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Letters 12/03/09


Dear Editor:

On Nov. 23, I attended a BoCC meeting regarding proposed amendments to the Land Use Regulations, Exhibit A. I found out about this meeting in a small paragraph where the planning commission news and agendas are posted. At the meeting, seven pages of amendments to the existing regulations were presented to the commissioners by Rick Bellis of the Planning Department. I attended for personal reasons regarding property in the “recreation” area of Arboles. These new addendums were going to have an effect on a major investment we have in Arboles. I found there were major items in this document that take your property rights away. In one of the addendums, I saw it would directly affect a business, Let’s Store It, financially. I called them and asked if they were aware of what was in this document … they had no idea about this. There is also something in the document about only three non-related parties can rent a home, “accessory structure,” another one is a guesthouse can only be used for the occasional guest of the principal occupant, you may not collect rent or compensation. I am unclear on this rental issue. It seems only the planning department staff knows of these addendums and regulations.

After many calls from working people who could not attend a meeting at 1:30 in the afternoon (some of us have to work), the commissioners had the insight to table this matter. Another thing I found out in this meeting: it was asked of Bellis, did the planning commissioner members vote on these addendums before coming before the commissioners? Bellis replied that they had seen them, but not formally voted on it. Bellis informed them that it is not required for them to vote on the addendums, that the county commissioners have the final vote. I was dumbfounded that something so important was not brought to a vote by the planning commission, thereby assuring the county commissioners that this document was researched and public input was received. In fairness to the BoCC, they were not well prepared by the planning department.

There are other issues in this document: rules on canopies, carports, storage containers, greenhouses. These items affect a lot of people and businesses. I encourage you to get a copy of these proposed addendums and get educated of what the planning department is doing. We have rules on the books now that they can’t enforce — now they are making more rules. Oh, wait; the planning department has a solution. I hear they will be hiring a full-time code enforcement officer after the first of the year. This officer will enforce all existing land use regulations that went into effect in 2006, the newly adopted nuisance ordinance and these new addendums to the land use regulations (if adopted). I guess they needed more rules so this new position will have job security. Now while we are all fighting to stay in business and keep employed, we will in the future have to look over our shoulder for the code enforcement officer. Not good timing, guys; we are all under a lot of pressure just to survive. Enforce your current rules before making new ones.

We came here 30 years ago from California to escape excessive rules, regulations, fees and over-taxation. I am sad that our county has evolved to this … seems like we are going backwards instead of forward.

Debra Brown


Dear Editor:

It was after that first snow around Halloween; most of the snow had melted and it was sunny out. I was putting up a poster for the Civic Club Bazaar at a local restaurant. I saw the pile of ice as I went in, but didn’t coming out. I fell and broke my leg. I heard them chipping ice as the EMS put me in the ambulance.

I accept my responsibility for hurrying, not paying attention, etc., but why do storeowners not think of their customers’ safety and welfare? This ice has been there for the last several years when I have gone in to put up a poster or eat. The solution is simple — a drain across the front of the restaurant; downspouts carrying the water away from the foot traffic; and heat tapes above, on the roof. It could be done in an afternoon.

Also, the City Markets and the U.S. postal parking lots are accidents waiting to happen. Do the owners of these lots ever study them for how best to plow the parking so the drain off goes into the sewers if Pagosa has any, or into the drains at the side of the road instead of continuing pooling and refreezing? Get the snow off after a snow, then clean it up or redesign the parking lots to drain better. It’s the cost of doing business in a cold climate.

There is customer responsibility for living in a cold climate, too, but we need cooperation.

Marilyn Copley

Small doses

Dear Editor:

See what your readers think of this:

“We cannot expect the Americans to jump from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they have communism.” — Nikita Kruschev.

Harold Gibson

Quiet and tireless

Dear Editor:

I want to publicly thank Andy Fautheree for the work he does as the Archuleta County Veterans Service Officer. I don’t know about the other county service officers in the state, but I would think Andy does as much or more than any other service officer. He is knowledgeable about the rules and regulations of the Veterans Department and changes as they are made. He has helped many veterans obtain benefits and awards, many which were difficult in coming or lost in the paper shuffle.

