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Letters to the Editor - page 12

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 Personal attacks, libel, ax-grinding, muckraking, and profanity will not be published.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 of April 27, 2017

Thanks for the chuckles from This Week in History

I finally got my first car with the tire pressure gizmo you included for the 1932 entry in Walsenburg History! After almost 60 years of checking tires from the outside in all kinds of weather and it started there. Mine’s a ’17 Hyundai with a digital readout. My last car (’12 Hyundai) had a similar feature but didn’t tell you which tire was low.

Thanks for the chuckle! ~Doug Hargrove Evans, CO

Please keep your cows off my fence!

Dear Neighbors:

I am a property owner in the area of Lascar and Bennett Roads:

Over time I’ve noticed that cattle have been grazing on my property. In the interest of being a good neighbor I have not attempted to determine who owns the cattle or to complain. However, the cattle continue to damage the fencing on the property.

If you graze cattle in this area, please do your best to keep them on your property to prevent any further damage to my fence.

Thank you. Best Regards ~Douglas Rodriguez Huerfano

Cold shoulder from City Administrator

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Orr:

I would like you to know, I went to the Walsenburg City Hall yesterday in hopes of seeking some thoughts and guidance from the current City Administrator. Needless to say I have never ever experienced the abrupt treatment that was displayed by a government official. I had to stay out in the hallway. She came out from a locked security area, as you are apparently not permitted to enter the locked area. Our citizens used to come and talk to the City Clerk, who would then direct you to the person whom you would like to talk to. It certainly gives one a cold feeling, like you are entering a city jail.

I came to discuss a suggestion that one of our new members had offered, that would not only help alleviate some of the expense the city faces, in mailing out the utility bills to its customers. It was related to seeing if an announcement about our Wednesday Bingo game could be included in the bills. But no, all she as much as informed me was the postage costs somewhere around $800 and she wouldn’t be interested in the idea anyway. An offer was made, that our organization could even furnish the paper.  But no, only the cold shoulder treatment was displayed by the City Administrator.

Knowing full well, remembering in the past, the City has worked with other non profits, thus developing a very close rapport with the citizens who volunteer in giving their time and effort to the community, I was taken aback. She never even offered or suggested any alternatives. Something seems to have gone amiss, with the method of communication happening here in our city and I sincerely urge the City Council to take note of what is going on.

I remain sincerely, ~Gordon W. Grogan Walsenburg, CO

What does your 20 year old mind tell your 50+ year old body?

I have always remembered what my Aunt told me when she grew old, “I still feel like I am 20 years old in my mind, but my body has other ideas”. Our minds want to do all the things we did when we were young, and we push ourselves to follow that path. It is disappointing when we can’t.

Recently, I had a conversation with a 38 year old guy who thought the guys he worked with back when he was in his 20’s, (in construction) who were in their late 30’s, were cry babies when their backs would get sore and they would complain about it. Now, he says, he gets it! Even at 38.

A while ago, I came up with a good analogy for the mind trying to tell the rest of the body what to do.

I told a friend that he should think of his body as a democracy, and not let his head be the dictator and expect everything below the neck to keep up with it’s wild demands and possible abuse.

Our bodies are a lot smarter than our minds much of the time and it will tell you all you need to know about what you are trying to do to it. It will revolt and all you have to do is listen to it. Kind of like telling the doctor “it hurts when I do that” … and he or she says… “then don’t do that!”

Although, not that simple to do or accept, but it is worth thinking about.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t do do as many things as you can, as long as they don’t hurt you.

As I get older, I find I am feeling like my body can’t always keep up with my mind since I am very active and want to do anything I set out to do. I did a lot of running in my life, and now I can’t and it is very frustrating.

All we have is the present, and it is a gift if we see it that way, and look for any little thing that makes our days happy and full. Just let your entire self, from head to toe have voice when you engage in life to its fullest. ~Marie Whitmarsh Walsenburg

I’ve Got the Power

No one ever said that living in rural Colorado would be easy. Those of us, who have spent the majority of our lives here, know that very well.

There are pros and cons. In the “Pro Column” is the natural beauty we are blessed with- the Spanish Peaks, wildlife, stunning views, gorgeous sunrises/sunsets and a slower pace of life. In the “Con Column”, we are pretty rural or rugged, which in turn means that it can be difficult for help to “get to you”. That’s about it for the cons, unless you want to talk about power outages.

City people have electricity on demand. If there is an outage, it can usually be rectified quickly. Here in rural southern Colorado a week to restore power is a norm.

It hasn’t always been that way. In my 48 years here, power outages were common, lasting usually less than three hours. We lose power in wind storms, snow storms and in rain storms, and when the guy down the street hit the pole trying to turn into his yard, so, we don’t freak out when the lights go out. Or at least we used to not freak out.

In the past few years when our power goes out it usually means days instead of hours. … As long as I can remember we have had heavy wet spring snows, but I don’t remember going days without power. So, if the weather hasn’t changed something with the lines or poles must have.

Are they old and weakened from all the years being abused by the high winds and blistering snows? But as I understand it, the poles are regularly checked and replaced. Are there more people on the grid in our area? People have been moving here, where there used to be one house on 2,000 acres now there are 10 or more.

Nevertheless, there has to be an explanation for these outages that are taking longer and longer to repair.

When 100 or more poles go down in a service area, it makes one wonder. I am very appreciative of the linemen and the crews, who have been working night and day to get power restored.

Many people here own 4 wheel drive vehicles or at a minimum all-wheel drive vehicles and we have an alternative form of heat. This past weekend I went to Big R for a generator, because “days without power” is the new norm and I cannot afford to lose my freezer or refrigerator again.

