, but that’s a lie. The Democrats spent like the drunken sailors they accuse the Bush Administration of doing, then have the gall to deny any responsibility?

As for supporting President Obama, we should all support him, but we do not have to support programs and policies that are not in the best interests of this country. We certainly heard that from the Democrats during the eight years of the Bush presidency except there seemed to be no policies or programs put forth that satisfied the Democrats. In short, the Democrats were greater obstructionists than the current Republican lawmakers as they were there for eight years, the new Republicans just four months, actually just three weeks since that is all that President Obama has been in charge. Methinks Mr. Blake doth protest far too much and too early on this subject.

Now, not paying your taxes seems to be a prerequisite for nomination to Obama’s Cabinet, (Gaithner, Daschle, Bill Richardson — Reps. Rangell (D) and Murtha (D) are undergoing investigations by the FBI, one for taxes, one for illegal campaign practices), yet there is no outcry in the media. Bob Dylan said it best, “It’s a hard rain’s a’gonna fall.”


Kenneth Snow

Garden Grove, Calif.

Give me a break

Dear Editor:

Give me a break, Blake.

David Blake wrote in the Feb. 12 issue of The SUN that Republican “bickering, delay, lies and their classic two-step BS is nothing but an attempt to derail the stimulus package of relatively ‘minute’ liberal hmminahmminah.” (I don’t know the meaning of the last “word” in this sentence, but he’s right that the stimulus package is a purely liberal concoction.)

Then Blake, an inveterate hater of George W. Bush and everything Republican, tells us we should all support the $787 billion stimulus package although “the truth is nobody knows whether any action will work, but inaction is not the answer.” Is this right, Mr. Blake, you don’t know whether the stimulus will work, but you’re willing to allow your fellow Democrats, like House leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Harry Reid, who never met a pork project they couldn’t spend money on, spend $787 billion for something that may or may not work? Give me a break, Blake!

Then you have the audacity to say, Mr. Blake, “What’s really disappointing is the tendency of some to ridicule the new president after three weeks” … and “not joining him with constructive dialogue and effort.” What planet have you been living on? The Democrats don’t want dialogue! This stimulus package is entirely of their own making and they want to shove down our throats before anyone even has a chance to read the more than 1,000 pages it consists of. They don’t want anyone else to read it because they don’t want to have to defend it. And Obama, like you, is trying to use scare tactics and shame us for even questioning whether his plan will work. In reality, all the Democrats have is a tax and spend package, they don’t have even a semblance of a real plan.

Mr. Blake, there are a lot of people in the real world who have a problem with a president who just a short time ago was nothing but a freshman senator just four years out of the Illinois Legislature and about whom little is really known save for what he has himself written in his two autobiographies. His political gifts may seem to be formidable, especially his ability to awe an audience and attract votes, but so were Jimmy Carter’s. As you say, Obama has been in office only a little more than three weeks. Let’s look at some of his “accomplishments” in this short period of time: he has chosen a tax cheat to become our Secretary of the Treasury. (But nobody is perfect, we are told.) He tried to make another tax cheat the Secretary of Health and Human Services; and for Secretary of Commerce, he nominated Bill Richardson, who is under investigation for campaign fund irregularities. Obama also has chosen an individual to become Deputy Attorney General who has a long history of representing the pornography industry and opposing laws designed to protect children from Internet sexual exploitation. Before we know it, Reverent Jeremiah Wright of God Damn American fame will be leading prayer breakfasts at the White House.

Obama obviously knows or cares nothing about vetting people who are chosen to serve in his cabinet. And this president is going to keep this country safe from our enemies? It will be a miracle.

Gary Stansbury

Big Box stores

Dear Editor:

In response to your article about sales tax: Pagosa people go to other areas to purchase many of their supplies.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that their tax money is also going to other areas.

This happens for sure as money tightens up and people need to closely watch what they spend.

One answer: Big Box in Pagosa — then sales tax stays in Pagosa.

Danett Stephens

Houston, Texas