Kudos to Shumei

Dear Editor,

Hopefully, this is one of many letters in this issue of The Crestone Eagle expressing gratitude to Shumei International for its 12th Anniversary Celebration on May 17. I simply wish to acknowledge not only what a brilliant afternoon it was—with story-presentations by ten of our spiritual centers, followed by the inimitable Taiko drumming troupe and a sampai for World Peace—but also what a gift such a celebratory vision brings to our community.

For its first ten years, Shumei provided us with a focal day dedicated to the many spokes of the wheel of Spirit so evident in our town. Such efforts demanded vast planning, coordination of many presenters and volunteers, and the commitment of significant energies and resources. I can only commend all who were involved from 2002 to 2012 and now to those responsible for returning such a valuable day of togetherness to us this year—from the entire staff of Shumei to the players, both young and old, of the many spiritual centers who brought the crowd of more than 200 to laughter and tears with poignant presentations of a powerful story of their respective traditions.

For continuing to play a central role in our community’s spiritual richness, for walking its talk and for going the extra mile to fulfill Ms. Koyama’s vision in establishing Shumei International here in our international village, please accept the appreciation of the many for whom I feel this letter speaks.

Thank you.

William Howell


Goodbye friends

To all my friends,

I am so sorry that I missed saying good bye to so many of you but things moved quickly and before I knew it I was out of town. Right now I’m in Berlin visiting my son and family having a wonderful time. On May 22 I’m off to the Camino de Santiago and I’m praying that my knees will be good to me. Wish me luck. All of you will be in my heart and mind wherever I go. Thank you all for your friendship, it is one thing that I cherish above all else.

Be well,



New Directions for POA

Dear Editor,

I have lived, and been a property owner, in the Baca Grande since 1988.

During this time I have seen many controversies, disturbances and general rancor within the board of the Property Owners Association. Like many people here, for the most part I have been content to leave well alone and not get politically involved.

It has become clear to me that over the last year that the situation regarding the board had deteriorated to the point that something needed to be done. I was  disturbed that the late Russell Schreiber should be sued, to my mind vindictively and without good reason, essentially by fellow board members during the time of his terminal illness. There have been numerous statements made by people at POA meetings of bullying tactics perpetrated by board members Bruce McDonald, Nigel Fuller and Bob Garnett, often directed at fellow POA and board members.

Both Fuller and McDonald were essentially appointed to the POA board, rather than elected, as they ran unopposed and barely reached a quorum. Yet they seem to me to be acting as if they have a mandate to push through some highly questionable, even reckless, policies that are not in the best interests of the Baca community.

So I joined New Directions, an informal group of POA members, dedicated to restoring sensible and appropriate governance to our community. While people can have honest differences of opinion  about matters such as the Fire Department and the Emergency Services District, services such as these are vital to our community and seemed to be in danger of becoming dysfunctional.

At this time I feel strongly that a fresh start and further involvement from our local citizenry is badly needed. It is very encouraging to see unprecedented turnout at recent POA board meetings, as well as discouraging to witness the deaf ears, and frankly the arrogance, shown to completely valid concerns expressed by their membership by a majority of its directors. A fresh start is called for at this time, and I strongly encourage participation in New Directions with the aspiration that proper and decent governance can be restored to our community. For more information please go to www.bacagrandeactionforum.com.


Mark Elliott


Action Forum website on POA issues launches

Dear Editor,

I’d like to make known to your readership (especially, but not exclusively, to those POA members who live out of town) the launch of a new website: www.bacagrandeactionforum.com.

It is a website—sometimes pithy, sometimes in-depth—that offers insights and facts into the workings of the POA and its board.

We invite all to take a look, offer your feedback, tell us what you’d like to see on the website and send us your email so we can continue to nourish this website and this community.

Sugandha Brooks


Primary election reminder

Dear Editor,

I would like to remind everyone that this year’s primary election is by mail ballot only. The ballots are being mailed out on June 2 with the final day to return them being June 24.

Although I am running unopposed on the Democratic ticket, I would greatly appreciate you taking the time to mark your vote for me. Many of you who know me know that I am looking very much forward to representing you as your new Saguache County Assessor next year, lending not only my extensive training and life experience to this vitally important position, but also my real passion and energy for it and the opportunity to serve and work closely with each and every property owner in the county.

This is a very important “off year” election as you all know, not only for Saguache County, but for Colorado and the country as a whole. So please fill out and return your ballots as soon as you receive them (so they don’t wend their way to the bottom of the “pile”) and remind your friends and neighbors to do the same.

Thanks and with gratitude,

Peter Peterson


Connie Trujillo announces for treasurer

Dear Editor:

I, Connie Trujillo, have announced my intention to seek re-election to the office of Saguache County Treasurer.

I began serving this capacity in January 1995 and have continued through the present day. I am  a life-long resident of Center and have one son, Jacob.

The Office of County Treasurer has the responsibility for the collection, custody and distribution of County funds as well as all investments and budgetary obligations.  The office is also responsible for maintaining the records of all financial payments issued and received in the County.  Along with the duties of Treasurer, I also serve as Saguache County Public Trustee.  I am responsible for all foreclosures filed within the County, as well as the processing of Releases of Deeds of Trusts.

