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Letters to the Editor

Back to work

Dear Editor:

I have had my wake (being an Irishman, I didn’t want to miss it) and Jim Sawicki came down to my 80th birthday party for a nice chat, so I am about ready to write the letter that gets me hung. This is not it; the most I can expect out of this letter is to be tarred and feathered.

As Mr. Reithmiller points out, we have not run out of oil, yet, but no thanks to Debbie Reynolds. The reason we haven’t run out of oil is because of the efforts of thousands of engineers, millions of workers and trillions of dollars. I recall the days when I could put a gallon of gas in my model T for a few pennies. Those days area gone, never to return, in spite of the best efforts of the Republican Party.

A most remarkable endeavor is going on in the Gulf, out of sight of the TV cameras. Grunts on those two drill rigs are working 24/7 to guide a wet noodle, the drill stem, to a spot a few feet in size three miles down. The drilling technology used today was undreamed of 50 years ago. That is why we haven’t run out of oil. Down here in south Archuleta County, gas companies are extracting methane gas from coal beds that lie almost a mile below the surface of the earth, and out east, they are extracting gas from shale formations; two technologies undreamed of 50 years ago. That is why we haven’t run out of natural gas.

So, why is it so bad to use technology to harness the energy of the sun directly? Beats me. The energy companies could and should set up renewable energy departments and staff them with a few bright engineers. They could do this for far less than what it costs them to buy up Congress every year. In the long run, it would benefit both them and the country. Maybe we could even cut back on the money we send to the Arabs.

In this issue of Invention and Technology, there is an article about building Hoover Dam 75 years ago, a marvelous engineering achievement. Now, LPEA can’t even put up a lightning rod. So, when your brand new flat screen TV gets zapped, don’t belly ache to me. We should be building a gas powered generating plant near Pagosa. A gas plant generates about half the carbon dioxide as a coal plant of equal size.

Americans have lost their MoJo. They sit in front of the TV, collect their government checks and go down to Starbucks, pay five bucks for a cup of coffee and whine about the color of the hogs at the trough out in Washington. It is time for Americans to eliminate the trough and get back to work.

Bob Dungan


Shoot first, aim later

Dear Editor:

Upon enactment of the proposed Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act (H.R. 3534), conducting production and drilling operations on Federal Lands and OCS will no longer be your Father’s Oldsmobile. Nowadays, our omnipotent public servants “never let a crisis go to waste” when the political agenda of the elitist element remains to be codified. This reckless trend continues.

With over 35 years of oil and gas industry experience, I follow C-SPAN’s coverage of the BP blowout investigative panels with great, yet sad, interest. Serious mistakes of judgment were made by people directly overseeing the planning and execution of the drilling operation. GOM residents, BP’s employees and BP’s stakeholders have paid dearly for avoidable mistakes by a few individuals. Now, too, is the domestic oil and gas industry that played no role in BP’s blowout. History teaches us the road to recovery following any large scale disaster is long, and BP’s reputation will be difficult to restore. That said, I applaud BP’s voluntary commitment to “make things right.”

Silly me assuming “reforms” stemming from BP’s blowout would involve 1) diligent review of the factors responsible for blowout, 2) regulatory oversight shortcoming transparency, 3) measured responses to high-grade industry standards and 4) legislation referencing conclusions developed by the investigative committees. Has C-SPAN elected to not cover hearings where panels issue final findings of fact and recommendations, or is the cart again coming before the horse? Anyone remember ObamaCare becoming the law of the land without addressing the root cause of healthcare cost inflation? Remember FinReg preceding investigation and reform of rating agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Meanwhile, Nobama’s far left value system waves a Louisville Slugger over the heads of the permanent staff of the regulatory agencies to refresh their recollection of Pavlov’s studies. Is it any wonder our well paid, well pensioned and immune to economic downturn Federal employees, “learn” to march in mass from a middle ground? Form your own opinion of the intended and unintended consequences.

The multitude of unrelated blowout “reforms” proposed by the CLEAR Act are another example of policy change reinforcing Corporate America’s belief that the USA has become the Poster Boy of Political Uncertainty on Planet Earth. Uncertainty breeds unemployment. Is this legislation Change We Can Believe In? If so, every other country on the globe is chomping at the bit to clone the CLEAR Act. I also have a bridge you might be interesting in purchasing.

Lacking the votes to ram “cap and tax” legislation down the throat of voters, Nobama’s cohorts have rebounded by applying the “boot to the neck” of the oil and gas industry. Hope your outlook and that of your offspring includes preferences for higher energy costs, supply disruptions, reliance on unfriendly sovereign states and further exodus of capital and quality jobs to business friendly/rational countries ––neither a Rocket Scientist’s intellect nor an elitist upbringing are necessary to understand the legacy of the Nobama ideologues. In November, vote all of the Republican and Democrat bums out!

Bill Egg

Our parks

Dear Editor:

Do you know Jim Miller, Tom Carosello and Andy Rice? If not, you should. Tom and Andy are keeping the recreation program together and Jim takes care of his parks. These men are doing their jobs with scant funds and crews. I was in Town Park for the Music in the Mountains concert on July 28, and we looked like a Monet painting. It was a gorgeous day; the condition of the park was beautiful. Then Friday, we were back for the senior picnic in the park. There was a huge crowed and everything was in order — another beautiful day. Then came Saturday and the ride and reggae festival. There was a “come and go” crowd, a tent up, food and other vendors, music, and the park was beautiful. And, last but not least, we went back to Town Park on Sunday for the marimba concert and it was impossible to tell that these other events had taken place.

