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Letters to the Editor

Guidelines for Letters to the Editor submissions: We believe that our letters section is an important forum for open discussion of opinions from all walks of life. The views expressed in this forum are not necessarily the opinions of the newspaper. We strive to be an unbiased paper, with a diverse readership. Our letters section will reflect that. We accept letters that are up to 300 words in length. We reserve the right to edit letters to fit into that space if they are too long, though we will try to give you the option to edit your own first. We will occasionally, and at the editors’ discretion, agree to publish a letter in multiple parts over several weeks, but it is not a guarantee for any letter or letter writer. Personal attacks, libel, ax-grinding, muckraking, and profanity will not be published. No matter the issue, it is possible to convey an opinion in a civilized manner and we will accept nothing less. Self-serving advocacy pieces are not letters. This is especially true during political seasons- candidates and their families cannot write in to ask people to vote for them (or the family member). All letters should be exclusive to the World Journal. If your letter was also submitted to other papers, it decreases the chance of your letter making it into ours. Preference will be given to letters related to local issues. All letters must be signed first and last name, and include your street address and city. We will publish only your name and the city. Letters are due by Tuesday at noon the week you want it published. We reserve the right to not publish a letter at the editor’s discretion, for any reason, at any time. For reference, this set of guidelines is 300 words long.

Letters to the Editor

La Veta’s new School, new mascot?

Congratulations to all in La Veta who worked diligently for the proposed new school. Needed now is new thinking about the school mascot that will bring us into the 21st century.

Past arguments in favor of keeping the racist redskin label is that the mascot is part of La Veta’s historical tradition. Having been born and raised in the area, I am familiar with La Veta’s reputation for 19th century thinking on issues of race. Why insist on this backward tradition when our own students have voiced changing the mascot?

Defenders of the redskin epithet know that it honors no one. Proper honoring of Native people instead could include naming the new school after a Ute, Cheyenne, or Arapaho who fought bravely to resist extermination and theft of their lands. Another way to honor them is to reform the school curriculum to teach an historically accurate account of the fate and current conditions of Native peoples in our state.

Continuing use of this racist label perpetuates the harm done to students, like mine, whose ancestors were the targets of this racism and calls for extermination. Let’s treat Native folks as people, not caricatures.

Good schools are the heartbeat of a community and a better future. What better opportunity is there than now to modernize the backward thinking about a racist mascot that so visibly confronts our children and community on a daily basis?

~ Norberto Valdez,

La Veta, CO

 

January jobs report

Dear Editor,

Due to the recent criticism in recent letters to the Editor I feel it necessary to present some facts. Here is a recap of the January Jobs Report…

• Last week’s strong jobs report showed 225,000 jobs were added in January, surging past expectations.

• This includes 44,000 construction jobs and 28,000 transportation and warehousing jobs.

• Since the President was elected, 7.1 million jobs have been created.

• Workers are coming off the sidelines and reentering the labor force

• In January, the unemployment rate remained at a near generational low of 3.6%.

• January marked the 23rd consecutive month that the unemployment rate has been at or below 4%.

• All Americans continue to thrive in the Trump economy.

• African American unemployment remained at a near record low of 6%.

• The Hispanic American unemployment rate remained at a near record low of 4.3%.

• The Asian American unemployment rate was at 3%.

• The unemployment rate for women remained at near generational lows of 3.5%.

• Wage growth once again reached 3%. For 23 consecutive months, wage growth has been near or above 3%.

President Trump is undoubtedly delivering on his promises to revitalize the American economy!

The 2020 Democrats are not talking about the robust economy because they cannot deny “Our” success and the proposals that the 2020 Democrats are offering would halt the greatest American comeback orchestrated under President Donald J. Trump.

Respectfully,

~Ty Winter

Las Animas County Republican Chairman

Trinidad, CO

Letters to the Editor & Card of Thanks

Letters to the Editor

Make educated voting decisions

Dear Voters:

Have you read “THE REFORM ACT OF 2018”? If it is approved, we will be able to attract new, reliable and honest professional people; people who truly want to be Americans (we love Freedom of the Press). If you haven’t read the act yet, get it on the Internet. And don’t forget to vote!

