Stop for flashing red

Dear Editor,

Now that the school year is upon us, I would like to remind my fellow Crestonians that the Moffat school bus runs through town and the Baca twice a day Monday through Thursday and that drivers are required to stop for that bus by law as follows:

“You must stop your vehicle at least 20 feet before reaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing whether it is on your side of the road, the opposite side of the road, or at an intersection you are approaching. You must remain stopped until the flashing red lights are no longer operating. Watch carefully for children near the school bus and children crossing the roadway before proceeding.” (Colorado Driver Handbook, p. 17, http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/Revenue-MV/RMV/1212657832969)

Last school year I saw numerous cars drive around the bus when its flashing red lights were on. This is very dangerous and it is against the law. EVERYONE needs to stop for school buses for the safety of our children.

Sincerely,

Krissy Hedstrom

 

Congratulations from Chicago

Dear Editor,

I recently visited Crestone to attend the music festival.  I picked up a copy of the Eagle to get a schedule of the performances and had no intention of reading it, assuming (city slicker that I am) that it would cover local events that wouldn’t interest me.  However, as I sat in a lawn chair at the festival, waiting for the music to begin, I began to read your paper.  I was amazed at the breadth and depth of information provided by a small-town monthly publication, something I have not seen duplicated in the papers of small towns in the Midwest.  The local events were covered, as, indeed, they should be, but I found so much more:  articles on architecture, charter schools, economics, spiritualism, and the arts, in addition to information about services.  I was particularly impressed by the coverage of regional environmental matters.  I learned a great deal about water issues and the effect that water rights have on the area.

My congratulations to you and your staff.  You now have a new subscriber!

Rosemarie Foy

Chicago

 

Not healthy for anyone

Dear Editor

Not only do many corporations pay no taxes (as described in your Economic Reality column) but corporations are designed to borrow large amounts of money (by selling shares to investors) which need never be paid back—except in the form of dividends—thus they have an unreasonable advantage over the rest of the public. Moreover, in the commercial mindset of growth and competition, much of the profit margin which could be shared with workers or invested in making truly beneficial products are instead spent on executive salaries and manipulations to expand, for the sole purpose of expansion.

While I appreciate writer Ed Lyell’s efforts to point out the failings of American corporate structure, I’m dubious about his hints that corporations can be “fixed” by following certain European or Asian models. Improved, perhaps, though that seems unlikely in the present economic climate. Even if we could pressure corporations, say, to pay the average worker one thirtieth, instead of one five-hundredth, the salary of a top executive, that worker would still rightly feel like a chump. And the notion that there’s a small elite of scrupulous, gentlemanly custodial types who might being us back to some imagined past condition of fair play for all is a matter of opinion with not much regard for the workers who struggled for a century to get a fairer shake.

Employee stock options and involvement in decision processes might be a start in the right direction, but it seems to me that the whole corporate concept is bogus from the start, or at least that some other structures need to be invented (like outright worker ownership) which don’t revolve on the grow-or-die principle. Growth for its own sake, said the late Edward Abbey, is the philosophy of the cancer cell. A culture which gives the best salaries and perks to specialists whose main job is growth and competition is not healthy for anyone at this time in history.

Slim Wolfe

 

He begs to differ

To the Editor,

The August, 2012, issue of  The Newsboy, the publication of the SLV Rural Electric Cooperative, contained an alarming editorial by the CEO, Loren Howard. Cloaking his words with a false analogy to the ideals of the Founding Fathers, he launched what seemed an ideological rant. First the Sierra Club was demonized for “seeking to impose their values on the selection of generation options . . . This is a war of self determination—do the electric cooperatives in the country have the ability to choose the electric generation options that fit the values of their members or will those choices be selected by other interests whose values are not those of the rural communities that cooperatives serve?” The values I have, shared by many of my acquaintances, support efforts to limit the undoubted damage to human health and  to the environment and climate caused by the inadequately treated products of coal’s combustion. I feel our Rural Electric Cooperative should be acting in our interest to improve the environment of our community: the lowest price is not our only cherished value.

Not only is Big Coal Power threatened, Howard continues, with too many rules, but even the co-op itself is. “Cooperatives do not need oversight by state and federal politicians in areas of rates, customer service and quality of service,” as though these are separable and distinct from the areas where the need for regulations cannot rationally be denied. The theme of self-governance is Mr. Howard’s proposal. Some would feel that dangerous in the entity which provides our electricity.

Sincerely,

Earl W. Sutherland

 

Vote for Anderson

Dear Editor,

I encourage you to vote for Jason Anderson this November.

