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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 Personal attacks, libel, ax-grinding, muckraking, and profanity will not be published.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 August 3, 2017

DA Henry Solano responds


Eric Mullens’ lengthy editorial screed in last week’s paper illuminates the intersection between the rights of the accused and the alleged, “absolute” right of the public to learn the details contained in affidavits submitted to the courts. These are genuine, yet competing interests that must be balanced in criminal matters brought before judges. The documents Mullens is demanding to be routinely released represent initial information which, in order to secure the arrest of an individual (one of the most serious exercises of government power), may contain confidential information necessary to convince court authorities to issue an arrest warrant. Affidavits often contain information that is protected against disclosure under the Canons of Professional Responsibility (the Colorado Supreme Court Standard that follows directly from the U.S. and Colorado Constitutional protections for the accused). This Constitutional protection for a fair trial is the law of the land, trumping even state statutes. While the press enjoy constitutional protection as well, and rightfully so, both U.S and Colorado Supreme Court opinions place that protection secondary to the rights and interest of the accused. The presumption of innocence until tried in open court by a jury of their peers makes our judicial system the fairest in the world .

The open court process and hearings which can and are attended by the press provide a far better venue for insuring the impartial reporting we would all hope for. Mullens dismisses the Code of Professional Responsibility because it is published by the Colorado Bar Association. However these ethical standards have been adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court, with the bar association publication providing commentary by expert committees that provide helpful interpretations for each standard. Failure to adhere to these legal requirements can lead to disciplinary actions, as was evidenced by the actions and omissions that prompted the Colorado Supreme Court to supervise my predecessor. The code of conduct states, “Failure to comply with an obligation or prohibition imposed by a Rule is a basis for invoking the disciplinary process,” as many of your readers will recall.

Not only are all lawyers party to a case instructed that, “…(they) shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of pubic communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing…” a court proceeding; but prosecutors carry a special obligation to “…refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused, and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making.” Whenever this risk arises, I will continue to request closure of records at the discretion of the court. Press curiosity can never be allowed to trump the rights of the accused.

The Press is free to report what is a matter of public record and the District Attorney’s Office supports and encourages them to do so. Huerfano County is small and its jury pool even smaller. Therefore, protecting the integrity of that jury pool and the accused’s right to a fair trial call for precautionary procedures which we are implementing. Not only is it fair to the accused but also nothing is more disruptive and costly than to have a trial transferred to another jurisdiction. Witnesses are adversely impacted, as are the victims of crimes.

Respectfully, ~Henry Solano 3rd Judicial District Attorney

Commissioners, thanks for listening

We want to thank the County Commissioners for their actions today regarding future permits and restrictions on events involving groups of less than 500. There was a very unfortunate event in Gardner this past weekend which could have been avoided if these actions were in place ahead of time. We appreciate that in the future there will be restrictions relating to sanitation, decimal levels, and hours relating to noise. These permit requirements will empower the Sheriff’s department to take appropriate action. ~Nancy Joroff Nancy Olson Dave Wisecarver

A Big Thanks to Tom Pritchard

Dear Editor: We would like to thank Tom Pritchard (The Villagio) for his incredibly generous donation for the roof repair at Washington Underground Rec Center. Thanks to this donation and his oversight of the project, the roof is no longer leaking, which has allowed us to paint without worries. It’s folks like Tom, who make an investment in the community, where so many will benefit. We have many new classes at the rec center, increased attendance and programs to serve all our populations. Thank you Tom! Sincerely, ~District ONE and Washington Underground Staff Walsenburg, CO

May the Fort Be With You

To the Editor,

On July 22, Francisco Fort Museum held its annual Francisco Fort Day celebration. In the past this event was probably the largest event held in La Veta and was held over a two day period. However, in recent years it had waned, dropping to one day, and with low attendance.

With the help of a devoted museum board of directors and a newly formed committee, headed by DeEtta Lessar, Francisco Fort Day is making a comeback! This year the event returned to the closing of West Francisco Street, making the event more visible and accessible. Lessar and her committee returned to many of the old fashioned small town activities that were the charm of the celebration, such as the chicken drop (aka chicken bingo), butter making, a scavenger hunt, and a duck race down the Cuchara River. Mountain Man Will Prator was on hand. Bed races were run. Kid’s activities were held and Bocce Ball was played. In all, more than $1,000 was raised on this single day.

All of this took a lot of work by many volunteers, which I shall now thank:

• The Methodist Church Men’s Group for the pancake breakfast. It brought in $623 for the museum. The second highest amount ever!

• John Carlson for the sound system.

• Michael Kernor for blacksmithing demos.

• The museum staff: Nancy Christofferson, Mike Crowbridge, and Lee Ferraro. • Shane Clouse for emceeing the event.

• Mayor Doug Brgoch for his help on honoring local pioneers.

• John Van Keuren for researching and building a Faro card game board, associated equipment, and for teaching folks how to play Faro, which was the gambling game of its day.

• The Tom and DeEtta Lessar family for loads of work! On behalf of the Huerfano County Historical Society and the Francisco Fort Museum Board of Directors I’d like to thank all of the above, along with the citizens of Huerfano County, who continuously support the fort. ~Bob Kennemer, Museum Director, La Veta, CO P.S. In the words of Col. John M. Francisco, “May the Fort be with you.”

Marion Vigil is retiring from Colfax General Long Term Care

It is with deep sadness that I announce my retirement from the board of the Colfax General Long Term Care facility. Due to my illness and the loss of my good friend and confidant Bill Norris—who had said he would be by my side as chairman of the board. Bill is going to be hard to replace. He had indicated to me that he would be around to help continue to guide me in my position following his retirement. It’s not an easy job to be chairman of the facility in this day and age. We are truly thankful for Bill’s efforts in guiding and maintaining a 5 Star Long Term Care facility in Springer.

I want to thank all of the people of Springer, Cimarron, Maxwell and Angel Fire and especially my fellow board members. I hope that you can continue to stay and represent the facility and do a good job. I loved all of the employees at the facility—everyone from the laundry workers to CNAs and to those at the top. I hope that you can continue to do well and carry on with what you have to do.

My hope is that you continue to take very good care of the residents and their families by providing them with the utmost respect that they are owed. They are who is most important! My family and I are forever grateful and thankful to all who took great pride in caring for my husband while he was at the facility.

