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Letters to Editor

Change

Dear Editor:

For the past year or so, I have jousted with a host of global warming deniers (GWDs) in the letters to the editor section of The SUN. The GWDs are apparently disciples of Senator Coburn of Oklahoma who believes global warming is a hoax. The experimental facts are: carbon dioxide and global atmospheric temperature have increased since the beginning of the industrial revolution. What the GWDs have to show is the accepted experimental evidence is wrong, that is, they must present evidence that the concentration of carbon dioxide and the earth’s atmospheric temperature is decreasing. The GWDs have to debunk the raising oceans, the melting glaciers; species drift along with hundreds of other elated studies. The GWDs have to refute the meteorological data used by NOAA to conclude that through July, the year 2010 is the warmest year on record.

I have no desire to rehash the arguments of the GWDs. They are free to do so. Rather global warming is a fact or a hoax will not be decided by Bob Dungan, the GWDs, the TV snake oil salesmen, scientists, Congress, the president, the supreme court, the UN, or even the Pope. Mother Nature will make the call. Mother Nature is not evil, as some people suggest, but she deals harshly with those who ignore her warnings.

This year, a severe drought has decimated the Russian wheat crop, and floodwaters have virtually destroyed Pakistan. The drought and floods certainly do not prove that global warming is taking place. But, both events are consistent with the predictions of global warming, namely the increasing amplitude of the atmospheric currents and the increased water carrying capacity of warmer air. These weather events may have consequences for America, especially the war in Afghanistan.

The GWDs fault the climate specialists for predicting the earth is warming and suggesting possible consequences. I point out, however, their thesis, that the earth’s temperature will remain the same, is also a prediction. Historically, those who bet against change invariably lost.

Bob Dungan

Arboles

Shovel ready

Dear Editor:

Mr. President, take the unspent stimulus funds (plus $300B) and build the fence! Although the undertaking of this infrastructure project would sharply contrast to the multitude of worthless pet projects you and your fan club party leadership (Reid and Pelosi) currently fund from the “Economic Recovery Stimulus” slush account, our offspring would actually have something to show for the national debt blowup being incurred under your watch.

Flash: survey work defining this sovereign boundary was completed in the mid-1800s. Surely, a person of your intellect and influence could push this “shovel ready project” through the federal bureaucratic environmental permitting and procurement morass. Moreover, put able bodied entitlement beneficiaries to work building this fence and actually “save or create” a few thousand highly visible jobs. Upon completion of the fence, execute a process whereby undocumented, law abiding aliens can apply to become USA citizens, and thereafter protect our border from unlawful entry and conduct an orderly and intelligent immigration process.

Bill Egg

Safety

Dear Editor:

A copy of the attached letter, along with 25 signatures from the two senior citizen residential homes, has been submitted to the chief of police, town planners, sheriff and the state patrol. Aside from vehicle noise and speed, there is the safety factor. There are three schools, a playground, as well as the two senior citizen residential homes, all within the three-block area. More police presence in the area is needed, as well as several speed bumps.

We would like the public to be aware of this matter.

Dear Sir:

This is in behalf of the senior citizens of the Socorro Senior Home at 559 So. 8th Street.

We are in need of help from you and the state. Our building faces So. 8th Street at the corner of Apache Street. The noise from the traffic is non-stop from early morning until late at night. There are cars and trucks that have loud mufflers and screeching tires. They speed down the street, stop at the corner, then burn rubber and peel out.

There is a separation of concrete and blacktop across South 8th, directly in front of the building, which needs to be finished. It has been left with an uneven seam, which also adds to the noise. Heavy equipment is up and down the road beginning at 5:30 a.m., which could easily be re-routed to Hot Springs Blvd. or So. 6th Street, and up Apache.

We feel confident that you will give this matter your full attention.

Marie Folk

Casting stones

Dear Editor:

In regards to the letter titled “Forums” in your Aug 19 edition, I pose the question, “Who is Norman French?” I’m not sure, because, as an attendee, I have not seen him present at any of the PAWSD meetings in recent history. One would not have to “wonder” if recent members voted in contributed to any situation the writer unwittingly refers to, if one would attend the meetings to hear what they actually have to say.

I have been attending meetings quite regularly and doing research on my own time for several months now, and I still have not formed a complete personal opinion of any rights or wrongs that may or may not be there. There is a lot to absorb to be fully informed.

