Bookmark and Share

Letter to Editor


Dear Editor:

Re: New whitewater features planned for river, by Jim McQuiggin.

The clever phrase, “You cannot step twice into the same river for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you,” has been attributed to Heraclitus rather than Zeno in various histories of philosophy. The error is understandable as both men lived in roughly the same time frame and geographical area and both were known as pre-Socratic philosophers. These men along with others such as Thales, Anaximander, Parmenides, Pythagoras, Anaxagoras and Democritus were the first Greeks who sought answers to the world and cosmos.

The novel way Heraclitus expressed the truth that things are constantly changing was however not a novel idea as many others were also aware of it. But as much as these pre-Socratics were profoundly impressed with change, birth and death, the uncertainty and insecurity of man’s life, they reasoned that there must be something primary which persists, which takes various forms and undergoes this process of change. Indeed, the fact of change suggested to them the notion of unity.

They were convinced of the reign of law in the universe. This underlying unity or first principle ran the gamut of material elements like air, fire, water and earth to immaterial Nous (Mind) and Logos (Reason).

Because change is from something into something else and out of nothing comes nothing and not something, Being or Reality exists and cannot not be. “It is.” These men set the stage for Aristotle’s brilliant Metaphysics and his ideas of act and potency.

St. John even addresses this idea of Logos into his gospel as relating it to the second person of the Trinity as the pre-existent, eternal Word that became as his own creation.

Being and Becoming, the One and the Many, Stability and Change are concepts beyond empirical observation and sense experience but yet are related to them as well as Faith and Reason.

Something at least worth thinking about as we enter the Advent season.

Thanks to Mr. McQuiggin for indirectly bringing this all to our attention.

Mark Bergon


Dear Editor,

Hip, hip, hooray! We have some of our land use back from the 2006 regulations. The RV-Camping and Accessory Structures, two of the Road Show issues were voted on and passed by the Planning Commission on Nov. 4. They are on their way to the BoCC for their final vote. Caution, the BoCC has the final vote on all of these recommendations of regulations by planning. There are also other issues from the road shows, which are already on their way to BoCC as one package, which include; one-time split 35 acres (for family members), and RV use during construction.

The new RV-Camping regulations allow an owner to choose what time of the year to use their private land (without a permit), 120 days through a calendar year. The word “Agricultural” was taken out completely, which it should be, because agricultural has different needs than residential. Anyone using an RV or camping on private land must adhere to state and local health laws.

The accessory structures issue that blew up in the 9/23 meeting (brought back to planning by the chair), stayed the same and is on its way to the BoCC. Our group was a little confused by this action for at the special BoCC and planning joint session, we believe we heard the BoCC asked for a lesser percentage of land coverage for structures? Also the word “Agricultural” was left in the regulation. I am not sure why planning is wanting to impose residential rules on agricultural. I have been here for 30 years and I believe there is an unwritten rule where we honor our agricultural/ranches and do everything we can as a community to help them to thrive and not limit their land use. Anyway, we intend to bring this to the BoCC attention before their vote. Otherwise, hooray — we might be allowed to again build an accessory structure on vacant land before the main residence (if allowed by your subdivision) such as garages, barns, greenhouses, storage sheds-containers, and animal protection structures.

The next leftover issues for the planning commissioners’ Road Shows are: Guest Houses (2006 regs say you are not allowed to rent for money, only for use of an occasional guest or relative); Non Related Parties (no more than three non related parties can live in a residence). Our group opposes these 2006 regulations and would like them eliminated. Hard enough to make a house payment these days. Also, Alternative Housing and the Community Plan still need addressing.

It has been a long year but productive, thanks to all that came to the meetings. More work to go. Keep checking the county website for the posting of these regulations and agendas for information. Could be before the BoCC 12/7 meeting. We will keep you informed; e-mail us at to be on the list.


Debra Brown


Dear Editor:

I have a few comments on Jean Kilczer’s “... Beyond war.”

