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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 Personal attacks, libel, ax-grinding, muckraking, and profanity will not be published.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 – March 21, 2019

How to fight a law

Even though I am strongly in favor of the Red Flag bill, you may choose to oppose it. But should opposition be in the form of an ill-conceived resolution which puts our county commissioners or the sheriff in the position of interpreting the U.S. or Colorado Constitutions?

We are a nation of laws predicated on three coequal branches of government.

It is up to legislative bodies to craft laws.

It is up to the judicial branch to interpret those laws, including determining their constitutionality.

It is up to the executive branch, of which law enforcement is a vital part, to enforce those laws.

This proposed resolution short-circuits this foundational — and constitutional — principal.

If you choose to oppose the Red Flag law, do so within the framework of our constitutional institutions. Lobby state legislators. Make phone calls or write letters expressing your views and concerns. If the law passes, fight it in court, up to the Supreme Court if necessary, which is empaneled specifically to render judgment on constitutional questions.

But do not order our chief law enforcement officer to ignore the law.

Suppose the Red Flag law passes, the sheriff refuses to enforce a lawful order of the court, and someone dies. This resolution, if passed, would be Plaintiff’s Exhibit #1 in a lawsuit against the county and its sheriff’s department, which it would frankly deserve to lose.

The Attorney General’s Office has concluded that HB 19-1177 is constitutional. If “Concerning Creation of an Extreme Risk Protection Order”1 (“HB 19-1177”) is passed into law, won’t we as citizens of Huerfano County, expect all law enforcement officers to uphold their oath to enforce the laws fairly?

Is it in the best interest of our county for the Huerfano county BOCC to entertain a resolution that may be in conflict with the law of the land?

Respectfully submitted ~ Dale Lyons Gardner, CO

Letters to the Editor – March 7, 2019

Chili Cook off Thank you

Dear Editor,

The LaVeta Oktoberfest Committee would like to thank everyone who braved the cold and snow Saturday night and supported our fundraiser” Mardi Gras Chili Cook Off.”

We greatly appreciate the 18 chili chefs who gave of their time and talent and whipped up some of the best chili this side of the Mississippi! The competition was fierce, but first place ribbons and gift certificates were awarded Barr Warren (best green), Marge Thonpson (best red) and Mary Ann Nelson (best “Mysterie’).

We also appreciate those who donated prizes and bid on items in the Silent Auction, which added to the fun.

A special thanks to Monique at the Mission Deli for graciously allowing us to hold out event at her establishment . It was a great evening with good friends and food and all money earned will go towards scholarships and community outreach.

Again, many thanks to everyone who made our 3rd Chili CookOff a big success!

~ The La Veta Oktoberfest Committee

La Veta, CO


Beware black water

When the water in the river gets black, there is a flood coming. The black water is water from rain that fell on the burn scar and ashes from the Spring Fire.

~Ptolemy Withrow, age 7, Walsenburg, CO


Thanks Lathrop State Park for plowing Cuerno Verde trail! a wonderful winter gift!

I want to give a shout out and thanks to the staff and crew at Lathrop State Park for keeping the roads and the Cuerno Verde hiking trail plowed this winter. It is wonderful to have a safe path to use even when the deepest snow hits the area. Being able to enjoy the park all year is a real treat. Thanks!

Sincerely, ~Edie Flanagin

Walsenburg, CO

Thanks from Linda Barron, outgoing TLAC Chamber of Commerce president president

I would like to take this opportunity to first thank the good Lord for all the blessings that he has placed down on me throughout my life.

I think about where my path has led me through the past years and it brings me back to where it all began many many years ago from the other side of the world in Vietnam. I remember being a very young teenager, trying to survive during the Vietnam War and not knowing what the future held. At the age of eight years old I would carry a basket full of vegetables to the market to sell before I could head to school. At the age of 13, I was selling Coca-Cola on Highway 1 to the GI soldiers, to help the family survive. I have fond memories of when I was 14 years old when I got a job in Long Binh with the US Army, when the American soldiers took me under their wings and would work with me daily to teach me my ABC’s. This gave me the opportunity to continue to go to school, which was not an option for a very young female in Vietnam to do and allowed me to graduate in 1968. I was also very grateful for the GI soldiers that were there helping me and my family survive. Thinking back to where I came from to where I am now allows me to show my community how eternally grateful I am for what this country has done for me and my family.…… so, from the bottom of my heart, I would like to take a minute to thank the military veterans.

