Baca Ambulance no longer transports to Salida

Hi everyone,

Just a few things to mention this month. I have received a few calls about ambulance transport. Baca Ambulance is no longer transporting to Heart of the Rockies in Salida. I know a lot of you receive primary care in Salida but here is why.

1. San Luis Valley Health (Alamosa hospital) is a Level III trauma center. This mean they are able to provide a higher level of care then Heart of the Rockies (Salida hospital) which is a Level VI trauma center. The state also requires us to transport to the highest trauma center for traumas.

2. Time: yes I know Salida is only 8 miles further then Alamosa. But it takes us an extra hour to transport and return to our response area. This means the area is without ambulance coverage for an extra hour. Response to Salida is an extra 30 minutes due to Poncha Pass. Time=brain and heart. That extra 30 minutes can have a tremendous impact during strokes and cardiac events.

I understand that some of you have primary care in Salida and understand your concern with having your primary care provider know what is going on. With the use of electronic health records this is no longer an issue. Heath care providers can transmit medical records between each other in seconds.

In short we are looking out for the best interest of everyone in getting you to definitive care as fast and as safely as possible, and then having ambulances available again to everyone, as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at

Thank you

Darrick J. Garcia NRP, CCP

Director, Baca Ambulance

Food Bank Manager needed

Managing the Crestone Food Bank has been my pride and joy for about six years. Every week, after distributing food, collecting the paperwork, cleaning up and arranging the cans of food (yes! I do that!), I feel tired, extremely satisfied and very grateful that I have the ability, time and desire to help our community in this way.

But, circumstances change, and recently I’m feeling ready to move on and give another individual(s) the opportunity to take on this very important and  rewarding volunteer manager position.

Here’s a brief description of food bank activities: We work out of Crestone Town Hall from 1-3pm every Wednesday. We currently provide emergency food supplies to about 70 households representing 130 individuals monthly. Last winter we served even more—about 100 households a month.  Ideally, there are two volunteers on Wednesdays, one to handle simple paperwork and the other to help our clients shop.

We pick up food from the Alamosa Food Bank weekly and we purchase some food from the Mercantile. Of course, we gratefully accept donations of both food and money.

The food bank has been fortunate to receive a Saguache County Sales Tax grant yearly, which is our principal source of funding. We also organize an occasional fund raiser; currently, the food bank is in solid financial shape. We have non-profit 501(c)3 status through La Puente in Alamosa.

And, we have dedicated volunteers! Their numbers and availability vary, but approximately 8-10 volunteers can be counted on to help with food distribution on Wednesdays or pick up food in Alamosa.

I would love to chat with anyone interested in managing the food bank. Dedication, reliability, and concern for others are important requirements. Alternatively, two people could co-manage the responsibilities. I will eagerly stay on as long as needed for training.

Please call me on 256-4644 (I will be out of town until July 25) to get together and discuss the possibilities and responsibilities. There is no more important contribution you could make to the Crestone community. And, it will make you feel great, I guarantee it!

Denise Peine

Be aware of the Empire

Dear Editor,

As we celebrate this year’s Independence Day, let’s also call to mind that the USA is the most powerful Empire in the world. Although this is not a popular thing to admit, nevertheless it is a fact, looking at its military and economic strength, its influence and bases all over the globe, and the millions of dollars the Department of Defense spends on wars and war preparation every single day. Millions which could be used to solve many urgent problems in our own country.

As a loyal American you may say, so, what’s wrong with empire and being the mightiest, that’s something to be proud of.

Consider this. The goal of an empire by its definition is to keep and expand its power/position all around the world. Nothing else is more important, and of course after oil resources are running out, any means to reach these goals are allowed and used, often hidden behind grand words describing missions like bringing peace, stability, freedom and democracy to other more disadvantaged people and nations, which supposedly are in dire need of our help.

What are the results and consequences of those “necessary defense” wars? Millions of people killed just during the past 15 years (one million alone in Iraq, which was a war started under false pretenses), millions of refugees and displaced people, their numbers growing from day to day, and the very basic and urgent problems of today, like starvation, insecurity from nuclear threats, energy-independence, extreme and growing poverty for so many, not being solved.

For those who don’t agree any longer with their Empire, voting for Clinton or Trump maybe won’t make such a big difference; they both will work for the Empire, in their own ways, but there is one other empire that can grow stronger than any other empire. No, it’s not Russia nor China, nor the EU.  It is informed people who dare to ask the right questions.

It’s what Dr. Daniele Ganser, a Swiss historian and peace researcher, calls “media competence”. By this he means finding and knowing your own sources of in-depth information, understanding the truth about important events (like 9/11) and drawing your own conclusions, doubting what you hear from the White House or any of the main media. They are specialists in creating war propaganda.

Media competence. Not easy, but not impossible. Youtube is a marvelous tool we have been given to help us do our own research.

Only properly informed and not brain-washed people can use their own conscience to form an opinion. Who knows, the majority of Americans may already be against Empire and wars but do they count and can they express themselves if they are not even told the facts right?

If we become critical and of course one cannot always find out the truth, but get closer to it, yes, and are informed, we can organize the only meaningful “war”, the war against wars.

Violence won’t be necessary, but your efforts and your time and an open mind.

Ruth Pulver

New Saguache County Library Board Member

Dear Editor,

Standing at the pulpit at my grandmother’s funeral, I was thinking of her legacy.  As a minister I had the honor of officiating some of my grandmother’s funeral.  A teacher in every area of her life.  Picture, if you may, a part of me is reciting Psalm 23, her favorite while my mind processed losing our matriarch.

In grade school, I wanted to be a teacher and a librarian.  I would visit my grand-parents for a few weeks in the summer, and she would bring her kids library into a nook under the stairs.  If there were a time I wasn’t found at the pool it would be in this little nook.  I would ask questions, as any 6-year-old does, and she would say, “Find out” and direct me to the encyclopedia or dictionary. Both she and my mother instilled a sense of of possibility in me that was the center of a vortex called the library.

I now have created a life and career where I do get the opportunity to teach every day, although my unfulfilled dream of being a librarian still nudged me.  I still spend a fair amount of time at libraries and read about 400 books a year.

Looking into statistics about libraries, usage has actually increased every year since 2004.  There are more new visits to the library, more time being spent at the library and more items being checked out than ever.  Unfortunately public funding for the libraries is at an all time low.

Back to the pulpit—memories of the book nook, reading the encyclopedia on their brown shag rug I smile that her legacy lives on in my curiosity and hopefully can continue for my nieces and nephews as a passion for the library.  The local minister takes over for the homily. As I walk back to where my family is I hear my phone buzz- with a chipper message from Barry I have a book to pick up.

I’m honored to be newly serving on the Northern Saguache Library District Board.  And if you haven’t stepped into our little Baca library, ask for some help or guidance.  There is a palpable sense of possibility.

Megan Riley