Although I believe his views are an excellent fit for our county and our future, I would like to use this letter to focus on his character.   Yes, the issues matter to me, but it is these character issues that will allow Jason to effectively navigate a wide range of future issues and allow us as citizens to feel that we have been represented well.

He has the qualities that matter most to me in choosing someone to represent our county:

I have seen him listen deeply to all sides of an issue and ask important questions in order to understand what really matters to everyone.

I have seen him seek solutions that include the best of many viewpoints.

I have seen him add calm and civility to heated discussions and bring out the best in others.

I have seen him facilitate true dialogue.

I once disagreed with him on an issue that was extremely important to me, but the way he handled my differences with him was extraordinary.  It left me feeling that I had been heard.  More importantly I was also able to hear him at a deeper level and this expanded my understanding of the topic in a very valuable way.  To me that is true leadership.

I am encouraging you to vote for Jason this November, but I am asking you to do more than that.  Get to know him and if you see what I see in him, then tell your neighbors and encourage them to vote for him as well.

I truly believe he has what it takes to offer real leadership and much needed healing to our community and county.

Thanks so much,

Mikela Tarlow

 

Active or inactive?

Dear Editor,

The Center Post Dispatch recently ran an article titled “State Grants Crestone Fire District Inactive Status”.  In checking, it appears that the article is based on the “Notice” that the Crestone Fire District, “CrESD” posted in the Crestone Post Office which implies that “Notice Has Been Given” allowing CrESD an inactive status. The notice has an official State Department of Local Affairs, “DOLA” letterhead—making it “appear” official. Further investigation has revealed that this notice did not “come from” DOLA but, was rather “submitted to” DOLA by the CrESD. So, the notice posted at the Post Office is simply an application requesting inactive status. Jarrod Biggs, at the DOLA office, has confirmed that he has contacted CrESD, and its attorney, informing them that DOLA “does not accept their inactive status”, because CrESD does not qualify.

Many are unaware that district voters served the CrESD Board with a petition at the end of June to dissolve the CrESD.  And, it has been confirmed that David Hillman was notified on June 18, 2012 that DOLA substantiated that the CrESD does not qualify for inactive status.

Has the CrESD board and/or its attorney determined that they can choose to do anything that they want—legal or not?

The truth is:  The next step for the CrESD Board (in order to follow legal protocol) is to file a Dissolution Petition.  Will they do it?  Or, will they continue to take shortcuts and trust that no one will catch them and hold them accountable?   There is a historical precedence for this type of action in this community.   This is just one more instance of poor decision making and questionable judgement with an inclination to simply mislead all of us rather than be honest.   I want to see an honest representation of facts!

I have been told that the Center Post Dispatch will be publishing a retraction and will update their article to reflect the truth of the CrESD status.

Thank you,

Wooddora-Rose

 

CrESD response

Dear Editor:

Regarding Ms. Eisenhower’s letter: The following statement should clarify some of the issues to which she referred, including the correct dates.

Statement

On June 14, 2012, the Crestone Fire Protection District d/b/a Crestone Emergency Services District, upon advice of the District’s Attorney, unanimously passed a Resolution authorizing and approving Inactive Status, to be effective June 30, 2012.  The stated reasons of for the Inactive Status were the lack of financial support (no mill levy) to become operational.  The CrESD Secretary, as “Authorized Officer” during the Inactive Period, notified all relevant State and local agencies, via certified mail, of the District’s Inactive Status.  On June 28, 2012, the Secretary was in receipt of a Petition to Dissolve the District and a $300.00 check to cover election costs.  The Petition was retained, and the $300 check was returned to the Petitioners’ representation because, during the District’s inactive status:  “the Board will not issue any debt, impose any mill levy, or conduct any business except conduct elections (as needed) and to undertake procedures necessary to implement the District’s intention to return to active status”.

On August 17, 2012, the President and Secretary received an Email from the District’s attorney with an attached letter from Jarrod Biggs, State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs, stating:

“the Crestone Fire Protection District does not qualify under the definition of “Inactive special district” in 32-1-103 (9.3) C.R.S.’ On the basis of the rejection letter and upon advice of the District’s attorney, the CrESD Board of Directors, on August 23, 2012, unanimously passed a Resolution to return to “Active Status”, and outlining the steps to process the Dissolution Petition.

After verifying that the Petition meets the statutory requirements, and after receipt of the $300 check from the Petitioners (required by statute), the District must file a “Plan of Dissolution” with the Court, and, after a hearing, and the Court determines whether all statutory requirements are met, the Court shall order a special election to be held on the issue of dissolution.