Conflict between people is part of human nature. If it’s a large group, it’s called war. And note that our first great literature is “The Illiad “ — Greeks at war. Stanford historian Victor Davis Hanson reminds us all “that sometimes one can still win a poorly conceived war — and that to do so may be better than losing it.” And he adds “victory in every war goes to the side that commits fewer mistakes — and learns more from them in less time — ... a perfect military in a flawless war has never existed.”

Ms. Kilczer quotes several anti-war vets, one saying “war ... is an option of the ignorant.” All vets of all wars certainly have the right to express their opinions, but sometimes, and recently always for Americans, war is inevitable to throw “the enemy” back from the lands they just conquered by force, or against those who are engaged in “ethnic or political cleansing” by murder.

That is certainly true for America in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Serbia, Granada, Panama, Iraq and Afganistan. In fact, it was American armies that ended chattel slavery, death camps, Nazism, Italian Fascism, Japanese militarism, Soviet Stalinism, and Saddam’s rape rooms. It wasn’t pretty, we made plenty of mistakes, but to brush all that success off as “the ignorant option” seems a bit immature.

Yet the worst is when Ms. Kilzer infers that our war with Iraq has something to do with our “rapacious desperate thirst for oil” and ignores that Iraq had recently attacked four of its neighbors and was a center of active international terrorists, all promoted by one Saddam Hussein.

We all certainly “hope” that tyrant thugs will not use their power to assault their neighbors and kill people, but they often do. Such behavior deserves a response, and recently, only the USA seems capable of providing it.

Camille Cazedessus


Dear Editor:

I am writing to express my gratitude to the county commissioners for sending a grader and roller down to Arboles to work on the roads in the Piedra Park subdivision. A few days’ work improved our roads immeasurably.

Now, if the commissioners will quit pestering us about how we use our own property and authorize the installation of a dozen or so culverts, the old folks down here will be so happy they will be out doing wheelies in their wheelchairs.

Bob Dungan



Dear Editor:

I love our language.

I enjoy the twists and turns of our American vocabulary that reflect our individuality, our tolerance and even our indulgent coarseness. I relish in the flexibility of our language that allows us to relate to others’ shades of meaning and feeling. I appreciate the way that our language is a living thing, which changes as do our cultural values and beliefs. We embraced politically correct terms because at heart, we value other’s feelings and then we went way overboard with it because, as Americans, we can.

Even though I enjoy even the ridiculously American parts of our language, there is one commonly misused word that is not amusing.

The other day, I mentioned to someone that November is National Adoption Awareness Month. The dolt began to prattle on about the homeless and unwanted kitties and doggies. My heart broke.

As I was then, I am now sickened that our society allows this word, “adoption,” to ever mean the ownership of a pet. “Adoption” is the sole and legal term describing the emotional, legal and eternal grafting of one life into a family. To state that one has “adopted” a pet is revolting. It’s a perversion of the true nature of the word “adoption,” making a child on the same level as an animal.

To be clear, I’m glad there are good-hearted folks who have a passion to care for unwanted pets. Thank goodness for them. But animal activists have seriously over stepped.

As a society, we are complacently floating along allowing orphans to be placed in the same category as animals. I wonder if you’ve seen the offensive bumper sticker that shows a picture of a Chihuahua by the words, “Rescue an Orphan.” What kind of insane nonsense is that? It is a kick in the teeth to the more than 147,000,000 real orphans worldwide.

Disturbingly, this is an accurate reflection of how we as a society rank children without an appropriate family. If you don’t believe me, check this out: In Archuleta County, a local nonprofit charity for animals took in $60,321 in fund-raising in 2009. In Archuleta County, a local nonprofit charity for orphans took in $8,753 in fund-raising and donations in 2009.

Clearly, as a society, we prefer to invest in cute animals rather than the difficult, baggage-carrying, damaged and problematic children who are without healthy homes.

We invest most in the problem of the least importance.

Despite this, I do not want to believe that most of us agree with the idea that children are equivalent to animals, no matter what their family status. But, if I’m right, if we really value our children far over pets, why then do we honor and fund pets over orphans?

Let’s make a change.

