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Letters to Editor
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Smell test

Dear Editor:

The ballot counting of the PLPOA election doesn’t meet the smell test known to any principled electoral process. PLPOA in its infinite wisdom has chosen one employee to count the ballots. We are told that the employee stamps the date when the ballot is received, counts the vote and enters it on the computer.

“We’ve always done it that way,” was the lame excuse given to one candidate by the administration. That candidate as well as another property owner suggested that counters and observers be put in place. Those suggestions were ignored.

I don’t know what’s been done in the past few years, but I can attest that in the past, we had multiple counters. One year, the League of Women’s Voters was hired to count the ballots in a highly contested election. There were several observers even during that count. I know, I was one of them. In the past, the ballots were not counted until the day of the election, which this year is July 25. Frankly, I’ve never heard of ballots being counted before the election. I gather this has been the process utilized by PLPOA in recent years. Too bad more of us didn’t know; we would have objected earlier.

We don’t know the counter but assume she is honest. However, that’s not the point. PLPOA has adopted Robert’s Rules of Order. In that book on election procedures, the single counter or in their term, “teller” is never mentioned except in the plural. The single counter doesn’t meet the standards of PLPOA’s adopted rules. Also, who and where is the election committee that set up this absurd process? We’ve had that committee in the past.

The counter owes her job to the administration and PLPOA board, so can she really be unbiased? Do any ballots get pitched out? Who’s to know how many and why?

What is the administration and board afraid of? Why doesn’t it want an open, unbiased election process? I’ve already heard people refer to this election as another Iranian style election.

By using several property owners to count, plus observers representing the candidates, the election can be certified as above board and at no cost to the association. Robert’s Rules of Order suggests people from opposing viewpoints serve as counters. Yet, this logic escapes the PLPOA administration. Why? Is it too complicated for them to understand? Or is there a reason to keep the count under the control of the Board and administration?

If you are incensed by this blatant misuse of power by PLPOA, please object to this Iranian style process. You can call PLPOA, 731-5635, e-mail, write a letter, or come to the July 25 meeting and voice your outrage. We deserve a fair election; one that is above reproach.

The foul odor emanating from the west end of the county does not come from atmospheric pollution, but rather from the PLPOA election process.

Judith S. Esterly

Step up

Dear Editor:

PLPOA election re: George R. Esterly.

I don’t normally respond to other people’s letters to the editor, but felt a need to give the complete conversation between George and myself.

First: I was not asked by George if I would attend a forum! I was however committed to being in a forum but it was cancelled due to time restraints.

Second: It is true I told George “no” to answering questions on the phone. George failed to report the rest of the conversation. I told him if he had questions to come to a meeting and ask his questions in a public venue.

I would encourage George to do something positive for the homeowners instead of sitting on the sidelines and griping about the positive things the board of directors is trying to accomplish. I volunteer my time, George. Why don’t you step up to the plate and do the same?

John Meyer

Wounded Warrior

Dear Editor:

First off, I would like to say that words cannot describe the feelings that I am left with after an extraordinary week in Pagosa Springs, but I will try to summarize the best I can.

I want to thank the Pagosa Chamber of Commerce from the bottom of my heart for bringing me to your town and showering me all you did. Autumn Daily, Mary Jo, and the entire Chamber board — you have become a part of my extended family. I have been disabled for four years now and I have attended many events. I have to say that the people of Pagosa Springs have really stuck in my heart. I cried at the welcoming ceremony as the planes flew overhead. I was able to relax while receiving massages from Kathleen and her husband, a facial from Patty at The Springs Resort, my nails, and soaking in the hot springs at the Overlook, the Spa Motel and The Springs Resort. Not to mention the craniosacral massage by David.

