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Letters to the Editor - page 3

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 Personal attacks, slander, ax-grinding, muckraking, and profanity will not be published.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: May 10, 2018

Thank you to our donors!

On behalf of the Huerfano County 4-H council we would like to thank the following businesses, individuals and 4-H Clubs for donating items to our annual spaghetti dinner and silent auction which was held on April 8,2108. Thank you to Deja Vu Antique Store, The Bear Spot, Vigil Chiropractic, George’s Drive Inn, Maria’s Salon, Antique Avenue, Armida’s Boutique, Little Attic, .38 Special Liquor Store, Paradise Coffee Shop, One Table Restaurant, Desert Expressions, City Auto, North By Southwest, Sliver Shoe, Western Gas Station, Walsenburg Lumber, Tina’s Family Cafe, Daily Perks Coffee And Eats, Corien’s Mexican Food, Randi Stroh, Valley Eye Care, Huerfano Cafe, Michelle Shrout Photography, The Salon/Jennifer Rivera, Huerfano Highlanders 4-H Club, Columbine 4-H Club and Snowy Range 4-H Club. Also we would like to thank all those who attended and those who helped prepare the meal.

Thank you,

~ Huerfano County 4-H Council 


Concerning the arming of our officers with AR-15s

I don’t think it’s a good use of our tax dollars to arm Trinidad police officers with AR-15 rifles. Supposedly these weapons would be useful in a mass shooting situation, but almost every mass shooting America has seen since the tragedy of Columbine has ended with the perpetrator committing suicide as soon as he was confronted. I can’t think of one situation where a criminal held off the police and continued killing because of having superior firepower.

I think these tax dollars should be spent to hire more officers and security guards and to give our police officers raises. Presently starting pay for an officer in Trinidad Colorado is $18 an hour. Waiters and Bud-Tenders make more money than that! It’s not right to ask our officers to put their lives on the line for low wages.

~Chip Shirley

Trinidad CO


Thank you for Comcast Cares Day success

I would like to say thank you to all who helped make today a success, this was the 17th Annual Comcast Cares Day. It is our way of giving back to the community and we could not make that possible without the many volunteers like you all. I would like to give a special thank you to the business’s that donated to help. Realty One, Farmers Insurance, Wells Fargo, Washington Federal, Cunico Tire, Little Bennys Locksmith, Rays Carwash, Alpine Lumber, Super Save, and Mr. Daniels Woodshop class. Also a big thank you to the city of Raton for all the help and work that you did. I’m looking forward to another one next year.

~Joe Horner

Raton, NM


Scott Pfaffman MOF visiting artist

The Museum of Friends is pleased to announce, “Mixing it up” visiting sculptor Scott Pfaffman is here in Walsenburg as MOF visiting artist working on an outdoor installation in the Miners Plaza Park at 6th and main, downtown Walsenburg. Please stop by and meet Scott and perhaps a few words of encouragement. This public creative activity will be followed by an exhibit of Scott’s working drawings and in addition, the MOF improvement construction drawings by architect Jessica Reske and the Walsenburg charrett drawings by urban planner and architect Dick Farley on display thru june 14th in the MOF main gallery at 6th and Main. All are welcome,

~Brendt Berger

Walsenburg, CO

Letters to the Editor for April 26, 2018 “WHERE you live should not determine IF you live.”

“WHERE you live should not determine IF you live.”

    Vote yes on Ballot Issue A

The truth of this quote, from a nurse of our acquaintance at the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center, was brought home to us last summer.  It was near nightfall when we heard a faint cry for help from a ridge above our cabin. The oak brush is so thick on that steep slope that it took one of our Border Collies to discover its source: a disoriented, hypothermic, and injured hiker who had lost his way during an off-trail hike.  The hiker was so dehydrated and exhausted that he could not walk, even with help.
Fortunately, a 911 call brought emergency medical services and Huerfano County Sheriff deputies to the rescue.  The EMTs spent the next two hours rehydrating the hiker with saline solution and getting him sufficiently stabilized to take him off the ridge, which required 6 rescue personnel and specialized equipment.  After another hour of attention in an ambulance, the rescue team transported the hiker to shelter at 10 pm.  It is doubtful that he would have survived the night, which brought freezing rain and hail, without the quick and expert response by emergency services.
Please vote YES on Ballot Issue A by May 8, to help sustain the excellent ambulance services and emergency medical personnel that we have in Huerfano County.
~Manuel Molles and Mary Anne Nelson,
Huerfano County, CO

Thank you SPRHC Emergency Room team for saving a life

Dear Editor,
Thank you Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center Emergency Room team and rehab team for saving our mother, JoAnn Slater’s life.
The Slater family,
Deborah Slater, Liz and Larry Carter
Delta, CO

Card of Thanks – Ruth Martinez

A Special Thank You

Special thanks to family and friends that took the time to come and celebrate and wish me a happy 90th birthday.

