Letters to the Editor

Letter: Burning brush often a lazy act

February 28, 2015 — 

I’m writing to ask Garfield County officials to implement limitations on burning in rural areas of Garfield County. On Feb. 24, the entire town of Carbondale wreaked of putrid smoke from all four corners of the town’s limits.

Carbondale town officials have no jurisdiction over burning done on rural properties along Catherine’s Store and Tom Bailey’s property — or up 133 toward Redstone. The Carbondale Fire Department was not notified of any controlled burns today in the area — yet it happened.

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Letter: The bridge, sadly, can’t be stopped

February 28, 2015 — 

The bridge, sadly, can’t be stopped

The “sky is falling” — er — “The Grand Avenue bridge needs replacing.”

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Letter: A beautiful bypass is possible

February 28, 2015 — 

I recently attended a Frontier Historical Society presentation by Floyd Diemoz at our library. Floyd was one of the original group in the 1960s who believed that a beautiful I-70 highway could be built through Glenwood Canyon. It would be fashioned after the elevated autostrada highways in Europe rather than the “cut and fill” methods proposed (and already started) by CDOT.

CDOT fought their efforts vehemently. CDOT was determined to do it their way ... think of the cost, the time, they argued.

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Letter: Anyone with emergency expects response

February 27, 2015 — 

In response to Allyn Harvey’s “keep-a-close-eye” opinion on Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District (CRFPD):

Harvey ends his perceived mismanagement of the department’s budgeting with: “millions of tax dollars have been spent … to provide the same level of service for remote areas like Missouri Heights (and Marble?) as in densely populated areas like Carbondale, Redstone and West Bank.”

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Letter: Monarch butterflies need protection

February 27, 2015 — 

In 20 years, the population of monarch butterflies has decreased by 90 percent. Herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup are destroying their breeding habitat, the milkweed plants of the Midwestern cornfields.

Roundup contains glyphosate, a powerful herbicide that kills everything but the genetically modified Roundup-ready crops. Since 1999 with increasing use of Roundup, the fields in the corn belt have lost 99 percent of the milkweed that monarchs need for survival.

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Letter: Heed the dangers of flouride

February 26, 2015 — 

Next time you have a mouthful of fluoride-laced toothpaste in your mouth, read the warning: “Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, get medical help or contact a poison control center right away.” But why?

Most of us believe what we’re told by consumer industries, and we even ignore the facts from high school chemistry — that fluoride is a compound containing fluorine, an element with chemical imbalance that causes it to tear electrons from nearby elements.

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Letter: Flouride actually is dangerous

February 26, 2015 — 

In response to Deborah Foote applauding the advantages of fluoride, my findings show that scientists from around the world have proven the effects of ingesting sodium fluoride (the waste product derived from superphosphate fertilizer industry) to be extremely harmful, even in minute amounts. Here listed are only a few of numerous sources of my information:

www.fluoridealert.org

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Letter: GarCo sheriff’s officer aids student

February 25, 2015 — 

We are writing to commend Cpl. Jesse Burris on the collaboration, support and ongoing communication that he has offered to Bea Underwood Elementary school this year. For example, as part of a student’s special education programming support, our team contacted the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office in search of an officer willing to come in to the school to support the development of a behavior intervention plan. Not only did Cpl. Burris contact the school immediately, but he also made himself available to attend a problem-solving meeting for the student.

As a response to this meeting, Cpl. Burris went out of his way to set up a very specific reinforcement plan with the student that included weekly and long-term (end-of-year) goals. Cpl. Burris even provided “rewards” to the student that included coloring books, and even better, he brought lunch and sat with the student in the cafeteria.

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Letter: Climate change is bearing down

February 22, 2015 — 

Naomi Klein’s new book about climate change, “This Changes Everything,” is an amazing compendium of the horrors awaiting us if we don’t immediately begin to do something to prepare and/or prevent the coming Armageddon resulting from too much ocean water. In a geologic sense the problem is coming at us at breakneck speed. Coastal cities and island nations, beware — rising oceans will envelop you and drastically change all our lives. I say all our lives because nobody will escape the changing economic scene resulting from rising ocean waters. Our blind attachment to fossil fuels will spell disaster for our world as we know it.

