Thanks, Shawn & Bob
Dear Editor,
I just want to offer my deep appreciation for Shawn & Bob of our maintanence dept. of the POA. I managed to perch my car on a slope of rock, and after making several phone calls searching for help, I called Shawn just to see if he could refer me to someone who had a truck to tow me. He was free and offered to come out and assess the situation. He and Bob moved some of the rocks, and I was able to gracefully back myself off of the slope. I am so grateful for their skills, patience and willingness to offer assistance to me (and our community) when they are able.
Many Blessings Guys (& all the POA’s staff and volunteers)
And thanks again,
Malina Feder

Homeless in Crestone

Two months ago the house we were renting got foreclosed on, like so many others across the country. I frantically searched for our next rental, to no avail. While moving our stuff to a storage unit, back and forth, I would drive past two empty houses just on the 3 blocks from the main road to our soon to be empty addition. And our new rental? It was not to be found, until the very last moment (a few days ago), and even then has left my family homeless for a few weeks. I consider ourselves fortunate, as I know other families who have been homeless for months already, and more families trying to find an affordable rental. The question that keeps arising is, Why are there so many empty houses in Crestone . . . And so many homeless families?

While looking for rentals, I was stunned at the restrictions being placed upon potential renters. No dogs, no kids, older couples only, Buddhist only, retreatant only. Fully furnished for over $1000 a month. Rents over $900, period—something completely unnatainable for some of the low income families in this community, and ironic considering if they could afford $900 a month rent, they would probably own their own home and not need to rent. Indeed, in the rental world of Crestone, it seems only wealthy retreatants are welcome, at the low price of $400 a week. In the meantime, young families with children are left out in the cold, and I wish that was an exaggeration, but it is not. As a community that prides itself on its enlightened and diverse ways of being, we together have a responsibility to take care of people, and especially our youth. How enlightened can one be if they would rather let a family be cold than risk their house getting temporaririly messy? How deeply has your meditation led you if you cannot see past possesions to the real world of human beings trying to make a good life?

To those who have chosen to rent their houses in the above mentioned ways, I ask you to take a moment and consider: What is important in life? Do I feel good knowing that there are families needing homes while my house sits empty? Do I feel good only catering to people who already have a home while other people struggle? I ask you to shift your paradigm, and consider: Families appreciate keeping a nice home too. Those of you who have homes, either for sale and empty, or for rent you have the direct ability to shift the homelessness issue in Crestone. You can meet the families, you can ask for your security deposits or whatever else you need to feel safe; and you can provide a roof for somebody who truly needs it. (Karma, anyone?)

To Aventa Credit Union as well: You are holding properties that have been foreclosed on. You ask what you can do for our community?  Here is what you can do: Put your foreclosed houses up for a reasonable rent. Move somebody in that will take care of the home, that will be there if the pipes freeze or will catch the mice before they get out of control. Collect some money towards the property you are holding. Or make it possible for low income families to even rent to own from you. The possibilities are numerous and your contribution to the community will not go unrecognized.

Houses need people in them. And people need houses to keep them warm. Winter is coming, there are families needing a place to live right now, people with jobs and kids who will take care of your homes. There is no reason for so many to struggle with finding a home while every third house is empty.

I like to think of my community as microcosm of what the world can be when caring people come together to solve the major issues this country (and world) is facing. We can be the reflection, “the change you wish to see”. We cannot sit here and complain about the state of the world when our community has the same issues. There is no point in throwing money at third world countries if your neighbors are shivering in a tent or garage. Let’s change it.

“People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason our world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.”

—Blessings, Melissa Sladin

MountainFilm a success
Dear Editor,
The Board of Directors of Neighbors Helping Neighbors would like to express their deep gratitude and appreciation to all who made this first year of “MountainFilm on Tour” a great success. Heartfelt thanks goes out to Lee Temple for helping us bring this great festival to Crestone and for being a driving force in making it happen. We would also like to thank Jeff Shook, Peter Taylor, Tom Dessain, Bill Ellzey and The Crestone Eagle for all of their technical support; without it we would have been lost. A very special thank you to Julie and Brian at the White Eagle Lodge for hosting this event and for their hard work in getting the facility beautifully ready. Thank you Drew Ludwig from “MountainFilm” for coming out and hosting the event, and to all the volunteers who showed up and helped in countless ways. It was so great to work with all of you. We’re already looking forward to next year’s event!
Kindest Regards,
Cathy Amenta
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Board Member

