November 2016: Letters to the Editor

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Please vote

Dear Editor,

I have to say that as a self-employed independent businessperson, I really like most of the conservative rhetoric: smaller government, fewer regulation, and lower taxes. What’s not to like?

But, I also want good roads and schools, clean air and water, and equal rights for everyone. Let’s face it—most private businesses do not have a very good track record in these areas without government intervention.

So I want good government, not no government. Remember, if it’s all privatized, you can’t vote the bums out.

Think about it and please vote.

Concerned citizen,

Richard Laurie

Moffat, CO

No budget furor

To the Editor:

I have been serving on the POA Board of Directors for the past 2 years.

Regarding the letter from Lisa Cyriacs in the last issue of The Crestone Eagle:

The title to her editorial is so misleading and inflammatory and simply untrue.   The fact is, we have barely begun the process of discussing the budget and there is no conflict!  To request something that does not yet exist and then make the accusation of non-transparency is what creates distrust in this community.

Since we are no longer with Hammersmith Mgmt. and now consult with Westwind Mgmt, we are being shown a more streamlined method of working on the annual budget.  We are learning something new and perhaps do not have all the bugs out but is it far from dysfunctional. I think it will go a long way to simplifying the process and making it much easier to communicate with members.

And as for transparency (another word used to create suspicion) we will be having a special meeting of the POA board on November 3 where we will openly work on the budget. You are all welcome to attend. In fact the only way to know what is really going on is to come to the POA Board meetings.  Otherwise all you get is confusing misinformation and hearsay.

Sincerely,

Joanna Theriault

Pet love & appreciation

Dear Editor,

I and the entire Pet Partners Team want to express our sincere gratitude to the community for its incredible response and support of our efforts to help assure the well-being of all pets and animals here.  Since Pet Partners’ inception a little over three years ago, the community as a whole has shown unwavering support in so many ways.

Pet owners (partners) have shown how much they really love their four-legged family members by calling on us when their pets need medical help, making sure they are healthy, well cared for and spayed or neutered. They have sought our help in finding good homes when circumstances require, and they often serve as fosters. They regularly inform us of the status of their pets and discuss areas for improvement. It’s really heart-warming to see how much love and pride our community of pet owners takes in the care of their pets.

All of our community pets and animals are in much better health thanks to Dr. Linda Behrns. Her support to not only our animals, but also to Pet Partners’ efforts, has been unconditional. We are a fortunate community to have her as such a tireless and devoted member.

Our local businesses have provided services, supplies, funds and moral support. In particular Crestone Mercantile has been our strongest and most devoted partner. And Crestone Brewing Co., our newest business partner, recently donated proceeds from Oktoberfest to the cause.

Dozens of ordinary community members have devoted time, energy, expertise and plain loving compassion. These volunteers are what make our efforts possible. They work at our fundraising events, our spay/neuter clinics, act as fosters, bring food and animal necessities and are mindful of animals in need. The list of care and support from our volunteers could go on and on.

Many, many members of the community contribute funds in our change collection jars at local merchants’, some hand me money in the streets for our pets and some donate anonymously. We are grateful for all of these forms of loving hearts and generous spirits.

There are no grants or foundations or tax exempt benefits, it’s just us, this community of people, helping each other take good, loving care of our animals and all being  “Pet Partners”.  That is awesomeness incarnate!

With our sincerest gratitude,

Patrick Moore

The Pet Partners team, and

Our pets & animals

Taxes, taxes, unintended consequences

Dear Editor,

Anybody noticed your home insurance premiums went up after the failed Emergency Services District vote? The one last dissenting vote cast against it cost us all more in insurance premiums than the tax increase would have cost. Mine went up $400 because the fire station was down-rated. My friend cannot now purchase lower cost insurance from AARP which I have been able to buy for years. A salaried fire chief would have cost me less than my trash pick-up ($25/month). Anybody noticed the drought and fire danger was not affected by the vote?