Scientists connected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Britain’s Royal Society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the World Bank, International Energy Agency, the U.S. armed forces, many international businesses and island nations are working furiously to prepare for what looks like, at this point, a very scary scenario. Many of our politicians preening for the votes of “climate change deniers” seem to be in blissful ignorance regarding this whole issue.

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Letter: Offended by Feb. 17 cartoon

February 22, 2015 — 

Considering that Muslim jihadists chopped off the heads of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya this weekend, Muslim jihadists launched deadly shooting sprees in Copenhagen at a cartoonist’s free-speech event and a synagogue, Muslim jihadists murdered Jews at a kosher deli in Paris and slaughtered the entire staff of Charlie Hebdo over their drawings, Muslim jihadists caged and burned Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh alive, Muslim jihadists threw gays off buildings in Iraq, Muslim jihadists beheaded journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, humanitarian workers Alan Henning and Peter Kassig and Japanese nationals Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto Jogo, Muslim jihadists have kidnapped and slaughtered thousands of innocent men, women and children in Nigeria; was the cartoon by John Cole depicting those who take their natural rights to self-defense as stated in the Second Amendment of our Constitution the best you could have done in your Feb. 17 issue?

Implying that the reason a psychopathic atheist killed three of his neighbors was due to our inalienable right to keep and bear arms and ascribing religious fervor to the belief in that right is quite beyond the pale and is an example of elitist hoplophobic narcissism that has no place in objective journalism.

Neal Pollack

Carbondale

Letter: Cooling letter was off base

February 21, 2015 — 

The writer of the Feb. 15 letter, “We face dangerous cooling, not warming,” and anyone who read and believed it, including the editors of this newspaper, should go to the Skeptical Science website to see why everything in the “cooling” letter is wrong.

There are a lot of sites on the Internet that claim to science-based, but Skeptical Science is the real deal, run by climate scientists using peer-reviewed climate science that agrees with every scientific body of nation or international standing on man-made climate change and global warming. (Two different things; one causes the other.)

Printing lies about climate change is serious business. We see where spreading pseudoscience has led, as measles spreads across this country. I doubt this paper would print letters from people with “proof” that vaccines cause autism. The climate denier letters you print have statements that are equally, demonstrably false.

The average person may be understandably confused about climate change. The fossil fuel industry spends millions on a secretively funded climate change denial operation, just as the tobacco industry used to deny that smoking causes lung cancer. (Scientific American, “Dark Money”) But a newspaper should be held to a higher standard. This is not a matter of free speech. The First Amendment gives us the right to express our own opinion, but not the right to our own facts.

CFACT, the source of information the “cooling” letter, is funded by ExxonMobil and Chevron (sourcewatch.org). There are no public climate deniers — individuals or organizations — who aren’t on the payroll of fossil fuel corporations. You can see all of them named and shamed on the award-winning DeSmog Blog (named as one of Time’s top 10 blogs of 2011).

The denial campaign waged by fossil fuels means to keep the public confused and arguing about global warming. Remember, as the leaked memo from a big tobacco corporation said, “Doubt is our most important product.” Fossil fuels are using their playbook to keep the profits rolling by duping the public.

Editor’s note: Golly, we are flattered by being read in the Eastern Time Zone. For the record, while we do decline some letters with baldly false assertions, we print some whose assertions are in the minority or even on the fringe. Printing a letter doesn’t mean we agree with it. We do believe better arguments and facts will prevail in the marketplace of ideas, which is a philosophical rationale for free speech.

Letter: Officers’ ‘ultimate’ decision

February 20, 2015 — 

Contrary to many of our letters to your paper, we would like to commend the Post Independent for its Opinion article “Our View” (02/16/15), regarding the shooting of Mr. Fritze.

Obviously, no death is a good thing and we add our sincere condolences to his loved ones.

What was expressed in the piece we really found beneficial and encouraging was your seemingly sincere empathy for the officer/officers who were forced to make the “ultimate” decision. Our media today seem to totally disregard and ignore the ramifications this decision has on the officers and their families.

Letter: Governor: Pardon Samba Kane

February 20, 2015 — 

Gov. Hickenlooper should pardon, or at least commute the sentence of Mr. Samba Kane, a 57-year-old Senegalese immigrant who was wrongfully convicted of murder and unjustly sentenced to life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole, in 1999.

