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Letters to Editor


Dear Editor:

I have been a summer resident for 23 years. In the winter, when my water is turned off, I am billed $45 or more!

Saturday, the 18th, my water became muddy. I was told by PAWSD to turn on all my valves to flush the system. I wasted hundreds of gallons of water, which I am sure I will be billed for.

How much longer will the people of Pagosa have to put up with PAWSD board?

W.D. Anderson


Dear Editor:

We would like to thank all who attended the public meeting June 14.

Many were able to speak both for and against the serious issues brought forth for public scrutiny. The county and the office of the VSO were well represented.

It was disappointing some angry participants did try to disrupt the meeting and distract from the very serious issues. Our sheriff’s presence was also alarming and his statements all distracted from the core issue. There was never any intent to do any ”spearchucking or have a kangaroo court.”

It was unfortunate one person was asked to leave the meeting.

Once again, we thank all who came to this public meeting and we ask one more time for all of the women veterans to please join us. Thank you to Vets for Vets.

“W.C.” C.L. Clifford-Basnett

Original cowboy

Dear Editor:

I remember one of the first stories Fred Harman told me. It was like my father, grandfather, pulling me to the aside, to tell me one of life’s most important stories. I think Fred has a way about him to make everyone think he’s their father, grandfather. A loving, generous man, with a kind heart, a kind touch, and with great stories.

It was a simple story, of a young handsome man riding his horse in to town to get a bit of schoolin’ in the last century.

Fred and his beautiful wife, Norma, have been good friends to Pagosa, donating lots of land, money, communication services, time and effort.

And have done so, quietly, out of love, not fame.

There’s a lot of amazing art, done by the self-taught artist Fred Harman II at the Museum. There is the long couch which John Wayne napped on while filming the movie “Cowboys” right here in Pagosa.

My humble wish is for all, the entire town, to come out on Friday, June 24, at 2 p.m., to the Fred Harman Art Museum for a ribbon cutting, to kick off Western Heritage Days. There will be live music, food, cash bar, trail rides, horse training seminars, arts and crafts, ol’ west photos, fast draw competitions, shootout reenactments, and more.

More importantly, to personally thank the man, to shake the hand of an original cowboy, who has given so much to Pagosa.

T. Cutter Collins


Dear Editor:

I wanted to tell you about a nice thing my family of five and their families have been doing since 1999.

Ron and I have birthdays close together and then there is fathers and mothers days. So, with five children, that would make 20 presents, each year, right? Well, they live in the Midwest and they got together through Kristi, my very creative daughter, and decided to send money and suggested that we should sponsor a baseball team through parks and recreation, and that is exactly what we do.

This year, there are three or four 11- and 12-year-old teams and the Rockies have printed on the back of their black T-shirts “Ron and Cindy’s Kids.” Then the Phillies in the 9- 10-year-old division have the same thing on their red T-shirts.

I am a sports nut and my favorite is ice hockey, but since that season is over, I am in “hockey withdrawals.” The kids’ teams play on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we see almost all of the games. How much fun is that? Many, many thanks to Tom Carosello and Darren Lewis for all of the hard work they do to keep this program viable.

Cindy Gustafson


Dear Editor:

Thank you for your article on the compassionate, inspiring and unselfish faith and actions of Pastor Don and Barbara Ford.

It is a refreshing contrast to the juvenile name-calling and mean-spirited rants of The SUN’s bi-weekly correspondent who, contrary to providing intelligent points and counterpoints of view, seeks notoriety and obvious pleasure in verbally trashing everyone from those in national office to local, retired nonprofit executive directors.

I am appreciative of people like the Fords who model the way God intended for us to work and communicate with one another in times of need, differing opinions and community service. Thank you, Rotary, for choosing Don and Barbara to be the public faces of Pagosa in the Fourth of July parade. They are truly the names our residents and tourists should remember when they read The Pagosa SUN and think about the blessings of life in Pagosa Springs.

Debra Hepler

Good work

Dear Editor:

I received my Pagosa paper today and read the remarks about the hospital. Let me add my experience for the record.

Last year, on the weekend of July Fourth, I was getting sick. I was having the onset of an infection that I experience several times of year. I was starting to run a fever. I also went to the ER.

I filled out the paperwork and was seen within about 15 minutes. A nurse took all my “vitals” and asked the usual questions. The doctor came in and did his part. He called a prescription in for me. I went by the grocery and got it. I have never been treated better or more professionally.

I am glad the hospital is there and I am glad to pay taxes to help support it.

Oh, yes — to the staff — keep up the good work!

John Peck

Plainview, Texas


Dear Editor:

PAWSD staff are to be congratulated, especially Mr. Gene Tautges and Mr. Art Holloman, for their efforts on water conservation. During the first five months of 2011, staff reduced water losses by 8 percent as compared to 2010. This means that the amount of raw water drawn from streams and reservoirs was reduced by 10 million gallons per month. This loss reduction took place, while 2011 demand remained the same as it was in 2010.

The immediate result of this action is a significant savings in operational costs, including chemicals and power usage. Simultaneously, the PAWSD board of directors made significant decisions that will further reduce “losses,” including the termination of the delivery of free water to the Town of Pagosa Springs. Over the longer term, these actions could mean postponing further water rate increases.

The impact on long term planning is more profound. If conservation efforts continue, a new reservoir may not be needed for a quarter of a century, because improvements to existing storage reservoirs should be sufficient to address population growth. Recently, Mr. Ed Winston, PAWSD manager, directed a substantive improvement in the water loss reporting methods. For the first time, PAWSD reports conform to loss reporting standards. This improved reporting scheme should facilitate further loss reductions from current values of 35 percent to water district goals of 10 percent.

I am a member of the former Citizens Water Group. This is my personal report.

John S. Ramberg

Parade music

Dear Editor:

I always enjoy the parade, but there is one thing that is sorely lacking, and that is patriotic music. To me, and I think many others, a Fourth of July parade must include music of John Philip Sousa, especially “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “Semper Fidelis.” Our parade has more Rap than Sousa. Has anyone in the Rotary Club ever heard of him?

The local radio station could broadcast the music and the participants play it on their boom boxes.

Dick Riethmiller


Dear Editor:

During the last couple of weeks, at functions I have attended, I have been asked by several people if the county had provided any gravel for our short county road. This was in reference to a letter I wrote several months ago to The SUN and to county commissioners.

Commissioner Lucero drove down to see the road. He admitted that it was in bad need of gravel and would go talk to the county administrator about it. However, if we, the residents, wished to purchase the gravel, they would spread the gravel when they had equipment in the area. I said “no” to that proposal.

Commissioner Lucero called me several weeks later saying that the county administrator had said “no” to the gravel, that it was not in their policy to gravel this particular road. It is a one lane county road. It has no drainage ditches and therefore water sits in the middle of it.

It is their policy to blade this particular road only once a year. That is about as effective as sending a small puppy with a full bladder to fight a forest fire.

Since then, I have been wondering about the following items. Why do the residents in this small corner of the county even pay taxes? One: we do not get gravel for our roads, only a token blading. Two: we do not get school bus service. Parents must meet a school bus at the junction of 151 and 160. Or they can send their kids to Ignacio as that bus comes to this area. Three: we do not get service from the Pagosa Springs Fire District but from Los Pinos out of Ignacio. Four: we do not get ambulance service from Archuleta County, but from Los Pinos out of Ignacio. Lastly: who has the final say, the county commissioners or the hired hands? I always believed that the elected officials had the final say. Maybe this is the reason that the county is in the shape that it is in.

Mencor Valdez

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