Dear Editor,

There are dozens of spiritual centers here in Crestone along with hundreds of Crestoners who came here seeking peace, quietude and natural beauty. It’s about developing inner awareness and consciousness, while also enjoying nature and the wildlife.

In the Grants last October on an otherwise peaceful afternoon, a herd of elk was seen running in panic and gathering tightly together for safety. It was being pursued by a drone! Millions of years of evolution had not prepared the elk for a human toy being misused. Fear was unleashed by someone engaged in a mindless pastime. This is abuse of the wildlife we share this land with. Just how unconscious can someone be?

Vince Palermo

Fan mail

Dear Editor,

I absolutely love receiving Crestone Eagle in the mail.  As soon as it arrives I run for my recliner for a couple hours of grand reading!

I especially love the articles about local residents written by Lori Nagel.  This past month’s  . . . about challenges.  I am learning about the community because I hope to move there one day down the road.

Thanks for all your hard work and inspiration!

Valerie Gordon

. . . & a response

Dear Valerie,

Thank you so much for your support of The Crestone Eagle and your appreciation of my column.  I think I get more out of my column than anyone else. It’s allowed me to connect with many in this community in such a unique way. I love that this column can be used as a tool for people to break down barriers and get to know things about their neighbors they otherwise may never have known. And I hadn’t even thought about those out there like you, Valerie—those who hope to one day join us.

I’d also like to say a huge thank you to all my participants, past and future—it couldn’t be what it’s been without you. Literally!

With much gratitude,

Lori Nagel ( Lori Sunflower)

Library success

in 2017

Dear Editor,

As the year winds down, I want to take the opportunity to thank you for your support of the Baca Grande Library in 2017. It has been a sincere pleasure serving you this past year, and we appreciate each of the nearly 17,000 (!) visits we’ve had since January.

This past year has seen many improvements to the the Baca Grande Library, including the new ADA-compliant ramp, new flooring in the front room, new storage cabinets and circulation desk, new bench and tree outside, and motion sensor lighting and exhaust in the restroom. We’ve also hosted wonderful programs, such as the Geezers into Geeks technology assistance evenings and the Summer Reading Program for children. It’s been a good year, and we owe huge thanks to the Board of County Commissioners for the grant assistance to make many of these projects happen, the Friends of the Library for their unwavering support and assistance, and, of course, to the volunteers who spent many hours working beside us to improve the library.

Our eyes are always on the future and the possibility of a new library in town, but in the meantime, we will continue to strive to serve you the best we can where we are. Your suggestions and feedback are always welcome. We wish you all a happy holiday season, and look forward to serving you in the new year!

Sarah Koehn Frey, Director

Northern Saguache County

Library District

County Commish hours resume in Crestone

Dear Editor,

In the September issue of the Eagle Saguache Commissioner Anderson wrote a letter telling folks that the Saguache County Commissioners needed to find a new space for office hours in Crestone.

The Commissioners are happy to let you know that has happened and office hours will resume beginning in December. This practice was started about three years ago with the idea that one of the advantages of a county with such a small population is that access to your elected officials should be easy, that it is your elected officials’ job to find you rather than the other way around.  With that in mind please note that Commissioner office hours will be held in Crestone on the second and forth Mondays of the month, 10am to 2pm at the Crestone Museum, 199 Alder Street, next to Town Hall. The Commissioners rotate on the second Monday between Crestone, Saguache, and Center so you will be able to speak with each of them. On the Fourth Monday, office hours are with the Commissioner from your district.  Please note that office hours can be subject to change due to scheduling conflicts.

The Commissioners would also like to thank the Crestone Town Board, along with Jim McCalpin and Mary Lowers of the Museum, for making this possible.

—Jason Anderson

Thoughts on Tract I

Dear Editor,

Last night (11/13) I and some twenty others attended a Town Hall meeting sponsored by members of the planning committee for the Tract I Crestone Master Plan and the POA. This was the third of three scheduled meetings seeking input from the community and the first I’d been to. I think it accomplished what I imagined was the intent of the Town Hall meeting format, championed by POA Board member Sugandha Brooks.

There was an opening presentation by Elaine Johnson (who grew up in Crestone) emphasizing the historic (inter)dependence of the town of Crestone with the area now comprising the Baca Grande and the importance of this relationship for future developments on many lines. Burt Wadman followed with a very well composed slide presentation extensively summarizing the Master Plan as it now stands. There was too much information to wholly ingest, but the overall plan was very well received by much of the audience.

Insofar as the project lies entirely within the boundary of Crestone, mostly in proximity to the Charter School, there would be no need for rearrangement of the governance of Crestone or the Baca. However, POA Board President Steve Dossenback reminded us that specifics of POA involvement in the execution of the Master Plan, in general, would require approval of the Association’s members. Of course, the participation of the POA in the project is premised on the involvement of the Charter School, library, safe paths for kids to travel from the Baca to school and the possibility of many other cultural assets for the larger community which is the Baca Grande plus Crestone. Certainly the more entities signing on to the Master Plan the more attractive it will be to potential funders of the project. The fifty-year plan as presented could be a beautiful cultural addition to our community.