What I do know for sure, I pay quite a bit more for water here than I did for a Colorado water community in which I previously resided. While sewer fees were slightly less there, I now pay nearly twice the rate for water. I don’t have landscaping this time nor is it of the same quality for drinking.

Those board members recently elected, as well as continuing members, are working for a “special” interest. Yours and mine. They are volunteers; they are residents of our community; they are recipients of water from PAWSD. And they are now community leaders faced with difficult decisions for us all.

No doubt the current staff works hard. Many work outside of normal business hours, attending meetings, facing difficult and costly decisions. I have absolutely no doubt the future staff will do the same.

Questions are being posed by many in the community, not as a result of self-interest, but as a result of some possibly regrettable decisions made in the past. That is why public attendance has been better, that’s why there was a strong showing at the polls in May, that’s why a community work group is now formed.

Attend a meeting of the board and even a WSCWG meeting, hear the issues and the difficult questions, and be aware of the answers, not so easy to come by, that they shall come up with in the near future. There are 16 of these community-minded, intelligent volunteers studying and speaking on our behalf — with no hidden agendas. I ask that you support them and know that everyone there today is working for the good of our community and for the betterment of it tomorrow.

Yes, 20 people or so may have attended the forum referenced, but other forums were scheduled by another organization and attended very well prior to that one. The entire community was invited, by advertisement several times, to attend at its will. With roughly 1,000 people participating in a landslide vote speaks volumes as to where the community at large stands.

To make innuendos to the public, to try and influence others’ opinions based on another opinion rather than fact, is just not right. Please, next time you go to vote, I ask that you do not cast your vote based on information by those who would cast stones.

Regards,

Chalyn Fitzgerald

Goldmine

Dear Editor:

Closure of the downtown City Market completes the shift of our commercial center to uptown and out of downtown. “Keep Pagosa, Pagosa” has failed the same way that trying to keep a frail, elderly loved one safe from the further ravages of time ultimately fails.

Downtown has a supply of housing, a significant portion of which will no longer be here in 25 years. Our “tale of two towns” formally ends as downtown residents begin the daily drive uptown to “Fairfield” to buy a carton of milk and a dozen eggs. But first-time tourists will continue to scratch their heads as to where the center of town actually is.

Our commercial center is uptown. But go downtown and there is no “there” there. We live in anytown, anywhere non-descript sprawl. The heart and soul of our community has passed away. The visitor gets no sense of having arrived.

Communities are defined by their individual thought systems. The way that we think leads to predictable, repeated actions. These habitual patterns produce consistent results.

We have a thought system that is adverse to economic prosperity. Drive the seven miles from Day Lumber to Ace Hardware. This is the result of our community thinking.

I am an optimist. And why not? Springtime is always preceded by a deep, cold winter. Economically, we have eight feet of fresh snow on the ground with another eight feet on the way.

In the springtime that will eventually follow, eventually some of us will stand up and say “enough is enough.” The frail, old-school ways of doing things here (especially the not doing of things) will have passed away and the tombstone will have begun to collect moss. A modern generation of leadership will begin to emerge that is no longer a “caretaker” for a frail economy, but rather an energetic voice and bandleader for the “big audacious goal.”

Not that our leaders will get bigger and better, but rather we, the citizens, will mature as a community. The day will come when we, as a community, demand a vision worth living for. And we will empower leaders to get us there.

At some point, we are going to take advantage of the “goldmine underneath our feet” and turn downtown Pagosa Springs into the economic engine that it so obviously could become.

Until the downtown core of Pagosa Springs becomes the must-see destination for visitors and the heart and soul of our community at large, there will never be economic success. The uptown commercial center will never adequately serve as economic engine nor provide a sense of place. For our county, there can be no true economic development without a revitalized downtown core.

The “problem” is not the closure of City Market. The problem is the habit of reacting instead of creating. We need leadership to articulate a clear vision for the future and to take us there. We need a future worth living for.

We are sitting on a goldmine and we are starving.

Teddy Herzog

Slow down

Dear Editor:

This is for all tourist and locals: slow down, be alert and drive with care. There are animals out on our roads and highways. Some of these critters are young, some are old, some are easy to spot and others are not.

