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Letters to Editor

Pervasive myth

Dear Editor:

We live in a society conditioned by a pervasive myth: The myth of scarcity; that there is not enough, and will not be enough. The myth of scarcity contributes to the creation of a culture of fear. A culture of fear divides people from each other the same way war does. It suspends our natural goodwill. Fear makes it hard for us to share. To truly address fear makes our Love a matter of life and death.

Some of us want Wal-Mart because we believe it will relieve us from our poverty. But we have a choice. We can choose to look beyond fears of scarcity to a real wealth that defines our own community. We have a wealth of history, a wealth of diverse, talented, and capable people, a wealth of creative common human interest and a wealth of natural resources. This wealth enriches our collective community treasure, to which each of us, with our own gifts, in our own way, contributes.

A wealth of money also exists within our community. However, dependence on capital and debt as an exclusive medium of trade ultimately subverts the natural human need to share. By abdicating our self-reliance to the demands of today’s incomprehensible and corrupt financial institutions, we become constrained to revalue our native talents into cash before being legitimized to offer them. Such a system favors the few, but evolves to exploit and marginalize the many … until it becomes unjust. America’s brief flirtation with post WWII prosperity, a coincidence of geographic history, has left us with nostalgic illusions of perpetual affluence and a complicit support of violent corporate competition for market control over labor and resources worldwide. Our convenienced complacency, me-first isolationism, and ignorant faith in a once-upon-a-time benign market economy only conditions our children to addictions of consumerism and impels their lives toward future global conflict over limited resources. Both Wal-Mart and GoldmanSachs are suitable emblems for this collective egoic insanity.

Dependence on corporate hypercapitalism bifurcates wealth, divides people and compounds fears of scarcity. An energy and debt-dependent economy fragments our uniting community treasure into isolate family units with 30 day payments and lives driven to dysfunction by debt service. There is an obvious increasing socioeconomic division within the nation that’s mirrored in our own community. The ostentatious “villas” and luxury homes throughout Archuleta County stand in stark contrast to the remaining working ranches and modest homes of old town Pagosa. Some owners of lavish rural properties take little interest in community except as seasonal resident consumers so their true gifts are excluded from our community treasure.

Our community treasure grows as people gather to care, share and meet each other’s needs. When leadership demonstrates a surplus of wisdom by guiding people towards their true source and responsibilities, the difference between public opinion and public policy is reduced, and all share in the blessing. Communities, societies and nations evolve, mature and decay, to be replaced by others. Just like the individuals they are made of. The definition of “local” abides like the pattern of clouds moving across a sky of free sunlight. Abundance is local if Love is worldwide.

Barr Bentley

A comment

Dear Editor:

A comment on one of last week’s letters. The letter was Dina Lininger’s on documented USDA facts of the circus recently here. I commend her for writing a letter she knew wouldn’t be popular. She researched facts online and passed them on to people who might want to be informed likewise. But we have a certain faction in Pagosa (the ignorant Ostrich Group) who plunge their heads in the ground at the sound of truth and facts they don’t want to hear and they “kill” the messenger of those facts. Do, Dina … ignore those shallow people who only care about the revenue the circus brought. I dare say, these that attempt to “crucify” you are the same people who would sell out for 30 pieces of silver.

Peg Ellis

A pattern?

Dear Editor:

The town has been denied their $6 million GOCO River Corridors Initiative Grant. Reason: Matching funds were too low, indicating that the project was too ambitious for a town the size of Pagosa. The grant request began at $2 million, but by the time it was completed, it had ballooned to $6 million.

The newly convened TTC Reservoir Hill Task Force began with talk of modest and wilderness park-friendly improvements to Reservoir Hill. With the rushed purchase of a used and useless chair lift, the project grew to $4.3 million, including amusement park rides that will destroy what the town should be protecting on Reservoir Hill. The TTC is even recommending that the town mortgage Reservoir Hill to finance this boondoggle.

Past studies indicated that the community was not in favor of a big box in Pagosa. Big box limitations were voted in — and then voted out by 251 town voters — most likely resulting in a new Wal-Mart with a lovely view of Pinon Lake.

Is there a pattern here? Has the quest for more money come at the expense of sensible and right-sized planning for our town?

