Category Archives: 2017

No Printz, Once Again, The Sentinel DID NOT LIE

The TRUTH About Commissioner Printz’s Salary “Give Back”
Let’s Set the Record Straight

by George Gramlich
In a Letter to the Editor in the July 20, 2017 edition of the Tribune (which was not sent to the Sentinel), one Louis Devanney of Westcliffe states that The Sentinel recently “lied” about the fact that Printz is NOT giving back the 30 percent salary increase that he said he would once he took office. Mr. Devanney alleges that since Printz is not taking his county health benefits (around $15,000) that this counts as not taking the salary increase. This false narrative has been repeated often lately by the Printz camp as the recall campaign proceeds.
The problem is that this is a lie of omission. Last year Printz repeatedly stated that he would NOT TAKE THE SALARY INCREASE AND ALSO NOT TAKE BENEFITS PACKAGE.  Note, Mr. Devanney, that Printz said he would not take BOTH.
Can’t seem to recall that Mr. Devanney? Want some written proof, sir? In the January 22, 2016 edition of The Sentinel, (link will take you to original pages) in an interview conducted by this reporter and Fred Hernandez, Printz unequivocally, in person to both of us, stated that he would NOT TAKE BOTH. This article draft was sent to then candidate Printz before printing and he approved it. There was also no notice afterwards from Printz of anything wrong in the article. In fact, Printz had stated that position multiple times in public before that.
Here’s the quotes from the article, Mr. Devanney, of what Printz told The Sentinel: “Mr. Printz said he is legally bound to take the salary but will refund to the county the new 30% raise.” And, “As for the health benefits he would not accept that either which would be additional savings for the county.”
As you stated in your letter to The Trib, “So much for the Sentinel’s credibility…” I posture, Sir, that it was well known last year that Printz stated that he would not take both. Lies of omission and rewriting history seems to be a stable of the liberal political mindset. So much for credibility…
We prefer the truth here at The Sentinel. As do most Americans.

Sign the Petition

Letter to the Editor;
Just returned from signing the recall petitions on all three county commissioners.
Where are these people think their coming from? We voted for Republicans, who are by name, very conservative people. However they all turned out to be liberal Democommies. Everyone of you need to sign this petition.
Why do we live in Custer County? Most people live here because it is out of the way, sort of a one horse town, so to speak. We like it that way, but we have a few that would change that. Lets put it bluntly.
We most definitely do NOT want more people moving in here, we have too many now. We don’t want, building codes, dark skies, a Main Street manager or any other Progressive big city ideas. If you have ANY ideas of changing our living habits, you are not welcome here in our little corner of paradise.
Seems our Commissioners think we need this stupidity. Well let them go back to the Big city and leave us alone. Vote them OUT.
Chris Ueberroth,
Rosita, Colorado

RE: “This is Diligence”

To the Editor;
Re: “This is Diligence” July 14, 2017
I believe I am for more personal liberty than TL Davis claims. I have chosen to live in this community, which TL Davis does not, because of the freedoms it affords. He does not seem to understand there are two domains in exercising freedoms. If he or I do not infringe upon his or my domain, then freedom lives on.
I am a physics professor, the manager of the CSUP Observatory, the technical consult to enact the dark sky ordinances in Pueblo County and a life-long amateur astronomer. I believe in the aesthetic and financial value in preserving the night sky. This domain belongs to all of us. Is it not an infringement if others obscure the beauty and wonder of all that is above and about us? If uncontrolled light is allowed to squander our nightly heritage, is this not an intrusion on my and other’s freedoms? If someone perpetrates some noxious activity on his property or domain, with such things as excessive noise or odor or excessive light, that intrudes upon my domain, should I not have the right to seek relief? A night sky ordinance is our only possible way to preserve freedom in our domain.
The problem we and the county commissioners now face is a result of their lack of seeking out others who might provide a tiny bit [of ] technical expertise. To preserve the night sky or to prevent light pollution, which TL Davis so scathingly refers to, the commissioners should know that regulating the wattage of light bulbs on private property is entirely the wrong way to go. It is truly absurd it to think of passing laws or ordinances that would do so. To do this is to infringe on the privacy and freedoms of individuals, which we all want to avoid.
The simple win-win solution is to limit the direction of the light produced on private properties. The Pueblo ordinances grandfathered in all existing lighting fixtures. The only limitation sought was to require lighting and fixtures to prevent light from shinning in directions above the horizontal. Light directed upwards is scattered by several mechanisms in all directions. With this restriction on direction, private citizens are allowed to exercise all other freedoms in their own private domains. As a result the rest of us then are free to appreciate and to study the universe above unhindered by the noxious intrusion of stray light.
William Brown, Ph.D.
Pueblo and Rural Custer County

July 5th BOCC Meeting

More Bulls Bullying, Landfill Made More $’s,
Public Health/Clinic Relationship Ended?

