Thank you all

Dear Crestone Community:

Many blessings for an abundant and bright new year! I would like to share my gratitude with everyone who stepped in to make 2012 such an amazingly successful year for Crestone Creative Council (CCC).  We work with youth in the Crestone Charter School, Moffat School, Home School programs, dropouts and many who are just traveling through.  Although the age range that we target is 13-24 year olds, we definitely encourage and enjoy a multigenerational community for our events.

The Youth Work Force is our vehicle for clients to hire local youth for home and work projects and this program generated over $15K this year for program participants.  We all know the power of keeping our dollar local and this enabled many youth to learn new job skills while working alongside adult mentors.  CCC youth volunteers donated over 680 hours of time to community events and projects such as the 4th of July, Haunted House, Winterfest and fundraisers.  Please take a moment to thank my assistant Crystal Price-Wade and our “Top 10 Volunteers” of the year: Sarah Beggs, Matthew Gray, Zya Hollyer, Abby Keturah-Swartz, Quincy Meisman, Taleb Nelson, Chenoa Off, Destiny Rude, Trevor Storm & Vivian Storm.

Finally, I want to give a special thanks to Andy Skellenger and Cara Barone for all of their time and effort organizing our first music fundraiser in the spring and to Katie Getchell, Bob Clark and the Crestone Tribal bellydancers for hosting our second fundraiser “Winter Plumage.”  These events and the generosity of private donors empower our group to build and offer more opportunities for young people in our community.   My personal gratitude to Ava & Scot at Bliss Café for their yummy food donations, Akia Tanara for being such a wonderful mentor, and to Nicholas Arends for his love and patience through my process of creating something new for Crestone.  Let’s ignite even more fires of inspiration in 2013!

In Gratitude,

Lisa Bodey


Thank you Crestone, eternally grateful

Dear Editor,

As I sit in the comfort of my own living-room, I can hardly believe the series of events that landed me in the Cardiac Ward of the Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs.

A dream unfolded, as I laid back in recovery, after a stent surgical procedure. My family gathered around me, a worried look with forced smiles, upon their faces, relieved in seeing me open my eyes.

When, just a few days earlier, I had been graciously hosting a Thanksgiving holiday gala, which took several weeks to prepare. As the house was cleaned, the good china was carefully washed, and the silver was polished. Where, fresh smelling Pine boughs were laid out, candles where lit, and the wine had been uncorked.

A good time was had by all. It was a small way to show, my sincere gratitude and love, to ring in the holidays with good cheer, forgiveness, hope and giveaway. I would have never imagined that I would have end up in a hospital bed a few days later.

But when my family informed me that a larger part of the local and Buddhist community in Crestone, the City of Boulder, and so many others across the country, had been praying for me, my eyes welled up with tears. And believe me; it was hard not to cry, to keep myself calm, from over working the heart, in humbled gratitude and awe, especially after a cardiac surgical procedure.

I want to thank the community of Crestone, and so many others, for being my teachers. For showing me, what real kindheartedness, means in a community.  May your holidays be specially blessed, as you have blessed me with the gifts of your hearts and prayers . . . and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

With Sincere Gratitude

Laurie D. Jimenez – Kalzong


Keep the fire district, vote no to disolve

To the Editor,

Over a year ago the majority of voters created the Crestone Emergency Services District  (CrESD). No funding for the CrESD has been established at this point. Meanwhile, a small group of voters has petitioned (a process that only requires less than 70 signatures) to hold a new vote seeking to abolish the district. In my view, this would seem to be an unnecessary procedure as the district is essentially dormant until various sources of funding it are further investigated.

Overall there are many benefits to the greater local community of delivering emergency services (fire, ambulance, etc.) through CrESD as opposed to the current system. I don’t see why we should abolish an entity that has so much potential to improve our safety and well being. Why not keep CrESD in place in its dormant state and continue to explore and evaluate myriad possible funding resources that could activate it in the future? This would be a positive approach for our community’s future. I strongly recommend a “NO” vote on abolishing CrESD.

Judy Gilbert


Pilgrimage to the big stupa

Dear Editor,

I am one of the many neighbors opposing the new road plan in Chalet II to the Karma Thegsum Tashi Gomang Stupa.  We built our home on Serene Way in Chalet II 7 years ago as a retreat for many others to experience nature without the noise or pollution of automobile traffic. Over the years, I and many other retreaters have hiked from our home to the stupa, and regarded it as a sacred journey. I do believe it’s one of the last few pristine places to take a pilgrimage to a beautiful, and healing spiritual site. Building roads is one of the most destructive things we do to our Mother Earth, not only the expense, but also the cause of erosion and landslides.  To those of you wanting a new road built, please consider our future generations and the impact it would have to our earth, wildlife, and our quiet sacred spiritual community. Thank you and blessings to all in this new year.

In Oneness and Light,

Lisa Beaubien


POA board withholds legal information

Dear Editor,

Three out of five Property Owners Association Directors (Treat Suomi, Russell Schreiber and Matie Belle Lakish) agreed to withhold legal opinions from the membership. Two agreed to full disclosure (Bob Garnett and Diana Moats).

After the Baca Grande POA Board of Directors received answers from our association’s lawyers regarding the legality of the 2012 POA Board of Directors election, it was stated at the POA meeting held on November 29 by three board members, that they would not share the full contents of the two legal opinion letters with the POA membership because, (quoted from Director Russell Schreiber) “the likelihood of a lawsuit is high”.

This says very clearly that the election was, in some way, undeniably illegal.

It is important that we have an honest and transparent board of directors, which through their integrity, we can trust.

