The life of our library

Dear Editor,

If you can pause momentarily and imagine going back a few years to ask yourself “what would my life have been like as a child, or a teenager, and now an adult without the consistent comfort, educational enhancement, flirtations in the stacks, or joy of finding the one book to make your heart sing and share with your best friends?” What would it have been like without a place to hide away in silence snuggling in an easy chair relishing your latest juicy novel or successfully completing an essay you had been struggling to write with the help of a friendly librarian?

A library may represent different things to different people but several may stand out above the rest. For me, it symbolizes a rich beacon of opportunity to expand myself mentally, spiritually, emotionally and have a really good time in the process! It is the heart and soul of my community full of endless surprises, twists and turns which usually lead to utter delight.

How can I place value on such a treasure?

After attending the last community library meeting at the Charter School, I realized that now is my golden moment to share this opportunity and give back to this eternal institution that has lifted me above the doldrums of daily life. Through reading thrilling mystery novels, watching Oscar award-winning DVDs, gossiping with friends, printing out important computer messages, I am the wealthiest person I know!

As you may have heard, our wee library has outgrown itself and is in dire need of a spacious, lovely new home to accommodate an increasingly diverse population of all ages and cultures. And this, dear friends, is where you come in to save the day. A tentative architectural design has been drawn up to support many wishes of our fine community members; however, it is still a work in progress. You are cordially invited to attend community meetings and share your ideas, energy, and money to move this project off the drawing board into the purchase of property, building formation and completion. The library needs your expertise and so does this community. Don’t let us down. For further information please contact Sarah at 719-655-2551.

Thank you!

Susan Sawyer

to Elaine & Matt

Dear Editor,

A small family in our community recently went through a tragic event, the loss of a child. Once again, Elaine and Matt Johnson of the Mercantile came through and donated holiday food for them. With all the terrible things happening in the larger world, such an expression of love and caring is the glue that holds our community together.

From our hearts to yours, we thank you.


Sandia Belgrade, Michelle

and others in Casita Park

Help Crestone Mobile Veterinary Service

help animals in need

Dear Editor,

Crestone Mobile Veterinary Service has enrolled in the American Veterinary Medical Foundation’s Veterinary Care Charitable Fund, a program created by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) to support veterinarians in offering low or no-cost services to clients facing extraordinary hardships, as well as a way to support abandoned animals and those rescued from abuse and neglect.  The AVMF is the charitable arm of the American Veterinary Medical Association, one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world.  For more than 50 years, the Foundation has been helping veterinarians help animals.

Crestone Mobile Veterinary Service donates a considerable amount of services and supplies to help animals in our community throughout the year. As a participant in the AVMF Veterinary Care Charitable Fund, it will be able to continue to provide charitable care to those in need, including clients with financial hardships, low income senior citizens and rescued domesticated animals.

I would like to encourage anyone who would like to help to make tax-deductible charitable contributions to the AVMF Veterinary Care Charitable Fund in the name of Crestone Mobile Veterinary Service.  Online donations can be made by clicking the “Donate” button at the bottom of the page at or at­—be sure to select Crestone Mobile Veterinary Service when making your donation.  Checks, payable to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation,  can be mailed to AVMF, 1931 N. Meacham, Schaumburg, IL 60173, Memo:  Crestone Mobile Veterinary Service

All gifts are greatly appreciated.  Any contribution, no matter how small, will make a big difference in the life of a pet in need. Many thanks from myself and all of the pets and owners that this fund will help!

Linda M Behrns, DVM

Acting local— for the environment

Dear Editor,

We are all feeling genuine distress regarding the incoming Trump Administration and are looking towards a few critical areas to maintain vigilance. When it comes to the environment, these top concerns include incremental privatization of our public asset legacy, as in our beloved public lands (National Parks, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management [BLM] and USFWS Wildlife Refuges); the second is deregulation that will result in our loss of vital environmental health/public policy protections.

The San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council (SLVEC) started as an ad-hoc group in the 1990s to provide input into the Rio Grande National Forest Management Plan revision. At that time, it became abundantly clear, with 3.1 million acres of public lands that surround the magnificent San Luis Valley, that a local public lands advocacy organization was needed. We incorporated in 1998.

Since then, the list of SLVEC accomplishments continues to grow, including development of Roadless Inventory research on Forest Service and BLM lands (2001-2006) to legally challenging and preventing over the last decade, oil and gas leasing and exploratory drilling to occur (2006-2016).  This vigilance requires committed leadership and an everyday focus on engaging the public through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and uniting citizens to participate in that process.

This coming year, SLVEC will continue to engage citizens with our three public lands priorities:

1) The Rio Grande National Forest Management Plan revision-making recommendations to protect some of the wildest and most remote forest left in the lower 48 states by submitting a Conservation Alternative, highlighting landscape-level wildlife corridors.

2) Solid Waste Management/Recycling Regional Plan for the San Luis Valley—A study is needed that identifies gaps and current players who will then participate in defining future roles and strategies that will obtain a fully-connected solid waste/recycling system.

3) Preventing the “Village at Wolf Creek” development, near the Continental Divide and within prime lynx habitat, from moving forward. SLVEC started challenging this horrendous idea back in the late ‘90s. Almost 1,800 condo units are proposed next to the Wolf Creek Ski Area. Now after 20 years, it has made its way into Federal District Court.

SLVEC is inviting you to become a member. It’s easy. Go to, click donate, upper left corner. You can also mail a check to: SLVEC, PO Box 223, Alamosa, CO 81101. Call us if you would like to volunteer. 719-589-1518.


Chris Canaly, Director

San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council

I’ll continue to serve

My neighbors:

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for allowing me to continue to serve Saguache County as your District 1 Commissioner. The learning curve for the first four years has been steep and the job is always changing. At this time I can confidently report that I do not have it all figured out, but will continue to work on it. I am also confident the current Board of Commissioners will continue to work toward the goals of supporting communities so that individuals and families can have a living wage, strong representation on the state and federal level, continued accessibility to local government, and most important, a county and region that is highly self-sufficient. We have some clear challenges in our county at this time with providing basic services on an extremely narrow budget. Although it is a common struggle in the rural west for counties like ours that are dominated by public lands, we will look to the opportunities the northern San Luis Valley provides. It is important that we all remember that our communities are both far-flung and culturally varied, and no single view reflects the entire county. We need to continue to find common ground to thrive. I am fortunate to work on a good board that reflects all these views and will continue to serve to the best of my abilities.

In service,

Jason Anderson, Commissioner District 1, Saguache County

Response to Westwind’s analysis of the POA

Dear Editor,

The “Community and Organizational Analysis” performed for the Baca Grande Board of Directors is a detailed blueprint for the complete re-ordering of the Property Owners Assn. The study reads as an independently objective, experience-based, fair-minded, and positively focused delineation of specific steps in all critical areas of function, that if adopted as a Strategic Plan by the current Board would have the potential to draw support from a significant number of residents in the community who have longed for the kind of coherent direction outlined in this report.

Many thanks to the Board of Directors for commissioning this study, and to Westwind Management for their thoughtful and extremely useful contribution to the Baca community. To the extent these recommendations are implemented with sensitivity and compassion by the current and future Boards, to that extent can the soul of the community begin to heal.


Burt Wadman

(Editor’s note: Our ace POA reporter is basking on the beach.  We hope to have a report about this report for the January issue.)