Local hires encouraged

Dear Editor,

I  happened to glimpse a copy of the contract of the Lakewood management company with Baca Grande Water and Sanitation. I saw the $130-per-hour management fee and $60/hour billing fee. I do not dispute the fact that we needed them at one time. A cast  on a broken arm for example is very necessary but become cumbersome after a time. Surely we can find some good local talent for these jobs.

I am deeply grateful for the clean water source we have here.

I am grateful for those serve on the board and do this public service.

Even the $4-per-month increase and 4 mill property tax increase I am fine with as long as cost saving measures don’t compromise quality, health and longevity (like the bureaucrats in Flint). We must think long-term.

Freed-up money spent on management could go to water quality. Local hires spend locally.

Cheyenne Mendel

POA E&AC changes

Dear Editor,

The POA Board and the E&AC Committee will be meeting together on Monday, March 7 at 6pm to discuss changes that will affect POA members who are considering building on their lots, or are in the process of building. Members may want to attend this meeting to hear the discussion about these changes and see how their building project may be impacted.

Thank You,

Matie Belle Lakish,

POA Board Member

Saguache County, past & future

To the Saguache County community,

It’s been an honor representing Saguache County as the District 1 County Commissioner for the past three-and-a-half years. The job is full-time and has a continuously steep learning curve, as the political landscape is rapidly changing. In our connected world, a commissioner must be present locally as well as stand for our county in the Sate Capitol and in the halls of Washington, D.C. to insure effective representation.  (As they say, “You are either at the table, or you’re on the menu!”)

During my term, I have served Saguache County with action, participating in local, state and national County Commissioner meetings, boards, and projects. I have assisted in drafting legislation to benefit Saguache County, and facilitated federal financial commitments being paid to Saguache County.

I’m excited to continue serving as your District 1 County Commissioner for a second term, and to share a vision for our land and our community, as we move forward for the next four years.

As a resident of Saguache County for 28 years now, I have witnessed and been a part of the many changes our county has gone through.  I look forward to speaking with you personally to better understand how we all envision our future.

Please visit www.jandersonsaguache.com for a full review of our county’s progress and achievements.


Jason Anderson

Saguache County Commissioner, District 1

Help with POA dues

Dear Editor,

A week or two back, I was in the Mercantile Hardware and could not help but overhear someone bemoaning how both our property taxes and POA assessments come due in the winter when our seasonal construction work is scarce and we are running on empty money-wise.

His rant was so vehement that it didn’t occur to me to give him this information:

It is always possible to set up a payment plan with the POA. Call 256-4171. Being on a payment plan assures that you will not be assessed a late fee as well and you remain a member in good standing.

A little later that same day I was talking to another friend about the timing of these big bills.  He told me he puts money away every month all year long in order to be able to pay in a timely fashion.  Smart guy!

Hoping someone is helped by this info.


Joanna Theriault

Serving on the POA Board of Directors

On behalf of Ivan, thank you

Ivan Lakish’s family would like to thank all the generous residents of the Crestone/Baca area who have helped Ivan to make his Paramedic training program a success. He is in the last leg of the journey, and will be coming home soon to add his newfound knowledge and experience to the Baca/Crestone Ambulance Service. Special thanks go out to all those who came out to the fundraising event in January. We all had a good time.

Thanks to Crestone Charter School for the use of the building and the kitchen. Special thanks to the musicians, River, Christine and Dee, and to Barry, Tim, Isadora and Dennis, for donating their beautiful music and sound equipment. Thanks too, to Mark Jacobi for being a top-notch auctioneer and making us all laugh. Thanks to all the bakers and artists who donated baked goods and artwork, and to all those who bid on those items at the auction. And a special thanks to all the dinner guests who made the evening successful and lots of fun.

Many other residents were not able to attend the fundraiser but donated generously. Thank you so much for your help. And thanks too, to the POA members and fire department members for donations to support housing and other expenses. And thanks to the Crestone Eagle and to Lori for the great ad, articles, and pictures. It takes a community to raise a child, and also to train a paramedic.

The Lakish Family

Many library improvements

Dear Editor,

The Friends of the Baca Grande Library (FOL) wish to extend many thanks to  all the residents of our community for your support and commitment during the past year.

Special thanks and gratitude to those who supported our Tax Day (l5th of April) Bake Sale, the Root Beer Float Special (4th of July), The Storyville Players, and all those who made individual donations—too many to mention individually.

The FOL, through the active support or our community, was able to benefit the present library last year with the following projects:  replacement of the old fluorescent lighting with new all daylight spectrum lighting, creating a more pleasant and comfortable effect throughout the entire facility; reversal of the bathroom door, allowing easier access for anyone using a wheelchair; purchase of a new air-conditioner unit from Home Depot in Cañon City, allowing a quieter and cooler environment for patrons and staff; repair of the outside bench with broken slats; building of spacers for the DVD shelves; buying landscaping supplies for the watering system and planting of environmentally-friendly bushes along the sidewalk. We also paid for replacing the outside front steps that badly needed repair or replacement. It was replaced with a new bamboo-composite material that never requires painting.

We also wish to thank Steve and Elaine for allowing the Friends to keep a donation jar for the new library at the Crestone Mercantile.  Know that your donations help!

Please be aware that the FOL is a 501(c)(3) (exempt status) organization, made up of all volunteers.  We have been working closely with the Northern Saguache County Library District to continue to help make the present library better in all respects, and (yep, you guessed it) to eventually relocate and build a new library facility in downtown Crestone.