If you would like the 2012 POA Board of Directors election to be re-held within strict accordance of Colorado law, with provision to validate and verify votes, please contact a board member that you trust with your concerns in writing at PO Box 237, Crestone, CO 81131 as soon as possible.

Nigel Fuller


POA board response

Dear Editor,

In response to Mr. Fuller’s correspondence below, the Baca Grande POA Board of Directors offers the following:

CCIOA (Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act) includes a provision regarding specific items that should be discussed in an executive session where only the board of directors is present.  One of these items is legal correspondence, including legal opinion letters.  The board was acting well within their right to handle the legal opinion received as an executive session item.  However, the question relates not to whether this was legal or not, but rather “is the board hiding something by withholding the correspondence”.  The answer to this is no.  Although the board did not share this opinion letter with the membership, the board did request that the association’s attorney author a letter summarizing the opinion provided to the board that will be distributed to the membership when it is available.

Baca Grande POA

Board of Directors


Pro or con, it costs

Dear Editor,

I am writing to both the friends and foes of the Crestone Fire Protection District (aka the Crestone Emergency Services District). On March 5, 2013, registered voters who live or own property in the boundaries of the district will have an opportunity to vote to retain the district or to dissolve the district. I am not writing to convince readers to vote either way. I am writing because my role on the board of the district is treasurer, and while voting is free, elections cost money.

It’s an interesting quirk of Colorado law, but when 5% of eligible voters sign a petition to dissolve a special district, such as CrESD, the district has to pay for the dissolution election. The problem is we don’t have a lot of money (because as you might recall, the mill levy election last May failed by two votes).  In fact, we have $1,201.41 as of this writing. Election costs—even though this is a walk-in election, and we urge all local voters to vote in person, not through the mail if at all possible—include printing ballots, renting a PO box, postage for those who request mail-in ballots, special envelopes, publishing notices, paying an election official to oversee the process (a huge, time-consuming job), paying election judges, etc.

We have other expenses besides the dissolution election, but the election is our main concern at the moment. The money we do have has come from donations and a grant from Saguache County (thank you Saguache County for waiving what we owed you from the last election). $300 came from the folks leading the dissolution cause. Democracy is precious, and you do not have to pay to vote, but if you would like to ensure that this election can get paid for, whether you want to vote to dissolve CrESD or to keep CrESD alive, we will gratefully accept donations of any amount to the Crestone Fire Protection District, P.O. Box 763, Crestone 81131.

Thank you,

Eli Dokson, Treasurer, CrESD


Call for local watershed stewards

Dear Community,

The Crestone/Baca Watershed Council is forming.  Many aspects to managing our  streams and groundwater (aquifers) need to  be investigated and intelligent actions taken so our forests and wetlands, our savannahs and wildlife, both in the air and on the ground, are protected, maintained and  nourished.

It goes without saying how interconnected we are with our water, our water to our environment, our environment to our hearts and psyches, and how such deeply needed attention plus vital actions will avoid disaster.

A meeting for local management and caring for our water is called for our community on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 6:30pm at the Elephant Cloud (Jillian’s) Studio to educate and implement water-shed knowledge and conservation.

This council will be able to expand our action base and hopefully involve all relevant agencies  as co-participants.  Aspirations and goals include   recycling local water, recharging our aquifer and maintaining the health of our forests.   Along with designing water management so that historic riparian areas are restored, we will also be planning for our local Crestone Waterfest in May of 2013.

Participants will receive a fact sheet about water issues we are faced with now, as well as various adaptation strategies.  We not only needmore precipitation, we need to take care of the land and the waterways on which it falls.




Water table drops as government pumps

To my Saguache County neighbors:

Our aquifer levels have been dropping for years, precipitously in the past decade’s severe drought in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.   The Closed Basin Project, a federal pumping project which partners with the Rio Grande Water Conservation District (RGWCD), whose name and practices are a contradiction of terms, pumped over three-fourths of last year’s total waters from between Hooper and Moffat.  The entire north valley drainage supplies their wells.  The Baca Wildlife Refuge has suffered more than 90,000 acres of degradation earliest, but all your ranching neighbors have been hit really hard, too.  Over the past twenty-five years more than 540,000 acre feet of water have been pumped from this aquifer and diverted primarily to the Rio Grande.

In the October RGWCD quarterly meeting, the Bureau of Reclamation manager reported they would be re-drilling a number of wells and installing 650-gallon-per-minute pumps to replace the lower production pumps now being used.  The two agencies continue to deny any injury to the aquifer in spite of very little recharge to the aquifer from snowmelt.  Because the Baca Ranch (prior to becoming the Refuge) had over 300 flowing artesians at one time (many were smaller livestock wells), there is confined aquifer water coming into the unconfined aquifer which would explain how the formerly productive pastures and hay meadows managed to survive the l930s, 50s, and 70s drought periods.  It sure isn’t surviving now!  Domestic wells are being re-drilled deeper around our county so that non-ranching families are feeling a personal version of “where’s our water?”

Since government relies on computer screens and models instead of experiential data, complaints are being ignored or dismissed by those who work in an insulated reality.  One has to ask if control of the valley’s waters and the future needs of the east range metro areas play into this.

If you have been affected and want to say so, please email me at or phone me at 256-4989.  You do not have to identify yourself, but please let me know the general area where you live, how deep your failing well was/is, and depth of the re-drill.

Peggy Godfrey



My Spiritual Grandmother has left the planet. No one touched the Earth or hearts as she did.

The Sun will come up again tomorrow, but I don’t know if it will ever shine as brightly as when she was here.

God’s speed to her on her journey and I look forward to seeing her again.

I will miss her. All my love.

Bobby Nowell

Loveland, CO