I will always treasure the time I served on the board and wish to thank all of the people who voted for me for the last 29+ years that I was able to serve Colfax General and the community. Thank you all! May God Bless you for every time you voted for me with the confidence that I carry on the duties as a board member and chairman. Thank you. Respectfully, ~Marian T. Vigil Springer, NM

Letters to the Editor and Card of Thanks of July 27, 2017

Letters to the Editior

Highway 160 widening project

Several weeks ago, a major widening project began on highway 160 along an approximate three mile stretch. The purpose was to widen a stretch of highway that has been the cause of many traffic accidents in the past. To complete this project safely and efficiently, concrete barriers were placed close to the highway border along the eastbound lane.

Three weeks ago, I had a near death experience that made me think about the “death trap” that was created by the concrete barriers. I had an oncoming truck start to come across the median line and in a split second I realized I had no place to escape on my right side. Fortunately, I honked and the truck quickly corrected back on his side of the highway. I became afraid at this point and started talking to others who had had a similar experience and realized that the speed limit was 55, passing was allowed, traffic was heavy, rumble strips were present in the center of the lanes but no escape access was allowed on the shoulder of the highway for eastbound traffic.

I called the Department of Transportation and was connected with the Project Engineer, Joe D. Hart who listened to my concerns and said he would follow up. I am writing this letter to let our community know that he did follow up and others agreed there were some problems and wanted to work in trying to make the situation a little safer for us all. Here is what they did: reduce the speed to 45 mph, paint no passing lines on most of the section (at least where the concrete barriers are located), post no passing zone signs, and promise to provide off duty patrol officers sporadically to monitor the speed and no passing abuse.

In my opinion, currently people are still speeding well over the 45 mph and passing in the no passing zone. I have had two other close encounters and am still worried about human safety especially during this summer busy travel season. Please everyone drive carefully through this area Thank you. ~Kathy Brown La Veta, CO

Barriers are there to protect workers

I read with interest Kathy Brown’s letter to the editor last week about the danger the concrete abutments posed to drivers on the Highway 160 widening project and thought the same, dangerous. The point is obvious,the concrete protects the CDOT workers at the expense of the drivers. ~Brendt Berger Walsenburg, CO

No to AHCA

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) should not be repealed without simultaneously replacing it with legislation that guarantees adequate coverage for the American people. The bill the House passed, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), falls woefully short of that standard. And if coverage cannot be preserved, then hospitals, especially in rural counties, must be compensated properly for the inevitable onslaught of uninsured patients.

In that case, the health system payment reductions that were used to expand coverage under the ACA must be restored, because our community hospitals will need extra resources to care for those lacking coverage. I know finances can be tight at rural hospitals; I fear that if they can’t be fairly reimbursed, access may be limited.

The funding issue goes beyond health care. As an officer of the law, I can tell you that rural hospitals are instrumental in processing and gathering evidence in many criminal cases. For example, they draw blood from drunk driving suspects or those involved in other crimes. If a drunk driving suspect had to be taken to another hospital miles away, the blood alcohol would dissipate and law enforcement personnel would be busy transporting suspects rather than patrolling our community.

By 2026, the AHCA policies would result in an additional 23 million people without coverage, while Medicaid would be cut by $834 billion. I’m not sure rural hospitals can absorb that impact. The bill is now in the Senate; hopefully, Senator Gardner can help improve upon the AHCA as currently written. ~Sheriff James W. Casias Las Animas County

Tirade to editor: Keep your trash off my road

Okay, so I know the price of disposal at the Walsenburg Waste Transfer Station is going up, but could those of you who can’t afford the cost for disposal of mattresses, TV’s, couches, etc., etc., etc., please stop dumping them on our county roads? This is like dumping your trash in your neighbor’s yard or on Main Street. Cough up the $6 and go to the transfer station. You’ll feel better about yourself and the blood pressure of all the folks living along the road will go back to normal. Thanks! ~Mary Jo Tesitor Walsenburg, CO

Unchangeable Laws

For umpteen years humans have been dealing with seemingly unchangeable laws.

Take for example, the Law of Gravity which until the Space Age stood immovable.

Then there is the Biblical Law of the Medes and Persians. See the Old Testament book of Daniel, Chapter 6, verse 8, for the reason and results of this unchangeable blue law.

As a law-abiding citizen of Walsenburg, Colorado, I have personally endured two long years of sleep deprivation and a substantial loss of hearing brought about by a railroad regulation that uses a warning tactic to avoid lawsuit responsibility.

For every train passing through Walsenburg’s five midtown street crossings, engineers MUST honk their air horns four times – (long, long, short, long) which means twenty times per train.

All of this mind-boggling sound despite traffic gates, warning lights, and bells already required by the Federal Government.

Actually the only unchangeable laws that are still in effect today are taxes and death.

Since heavy taxes are levied on harmful products like tobacco, alcohol and marijuana, why not place a tax $ on railroad companies whose rails pass through a town’s populated areas and street crossings?

To me, noise pollution may be as damaging to a person’s physical and mental health as an addictive drug.

What do you think about this idea? Sincerely, ~LaVona Heide Walsenburg, CO 

Legal Incompetence???

This is an editorial but really it should be a public service announcement.

In Colorado, I’m referencing Colorado Revised Statute 15-11-804

When I lived in Walsenburg, Colorado, a District Judge ruled in my divorce settlement that I receive one half of the life insurance money of my late-ex-husband.  He had died unexpectedly from a heart attack eight days after our divorce was granted. The property settlement of the divorce wasn’t completed for another five months.

In finalizing the divorce, the judge had granted me half of the life insurance to be my property settlement. I have since learned that Colorado has a law that does not allow such a grant. No divorcee can receive life insurance benefits of an ex-spouse. SO – I GOT NOTHING! It was a shock and now I have no recourse!

I believe that judges should know the law.

Life insurance companies and agents all certainly need to know about this law and inform all their agents and clients.

Also attorneys need to be aware of this law when drawing up wills and divorce proposals.

In all these legal documents (the Will, Insurance Policy, and Final Divorce Order) I was the named beneficiary and legal recipient, but in kind it meant nothing because all these documents and the judge’s ruling were deemed not valid and were overturned.

This is also Iowa law – Iowa Code 598-20A.

I do not know how many other states have a similar law, but I advise you to check for yourself and have all your affairs in order or you may be faced with the same fate as I. ~Donna “DJ Medsker” Hoops Storm Lake, Iowa

huerfano co sheriff very professional

I would like to acknowledge the professionalism of our Huerfano County Sheriff’s Department, specifically as demonstrated by deputies Sgt. Corey Daniels and Capt. Craig Lessar.

