Your best source for news in Huerfano | Las Animas | Colfax

Category archive

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 Personal attacks, libel, ax-grinding, muckraking, and profanity will not be published.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 / Card of Thanks – October 25, 2018

Proposition 112 is bad for landowners

Las Animas County Landowners Group opposes Proposition 112, this measure is bad for landowners.

The ramifications of Proposition 112 go beyond the companies and employees who work directly in the oil and gas industry. The ability for landowners to have control of what to do with their property would be significantly limited.

This measure is essentially a ban on oil and gas production in Colorado, which will prohibit property owners from developing their mineral rights.

Proposition 112 will devastate Colorado’s economy, and will eliminate 85 percent of private and non-federal lands from future development.

What is at stake is much more than the oil and gas industry, it is really about setting back our overall economy and rights. The effects of this measure would be detrimental to land owners in Las Animas County. Vote NO on Proposition 112.

~Karen Salapich,

Chair Las Animas County Landowners Group,

Trinidad, CO


Regarding Trinidaddio

The City Council did not vote to halt funding of Trinidaddio. They simply voted not to accept the demand sheet presented to them for consideration in the form it was presented. They want a negotiation, not a list of demands. Trinidaddio is demanding $86,000 in annual funding funding in perpetuity with one exception. This year, they want $60,000 from the City’s General Fund. We have already given them $50,000 and the sheet they presented demands another $10,000 by November 1. The City Council is not able to commit to funding anything except debt service for multiple years in the future. It is a violation of TABOR. They are only able to fund one year at a time and each year must stand on its own merits. The $86,000 is comprised of $50,000 from the City’s General Fund and $36,000 from the Lodging Tax. Both of these sources are City Funds the City Council must authorize. They are also seeking additional City Funds and services such as a $3,000 power panel and any of other power enhancements they desire In the future regardless demand of City Funds or staff time. They are looking for guaranteed provision of City water with no consideration of water restrictions and drought confirmations.

In addition, the City Council wants more transparency from Trinidaddio in terms of finances. The City wants to see profit and loss statements. It would be nice to learn such things as how many tickets are sold and how many are given away. Trinidaddio wants $86,000 from the City each year. That level of demand requires a high level of due diligence on the part of the City. They are demanding City taxpayer funding and the City needs to be satisfied that meeting the final demand is in the best interests of the taxpayers.

I am very confused as to who you talked to who said the City halted funding because it did not come from the City Council meeting.

~Greg Sund,


City Manager Trinidad, CO

Editor’s note: The City of Trinidad did not provide a press packet to the WJ reporter. He accurately reported on what was said in public meeting, using his written notes and tape recording.


Marcy Freeburg,


I wish to add my endorsement of Marcy Freeburg for Assessor. The problems in the Assessor’s office are pretty well known and Marcy is just the person to resolve them. She served her county as an Army intelligence officer, retired after being injured in a parachute jump. She is experienced in leading large staff departments and managing multi-million dollar budgets in highly demanding circumstances. With her background in information technology, she is ideally qualified to bring the assessor’s records on line and thus available to everyone. Finally, she will be able to insure that all property assessments in the county will be made fairly and accurately. The mother of three accomplished sons, a breeder of paint horses, and a hard worker who has supported herself and her family, Marcy Freeburg is precisely the kind of person whom we should select for public service. Elect Marcy as County Assessor!

~Sandy White

La Veta


Vote for Jena

Dear Editor,

Voter security and voter suppression should concern every citizen in Colorado. In 2016, Colorado was one of the 21 states targeted by Russian hackers. And in numerous states around our country, officials are working to make voting more difficult for many.

That’s why I’m voting for Jena Griswold for Colorado Secretary of State. Jena served as a voter protection attorney for President Obama, so she is informed and experienced. Her rural upbringing gives her a keen appreciation for the challenges faced by rural residents who frequently must travel to vote. Griswold plans to expand automatic voter registration, which will make voting easier for rural residents. She understands that it is important for ALL voices to be heard, and for EVERY vote to be counted.

