Bookmark and Share

Letters to Editor

Wake up

Dear Editor:

I would like to respond to the letters to the editor on roads.

I could not believe that the commissioners would pay somebody over $l00,000 dollars for a study that I deem unsatisfactory. There are many roads in the county that barely ever see a maintenance crew. How about traveling the Trujillo road to Hwy. 151. Mr. Valdez was accurate in his statements and I cannot understand why our commissioners can’t take a drive themselves and check out the roads instead of wasting $100,000 that could be put to better use on gravel and maintenance.

Further, Chris Chavez, in past correspondence, alluded to the problems and nobody has taken heed of his comments and recommendations.

Wake up county residents.

Franklin Anderson


Dear Editor:

I want the Board of County Commissioners to know, we the people who live out in the rural areas of the county are very upset and disgusted with your actions, decisions on road and bridge operation.

You have outsiders come in and tell you how great the road system is. For you to go out and spend $160,500 to a firm to tell you about our roads, and how to improve them. Why, I ask? You have a high salaried public works director and a sharp county administrator. Our roads have not been graded in over 30 years. All you are doing is controlling the dust on roads and stabilizing. Come spring or fall, we are stuck in the mud. In my 12 years as county commissioner, we never spent a dime on experts to tell us how to manage roads. Our road foreman and county planner and I made decisions on gravel pit locations and road improvements.

I secured gravel for the county from the Southern Utes, Colorado Division of Parks and Recreation Mickey Gilbert, Bureau of Reclamation, never cost the county one penny for royalty, plus free gravel from Candelarias, Ed Rockam, myself and I donated gravel and have land for road relocation. Many, many things I did for my county. All you’re doing is letting others tell you how and what needs to be done. Go drive County Road 500 on the west end, so you can see what we are putting up with. Again, there is an enormous amount of gravel located on County Road 500. You’re wasting our money on outside experts. Bring them in next spring and see what grade you get.

Chris Chavez

Editor’s note: In the interest of accuracy, it should be pointed out that Mr. Chavez was an Archuleta County Commissioner until January 1989. Thus, of the 30 years that roads have allegedly not been graded, at least seven of those years were during the commissioner’s tenure on the body. According to Public Works Director Ken Feyen, county policy, as approved by the county commission, includes blading of all primary roads in the county system twice a year, with secondary roads graded at a minimum of once a year.


Dear Editor:

If I had not read it in The SUN I would not believe it. Last week the competent volunteer road advisory committee submitted their letter of resignation to the county commissioners. In today’s issue of The SUN I read where the commissioners are paying a $160,508 consulting fee to Mr. John Simmer.

The road committee members had total residency in the county of over eighty years. I was unable to find Mr. Simmer’s name in the local phone directory. Mr. Simmer told the commissioners that our roads are fine. I wonder what rating the road from the Arboles store to the entrance of Navajo State Park received? I suspect a 99 since one can make it by shifting into low gear. No doubt the roads in the Piedra Park subdivision received a 98 as the county bladed the roads a couple of years ago.

I am curious as to when Mr. Simmer inspected our roads; perhaps on a nice sunny day. How about a spring day when the mud is knee deep? I pull my friends and neighbors out of the mud holes for free. I charge consultants, county commissioners and county officials $500 per hour.

In a letter in today’s SUN, Mr. Valdez reported that when a county commissioner inquired of the county manager if it was OK to gravel Mr. Valdez’s road the county manager said no. The same situation prevails when it comes to the recommendations of the planning department. The commissioners do whatever the planning department recommends, in spite of protests from hundreds of citizens. What we have in Archuleta County is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog.

Bob Dungan


Editor’s note: In the interest of accuracy, it must be noted the consultant did not report that all county roads are “fine.” In fact, he reported that there are at least 36 miles of the county road system that are in poor or failing condition. A more detailed account of the situatio will appear in an article in the next SUN.

Tea Party

Dear Editor:

What is the Tea Party?

The TEA Party is defined by those who want to participate with a group of people who insist on more fiscal responsibility by our government, less spending and less taxation. It is also defined by the “mainstream media” which declares it as peopled by racists and nuts. So who is right?

The TEA letters stand for Taxed Enough Already and of course, the Tea Partiers have adopted the symbolism of the first tea party in our country when Americans dressed as Indians threw bales of tea overboard a ship in the Boston Harbor. They were protesting the tea tax. Today’s Tea Partiers are not as violent or messy. Their aim is to bring attention to and stop the profligate spending by our federal government. The national debt is a disgrace and unsustainable.

Are there nuts as proclaimed by the main stream media? I’m sure there are a few. What group doesn’t have a few nuts? Just look at the federal government for affirmation.

