In praise of POA maintenance crew—Not so much the County

Dear Editor,

This morning as I lay in my bed before daybreak, I heard the unmistakable sound of the grader plowing the fresh snow off our streets. Wow, I thought, the crew reliably is out before we even get out of bed in order to make our lives more manageable and safer.

In contrast, the County maintenance crew predictably wait until after nine when our paved streets, T Road, Hwy. 17, and Hwy. 285 have been driven down to snow pack and ice before starting to snow plow. By that time the plow does little or nothing. I remember when they started at six and got ahead of it, making our roads safer for those who had to leave early for work or an appointment in Salida or Alamosa. What if the County Commissioners directed the crew to again start at six and quit earlier? The hazard would be greatly diminished, and our safety improved.

Whenever I hear the grader, I think, thank you POA maintenance crew; you have made my day safer. I cannot imagine a more courteous and helpful group of dedicated men. You make a difference!

Vince Palermo

Horses defiled

Dear Editor,

Recently we had an another upsetting event at the stables. Between the afternoon of January 6 and morning January 7, our three oldest horses had their manes and tails cut. The hair had been chopped off just below the end of the skin and bone of the tails. All of us are outraged that anyone would do such a thing to violate the owner’s feelings and our much loved equine friends’ bodies.

Horses’ manes provide warmth, insect protection and channel rain and snow off their neck and hind legs. It can take years for the manes and tails to grow out; seven years for a tail that has been cut just below the end of the spine. These are our oldest and most vulnerable horses. They likely will not grow out their tails in their lifetime. The horses are privately owned, not public property, but if they were wild or publicly owned, the damage to their wellbeing would be just as severe.

We cannot believe someone feels it is OK to defile someone else’s pet or property, or defile and cause harm to a sentient being’s body. Would these same people feel it was OK to cut the hair off their pet, cut limbs off the trees in their yard, or otherwise alter or deface their loved ones or property?

We feel this invasive and unfeeling selfish act should be made public. If anyone sees horse hair pottery for sale anywhere locally, please let us know so we may contact the makers and discuss in person the situation. We have already contacted some potters in the area and made contact with retail stores. Our desire is to express our feeling about our horses and to also work with potters. If there is a need for hair, we can put in place a collection system to allow this ancient technique to continue while honoring the sanctity of our equine companions and our relationship with them.

If you do use or know of someone who uses horse hair in jewelry, crafts and pottery please be aware of where the hair you are using is coming from. The sheriff has been informed of our incident and informed us that this is now an epidemic at horse ranches and stables in Colorado.

Thanks so much,

The owners & companions of the horses at the Baca Grande Stables

Help the Fire Dept.

Dear Editor,

It’s rare to be given the opportunity to stand in another man’s shoes. In my case, I have literally been standing in another firefighter’s boots for the last three years. What an eye-opening experience this has been. I had been living in the Baca for 22 years before being asked to volunteer for the fire department. I must say here publicly that I lived in arrogance and ignorance of what was being asked of volunteers to do this job. I apologize for that.

Most of you reading this remember that our previous and well-trained firefighters quit in protest, primarily I think, because they were not seen or heard by the POA Board.

Hopefully, time has healed some of the injustices and hurt generated. Unfortunately, we can’t go back and make it different. I am 67 years old now, too old to be a good firefighter. I am just filling in the best I can.

So now, we have a new and, I think, improved Board at the POA. Also, a new direction for the fire and EMS departments is envisioned. I know it’s not the special district that many wanted, but it is what it is.

So, this is an appeal from an old cynic. Please, some of you younger and trained firefighters, as well as any new person willing to aspire to do some service, come and help protect the people and this beautiful Crestone/Baca. All it will take is a mistake or a lightening strike on a dry windy spring day and our beautiful Baca could go up in smoke. Believe me, I know how easily it could happen.

We have some great equipment at the firehouse that is interesting and challenging to train with. This equipment can be used to stand up against a wildfire, but without more trained people willing to put down at any moment what they are doing when the alarm goes off (it could be tomorrow or ten years from now) it won’t be of much help.

This is not a small thing to ask of anyone, but please, before it’s too late, come and help.


Steven Elliott

Buy locally

Friends and neighbors,

I remember many years ago in Ireland they had a “buy Irish” campaign. It was a great success bringing money and jobs back into the country.

I have lived in Crestone for 18 years and think the world of this little community.

I feel very strongly about buying locally. In a small town that’s how we keep businesses open and  local people employed. Maybe for the new year we might buy a little more locally. If everyone did that it would make a big difference.

When friends and relatives are visiting from abroad they generally like to buy gifts.  I usually invite them to look at our local  handmade stuff first.

We would all be very quick to complain if our local stores and restaurants close down. I know for a fact some of them are barely making it.

Let’s keep our money in our town. What comes around goes around.  If anyone has suggestions I would be interested to hear them.

Norah Tunney

Phone no. 588-1553

Help with stuttering

Dear Editor,

For many people, ringing in the New Year brings hope and joyful anticipation. But for those who struggle with stuttering, the old fears of speaking and being teased remain the same—year after year. Many of your readers don’t know that help for stuttering is available from so many places. Trusted information on stuttering is available at your local public library. Public schools have speech counselors, and children are entitled to free evaluation and help by law. Seek out a Speech-Language Pathologist in your area trained in helping those who stutter. Universities often offer speech clinics. Finally, the internet can be a wonderful resource on stuttering—with free books, videos, and reference materials. Visit our website as a starting point: Make 2017 the year you find the help you and your family need.


Jane Fraser, President

The Stuttering Foundation

Bringing “The Work” to Crestone

Dear Editor,

I am a huge fan of “The Work” by Byron Katie!  I am writing to ask if the folks in Crestone might be interested in bringing one of Byron Katie’s workshops here during the spring or summer.