I want to thank all the vendors who provided us with breakfast, lunch and dinner for free. During a time when the economy is hurting, donating services is even more special because people need to be paid for their services. I want to thank Shannon at Sagebrook Photography for making me feel beautiful and taking all those pictures. The Moomaws, The Pagosa Candy Factory, the San Juan Outfitters, The Bar D chuck wagon, the barbecues the whitewater rafting tour and the train ride from Silverton were all things that made my trip busy and enjoyable. It allowed me to step away from my thoughts of pain and discomfort, into a place of support and love.

I also would like to thank the pilots from Angel Flight and Angel Flight themselves for providing me with transportation. You all have touched my life so much. I am still talking about what a great time I had. I want to give my hosts for the week, The Spa Motel and The Springs Resort, an extra thank you for allowing my guest and me to stay in a nice, welcoming place. It is not every day that you go to a town where everyone you meet is accepting and welcoming.

A personal thank you goes out to the American Legion for sending us off with smiles and happy thoughts. The dinner was wonderful and I thank you for your service as well. I thank you, Pagosa Springs, for supporting the Wounded Warriors. I know that there were so many people who helped in making our week memorable and I thank you all as well. You have truly set a standard for other cities to follow when they are welcoming home their wounded warriors. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Zaneta Adams

Wounded Warrior Alumna

Keep it fair

Dear Editor:

There they go again!

Last year at this time, American voters united to successfully oppose the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act promulgated by Bush and Company. This year, the man who promised “change” is now promising the same racist immigration scheme.

There are 6 billion people in the world, living in almost 200 countries. This new proposal grants special treatment to 30 million Mexicans and Central Americans, plus their relatives, at tremendous national expense, while penalizing all other nationalities who remain in their home countries dreaming of United States citizenship.

The Haitians and Africans, Poles and Latvians, Indians and Pakistanis ... are they not also worthy human beings? They have been promised an application process that is orderly, non-political, and legal.

Ordinary citizens — Republicans and Democrats — are not anti-immigrant. Our politicians are. Once again, they want to ignore bonafide applicants, in selfish deference to business interests and to potential legal or illegal Latino votes.

We welcome immigrants and we have a process. Let’s keep it fair!

Joseph Pasulka

Southport N.C.

Bon voyage

Dear Editor:

Thank you Pagosa Springs for all your help and encouragement! I leave to Up with People July 8. I will stay with host families and learn about the political, financial, economic, and cultural environments. I’ll work alongside local charitable organizations to provide hundreds of hours of community service. At the end of our stay, we perform a show with live music, singing and dance, to spread the messages of hope and goodwill across nations. One hundred percent of the proceeds generated from the show are given to local charitable organizations. For me this is a dream come true — to be able to help those in need while experiencing other cultures, languages and lifestyles will be an enormous blessing.

This Friday at Rusty’s (old Chavolo’s), on Piedra Road, I will hold my last fund-raising event. It would be great to see you all before I leave. Variety Express will provide the entertainment. There will be posole, fry bread and baked goods to purchase. I will also be having an art auction with my art work, and local artist June Jurcak has donated a beautiful watercolor. There will also be an opportunity for individuals or businesses to sponsor my tour. A vest from Let it Rip has been donated to patch with logos and names to travel with me and show the world how great our community is. This is a busy weekend, Come have some fun Pagosa!

Much Love,

Naquita Rivas

Dirty business

Dear Editor:

Jay Davison shouldn’t have any difficulty “finding me.” I’m listed in the local phone book; but he isn’t. Since Davison has declared war and expresses vexing agitation toward yours truly, then I get to decide the Rules of Engagement.

Davison, as a Goodie-Two-Shoes-Pollyanna, Mother-May-I type, who (since he’s obviously never been mugged) believes that one should be a sweetie-pie and only ask questions with a kind and genteel deportment when interrogating a murdering, throat-slitting, beheading, baby killing, raping, “terrorist.” He, therefore, will be limited, strictly, to kind and benign methods of engagement.