I am John Chadil, owner of The Main Event, located on 7th Street across from Safeway in Walsenburg. Around 9:45 pm on the evening of July 18, 2017, several juveniles smashed the 6ft x 6ft glass window of my retail store and stole over $300 of merchandise from the window display. With the prompt and extremely professional response of the above mentioned deputies, these juveniles were immediately apprehended and the stolen merchandise was recovered. I applaud the professionalism of these deputies. ~John J. Chadil Walsenburg

Card of Thanks

JMHS Tiny Home worth the drive

From our corner of the state, I headed to Walsenburg on an adventure. It was to see the completed “tiny house” remodeled by John Mall high school students. I regret waiting so long to write this letter of praise; however, the day trip was well worth my time.

The drive is nearly 2 hours and I arrived near 11:00 a.m. on May 22. Upon entering the shop, I was amazed at the size of the project as I had pictured an “activity bus” similar to those of our small district. Payne invited me to check it out and I eagerly did so. A petite high school student was my tour guide and she happily described the plans, efforts, pitfalls of the shop class. Other students arrived and gave their points of view.

I climbed aboard and noticed first the Phoenix to the left of steps. It was a stylized metal piece of art mounted to the wall. Good symbolism, students! In sock feet, I continued through the living area to the tiny kitchen. There was a round opening, which actually was for wood stove pipe, if the purchaser so desired. What I loved was the tin work flaring out from opening like large metallic petals. Then she directed my attention to the composting toilet area which also sported a bit of colorful wall art. The plan implemented made good sense and I was beginning to see the breadth of the research Payne and his students used.

Back to the raised bedroom area we went where I noticed a good deal of storage, as well. A double bed was the focus and to the left was an additional single bed platform. Underneath were more storage areas. They had used recycled wood everywhere and it added to the rustic look. The burnt red color of the flooring was appealing, which Payne noted was donated. Heading back up front, to the right was an area that appeared to be a possible desk/computer area or if needed, another bed. I was enthralled with the “tiny home”.

The builders were adventurous in the décor. What I describe as an Alaskan totem was mounted near an exit. Four dark brown wood segments were spaced apart on the wall with red, black, yellow features. The students/ teacher did not stop there. They decorated the interior with hanging wooden lights, a woven basket which held dried blooms, green plants, and pillows. Detailed plan sketches were also displayed.

Shop teachers everywhere come up with exciting ideas for building projects and this was certainly an amazing testament to creativity and frugality. Payne’s students learned many lessons during this year long project which they will never forget. Job well done everyone! I hope a good home was found for the tiny house. ~Nora Gilstrap Branson, CO

Thank you for your hard work

Gretchen…I cannot tell you enough how much you have helped all of us in Huerfano County by ALWAYS going the extra mile to promote the various events…It means so much to me and everyone. YOU are what a local newspaper is all about…When I worked for The Mobile Register…we had a section called LIVING…it was like a weekly newspaper inside the daily..It was really the most read part of the paper, in my estimation. People loved that section because it was about all of them.

It’s so important to our county to get the word out and you do that so well.

Thank you so much for that and for just being a great person…You do the Sporleder and Orr name proud! ~Leslee Filer La Veta, CO

Thank you to Jan Tucker

On July 12, 2017, I took my little Cuddles to the Best Friends Grooming Parlor to be groomed. I did not know my check book had fallen to the ground until I went to the Post Office.  As soon as I discovered this I went back and began looking around, and it was nowhere to be found. There was a car parked in the spot and I was getting ready to leave when a beautiful lady came to her car. Linda and i told her we were looking for my check book, and she said, “Is this is?” She had found it and was going to take it to the bank.  This beautiful lady was Jan Tucker.  I then thanked her for her honesty and I “THANK YOU” again and GOD BLESS you. Sincerely, ~Jeanette Booze Walsenburg, CO 

Wonderful Weekend in the Music Capitol

Dear Editor:

I love Huerfano County. There were so many good things going on this weekend to showcase our beautiful Cuchara Valley. And what a rich “down pour” of great and diverse music. I want to give a particular thank you to the Celtic Festival folk and the Uptop folk for hosting the amazing Eileen Ivers concert, but am so appreciative for all that happened. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could continue this momentum, co-ordinate efforts and become the Music Capitol of Southern Colorado? We have got all the seeds; just need to cultivate them. A community garden of musical genius! Thanks to all who worked hard to make these events happen….and to all who got to enjoy the fruits of those labors. ~Sandy Dolak La Veta, CO

Thanks for the endorsement

We would like to thank the Huerfano County Commissions for their endorsement of the Museum of Friends nomination to the Most Endangered Places Program of History Colorado. The Commissioners unanimously agreed to nominate the Roof and Dick Building and also write a letter of support. This was not reflected in last week’s paper regarding the weekly meeting. The County support is important to the museum’s restoration process which includes ADA compliance, elevator to the second floor, interior staircase, expanded classroom and workshop areas for a long distance learning lab, energy efficiency and much more to build capacity to better serve our community and help develop Walsenburg as a tourist destination with greater economic opportunities for all. This important news of cooperation with the County is instrumental to MOF’s continued success. Thank You Sincerely, ~ Brendt Berger Museum of Friends Walsenburg, CO

Card of Thanks of July 13, 2017

Thanks for successful event

Thanks to the local landowners who have made this “bucket-list” trail possible, the SoCo Endurance horse races have gained national attention. Not only is SoCo Endurance putting on a total of three events this summer, the venue will be hosting the 2017 AERC National Championship 50 and 100 mile races in August! None of this would be possible without the willingness of local landowners to allow the trails to cross their land. It’s because of local ranching families like the Andreatta’s, Kreutzer’s, Albright’s, Lane’s, Duzenak’s, Schulein’s, Blaine’s, Blouin’s, Burkette’s, and many more, that these events are made possible. Each and every landowner is crucial to create safe, flowing loops for the competitors, I cannot thank them enough for working with me. They have been gracious and forgiving hosts as I piece together the trail each year, and for each event. I want the world to know what a truly rare and special trail this is, it’s breathtakingly gorgeous and equally breathtaking is the challenge this high-altitude technical mountain trail presents to the athletes. Being on private land, open only to registered SoCo competitors, during AERC sanctioned endurance events, it is also the most exclusive endurance trail in the world. It comes out of the goodness of the land-owners hearts and a mutual passion for the beauty of this area, outdoor recreation, and respect for these equine athletes that this is possible. The perpetuity of this trail is of utmost importance to me, my dream is for this 130+mile trail (perhaps among other things) to be my legacy. I will continue to strive to improve my SoCo Endurance events, for the benefit of the local area, the landowners, the land itself, and for riders across the globe. -Tennessee Lane, owner & founder of Remuda Run and SoCo Endurance La Veta

Thank you to Eric Mullens


My sincere gratitude to you for the kind words you wrote about me from our interview last week. These days, now almost a week, have had so much emotion, both of gratitude as well as trepidation for what’s ahead. Your summary of my passion for my position at SPVCLC captured it so well and I’m so grateful that you shared that with our community so they know that life is really good for our Veterans/Residents. I truly am honored by your words. Thanks you for the time you gave me and as I had said at the beginning of our conversation, for all the Board meetings you covered so well also. You give our community a needed knowledge of all of SPRHC. I hope to see you around soon.

