Seeking support

To my community:

My appointment last year by Saguache County Commissioners to the Rio Grande Water Conservation District Board was to complete an unfinished term from which George Whitten resigned.  This position is now up for reappointment for a three-year term.  If you wish to have me reappointed, please let our commissioners know as soon as possible.  Thanks to so many of you for your ongoing support and encouragement.

Peggy Godfrey

Goodbye to Jim Erdman

Dear Editor,

Jim Erdman was a close friend of mine and a friend to many others here in Crestone. His passing is reminding me just how much I missed him after he left this area about 7 years ago when he moved away to live closer to his son.

I recall one of the last emails I received from Jim. He informed me of his cancer and that he was starting treatment. I just knew he would beat it, but instead, he ended up going pretty fast. I always figured Jim would be one of those who would live well into his 90s, as he was just so full of energy and in great shape for his age.

Jim was the founder and leader of the local hiking group called “The Baca Bunch”, and for a 3-year period, we would go on special hikes every other weekend, both from around the Crestone area, or within 2 to 3 hours of here. There were over 100 Baca Bunch members and usually anywhere from just a handful, to maybe 25 would show up for a hike. There was no better person to go hiking with than Jim. A scientist emeritus, he knew the name of every plant, flower, weed and tree we would come upon. Jim could pick up any rock and tell you how old it was and what it consisted of. His knowledge of this area, and all of the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Mountains, made for some great stories. If you were out driving with Jim and he saw a weed on the side of the road that was not native to this area, he’d stop the car, get out, and dig it up.

Jim was so much a true scientist, and a good person. Plus his way with words, in his emails or in person when spoken, you just had to cherish. The thank you note he wrote me after I had given him some tomatoes from my garden, his words describing how wonderful the tomatoes tasted, I will never forget.  Nor will I forget his last written word to his friends in his final email, they were short and simple, but only stated in the way somebody like Jim would state it, written about a week before his passing he noted “My days of yore are no more”; that’s exactly the way you would expect Jim to explain to his friends that his passing would come soon.

Jim has now left us, but he will remain in my heart as long as it beats, and I know that will be so also for all of his friends that he left behind.

Keno Menechino

Unleashed dogs chasing whatever moves

To the Baca Community:

We are blessed to live in a residential rural community in close connection with nature.

Most of us live here for just this reason, among others.  It is wonderous to live and be able to be part of the creatures and cycles in this high desert world without so much noise of 21st century life.

I recently witnessed another situation where 2 elk were separated from the herd near the Desert Sage and harried by 2 unleashed dogs in the area around Colorado College.  Dusk was falling and I could not tell if the dogs succeeded  in bringing the elk down or not.  The elk were clearly exhausted and faltering. The next day I saw 3 unleashed dogs romping around together on Badger Road near the stables.  I could see that these dogs had collars—they did start to chase my car.

Because we are a mixed community—residential and rural, because people ride bikes and horses and hike, because there is wildlife as well as domesticated farm animals, dogs can’t just be let out.  When dogs either singly or in groups go outside and see penned farm animals, wild animals such as deer and elk, most will give chase—it is in their nature.

It is not in the best interests for all of us who live in this rural and residential community to allow dogs to chase moving cars, horses, bikes, hikers, creatures.  In the last 2 years alone we’ve seen enough injury here to know that this doesn’t work. Please please keep your dogs on leash or fenced in the best interests of all of us.

Thank you,

Zoe de Bray

You can afford to eat healthily

Dear Editor,

If you’re like most Saguache County residents, you don’t make a lot of money and it’s a struggle to buy groceries for yourself and/or your family.  You’re on a fixed income, or stuck in a low-paying job, while the price of food gets higher every day.

Buying healthy food may seem like a luxury you can’t afford.

Saguache Works is working to change that.  The nonprofit 4th Street Food Store, at 404 4th St. in downtown Saguache, whose mission is make healthier fare available to everyone, offers local, natural and organic foods at prices averaging 15% less than the typical “health food store.”

Thanks to generous donations from community members and a dedicated volunteer staff, Blue Earth Thrift & Mercantile, also operated by Saguache Works, generates revenue to help support the food store.   Reduced food prices and substantial donations to the Saguache County Food Bank also are made possible by generous support from the Saguache County Commissioners.

Residents eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps) receive a 20% discount on all food purchased with an EBT card.

We may not be able to match Walmart prices on certain items, but if you figure in the cost of driving to Salida or Alamosa and the value of your time, it may make sense to shop at the 4th Street Food Store and keep your tax dollars in Saguache County.

The 4th Street Food Store is open from 10am to 4pm weekdays, and from 10am to 3pm on weekends.  For more information please call 655-0216.

Thank you,

Marge Hogline