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Letters to Editor

Rape and pillage

Dear Editor:

When money is tight, people are blinded to bad ideas. After reading “Council approves Reservoir Hill plan,” I imagined Pagosa Springs as the newest Dollywood of the Rocky Mountains. If a year-round circus on top of the hill doesn’t get people coming, why not try a Ripley’s Believe It or Not out 160? Heck, I think we need another set of strip malls and at least one more McDonald’s if we want to compete with Durango.

I am perplexed by Volger’s comment that this monstrosity will not detract from the solitude of Reservoir Hill. A roller coaster, a hot air balloon on strings? The proposed structure would look tacky at best, and then decrepit as upkeep and maintenance go by the way of future budget cuts.

I believe long term and sustainable growth in Pagosa Springs relies on protecting and preserving its natural beauty. As more and more towns go by the way of unfettered and thoughtless development, Pagosa remains a gem in what it has to offer. A charming town at the foothills of the majestic San Juans, tourists come here to hunt, to fish, to ski and to escape the urban sprawl of their homes. A shabby Six Flags will not keep them longer, nor have them recommending Pagosa to their friends and family. Is there nothing we can enjoy for ourselves or is it necessary to whore anything that is beautiful in pursuit of the almighty dollar?

Nicole DeMarco

Think small

Dear Editor:

Carbon-free kilowatts.

Originally, power production had to be centered at the source of power: large dams and huge coal-fired power plants. These required long high-voltage transmission lines and power-transforming substations to get the power to where it is used: factories, cities and our homes. As we slowly convert to more sustainable sources of power, necessitated by silting up of reservoirs behind the dams and awareness of health hazards and environmental degradation from atmospheric pollution by burning tons of coal, perhaps it is time for another look at sources and distribution. Wind energy and solar energy are already distributed, so why build big solar farms and huge windmill colonies and then distribute the power by the old method of transmission lines and substations? Let municipal budgets and government subsidies encourage homeowners and small businesses to produce their own solar or wind power. The technology is available and small businesses would be supported. The city of Boulder has been trying to develop its own green power system, in spite of resistance from Xcel Energy. The city of Longmont has had municipal power for decades, with residential rates about 30 percent lower than the big company residential rates.

It’s time to think small.

Norman French

Mag chloride

Dear Editor:

Reference Pagosa SUN 10/13/11, Roads.

Magnesium chloride was not to be used in order to save money. It wasn’t long ago I was reading no magnesium chloride. Now magnesium chloride is factored in at a rate of about $500,000 in the road fund. Let’s clean up this community and save road money at the same time. As well the environment and protect the ground water from runoff.

No on magnesium chloride.

Pam Morrow


Dear Editor:

Ya know, what we need here in P-Town is a big green money-laundering scheme. Why not? Obama is good throwing our tax dollars at fat cats. They could even fly right in to our top-rated air racer airport and get the ball rollin. Hopefully, they’d only hire local contractors to build our new job creating factory complex. Who cares if the whole thing’s a sham and wouldn’t last long. Obama and his czars will write the check and cover all of it.

However, you know what the truth is, jobs were never the point. Redistribution is. Folks, here’s the dirty secret: there is no renewable energy industry. The vast majority of these so-called green businesses aren’t businesses at all. They cannot survive outside of enormous government subsidies, which means capital hijacked from the private sector.

These green cover operations exist to funnel huge sums to (and from) those who are politically favored by Democrats. Not to mention provide elected Democrats with tour-the-plant photo ops. Maybe the “troglodyte” in Arboles, Mr. Bob Dungan, would lead the local tour?

None of us really need to be told that the amount of taxpayer money being thrown around is simply unimaginable. Actually, “thrown around” is the wrong way to put it. Thrown away. Down the toilet. We are looking at just staggering corruption and malfeasance. It. Is. A. Scam. And it’s been mostly under the radar.

Obama’s green deception was supposed to hold through the 2012 elections. But as fate would have it, beginning with Solyndra, the green bomb detonated prematurely. America is suddenly littered with the carcasses of failed “clean” firms that ripped taxpayers off to the tune of billions of dollars in federal and state funds. The sound you hear is the green shadow economy imploding.