Thank you for all the gifts, monetary gifts and cards. Thanks to the Eagles, Carter and Yvette Vilapando and D.J. James.

It was a truly wonderful day, perfect in so many ways, big and small.

Ruth Martinez

Letters to the Editor and Cards of Thanks for April 12, 2018

Thanks for the jump

I just wanted to give a shoutout to the sheriff’s deputy who stopped last Wednesday evening to help us jump a dead car.

I thought I had a decent handle on what I was doing but wasn’t confident. To have someone pop up, ready and willing to help, who actually knew what he was doing, was a massive relief.

So thank you, for going above and beyond the call of duty, and helping us out!

~Ruth Orr,

Walsenburg, CO 


Mother Jones dinner

Good morning. As many of you are aware, Mary Harris Jones, a.k.a. Mother Jones, is our Huerfano County Democratic Party inspiration. Why you may ask. She fought for fair wages for workers, an 8 hour work day was instrumental in getting national child labor laws passed, and more specifically spending time in our Huerfano County jail. She continually advocated over her life for the workers that built this country. This is why she is the matron of our annual fundraising dinner.

We have much work still be be done. Even though Mother Jones didn’t care much for politics, the times have brought both activism and politics together. The movements of today are vitally important the future of our country. All politics is local, as the saying goes, and we must continue to strive locally for the health and welfare of our citizens in Huerfano County. We must continue to encourage our citizens to be outspoken on National issues that DO have an effect locally.

We encourage you to attend our Annual Mother Jones dinner on Saturday, April 21st and meet your local officials that will be on this November’s ballot. Meet some of the individuals running for various State/National offices. You will also here from our Democratic Party State Chair Morgan Carroll. How can we all participate in this great democracy and the preservation thereof for the future of generations to come!

We hope to see you there. Visit and get your tickets today! There will be a great silent auction and door prize. Visit with your neighbors and friends you haven’t seen in a while. Meet some of the new folks that have joined our community of Democrats, have a great meal and support your local Democratic Party!


~Dale Lyons

H.C. Democratic Party Chair


Thank you La Veta, for support for Francisco Fort Museum

To the Editor, I am writing to thank the citizens of La Veta for their recent overwhelming support for Francisco Fort Museum. On April 3, La Veta voters almost unanimously approved the extension of two ½ percent taxes, which provide the bulk of the museum’s operating budget. With these monies the museum will not only continue to operate, it will be adding more programs and events. These taxpayers supported funds will help take care of the fort for the next decade.

Once again in 2018, the museum will have an extended season, opening on May 17, as opposed to the traditional date Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. The museum will once again be open with limited hours during the month of September. In past it was closed after Labor Day weekend. Additionally, for the first time, Francisco Fort will be open for La Veta’s Oktoberfest – on Saturday, October 6.

With recent significant donations of artifacts, the museum will boast new and expanded exhibits featuring items from the earliest days of the fort. Our summer events will include Cowboy Day on June 23 and Francisco Fort Day on July 21. Paranormal 970 will provide another update on the ghosts of Francisco Fort, based on their research over the past two years. Other historical programs, both local and from around the region, will be presented throughout the summer.

I invite you to visit the museum as we make improvements, create new displays, and bring you new and exciting programs.

Remember, “Support the Fort”

~ Eddie Smith,

President, Francisco Fort Board of Directors

OPINION: What to do to keep the shooter out of town. What our communities can do to help protect our kids