So, while snow brings a peacefulness to the world and sounds are muted especially if the power goes out… it now brings the hum of generators and the dash to get more gas before they close the highways. Happy second winter everyone and remember… you too can have the power… if you get a generator. ~Eva Benine Aguilar

Letters to the editor of April 13, 2017

Congratulations on April Fools issue

Gretchen, Brian, and the World Journal,

Wow, you out did yourself with this year’s April Fool’s edition…

(although with the Trinidad City Manager story I’m not too sure it was an April Fool’s… but that’s just because I know some things about the Visitors Center debacle.)

I roared when I read that you were creating FAKE NEWS before FAKE NEWS was popular. What a classic line!

Your staff is so creative and you must have an absolute BLAST doing that and it shows.

I still remember picking up the paper years ago and seeing that the water tank was to be a community swimming pool and wondering whose BRILLANT idea that was, not realizing you did an April Fool’s paper, then I TOTALLY got into reading each story.

Thanks for the laughs, and thanks for taking the time to keep us all informed throughout Southern Colorado and for caring about the news….small and large…good and bad, so we have a clue what’s happening in our area.

Your loyal fan in Pueblo! ~Paulette Stuart Pueblo

Thanks from 4H

On behalf of the Huerfano County 4-H Council we would like to take this opportunity to the following businesses for donating to our annual 4-H silent auction which was held on Sunday April 9, 2017 in La Veta. Thank you to La Plaza Inn, Armida’s Boutique & Stuff, The Huerfano Café, All Naturals On 5th, Tina’s Kitchen, Erin Jerant, Kay’s Liquor, .38 Special Liquors, Car Quest, and The Bear Spot. With your donations you helped make our auction a huge success and we thank you. Sincerely, ~The Huerfano County 4-H Council

Thanks for the flowers

To Gretchen and Brian Orr and World Journal staff: The bouguet Brian Orr brought was lovely. Thank you for it and the Tonks Bucks. I will enjoy spending them. A fun contest! Sincerely, ~Louise Clapp Aguilar

Thanks for the extra effort Dear Ruth Orr, thank you, so much, for your extra effort, in sending me the ‘back’ copies. I know it was extra work and time spent, but it really meant a lot to me, to get the news of obituaries which I missed, that was my fault for not paying attention to the information you were aready giving me (expiration date). I’ll pay attention now. I hope you’ll receive extra kindnesses from others, as you have shown to me.  thanks again, ~Georgie Geltz Truth or Consequences, NM

Letters to the Editor of April 6, 2017

Pack it in, pack it out: Keep the Old Raton Pass clean

I have read comments, I have listened to comments concerning the illegal gate on the Old Raton Pass road and the proposed gate by the City of Raton. While restricting vehicular access and traffic on a public road is not a good solution, it is the problem that has caused the gate to be placed there in the first place, that has not been addressed or talked about that concerns me more than the proposed restricted access to our public property. The Old Pass Road is property that is owned by the citizens of Raton and that as custodians of that property the City of Raton is required to protect it from vandalism and destruction of the items put in place for the public good.

The problem I speak of is the blatant disrespect and disregard for both public and private property that should be of more concern than a gate. The gate across the Old Pass Road wouldn’t even be an issue let alone a topic of discussion if it weren’t for the very few people who feel that it is their right to disrespect not only someone else’s property but the public property that they themselves as taxpayers are part owners of. How would you feel if I sat in front of your property in my car and drank beer and threw the empty bottles and trash on your front yard or decided I wanted to use your house or out building for target practice? You would be royally pissed and rightly so. So how do you think the property owners along the Old Pass Road feel when someone goes up there and trashes their property along the public access? Or illegally dumps a pickup load of shingles or more dangerously shoots up a building or home or decides to build a camp fire that gets away and causes another Track Fire? WHY!!

Why have these few felt it necessary to damage and vandalize the signage at the Iridium Layer or the picnic tables along the side of the Old Pass Road? Oh yes there are picnic areas up there, I bet many people didn’t even know they existed because they didn’t take the time to go look and enjoy the scenery that is there for the public to utilize. But then again, why would anyone want to go up there to utilize the public property, that they are part owners of, when someone else has gone up there and left their beer cans or bottles or other trash or worse yet taken a sledge hammer or high powered rifle and damaged the tables so badly to render them useless. WHY!!

I drive many a remote road in my line of work and often run across a road sign or historical marker that has been used for target practice or the pull off by the historical sign is trashed with garbage and graffiti. WHY!!! Drive to the top of Johnson Mesa and pull off the side of the road on Highway 72 and the pull off there is trashed. WHY!! WHY is there no respect for the public lands, public property that is owned by each and everyone of us who pay the taxes to use it and protect it?

Fix this problem and that gate that so many people feel offended by, that crosses the Old Pass Road or is being proposed by the Raton City Commission, will go away. The city is only trying to protect not only the public property along the road but the private property on either side of it so that we don’t have another Track Fire from a runaway camp fire or cigarette or a shooting death because someone felt like using a house for target practice. Yes enforcement and protection of the area falls to the city since it is city property, but enforcement of the laws wouldn’t be needed if those very few people wouldn’t go up there and trash the place that they themselves are part owners of and respect the property of others. ~Marty Mayfield Raton

Thank You SIEA

In light, (or darkness) of the recent power outage, depending on your point of view, we would like to thank the linemen and women of San Isabel Electric Association for their tireless and dangerous efforts in restoring the power to the some 2,800 meters throughout Huerfano and Las Animas Counties during the recent storms.

With hundreds of poles snapped through the two counties, lines down, harsh weather conditions and their 24/7 schedule, they did a remarkable job of servicing their customers.