The campaign to defeat the ESD waged by “the three” who sent out trumped-up inaccuracies on their computers, eventually faded into the dust as marijuana replaced it.

I speak for me in bemoaning the absence of a stand-alone fire department in the Baca. I prefer the mountain views, quietude, and a protected community with affordable insurance, to one with less protection and higher insurance.  Votes make a difference, and the trade-offs are not always apparent to those who fail to anticipate unintended consequences.

Vince Palermo

Vote for Colorado Care

To the Editor,

As a licensed physician in Colorado I’m writing this note to urge readers to vote for Colorado Care, Amendment 69, “Medicare for All Coloradans”, as it’s been called. Colorado Care is not part of the regular state government. It is a co-op solely engaged in health care, not the many issues vying for attention in ordinary state entities. Its managers, the Trustees, are elected by us, the citizens. Unlike insurance companies, whose shareholders primarily seek personal profit, Colorado Care, owned by us citizens, has as its primary interest good health care and quality providers.

This system is simple, having no deductibles, no narrow networks of providers and no annual re-enrollment. It covers everyone. Complementary, alternative, and integrative medical therapies are covered for practices that are demonstrably effective.

Colorado Care aims to improve health care in rural areas such as ours through a number of innovative approaches. Another major underserved population targeted by Colorado Care is that of those with mental health and substance abuse disorders. The overall theme of Colorado Care is to tackle the deficiencies that have made our health care system one of the least effective among developed nations while at the same time being the most expensive. The extra money needed to pay for all these elements that have gone missing in our current system is expected to emerge from savings derived from the elimination of the practices of our current corporate health insurance plutocracy. Fewer health administrators will be needed and the cost of purchased drugs and medical equipment can be greatly reduced.

I urge you to help us move forward on health care that is both effective and fair. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

Earl (“Bill”) Sutherland, MD PhD.

Yes on Amendment 69—ColoradoCare

Dear Editor,

Healthcare is a public good and a moral necessity, like public schools, libraries, roads and street lights.  It’s time to stop quibbling about costs and boogie man fears.  Universal healthcare is already successful in this country, it’s called Medicare.  Medicare costs less to run than the current for-profit system. Profit is just another cost added on top of actual healthcare costs.

Thirty-three countries provide healthcare for everybody for less cost than we do. We are the only industrialized democracy that doesn’t have universal healthcare.

ColoradoCare is fair.  Its healthcare premium tax is 10%. Employees pay 3.33%; employers pay 6.67% (which includes the medical portion of workers’ comp.) or they may pay up to the full 10%. Self-employed and retirees will pay not more than 10% and likely less depending on their income amount and sources. Certain federal tax exemptions apply to social security and retirement income that also will apply to income taxed for ColoradoCare. See coloradocare.org/calculator.

• Small businesses will provide health coverage for employees at the same reduced rate as big businesses.

• Medicaid recipients will not pay for ColoradoCare.

• Nothing changes for Medicare recipients except that Colorado Care will be a supplemental plan.

In 2017, health insurance premiums will rise an average of 20% and 42% in rural Colorado with no end in sight. Wouldn’t it be great to have certainty about your healthcare costs and not worry about how much higher your premiums will be the next year?

Amendment 69 means good health for all Coloradans, including 350,000 uninsured and 870,000 underinsured.  It means no more deductibles, no co-pays for preventive/primary care, no narrow provider networks. People will access preventive care, rather than waiting until their problems are dangerous, saving healthcare costs.

Each of us knows somebody who needs healthcare.  Now that friend, co-worker, neighbor and that child whose parents can’t afford to send her to the doctor will get the healthcare she needs.

Vote yes on Amendment 69.

Mikela and Philip Tarlow

We have not been abandoned

Dear Editor,

We speak in awe of our founding fathers Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Ben Franklin, etc.  We have not been abandoned.  We are all part of an unfolding evolution of human consciousness.  As the saying goes God is not finished with us yet.  What if both Hillary and Trump with all their flaws are both being spiritually guided?  What if the spiritual wisdom of the American people is that we need the impulses both of them are bringing forward?