The incumbent, Wayne Williams, fought against mail-in ballots in 2013. He did not stand on the side of improving our right to be heard. Please consider voting for Jena Griswold for Colorado Secretary of State. Sincerely, ~Penny Bieber Trinidad, CO


Card of Thanks

Spanish Peaks Harp Retreat Thanks

This past September, many wonderful people in Walsenburg and adjoining communities helped to make our Spanish Peaks Harp Retreat a great success. Now in our 14th year, we were welcomed by many in your lovely town. We are grateful that you supported us, and continue to support world class music that we bring into your beautiful valley.

Our first thank you goes to La Plaza hotel. The owner and staff members at La Plaza treated us with much care. The harpers took over the hotel for some days….and you treated us with well! You have hosted our retreat for 14 years!

We would also like to thank the Museum of Friends for allowing us to use your large room for some of our workshop. It was a great space for Aine Minogue’s “Music and Meditation” workshop. Thank you!

Serendipity, you put on quite a wonderful welcoming meal our first evening! Thank you so much. The food was delicious and we loved purusing your gifts and your chocolate!

A big thanks to the Huerfano County Historic Society as well!!!!

As a board member and a participant for 12 of these 14 years, I must say that coming up to your community and spending time with the people and the beauty is something I look forward to every fall. Thank you Walsenburg, La Veta and all the surrounding communities for helping to make our retreat such a lovely experience!!


~Julie Norem-Hawley

on behalf of the Spanish Peaks Harp Retreat

Letters to the editor & Card of Thanks, October 18, 2018

Letters to the Editor

Meet the REAL Steve Pearce

on Friday, October 19.

Steve Pearce- he’s the right man

for New Mexico and Colfax County.

A new beginning for New Mexico starts with electing a leader who will unite New Mexicans with a common vision for what we can achieve as one. New Mexico is our home and if we do not make the most of it, the fault is ours.

A new beginning for New Mexico means implementing changes so that our state government can provide outstanding service to the people of New Mexico without imposing ever higher taxes or blindly ignoring wasteful spending, outdated regulations or poorly managed departments. Creating a state government that is efficient, constituent friendly and a principled operation. Our government employees should be well trained and highly motivated.

A new beginning means creating a strong economy. Our government agencies should find the delicate balance between preserving and protecting while at the same time supporting entrepreneurial individuals, businesses and organizations that create jobs, dream big and want to make those dreams happen in New Mexico.

A new beginning for New Mexico means focusing on achieving our goals of good schools, letting teachers be teachers and ensuring that every child in New Mexico receives a quality public education with schools that are safe, where qualified teachers are recruited, supported and retained and parents are welcomed as an integral part of the school system.

Most of all, we must focus on the forgotten men and women of this state; the forgotten men and women who go to work every day, raise their children and pay their taxes. They are the men and women who make this country and this state work.

There is one candidate for Governor that has a clear vision for New Mexico. That candidate is Steve Pearce. Please join us and Congressman Pearce on Friday, October 19th at 2:30 PM at the Sweet Shop in Raton to hear more about “A New Beginning for New Mexico”.


~Colfax County Republicans for a New Beginning

Raton, NM



Political Motivations Qualifications Misleading

Some people run for public office because they genuinely care and want to serve their communities. Some people are required to run for public office because the law states they must in order to remain in that position.

Some people, sadly, run for public office for less noble reasons. Whether it’s personal gain, stature, or false admiration, they don’t have a clue as to what kind of knowledge it takes to actually DO the work they are coveting, they just want in. They are told the office is broken and they should ‘get in there’ and ‘get it right’, like there is something wrong, when actually, there isn’t. The law must be followed, like it or not.

Even though never having stepped foot into the office, they exude false confidence, misinformation, and mislead the public. That’s par for the politician. A politician looking for a first step up somewhere. Anywhere. Somewhere, there must be a gateway office they can step into in order to reach higher platforms.

These people will use semi-truths to convince the voters that they are actually qualified to hold the office, and hint that the incumbent has done something wrong. Yes, politics as usual.

Folks, people can tell you whatever they want disguising it as truth.

Other people just do their job and let their performance speak for itself. It’s up to the voter, to make an informed choice. Find out the truth.