When I first came to the United States from Vietnam, my oldest daughter Loan was two months and two days old. Being a young new mom in a new country was very frightening, but those that know me and knew my daughter Loan would know that we took on this new adventure together.

During my presidency these past two years, the tragic loss of my oldest daughter and son-in-law Loan and Dan Maas as well as my mother were especially difficult for me, especially with them occurring in such a close timeline. Those that know me well, know that these two life events took a huge impact on me both physically and mentally.

I would like to give the Board of Directors of the Trinidad Las Animas County Chamber of Commerce a very heartfelt and special thank you for your dedicated love and support to me during this time. You have been especially supporting to both me and my family and I will forever be grateful.

Though these were the most difficult times of my life, with the support of all of you, I never lost the stride of doing what was best for our community.

As I look back to the beginning of my adventure with the Trinidad Las Animas County Chamber of Commerce, my journey began with all of you back in 1994 when I filled in for my husband Stanley Barron and served as your President in 2000 and served on the Board of Directors until 2002. I returned to the Board of Directors in 2014 and have now served as the president in 2017 and now 2018.

I look back at the beginning of my current term and remember the obstacles that not only me, but the Board of Directors were challenged with. I remember thinking that some of these tasks seemed to be impossible but, with strength, support, and corroboration, we have made huge strides and accomplished more than we thought possible.

Thank you to everyone here tonight for your support as the Trinidad Las Animas County Chamber of Commerce President for the past two years. I want to especially thank the past and current office staff and volunteers at the chamber, and the many generous businesses who have supported the success of the chamber during my tenure. You are very much appreciated.

~Linda Barron, Outgoing President, Trinidad Las Animas County Chamber of Commerce.

paid for by Linda Barron

LVFPD not transparent

To the Editor La Veta Fire Protection District Mess. Messrs. Littlefield, Nielsen, Heikes and Walker. They’re at it again! The La Veta Fire Protection District Board members announced a few weeks ago that there would be a public workshop so the members could discuss the results and comments of the ‘Survey Monkey’ survey which Jim Littlefield’s private employer paid for. On February 14th the board held a “public” meeting that was in fact open to the public but that the public could not comment on. There was a printed agenda and public meeting announcement prior to the workshop. I know I saw it but it was changed several times and then the so called meeting was held but it wasn’t legally a meeting…?

As usual the board skirted the around the Sunshine/Special District laws by changing the agenda to no agenda and to no formal announcement of the meeting at the meeting … Confused? It doesn’t get any easier, so pay attention!

Well, basically the board monkeys expertly and with surgical corporate cunning, engineered a meeting to discuss the ‘Survey Monkey’ survey where they didn’t actually discuss the ‘Survey Monkey’ survey with anyone but themselves and Ron Nielsen’s wife who runs a some type of feel good survey evaluation-conflict resolution, let’s all get along company, who stood up and made the Board feel marvelous but not the public or members in attendance. This was then followed by a condescending ‘healing’ luncheon at last Saturday’s LVFPD fire training.

The next thing you know they will have the volunteers performing mandatory Tai Chi in the district’s new proposed 2 million dollar Japanese Reflection gardens. Get ready for a mill levy folks! Giant Carp are frightfully expensive these days what with shipping and all.

Does the term conflict of interest come to mind what with Jim Littlefield’s ‘highly confidential’ survey; wink! Wink! Along with Mr. Nielsen having his wife evaluate the ‘Survey Monkey’ survey for the good of us all. Oh, I almost forgot Mr. Nielsen is also a Spanish Peaks Hospital District board member who once showed up at a LVFPD board meeting with the CEO no less, of Spanish Peaks Hospital a Ms. Kay Whitley. I believe the hidden agenda was to try and make a move over the ambulance service and revenue generated by the LVFPD EMS division because the hospital’s ambulance operation was and probably is failing financially. Nice chunk of cash out of La Veta EMS billing might make a certain board member look good…hmm. Choose your board Ron. Please! At the actual real-life board meeting that followed the fake ‘Survey Monkey’ meeting on Thursday with oaths and agendas and everything properly done, Director Ron Nielsen made a comment to paraphrase, “now is the time for healing to begin” directly after he had smugly and dismissively, as is his nature, ignored an impassioned speech by firefighter Jim Berg, pleading with the board that they stop trying to tear the soul out of the department, which they have successfully done along with years of operational experience.

