Bookmark and Share

Letters to Editor


Dear Editor:

I am writing to clarify any misconceptions regarding the Pagosa Springs Medical Center’s policy on accepting patients in the hospital emergency room without insurance. A previous letter to the editor suggested the reason hospital staff encouraged a woman to go to Durango to deliver her baby had to do with the women not having insurance. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Our hospital, under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) is required to assess and stabilize all patients who come to our emergency room regardless of their financial or insurance situation. Our staff is committed to put the health of the patient first and foremost. All hospital staff has been informed of EMTALA and the rules/regulations regarding treating patients.

In the case of the woman delivering on the way to Durango, medical staff made a decision that Mercy Medical Center would be a better place to deliver in case of any complications. Since our hospital does not currently have an obstetrician on staff, Mercy Medical Center is better equipped to handle any complications during birth. Due to the fact that the woman was delivering her first baby, the physician thought she had several hours until she would give birth. Unfortunately, those assumptions did not prove to be true and the baby delivered earlier than was expected. We sincerely apologize for any emotional stress this caused the woman and her family.

We also have made sure to inform all hospital staff that it is their responsibility to inform patients of their options for the best medical care. Ultimately it is the patient’s decision to receive treatment at the Pagosa Springs hospital, be sent in an ambulance or drive to Mercy Medical Center. Some patients, due to the cost of ambulatory service, may choose to drive to Mercy Medical Center for procedures that our critical access hospital is not yet fully equipped to perform.

Again, we are committed to providing excellent health care to all members of our community regardless of their financial or insurance situation. We are also dedicated to expanding our services and providers so we can address a wider range of medical needs.

Brad Cochennet


Dear Editor:

I look forward to the 2011 Congress handling our business more effectively.

Until the November elections, the Democrat-controlled Congress attempted to govern from a position that Jim Sawicki now advocates — “Winners do not compromise.”

The Republican response to the Democrats arrogant use of power rather without compromise was to employ all available Senate rules to impede Democrat legislative initiatives. Any legislation that was passed (ex., healthcare) was thus one-sided and tainted with suspicion and derision. The voters punished the Democrats by taking away much of their power, but were not willing to invest that same power with the Republicans.

In 2011 the Democrats will enjoy majority control in the Senate, but lack the 60 votes required to stop filibusters and force a vote. The Republicans will enjoy majority control in the House, but will lack the votes required to override a presidential veto.

Coming off the November elections, the Senate decided bipartisanship was better than fighting along strictly party lines. The lame duck Senate passed a finance bill 81 to 19, repealed “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” 65 to 31, tabled the DREAM Act 55 to 41, passed a first-responders health benefits on voice vote, and ratified the New START treaty 71 to 26.

In 2011 both parties will be called upon to govern. The Republicans, including the Tea Party faction, will have responsibility to design revenue bills that fulfill their fiery campaign rhetoric of “taking our country back” and reducing our national debt. The Democrats will have responsibility to do more in the Senate than “just say no” while still conducting the thoughtful legislative reviews needed in our legislative processes.

“Compromise” means reaching a settlement in which differing sides accept less than each originally wanted in order to achieve a common good. Without compromise, we are left with Jim’s approach — one-party domination by overpowering the opposition as though they were a traitorous enemy devoid of any value to our country. We would not be well served by having the new Congress repeat the governing approach of the Democrats.

Our population is too diverse to be of a single mind or party affiliation, and all factions should have voice in our governance. We can choose to work together with respect and compromise to achieve a common good, or we can choose political stalemate and wait for the 2012 elections to try again.

Jay Davison


Dear Editor:

I am delighted that Mr. Sawicki moved me back in time from the Antediluvian to the Neanderthal era. I will now be better able to appreciate Jim’s political philosophy. I am a bit surprised that Jim’s bananas haven’t ripened after all the letters I wrote on global warming. Happy New Year from the Arboles Neanderthal, Antediluvian, Troglodyte.

Bob Dungan



Dear Editor:

A letter rebutting Ms. Maier’s response to Jim McQuiggin’s article.

Dear Ms. Maier:

Mr. McQuiggin’s article was written tongue-in-cheek, and anyone with a developed sense of humor would have understood this.

That being said, I find it reprehensible that you or anyone else would attack this gentleman’s family in any way. That you and he have different opinions on hunting, etc., is the least of your letter’s intent, but that you have cast aspersions on the way he is bringing up his children is outrageous. I know Mr. McQuiggin to be a hardworking man who loves his children and is bringing them up to the best of his ability, which is all any of us can do in any circumstances.

Shame on you for publicly chastising an honorable, decent gentleman who dared to post his opinion in a humorous way. Sarcasm is not easily interpreted without wit; sadly, you have not interpreted his article properly. Make of this what you will.


Jane Goodwin

Bedford, Ind.

Real deal

Dear Editor:

Really? The commissioners are going to buy 95 acres on U.S. 84 and spend $745,000 when we have roads that look like Archuleta County is in a war zone and we have no comprehensive recycling system?

To think that this acreage will sometime in the future be used for “county facilities,” who knows if that will come to pass. To date, there is no Master Plan. If part of the “facilities” include a courthouse, well then, that property will have to be incorporated into Town of Pagosa Springs since a courthouse has to be in the county seat, which is Pagosa Springs. Since when were the commissioners elected to be real estate agents and sell property (some of the property will be sold for commercial use)? What is a “multi-use event center?” All the terms used by Schulte are vague, to say the least.

Aren’t the commissioners supposed to see to the best interests of the residents instead of acting like they need to take advantage of a “real deal” and spend our tax dollars on real estate when they have no plan about its usage?

Then the commissioners do this deal during the holidays when people’s focus is elsewhere, and then consummate it before the end of the year without having this decision going through a series of public hearings. What is going on here? What is the rush? It seems that the commissioners traveling around the county and holding meetings regarding the condition of the roads was just a ruse to appease us. What will it take for the residents of Archuleta County to become vocal about how their taxes are spent?

Barbara Parada