Sincerely,

~ Dorothy Mihanovich,

La Veta, CO

 

 

Cards of Thanks

Thank you for saving our home

Our family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the Huerfano County Fire Department for their response to a fire at our home, their professionalism in the way they handled their job, the expeditious way in which they extinguished the fire with minimal intrusion, and their ability to contain the fire to one room and prevent it from spreading further. They were sensitive, understanding and compassionate in helping our family cope with the stress as we watched them do their job. You are our heroes! We would also like to thank the Huerfano County Sheriff Department for being initially on scene to make sure everyone was alright. Finally, we want to thank those who expressed concern as they helped us cope with the situation, brought food and, most importantly, kept our family in their prayers.

Thanks

~The Tesitor and Mercier Families

Walsenburg, CO

 

Volley for Holly 2019

On Nov. 23-24 2019 The Volley for Holly memorial scholarship tournament was held at the Aguilar gym in Aguilar Colorado. Once again it was an amazing success!

The family of Holly Ringo and the scholarship committee would like to give a big thank you to so many.

A huge thank you, to Holly’s sister Terra, niece Lael, and Megan and McKenzie for putting together the tournament!

Thank you to Holly’s dad Garry and her brother Nicolas for all their help.

Thank you to Jazlyn Baudino for helping with the concessions.

Thank you to all the Huffman families for all their help!

Thank you to Jami Gonzales for helping maintain the gym. Thank you to so many that always pitch in to help with the tournament! Please know that we greatly appreciate everyone’s help every little bit of help is needed and appreciated! There were some people/family that couldn’t make it this year do know we missed you all.

Thank you to all the teams and businesses that sponsor teams who participate In the games. It’s always exciting to watch the OG teams compete with the new teams.

Thank you to the all the spectators that come out every year to watch, cheer and support the teams and the tournament!

Thank you to Holly’s uncle Alan Barksdale and Eugene Encinias for donating their time to be security!

Once again, seniors of 2020, contact your guidance counselor or one of Holly’s family members on how to apply for the scholarship!

Thank you for helping keep Holly’s memory alive.

See you all again in 2020

~R. Clorinda Ringo

Aguilar, CO

 

Thank you for the best wishes

I would like to thank everyone for all your best wishes in my retirement.  What a wonderful turnout for the celebration and all the phone calls and cards I received. I was totally overwhelmed. A special thanks to my children, Andrea and Chris, my family, my friends, my crew, Tonnie, Steven, Bill and Al, and to Yvette and Tonnie for the wonderful food and Jerry for the music.

An extra special thanks goes to my youngest granddaughter, Raina, for the painting of the well. I’ll keep this forever.

Everything was great! I have no regrets now.  It’s time to take care of my health and enjoy life.

Thanks again,

~ Delphine Ortega,

Walsenburg, CO

Letters to the Editor

Things are looking so much better in Walsenburg!

Things are looking better! The mural at 6th and Main is looking really nice! Thank you to those painting it.

Thank you also to the person working on the mural at 7th and Main. It looks much better.

The streets on Walsen and some on 7th street look much better. Thank you.

What is the possibility of getting crosswalks on 2nd and Main, 6th and Main, and 7th and Hendren near 7-11? It is very difficult to get across the streets sometimes.

Let’s keep making Walsenburg better! We can each do our part. Go Walsenburg.

~ Carmen J. Lara,

Walsenburg, Colo.

 

Help for our boy scouts

Dear Editor,

Trinidad’s local Boy Scout troop has served the community for well over half a century as the oldest existing troop in the state of Colorado. We’ve watched this troop solemnly place flags on the graves of servicemen and women every Memorial Day for years. We’ve filled our hearts with pride while this troop presents utmost respect during parades, memorials, and ceremonies. We’ve entrusted this troop with our local boys to help them grow into the young men the world needs.