What if both Hillary and Trump have a piece of the wisdom which can guide our future? We certainly don’t want to encourage the hatred coming out of the Trump campaign, but what if Trump is right that it is time for the rest of the wealthy countries in the world to pick up a larger share of the role of the world’s military protection and what if we need to radically change the economic structure which created the enormous wealth of the 1% and increasing poverty of the rest of us toward a greater sharing of our national wealth with all our people?  What if the great distortion in the distribution of wealth built into our economic structures is at the root of worldwide turmoil?  And what about Bernie and Jill Stein and the Libertarians? Aren’t each of them bringing forward important points to consider and integrate into the whole? And what if Hillary is right that the way we need to go forward is to join together and cooperate with one another?

Are we big enough inside ourselves to let go of self-righteousness and truly listen to one another? Bill Gates has become a hero through demonstrating the power of altruism.  A tiny fraction of the profits from Wall Street would wipe out all student debt in our country.  Great things are possible and worth working for. I am so grateful to be here in this time of great transformation.  All that is required is to harness our national will.  All it takes is each one of us.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Fey

POA thank you

Dear Editor,

The Baca Grande POA staff would like to express a sincere thank you to all of the extraordinary community volunteers who participated in inserting the election materials into envelopes for this election, and of course to the people who came forward to put their time and effort into counting ballots as Election Tellers. You all helped make the 2016 Annual Election possible and have shown your community commitment. Our gratitude goes to: Curtis Ramsay, Rose Burek, Pat Tullos, Ted and Diane Shepard, Judie Rose, Jill Dossenback, Margaret Varna, Alicia Mason-Miller, Sara Grimes, and our Election Tellers: Holly Hosner, Betty Speer and David and Carol Lee.

We also would like to congratulate the newly elected Board

Vote No on 71—Rigging the system

Dear Editor,

Amendment 71 would amend the Colorado Constitution to limit future amendments by citizens and grassroots organizations.

In Colorado, citizens have the power to propose changes to the state constitution and statutes through the citizen-initiative process. Under this process, proponents must collect a certain number of signatures to place an initiative on the ballot. Voters statewide then have the opportunity to vote “Yes” or “No” on the proposed amendment.

Since Colorado established an initiative process (1912) the process has given citizens the power to enact change without relying on the governor or the legislature. Since 1912 voters have approved 112 amendments to the state constitution—70 amendments were referred to voters by the General Assembly and 42 were placed on the ballot by citizen petition.

Content is just as worthy of consideration. If Raise the Bar were in place today, what would Coloradans be missing from their state constitution? Sixty-eight percent of ballot measures approved by a majority of Coloradans would be gone—including the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (1992), Amendment 23 on funding for schools (2000), term limits (1990), Great Outdoors Colorado (1992), providing recall from office (1912), creating juvenile courts (1912), barring the detonation of nuclear devices without voter approval (1974), campaign finance reform (2002), Colorado minimum wage (2006) and the legal use of medical and retail marijuana (2000 and 2012).

You may not agree with every one of these amendments. The point is that many of these changes involved issues that elected leaders disregarded or resisted. Historically, the ballot initiative process has allowed voters to address controversial issues that bureaucrats and politicians may not be willing to touch.

Amendment 71 is being sold by political and corporate elites as a “common-sense” reform. In reality, it is being funded by special interests seeking to limit citizens’ access to proposing changes through ballot initiatives. Approval of Amendment 71 would limit the right by which Coloradans frustrated with the political process can seek to govern themselves.

The proposed change could mean that only well-funded interests would realistically have access to the ballot for amendment changes.

A vote “No” protects one of the last vestiges of direct democracy: the ballot initiative process.

Lisa Cyriacks

Crestone resident

Advocate for fair and open elections.

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