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Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor:

Wal-Mart lied to us.

Wal-Mart told us that they will build the smallest store in Pagosa at 91,000 square feet.

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market stores are coming to Colorado. Five stores will open in the Denver area.

The Denver stores range in size from 48,000 to 57,000 square feet, and each one features a self-serve deli, a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as meats, cheeses and prepared foods. In addition to the fresh produce and fresh-baked bread items, the stores will carry a full line of groceries, including frozen foods, meat and dairy products, and organic items. Customers will be able to find locally popular items. The stores will each carry low-alcohol beer.

The stores have pharmacies staffed by full-time pharmacy managers and offer a full selection of health-related products and a health and beauty area. Additional areas include stationery, paper goods, pet products, hardware items and a Celebration Station, where customers can buy gift wrap and gift bags, greeting cards and party supplies. Customers can also print their own digital photos at the stores, which will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Bruce Baillie

Editor’s note: To date, Wal-Mart has not altered its plan to build a 92,000-93,000 square-foot store in Pagosa Springs. Wal-Mart has not approached town officials with a plan to place a “Neighborhood Market” in Pagosa.

No apology

Dear Editor:

I do not owe anyone an apology. I am stating truths about abortions and homosexuality being sins. I have not attacked any one person about either sin. I hate the sin and love the sinner, because the sinner is a child of God.

Abortion is a sin, it is murder, end of story. When does the soul inter the body? God loves us to be able to live with him, and we can not do that without a soul. A baby is given a soul at the moment of conception, so if it were to be aborted (miscarriages not man made abortions) the baby will live with God. Having had many miscarriages, this is truly a great relief to know they are with God. Mr. E. Witkowski’s letter was right on the truth about abortion.

Homosexual activity is a sin. We are to read the bible and study and research to find the true meaning that God gave us in His word. If you truly understand the commandments, homosexual activity is a sin. God did not intend for men to have sex with men and women to have sex with women. Just being a homosexual is not a sin, just having homosexual relations. Once again homosexuals are called celibacy. This is truly a special calling by God. We are not to read the bible and interpret it to suit ourselves. Even if this is 2012, the commandments still mean exactly the same as when God gave them to Moses. We are to live to suit God, He is not to change to suit us!

Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God because of the homosexual activity, drugs and alcohol. They were given warnings and they just continued their sinful ways. God hates these activities. We Christians are to help teach others of Gods love for them and He will forgive them if they ask Him for forgiveness and if they will try never to do the sin again. We are all broken somehow and we must ask for forgiveness.

Obama is a liar, so when he says he is not a Muslim, I don’t believe him. He was born in Kenya and I know that for a fact! The Kenyans are excited to show where he was born. He also has not given a viable birth certificate. A real Christian would not bow down to a Muslim for any reason. He put this nation in an inferior spot next to them when bowed to them. He is not Christian, when he says that this country is not a Christian nation. And the list goes on. He has changed his mind many times, especially when he does not have his TelePrompTer in front of him. Ask him how many states there are in the U.S. I think as president you would know that. Obama is Soros’ puppet. Which is the most evil, Obama or Soros?

Governor Romney is a Mormon, their family values are values that will help Governor Romney lead this country. I know a great deal about the religion having many friends and family that are Mormon. He is born here in the U.S. and he truly loves this country. Has he done everything to my liking? No! But I sure would rather have a Mormon than a moron! With Governor Romney we have a chance to get this nation back to one that is respected in the world.

Whoever wins, we must keep our eyes on them and make sure they are not doing things to harm our wonderful country. We must remain free to worship God in a Christian way.

I wish Ms. S. Hoklotubbe and Ms. T. Rubin a very blessed life. Ms. Rubin has many blessings stored for her in heaven for taking care of her special child.

Sandy Bramwell


Dear Editor:

There’s a lot of concern lately regarding the quality of education in this country and I believe that issue recently hit home in Archuleta County. Despite his extensive education, I don’t believe our District Attorney reads very well or really gets the gist of what he does read. Or for that matter, neither do a lot of the people whose analyses of the Hayward matter have been published in this paper.

As I read both laws referred to in this hullaballoo, they are very specific, stating that money or employment promised by a candidate to an elector (i.e., a registered voter, singular, and not the electorate) in return for his/her support or compliance in the election process is illegal. Likewise, it is illegal for a voter to receive either of these if proffered.

What has Mr. Hayward offered to any voter? Is there even one registered voter who has received an assurance that his/her favorite charity would receive a donation (money) out of Mr. Hayward’s salary? Has even one registered voter approached Mr. Hayward with the proposition to support his candidacy in return for a donation to a certain charity? Did Mr. Hayward offer to make donations in the voters’ names, thus creating a plausible beneficial return to those particular persons? What would Hayward have to gain in return if he were elected but the chance to work for nothing?