Working with the local American Legion Post, he was able to obtain a grant to purchase two vehicles for veterans’ use. Other counties may have a bus that runs on a set schedule, but we are able to reserve one of the vehicles to drive to Durango, Farmington and/or Albuquerque for VA appointments. On top of this, if the Regional Medical Center in Albuquerque does not reimburse a veteran for his travel, Andy will reimburse the veteran for his gas and hotel expenses. This also applies to day trips to Durango and Farmington. This grant is applied for each year in order that funds are available to reimburse the veterans.

He works quietly and tirelessly to help the 2,400 veterans in the county, and for your efforts, Andy, I want to thank you.

Paul Matlock

Good idea?

Dear Editor:

Save Red McCombs from himself. Red has been involved in two ski areas in southern Colorado, Cuchara Valley and Wolf Creek. Cuchara Valley failed. Among the reasons was lack of snow. Red’s proposed Village at Wolf Creek will fail, too. Among the reasons will be lack of oxygen. Red learns from experience — Wolf Creek usually has plenty of snow — but he still doesn’t get it.

If built, the Village would be the highest destination resort in the world by quite a margin. Sleeping at high elevation is harder on people than exercising at high elevation. That is why all of Colorado’s ski areas above ten thousand feet do not have beds. It’s just not reasonable to suppose that a vacationing population coming mostly from near sea level is going to feel good living and sleeping that high. Some will be OK. Some will get sick or just feel bad. Some will die.

Good idea? You be the judge. Please, encourage Congressman Salazar and our local officials not to support a Congressional land swap for Red McCombs’ Village at Wolf Creek. If he must persist in his foolishness, let him go through the normal procedures and fail without the help of Congress.

Jim Milstein


Dear Editor:

I wonder if the media has finally got it? Obama’s 787 billion Porkulus is bogus! Since Feb. 17, 2009, the day he signed it, the American economy has lost some three million jobs. The truth is Barack Obama has destroyed millions of jobs.

What is this excrement about “jobs saved or created?” Barack is destroying our economy. He is destroying management. He’s destroying assembly lines. He’s destroying opportunity. He’s destroying hope. He’s destroying liberty for future generations.

Barack Obama hasn’t “created or saved” a damn thing. The only jobs he’s created are government jobs. He has confiscated taxpayer money with no accountability. Obama has filched money from the private sector and put people on the government payroll — or anything else.

Barack Obama is a destroyer, not a creator. He is an obstacle, standing in the way of the people who make this country work. It is an insult to our intelligence, it is audacious, for this man and his socialist administration to continue to put out fraudulent, phony numbers about the numbers of job she has “created or saved.”

Overreaching, intrusive, freedom-sapping government is to lame for the problems we have. And piled on top of the mess they’ve already created, Democrats are now adding insult to injury: a massive health care takeover — which is nothing more than an attack on liberty — and the most outrageous tax increases in our history. While they weaken our national security.

America is a great country at risk in a dangerous world. The threats to this nation have always been external. Today, the threat is internal. The Democrat Party has been so radicalized that it is out to essentially re-found this nation. They want more and more power and control. They want more and more people totally dependent on them and the government that they run. They view that as the way to stay in perpetual power, because you’ll obviously vote for those you believe are responsible for your very survival. Folks, when that happens, you are no longer a citizen; you are a serf.

These are dark, dark days for the country. I never dreamed that in my lifetime we would have a president who dislikes this country as much as he does, and holds as much of it in contempt as much as he does. I would have never dreamed that we would have had a president who is doing everything he can to destroy the very engine that creates prosperity and freedom in this country, the American private sector and capitalism.

The response must be: We’re not going to let that happen. Even the old “troglodyte” in Arboles, Bob Dungan, might possibly agree?

Jim Sawicki