I, on the other hand, who have seen and experienced war with the bark on, and recognize the manner of animals with which we are dealing (and who are not Geneva Conventions signatories or combatants), and who are eager to murder, butcher and behead innocent men, women and children as a matter of policy, will not be limited to the tender and soothing approach to winning the conflict. My objective, as it should be in any war, will be to win; just like those patriots who celebrate this Fourth of July.

Somehow, I don’t think any of those terrorists that were interrogated are altar boys returning home from Mass. Cutting off journalist Daniel Pearl’s head — that was torture. Dragging an injured soldier through a crowd until he’s dead, and then continuing to mutilate the corpse — that’s torture.

I was waterboarded many times at the United States Navy’s SERE POW training compound outside Warner Springs, Calif., during the Vietnam years. It is unpleasant; but it is not torture. Did anyone die from waterboarding? No! Was anyone permanently harmed by waterboarding? No! Did the intelligence gained in Gitmo by waterboarding lead to saving American lives? Absolutely! The “Dumbocrats” are playing politics with our national security. It’s typical, and part of the new and improved “Obumbler” regime.

War is a dirty business, fought in dirty ways to “win” with the least casualties to our side. Any way we can get intelligence from terrorists, who play by no fair rules themselves — should be permissible. The current return to appeasement, anti-military, blame America first, is the standard lefty foreign policy debacle we have seen coming from the left/progressives since the turn of the 19th century. Now it is on steroids with this phony “Obamabot” regime. Frankly, I find it astounding how anyone in this country could have a problem with a method used on a terrorist, who by all intent, is out to cause death and destruction no matter who is maimed or killed.

The “antediluvian” Mr. Bob Dungan, jist don’t get it. Sailors aren’t really partial ta fresh water. A bath in 40,000 gallons of single malt scotch or a smooth Portuguese wine would be more time-honored. If ya can’t comply, yer busted back ta “troglodyte,” return to yer cave! BTW: You can run the log splitter yourself. And if ya git a hangnail — it ain’t “torture!” Tough it!

Jim Sawicki

Tax increase

Dear Editor:

A letter sent to the county assessor, Keren L. Prior.

I have lived in Pagosa Springs since Feb. 14, 2004. I am a WW II veteran, now 83 years of age. When I was discharged from the Air Force, summer of 1946, I was an enlisted man. I chose to be trained for the Presbyterian ministry. After three years finishing college, I entered the seminary and graduated in 1952 and became an active pastor. I retired in May 1991, but continued to serve part time as a visitation pastor until February 2004, when we moved to Pagosa Springs.

My wife and I purchased our first home ever here in Pagosa Springs, having lived in church provided housing, Manses, as we called them.

We received your tax increase proposal for 2009 and were shocked! There are three or four homes close to us in our neighborhood that have been on the market for one to three years, and they have not been able to get a buyer. In talking with the owners, they tell me that they have not been able to get a buyer. Their Realtors told them that nothing is selling here. Yet, you tell me the prices of homes in Pagosa have increased dramatically due to sales records. I question that. Enclosed is an article from “This Week” magazine about the housing market today in the USA. I believe it is true of Pagosa as well, so I challenge your assessment of our home. From The Pagosa SUN, I read that may people agree with me. Hundreds are upset! Is it your goal to drive many of our retired middle class people away?

The county is depressed. County government is in question as well as city government. The USA and the world are in an economic crisis and you choose to increase our taxes? Thanks a lot. How patriotic is this? Pagosa’s sales tax figures were in 13.54 percent decline in April. Something is very wrong here. Please read The Pagosa SUN’s June 18 issue.


Robert J. Thomas

Sad situation

Dear Editor:

I have owned property in this county since the 1950s. In the ’70s, we made some improvements, but we have not tried to keep up with “the Jones,” and my valuation is $94,000 more. I understand that the rapid growth was wonderful, but should I, as a long-term taxpayer, pay for those who move in, build big and then cannot keep up?

This situation is beginning to resemble Santa Fe, N.M. The same happened there, and the long-standing “poor” citizens were forced to move to other areas of the state or country.

Charlotte Wilburn