Well, Mr. Nielsen, if it weren’t for insensitive people like yourself and Jim Littlefield along with your two silent partners, Heikes and Walker, there wouldn’t be the need for any healing. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. You are a collective disgrace to the District and the community. The La Veta Fire Department is not your private club.

Also, it came to light at the meeting that the independent La Veta Auxiliary a highly successful entity that raises money for the district is actually giving back thousands of dollars to donors who in good faith gave money for specific things such as equipment and training etc. because Messrs. Littlefield, Nielsen, Heikes and Walker won’t spend it on what it was earmarked for in good faith by the donors. Good generous people who had often asked the actual firefighters what type of updated equipment that the Firefighters needed! The board ignored this which is additionally disgraceful in light of the fact that two of the board members are also firefighters. They put dollars before the safety of the community and the firefighters.

They are more interested on spending tens of thousands of dollars on an unnecessary, so-called Chief Executive Officer to the tune of $60,000 per year. In light of the fact that that the LVFPD budget is around $100,000 in the red for 2019 no wonder the board is trying to pilfer donation money from the Auxiliaryto pay for District’s shortfall.

If you’re going to donate to the LVFPD, be advised that if you donate directly to the LVFPD the board can do whatever it likes with your money whereas if you donate through the La Veta Auxiliary an independent, registered, non-profit entity, you can be assured that your donations are not frivolously wasted.

Residents should be aware that almost none of the operational leadership exists anymore. In 2018 the Fire Chief, Assistant Chief, Several Officers and firefighters and myself a Paramedic have either resigned under protest or have been pushed out by the board. Even the EMS Chief is retiring shortly. There are also many remaining members that are not happy at all with the board’s deceitful actions especially after being lied to about the results of the survey among other issues. You might also be interested to know that your mill levy dollars are now being spent on an expensive Denver law firm which has been retained by the board to try and deter members and former members such as myself from seeking the full results and comments from the ‘Survey Monkey survey as promised in writing by the board to the LVFPD members when the survey was first announced.

The board is terrified to release this information. One can only imagine why? We all know why.

What is happening at the La Veta Fire Protection District is a disgrace and a disservice to the our Fire District and community. ~Marc Biggins (Former LVFPD Member) La Veta, CO

paid for by Marc Biggins

Letters to the Editor – February 21, 2019

Where are the lock-boxes?

The Trinidad Soup Kitchen (TSK) has been blessing our hungry residents and keeping the panhandlers off of our downtown streets with there own panhandlers on the corners in Trinidad, but what happened to the lock boxes that where part of TSK operation? Do we know how much the TSK has made is the last year and a half? Mostly cash is given to the TSK workers on the street, and now they seem to put the cash in there pockets. We like knowing that all the money went to feeding the hungry, but are there any books being kept? So many questions and no real answers.

~Brad Kirby Trinidad, CO


Dogs attack deer in La Veta

On Feb. 5th on the 100 block of E. Field St. in La Veta, Three dogs attacked a full grown doe. It was about 7:15 am when two labs, a black lab and a golden lab, began attacking.

After seeing this attack taking place, I ran out to try to help the dogs’ owner stop the attack. Armed with only a wooden dowel it was not enough to stop the dogs.

Soon a third dog, a husky, came running to join the attack. By then a neighbor lady came to try to help and called 911 for help.

The three of us could not stop the dogs, especially when they brought the deer down. The black lab went for the throat, while the other two attacked its hindquarters and legs. The dogs had no leashes which made it very difficult to pull them away.

The owner of the labs was badly bit on one hand while trying to pry the lab’s mouth off the deer’s throat. We managed to chase the husky away and eventually the other two dogs after what was about a 45 minute attack.

About 25 minutes after the call, a representative from Parks and Wildlife arrived. By then the dogs had left, but the deer was in such bad shape and traumatized that it had to be shot. These are a few of the numerous dogs seen roaming free in La Veta. That deer could have also been someone’s smaller dog wandering around loose.

~Gary Weston La Veta, CO


La Veta Dogs Attack

Last Tuesday in La Veta, I watched three dogs attack and pull down a full grown deer across the street from where I live. It was horrific. Two labs, a yellow and a black, as well as a large husky, all notorious for being loose regularly, had the doe on the ground and were trying to eat her…alive.

I arrived when my neighbor Gary, and the other neighbor who owns the labs, were both trying to keep the dogs off the deer, which was clearly in shock and on the way to dying. The husky ran away, he’s an older dog, but still has the pack mentality and helped take her down.