When considering someone for a job, I want a person with

• experience

• historical knowledge

• a good track record

• unquestionable character

• community at heart

That’s why I’m voting to re-elect Elisha Andreatta Meadows for Huerfano County Assessor. A proven Assessor.

That’s not true for anyone else in this race. Sorry, but there’s not.

~Kathy Parrish

Walsenburg, CO



In support of 1A Safety and more downtown parking

To the Editor,

The Huerfano County Communication Coalition strongly supports Ballot Issue 1A to build the Huerfano County Judicial Plaza.

The desire to build a judicial plaza that serves our community is not new. This concept has been a work in progress since 2012. All options have been exhaustively explored. The county has looked at the private prison, Washington School, and even the third floor of the Spanish Peaks Library.

The one-cent sales tax increase goes into effect in 2020 and will net approximately $625,000 annually to pay for the $10 million project. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, 60% of the taxes will be paid by tourists who visit our county and buy fuel, food, and other purchased items.

As one of the poorest counties in the state, with its courthouse designated as the third worst in Colorado, Huerfano County has received $1.2 million worth of grants to do the planning and preparation. The grant money must be spent by 2023.

The recommended amount of square feet for the services our court system provides is 16,000 square feet; ours is 6,500 square feet. This has a profound impact on safety and security for law enforcement and the public in general, and prisoners are compromised when they must walk across the street from the jail into the courthouse.

The condition of the building, the work environment and safety concerns for both citizens and inmates drive the requirement to build a courthouse that will meet county needs.

In addition to a courthouse that is built to accommodate our judicial needs with two courtrooms, space for consulting and future expansion; the plans will create 85 new parking places that will provide the badly needed space for people to park and experience downtown Walsenburg businesses.

Please vote yes on 1A.

~The County Communication Coalition

Walsenburg, CO

Cards of Thanks

Oktoberfest Thanks everyone (Pt 2)

We must also thank David and Sandra Molyneux for providing our meeting space and for putting up with us, and our great crew of volunteers (you know who you are) who worked in the raffle booth, beer garden and helped to set up and take down. We could not do it without you! We would especially like to thank our County Commissioners who took time out of their busy schedules to help us out once again. We cannot forget our color guards who presented us with a moving opening ceremony. The music that delighted the crown was provided by the Alan Polivka Band in the morning and the fabulous Rifters in the afternoon. We were delighted to be able to crown our deserving King, Eddie West, and Queen, Marilyn Hall, and we thank them for their community spirit and for being such very special people! We also wish to acknowledge our special veterans, Fred Falk and Mary Ann Nardini and thank them for their service to our country. Last but certainly not least, we owe a debt of gratitude to Leonard and the Twin Peaks Rodders for the excellent car show. We feel especially blessed to “still be standing” here in LaVeta and that we had a beautiful fall day and many, many friends who came out to help us celebrate and make our 32nd Oktoberfest one of the biggest and best yet! Just wait to see what we have planned for next year! See part 1 last week Sincerely,

~The Oktoberfest Committee La Veta, CO


JMHS’s Lisa Lane is doing great things

I was pleased to see you spotlight Lisa Lane for all of the great things she is doing with kids. She, along with so many other women and men, have sparked the pride and good energy that have been missing from our community for a long time. Thanks to them and to you for letting your readers know the great things that are happening in Walsenburg and the surrounding areas. Sincerely,

~Jann Vail

Walsenburg, CO

Letters to the editor, October 11, 2018

Regarding Mr. Baros’ statements

Part 2 of 2

Editor’s note: This is part two of a letter responding to letters written by Jose Baros concerning the death of his daughter Quanisha.

I do agree with Mr. Baros in the fact that the relationship with the DA is imperative in successfully prosecuting cases, which has been happening at an astounding rate since the Sheriff’s Office has been the sole law enforcement agency in the County.

It saddens me to see that our community has been plagued with the same problem the remainder of the country faces at this time, which is the largest drug epidemic I have seen or heard of in my lifetime.

It is even harder for me to hear a grieving father who lost a daughter to years of drug abuse blame everyone involved in the attempt to render aid to his daughter, for her unfortunate outcome, making it what appears to be a political agenda.

The Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office has always taken every imaginable step to ensure we follow up on every citizen complaint or tip relating to any drug distribution.  At this time, the Sheriff’s Office has been granted over 80 search warrants this year to date alone, the majority of which were drug-related search warrants.

Most of those search warrants were granted because of information received from concerned citizens who cared enough about our community to provide information to our department.

This year, while being understaffed, constant changing prosecutors, and constantly training new deputies, the sheriff’s office has made more drug arrests than this community has ever seen, not to mention our jail. It has seen a consistent capacity of 35 or more inmates, where we used to average approximately 23.

I feel I speak for our entire department when I say that nothing will deter us from continuing our mission to make this a safe community.

Anyone who has any questions about my statements or the facts based therein, is encouraged to reach out to the sheriff’s office for records regarding my statements.


~Craig Lessar Captain,

Huerfano  Sheriff’s Office,

Walsenburg, CO 


Why I’m Voting YES on 1 A

It will come as some surprise to those that know me that I am supporting a sales tax hike. But anyone who’s done any business at all in our historic courthouse knows we can’t continue the way things are. The courthouse won’t sustain any more expansion and sadly, our courts are over-full these days. Lawsuits and court cases tossed out are the future of the county unless we update.

Right now, we have the opportunity to obtain a $3 million grant to offset the cost of the new justice center. But we lose that money if we don’t vote ‘yes’.

The choice is really between building the justice center now and saving big bucks, or building later, under court order, and footing the bill all by ourselves.

I urge all readers to review the facts, get answers to your questions, but by all means, consider voting ‘YES’ on 1A.

~John Freeburg

Rye, CO 


Carnivores in cattle country

As a young cattle producer and a mother of six, I testified at the state capitol in Denver in the early nineties about predators killing our livestock. I displayed many pictures showing dead calves from coyotes and mountain lions in southeast Colorado.

Pat Craig, Boulder, CO, of the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, CO has decided to bring carnivores into cattle country. The ranch where I live is an investment that makes the majority of my income and my way of life. This ranch has been in my family 60 years. As a young girl, my three sisters and I worked this ranch and worked hard, just like men.

After going to a Southern Colorado Livestock Association meeting in Branson, Colorado and hearing Mr. Craig’s reasons for coming to southeast Colorado, it is apparent to me that he doesn’t understand the impact the new “Refuge” will have on the cattle producers and how difficult it will be to keep these carnivores in their enclosures. It is a foregone conclusion that upon a severe weather event there is no way that the “Refuge” will be able to keep those carnivores and predators within their fences. This country’s terrain is drastically different than Keenesburg in Weld County.

No one should be surprised that livestock producers would oppose such a needless burden on our private property. I pray that the people who are pushing this will not bring their carnivores and predators such as wolves, bears, tigers, lions and mountain lions here into our historic region. We have enough predators here as I lost three calves to mountain lions last spring, we don’t need more. I say NO to carnivores in cattle country.

~Kimmi Clark Lewis,

HD 64 State Representative

Kim, CO

Card of Thanks

Oktoberfest ceremony

Dear Editor,

This letter is to the folks who planned the Oktoberfest veterans’ presentations.

Thank you so much for all of the considerations and tributes that were bestowed on Fred Falk. He truly appreciates the thoughtfulness of the committee members. It was quite an honor, and he and his family very much appreciate all of you that made this all possible.


~The Fred Falk family,

La Veta, CO


Thanks from Doc Leonetti

Editor, The World Journal (Trinidad, Walsenburg, La Veta, Raton NM, Aguilar, Hoehne, Kim, Branson, and surrounding areas

My belated thanks to all the individuals involved in the process of recommending me for induction into the Trinidad State Jr. College Educational Foundation Hall of Fame in April of this year. I am somewhat aware of numerous people who worked on this project, but not really sure of whom they all are. It seems to me to be, maybe, a top secret phenomenon. I do know that my brother Dan was actively involved, as well as my son Brian, the “Fat Kid,” Dick Compton, Coach Toupal, and others yet unknown, all of whom truly care for the education of students in need. I’m blessed that my sisters Connie and Donna, and my daughter Dawn and Brian were there for me too. My youngest daughter Amos had to work and could not attend. And a special thanks to Toni DeAngeles, a conscientious woman of extreme patience and dedication. I know of no one who can manage a job like this as she can. Thank you Toni for all you do for TSJC and the entire Trinidad community. And thank you too, Jon Barclay, for your impressive (but somewhat fabricated) rendition of my contribution to the TSJC community.