I’ve participated in four Tea Parties. I have never seen a racist sign nor heard a racist comment. I have never seen a racist sign or heard a racist word at any of these tea parties. According to the press, there have been some. However, those carrying racist signs were asked to leave. The “radicals” I have met at the Tea Parties are for the most part people who have never protested as much as a parking ticket. They represent all political parties and unaffiliated. The many veterans I met fought in World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Haven’t these people done enough for their country? Their answer to a person was that we fought for our country and we don’t want to see it go down the tubes because the government is out of control. “We don’t want our children, grandchildren or great grandchildren inheriting this debt our government in running up.”

The Archuleta County Tea Party (ACT) is a non-partisan, non-profit corporation founded in April of 2011. This grassroots group supports fiscal responsibility, Constitutionally limited government and free markets.

Here in Pagosa, the Republican Party sponsored a few Tea Parties, but the newly formed ACT, which has no political affiliation or social agendas, is recruiting all registered voters, no matter what, if any, political affiliation. Look for the ACT float in the July 4 parade or contact them at

So is the mainstream media right about the Tea Parties or are the people who participate? The Tea Partiers are then, anyone who wants to follow the Constitution and stop the bankrupting of this country.

Judith S. Esterly


Dear Editor:

Speed trap in the City Market parking lot.

Anyone who has driven through Sagauche on their way to or from Denver or Colorado Springs is probably aware of that little community’s vigilance to apprehend and fine speeders, but did you know we have one right here in Pagosa? And where might this be, you ask? None other than the City Market parking lot! Working as caretaker on a remote ranch property, I had a lot of errands to do on my periodic visits to town. On one such excursion, I was going from City Market past the roundabout with the cowpoke statue and on to fill up at the Shell station. To my amazement as I pulled up to the pump at the station, a state patrol car was behind me, flashing lights and all! My crime, California stopping through the roundabout (has anyone ever seen anyone stop there?). And not “buckling up” as I drove across the street from the lot to the station. When I expressed amazement at this being perceived as criminally punishable, the officer said he was going to be merciful and only ticket me for not putting on my seat belt to drive across the street (a ticket recently raised from $15 to $75).

Initially, intimidated by the badge, uniform and flashing lights, I meekly took the ticket, but on the drive back to the ranch I got angry. On my next visit to town, by coincidence I crossed paths with numerous people with similar stories. Being spurred on by the fact of this being apparently a policy rather than an isolated incident. I called the captain of the state patrol in Durango. In answer to my appeal, he assured me the “Click It or Ticket” initiative was designed for my protection, as the majority of fatalities happen within minutes of home. When I mentioned my route was in a grocery store parking lot, he just rewound and played the same tape.

Let me assure you, I am not an anarchist or fool enough to believe we don’t need diligent enforcers of the law. But what concerns me is this being a symptom of a subtle shift in philosophy from “Protect and Serve” to control and keep in line.

The good book says the letter of the law kills, but the spirit of the law brings life. I encourage all of us to take responsibility for vigilance in maintaining the “spirit of the law” in our public servants. Included is contact information for the captain of the state patrol. Please pardon a little speculative concern: are they trying to protect and serve us, or control us, or do they just need the money?

State patrol captain Martin Petrik, (970) 385-1675, Ext. 51809.

With thanks and prayer for our country,

Chuck Holloway

Self esteem

Dear Editor:

Great editorial June 16, 2011!

It would seem that some educators are “putting the cart before the horse.” From my experience, self esteem comes with an inner knowledge that an achievement has been made, such as the following:

A successfully completed project, or a job well done.

An act of unselfish kindness (however small).

Encouraging conversation to someone in need.

Yes, we all desire approval, recognition, and perhaps some reward, but this should come as a result of our good work.

An educator should be ever watchful of even a small progress in a student and give positive recognition. When I entered boarding school at the age of eight, a teacher complimented me on how well I cleaned my shoes! (We used to clean shoes in those days.) This was the beginning of the road to”self esteem.”

Our goal should be self discipline, responsibility and a positive attitude. The writer of this letter had to learn the hard way. My reports from school frequently stated, “lacks responsibility.”

After all, each one of us is an individual. When we leave school we don’t take the whole class along with us. We make our own way individually, and take along the benefits of our education.

It is my hope that this may be of interest to someone.

Clive Lamprell

Golden, Colorado


Dear Editor:

The liberal tongue is so agile it can stretch any word or concept beyond all recognition. Human rights, constitutional, family, and entitlements can all mean whatever the day’s left wing elite marching orders dictate. No one should be surprised that progressive liberals have little understanding of the Constitution and the principles upon which America was founded by some very gifted men.