Thank you so much, Eric. ~Marty Schlink Huerfano/Pueblo West

Thank you for the help getting to florida

I would like to thank Vialpando Catering, my Coach, and all of my family and friends and the people who supported me to help me get to Florida for this Basketball Fraternity that I will be going to at the end of this month.

Thanks to my aunt and uncle Harold and Heather Vargas for paying for my entry fee to be there. And also thanks to my grandparents for their big support. ~AriOnna Medina Walsenburg

SPRHC thanks sponsors

Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center would like to THANK our Co-Sponsors for their donations along with Spanish Peaks Health Center for the 2017 4th of July Firework display held at the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center/Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center campus that made our celebration a success!

Our Co-Sponsors include – The Signature Newspaper, Huerfano Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center Resident Council, Dr. Michael A. Moll, Spanish Peaks HealthCare Foundation, San Isabel Electric Association, The First National Bank in Trinidad-Huerfano County Branch, Huerfano County Commissioners, Terri L. Montoya, City of Walsenburg, and Armida’s Boutique & Stuff. Our thanks to KSPK for announcements and music, to Bob and Margie Damjanovich and the fireworks team for our pyrotechnical show, Huerfano County Fire Department, Colorado State Patrol, Joe Camacho, MC and sound, Alexis Montoya singing the National Anthem, and to all our staff that assisted in the celebration for our residents and our community! ~Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center Walsenburg

Thanks for a great fundraiser

I, Melissa, mother of Elijah J. Sandoval, would like to thank everyone who contributed, in some way or another, to support my sons trip to Florida. The outcome was tremendous and more successful than we anticipated. Thank you to those who joined us for breakfast, sent donations and bought from our bake sale. Thank you to Jim Garcia for the use of The Eagles Hall. To all the wonderful ladies at The Outreach and Women’s Clinic; Debbie, Bernice, Ellen, Leslie, Marie, Candace and Elisa for their donations and for being amazing women to work with. To Tony and crew at George’s and Serena and crew at 7th St Deli, thank you for allowing us to leave our buckets for donations. To Joann and Angela from Safeway, thank you for baking such delicious goodies. Last but not least, thank you to grandparents, Max and Susan, Aunties Marti, Penny and Jenni, Uncles Sonny and Greg, Cousins Lainie, Logan, Ava and Kiana. Without your help especially, we couldn’t have gotten everything together for a successful fundraiser. We appreciate you all!!! Thank you!!! ~ Melissa Aguirre and Elijah Sandoval

Thank you for being aware of elder abuse

In June our communities recognized World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEEAD). Trinidad City Council proclaimed Wednesday, June 14th as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Trinidad. The Huerfano County Commissioners proclaimed Thursday, June 15th as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Huerfano County. We appreciate their recognition and would like to extend sincere gratitude to them for their partnership to serve our senior population.

The South Central Council of Governments (SCCOG) Area Agency on Aging (AAA) partnered with the Department of Human Services (DHS) Adult Protection Services in Las Animas and Huerfano Counties to hold senior fairs at the AAA meal sites in Trinidad and Walsenburg. There was tremendous support from agencies that serve our senior population. These agencies spent both days sharing resources and marketing items; and donated prizes for a drawing for seniors. Many businesses in Trinidad and Walsenburg supported our efforts by donating prizes, too. LACDHS has recognized Trinidad businesses. A special thanks to the Walsenburg businesses Armida’s, George’s, First Choice, Dollar General, Serendipity, Walsenburg Lumbar, Uptown Liquors, Walsenburg Insurance Center, World Journal, and Huerfano Nursery/Garden Center. Every senior attendee received a prize at both events.

SCCOG AAA kitchen and administrative staff went above and beyond their call of duty. AAA sponsored shredding bins in Walsenburg and Trinidad. The success of these events are credited to the following fantastic SCCOG employees: Carol, Brittany, Carole, Dawn, Yvette, Nancy, Anna, Pam, Kim, and Dan. I would also like to recognize the Sayre Senior Center staff and their many volunteers and the volunteers at the Huerfano County Community Center.

Most of all I want to thank the seniors that participate in our AAA program.

Your participation is our success! ~Veronica Maes Area Agency on Aging Director

Letters to the Editor of June 29, 2017

Thanks for the tickets!

Dear World Journal and Trinidad Triggers,

Thank you for your generous donation of 20 Trinidad Trigger Baseball tickets for our Summer Reading Program. It will be used in our program for prizes. We appreciate your support. Sincerely, ~Sherry Pearson Children’s Librarian at Spanish Peaks Library District

Card of thanks

Dear Editor,

The Harriman family wishes to convey our sincere appreciation for your prayers and support during this difficult time for us.

There are hardly any words to express our heartfelt thanks to all who reached out to comfort us in the loss of our son and brother, Ray Gerald Harriman.

We are deeply grateful to all of you. Sincerely ~The Harriman Family

political difference and daily life

Even as a prideful unaffiliated voter, with a proven record of support for candidates of both major parties, I acknowledge experiencing a sense of hurt with the outcome of the last presidential election. Many that I count as friends were aware of my disappointment. With this backdrop, in light of the recent act of violence in Arlington, VA, a bit of reflection is offered as follows.

In 2008, when I was hospitalized for an invasive medical test, a person with diametrically opposed political views kindly resettled me in my home at the time in Broomfield, CO. More recently, earlier this year, when I found myself in intense pain in a hospital in Kerrville, TX, it was a Trump supporter who appeared (unsolicited) to offer comfort there and to rescue my dog stranded at my house. A few days later, as I was rolled into emergency surgery, it was not a hundreds-of-miles distant family member there to witness me rolling down what I call the great corridor of uncertainty. You guessed it. It was still another Trump supporter.

I could go on with examples, but you see the point. Those with strongly opposing political persuasions can and do add immense value to our daily lives where so much is at stake. These situations are powerful reminders that even as our attempts to persuade spill over into the realm of “argue and fuss”- surely as humans we can avoid any instinct to fight. Here’s to disagreeing in peace and love! ~ Ben W. Wiley Walsenburg

Sheriff responds to comments & criticisms

Dear Editor.