Speaking as one of those who were without power for almost five days, our family learned to adapt to our lot. We survived, ate, and stayed warm, thanks to an old wood cook stove in our kitchen, and we entertained ourselves by oil lamps and lanterns by reading books and playing games.

We saw the good.

Shame on those individuals that appeared on TV and criticized SIEA because their power wasn’t restored immediately. All they did was give their community a bad name.

I’ve learned that the restoration of power had an order, and those folks who complained that their needs were above all others should be embarrassed.

They saw the bad.

To those who harbor any negative feelings, I suggest you find the nearest lineperson and give them a hug and thank them. If you can’t do that, then look at the positive: You just saved approximately 15% on your electric bill by switching the power off, thanks to Mother Nature. ~David, Mary Jo, and Maria Tesitor Walsenburg ­

Letters to the editor of March 30, 2017

Thank You from Aguilar

Thank you very much for offering your assistance on the power outage in Aguilar. The Town of Aguilar was without power for several days. We really appreciate your willingness to help out. We would like to give a special thanks to everyone who helped out in anyway and gave a hand.

A special thanks to Ginnie Tamburelli Roughneck’s Saloon and her staff for opening the establishment up and letting us have meetings there and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, Dennis Belz from Colorado Baptist Disaster Relief and his staff for feeding, and organizing delivery of food and goods to the community. Larry Cornett Disaster Program Specialist, and Bill Fortune Red Cross. Steve Cox for delivering wood from Team Rubicon. Twin Enviro, and Right Way Disposal for donating roll off dumpsters. Virgil Birkenfeld, and Derek Marquez for maintaining the Aguilar water wells, so the Town’s residents could have water.

Thank you to Kimberly Gonzales executive director Las Animas/Huerfano District Health Department for assisting in getting spoiled food out of refrigerators, Bernice Renner, and Aimee DeHerrera in assisting with the benefit food program from Las Animas County Department of Human Services. Veronica Maes area director of South Central Council of Governments, Lt. Paul Burrows with the Department of Corrections his staff and crew for assisting in cleaning debris in the Town. Chris Gurule for donating wood, and the County Road and Bridge for assisting in cleaning the roads, and Bill and Mary Glidden for helping and making food bags to be delivered to residents.

Thanks to the Town of Aguilar staff and Town Board Council members for many hours spent assisting in any way they could. Las Animas County Deputy Donald Gonzales patrolling the Town area and taking any comments from residents. San Isabel Electric linemen and crews for working very long hours so the power could be restored to residents of Aguilar. Thank you to Mary Jo Tesitor and her group for helping and assisting in cleaning up branches and debris. It was helpful to have someone who has had experience with similar issues on previous situation to offer guidance and direction.

Thanks to Las Animas Emergency manager Kim Chavez, and Christe Coleman from Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management Regional emergency manager for assisting and guiding the Town through the disaster, and Kim Chavez for organizing the dumpsters, thank you.

Thank you to everyone who called and offered any type of help. Thanks to Commissioner Luis Lopez II for keeping in contact with Mayor Marc Piano and assisting anyway he could.

In advance if I have missed anyone who assisted in anyway, I apologize and thank everyone for your assistance. I know the Town of Aguilar and residents were grateful to have your assistance in this matter. Sincerely, ~Tyra M Avila Aguilar Town Clerk/Office Manager

Letters to the Editor of March 23, 2017

Healthcare Foundation thanks hospital board

Dear Editor

The SPHC Board of Directors would like to say “Thank You” to the staff of Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center for their help during our recent wine tasting event on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Thank you to our gracious hosts of Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center – the residents, Marty Schlink, Risa Berry, and the nursing home staff. To the department supervisors who helped organize and schedule staff – Anthony Aldretti, Allen Ortiz, and Debbie McCain. To the Dietary department for use of their kitchen, Shawn Bobian, Nakita Vigil, Kara Archuleta, and Debbie McCain for setting up and helping serve food. To the Housekeeping department, Antonio Sanchez and Ron Martinez who helped with clean up. To the Maintenance department, Greg George, Doug Barela, Lance Martinez, Mark Gomez, and Gene Marsee for helping bring and return wine glasses. Greg, a BIG Thank You for building the platform, and moving tables and chairs.

To Kay Whitley and Lionel Montoya who greeted our guests. To Dave mcGraw who was in charge of the facility door system. To Joe Camacho who was available and on site for PA system set up. To Bethany Way who placed marketing information in the newspapers, KSPK, and Facebook. To Alys Romer, Dale Jacobson, and Derek Kelly (from La Veta Liquors) for preparation of the food. To Rita Kasper and her students, Olivia Krinsky, Carissa Cardenas, and Jordan Reyes for helping to serve food and other assigned duties. To Areli Corral, a former scholarship recipient, who helped serve food. To Eddie West, who helped in the kitchen and serving food. To Jim Hoobler, our auctioneer. To Leon Skaggs, Lance Freeman, Ann Altemeier, and Dr. Ed Donovan, our sommeliers. To Synergy Wine who provided and donated wine. To Lynette Omer, who helped organize the event.

All your efforts helped make our wine tasting event a success to raise funds for our foundation missions.

Thank you again! ~Dr. John C. Davis, President and Stirling Lathrop, Chairman; Spanish Peaks Healthcare Foundation

Thank You for a Successful Event!!

