Editorial – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Wed, 11 Sep 2019 19:03:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 You might just save someone’s life http://www.pagosasun.com/2019/09/12/you-might-just-save-someones-life/ Thu, 12 Sep 2019 21:00:51 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=177406 In 2009, 13 confirmed suicides in Archuleta County placed the county high above state and national averages.

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It’s time to stay in the cave http://www.pagosasun.com/2019/09/05/its-time-to-stay-in-the-cave-3/ Thu, 05 Sep 2019 21:00:07 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=176797 Editor’s note: Nobody could say it better than former SUN editor Karl Isberg. The following editorial was printed in October 2012.
It’s that time of the year.
School is back in session, the kids are in class and a familiar beast is sure to rear its ugly head. The parent beast is set to emerge from summer shelter and ravage the countryside.

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‘What if?’ and a dream realized http://www.pagosasun.com/2019/08/29/what-if-and-a-dream-realized/ Thu, 29 Aug 2019 21:00:44 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=176424 What if?
The year was 1996 when Dan Appenzeller had his “what if?” moment that became the Four Corners Folk Festival.

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It’s back-to-school time http://www.pagosasun.com/2019/08/22/its-back-to-school-time/ Thu, 22 Aug 2019 21:00:59 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=175860 Summer vacation is coming to an end. It will be back-to-school time for area schools on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

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Domestic violence: There is help http://www.pagosasun.com/2019/08/15/domestic-violence-there-is-help/ Thu, 15 Aug 2019 11:00:41 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=175362 Domestic violence turned deadly for an Archuleta County resident last week.
Millie Mestas was murdered Tuesday night, while most of us slept soundly in the comfort and safety of our homes.
No one has yet been found guilty of this heinous murder; however, a suspect is in custody, with one of the charges being that of domestic violence.
It was not a story we wanted to print on the front page of the newspaper last week or again this week, but we believe Millie’s death should not be in vain.
Her story is one that deserves to be told. Unfortunately, the story of domestic violence is one that has been told over and over in newspapers across the nation on a daily basis.
Domestic violence can happen to any gender, race or age. One in three women and one in four men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).
NCADV’s website states that “domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically.”
Sadly, we don’t know Millie’s whole story, and we may never know it since her life was cut short in this violent act. Victims of domestic violence don’t often share what happens behind closed doors in their home. We knew Millie as the bright smile and sparkling eyes behind the deli counter at the local market, while others knew her as “Na Na” (grandmother), Mom, sister and daughter.
Locally, Rise Above Violence served 254 domestic violence survivors in 2018. Of the 2,299 total calls for help in 2018, Executive Director Carmen Hubbs explained that 1,788 calls were specifically for domestic violence. That means, on average, nearly five calls for help are made every single day right here in Archuleta County by those experiencing domestic violence.
Those are just the ones who call. There are many victims who never call for help and suffer in silence.
According to the NCADV, warning signs and red flags of an abuser include but are not limited to:
• Extreme jealousy.
• Possessiveness.
• Unpredictability.
• A bad temper.
• Cruelty to animals.
• Verbal abuse.
• Extremely controlling behavior.
• Antiquated beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships.
• Forced sex or disregard of their partner’s unwillingness to have sex.
• Blaming the victim for anything bad that happens.
• Sabotage or obstruction of the victim’s ability to work or attend school.
• Abuse of other family members, children or pets.
• Accusations of the victim flirting with others or having an affair.
• Control of what the victim wears and how they act.
• Demeaning the victim either privately or publicly.
• Embarrassment or humiliation of the victim in front of others.
• Harassment of the victim at work.
There is help for those who find themselves in an abusive situation, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, an anonymous and confidential help line, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (800) 799-7233 (SAFE) or (800) 787-3224 (TTY) now.
Rise Above Violence’s free and confidential local hotline is available 24 hours a day at (970) 264-9075.
Local law enforcement agencies:
Emergencies: Dial 911.
Archuleta County Dispatch: (970) 731-2160.
Archuleta County Sheriff: (970) 264-8430.
Pagosa Springs Police Department: (970) 264-4151, ext. 228.
Colorado State Patrol: (970) 247-4722.
Important resources:
Southwest Safehouse: (970) 259-5443.
District Attorney, Pagosa Office: (970) 264-5898.
District Attorney Victim/Witness Assistance: (970) 247-8850.
Department of Human Services: (970) 264-2182.
Please remember Millie. There is help.

Terri Lynn Oldham House

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Aspen House: A place to call home http://www.pagosasun.com/2019/08/08/aspen-house-a-place-to-call-home/ Thu, 08 Aug 2019 21:00:12 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=174813 There’s no place like home. And, there’s nothing like having a place of your own.
Pagosa Springs resident Christopher Brown has a dream of living in his own home.