At least one member of the audience didn’t see the Plan through the same rosy glasses. She mostly wanted such development as was decided on to be in the town proper. That made me wonder, What are the reasons we want change here? It seems obvious and highly desirable to me that our community not be an enclave of retirees in the Baca whose needs are provided by the Crestonites. That was, in fact, the historic arrangement, where the huge Baca Grande ranch was attended to by Crestone workers who were otherwise not allowed on the property.

Elaine Johnson in her introduction offered that there is little for youths to do here that is not unsavory and implied that the Master Plan could set about to provide healthy and stimulating foci for our young people. But I wonder just what that might be. What do larger communities or cities successfully offer as interesting and challenging options for their youth? What has been the input from citizens attending grade school? High School? I guess I want to say that I strongly want to include youth in our effort at civic betterment, but I’m doubtful that just building a beautiful campus will accomplish what seems to be anticipated.

Many people observe that there is a remarkable abundance of “amazing” individuals here. Most of these amazing people do not participate in many community affairs, like reading our wonderful Eagle, going to concerts, galleries, meetings of the POA, Town Council, or others. Will creating the proposed infrastructure (up to 75,000 sq. ft. at buildout) reverse this? Are we mainly stay-home introverts who’ve chosen this beautiful place and our few close friends over the outgoing, gregarious buzz of the big city? Maybe one good way to improve our capacity to enjoy and share this unique place is to ease the stress of making  a living (more jobs) and that of lonely living (more common activities and social gatherings).

More Town Hall meetings, please.

Bill Sutherland

Real Love

Real Love, more commonly known as unconditional love, is often recommended, seldom given or experienced, leading many to believe it is not even possible. The definition of Real Love is caring about the happiness of another person without wanting anything in return. With Real Love, people are not disappointed or angry when we make our foolish mistakes, when we don’t do what they want, or even when we inconvenience them personally. Real Love is unconditional, it fills us up, makes us whole, and gives us the happiness we all want.

When I use the word happiness, I do not mean the brief and superficial pleasure that comes from money, sex, power, or the conditional approval we earn from others when we behave as they want. Nor do I mean the temporary feeling of satisfaction we experience in the absence of immediate conflict or disaster, nor is it the feeling we get from being entertained or making people do what we want. However this is what most of us fill ourselves up with to help mitigate the pain caused by the lack of Real Love. We could refer to these as forms of imitation love and the behaviors we use to get them, “getting behaviors”, and to protect ourselves from more pain, “protecting behaviors”.

In Crestone, a group of us meet weekly which helps us feel unconditional love and find ways to bring this into our lives on a permanent basis. We learn to identify our getting and protecting behaviors and see how self-sabotaging they are to our deeper quest of finding deep peace and happiness. We begin to see how many times a day we lie, manipulate, judge, attack others, react out of fear, try to control others, blame our anger on others, play the victim, run, respond with passive-aggressive behavior, and a myriad of other fear-based behaviors. These have become so common we often call them “normal” but they are actually destroying our relationships, our families, and our societies.

This work for me has been the most profound thing in my life since I met Shri Babaji and I would be happy to share it with you. You can pick up a book at the Ashram on Real Love or go to the website www.reallove.com, or give me a call at 719-480-5514 and we can discuss it further and I can tell you the day and location of our meeting. I offer this so that you too can experience a deep and lasting sense of peace and fulfillment that deeply satisfies and enlarges the soul and doesn’t go away when circumstances are difficult but actually survives and even grows during hardship and struggle and when we share it with others.


Sen. Gardner votes
for the rich

Dear Editor,

Colorado Senator Cory Gardner just voted for a budget that will cut Medicare by nearly $500 billion, Medicaid by $1 trillion, and affordable housing, medical research and education programs by $800 billion while providing trillions in tax cuts to the wealthiest 1% of Americans and increasing the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. How many families here in the San Luis Valley will benefit from that budget? Not many. I’d like to see Mr. Gardner start doing the job he was elected to do of protecting the lives and well being of all Colorado citizens, not just his wealthy donors. If you think the same, give his office a call at 202-224-5941 or 719-632-6706 and let him know. Colorado needs a Senator who works for all Coloradans and not just the wealthy minority.


Jan Foster Miiller

Amazing work

Dear Janet and Kizzen,

I am sure you are super busy with the December issue, so you will shake your heads to hear that I just read the digital November issue, almost cover to cover (I did scan now and then).  Great newspaper.  You certainly cover every possible aspect of Crestone, neighboring areas, and beyond.  For me, having recently visited you and been chauffeured around, your news is somewhat anchored in my memories.  It is hard to imagine all the details you have stuffed in your heads.  Putting out a paper like The Crestone Eagle is amazing work.


Martha Scoppa

Liberty, New York