La Veta Trails wishes to express our heartfelt appreciation to the many people who contributed to the success of our first St. Patrick’s Day Bingo event. Many thanks to Ryan, Ali, and the staff of the La Veta Inn who did a fantastic job hosting the event and having an endless supply of delicious fish and chips. Many thanks to the Celtic Orphans – Malea Schmidt, Barbara Kowalik, Sam and Diane Sortore, Jack Yule, and Jonathan James – for setting the mood with their lively music and stories. Oh, Danny Boy never fails to bring a tear to our eyes. We cannot express our appreciation enough to Bruce Johnson, Champion Bingo Caller, who sacrificed his voice about half-way through the event, and to John Costea and Mark White who stepped in to provide their voices when Bruce lost his. A special thank you to La Veta Trails Board members, Sandy Helwig, Jamie Dutton and Stirling Lathrop for their many hours organizing and publicizing the event. Thank you to The Signature newspaper for donating a prize of a year subscription to the paper. To the unknown gentleman who won the Black Out game, thank you for donating your winnings to La Veta Trails. Tanya White, who was covered in green from head to toe, won the prize for the Greenest Costume and Rae Drury who won the prize for the wearing the most Irish bling. Thank you to all of you who attended, listened, sang, played, and helped us raise funds for trails.

Please contact La Veta Trails at if you want to volunteer for trail work. Check out our website for information on local trails. Sincerely, ~La Veta Trails

SPL Book Sale successessful thanks to volunteers

Friends of the Spanish Peaks Library would like to thank all the volunteers that helped out with the March book sale, you all did such a great job and was a pleasure to work with you all. Hope to see you all again and once more THANK YOU.

Sincerely, ~President Dalene of FOL

Uninhabitable vacant structures on 400 block of Maxwell Street

Chief Garcia,

Once again we are writing you in an attempt to direct your attention to the increased criminal activity on Maxwell Street [in Raton] involving uninhabitable structures and suspicious activity associated with the distribution of narcotics.

Maxwell Street has an alarming increase in foot traffic by individuals who are known criminals and drug users.  Cars are continuously accessing our street in speeds that exceed what is permitted by law. It is the belief of my neighbors that Maxwell Street has become a haven for lawless vandals who occupy dwellings unlawfully and distribute illegal narcotics such as meth because of a lack of police presence and citizen engagement.

Questionable persons are now occupying the vacant uninhabitable structures, on Mesa and Maxwell Street owned by Eufrazio Garcia.  These structures continue to pose a serious threat to the public’s health and safety, which have a domino effect on property values that continue to depreciate. These structures are attracting undesirable criminal activity to the area in which our families live and have lived for generations.

We are requesting that the City of Raton inspect these dwellings to determine if the structures are habitable and are legally rented or occupied by persons who have entered a lawful contract with the property owner, to ensure occupants are not squatters. No upgrades or repairs have been made to the structures nor have any permits for home remodeling have been recorded with the City of Raton. Our findings have led us to the belief that these structures are in the diminished condition still and highly likely to be used for criminal activity.

In addition to a meeting, we request and increase in police patrols in the Maxwell Street area, a physical inspeciton of hte recently occupied structures, which are uninhabitable based on the numerous repairs needed in the structures that include proper sewer and water, inspected power lines, and fire extinguisher certification tags.  We weould also like a copy of the inspections/ reports for our records.

The majority of families, which have resided on Maxwell Street for generations, want their neighborhood back.  We demand that this issue is addressed in a swift and lawful manner.  We continue to dance with the same issue that has been brought to the attention of numerous city administrators over the last 10 years with no support or action from the city.

This issue can no longer fall on deaf ears. We are requesting a meeting with city officials, the property owner, and the city attorney at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for your time, together we can preserve Raton’s safety and future. Respectfully, ~Roger Rael, Raton

Letters to the Editor of March 9, 2017

SCCY ROCKS  in the newspaper

Dear Debi and HWJ staff, Thank you so much for the feature on our kids at SCCY ~ I was thrilled to see it and you did a great job capturing our “essence.” It was uplifting for me to have the kids tell it like it is and know that my time, effort, and heart that go into SCCY are so worth it. Thanks for being a part of us and thanks for your belief.

I will send the article out with our correspondence and get good press for both of us.

Thank for giving us the coverage for our happenings ~ like our take out dinner last month we served over 200 smothered bean/meat burrito dinners. WOW.

We, who can think & do positive, must keep our focus & persevere. ~Jann Vail & SCCY Walsenburg

Attend Walsenburg City Council, learn about projects to improve the city, and run for Salazar’s seat from Ward 3

In the last few months I have participated in some of the meetings with the economic development groups hired to help council work on a strategic plan for the city.

Like many of you, I have been through a number of community meetings in the past and heard reports about how we might improve our city.

I think the latest work from Community Matters is professionally written and worth taking the time to read. I especially appreciate the time they have spent to include many members of the community and work directly with council to create a strategic plan. With our new city administrator’s skill in writing grants to help add to city funds, council will be able to choose projects that can make the city a better place to live and work.

I am hoping that more citizens will attend council meetings (first and third Tuesdays at 6:00 PM) to hear what is being discussed and how this council is spending our tax dollars. Ask to see the reports that have been prepared by EPS and Community Matters. Take a few minutes to talk with city council members and listen to what they want to see happen in your city. Most importantly, look in the newspaper today and consider answering the ad for a person to replace Officer Salazar who has resigned his council seat in the 3rd Ward as of March 1. Council has only allowed two weeks for you to send in a letter expressing interest in being appointed to this seat.

