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Letters to Editor

Optimism

Dear Editor:

Today, I came across a fantastic term, ”thought curator.” How perfect a title for so many seeking the time and place when American optimism offered so much global hope and opportunity.

We’re rapidly approaching the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Having been in NYC at that time, I was also in shock, but had the duty of risk/crisis manager for a firm in Manhattan. Luckily my wife was in Germany; but I had a son midtown. For him my wish was simple: get out of town, go now, I hear the midtown tunnel or the Brooklyn Bridge is still open. Then my job was to assist in calming the fears of the employees, determine how to shelter or get them home, protect the buildings and issue pay checks in three days.

Did you know we had a chance to control/monitor all the cell phone communications in Afghanistan 20 months before 9/11. The FBI/CIA/NSA called this operation “Foxden.” The operation failed because our “intelligence” services couldn’t agree on control. So, 9/11 occurred.

“Thought curator.” Can this title also help explain why our current government is failing us? Is the Tea Party unconsciously representing the last bastion of open optimism? Are they our “thought curators” for the optimistic drive that distinguished America? Keeping in mind all mankind is a mixture of evil, greed and altruism, is the Tea Party just part of the global “actors” for that optimism, like those participating in outbursts of hooliganism, “Arab Springs,” and political challenges, even in China? Is the Internet the global “intercom” for a sea-change in how governments function?

I am convinced America will not fail. But, if we do, it’s because we lost our optimism and refused to find a way to compromise, overlooked history and were unwilling to risk change.

Dave Blake

Family

Dear Editor:

Pagosa Springs is one of the closest communities that I know. When a family in Pagosa finds themselves in a situation that they need help with, the community comes together to support them.

A family in our community needs help now, our “school family.” Three of our four schools are among the worst ranked facilities for standard building conditions in Colorado, per the Colorado Department of Education.

Pagosa, we need to protect our children and give them safe, new state-of-the-art faciliies, where they can thrive.

This community understands better than most how to come together and support each other. We need new schools for our children, and for our community. The time is now: Save our energy, save our children, save our community.

I believe it is very important that all of our Pagosa family understands both sides of the argument for the bond issue. I believe, with all my heart, that if we do what is right for our children, we are doing what is right for our community.

Cheryl Bowdridge

Seeds

Dear Editor:

I am so proud of the staff of Seeds of Learning for their most recent accomplishment. They have reached a goal that only eight percent of their profession has attained across this nation. What an awesome asset to our community, not only to draw successful professional families, but to offer the less fortunate families of our community an opportunity to early care and education second to none.

Thanks Pagosans for your vision and support to create such an awesome facility. It has been a joy to watch my grandchildren be so skillfully prepared for life by this “nationally accredited program.” Thanks staff at Seeds for your dedication to your calling. You’re my heroes. Sometimes it takes a “pushy broad” to get things done.

Matt Bridges

Reflection

Dear Editor:

Sadly, I just learned that Pagosa Country has lost yet another poor soul to suicide.

The suicide statistics for this area are alarming, seemingly without logical explanation. This should give us all pause for reflection.

Most of us are blessed to live in such a bucolic paradise, but for some it can be a nightmare. There are those who work two or three low-paying jobs a day and still find it hard to make ends meet. While the more fortunate are enjoying our mountains, rivers, lakes, restaurants, plays and music events, some have no time to participate in a lifestyle that drew them here in the first place. I’m sure that some people in trouble look around at the beauty and the happy people of Pagosa and wonder why they can’t be happy, too.

Let us think of those in our midst that, for one reason or another, are suffering in silence.

Peace be with you!

DC Duncan

No excuse

Dear Editor:

It appears that Jim McQuiggin’s August 18 front page SUN article, “School Bond Issue: Pros and Cons,” regarding an Aug. 15 public forum, was actually phoned in by school superintendent Mark DeVoti and — his School Facilities Advisory Committee (SFAC).

How else can one explain an article that reports statements that were never made, while at the same time ignores highly pertinent statements offered by the public?

I attended — and recorded — that Aug. 15 SFAC presentation, touted as the public’s opportunity to comment on and ask questions about a proposed $52 million tax increase to finance a consolidated mega-campus.

Mr. McQuiggin wrote:

Later in the meeting, attendee Cynda Green repeated many of [Bill] Hudson’s talking points and likewise, cited the same CDE assessment results, stating that the high school (the newest school building) had been rated the lowest, with the other three buildings rating much higher.

Either Hudson and Green had not read the study or had misinterpreted the results. In fact, that study rated the high school the highest out of the district’s four school buildings (3.74 overall with a condition rating of 3.5), the elementary and junior high schools rated lowest (elementary — overall 3.05, 3.23 condition rating; junior high — 3.07 overall, 3.01 condition rating.)

I am the same Cynda Green who supposedly “repeated many of Hudson’s talking points” — yet here are the words I actually spoke, transcribed from my audio recording:

Ken [Vickerstaff], you said earlier that conceivably we may not have enough money in the coffers in a year to raise the necessary bond money. I agree with that and I think that’s pretty much an indication that this project is way too big for this community.

