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Letters to the Editor - page 9

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Letters to the Editor/Card of Thanks of September 28, 2017

On Cuchara Mountain Park, the golf course, and the ski area

To the Editors and the Community,

We are writing to clear up any misunderstandings that may have arisen from recent publicity about the Cuchara Mountain Park regarding ownership and projects at the park.

Both the Cuchara Foundation, the organization that raised the funds for the land purchase, and Huerfano County who now owns it, want this park to benefit the county.

In order for that to happen there are two important aspects in planning for its development.

1. Assurance of public ownership in perpetuity to offer stability and stewardship for this special piece of land.

In addition, both entities wanted to assure those who donated to the land purchase that the park would remain a public entity.

Sharing these values, the Foundation and the BOCC signed an agreement that the property is a public park in perpetuity. Thus, no sale of the park to a private developer will happen.

2. A vision for potential public-private partnerships to provide services that the county alone could not offer.

From the beginning the BOCC has said that they would entertain concessionaire contracts for services that the county could not provide, such as running a ski venue with motorized lifts, food service and/or other operations that may be advantageous.

This is what Scot Brown, potential owner of the golf course, is interested in doing. That is why the BOCC has offered to work with Brown to develop a concessionaire contract to provide services in the future at the Park.

No specific plans are in place at this time, nor have any agreements been signed. However, the stage is set for future developments if agreements can be reached.

Thus, the best of both worlds could happen here at the Cuchara Mountain Park. Stable ownership by the county who insures the land is available for all to enjoy working with private concessionaires to provide great recreational opportunities and help our economy. We’re all hoping for the best!

But, unlike past situations, should this opportunity not come to fruition, our park will still be there for our use. In fact, already and through the winter it offers opportunity for human powered recreation!

Do come and enjoy the park in all its fall dressing – hike, stroll, picnic, sit by Baker Creek, or visit with friends on the deck. Then, get those cross-county skis and snowshoes ready for winter play, as plans are afoot for activities in the snow.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Park. ~Lois Adams, President Cuchara Foundation ~Janet Richards, Secretary, Cuchara Mountain Park Advisory Committee

Tom Lewis letter to Cuchara water rate mediator Counselor,

To say that I am upset that despicable and technically Fascist individuals can run over Gerald Van Nort and Henry Harnly, with a mediator in person, amazes me! That our rate payers are to be penalized, charged non-representative fees due entirely to the illegitimate propositions presented in open and public meeting, then again in the mediation. The Cuchara Inn, represented by Marshall Moore but owned by Scott and Dani Lynch, falsely claim they have current billing over 1.3 EQR/room when in reality it’s closer 1/3 EQR.

As discussed in your mediation, the Cuchara Inn, a 45 room, two 20+ seat restaurant Commercial Hotel that operated all summer (and has over the vast number of 25+ years), @17 EQR, that’s .3617 EQR PER room, roughly 1/3 the rate of a residential customer, not the 1.3 EQR reported by Moore and JimLittlefield. Why did you not catch this? What, if any, is the penalty for purposely misrepresenting the facts in mediation! Their failure (Cuchara Inn) was due to a failed original business plan for an alternative treatment center using cannabis and cannabis based products.

I have stated my case regarding the evidence in hand, filed with our District Attorney and with the State of Colorado Bureau of Investigation. My stipulation is, they deliberately interfered in the democratic process of a Title 32 Special District by deliberately misrepresenting facts, later publicly recanted, attempted extortion of board members evidenced in their secret recording acknowledged in public meeting recordings and used public statements as leverage to attempt to violate my first amendment rights and interfere with the due processes outlined in Title 32, and then acted in a criminal conspiracy to move their position forward.

As I see it, this was a failure at all fronts … the customers lost their rights to corporate interests without any respect for their standing. Additionally, new charges, 1/4 EQR, are now being considered for vacant lots within one-hundred feet to the District water lines to offset the decreased revenue. Is this for future confiscation for unpaid bills to add injury? That’s additional subsidies for the residential customers at the deficient of the 80% of non-resident seasonal property owners.

As if this was not enough, Gerald Van Nort was asked to resign his Presidency of the Board, a man with 17+ years of Board experience with 60+ years of professional experience and I was asked to resign for cause or they would continue their efforts at recall election while employing their brutal, schoolyard bully techniques to penalize all those they have no interest in except for their own monetary benefit. ~T.R. Lewis Board Secretary Cuchara Sanitation and Water District

Response to Tom Lewis, re Cuchara water rates

Dear Mr. Lewis:

We have not met, but I do appreciate your strong views in support of the current Cucharas District Rates; and toward some of the citizens with other opinions.

Our Mediation meeting last Saturday with two persons from each side of the issues was an honest attempt to find at least temporary middle ground; move forward in a positive manner with a thorough review of the 40 year old District Rates Equivalency Structure; and diffuse the acrimony that has disrupted recent meetings.

The persons present Saturday came to agreement that provides for a full Rates Analysis over the next few months; and for a cooling off period in which the divisive atmosphere can see relief. We all believe this approach to be in the best interests of the Cucharas Community.

Sincerely, ~Jim Collins Collins Cockrel & Cole 390 Union Blvd, Suite 400 Denver, CO 80228-1556

Another response to Tom Lewis’s letter to the editor

As both observers and participants in the last Cucharas Sanitation and Water District’s board meeting and after reading Mr. Tom Lewis’s letter to the editor in last week’s paper, we must reply.

There are two issues for our community.

First, the commercial water rates are very unfair and are causing harm to our businesses and they can be easily corrected without disturbing the district’s finances and cause no change in our residential rates. Mr. Jim Berg, the board treasurer, has agreed with these proposals privately and publicly at the board meetings.

Second, Mr. Lewis has demonstrated he is temperamentally unfit to serve on a public board such as the water district.

At any hint of disagreement, he resorts to name calling and labeling people who approach the board. At open board meetings he has publicly labeled concerned citizens as “liars” and “fascist liars” and has had to be physically restrained by the board president.

He has continued his labeling and name calling in his recent letter to the newspaper demonstrating he has nothing of substance to add to the discussion.

His social media postings have included vulgar and inappropriate language. His point of saying the board has no taxing responsibility is wrong. Any tax payer can look at their tax bill and see the mill levy issued by the district water board through the county commissioners who issue tax statements and then send the collected revenues to the “water district”.

His personal conduct and his obstruction of the proposed changes to the inequity in the water rates and possibly purposeful misrepresentations, while not warranting legal charges, and none have been suggested or proposed by any citizen, certainly do demand his recall.

Concerned Cucharas Citizens, ~Rodger Thompson and ~Bob Woerdehoff Cuchara, CO

Liz Schneider for RE-1 school board

The last week’s story about Liz Schneider and her seeking Re-1 School Board Director brings a rare personal smile and a cheer. Hurrah! for the good deeds and times with Liz Schneider and both of our service to the Spanish Peaks Library’s BOT (Board of Trustees).

