September 3 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

For honest and sorely abused Presidio County property tax and Marfa utility-paying citizens, recent articles revealing theft of county funds and astronomical unpaid city utility bills were a slap in the face.

After the theft of county funds was discovered in March, you report that since stolen funds were recouped from the bank, county officials “decided not to press the matter.” What a surprise that this failure to pursue the theft resulted in more thefts in July and August. If at any time county funds in any amount are discovered to be stolen, county officials overseeing taxpayer monies should damn well “press the matter.” Hopefully, despite county officials’ delay in taking corrective action, the thief can be discovered and apprehended.

Even worse is the situation at the city, where city staff and elected officials have apparently done nothing for years regarding KNOWN ongoing unpaid and delinquent utility bills. I know for a fact that this issue was vociferously raised by Linneaus Lorette during past city mayoral and council elections. You report that one city council member stated “It feels like…we haven’t been keeping up on it.” You think?? It is APPALLING that a town of two thousand souls suffers under “$570,625.56 in utility bills that residents had not yet paid to the city, with $361,145.39 of that being more than 90 days delinquent.” That uncollected, unpaid utility bills could have risen to such an incredible amount suggests that city staff and elected officials have for a long time been either incompetent or willfully complicit in allowing it. Turning off utility services to the worst abusers and pursuing collection from the delinquent should be a number one priority for this mayor and city council.

Tax- and utility-paying citizens deserve better from government staff and elected officials who are supposed to safeguard public monies and whose salaries are paid by the same citizens.


Kent C. Anschutz

Marfa & Austin


Dear Editor,

Coronavirus’ six-month presence in the U.S. has fatally emphasized systemic negligence. Public data is consistent in showing the reality that lower-income communities are disproportionately affected by this pandemic. Presidio’s rate of poverty is higher than the national average – and one of the highest mortality rates for coronavirus deaths in Texas. That rate may be directly caused by recent lack of access to testing sites and healthcare resources for Presidio residents.

The Texas Department of Emergency Management’s negligence towards Presidio County is an appalling example of class discrimination. It’s also yet another reflection of poor state government leadership.

One would think that, with nearly half of its residents below the poverty line – and with already four confirmed coronavirus deaths – TDEM would prioritize Presidio’s obvious public health crisis. TDEM’s eight-week inaction is nothing short of discriminatory, and their “centralization” of testing sites is the opposite of accessibility. On their website, TDEM provides a virtual map of coronavirus testing locations in the state. The documented sparsity of test sites in the far west should be an obvious concern.

I feel for our tri-county leaders. TDEM should be steady in providing local officials with the state testing resources and agency needed to provide testing for every county in the state. Is that not the point of this state division?

On a more energizing note, The Big Bend Sentinel’s coverage again proves the power local journalism has. Amplifying the voices of those without the human right of accessible life necessities such as healthcare is the responsibility of all local prints during a pandemic.

Public pressure must remain on the Texas state government to provide for all lower-income counties – it’s their job.

Sincerely yours,

Becca Bright

Fort Davis


Estimado Editora,


La Dra. María Montessori fue una mujer que revoluciona la historia de la educación, quien ha dejado un gran legado para la humanidad, para el bien de la infancia y adolescencia. Basado en la libertad del ser humano y la libre elección. Ella descubre con la observación de los niños y niñas a un ser humano con potencialidades que no habían sido atendidas, para mí la Dra. Montessori es la Pedagoga con más sentido del Siglo XX.  Montessori te ayuda a conectar con el verdadero sentido de la educación y la vida.

Quiero expresar mi profundo respeto y admiración en especial a Nuestras Guías Montessori,

Ms. Steriti, Ms. Barton, Ms. Aguero.

Gracias por formar esta comunidad, por hacer posible la educación Montessori gratuita, ha sido nuestro primer encuentro con Montessori, gracias por recibir a nuestros hijos, formando recuerdos valiosos, fomentando una educación para la vida y para la paz. ¡Gracias por sembrar las primeras semillas del conocimiento! Para nuestros pequeños humanos de mente absorbente y mente razonadora. Nos hemos encontrado con mucho amor, gracias por darnos el privilegio de dar esta educación a nuestros hijos, de disfrutar una vida con sentido humano.

Felices 150 años de la vida y legado de la Dra. Montessori.

Elena Caballero-Grajeda



Dear Editor,

Last week I noticed several national polls that indicated Joe Biden was ahead of Trump by sizable margins, including in several “battleground” states, as voters have become more and more aware of Trump’s many faults as president. Another poll, however, showed Texas Senator John Cornyn ahead of MJ Hegar by about six points, which tells me there is a disconnect between what people think about Trump’s actions and policies and Cornyn’s votes in the Senate.

There is no question that much of what Trump does, and a majority of Americans disapprove of, would not be possible if Cornyn and other Republican senators voted in America’s best interest instead of Trumps – or their own. Think about children in cages, or our Kurdish allies being abandoned on the battlefield, or 180,000 dead Americans due to a virus that is still unchecked in most of the country, or peaceful protesters tear-gassed so Trump can walk to a church and hold a Bible upside down, or Russian bounties on American servicemen in Afghanistan. The list goes on, and Republicans like John Cornyn have yet to have the courage to stand up for American values. Instead, Cornyn has voted with Trump 95.1% of the time, tied for third highest among all Republican senators.

Is that what Texans really want? A lackey who thinks his job description is simply to rubber stamp whatever outrageous conduct comes from our current president, a real estate developer who has declared bankruptcy six times, a man who most recently co-opted the integrity of the CDC by having them issue absurd coronavirus testing guidelines? I don’t think so.

Yes, Ms. Hegar is somewhat unknown politically, but as an Air Force veteran and pilot she had the courage and devotion to the country to endure three tours in Afghanistan, earning a Purple Heart and a Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device. The contrast is clear. John Cornyn, an attorney and career politician, has shown us who he really is, and we cannot allow him to continue to ignore the desires, indeed, the values of everyday Texans. And the solution is simple – let’s vote him out of office.

Fred Gossien



Dear Editor,

Regarding the cartoon of President Trump talking to the FDA about a drug for COVID:

Mr. Oliver, I take issue with your depiction and statement attributed to President Trump and use of new treatments for COVID. I believe your depiction is uncalled for and unjustified. It is quite obvious that your political compass is with the Democrats.

I would just ask you to consider your comments regarding any cures, should they become explicitly related to members of your own immediate family. I submit that you would call for and demand that any medical cure be considered for your loved ones. Perhaps your sarcastic depictions have gone unchecked for so long that you believe yourself to be immune to counter comments. Again, if possible put yourself in the president’s shoes and walk in them for a moment. I submit: your comments would certainly be less derisive and caustic as you look in the mirror of your life!

Wes Peterson