What our communities can do to help protect our kids

by Carol Bridge
As a former teacher I have participated in several trainings meant to prepare staff for when the shooter comes to school.  Not if, but when.  In the light of the most recent shootings it is time for us to consider the horrific possibilities and to attempt, as a community, to avoid and prevent such a tragedy from happening where we live and where our children attend school.  These shootings can happen anywhere.  It is not difficult to imagine that we have potential school shooters right here and close to home.  What are we, as a community, going to do to prevent it?
It is a mistake to think that schools are able to always recognize and help the kids most likely to snap – falling budgets, staff layoffs, threats to social safety nets, and lack of mental health personnel all act to affect what schools are able to do.  So communities must step up and help; this community must step up and help.
There are two main things that protect children from moving into these violent attitudes and behaviors.  The first is in having a strong and functioning family, and the second is succeeding in school.  How many children in our communities are missing one or both those factors?  It only takes one.
As citizens, we cannot interfere in families, but we can provide other opportunities for children to belong, feel nurtured and influenced in positive ways.  We can provide family-like places for kids to belong and we must be sure to target the kids who are most at risk.  We can do this by supporting and funding such organizations as the Boy and Girl Scouts, 4-H, the Young Marines, school activities and church groups that provide activities for children.  We need to gather more kids into these groups and support them generously.  These groups  provide them with a nurturing place to belong, clear moral guidelines, support for achievements, and a chance to have a healthy relationship with a caring adult.  Service organizations could pledge to support these kids with uniforms, activity expenses, recognition – and to support the leaders with financial help.  Ask anyone who has ever been a scout leader or a 4-H leader what it costs them not only in time but also financially to serve children.
We can also help children succeed in school by providing easier access to books and learning in the community and by providing rewards and public support of their efforts.  Further efforts at improving literacy rates and attitudes towards education should be undertaken.  One idea is building a dedicated children’s library, and rewarding kids for every step taken.
As a community, we need to leave no child behind, alone, or out.  We do a great job with high achieving children BUT we need to do everything in our power to make sure that the struggling children are better supported.  We need to come together; service organizations, social services, churches, and schools, and act together.  We must do everything in our power to ensure that the shooter never comes to our towns.

Letters to the Editor and Cards of Thanks for March 22, 2018

The rest of the story on how to protect against wildfires starting from improperly stored ashes

Dear Editor,

When I wrote my article “Unprotected Ash Strikes Again”, I had incorrect information. When I learned of my error, I went to the landowner where fire started and apologized to the family.

Here is the “Rest of the Story” with correct information.

The family had been very concerned about the dry conditions and the stove ash had been stored in house in open metal bucket for a week.

Then the ash was disposed in a hole dug in the ground. The ash felt cool to touch when the owner put his hand in it. He then covered over the hole with soil.

Apparently, one or more of the three large dogs that are family pets dug up the covered over ash hole.

Then the pesky wind did the rest, blowing out layer after layer of ash until a hot coal was found and deposited in the family large firewood pile. Then the firewood ignited.

Fortunately, a neighbor had to get out of bed to use the bathroom and saw the fire down the hill across the small valley. He called 911 and jumped in his vehicle to race down to the family property. Neighbor had to awaken the family. Bedroom was in corner of house closest to the now blazing hot woodpile. Terrified, the family members frantically tried cooling down the end of the wood siding house with garden hose. The radiant heat was intense. Family members were dismayed on how fast the fire was spreading to grass and trees and moving uphill to the north and east. It was an agonizing eternity it seemed for the family hoping that the fire department would get there before it was too late. The Calvary did come and immediately foamed down the house and wood shake roof. Other units slowed the spreading wildfire and contained it. But the family ordeal was not yet over. They had trouble sleeping next few days and then five days later when they returned home after dark, they saw red coals glowing under a large pinion tree at edge of original fire area. The fire was about to restart. The heat had held over in the deep duff about foot deep at base of tree. (Duff is the organic layers of decomposing pine needles). The husband and wife team carried water and on hands and knees dug through the duff putting out the last of the hot coals.

Thus, my article about “thoughtlessly spreading out ash” was incorrect. I apologized for that error. Apology was accepted. The family plans on donating for two stove ash cans. Ash will be held with lid on for two weeks or longer and then dosed with water when out in hole in ground. Also, they plan on purchasing a Thermal-gel homeowner kit for protection of shake shingle wood roof until they can financially afford a new metal roof.

One of the lessons learned here, is that when in these drought like conditions, actions that has seemed safe before, may not be.

All of us need to be vigilant about mowing dead and dry grass and weeds during red flag days. Or operating machinery in or near these dry fuels. That would include ATV’s, dirt bikes, chainsaws and other machinery.

If need to mow, do it early in morning when temperatures are cooler and relative humidity is higher. Then wait an hour before leaving area to make sure no fires could have been sparked by machinery.