I fear that the long list of Liz’s community service mixed with her modest shyness for public recognition could make for dry reading. Liz says “I worked hard to do what was best ….” That’s an understatement. Consider “work” for a minute. Look at many a post office mural or watch a 1930’s Capra movie. The artists treat the subject of work with nobility and almost ease. Look at how any ever-present DIY movie on the internet or drug commercial on the TV shows work. They make light the effort, and diminishe the value with a catchy song background. Work is … well it’s hard. It takes effort and strength; time and money; passion and daily sweat.

Liz worked every bit as hard for the Spanish Peaks Library District and we continue to benefit. She worked with a remarkable group of civic volunteers and helped bring a fresh modern library into a rebuilt high school building. And that happened before I joined the BOT.

When I started my service, the BOT didn’t know what to make of me, nor I of them. Over time we gained a respect for each other and our mutual commitment to the calling. Today I count many of the BOT as new best friends. “Calling? What’s a calling?” you may ask. John F. Kennedy defined it best, “… to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, ‘rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation’ ….” Liz has it; her career in Huerfano shows it.

Memories of my service with Liz Schneider offer an introduction of her job performance as Re-1 Director. She has a capacity for detail and a close observation of the fine points of policy or agreement document. Remember her law degree? She also has the numbers concentration for budget and spending. She’ll come prepared for meetings, having done her homework, including the extra credit questions. I remember her from our BOT days. Hers was the last word on policy, on agreements, or on the budget. Nobody continued any bickering after she spoke and many an idle notion went to bed.

John Kennedy taught idealism and we-can-do-it purpose to a whole generation. “The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it – and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.”

Hurrah for Liz Schneider! She’s set to light the world,~Stephen Savageau Walsenburg


Card of Thanks

Celtic Thank You’s

Dear Huerfano County Residents:

Another awesome Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival has just concluded. As with the 12 previous festivals, this event was a huge success. Who would ever believe that such a line-up of international “stars” would come to our little corner of the world? And as I have found in working all 13 years of the festival, not only do they come, they fall in love with Huerfano County and our generous population that extends hospitality, appreciation and love! It is reciprocal.

Over and over I hear from Festival participants (both the performers as well as event attendees) that they are amazed at the organization and quality of our event; almost always followed with some version of “in such a tiny hamlet”. We do an awesome job of a monumental task with so many unsung heroes. Of course, at the top of the list are Barbara and Jack Yule who birthed this whole idea around a kitchen table; then come a cadre of workers that have given generously of their time and talents to make the festival happen for 13 years. The talented “hive” of Celtic Festival workers do everything from arranging venues, figuring out lodging and transportation (whew, what a job that is!) to designing t-shirts, banners, and programs, plus making sure there is enough water, trash bags and toilet paper! It takes ticket sales, workshop monitors, merchandise vendors, workshop hosts….and more. And this is all done by local volunteers. A huge thank you to these hard workers. This is a gift both to the image and economy of our county.

As with many things, some of the hardest jobs occur completely behind the scenes. I particularly want to draw attention (which she in no way wants!) to my friend, Debbie Channel. She has been involved in the Festival for many years and provided leadership for the most recent festivals. Leadership that has taken hours and hours of her time to attend to every detail of the Festival; all volunteer of course. Debbie’s gift of organizational skills has been the glue that holds all things together. Although the world sees all those out front that are the headliners for the Festival, it would never happen if there weren’t all the pieces that occur quietly behind the scenes. Thank you, Debbie, for all you have done. Sincerely, ~ Sandy Dolak La Veta, CO

Thanks to New Hope Church

I would like to thank New Hope Church, Pastor Joel Shults, all it’s members and volunteers for giving to the community. Most people do not know that New Hope Church has provided food to the community each month at a cost of $400 – $600 in food purchases for years. Not only did they provide money, but time and energy to ensure that people had food each month. I am sad to see them ending the program but understand that this has caused a huge drain on the church. Thank you for everything you do and have done for the community. Not only did you provide material food for the community but you continue to provide spiritual food. Thank you again, I really appreciate you! Sincerely, ~Carmen J. Lara Walsenburg, CO

Letters of the Editor of September of 21, 2017

From Tom Lewis, Secretary, Cuchara Sanitation and Water District


As you have read, I have been at the center of an series of incidents staged by a group of ultra-conservatives attempting to influence the Board of Directors to abandon our residential rate payers in order to subsidize commercial property owners by lowering their rates. We have voted against this twice now.

I have reported to state investigators, incidents that vary from attempted violation of my First Amendment, U.S. Code 18, sub chapter 241 (conspiracy of two or more to violate my civil rights), various documented incidents of violation of of State Statute 32-4-545, malicious interference of a public official in the performance of their duties, and 18-3-207, attempted extortion of a public servant. These are very serious allegations that are a result of three months of documentation.

Last week I called the primary leader, Marshal Moore, a liar, for his purposeful, multiple false public statement(s) about Sunshine Laws violations. He recanted this statement in the Huerfano World Journal! I also called Jim Littlefield, a fascist liar, for his misrepresentation of facts, Conspiracy, and violation of my First Amendment Rights. Board Chairperson Gerald Van Nort, Littlefield and Bob Woerdehoff met in a separate meeting with Board Vice-President Henry Harnly witnessing the absurdity of Littlefield uttering a threat of criminal charges if our Chairperson did not resign.

We, the Board of Cuchara Sanitation and Water District are bound by laws, Title 32, that limit our scope of action, including no taxation. We represent over 600 private, residential customers, provided exemplary product, repeatedly voted down attempted, coerced, subsidies of commercial customers. We have initiated a professional, independent rate study since mid spring. We have observed due diligence in our actions. I have requested community participation, have called for cooperation with county officials, and have charged commercial entities with fiscal responsibility!

~T.R. Lewis Board Secretary Cuchara, Colorado 81055

Letters guidelines for election season

As election season gears up, we wish to remind our readership that political letters to the editor must be 300 words or less, and cannot be from the candidate, their spouse or their children.

For political advertising, contact Debi at 719-738-1415.

Card of Thanks & Letters to the Editor of September 7, 2017

Card of Thanks

Thank You From Rolling for Freedom

It was another great year with 115 bikes in the parade and bikers raising over $2000 to support the vets at the Spanish Peaks Community Living Center. First I have to say thank you to the gentleman that unselfishly donated $500 when he heard of a vet that had passed away in Westcliff that had no family. The VFW was seeking donations to put him to rest. He simply said “who do I make the check out to”. That is the kind of support that is so common with this bike run. I do want to thank all the volunteers, especially the Combat Vets that ran registration and the poker run. Also of course all the bikers that came from all over, even Texas. Your time and outpouring of support always amazes me. Of course the people of the county that came out to watch the parade and the ceremony at the nursing home is so uplifting, we hope you enjoyed it. We could not do this however without the donations from all of our sponsors, you are what keeps this run going. Thank you to those people that helped with the ceremony by offering their prayers, music and song. Thanks to the staff that took the time to make sure the residents were involved, helping with transportation and getting them in the parade, on the bikes and greeting us out front. Thank you to the fire department, sheriffs department, State Patrol and EMS for joining in the parade and providing traffic control. I have to give a big shout out to KSPK, they did an amazing job during the entire day broadcasting live. Also thanks to those businesses that participated in the Poker Run, the hot dogs and lemonade were so appreciated. I hope we brought a few smiles to the faces of our vets, gave them a hug and a kind word. It is them that we have to thank for our freedom. I am glad we could give back.