Kathryn Brady Room
Dear Editor,
It is so moving to walk around the new school facility. It is easy to see the thoughtfulness and humor, beauty and simple humanity in Mr. Teague’s design. What a gift to the community and to its children. What an achievement. The whole Crestone/ Baca Community has a right to be proud that this beautiful public building exists. The whole voting district that generously taxed itself to pay for the matching grant has a right to be proud.
I was privileged to serve on the Governing Council of the Charter School for most of the new building process but recently retired and unfortunately missed the opening day ceremonies. I want to express my deep gratitude to everyone with whom I served on the Council during this important time. However, I really cannot express my appreciation deeply and broadly enough to encompass the scope and passion of the mighty work of Mary-Louise Baker. It was her inspiration and intuition that Mr. Harry Teague would be the perfect architect for our school. It was her implacable, unconquerable will that left no legal, or political or financial stone unturned. It was her creativity and aesthetic sensibility that made sure almost every detail of design would enhance beauty and functionality. We, as a community, can’t thank her enough.
However, without the unconquerable and inspired leadership of Kathryn Brady, CCS director, nothing would have happened. There is no way anyone can know how Kathryn Brady managed to hold body and soul together these last three years. Perhaps we should thank her husband, Jay. Easily, she has put in an extra year’s work, hours on the phone and in meetings, working hand in hand with Ms. Baker, to make sure the new facility would reflect the mission of the school. The sheer strength and resilience it took to guide the school every single day and simultaneously supervise the building of a new facility continually astounded me. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her. Yes, it takes a village but it also takes a genuine, inspiring leader pointing the way. And so I humbly suggest that the council consider naming the “multi-use” room. A plaque near the door should read “The Kathryn Brady Room”. And when future students ask who Kathryn Brady is, the answer should be: “The leader who built this school.”
Bill Roberts

New library building?
Dear Editor
The Friends of the Baca Grande library held its monthly meeting at the Crestone Town Hall on September 14. Also we were recently given important assistance and guidance by a representative of the Colorado Library System
At present we are investigating three sites. One is an older building that could be remodeled, one an existing commercial building and one is an opportunity to build on a site leased from the town. Lots of things to consider and big decisions to make. We encourage you to join us at the next meeting on October 12 at 1:30 at the Crestone Town Hall and help us with this important decision.
Then the fun begins. Our 501c3 status is almost ready and we can start designing, fund raising and organizing a presentation for community input. That is always exciting!
Just show up at the next meeting or call Thom Ontko at 256-5653 or Julia Voss at 588-9582 for more information.
Shirley Clark

Fallacious yarn
I would like to sincerely apologize for what turned out to be an erroneous article in the September Eagle regarding the opening of The Big Yarn store. Due to miscommunication between me & management at the Sangre De Cristo Inn building my retail store did not open. If the opening cancellation caused anyone any inconvenience again I apologize. There will be a The Big Yarn store in Crestone as soon as I locate an appropriate venue. Until then I would like to discuss knitting classes with all of you who expressed a desire to learn to knit or improve your skills. We will find a place to meet & rejoice in our knitting!
I appreciate your understanding the sudden change in plans,
Denyse Specktor, The Big Yarn

Dear friends of democratic elections,
A number of us maybe disappointed in Obama, but remember what Ed Shultz said on Air America: ‘don’t blame Obama – the corporations, the republicans, the military-industrial complex are in control’. If you value democracy, VOTE. If you are disgusted with Obama, VOTE against the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove and their front men. If you have hope for America and a sustainable future, VOTE, then spend the rest of the year working for the alternatives of your choice. VOTE or relinquish the right that people all over the world are dying for. VOTE for Women’s Rights to equal pay and control over our bodies, VOTE for Gay rights and Hispanic rights and Social Security and Medicare. Sitting home is what Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove want you to do. And make sure you, too, are still registered to VOTE!
Pavita Decorah

What has Obama done?
Dear Editor,
This is a quick letter for anyone who thinks that President Obama hasn’t accomplished enough. I’d like to point people to different web sites.
This has a list of over 200 amazing accomplishments. It is rather astonishing to see them all in one place. It is quite inspiring!
If you don’t have time for such a long list then go to:
And if you want to get more involved locally we are having a big event Friday, Oct. 12 at the POA where you can meet most of the Democratic candidates including Crestina Martinez, Ed Vigil and the rest of the gang. Join us for great conversation, food & fun.
Mikela Tarlow

