Letters to the Editior
Highway 160 widening project
Several weeks ago, a major widening project began on highway 160 along an approximate three mile stretch. The purpose was to widen a stretch of highway that has been the cause of many traffic accidents in the past. To complete this project safely and efficiently, concrete barriers were placed close to the highway border along the eastbound lane.
Three weeks ago, I had a near death experience that made me think about the “death trap” that was created by the concrete barriers. I had an oncoming truck start to come across the median line and in a split second I realized I had no place to escape on my right side. Fortunately, I honked and the truck quickly corrected back on his side of the highway. I became afraid at this point and started talking to others who had had a similar experience and realized that the speed limit was 55, passing was allowed, traffic was heavy, rumble strips were present in the center of the lanes but no escape access was allowed on the shoulder of the highway for eastbound traffic.
I called the Department of Transportation and was connected with the Project Engineer, Joe D. Hart who listened to my concerns and said he would follow up. I am writing this letter to let our community know that he did follow up and others agreed there were some problems and wanted to work in trying to make the situation a little safer for us all. Here is what they did: reduce the speed to 45 mph, paint no passing lines on most of the section (at least where the concrete barriers are located), post no passing zone signs, and promise to provide off duty patrol officers sporadically to monitor the speed and no passing abuse.
In my opinion, currently people are still speeding well over the 45 mph and passing in the no passing zone. I have had two other close encounters and am still worried about human safety especially during this summer busy travel season. Please everyone drive carefully through this area Thank you. ~Kathy Brown La Veta, CO
Barriers are there to protect workers
I read with interest Kathy Brown’s letter to the editor last week about the danger the concrete abutments posed to drivers on the Highway 160 widening project and thought the same, dangerous. The point is obvious,the concrete protects the CDOT workers at the expense of the drivers. ~Brendt Berger Walsenburg, CO
No to AHCA
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) should not be repealed without simultaneously replacing it with legislation that guarantees adequate coverage for the American people. The bill the House passed, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), falls woefully short of that standard. And if coverage cannot be preserved, then hospitals, especially in rural counties, must be compensated properly for the inevitable onslaught of uninsured patients.
In that case, the health system payment reductions that were used to expand coverage under the ACA must be restored, because our community hospitals will need extra resources to care for those lacking coverage. I know finances can be tight at rural hospitals; I fear that if they can’t be fairly reimbursed, access may be limited.
The funding issue goes beyond health care. As an officer of the law, I can tell you that rural hospitals are instrumental in processing and gathering evidence in many criminal cases. For example, they draw blood from drunk driving suspects or those involved in other crimes. If a drunk driving suspect had to be taken to another hospital miles away, the blood alcohol would dissipate and law enforcement personnel would be busy transporting suspects rather than patrolling our community.
By 2026, the AHCA policies would result in an additional 23 million people without coverage, while Medicaid would be cut by $834 billion. I’m not sure rural hospitals can absorb that impact. The bill is now in the Senate; hopefully, Senator Gardner can help improve upon the AHCA as currently written. ~Sheriff James W. Casias Las Animas County
Tirade to editor: Keep your trash off my road
Okay, so I know the price of disposal at the Walsenburg Waste Transfer Station is going up, but could those of you who can’t afford the cost for disposal of mattresses, TV’s, couches, etc., etc., etc., please stop dumping them on our county roads? This is like dumping your trash in your neighbor’s yard or on Main Street. Cough up the $6 and go to the transfer station. You’ll feel better about yourself and the blood pressure of all the folks living along the road will go back to normal. Thanks! ~Mary Jo Tesitor Walsenburg, CO
For umpteen years humans have been dealing with seemingly unchangeable laws.
Take for example, the Law of Gravity which until the Space Age stood immovable.
Then there is the Biblical Law of the Medes and Persians. See the Old Testament book of Daniel, Chapter 6, verse 8, for the reason and results of this unchangeable blue law.
As a law-abiding citizen of Walsenburg, Colorado, I have personally endured two long years of sleep deprivation and a substantial loss of hearing brought about by a railroad regulation that uses a warning tactic to avoid lawsuit responsibility.
For every train passing through Walsenburg’s five midtown street crossings, engineers MUST honk their air horns four times – (long, long, short, long) which means twenty times per train.
All of this mind-boggling sound despite traffic gates, warning lights, and bells already required by the Federal Government.
Actually the only unchangeable laws that are still in effect today are taxes and death.
Since heavy taxes are levied on harmful products like tobacco, alcohol and marijuana, why not place a tax $ on railroad companies whose rails pass through a town’s populated areas and street crossings?
To me, noise pollution may be as damaging to a person’s physical and mental health as an addictive drug.
What do you think about this idea? Sincerely, ~LaVona Heide Walsenburg, CO
This is an editorial but really it should be a public service announcement.
In Colorado, I’m referencing Colorado Revised Statute 15-11-804
When I lived in Walsenburg, Colorado, a District Judge ruled in my divorce settlement that I receive one half of the life insurance money of my late-ex-husband. He had died unexpectedly from a heart attack eight days after our divorce was granted. The property settlement of the divorce wasn’t completed for another five months.
In finalizing the divorce, the judge had granted me half of the life insurance to be my property settlement. I have since learned that Colorado has a law that does not allow such a grant. No divorcee can receive life insurance benefits of an ex-spouse. SO – I GOT NOTHING! It was a shock and now I have no recourse!
I believe that judges should know the law.
Life insurance companies and agents all certainly need to know about this law and inform all their agents and clients.
Also attorneys need to be aware of this law when drawing up wills and divorce proposals.
In all these legal documents (the Will, Insurance Policy, and Final Divorce Order) I was the named beneficiary and legal recipient, but in kind it meant nothing because all these documents and the judge’s ruling were deemed not valid and were overturned.