During this November, be aware of the word “adoption.” Do honor to the many children and adults who have been grafted as equals into families by never perverting the word “adoption” to mean the owning of a pet. Finally, consider investing in something of real, lasting and eternal worth, “adoption.”

Anita Hinger

Ballot fraud

Dear Editor:

I personally know of no one in Pagosa who voted against these measures.

1. Colorado either has too many corrupt people, manipulating the ballots and defrauding Colorado citizens of their choice for less government taxes and spending, (Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101), acknowledging that life begins at … the beginning of “life,” Duh …(Amendment 62), and not wanting government to mandate our personal health care (Amendment 63); or

2. Colorado has far too many people who love taxes and spending, approve of the murder of unborn children, and need government babysitters and handouts in order to function ... people who actually voted against these measures. Wow, no wonder Colorado has such a bad reputation and our republic is in such trouble. Can it be any more pathetic in either case? If we roll over for this, we deserve exactly what we get, but you can be sure a major price is going to be paid for all this, and soon!

Jeff Maehr

11th hour

Dear Editor:

As I prepare to honor Veterans Day, I remind myself to also commemorate the original Armistice Day. It is also known as Remembrance Day and, by an act of Congress, is “a day dedicated to the cause of world peace.” I will take the traditional two minutes of silence “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” to honor and remember all those who bring an end to war and forge lasting and just peace.


Terry Pickett


Dear Editor:

The Tea Party/Republicans’ solutions to our problems treat the symptoms of the disease, not the disease.

The source of our problems is the free trade con game, energy and a war that costs two to three billion a month.

Don’t blame the people whose jobs have been exported for our economic problems.

It is time for the Republicans to decide which jobs they want to protect — the jobs in China or the jobs in the United States.

Don Reid


Dear Editor:

So, it seems, ”Out with the Old, In with the New” for Archuleta County. Well, maybe not entirely, I fear, if my experiences on Election Day are any indication. I, for one, have mixed feelings about the outcome, and not because some candidates I supported were less than victorious.

Last Tuesday, I headed downtown with the intention of holding my candidate’s sign at the Lewis Street light, as that corner seemed to be the site of much last-minute politicking. Then-candidate Michael Whiting approached, telling me he could really use my help in holding another sign for him there. I told him I’d make a deal: I’d hold his sign along with Fred’s for two hours if he’d later keep me informed of the voting results he’d said he’d be receiving throughout the evening from the clerk’s office. He agreed. Michael knew I’d voted for him, and he’d repeatedly boasted that he had, in his words, a “mole” in the office that was going to be reporting results to him regularly. He also knew I’d taken on the responsibility of reporting the results to other Democrats, so my interest did not spring from simply personal curiosity.

As Michael and I stood on the corner, I listened to him lament how Commissioner Ranson and Sheriff Gonzalez had reneged on their promises to remain neutral in his race against Bob Hart. After holding both signs for two hours, I got Michael’s cell phone number, told him I’d be calling him every 30 minutes in the evening until the final results were in, and reminded him to answer his phone.

The first time I called Michael, about 7:25 p.m., he answered and told me he’d heard nothing yet. The second time I called, at 7:55 p.m., he didn’t answer his phone. I asked him to please call me back. The third time I called, about twenty minutes later, I again got no answer, and told him I guessed I had to drive down to the Elections Office after all, since he wasn’t calling me back.

I never heard from Michael Whiting again.

When I arrived downtown, I learned that Michael’s so-called “mole” was none other than our assessor-elect, Natalie Woodruff. The connotations attached to Michael’s “mole” appellation could not be more inappropriate to describe Natalie. Moreover, June Madrid and her staff take a back seat to nobody when it comes to abiding by Colorado law. Natalie was there as a legally certified poll watcher, and not only do I believe there was nothing inappropriate about her presence, I have nothing but the highest regard for her integrity and character. Even knowing full well that I had supported her opponent, Fred Uehling, during her campaign, Natalie was gracious enough to share what numbers the office had at that time, and she promised to call me later with the final results.

In contrast to my experience earlier in the evening, Natalie kept her word.