Cynda Green


Dear Editor:

I was downtown for a couple of events this weekend and witnessed firsthand the hospitality the people here show to the visitors/tourists who come to our awesome community. When I was helping set up for the Rapids and Rhythms River Festival, I overheard a group of tourists ask questions about the hot spring fountain by the parking lot. Morgan Murri stopped what he was doing and called upon Jim Miller (Pagosa Parks Superintendent) who took the time to explain to the group about the fountain and the hot springs in general. He was very informative and the group was very impressed with the depth of his knowledge. I looked up a short time later and saw Morgan using their camera to take a picture of them by the fountain. It was obvious that there were a lot of tourist downtown on Saturday, with the Car Show and River Fest going on at the same time, just a block apart. It was one big party on the River Walk, and I had at least a dozen out-of-town visitors ask what was going on. I talked to several others who were involved in the activities and all of them had people asking the same questions. Several people made the comment that this was one of the coolest things they had seen and how friendly the people here are. Kudos to the warm and friendly residents of Pagosa! This combined with all the natural beauty and outdoor activities is why people love to visit/move to this magnificent place! Kudos to the Chamber for an awesome event drawing in visitors and giving the locals some entertainment and a reason to get downtown! Those of you who have never been or haven’t been in a while, the Car Show has grown a lot. This year they had 141 entries! Awesome accomplishment! Kudos to Morgan Murri of GECKO and all the volunteers, participants and others who made the Rapids and Rhythms River Festival the party of the year! What a blast for locals and visitors alike!

Mike Hayward


Dear Editor:

Safety issue and Reservoir Hill, finally this topic is addressed in Pagosa SUN, May 17, 2012. Mention of Pagosa Police Chief Bill Rockensock raises the question of emergency and having access on Reservoir Hill.

This brings up another question of safety, fire — has anyone from the town government or Reservoir Hill Task Force spoke with our Forest Service, regarding fire danger on top of the hill? It is time to do so. In any other area, what amusement park is placed on top of a hill covered with pine trees?

It is time for town to listen to the community that live here and remember the survey of 71 percent, that said no to development on Reservoir Hill.

Pam Morrow

Memorial Day

Dear Editor:

The opinion from my P-Town coffee shop window seat relates that far too many Americans take the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for granted.

The very fact that I can type these words is testimony to the freedoms each of us have as individuals, to say what we think in a free society, with the right to engage in legitimate discourse.

Memorial Day weekend has become trivialized as the joyous start to summer and while it is a great thing to celebrate the end of the grip of snow and cold and look forward to warm days and nights, the three-day weekend is not about barbecues and picnics, or the latest sale at the new car dealership.

It is about remembering and thanking those who have given their all to protect the freedoms that we enjoy.

Memorial Day is about thanking a Vietnam veteran 40 years later, who never was thanked for his service, but was called a “baby killer” and spit on when departing a military base in California in the late 60s after months in a combat zone.

Memorial Day is about sending a card of thanks to Walter Reid Medical Center, the Naval Medical Center in San Diego or any veterans hospital that thanks someone you don’t even know for his or her sacrifice.

Memorial Day is about taking your kids to a veteran’s cemetery and laying flowers on the grave site of someone which may not have been visited for a dozen years as a thank you and opportunity to share the sacrifices made for freedom with the next generation.

Right now, hundreds of thousands of U.S. servicemen and women are away from their families in far flung places standing guard for our freedom to disagree openly over the direction of our great nation. Every one of them is putting their lives at risk for each of our freedom.

Memorial Day is the one day a year, where American’s say thank you. And we can never say “Thank You” enough.

As you fire up the barbecue, or stroll the River Walk in “Siberia with a view,” remember those who are in some dusty hole in a place far away dodging enemy fire. Remember those who marched through rice paddies under fire from an unseen enemy. Remember those who stormed the beaches of Omaha, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal. Remember those who fought the forgotten war in Korea and the 68,000 who were shot down and killed in bombing raids over Europe and naval battles in the Pacific during WWII.

It is these brave men who have made it possible for us to stand today as the greatest country in the history of the world.

Let us never forget them, and pray to God that we continue to protect what they gave so much to give us. The legacy of our heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.

On this Memorial Day, let’s remember that America is worth fighting for — every second of every day; even when a Tea Party cheerleader is somehow “disturbing” the bigoted, totalitarian, pro-Obama, far-left liberal claptrap.