Commissioner Lucero made a promise to an attendee at the Democratic Party’s chili supper last month. An aside to his address to the gathering, he singled out a person by name and promised him personally that Cloud Cap Road would be paved next year. Could it have been inferred: “if you vote for me and I’m reelected?” And wouldn’t that have been just as “illegal” by such reasoning? Likewise, the charge against Mr. Hayward is totally inferred and lacks any substance, but someone complained to the sheriff who was more than willing to take it to the next step.

Everyone should recognize that this strategy is too similar to a ploy frequently used by powerful established interests, virtually costing them nothing, to achieve their own ends or protect their status from a small competitor. A nuisance suit having little or no credibility is filed against the competitor, knowing that he can’t afford the cost of litigation and, therefore, usually withdraws.

In the Hayward case, the county was manipulated into doing the legal end and, on his reading the law incorrectly, the DA foolishly pressed for a plea bargain. Had Mr. Hayward refused to comply with it, what an embarrassment it would be for the DA then to take the case to court only to have the Secretary of State’s office testify in favor of the defense.

The Hayward matter might be a good lesson for high school students on how justice is sometimes worked in the world’s greatest democracy.

Henry Buslepp

Editor’s note: First, the district attorney did not offer Mr. Hayward a “plea bargain.” The offer was a resolution to avoid court action: cease an allegedly illegal activity or be prosecuted. A plea bargain involves a situation in which a defendent accepts certain conviction on a lesser charge in lieu of probable conviction on a greater charge. Second, the statute defines as illegal any personal contribution promised by a candidate to individuals or organizations in an attempt to induce an elector to vote for the candidate. Third: the Secretary of State’s office did not offer a legal opinion in the matter and was careful to make that point clear.

High school students might also benefit from considering the notion that a credible political leader who knows he or she is right should not be deterred by the threat of prosecution.

Roads, bridges

Dear Editor:

I want to address road issues. Older residents will remember we commissioners and our county planner, and a great professional civil engineer who donated lots of time to help us, put together a great instrument called road specifications. This we did in early ’80s. During my term in office, this specification applied to all new developments and throughout the county.

Now apparently we have people running the county road and bridge who think they are experts at rebuilding roads.

They have made some roads much more dangerous by raising roads 20 to 24 inches and reduced width of these roads to 20 to 22 feet wide, with no shoulders. Come winter I feel for people who will fall over the edge. The road specification we drafted was a 24-foot-wide riding surface with plenty of shoulders to allow for good snow removal.

So what gives, commissioners? Are you trying to save money by rebuilding roads with no shoulders? But your spending lots of money foolishly having enormous amounts of rock to raise roads, when it’s not needed. And by the way, both culverts are still buried on County Road 500. Buried since last year. Please, commissioners, go for a ride on County Road 700 and other roads, also. Have we got motor graders and operators? Equipment looks good sitting in yard.

Commissioners, would you please go check the two bridges on County Road 700. They were built by a professional contractor and the engineers hired or working for the county never made sure the compaction on the approaches to the bridges were done right. Terrible bumps due to settling. Both ends of bridges.

Chris Chavez


Dear Editor:

I could not believe the smug and disrespectful comments of Red Cross officials in reaction to Mitt Romney’s appeals for aid for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. With salaries of the president of Red Cross well over $400,000 and the president of United Way close behind, I’ll give my donations to the Salvation Army. Associated Press must have loved to have the Red Cross politicize this disaster and spin it towards Obama’s favor. That’s what Associated Press Chairman Dean Singleton wanted. And apparently that’s what he and his reporters are getting! Thank God there are still a few independent newspapers who are not buying the Obama agenda.

Joseph DuPont

Towanda, Penn.


Dear Editor:

I would like to explain a little bit about Whips, “Women Helping in Pagosa Springs.” I started this grassroots group four-and-a-half years ago with 10 or 15 friends. We get together the last Tuesday of the month (except for December) at different restaurants and venues in the area and I try to insist that the meal cost a total of no more than $10. The people who continue to host us are just wonderful. We then collect any extra money in an envelope — talk about women or children who need a little help and give the money away. We have no officers as such, no bank account and a very simple mission statement. Then four women who make phone calls each month. We use name tags (first names so we can remember our new friends). The most important point I wish to make is that any women can join us for the wonderful time we have. Please don’t wait for us to ask you. Call me if you are interested. During the summer, we have had over 70.

Cindy Gustafson


Dear Editor:

Last year was an interesting Veterans Day: As usual, those of us old enough to remember honoring Armistice Day, celebrated, “the 11th month, the 11th day, and the 11th hour,” but it was also the 11th year!