Yesterday, my husband and I were driving south on North Village Lake Boulevard and came upon the “Duck Crossing” dip in the road. Sure enough crossing the road were five juvenile ducks. We stopped and watched as the ducks waddled across the road. Then out of nowhere a dark colored Ford Expedition or Explorer with California plates came barreling down the road heading north. We did everything we could to alert the driver to stop. This driver who was clearly in another world did not stop or slow down, he just kept going. He hit and killed one the ducks who was crossing the road. This driver didn’t even stop after he hit the duck to see what he hit. Shame on him. Also thank you to the driver in the jeep who stopped to see about the hit duck. Please, please slow down.

Not a day goes by that I don’t see squirrels, chipmunks, birds and skunks lying on our roads.

People laugh and say “Oh, look, road kill” This is not funny, it is sad. These were living animals. Some don’t get killed outright, some lay there and suffer before they die. Remember this while you are speeding down our road. It could be a small child or your pet. I read where people complain that they want us to share the roads with bikers, joggers and walkers, that they feel unsafe on our roads and that they might get hit by a vehicle. How about sharing the road with the animals and put some signage where animals cross.

If a driver in a vehicle is flashing his headlights at you, it means animals are nearby — drive with care and be alert.

If a vehicle is stopped and has its lights flashing, it means an animal is crossing the road. Stop and be cautious.

If you see a vehicle stopped in a lane for no obvious reason, stop; there is a reason this vehicle is at a standstill. An animal may be crossing or is injured. You might not see it but the other driver did.

When you stop for an animal crossing the road, put your blinkers on, wait a few minutes longer after they cross the road or for any stragglers.

Pagosa Springs wildlife does not have to die on our roads; we need to enjoy watching and feel honored we are able to view wildlife.

Sometimes accidents are unavoidable, and if an animal is hit, notify DOW, which will advise the appropriate action to be taken.

Pagosans used to be polite and wave when driving. Now they have some kind of fungus on their ear (cell phone). Is that paying attention?

Beth Ingham

Discrimination

Dear Editor:

To City Market officals:

You have no idea how dangerous it is to drive to the west on a snowy winter day. Put Hill is more dangerous than Wolf Creek Pass, because these smart drivers don’t watch what is going on when the snowflakes are coming down so fast your windshield wipers are clogged — four-wheel drive and brains are not enough to keep from having an accident.

The downtown employees are the best — they care if you need help. Short people, if you are handicapped, the westside people don’t want to see you. No smiles and no patience!

Thank you for creating a nasty situation and the discrimination of townspeople and the elderly.

Sincerely,

Genelle Macht

Tour

Dear Editor:

Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors proudly presents the first annual Parade of Homes Tour for the public. As Parade of Homes is done in many metropolitan areas throughout the country, this will be a first for the Pagosa Springs area that is sponsored by our local board of Realtors. This is an opportunity to give the public an exciting cross section of the many homes in our area that are on the market at a time when the banks’ interest rates are at an all-time low.

The Parade of Homes will take place Friday, Sept. 3, from 1-6 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 4, from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Most of the homes will be located throughout the Pagosa Lakes area, although there will be other homes in areas outside of the Lakes. This will be promoted in the local newspaper and radio as a means of increasing the interest and awareness of the unique community and lifestyle that Pagosa offers to residents. Along with the Town Tourism Committee that has created new venues of interest to draw increased promotion of our community, PSAAR has also chosen to be proactive in our quest to reach out to the public in making Pagosa the place of choice to live, work and play.

Everyone is invited to have fun, enjoy the many noted homes of distinct style and location throughout the Lakes area. Look for the handouts in the paper for all 42 homes and their description and locations in the newspaper, radio and guide handouts. All the homes on the tour will be clearly marked with the PSAAR blue balloons on open house signs.

We welcome all visitors and residents to enjoy an afternoon of lovely homes while promoting the town and community we all love and whose lifestyle we appreciate more as life becomes more involved. Call the PSAAR board office at 731-4015 for more details.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Kim Moore

Bear problem

Dear Editor

The city fathers and the County Management are contributing to a growing bear problem in the Pagosa area. Bears are congregating in mass at the town dump and the Chamber is directing people to view them as a new attraction for tourists to our area. At the same time, the deputies have begun citing the bear viewers for trespassing.

At the western end of town, the people who subscribe to commercial trash pickup are still leaving their trash out overnight and the bears are taking advantage of it. The locals are sure to keep their doors locked at night.