John Adams said it, “A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

Sooner or later, America must decide to either continue to manage the symptoms or finally treat the disease … a disease that can only be defined as our deviation from our founding documents and the intent of our Founding Fathers.

A fact: It is the God-given right of even this supposedly “bi weekly SUN correspondent” to voice “mean spirited, juvenile rants” as intelligent and compassionate as they may be. In a free state, every man may think what he likes, and say what he thinks. Why should he stop saying certain words or doing certain actions, bowing to censorship and social control without question, because social scientists who do the bidding of the cadre have defined behavior regulation as a necessity for social harmony?

Right or wrong, learn ta love it … it’s called freedom! And we’ll all celebrate it this Independence Day. Hopefully, folks will at least place hand over heart and pay respect to their flag when our veterans parade it by during the 4th parade. Why, it might even set a great example for our youth to practice and pass along.

Jim Sawicki


Dear Editor:

I have lived in Pagosa for nearly 21 years. I am fortunate to call myself a native of this beautiful town and to be a part of the incredible community here. Both this newspaper and the people who read it have been such a large part of my life. The old saying, “It takes a town to raise a child” certainly rings true in my life. It wasn’t until I left Pagosa to go to college at CU Boulder that I realized how much this place has made me who I am today.

I have now been up at Boulder for three years, and every summer I have returned to Pagosa. Why leave the hustle and bustle of the “big city” with more than one grocery store and a ten-screen movie theater? Because Pagosa is my home. It is where my family lives. And, I’m not just talking about my amazing parents, brother, aunt, uncle, cousins and grandma. I’m talking about everyone who raised me. My teachers are in Pagosa, and I would not have been able to succeed at CU without their preparations. My church and home school family is in Pagosa. My co-workers are here. My teammates are here. The kids I babysit for, the restaurants and waiters I know, the friends I graduated with, and even the familiar names in the paper are here in Pagosa. All of them, all of you, are my Pagosa Family.

One particular place where I have made life-changing friends is with the Music Boosters. I have been working with them for ten years, and the people have touched my life in ways I never imagined. So to Dale Morris, Lisa Hartley, Kathy Isberg, Judy and Scott Farnham, who are running the joint, I love you all. Thank you for letting me grow up beside you. And to all the amazing people I’ve met through MB shows, Dale and Betty Schwicker, Randi Andersen, Sally Yates, Jon Bernard, Anne Price, and so many, many more, thank you! You are why I keep coming back.

I am saddened to say that this is the last summer that I will be coming back to Pagosa. Not forever, I certainly hope, but summer classes and job searches have a hold on me for the foreseeable future. So, I just wanted to take the opportunity to express how grateful I am to the people of this town. I will miss you all more than I can say. So, come out this weekend to the high school and see the Music Boosters’ production of “South Pacific.” It is a show constructed with love by people who are my closest friends and trusted family. And, although it may be my last MB show, I can think of no better show with which to go out with a bang!

All my love,

Becca Stephens


Dear Editor:

I was very pleased to read that so many of the county roads are in excellent condition. I agree. In fact, a pot hole on South Pagosa Boulevard recently did an excellent job of knocking my front end out of alignment.

Marc Yalom


Dear Editor:

Here is an idea which may assist us in getting our hot water out of the ground and into use.

There is a new law called a “Benefit Corporation” that has had its third reading in the state legislature and awaits the governor’s signature. The value of this type of corporation is that it is an important shift in law in which corporations can’t be held liable by courts for failing to place profits over everything else! The law permits a corporation to exist with the purpose of making a positive impact on society and the environment.

Under the law the Benefit Corporation must go regularly before a third-party valuator, to prove that they are not only meeting their goals, but treating their employees, customers, community, and local environments with the same respect as their shareholders! (Benefit Corporations can lose their legal status for not doing right action by these standards.)

Having a Benefit Corporation status sends a powerful message to shareholders, employees, business partners, and consumers about the kind of company which is being formed. This signal generates instant branding, internal cohesion, and consumer enthusiasm (with links to a vibrant Benefit Corporation Network that brings in more than $4.5 billion in revenues in the U.S.).

In a political sense, the surging popularity of Benefit Corporations will change the way people think about business. We can have a market society, and we can have prosperous corporations that act with conscience. Imagine a green, local, progressive, entrepreneurial, community focused Benefit Corporation as an alternative to what we have now!

Benefit Corporations are taking root and blossoming right here in America, restoring the bonds of community while doing honest commerce and education.

This is what economic recovery looks like.

David Hasyo Yates

blog comments powered by Disqus