Now imagine our community without this troop.

Recently, Boy Scout Troop 269 came to a dilemma: all the Scoutmasters are either too young or too old. The head Scoutmasters are in their sixties and are retiring after many years of fantastic leadership. The assistant Scoutmasters are trying to establish their careers elsewhere while using the knowledge they acquired during their time in the troop.

Troop 269 needs a new Scoutmaster that can dedicate a few hours each week to helping the next generation live the Scout Oath and Law, with a little more time here and there for wilderness skills and community citizenship. The position requires very little background, and the outgoing Scoutmasters have promised to help whoever steps forward to establish himself or herself on a path to success. Without a new leader, the troop will have no other choice but to dissipate next year. Questions can be called in to (719) 846-7390 and those interested will be pointed in the right direction.

I’ve always stood by my saying that I’ve learned more important things in Boy Scouts than I have ever learned in any school. I hope that this letter will find someone that will help continue the tradition of excellence that this troop has established. Yours truly,

~Nick Ruybalid

Eagle Scout, Troop 269

Trinidad, CO

Letters to the Editor

Actually, wolves were here first

Dear Editor:
Re Letter to the Editor by Ty Winter: “This [Las Animas] county has always been a farming and ranching community…” except for the millions of years before its establishment. Nothing has been more detrimental to wildlife than the domination of their habitat by livestock and more than a century of poisonings, shooting, and trapping of wildlife to make the range safe for livestock.

What is ludicrous and hypocritical is Colorado Farm Bureau Exec. V.P. Chad Vorthmann saying, “The proponents [of the Colorado Gray Wolf Reintroduction Initiative] should let mother nature work its magic, stop trying to impose their will on the natural world…”

~ Larry Bullock, Walsenburg, CO

Letters to the Editor

Elders, check your utility bills

To the concerned citizens of Walsenburg,

I am writing this letter out of concern for myself and other sick and elderly people. As of the past year, 2019, I had to check my utility bill consistently every month. When I go to the office I get a very negative and unprofessional response.

One of the reasons may be because I get LEAP! Very seldom the correct balance.

Other people have mentioned it to me, that they don’t check their bill before payment is made.  I may go to the next city council meeting. Us elderly should not have to go through this.

I would like to have this problem addressed in one way or another.

Thanks for allowing me to get this letter published – even if it only helps one person.

~ Marie Herndon,

Walsenburg, CO

 

Keep wolves off our ranches

Dear Editor,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Las Animas County Commissioners for once again standing with Rural Colorado in opposing the reintroduction of wolves into Colorado. If this ballot initiative should pass, the impact on our economy and local livestock production would be detrimental. Federal and state research has shown that wolves are not necessary in maintaining a healthy wildlife ecosystem and that their reintroduction would negatively impact wildlife populations. This county has always been a farming and ranching community and to saddle our local ranchers with the burden of unnecessary predation on their livestock is ludicrous! This county relies on money spent by sportsmen that travel from around the country to hunt our wildlife along with the hard working ranchers that produce and sell livestock. This reintroduction would adversely affect these major economic components in Las Animas County.

~Ty Winter

Las Animas County Republican Party Chairman

 

Mismanagement of dog death

I am shocked at what must be an unfortunate mishandling of a situation by authorities involved with a pair of dogs at large in our community on New Year’s Day. My friend Rhonda had been alerted that her dogs had gotten out and she was actively searching for them.  An eye-witness reported not just one but three sheriff’s deputies chasing the dogs with their vehicles, using a spot light, revolving lights, and chasing them at high speeds within the city. Rhonda herself witnessed the 3 deputies in high-speed chase, with the flashing lights coming to a halt on 4th street. The chase ended in the tragic death of Mr. BoJangles who was shot twice.  Fortunately, CoCo, fled the scene; and Rhonda was easily able to confine the shaken CoCo in her yard.