Many changes have taken place since taking office and most recently during the past four years.  The decision was made a couple of years ago to go with a new software provider along with several other valley treasurers and assessors. Along with this change came new interactive website advantages. It provides easy access for customers to research property, tax, and general information.  All this is updated daily.  Customers may make credit card payments as well.  This year the office will now offer paperless statements as well.

I am an active member of both the Colorado Counties Treasurers Association and the Public Trustees Association of Colorado. I have also completed the approved CCTA/PTAC Accreditation Program through Mesa State, which certifies me as a Colorado County Treasurer and Public Trustee.  I continue my education through this program. “Changes in legislature and procedures constantly change. It is very important that we follow all new laws. “

I have served on the San Luis Valley GIS/GPS Board for several years, previous Past District Chair for CCTA, currently serve on the Center Planning & Zoning Committee, and previously served on the advisory board for the former Saguache County Credit Union.

“I credit my staff for their outstanding work.  As I have said many times in the past, we are nothing without the staff that we employ.  I am so pleased and proud to work with each of them.  It will be an honor to serve Saguache County another term.  I ask for the support of all Saguache County citizens.”

My sincere thanks,

Connie Trujillo


Support for Tim Lovato

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter in support of Tim Lovato as the next Saguache County Commissioner for District 3.  From 2006-2010, I served Saguache County during its Master Plan process and was an Alternate on the Planning Commission from 2008-2009.  From this and other community involvement, I know what it takes to run Saguache County effectively.

Being a Sagauche County Commissioner demands that one knows all the issues of the county and requires diligence to insure it is administered properly.  As someone who has directly served Saguache County for many years, Tim Lovato has the experience our county needs.  He knows our land issues as a rancher and land owner and from serving on the Planning Commission since 2009; our water issues from working on several water commissions since 1976; and has volunteered at the Moffat Consolidated Schools and Mountain Valley School Board, Saguache Town Council, and Fire Department.

I know Tim Lovato is dedicated to equal representation for everyone, an open line of communication with the public and county employees, fiscal responsibility, conscious economic development, better services for the public, and the protection of private property rights.

Choose the next Saguache County Commissioner as someone who lives, works, and serves Saguache County.   Tim Lovato is the very best candidate to serve based on his experience and dedication to Saguache County.  Vote Tim Lovato at the June primary.

Thank you,

Leigh Mills

Liza Marron, commissioner candidate

Dear Friends,

Saguache County is a very special place and is the place that I have chosen to set down my roots. I moved here 27 years ago from Woodland Park where I was a reporter for the Ute Pass Courier. Before that I was a ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park in Grand Lake.  I have always been community-minded and have volunteered in many venues here. From 4-H leader to foster mother to school board, I care passionately about the youth and relevant education. I have spent 14 years working for economic betterment here on the board of ScSEED—Saguache County Sustainable Environment and Economic Development. As County Commissioner I would work hard to move Saguache County up the ranks from the county with the poorest per capita income in the state. I believe in a local living economy where together we build local economies that are inclusive and resilient, provide green job opportunities, and conduct business sustainably and responsibly. I would work hard for you to protect the land and water, to bring in much-needed resources and to increase lifelong health care, educational, employment and recreational opportunities while being mindful of preserving our rural culture. I believe I would be a good complement to the team in place with my experience in public health, social services, economic development and education.

I would love to talk with you if you would like to share your ideas for this county with me.

Thank you for voting in the mail-in Democratic Primary by June 24 and the general election by November 4.

Liza Marron,


For Russell

(This letter was written and sent to Russell Schreiber a few months before his death. It was later read at his cremation.)

Dear Russell,

Although we are separated by thousands of miles you have not left my mind and heart over the past few months and you have been constantly in my prayers. I have prayed for you everywhere from a Buddhist temple in Vietnam to a mosque in the mountains of Morocco, from sacred cathedrals in Paris and Cocacabana, Bolivia to a shaman’s hut high above Lake Titicaca. I figured it couldn’t hurt to invoke as many religious powers as possible! You have been with me every step of the way on this incredible adventure and I am grateful for that.

Whether you realized it or not you have had a significant impact on who I am today, as a role model to me and someone who I respect immensely. Ironically on your birthday I want to thank you for all of the many gifts that you have given to me and many others. Thank you for your deep thoughtfulness, your unhurried patientness, your dry sense of humor, your unassuming compassion, your refreshing honesty and genuineness, your keen intelligence, your quiet wisdom, your boundless curiosity and your spiritual groundedness. And of course your magnificent beard 🙂 These are some of the qualities that I most admire in you and that I aspire to. I sincerely hope I can lead a life that incorporates these qualities in the natural and genuine way that you do in yours.

There are so many memories that I have of you, especially during our time together in Crestone . . . sitting and listening to lengthy conversations around the dinner table from which I learned so much, the reliably delicious box of Russell Stover’s chocolates every birthday, the fabled Russell-wearing-random-objects hat series, the powerful dunes you led, wandering over to your trailer for a cup of tea and a chat, countless performances that you endured good-naturedly, your and Nora’s wedding in the big room. These memories are some of the few that I will always cherish and hold close to my heart.

I hope that things are going as painlessly as possible and that the healings are helping. In every way you are family to me and I speak for all the Hall kids when I say that we are so blessed to have you in our lives. Words cannot sufficiently express the unconditional and eternal love and respect that I have for you. This is something that does not need words . . . it is infinitely beyond their scope and scale. It is simply known and constantly present.

I know I will see you at some point later on!

Love always,

Conor Hall