Good candidates for commissioner & POA board
Dear Editor,
As in the Washington election your vote here locally is very important this year. If you did not vote in the 2010 elections, you have been erased from voter registration! If so, reregister now in person or on line at Register by October 9 to receive a mail-in ballot.
Jason Anderson, the Democratic candidate for Commissioner District 1, is a longtime resident, and has been active in our community in things that matter. He came here as an Outward Bound instructor in 1989, fell in love with Crestone and built his home here. He with his wife and two children live in the Baca. Jason has served on the Baca Grande POA Board and was thoughtful and responsible in that position. He has been committed to community and energy sustainability. Most importantly, he is a good listener who is interested in each person’s point of view as well as the best choice to help the county prosper and move forward.
Russell Schreiber served on the POA board these past three years and has earned our respect and thanks for his service to the community. He has been a stabilizing force in turbulent times. We must say Russell is one of the most levelheaded persons to serve on the board, rendering decisions that he judges to be in the best long-term interest of our community.
Mattie Belle Lakish is our choice for one of the residents most committed to community service. She is well known for her articles on public issues in the community and her regular reports for the county commissioners meetings. She has served as a volunteer in many organizations for the public interest. You can count on Mattie Belle to seek the fairest solutions that are best for the POA.
David Burrell may not be as well known in the community, but he is another person who is fair-minded and has done his share of community work. A resident here for 10 years, David is a licensed electrician. He has mentored two floundering Crestone youths, taken them in, and helped them to achieve regular employment. He was a delegate to the state convention and is working on local voter registration. David will give thoughtful attention to issues facing the board.
Anderson for Commissioner; Schreiber, Lakish, and Burrell for the POA board. We know them all personally, and we are confident they will each serve with commitment and integrity.
Vince and Mary Palermo

Support for Anderson
Dear Editor:
I would like to express support for Jason Anderson as county commissioner.
Our political views may not be in complete alignment, but how often does that happen when choosing a candidate for any office? What I see and appreciate in Jason is his level-headed and methodical approach to the issues. He also seems very capable of mediating between people taking different viewpoints and that strikes me as a great attribute, given some of the contentious political battles hereabouts over the last few years. In short, I believe a vote for Jason is a solid choice for our community and our county.
Peter Anderson

Lisa Cyriacks will serve with integrity
Dear Editor,
For the first time in my voting life, I am breaking rank with my chosen party and voting for an independent candidate. I have to . . . since meeting Cyriaks more than a year ago and questioning her, listening to her speak from vast community experience, I realize that there is no one running who has the experience and integrity to represent the communities needs over party lines.
It takes a courageous leader to break rank with one of the two parties that give financial and campaign support to “their” candidates. That’s very different than “our” representatives. Lisa has been here for 15+ years and is invested in the growth and stability of her/our community. She has served as the Chair of the Crestone/Baca Planning Commission, as the POA Land Use Administrator, and has served on both the Baca Grande Water & Sanitation District Board and the POA Board of Directors.
She continues to be engaged with our rights as citizens as an active voting rights advocate—something most of us take for granted. I’ve found her to have wit and insight and a calm presence in the face of adversity.
I encourage you to talk to her—ask her questions and see for yourself that we have a very special candidate who can bring some integrity to the County Commissioner’s Board of Directors. Integrity has been sorely lacking as we discover current commissioners who have knowingly been paying less than their fair share of property taxes for years. Cyriacks is not likely to take documents presented by residents and throw them in the trash as Sam Pace did in a recent board meeting.
Voting for Cyriaks gives us a truly independent representative to represent us, the community, rather than a partisan agenda.
Claudia B. Wolfe

Vote for Rock Finley
Dear Editor
Former sheriff endorses Finley for Commissioner As a former Democratic sheriff of Saguache County I am fully aware of the problems facing Sagauche County at present. Although a Democrat I have been very dissatisfied with the party politics that has ruled in Saguache County since the election controversy in 2010.
I am asking you to support Rock Finley, candidate for Sagauche County Commissioner from District 2 in the November election. He’s sincere, honest, and I have known him all of his life. I vote for the man, not the party.
In a discussion with Finley he said he would not promise anything as protocol may limit his abilities as Commissioner, however he does promise to investigate the issues and approach all of them with an open mind.
Vote for Rock Finley November 6, 2012
Al King Saguache, CO