This is also Iowa law – Iowa Code 598-20A.
I do not know how many other states have a similar law, but I advise you to check for yourself and have all your affairs in order or you may be faced with the same fate as I. ~Donna “DJ Medsker” Hoops Storm Lake, Iowa
huerfano co sheriff very professional
I would like to acknowledge the professionalism of our Huerfano County Sheriff’s Department, specifically as demonstrated by deputies Sgt. Corey Daniels and Capt. Craig Lessar.
I am John Chadil, owner of The Main Event, located on 7th Street across from Safeway in Walsenburg. Around 9:45 pm on the evening of July 18, 2017, several juveniles smashed the 6ft x 6ft glass window of my retail store and stole over $300 of merchandise from the window display. With the prompt and extremely professional response of the above mentioned deputies, these juveniles were immediately apprehended and the stolen merchandise was recovered. I applaud the professionalism of these deputies. ~John J. Chadil Walsenburg
Card of Thanks
JMHS Tiny Home worth the drive
From our corner of the state, I headed to Walsenburg on an adventure. It was to see the completed “tiny house” remodeled by John Mall high school students. I regret waiting so long to write this letter of praise; however, the day trip was well worth my time.
The drive is nearly 2 hours and I arrived near 11:00 a.m. on May 22. Upon entering the shop, I was amazed at the size of the project as I had pictured an “activity bus” similar to those of our small district. Payne invited me to check it out and I eagerly did so. A petite high school student was my tour guide and she happily described the plans, efforts, pitfalls of the shop class. Other students arrived and gave their points of view.
I climbed aboard and noticed first the Phoenix to the left of steps. It was a stylized metal piece of art mounted to the wall. Good symbolism, students! In sock feet, I continued through the living area to the tiny kitchen. There was a round opening, which actually was for wood stove pipe, if the purchaser so desired. What I loved was the tin work flaring out from opening like large metallic petals. Then she directed my attention to the composting toilet area which also sported a bit of colorful wall art. The plan implemented made good sense and I was beginning to see the breadth of the research Payne and his students used.
Back to the raised bedroom area we went where I noticed a good deal of storage, as well. A double bed was the focus and to the left was an additional single bed platform. Underneath were more storage areas. They had used recycled wood everywhere and it added to the rustic look. The burnt red color of the flooring was appealing, which Payne noted was donated. Heading back up front, to the right was an area that appeared to be a possible desk/computer area or if needed, another bed. I was enthralled with the “tiny home”.
The builders were adventurous in the décor. What I describe as an Alaskan totem was mounted near an exit. Four dark brown wood segments were spaced apart on the wall with red, black, yellow features. The students/ teacher did not stop there. They decorated the interior with hanging wooden lights, a woven basket which held dried blooms, green plants, and pillows. Detailed plan sketches were also displayed.
Shop teachers everywhere come up with exciting ideas for building projects and this was certainly an amazing testament to creativity and frugality. Payne’s students learned many lessons during this year long project which they will never forget. Job well done everyone! I hope a good home was found for the tiny house. ~Nora Gilstrap Branson, CO
Thank you for your hard work
Gretchen…I cannot tell you enough how much you have helped all of us in Huerfano County by ALWAYS going the extra mile to promote the various events…It means so much to me and everyone. YOU are what a local newspaper is all about…When I worked for The Mobile Register…we had a section called LIVING…it was like a weekly newspaper inside the daily..It was really the most read part of the paper, in my estimation. People loved that section because it was about all of them.
It’s so important to our county to get the word out and you do that so well.
Thank you so much for that and for just being a great person…You do the Sporleder and Orr name proud! ~Leslee Filer La Veta, CO
Thank you to Jan Tucker
On July 12, 2017, I took my little Cuddles to the Best Friends Grooming Parlor to be groomed. I did not know my check book had fallen to the ground until I went to the Post Office. As soon as I discovered this I went back and began looking around, and it was nowhere to be found. There was a car parked in the spot and I was getting ready to leave when a beautiful lady came to her car. Linda and i told her we were looking for my check book, and she said, “Is this is?” She had found it and was going to take it to the bank. This beautiful lady was Jan Tucker. I then thanked her for her honesty and I “THANK YOU” again and GOD BLESS you. Sincerely, ~Jeanette Booze Walsenburg, CO
Wonderful Weekend in the Music Capitol
I love Huerfano County. There were so many good things going on this weekend to showcase our beautiful Cuchara Valley. And what a rich “down pour” of great and diverse music. I want to give a particular thank you to the Celtic Festival folk and the Uptop folk for hosting the amazing Eileen Ivers concert, but am so appreciative for all that happened. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could continue this momentum, co-ordinate efforts and become the Music Capitol of Southern Colorado? We have got all the seeds; just need to cultivate them. A community garden of musical genius! Thanks to all who worked hard to make these events happen….and to all who got to enjoy the fruits of those labors. ~Sandy Dolak La Veta, CO
Thanks for the endorsement
We would like to thank the Huerfano County Commissions for their endorsement of the Museum of Friends nomination to the Most Endangered Places Program of History Colorado. The Commissioners unanimously agreed to nominate the Roof and Dick Building and also write a letter of support. This was not reflected in last week’s paper regarding the weekly meeting. The County support is important to the museum’s restoration process which includes ADA compliance, elevator to the second floor, interior staircase, expanded classroom and workshop areas for a long distance learning lab, energy efficiency and much more to build capacity to better serve our community and help develop Walsenburg as a tourist destination with greater economic opportunities for all. This important news of cooperation with the County is instrumental to MOF’s continued success. Thank You Sincerely, ~ Brendt Berger Museum of Friends Walsenburg, CO