Items stolen from Baca Library

Dear Editor,

Baca Grande Library has been a valuable asset in our community for almost forty years.  The majority of community residents are library patrons and regularly come in to check out books, videos, magazines and to use the computers.  Since we became part of a union catalog two years ago, library members have been able to easily access the holdings of over fifty other libraries across Colorado to find the items they want.  The value of this system is that we are able to share resources, quite a great benefit in a small, isolated area such as ours.

Libraries are all about sharing items so that many people can take advantage of them—for free!  Yet we have recently discovered that a number of our materials, mostly DVDs, have been stolen from the library.  The latest theft was of the entire collection of our Breaking Bad series, all five seasons.  It was very popular with patrons and cost the library (your money) over $200.  Folks were on a waiting list to view the series and were shocked to hear about the selfish act that occurred in our library.  We ask that if you have information about the missing discs (or see any of our items in the Free Box), please let us know.  All library items are clearly marked with library bar codes, numbers, date due slips and stamps.  Just a note—we have a drop slot at the front door, and items can be returned after hours (for those with a guilty conscience, perhaps).

Suzanne, Barry and Sandia

‘Crestonehenge’ closed to the public

Dear Editor,

Please note that the labyrinth on Cottonwood/Allott Trail in the Baca known as Crestonehenge is on private land. Visits by appointment only. Contact owner at 719-937-7762.

I also would like to have “Crestonehenge” taken out of any tourist guide/map.

Thank you very much!

Verena Schwarz

Thank you Saguache County voters!

Dear voters,

It’s hard to believe that another four years have passed since the last election for Saguache County government officials.

I just wanted to take a couple of moments of your time to thank you. I want to thank you for taking the time each election cycle to vote, whether it is for local, county, state or federal elections. Thank you for believing in me and the job that I do as your Saguache County Treasurer and Public Trustee.

The past four years have been eventful county-wide, with new schools being built, districts being formed, recalls taking place, and new assessments being done. Through it all, we have all been able to voice our concerns, find solutions, and come out at the end hopefully with a better understanding of how our county government works.

I would encourage all who have internet service to please take a tour of our website at All tax information is updated daily, so information posted on this site is accurate and easy to navigate. We offer online payments for your convenience as well. You will be able to see if and when your payments have been made. 

It is my hope that each one of you would feel comfortable coming into my office, calling, or emailing me with any questions or concerns you might have.  If I am unavailable, I have a staff that is quite knowledgeable and I am grateful for each one of them.  

I hope that each of you is planning on voting in the General Election on November 4, 2014. This will be an excellent time to get out, meet the officials who are governing our county, ask questions that need to be asked, and meet those who have stepped forward with an interest to lead in a county position.

Again, I would like to thank each one of you for your vote of confidence. It will be an honor to serve you as the Saguache County Treasurer and Public Trustee for the next four years.


Connie Trujillo

Peterson endorsement

Dear Editor,

I would urge people to vote for Peter Peterson for Saguache County Assessor.  I have known Peter for many years and he is honest and diligent and has done the work to prepare for this position.  I believe that everyone in the county will benefit from having an assessor who is fair and up to the task at hand.

Thank you,

Sam Pace

Gomez intention to seek re-election

Dear Editor,

I would like to announce my intention to run for re-election to the office of County Clerk and Recorder.   I believe that the knowledge and experience I have gained in the two years since being elected to the office in January of 2012 have well prepared me to serve a full four-year term as clerk and recorder and would like the opportunity to do so.   During the past two years we have addressed many issues, including resolving lawsuits, cleaning and reorganizing two vaults of records dating to the late 1800s, recovering and scanning scores of old books for electronic recording, adjusted to the sweeping changes to election laws, assisted with the substantial Board of Equalization and abatement processes. I have also moved our Center office to a more secure location and am in the process of developing written policies and procedures for many of the daily functions of the office.

The staff, who all stayed with me, has been very committed and supportive as we continue to improve the operations of the office.  Their loyalty and work ethic is admirable.  I could not have done this without them.

I would like the opportunity to continue to serve the voters and residents of this county as clerk and recorder.  I remain committed to the office and to the citizens of this County and would be honored to serve another term.


Carla Gomez

Wilson, candidate for Saguache County Clerk

Dear Editor,

I have lived in Saguache County with my family for 15yrs. My Husband Joey and I have raised three sons. Our oldest is a retired Marine Corp Sergeant, and now lives & works in Grand Junction with his wife and 2 sons. Our middle son lives in Parachute & works at a petroleum plant. Our youngest son is a Senior at Mountain Valley High School.  

I currently work for Saguache County Department of Social Services, as a Food Assistance & Medical Technician.