It is such an honor, not only for me, but for all the people of Trinidad, and numerous caring individuals from out-of-town who were there that evening to support and contribute to TSJC for the distinct purpose of assisting students in their pursuit of their dreams of furthering their college education. This induction was not only for me and George Leone, but for the students of TSJC. No doubt, the College Foundation does not receive enough recognition for all they do for the benefit of our college community, our state, and our nation.

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work with and meet so many wonderful students, young and old alike, during my lengthy tenure at TSJC. I truly loved my work in the classroom, and I hope I did my best to make all of us just a little bit better.

I can not thank you all enough.

~Doc Leonetti

TSJC Professor of Psychology (Retired)

Trinidad, CO

Cards of Thanks

Sometimes I forget

Sept. 5th, I fell in my home, bruised up my left leg, foot, arm and broke the little toe on my right foot. Before that in July was having a lot of pain in my abdomen. Sept. 12th from SPRHC Emergency room, I was on a “flight for life” helicopter ride to Colo. Springs for emergency surgery for a strangulated hernia. It was my life on the line. Sept. 13th I was released to go home with restrictions. I was also given medication for a blood clot which may have happened when I fell. I received home health care from Mountain Creek Home Health, Meals on Wheels, from SCOG. All excellent service and care plus communication with my Doctor Moll and Dr. McCann the surgeon in Colo. Springs. Sometimes I forget how our medical facilities are taken for granted and I complain plus think “no one cares.” Friends came to help and I thank Helen, Renee, Dee, Nancy, Wayde, Dr’s. Moll, McCann, Staff at St. Anthony’s Penrose hospital, Flight for Life personnel. Many cards and well wishes from friends in State and out of State.

Sometimes I forget how precious friends are, the power of prayer, and the wonderful services we have here. Sometimes I forget to really appreciate all I really have and am grateful for. Thanks to my recovery “family” for helping me on the road to “wellness'” “May God Bless Everyone” (as Tiny Tim said) and it’s good to be here and alive!

~ Yvonne Headrick, Walsenburg, CO


Spanish Peaks Harp Retreat… the ‘nearly invisible guests’

This event draws students from across the country, to gather and learn from the best harp performers and teachers in the world! We huddle together for 7 hours a day, concentrating, practicing new skills and learning from the amazing talent brought to our doorstep. In the evenings we gather for small events, comparing notes and camaraderie. So other than the toting of large cases across Main Street, you might not have even noticed it was happening in Walsenburg! Anytime world class anything comes to town, it is cause for celebration! These visitors spend time within the neighborhood, spend money at the shops, motels, eateries and gas stations! The attendance and support of the community at the culminating concert at the Fox was extraordinary! So many people make it successful, but at the top is Nancy and Jaimee Joroff. Their vision is contagious and this retreat rivals any in the harping world. A wonderful board of directors who bring a sense of calm, peaceful cooperation and joy, adds to the inner workings of a smooth and successful endeavor. Large amounts of gratitude and warm fuzzies to Mike and Evan at the Fox Theater, Gaye at Serendipity Coffeehouse, Karen and staff at La Plaza, Maria at Museum of Friends, Deb Smith for the lovely stage decor, youth volunteers, donors who are stepping up with financial and harp donations for the educational programming, and of course the fabulous turn out of local support for the final concert! Thanks to all!

~Willson and McKee Walsenburg, CO

Letters to the editor, October 4, 2018

Regarding Mr. Baros’ statements Part 1 of 2

In response to some of the letters provided to you the past two weeks, I would like the opportunity to address and clarify some inconsistencies with the statements made by Mr. Jose Baros. I believe the community has the right to hear both sides of the issues that were raised in the two-part letter titled, “Change” which was published on September 6 and 13 in the World Journal.

