A drug problem

Dear Editor,

Crestone and the Baca have a meth and heroin problem . . . this is common knowledge to all in this area. The purpose of this letter is to raise awareness of the problems, and to begin a public dialog to solve the problem. How do we do this?

1. Let’s identify those who sell and distribute these drugs. We need to shine light on these individuals. Make sure their names are publicized so that citizens can deal with them appropriately.

2. Make this problem an issue at the Town Council. What are they doing on our behalf? Are they doing anything about the problem?

3. Are the police aware and what are they doing to eliminate the problems?

James Michaels

Vote to protect Mother Earth from Trump

I just heard the other day that Trump wants to open up public lands for drilling and oil exploration. So, not only is he a fascist, and a racist, but he is out to destroy our Mother Earth. This is a very important election. Vote for Hillary. I know many people are discouraged because Bernie didn’t get the nomination. I liked him, too, but we can work on the movement he started after the election. First though, we cannot let Trump get elected.

There are Native Americans from all over the world at Standing Rock. They are doing ceremonies and demonstrating against the pipeline because they know it is very important it doesn’t get built.

It’s time to stand up for Mother Earth!

Rita Berault

Our public lands are not for sale

Dear Editor,

With the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, it seems a perfect time to honor and visit our parks and Public Lands. The 3rd Congressional District is home to three National Parks, six National Monuments, a National Heritage Area, approximately 11 million acres of National Forest land, and nearly 30 National Wilderness Areas.

Coloradans have built one of the strongest economies in the west, partially because of our balanced use of public lands for agricultural grazing, recreation, hunting and fishing, and habitat preservation, along with appropriately located mineral and oil and gas production.

Unfortunately, our ability to use and access our public lands is now under serious threat from special interest groups and Congressman Scott Tipton. Our public lands belong to all of us. They are worth standing up for. We cannot take them for granted when there are those who plan to sell or lease these lands in the interest of short-term profit.

If elected, I will always stand up for Coloradans and oppose any attempt to sell our public lands. Your support is essential to our efforts and we can’t do this without grassroots support.

On this 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, let’s honor the legacies of those who fought to protect access to these lands for all Americans.


Gail Schwartz, Candidate for

3rd Congressional District, Colorado

Appreciating The Eagle articles

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to tell you how much I look forward to receiving The Crestone Eagle every month. I open the paper to read the Editor’s Notes and then look at Living on the Earth. The Garden Guru by Matie Belle is a wonderful informative article as well as There’s No Such Thing as a Weed by Dorje Root. I’ve learned so much through these articles.

Keep on writing!

Chris Wallow, Chicago, IL

Candidate’s statement

Dear Baca membership,

My name is Robert Garnett. I am a 72-year-old Air Force veteran and I have been at the Baca Grande for 35 years. When I first got here the residents were mostly retired military and it was a very peaceful place to live.

I have paid property taxes in Saguache County since 1961 or 1962. Since living here, I have volunteered to cut firewood for those who have not been able, I have volunteered on food distribution programs for the less fortunate, I volunteered help build many of the homes here, and I have been basically available to lend a hand wherever it was needed.

We are at the end of the road, literally, and many of us came here to live out our last years. It has really hurt my heart to watch the Baca be raided and degraded.

When I first drove up here I came to a beautiful lake with row boats and paddle boats next to an inn and conference center. There was a beautiful nine hole golf course and pro shop and rodeo grounds in front of that a golf driving range. Now there is no lake, boats, or inn; there now is a golf course, but the pro shop is no longer functional, also the golf carts are gone; the rodeo grounds are gone as are the double decker bus and the pink and white jeeps. We still have the Rod & Gun Club, but it is controlled by a private individual, with no revenue flow to the membership. We have the stables, but it is leased, at a negative cash flow, to a private individual.

I chaired the Finance Committee to look into the handling of the corporate accounts and when the forensic audit revealed many short comings, the Finance Committee was dissolved. There have been many incidents where funds became missing and no one was prosecuted. The membership has lost many of the amenities that contribute to their property values.

If experienced and competent Board Directors cannot be elected to the Executive Board, there are several possible alternatives:

1. Dissolve the corporation and become an incorporated part of the County. The County provides all of the services we pay extra for now. The POA annual budget is approximately 1.2-1.6 million dollars.

2. Throw away your ballots and don’t send them back blank because they will use the blank ballots to satisfy the required quorum to continue to conduct business.

3. Every member stop paying their dues and force them to dissolve the Baca POA.

The membership can direct the Board to dissolve the corporation by vote. I can be reached at PO Box 263, Crestone, CO 81131 or rcg.sr@hotmail.com.

The membership is supposed to receive newsletters to keep them aware of what is occurring with their investment. This has been lacking for a couple of years.

If the membership decides to elect me back to the Board, I will do my very best to bring about change.

