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Letters to Editor


Dear Editor:

Both parties write frequently about ObamaCare. I’m sure they have read it, but for those of you that have not, let me give you an example of ObamaCare. As you’ve heard, it is a multi-thousand page bill, so I just “searched” for what it said about giving extra money to states recovering from major disasters, bribing them to vote for ObamaCare (like Louisiana and hurricane Katrina). Here are the words: “Sec. 2006. Special adjustment to FMAP determination for certain States recovering from a major disaster. Section 1905 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.1396d), as amended by sections 2001(a)(3) and 2001(b)(2), is amended — (1) in subsection (b), in the first sentence, by striking ‘subsection (y) and inserting ‘subsections (y) and (aa); and (2) by adding at the end the following new sub11 section: (aa)(1) Notwithstanding subsection (b), beginning January 1, 2011, the Federal medical assistance percentage for a fiscal year for a disaster-recovery FMAP adjustment State shall be equal to the following: (A) In the case of the first fiscal year (or part of a fiscal year) for which this subsection applies to the State, the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), increased by 50 percent of the number of percentage points by which the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the fiscal year without regard to this sub section and subsection (y), is less than the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the preceding fiscal year after the application of only subsection (a) of section 5001 of Public Law 111–5 (if applicable to the preceding fiscal year) and without regard to this subsection, subsection (y), and subsections (b) and (c) of section 5001 of Public Law 111–5. (2) In this subsection, the term disaster-recovery FMAP adjustment State means a State that is one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia, for which, at any time during the preceding 7 fiscal years, the President has declared a major disaster under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act…” FMAP is “Federal medical assistance percentage.”

Now you understand why Pelosi voted for it without reading it, and we understand why Obama had difficulty explaining it. I don’t know why they did not just project Sec. 2006 up on the teleprompter.

Within ObamaCare there are more than 2,500 references to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. There are more than 700 instances when he or she is instructed that they “shall” do something and more than 200 times when they “may” take at their sole discretion some form of regulatory action. On 139 occasions, the law mentions that the “Secretary determines.” In essence one person, appointed by and reporting to the president, will be in charge of the health care of 310 million Americans if ObamaCare is fully operational in 2014.

Harris Bynum

Alpha Drive

Dear Editor:

I have watched with interest the ongoing dialogue about ownership of Alpha Drive. I was the founding chairman of the Alpha/Rockridge Metro District which was established some 20 years ago. The district has been maintaining that road with Highway User Tax Funds (HUTF) from the county and mill levy since the inception of the district. As a consequence of the Fairfield Settlement, the road was completely reconstructed to county standards with the approval of the county.

Alpha Drive has been the primary entrance to the district as evidenced by the recent addition of the traffic light and associated internal routing of traffic. This was all done long before any public knowledge of proposed establishment of a Wal-Mart. After 20 years of defacto ownership by the metro district, it is interesting that the district has never been approached or consulted with respect to the changes that the town has effected within the area.

It appears the county has indicated a willingness to quit-claim the ownership of Alpha Drive to the Town of Pagosa. This would result in the disenfranchment of all the residents of the district who are taxpayers to the county, but would have no rights of involvement to changes in the primary exit/entrance to their area since they are not able to vote in town matters. This resulting taxation without representation should be a matter of serious concern to the Board of County Commissioners.

Ralph Goulds


Dear Editor:

Now for the ones screaming for gun control: where are the screams for his parents to be punished? They raised the child and since he had problems, they knew of them. The parents are the ones truly responsible for this loss of life in the movie theater, for if they would have taken him out behind the wood shed and taught him right from wrong as our Christian Bible tells us to do, then maybe he would have had respect for others and their lives and their freedoms. I think its time for all Christians to stand up and let’s let God and the rule book for life (the Bible) start deciding what is right for this country, for that is what it was founded on.

And why has no one pushed for Jim Sawicki as a write-in candidate for sheriff He seems to be the only true American with enough backbone and common sense to stand up for what’s right.

Gary D. Gray

Bangs, Texas


Dear Editor:

The most intelligent approach to the Wal-Mart situation appeared to me in a letter in The SUN by Muriel Eason. A Community Benefits Agreement to be drawn up and signed by Wal-Mart and the Town Council should include the several items listed:

No sales tax rebates.

No infrastructure taxpayer assistance.

No property tax breaks.

No help in financing Wal-Mart.

Cleanup of wastewater from parking lot.

If they fail, their building becomes the property of the town, etc.

I might add: locate in a commercial area away from a residential development.

