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Letters to Editor


Dear Editor:

Out of all the excellent features in The Pagosa SUN, my two favorites are Red Ryder and Jim Sawicki’s rants. In the last issue, two other items caught my eye: a letter from a citizen down this way complaining about the roads and a potential 600,000 dollar law suit involving Archuleta County, the county’s insurance provider and the Hart Construction Company.

As I understand the citizen’s complaint, a few loads of gravel are involved.

According to The Pagosa SUN archives, the Hart Construction Company has had county contracts valued at 133,000 dollars over the past three years for plowing snow at the airport. I took a look at the county’s budget for the airport and must admit I fail to comprehend the astronomical numbers in their entirety. I do grasp the fact that salary, benefits, supplies and services are projected at 268,401 dollars for 2011. I do not understand if the 352,000 dollars for debt service actually comes out of the county budget. If so, the number listed in the county budget report for 2011 is 620,401 dollars for the airport. The projected income is 10,000 dollars.

As Yogi Berra says, “It’s Déjà vu all over again;” the poor taxpayers paying for the rich High Binder’s folly and yet the Pagosa high and mighty will not even throw a bone to us poor dogs down here.

Bob Dungan



Dear Editor:

Beginning May 1, 2011, ”Section 5 — STANDARDS” section 5.4.4 — Outdoor Lighting” of our County Building Code will suddenly affect all residents of Archuleta County who have construction older than five (5) years. Section reads “All exterior lighting fixtures, including without limitation commercial, industrial, residential, governmental and street lighting after the effective date of these Regulations shall comply. All exterior lighting fixtures installed prior to the effective date of the Regulations are exempt from the requirements of this Section for a period of five (5) years from that date. After this five (5) year period, all outdoor lighting shall comply with the Regulations. These Regulations shall not apply to interior lighting.”

Well, that five (5) year waiting period ends on May 1. Some examples of soon to be “Prohibited Lighting” include — Section — “Any fixture that is not fully shielded with opaque or translucent shielding. Partially shielded fixtures, partially cutoff fixtures and unshielded fixtures are not permitted.” Section — “Mercury Vapor Fixtures and or Lamps.”

After being alerted to this “retroactive” change at a meeting of my townhome owners association, I obtained a copy of this regulation, read it, and, as I was returning home, noticed that even the Town of Pagosa Springs will not be in compliance because of some street lights. Our TOA was informed there might be a cost of as much as $135 per light to conform to this retroactive regulation. My wife and I will soon have four outdoor lights in non-compliance. Should the county have the authority to deem those properties, which when built met all building code requirements, to possibly now not be in compliance?

I think not!

I hope you do not as well. Step outside and look at your structures — will this change cause you a problem?

Please contact your county commissioners (264-8300) or the Development Services Department (731-3877).


Bill Gottschalk


Dear Editor:

I live in Aspen Springs and love the quiet out here. Carrie, Roy and others have constructed weather protecting sheds at the school bus stops. These have been installed and will work nicely when rain or snow hits while the kids are waiting for the bus to take them to school in the morning or waiting for their rides after the bus drops them off in the afternoon. They have benches for sitting. We are proud of this work.

Cindy Gustafson

No choice

Dear Editor:

The vote for H con res 36 in Congress to eliminate federal funds for Planned Parenthood passed 241 to 185.

All Colorado Republicans voted yes and all Democrats voted no.

Planned Parenthood presently gets 363 million in federal funds.

President Obama stated in his commencement speech at Norte Dame that, “There should be a balance between pro-choice and pro-life.”

Presently pregnancy pupport centers get no federal funds. Where is the balance, Mr. President? If pregnancy support centers can operate without federal funds, can’t planned parenthood also?

Pro-choice is also the wrong label to put on this group; they should call themselves pro-death.

Something to think about:

We have no choice to buy a car without air bags or seat belts.

We have no choice (after 2012) of which light bulbs to buy.

We will have no choice to not take “Obamacare.”

Women do, however, have the choice whether or not to terminate a human life!

John Meyer


Dear Editor:

So, when’s it gonna be time for Washington ta sacrifice? When is it time fer unions to sacrifice? When is it time for bureaucrats to sacrifice? When does the government sacrifice? Never. You want to talk about “shared sacrifice?” Let’s see those entities sacrifice. Sacrifice, as in reducing the size of government. As in the takers stop demanding as much. As in the freeloaders giving up the gravy train. As in the money laundering operation that is the public sector unions getting their hands out of the public till.

Despite the class war that the left wants, this is not about rich versus poor. This is about government versus the people, bureaucrats versus the taxpayers, plain and simple. And the fact is, the American people see it that way, clearly now, because the libs made a lethal strategic blunder.

