Gratitude to “Co-Inspirators”

Dear Editor,

Reflecting on the past as I approach my 73rd birthday, I find that I have been remiss in failing to acknowledge publicly three Crestone/Baca women who provided some of the foundational inspiration for the Crestone End of Life Project.

Carol D’Antoni brought the “Being With Dying” teachings of Roshi Joan Halifax/Upaya Zen Center to a group of women who wanted to explore the deep place of transition which we commonly refer to as death.

Vinny Terres and Nancy Trottner, RN saw the need for a Crestone Hospice and Caregivers training, and provided those opportunities by gathering interested individuals together and sharing their expertise.

Boundless gratitude, tho’ belated, to you three women for sowing the seeds!

Stephanie Gaines for

The Crestone End of Life Project Board of Directors & Volunteers

Well-pounded Beat

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to mention how much I appreciate David Nicholas’s “The Washington Beat”.

It is always well-written, very informative, and often the first article in the paper I read.

Thank you,

Jim R. Moore

Cruisin’ the eLibrary

Dear Editor,

For as long as I can recall, I’ve loved going to the library.  I enjoy wandering up and down the aisles looking for just the right book.  Nowadays, with work and other responsibilities, I don’t seem to have as much time as I would like to spend looking through the library shelves, but instead of feeling disappointed, I use our library’s AspenCat system to leisurely browse the shelves from home.

Amazingly, I’m not just browsing the shelves of the Northern Saguache County Library District (NSCLD), because our library is part of the AspenCat system, and I’m able to search the shelves for books, DVDs, and eBooks of 101 libraries across the State of Colorado.

If you are new to AspenCat, it is run by the Colorado Library Consortium, and it is designed to help locate items in our own district’s libraries, as well as the other participating libraries throughout the state.

Whether you know exactly the title you want, you want to see what’s new in our library, or you are searching for something specific to a subject of interest, AspenCat can help you find it.  The system allows for searches by keyword, title, author, or subject. Once you find the title, you will be able to see its availability, place a hold for it, and you will be notified when it is available for pickup.  If it’s part of the collection of another library, your hold request will be put in the queue, and when it is available, it will be delivered to your local branch for pick up.

The system is efficient, easy to use, and opens up a whole new world of books, DVDs, and eBooks for you to borrow.  To access the system and start your search, begin by visiting our library’s website at and choosing the Catalog tab.

If you don’t already have your library card, call or stop by the branch in Saguache or Crestone to sign up.  If you already have a library card, but have never set up a password to access the NSCLD library website, stop by the library or give them a call. You can reach the Baca Grande library at 719-256-4100 and the Saguache library at 719-655-2551.

Happy browsing!

Debbie Westra

Vice Chairman, Board of Trustees No. Saguache Co. Library District

Thanking CEOLP

Dear Editor,

Last Saturday I attended the re-consecration ceremony at the cremation site with a friend.

We were deeply touched by how the End of Life group read the names of everyone who was cremated and spoke about each one personally.

It was particularly poignant to hear two mothers remember  their beloved sons with such heartbreaking tenderness.

The whole ceremony reminded me of the ceremony we have at home in Ireland called “the blessing of the graves”. It’s a day to honour and remember the dead and remind us how short life is and how precious each moment. It brought to mind the extraordinary work the CEOLP group does for our community.

Their dedication and commitment is astounding.

Words could not express my gratitude towards them and towards Stephanie Gaines for the unbelievable amount of work she put into founding the cremation site.  What a legacy !   We are so blessed in this community. I cannot imagine coping without their support when my husband Russell passed two years ago this month.

A wee poem I wrote:

Broken open 

When you died

on a snowy morning 

in April,

my  heart broke,

It broke so wide

in the wake of 

your absence

all it left was love.

In the end 

that’s all that matters

the sheer simple kindness

of loving and being loved.


Norah Tunney (Schreiber)

Goergen endorsement

Dear Editor,

As a downtown Crestone business owner and community stakeholder I am endorsing Terry Goergen for Town of Crestone Board of Trustees.

I like his inclusive platform and high energy around contributing with innovative and practical solutions.

Cheyenne Mendel

Terry Goergen for trustee

Dear Editor,

We at Elephant Cloud Market and The Cloud Station Cafe give full support for Terrence Goergen in joining the Crestone Town Board of Trustees. He is trustworthy, dependable and kind hearted. His good nature will be a great asset for the Town of Crestone.


Benjamin Byer

On Gary Boyce & the Wildlife Refuge

Dear Editor,

I wish Gary Boyce a peaceful journey. We didn’t agree with his trans-basin water diversion plans, first started by AWDI (American Water Development Inc.) and later carried by Gary when he bought the Baca Ranch, forcing us to fight 12 years here, initially coming together in opposition of the water plans but eventually turning the effort positive to create the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Act of 2000. The Baca Ranch is now of course part of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, including the Baca National Wildlife Refuge and Forest Service Baca Mountain Tract.*

We were able to get all that and protect the water. I hope Gary realized that this accomplishment is a far greater legacy to leave future generations than selling the water, making money and creating a “wildlife refuge” as mitigation. Selling the water would have defeated the entire purpose of creating a “wildlife refuge,” which was his onetime vision.

I spent 12 years fighting those water plans, including my entire pregnancy in 1998 dealing with two statewide ballot initiatives that were launched by Gary to sock it to the water users. I went into labor the last night of our valley-wide “vote no” core team initiative meeting in Monte Vista.

I felt ripped-off then, having had no rest, but that is past. When I walk into the Park, Forest or the Refuge with my son and his friends, it was all worth it. I feel gratitude now for the opportunity to experience such an amazing place.

The universe has a weird way of letting things happen. I wish we could just go for the vision directly, but it appears we are taken through a firing labyrinth, perhaps so clarity of our actions can be comprehended in a deeper, more meaningful way. It’s long and can be arduous, but so worthwhile. We do live in and next to a gem of a place.

I truly hope Gary’s spirit can wander out there in those Baca meadows and riparian areas, and be one with its mountainous magnificence.


Christine Canaly, Director

SLV Ecosystem Council

(*Editor’s note: Chris received congressional recognition for this legislative effort in 2002.)