I have worked in both Saguache and Rio Grande County Clerks Offices, both for 4 years each. While working here in the Saguache Clerks Office I worked in all departments and received my first taste of elections, and found that to be the most intriguing to me, along with serving the citizens of Saguache County. 

I applied for the job in Rio Grande because the job description was for an election clerk, along with general office clerk duties when elections were not a priority. My first week of working in Rio Grande was to perform a mock election using the newly designed SCORE election software, to prepare for one of our nation’s largest presidential elections in November of 2008. I felt it was a new and exciting adventure for our country to move forward in the election process. I attended classes and training and became a certified election clerk.  The experience I received while working in Rio Grande County not only in elections, but the recording of documents, liquor licenses, titling and plating of vehicles, is invaluable. 

During all of my years of work experience I have always served the public and enjoy serving the public to this day.

As the County Clerk of Saguache County I will be a working clerk, available to assist all the citizens of Saguache County. 

With your support I will be a clerk for the citizens of Saguache County. I will stay informed, be fair, honest, and knowledgeable. 

Thank you for your support. 

Christina Wilson           

Tim N. Lovato for county commissioner

Fellow voters and citizens of Saguache County,

As many of you know this is an all mail in election on November 4. The mail in ballots will be sent out on October 14. I would like to thank everyone who supported me in the recent primary election—both those of you who voted for me and those of you who wrote letters of endorsement, and I thank you for your continued support. I have talked to many of you and have noted your comments. I will continue to visit with voters and listen to your concerns. Please feel free to contact me.

 Tim N. Lovato

POA change needed

Dear Editor,

I believe the present POA board has created a rent in the fabric of our community. Rather than positive leadership which values the residents they serve as well as our property, we’ve been under siege, marked by months of animosity, breaches of public trust, lawsuits, lack of an ethical code of conduct with disregard for democratic procedure and Robert’s Rules of order.

It must be disheartening to out-of-town property owners to hear this—but there is a remedy. A large majority of the community are supporting three people running for the board who have the managerial skills as well as respect for the community at heart: Brooks, Lakish and Theriault.

With this election we can turn things around and breathe a collective sigh of relief that order and good will have been restored.

Sandia Belgrade

Smilack runs for POA

Dear Editor,

My name is Stephen Smilack and I am a candidate for the upcoming Baca Grande POA board election. I hold to the view that the primary responsibility of a director of the board is fiduciary duty. Adhering to that principle is first and foremost, and it is particularly important to serve without a personal agenda. I seek to create dialogue and consensus without the rancor, contention, and distrust which has plagued the past boards. Bottom line issues such as creating new revenue streams and reaching out to absentee owners to achieve a super-majority willing and able to constructively change deficiencies in the rules and regulations of the subdivision, these are very important issues that most owners do agree upon. Thank you for your support and your votes.


Stephen Smilack

Democracy & POA board candidates

Dear Editor,

I have been thinking a lot about democracy lately.

It’s a long story that I won’t get into now.

But one thing that I have been thinking about is that elected leaders are not there to solely serve their own interests.  They are there to represent the people who elected them. To do this they must be good listeners and ask questions.  It also helps if they are truly interested in other people’s opinions, treat them with respect and have skills for fostering deep dialogue.

What does this have to do with our POA election?

I have had the opportunity to get to know 3 of our candidates for the POA board: Sugandha Brooks, Matie Belle Lakish and Joanne Theriault.

All three are deep listeners.  They are curious and interested in other people’s views.  I am blown away with their patience and respect for others.  I have seen direct evidence of all 3 candidates helping to guide conversation to a deeper level, each in their own way.  They are also fun and know how to lighten the mood, another key element of deep dialogue.

Democracy also requires voters.  

This is an important election.  Please take the time to vote.  I hope you support these 3 candidates and take the time to understand who you think is best able to represent the interests of everyone and foster deep, informed dialogue.


Mikela Tarlow

Dr. Karlstrom & Mr. Hyde

Dear Editor,

Eric Karlstrom, candidate for the POA board in the forthcoming election, may present himself well as an articulate, reasonable person. However, his public persona shields a quite different person in the blogosphere. A website of his, “9/11 New World Order”(, reveals the visage of an acolyte of most of the current conspiracy theories. These include: 9/11 was a hoax; Holocaust denial; man-caused climate change denial; and the threat of Agenda 21. Underlying many of these conspiracies are, Karlstrom claims, the forces of Jews acting covertly to enslave us (“I believe that behind the Buddhocracy in Crestone is the Judocracy of Crestone . . . and well, the world.”) See 12.September 22,2013:

Karlstrom in a blog writes about modern Judaism ritual blood sacrifice of humans and animals. See Part 9: From UFO Cults to 9/11:

Please check out these websites. This is not the stuff of someone we’d like to think of as our leader.