I was advised there was going to be a meeting by email from the DA’s Office on June 26, 2017, I was not asked if there was a conflict with my schedule, just that I was invited. I understand there were several other agencies asked to attend and I assume it was set around their schedules, which I understand. I did respond by email and advised I was going to be out of town that day (actually out of state).

I understand there were a lot of concerns and good questions asked, I also understand that the questions were either not answered, answered incorrectly or not answered fully which is understandable because the only people that can answer them fully and correctly is the agency involved who knows what is actually going on. I also understand that some of the questions were from old Walsenburg Police Department cases, that we had nothing to do with.

Some questions would involve other agencies, example: death investigation questions should be answered by the coroner.

One concern was a burglary suspect with a long criminal history who was released on a PR bond. The way bonds work is when the suspect goes to court his lawyer will request either a lower bond or a PR bond. The district attorney can either agree to the bond or fight it. The sheriff’s department has no control over bonds at all. We arrest the suspect, present the evidence to the district attorney who prosecutes the case.

Some people came away from this meeting with the idea that the criminals are running wild in Walsenburg and the sheriff’s department is doing nothing about it. If I had known what this meeting was going to be like, I would have had a deputy there. I didn’t, that’s my mistake. We are still patrolling the city and county, making arrests (we made over 60 arrests the first 3 months of this year alone) and investigating crimes.

I would like to set up another town meeting that everybody can attend (the DA, the coroner and myself) so these questions and concerns can be answered fully and accurately. ~Bruce Newman Huerfano County Sheriff

A breath of fresh air

Last night I attended the public meeting on crime at the Huerfano County Community Center and came away very impressed by our new 3rd. Judicial District Attorney, Henry Solano. He presented a team of professionals, federal, state and local who working together are committed to improving the safety, wellbeing and quality of life in our community. I applaud his efforts and implore all concerned citizens to work with him and his team. With the heartfelt passion I observed at last nights meeting, working together we can make a big difference. I am very hopeful, thank you Henry for providing us the opportunity to improve the quality of our lives in our community. Sincerely ~Brendt Berger Walsenburg

Letters to the Editor of June 22, 2017

Card of thanks

We, the family of Pete Maldonado, would like to thank everyone who showed us love and compassion for our loved one, Pete Maldonado.

We would like to thank the Sangre de Cristo Hospice and staff for the loving care they gave him. A big thank you to Father Stephen Olamolu and staff for a beautiful Mass. A thank you to the Knights of Columbus, Latino Club, and Eagles #1187 for their accompaniment for their brother Pete. A big thank you to the Vialpando family for providing a delicious meal for the reception.

To everyone who sent cards, flowers, or food, or made phone calls, and to those who came to visit us, words cannot express our gratitude. Lastly, we would like to thank our family members and friends who were here to help us. Sincerely, ~The Maldonado family and the Santistevan family Walsenburg, CO

Card of thanks

The family of Cheryl Tenorio Ortiz would like to express our deepest appreciation and sincere gratitude for those who stood by our side, for the love and kindness shown to us during our great loss. Thanks to all who offered prayers, sent food, flowers, cards, and money.

Special thanks to Danette Cruz who bought Cheryl’s dress; to H.W. Houston for the flowers; to Father Stephen Olamolu for the Mass; to Brian and Brandon for the use of the Golf Course; to Elaine and Stella for their help in getting things together; to those who performed the Native American ceremony; and to Boies-Ortega Funeral Home.

Your attendance was greatly appreciated. Keep us in your prayers. Thank you, also, to those who helped us for Cheryl’s daughter’s graduation and for keeping us strong. God bless you all. ~The family of Cheryl Tenorio Ortiz Walsenburg, CO

Thanks for a great rodeo event

We would like to thank all of our sponsors from Huerfano County and Pueblo County who helped make the Gallo Rodeo a reality and possible. Also to all the belt buckle donors who made it possible for the Gallo Rodeo and also to the color guard who came from Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Walsenburg to re-recognize the Raymond Aguirre Community Center, and Ariana Medina who sang the National Anthem. There were people from World War I, II, Vietnam, and Desert Storm that were mentioned that day from the surrounding Gardner area at that ceremony.

After the ceremony, awards were presented to present and past county commissioners and to our greatly appreciated teachers of Gardner and Walsenburg, and our past-Fire Department and Emergency Service, and to our past and present rodeo people and to some of our Good Samaritans of Gardner, and our 4-H. We would also like to thank the World Journal and KSPK for giving us our advertisement.

We would like to thank Myra Trujillo, Kathy Harmes, and Pete Trujillo for their help, along with the kids of SCCY, who kept our grounds and bathrooms clean and picked up. We would like to thank Dave and Jody Wolf and all of his help to make the rodeo for the rough stock a success. Also Lenny Sandoval and the RCC Club of Colorado City with the kids’ events, and also Luke and Kendra Vargas from the Last Chance Arena with the Team Roping who made this rodeo possible.

We would also like to thank Harold Vargas, Jr. and Ed Newby and their Local 798 Pipeliners Union hands from Tulsa, OK who came and spent many hours repairing our arena with sucker rod and pipe that was donated by Oxy Sheep Mountain Project. Also, we would like to thank Alana and Amos Mace for their donation for the added purse. Thank you for all your support of the Gallo Rodeo. Hope to see you all next year. ~Harold Vargas, Gallo Rodeo Gardner, CO


To: All members of the Las Animas County Democratic Party Vacancy Committee and any other interested party:

On Friday, June 16, by order of the Las Animas County District Court, a vacancy was declared with regard to the County Commissioner representing District 1. According to the Colorado Constitution, Article XIV, Section 9, this vacancy must be filled, within 10 days of its occurrence by the Vacancy Committee of the party that held the office vacated.

According to Rules of the Las Animas County Central Committee, the Vacancy Committee is comprised of all democrat elected officials in the county, the five officers of the county Central Committee, and three additional members selected by the local Central Committee. If the local Vacancy Committee fails to appoint a qualified elector to the vacated County Commissioner seat within the 10 days, the Governor is required to make the appointment within 15 days. According to CRS 1-12-206, a Vacancy Committee may not appoint a person to fill a vacancy at a meeting held pursuant to this section unless a written notice announcing the time and location of the Vacancy Committee meeting is mailed to each member of the Vacancy Committee at least 6 days before the meeting by the chairperson of the Central Committee. Therefore,

Please Take Notice that the Las Animas County Democratic Party Vacancy Committee will meet at 5 p.m., on Monday, June 26 (the 10th day of the 10 day period), for the purpose of appointing a County Commissioner to fill the vacancy in District 1.