I arrived on scene and there seemed a lack of compassion for Rhonda, who just lost a beloved member of her family. It seems that shooting an at-large dog on the spot is an extreme measure.  A healthy Mr. BoJangles was to be taken into custody for an autopsy because deputies believed he had rabies.  Yet the dog’s body apparently was deposited in her back yard that very same evening, unbeknownst to her!  CoCo was to be taken into custody for 14 days’ observation, and Rhonda was told that if they had any difficulty managing her, she might also be shot. Rhonda assisted the deputies with bringing CoCo to the shelter, to avoid further incident.  She only became aware of the presence of Mr. BoJangles’ dead body in her back yard two days later when CoCo, who was granted early-release from the shelter, walked carefully around the corner of hte house as if in dread. CoCo later vomited after discovering her best friend, Mr. BoJangles, dead there!

I do wonder if there might have been a kinder, more humane resolution to this siatuation which may have resulted in the safe return of these two friendly dogs back to their home, alive and well.

~Jean Renzelman

Walsenburg, CO

Letters to the Editor

Goodbye tension, hello pension

After over 37 years, it is with much thought, prayer, and with my family’s support that I have tendered my resignation to the funeral industry.

I have met so many wonderful people, clients and co-workers, yes, this I will miss, and hopefully I have made a difference in someone’s life. It is a bitter sweet decision, but I know I will still be making my presence in the community.

My family and I are planing a retirement celebration at Eagles Hall on January 11 from 4 pm to 8 pm. Please come and celebrate with us.

~Delphine Ortega

Walsenburg CO

 

Insult to Trinidad history

Dear Editor,

I write regarding the Fox Theatre in Trinidad.

My dismay regards the current vision for the “grand” opening. The plan is to open the Fox without any working plumbing or electrical and host a world-class Denver orchestra with Port-O-Potties and generators outside.

This is unacceptable. First and foremost, the Fox Theatre has a legacy special to Trinidad. To reopen this building with shabby fashion (without facilities and systems) is not only an insult to the architects’ and Trinidad’s history, it is a mockery to the architectural design process and the science of restoration and preservation.

Secondly, having Port-O-Potties and generators while hosting an elite Denver ensemble would only confirm misconceptions that Trinidad is a trashy, uncultured town. For decades, we have been screaming out in the void of Southern Colorado to be recognized; but many a times a blind eye has been turned upon us because we were always perceived as inferior. It’s time to prove the urbanites of Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and Fort Collins wrong. This is our moment to shine and to stand up…… but we are about to blow it.

Finally, if this work isn’t performed on the Fox now; it may never happen. If we as a city do not demand the Fox Theatre has its correct systems installed, we may never have the Fox because it can’t receive its certificates of occupancy nor pass inspections.

I know I am pushing back on a current idea, but hear me out: I am a Trinidad citizen with dreams, not a Denver developer looking for a quick buck.

Come on, Trinidad, we know we deserve better. Demand it.

All the Best,

~ Sally Jane Ruybalid

Candidate for Bachelor of Architecture (A.B. Arch)

Class of 2021 Princeton University School of Architecture

Letter to the editor & Card of Thanks

More from Pat on TSD1

Follow up on Trinidad School District No 1 (TSD1), Summary of Behavior by action as per Colorado Department of Education (CDE), for school year: 2018-2019.

I do not speak for the TSD1 but did receive this report on November 26, 2019, while I was a board of education member. I initially made my request for certain data back in June of 2019.

So the report indicates behavioral statistics for the four schools in TSD1.

What I find interesting is that in my previous letter last week and today’s letter is that the data was received some time ago and even some reports were from May of 2018.

The question is why did the district, mainly the superintendent not provide this information in a timely manner as per my request. I also requested the October count for students in our district and did not receive it until November 26, 2019. Enrollment is down again some 50 students.

It was obviously not provided when asked for because of the bond issue that was pending outcome in the past election. This leads me to believe that this information was suppressed from the public (voters), and most of all to the Parents of children in the District.

