A satisfied reader

Dear Editor:

As a frequent visitor to Crestone, my first desire is to read the latest edition of The Crestone Eagle.

The writing, the in-depth articles and the variety of interesting topics included in the paper are excellent. The Eagle far exceeds any other community newspaper I have ever come across.

How refreshing for one to turn the pages of a vibrant newspaper and to be exposed to various views and opinions expressed in a civil and interesting manner regardless of the reader’s position. It sure beats staring at some glaring computer screen and having to question the veracity of some “posting” or diatribe.

The Crestone community is fortunate to be so well served by this jewel, which should be cherished by all who live here and for those who visit.

Keep up the good work!

Ian P. Gordon

Atlanta, GA

A more loving place

Dear Editor,

Is this a community made up of caring, compassionate people or do we give just lip service to the word “compassion?” When we fall on hard times do we expect help or hindrance from our neighbors?

I’d like to see true peace and harmony flourish here and ask why the bottom line seems to be more about “property” values rather than “human” values. Why did the POA Board eliminate the Community Outreach Coordinator position after barely two months in operation? As POA members we need an interface with the Directors and Managers for more transparency and accountability as to what is going on in our name.

Let us give all our brothers and sisters, young and old, the respect due them. These include those who are owner-builders, struggling with “compliance” issues and who could use a helping hand instead of fines. I believe we can work together to find solutions without threats and the expense of litigation, to clear up problems of “blight” and other infractions. Often extenuating circumstances could justify issuing variances instead of punishment for breaking the rules. How about a little “restorative justice” here?

Rather than focusing on violations of “codes and restrictions,” why not better our Emergency Services, Water & Sanitation, Maintenance Department and so on, including support of sustainable, alternative building methods, utilizing recycled materials and safe, renewable energy production?

Think about it—in these times of accelerated climate change we owe it to the continued survival of future generations of our species. People will always make mistakes, but with a little patience and help from our friends, we can make changes and find remedies. That’s how we progress!

Thank you all for your consideration and assistance in making this little mountain town a more loving place in which to live.


Julie Reinhart Sutherland

Change POA quorum rules

To the POA Board of Directors:

I attended the Resiliency Conference this spring at Colorado College. Out of this a group called “Governance Action Group” formed that I have been part of since the beginning.

I am asking the Board of Directors to look into the possibility of making changes to our governing documents and by-laws to support our growing community’s needs for becoming more sustainable.

For this I would like to see a lowering of our quorum % to a number that allows us to make changes for the benefit of our whole community.

By lowering the quorum we might be able to vote effectively on community projects like:

– Community gardens and composting sites

– Group solar arrays for several homes

– As well as multi-family homes or co-housing

This would require changing the rule of only one home per lot. If lowering the quorum to make these changes is not an option I would like our POA attorney to look into finding a way we can be more flexible to make these adjustments.

I believe these ideas for being more sustainable would impact our property values in a positive way.

Please tell me how you/the Board thinks and feels about this.

Thank you,

Kirsten Schreiber, Baca Grande property owner

An opinion on land ownership

Dear Editor,

John Rowe asked for input on his column so I am writing to you.  I agree with Emmy’s letter to the paper.  This is a private subdivision with covenants and a governing body whose major purpose is to preserve property values with the unstated goal of protecting the pristine, natural beauty that surrounds us.

The Board had a hearing and acted on the recommendations proposed by the EAC. The EAC’s proposals were necessary to get control over property owners, who were buying what they thought were open-ended permits to live on and trash out the land with no intent to start building within a reasonable time frame or to finish their structures.  For too long, previous Boards had ignored the problem, but the problem has become worse with the economy and legalization.

John’s article seems designed to elicit attacks against the building fees and penalties.  It takes money to build and that’s what owner/builders need to know—the fees are a wake-up call to the responsibility that is being assumed.  There are other places where they could avoid these costs and live on the land however they choose.  They and we know that.  The fees and penalties may not last forever.  The abuse had to be addressed to cut it off.

What is the point of what John is doing?   The Baca is not a charity, though many people here are charitable and want to help.


Alicia Mason-Miller

NHN thanks town

Dear community,

Thank you so much for your support. Neighbors Helping Neighbors garage sale on Saturday, June 3 was a great success! Funds raised will help us help our neighbors in crisis this coming year. In these uncertain times we want to be there for those in need and your generous support allows us to serve you.

This community was shining bright on that Saturday. People planting flowers downtown, the Saturday Market and the NHN garage sale moved some great energy through town. It felt great. Thanks!

Just a few of the folks who went out of their way to help make this the best garage sale ever:

NHN Board current and emeritus

Elephant Cloud Market, Judie, Jerry, Jim, Eddie, Kizzen, Scott, Boone, Isaline, Jeffe, Roger, Cailien, Taleb, Jonathan, Matt, Enid, Tom, Gretchen, Richard, Michelle, Father Ericm, BarbaraAnd everyone who donated to the sale . . . love . . . blessings & many, many thanks.

The NHN Board

A cautionary tale

Dear Editor,

There is the old saying that “All things old are new again”.   I discovered that this was true when I read the book 1984 by George Orwell.

Many are feeling that these current times are 1984 all over again, but I was pressed to remember a lot about Orwell’s story. Realizing that I had entirely missed reading this book in my youth, I scurried to the Saguache Public Library and checked out the one copy in our system from the Baca Grande Library.  (Saguache has since obtained its own copy.)

The book is a classic cautionary tale.  It was written in 1949 and retains the power to frighten us today.  Its themes resonate with us:  the lack of individuality, the fearful reality of the loss of privacy combined with massive data collection, the winnowing down of conversation to abbreviations reflecting “Newspeak”, the concept of “doublethink” and the attempts to rewrite history, or at least to conceal proven facts.

Erich Fromm, noted psychologist, wrote an “afterword” many years ago in one of the books.  One of his statements has tremendous implications for today: “Orwell . . . is simply implying that the new form of managerial industrialism, in which man builds machines that act like men and develops men who act like machines, is conducive to an era of dehumanization and complete alienation, in which men are transformed into things and become appendices to the process of production and consumption.”

If you have not read 1984, do so.  If you read it long ago, give it another go.  You can find it at your local library.

Kathy Geddes

Northern Saguache County

Library District Board Member

Thank you, CCS families & volunteers

The Crestone Charter School is so proud of the way that our families, community members, and teachers work together to weave a unique and wonderful learning experience for our children! CCS would like to extend its sincere gratitude to all of the families and community members who decided to get involved as volunteers during the 2016-17 school year.

Our volunteers contribute in so many ways: helping students in the classroom, keeping the campus clean, providing food for fundraisers and other events, chaperoning school learning adventures, and so much more.

Together, we set a new record of 1,796 recorded volunteer hours for the school year . . . and this doesn’t even include all of the “unofficial” volunteer activities that went unrecorded! So we have a lot to be proud of, and a very strong foundation of community support to keep building on. Although we can’t possibly thank each and every person who made a positive contribution this year, we would like to give special recognition to our top five volunteers: Vesper Gers, Mary Benavidez, Carl Cole, Wade Propst, and Hillary Semanski. Together, they generously gave hundreds of hours of their personal time so that our students would have opportunities to travel with their classes, participate in sports, ski and snowboard, excel in their academic work, and more. Thank you for all you do!

—Crestone Charter School