The meeting to select the appointee will be held in the Trinidad Community Center, 1309 Beshoar Ave, Trinidad, Colorado, 81082. All Vacancy Committee members are requested to attend this important meeting.

The newly appointed Commissioner will serve until the next General Election.

Any person qualified and interested in being appointed to this position may submit a “letter of interest” to the Vacancy Committee; Attn: Teresa Garrison, on or before 4 p.m., on Friday, June 23, by personal delivery at the Law Offices of Jesse Manzanares, 112 East Second Street, Trinidad, Colorado 81082. Interviews may be conducted at the meeting on Monday afternoon and all persons submitting “letters of interest” should plan to attend this meeting.

Qualifications for appointment are: You must be over the age of 18, be qualified elector of the county, a registered voter in Las Animas County, a resident of the county for at least one year, a democrat, and a bona fide resident of District 1.

The Vacancy Committee was aware of the pending lawsuit that resulted in the declaration of this vacancy but did not receive notice of the Court Order until Monday afternoon, June 19.

Voting by the Vacancy Committee will be by open ballot as required by state rules. By virtue of the fact that I intend to submit a “letter of interest”, I hereby appoint Teresa Garrison, Vice Chair, to act as Chairperson of this Committee and to preside over its actions and deliberations.

Copies sent to Vacancy Committee Members. Signed by ~James W. Casias, Chairman, Las Animas County Democratic Party.

Letters to the Editor of June 15, 2017

Thanks, with Love

Dear Friends ,

We at St. Benedict wish to thank all of you for helping us along the process of closing our “Tiny Church, Big Heart’. This community could not have been more supportive. You have known us for almost 40 years in this valley so you know how difficult that life changing decision was. You have all faced those tough ones and we are proud of the way we faced up to this decision. We did not wait for mold and bitterness to creep in. We made the decision proudly and honestly with the eye to the fact that our few members will continue their individual ministries in different buildings and with different congregations. The ‘Heart’ of our church has always been in outreach to our community and that will continue. I will close with a quote from St Benedict of Nursia in about 500AD, “Listen carefully, my child, to my instructions and attend to them with the ear of you heart. This is advice from one who loves you, welcome it and faithfully put it into practice.”

With thanks and love,

~St. Benedict Episcopal Church, La Veta Rev. Dr. Alex Howard, Partnership Vicar John Frederick, Bishop’s Warden Eleanor Foley Lay Pastoral Leader and our Congregation

Letters to the Editor/Card of thanks of June 8, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Plea to the town of La Veta

To the Mayor and Town Board Trustees, and the Citizens of La Veta. Some Information Regarding the Geology and Hydrology of La Veta and Huerfano County

1. Fracking threatens the quality of our surface water, which includes streams, lakes, and irrigation ditches, and the groundwater deep in the earth and up through the groundwater table closest to the surface.

2. Fracking pollutes the air by releasing toxic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).

3. Our geology is fragile because it has been fractured by cracks created by the magmas that uplifted our region. The molten magmas, under very high temperature and pressure, fractured the sedimentary layers wherever they contacted them, creating spaces that allow water to pass through them. This created our igneous intrusive landforms that range in size from the large Spanish Peaks, the smaller sills and radial dikes and intrusive conduits such as Goemmer’s Butte, the Huerfano Butte and the Black Hills that crisscross the western part of our county.

4. Thus, virtually all of the dikes and large igneous intrusives have aquifers in the contact zones with their metamorphosed sediments where the magmas came into contact with them.

5. This allows fluids (and toxins) to move without restriction through our geology.

6. Note that our clean groundwater was created by glacial runoff over the last three million years, and that is not happening anymore because the glaciers are gone.

The toxification of our clean groundwater and air is not worth any price that we can get for our water.

Just this year we have been given a “Gift.” We have finally received enough precipitation to begin to replenish our ground water aquifers, our surface water, and our reservoirs (the town lakes, etc) and the Cucharas River.

We have been given a new lease on our quality life here in our valley.  The drought has been momentarily put on hold.  We can still live here longer; we can have our gardens, go to our La Veta Library, look around and see these fantastic views (never better than they have been this year), have our farmer’s markets, and have our Community and continue to interact with each other!

Where will we even go if we don’t have good water?  We are not going to find a better place to live anywhere else.

My Sincere Thanks to The Mayor and the Town Trustees, and our Citizens, for all that you do for the Town of La Veta. ~ Larry Harris, Geologist and Resident of La Veta for 37 years

Love a Parade…

If you love a parade – or better yet – would like to be in a parade, you’re in luck. The La Veta/ Cuchara Chamber of commerce is seeking those interested in showing off their stars and stripes in this year’s annual Independence Day celebration on Saturday, July 1. The theme of this year’s parade is “La Veta – Then and Now.”

If you’d like to participate by sharing your interpretation of the American Dream in costume, contraption, or a traditional float, we’d love to see you in this year’s parade. We welcome individuals, organizations, agencies, and civic, church, and school groups.

Those interested can contact the Chamber of Commerce at or by calling us at 742-3676. We hope to see your sparkle there! ~La Veta/Cuchara Chamber of Commerce


I am greatly disappointed the subject of school closure for Gardner Elementary has been brought up again. It is important the community understand they have a voice and let their elected officials know what they want done.

Gardner Elementary is important to Huerfano County— its loss would be devastating.

Below are highlights from my letter to the school board and administration. I am sharing it with the community to encourage them to speak out on this issue.

I entreat you to consider all of the facts that make Gardner Elementary the best K-8 school in Huerfano County. Gardner fills a need not met by other schools in the county. When I realized you were considering school closure for Gardner I wrote a list of the things that make it the only school I would send my kids to in Huerfano County.

Peakview and La Veta have their own strengths and I am not diminishing the efforts of those working in these schools and their niches in the county.

Gardner is unique to all of my experience in schools as a student attending, as a teaching student for practicums, and as an employee.

If I did not have personal reasons to leave the county, I would continue with my employment at Gardner School happily.

The following are strengths making Gardner School a positive and indispensable asset to Huerfano County.

1. Gardner students are kind and responsible. Having worked in La Veta Schools I came to know students who had attended Gardner Elementary. It was readily apparent students who transferred from Gardner consistently demonstrated cooperation, kindness and responsibility to a level significantly higher than their peers.

2. Gardner provides opportunities to practice higher order thinking skills. Gardner’s monthly STEM activities exposes students to structured challenges, and the opportunity to build problem solving skills. Students in each group range from Kinder to 8th grade. This allows them to interact in a structured situation where each, regardless of age, has something to contribute to solving the challenge. The collaborative, communication and problem solving skills they use mirror real world situations.

