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Letters to the Editor - page 2

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 Personal attacks, libel, ax-grinding, muckraking, and profanity will not be published.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

Actually, wolves were here first

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

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

~ Larry Bullock, Walsenburg, CO

Letters to the Editor

Elders, check your utility bills

To the concerned citizens of Walsenburg,

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

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

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

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

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

~ Marie Herndon,

Walsenburg, CO

 

Keep wolves off our ranches

Dear Editor,

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

~Ty Winter

Las Animas County Republican Party Chairman

 

Mismanagement of dog death

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

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

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

~Jean Renzelman

Walsenburg, CO

Letters to the Editor

Goodbye tension, hello pension

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

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

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

~Delphine Ortega

Walsenburg CO

 

Insult to Trinidad history

Dear Editor,

I write regarding the Fox Theatre in Trinidad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

All the Best,

~ Sally Jane Ruybalid

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

Class of 2021 Princeton University School of Architecture

Letter to the editor & Card of Thanks

More from Pat on TSD1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trinidad Middle School:

• Alcohol Violation — 5

• Tobacco Violation — 18

• Disobedience/Defiant or Repeated Interference — 136

• Detrimental Behavior — 120

• 3rd Degree Assualt/Disorderly Conduct — 40

• Marijuana Violation — 15

• Total of all categories referred to Law Enforcement — 24

Alarming statistics to say the least.

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

~ Patrick Sandoval,

Trinidad, Colo.

 

Museum of Friends Gala gratitude

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much,

~Maria Cocchiarelli and Brendt Berger

Walsenburg, Colo.

Letter to the editor

In Pat’s opinion on TSD1 statistics

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

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

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

I will only highlight some of the figures.

Elkhart Elementary School:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Patrick Sandoval,

Trinidad, Colo.

Letters to the Editor and Card of Thanks

Clean Energy Creates More Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

~Susan Atkinson

Durango, CO

 

Card of Thanks

 

La veta School of the Arts has many to thank

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

~Peggy Zehring, President and Director

La Veta, CO

 

Thank you from the Emma Cruz family

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

~Family of Emma Cruz

 

Thank you from the Kreutzer family

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

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

Card of Thanks

Thank you from the Reynolds

To our family, friends and the community at large,

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

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

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

~Ashley and Emmett Reynolds,

Joe, Harloe, Syndee and family

La Veta, CO

 

Thank you from the Marge Riggins family

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

– The family of Marge Riggins

Letters to the editor

Editor’s note: On October 14, 2019, TSD board member Pat Sandoval drafted a letter outlining concerns he has about the district and the way it handles certain situations.  Due to its length, we did not publish it at that time. However, community interest has surged and multiple letters have been written back and forth about the issue, so we have decided to publish Mr. Sandoval’s unedited letter on our website at https://huerfanoworldjournal.com/category/letters/ for background context for the following two letters.

Trinidad School District #1 Board response to Sandoval’s Opinion Letter to the Chronicle News:

We are saddened that our fellow Board Member, Patrick Sandoval would attempt single handedly to defeat a bond issue that our school district so desperately needs. It clearly disrespects the students and all citizens of School District No. 1. Mr. Sandoval’s opinions are laced with innuendo and false information intended to harm the students, staff, and citizens of Trinidad.

In the meantime, other individual Board of Education members will be working day and night, to gain voter approval of the bond issue Mr. Sandoval seeks to defeat. Passage of the bond issue will not involve a tax increase and will provide our community a grant of over 11 million dollars to completely remodel our outdated middle school and make significant improvements to our high school.

Loss of these funds will cause irreparable harm to the children of our community.

Respectfully,

~Paul Montera, president, Deb Hartman, vice president, Joe Terry, secretary, Dan Ruscetti,

board member

Trinidad, CO

 

Pat Sandoval responds to the TSD school board

I would like to respond to both Board of Education (BOE) responses to my opinion letter.

First I have never said that I was not in favor of the ballot issue. I supported it last year and do so this year. I have never told anyone not to vote for the ballot issue. The community is well informed of the importance it has on the school district and will vote I believe in support of the ballot issue.

What is interesting is the BOE lack of response to address any of the other issues I have mentioned.

Also interesting is that the responses by the BOE to my opinion were taken prior to my opinion being published in the Chronicle news.

When did the BOE meet to discuss what to put in the responses? Was there a proper notice of a public meeting as required by the sunshine law or was it done over the phone or by email which are still in violation of the open meetings law? Have they just admitted to having violated the open meetings law?