There are some points I would not agree with, such as Wal-Mart contributing to other businesses, and promises on number of employees.

After all, Wal-Mart is a big and prosperous company. Why would they need any assistance? If they are bringing any benefit to the community, they will succeed. If not, they will fail, just like any enterprise. Let them prove it one way or another. It is unacceptable to me that government at any level should provide “corporate welfare.”

There is nothing new about the “big box” concept. Businesses do get replaced. Companies like City Market replaced the small grocery store; Ace Hardware replaced the small hardware store, etc.

The Pagosa SUN is a good publication, and its owner and editor should be commended on a great job. Compared to some of the local Denver metro papers, in my opinion, it is of superior quality.

Clive Lamprell

Golden, Colo.


Dear Editor:

Amigo Karl: What is happening in the greatest nation on earth? Our most beautiful America can become sad and broken hearted in a matter of a few seconds. The mass shooting of innocent people by cowards with machine guns is occurring much too often.

I am a disabled Vietnam veteran for about a year now, since I got my award for disabilities that happened some 45 years ago. Those of you who watch ABC news know that Robin Roberts is challenged by a blood disorder and is on sick leave. I can relate to her illness. I am challenged not by one, but by two blood disorders every single day. Hello, Agent Orange chemical warfare. I have never received a penny from the Department of Defense for Agent Orange, but the VA does provide me with free health care.

This is not about me.

Amigo, Karl, I want to address this note to the many wonderful people who acknowledged our group of Veterans for Veterans entry in the Fourth of July parade. From both sidelines of the parade route, we were overwhelmed with cheers, applause of gratitude and kindness; it could have brought tears to our eyes, but grumpy old men and women veterans do not cry. Just don’t ask me how many times I cried in Vietnam. If someone wants to know those stories, call in a request. I’ll write a story about the life of a combat mission gone to hell. We did not rate a single picture or a complimentary word in the newspaper about our float. We understand, we are young, a new group of community oriented service to Pagosa Country.

Adios, good day God give to you,

Sevedeo Martinez

Fiber Festival

Dear Editor:

In the 13 years our family has enjoyed a part-time home here in Pagosa Springs, we have often noted, with considerable perplexity, various opportunities for economic development that tend to go unrealized here.

Pagosa Springs possesses an amazing diversity of resources on which to base a vibrant and unified local economy and culture. When opportunities go untouched, inevitably, less desirable economic solutions may be forced upon the community out of necessity (let’s say no more about Wal-Mart).

In this vein, I would like to draw attention to the excellent short article by Pauline Benetti (PREVIEW, July 26), describing the nature and purpose of Pagosa Fiber Festival (PFF). To this I would like to add that PFF is a wonderful example of the sort of engine that drives economic activity of a very beneficial kind. Most festival attendees go home after PFF, having made a rather large economic transaction with our community in return for education and fun, but certain key participants, the local animal raisers and fiber artists promoted by the festival remain here, conducting activities and creating products that help to make this community an interesting place to live. Over the long term, PFF enhances Pagosa Springs’ reputation as a locale focused on sustainable agriculture, history, the outdoors and creative pursuits — and such a reputation is the foundation on which Pagosa can build economic success of a sort on which we can (I hope) all agree.

PFF can grow and it needs volunteers in order to continue. Please, Pagosa, don’t let the economic opportunity represented by PFF die for lack of support.

Kitty Milliken


Dear Editor:

Dear President Obama:

Don’t allow deluded people like Jim Sawicki and Paul Nobles to take the wind out of your sails. Anyone who is paying attention to reality will understand that you (with no help from our currently elected U.S. legislators) put the brakes on a freefall of the American economy that was leading fast and furious into another great depression, courtesy of policies like waging wars that weren’t paid for and cost trillions of dollars of your predecessor (he who must not be named).

You promised eight-percent unemployment and we are almost there (through growth in the private sector and no thanks to our republican governor who has axed public jobs to the bone). With your healthcare legislation, my husband, who was formerly not insurable due to a pre-existing condition, can now obtain health insurance — at a reasonable cost to boot. You promised to deliver Osama bin Laden’s head to a grieving country and you did just that. You are working to balance the budget with help from Warren Buffet who recognizes that he should be paying his fair share of taxes. Reagan’s “trickle down economics” doesn’t work. Hurray! Our troops are mostly out of Iraq — a ridiculous war based on lies told by, “he who must not be named.” Thank you also for thinking about our children’s future on this planet by raising MPG standards and looking toward green energy solutions while reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. The other guys want to frac our way to prosperity and to hell with clean water or the EPA. Not only that, but you can sing.