The first issue that concerns me in the letters addresses the issue of the use of body-worn cameras on the day of the medical call regarding Mr. Baros’ daughter. During the time of this incident, numerous members of our department, me included, were (and still are) having issues with charging and downloading the cameras, making some cameras inoperable.

With that being said, the accusation that the body camera footage provided to Mr. Baros was “edited” is horribly inaccurate. The system we use does not allow anyone on the Huerfano Sheriff’s Office access to edit any footage recorded on body-worn cameras. Mr. Baros has been provided with every piece of information that the Sheriff’s Office has to offer as soon as it has been available.

The second issue raised by Mr. Baros is the working relationship between the Sheriff’s Office and the Office of the District Attorney. I will admit that it has been challenging changing prosecutors so frequently (mostly with Deputy DAs) the past few years, not to mention an entirely new reporting system being put in place that affects the DA office, Sheriff’s Department and Dispatch.

With that in mind, it is my personal opinion that the Sheriff’s Office has a great working relationship with Mr. Solano and his office, regardless of both offices being under-staffed for the majority of the time he has been in office.


~Craig Lessar Captain, Huerfano  Sheriff’s Office, Walsenburg, CO 

Part 2 will run in next week’s World Journal

Letters to the editor, September 20, 2018

Thanks to agencies and individuals

The Spring Creek Fire is the 3rd largest fire in Colorado’s history. The amount of work and time that goes into an incident like this is unbelieveable and involves so many different agencies and groups. There were a lot of individuals who also volunteered their time and resources. it also makes me very proud to see how the people of this community came together to help each other. I am also very proud that as large and severe as this incident was, there were no injuries or death.

I would like to take this time to try and thank these people and agencies that helped during this incident and were a huge help to myself, the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Dept. and the citizens of Huerfano County.

Team Black, Team Blue, the National Guard, the Colorado State Patrol and Capt. Lyons, Pueblo County Sheriff’s deputies and Sheriff Taylor, Custer County Sheriff’s deputies and Sheriff Byerly, Las Animas County deputies and Sheriff Navarette, Huerfano County Commissioners and John Galusha, Harold Willburn and Jim Chamberlain of the La Veta Marshal’s Office, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers, Colorado Division of Parole, all three Huerfano County fire district fire fighters, Red Cross, Southern Baptist Church, DOLA, Huerfano County Road and Bridge, Colorado Department of Transportation, Sheila Machieto, Gay Davis, Billy Carruth, and all the volunteers that fed everyone in Gardner.

If I have missed anyone I apologize as you are just as important as everyone else who helped.

And last but not least of all, my deputies who worked long and stressful hours on top of their normal duties.

~Sheriff Bruce Newman, Huerfano County


Kudos to youth in Walsenburg

The Museum of Friends had an incredible opportunity to work with the 7th and 8th grade Peakview, RE1 students at MOF on September 14 all day.

The theme of the “School-Tour” Program was Huerfano County Pride.

The exhibit on view in the changing gallery is “Libre’s 50th and Friends.” An example of the new Geodesic Buildings at Amazon headquarters in Seattle was shown along with images from Drop City in Trinidad that illustrated how influential this style of architecture is, and how it may have begun right here.

The Drop City artist community inspired Dean and Linda Fleming to start their own in Huerfano 50 years ago. A half-dozen or so of the children were related to artists in the exhibit and were amazed at magazine articles we shared putting Walsenburg on the National Art History Map with such notoriety of these artists and MoF’s collections.

We would like to thank Deb Nott who organized the full-day program with Julie Repka, Patricia Johnson and Annette Lamberson. Maria Cocchiarelli and Cindy Fleury led the groups throughout the museum for the students to get a taste of the collections.

There was so much excitement expressed by the students to get to know the collections and what programs are available for youth at MoF.

The pride of Huerfano County’s Cultural Arts Center and the Museum of Friends was palpable and a majority of the students’ evaluations stated a need for more art programming at MoF and in the schools that they could participate in.

As of yet we have not heard back from Gardner or RE2 regarding “School-Tour” trips to see this exhibit.