In support of Lisa Cyriacks
Dear Editor,
We are entering into the last leg of this election season. I am writing this letter based on my concerns about who will be elected county commissioners. It is our votes that will decide who will fill this job serving the citizens of Saguache County and managing the affairs of the county.
What do we look for when filling this important job? When an employer hires an employee, it is to serve the employer. When hiring a person for a job, an employer looks for someone who will work hard, be responsible, and responsive to the needs of the employer and can do the job with skill and loyalty.
Quite often we see our elected officials serving a corporation, serving the “party”, or just plain self-serving. When an employee is hired, loyalty to the employer is expected. Nor are employees to assume to be the boss over the employer. Yet, we commonly see self-serving actions by our elected officials.
We, the citizens elect our county commissioners to serve us. In choosing our next commissioner, we will be paying the salary for this position (double the medium income of the average Saguache County citizen) along with this person holding a position of honor.
In exchange, we ask to those individuals running for this position:
Will you work hard for us? Will you skillfully manage the county’s affairs? Will you be fiscally responsible to the county’s budget and the taxpayers’ monies? Will you be loyal to us and remember who hired you, for the duration of your term? Will you serve us, the citizens, and not others, including yourself?
The criteria listed above will determine how I cast my vote for this important position.
I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically support and will cast my vote for Lisa Cyriacks to fill the job of Saguache County Commissioner.
Lisa’s loyalty is not to outsiders, corporations, or special interests and it is also not to a political party. Lisa is skillful and will manage our affairs and monies well. Lisa will work hard and be loyal to the citizens of Saguache County through her leadership. Lisa understands well, that “it’s about service” for the citizens of our great county.
If you love and care for our home, I ask you to join with me and let’s elect (hire) Lisa Cyriacks to be our next Saguache County Commissioner.
Greg Terrell
Town of Saguache resident

Jason Anderson will work hard for us
Dear Editor,
I am writing to endorse Jason Anderson for the Saguache County Commissioner’s seat. I think Jason clearly sees the challenges we face—and has a countywide view of the issues. His vision is comprehensive and he has the best interests of everyone in mind.
I have watched Jason over time and have seen that his collaborative style of problem solving is just what is needed in this time of divisive politics and self-defeating polarization. Jason is a team player who listens well and consults with others before making hard decisions. He is focused on practical results, not grinding an ideological axe. I find his style refreshing and a welcome change from gridlock and “politics as usual.” Jason isn’t afraid of hard work and going the extra mile to achieve results. Please cast your vote for Jason Anderson.
Steve Haines

Why Lisa Cyriacks is my candidate
Dear Editor
Lisa Cyriacks has more experience in dealing with public policy and government. She has been active and she is paying attention.
She has a proven track record of getting things done. Lisa listens and she has the skills necessary to make the changes needed.
When it comes to tackling hard issues she does not back down, but works to come up with solutions.
She will be a great county commissioner!
Michael S. Garcia

Anderson has qualities for commissioner
Dear Editor,
As I watched Peyton Manning navigate the Broncos to win their season opener, I couldn’t help but feel like I was learning something. Instead of simply watching a quarterback pass the ball and hope for the best, I was amazed to watch Peyton’s mind set up the play. I saw how he quickly analyzed the situation, set up all of the players, and then work his magic.
I had a similar experience while recently campaigning with Jason Anderson in the La Garita area, introducing him to my hometown and my neighbors. I had campaigned with Jason previously, but this time, I saw a real candidate emerge to speak to the concerns of the citizens of this county.
Jason tackled some tough questions with solid, logical answers. He shared his solar knowledge in details a layperson could understand. His years with the Colorado Outward Bound School instilled a deep appreciation of nature and a desire to help steward our natural resources. His corporate leadership training experience has given him the ability to not only understand human conflicts, but also how to positively work through them—a vital quality for Saguache County at this time.
But Jason’s strongest quality is his ability to find common ground with Saguache County residents from all walks in life. He can comfortably converse with Crestone residents, ranchers in Saguache, potato farmers around Center, and hunters and fishermen. Jason is a candidate for everyone.
Jason Anderson is the person with the experience and qualities that I want to represent the people of Saguache County as county commissioner.
Lynne Thompson
Center, CO, 20-year resident of Saguache County

Thanks for your vote
Dear Saguache County residents:
I am writing to ask for your support in our upcoming election for county commissioner.
While campaigning, my family and I have had the good fortune to meet hundreds of people throughout Saguache County, and have been heartened by the quality of the families and individuals that make this vast land their home.
From all of my discussions with folks, I’ve come to understand that there are many challenges that we face as a community, but there are many opportunities, as well, and I am optimistic for the county and our future.
We move forward together with a diverse and thriving local economy, efficiency in our government, and preservation of our rural way of life.
Politics have become increasingly polarized at all levels of government, and we need to improve how we work together. I believe I can help affect this change at our local county level.
Government’s greatest ideal is to improve the lives of its people, and as your county commissioner, I will do my part in fulfilling this promise.
Thank you for your support and your vote!
Jason Anderson