Where is the common sense in this town? The dump needs to be fenced and the commercial trash services need to pick up later in the day so that people wont leave their trash out overnight.

Hank Roberge

Disappointing

Dear Editor:

Your one-sided and false story about your local school district was disappointing.

The three tax relief measures — 60, 61 and 101 — do not do what your story and school official claimed.

There is no 50-percent cut in their budget. There is no cut, period. Existing state law requires full, total, complete 100 percent replacement of all school district revenue changes. Amendment 60 says “state aid shall replace that revenue yearly;” just read the text. Specific ownership tax paid to schools is phased down over four years and is fully replaced as well; just read Amendment 23 from 2000 and the School Finance Act from decades ago. No loss of revenue.

The 10-year phase out is less than your “half” of school taxes, and starts with 2012 revenue. State replacement is about $130 million yearly ($26 per person). Total state spending is now $19.6 billion (more every year) — $16,000 for an average family of four, based on our five million population. That means about 0.6% of growing 2012 state revenue has to replace the property tax relief. State spending has grown 476 percent since 1984, and never declined. Last year, it rose $400 million, despite false media claims of a “cut.” State and local new construction will still be allowed.

The total effect of all three issues is simply to slow the rate of future government revenue increases under 2 percent. A slower rate of growth — 3 percent instead of 5 percent — is not a “cut.”

Go to COtaxreforms.com, which you should have listed in your story, and see for yourself. Also read the 15 “Fibs by Foes” and the “Opposition Funding” and you will see who is telling the truth. To make it easy, how old were you when you learned people would lie to get your money? Now, which side in this election wants your money?

Debbie Schum

Cedaredge

Editor’s note: We have read the information on the above-mentioned website. We continue to believe that 101, 60 and 61 will do grave damage not only to school budgets but to local government budgets as well. We also are deeply concered about overriding the right of taxpayers established in TABOR to determine whether or not the amendment’s spending and revenue limits pertain to local entities.

Educated

Dear Editor:

Norman French’s letter, “Forums” (Aug. 19, 2010) made an important point. Not enough people attend the candidate forums. I could not agree more and would urge all voters to attend as many of these forums as possible as we approach the upcoming elections.

Mr. French implies that the election of Roy Vega and Allen Bunch to the PAWSD board of directors was due to a poor turnout at the forums, resulting in an ignorant electorate which was subsequently duped by special interest groups. Of course, the “special interests” in this case make up about two-thirds of our local economy, but never mind that.

Mr. French is apparently unaware that a sizeable number of people had been educating themselves for several years before the candidate’s forum was ever held by simply attending the PAWSD board meetings, asking questions and researching the issues. This is the forum in which true education occurs because real issues are discussed and real decisions are made that affect real lives. It is difficult to determine on which side of the fence you wish a candidate to stand if you do not first understand the issues yourself. The groundswell of support for Vega and Bunch was a result of many of us getting “educated” early on.

The last PAWSD election was one of the largest, if not the largest turnout in PAWSD’s history. Out of roughly 1,000 voters, 800 of them voted for Vega and Bunch. This was not just an election, it was a mandate. Vega and Bunch were elected by intelligent, well informed, involved citizens of this community and I take offense at the implication that the election was basically stolen by special interest groups. This had been one of the most hotly debated issues in our county in recent memory and if you were not aware of the issues then shame on you, but don’t dismiss the rest of us who did educate ourselves, chose our candidates accordingly, and showed up to vote.

Steve Van Horn

Fight back

Dear Editor:

All sorts of people are really working hard to try and keep our little downtown City Market from closing. We have petitions out there, comment cards are being mailed in and even Senator Whitehead has heard about us and trying help. But we still need to get the numbers up at the downtown store. Because when it comes down to it, it really is all about the money.

There is going to be a big meeting in the next week or two as a last ditch effort to keep it open. Pagosa, please shop the downtown store as much as you can and lets get those numbers up to show them we really need them on this side of town. I know it’s hard to compete with the big store. There’s more of a concentration on that side of town. Pagosa Lakes, Piedra Road, Aspen Springs, the Golf Course etc. I wish “corporate” would take all that in consideration, and think about the people. If the little downtown store closes, it’s going to be a real hardship on a lot of us. Please help by shopping the little store. Let’s be known as “The Little Town that Fought Back,” not the little town that bends over and says “Go ahead and kick.”

Lori Werhan