Finally a heartfelt thank you to Beth, Polly and Joe, they worked tirelessly to make this happen. If I have forgotten anyone I apologize. Hope to see you next year. ~Ruth Albano Gardner, CO 

donors make new marching bass drums for JMHS a reality

I cannot express enough gratitude for what we have accomplished here today. These instruments are a major stepping stone for bringing this program back to prominence. It is through YOUR generosity and support that we are able to supply these students with the best music education possible.

If you are interested in keeping tabs on us, please stay in the loop by following us on Facebook:

We’ll post lots of pictures and videos of the students with the new instruments! Also on the page are live feeds of concerts, rehearsals, and much more. Once again, thank you for supporting music in our schools. It is my teaching philosophy that the skills learned in music class will make these students more successful and functional members of society. With gratitude, ~Mr. Pollack

JMHS Music department

Editors note:  Thanks to all the funders of this project: Doug Hargrove of Evans, Colorado, David from New Jersey, Mike Peters of Walsenburg, Emilé Dubia from La Veta, Joe Camacho of Walsenburg, Janie Tucker Parrish from Texas, Ruth Orr from Walsenburg, Ellen Sutter from Colorado, Ahnna Weber from Stoughton, WI, LPH from Trinidad, Lindsey Norwood from Colorado, Angelica, Ann, and Jacob Teal from California, the World Journal, two anonymous donors, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Cuchara Mountain Park Ribbon Cutting

Dear Editor, Citizens and Visitors to Huerfano County,

It is a pleasure to write to you all with such good news!  Thanks to the efforts of locals, summer folks and guests to our area, we together have raised the $150,000 for the purchase of the Cuchara Mountain Park.  Thank you to all who donated to make the park a reality! The new Park is open and we are confident that it will provide opportunities for recreation, entertainment and education in the future.

Sunday, September 3rd was the official ribbon cutting ceremony and it was a grand event. Thanks to the community’s generosity, the Cuchara Foundation presented the county a $50,000 check for the last payment, so the park is now fully paid for. A big thanks to the ribbon cutters including Commissioners Garcia, Cisneros and Vezzani. And to JoVonne and Jerry Fitzgerald, the former owners of the land who made the purchase possible – a hat’s off .

Thank you to those who contributed to making the Ribbon Cutting day so much fun.

The Food: First Choice Market, Sid’s High Country Barbecue, George’s Drive-in, Alys’ Restaurant, Michele Appel, Charlie’s Market, The Timbers, Suzy Chiappetta/Nobel Sysco, Mary Anne Nelson and Manuel Molles, Lois and Olan Adams, Janet Richards and Spanish Peaks Alpine Alliance, Zeda Casper, Paul and Erin, Mike and Tullie Fleener, Cup, LLC, High Altitude Coffee Roasters.

The Music – John Mall High School Band, David Enke and Friends; Gino, Dorian, Jana, Jeff and stage crew!

The Fun and Education: Cal and Karen Sandbeck, Lisa Dasenbrock, Bob Kennemer, Manuel Molles & Mary Anne Nelson, Tanya White, Michele Appel, Lois & Olan Adams, and Paul Snappy Smith.

Others who assisted with the success of the day: Heather Curtis, photographer, Jim & Sue Alt, Bob Bennhoff, Paul MacDonald, Bernard Small, and Jim Littlefield. If we missed someone we apologize and offer our appreciation. So many hands were lifted to make the day possible!

A lot of very hard work also went into getting the park cleaned and fixed up for the Ribbon Cutting. Those who put in sweat labor were: Bill Coppola and Janet Richards, the tireless leaders, Olan Adams, Sue and Jim Alt, Brad Atchison, Claude & Michele Appel, Jim Berg, Paul Branson, Gary Carlton, Mike and Tuillie Fleener, Shirley Hammond, Annalee Hickey, Bob Jacobs, LVFPD fire mitigation crew, Jim & Peg Littlefield, Jim Mitchell, Marshall Moore, Denise, Rick and sons Neptune, Susan Reed, Tanner Reed, Shannon Shrout, Derek Sokoloski, David Vogel, Mark White, Tanya White, and others who came and went offering a hand from time to time.

Do come up to enjoy the Cuchara Mountain Park in all its fall beauty! We’ll be looking for you! Sincerely, ~Lois Adams and the whole Cuchara Foundation Board Cuchara, CO

Huerfano County Buyers Club Thank You

Huerfano County Buyers Club would like to thank the following businesses for supporting our 4-H and FFA kids this year at the Huerfano County Fair:

BUYERS:Midwest Steel, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Davis, George’s Drive Inn, JM Tire Walsenburg, Corsentino Dairy, 38 Special Licquor, Pueblo Bank & Trust, First National Bank in Trinidad, McConnell Ranch, Chaparral Construction, 4 Rivers Equipment, High Mesa Ranch, Sporleder Feeds, Transportation Consultants, Rusler Implement, Walsenburg Sand & Gravel, Cruikshank Realty, Doubloon Ranch, Keith and Camerib Buchard,  First Choice Market, Dog Bar, Cuchara Country Store, Code of the West Real Estate, Kay’s Liquor, Anselmo Ranch, Butte Valley Construction, Donald and Bobbie Andreatta, City Auto, Sam Knight, and Corsentino Livestock.

Floor plan buyers: Griffin & Sons, Walsenburg Sand & Gravel, Cochtaw Rabbits, Deanna & Alvin Russell.

Add ons: Bar Spear Ranch, Huerfano County Hospital District, Ross McKenna, Marcy Freeburg, Holly Hanson, Lavina Medina, Karen Medina, Carl & Dana Kelly, Joe & Lorraine Vargas, Kim & Matt Balagat, Leland Wilson, Debra Jo Cordova, Jimi & Sara Chambers, Goemmer Ranch, Bachman & Associates, Rough Kountry Constructioin, Chad Lessar Excavating, Ron & Terri Kimbrel, Cuchara Valley Electric, Max Vezzani, Gerald Cisneros, Valerie Taylor, Kroll Ranch, Tina & Vanotti Armstrong, Cheryl & Dave Rogers, Cass & Nancy Cruz, North by Southwest, Warren & Jeanie Martin, Jolly’s Towing, La Veta Propane, Big R Stores, Rocky Mountain Propane, Walsenburg Lumber.

Also Topar Trailer Sales, Topar Welding, La Junta Mill, and Dr. Hayman. ~Brett Corsentino Huerfano County Fair Board Huerfano County

Thank you from Saint-Peter family

It is important for our family to express the way we were made to feel during the illness and eventual passing of our beloved wife, mother and grandmother George.

Beginning with the La Veta Clinic and Doctor Lori, and the staff to Doctor Mike and our local hospital inclusive of the financing, administration, food service, housekeeping, ambulance and the truly wonderful nursing staff we were treated professionally, with respect, with dignity and most importantly with Love.

