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Letters to Editor


Dear Editor:

I had the most wonderful experience a few days ago!  I was traveling up CR395/Coyote Park Road, enjoying the sunshine and the beauty of the snow-capped mountain range when I noticed two horses headed for CR395 down a ranch road.  I came to a screeching halt, but skidded a good 30-50 feet.  By the time I got backed up and turned into the gate, one of the horses had slipped through the snow covering the cattle guard and fallen in.  Poor thing!  He was so upset and trying his darnest to get out, but he just kept getting in deeper.  I thought for sure he was going to break a leg!

 I jumped out of the car and gingerly stepped onto the metal tubes and took his head in my hands.  With a reassuring voice and a lot of petting, I managed to calm him down.  He seemed to understand and he stopped struggling.  I ran to my car for the carpet I keep in the back, put it near his hooves, and prayed that he could get a foot hold on it. Didn’t work.  So, once he was calm again, I started up the road to the house, but met the property owner coming down. He couldn’t get him out either, so he left to get some plywood to cover the cattle guards. 

  In the meantime, the Robesons, who were getting a late start on their way to Farmington, stopped to see if they could help.  Then two young men — Daniel Valdez and his friend, Michael Ford — also stopped.  Sylvia Thompson, a volunteer fireman, was the next to see if she could help, and offered to call the Fire Department.  Then came Arthur Valdez, the rancher from down the road.  Now I was beginning to feel there were people there who actually knew what they were doing, and this poor animal had a fighting chance! 

 So, the plywood was put into position in front and under the horse, but he was now splay legged in the rear and seeming to give up. The four men were attempting to get his legs in the proper position and finally were able to lift one front hoof out at a time and place it gingerly on the boards.  Poor horse.  By now, he was sitting on his haunches.  But, with a lot of pushing in the back and pulling in the front, they got him out without breaking a leg — an absolute miracle! — and off he trotted.  It was hard not to shed a tear!  We all saved him!

 What amazed me about this simple little incident was that no one … no one … went by without stopping.  You see, this is one of the reasons this place is so blessed.  It was just another day in the paradise we call Pagosa.  Someone needed help from their neighbors, and they came through without even being asked.  What a wonderful place we live in!

 Jeanette T. Bean 

Mr. McCarthy

Dear Editor:

Mr. Daniel McCarthy had a long, full and fruitful life. He had many distinctions and accomplishments of which his family can be proud, especially his military service. But perhaps his greatest achievement is one that he left undone, that is, leaving his East Fork Ranch undeveloped and seeing that it will remain so. Not only did he serve his country with honor, but he also left her with a most beautiful gift whose worth will only increase in time. In gratitude, as citizens, we should all be thankful. May he rest in peace.

Mark Bergon


Dear Editor:

I was recently very fortunate to have a small group of cow elk come through the valley and cross in front of my house. Having a private land license with a few weeks left to go, it was like a dream. I stood just inside my front door and tried to do everything the best I could. One shot and she was down. I felt such a feeling of gratitude. The meat will be a big help to get through the year, and for me the experience was such a powerful connection to life on earth. It was a huge job and I did it. A friend came in time to help me pull the heavy sleds in.

That evening, the hot spring water felt especially good. The healing waters help me so much. Sharing this special happening with a friend in the inside hot baths was a great way to end the day. There was only one other local person in there with us picking up bits of our conversation. I had had problems with this person letting my big poodle dog out of my car, when I was in the water. I was very thankful he did not get run over.

The next day or so, a friend that works at the Healing Waters told me someone had called the Department of Wildlife to report me. She had also given them my friend’s name and phone number. Doug from the Department of Wildlife called my friend, asked her a few questions, and said the lady that called in was very upset.

It is sad that these things happen, but we always have the choice of how it affects us. We can let it weaken us or we can grow from it and get stronger. I chose to get stronger.

Joanie McAteer

First Amendment

Dear Editor:

 Currently, it’s not the Second Amendment that we should be worried about right now — but the First.

 According to popular opinion it was a combination of the two that got six people killed and left Rep. Giffords in critical condition.