Mr. Kane has since served 17 years in state prison, with a perfect record of good behavior.

Mr. Kane was arrested in Adams County after being forced to defend himself by shooting a Nigerian man who had attacked him, after Mr. Kane walked into his own bedroom and caught the Nigerian man having sexual relations with his wife.

His wrongful conviction was the result of poverty, racism and a poor understanding of a confusing foreign system with a different language.

A pardon would allow Mr. Kane, an honest hard-working immigrant whose American dream turned into a kafkaesque nightmare to return to his home county of Senegal in Africa.

I urge all Coloradans to call Gov. Hickenlooper at (303) 866-2471 and tell him to pardon Samba Kane.

Letter: Don’t make moral judgments

February 20, 2015 — 

This is a reply to the reply to “Don’t dance on my toes” by letter writer Carl Uyehara in the Feb.12 PI.

Carl, I don’t care what a “nice young man” like Lance Page thinks is right or wrong or sinful or moral because I don’t go around judging others like Lance does.

When someone makes moral judgments on others’ private choices, that, Carl, is being self-righteous and I take offense.

If you or Lance want to think smoking is immoral for yourselves, that’s OK. When you pompously believe you can tell me what is moral for me, that’s not OK.

By the way, Carl, did you know you used the word “personal(ly) seven times in eight sentences? I think that might be some kind of record for personal redundancy. Just saying.

Letter: Elect Kathryn Trauger

February 19, 2015 — 

Kathryn Trauger is running for the at-large seat for City Council. People who know her are sure she is the right person for the job.

She is the one who can move the wheels of government. She is a natural leader, leading by example with enthusiasm. She listens, she is engaging, not shy, and best of all, speaks intelligently.

Kathryn knows the issues and how to solve the problems. She knows there are many ways to raise money for the needed capital improvements in the city. She is an original thinker, able to envision new ways to solve problems.

This is our rare opportunity to choose someone without an agenda of self-promotion. I urge you to vote for Kathryn Trauger when your ballot arrives in your mailbox mid-March.

Letter: In praise of fluoridation

February 19, 2015 — 

Children’s Dental Health Month is the opportune time to celebrate the strides we have made in preventing cavities through community water fluoridation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has praised water fluoridation as one of “10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”

Fluoride exists naturally in nearly all water supplies. Water is “fluoridated” when a public water system adjusts the fluoride to a level that is found to prevent tooth decay. Research shows the long-term benefits of fluoridation. A 2010 study found that the fluoridated water consumed as a young child makes the loss of teeth (due to decay) much less likely even 40 or 50 years later.

The research supporting water fluoridation is solid. Within the past few years, several new studies have continued to demonstrate fluoridation’s positive impact. Here’s one example: A 2010 study in Nevada examined teenagers’ dental health and found that living in a community without fluoridated water was one of the top three factors associated with high rates of decay and other dental problems.

The leading health and medical organizations support water fluoridation. This list includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Dental Association, the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Fluoridation saves money. Research shows that every $1 invested in water fluoridation produces savings of $38. This money is saved by families and taxpayers because people avoid paying the cost for more fillings and other dental treatments.

Water fluoridation helps to improve oral health for people of all income levels and racial/ethnic backgrounds. In fact, a 2002 study called water fluoridation “the most effective and practical method” for reducing the gap in decay rates between low-income and upper-income Americans.

Anti-fluoride activists have no evidence proving that fluoride is harmful at the level used for fluoridating water. They will make all kinds of claims, but the science doesn’t back them up.

Fluoridation is a smart health strategy — even today, when nearly everyone brushes with fluoride toothpaste. Research proves that drinking fluoridated water reduces the risk of decay. At a time when more than 100 million Americans lack dental insurance, fluoridation offers an easy, inexpensive preventive strategy that everyone benefits from simply by turning on their tap.

Letter: Glenwood has power potential

February 18, 2015 — 

I am very pleased to learn that City Council is researching opportunities to generate electricity locally. During my two terms on Council I advocated for local power generation but, probably due to low prices from MEAN at the time, this was never given consideration. I would encourage you to not only look at traditional methods of generation but also to consider the possibility of utilizing resources that are unique to our community.

