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Letters to Editor

More issues

Dear Editor:

On Dec. 7, the Board of County Commissioners will hold their regular meeting at 1:30 p.m. at the county courthouse. On the agenda (among other business) is the long awaited issues of Land Use Regulations that are being brought forward after a year of input from the public at the “Road Shows.”

For final vote?

They will be considering the following issues at this meeting. This is only a summary, if you need a hard copy of the proposed regulations please contact the planning department at 731-3877. Remember, you will be allowed public comment before voting, so I would say to you, that if you have something to say, now is the “final” time. Major progress has been made in communicating with the planning commissioners, BoCC and staff, still more work to do!

Camping/RVs: Being given the right to be on your own residential property for camping or using an RV (if allowed by owner’s subdivision), for a period of 120 consecutive days, with no permit or land use fee imposed. Landowner must comply with current local and state health regulations. What was being proposed (and stopped) in 2009 November amendments, that you “would not be able to camp or have an RV on your property not one day out of the year.

Accessory Structures: Being able to have accessory structures such as garages, greenhouses, sheds, animal structures, without the main residence being built. A building permit is needed if over the allowed square footage to build without a permit. Old regulations state you cannot build anything on a vacant piece of property until the main residence is built. All of this is if your subdivision allows these actions. Problem: Word agricultural use mixed up with residential regulation. All of sudden in this draft there has appeared a fee of $50 for (agricultural use). Because this was not discussed in any public meeting, we are not sure what this fee is for. Our position is, Enough fees! Agricultural Use Fee? What a way to promote rural living.

There are other items that the planning staff and commissioners have brought forward at this same meeting of which I hope the local newspaper will feel pertinent to our community to print in detail. I have only 500 words to express what our group’s intentions have been and will be. Our goal is to find a way for the planning department and the BoCC to include the property owners of this county in what their intentions are for our property use and future regulations. The only notification that a taxpayer is required to receive is the legal notices posted in the small print, in The SUN. We hope that our group’s intentions of bridging the communication gap between taxpayers and the county over this past year will pay off with a positive vote by the BoCC of reflecting the public’s desires. More issues, more work!


Debra Brown


Dear Editor:

In regards to the Ed Center, I think it’s absolutely crazy to rely on government grants as a part of your overall business plan.

The Ed Center should be allowed to close down if it is not an economically self-funding, self-sustaining business that doesn’t rely on government grants or additional taxes placed on the citizens of Archuleta County and/or Pagosa Springs.

I question the wisdom of our county commissioners and our mayor if they throw good money after bad in “granting” the center with $100,000 dollars of our hard-earned tax dollars in a vain effort to prop up the Ed Center for a few more months or maybe a year. The center should be self-funding by those that use it, end of story.

The free lunch for those that look to others to pay for needs to end! Taxpayers across this nation are sick and tired of out of control government spending. The no to prop 1B is another example of the voters saying no more taxes.

This country is and has been on an unsustainable course of reckless government spending and it needs to stop. This out of control spending isn’t only on the federal level, it’s obviously right here at home and this is as good a place to start as any.

I’m all for the continued existence of the Ed Center, as long as it is self-sustainable and not just another burden that I, as a taxpayer, have to subsidize.

One last thing some of you can think about, if grant money is available, is it possible that maybe we’re paying more taxes in some other area of our lives, thereby making the surplus funds available for other government spending that hasn’t been directly approved by taxpaying voters? I say enough of this nonsense and quit taking money out of my pocket to enrich others or that go to “pet programs” that are not economically self funding.

Andrew Holbert


Dear Editor:

How hard this is to write.

Many years ago, I was a ski patroller at A-Basin Colorado (National Ski Patrol). Our patrol leader did not report in after sweep (sweep, a patrol duty, is checking the mountain all clear at the end of the day).