I think I may be the last person to have figured out that several members of the current city council are working towards giving the entire city government to the county to run, not just the police department. It appears that the short notice to fill this vacancy on the council is because several council members have already chosen someone who agrees with this position. It may sound good to eliminate all those city employees, but we all need city services and will continue to have to pay for them, but without local representation. ~Monica Birrer Walsenburg

The unauthorized gate on Old Raton Pass Road

To: Raton, NM Mayor Sandra Mantz, Mayor pro Tem Neil Segotta, Commissioner Ronald Chavez, Commissioner Linde Schuster, Commissioner Donald Giacomo, City manager Scott Berry

Subject: The unauthorized erecting of a gate and signing as private property the Old Raton Pass Road to stop or restrict access to city property.

I wish to make it clear that I have no interest in this matter other than concern that city property that I have used for over a decade now has been gated and signed as private property by unauthorized individuals. I do not own property close to the area, personally I know of no one who does other than the ones who placed the gate and signs there.

As a result on March 1, 2017, I was cited by the Colfax County Sheriff’s Office for being in violation of 30-15-01-1009 and as stated on the violation notice for damage to (sic) “no trespassing” signs he said were illegally posted.

The signs allegedly damaged are signs placed on City of Raton Property, specifically on the Old Raton Pass Road. Property owner(s), who own property beyond the gate and the signs, have constructed, erected and shut a gate and signed the area behind the gate as PRIVATE PROPERTY. The signs further state that trespassing is prohibited. The road in question is the property of the City of Raton and has been open to the public for many years. The gate was constructed and placed on the road in the fall of 2016.

I attended a Raton City Commission meeting on November 8, 2016 and spoke to them on the issue when the subject was addressed at that meeting. Several other people were present at that same meeting to address the commission on the same issue. Later I visited privately, two separate times, with Raton City Manager Scott Berry on this same matter. I have also communicated on this matter with City Commissioner Ron Chavez. This dealt with a gate and signs that had been placed across the road limiting access to the Old Raton Pass Road beyond the gate.

I specifically asked both the city commission at the meeting and City Manager Scott Berry, on two separate private meetings with him, if the city had erected the gate or signed the property? The answer in all cases was no. I then specifically asked if the city had authorized anyone to place a gate and sign the property as private? Again was answer no. From both the city commission and City Manager Scott Berry, the city had neither erected the gate, nor signed it, nor had the city authorized anyone to do so.

I then requested that the city instruct who ever had or has had the gate erected and signed the property beyond as private property to remove both the gate and signs. I further asked that if for some reason, the people who had placed the gate and signs refused that the city do this themselves. Neither the city commission nor City Manager Barry did anything about it. City Manager Scott Berry informed me that an opinion had not been received from some legal entity they were dealing with. The gate and signs remain and I now have been cited by the Colfax County Sheriffs Office to magistrate court for allegedly damaging the private property/no trespassing signs placed there.

It is my hope that the City of Raton and the community in general act to stop this effort by whom ever has erected the gate and signed city property as private. This is an effort to stop the citizens from lawfully accessing property, the Old Raton Pass Road, that in all reality belongs to them. If something is not done the citizens of Raton and general public will lose access to a historical road that belongs to them. The gate and signs are clearly meant to keep citizens away from city property that otherwise has been open to them.

This same issue, the gating of the road and signing, has previously been an issue in Raton and before the city commission. The City Commission has addressed this very issue in the past. Now we have a new owner, or owners, beyond the city limits and on either side of the road that has been gated and signed. The issue has started all over again.

The city has an obligation to its citizens to remove the gate and instruct who ever gated and signed to cease and desist in this effort to prohibit their lawful use of the area. ~Preciliano J. Martin Raton, NM

letters to the editor of February 9, 2017

letter of thanks

The students and parents of Peak View Elementary would like to express their appreciation to all who supported their fundraising event. The fundraiser was organized to provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for a group of Peak View sixth and seventh graders to participate in an educational fieldtrip to Washington D. C. in June of this year, a learning experience beyond the classroom. Thank you to all who attended, all who provided items for the silent auction, and to all who contributed with time and dollars. The students will remember this experience forever. ~Santiago Bobian Walsenburg

Letter of thanks

The family of Mary Lou Campagnola would like to thank all of our wonderful family and friends for the amazing support and outpouring we received during this difficult time. We received countless sympathy cards, phone calls, prayers, flowers, food and donations to Sister Carol’s Senior Outreach Program. Our family was very moved by the number of people who attended her funeral services.

In addition, we would like to thank all of you for the wonderful get well cards and prayers that were sent to Mary Lou while she was in the hospital and at the Orchard Park Care Center. She enjoyed getting the cards and was grateful to know so many people cared and thought of her. Thank you for all of the love and support. Sincerely, —Ethel Campagnola and Family, Walsenburg

Letters to the editor of January 5, 2016

Kudos to Cindy and Tim for Christmas dinner

On Christmas Day nearly 100 people blew into Eagles Hall to relish the volunteer work of Cindy and Tim. This couple rounded up other volunteers, put their family into action, cooked, served and cleaned up after a wonderful dinner for the community of Walsenburg.

I served corn and beans and gravy; it was fun.

The guests were grateful, chatted, laughed and put forth good cheer as they savored the hearty dinner. Sweet potatoes were surrounded by an unusually fine recipe. All the other traditional foods were hot and yummy featuring ham and turkey and spicy bean soup. The meal preparation was a tiny bit behind, so guests were supplied with dishes of colorful cookies that calmed their appetites.

Sounds like this enthusiastic couple are “hooked” and have learned through their past dinners for the community the “tricks of the trade.” They plan to be back next year if you’d like to contribute or eat joyously — or both. Keep your eyes and ears open if this sounds good to you.

This completed one more item on my “bucket list.” However, the warm caring experience convinced me to leave the item on my “bucket list” permanently. Last year there were around 200 guests; Cindy and Tim were organizing their additional sharing to groups and individuals with the leftovers as I left.