Our journey was made much easier with the help we received and God blessed us all. ~Rob Saint-Peter and Family La Veta, CO

Thank you from Maria and Brendt

I would like to thank all of our Huerfano County Friends who sent cards, left phone messages and wrote beautiful memories on social media upon learning that my mom, Mary Cocchiarelli had passed away. As many of you may or may not know having an ill family member at home until the end is not an easy task. It was with the help of her loving son-in-law Brendt, her steadfast Physician Dr. Mike Mall and the numerous Nurses, CNA (s), Hospice Volunteers that made it possible.

Mary was MOF’s biggest supporter as she understood the value of art in our community. As many of you contributed to the Mary Cocchiarelli Memorial fund to help with the current building preservation of the historic “Roof and Dick” a big thank you is in order! – and instrumental as MOF approaches its 10th anniversary on October 19th. We plan to continue to provide quality cultural programming while celebrating the incredible history of those who came to Huerfano to live and make art. Please stop in to learn about the plans to improve the building, and fund raising event on Saturday, October 28th. Exhibitions, the “School-Tour” Program, the “Made in Walsenburg” shop, Friday Art Lab, and Downtown Beautification Planter Box program will continue during the upcoming renovations. We wish to thank all the contributors to these programs, MOF’s volunteers and SER Workers, and the purchasers of the planter boxes, helping to bring color, joy and creativity to Downtown Walsenburg. We couldn’t do it without you, Thankfully, ~Maria Cocchiarelli and Brendt Berger Walsenburg

Letters to the Editor

Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate center

I was grieved to read the article in your August 24 issue quoting the Southern Poverty Law Center. This is a hate center painting other groups as hate filled. Some of them may be but they are not as large a threat as presented. This organization is intent on inciting violence with lies and innuendo.

Please check the Drudge Report to read what these crooks have been doing with their donations. And please don’t believe their articles. ~Carol Vander Wall Bon Carbo, CO

Letters to the Editor & Card of Thanks of August 24

Thanks for the fantastic ROAR

Our fun and exciting ROAR for Relay for LIfe )Las Animas and Huerfano Counties) was held Augsut 5, 2017 at Central Park in Trinidad.

We would like to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who came out to our event.  We came together to fight back against cancer and help American Cancer Society’s mission to end cancer, have more people everywhere celebrate more birthdays, and help with patient programs. Our united hope is to make this cancer’s last century!

Thank you to our fabulous survivors and caregivers, amazing sponsors and businesses, contributors, teams, participants, and volunteers. An enormous thank you to our fantastic comittee that works year round in this fight.

Cancer doesn’t sleep so neither will ROAR for Relay for Life. Anyone, anytime can join us in our year round fight against cancer! Come join us our new Relay year starts September 1st.  Visit us on Facebook: ROAR4RFL or call 719-680-0693.

~Kendra Doherty ROAR for Relay for Life event chair 

Josephine Lucero, class of 1967, was there too

I am writing to express my appreciation for your publication of the photos and article about the 50th Reunion of the Walsenburg High School classes of 1966 and 1967. However, I have a huge apology to make to one of my classmates! I inadvertently left out the name of my friend, Josephine Lucero, who was standing to the left of Edna Faris in the Class of 1967 photo. I would very much appreciate it if you could print a correction. Every member of my class is very dear to me and I want my classmates to know that I value each and every one! Thank you so much for all of that you have done in helping us promote our reunion and as well as print the post reunion news.

~Sincerely, Theresa Savala Rudder WHS Class of 1967

Editor’s note: It’s nice to know we all make mistakes occasionally. Josephine, thanks for your understanding!


Card of Thanks

Thank you from Amy Valdez

There are no words to express my gratitude to my family, friends and acquaintances for your generosity and help in my time of need. Thank you and God bless you all. He does work in mysterious ways. God speed, ~Amy Valdez Redwing

Grateful for the people at JM Tire

We were visiting in Raton, NM July 3, 4, and 5th.  We had trouble with the air conditioner on our car. We couldn’t fid anyone to work on it. Finally, I called Rick McWhirter at Lawrence Hall in Abilene, TX, and told him of our problem. He got on his computer and contacted JM Tire in Raton. Rick called us back and told us where to go. They repaired it in about 4 hours and we got on the road to Colorado July 6th. We are so grateful for people like those at JM Tires. Thanks again. ~Anno Richards Abilene, TX

Letters to the Editor and Cards of Thanks Aug. 17, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Internet not good enough to take survey about how not good it is

To the Editor: An interesting conundrum came to light when I read the new edition (Aug. 10) of the newspaper.

The county is conducting a survey concerning the internet and broadband availability and then it addresses a web site and how to access it. Now, my question is thus: if one cannot get dependable internet, or has very low speed (dial up), just how are those of us with this problem to answer this questionnaire?

Yes, I know that I can go to one of the libraries in the county and then fumble through the various incantations and praying to the East imploring the various gods which govern the internet to grant permission for access, but why not make such a survey available to everyone in printed form. I’m not really a Luddite when it comes to technology. I would, however, like to perhaps have access at a reasonable speed and a reasonable price so that those of us plebeians could learn and use such media. ‘Nuff said.

~John Carlson Walsenburg, CO 


Marijuana reporting is biased

Dear Editor:

Your readers deserve to know that the writer of prominent articles with the byline of Travis Nelson is not an objective reporter for your paper, but a marijuana industry advocate. As a Huerfano County citizen, I am certainly interested in what is happening with the industry, and, as a Colorado Registered Psychotherapist who works with injured first responders with chronic pain, brain injury, and PTSD, I look forward to what science has to say about medical benefits of cannabis products. Reading Mr. Nelson’s writing is a great way to know what the industry is thinking, but it is not a way to get actual news and balanced views about marijuana in our community. Several claims in his most recent front-page article are disputable.

Most disturbing to me is the unseemly link between recreational and therapeutic cannabis under the same umbrella of Nelson’s Colorado Cannabis Growers Association, and local growers and investors. When I read that Dr. Uma Dhanabalan, a respected east-coast physician advocating cannabis-based therapies, was to speak at a recent meeting sponsored by the Faris Green Campus & Clinic Steering Committee, I was anxious to hear her. Unfortunately, due to my own miscalculations, I arrived too late to hear her presentation (although she graciously reached out to me later), but I did get to see a working group passing around a marijuana cigarette to wet-eyed, flushed-faced participants (not all partook, to be sure) amid the smoky room.

It was, perhaps, no surprise, given that on the same organization’s agenda was the Friday night Bong-a-Thon featuring several contests to see who could smoke the most pot the fastest (seven member Bong-a-thon Relay Teams! With each individual smoking a gram and passing the bong to the next team member! First team to smoke the full 1/4 oz wins!).

Medically therapeutic marijuana research and production will, in my view, lag behind in credibility and usefulness if tethered to recreational marijuana. Tagging a moral argument for easing suffering to a contest of excess indulgence stands in the way of real hope for my first responders crying out for relief from a hero’s injuries.