Another patrolman and I were on super sweep duty. We found our leader buried in a slide; one ski tip was showing. We dug, found him. We tried everything we knew to bring back life. Other patrolmen were quickly there on snow cats. We all tried, but 45 minutes is just too long to be without air. The magic air pocket one hears about is rarely there under compacted snow.

This was one of the most heart-wrenching moments in my life. It was a time lost in a far corner of my mind and now seems like yesterday.

My deepest sympathy to all Scott’s family and friends, but especially those on the scene who did their best.

Marty Lincoln

No exchange

Dear Editor:

Reference Pagosa SUN 11/25/10 Forest Service seeks public comment on proposed land exchange.

I live near Oak Brush and I see lots of wildlife inhabit the area — elk, deer, turkey, coyote, bobcat and birds. The vegetation allows for flora that is natural and beautiful. The proposed Spiller Canyon area to be compared to Oak Brush; the areas are similar, but both need to be left as is.

To build up Oak Brush with development would be an impact to the wildlife, soil and the list can go on.

Not to mention the safety issue of increased auto traffic on Piedra Road. This road is already unsafe with traffic at times and the road condition is unsafe with potholes.

Please do not do a land exchange. Protect what Oak Bush area has to support our environment.

Folks, comments will be taken until Dec. 22: Cindy Hockelberg, San Juan Forest Service, P.O. Box 439, Bayfield, CO 81122.

Pam Morrow

Trade policy

Dear Editor:

Increasing or reducing taxes or reducing entitlements is not going to solve our current economic problems.

The Tea Party Republicans won’t tell you the Social Security Trust Fund has been looted to pay for the Bush tax cuts.

The real question: How do you create jobs that cannot be exported or undercut by foreign competition? We can’t all be high tech workers; even those jobs can be exported. You need a wage reduction and less government expenditures to solve our economic problems.

If the tax rate were 10 percent, money would only have to change hands 10 times before the government had all the money back.

Imported jobs don’t pay the same tax as goods made in the U.S. That fact has escaped the Republican thinkers. The Tea Party/Republicans’ lack of insight into the causes of our economic problems only shows their true masters.

The next question is how much money have members of Congress received from foreign lobbyists to influence trade legislation government by bribery is a very bad form of government.

The next time you want to buy something imported, don’t! The country you save may be the U.S.

If the Tea Party were true to its ideology, it would let trade policy be decided by the market.

Don Reid


Dear Editor:

Regarding “The medicine I’ve needed” by Jim McQuiggin.

I was (and still am) very offended by the reference made in his column about President Obama. The comment included our president alongside the catastrophes of “war, plague and pestilence (or a black president)” as the worst things that could happen to a person. Excuse me … did I hear you correctly? Despite the guarantees of the first amendment, I just cringe when I hear such a racial reference to our president.

I am not a fan of Mr. Obama, but it is not because of his race. It is because of his policies and his “liberal” ideology and … well, I could go on, but that is not the current point I am making here. Racial comments like that made in this column only add fuel to those in our society that claim people only “hate” Mr. Obama because he is black (which is also sort of a racial statement when you really think about it).

I naively want to think that “most” of America does not judge a person by their race. Maybe I’m wrong.

Mary Jo Valentine

Editor’s note: McQuiggin’s comment was, obviously, a reference to an attitude many of our fellow Americans have expressed in numerous ways and in a variety of venues. The sad fact is that race still matters to many Americans, and the comment in the column was intended to highlight that reality.

Great job

Dear Editor:

On behalf of all the folks in the Blanco Basin, I want to thank Archuleta County Roads for all the work they accomplished on the Blanco Basin Road this summer.

Great job and workmanship, guys. Thanks to every single one of you!

Thanks also go out to District Ranger Kevin Khung. He allowed the county to use Government gravel originally crushed for timber sales (which never happened) for the public benefit. In doing so, Kevin showed true initiative, responsibility and wisdom, not to mention creating jobs for our local economy. We thank you all for getting us out of the rocks and mud!

Jim White