In shame,

Martin C Macaulay

Baca POA more trouble than it’s worth

Dear Editor,

Why does the Baca need a “Property Owners Association”? All people in the Baca need is the roads kept up, fire protection, and ambulance service. For the totally outrageous taxation levied against property in the Baca, the county should be more than able to meet these obligations as it does in most states. From what I have seen, the Baca POA has been little more than a stage for stupid, expensive ideas (a putt putt golf course now?) and power struggles among neurotic individuals determined to control the lives of their neighbors. Every property owner in the Baca has to constantly watch their back to make sure someone in the POA leadership is not scheming to screw them over, commit to some expensive boondoggle with their dues money, or slap a lien on their property for some “violation”. You’ve read the horror stories about how abusive POAs can get and it’s a no-brainer where this one is now headed. Enough is enough. The Baca POA is a total ripoff. Who needs it? I say disband the Baca POA and sleep easier at night. I know I would.

John Powers

What if?

Dear Editor,

My sister, Evie Hirschberger, lives in Chelan, WA. Her surrounding community suffered a horrific fire storm and I asked her if she would share some of her thoughts to educate us, Crestone. She has the perspective of having a professional firefighter daughter and knowing people who lost their houses from the fire.  She writes:

“I don’t exactly know what light I can shed on this, but let me start this way. What if . . .

“You were in a level three evacuation zone and you didn’t even know it.

“You were trying to keep your house from burning and there was no power, no water and nobody would stop and help. Even fire trucks passed you by while there was still a way to keep your house from burning, only to show up after your house is fully engulfed.

“The DOT was keeping the water tenders from coming up the highway when you really need them for fire protection, even though the drivers are wearing Fire Protection clothing, and are trained. Safety first.

“The local volunteer fire fighters are busy with protecting their own homes, and can’t help you with yours.

“While trying to decide who is in charge because of what district, county, or government body should be in control you lose precious time for containment.

“You don’t realize the danger until it is at your door, and you escape only with your life.

“After the fire storm came through, there was an incredible amount of help and community support. It was what happened before that hopefully we can learn from and improve upon. Many people had only minutes to save a few things, most importantly their lives. Some were in disbelief of the severity of the situation, and wasted precious time to prepare. It would help emergency personnel if the public understood better what to do in case of an event such as this. How are you going to notify everyone?  Where do you go to be safe? What are the chains of command? How to you keep clear, concise communication and information flowing? Knowing ahead of time what you would do in the event something happens is really important, and that includes the emergency personnel.”

I think “What if . . .” should be examined and thought through the many case scenarios that could happen to help to be better prepared.

—Jo Anne Kiser

Seed exchange hand-off sought

Dear Editor,

I believe that growing, saving and sharing our garden seeds connects us with the earth and each other.  Locally grown seeds adapt to the area’s growing season, altitude, and soil.  A community creates more food security for itself when it grows food and saves seed for the next planting. There are a lot of gardeners in our area who are learning how to save seeds and a seed exchange is a great way for gardening enthusiasts and beginners to meet, exchange knowledge and heirloom seeds.

I’m writing this letter to let you and my San Luis Valley community know that I will not be organizing next year’s seed exchange.  I have enjoyed organizing this event and would love to see it continue—even grow.  If you are interested and would like more information about organizing the 2015 San Luis Valley Seed Exchange, please contact Leigh Mills at or 719-655-2011.

Thank you,

Leigh Mills

Increased air traffic

Dear Everyone,

This year has brought on an alarming amount of air traffic and increased noise to the Crestone area and the eastern SLV.  It has been particularly disturbing to me not to be able to discern the source of this traffic, and to receive no response from local governmental and environmental agencies (you know who you are!)

So, after months of research including head scratching, frustration, and brick walls, I am happy to have received some helpful information.

The 104th Wing from Buckley field conducts training with F-16s Tuesday thru Friday between 9am and 3:30pm, for 1 1/2 hour intervals. This is likely the source of what we have been experiencing the last few weeks.  Comments can now be sent to (This email has been inactive for many months, and now has someone actually checking it).  If you experience low flying Army helicopters, they do not train in the SLV but are likely on a search and rescue mission.  Other sources of military air traffic could be coming from Peterson 21st Space Wing, contact 719-556-5185 or 719-556-6208; or Centennial Airport, 303-790-4709,

Another interesting site that was passed on to me by the Chief of Public Affairs at Buckley is, where you can highlight Military Operation Areas and low level flight routes (ours likely Le Veta).

If anyone else out there finds this activity disturbing, (does anyone even notice!?), even if we cannot make it go away (or can we?)—these are some contacts to track down the sources.  Any comments or correspondence should include exact timings and locations.  Also, if you have additional related information please share with me!

Thank You.


Annie Pace