BTW … there are at least 16 more federal loan guarantees on entities like Solyndra, worth over $10 billion, all approved by the same cast of characters at the White House and the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for the current mess. Let the dominoes fall.

Jim Sawicki

Fire response

Dear Editor:

We all need to thank our all-too-soon-forgotten firemen that we are so fortunate to have here in the Pagosa Springs area.

I’m referring to a lightning strike that hit a tree back of my home a couple of hundred feet up the hill, it was already called in to 911. After observing the fire myself for 45 minutes, I also called, and dispatch sent out their forward observer Kelly and the two of us watched for some time as we saw it starting to escalate. Being the professional that Kelly is, she then called and one of our favorite captains, DuWayne, arrived on scene with another member of the fire team and soon after that we began collecting other members, from Scott to another gentleman from the Chromo area who had all of his fire gear in the back of his Cherokee and offered up his assistance to climb the hill and attend to the fire before it got any larger.

Our good Captain DuWayne saddled up with two other firemen and up the hill they went in full regalia and they didn’t come back down the hill until they had the fire out some hour and 45 minutes later. With all the rain we had prior to the strike, it kept this fire down from what could have completely gotten out of control and been a real threat to all of us down in this valley of ours.

I believe this fire department got an awful good start from our old Chief Warren, with his very able assistant Manny and many others, and now with our new Chief Diane, how can we ask for anything else? We all should say a prayer for all these folks and what they provide for all of us lucky citizens here in God’s country.

My apologies to those of you that arrived on scene to lend help — apparently this old guy has forgotten your names. I guess this comes to all of us at some time, some sooner than later.

I personally want to thank the entire staff at the Pagosa Fire Protection District and their new Chief Diane Bower. With people like the ones that were dispatched out here Wednesday last, it has got to make Diane’s sleeping nights an awful lot easier. Good luck, chief.

Bob Sprague


Dear Editor:

Wednesday, Oct. 12, we drove into a gas station with a flat tire about 5:30 p.m. A real gentleman was there immediately to assist us. He said he worked next door and immediately brought a jack and had the car up and wheel off to show us a nail. He said it could be fixed and did so in such a short amount of time. He said he put a two-inch patch on it. He was not going to charge us — that was absolutely a no-no in my book!

We paid him, as he said his shop was closed and volunteered on his own time. Unfortunately, I did not get his name, but I got his business card and found out he is Cheric Duran. Pagosa Springs can be so proud of this young man assisting two gray-haired ladies traveling from Joplin, Mo., to Durango. We haven’t stopped praising that young man! Thank you, Pagosa Springs, for your hospitality.

Vonda Lea Weems

Night flights

Dear Editor:

I am writing in reference to the Low Altitude Tactical Navigation training flights (LATA) being proposed over the mountains and valleys of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

The U.S. Air Force at Cannon Air Force Base in Eastern New Mexico plans to fly CV-22 Osprey and C-130 Tanker planes on nighttime training flights in mountainous terrain. The large, loud, propeller planes would fly at altitudes as low as 300 feet, five nights per week, three flights per night, at speeds up to 250 knots. They will be “simulating real-world combat conditions” and practicing war games and spy technology over these mountains and valleys. Our skies will be militarized indefinitely (this is not a time-limited proposal).

The proposed training area includes 60,700 square miles of wild mountainous and forested terrain, including the entire San Juans, the Elks, the Maroon Bells, the Sawatch Range and the Uncompaghre Plateau. This includes migratory bird flyways, wildlife refuges, endangered species habitats, sacred Native American sites, private farming and ranching regions, and all of the silent wild places which are both a home for wildlife and a source of renewal and recreation for people from all over the world. There are hunters, wranglers, hikers, anglers, climbers, campers, boaters, bikers, skiers, spiritual seekers and artists spread everywhere throughout these mountains. There is no other place like this, from the quality of the light to the jagged 14,000-foot peaks, this area is unique. It is because of this uniqueness that people come here, people who are the mainstay of the $6.5 billion tourism economies of the small mountain towns scattered throughout this area.

The size, noise, pollution and low elevation of these planes would cause huge impacts on wildlife, livestock, geotourism, tinder-dry forests, watersheds, property values, Native American spiritual sites, etc. These helicopters, known to be unstable, recommended to be cancelled by the Dept. of Defense in 1998, will be flying and refueling in the dark at low altitude, over drought-ridden forests. The potential for disastrous forest fires is immense, as well as chemical contamination of our streams and watersheds.