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

-July 5, 2017

WESTCLIFFE, Colorado

by Jackie Bubis,
Reporter

The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call.  Introductions of the public in attendance followed.

The public comment time was extensive with citizens living in the vicinity of CR 390 and 391 coming to discuss their feelings about the cattle guards requested by Dr. Hamilton on CR 390.   The discussion was passionate, especially with Dr. Hamilton being unresponsive to calls that two of his mean bulls are running the neighborhood.  Apparently even before the BOCC meeting in Wetmore was finished, fences were being taken down on Hamilton’s property.  Calls to the Sheriff, to Chairman Kattnig and to the brand inspector only resulted in frustration as these bulls ran amok.

There were neighbors of Hamilton’s that stressed repeatedly that Hamilton is not a good neighbor, does not properly keep up his fences and has bought up properties when owners became exasperated with his bullying behavior.

Continue reading July 5th BOCC Meeting

The New Custer County: Change an Outdoor Light Fixture, Go To Jail

Commissioners Proposed “Dark Skies” Ordinance
Criminalizes Light

June 30, 2017 issue- Sangre de Cristo Sentinel

by George Gramlich,
News and Commentary

At a public meeting last week, the three Custer County Commissioners, Bob Kattnig, Jay Printz and Donna Hood, finally revealed their proposed “Dark Skies” or “light pollution” ordinance they have been talking about since the two new Commissioners (Printz and Hood) were sworn in this January. Note that there was barely a mention of it during the campaign last year.

The Commissioners’ proposal wants to amend the Custer County Zoning Regulation of 2016 to regulate outdoor lighting throughout the county (The Towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff have their own zoning laws.) They want to change the current non-enforceable, zoning law definition of “Light Pollution” to “Light Pollution defined as any adverse effect of the use of artificial outdoor lighting at night. See Section 8.2.G and Appendix D.3(p) for further information.”

The new Section 8.2.G reads like this:

“8.2.G: In order to minimize light pollution, all outdoor lighting shall be rated correlated color temperature of 3000 Kelvins or less, and any light source exceeding 500 initial lumens must be fully shielded. A “lumen” is measurement of the brightness of a particular light bulb or lamp. The following is a “lumens to watts” table:”

No need to print the whole table. (See Ordinance Proposal.) The first line is all you need to know. It says a light source of 600 lumens is equivalent to a 40-watt incandescent light (old school light bulb), a 10-watt florescent light and a 5 – 9 LED light. If my math is correct, any incandescent light bulb over 33.3 watts is subject to this ordinance.

Continue reading The New Custer County: Change an Outdoor Light Fixture, Go To Jail

July 6th BOCC Meeting

Wetmore:”Running of the Bulls”,
Shipping Container Complaint

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

-July 6, 2017

WESTCLIFFE, Colorado

by Jackie Bubis,
Reporter

The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call.  Introductions of the public in attendance followed.

During public comments, one citizen asked about the statutes cited by the recall committee.  Attorney Smith stated that he was attorney for the Board and would not answer the question.  He also asked if the Board would consider putting the county in the air ambulance program formerly Eagle Med (Now React.)  The Board said they will consider it as a public item.

Commissioner Items

Commissioner Hood reported that Jeffrey Wood and the architecture students would be there later in the afternoon to finish their courthouse assessment.  She also requested that the Board have another evening meeting.  The meeting was set for Tuesday, July 25th at 7 p.m. in the Courtroom. [Now canceled]

Commissioner Kattnig reported a conversation with the brand inspector regarding Mr. Hamilton’s bulls (see article for July 5th meeting). The inspector said that his office will only check a brand if the stray is corralled and if the owner is unknown.

Continue reading July 6th BOCC Meeting

Take Back Custer County Recall Committee Kick-off Meeting

Take Back Custer County
Recall Committee Kick-off Meeting

–July 6, 2017

by George Gramlich

The Take Back Custer County Recall Committee, chaired by Ann Barthrop, Ann Willson and Mike Haga, held their first general meeting last Thursday, July 6th, at Tony’s Pizza in the events room. Ms. Barthrop and Mrs. Willson hosted the meeting. Over 40 concerned citizens attended. The purpose of the meeting was to review the status of the campaign, outline the timeline for the recall and to train the attendees in the rules and etiquette of gathering recall petition signatures for each member of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC).

In addition, three potential replacement candidates to replace the current BOCC, running as a slate, were introduced at the end of the meeting.