CDE Summary: I am limited in the number of words that I can submit so I will limit the summary to one school that stands out most.

Trinidad Middle School:

• Alcohol Violation — 5

• Tobacco Violation — 18

• Disobedience/Defiant or Repeated Interference — 136

• Detrimental Behavior — 120

• 3rd Degree Assualt/Disorderly Conduct — 40

• Marijuana Violation — 15

• Total of all categories referred to Law Enforcement — 24

Alarming statistics to say the least.

You can’t solve a problem if you don’t recognize the problem first.

~ Patrick Sandoval,

Trinidad, Colo.

 

Museum of Friends Gala gratitude

The Museum of Friends’ Staff, Board and Volunteers wish to thank all of the community who attended and supported the GALA fundraiser on November 15th. This event helped to raise matching funds for the 2nd phase to rehabilitate the historic Roof and Dick building – MoF’s home.

The Western Art Exhibit is still on view with many works available for purchase. We had about 130 people who enjoyed the heritage tourism skit “If They Build It Who Will Come?” written by Ann Mc Cutchan with historic figures portrayed by Carolyn Newman, actors from the Francisco Fort Players Sher and Shane Clouse, Micah Porter and Josh Bressan of Walsenburg.

The delicious food was prepared by Alys Romer, Dale Jacobson and her staff with locally roasted coffee and desserts by Michelle Appel and High Altitude Coffee Roasters.

We all enjoyed disco dancing with D.J. Jeromie Dorrance from Denver, video of old Walsenburg by Evan Ksander and lighting display provided by Downtown Colorado Inc.’s Brian Corrigan.

Our very gracious bartenders were Nick Agnes and Aubrey Lykins who served complimentary locally brewed beer from the Crafty Canary with numerous volunteers helping to make the event run smoothly and enjoyably.

We thank our local sponsors: Huerfano County; Alys’ Restaurant and Go Ask Alys Catering; Dotter Abstract; San Isabel Electric Association; the World Journal newspaper; La Plaza Inn and B & B; Trinidad State Junior College; Bachman & Associates Real Estate; Spanish Peaks Regional Hospital; High Altitude Coffee Roasters; Star Drugs; Drs. Lori & Mike Mall; Jan & Alan Tucker; Monica & George Birrer; Sarah & Brett Habermann; Community Banks of Colorado; Zooma Design; Screened Effects; Staples and Sam’s Club.

Please stop in to see the progress so far and learn about the plans for future phases to make the Roof and Dick building more useable and comfortable for our community. We are all in this together and have come so far because of all of you and your interest.

Thank you so much,

~Maria Cocchiarelli and Brendt Berger

Walsenburg, Colo.

Letter to the editor

In Pat’s opinion on TSD1 statistics

I am not the spokesperson for Trinidad School District No. 1 (TSD1) and this is my opinion and mine alone.

On June 12, 2019 I sent in a request to TSD1 to provide data on bullying, marijuana and vaping. Five and a half months later I finally got a response to part of my concerns.

It alarms me that some of the figures given to me and other Board of Education members, at least to me, validate my concerns. The figures come from bullying grants for three schools in our district.

I will only highlight some of the figures.

Elkhart Elementary School:

• 1st graders who’ve been bullied 78%.

• Kindergarten students who’ve been bullied 42%. No dates on data.

Fishers Peak Elementary school results provided were incomplete and not readable and I have requested complete data be provided. However no student survey was done, why not?

Trinidad Middle School,176 students reporting, dated May 24, 2018. 61% of the respondents believed that disrespect was a serious problem, and 43% of the respondents reported being disrespected.

Disrespect mainly takes place in the classroom and hall/stairs.

Trinidad Middle School (TMS), 186 students reporting, dated 2019.

Question 3: In the last two months, how often have you been the target of bullying?

Answer choices: – Never. – Once. – Once a week. – More than once a week.

Location of bullying: mostly classroom and hallway or stairwell. Looking at the last three percentages for for TMS, the total comes to 31.72% of students being bullied within a two month period.