As I walked up, one lab had the deer’s throat, the other was already chewing on its hind end. The woman tried to pull her dogs off and was badly bitten by her own dog. After calling 911, I repeatedly kicked the dogs, HARD. They paid no attention. Blood-lust is a thing.

Both owners will receive tickets, one for each dog, from the Town of La Veta, and one each from the State of Colorado. State fines will be stiff. Sadly, though our marshall knows the labs have taken down deer several times before, they will not be euthanized! Still…he’s on a mission about loose dogs.

What if this happens to a youngster walking her/his pup down the street? Will we wait till a child is ‘accidentally’ mauled as dogs attack the pet before we do something about all these loose dogs in town?

What’s sad is that most people do not understand the term ‘Pack Mentality’. Wonderful, gentle, loving pets allowed to run loose join up with other loose dogs and go hunting. They enjoy the hunt, they enjoy the blood lust.

~Beverly Jensen La Veta, CO

Letters to the Editor – February 14, 2019

Walsenburg City Administrator Issue

Following last week’s story in the World Journal concerning the fate of the city administrator, I talked with several city councilmen about their concerns. Each voiced some of the same issues about Mr. Toth. As a former Walsenburg mayor, I feel there are avenues, short of replacing him that they could and should consider first. I say that because with potential flooding hitting Walsenburg this spring, now is not a good time to be replacing a city administrator.

Mr. Toth last week touched on many meetings he and David Harriman have attended about possible flooding in Walsenburg. Most of the city councilmen have not attended any of these meetings. It’s important for Walsenburg citizens to have people who are informed and prepared to assist with any potential flood dangers. Toth & Harriman appear to be the best prepared.

The City Municipal League (CML) has many training programs that could assist Mr. Toth and the city council. I would strongly urge both to look into these training avenues. I would prefer the city administrator have advanced training and keep his job than to see him replaced at the most crucial time the citizens of Walsenburg need him.

The city council also needs to understand that replacing Mr. Toth would make a new administrator the 4th hire in four years. That reflects poorly on the city council and limits the number of good candidates that would want to apply for the job. The city councilmen I talked with say they were unaware of plans by Mayor Hoyt to replace Toth. If true, that is not the way a mayor or city council should go about it. The council needs to proceed in a manner that is done correctly so they don’t get involved in a legal matter for which they created.

Both the city council and city administrator need to take a step back and regroup. Mr. Toth, knowing his job is in jeopardy, should be willing to take steps to improve on the concerns the city council has with him. The city council needs to have city attorney Dan Hyatt conduct one of his training programs. Some council members haven’t taken one and others may need a refresher course on dealing with their responsibilities. In doing so, both parties will be benefitting the citizens of Walsenburg, especially at a time when we could be facing a crisis of severe flooding over half of our city, including all of downtown. I hope both sides will take these suggestions seriously for the good of all in Walsenburg.

~Larry Patrick

Walsenburg, CO

Wonderful service

The very first week of January my husband Jack needed to take me to our local SPRH Center to the ER. Not only did I go that evening, but 2 other times. The second time I was admitted overnight and all day Saturday. I had a very dangerous infection. My PA-Jerriann Vigil, Dr. Dutton and the ER doctor, Dr. Dan worked together as a team to get me on the right treatment and right prescriptions. I was asked some serious questions that made me do some homework about my care when I got home and felt good enough to do!

I cannot say enough about the wonderful care I received from teh doctors, nurses, the EMT’s, the gentleman Bob in ex-ray to the lab technicians who worked so gingerly to find my veins to collect blood that just didn’t seem to be there. Also the two nurses on the first floor for their great care.

Some people have asked me why I didn’t go to Pueblo and I tell them if you had a past incident there, put that behind you. The care was impeccable! I would go back again any day. I know slightly the CEO of the hospital, Kay Whitley from my job. She even took the time to call me and tell me if I needed anything I could call on her. Now that’s great service!

Five plus stars to our local hospital. The service and care was wonderful. Thank you also to all our neighbors and friends who called, sent cards, and made sure Jack was taken care of.


~ Mary Fischer

Walsenburg, CO


Murder plain and simple

How is it that we have come to the point in our society that state representatives co-sponsor bills they have not read even when they affect a baby who has survived a botched abortion? Why are we not enraged that this baby can be aborted up to the moment of delivery? This is not a woman’s right to choose. This is murder, plain and simple.