The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer led by county resident, Bill Canda. Ms. Barthrop then proceeded to review how the recall petition process works and how once a successful recall is accomplished, the election process works. (If a recall petition is successful, an election occurs where, for each recalled Commissioner, a question is placed on the ballot asking essentially “Do you want to recall this Commissioner? If you check yes, then you may vote for a replacement candidate that is on the ballot. If the majority of people at the election, select “recall” then the current Commissioner is fired. The new Commissioners elected would take office immediately after the election results are certified (sometime in November.)

Ms. Barthrop pointed out that the Recall Committee has set up the recall timeline so the recall election would be on the normal November election ballot thereby eliminating any extra cost for the county.

The meeting then proceeded on how to gather signatures, what is a proper signature (what your voter registration signature is), legal address required (no PO Boxes), areas to be canvassed and etiquette.

An extensive question and answer period then ensued. Many thoughtful technicalities were addressed by Ms. Barthrop who had clearly done her homework with the help of Mr. Haga.

Finally, a slate of potential replacement candidates was introduced: Bill Canda, Kit Shy and Sandra Attebery. One for each Commissioner. The candidates each gave a brief speech with a common theme of restoring traditional American values to our county government including: rebuilding the trust between the BOCC and the county’s citizens; respecting all citizens; that there will be no hidden agendas; that they will govern (not rule) with honesty and integrity always; that they will be transparent and approachable; that they will at all times use due process; and will govern with compassion.

Just before the meeting was closed with a rousing prayer by Bill Canda, the attendees gave Ms. Barthrop and Ms. Wilson a tremendous standing ovation for their work in attempting to restore traditional American values, integrity, honesty and compassion to our county government.

 

BOCC on Proposed Building Code May 17, 2017

If There’s a Compelling Reason…You Can
Restrict or Take Away Someone’s Personal Rights”

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

-May 17, 2017

WESTCLIFFE, Colo.

by Jackie Bubis

The meeting was held in the Wetmore Community Center despite the ongoing work.  The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.

Public comments: One citizen brought a report to the Commissioners of the perceptions out in the public.  While he personally had nothing against them, he did say that the community was in turmoil about the Board insisting that CSU fire Robin Young.  He also stated that there was a firestorm in the blue collar and construction arena about the decision to require insurance for the perc-test techs and suggested that the Board, especially Commissioner Kattnig, would suffer the repercussions at the ballot box.   Commissioner Printz told him that the insurance requirement would be addressed later in the meeting.  All three Commissioners continued their “we didn’t fire her” story and again stated that they didn’t insist on her removal.  Mr. Kattnig also, again stated that they had already talked to Young’s supervisors (a “fact” still in question) before driving to Ft. Collins.

Continue reading BOCC on Proposed Building Code May 17, 2017

BOCC: Public Input on Dark Skies Regulation

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

-June 22, 2017
WESTCLIFFE, Colorado

by Jackie Bubis, Reporter

The meeting started at 6 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call.Commissioner Jay Printz began the meeting by stating that, unequivocally, Dark Skies ordinances have been beneficial to both towns.  The BOCC sees this as economic development without impact.  The Board provided a draft resolution amending the County Zoning Resolution of 2016, written by County Attorney Clint Smith who is also vice-president of Dark Skies.

The meeting was opened to comments from the forty or so people in the audience.Jim Bradburn, president of Dark Skies, resident of Cotopaxi, Fremont County, spoke first as a “citizen of this valley” that the night-scape is our second greatest asset (after the mountain views) and suggested that the dark skies will only stay that way if we take action to put hoods on our lights.  He stated that Dark Skies (would pay for anyone who wants to change out their light fixtures.)

Several other Cotopaxi citizens spoke on behalf of our night skies.  One Cotopaxi resident said that most people will hood their lights voluntarily.Other citizens of the two towns and a few residents of the county also spoke in favor of the beauty of the night skies.

Continue reading BOCC: Public Input on Dark Skies Regulation

BOCC Meeting June 21, 2017

June 21st BOCC Meeting

-June 21, 2017
WETMORE, Colorado
by Jackie Bubis, Reporter

The meeting started at 9:00 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.
The Commissioners thanked Alden Grey and Nan and Courtney Davenport for all their hard work on the Wetmore Community Center.
Commissioner Items:
Commissioner Hood reported that the tourism board has selected a vendor to remodel their website. She met with Jeffery Wood and three CSU architect students with regards to the DOLA grant. She took part in the Public Health Department’s mock outbreak exercise. She has appointed a communication committee made up of Cindy Howard, Shannon Byerly, Dawna Hobby, herself, and Chuck Ippolito. They will be looking at the county phone system which she calls a “dinosaur”, will be getting rid of some phone lines and, in the end, hopefully saving some money. She also attended a tourism board/economic development/Dark Skies meeting and learned of various grants available for agri-tourism.

Continue reading BOCC Meeting June 21, 2017