Thank you,

Robert Garnett

Strathearn & Dossenback for POA

Dear Editor,

I am pleased to endorse the candidacy of James “Bill” Strathearn to the POA Board of Directors.  James is an experienced and enthusiastic new member of our community, who in January, with his wife Kathy, purchased a home in Chalet II.  I worked closely with James during the home purchase process, and know him to be a thorough, thoughtful, fair and capable individual.  He is trained as a civil engineer, and has an extensive background in financial management and auditing from sixteen years working for General Electric.  He also brings five years of HOA management experience, and served as Treasurer and President of a large HOA.  I endorse James because he brings formidable management credentials, and as a new member, he will bring fresh ideas, and no agenda or history.  James will help to bring our POA to the next level of efficiency and professionalism.  James has been meeting community members and POA staff, and has been attending Board and Committee meetings, so is becoming informed about the unique challenges of our Association and our community.  He will do an excellent job as a Board Member. Please cast your vote for James “Bill” Strathearn.

Two Board seats are open.  I encourage you also to vote to elect Steve Dossenback to our Board.  I hope that Steve is familiar to most of you.  Steve has been a member of the association since 2003, and built his home in the Grants.  Steve has served on the Environmental and Architectural Committee (EAC) since 2012 and is widely regarded as professional, fair, firm, and a positive force within our association.  Please vote Steve Dossenback.

Together James and Steve will join our continuing board to advance the good work of our association, protecting the Baca as a beautiful and viable place to live.


Vivia Lawson

Had Your R F Bath Today?

Dear Editor,

We are bathed in radio frequencies all day, every day. Wi Fi in your house, cell towers, KRZA, CBS, satellites, and smart phone in your hand. If you go to the north pole or south pole and turn on your cell phone, you’ll get a signal. So what about smart meters adding another dose? The increased risk is relative to frequency, transmitting power, and its proximity. Our cells are bathed in the comfort of a saline solution that now has in it many things that were not there just a century ago. They are trying to adapt, but not without cost.

Lonnie Nichols has taken up the banner just as he and others opposed Lexam years ago. Smart meters have found popular opposition, if only to assert our right to be properly informed and have choice without having to pay for it. In many big cities the train has left the station. Maybe we can dynamite the track before it gets to Crestone.

Non carborundum est: don’t let ‘em wear you down. Crestone is known across the valley as the town on the side of the mountains that makes noise. In the past, it has worked to our benefit many times. We are a tough bunch.

—Vince Palermo

POA Budget process plagued by dysfunction

Dear Editor,

The POA’s 2017 budget process has hit an all-time low for lack of transparency.  A recent request by a POA member for a copy of the budget was denied. No reason was given other than that the Board has yet to approve the budget, therefore it was not available. Statutes governing owners’ associations and nonprofits require that all financial records be made “reasonably available for examination and copying”. Is citizen participation in our democracy just a concept? An abstraction?

Common sense would indicate that if the POA wants to be inclusive, rather than acrimonious, information would be readily available for the members to inform themselves rather than relying on community gossip.

The POA has a demonstrated history of conflict and opposing views. While this sounds obvious, it is absolutely essential that the tone, content, and facilitation of engagement efforts genuinely respects the input of all participants or members—even if it’s sometimes difficult.

Would not discussion be the most reasonable way to resolve disagreement on a topic that has opposing thoughts? To engage in honest and thoughtful dialogue requires preparation—and information.

As part of our deliberations on who to elect to the Board of Directors, let’s share information widely. If participants or residents feel that information is only shared with some members or does not do justice to all perspectives on an issue, it is unlikely to create the trust needed for effective or sustainable engagement.

“A government can be no better than the public opinion that sustains it.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

—Lisa Cyriacks

Amendment 69: Opportunity for change

Dear Editor,

I support ColoradoCare, Amendment 69, because it will provide access to affordable, quality healthcare for all Coloradans. This matters to the families of Coloradans who die each year because they don’t have health insurance and to those declaring bankruptcy because they can’t pay medical bills. It matters to those who pay ever higher premiums for increasing deductibles and more limited benefits. It matters to healthcare providers who deal with more paperwork and red tape to provide patients the care they need. We have an opportunity to change that situation by voting yes on Amendment 69 to implement a non-profit, resident-owned, non-governmental health care financing system designed to ensure comprehensive health care for all Coloradans.

The economics are straightforward. $25 billion in taxes will replace the $30 billion Coloradans now pay in insurance premiums and deductibles. That savings will stay in Colorado to stimulate local economies.

Amendment 69 was developed by Colorado citizens including healthcare and mental health professionals and state legislators. It is funded by Coloradans and was brought to the ballot by over 100,000 voters signing petitions. Those opposed are primarily funded by out-of-state insurance companies that stand to lose profit if Coloradans self-insure.

ColoradoCare would be run by a 21-member board elected by and accountable to Colorado residents. It would not be government-controlled. Healthcare practitioners would practice in the setting of their choice and be paid competitive rates. Patients will see the practitioner of their choice. Premium taxes can be increased only by a majority vote of Colorado residents.

Most families, individuals and businesses will pay less in premium taxes than they currently pay for health insurance. Your projected expense can be calculated at the website below.   Multiple analyses show ColoradoCare to be successful for 10 years without a premium tax increase. By contrast, health insurance premiums are projected to rise 17% this year alone.

For more information, go to www.coloradocare.org. This is an opportunity to ensure all Coloradans have access to quality healthcare now and in the future.

Jan Foster Miller