Ultrasounds, amniocentesis or sonograms show if a developing embryo is “damaged goods” in a woman’s mind; something she cannot mentally or emotionally handle. NO ONE ever needs to wait until the third trimester of pregnancy to make that decision when the baby, yes, baby, could survive outside the womb. Within 12 hours of conception the embryo has its own emerging DNA. By day 18 there is a heartbeat and at 20 weeks the baby can feel pain.

Perhaps we should read the abortion laws in our respective states to know what is legal. We might be shocked that murder on demand is available in more places than we’d like to admit.

When a society remains silent regarding the life and liberty of its most vulnerable members, I’m afraid we are lost in a cultural and moral wasteland with no turning back. I hope I am wrong.

It brings to mind Martin Niemoller’s quote at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., “They came for the socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. And then they came for me ~ and there was no one left to speak for me.”

~Margie Yurtinus

La Veta, CO

Letters to the Editor – January 31, 2019

Craddock’s article should be required reading for high school students

I wanted to commend you on the hard hitting article from several weeks ago, “A Tragedy Next Door”. What a difficult to read, but very important piece of journalism! I think that it should be required reading for high school students…..and everyone who thinks that it couldn’t happen here, because it is happening here! I appreciate that you don’t shy away from difficult topics and it really feel like something like that might actually make a difference! Good job!

~ Mitzi Keairns

La Veta, CO


LVFPD Member Survey

Dear Editor,

While I commend Mark Craddock for his accurate article reporting on the LVFPD January 10, 2019 Board of Director’s meeting, his subsequent article (WJ January 24, 2019) on the member survey needs some clarification. As I have always believed, be careful of surveys and polls. In summary, the on-line survey was taken by a combination of employees, volunteers, present and former board members, and possibly others slightly involved with the District. I am not sure as those of us who were invited to participate never saw the final list.

A total of 30 invitees responded to the survey, which incidentally was channeled thru a board member’s corporate account with Survey Monkey. This was an improper way to conduct a survey. Of the 30 that responded, five of these were board members. There were at least two former board members invited to the survey but for my clarification I will assume only five responded.

I will use the survey question dealing with board transparency, the second survey question. Realizing that most all volunteers, 83% of the survey response, have never attended a board meeting nor have familiarity regarding LVFPD Board transparency, I find little value in the survey result. Looking at the total response for this survey question, less than half (47%) were on the agree side, the remainder no opinion or disagree side. If I remove board members from the response data, assuming they would agree, the agree data drops to 36%. In my opinion, neither of these percentages is a passing grade. Most would agree 36% is a failing grade. The five questions allowing board members to evaluate themselves, totally invalidates the results.

In addition, the LVFPD board was caught holding an unannounced board meeting on December 18, 2018. This was clearly in violation of Colorado Special District open meeting requirements. If this blatant violation of the Colorado Sunshine Law had been known to volunteers at the time of the survey, I would have expected a much poorer transparency grade.

I have been a LVFPD volunteer for over seven years and over the last few years I have attended more board meetings than several of the present board members. The survey questions were poorly written and if, in fact, this survey was “gestated”, as stated by the Board President, this was a very poor method of dealing with an important personnel issue. The District residents, volunteers, and employees deserve better than this.

I appreciate the World Journal’s continued coverage of an ongoing situation with the LVFPD and encourage citizens to attend the next Board meeting on February 14, 2019, at 4 pm at the La Veta Fire Station.

~Jim Berg

Cuchara, CO

Letters to the Editor – January 24, 2019

Craddock feature story

Gretchen and crew,

I hope you have nominated (or will do so) Mark Craddock’s story on the young drug addict and her father/ family for a state-wide journalism award. I cannot believe that it would not win “best feature story” for a weekly paper in your category. It was quite compelling and well-written and well-organized. Superb! Very impressive.

~ Roger Castle

Denver, CO


We will miss DeTray

Dear Editor,

We will miss David DeTray as our fire chief. We have always been so well taken care of by the whole La Veta fire department, but Dave was always especially kind and caring. Even in his busiest times at work, he’d return our calls for a burn permit or a fire question concerning Uptop. And during the Spring Fire, his reassurance and concern meant the world to us. He’s been a delight to work with.

~Sam Law and Deb Lathrop,

La Veta, CO

Open Letter from David DeTray

As most of you know, I recently resigned as Chief under protest from the La Veta Fire Protection District along with multiple other members as a result of the behavior of a dysfunctional and dishonest Board of Directors. I along with the members who resigned and many members who remain, are ashamed of the board’s indiscretions and lack of credibility. They have stained the district’s reputation.

