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Letters to Editor


Dear Editor:

9/11/2011 was a nice day at the firehouse. A pleasant day for remembrance and to honor all who passed that day. It was an honor that one of the speakers took a moment of reflection, “Pearl Harbor 1941.” Now, we have two days that live in infamy and total terror for Americans. 9/11/2011 at our firehouse was special for all in attendance. Many thanks to all who worked so hard to make this remembrance happen here in Pagosa Springs.

To all in our community who could not or would not attend this event, you were noticeably missed. There is another day we must not forget as Americans: Sept. 16, 2011, POW/MIA national recognition day.

(W.C.) Clifford-Basnett


Dear Editor:

Late in the afternoon of Sept. 1 my wife, Betty Beasley, while standing next to me and Marvin Lord, took a bad fall from the walk in front of the downtown Subway onto the parking level. The back of her head hit the pavement hard and began to bleed profusely, and she was addled at first. Immediately, several people were helping and offering help, talking to her and asking appropriate questions. We moved her to a sitting position on the walk. Compresses and ice for the bleeding, water to drink and padding between her back and the stones on the wall magically appeared. It soon became obvious that we should get emergency medical technicians involved. Marvin called 911 and requested an ambulance and EMTs. The CT scanner in Pagosa Mountain Hospital was inoperative; so Betty was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center Emergency Room without delay. It was determined that she had a broken hip, and she was admitted. The replacement surgery was done the next day. Betty is now in Pine Ridge Extended Care Center.

Without all the help we got, it would have been an ordeal for Betty and me. In about 24 hours, she was in the recovery room following surgery, and her surgeon, Dr. Anderson, was in the waiting room reporting results to our daughters, Sue Jackson and Jan Beasley, and me on his way out for an extended Labor Day weekend to visit relatives elsewhere.

I can think of no better way to thank those who helped in so many ways than to let the public know that help was immediately and voluntarily given by strangers and friends alike. I wish I knew the names of all of them, but they know who they are and what they did, and I doubt that they expect me to know or remember. Marvin Lord and Cathne Holt were especially involved and there until the ambulance was on its way. Frank Chavez and Ron Maez are the other names I know.

I think it would be amiss not to mention that Betty had a much less serious fall inside City Market near the entrance Aug. 12. The immediate help given and offered by the numerous people who became aware of it was the same as that related above for Subway. I don’t know any names. Someone called 911; the EMTs took over, put her in the ambulance, moved it to an empty area in that parking lot, invited me inside and made extensive tests, etc. for an hour or more. They offered to take Betty to the hospital, but were not recommending it. With our consent they got her in our car and followed us home to be sure she could get inside our house unassisted.

With our gratitude and appreciation for all their help and concern, we wish to thank all of those who provided it.

Earle and Betty Beasley, and family

DAV van

Dear Editor:

Drivers are needed to transport veterans to the VA hospital.

Come and join our team of volunteer drivers to drive the disabled American van to Albuquerque to take disabled veterans to medical appointments. Many veterans in our area need help getting to the VA medical center. Our DAV van runs twice a week. You would only need to drive every two months or so and a stipend is available to those who want it. Most of our drivers contend that they just do it because it feels good to give of their time. If you are interested, please call Larry Jelinek at (970) 946-2674. Thank you and welcome aboard.

Larry Jelinek and Tom Blankenship

Free stuff

Dear Editor:

This from a mentor, so even I can understand it.

Subject: Stuff.

The folks who are getting free stuff don’t like the folks who are paying for their free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can no longer afford to pay for both their own stuff and the free stuff.

The folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop, and the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting.

Now … the people who are forcing the people who pay for the free stuff have told the people who are receiving the free stuff, that the people who are paying for the free stuff are being mean, selfish, prejudiced, racist and not paying their “fair share.”

So … the people who are getting the free stuff have been convinced they need to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff by the people who are forcing some people to pay for their free stuff, and giving them the free stuff in the first place.

We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now more people getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.

Now, understand this: All great democracies have committed financial suicide somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded. The reason? The voters figured out they could vote themselves free stuff from the treasury by electing people who promised to give them free stuff from the treasury in exchange for electing them.

We have a chance to change that. In 2012. Failure to change that spells the end of our republic as we have known it. Some people work for a living. Others vote for a living.

Duane C. Branson


Dear Editor:

In response to the letter to the editor on 9/1/11, if the Gay and Lesbian Fund of Colorado sees fit to financially help our new, superb theater company, “Thingamajig,” I am delighted. Hopefully, more organizations and individuals will do likewise. It seems to be only one’s prejudices and insecurities that would assume ulterior motives. Surely, there are more important and serious problems in our world to be dealt with than to be obsessed with the sexual orientation others are born with.