Congratulations, Cindy and Tim, for yet another gift to the Walsenburg people. You are awesome! and surely “made the day” for many. Many thanks to you and your team. ~A Satisfied, Happy, and Full, Walsenburg Citizen~ Ruth Major

Letters to the editor of December 22, 2016

Sangre de Cristo Volunteers for Community (VFC) thanks you

Once again, now at the close of our 8th year of volunteering together, as president of Sangre de Cristo Volunteers for Community (VFC) I want to thank all of the wonderfully generous Southern Colorado residents, businesses, churches, and organizations who gave so much to make life in our communities even better and more.

Thanks to you we were able to provide huge bags of gifts for 205 children in need this year in Huerfano, Pueblo, and Custer Counties. We continue our volunteer projects in Huerfano County such as monthly food collections at First Choice and at Charlie’s Market for Dorcas Circle, knitting and crocheting for children and vets, highway cleanup, purchase of supplies for local school programs, and all the other projects we’ve been doing in Southern Colorado for years, and invite you to participate with us as we look forward to exciting new opportunities in 2017. We have a great time together, and we could not do it without you. You do not need to be a VFC member to volunteer with us. I wish you all a lovely holiday and a new year full of joy and happiness. Thank you, as always, for all the wonderful things you do. If you’d like to know more about VFC, please call me at 719-250-6097, or find us on Facebook. Our website is We are a 501(c)(3), and gratefully accept your volunteer or financial help. ~Susan Kalman Colorado City

From the Edmund-sons: Thanks to everyone

Dear editor,

Hats off to our wonderful community! Due to strong winds, dry conditions, and an unfortunate mishap on Interstate 25, a grass fire broke out south of Walsenburg last Thursday night. Our Huerfano County Sheriff’s Department, Huerfano County firefighters and neighboring firefighters were quickly on the scene as well as ranchers from all directions. Some arrived with hand shovels and hoes and others with backhoes and a grader.

By the grace of God, and the efforts of so many good people, the wind died down and the fire was contained. Approximately 2,000 acres burned, but no cattle were injured.

Thank you all for your effort. We are blessed to live in Huerfano County and have such wonderful neighbors. ~The Edmundson Family Walsenburg

Trinidad Area Arts Council update

Many of you have been asking, “What’s happening with TAAC?” The intent of this letter is to address some questions you may have.

Yes, TAAC is experiencing some recent and unexpected challenges, but please be assured that your Board is diligently addressing these challenges. We expect Trinidad Area Art Center to continue providing excellent programs for all ages, a quality art gallery, and coordination with other organizations to provide community-wide events. We appreciate your continued support as we work to engage with our bustling arts community.

These are the challenges TAAC is facing:

1) Due to fiduciary irresponsibility, the Board dismissed its Executive Director. This was a very difficult decision and disappointing situation—an investigation is ongoing.

2) TAAC is currently displaced. Gallery Main was bought and the new tenant is willing to pay a higher rent than TAAC can afford. So far, and for various reasons, other locations the Board has considered are not suitable.

What the Board is doing:

1) Continuing an investigation of TAAC’s financial records.

2) Liquidating as much of TAAC’s belongings as possible without losing important assets.

3) We are temporarily storing TAAC items until they are sold or a new space is found as well as actively researching potential business space in which TAAC can maintain a gallery and its art programs.

4) Staying in touch with our grant funders.

5) Going forward with the Holiday Art Market currently set up in the former Fish Pond store space.

6) Planning future fundraisers.

How can you help?

1) Shop at the Holiday Art Market located at 121 E. Main! We have a number of local, talented artists with highly creative, original, non-commercial wares for sale. The Market will be open through Christmas Eve.

2) Notify the Board of any potential space you are aware of that might be suitable for TAAC to rent in the future. We will consider all options, and we need a place to store our stuff! Until we find a more permanent residence, please let us know of any space that would be suitable to continue art classes.

3) Let us know of anyone who might be interested in becoming a member of TAAC. TAAC continues to be a unique organization: it is the only art program between Raton, NM and Pueblo, offering free children’s art programs, as well as a number of paid adult classes, such as our popular Wine, Women, and Watercolor (which is open to men as well!).

4) Renew your own memberships, buy an art program scholarship for a child, or make a general contribution to the organization. Your financial and social support is greatly appreciated!

TAAC is not a viable organization without you—its friends, members, and supporters. As a board, we owe it to you to keep you in the loop of our projects, our successes, and our challenges. TAAC has dealt with difficulties before and survived them. This is not the first time TAAC has been without walls or struggled financially and with all of you working together with us, we will thrive through this transition.

Thank you and Happy Holidays,
Sheigla Hartman, Board President

Mallory Pillard, Board Treasurer

Lisa Ward, Board Secretary

Lucy Dunigan, TAAC Assistant

Roberta Lutgens, Board Member

Dewayne Eakins, Board Member

Paloma Nishenko, Board Member

Jay Obrecht, Board Member

Letters to the editor of December 15, 2016

Christmas activities in Cuchara

To the Editor and the Community,

Well, the tree is up and the lights are lit – time to come on up to magical Cuchara Village to experience Christmas in Cuchara. With the exception of Christmas day when we encourage folks to be home enjoying family and friends, there is something going on in the Village everyday from December 23rd to the 31st! Shopping? Check. At the Country Store, Dakota Dukes and Pieces of my Heart. Eating. Check. Good food at the Dog Bar and the Timbers.

Parties and entertainment? Why not! Wine tasting, dinner variety show, and New Year’s Eve parties through out the week. Check the Timbers and the Dog Bar for details.