I understand we need to put some money in the schools for repairs and whatever. But this is a little economically depressed community, and if we’re that close to not being able to raise enough bond money because of the [decreased] amount of money we raise through assessments — I don’t know — I think that’s an indication that [the mega-campus project] might be too big.

I’m concerned that you have no Plan B if this initiative doesn’t pass. Why aren’t you putting an initiative on the ballot for school repairs? There is no Plan B.

Mark [DeVoti], what’s a five-year roof? How long ago did they fix this roof?

What’s the warranty on it?

So the 12-year-old high school is starting to fall apart?

As anyone can see, I never mentioned CDE assessments. None — not one — of my other concerns had been mentioned earlier by Mr. Hudson.

I believe Mr. McQuiggin intended to discredit me by portraying me as some sort of puppet for the Pagosa Daily Post. My comments and questions were generated by my own thoughts. Mr. McQuiggin failed to report my most perceptive comment, regarding bonding limits. In fact, he failed to report most of the opponents’ insights and questions.

Perhaps Mr. McQuiggin should record meetings so that he has no excuse to report other than what transpires?

Cynda Green

Support

Dear Editor:

After attending a session last week at the junior high concerning the bond issue of building a new school campus in Pagosa, I walked away well informed and aware. I would like to thank the school board, steering committee and other consultants and professionals involved in the work and their presentations.

The physical state of our older three schools was talked about in great detail. I learned that there will be a bond issue regardless of renovation or a new build.

I support the new build that will last much longer than a band-aid, short-term approach. I also support a new build that will provide local jobs, and will draw newcomers to the area.

Dale Johnson

Furious

Dear Editor:

I am furious with people who let their horses, sheep or other animals run anywhere they want. I guess they feel their lives are more important than their neighbors.

I live in Aspen Springs Unit 5 and just because we want to have a small pond for wildlife and our enjoyment, we have to constantly run livestock away from the water. Since we have to haul every drop of water we use, it gets very expensive.

My flowers are mangled and manure has to be removed from our yard.

In the 1800s, we had an “open range” policy, but people were few and far between. Now we have hundreds living in close proximity. Things have changed.

If the people who own these animals can’t afford to feed them, then they should be forced to sell them.

Animal control can remove stray dogs, why not other animals?

Georgia Parnell

Burglar

Dear Editor:

I’m surprised! Now wondering when Obama is going to go after those iPad3s coming out — that’s a luxury. Why not hit up the iPhone5 in advance? Heck, let’s hit up everything that’s a sign of progress in this country, and jist tax the hell out of it so it ceases to exist. Let’s just tax ourselves into the Stone Age. You leave it up to Obama, and we won’t need to be defeated by al Qaeda; we’ll end up in the seventh century on our own.

Yet, after robbing this country blind, spending all we have and then much, much more — at dollar figures higher than cannot even be conceived by the human brain; he is considered the reasonable adult, for punishing the achievers and whipping the job creators into giving him leave to take and spend more. He is spending us into an abyss we may not be able to crawl out of, and, according to him and his czar comrades, House Republicans were beyond the pale for not rushing to shake on the tax-and-spend deal.

Compared to the admittedly indefensible spending under Bush (and under the Democrats, who actually controlled the purse starting in 2006), this regime of fools isn’t even in the same ballpark. Or universe. It is a remarkable spectacle, for all to see, of the left having public tantrums, hell-bent on raising taxes.

Other than slashing defense, where have Obama or the Democrats specifically said they are prepared to cut anything? Does anybody actually believe the guy who did more to destroy this economy and grow the government is bringing a “balanced approach”? It’s like expecting the burglar to give interior design tips on the house he just burgled. We don’t want interior design tips from Obama. We want him to stop stealing from our children. Of course he refuses! He’s a burglar. All liberals are burglars. All liberals are thieves. That’s what they do. It is who they are.

But, instead of a robber’s mask, they wear smug superiority. It’s a deflection play. As they steal, they hide behind innocents. For Obama’s purposes, it’s corporate jet versus kids; it’s Big Oil versus college education. He’s pitting groups of Americans against each other.

Obama’s strategy is to make it a clash of classes. Rich versus poor. Us versus them. Those who support children, food safety, medical research and, presumably, puppies and apple pie versus the rich fat cats who don’t. In Obama’s world, Democrats are for kids and Republicans are for corporate jets. It’s all he’s got. He cannot run on his record. No one with his record could. He can’t say, “Elect me, and get four more years of this!”

But it doesn’t much matter what he says now; the American people see the burglar for who and what he is. When a conservative president hits the White House with a Constitutional conservative Congress. We can start reversing this debacle overnight. The only thing that Obama and the Democrats have to offer is fear itself — nothing else.