Libre 50th and Friends remains on view through September 30. Pplease go to: for schedules, and also call 719-738-2858 to book a tour. ~Maria Cocchiarelli-Berger Walsenburg, CO

Letters to the editor, September 13, 2018

Change, part 2

Editor’s note: This is a continuation of a letter in last week’s World Journal, where Jose R. Baros discusses EMS, sheriff’s and emergency room response to his daughter’s death.

In a situation like this one, where they are called to a home that was reportedly “under investigation and not safe” by a party reporting a person “was detoxing from drugs and not breathing,” one wouold think the sheriff’s department would have body cams on and be vigilant in their response. The video showed nothing of this sort, and the focus was only on the bystanders as opposed to the victim. It was painfully clear after reviewing all reports and interviewing everyone I was able to meet with, that my daughter’s case was “just another overdose.”

Whether our first responders and sheriffs department realize it or not, the community looks to them as the first line of defense against our heroin and opiate epidemic. As the first people on the scene, they may not save a life, however every effort should be made to investigate the situation and try to eliminate the drugs and dealers which are killing our own people.

In my quest for the truth surrounding my daughter’s death, my eyes have been opened to the lack of support the sheriff’s office offers its local citizens. I feel strongly that the sheriff needs to resign.

In all honesty and fairness to our county, if that does not happen, it is election year and there is a young qualified citizen running for sheriff who is a lifelong resident of this community who has the ambition and desire to serve this community with the utmost integrity. It’s time for a change in the way things are done, and how our community is served by its sheriff and its officers. I would encourage each and every citizen who has had enough of how we are served to get out and vote this election year for change.

God Bless our community,

Sincerely, Jose R. Baros. Walsenburg, CO


Post Fire Need for Aging in Place Options for area Seniors

As a result of the devastating Spring Fire, the need for a Senior Living Community Facility for Spanish Peaks residents of all income levels is increasing, as are the construction costs. I have observed that many of the residents displaced by the fire are retired and now need to make an unplanned decision to remain in the county and rebuild their home, or move elsewhere.

The availability of aging-in-place options will very likely factor into their decision to stay or move away. Even prior to the fire, I saw an outflow among County residents who needed assisted living and skilled nursing care because they could no longer live independently.

A recent survey of the five county clinics, our local home health agency, and the personal knowledge of our Board members indicates that, over the past two years, 55 adults have needed to leave their familiar home area and in many cases their family and friends, to access assisted living services at least 50-70 miles away.

The result is often a stressful move for both seniors and their family/friends, loss of commerce for local businesses and area service providers, and a premature loss of oral history for the community.

I know that we are a community that cares about their elders. The fire has only highlighted the need for senior living options for our aging population. Now more than ever, we need to raise funds through public and private support for La Veta Village, Inc.which plans to repurpose the Old Cheese Factory structure in La Veta into an non-profit Assisted Living Community open to 18 seniors of all income levels.

I encourage you to support La Veta Village’s mission to help seniors in the Spanish Peaks area live as independently as possible and remain in their community safely and comfortably.

~Jeanne Schwarz Founder and Board Member,

La Veta Village, Inc. La Veta, CO


Thank you for your support

On behalf of the Snowy Range 4-H Club, parents and members we would like to thank Big R of La Veta for allowing us to sell snow cones and hotdogs at their store location all summer and for supporting us like you have. We would also like to thank Cliff Brice of La Veta for their donation and for helping make our snow cones sales such a huge success. Also we would like to thank the people of La Veta and surrounding areas for supporting us each weekend as we sold snow cones and hotdogs throughout the summer, and a huge thank you to all the parents and members who took part in this event each weekend. Sincerely,

~The Snowy Range 4-H Club leaders, parents, and members,

La Veta, CO

Letters to the editor part 2, September 6, 2018

Change, part 1

On June 17, 2018 my world changed forever.  My youngest daughter, Quanisha Nicole Baros, became one of thousands lost to the heroin problem sweeping our country.

Stopping this plague is widely discussed by not only people in our community, but nationwide.

In our small community it is fairly obvious who our dealers are, yet getting law enforcement to pursue getting them off the streets is nearly impossible..