The worst thing they ever did was pass Obamacare. They overreached by many orders of magnitude. With the undemocratic fraudulent way they went about it, trick procedures, buying votes, buying off whole states, threatening to “deem” it passed and passing it via budget reconciliation, doing it on Christmas Eve, they repulsed the American people.

What happened in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio is a direct result. They overreached, taking over one-sixth of the U.S. economy with a fraudulent, budget-breaking, Constitution-violating piece of legislation, and look at the shellacking they got. They lost the House of Representatives. They’re going to lose the Senate and the White House in 2012. They lost governorships. They lost state legislatures. It’s all coming home to roost.

The American people want no part of what Obama’s goons believe. They want no part of liberalism. They made it plain what liberalism is. It is fraudulent, it is phony, it is lawbreaking, and it is cheating. It is disingenuousness. And all of that was put on full display with the passage of this health care bill. Everything about liberalism that people instinctively distrust and dislike is now clear as day.

All of these years Democrats claimed they were “for the little guy.” They cared about the little guy, the downtrodden, the victims of life. Supposedly made victims by whom? Republicans, conservatives, the rich, the powerful. Yeah — well, who is it the democrats are siding with now? Who, in a fight for Democrat Party survival, do they go to? Not to the voters, not to the American people. They stay in bed with the special interest group known as public sector unions.

So, the frauds that you are has been made plain as day, for everybody to see. Millions of eyes have been opened. The result: the American people don’t want you. They don’t want liberalism running institutions and traditions that define this country’s greatness. The tipping point has been reached. More than 700 seats in state legislatures went from Democrat to Republican. Hello, Wisconsin. Hello, Indiana. Hello Ohio, and good-bye libs. The only thing to be “sacrificed” is your power — to America’s everlasting benefit.

Jim Sawicki


Dear Editor:

I was pleased to see your article about the upcoming LPEA board election and bios of the three District 1 candidates. I encourage each of the approximately 7,500 eligible voters in the district to review the candidates, ask questions and vote. Many of us just toss those ballots when they come in the mail, without fully considering the impact the LPEA board has on our community. Without forward thinking leadership on the LPEA board, we cannot move forward towards local, secure, innovative and sustainable energy. Think through your priorities, ask your questions, send your ballot back, and think about good candidates for next year. I sent these questions to the three candidates, with the hope of getting responses to share before the election.

What are your thoughts about the use of locally generated sustainably produced electricity?

What, if any, goals should LPEA have concerning conservation and sustainable energy production?

What three things can the LPEA board do to make energy security, innovation and sustainability a reality?

Kirsten Skeehan


Dear Editor:

To all Birthers :

1. Visit

2. Search for “Obama birth certificate.”

3. Click the top hit, “Statement by Dr. Chiyome Fukino —”

4. Shut up!

J. Andrew Smith

Bloomfield, N.J.


Dear Editor:

I would like to thank and commend SOS and all parties involved for the great Earth Day celebration with All Things Pagosa at the park this past Saturday. It was a lovely day with happy, friendly people, young and old.

As I sat at our booth for Parents as Leaders, we had many young people and their parents come and get peace buttons. We gave these away for free, asking only that they take a copy of the Family Pledge of Nonviolence and discuss it at home. The young people that were without parents also promised to take the pledge home and talk with mom and dad and maybe even place it on the refrigerator.

So symbols, whether a peace sign, dove, etc., are just that, but can lead to interesting conversations. “Johnny, I notice you are wearing that peace button, but I heard you were at the last fight at the park taking a video with your cell phone?” or “Mom, you wear that dove button, but you just screamed and hit my sister?”

As a community and as parents, many of us are troubled by the amount of violence amongst our young people. Friday afternoons at the parks are becoming notorious for multiple fights involving both boys and girls throughout the downtown area with threats and bullying behavior a norm on the social media (Facebook). What is troubling is the amount of bystanding youth who choose to record the violence rather than stop it. These are not bad kids; they do what feels normal and exciting, what we as a society have accepted as OK.

Looking at violence in our lives is important for many reasons; it helps us recognize the areas where we may not have noticed we are condoning harm to others. Peace begins at home, so examining our family communications, our choice of media and how we model good relations with our neighbors is a good start. Talking with our kids and brainstorming ideas to promote healthy relationships with their peers is not always easy and they are not always receptive, but please do it anyway. I pray each day that these young people do not learn the hard way by being a witness to a fight that results in serious injury or death, it could happen even here in Pagosa Springs.

There are groups of people all over town working to find solutions to keep our youth safe and I invite you to join them, but most of all, begin the conversation with our youth of how can we really see violence and stop it, how can we model what the symbols stand for?

Please join us Parents as Leaders (See It Stop It) the first and third Wednesday, noon-2 p.m. at The Lift.


Lily Tarbet

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