I personally like to think of the library as the heart of our community.

In the near future, the Friends will be mailing out a type of postcard to each resident that will allow everyone to become an active member.  The membership is a mere $12/year.  This will greatly benefit not only the future work of the Friends, but also add to the legitimacy of creating a new and beautiful library facility for our community.

We can do this with your support.  Together, let’s create a facility in downtown Crestone that really will be the “Heart of the Community.”

Thank you & God bless.

Thom Ontko, Chair,

Friends of the Library

Highest intentions & benefit for all

Dear Crestone Creative Council (CCC) Family:

It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to all staff, volunteers, Youth Work Force clients, youth, families and friends of CCC.  The decision was made by the Crestone Board of Trustees and myself on Monday, February 15 to close the CCC youth program after serving the community for 4½ years.  I started this program to provide healthy options and lessen the gap in services for this underserved part of our population.  The Town appreciates what we have accomplished, the impact of our activities and events, and understands the difficult task we attempted to tackle, serving at-risk youth and their families.

The Youth Work Force was a program coordinated by CCC, so it will also be closing.  Thank you to everyone who hired youth to give them an opportunity to learn work ethics, gain new skills, develop mentoring relationships and increase their confidence in becoming contributing members to society.  This was a valuable service which developed intergenerational relationships and broke down stereotypes of youth.  In the meantime, I would suggest the Facebook page “Crestone Jobs” as a place for youth to look for jobs and clients to request their needs.

There are several reasons we collectively made the decision to close with the best interests of the community in mind:

• Financial – We currently do not have the financial capacity and resources to continue operating without clearer fundraising strategies.  I was feeling the burden of additional fundraising and grantwriting tasks and was already stretched thin with limited paid hours.

• Education and Training – There is a need to offer additional education and training to bring our community and county services up to industry standards on Positive Youth Development, Restorative Justice, mediation, sexual assault and substance abuse.  We are working with old systems models that do not address real conflict resolution or true healing.

• Collaboration of Services – We are lacking a strong network of collaboration and support amongst our local and county services.  Multiple attempts to set up meetings and establish relationships of support for our youth were never accepted or acknowledged.

• Scope of Issues – Some of the issues we have faced are family mental illness, substance abuse, sexual assault, depression, cutting, suicide and eating disorders.  We have done our best to provide a safe and healthy environment with boundary-setting and empowerment training for our youth.  However, without more policies and procedures in place and a stronger system of support from certified mental health counselors and County services, we struggle to provide adequate support for these situations, let alone the challenges of working within family settings.

• Attacks & Violent Communication – The straw that broke the camel’s back.  CCC, myself, and volunteers have been the object of recent attacks and defamation of CCC and my character on social media. The current accusations are great cries for help. CCC was intentionally developed and conducted to buffer children from some of the above mentioned mental health issues by providing a safe place and creating networks of support. It is sad and ironic that some choose to blame a program that is widely known to provide stability and safety to the youth of our community.

My overall concern is for the continued well-being of the young people and the division this is creating amongst them and our overall community.  I will do my best to provide referrals and connections to other programs and events that can offer support to youth and their families, but I am in great need of adequate space and time to grieve the loss of the program and my employment.

In closing, I would like to thank the many mature and responsible members of our community that have contacted me to provide encouragement, counsel and suggested tactics for addressing the unlawful, slanderous and baseless assault on my character. Your assurances to stand by me throughout this process has reinvigorated my confidence in the majority of community members.  I see this as an opportunity for deep reflection, personal growth and walking even stronger on my path to serve for the highest intentions and benefit of all.

Warm regards,

Lisa D. Bodey

Friend from the past

Dear Editor,

I moved to Salida in 1978.  Somewhat a hermit, I live up Ute Trail, on Cameron Mountain, far off the grid, at 9600 feet in elevation, 10 miles from town, my closest neighbors being three and a half miles away!  Always a nature freak, with a good south exposure, solar power, internet on my smartphone, plumbing and on demand hot water,  I live in what I consider paradise !

I pick up The Crestone Eagle at Neighborhood Natural Goods, one of the local health food stores. I have many good friends in the valley which I love, as well as the Crestone area, the Sand Dunes, and Joyful Journey. Most of these friends are from the late seventies or early eighties. I always enjoy the Eagle; the photos, the news from the valley, the health and healing mentality prevalent in that area, articles on the diverse spirituality, the advertisements, and the stories the editor tells of her adventures with her ex-husband Earl! More acquaintances than good friends, I have fond memories of  Kizzen and Earl from ‘78 and ‘79, remembering their small very rustic cabin up on Chalk Creek, having a good mutual friend Randy Van Haverbeke, a co-worker at Monarch, and fellow tipi-dweller at the time. I’m amazed we survived those -36° winter nights in  our tipis! (I couldn’t do it now!) Kizzen and Earl’s cabin not being much warmer!

When reading Kizzen’s stories from those days, it often occurs to me that I am probably among a handful of people who remember and knew them way back when! I love those stories !

I just read the January issue of the Eagle this evening, noticing that it is for sale and I’d guess Kizzen is longing to retire, moving into the next phase of her life. I have deep faith that the new owner will be very selectively chosen.

So I’d like to say that I’ve always enjoyed, and am a big fan your publication, the news from the valley, and your stories from the old days!  Congratulations on your success with The Crestone Eagle, it’s awesome! I hope your tradition is carried on! . . . . if this is indeed printed, hello to my SLV and other friends who read the Eagle!

Peace and love,

Jim Ruggles