The first of these would be to consider the development a hybrid geothermal-natural gas facility at South Canyon. As we know, the city possesses the mineral rights to this parcel and there is a strong probability of the existence of significant natural gas resources onsite. While the temperature of the geothermal resource is not optimal, a good deal of work developing similar hybrid generating facilities has been done in Europe with water temperatures below 120 degrees. The facility may potentially also be augmented to a lesser degree by methane mining at the landfill.

The other resource that should be considered is the harvesting of the energy from the burning coal seam. When we were on council, Russ Arensman and I had a number of discussions with a gentleman formerly with the School of Mines who was very enthusiastic about the potential of a demonstration project that could harness the currently wasted energy from this and other similar mine fires.

Due to proximity to our electric distribution system, transmission losses for either of these projects would be minimal. While development could be costly, it would seem to be a very good opportunity for a public private partnership. I feel that the time has come to begin to utilize our local natural resources to provide our community with a low-cost stable supply power for the future.

Letter: Mistakes on bear management

February 18, 2015 — 

The current bear problem solution is as clear as the nose on a person’s face.

I am a lifetime resident of western Colorado and a hunter since late 1940s. Not a bear hunter, though.

There wasn’t a predator bear problem then. In fact, a bear tag was given with a deer license in those days. Federal government men lived in Collbran and other small towns to help the state wildlife people “manage” wildlife. Trapping was the normal where an “imbalance” to the public was found. They were called “government trappers.” I personally knew them.

The idea that the general public should vote in wildlife management was and is a big mistake and always will be. When the spring bear hunt was eliminated, this was the mistake of great consequence. Nothing was gained by this change.

Having the public vote on wildlife issues is like having a teenager the head of Boeing aircraft.

If we want a solution, study the past and the answer is there on our bear problem.

Letter: Trauger best-suited for council

February 17, 2015 — 

It’s election season for City Council and much of the talk is focused on the hot issues. Clearly it’s important to know where the candidates stand, but for me what’s more critical is the ability to work together with the other six members of City Council.

Of all the candidates, the one who is most impressive to me is Kathryn Trauger. She has been proactive in not only becoming informed about the issues, but also engaging the community in thoughtful dialogue. I would argue that this engagement is one of the key elements that differentiates a functional council from a dysfunctional one.

While I respect the efforts of Tony Hershey, both in his work with the district attorney’s office and previous work on Aspen City Council, I wouldn’t list collaboration or community engagement as Tony’s strongest traits. I worked with Tony on a few different issues and found him to be very intelligent and willing to ask tough questions, which I greatly appreciate. But unfortunately I saw a recurring trend of disrespect toward citizens, staff and fellow council members alike. There simply is no place in public office for disrespect.

Kathryn Trauger has already demonstrated community leadership and a dedication to Glenwood Springs and is well deserving of your vote. I would encourage you support her for City Council at large.

Letter: Ideas to save water

February 17, 2015 — 

I submit applause to Joe Mollica’s letter on Feb. 11, submitting his comments on the recent “Basin Roundtable Discussions” and ideas for implementing water conservation. I was reminded of a recent Hot Springs Pool conversation I had with a Nebraska farmer, who related that he replaced his aging, antiquated, irrigation system through a government grant. Mind you, he received a grant, not a loan, for replacing his water-guzzling irrigation system with a modern water-conserving one. He said it was great; his electrical costs are down (pumping) and his crop growth is better.

I’ve often wondered, seeing the spray of water into the air over the grass for our grass-fed beef industry, really? This is the best we can do? Perhaps we can get some grants from our downstream neighbors to pay for better irrigation systems, since grants from the ever-tightening feds might be harder to get. And maybe we can get those Front Rangers to pay for better irrigation in east Colorado ranches and farms. The tools are available, the cost reductions are clear, the water conservation is undeniable.

Once again, all it takes is will to make it happen.

Letter: Rep. Tipton, take the next step

February 16, 2015 — 

Hats off to our representative, Scott Tipton, for championing a bill that got rid of needless government regulation and takes a small step in reducing the carbon we put in the air. Rep. Tipton made it much easier to get small hydroelectric projects approved in man-made canals, ditches and other man-influenced waterways.

