Letters to the editor

Dear editor,

The following is an open letter to Will Hurd: Congressman Hurd,

Congratulations! In the Sounding Off section of the March 28 Big Bend Sentinel a statement you issued is quoted as follows: “[M]r.Mueller came to the same conclusion as the House Intelligence Committee last year – there was no collusion or conspiracy between Russia and President Trump or his campaign.”

Consider that the actual statement from Mr. Mueller, according to Attorney General Barr, says, “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” There are two problems with that statement. One is that even if the investigation “did not establish” neither did it definitively prove otherwise. The other problem is the nearly impossibly narrow definition of “coordination” as an “agreement – tacit or otherwise – between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government…” So, what about WikiLeaks or the oligarchs or other players who may not officially be part of the Russian government? What about the 102 known contacts between campaign officials and various Russians, many of which were lied about to the FBI and the public?

So, congratulations for parroting the same false narrative that Trump and his other lackeys have stated ad nauseum for months. And, in case you missed it, no matter how stupid you and your fellow Republicans think the average American is, a recent poll (NBC/ Wall Street Journal) showed only 29 percent of voters believe your lie about “no collusion.” Further, I think voters in District 23 will be inclined to vote in 2020 for someone who is truthful rather than just another spinmeister.

We might also consider Adam Schiff’s comments during the March 28 House Intelligence Committee hearing where he documented over twenty specific actions by Trump or his surrogates that he did not think were “okay” whether they were “criminal or not.” He stated, “And the day we think that’s okay (the twenty plus actions specified) is the day we will look back and say that is the day America lost its way.” And he later tweeted: “I say this to the president, and his supporters in congress: You may think it’s okay how Trump and his associates interacted with the Russians during the campaign. I don’t. I think it’s immoral. I think it’s unethical. I think it’s unpatriotic. And, yes, I think it’s corrupt.” Do you think America has lost its way, Mr. Hurd?

While considering the validity of Attorney General Barr’s four page summary of Mueller’s nearly 400 page report, it would be remiss not to consider Barr’s preconceived position regarding a sitting president’s power and authority. In his June 2018 unsolicited 19 page letter to Rod Rosenstein and Steven Engel (now head of DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel and former member of Trump’s transition team) Barr essentially echoed Richard Nixon’s position that “When a president does it, that means that it’s not illegal.” That every Republican senator voted to confirm someone with such an absurd attitude is indicative of the corrupt state of Trump’s Republican party today.

My final congratulations, Mr. Hurd, is for ignoring the obvious conflicts of interest of the primary players in this nationally important drama, including your boss on the Intelligence Committee, Trump super-lackey Devin Nunes, and his boss Kevin McCarthy, as well as Barr and Engel. I once thought that since you voted appropriately on a couple of vastly important issues (healthcare and the wall) that maybe, just maybe, you would not lower yourself to the level of so many of your colleagues. I guess I was wrong.

Fred Gossien


Dear editor,

To the communities of Marfa and Presidio County:

We are writing this letter with regards to the potential art and music event proposed to take place at a private ranch just outside of Marfa, TX in 2020.

We have taken into account the concerns we have heard from the community and have made a decision to delay our intended event until we have had an opportunity to understand the potential impact, both positive and negative. This includes environmental concerns, traffic, safety, fire, wildlife, infrastructure, and much more. Only after this outreach and research is completed, will we present a complete plan and take questions from the community in what we hope will be an open and thoughtful forum.

Our intention from the beginning has been to build a small, unique and temporary three-day

event that would take place in the vicinity of a great cultural hub, and collectively develop a plan that would have a positive economic, educational, and cultural impact on the surrounding area of West Texas. We wholeheartedly believe that we can work together to create a celebration that would honor artists and musicians from around the world and allow a diverse audience to participate in a unique cross collaborative experience. It has also come to our attention that other projects in the community have come under attack because of our proposed event, and we are disappointed to learn that the community is scrutinizing people and events that have long had a positive impact. Our project is solely being led by C3 Presents with outside creative consultants. We want to make it clear that our event is in no way linked to Marfa Myths or Mexican Summer, and we are not collaborating with them or other local organizations at this time.

While we plan to move forward with the event, the needs and requirements of the communities of Marfa and Presidio County are important to everyone involved in this project, and our goal is to create a unique event everyone will be proud of.

Thank you again for your time.


C3 Presents


Dear editor,

I am writing about a recent story by Marfa Public Radio concerning my brother’s request to the county for permission to serve alcohol until 2am at a future venue outside the city limits. I have written to the radio several times and received no answers to my questions. The station is a wonderful asset to the community. The story about this county decision was a valid subject involving a public action and a prominent resident. I believe that they missed the mark on three points.

Why did the story not disclose that one of the sources (the director of an important non-profit in Marfa) had possibly requested the reporting under a West Texas Wonders question and then possibly retracted the question? Why did the story not disclose that another source who opposed the county decision had been banned from my brother’s hotel property for filing assault charges (later dropped) against the manager when her party was asked to leave for causing a disturbance? Why did the story end with a misleading disclosure about the reporter’s involvement in a 2016 rejection for late night serving by her employer at the time? The story stated that she was “not involved in the business side of the request” when she was possibly involved in management and event planning.

This was a valid story, poorly executed. Possible conflicts by sources should have been disclosed. The story should have been assigned to a different reporter that had no perception of possible conflict. Did the audience have sufficient information about possible bias? I await answers from the station.

Rob Crowley