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Letters to the Editor - page 13

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 Personal attacks, libel, ax-grinding, muckraking, and profanity will not be published.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/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

Letters to the editor of May 4, 2017

Thank you to the World Journal!

Last week Los Huerfanos Animal Welfare Association (LHAWA) ran an article in the World Journal detailing our dire financial situation and our ability to “keep our doors open.” We wanted to provide this update — We received a generous anonymous donation that will keep us going through the summer! We still need your help to bake and your time to sell at the booth! Our Mother’s Day bake sale is Saturday, May 13 at the front door of Safeway. ~Virgilia R. Goodwin, board president Walsenburg

Mother Jones Dinner a success thanks to the generous support of the silent auction

The Huerfano County Democratic Party wants to thank all the folks who donated and bid on the many silent auction items at this year’s Mother Jones Dinner fundraiser. Support from the community, our elected democratic officials, and democrats from all over Southern Colorado made the 2017 Mother Jones Dinner a rousing success. Sincerely, ~Edie Flanagin, Secretary Walsenburg

Klusmire responds to complaint

The WJ published a letter of complaint against me in today’s [April 27] paper. He filed the same letter of complaint with City Councilman Greg Daniels. Here is the response I sent to the Council to the complaint. Mr. Grogan did come in and ask me to put a flyer in our utility bill to advertise his club’s Bingo Game Night – a fundraiser for the Eagles. We have had several similar requests and I always have the same answer.

Mr. Grogan did not agree with my answer because he said other cities put ads in their utility bills.

Here is my standard answer:

We have a limit of three sheets that can go in the utility bill with the current postage and we use them all. I have included free events that benefit the entire community or the City in particular. I have included events that benefit the City. Our policy is keep the notices brief and those which benefit the community. Most of the requests don’t qualify. I have told the County Recreation Center that we would put in a user survey for them as it benefits the entire community and has no cost to anyone and I used that as an example.

Because Mr. Grogan was upset that I would not agree to put his flyer in our bill even after I explained our postage limitation and policy, I told him he could go to the Council and ask them to change the policy to allow ads. I told him I had no ability to set policy as the City Administrator, it is the Council’s role. I also told him he would have to pay for the extra time and postage which would be about $800 (1700 customers). I explained that we cannot use public resources to advertise a fundraising event for a non-city related event.

You can change the policy, however, be aware that we will have multiple requests for advertisements and you will need to determine what you want to accept and how you want to charge so that city funds and staff time do not go to non-city business without reimbursement. I would advise against it. I don’t know of any City who puts advertising in their utility bills. ~Leslie Klusmire, Walsenburg City Administrator Walsenburg

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

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