Phyl Daleske


Dear Editor:

I went to the U.S. Post Office on Wednesday, Sept. 7, at approximately 3 p.m. to mail a package. I laid my key ring on the counter while I wrapped the package for mailing. During a few minutes, someone picked up my keys and left. The post office employees have been very helpful and understanding, but no one has returned my keys.

To the person who took my keys, you have caused me much stress plus the loss of almost $200 to replace my car key and keyless transmitter. Would you please return my keys to the post office before I bear the cost of replacement? Why would you want someone else’s key? Can’t believe this happened in our town of Pagosa Springs.

Rose Flores


Dear Editor:

Thanks to the SUN for publishing the article about the 100-year celebration of the Crowley Ranch House, now called the Homestead Ranch House, in Chromo; however several people were overlooked and deserve thanks. Jean Lewis, who manages the ranch, was instrumental in the planning and implementation of the party and worked tirelessly to ensure its success. Betty Shahan, Jeannine Shahan Taylor, Barbara Nash and Carol Folbre for providing such valuable information about the Crowley family and historic facts about the house. To the many family members who attended, including 83-year-old Willis Crowley, who traveled from Leota, Kans., to be there. And to Barbara Schoonover for hosting such a beautiful event and inviting us to celebrate the history of her home.

Toby Hinson



Dear Editor:

To Jim Sawicki:

I’m sure Pagosans appreciated a letter from you that included a semblance of factual commentary for a change. Unfortunately, I didn’t win any coffeeshop bets that I could coax you to say something other than the blather that you just couldn’t resist throwing in, with your Fox News regurgitation. So, I’ll respond and you may have the last word until the 2012 elections are in.

Class warfare: What Obama knows, Jim, Is that the rich don’t create jobs out of thin air because they have more money or that their businesses will be even more profitable with lower rates. An additional job is made possible, when the owner of a business calculates that he or she can sell the output of the job for more than they pay you to do that work. The only way business can sell the product for more than they pay you to make it is if someone wants to buy it. Demand creates the conditions that allow jobs to be created. Right now people have less money to spend because of their personal debit crisis, not the government’s debt crisis. Funny how businesses, banks and financial institutions are flush with cash with the “socialist” in the White House. They were bailed out by Bush’s TARP deal and Obama’s auto industry bailout. At least we’re getting paid back for those, and businesses are still setting record profits with hefty salaries for the CEOs and hedge fund managers.

The “rich” (households with $250,000 income) certainly have no complaints about how the economy is doing since the “buffoon” took office. Your “1 percent of rich folk pay 40 percent of the taxes” propaganda is because they earn so much of the national income pie. I know you hate the word “progressive,” but we have a “progressive” federal tax code. In human terms, the richest 400 families have more wealth (unspent, excess income) than the entire bottom half of the nation; more than 57 million American families. Jim, I don’t think your household pulls down 250k ... or does it?

So, the 47 percent of families that pay no federal taxes are what you’re sore about? No “skin in the game” for those slackers? They beat the system by being “poor?” That is to say, under 22k per year per household. All Americans, including the poor, pay taxes. Taxes on alcohol and tobacco, sales tax, property tax (even renters pay via rent) are all non-progressive taxes that affect the lower income citizens harder than the ones who can more easily afford to pay them. Collectively, these significant taxes are the largest source of revenue for nearly all states. Warren Buffet and Jim Sawicki pay the same percent on the dollar. ECON 101: these are called “regressive” taxes and consume more of your income the less you have. They are also called “consumption” taxes because you are rewarded by not purchasing what you wish to do without or can’t afford. There are no slackers. Everybody pays taxes for schools, roads, police, fire, library, health departments, etc. Now, add in those federal regressive social security, FICA and medicare taxes and those 47 percent have plenty of skin in the game, but the rich federal taxpayer foots the bill for the stealth bomber and the new paint in the Capital Building. Are you just screaming “tax the rich” because they pay no federal income tax? Both Dems and Repubs gave them the exemptions they now claim! Don’t blame the messenger. Odds are, based on history, Obama loses next year. If you want to plant the flag on “tax the poor” your odds will go down. Seems like you’re hoping for a breakdown of society, a peasant revolt if you will. I know you better than that, friend. That’s the “rhetoroblather” talking.

Love you, Jim.

Ron Levitan

Asheville, N.C.

Dog attack

Dear Editor:

While on a recent visit to your wonderful town, I was involved in a dog attack.

Two loose dogs attacked a young puppy and his mistress. Another lady and a couple of men helped keep the dogs at bay while several calls were made to 911. Two of us were bitten and all of us were shaken up over the attack.