Do not park vehicles in tall grass as catalectic converters can start fires.

If cutting firewood do it in mornings and have water and hand tools with you to fight any possible fire starts. All of us need to be super careful during these dry conditions.

It is going to be difficult on our volunteer firefighters until we get ample moisture. So, if you see a firefighter, give them a hug, they are going to need it.


~CK Morey,

La Veta, CO 


Vote YES for Francisco Fort Museum

In the April 3 election, the Francisco Fort Museum is asking La Vetans to vote for funding – NOT an increase, NOT a new tax, simply the extension of the existing funding which will otherwise sunset in 2020. For the last few years, the museum has been funded with 1% of the sales tax collected in La Veta. We have all seen the improvements: more staff were hired; maintenance and preservation of the historic adobe building was addressed; the museum season was extended; additional summer programs were offered; school groups were encouraged. The museum became a source of pride for the entire community. If the museum is to continue this remarkable progress, funding must be secured. A “yes” vote for Ballot Issues 2A and 2B will do this.

~Bert Rosen

La Veta

Protect La veta’s Treasure

La Veta has a treasure — Francisco Fort — an original adobe fort in its original position. On April 3rd we are asked to voted to extend the two 1/2% sales taxes the support our museum. This is not a tax increase. A yes vote just extends these taxes for 10 years, providing support for the museum. There is no more money out of your pocket. The Francisco Fort Museum is an important part of our community, a real gem. How many communities have an original historic fort on its original footprint? We are so fortunate, but we must support and maintain the structure. On April 3rd vote to extend these taxes that are currently being collected.

~Maryjean Fowler

La Veta, CO


Walsenburg The Best of Times ahead

After moving from Walsenburg to La Veta, I swore I would never move back! However, my feelings may have changed and Walsenburg has “the best of times” ahead.

A few years ago, I stopped at the old empty blue filling station across from the swimming pool. Inside I saw a sleeping bag & backpack.  Also, there was trash and garbage piled four feet high, as though the neighborhood was using the site as a dump. I reported this to the police department, but apparently there was nothing they could do. Have you noticed that the entire property has been completely cleaned up, as well as several other places?

Like I said before, Walsenburg is in MUCH better shape, thanks to your new city administrator, James Toth! He will meet with you, listen to you and talk about solving problems.  How fortunate this town now is! PS – Let us all help him, too!

~Karen Clouse,

La Veta, CO 


Aguilar Community Church Services


The United Presbyterian Church of Trinidad has purchased the Aguilar Community Church building and will start having services there Sundays at 10:30 am.


~Pastor Bill Ferris

Aguilar, CO


Farewell from Joan Hatcher

Dear Huerfano County,

I will be leaving my position at The Walsenburg Workforce Center on March 23, 2018 and will be retiring from the State of Colorado. I have accepted a position in Pueblo with the Resource Exchange working with individual with disabilities.

In 2010 I came to Walsenburg from the Pikes Peak Workforce Center in Colorado Springs not knowing what to expect. My job was to open the Walsenburg Workforce Center full time, which is what I did. I was a bit apprehensive because I had not worked in a rural office for several years.

From day one I was welcomed with open arms by the people of the community; I have been shown kindness, support, and gratitude. I was able to develop lasting relationships with businesses and agencies within the community. I have found Huerfano County to be a beautiful place that has taught and shared so much with me.

I just want to take this time to say Thank You to all of you for the opportunity that I have been given to work with the people and community for the last 8 years. It has been a wonderful life changing experience to be part of.

I will forever wish the people and the community well.

Please come and celebrate with me on March 23, 2018 from 1-4 pm at the Community Center.

~Joan Hatcher

Walsenburg, CO

Letters to the Editor and Cards of Thanks for March 15, 2018

Thanks for your kindness, La Veta

I have a heart full of sadness, but also of thankfulness. Eric Bachman’s last nine months of life were a rough ride, but there was a big surprise for us as things unfolded. Letters, cards, emails, packages at the door, phone calls, homemade soups, visitors, manilla envelopes full of cheerful cartoons, flowers, sent with loving, supportive words, sincere offers of help in many forms, reminiscences, funny stories, often from people we knew just casually, appeared in a constant stream. This was a huge part of that difficult time, and I can hardly express how much these offerings affected us.