If I, a citizen, can follow these people around and make them nervous, why can’t our sheriff’s officers? They could make arrests based upon information given to them by people like myself who are quite aware of what is going on in our city, however, they don’t.

After speaking to our sheriff numerous times, I’m tired of hearing, “We don’t have the funds, the manpower, and the time.”  The sheriff himself stated, “The DA plea bargains all of his cases out.” The DA says, “I can’t prosecute the cases due to inadequate performances on the sheriff’s department’s part, and also the county commissioners transferred a portion of my funding to the sheriff’s department which leaves me short.”

It has become painfully clear to me that the sheriff does not have a working relationship with the DA, which is a great disservice to Huerfano County.

What upsets me the most is the total lack of integrity on the part of our EMS, sheriff’s department, and emergency room staff in handling of cases like my daughter’s.

I have spoken to all of them, and fought to gather all the reports possible, and found the sheriff’s department to be very unwilling to work with me.

After many attempts, I was able to get a portion of the body camera videos, unfortunately, the one I was given was quite obviously edited, and the other one was missing due to the captain “forgetting” to turn his on when he arrived on the scene.

God Bless our community,


~Jose R. Baros Walsenburg, CO

Editor’s note: Part two of Baros’ letter will run in next week’s World Journal


Always buy Walsenburg

This is in response to Shannon Johnson’s letter in the August 30 issue of the WJ. You should be thankful to the local restaurant owners who are buying local and are supporting the local economy.

If you are upset you can’t get hamburger logs when you shop, then perhaps change the time you go into the store? Both markets in town have enough inventories to mostly keep the shelves stocked. Ask the butcher to get some out of the back. Problem solved!

I would rather go and support those businesses that support the local economy and have a fresh hamburger than a frozen burger which has been cryofrozen for who knows how long. Remember, the owners who buy here ARE LOCAL.

If you haven’t gotten my point- SHOP LOCAL.

~David Tesitor Walsenburg

Card of Thanks – September 6, 2018

Thanks For Active Living Articles

When I retired here there was much said about what we don’t have as a community in Walsenburg. I was thrilled with the newly constructed track west of John Mall High School, but the lack of gym facilities and other related opportunities were undeniable.

Now, four years later, things have changed considerably. Thanks in large measure to the nonprofit, LiveWell Huerfano, under the leadership of Cindy Campbell, the gym facility is available and programs and activities too numerous to outline here likewise have reduced some of the disincentives that one might have to settle here.

For example, my specific area of interest was a running club and local options for related recreational events. It is hard to believe that we just held our fourth annual Marathon of the Legends Team Relay that attracted 53 runners from as far away as Boulder and Alamosa and closer to home, from Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Trinidad and La Veta. And, yes, supporting Downtown Walsenburg Revitalization, those people spent money at local hotels, coffee shops and gas stations.

While it is appropriate that the race participants receive the accolades, enough can never be said for the civic minded event volunteers that devote their time and energy and sometimes money and in kind contributions to prove that, “Yes, Walsenburg can!” – put on a Marathon or a Duathlon, for instance.

So – in the case of the Marathon of the Legends event, thanks to Donna Allenbaugh, Carrie Andreatta, Susan Botelho, Tony Botelho, Bob Kennemer, Stirling Lathrop, Huerfano Deputy Sheriff Eric Medina, Donna Pennington, Keri Powers, Michael Reynolds, DaLonna Sandoval, Gary Weston, and Karen Wilson.

And finally, thanks to the World Journal for publicizing these events that make known the opportunities and enhance the image of our region as a desirable place to live. Of course we all have more work to do to build on these enhancements, but that four year difference is unmistakable.

~Ben Wiley, Walsenburg


Thanks to La Plaza and Staff

I would like to thank the La Plaza staff and Nick Agnes, for the great set up, excellent food and service that was provided for us the 18th of August for a 1965 Girls get together!

In attendance were: Virginia Benivedez, Roberta Bustos, Rita Chavez, Margaret Garcia, Sherie Huebner, Joyce Kunkendal, Vonna Matheny, Kathy Russell, Jann Vail, Sharon Vezzani, and Toni Wallace.

~Toni Wallace Loveland, CO


Go to Top