In support of Baker for CCS Director

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to put in my two cents and say that I think Marie-Louise Baker is the right choice for CCS Director. I’ve had several significant interactions with Marie-Louise this school year, and my impressions are that she is highly intelligent, diplomatic, cool under pressure, an excellent listener, and a highly effective creative thinker when it comes to strategizing to solve difficult problems. Great job CCS Governing Council!

Bennett Italia

Glad to have Marie-Louise at the CCS helm

Dear Editor,

Please let the Governing Council know that you have my full, enthusiastic support in hiring Marie-Louise Baker as CCS Director. I have known Marie-Louise for eight years and feel I can speak for her character.  Marie-Louise  is a thoughtful, compassionate and amazingly grounded person.  She is fun to be around, and lightens up the room wherever she goes.  I am sure that you have noticed that she is extremely inquisitive, intelligent and has a work ethic that is becoming increasingly difficult to find.  She is highly organized in every aspect of her life and is constantly learning new things.  Most of all, Marie-Louise deeply cares about our kids and their education.  Being  a CCS parent for many years, she understands the concerns that may arise. Her training and natural ability in conflict resolution is essential for this position.

I think that Marie-Louise has brought an unprecedented steadiness to CCS.  We are fortunate indeed to have her at the helm!  It is an honor to recommend Marie-Louise Baker for Director of CCS in the highest terms possible.


Susan M. Pierce

Mother of 3 CCS students,

Middle School CCS teacher for 2 years

Trampling, tall tales & trumpery

Dear Editor,

In response to Kizzen’s recent editorial: Let’s remember that men as well as women have borne the brunt of injustice and abuse. Whatever tender and respectful impulses they may have been born with towards the “fair sex” were sometimes lost after forced service in armies, clashing with axes and swords, or in navies, scaling the masts in hurricanes or maimed by exploding cannons . . . for that matter, laboring in mines and quarries . . . they too have been fodder for use and abuse. No denying that at present women have a bit of a harder row to hoe, but they seem to have made notable advances in the last half-century, and I hope we can be cautious about “identity politics” and not lose sight of economic systems which can grind us all down. Great that those marches had good turnouts.

And regarding your “Crazy Larry”, his lawyer might say you’ve only offered conjecture about his out-of-state scams and pimping or, for that matter, his intent to rape. Maybe he just hoped you’d be willing? But of course, I wasn’t there to see it go down, and of course, it’s just a tall tale, and a good one, too.

Thanks for being you, in this brave new world of Photoshop, anti-facts, and other sorts of trumpery . . . which is a real word, if anyone cares to look it up.

Slim Wolfe

Living co-operatively

Dear Editor,

Although I’m grateful for today’s sunrise, I also share an “empathetic heart” around unnecessary division causing war and disparity that seems to be gripping our biosphere.  I also share happiness knowing that there are solutions to these problems. Locally, some folks are working hard at jobs and not earning enough money to pay rent and afford to buy healthy food, and need a solution soon or their health and well-being will be at risk. What befalls one human eventually befalls us all.

Interestingly, the Baca Grande was built around conventional military retirement, but has roots of cooperation and peace from the native peoples of the past, and I believe this helps us remember that cooperation is possible again.  As you read this there are people who are investing to bring back some type of educational commons that returns self-sufficiency to the average person. The capitalist model of exchange today, which has made a few folks rich, and shut down most of the cooperatives that helped rebuild the country after the Civil War, can be revived. The co-op model does not make folks rich with money but fulfils one’s life-purpose, rewarding members with health and happiness. This model has been proven at several co-ops across this country and throughout the world. With a system of accountability in a tiered level of involvement, working members reap what they sow, and depending on the level of exchange, their needs could be met without any monetary involvement. Those who choose to support the exchange with currency are still able to walk in and purchase goods at the “retail price.” It creates resource cooperatives which, when managed properly, serve their community amazingly well . . . from a cup of coffee to a timeshare tractor.

Also, this model allows for a human time bank-labor force that creates enough resiliency with resources produced for itself to maintain its infrastructure, stock a storehouse and throw celebrations at its community center.