Never think there is nothing you can say that will help, or that you don’t want to ‘bother’ people who are having a difficult time. Each envelope or tupperware container was opened with surprise, delight, and such gratitude, no matter what the words or food inside. Tears of thanks were a common experience when opening these offerings. Eric and I were so moved by the lift this gave to a very tough time. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all of you, and also to all the people who stopped me on the street to give words of support for me to take home to Eric. I took care to tell him about each and every time that happened, and he was touched and buoyed each time, again no matter what the specific words were, the feeling of support was received and so appreciated by him. I have learned a lovely lesson that I will not forget. Again, a heartfelt thanks to our dear little community.

~Helen Hill,

La Veta, CO 

Thank you for your kindness and help

So, it is AGAIN that we say thank you for the 55+ friends and family that came to help clean up the mess left from our devastating fire.

By “word of mouth”, people came and people set to work. There were NO bosses, but everyone seemed to know exactly what needed done and, would you believe, in 5 hours, all the tin was loaded, the hay was hauled off, the meathouse was cleaned out, the dumpster was filled and the scrap metal trailer was stuffed?

Then, there was such fellowship shared as we ate lunch from those SO generous to bring pot luck. (Even those who couldn’t be there sent food, and for that we are so appreciative).

Thank you, again, from the bottom of our hearts. It is with God’s grace and humility that we accept your help. One dear friend told us, “When YOU hurt, WE hurt.” Another friend said, “we just returned from Hawaii and didn’t have the heartfelt feeling we felt here, today.”

So, we’ve learned THAT, and will go on from here.

Let’s just plan to have one BIG party when the barn is finished and rejoice in the fact that friends, family, faith and health are what really matters in our lives.

Thank you once again and God Bless,

Maurice and Irene Heikes

La Veta, CO

Thank you from the Salas family

The family of Joseph Ralph Salas would like to thank everyone for the generosity and kindness shown during this time of sorrow. With a special thank you to the Sangre de Cristo Hospice staff and the Acute Center at the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center.  The love and compassion given helped our family through this difficult time.

~ Jeanette Villalobos

Walsenburg, CO


Thank you for caring about Noe

The family of Noe E. Espinoza, Jr. would like to thank everyone for their kind expressions of sympathy during the time of our loss.

Special thanks to Noe’s co-workers, the people who helped cook for the reception, those who sent cards, flowers, and money, the staff of Boies-Ortega Funeral Home, and everyone who attended the service.

Special thanks also to his brothers, Randy, Robert, and Kenny who were always there for him. We appreciate you very much.

~Betty L. Espinoza and family

Walsenburg, CO


La Veta elderly meal program thanks Ryus

The La Veta elderly meal program would like to take a moment to thank the Ryus Avenue Bakery. The Ryus Avenue Bakery donates many delicious loaves of bread each week to help feed the nearly 30 elderly participants in the meal program. It is this spirit of generosity and caring that makes La Veta such a special place! Thank you Ryus Avenue Bakery and all those who volunteer to help make the elderly meal program a success.

~Patty Burns, Cherie Lowenberg, Pat Nettershiem and of course, Jon Dolak.

La Veta, CO


Gun control won’t solve the problem

Dear Editor and readers:

There are no simple and easy answers when dealing with evil. We want to enact a solution to prevent murder from ever happening again.  But it will happen again. It has been with us since the beginning of time (Genesis 4:8) and will continue through the end times. Pure evil exists and its manifestation is heightened in the politically correct culture we have been nourishing for far too many years.

Jumping on the anti-gun and NRA bandwagon will prevent nothing.  Perhaps it might give one a good feeling that “something has been done,” but we need well-though out solutions to a deep-rooted problem of alienation and mental illness in our society.  Internet use hasn’t helped to develop healthy egos either, as face to face discourse has suffered.  We have become so frightened of “labeling” people with its legal ramifications that we have ignored their problems.  We wait until a heinous act has been committed before dealing with it, and the call to disarm America bit by bit once again pushes to the forefront.

Distraught citizens in the emotion of the moment call for boycotting the NRA and businesses supporting it.  This organization’s blame for causing this last catastrophe is like blaming the Ford Motor Company for a driver gunning it through a red light only to smash into an oncoming vehicle, killing all of its occupants.

Like those at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I have been shot at and witnessed injured and dead students falling in pools of blood around me. The horror never leaves you.

There are many crative as well as conventional solutions, from sheriff’s substations on campus and allowing resource officers to do their jobs to dealing with the effects of anti-depressants on the brain and reopening mental hospitals.