 Gun-ownership supporters are getting the usual flack after Jared Lee Loughner used a gun to kill six people and injure fourteen others. But the political environment is such that a bunch of other groups are getting smeared for having ever opened their mouths.

 Libertarians, conservatives, Tea Party members, advocates of small governments of every stripe, anyone who’s ever criticized the government too vigorously, they’re being told to “tone it down a bit.” The big complaint from lovers of the state is that we’ve gotten too vicious, that all the strong words have finally led to someone taking extreme measures.

 Never mind that the shooter was just a lone nut whose main concern with government was that it was using mind control.

 However, could it possibly be that Loughner wasn’t thinking too clearly at all? In fact, he seems to have had all the usual earmarks of the mentally unbalanced who occasionally pop up and kill somebody famous or slaughter innocents in a fast food joint or from atop a tower.

 Jared Lee Loughner didn’t kill and injure all those folks because he listened to Sarah Palin … or because he loved liberty. He did it because he was a murderous lunatic.

 So now, and never ones to let a disaster or tragedy go to waste, progressive lawmakers immediately got ta work on legislation to curb liberty a little bit more.

 The elitist liberal left immediately went on the defensive and claimed that this was all Sarah Palin’s fault. They claimed she practically instructed the mentally unstable among us to start shooting Democrats … that with their charged rhetoric the conservative Right had been fostering a political atmosphere ripe for violence. Looks like a surplus of demented dingbats ta me!

 And so now it begins: Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) reportedly plans to introduce legislation that would make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress.

 Look at that language. The language (or symbols) doesn’t have to be threatening or actually incite violence. It doesn’t even have to be perceived that way. If it could be perceived that way — through the widest, loosest and irrational interpretations imaginable — that is sufficient to charge someone with a federal crime. This kind of broad, widely subjective legislation would make it potentially illegal to disagree with the government about anything.

 That’s right folks; virtually any political discussion or comment, especially if you express frustration or opposition, could be perceived as a call for violence. Laws like this are nothing more than an assault of free speech. Of course, they will forge ahead with this legislation — whether it’s constitutional or not.

 I would hope that we will stand up against tyrannical laws created by exploiting tragedies, but that could be perceived as a call to arms. Rather, I will just implore you to read the Constitution and employ some common sense.

Jim Sawicki

Motor carts

Dear Editor:

I recently had knee replacement surgery and have been unable to go buy groceries. On Jan. 5th, my knee was not up to walking through the entire store so I thought I’d use a motor cart (knowing the store only had two such carts to service the large number of elderly, handicapped and disabled residing in this community). We drove from town and my husband let me out at the front entrance. Of course, there were no motor carts available. There was no way I could walk around the huge store, so I tried to find a place to sit and wait for one to become available. There was absolutely no place to sit. It is amazing how we don’t notice such things until they affect us personally. My husband came into the store from parking the car. I told him about the cart situation, so he shuttled me back to the car, and went back into the store to get the necessaries on my list. Said he would come get me if a cart came available.

As I sat in the car, I reflected on a time the middle of November when I had witnessed two other people waiting for motor carts. They were unhappy about having no place to sit and wait. After sitting in the car for more than 20 minutes, I knew that I had to speak up. Unable to walk back inside to speak with a manager, I remembered my cell phone and called the store. I spoke to the assistant manager. I told her I was sorry it was her that had to listen to the rant I had built up, but it just has to be addressed. As I told her: There is no excuse for City Market to only provide two motor carts to accommodate this community’s large number of elderly, handicapped and disabled, when they chose to be “the only grocery store.” Many of us drive there from town, or further, to buy our groceries and they can’t accommodate us. Her defense of City Market was, the store in town had never any motor carts, so they didn’t feel they needed more out there. My reply was that many of us that can’t walk through the big store could walk through the little one that was in town and that was not a just comparison. About that time in our conversation, my husband came to the car and said there was a cart available, so I excused myself from our conversation and went inside. As I went on my way shopping, I vowed to myself that I would not let this drop. Using a motor cart will not be a part of my life for much longer, but there are others who need this service and City Market has a duty to accommodate them. City Market needs at least one more (two would be good) motor cart and a bench for those in need to wait on.


Patti Stewart