I hope you read and are inspired by the manifesto the Grangers have produced.  It will be printed and available at our local markets for your review.  Join the HUB communication network by sending an email to:  Blessings in this presence, it is from love and happiness we share. With great honor and respect to the elders of the last three generations we present this work, in hopes it will benefit and inspire the next four generations to also be happy and to work in service to the healthy good of all our relations universally.

—Nathan Good

Senator Gardner needs to listen & explain

To the Editor:

Senator Cory Gardner keeps insisting that “paid protestors” have been calling his offices, making it difficult for his own “real” constituents from Colorado to get through to him. That is a rather lame excuse for being unwilling to actually listen to them.

It would behoove Senator Gardner to understand that literally hundreds of real Coloradans just from one little pocket of southern Colorado have reported that their calls were unanswered and his voicemail remained full after they’d given up calling his Washington office repeatedly. We now feel relegated to calling all his satellite offices in order to be heard. That is also why we in the San Luis Valley are urging the Senator to hold a town hall here, so he can explain in person why he and his colleagues are supporting cabinet appointees that are either blatantly unqualified billionaires (De Vos) or hard-right ideologues out to gut the environmental protections we value here (Scott Pruitt for the EPA) or Medicare as we know it (Tom Price for Health & Human Services), just to name three.

We would also like Senator Gardner to explain how he and his colleagues will justify their intentions to eliminate financial regulations that were designed to protect our economy from the excesses of Wall St. And why they don’t share our concerns about President Trump’s overarching conflicts of interest, the politicization of Voice of America and the National Security Council and so on, but surely you get the picture.


Susannah Ortego

Representatives should represent

To the Editor:

In a working democracy, lawmakers’ most important task is  to be responsive to constituents!  At Scott Tipton’s office in Alamosa yesterday a friend and  I were informed that the Congressman will probably not be physically appearing here before August! The tech-savvy may attend an online Town Meeting scheduled for later this month, but the job description includes time to appear in home territory on a regular basis.

As I prepare to pay my taxes, I am reminded our President has not produced his tax returns.  The Congressional Committee on Taxation can require the IRS to release them, as recently urged by Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ).  Breaking with precedent, our billionaire president has not put his business in a blind trust and his family accesses business connections by the power of his office.

Is conflict-of-interest business-as-usual for public office?   Like  five other wealthy Trump cabinet members, Education Secretary Betsy De Vos was a huge Trump donor and certainly won approval from those whose campaign received funding from her, including Colorado’s Cory Gardner ($50,000).

We have to rely on our representatives’ good will and conscientious performance of duty to keep democracy alive.  Let us hope that in the excitement of their party’s complete control of our political fate, our Republican members of Congress don’t forget they are accountable to all the people who sent them to Washington, not just the ones who can pay.

Anne Silver

Demand Medicare for all

Dear Editor,

Driven to lower taxes on the wealthy, Congress prepares to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Lowering what the Federal government spends on health care allows for lowering the taxes on the wealthy. Never mind that this will push costs onto already strained state budgets and drive more Americans into bankruptcy. The budget vultures are circling.

Americans have come to depend upon the good that the ACA has accomplished. The problems that remain are based on its being built upon our dysfunctional, for-profit insurance companies, with all their perverse incentives. (The less health care they pay for, the more profit they make. Because our lives can depend on health care, we pay their rising, exorbitant prices.)

Even with the ACA, we spend almost twice as much per person as other industrialized countries; at least one out of four of us are uninsured or under-insured; health care expenses cause the majority of bankruptcies; and we have poorer health outcomes. Repealing the ACA will take away the benefits and leave the problems.

So, repeal if you must, but make it better. Just as Medicare provides secure coverage for our seniors, it can work for us all.

Our medical industrial complex works very well for those at the top, but impoverishes the rest of us. Our medical industrial complex is as swampy and rigged as it gets. The mandate of this past election is to clean up the swamp/fix how things are rigged to work for the 1%. The majority of Americans support Medicare for all.

Medicare for all is what will work for all. Understand and demand.

Bill Semple