How about good old fashioned community spirit? You bet. We have it! Join us for caroling in the newly remodeled charming Cuchara Inn and meet Inn owners, Dani and Scot Lynch who will have cookies and beverages for the carolers. Singing will be led by Peggy Hoobler and accompanied in sign language by Lisa Dasenbrock. We’ll gather on Friday, Dec. 23rd at 5 o’clock in the lobby of the Cuchara Inn. Stick around afterwards to see and hear what the Inn is doing next. And then, of course, there is dinner being served at the Timbers and the Dog Bar.

Then on Christmas Eve there is the special candle light service in the Cuchara Chapel at 6 p.m. Do plan to come early if you want a seat, as this is a popular place to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

One other special free community event is the annual “make a gingerbread house” class taught by Pieces of My Heart owner and very talented lady, Lisa Dasenbrock. She’ll host this at the Country Store-Pieces of My Heart shop at 11 a.m. on December 27th, This is always a popular class and good for all ages! You’ll go home with your own hand made treasure.

New Year’s Eve we have the annual Pine Cone drop on Main street at 10 p.m. It’s a short but sweet gather to sing and wish your friends and neighbors a Happy New Year. Folks come out of the Timbers and the Dog Bar and from their other parties for this gathering in the Village.

And one last thing, not necessarily a holiday event, but a timely one nonetheless – an opportunity to learn about the new county community park, to ask questions and to provide input. We invite you to the first community conversation about the park on Tuesday, December 27th at 4 pm at the Timbers. Representatives from the county and the Cuchara Foundation will be there. Snacks and a cash bar, too!

Hope you will take the opportunity to Discover the Magic in Cuchara Village this holiday season. We’ll be waiting for you! ~The Cuchara Merchants and the Cuchara Foundation

Card of Thanks for spreading joy this Christmas Season

Dear Editor,

I am writing to thank and celebrate Raton and surrounding residents for spreading joy to children around the world this Christmas season. The generosity of Raton volunteers, families and groups paved the way for us to meet our goal of collecting 177 shoebox gifts for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child—the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind.

The greatest joy was seeing local kid’s groups from Young Marines, Youth Alive, AWANA, Des Moines FCA, and 5th Graders along with local churches; kids helping kids throughout the world.

The gift-filled shoeboxes are tangible expressions of God’s love for children around the world suffering from poverty, natural disaster, war, disease, and famine. These children, many of whom have never received a gift before, learn they are loved and not forgotten. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories.

It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though the Raton drop-off location is closed until November 2017, filled shoeboxes are collected year-round at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, North Carolina. Additionally, anyone can conveniently pack a personalized Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift at Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found on the website or by calling Josie Kelly at (575) 445-3996.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this project and for those who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message of hope and continue to transform the lives of children. Sincerely, ~Josie Kelly Relay Center Coordinator NE New Mexico Team Operation Christmas Child, Raton

Poor pitbulls left out in the cold

To Editor-

Due to an accident August 2015, I’ve been limited as far as helping the animals as much as I want.

However I’ve recently received four calls for help.  The address is [redacted] in Walsenburg. What I saw is much worse than I could have imagined.

A very skinny mama pit bull and her pups, if the are alive. Another dog chained, laying in the dirt. NO food out.  There are more pit bulls, I’m told, but I couldn’t see them.

These dogs have no shelter. Forecasted temperatures tonight (12/5) 11-14o, wind gusts to 40 mph Tues. pm 30% chance snow, 12-16o. Wed. pm 10% chance of snow, 0-2o.

Can these poor dogs live?  Or would they want to? Can anything be done? Does anyone care?

While in your warm home tonight think of these suffering animals. Perhaps try to help them, if it is not too late. P.S. Pitbulls are sweet, good natured dogs- I know. I’ve had several… but they need love and care. ~M. Durrum Walsenburg Editor’s note: we redacted the address provided as we at the paper feel it is not our place to call out the person(s) living at the address. We have recommended to Ms. Durrum that she contact local authorities.

Bring Christian hip hop to Walsenburg

To Whom It May Concern:

Derek Zeman is a member of our church as is very concerned for the welfare of the youth of Walsenburg. In his effort to help and guide our yourth he has come up with a plan to bring a popular “Hip Hop” singing group to Walsenburg.

The reason for this letter is to let you know that this is a legitimate and worthwhile cause. The church is behind him and his effort. Please help in his desire to help the youth of our community.

As with all things in our time, it costs money. Our church is small and has very limited resources but we too are contributing to this cause, trusting God to bless the effort and use this group to encourage our young people to live a worthy life.

The influences in our community are not all good and our hgope is to influence those who come to the concert for the good.  We need good honest and upright citizens and Derek is trying to do his part for our youth to become godly, honest and honorable men and women. Please consider helping with this effort.

This is not an effort to bring more members into our church or to teach denominated doctrine. It is an honest effort to rescue our youth fromt he streets, crime, drugs and misery.

There will be no one from our church speaking to those who come, except Derek who is promoting the concert. If you know me, you know I have never asked you for anything or to come to this church. I am asking you now to join this worthy cause for the sake of our children and youth.

Thank you, and may God Bless you.   ~Don Rehling, pastor of First Baptist Church in Walsenburg

Letter to the editor regarding lease of Rio Cuchara Condo #1

Months ago when your contracted workers were trying to fix the roof, there was damage to my property, 1) roof of a 6×12 black enclosed trailer, and concrete spatter on same trailer, also on red Santa Fe and Bronco, but not all.

Roof leaks also ruined food supplies, east side, documented.

Roof leaks in the 2nd bedroom, damage to HP Pavilion laptop screen.

