Thank you to Pam Gripp

To Our Community

Pam Gripp is retiring this July. For 28 years Pam has served this community and the T Road and Road 17 corridors. She has run the EMS with dignity and professionalism. She has maintained high quality service by continuous training of herself and staff.

She has written grants for training new EMTs and for purchasing the best ambulances available.  She has held the hand of the sick, hurt, and dying. Each loss has left a scar on her heart.

As Pam prefers not to have a public party, it would be so nice to let her know how much she means to us. A card or an email to her would be so lovely.

From, The Ambulance Crews for 29 years!

Thank You

Dear Editor,

The Saguache County Republican Party would like to thank all those who helped make our Spring Fling fundraising event a terrific success. That includes Mountain Valley School District for the use of the gym, Tina Serna for helping with the setup and cleanup, Laurie Vigil and her crew for the wonderful meal, our speakers, Scott Tipton and Larry Crowder, those who volunteered their time and resources, and those who attended. We received many positive comments, thank you for supporting our efforts.


High water help thanks

Dear Editor,

I recently spent almost two weeks dealing with the threat of flooding to the town. It was an unnerving, hectic and stressful experience! How much water would come down the creek, and could we keep it from flooding the town? How much rain would fall, adding to the rapidly melting snow? Who could I call for help?  When would I get anything resembling a decent night’s sleep?!  Those questions have since been answered; a massive amount and yes; not too much; lots of folks; not until mid-month!

What I want to express here is my gratitude to the many volunteers who helped mitigate issues with overflowing drainages. I will probably miss a few names here, as I didn’t see everything that went on at all times, so my apologies to anyone that doesn’t get acknowledged here. My heart-felt appreciation goes out to Dan Wheeler, Warren Stephen, Jim Hollmer, George & Lu Sherer, Kimberly Bryant, Andrew Martinez, Mark Talbot, Joe Michalak, Bill Johnson, Adam Kinney, Steve McDowell, Cart Patterson, Dave Osborn, Deputy Clark, Jim Swanson, Jason Anderson, Mark, Zack, Matt & Ben Potter, Elvie Samora, Chance Buxman, Orlando Samora, Jim Felmlee, Alamosa County Road & Bridge and all the participants of the daily emergency facilitators meetings. Everyone simply did what needed to be done in an awesome spirit of cooperation and mutual support, exemplifying the very best that community can be. You were a great team to work with! Also, I would like to thank Janet Woodman, Elaine Johnson, Marina Balekian and John Grotenhuis for bringing me meals during this time; there was little time to take care of my own needs, and receiving prepared food was truly a blessing.

The new culverts on Alder Street handled more than 400 cubic feet of water per second, tons of boulders and numerous trees and branches. When the water in the creek drops, I’m going to go pat their “heads” and thank them for a job well-done. Whew!


Akia Tanara

Crestone Town Administrator

Gratitude to our community

Dear Editor,

Shumei would like to express its gratitude to everyone in this extraordinary community who had some part in helping Shumei contend with the fire that destroyed a cabin under construction at the end of Laurel Rd. on the evening of June 3.  The cause of the fire was conclusively attributed to a faulty extension cord.  Shumei harbors no blame or ill will toward anyone involved in this situation, it was just one of those things.  Thank God no one was hurt, to my knowledge not even a bandaid on a firefighter.  Shumei’s greatest hope is to re-assemble the same team and rebuild an even more beautiful cabin!

Our gratitude to the neighbors who called 911, the Baca Volunteer Fire Department, Kundalini Fire Management, N. Saguache County Fire District—Chief Botz, Peter May and all the volunteer emergency responders. I immediately began to recognize the good that began flowing from the so called “bad” even before the water flowed from the hoses.

The outpouring of support via phone calls, text messages, e-mails, cards and Facebook brought me to tears.  People I do not even know, whom Shumei does not often interact with, contacted us to say how beautiful they thought the cabins were, how they were looking forward to seeing it completed and how sad they were for its destruction.  I was astonished.

I know we as a community have had a bumpy ride over the past few years in terms of things fire . . . Never did I doubt at any point along that way that if there were a fire, this community and the greater valley as a community would be there to do their best.  This fire exemplifies that as fact.  I believe that we are all very fortunate to live here as we do.  May we not see a structure fire of this magnitude in our community again in any of our lifetimes.

Brilliant Crestone blessings,

Matthew Crowley,

Operations Manager

Crestone Grange

Dear Editor,

I really appreciate that our POA and town leaders are supporting small scale home and farm families. As of late I am hearing the concerns of the community in the area of harmful and/or toxic practices. We as a community have a great opportunity to create a bio-friendly model and a living example of healthy actions, mindful of the life that follows us in this amazing land. This is well known to most native and some colonial people as seventh-generation awareness.