This Veterans Day, as always, is a great time to thank a veteran for his or her service to our country. Many years ago I was helping at a friend’s wedding. One of the relatives in attendance had served aboard the U.S.S. Butler during WW II. He was wounded during a kamikaze attack at the battle of Okinawa. A Japanese plane ripped a diamond-shaped hole in the hull of his ship. As a result my friend lost a finger and received the Purple Heart. It was a blessing to shake his hand and thank him for risking his life and being wounded for our freedom.

Veterans are everywhere. Vets from WW II are dying off by the hundreds every day. Look around and find someone to thank for what they did to let you live in peace and liberty. I like the hats that veterans wear these days. It used to be that many vets would not (or could not) speak about their service for Uncle Sam — even after 30 years the emotional wounds were still too fresh for many to bring themselves to talk about it. Others simply felt that they had just done their duty like everybody else.

Today, thousands of veterans are willing to wear a “WW II veteran” hat or a “Vietnam vet” hat to let others know that they served. Those hats make it much easier to talk with a serviceman and thank him for helping to keep us safe.

Not too long ago, I had a friend in church who served on the Iowa class battleship, the U.S.S. New Jersey, during the surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay. I used to enjoy coming up to him, saluting, and saying, “Permission to come aboard, Sir!” Every Sunday I still have the honor to shake the hands of two Marines and tell them “Semper Fi!” Veterans sacrificed much. Surely we can take a precious moment to thank them.

Yours because they cared,

Dan Manka

Fairmont, W.V.


Dear Editor:

Several years ago I was asked to share my athletic events experience and background with the town of Pagosa Springs and our community.

At that time the TTC was looking to further develop events to attract a broader demographic of visitors and increase tourism. It was a logical fit for me to join the TTC and offer my experience, expertise and understanding of endurance athletes and events that attract them.

In the last three years the TTC has, in my humble opinion, made significant and impactful strides forward in tourist attraction, event support and event funding criteria that has brought thousands of new visitors to our town and has begun to develop a reputation for Pagosa Springs as an “up and coming,” vibrant, athletic, community.

I am both proud and grateful for the board’s openness to my input and the accomplishments we have made. We’ve proven the positive impacts the right events have on our town in general and our community as a whole.

During this time period my charity, Giving Every Child Knowledge of the Outdoors (GECKO 501(c)(3)) has grown from a grass roots small idea into a growing, giving entity that has exceeded my expectations for providing scholarships for area students, attracting new tourists and offering exciting events and festivals enjoyed by visitors and residents alike. Certainly this journey would have been much slower and more arduous without the support GECKO has been given from the town and the TTC. We are appreciative and proud of this relationship.

Having laid the elementary groundwork for what I believe to be one of the primary economic drivers of our tourism economy (athletic events, athletes and races) the time has come for me to resign from the TTC.

In doing so, I will be able to focus more of my energy on the events that will put Pagosa Springs on the map of endurance athletes from around the globe and at the same time this will remove any potential or perceived conflict of interest between the TTC and GECKO.

GECKO will continue to grow (quite significantly in the coming years), continue to add dynamic events that will embrace both our local citizens and destination tourists and most importantly, continue to provide scholarships for our local students to experience outdoor adventure education.

It is my hope that the TTC will continue to support all the events that attract tourists to our community and stay focused on their mission of increasing tourism in a way that reflects most positively and leverages most effectively the incredibly unique natural assets we all love and value. Doing so will enhance the experience of being in Pagosa Springs for both residents and visitors alike.

Thanks to each of you for your friendship and your support, past, present and future.

Morgan Murri


Dear Editor:

As I prepare to honor Veterans Day, I remind myself to also commemorate the original Armistice Day. It is also known as Remembrance Day and, by an act of Congress, is “a day dedicated to the cause of world peace.” I will take the traditional two minutes of silence “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” to honor and remember all those who bring an end to war and forge lasting and just peace

Terry Pickett


Dear Editor:

There seems to be outrage about campaign contributions mostly describing industry-buying privileges. I am sure this occurs regularly, but these same people do not complain about labor or actors. Obama has a fund-raiser with actors paying $40,000 a plate (the little people of the Democratic Party), while the entertainment industry enjoys immense tax advantages called loopholes. No complaints there?

I was reminded of my childhood when PBS recently carried a report on a union representative “volunteering” full time for a democratic PAC. As a child, my neighbor was a union agent who got a paid sabbatical to study “community issues” for six weeks before the election when campaigns were more reasonable in length. He was expected to show up all day at the democratic headquarters. How is this different than a company donating money to its cause?

I have no problem with people advocating their position. Our campaigns demand unreasonable expenses and their duration is fatiguing. Attack ads are often educational, but too frequently emotional issues without substance. Even if I voted against widget subsidies, am I wrong to accept them as a widget maker? Would Americans allow old people to starve in the dark? And, of course, the spin: In Vietnam, we took second place while the Viet Cong took next to last.

James Turk

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