Jim Sawicki

Support

Dear Editor:

Recent discussions regarding affordable childcare options effects on economic development efforts in our community have hopefully escalated this long-standing issue. 15 years ago, a survey conducted by Operation Healthy Communities identified childcare as the number one need in Archuleta County, impacting parents needing to work and teen mothers wanting to continue their education. Businesses locating to an area will scope it out to see what resources are provided for their most important asset, their workforce.

Seeds of Learning Early Care and Education Center is a private nonprofit community treasure serving up to 57 children of working families in Archuleta County. Through 2010, 85 percent of the children were low income and 28 percent of the children served met poverty guidelines for Archuleta County. Seeds is not a babysitting service, but rather a NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited high quality early care and education center. In essence, they are education preparatory for a successful life.

Neither the town nor the county provides operating income to Seeds. Funding comes from tuition, individual giving, foundations, local businesses and special events. It would be desirable to have more local government support to reduce tuition expense, although businesses and employees with young children alike can benefit from a “childcare benefit” offered by the business.

In a recent SUN article, Lynne Bridges quotes Jumpstart September 2009, “The sad truth is that the vast majority of children who start behind, stay behind, leading to an increase in our nation’s dropouts rate among low-income and minority students. A 2005 estimate by Cecilia Rouse, professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University, show that each high school dropout costs the nation approximately $260,000 over the course of his or her lifetime. But the problem goes far beyond financial cost; America’s literacy gap robs us of our country’s highest ideal that every individual has the right and opportunity to succeed.”

Seeds of Learning is actively addressing community needs through their efforts and should be better supported by town, county and economic development efforts.

Julie Simmons

Store

Dear Editor:

Karl Isberg, You hit the nail on the head when you wrote about City Market being known to leave a place they own empty. It makes me so sad. I really miss the smaller, old store downtown. I want to share a letter I wrote to the City Market headquarters this morning. (Might be a little sarcastic.) It goes as follows:

“Please! Re-open the old town store in Pagosa Springs. Please? The store up in the Fairfield area is always crowded, and a lot of time when there’s a good sale on something, you’re completely out! And if you just need milk and eggs or bread it’s a pain in the a** to get it. That corner where the milk is, is a nightmare. Even the self checkouts are always crowded. If you won’t open up the old store, will you at least lease it to another grocery store? You could “make money” that way. After all, you claimed the reason you closed it in the first place is because you weren’t making money on it. Make lease money. What have you got to lose? Before I close I want to add: I think your employees are wonderful. They’re doing the best they can, but if it sounds like I’m unhappy now, wait till the snow starts falling. I wonder if you’ll reply back.

Sincerely,

Lori Werhan”

I wonder if there’s anyone else out there who feels like I do?

I really miss our little store downtown.

Lori Werhan

Constitution

Dear Editor:

Mr. Porco’s letter (SUN 8/18/11) requires a response. There are indeed differences in issues between the 18th and 21st centuries. However, the Fathers did not consider the Constitution as a “living” document to be changed at will, but as a permanent and unchangeable one. That is precisely why they provided for amendments and the preservation of the original document intact. It is not just a “magnificent starter” as Mr. Porco maintains. What would happen if everyone tried to impose his or her interpretation, as does Mr. Porco? Who would be right? There would be chaos and anarchy. On what basis does Mr. Porco offer his interpretation in light of the Fathers’ intentions? There must be stability and unalteration.

I invite Mr. Porco and others who follow his false reasoning to consider the following. Alexander Hamilton wrote in 1775: “The Sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for … they are written, as a beam by the hand of the Divinity Himself, and cannot be erased or obscured by moral power.” In other words, the Fathers understood the rights and documents to be unchangeable because inspired by God, not to be changed by people.

Three are too many instances of the Fathers’ acknowledgement of the hand of God in the writing of the Declaration and Constitution to quote, but the obvious one stands out from the second paragraph of the Declaration. What Hamilton references are the equal creation of all men (including women and slaves) and the “endowment by their creator of certain unalienable (i.e., cannot be changed or removed) rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

As the highway signs in Texas say, “Don’t mess with Texas,” so we must not mess with out founding documents, given us by God’s guidance acknowledged repeatedly by the Fathers. Updates are provided for by the documents themselves. They are not to be done by changing the documents. Mr. Porco has fallen prey to the ideology of the Senate and White House today, which ignore and circumvent the Constitution at will and want to change it as being outmoded. Change to what?

I also invite Mr. Porco and his ilk to study the federalist papers, especially numbers 9, 10, 39, 56, 57, 58, 62, 68 and 71,which emphasize the establishment of the country as a republic, not a democracy. The Constitution never mentions the word “democracy” and uses “republic” once in Article IV, Section 4: The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government …” (as is the federal government itself).

The Tea Party and republican presidential candidates stand firmly for a return to follow the Constitution intact and unalterable. They do not deserve vilification by Mr. Porco, President Obama or the Democratic Party, who advocate “messing” with the Constitution.

Eugene Witkowski

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