However, I would like to thank the residents, ranchers, businesses, visitors and surrounding agencies for all of their incredible support since I was appointed Chief in 2006. I have made many new friends over the years and forged relationships and alliances that have benefited both the department and the district. For that I am profoundly grateful.

We have come a long way since 2006 with significant upgrades in the district’s ISO ratings directly having a positive impact on homeowner insurance rates. Approximately 95% of the district’s fire fighting apparatus and equipment has been upgraded albeit recently with significant resistance from the board of directors who would rather use donation funds to pay a “District Manager” $60,000 per year to basically do the board’s job.

We have all come through two massive and historical, major wildfires together and have forged excellent relationships and avenues of communication with relevant Federal, State and Local agencies such as USFS, BLM, NOAH, CBI, CSP, Colorado State OEM and Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office and Fire District.

Not to forget the amazing efforts of the LVFPD Auxiliary an independent charitable organization which raises money for our district. Yes, you can donate and ‘earmark’ to any particular area you would like your donations to be applied to, such as equipment or training and that and has to be honored by the district. The board of directors would have it otherwise.

In my position as a part-time Fire Chief I basically had the responsibility of a full time Fire Chief overseeing 30 firefighter members, 14 fire apparatus, as well as my budget which incidentally I did not exceed during my tenure, unlike the board of directors’ current budget fiasco. Many additional administrative tasks were also required, not to mention many years of responding to EMS calls as an EMT and later Paramedic in addition to my fire duties.

My pay was around $950 per month with no benefits, less pay than the EMS Director and District Secretary who did most of the board of directors administrative work. A fulltime Fire Chief would be paid around $65,000 per year plus benefits and a vehicle. Clearly, I did not do this job for the money I did it because it needed to be done.

Contrary to the usual misinformation that the board of directors’ spin, I was only out of the district for 10 days per month at my fulltime job as a senior paramedic at Trinidad Ambulance. An easily checkable fact!

You may ask why I resigned? Consumed with micro-mismanagement, the board of directors rampantly broke the cardinal rule of interfering deeply into the operational structure of the department without any qualifications to do so. They have created a hostile totalitarian environment that no manager with any self-respect would tolerate. Additionally, their credibility and honesty are also seriously in question.

Would come I back to the department and continue as Fire Chief? I would in a heartbeat when the LVFPD board of directors were made up of honest men and women.

~Dave DeTray

La Veta, CO

Letters to the Editor – January 17, 2019

Open letter to Walsenburg City Council

Dear Members,

On Wednesday, January 9th at 12:50 pm, I came out of the main door of The Museum of Friends. I turned right and started to walk east on the sidewalk of 6th Street. I had gone a few yards when suddenly to my horror, I found I had tripped on something and was heading face first to the concrete sidewalk. The blow I received on the left side of my forehead was tremendous, the worst experience of my life.

I lay there for an unknown amount of time, but I could see what had tripped me. One side of a section of the sidewalk was at least 2 inches out of alignment with its neighbor. My face was bleeding, paper towel was produced and an ambulance was called. A deputy sheriff also attended.

In the emergency room, I was attended by Dr. Dunnam-Smith. My head was given a cat-scan, but was pronounced as having no break. I was kept lying down for recovery time. Eventually, two friends arrived to get me and my car home. This whole episode took five hours before I was home again.

My questions to you are firstly, is it not reasonable to assume that when sidewalks are provided, then these sidewalks should be fit to walk on safely, and secondly, sidewalks should be regularly checked for defects and while waiting for necessary repairs, should be marked in a clear bright color as a warning of danger to pedestrians.

Lastly, if you are now aware of the bad state of Walsenburg sidewalks, why is it that you were not previously aware of these dangers to the public? If I can fall, anybody can.

~ Jack Yule, Gardner, CO


Spring Fire

Two interesting articles appear in the January 10, 2019 edition of the World Journal regarding work since the “Spring Fire.” Both writers (Mark Craddock and Eric Mullens) refer to the fire as “Spring Creek,” a name that cropped up prominently in the more urban-area, Front-Range media outlets of Colorado. I suspect that “spring” is more normally used as an adjective and not a noun, especially when referring to something other than a season or part for a car. As far as I know, there are no Spring Creeks in the burn area; Spring Creek occurs south of Cuchara. This opinion may seem nit-picking, but I think it best to use the name that the local officials and fire manager in Huerfano and Costillo counties named the fire in June.

~Loren Hettinger Littleton, CO

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