~Dr. Joel Shults Walsenburg, CO

The Publishers respond- Yes, Dr. Shults is correct; Travis Nelson does work in the marijuana industry. The story last week, however, would not fall under the label of ‘Hard News.’ It was an informational piece about a potential scholastic campus locating in Walsenburg, and a glimpse into the marijuana industry. We often use experts in a particular field to write about what they know; much like we have used pastors to write stories as to what’s going on in their congregation. As far as hard news coverage on marijuana, please see our front page story on another illegal pot grow being raided by the Huerfano sheriff. Marijuana is legal in Colorado, and an immense driver of change in Huerfano and Las Animas counties. We would be doing a disservice if we did not cover it.


Cards of Thanks

Huajatolla Whew!

I have always wondered about the award winners that stand up and start reciting all the people that are responsible for their success. Or, the page (sometimes pages) in the book that lists all the people that have made the book possible. I have new appreciation for wanting to recognize everyone without forgetting anyone. A daunting task.

After the successful Huajatolla Heritage Festival in the park this weekend, I far better understand the need to thank many people and the importance of not leaving anyone out.

This first-year festival was a birthing that took many hands and hearts to make it happen. The Festival may have been my vision; even to a very certain extent, my creation, but there are so many wonderful people that came together to make it the amazing event it was.

It wasn’t just the donors, or the vendors, or the artists, or the food preparers, or the educators, or the color guard, or the musicians, or the dancers, or the non-profits, or the picture snappers, or the “put-er uppers”, or the “take-er downers”, or even the all-important festival participants that created this festival in its awesomeness.

Oh, and how do I thank the sun who chose to shine two days in a row? In this case the sum was far greater than the parts. It was entire communities that came together to share and be kind to one another. It truly was an event of unity. In the trying times our country is going through, with division, prejudice, and even hate dominating the news, how truly blessed we were to be under the protective shadows of our magnificent and beneficent Huajatollas to share culture and community in a loving way.

Let this be the beginning seed for something even greater to bring together all cultures in a climate of unity and acceptance and show the world how peace truly begins with each of us. May the Huajatolla Heritage Festival be a light in the darkness. Thank you to everyone who made this possible. (Especially Jon Dolak and Lil’ Smokey!) Sincerely,

~Sandy Dolak La Veta, CO


Thanks for a successful sync!

Eileen Gonzales and family would like to publicly thank the following people and businesses for their contribution in making the 2017 Lip Sync a huge success.

The many people in the community who are helped by this effort are very grateful. Abel Giron in memory of Albert Pino, Pete and Lucy Pacheco, Title Services-Bob and Kathy Harris, Mr. Bill Fegan, Super Save, Mr. and Mrs Bob Calderelli, Pappas Sweet Shop, KRTN, Alee Bird, Tina Bird, Dr and Mrs. George Hagan, Connie Asuncion, Stella Sintas – in memory of Pete Sintas, Johnny Valencia, Rabbit Ear Cafe, Loretta and Dennis Cordova, Marie Garcia- in memory of Johnny Garcia, Robert L. and Sandy Mantz, Holiday Inn Express – Berta Vigil, Rob’s Cart Repair – Robert Flores, Maria, Patsy, Angelina and Lillianna, Anna’s Homemade Tortillas, Mary Yaksich in memory of Roddy Yaksich, Wonderful House -Trinidad, Carol Bridge, Frankie Mahannah, Flat Mountain Trading, K-Mart -David Martinez, Realty One- Wendy Mileta, Miracle Dent – Adam, Liza and Brayden Hernandez, Christine, Ernie, Sara, Davyson, and Skyler Castillo in memory of Laura Castillo, Jeanette Martinez in memory of Mandy Vanlandingham, Lena Turner and family, Alpine Lumber, Larry and Jessica Martinez, Jeanette Martinez in memory of Antionette Martinez, JC Hill Enterprises, Tonya, Tricia, Steve, Jarrod, Melissa, Savannah, Phillip and Natasha in memory of Martha Menapace, Sawaya’s Grocery, Beto and Robbi Jo Dominguez – Lula Roe 4 my love bugs, Tascosa Office Machines and Supplies, Enchanted Grounds, Kenny Cruz, Alderette Pomeroy Funeral Home, Woody’s Furniture, Dr. Edward Ebell, Lula Roe, Christine Cummings, Nick and Elaine Gonzales, Mr. and Mrs. David Witowski, Chicky G’s Flys, Kim’s Cakes – Kim Valdez, Abundance Gardens- Katy Marchiondo, Mesa Pharmacy, Springer Electric Cooperative, Phil Long Ford, Nano and Nana Monteleone Deli and Pasta House, Tomasita Bernal in memory of Blas Bernal, Ted Kamp, George and Carol Baca, Scott and Laura Johnson and Joe Pacheco. And a special thank you to everyone in the audience for another fun Lip Sync.

~Eileen Gonzales Raton, NM


Back to School Bash Thank You

To the Community of Raton,

I thank everyone who participated in the Back to School Bash and your donations to the students were greatly appreciated! I’d like to respectfully acknowledge all donations given to the Back to School Bash and give a “Big” Heartfelt “Thank you” to everyone who participated.

Pepsi, Lowes Super Save, Coke Cola, Mary and Henry Archuleta, Art of Snacks, City of Raton, Michael Anne Antonucci, Phil Long Ford, Flowerland, Family Worship Center, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Raton Police Department, Colfax County Sheriff Department, Isiah Gonzalez Memorial Fund-Georgia Sintas, RHS Superintendent-Andy Ortiz, RHS Student Senate, Raquel Archuleta, Mrs. Linda Ortiz and RHS Cheerleaders, Ms. Sue Holland and RHS T-Cats Dance Team, International Bank, Children’s Workshop, Lions Club, Mora/Colfax Head Start, Stiner Books, Bobby Lawrence Karate, CarQuest, Medicine Shoppe, CYFD, KRTN, Aaron Sena Stevens, KCRT, World Journal, NM Health Office, NM Housing, Raton Early Childhood Coalition, Ed Vigil, Mary Vigil, Sydni Silva, Mia Maestas, Reyes Aragon, James Cordova, Autumn Archuleta, Jose Archuleta, Sara Valdez, Jesse Uribe, Halle Medina, Skylar Mastratoni, Brianna Marquez, Riley Hopper, Abigail Phillips, Taylor Aragon, Camry Mosimann, Officer Alcone, Officer Derek Hightree, Officer Jon Rodarte, Chief Garcia, Emily Green, Rick Ortiz, Melanie Tapia, Anthony Trujillo, HRDA and Donavin Mendez.

I also want to say thank you to all of the parents and the students who were in attendance at the Back to School Bash and I wish everyone a wonderful school year! Thank you,

~Danielle L. Archuleta City of Raton Continuum

Letters to the Editor of August 10, 2017

Raton Fire Dept. thanks supporters of the fireworks display

The Raton Fire Department wants to thank the following businesses for their contributions and donations in appreciation for the Fire Department’s efforts for the 2017 Firework display. You people make us feel appreciated! Thanks so much! Crossroads, K-Bobs, Super Save, Loaf-N-Jug, Dominos Pizza and Pepsi, La Junta. ~Raton Fire Departmente Raton, NM 

Walsenburg Marathon? Yes!