The next step Tipton and Republicans should take is to make a bold move to reduce carbon emissions: sponsoring a carbon fee and dividend bill. Such a bill (check out citizensclimatelobby.org) would create millions of jobs and strengthen our economy while drastically reducing the carbon entering our atmosphere. The best part of it is that it uses the free-market approach rather than relying on government regulations.

Tipton has shown he understands the need for free-market solutions to energy problems. Carbon fee and dividend is an obvious next step.

Peter Westcott

Carbondale

Letter: Farewell, valley, after 44 years

February 16, 2015 — 

What a great run I’ve had in this beautiful valley. And now, after over 44 years, I am moving to Grass Valley, California, closer to my kids and grandbabies.

I have lurched, tumbled and raced through life here with love, tears, heartbreak, joy and lots of opportunities for growth. Luther and Leslie were born and raised here and thrived in the safety and closeness of the community. My career in nursing was varied and highly satisfying, allowing me to meet and care for so many.

But now it is time to say goodbye as a new chapter in life begins. To the community and all I have been privileged to know these many years, I’d like to leave you with this quote: “Please forgive me; I forgive you; thank you; I love you.”

Kathy Kopf

Letter: Salt, salt everywhere

February 16, 2015 — 

I’m no authority on nutrition, but I have learned a thing or two on my hard-fought journey to health and fitness. Today, salt is on my radar. The Standard American Diet is so overloaded with (hidden) salt as an additive that it is no wonder many Americans are on blood-pressure medication and suffering from inflammation issues, and many others, due to uninformed lifestyle choices.

I loved salty foods, but I have chosen not to eat them in excess anymore. I have learned how to read labels, and as a reward, my taste buds have been “reset,” and I now find most processed foods too salty. It hasn’t been easy, but I feel much better and no longer crave salty foods.

A good place to start is to read the book “Salt Sugar Fat” by Michael Moss. If you’re like me, after finishing this book, you’ll be so mad at the food industry for duping us into eating excessive amounts of salt (for its benefit) that you’ll try harder to avoid it.

Then, look up the recommended levels of salt for your age. Salt is a little tricky in that it is a required dietary element. The goal isn’t to eliminate salt, but to not eat too much. The missing link to this salt thing is that labels are purposely misleading, but that is another topic. It took a chemistry project and a little digging to figure out that for me, less than 3/4 teaspoon of regular salt per day is my limit.

The point is, that if you want to, you can add up how much salt you are eating (often a can of beans is more than your day’s allotment). When you start looking for salt, honestly, you’ll be shocked.

OK, so the thing that prompted my letter is that in the Feb. 11 Post Independent were some recipes that illuminate my point. Both recipes are probably amazingly good for the taste buds, but not so much for your health (which was the stated point of the recipe). Take “Red Beans and Rice.” First, the “nutrition information per serving” does not even say how large the portion is. A 1/2 cup? A cup? And how much is 590 mg of sodium? A 1/4 teaspoon of normal table salt is 590 mg. But if you look at the recipe, there is added salt in the ham, the so-called “low-sodium” chicken broth and they don’t even tell you the quantity of kosher salt, so how could you possibly figure it? Lack of transparency is the whole point. The thing to know is that there are other delicious ways to make red beans and rice without this much salt. And a good salt tip if you’re interested in beginning to cut back is to check out Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. It tastes great and has 280 mg of salt per 1/4 teaspoon, half that of regular salt.

Don’t even get me started on the other recipe, Muffaletta Flatbread. Sounds good, but check out the salt content ... 1,120 mg of salt — nearly a day’s allotment of sodium for how much (again, no quantity listed), one piece? Who can eat one piece? Sounds good, but my health means more to me than the momentary taste of this toxic food choice. I’ll pass. Or, better yet, I’ll modify.

Carol Turtle

Glenwood Springs

Letter: We face dangerous cooling, not warming

February 14, 2015 — 

In his State of the Union address earlier this month, President Obama stated “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” Of course he was referring to human-caused global warming (HCGW) which in his view is “settled science.” Thousands of workers in the field who are deriving their income from this theory agree. However, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, “CFACT” documents the following:

1. Satellites show we are now in our 18th straight year of no warming.

2. Polar ice is increasing, not melting.

3. Severe weather events, hurricanes and tornadoes are not increasing.

The president is intent on pushing the end of generation of electricity by carbon fuels (coal and natural gas) despite the obvious bad impact this would have on our economy.

