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Letters 11/12/09

Why not?

Dear Editor:


Why should we, in this great nation, pass an affordable health care bill?

Because many of our citizens are unable to afford health care. Because many do not have jobs that provide health care insurance. Because, if our elected officials have health care insurance, we should also. Because many have been denied health insurance through no fault of their own. Because many have gone bankrupt to pay for health care.

You may say that we cannot afford it now but, as history has shown, we have been told that many times before. If not now, when?

Please contact your elected officials to encourage them to vote to provide affordable health care for all of our citizens.

Why not?

Judy Collins

Pro land exchange

Dear Editor:

Following is a copy of a letter sent to all interested govermental parties.

The Builders Association of Pagosa Springs, a non-profit 501(C)(6) affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Colorado Association of Home Builders (CAHB) promotes smart growth and engagement in active participation in the regulatory process of Archuleta County to ensure that the housing industry remains a priority. Guided by the Association’s mission, “to unify all those in or associated with the building industry of Archuleta County,” the Association supports and advocates for ALL responsible, positive economic development that will revitalize the community.

As a stakeholder in the development of the Village at Wolf Creek, the Association supports NAHB’s official position on Smart Growth that states:

Smart Growth meets the demands of the ever increasing population and a prosperous economy, smart growth means building a political consensus (a) to support comprehensive local plans employing market-sensitive and innovative land-use planning concepts to achieve a wide range of housing choices for all Americans, (b) to fairly and fully finance infrastructure to support necessary new residential, commercial, and industrial growth, and (c) to preserve meaningful open space and protect the environment. NAHB’s Smart growth policy recommends adherence to all of the following:

• Planning for and accommodating anticipated growth in economic activity, population and housing demand, as well as ongoing changes in demographics and lifestyles while protecting the environment.

• Providing for a wide range of housing types to suit the needs, preferences and income levels of a community’s diverse population.

• Adopting a comprehensive land-use planning process at the local level that clearly identifies land uses, such as residential, commercial, recreational and industrial, as well as land to be set aside as meaningful open space.

• Adopting balanced and reliable means to finance and pay for the construction and expansion of roads, schools, water and sewer facilities and other infrastructure required to serve a prosperous community.

• Using land more efficiently by allowing higher density development and innovative land use policies and encouraging mixed-use and pedestrian-friendly developments with access to open space and mass transit.

• Revitalizing older suburban and inner-city markets and encouraging infill development.

As a stakeholder, The Builders Association of Pagosa Springs’ position on the Village at Wolf Creek is in support of responsible building and positive economic development for Archuleta County. The Association endorses Plan B, the Land Exchange that will use land more efficiently by allowing higher density development and a smaller footprint. The Association has confidence that this project will provide stimulus for many jobs in our area, as well as create the need for other services and support. The Association requests the legislators and representatives to vote “yes” in support of the land exchange. The Association appreciates the confidence the community shows in us, and looks forward to continuing to provide direction in the building industry to serve the needs of our community.

Bob Hart, president

Karen Davison, executive officer

Builders Association of Pagosa Springs

Time to change

Dear Editor:

Your recent articles in the November 5th edition of the SUN prompts me to again write and question the management exercised by the PAWSD board.

First, the issue before the Colorado Supreme Court had more to do with the merits and accuracy of PAWSD water requests than the length of the planning period. Unfortunately, the article did not scrutinize sufficiently the real issues addressed by the Court. Clearly, the Court rebuked and did not agree with PAWSD in its growth projections for Archuleta County regardless of the planning period. The Court indicated there was insufficient evidence for the recreational in-channel diversion, the direct flow claim and the 25,300 acre foot storage claim. The Court points out, on numerous occasions, that there is speculative data, factually incorrect population projections and an absence of proper data. It should be embarrassing to the PAWSD Board to have the State Supreme Court consistently point out the numerous errors in the Dry Gulch planning.

Second, the article on the review of PAWSD financials by Al Bledsoe and the Board of County Commissioners is concerning. The comments by Bob Huff were unseemly and inappropriate. When you don’t like the message or questions, it’s easier to attack the messenger. Mr. Huff owes an apology to Mr. Bledsoe specifically and the public in general. Further, it does not appear from reading the article that the SUN contacted Mr. Bledsoe for a response or comment. PAWSD is a public entity and its financials and financial condition most certainly should be publicly reviewed and evaluated. It is, I believe, an obligation of our county commissioners and, further, should not be met with such vitriol. On the horizon are significantly increased water rates for current users given the failure of water resource revenues to even approach the budgeted amount. PAWSD and its Board have an obligation to the users to advise them how much water rates will increase and when.