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4-H shines at Archuleta County Fair http://www.pagosasun.com/2019/08/01/4-h-shines-at-archuleta-county-fair/ Thu, 01 Aug 2019 21:00:48 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=174098 This is the week for Archuleta County 4-H members to shine.
The Archuleta County Fair is the much-anticipated culmination of a year of dedication to completing their many 4-H projects. For these 4-H’ers, the highlight of the fair is completing projects, seeing how they placed in judging and discovering what ribbons they have been awarded.

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‘Homegrown with County Pride’ 68th annual Archuleta County Fair http://www.pagosasun.com/2019/07/25/homegrown-with-county-pride-68th-annual-archuleta-county-fair/ Thu, 25 Jul 2019 21:00:26 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=173684 The Archuleta County Fair Board and volunteers, 4-H youth and their families, and the staff of the CSU Extension office have all been working diligently to make certain that you enjoy the “Homegrown with County Pride” 68th annual Archuleta County Fair.

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Can you hear us now? http://www.pagosasun.com/2019/07/18/can-you-hear-us-now/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 11:00:27 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=173165 Fifty years ago, we could put a man on the moon and talk to him. These days, our cellphones, landlines and Internet won’t even work.
“Hello? Hello? Hello?”
“Can you hear me?”
“Are you there?”
We hear those questions over and over and over again.
There was no way to call 911 in an emergency. Calls were dropped. There was an inability to communicate. Text messages went undelivered. People couldn’t call. People couldn’t use their Internet. Phones fluctuated between full bars to none.
Depending on who you talk to, there have been reports of spotty and poor cellular service for about a month.
It is more than just an inconvenience. Real estate agents couldn’t access home lockboxes. Entire companies suffered. It was a train wreck. Time is money, and this past week has cost local businesses tremendously.
At The SUN, we depend on Internet service. Everything we took home to accomplish over the weekend required access to the Internet. Bookkeeping is done online. Payroll is done online. Banking is done online. Filing worker’s comp audits is done online. Software programs are online.
Everything was online except for us.
CenturyLink wasn’t able to provide our landline phone or Internet service from sometime last Friday through Tuesday night. There were a total of five days this past month when they were completely out.
On Friday, we were promised a text message from a CenturyLink representative to inform when we would have service again. That text never came.
Lightning sparked a fire and we still had no landline Monday morning to call and report the fire. Thankfully, there was one bar on the cellphone and we got through to dispatch.
People who could find some sort of service took to contacting The SUN to “investigate the situation.”
Well, it was a simple investigation. There was pretty much no cell service for Verizon customers and that seemed to affect customers of other providers. CenturyLink customers were without landlines and Internet. That all translated to major outages. Investigation complete.
The bigger our cellular and Internet companies have gotten, the less accountable they have been to their most important assets: their customers. They don’t answer your emails. They ignore your questions.
Individuals who could contact their providers, found themselves ignored, put on hold, cut off and were left with unanswered questions and a plethora of excuses from these major corporations regarding their failure to perform.
There are over 225 comments on The SUN’s Facebook page regarding the matter.
Is it going to take a major incident to get these companies to take us seriously?
A SUN reporter posed multiple questions to Verizon representatives and got a canned response. They ignored our questions.
On Monday, we contacted every CenturyLink person who has attempted in the past to get publicity through the editor’s email address at the newspaper office.
We finally got a response: “This email is to advise you that CenturyLink has received your complaint regarding the ongoing service issues and that I will be responsible for its investigation and resolution. As a member of the Customer Advocacy Group, I will be your advocate in championing your needs as a customer. I will do my absolute best to resolve your complaint as quickly and thoroughly as possible.”
That song “We are the Champions” came to mind.
The email continued, “I apologize for the difficulty you have experienced with our service and for the amount of time spent trying to resolve it. I will be working with our Repair Escalations Team to address this further and assist with a resolution. I will also reach out to you if I have any questions or need any additional information.”
They apparently needed no more information. Our champions from the CenturyLink Customer Advocacy Group seemed to go into hiding. We haven’t heard a word from them since that initial email.
We attempted to contact them through the company’s Facebook page and were told we had to private message them. When we did that, there was no response.
It’s not OK to have no phone service and no Internet. It’s unacceptable to have companies who ignore their customers. As long as we continue to tolerate this horrible service, these providers have no reason to make improvements or keep their marketing promises. That’s not OK, either.
No business is perfect. We all have unavoidable problems. The difference is reliability, accountability and customer service. Why give our hard-earned money to a company that simply doesn’t care?
What our community has experienced with connectivity issues and appalling customer service has been completely ridiculous.
It’s time for us to demand changes. Call or email and remind these companies every day that we deserve better service. That is, if you can get a cellphone signal or get your landline or Internet to work in order to contact them.

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Guest editorial: ‘It can’t happen here’ http://www.pagosasun.com/2019/07/11/guest-editorial-it-cant-happen-here/ Thu, 11 Jul 2019 21:00:29 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=172685 It was quite a treat to be able to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July right here in Pagosa Springs. That has not always been possible due to wildfire risk.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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