It’s alarming that 12 students reported once a week and eight said more than once a week. It seems some students are being bullied regularly and quite often.

The district has a no tolerance policy for bullying. They have to enforce it and hold those accountable for it not being enforced. It’s well over due.

~ Patrick Sandoval,

Trinidad, Colo.

Letters to the Editor and Card of Thanks

Clean Energy Creates More Jobs

To meet our country’s energy needs, we should choose clean energy rather than older polluting sources of the past. A 2018 study showed 86% of residents in Huerfano County want policy that funds research into renewable energy sources. (Yale Climate Opinion Maps)

Jobs are crucial to the stability of our economy. Fears have been raised about a loss Colorado jobs when transitioning from coal, oil, and gas extraction to clean energy. I was surprised to learn that the opposite is true. Renewable energy actually creates more jobs than an equivalent amount of fossil-based energy, because it is more labor intensive.

The shift to renewable energy can be expedited or hindered by government policy. We need to create rules to curb pollution and impose fees on businesses that pollute. 78% of residents in Huerfano County support regulation of CO2 as a pollutant, and 67% want fossil fuel companies to be required to pay a carbon tax, see above Yale study.

A national carbon tax, economists tell us, is the fastest and most efficient way to reduce our greenhouse gasses. Encourage Rep Scott Tipton to hasten the transition to clean energy with smart government policy by supporting H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

Clean energy jobs can be the backbone of our state’s economy and create healthy, safe communities for our children and future generations

~Susan Atkinson

Durango, CO

 

Card of Thanks

 

La veta School of the Arts has many to thank

La Veta School of the Arts is finishing 2019 with many people to thank for a successful year. After a difficult 2018 – because of the Huerfano County Spring Fire – 2019 proved to be much better in every way. We thank all of the children and their parents who participated in our Fridays For Fun program this summer. Enrollment was also up for all of our adult classes. We thank everyone who had fun in any of our classes. We lost many of our stored banners in the fire but many artists stepped up to paint a glorious array of new banners. San Isabel has been hanging and taking down our banners since 2005. We thank all those at San Isabel for this service – especially Curtis Montoya, Don Keairns, and Keith and Brendan, who just took down our latest banners. We thank our persevering Board of Directors. We’re proud to be part of such a resilient community. May La Veta continue to thrive in the face of big challenges.

~Peggy Zehring, President and Director

La Veta, CO

 

Thank you from the Emma Cruz family

The family of Emma Cruz would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone for the cards, food, phone calls and support during the loss of our Mother and Grandmother. A special thanks to Father Stephen, St. Anne’s Guild, Mary “Sam” Bonham and Boies-Ortega funeral home for helping us through our loss.

~Family of Emma Cruz

 

Thank you from the Kreutzer family

We would like to thank our family and friends for all the prayers, thoughts, food, cards, flowers, and donations made to us since the passing of our father and husband Bud Kreutzer.

A memorial will be planned in early summer. ~The Kreutzers

Card of Thanks

Thank you from the Reynolds

To our family, friends and the community at large,

We can not express enough thanks and heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of love, money and support during the most difficult time in our life last month when Emmett was brutally beaten and attacked.

The attack was on our whole family and has changed our lives. We appreciate everyone who has been there for us with your generosity, time and consideration.

Emmett has been home recovering from reconstructive surgery and he hopes to get back to work some day. Thank you again for being there for us. We could not have done it without your support or prayers. God Bless all of you!

~Ashley and Emmett Reynolds,

Joe, Harloe, Syndee and family

La Veta, CO

 

Thank you from the Marge Riggins family

The Riggins family wishes to thank everyone for the cards, food, support, kindness, and sympathy we received while grieving the loss of our mother and wife. We send special gratitude to the La Veta Methodist Church, Rev. Janine Rose, John Stroh, and Boies-Ortega funeral home in Walsenburg.

– The family of Marge Riggins

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