And, while roof was leaking, this year just like last year, said would not pay rent – noted.

So, when I ask to speak to the owner for a second time to discuss damages & lost moneys to household, you said he would come and talk with me.

But thus far that has not happened, just like the conversation that the owner would fix the roof properly when the insurance company paid him. Well it’s been months and coming into winter, I don’t believe its going to be fixed this year, so same problems with melting snow will be problems again.

This will undoubtedly cause me to lose money when I could be teaching.

Just like it did last year’s.

So, when you ask me to pay rent for Dec. 5th thru Jan. 5th, I made a check out, #1065, and you wouldn’t accept it.

That’s on you Rawleigh Salazar, General Manager of the Rio Cucharas Inn & Condos.

I will send check #1065 for rent via certified mail, although you are not real good at responding to certified mail in the past from my arttorney to management of Rio Cucharas @77 Taylor Boulevard, Walsenburg, CO 81089 (Re Rocko’s dog bite, July 13, 2014 on motel property)

Two certified letters from Mintz Law Firm, and no response. ~Steven Shepherd Walsenburg

Thank you to the sheriff’s department

To the World Journal, Our many thanks to the Huerfano Sherriff’s department for their due dilagence on working along side of Darrel and myself to demonstrate the true meaning of “Serve and Protect.” Again mena bigha Thank You. Merry Christmas from the ‘Rio Cucharas Inn’. ~Rawleigh Le Roy Salazar & Darrel Lee Fisher Walsenburg

Warning for lead-foots between Walsenburg and La Veta

Thursday December 1st I was going home from Walsenburg ( I live in La Veta). I admit to being somewhat of a lead-foot so I religiously use my cruise control when on any highway.

Going west when the road widens to two lanes westbound I carefully set my cruise on 65, yes, I know, fudging just a bit.

As I was going up the hill I passed a vehicle pulling a trailer. I immediately moved back into the right lane. As I approached the medical center I met a state trooper. Cruise set on 65, no sweat, right?

Wrong!! The trooper turned around and stopped me about the motel. He came to my truck and asked if I knew why he stopped me, told him I assumed it was for my speed. He said “right, I got you at 73 in a 60 zone.

“WHOA, WAIT A MINUTE HERE, 65-66, I’m guilty, 73, no way. He said he’d cut me a break and charge for 69, which was a 98.50 fine instead of the 170.00 fine for 73.

As you might guess, I’m not a happy camper. The truck has been driven more than 100K miles with nary a whimper as to the speed. He suggested I have my speedometer calibrated.

The next day I was at a dealership and asked about calibration. I was told it wasn’t possible.

So, on my way home I got out my trusty stop watch and timed how long it took from one mile marker to the next on I-25. I don’t have any idea how precisely the mile markers are spaced, but it took me one minute and 6 seconds to cover that distance.

Now this leads me to several conclusions; perhaps trooper Miller needs to have his speed decting device calibrated, perhaps trooper Miller was just trying to get a head start on this months quota, or, perhaps trooper Miller is dishonest ~Howard Hewett La Veta

What goes around comes around

Wow I’m not the only person in town to get their wish. Yes I did vote yes on 300. I had my reasons as well as enough others. Life really is like a merry go round. Sooner or later it will come back around to bit you in the butt.

You brought this upon yourselves. When you mistreat, disrespect and have no consideration for others you will get what you deserve. I have heard Bruce is going to put on more deputies.  I hope and pray he has sense enough not to hire anyone wearing a blue uniform. I do not believe changing the color of ones’ uniform will in any way change your work ethics or habits. Now as of January 1st at least we will get a response to our calls. If you have any sense at all you will use this as a wake up call. I doubt it. ~George Walker Walsenburg

In response to Stephen Miller’s outlook on Walsenburg

Dear Editor:

This is in response to Stephen Miller’s outlook on Walsenburg.

You talk about “our cities name being drug through the Gutter and Trashed”, that is what happened when Drugs and Welfare became the source of income in HUerfano county. Word spread like “WILDFIRE”, Come to Walsenburg have all the babies you want and you will receive Food Stamps, Free Rent, Leap, and of course Disability.

You talk about this town being trashed, I agree, the Yards (Yard GUY) in this community are a disgrace. I know utilities are high in such a small town but it doesn’t cost a dime to bend over and pick the weeds and dispose of them.

You talk about the stigma we need to dispose of in this town has nothign to do with the Police Department. The hard working TAXPAYERS need to dispose of the “YOU OWE ME’s & FREE HAND OUTS”. This community is running out of the people that made this community what it used to be (Farmers, Ranchers, Indpenedent Store Owners, Miners).

In years past the people of Walsenburg were proud “feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one’s achievements or qualities.” One was proud to drive down the streets of Walsenburg, things were taken care of by the property owners and look at it now.

Our world should be taking care of the elerly that made this world what it was not the YOU OWE ME’s. Instead, the elderly are taking care of their Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren from the YOU OWE ME Generation.

I believe you have forgotten about the Stigma that is in everyone’s mind about hte Sheriff Dept.  This change is not going to be free for the taxpayers, just the YOU OWE ME’s.

Every time we have someone (Big City Transplants) that have no clue about this community and what it used to be they think they know what this town needs and act without thinking! The sad thign is all of them didn’t have to make a dime here; they came with their retirmeents or turst funds.

You talk about no taxes staying in this community, that’s because what few people work whether it is here or not, are stretched thin paying for the “YOU OWE ME Generation” in Huerfano County. And most of hte people don’t have to own anything, or pay taxes, because it is given to them. You just have to know the system! Sincerely, ~Jill Sudar Walsenburg

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