The CrESD Board of Directors is not seeking the Dissolution of the District, but is required by Statute to process the “Dissolution Petition”.

Frederick J. Dunets, President, Crestone Fire Protection District d/b/a Crestone Emergency Services District

 

CCS complaint

Dear Editor,

Did our kids get all that $6 million could have given?

My daughter is going to be attending CCS this fall. I think it would have been far better if we ended up with a cookie cutter building, a playing field, and enough instruments to begin an actual orchestra. I sought equitable employment from DSI [the company hired to build the CCS building].  I chatted up the project and site managers. I wondered then why they would use a kind of specialized (expensive) truss they had never worked with.

There are waiting lists to get into CCS. A $6,000,000 school which cannot service all of the children of our tiny community? Do we really need to exclude a few?

Imagine for a moment. What if we had a school house so simple that Crestonians could have built it? What if we spent $ on vans  to bring children from all over the San Luis Valley to CCS? In that imaginary world, Crestone kids could learn correct Spanish, discipline, and respect from the children I met in Center.  Center kids could  have access to some wonderful opportunities. Imagine us yelling “The more the merrier!” Imagine a music room and a real orchestra!

Could we have provided more useful and fun “equipment”, and larger, more versatile facilities? Could we have enriched our kids’ lives and increased their happiness by giving them more of what they really need?

This situation seemingly says to the children who can’t get in to CCS:  “Hey kids! Do you know what a truss is? No? Well, CCS has the coolest trusses in town! That’s because we hired a big construction company to build it instead of your dad. Have fun on the bus to Moffat! Look closely and you’ll see the cool shape of Crestone’s new school as you turn onto Road T. Bye!”

­—Andy Skellenger

 

Valuable educational choice

Dear Editor,

[August]’s Eagle features two articles that highlight CCS programming and the building project. Please check those out for more information about the school.

And since the Letters Forum in the Eagle is such a high-profile section, the Governing Council would like to take this opportunity to clear up several factual errors in Mr. Skellenger’s letter.

1. The square footage of the new building was set by the State Department of Education. CCS couldn’t have built a bigger school with the $5.7 million budget granted it for capital construction.

2. Capital construction funds may not be used to buy orchestra instruments.

3. State law prohibits the school from using activity vans for transporting students to and from school.

4. Mr. Skellenger is speaking as if CCS was something other than a charter school. The Crestone Charter School is not Crestone’s public elementary school whose purpose would be to accommodate every student in the Crestone/Baca community of school age. That is the unique purpose of the Moffat School. CCS is a charter school operating under a contract with the Moffat District.

5. CCS has an enrollment cap that prevents class size from growing beyond 16 students in elementary and 24 students in secondary. This ensures the viability of the charter’s mission and helps secure the Moffat School enrollment as the primary public school in the District.

6. There are 174 charter schools in Colorado. Over 40,000 students in Colorado are on waiting lists to enroll in charter schools.

Many people may not realize that CCS would have lost its contract with the Moffat District in June 2010 if it had not purchased land and presented a plan for a new school building by that deadline. While far from perfect, the school building and the charter program represent a valuable educational choice for nearly 40% of Moffat District students and families.

The Governing Council of Crestone Charter School (Hester Triplett, Jo DelAmor,  Pattison Kane, and Kristen Peterson)

 

Food fight of our lives

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Scores of organic consumers and growers around this country are mobilizing for the showdown with big corporate interests, culminating this November 6, when California voters decide whether to require labelling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. To learn more, check ww.organicconsumers.org

Thank you,

Margaret J. Vrana

 

We can do better

Dear Friend,

Just when you think this election couldn’t get any more outrageous, we hear yet another fringe candidate making statements that demonstrate an astounding lack of respect and understanding for women.

Over the weekend Todd Akin—currently a US Congressman but running for the Senate seat in Missouri—while arguing against a woman’s right to choose, said that pregnancies resulting from “legitimate rape” are rare because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” This is not only disrespectful to the tens of thousands of women each year who have to make extremely painful decisions as a consequence of having been raped, but shows an inexcusable level of ignorance of both the nature of crimes against women and women’s health.

This lack of awareness and compassion is not only disappointing, but is also an extreme position: banning all abortions, including in cases of rape and incest, is only supported by a small minority of Americans. I know you expect more from your elected officials, and as Americans we can do better than this.

Sincerely,

Senator Mark Udall