Letters to the Editor: April 24, 2008

Dear Editor,
Thanks to the animal rights movement and many well-meaning but misinformed animal lovers, the slaughter of unwanted horses is now essentially banned in all 50 states. Unwanted horses are now being shipped, often for a great many miles, to be slaughtered humanely in Canada or not-so-humanely in Mexico. Senate Bill 311 will ban the transport of horses for human consumption within the U.S. and across borders to Canada and Mexico. At the same time, the price of hay and grain has skyrocketed. Have you noticed the low-priced horses in the want ads? This past winter there have been two instances in Colorado of dead and starving horses found in “horse rescue” operations where it appears well-meaning people “saved” horses but didn’t realize you have to feed them.
I was born horse-crazy and always owned at least one from the age of 14 until I was 72, and the last resident of our little equine nursing home died of old age. We have a lot more money since she died. I believe I would rather have my toenails pulled out than be forced to watch a horse killed and butchered, but if we still had horses and found ourselves unable to care for them and could not find a good, safe home for them, I would far rather see them go to slaughter than starve to death.
Until we can figure out a way to get our horse overpopulation under control, I think we need not less, but more, slaughter facilities in the U.S. I would like to see close regulation of both the slaughter and the transportation, to keep the whole process as humane as possible. SB 311 is under referral in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and Googling it will give you a list of the members of the committee. I suggest that those who agree with the need for humane horse slaughter contact the members of the committee and make their feelings known.
We consider ourselves environmentalists. Always remember that the animal rights movement is to environmentalism as astrology is to astronomy.
Mickey Allen

Dear Editor,
This year is an intervening year for all Colorado assessor offices. In intervening years, only property owners who have a valuation change will receive Notices of Valuation from the Rio Blanco County Assessor’s office. Property owners who receive a Notice of Valuation around May 1 of this year had new construction, demolished property, a change in the use of their property or a correction/adjustment was made to their records since last year. If you did not keep your 2007 Notice of Valuation, please refer to the tax notice you received from the treasurer’s office in January 2008, or call the assessor’s office at (970) 878-9410.
These values will be used to calculate property taxes for the 2008 tax bills you will receive from the county treasurer in January 2009. The county assessor is responsible for valuing all property in the county as directed by state laws.
The actual value of your property is multiplied by an assessment rate before taxes are computed. Residential property has been assessed at 7.96 percent since 2003. Vacant land and commercial property are assessed at 29 percent. The different rates are required by the Constitution, and they stabilize the proportion of the tax burden paid by residential property owners. Colorado procedural and statistical standards for mass appraisal and equity of assessment for real property, are some of the most stringent in the United States. Colorado assessor offices are audited yearly by the State of Colorado.
Your property taxes support many of the entities (schools, municipalities, fire districts, cemetery districts, etc.) governed by local citizen-elected boards. These entities provide services to Rio Blanco County citizens.
If you wish to appeal your classification or value, Colorado law requires the county assessor to hear objections to real property valuations beginning no later than May 2, 2008. Appeals must be postmarked or submitted in person to the Assessor no later than June 2, 2008.
If you have any questions, please call (970) 878-9410.
Renae T. Neilson
Rio Blanco County assessor

Dear Editor,
This is to acknowledge and thank the kind person or persons who put my mailbox back up.
Friends told me it was knocked over this past winter while I was away from home.
Thank you again for your thoughtfulness. We live in a wonderful part of our community.
Pat Getz
Dear Editor,
To the voters of the ERBM Park and Recreation District, I hope you are as proud as I am of the new recreation center. As I tell people frequently, I puff my chest out with pride every time I walk in the center knowing that I am but a small part of something that will bring a great deal to the community for a very long time.
It was heartwarming to see kids lined up and shivering at the front steps with their towels knowing that as soon as the pomp and circumstance of the grand opening was over they would be swimming in the middle of a cold January. Occasionally, after my own workout I will go into the pool area for the moist air but also to watch the activity in the pool and again my heart warms. I see all ages taking advantage of the facility from the smallest infant sleeping as her mom and dad trade off carrying her around the lazy river to the senior citizens fighting the good fight against the ravages of time we will all eventually face.
You, the voters, are the reason the center was built in the first place. But we’re not done. I am asking you to allow me to continue to serve and see this through the peaks and valleys of the first few years. Please vote for me on your mail in ballot. Let’s keep heading in the progressive direction that is evidenced by the Rec Center.
You are asked to vote for two from the list of candidates and I would like to take this letter to put my trust and support in Carol Hollowed.
Gary Zellers