During 2014 Humanix Books published “Dark Winter” authored by John L. Casey, a former NASA engineer, who has spent many years in the study of climatic changes using research developed by other scientists over many years.

Notable quotes in “Dark Winter” include:

a. The end of HCGW. The theory of man-made global warming and climate change based on human greenhouse gas emissions is the greatest international scientific fraud ever perpetuated on the world’s citizens.

b. The beginning of a “solar hibernation,” a historic reduction in the energy output of the sun.

c. A long-term drop in the earth’s temperatures.

d. The start of the next climate change to decades of dangerously cold weather.

All this is based on a 206-year cycle of variations in the temperature of our sun.

Please read this book for answers to the many questions that cannot be covered in a letter to the editor. Youngsters who have been brain-washed by HCGW propaganda should be given copies of “Dark Winter” as required reading.

Letter: Monthly jobs report is misleading

February 12, 2015 — 

On the first Friday of each month the U.S. Department of Labor releases its monthly jobs report, which is usually picked up by the Associated Press and distributed nationally. The Post Independent published its jobs report news story with this headline: “January job gains, wage increases show U.S. recovery getting stronger, closer to full health.”

This story highlighted the 257,000 jobs created by the economy in January. Other news sources reported that the unemployment rate went up slightly to 5.7 percent. The fluff and spin about how great the economy is comes from the mainstream media, which in this case is the Associated Press.

The following quote is another example of how the favorable political spin is obtained from these labor reports: “steady economic expansion has boosted hiring for the past three months to the most robust in 17 years.”

First of all, the job numbers are not hirings. These are unfilled jobs supposedly being created somewhere in our economy. Most of these jobs are low-paying and usually part-time. I have to give the AP credit for their crafty way of putting a great spin on the economy on behalf of the Obama administration. Either that or the Obama administration puts out a great press release every month on the jobs report.

An old acquaintance of mine, Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup Inc., the worldwide survey company, posted on the Gallup website last week that the unemployment numbers are the “Big Lie.” Clifton pointed out how the labor data can be manipulated for good political spin. Other credible economic experts who are aware of this manipulation state that the real unemployment rate is around 11 percent or even much higher. If our economy is so great, why did it take a big slide in the fourth quarter?

The ugly truth is that 46 million Americans on food stamps is not a healthy economy. When you see President Obama touring the country bragging about the economy via mainstream media, think about the real numbers and how many millions of Americans are still suffering.

Letter: How can we treat our psychotic climate?

February 12, 2015 — 

Tough times in the Anthropocene. Spring skiing in February garners front-page news space here in the Roaring Fork Valley, while the Northeastern U.S. wonders where to put all the snow. Folks in Northern California pull out their umbrellas, as up to 12 inches of rain falls over a four-day period, while snowfall in the usually-soggy Northwest is lower than that in the Northeast. Is it climate change, a weather blip, or a combination of the two?

When we mine carbon from below-ground reservoirs at unprecedented rates and spew it into our atmosphere, we create a cozy blanket of heat-trapping gases, warming our planet. The National Climatic Data Center’s website (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/) is a great resource if you want science-based statistics to help you understand the short- and long-term effects of this carbon comforter. Here’s just one statistic from the website: The year 2014 was the warmest year across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880. As temperatures rise, we are faced with an unpredictable climate — some parts of the planet experience record heat or cold while others may experience intense storms with epic amounts of snow and rainfall. Warmer oceans account for the increased water vapor load in the atmosphere that falls to earth in the form of snow or rain.

How can we treat our psychotic climate? Since science points to carbon as the primary culprit for this warming trend, it is time to figure out how to control our emissions. The Citizen’s Climate Lobby has created a proposal for a carbon fee and dividend that addresses this problem and encourages all of us to become carbon-educated consumers. The proposal would place a fee on carbon-based fuels that would accurately represent the true costs of these fuels to our environment. The fees would be placed in a trust fund to be returned to households as a monthly dividend, encouraging conservation and enabling consumers to make wiser choices about their energy choices. To learn more about this proposal go to http://citizensclimatelobby.org/.