The sign in window of a popular Walsenburg coffee shop says, “Dream Big — Work Hard.” As a senior citizen in retirement years, I could assert that I am not a member of the target audience for that inspiring message — but hear me out.

Fortunately, Walsenburg and Huerfano County are not lacking for advocates with sincere aspirations for an upward trajectory for our comunity, whether the objective is youth development and physical fitness or long term economic development, for instance. Readers of the World Journal frequently see expressions of such aspirations in many forms. Whether routine in nature or pie in the sky, the dreams represented give us real hope in making progress — and here’s where we come back to the August 27th marathon event on tap for its third year.

5K and 10K events are wonderful, and my personal log of experiences is replete with references to them. But let’s continue on a path to make Walsenburg stand out with a unique event that affords the opportunity for locals and visitors form afar to venture out for everything ranging from a simple two mile hike (which over 90% of us are up to with little preparation) to running that magical distance of 26.2 miles. Then spice it up with the element of teamwork and maybe a bit of a party atmosphere and the mantra of Dream Big — Work Hard can create truly special lasting memoreis right here in our beloved Spanish Peaks Country.

So when you see mention of “Marathon of the Legends” consider giving it more than a second thought. And never mind that we’re a small town. Many small towns discover niche recreational attractions. For example, no one would have guessed how big a watermelon festival event in a small Arkansas town would become. But take it from me, a sitting U.S. Senator would not dare skip it, running the 5K in 19:59 just a few years back, well ahead of my finishing time that day! ~Ben Wiley Walsenburg

Great job girls!

I would like to recognize three girls from the Sangre de Cristo Center for Youth. Thank you to Ciera Padilla, Brandi Gilbert, and Jaden Pino for helping to work the food booth at Ft Francisco Days. I am so proud of the way each of these girls presented themselves. They were on time, dressed appropriately, prepared and in great spirits.

Jannie (Jann Vail, President of the Youth Center) and I couldn’t have done it without you.

I think Ciera, Brandi, and Jaden are an example of lots a good kids that live in Huerfano County. We and local leaders are responsible for investing in the youth of Huerfano County. It doesn’t take a lot nor does it always take money to make a difference.

Hope to work again with Ciera, Brandi, and Jaden. ~Edna Faris Dust Huerfano Native

Kudos to Mark White and Spanish Peaks Cycling

LiveWell Huerfano County would like to thank Mark White and the Spanish Peaks Cycling Association for hosting the bike clinics at the Bike Library here in Walsenburg, La Veta and Gardner too. Mark is a tireless volunteer, giving his time to many organizations and causes. We greatly appreciate the time and effort he gives our community. We are thrilled to partner with Spanish Peaks Cycling in offering these free bike clinics, it helps our continued effort to get folks out on their bikes. Thank you Mark and SPCA!! Sincerely, ~Susan Botelho, Assistant Coordinator LiveWell Huerfano County

Thanks, World Journal

Thank you for the lovely article about me in your paper. It was great; got a lot of comments on it. God bless you for all you do. ~Fran Monteleone, Nana & Nano Monteleone’s Deli and Pasta House Trinidad

Chuckwagon Supper in Gardner will continue

Dear Editor

I am pleased to announce that the remaining members of the Board of the Gardner Chuckwagon Supper have decided to take on the leadership roles that Jeanne and I occupied. That tome was a bit of good news, because it means that a great tradition will continue, hopefully well into the future., These board members are from families that have been involved with the Chuckwagon since its inception and they have children and grandchildren that still reside in the area. That means that their love of the community will help sustain the tradition. I hope that everyone that has attended and volunteered will continue to do so to help the new board succeed.

I want to thank all the volunteers that put in so much effort in making our community event a success every year. Without this community involvement we couldn’t carry on. Some of these volunteers are 4-H members that contribute greatly. Many of these 4-H members go on to receive scholarships from the Gardner Chuckwagon. I also want to thank all the participants that come to join in on our feast. I believe that good fellowship and a good time are had by all.

Jeanne and I are honored to have been able to serve our community for the past twenty years, and will continue to do so, but in a lesser capacity. Thank you again, ~Ray Garcia Huerfano County

Letters to the Editor of August 3, 2017

DA Henry Solano responds


Eric Mullens’ lengthy editorial screed in last week’s paper illuminates the intersection between the rights of the accused and the alleged, “absolute” right of the public to learn the details contained in affidavits submitted to the courts. These are genuine, yet competing interests that must be balanced in criminal matters brought before judges. The documents Mullens is demanding to be routinely released represent initial information which, in order to secure the arrest of an individual (one of the most serious exercises of government power), may contain confidential information necessary to convince court authorities to issue an arrest warrant. Affidavits often contain information that is protected against disclosure under the Canons of Professional Responsibility (the Colorado Supreme Court Standard that follows directly from the U.S. and Colorado Constitutional protections for the accused). This Constitutional protection for a fair trial is the law of the land, trumping even state statutes. While the press enjoy constitutional protection as well, and rightfully so, both U.S and Colorado Supreme Court opinions place that protection secondary to the rights and interest of the accused. The presumption of innocence until tried in open court by a jury of their peers makes our judicial system the fairest in the world .

The open court process and hearings which can and are attended by the press provide a far better venue for insuring the impartial reporting we would all hope for. Mullens dismisses the Code of Professional Responsibility because it is published by the Colorado Bar Association. However these ethical standards have been adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court, with the bar association publication providing commentary by expert committees that provide helpful interpretations for each standard. Failure to adhere to these legal requirements can lead to disciplinary actions, as was evidenced by the actions and omissions that prompted the Colorado Supreme Court to supervise my predecessor. The code of conduct states, “Failure to comply with an obligation or prohibition imposed by a Rule is a basis for invoking the disciplinary process,” as many of your readers will recall.

Not only are all lawyers party to a case instructed that, “…(they) shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of pubic communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing…” a court proceeding; but prosecutors carry a special obligation to “…refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused, and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making.” Whenever this risk arises, I will continue to request closure of records at the discretion of the court. Press curiosity can never be allowed to trump the rights of the accused.

The Press is free to report what is a matter of public record and the District Attorney’s Office supports and encourages them to do so. Huerfano County is small and its jury pool even smaller. Therefore, protecting the integrity of that jury pool and the accused’s right to a fair trial call for precautionary procedures which we are implementing. Not only is it fair to the accused but also nothing is more disruptive and costly than to have a trial transferred to another jurisdiction. Witnesses are adversely impacted, as are the victims of crimes.