Is that a fact?!
Dear Editor,
Imagine for a moment, if you please. You are a kindergarten student living in Crestone proper. You attend Moffat school. Instead of walking to and from your school this year, you will travel 4299 miles on Rd. T. That’s 135 hours in the car or bus. If you attend Moffat 13 years, K-12, those numbers go up to 55,891 miles (more than twice around the globe), and 1757 hours, or 73.2 days. If you lived at Wagon Wheel and Camino Del Rey, you would endure 5800 miles and 214 hours of drive time this year, not including stops. Over 13 years you’d sit and wait for 2782 hours, covering 75,401 miles. That’s 3 times around the world in nearly 1/3 of a year, or you could think of it as 1/54 of your entire 18 year childhood. These more or less factual calculations are based on a 169 day school year and In this eco conscious community, even those who don’t empathize with children should be concerned how much energy will be spent transporting them.
I am grateful for a school in Crestone. I appreciate the dedication of CCS’s staff. The new solar panels and state-of-the-artness are a bonus. However, I admit my ignorance and bafflement regarding the workings of charter schools. I am a product of public education, for which I have renewed appreciation. As a concerned parent, I would appreciate a more thorough public explanation of the need for enrollment caps to ensure the viability of the charter, and the relevant laws and contracts which enforce this. What efforts were made to find room for more kids? What can be done in the future? In CCS’s golden age, a few kids will see more sunflowers and rabbit brush than they ever wanted to. Perhaps CCS can take this opportunity quell further complaints and reckless imaginings before they occur.
Andrew Skellenger
(ps the letter I submitted last month was originally titled RE: Orchestration. The 265th “request for information”)

Protect all rights
Dear Crestone Eagle,
I am writing this article to inform the citizenry of significant events of the Town of Crestone government. These events may or may not be covered in the “Town of Crestone news” column. When I last spoke to the Town Manager, I was informed it would not be included. My view is that the public has a right to know, and that this knowledge reinforces fairness of a “fair and transparent” government.
On August 8 Crestone PEAK held an after-party fundraiser at the former Laughing Buddha Lounge. The event was greatly enjoyed by all who attended, many thanks were given to the organizers, and no problems were encountered regarding noise or other disturbances. Unfortunately, as a result of the Special Event Liqour Permit Hearing of July 23, we were not allowed to serve liquor up to 2am as allowed by town ordinance, but instead had to stop service at midnight, and suffered a financial loss. Although there had been a large outpouring of support for the Special Event Liqour Permit, Crestone Mayor Kairina Danforth and Trustee Hollmer voted against it entirely, unless the “12am compromise” was agreed to. At the subsequent Town Council meeting of August it was revealed that Mayor Danforth had both solicited citizens, and lobbied a Town Council Trustee to oppose the permit, in serious violation of proper democratic process in a matter she was voting upon, (she should have been recused at that point). In the September Town Council meeting, Mayor Danforth tendered an apology regarding the “mistakes” that were made in the Special Hearing process. I have decided to not pursue, (at the county level), compensation for the financial loss that was incurred by myself, and accept Mayor Danforth’s as settling the matter. I understand that events in the town of Crestone can raise issues regarding possible noise and other disturbances, but look forward to improved performance by our government entrusted to protecting all citizens’ rights.
Debra Irizarry
Mayor’s response
Dear Editor,
The requested permit was denied with the first vote. As Mayor, my responsibility is to the community as a whole. And as such I asked Ms. Irizarry if she would be willing to accept a compromise which would still allow the event to take place on this short notice and, in consideration of all the neighbors, close liquor sales no later than 12am. This would permit the event yet minimize disturbance from noise and traffic to the rest of the community. Her response was she would be willing to proceed with this compromise. A new vote was taken and members of the board, including me, voted unanimously to approve the compromise decision. As most of us know, there are diverse interests between community members wishing evening entertainment and those wishing quiet by 10pm, according to our noise ordinance. It is in the best interest of the community as a whole to try to compromise to provide for the needs and desires of all members of our community. In this particular instance, the community was well represented by the board, some in favor, some against, so a compromise was necessary. Although the town is not against evening entertainment, sufficient notice to the board and to affected members of the community is the best course of action.
I apologize for any irregularity that may have occurred prior to the public hearing. I hope we can continue to work together towards common goals.”
Katherine (Kairina) Danforth