The decision by the Colorado Supreme Court, as well as the hostility towards the requests for financial data that should and must be made available to the public reflects poorly on the management by the PAWSD Board of Directors. It is time for the Board to reconsider its positions on Dry Gulch, funding methods and proper scrutiny of its financials by the public. For too long they have ignored repeated requests by community leaders to work realistically and cooperatively with them. It is time for that approach to change.

Jan Jorgensen

Disc golf

Dear Editor:

I have to say that the new disc golf course on Reservoir Hill is fantastic and it’s about time that we had one! We have played several times since we found out about it in October. What a great recreation amenity and town asset. Big thanks to the volunteers who finally made it happen.

The course is challenging and is set well enough that you aren’t throwing over each other. The course is very accessible on a part of the most underused portion of Reservoir Hill.

Every time we have played, there have been others playing the course as well — it’s being well utilized — and we have played mostly afternoons and evenings, and both weekdays and weekends.

My biggest fuss at this point is that we need course maps easily available at every restaurant, retail store, visitors center, community center and town hall.

I hope this course goes from temporary to permanent and nine more holes can be added.

Julie Simmons


Dear Editor:

As an addendum to John Meyer’s excellent letter (SUN 11/5/09), I offer the following facts for reader scrutiny.

Planned parenthood president Cecile Richards, attacking the Catholic bishops’ opposition to the Democrat’s health bill as’“dangerous,” told Catholics who “disagree with the bishops, please let your legislators know.” Already receiving $300 million tax money (without taxpayer consent), they want more for abortions, despite Obama’s assurance to the contrary, so they urge support ironically from recalcitrant Catholics. However, the just-passed House bill contains the Stupack amendment, which prohibits tax funds for abortions. It is now the Senate’s turn.

Ironically, too, Abbey Johnson, a director, had a “profound change of heart” and quit planned parenthood after watching on an ultrasound monitor on a transducer probe a living unborn baby defend itself by moving away from the suction abortion probe before it “crumpled” as it was vacuumed out of the mother’s uterus.

Despite Obama’s promise of no taxes on the middle class, if he eventually gets his bill, their annual taxes will increase more than $600 per year to pay for it. Newt Gingrich’s national email appeal for a “House Call Rally” brought 25,000 protesters to Washington from all over the country.

Bob Dungan (SUN 11/05/09) asks for positive news, which is hard to get from the Obama administration. However, I offer three positive items for his information:

1. The Republican Health Bill:

a. Costs 40 percent less than the demo’s.

b. Covers 83 percent of Americans (not 50 percent).

c. Lowers premiums on existing policies by 10 percent.

d. Curbs lawsuits (tort reform).

e. Covers preexisting conditions.

f. Eliminates tax money for abortions.

g. Eliminates a government-run option.

h. Does not raise taxes.

2. RNC’s Steel is releasing the Republican’s new governing plan, which is touted to be better than Gingrich’s previous 10-point plan.

3. Gingrich, a recent Catholic convert, is my suggestion for presidential candidacy as the most brilliant, moral-oriented, experienced, history-savvy Republican.

Other vignettes of truth: Obama brags about thousands of jobs “saved” or created (mostly government), but ignores the 2,000,000-plus jobs lost since his inauguration and the 512,000 unemployment claims in October alone. Unemployment is 10.2 percent. Underemployment is 17.5 percent. Sixteen million Americans are unable to find work, which Obama finds “sobering.” Fifty percent of Americans say their financial situation has worsened.

Obama’s czar Bloom (a Mao and Chavez aficionado) said, “The free market is nonsense,” and wants total government control. However, the GAO says the beginnings of an economic recovery are due entirely to free market enterprise while the stimulus is a total failure. Soros says, “Our system has broken down so we need to change it,” and “Unions and governments are the solution to balance power.” The government now owns 33 percent of all of the United States compared to 19 percent last year.

As Mr. Dungan says, if we don’t like the current president, we can elect another. I suggest we do so and include replacing the Democrat leaders, as well.

Eugene Witkowski