Respectfully, ~Henry Solano 3rd Judicial District Attorney

Commissioners, thanks for listening

We want to thank the County Commissioners for their actions today regarding future permits and restrictions on events involving groups of less than 500. There was a very unfortunate event in Gardner this past weekend which could have been avoided if these actions were in place ahead of time. We appreciate that in the future there will be restrictions relating to sanitation, decimal levels, and hours relating to noise. These permit requirements will empower the Sheriff’s department to take appropriate action. ~Nancy Joroff Nancy Olson Dave Wisecarver

A Big Thanks to Tom Pritchard

Dear Editor: We would like to thank Tom Pritchard (The Villagio) for his incredibly generous donation for the roof repair at Washington Underground Rec Center. Thanks to this donation and his oversight of the project, the roof is no longer leaking, which has allowed us to paint without worries. It’s folks like Tom, who make an investment in the community, where so many will benefit. We have many new classes at the rec center, increased attendance and programs to serve all our populations. Thank you Tom! Sincerely, ~District ONE and Washington Underground Staff Walsenburg, CO

May the Fort Be With You

To the Editor,

On July 22, Francisco Fort Museum held its annual Francisco Fort Day celebration. In the past this event was probably the largest event held in La Veta and was held over a two day period. However, in recent years it had waned, dropping to one day, and with low attendance.

With the help of a devoted museum board of directors and a newly formed committee, headed by DeEtta Lessar, Francisco Fort Day is making a comeback! This year the event returned to the closing of West Francisco Street, making the event more visible and accessible. Lessar and her committee returned to many of the old fashioned small town activities that were the charm of the celebration, such as the chicken drop (aka chicken bingo), butter making, a scavenger hunt, and a duck race down the Cuchara River. Mountain Man Will Prator was on hand. Bed races were run. Kid’s activities were held and Bocce Ball was played. In all, more than $1,000 was raised on this single day.

All of this took a lot of work by many volunteers, which I shall now thank:

• The Methodist Church Men’s Group for the pancake breakfast. It brought in $623 for the museum. The second highest amount ever!

• John Carlson for the sound system.

• Michael Kernor for blacksmithing demos.

• The museum staff: Nancy Christofferson, Mike Crowbridge, and Lee Ferraro. • Shane Clouse for emceeing the event.

• Mayor Doug Brgoch for his help on honoring local pioneers.

• John Van Keuren for researching and building a Faro card game board, associated equipment, and for teaching folks how to play Faro, which was the gambling game of its day.

• The Tom and DeEtta Lessar family for loads of work! On behalf of the Huerfano County Historical Society and the Francisco Fort Museum Board of Directors I’d like to thank all of the above, along with the citizens of Huerfano County, who continuously support the fort. ~Bob Kennemer, Museum Director, La Veta, CO P.S. In the words of Col. John M. Francisco, “May the Fort be with you.”

Marion Vigil is retiring from Colfax General Long Term Care

It is with deep sadness that I announce my retirement from the board of the Colfax General Long Term Care facility. Due to my illness and the loss of my good friend and confidant Bill Norris—who had said he would be by my side as chairman of the board. Bill is going to be hard to replace. He had indicated to me that he would be around to help continue to guide me in my position following his retirement. It’s not an easy job to be chairman of the facility in this day and age. We are truly thankful for Bill’s efforts in guiding and maintaining a 5 Star Long Term Care facility in Springer.

I want to thank all of the people of Springer, Cimarron, Maxwell and Angel Fire and especially my fellow board members. I hope that you can continue to stay and represent the facility and do a good job. I loved all of the employees at the facility—everyone from the laundry workers to CNAs and to those at the top. I hope that you can continue to do well and carry on with what you have to do.

My hope is that you continue to take very good care of the residents and their families by providing them with the utmost respect that they are owed. They are who is most important! My family and I are forever grateful and thankful to all who took great pride in caring for my husband while he was at the facility.

I will always treasure the time I served on the board and wish to thank all of the people who voted for me for the last 29+ years that I was able to serve Colfax General and the community. Thank you all! May God Bless you for every time you voted for me with the confidence that I carry on the duties as a board member and chairman. Thank you. Respectfully, ~Marian T. Vigil Springer, NM

Letters to the Editor and Card of Thanks of July 27, 2017

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

Unchangeable Laws

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 

Legal Incompetence???

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

Dear Editor:

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

Card of Thanks of July 13, 2017

Thanks for successful event

Thanks to the local landowners who have made this “bucket-list” trail possible, the SoCo Endurance horse races have gained national attention. Not only is SoCo Endurance putting on a total of three events this summer, the venue will be hosting the 2017 AERC National Championship 50 and 100 mile races in August! None of this would be possible without the willingness of local landowners to allow the trails to cross their land. It’s because of local ranching families like the Andreatta’s, Kreutzer’s, Albright’s, Lane’s, Duzenak’s, Schulein’s, Blaine’s, Blouin’s, Burkette’s, and many more, that these events are made possible. Each and every landowner is crucial to create safe, flowing loops for the competitors, I cannot thank them enough for working with me. They have been gracious and forgiving hosts as I piece together the trail each year, and for each event. I want the world to know what a truly rare and special trail this is, it’s breathtakingly gorgeous and equally breathtaking is the challenge this high-altitude technical mountain trail presents to the athletes. Being on private land, open only to registered SoCo competitors, during AERC sanctioned endurance events, it is also the most exclusive endurance trail in the world. It comes out of the goodness of the land-owners hearts and a mutual passion for the beauty of this area, outdoor recreation, and respect for these equine athletes that this is possible. The perpetuity of this trail is of utmost importance to me, my dream is for this 130+mile trail (perhaps among other things) to be my legacy. I will continue to strive to improve my SoCo Endurance events, for the benefit of the local area, the landowners, the land itself, and for riders across the globe. -Tennessee Lane, owner & founder of Remuda Run and SoCo Endurance La Veta

Thank you to Eric Mullens


My sincere gratitude to you for the kind words you wrote about me from our interview last week. These days, now almost a week, have had so much emotion, both of gratitude as well as trepidation for what’s ahead. Your summary of my passion for my position at SPVCLC captured it so well and I’m so grateful that you shared that with our community so they know that life is really good for our Veterans/Residents. I truly am honored by your words. Thanks you for the time you gave me and as I had said at the beginning of our conversation, for all the Board meetings you covered so well also. You give our community a needed knowledge of all of SPRHC. I hope to see you around soon.

Thank you so much, Eric. ~Marty Schlink Huerfano/Pueblo West

Thank you for the help getting to florida

I would like to thank Vialpando Catering, my Coach, and all of my family and friends and the people who supported me to help me get to Florida for this Basketball Fraternity that I will be going to at the end of this month.

Thanks to my aunt and uncle Harold and Heather Vargas for paying for my entry fee to be there. And also thanks to my grandparents for their big support. ~AriOnna Medina Walsenburg

SPRHC thanks sponsors

Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center would like to THANK our Co-Sponsors for their donations along with Spanish Peaks Health Center for the 2017 4th of July Firework display held at the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center/Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center campus that made our celebration a success!