For those who are not familiar with Byron Katie, she experienced what she calls “waking up to reality” in 1986, and since then she has introduced “The Work” to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world into business settings, universities, schools, churches, prisons and hospitals with uplifting results.  She is the author of Loving What Is, I Need Your Love-Is It True, and others.  “The Work” is a simple process of inquiry that teaches people to identify and question the thoughts that cause them to suffer.  It’s a way to understand why unquestioned thinking hurts, and to address the causes of underlying painful thoughts with clarity, to become more at peace.  “The Work” consists of four questions and their turnarounds.  Certified facilitators hold weekend workshops regularly, as listed on their web site at  There are also wonderful videos on You Tube.

Please call me with your feedback.  If you think this is a good idea, (or not), or you want to help with this, my number is 469-271-7108.  My email address is I would be happy to give my time to bring a workshop here if there is an interest.

Sending peace and love,

Alicia Gutierrez

A letter to Saguache Co. Commissioners & voters

Dear Commissioners,

In November, voters in the County opted out of a 1% sales tax which would have gone to our underfunded sheriff’s office and jail. A majority of voters did see fit to levy a 5% excise tax on the developing, job-creating marijuana cultivators in the county. This letter is not to admonish the voters who voted against our law enforcement. This letter is not to bemoan a double tax on a product, both wholesale and retail. This letter is not to decry the false information which the Commissioners gave the voters and local business owners. This letter is not about the fact that state election rules were broken by the Commissioners, two of whom ran unopposed. The purpose of this letter is to look forward. As the voters saw fit to levy the tax, I would like to ask them to hold our Commissioners accountable for how the revenue is dispersed.

There is a myth abounding. It is the myth of “the green rush.” It’s the idea that if you plant marijuana you get rich instantly, an idea obviously shared by our Commissioners and voters. It is simply false.  Marijuana costs what it does for good reason. Lights, nutrients, labor, processing etc. are very costly. It is not an easy business.  It’s not easy money.

There was no allocation for the revenue. Understanding this, will they give themselves another raise?  Will they get remodeled offices? Or will they spend the money on our inadequate jail and sheriff’s office? Did you know that all eight deputies are in one office?  Did you know that there are no private interview rooms?  Victims have come in contact with their offenders. Did you know that the jail has no bulletproof glass?  Did you know that the prisoners have to be let out for air and walking time in an open area, not fenced, just a stone’s throw from the school?! Pedophiles and violent criminals are in sight of our children! Did you know that officers routinely go into dangerous situations with no backup? I can tell you the Commissioners surely know all this, and have still consistently cut and minimized the budget for our devoted law enforcement.

Voters, let your Commissioners know that we will be watching.  Will they line their own pockets, or will they show the care they should, and help our law enforcement, schools and infrastructure where its needed most? Better roads? Snow plows?  After all, Commissioners, it would be nice to not have to drive on a treacherous road so that I can go to work to pay your salary.

Very sincerely,

Andrew Floyd Davis

Arvol Looking Horse: Protecting the Sacred

October 22, 2016

Mitakuyape (relatives)!

We are now up against dangerous decisions that are coming from the disease of the mind. We are dealing with minds that hold no values of respect and honor toward another Nation’s Burials and Sacred Sites. Money has contaminated their minds to want the power to desecrate the sacredness of Mother Earth and allow my People’s burial places to be destroyed in order to continue to erase our culture.

As Keeper of this Spirit Bundle of my People, we as the Buffalo People—Pte Oyate—have been able to keep our ceremonies and way of life for 19 generations intact, which every generation is 100 years. This Bundle has been with us for over 2000 years, which has guided us through massacres and hard times, even when it was hidden until the 1978 Freedom of Religion Act.

Tim Mentz—Tatanka Duta (Red Bull)—and his family lineal knowledge are bound by this same woope—Creator’s Law. This knowledge is based on sacred oral history that dictates the word is sacred and stands in truth. Tim’s inherited knowledge in recognizing significant Sacred Sites holds the same value for our People as my position, this is why I am able to carry an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of SD. We both have been raised with traditional knowledge with the responsibility to protect and carry, on behalf of our People. A person that earns a Degree can never attain that same knowledge we carry for our People. The Responsibility that we care for is passed down and learned through our oral history.

For this oil corporation to destroy what Tim Mentz, a cultural historical tracker, identified as our burial mounds and sacred sites, is a violation to the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This also violates United States’ own treaty with our people. What has now been allowed to happen is a violation in the highest level of disrespect toward a nation’s ancestors. The support this corporation has are political leaders who have given themselves the power in their elected positions, to violate their own laws they are supposed to uphold; as stated in their own US Constitution in how religions are to be treated. Where are the keepers of their values?

The hearts of All People’s faiths must now unite in believing we can change the path we are now on. We, from heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World to unite for our children’s future. Already we have witnessed many Nations of life are now dying because of contamination; those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, the plant nation, the four-legged and now the two-legged.

What we are being faced with is a dark spirit. All life cannot afford to allow the same mistakes to be made any longer, look what is happening to the four directions in the contamination of Mni Wic’oni—water of life. If we do not actively stand up as leaders and do Creator’s work in uniting our concerns, it will continue to be a domino affect that our Ancestors have warned about in the Prophecies.

This is not a competition of who will lead and who should follow, this is a very serious time we are in. I know in my heart there are millions of People that feel this is long overdue. It is time that all of us become Leaders to help protect the sacred upon Mother Earth—she is the source of life and not a resource.

In a Sacred Hoop of Life, where there is no ending and no beginning.

Onipiktec’a (that we shall live),

Nac’a Arvol Looking Horse

19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

(Statement originally published at Facebook – Paula Horne – Arvol Looking Horse)