December 1 Letters to the Editor


I’m excited to let you know that Dirks-Anderson Elementary in Fort Davis is one of just 52 schools nationwide selected for the Busload of Books Tour, a major literacy project by author/illustrator duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr. They will be visiting Dirks-Anderson School on Thursday, December 15, 2022. 

Robbi and Matthew and their four kids are spending the 2022-2023 school year living in a school bus/tiny home, visiting Title I schools in all 50 states (plus D.C.), doing presentations on creativity and collaboration, and giving away 25,000 free hardcover books to students and educators in low-income communities. They call themselves the “Busload of Books.”

If you are interested in supporting Robbi and Matthew’s literacy efforts, you can make a tax-exempt donation at or at their GoFundMe page You can find more about their exciting project through the resources below:

Many thanks!

Amanda Fisher

4th and 5th grade teacher

Dirks-Anderson Elementary, Fort Davis


Dear Editor,

This letter is a farewell to my good friend and colleague, Commissioner Eloy Aranda, who will be retiring at the end of his term this December. Commissioner Aranda has dedicated 24 years of service to the people of this county. I met him when he was first running for Presidio County Commissioner, Pct. 2, and I was running for the position of Presidio County & District Clerk. That was in 1998! He has always been optimistic and hardworking. Since my becoming a county commissioner, he has been such a wonderful friend and mentor to me. I have such great admiration for him and what he brings to the table. As the senior member of the court, his experience and knowledge will undoubtedly leave a void. He has been an integral part of our team, and his leadership will truly be missed.  

It’s been an honor working with you, Commissioner Aranda, and I’m really going to miss your presence on the court. As you retire, may you be proud of the work that you have done, the person you are, and the difference you have made in this county! Enjoy every moment with your beautiful wife and family! You have earned this blessed time in your life.  


Brenda Silva Bentley

Presidio County Commissioner, Pct. 1



I was delighted to see on page 4 of the November 10 issue of the Avalanche (and also in the Sentinel) Alpine Mayor Catherine Eaves’ excellent summary of the vital functions of local governments in our federal system, along with an outstanding letter to the editor by Karen Cantrell pointing out that all games have rules and those involving winners and losers demand acceptance of the legitimate outcomes, certainly in the matter of elections. As one who spent much of his work life as a professor of political science significantly focused on those two topics, I have not seen them addressed more effectively. The efforts to engage more citizens in local public affairs, including participation in the development of a strategic plan for the city are also commendable, if often frustrating.

Preservation of the version of democratic self-government our nation has modeled and encouraged for the rest of the world needs the support of those who recognize the value of citizen information and participation, the differences between facts and lies, and the need for more critical thinking education. Thank you for your contributions to the continued success and improvement of this system.

Dale Christophersen




Weighing in on the bear controversy by someone who lives here. I grew up in Montana with lots of brown and black bears. In fact, I hiked in Glacier National Park this early summer with bears out feeding after hibernation with no issues, close to the trail I was on. I am amazed that folks are so afraid of these, generally, non-aggressive animals who, like us, are just looking to survive in the difficult environment of the Big Bend area. Why do humans want to kill the animals that also have a right to be here and are part of the natural environment of the Big Bend? Respect is the word needed here. Just lock up the dumpsters and clean up after yourselves –– not the bears’ fault they want a free meal if it can be had. 

And remember the Steven Fromholz song:

“Some folks drive the bears out the wilderness

Some to see a bear would pay a fee

Me I just bear up my bewildered best

And some folks see the bear in me

So meet a bear and take him out to lunch with you

And even though your friends will stop and stare

Just remember that’s a bear there in the bunch with you

And they just don’t come no better than a bear.”

Rahnee Gladwin

Davis County