The Air Force has recently released a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), with a deadline of Nov. 5. The 60-day response period is far too short for the huge area and number of people that will be affected by this. While the Air Force claims that the flights will avoid towns, wilderness areas or noise sensitive areas, none of these areas are mapped in the current plans.

The Peaceful Skies Coalition and many municipalities, counties and organizations are demanding the No Action alternative, a 60-day comment period extension, and that the Air Force proceed with an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a more comprehensive analysis of the effects of LATN.

Visit our website for more information, including maps of the proposed area, Proclamations from other groups and municipalities, to send a comment letter, and to join our Coalition by signing onto our “Shared Values Statement.”

Jameson Wells

Arroyo Hondo, N.M.


Dear Editor:

Help! I am in a terrible situation: For the past five years, I have lived three miles back on Meadows Drive, enjoying a quality of life free of any allergies or asthma for the first time in my life because Meadows Drive was a paved road. I was able to walk with my dog and work in my yard on an almost daily basis. This was nothing short of miraculous for me as I’ve had to deal with so many health problems most of my life; however, not here in Pagosa — the climate and altitude really agree with me.

Until recently, that is, when the county decided to change Meadows Drive and Pagosa boulevards (both North and South) from paved roads to gravel roads. Now, I live in a dust bowl. I am allergic to the dust and it has set off my asthma. I cannot walk with my dog. I cannot work outside in my yard, or even sit out to enjoy our beautiful fall weather as now I cannot breathe. I am mostly confined inside my home. Does anyone know what it’s like to gasp for air? I know I’m not the only person out there having allergy problems. I am miserable, and my quality of life that I finally had gotten is gone overnight. Please, please help me —I want my life back. Please put the pavement back on our Pagosa roads and eliminate all the dust in our clean air. I am suffocating.

If the county needs to chip-seal the roads to save money, then why can’t they do like the state and sweep it clean (totally) after a few days instead of just leaving it dusty? What am I supposed to do now?

Joyce Wright

Team Pagosa

Dear Editor:

I always thought people who wrote in to the editor were crotchety old people with nothing else to do in the day. Well if the cleat fits, I’ll wear it!

It started Saturday morning, we piled in the blue tank, decked out in our black and gold. We are headed over the pass for Centauri. While with my parents in the vehicle there’s never lack of conversation. My mom was red hot and fired up! She says, “Have you read Thursday’s sports section? I can’t believe he said our defense was weak. Let me read it to you,” she proceeds. “I think someone should write the editor! Where is McQuiggin from? He is obviously not a Pirate!” The article was some of the most negative local sports blarney I’ve heard. My Al pulled over the car and said “I’m gonna blow.” I’m thinking, Grandma is too.

We hashed over what to say to you and came up with some really valid points, but we should wait to write in because we were going to beat Centauri first then serve up some crow to Mr. McQuiggin to eat. Points like: the reason we gave up 16 points was because we pull our varsity players as soon as we have a respectable lead. We are trying to raise boys that tackle but have a conscious (sic). The team has worked their “booty’s” off to earn every game win and not just during the game season but the boys live the game, eat the game and watch the game seven days a week. Most since YAFL (fourth or fifth grade).

So here is my beef: Mr. McQuiggin could you please be a part of our team? Maybe wear a little black and gold pride once in a while. Haven’t you heard the song, “Boys of Fall?” There is a line in there about men sitting in the barber shop talking about the boys. It’s more than Pirate skulls embroidered on hoodies, its about being on a team, you know, Team Pagosa, where I support a local embroidery shop — she succeeds, she supports YAFL — they succeed. Parents buy a newspaper to read about their kids’ games, the SUN succeeds, The SUN supports churches and local charities — they succeed. Getting my drift?

If you don’t want to be on this pirate crew then jump ship or walk the plank!

(This is all written in good fun but I am passing along several opinions of fellow fans/readers) and by the way in all fairness, it wasn’t your writing that made my Al sick. Apparently he got the three-day flu!

Allison Wylie

Editor’s note: A sports reporter is not a cheerleader. The cheerleaders are located down near the field, in front of the crowd. They’re the ones with the pom poms.

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