I know you are fighting against the super pacs that are intentionally confusing the issues for gullible people who get their news from Fox. You’re fighting those, even worse than my ex-friend who told me he wouldn’t ever vote for a (expletive deleted). At least he was being honest. It’s hard to believe that people are still so unevolved this long after the civil rights movement. Anyway, I am out here rooting for you to win. The alternative is unimaginable. Does Romney think he can carry the election or the weight of the country’s woes? He can’t even carry a tune!

Robin Nelson


Dear Editor:

Ya, we’re overdue fer a heart-ta-heart chitchat alright — real “critical analysis.” Despite Obama’s frightening image of military weapons on America’s streets, it’s pretty darn hard to seriously argue that a ban on “assault weapons” would reduce crime in the United States. As a matter-o-fact, even research done for the Clinton administration didn’t find that the federal assault-weapons ban reduced crime.

Actually, banning guns on the basis of how they look, and not how they operate, shouldn’t be expected to make any difference. And there are no published academic studies by economists or criminologists that find that the original federal assault-weapons ban to have reduced murder or violent crime generally. There is no evidence that the state assault-weapons ban reduced murder or violent-crime rates either. Indeed, it appears that crime has dropped because the ban no longer exists.

Since the federal ban expired in Sept. 2004, murder and overall violent-crime rates have actually fallen. In 2003, the last full year before the law expired, the U.S. murder rate was 5.7 per 100,000 people. Preliminary numbers for 2011 show that the murder rate has fallen to 4.7 per 100,000 people. In fact, murder rates fell immediately after Sept. 2004, and they fell more in the states without assault-weapons bans than in the states with them.

Correlation is not causation, of course, but these results also are consistent with logic and intuition. If law-abiding people have more access to guns, makes sense ta me that this makes life more difficult for criminals. They really don’t wanna mess with any “Dorito-stained finger” Americans.

Let’s look at rural Arizona; given the upsurge in border violence, it’s likely that residents feel the need to defend themselves against drug predators, coyote gunmen or others. Yes, they can use semiautomatic rifles and shotguns, protected by the Second Amendment and unlikely to be banned by local law, but women generally don’t care to put in the training needed to master them. Nor can the elderly handle them adeptly. For them, the Glock with a 33-round magazine is the weapon of maximum utility. You can load it on Sunday and shoot it all month (nobody wants to reload a gun while being shot at). It’s light and easy to control. You don’t have to carry it or conceal it; it’s under the bed or in the drawer until needed. When the question arises of who needs an extended magazine, the answer is: the most defenseless of the defenseless.

BTW … If the liberal clowns think that so-called “assault weapons” can hold larger magazines than hunting rifles you are mistaken. Any gun that can hold a magazine can hold one of any size. And that’s true for handguns as well as rifles. A magazine, which is basically a metal box with a spring, is also trivially easy to make and virtually impossible to stop criminals from obtaining. So, what are ya sanctimonious liberals gonna do now?

Suggestion: Liberals should turn all their pistols (you might have an extended magazine) over to the cops, cause they’ll protect you. They can git there in time — and good luck. Cause yer definitely gonna need it!

Jim Sawicki


Dear Editor:

Some entity in the local emergency response system has a new siren on one of its vehicles. And I like it! I sounds more like a howling dog, but it is rhythmic. Easy to understand.

Get where I’m going?

Bob Winners


Dear Editor:

It looks like the elected officials of Pagosa Springs are about to move forward with taking Alpha Drive after years of denying ownership and responsibility of the road. After all, Wal-Mart needs the access, and Pagosa needs Wal-Mart, right? But before the town eventually gets dragged into court and spends more tax dollars to defend another bad decision, let’s think about turning a past bad decision into something useful.

Remember that $41,000 boondoggle of buying an obsolete ski lift? The ski lift with all the chairs rusting away until the town finally figures out there’s no support (or money) for a Reservoir Hill amusement park? Here’s what we do: brush off the rust and paint a few of those hard steel chairs. Get ‘em looking real nice and new. Then we roll all the comfy padded chairs out of the council chamber and permanently install those hard steel ski lift seats for the mayor and council to sit on during those annoying public meetings. After squirming around for a few hours in real pain caused by their past waste of taxpayer money, they might think about the consequences of their next bad decision.

I’ll bet they got enough spare chairs to spiff up and install over at the school board, county commissioners and PAWSD to make those folks think twice, too.

Marc Yalom

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