Recently a Crestone Grange group has formed (ethical bio-care core) to facilitate participatory discussions on this topic, and is drafting a letter to further educate folks on the currant facts around glyphosate-based Roundup yard and weed treatment, and utility smart meters. The group wishes to bring less harmful solutions to our POA, town and county leaders for immediate consideration. If you’re interested in joining the grange group, give me a call at 719-256-4768.

Celebrate biodiversity!

Nathan Good

View from afar

Dear Janet & Kizzen,

The Crestone Eagle accompanied me back on the plane, as well as here and there the last couple of days.  I love the paper and for gosh sakes, why can’t the local papers here report an overview of DC politics the way you do?  Florida is, at best, uninformed, and it’s interesting to see that 1,200 people in a tucked-away place in Colorado are more informed than most of the millions of people in Florida.  Sad but true—but hey, what do you expect from a state that votes a crooked governor in—twice?

Be well,

Ruth Carr, Florida

Property tax struggles

Dear Editor and Crestonians,

There are, it seems, rumors in town as to why I cancelled the sale of my property on Galena 400W in Crestone, a few days before closing.

The reason was not that I suddenly felt the price was too low—after all I had signed a contract at a specific price and the buyer was ready to comply in all.

No. The reason was that I opened up the new NOV (Notice of Valuation), just a few days before closing. There, the tax-valuation of the house, (I had owned already 27 years ago, had put in the only good well it ever had), had gone, miraculously, down to the original value; this after I had fought a fight with the assessor for more than two years, trying to get property down to a reasonable tax value, so that I didn’t have to pay another full utility bill in property tax payments. It had been in vain. Only a slight adjustment was made, and the settlement reached in front of the board in Denver was only kept in part (I still was charged in full for 2013, the year I never had gotten a NOV the year before, when a lien was put on it, sold to a lien holder too).

There! Now they changed it to where it was supposed to be all the time. Compared to all neighbors, still on higher side (house sits only on two lots).

Of course, they (assessor plus) did not lower the value for me; they knew the property was selling to someone “respectable”, already had sent a tax-certificate to the loaning bank. So, I figured, someone had to just make a quick phone call to put everything back in order, while my fight—legal and going through all the legal steps of protest and appeal—did not avail anything.

Thank you. The house now has become affordable to me again.

At the same time, they raised the value of the cabin property in the Baca, which I own together with two sons, by 50%. Of course, they have to get that money back somehow.

So, not all is well with our property taxes yet. Not as long as they tax people, instead of properties. Or do you think that this is democracy, targeting some people, maybe unpopular, to carry the lion’s share of the county’s property taxes, while denying the very same person (as it happens, a senior resident of low income) any form of discounted health care?

Well, I keep the house until I get some real answers. This, after all, is a matter of public interest.


Ruth Pulver

Recycling in Crestone

Dear Editor,

Crestonians have been avid recyclers since before Recycle-Creede (RC) but RC made it easier and more comprehensive.  After nine years, due to its continuing unprofitability, it became necessary for RC to close its doors and discontinue its services.  RC’s problem was that our altruistic desire to provide these services and their physical and financial obligations were undervalued by the community, the municipalities, and the counties that we served.  There are costs incurred with this service.  Good intentions don’t buy the gas or pay the insurance on the truck.

To have the bi-monthly drop off services that we offered for many years, Crestonians would only have to commit to pay a recycling service, like Waste-Free SLV (Bill & Tina), to show up on specific days.  The other necessity would be for recyclers to not try to take advantage of these services by trying to pay one fee for multiple households just because one person brings it to the drop off location. RC started off with this service once a month, then up to twice a month due to demand.  Because of the volume of recyclables, a weekly service would probably be necessary. Despite any person’s own low volume of recyclables, the recycler is required to drive just as long, sort as many items, and move the recyclables to remote end-use manufacturers and recycling facilities.

To have a more permanent drop off service, like the storage unit RC installed at the POA, would also require a recycling service to come pick it up.  This would involve a similar payment to the recyclers plus the additional payment of $125/month for the storage unit (or a buyout of approximately $7,500). Volunteers or paid employees would need to be present regularly to monitor the facility and prepare it for pick-up which would be arranged by necessity due to volume.   This method would offer the convenience of daily accessibility, but also runs the risk of illegal dumping.

It would not be hard for Crestone to maintain recycling for its residents.  It just takes commitment and some ongoing operating funds.

Cary Bush