With our PC mentality, too many are afraid to let authorities know of their concerns due to repercussions. And, as we have seen in Parkland, even when authorities have been notified at all levels multiple times, pleas for help were ignored. Anyone derelict in their line of duty should be held accountable. Period. But let’s rise above the blame game. Cherished lives were lost. The next murderer is out there, waiting to strike. Evil is amongst us.

Thank you.


~Margie Yurtinus,

Cuchara, CO

Cards of Thanks for March 1, 2018

Thank you just is not enough!!

Wow – words seem so inadequate at a time like this when we have experienced such a loss, but by the grace of God, no one was hurt in the fire, and “stuff” can be replaced.

We really cannot name ALL those who responded to our needs on Saturday evening, as we were at Sid’s BBQ (and thank YOU for making sandwiches for the responders – we don’t even know how that happened ?? and found out that it was indeed OUR barn and meathouse that was on fire.


to Dr. Romie Nicoletti (who had been vetting our cow/calf pair with Dr. Kent Hay ) who was the first to call 911

~ Mickey & Malea Schmidt and brother Bill – the first to get there & clear out the other trapped cows

~ And OF COURSE, the fire responders from Cuchara, La Veta and Walsenburg who certainly did risk their lives dealing with that kind of explosive fire

~ We Just Can’t Thank Enough.

AGAIN, (and unfortunately) our family is witness to the way this community comes out in FULL force on a 65 mph windy, freezing night, asking what they can do to help.

We WILL rebuild and we WILL be better because of this. God has been good to us and we will continue to turn to Him during the difficult times.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,

~Maurice and Irene Heikes and family

La Veta, CO

Thank you from the Kreutzers

We want to thank our friends & family for the prayers, calls, food, cards, and prayer circles for Wade. He has two weeks to continue recuperating.  We are so grateful to you all. ~Wade and Sabrina Kreutzer & family La Veta, CO You all are terrific! Thank you Bob, Gretchen & Brian!!! What an amazing spread the World Journal did for our library’s Two Peaks One Book program! This article alone could draw hundreds!!!! (well, maybe not that many, but a lot of people) from the whole area to join us for this community program series. We appreciate you all so much!

~Sandra Hackbarth,

Library Director La Veta Regional

Library La Veta, CO  


Many Thanks!

To the Editor:

I see that you were able to print the seedling press release I sent to you this week. Thank you very much!

We appreciate your cooperation and assistance in furthering our mission toward helping both the residents and forests of Colorado.

~ Mark W. Loveall

Field Office Forester,

Southeast Area Colorado State Forest Service

La Veta Field Office


Commendation: Bree Lessar, La Veta’s School Superintendent:

Truly remarkable school administrators are to be valued, and Superintendent Bree Lessar is such an administrator. Beginning in 2004, Ms. Lessar came to our school as a social studies teacher. Now, 14 years later, she has served in the combined role of Superintendent and pre-K to 12th grade Principal for the past 7 years.

La Veta Schools have made substantial progress under Ms. Lessar’s leadership. Three years after her appointment as Superintendent/ Principal, La Veta Schools were Accredited with Distinction, the highest level of accreditation awarded by the Colorado Department of Education.

This year the La Veta Elementary School received the Colorado Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award largely as a result of the Reading Workshop introduced a few years ago by Suzanne Pierce and Ms. Lessar. La Veta has one of the highest graduation rates in Colorado with graduates succeeding in both college and career.

Over the years, Ms. Lessar has made many positive changes that have improved student outcomes in La Veta. Not the least of these improvements has been the recruitment and retention of new teachers and the support and encouragement provided for teachers’ professional development.

Our academic curriculum has been expanded and strengthened under Ms. Lessar’s direction.

In addition, the school’s co-curricular programs have thrived and grown. Our athletes “learn on the job” and are recognized for their excellent performance and sportsmanship.

Our Knowledge Bowl team competes at the highest level. Our FFA students are nationally recognized. We could not be more proud of our students.

Ms. Lessar certainly deserves a good portion of the credit, for it has been through her that the quality of the teachers and staff has remained at a consistently high level. Indeed, the leadership Ms. Lessar provides to the school’s support staff is not widely appreciated.

The school’s older buildings and buses are not in the best shape. But our custodial and driver teams under her leadership are why our schools are always well maintained and why our services are first-rate.