Our Co-Sponsors include – The Signature Newspaper, Huerfano Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center Resident Council, Dr. Michael A. Moll, Spanish Peaks HealthCare Foundation, San Isabel Electric Association, The First National Bank in Trinidad-Huerfano County Branch, Huerfano County Commissioners, Terri L. Montoya, City of Walsenburg, and Armida’s Boutique & Stuff. Our thanks to KSPK for announcements and music, to Bob and Margie Damjanovich and the fireworks team for our pyrotechnical show, Huerfano County Fire Department, Colorado State Patrol, Joe Camacho, MC and sound, Alexis Montoya singing the National Anthem, and to all our staff that assisted in the celebration for our residents and our community! ~Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center Walsenburg

Thanks for a great fundraiser

I, Melissa, mother of Elijah J. Sandoval, would like to thank everyone who contributed, in some way or another, to support my sons trip to Florida. The outcome was tremendous and more successful than we anticipated. Thank you to those who joined us for breakfast, sent donations and bought from our bake sale. Thank you to Jim Garcia for the use of The Eagles Hall. To all the wonderful ladies at The Outreach and Women’s Clinic; Debbie, Bernice, Ellen, Leslie, Marie, Candace and Elisa for their donations and for being amazing women to work with. To Tony and crew at George’s and Serena and crew at 7th St Deli, thank you for allowing us to leave our buckets for donations. To Joann and Angela from Safeway, thank you for baking such delicious goodies. Last but not least, thank you to grandparents, Max and Susan, Aunties Marti, Penny and Jenni, Uncles Sonny and Greg, Cousins Lainie, Logan, Ava and Kiana. Without your help especially, we couldn’t have gotten everything together for a successful fundraiser. We appreciate you all!!! Thank you!!! ~ Melissa Aguirre and Elijah Sandoval

Thank you for being aware of elder abuse

In June our communities recognized World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEEAD). Trinidad City Council proclaimed Wednesday, June 14th as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Trinidad. The Huerfano County Commissioners proclaimed Thursday, June 15th as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Huerfano County. We appreciate their recognition and would like to extend sincere gratitude to them for their partnership to serve our senior population.

The South Central Council of Governments (SCCOG) Area Agency on Aging (AAA) partnered with the Department of Human Services (DHS) Adult Protection Services in Las Animas and Huerfano Counties to hold senior fairs at the AAA meal sites in Trinidad and Walsenburg. There was tremendous support from agencies that serve our senior population. These agencies spent both days sharing resources and marketing items; and donated prizes for a drawing for seniors. Many businesses in Trinidad and Walsenburg supported our efforts by donating prizes, too. LACDHS has recognized Trinidad businesses. A special thanks to the Walsenburg businesses Armida’s, George’s, First Choice, Dollar General, Serendipity, Walsenburg Lumbar, Uptown Liquors, Walsenburg Insurance Center, World Journal, and Huerfano Nursery/Garden Center. Every senior attendee received a prize at both events.

SCCOG AAA kitchen and administrative staff went above and beyond their call of duty. AAA sponsored shredding bins in Walsenburg and Trinidad. The success of these events are credited to the following fantastic SCCOG employees: Carol, Brittany, Carole, Dawn, Yvette, Nancy, Anna, Pam, Kim, and Dan. I would also like to recognize the Sayre Senior Center staff and their many volunteers and the volunteers at the Huerfano County Community Center.

Most of all I want to thank the seniors that participate in our AAA program.

Your participation is our success! ~Veronica Maes Area Agency on Aging Director

Letters to the Editor of June 29, 2017

Thanks for the tickets!

Dear World Journal and Trinidad Triggers,

Thank you for your generous donation of 20 Trinidad Trigger Baseball tickets for our Summer Reading Program. It will be used in our program for prizes. We appreciate your support. Sincerely, ~Sherry Pearson Children’s Librarian at Spanish Peaks Library District

Card of thanks

Dear Editor,

The Harriman family wishes to convey our sincere appreciation for your prayers and support during this difficult time for us.

There are hardly any words to express our heartfelt thanks to all who reached out to comfort us in the loss of our son and brother, Ray Gerald Harriman.

We are deeply grateful to all of you. Sincerely ~The Harriman Family

political difference and daily life

Even as a prideful unaffiliated voter, with a proven record of support for candidates of both major parties, I acknowledge experiencing a sense of hurt with the outcome of the last presidential election. Many that I count as friends were aware of my disappointment. With this backdrop, in light of the recent act of violence in Arlington, VA, a bit of reflection is offered as follows.

In 2008, when I was hospitalized for an invasive medical test, a person with diametrically opposed political views kindly resettled me in my home at the time in Broomfield, CO. More recently, earlier this year, when I found myself in intense pain in a hospital in Kerrville, TX, it was a Trump supporter who appeared (unsolicited) to offer comfort there and to rescue my dog stranded at my house. A few days later, as I was rolled into emergency surgery, it was not a hundreds-of-miles distant family member there to witness me rolling down what I call the great corridor of uncertainty. You guessed it. It was still another Trump supporter.

I could go on with examples, but you see the point. Those with strongly opposing political persuasions can and do add immense value to our daily lives where so much is at stake. These situations are powerful reminders that even as our attempts to persuade spill over into the realm of “argue and fuss”- surely as humans we can avoid any instinct to fight. Here’s to disagreeing in peace and love! ~ Ben W. Wiley Walsenburg

Sheriff responds to comments & criticisms

Dear Editor.

I was advised there was going to be a meeting by email from the DA’s Office on June 26, 2017, I was not asked if there was a conflict with my schedule, just that I was invited. I understand there were several other agencies asked to attend and I assume it was set around their schedules, which I understand. I did respond by email and advised I was going to be out of town that day (actually out of state).

I understand there were a lot of concerns and good questions asked, I also understand that the questions were either not answered, answered incorrectly or not answered fully which is understandable because the only people that can answer them fully and correctly is the agency involved who knows what is actually going on. I also understand that some of the questions were from old Walsenburg Police Department cases, that we had nothing to do with.

Some questions would involve other agencies, example: death investigation questions should be answered by the coroner.

One concern was a burglary suspect with a long criminal history who was released on a PR bond. The way bonds work is when the suspect goes to court his lawyer will request either a lower bond or a PR bond. The district attorney can either agree to the bond or fight it. The sheriff’s department has no control over bonds at all. We arrest the suspect, present the evidence to the district attorney who prosecutes the case.

Some people came away from this meeting with the idea that the criminals are running wild in Walsenburg and the sheriff’s department is doing nothing about it. If I had known what this meeting was going to be like, I would have had a deputy there. I didn’t, that’s my mistake. We are still patrolling the city and county, making arrests (we made over 60 arrests the first 3 months of this year alone) and investigating crimes.

I would like to set up another town meeting that everybody can attend (the DA, the coroner and myself) so these questions and concerns can be answered fully and accurately. ~Bruce Newman Huerfano County Sheriff

A breath of fresh air

Last night I attended the public meeting on crime at the Huerfano County Community Center and came away very impressed by our new 3rd. Judicial District Attorney, Henry Solano. He presented a team of professionals, federal, state and local who working together are committed to improving the safety, wellbeing and quality of life in our community. I applaud his efforts and implore all concerned citizens to work with him and his team. With the heartfelt passion I observed at last nights meeting, working together we can make a big difference. I am very hopeful, thank you Henry for providing us the opportunity to improve the quality of our lives in our community. Sincerely ~Brendt Berger Walsenburg

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