Thanks to all who helped us. I want to thank all the officers and paramedics that responded so quickly. I hope the two ladies and the young puppy are on the road to recovery.

I wonder what would have happened if the two loose dogs would have encountered children with dogs. I blame the owner of these two dogs for not being responsible and wish that he would have to receive the same consequences the dogs: being shot with a electronic taser, quarantine, etc.

Please, owners of dogs, be responsible and contain your animals. This attack could have been prevented and could have been a whole lot worse.

Justus Lillie

Sioux Falls, S.D.


Dear Editor:

It’s a matter of economics.

We have a problem. Our schools are falling apart (except for the high school) and we as a community need to pull together to solve this problem. The school board called for a volunteer citizens group to study this issue and make a recommendation. It really boils down to two solutions: the Band-Aid approach or building a new school or schools.

The Band-Aid approach will cost millions of dollars to fix or renovate buildings that have seen better days. I’ve done remodeling and repairs to old buildings and it seems to always cost a lot more than I counted on. The study group says it could cost up to $39 million to do it thoroughly and we would still end up with old buildings that are spread all over town with U.S. 160 traffic problems. We can build a consolidated K-8 campus that combines economy of scale with a modern teaching facility for $50 million. It makes sense to build the new school and provide our kids with the best facilities with only 22 percent more cost.

I’ve never had success with the Band-Aid approach and usually regret not spending the money for quality. You may say, “Why do it now when money and jobs are scarce.” I say now is the time we should be doing it for exactly those reasons. The school district can borrow money at a low interest rate now that will save millions. I don’t see interest rates staying this low for long, with the government printing money like it is going out of style. The project will also provide many needed jobs for those in this community. We will eventually have to build new buildings. Why not do it when interest rates are low and people need jobs? The cost to do this will only get more expensive. It’s a matter of economics.

Jack Searle


Dear Editor:

Well, here we go again … it was just a year or so ago that Obama and the Democrats devised a disastrous healthcare bill which Nancy Pelosi, with great urgency, suggested everyone should vote for, even if they hadn’t read it. And, now, our rookie president has concocted the American Jobs Bill and again, we’re repeatedly told “vote for it, now!” It has only taken the president two and one-half years to focus on what he should have done at the beginning of his administration — to find a way to create jobs. He obviously has finally realized that spouting made-up and ridiculous statistics about all the jobs he has created and/or saved is no longer believed, even by his followers, and he is running out of excuses and people and events which can somehow be held accountable for his, repeat his, failures as a leader. Notwithstanding his incompetence, Obama now demands Congress endorse another pig-in-a-poke bill to create jobs which will make him look like he knows what he is doing and, God forbid, get him reelected. Not only are we told that the president has finally developed a plan to create jobs, we are told it is not going to cost us anything to implement. While he said repeatedly that his $447 billion plan, “would be paid for,” he never said how, promising to release those details soon. This is not reassuring from the man whose first words uttered from a crib (allegedly in Hawaii) were not “Da Da,” They had to be “Tax” and “Spend.”

Recently, a professor in Emory University wrote that he, along with many others, were, “bewitched by Obama’s eloquence on the campaign trail and chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography.” He now recognizes how little Obama had accomplished before he ran for president, had never run a business or a state; and that he had an unremarkable career as a lawyer. I’m happy this man is beginning to see Obama for what he is and I hope that there are many more like him who, when the 2012 election arrives, will vote this disaster out of office before he does irreparable harm to our country.

Gary Stansbury


Dear Editor:

Great to see so much involvement!

Pam Wallis’ comments in last week’s letter were so nice to see; as a business owner in Aspen Springs after her five years here, she is now providing an active role in the community.

Aspen Springs has had its challenges over the years and a park has been discussed since the early ’80s. Not having infinite resources to use for building a park, the Metro District board and members of Aspen Springs Community Pride worked with the county to take some beginning steps setting up parks and recreation for the community. Since there is no public water and sewer system in Aspen Springs, restroom facilities were not an easy option for the park. The picnic area, volleyball and horseshoe courts are beginning steps. For planned events, portable toilets will be brought in; however, with that, there are costs associated and most of the residents attending meetings of the district and associations of Aspen Springs prefer that road maintenance and a water hauling station is currently a higher priority.

Aspen Springs is a community with many residents, with no covenants; we are still a community in the United States, in Colorado, and in Archuleta County, and there are laws to be enforced. Most laws are written not because of the good neighbors and people doing the right thing, they are written because of the few that want to abuse the rights of the rest. I am so glad to know that there are so many like Pam Wallis that want to step up and get active in the community.

Ronnie Zaday

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