Recently the La Veta Board of Education voted unanimously to try to raise the monies to build a new school. This vote reflected the confidence that the Board of Education has in the quality of the school’s administration and teachers and its belief that La Veta’s students deserve the best possible start in life with an excellent education.

For the past year, Superintendent Bree Lessar has worked closely with La Veta’s Facilities Task Force to provide the support and advice needed to arrive at a well informed decision. Ms. Lessar’s contributions to this planning have been invaluable throughout the entire process.

Led by one of the best superintendents in Colorado, the La Veta RE-2 Public School District is in an excellent position to achieve its vision to be a “model for rural education in Colorado.”

~Board of Education,

La Veta RE-2 School District

Thank you to Bon Carbo/Spanish Peaks FPD

Dear Editor:

I live in the Ponderosa Hills development off County Road 40.2 in Las Animas County. On Saturday the Bon Carbo/Spanish Peaks Volunteer Fire Protection Districts toured our development as their monthly meeting. It was informative for all parties. They learned which roads to take inside our development to get to all our homes and where there are water supplies. They gave us specific recommendations about how to be safe, how better to mitigate, and generally how to help them help us. We are so grateful for the volunteers and for the time and effort they gave us on Saturday. It’s a good feeling knowing that they have maps of our development and know who we are and where we live. I encourage other developments to take advantage of their offer to visit. It could be a life saver!

I also gained a couple valuable home owner tips along with meeting some great new people. Thank you to the men and women who volunteer their time and risk their lives for us. And thank you Bon Carbo/Spanish Peaks Volunteer Fire Protection Districts for choosing Ponderosa Hills as your first development tour. Finally, to your readers: please remember that our volunteer fire districts rely on our donations. Be generous as they so generously give to us.

~Cindy Adams

Trinidad, CO

Letters to the Editor of March 1, 2018

Optimisim about profits or cures?

Dear Editor: We’re being told that marijuana is the answer to our opiate addiction. I’m skeptical.

Opium was popular in the mid to late 1800s. It was touted as a cure for alcohol abuse. Once opium fell from favor, the answer to opium was the new derivative – morphine. Morphine addiction became rampant, so the answer came from a new compound from Germany called heroin. Before federal regulation, these opiates, along with cocaine, were sold over the counter as the cure to just about anything. Now, in our history of one drug replacing another, comes the savior of the “natural” herb cannabis sativa. Natural is in quotation marks because the marijuana that grows in nature is nothing like the genetically engineered and carefully bred product sold today.

While we all hope that research finds useful pain relief, including research on cannabis, the few available studies that may show a correlation between medical marijuana use and a decrease in opiate use are far from definitive. With Colorado’s 1.5 billion in marijuana sales, it is clear that major players are here, raising the specter of Big Mary joining the ranks of Big Pharma in its public relations and sales campaigns to push higher and higher use and profits.

Before we start feeling too good about the increasing use of marijuana in our state, we need to remember to keep a watchful eye on marketing claims for the drug, and for the adverse effects it brings along with it.

~Joel F. Shults

Walsenburg, CO

Bullying Essay

As a subscriber of the World Journal my favorite read is about the youth from Huerfano County. It is especially exciting to read about family members. Congratulations to Shelby Faris, Amanda Dotter, and all the winners of the Bullying Essay. You are Winners Indeed!

~Edna Faris

Dust Denver, CO  

If only…

If only human parents cared as much about their offspring as much as some birds care about theirs.

I raised a baby bird (Brewer’s blackbird) last summer. It (Goonie) took feeding every 15 minutes, twelve hours a day, for four weeks. I taught it how to feed itself, to fly, and interact with its original colony so it could migrate south with them.

Believe me, a parent bird would never keep a snake in its nest with its offspring.

I’m a reformed gun collector. My guns were always secure. I sold most of my collection when I moved to Colorado.

Assault weapons are exactly meant to assault humans, by design. You can’t use them to protect your family, they are ballistic. They will travel through your house and into your neighbor’s house. A shotgun is your best defense, or a hand gun if you’re a marksman like me. I’m also a victim of a gun, I lost my left eye at nine years old from a ricochet 22 LR target shooting.

Be a responsible gun owner, protect your children, or you may have to deal with the reality that you had a snake in your nest all along.

