Dear Ms. House,
Congratulations on receiving the first place award for The SUN’s Pagosa Springs Official Visitor Guide for 2009 in the National Newspaper Association’s 2010 Better Newspaper Contest and Better Newspaper Advertising Contest.
The Visitor Guide has served as a great resource for those hoping to visit the beautiful Pagosa Springs community, and the local business community has no doubt benefited from the distribution of your guide to potential visitors. It is great to see The Pagosa SUN receive this recognition after 30 years of providing great service to your community.
Congratulations and best wishes on all of your future endeavors.
Michael F. Bennet
United States Senator
Let’s try to look at some otherwise unrelated events/things and see if the dots connect:
Bin Laden arranges to have the Twin Towers hit by jets … thinking that Americans wouldn’t recover their global and internal focus but, rather, would destroy what distinguishes America … constitutional freedoms for “security” (Patriot Act) … was he right?
After causing this great recession, Republicans decide to be the spokesmen for all that is negative and destructive to America’s chance to remain competitive; thinking Americans would buy into their national suicide effort as evidence of budget discipline … were they right?
China determines that certain types of industries in China are not being energy efficient, so they shut down 2,000-plus factories on a month’s notice. We blow past the largest environmental disaster to spend all our time talking drilling for more oil and oil jobs when the global scale of competition makes this important locally, but assures economic dominance to others.
The Tea Party trots out a Black disciple who mouths the same drivel thinking this resolves the issue of whether the Tea Party is racist … were they right?
Alan Greenspan, fed. chair for years, destroys the Republican vow to preserve the tax deduction for top earning 2 percent of the nation … “tax cuts equals borrowing money” … never mind those 2 percenters save the “tax cut” (we fund) and do not invest to create jobs … so “logically” the Republicans “ignore” their long-standing, hallowed economic guru’s statement … well everybody can be wrong … right?
What connects all these dots… us … not socialists under the bed, but our refusal to challenge the “big-lie!” Military action/service buys time ... informed, rational and cooperative participation assures the future of choice.
Did you go to the fair? If not, I hope you had a good excuse. The board is composed of people new to this project and they worked almost 24/7 for many days. Why? To provide a quality outing for us — and where were you? The overall attendance numbers were down, but they fed some 1,400 people at the barbecue, and the 4-H auction brought in more dollars for the animals. “Yeah” for the kids who raised these animals and “yeah” for our strong 4-H program.
Another situation to be proud of — they are all around us and I have pride — do you?
On Nov. 2, we get the opportunity to vote for a new county commissioner.
Archuleta County is not an easy jurisdiction to administrate. At the moment, our county has serious financial constraints. Ranchers, restaurant workers, second home owners, lifelong town residents, small business owners and a couple of large business owners each play an important role in our community. Sometimes it appears that we each have different concerns, but there are some core issues which unite us all.
Every ten years or so, our county goes through a boom and bust cycle. It gets really hard to make a living here when that happens. Whether you work at a restaurant, build houses, sell real estate, run a ranch or are semi-retired, the pain of a regularly imploding economy hurts us all. It is challenging to build an economically sustainable lifestyle here. Our downtown core lacks the amenities, the nightlife and other things to do required for a vibrant community and economy.
Doing more of the same things might eventually get us more construction, temporarily, but it won’t get us beyond the ten-year boom and bust cycle. It won’t create a “must see” place to visit. It won’t keep young families able to move here and stay here.
Our local economy continues to implode. Hard working citizens continue to move away. The underpinnings of successful economic development require a broad, multi-prong approach to building a future worth living here in Archuleta County.
I am looking for the new county commissioner to participate effectively in county issues and with town concerns. I am looking for someone to coordinate effective action with ranchers, builders, county government, town government, and state and regional agencies. I am looking for someone who understands the need to create a broad-based economic foundation from which to grow the future.
I specifically want to hear about encouraging retirees coming to our community and staying; tourists visiting our community and finding reasons to return; community branding as the foundation to marketing our community; the creation of an entertainment district and promotion of the arts; using business micro-suites to incubate new businesses here; and working with the town to have a downtown that is open for business. From personal experience, I know that we need to think and talk about long-term solutions and not just another band-aid, short-term boom. Sure, we need short-term job creation, but, even more, we need the long-term solution.
The foundations of America are under attack and are as vulnerable as they’ve ever been. Our country as we’ve known it and loved it is under assault. One might look at it this way: Barack Obama is appointing people to the Supreme Court to vote down the Constitution. Leftists don’t just want to amend it. They don’t want to go to the trouble of amending it. The aim is to get enough of Obama’s people on the courts and throughout the federal judiciary, so they can simply repeal it by fiat, by virtue of their rulings.
The United States Constitution is the single greatest document defining and protecting freedom that has ever been written. The Magna Carter was a good predecessor, but the U.S. Constitution is irreplaceable. It puts teeth into individual and human rights. The conservative position is that, in order for us to be free, the Constitution must be interpreted according to what it actually says, and it must apply to everybody.
English cleric and writer Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832) put it in proper perspective, “Liberty will not descend to a people, a people must raise themselves to liberty; it is a blessing that must be earned before it can be enjoyed.”
On July 4, Obama gave the back of his hand to the Founders, dismissing them in five words, as “men of property and wealth.” He believes the Founding Fathers were wrong about most things. He believes the Bill of Rights is deeply flawed. He believes the Constitution can’t possibly mean what it says.
The Flounder-In-Chief simply does not agree with the Founders’ premise that an oppressive centralized government is something to fight. He is in favor of an oppressive, centralized government. If you think about it: Obama is closer to King George than he is to the Founders of the United States of America.
It has now come full circle: obviously, Obama is far more comfortable with what the Founders left than what they created.
Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin: Men of property and wealth. Slave owners. Rich. White. They had a perfectly good elitist, top-down central-planning government with an authoritarian, tax-happy king. And what did they do? They rebelled. Clearly, in Obama’s mind, the Founders didn’t know how good they had it. They had ta be nuts!
Sure, I am being provocative. But this is a logical progression. Obama believes that the Bill of Rights is much too “negative” against the government. He once said that he’d rather have a Bill of Rights that spells out what government can do for, and to, people.
After all, what’s the one thing standing in the way of Obama perfectly enacting his agenda, the one thing preventing his transforming America? The United States Constitution.
And that, too, folks, is hanging by a very thin thread.
Barrels of fun
I would like to publicly thank all of the dedicated people of our community that participated in the 59th annual Archuleta County Fair. I had numerous people come up to me and tell me how this year’s fair seemed better than recent years past — which is always our goal. So “thanks” to all of the volunteers, rodeo and 4-H people, the county extension office and to the other members of the fair board for your dedication to keeping this special county tradition alive!
We hope everyone had “Boots, Buckles and Barrels of Fun!”
President, 2010 Archuleta County fair board