3. Gardner School does an excellent job of fostering and maintaining community, parent, student and teaching relationships. Gardner has a large number of volunteers without student connections in the school. Pam is also focused on developing relationships with community, parents and school staff and administration, resulting in a school culture promoting community and parent buy in and support.

4. Small class sizes: The class sizes in Gardner allow for greater flexibility within the classroom.

5. School culture: Pam fosters an environment focused on learning, supportive relationships and excellent performance. Students at Gardner feel safe, feel important and as a result participate at a high level and are making great strides in their skill sets.

6. Minimal discipline issues: The environment created by school staff teaches students to work together as a team and support one another. Discipline issues in Gardner are minimal. The overall atmosphere helps student feel safe and accepted which promotes learning and high performance.

7. Leadership teaching: The students at Gardner are given many opportunities to practice being leaders. STEM days, quarterly class led programs and morning meetings give students opportunities to lead group activities and work as problem solvers.

8. Whole Child Approach: Students learn better when they are not stressed or worried. Gardner staffers help students identify what is distracting them and give them very basic tools to help them focus on classroom learning. Helping kids learn to redirect their thoughts improves student performance, and classroom management.

This combination of positive and proactive elements do not exist at any other school in the county.

Parents choose to send their children to Gardner,because it fills a very important niche not filled by the other schools in the county.

The conditions and practices at Gardner have been extremely beneficial to my own children’s development and education. They have excelled at Gardner because of the positive atmosphere, the cooperative and supportive environment, and the ability that teachers have to meet students’ needs.

It would be grave mistake to take this resource away from the community. ~Erin Hall Phoenix, AZ

Card of Thanks

Thanks for helping clean up the museum

On behalf of the Huerfano County Historical Society and the Francisco Fort Museum Board of Directors I would like to thank all of the volunteers who pitched in on May 6, to clean up the Francisco Fort Museum grounds.

The high winds and heavy snows this winter resulted in a lot more downfall and clutter on the museum grounds.

Your extra effort is appreciated. Additionally, the town maintenance staff also hauled away truckloads of larger branches and leaves.

The museum couldn’t get by without the care and dedication of these volunteers.

Thanks so much! ~Bob Kennemer, Director Francisco Fort Museum, La Veta

Thank you from the family of George Arthur

I’d like to thank my family first and foremost for all the love and support they’ve given me since George passed.

My sister Deborah DeVan Inge, Edgar, Conzuelo, Joe, Brenda, Taylor, and Simone DeVan. I love you all.

Thanks to Manuel Serrato, who drove George back and forth to Pueblo to his doctors’ appointments.. You’re a special friend.

Debbie Davis and her mom Mary Duggan who did the meal… it was delicious.

Thank you both so much, and Amber Pacheco also. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the house, sent a card, or called. It was all greatly appreciated.

Morgan, Charlie, Cody, D.J., thanks for all the help.

Charlie & Cindy Weir, thanks.

Delphine and Tonnie at Boies-Ortega, thank you so much.

Thank you all for helping me with George.

I will always remember your support, kindness, and love. ~Gladys DeVan Arthur Walsenburg

To anyone I may have forgotten, charge it to my head and not my heart.

Letters to the Editor of May 25, 2017

In praise of the World Journal’s dead tree edition

In a day when the majority of broadsheet newspapers have become so lean they should be turned into a tabloid format, (easier reading), Gretchen Sporleder Orr, you continue to prove the following:

With the right person, who has a clear vision, combined with an unstoppable determination, one can indeed succeed!! You, along with your amazing eye, and dedicated staff, allow those (many I might add), to look forward to the ‘Daily’ paper.

No, not on a screen but a ‘real paper’. Where one can ‘feel’ the ‘print’, and inhale the ‘hot off the press’ scent. The World Journal allows readers to sit back, and relax, as they start with the front page (lead story), and continue their read to the back; with the bonus of not being interrupted with irritating non-stop pop-up advertising links (which are often misleading).

When a person grabs that paper, takes off the rubber band, and rolls it open, hopefully they are reminded how late someone worked to get it printed, and how early one rose to get it delivered.

In end, I hope your readers encourage the younger generation, to read the ‘Paper’. For in doing so, as they peruse the pages, no doubt they too will ‘discover’ a story that not only informs and educates, but possibly touches their soul, as many stories, in the paper, have for centuries ~Dee Ann McKedy MacBride Sioux Falls, SD

Letters to the Editor of May 18, 2017

Thank you from the Zeller clan

To the Editor,

With the recent passing of Ben Zeller, the family is now off to Alaska to scatter Ben’s ashes. Ben was a homesteader in Alaska and went on to live in Romania, Mexico, his ranch in New Mexico and other exotic locations. Ben had many friends in La Veta, and indeed, around the world.

The memorial held for Ben at the Parkside (special thanks to Brent and Babs!) was evidence of those friends and his extended family, as more than 150 attended. The Zeller family wishes to thank all of you for the food, the cards, the support, the calls, and the kind words of comfort. But most of all, we thank-you for being a key part of our lives and of Ben’s life.

Ben Zeller – a life well lived!

With Gratitude, ~The Zeller Family La Veta

John Mall student invited to Florida for basketball competition

Elijah J. Sandoval is a graduating senior at John Mall High School. He is the son of Jeremiah Sandoval and Melissa Aguirre, grandson of Tony and Loretta Sandoval of Saguache, CO, and Max and Susan Aguirre of Walsenburg, CO. Since the age of five, Elijah has been involved in sports. He wrestled for the Misfits, played football and baskebtall for the Warriors, and played baseball for the Southern League team.

Elijah attended Peakview School, where he took part in football and baskebtall and continued on to do the same in high school. This past March, Elijah was invited to participate in the Jr. Nationals Competition.

The USA Jr. Nationals is a competitive scholarship program that invites student athletes to take part based on their stats and performances throughout the basketball season. Elijah traveled to Aurora, CO, where he spent the day playing with and against students from throughout the state.  The coaches were watching each player on individual performance, while still emphasizing team play. Select student athletes are being invited to attend the International Sports Festival in Orlando, FL, this July 2017, hosted by the USA Jr. Nationals.

Elijah has been rewarded for his hard work and dedication with an invitation to Florida.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that could provide scholarships to assist him in furthering his education.