Earlier this year the Chronicle took exception to Governor Polis staff in trying to influence the Chronicle’s publishing of an article. It seems they, the Chronicle, may have done something similar in violation of journalism ethics by giving my letter to the BOE before my letter was published.

Also I take exception to the Chronicle changing my letter.

~Patrick Sandoval

Trinidad, CO

 

Proposition CC

To all Senior Citizens, families and friends:

Proposition CC will Eliminate the Senior Property Tax Exemption (which gives Senior citizens a tax break on their property Taxes). This exemption has helped senior citizens on fixed incomes for a number of years, us included. If you are not familiar with it, citizens 65 and over and have lived in their primary address for 10 years can apply for this exemption. It can actually save people 50% of their property taxes. Also Proposition CC if passed would also give complete ability and authority to the legislators to Raise your Taxes Without your approval. Under Tabor We The People have had the Right and privilege to Vote on all Tax Increases. I believe we have defeated at least 6 Tax Increases since Tabor has been in effect.

Proposition CC would Eliminate the Voice of We The People. I care about our Senior Citizens and the privilege we have had to receive the Senior Property Tax Exemption. I urge all of you help your family,friends and yourselves and VOTE NO on Proposition CC. Sincerely,

~William and Carol Belt

Walsenburg, CO

 

Shape up, Walsenburg

I have a question, several actually. First, does it seem strange to you that we are now building a new municipal bldg where suspected criminals will be tried, but the District Attorney is letting many of them go?

Second, when are the sidewalks and bridge going to be completed on Walsen and 7th? They are way behind, and the area around the bridge is a safety hazard, actually the entire area is a safety hazard. Did you know that there is not a pedestrian walk way? What happens when someone is hurt or killed? Get it done!

Third, who is painting the mural on 7th and Main? Thank you for no longer disrespecting it. I do not believe a pumpkin head on a Native American is funny. I am insulted by this!

Fourth, I have spoken to City Council several times about the bridge on Main St and 12th. A friend of mine recently crossed over the bridge in his wheelchair. There is a part where the boards sag at the end and he hit it and his foot fell off the rest. I believe he is going to lose his toe. It is a very dangerous bridge, when is this bridge or at least the walk area going to be fixed? It is also a danger to everyone who crosses it!

And finally, did you vote yet? If not, please do so. We need some new blood in City Council. We need someone who will be there for the people. Good luck Brian LaLander for mayor.

~Carmen J. Lara

Walsenburg, CO

BALLOT ISSUE 6a Huerfano Fire Mill Levy

Regarding the recent ballot issue for the Mill Levy 6A that the Huerfano County Fire Protection District is seeking, I feel that after having spent nearly a decade calling Huerfano County my home, I would like to give some first person insight for those that will be considering the issue.

This Mill Levy increase is NOT the agency requesting additional funds for salaries, perks or similar. It is simply to operate the agency in the year 2020 with what has been funded with the equivalent of dollar value from the 1970’s. The equipment that is necessary to provide even the most basic of services for fire protection is extremely costly and MUST be maintained and as time progresses, and eventually replaced. The cost is actually estimated to be $35/YEAR per $100,000 value.

These volunteers respond 24 hours a day and EVERY day of the year, no matter what, because they are committed, dedicated and hardworking people. The salary for a firefighter in Pueblo is $4,324-$5,706 (freedom of information public data) for WORKING A MERE 10 days a month (Captains and higher ranks even MORE)…. these volunteer responders do not receive a salary. They do it to contribute to the community from the goodness that is within EACH and EVERY one of them. They personally sacrifice on a daily basis to provide the community with emergency services for a FRACTION of an operating budget that other similar agencies have to work with. I would sincerely hope that the voters of Huerfano County realize just how good they have it with the Huerfano County Fire Protection District providing their protection and pass this Mill Levy to keep the agency funded and operating as well as possible… It is not a matter of whether or not each resident will need assistance, but WHEN they will need it.

Voters must face the facts, while the labor and the personal risk of injury and extremely high risk of associated cancers and other diseases that is taken by each of these responders is “free,” the overhead costs of running the agency are not. Are you REALLY willing to jeopardize your fire protection when it literally costs just cents per day more under the proposed mill levy increase ? Please, I implore you, provide these people with equipment that functions when it is needed most. THEY are the ones putting their lives on the line for yours and ask nothing more than the tools and resources to perform these functions.

~Fred Partee Pueblo, CO

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