Climate is what we plan for; weather is what we dress for. At this point in the Anthropocene it has become difficult to plan around a seemingly psychotic climate as we react to daily weather instead of looking at how patterns have changed. Should we really be riding bicycles in February in shorts and T-shirts in Colorado?

Letter: Corridor plan should be flexible

February 12, 2015 — 

Corridor plan should be flexible

I like RFTA’s Dan Blankenship’s attitude. His first job is to protect the rail corridor. Abandonment as a condition would not be unlike the abandonment of former irrigation ditches ... where the land is claimed and coveted by adjacent land owners ... a determent to the community for bicycle paths.

Too bad the Access Control Plan isn’t more flexible and open ended for mutually beneficial projects like easing subterranean access through town, beneath the rail corridor, that would still keep rail options open.

Fred Stewart

Glenwood Springs

Letter: It’s not personal

February 11, 2015 — 

A rebuttal to “Don’t Dance on My Toes.” (Feb. 5)

Bruno, I know Lance Page personally and I can tell you from personal experience that he is a fine young man.

He, like you (and all of us), has the right to express his personal opinions, and I’m glad to see he has done so publicly. Of course expressing one’s opinions can put us at odds with individual people or society at large.

I personally believe he is being exponentially less self-righteous than say, you.

Aren’t you casting judgment against Lance personally in the same way in which you’re accusing him?

He’s expressing an opinion of a societal issue in which he feels compelled to comment.

You’re attacking him on a personal level because you don’t agree.

It really has nothing to do with you personally at all.

Letter: Suggestions for water conservation

February 11, 2015 — 

The consensus from notes compiled at the recent “Basin Roundtable Discussions” was for greater water conservation. That being the case, I offer the following suggestions on this important issue:

Whereas agriculture is the state’s No. 1 economic driver and consumes an estimated 85 percent of our water, it is suggested that agriculture be the primary area for the implementation of modern water conservation. Money that would be appropriated to study and build another trans-mountain diversion; should be used to provide grants to ranchers and farmers for better piping and twenty-first century watering systems. Giving the crops only the amount of water they need, will allow unused water to be left in our river systems as an “exchange.” This grant system will be an economic benefit to farming and ranching, pipe system manufacturing, engineering and design, as well as support for new initiatives from our universities.

Whereas watering between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. can be up to 80 percent evaporative, the state should promote watering guidelines for both agricultural and municipal areas.

Whereas recreation serves as the state’s second largest economic driver, it is suggested that the state support the use of Recreational In Channel Diversion that establish minimum stream flows on our major rivers systems such as the Colorado, Roaring Fork, Arkansas, Animas and Platte.

Whereas wastewater recycling has proven to be very efficient, it is suggested the development of high tech wastewater recycling systems be encouraged.

Whereas one of the possible effects of increasing global temperatures will be “major precipitation events,” it is suggested that municipalities and private land owners invest in water catchment systems that store water that can be pumped in times of drought.

Letter: RFTA’s moves are offensive

February 10, 2015 — 

It seem as though RFTA is ratcheting up the conversation on rail banking. The theory is, a good defense is a good offense. The new corridor survey is stamping out new ways to memorialize the current “no-cross” policy and take new ground with a claim of a 200-foot corridor on some sections.

Overreach is a common occurrence in government and this new study is a good example. It is a lesson on how to offend and dominate as many people and other governments as possible.

This new study is a threat to the South Bridge, the new Highway 82 bridge, the 8th Street bridge and the Cattle Creek crossing; and these are just the projects on the lower end of the valley.

To comply with the rigorous crossing edicts would cost millions of dollars and be subject to a “no negotiation” policy set in stone.

Some have proposed to file suit to nullify the rail banking sham. Let’s look at the math. It may be less expensive to hire an attorney with experience in successfully terminating rail banking than to pay unneeded construction cost.

Who are the winners and losers? Winners are local governments needing “logical cost” crossings, the taxpayers and the people that rightly own the property under the trail. The loser is RFTA and the entities that support it. RFTA will need to negotiate a purchase of each individual parcel to preserve the trail, unless the suit can also determine a common procedure for settlement. RFTA knows how to raise public money.

No more false hope of a railroad for passengers or freight going upvalley, no more obstructionism, no more land grabs. Let’s get honest about smart growth versus no growth in the valley floor.

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