Elijah and his families will be having fundraisers and are accepting any and all donations to help offset the cost of his weeklong stay in Florida. If you would like to help Elijah get to Florida, please leave a message for Melissa at 719-890-1641, or by email,

Thank you for your support! ~ Melissa Aguirre Walsenburg

Peace and Remembrance March founder seeks donations

I am COL (Ret.) Gilbert N. San Roman, and I am seeking donations for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire. I will be making my 9th Peace and Remembrance March from Raton to the Vietnam Memorial in Angel Fire, May 24 through 27. I have made this 80 mile march every 5 years since 1982.

I do this to honor all those who never came home, their families, the POW/MIA’s and their families, for all Veterans of all Wars and their families, and for Peace so our brave men and women serving in uniform around the globe can return to their families.

This will be my last march, as I am not getting any younger, and my knees and ankles are talking to me. It would be nice if I could present in person a large amount of donations. My last March in 2012 I presented them with $1,500 in donations. I would like to beat that amount and with your kind help we can.

Any donations would be greatly appreciated. Make your checks out to the (David Westphall’s Veterans Foundation). I would like to have all donations by Monday, May 22. You can mail donations to my address: 646 Galisteo Ave., Raton, NM 87740 or drop them off at the Raton Regional Aquatic Center.

Your support is greatly appreciated. ~ COL (Ret.) Gilbert H. San Roman Raton, NM

Parking problems at the Post Office

What is the legal implementatons to people parking in the driveway and alleyway of the post office? “They” park behind the handicap parking space to where the person parked in that space cannot drive out until the person(s) in back of them moves. “They” also park in the post office parking area to where post office employees have had to bring attention to the drivers to move their vehicle so the postal employees can get THEIR vehicles out. What is the mentality of these people? What is the legal aspect of the blocking of the driveway? Is the norm of people now, “I don’t care!? The anger and disrespect of property, courtesy, seems to be increasing. Why is that? ~Yvonne Headrick Walsenburg

DOW needs to control the deer

Dear Editor:

I recently saw a report on the new disease carried by deer ticks called Borrelia Miyamotoi Infection. The report stated that most doctors do no know how to diagnose this disease nor treat it.

To me, this is further proof that the powerful and mighty Colorado Department of Wildlife should find a way to remove the deer from towns and cities and return them to the wild…where they should be.

I feel the DOW is not doing their job which in my mind is to not only protect the wildlife in their natural habitat, but to protect the citizens of the towns and cities around that habitat. I’ve also heard reports that there are around 150+ Mountain Lions in this region. Many have seen and heard them near town.

I hope we don’t have to wait until some child is seriously injured by any wild animal before the DOW does their job.

I doubt this will encourage the DOW to do anything. They seem to have their own agenda. Thank you for reading this. ~Leslee Filer La Veta

Knock it off litter bugs

PEOPLE When you throw it out the car window, do you think it just — Disappears? ~Ronell Borawski Walsenburg

Utility Department needs to clamp down on emergency prep

Water pressure was lost in my neighborhood the morning of Saturday May 13th. The customers in my area were not able to get any information as to what the problem was or when water service might be restored. The phone number listed on the city web site for the Utility Dept. is for the main office which is closed on weekends. The web site does not list an emergency number for after hour outages. There was also no message regarding the outage posted on the web site or on the Utility Dept. phone line.

I did report the outage to 911. They stated that they had received many calls but they had no information about the outage. It seems incomprehensible that the city would not reach out to its’ customers with information regarding water outages. Water service was finally restored at approximately 5:00pm Monday, May 15th.

After the fact a neighbor relayed to me that he spoke to an employee at the water break repair site and was told that the break could not be repaired on the weekend because they did not have the appropriately sized clamps for the pipe they were repairing and had to wait until Monday to purchase the correct clamps. This smacks of incompetence that the Dept. does not keep the necessary parts on hand to handle after hour emergencies.

It is time to consider new leadership in the Utilities Department; someone who will be better prepared for emergencies and certainly someone who has a much better understanding of customer relations. ~Victor Lucero Walsenburg

Letters to the editor of May 11, 2017

A poem for mother’s day

I worked as a physician assistant at Spanish Peaks Family Clinic during the years of 2013-2014. I carry many memories of the charming town of Walsenburg and the wonderful people.

I was diagnosed with cancer last year in June, 2016 and completed chemotherapy and radiation treatments. I was able to return to work (now in Arizona) at the San Carlos Apache Health Center, for which I am so thankful.

I have two amazing sons. Last summer while I was going through cancer treatment, I wrote this poem about my sons. I am so grateful for them; they have enriched my life in so many ways.  With Mother’s Day coming up, I was wondering if you would consider publishing my poem, celebrating life: our lives as mothers and the lives of our children.  Thank you for your kind consideration.

I live for those moments.

A smile in your confident


A dance ‘round your

evergreen glow

There’s an unexpected balm

A compelling calm

Effortless, branches racing

for the sky

Do not cry

Dear Mother

You leave children of the

bravest kind


You leave something

of an ancient forest stand

Wrapped up in a singular,

fascinating man

You leave something of a

superstar in undulating tieds

Something of

indescribable pride

Stay then for a time

After I’m gone

Go on sublime

Sons of Mine.

Best regards,

~Kathryn Backman Arizona

Banquet invitation to nurses

I am having a banquet on May 13, 2017 at La Plaza Inn to honor local nurses. I’m a local nurse and native born resident of the area. The reception and cash bar will start at 5 pm, dinner at 6pm, and the ceremonies will follow. The banquet is a celebration for nurses that have served our community, working to care for its residents.

The celebration is to give thanks to nurses for the work they do helping patients, and families at the beginning of life, during life with education in health care promotion and disease prevention, continuing on into end of life care. The celebration will recognize nurses from all areas of medicine, hospice, health department, Hospital, Emergency Room, Trauma, Geriatrics, Flight nurses, Advanced Nursing Practice, etc. The Banquet will also introduce the first Nurses Honor Guard in Colorado. The Nurses Honor Guard is much the same as a military Honor Guard or those practiced for Fire Fighters and Police Officers. The Nursing Honor Guard are funerary/memorial services recognizing those individuals who have dedicated their lives to the profession of nursing. The tradition was first started in 1916 and was routine until the 1950s when it faded out. Now the tradition of the Nurses Honor Guard is making a comeback, but is mostly located on the East Coast. We would like to introduce this tradition for nurses that have passed away in the Southern Colorado Area. The service consists of the Casket Honor Guard, the Nightingale Prayer, the nurse memorial, and the final call to duty ceremony and ends with the extinguishing of the Nightingale lamp of wisdom.

The evening’s reception and celebration is for licensed nurses based on tradition only and is not open to the general public. If there are any nurses that have not been contacted or have not received an invitation and would like to attend, I am encouraging them to email me at Sincerely, ~Della Duran Walsenburg

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