So, perhaps the moral of my tale is: Please stay tuned. And please stay attuned.

Nan Rowe


Dear Editor:

On Nov. 11 our country will honor its veterans, as it does every year, with parades, ceremonies, speeches and patriotic music. Schools will welcome us into their classrooms and ask us to tell our stories, and everywhere we go young and old alike will clasp our hands and say, “Thank you for serving.” We are blessed to live in a grateful nation.

Presently, the veteran population is just over 23 million and counting. All of us know, and cherish, a camaraderie rarely found elsewhere in society — a camaraderie that is colorblind and, increasingly, gender blind. The oath we swore was the same. The commitment we made. The discipline we endured. The joy and pride we felt serving something greater than ourselves, instilled by our dads and granddads who also served.

Sadly, Veterans Day, once a widely celebrated holiday, is increasingly forgotten by many Americans. One need only look at the poor turnouts at ceremonies on Nov. 11. With the percentage of citizens who have worn a uniform rapidly declining, appreciation for the sacrifices made by veterans is correspondingly diminishing. When it should be an opportunity to publicly commemorate the contributions of living veterans.

For some Americans, remembering veterans is a daily act. But as a nation, it is essential that we preserve the integrity of Nov. 11 as that one extra-special day for the American people as a whole to pause in private or demonstrate recognition in public. Remembering gives true meaning to sacrifice and service. All of us who put on our nation’s uniform make a commitment and, in fact, sign a blank check payable to our country for an amount up to and including our lives. We are a proud brotherhood.

Millions of American lives were forever altered because they donned a uniform to protect the freedoms and rights we take for granted. We all owe an eternal debt of gratitude to them. And acknowledging Veterans Day is the time that debt comes due. It’s our way of keeping faith with former defenders.

This year is an especially poignant time to restore Veteran’s Day to its rightful place in society. Americans are doing the job in Iraq and Afghanistan and the 50,000 who remain behind will continue to do so.

So … when they come home. Make sure ya thank ‘em, America. You’d be surprised if you knew how much a simple “Welcome Home” means to these heroes. They are worth your time.

Jim Sawicki


Dear Editor:

Congratulations to Natalie Woodruff on her win in the assessor’s race. Ms. Woodruff ran a hard and clean campaign and she made it easy for me to do likewise. I also wish to thank my supporters who gave their time, energy and money; and I thank my wife, Annette, for her love and support. A special thanks to the 2,299-plus people who voted for me. My goal was to educate myself on the technical aspects of the job through classes, meetings and protest hearings and then pass that education along to the public through forums, phone calls, and door-to-door canvassing. I gave Archuleta County another option to upgrade county government.

As a Democrat, CPA, retired federal employee, and a senior resident of Pagosa Lakes with big city skills and experience, I knew winning was a long shot, especially against a politician adopted by Archuleta County for her local experience, customer service skills, and connections. Nevertheless, many of you have described your reaction to the election results as “shocking.” That says three things to me: (1) My message resonated with many voters, (2) you are not used to qualified candidates, and (3) you may have been living vicariously through my candidacy. You wanted improvement in the assessor’s office badly enough to get really caught up in the race — and that is excellent!

When I congratulated Michael Whiting on his win, the first thing he said to me was “Hold me accountable.” We should do the same with Ms. Woodruff. While she is entitled to a short honeymoon period, May 1, 2011, when our notices of valuation come out should bring an end to that honeymoon. We should expect better customer service, detailed explanations of our tax bills, and consistent and fair taxation. The current assessor is a certified residential appraiser and we should expect the new assessor to achieve at least the same certification during her upcoming term. Having met the staff, I know that she will be working with dedicated people, but they won’t carry her for long. They will expect her to provide leadership, training and support.

Many of the voters listened, learned, and appreciated what I had to say and I appreciate each and every one of you. My hope is that you will get involved in future races either as supporters or candidates. Please encourage qualified candidates to run and realize that choosing them to represent you will add to the integrity, credibility and capability of local government. After all, isn’t that what we all want? Thank you for the opportunity to run for county office — rest assured that I did my best.

Fred Uehling