Thank you so much Jim and the others who work so hard to maintain the care of the parks.

Cindy Gustafson


Dear Editor:

Why you need to vote on Tuesday.

If you are like I am, you are really angry about the way Congress has been functioning — or not functioning — for many years; you are angry about the spending; and you are tired of being either ignored or lied to by your Representatives. If you, like I, are tired of business as usual and special interest groups getting more consideration than constituents — then you need to get to the polls this coming Tuesday and vote in this primary election to determine who will be running for office in November. I want you to join me in sending a message to Congress that we are fed up and that they need to listen.

I have never been involved in politics before other than voting, but this year I am actively involved because I am really upset about the way things are going in Washington and Denver and about the way Congress is failing to properly address critical issues — particularly issues of fiscal responsibility and returning to a more limited federal government. There are many difficult decisions that are going to have to be made in the next few years and we need a Representative we know will stand up and make them.

We need a Representative whose message does not change based on the audience and whose private comments and conversation are not different from his public ones. We need a Representative who will stand up to the culture in Washington where politicians use earmarks to buy votes, where “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” is a way of life, and where doing what is easy is more common than doing what is necessary. We need a Representative who is not beholden to special interest groups. We need a Representative who will challenge the system, not be absorbed by it. We need a Representative who will listen to his constituents rather than to special interests in Washington. We need a Representative who is used to standing up to people in power and is not intimidated or impressed by them. We need for our Representatives — both parties — to stop selling America in the interest of staying in power.

We need a Representative who, by being elected, will take our message to Washington — wake up, pay attention, and start listening because we are tired of having a Congress that can’t, or won’t, act responsibly and in the best interests of our country rather than acting in whatever way necessary for them to get re-elected. Look around, find the one you think fits the bill, and vote on Tuesday.

Jim Huffman


Dear Editor:

The Bush tax cuts did not keep this country from going into the worst recession in our history.

This recession will end when you can walk into a supply store and the majority of the products sold are made in the U.S.

Don Reid


Dear Editor:

I can’t believe that a grown adult in our community would stoop so low as to try and embarrass two law enforcement officers at a public forum because they attended this meeting to hear what the Republican candidates for the upcoming election had to say. Since when in this country are police officers banned from these kinds of public meetings simply because they are in uniform and are armed. I happen to know that they came in their work clothes and with their sidearms attached because they got off work late and had to travel an hour back to Pagosa to make the meeting on time. When is it okay to embarrass people, let alone police officers, this way in a public setting? What is wrong with you?

I have been in the law enforcement business for 34 years and have heard all kinds of ugly slurs, epithets and nasty language thrown my way. I blew it off because the people who blasted me with those ugly words were on the wrong end of the law and it didn’t matter that they were mad at me for their demise. But to have those ugly statements made from someone that has represented the Town of Pagosa Springs and speaks for a local successful business is egregious.

You have no business saying what you said to them in a public forum. If you had an issue with these officers, the adult and proper thing to do was to approach these officers in private and settle your problem like a man. They would have told you why they were there and you would have understood that we are people, have the same rights as you, and are no more special than the average citizen of this county. You, sir, are the embarrassment, not these officers. You disgust me. Who will you call when you are confronted by someone breaking into your home, or when you have just been a victim of a violent crime? Those cops that you despise so much? And why will they come? They will come because that’s what we swore to do and that’s what we will do.

Carl Smith


Dear Editor:

I can’t imagine why anyone would object to the proposed LPEA electric substation as a visitor eyesore and not say anything about the pile of junk on top of the hill on the corner of highways 160 and 84. This is certainly not attractive to visitors.

It would be great if people would be more concerned about what is best for the citizens of Pagosa Springs, rather than the selfish “not in my backyard” attitude being shown by some.

Thelma Smith

Handicap parking

Dear Editor:

I’m at that age when I spend a lot of time sitting in my car waiting for my wife while she shops.

For the last couple of years I have come to realize folks are abusing the handicap parking privileges almost everywhere I go. I don’t know the circumstances as to why they have a handicap parking tag, but I do know that many folks I observe parking are not physically handicapped and many of them could really use the exercise if they parked some distance from the front door. I suspect the handicap tag belongs to another member of the family, or they obtained one at a time when they needed it, or perhaps they found it on the ground. But in any case I frequently observe them get out of their cars and all but skip into the store.

One day I observed an elderly lady drive by looking for a handicap stall and ended up parking well away from store. She gets out her walker and slowly makes here way to the front door. I knew there had to be folks in those stalls that were not nearly as bad off as she. Sure enough out came a man physically capable of parking anywhere. Other times I’ve seen folks park there, and leave the handicapped person in the car while they shopped. If they are going to leave the handicapped person in the car why park in the handicap stall?

Now maybe all these people have heart problems or some health issues that are not that apparent. I don’t know, but in my eyes they are certainly suspect. I guess it’s cost prohibitive for law enforcement to stake out these stalls. I can only hope that folks might read this and come to realize if they are one of the offenders they are denying access to folks who really do appreciate this convenience.

Frank Zellner