~Tom Kolafa,

Walsenburg, CO

Thoughts on Huerfano’s new MAMBA

Dear Editor,

I read with buoyant enthusiasm your front-page story in the February 22 edition about Huerfano County finally augmenting its woefully inadequate defensive arsenal with the acquisition of the MAMBA armored personnel carrier. And a handsome vehicle it is! Thanks for the photos! I have long advocated for beefing up our response capabilities in Huerfano County. After years of helplessly watching the endless wave of violent criminal activity that has taken its deadly toll on our community, it is comforting to see that we are taking pro-active measures to confront future ambushes. And if our national government can continue on its well-advised path toward forcibly disarming the Communist North Korean rogue state, perhaps Huerfano County could look into acquiring one of the smaller nuclear devices that we will likely liberate in our impending and overdue bloody-nose strike there. While the MAMBA is a wonderful first step in increasing our security here in southern Colorado, I, for one, would sleep a whole lot easier knowing that we also possess a nuclear deterrent to the flagrant lawlessness which has made life here in this once peaceful region a veritable living hell. What illegal cannabis grower is going to as much as plant a seed knowing that the reward for his labor might be a mushroom cloud over his ill-gotten harvest? Thank you, Huerfano County, for your foresight and vigilance on our behalf. I could not be more proud. God bless America, God bless Huerfano County, and God help us all.

~Kenneth Sajdak

La Veta, CO

Letters to the Editor of Feb. 1 2018

Donate to Dorcas

Dorcas Circle Food Pantry & Clothing Bank needs these items for our regular food boxes: Spaghetti sauce, pasta, peanut butter, tuna fish, canned meat, soup, rice, and beans. Please donate to Dorcas Circle.

Thank You to all who support our mission. We often receive donations of food and funds from area churches, organizations, individuals, Safeway, Charlie’s Market, Dollar General, First Choice Market, First National Bank Huerfano Branch, Loaf&Jug Store, Volunteers for Community Food Drives, and other groups. We are very appreciative of all the community support we receive. Our all-volunteer staff work from concern for people in need.

Our Board of Directors and volunteers do so appreciate your support. Thank you for caring with Dorcas Circle. We would not be able to continue without community support, food drives, clothing donations, and prayers. We use great care to be good stewards all that we receive.

Dorcas Circle accepts donations of food, clothing, toys, house wares, etc., and more volunteers. Open to give food & clothing, at 911 S. Main, on Tuesday & Thursday, 10 AM to 4 PM, (719)738-2291.


~Maryann Chamberlain,

Director of Dorcas Circle Food Pantry and Clothing Bank in Walsenburg, CO


Thanks for the fix

This is a note to tell you about a good experience we had with the new appliance repairman in town. He’s prompt, courteous, clean, and polite. If you need his services, please give him a try. It’s nice to know someone who will do what he says when he says he will do it. I don’t think you will be sorry. His name is George Kossen, and his number is 303-258-6219. Signed, a happy customer

~Curtis Pryor

Walsenburg, CO


Afraid of Fire

I am extremely concerned for mine and my brothers’ safety and health living next to a home that can go up in flames at any second.  The back shed already has, on 1-20-18.

I have called City Officials, walked in and spoke with them, and made numerous phone calls into the Huerfano County Dispatch Center regarding unattended fires inside and outside of the home next to our residence and yet, even after the back shed burned to the ground, these people are still able to live in this trailer, the yard is littered with trash, they live in this trailer with NO electricity, NO running water, and NO proper way to dispose of their sewage.

They use candles and a BBQ grill inside the trailer to cook and as a heat source. They steal water from our outside faucet, and from the house to the left of them.

This trailer is owned by the infamous “Slum Lord” of Walsenburg, who has rented this trailer to these two people.  So because they are not considered squatters they have a right to live this way. I call the law and all they do is have them put the fires out, but the minute they leave the flames are visible again. I am beyond frustrated, I am not getting any sleep at night because I am so worried the place will catch fire and we will not have time to get out. I hate leaving my home because if it goes up in flames we will lose everything.

WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE WAITING FOR?? These careless individuals to burn the whole block down? For myself and my brother to be victimized to the extreme of losing everything we own or worse because they have more rights than we do?

Or because a landlord who has had multiple homes burn down in Walsenburg is allowed to rent out homes that are not up to code?

I do not want to be that nagging resident of this city, however I also do not want to be the residents that lost everything because the city building inspector, and the code enforcement officer did not want to be bothered by looking into the living conditions of this trailer, because people did not return my calls, or simply because the buck was passed one too many times.

~Bernadette Steeful

Walsenburg CO

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