Jim Sawicki

People’s plan

Dear Editor:

You don’t need a weatherman

to know which way the wind blows.

B. Dylan

There are a couple of points that need to be cleared up about the Reservoir Hill debate following my last letter and Jim McQuiggin’s article.

The TTC, or some of them, seem to think that if they can prove the amusement park will “work” with impressive numbers, everybody will be for it. “Work” seems to mean that large numbers of people will come to stay in Pagosa for the amusement rides. They do not understand the issue. The issue is the people believe the amusement park is totally inappropirate and not compatible for Town Park and specifically for Reservoir Hill. There are better ways to draw people.

Recently, the amusement park proponents have again touted their petition as having 500 to 600 signatures in favor of the rides. That petition is the definition of “incredible.” It has zero validity. You cannot sample America’s traveling public to make decisions about property owned by the citizens of Pagosa Springs. If you want a valid petition, you have to ask the right questions, in the right way, and ask the right people. Sighting this amateurish petition as proof of anything meaningful only further embarrasses the TTC and the Town of Pagosa Springs.

When the chair lift and amusement rides became the focus of the task force, many of the committee members withdrew support and membership. We did not stop, several of us have stayed in communication and continued on the path of considering the more compatible plans. We have seen our numbers grow with talented folks wanting to help.

The only indicator we have even close to valid is the SUN’s poll showing 71 percent of the respondents in favor of the lower key developments. I fully suspect if only town residents were counted, the number would be even higher. We have come to think of our effort as “The People’s Plan,” the TPP. We believe that if the amusement park rides are deleted, the public will come together behind the plans for a more wholesome and fitting direction for Reservoir Hill.

Norm Vance

Flag Day

Dear Editor:

Flag Day is once again approaching. This year, June 14 falls on a Thursday, and once again American Legion Mullens-Nickerson Post 108 will collect worn, faded, tattered and unserviceable U.S. and Colorado flags for proper disposal. Flags may be left at the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office in the courthouse building or at Vega Insurance and Financial Services, 818 Rosita Street (across the highway from the Sisson Library).

This is a good time to check the colors you are flying for needed replacement.

Roy Vega


Dear Editor:

Nancy Pelosi opined,“Pass this bill (Obamacare) and then you can read what is in it.” Well, Michael Connelly, expert Constitutional attorney and Constitutional law instructor, Carrolton, Texas, has read the entire massive text of HB 3200. He emphasizes, “What I found was far worse than what I had heard or expected.” The bill provides for “rationing of health care (especially for seniors), free health care for illegal immigrants, free abortion services, and forced participation in abortions by members of the medical profession.”

Furthermore, he states, “This legislation has no intention of providing affordable health care choices (would cost two trillion dollars more than originally reported)” … but “is a convenient cover for the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred” (Obama intends to be the utopian sovereign).

Connelly continues, “Major portions of the Constitution will effectively have been destroyed” with “Congress transferring the Constitutional Balance of Powers to the Obama administration and granting it authority over the lives and businesses of the American people,” which it has no legal authority to have. In addition, “I defy anyone to find in the Constitution any authority granted to Congress to regulate health care.”

This legislation provides for access by the administration to all citizens’ healthcare records (in violation of the 4th Amendment). There will be no right to privacy (in violation of the 3rd and 4th Amendments). If one decides to have no insurance or has insurance deemed not acceptable, a tax will be imposed. It is not called a fine, which would violate the due process of the 5th Amendment. It deprives one of property without the due process of law. Obamacare also violates the 9th and 10th Amendments, which primarily give authority to the people and to the states, not to the federal government.

Connelly reminds us that Article 6 of the Constitution requires members of both Houses to “be bound by oath to support the Constitution.” Moreover, “If I were a member of Congress, I would not be able to vote for this legislation. If I did, I would hope the American people would hold me accountable.”

Connelly concludes by urging all of us to “consult the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights to see exactly what we are about to have taken from us” unless we all act vociferously to have Congress repeal the law or the Supreme Court declare it unconstitutional, and in the coming election remove from the presidency the one who would perpetrate this abomination. Another reason is Obama’s arrogant or just clueless statement at a recent fund-raiser in Seattle, Washington, that Europe would be better off had it mimicked his economic moves: “Europe is still … in a difficult sate, partly because they didn’t take some of the decisive steps we took …”

Eugene Witkowski

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