Letters to the Editor
Contrary to what some have said, we would like to say “bravo” to the road clearing crews here in Glenwood.
For this extraordinary winter of snows we’ve been having, it’s been a job well done. Of course there are problems, but they seem to be working hard. We’d rather deal with some small inconveniences than for them to hire more people and ultimately up our taxes when many years are not this snowy.Learn more »
Headline: Tuition hikes coming for two-year CMC students, 1/25/16.
However, it will also affect English as a Second Language (ESL) and GED students. I’m concerned about the negative effects this will have on the non-traditional ESL/GED students who are striving to get their basic education. CMC has made a commitment to serve the whole community.Learn more »
This year’s Super Bowl was No. 50 in that illustrious series.
How many Glenwoodites remember what they were doing on Super Bowl I day, or what significant event happened that day?Learn more »
I just received my statement for 2015 taxes, payable in 2016. In my case and others I’ve spoken with, a 33 percent increase in total property taxes is typical for 2015. The school district bond expenses jumped from 10.03 mills to 15.592, a 55 percent increase. The Fire Department mill levy went up 29 percent. At least the Fire Department increase is only for two years. The school district is for 20 years.
To be fair, not all of the whopping increase is because of these two issues. The mill levy increased from 72.89 in 2014 to 78.344 in 2015, an increase of “only” 7.5 percent. But wait, in addition to the mill levy, the assessed valuation increased, in my case, an additional 23.5 percent. My total tax bill increased 33 percent. Many of my neighbors report the same total increase. One newspaper reported 18 percent.Learn more »
This letter references the positive as well as the negative comments made about the “Grand Plan” bridge project in the Sunday Denver Post West Section.
John Haines is quoted in saying, “but if Glenwood wants this, they deserve this mess.”Learn more »
Thanks for covering the meeting that our county commissioners had with Rep. Tipton in January. When I first heard about this meeting, I was excited to hear that our congressman was coming to listen to our community’s concerns, but I left the meeting feeling like he barely listened to a word we said.
I, like many other citizens in the audience showed up to show support for protecting the Thompson Divide from oil and gas leasing, but there wasn’t enough time for more than a handful of us to speak. Those who did get a chance to speak did so elegantly, respectfully and reasonably and spoke in favor of protection.Learn more »
Wake up! Rise up! Tax the high-end, for-profit, elitist “rehab and spiritual development centers,” aka Jaywalker Lodge, et al, which are basking in the region. Why? They’re churning through up to 40 young entitled “patients” at $6,000-15,000 each per month each month.
That’s $120,000 up to more than $250,000 per month gross for food, lodging and talk that they’ve convinced exasperated parents and deluded benefactors will solve their loved one’s problems. And for profit?Learn more »
Here in Colorado, we know how important our incredible national public lands are to the lifestyles that we live and love everyday. That’s why we regularly celebrate them with a great day of skiing or by hiking with our families rather than allow them to fall prey to a few fringe activists who seek to transfer them into state or private control, whether lawfully or unlawfully.
I want to thank Sen. Kerry Donovan for recognizing our love for national public lands, and standing up to support them. She recently introduced a bill in the Colorado Legislature, Senate Bill 21 — Public Lands Day — aimed at designating a state holiday to celebrate the gift of our public lands.Learn more »
I’m writing to give you a heads up that NRDC and a coalition of over 80 groups have called on the parent company of some of America’s most popular restaurant chains — including Kentucky Fried Chicken — to eliminate routine use of antibiotics in the poultry they serve.
While Yum! Brands — which owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut — last year announced plans to eliminate “critically” important antibiotics from their chicken supply, its commitment is misleading. That’s because it would not address routine overuse of many other antibiotics important to fighting off common human infections (like strep throat, pneumonia, UTIs and gonorrhea).Learn more »
February 2, 2016 —
Special Elks meeting
The Elks lodge in Glenwood is host to many visiting members, perhaps including the elk in this picture that on Jan. 29 were waiting for the doors to open.
The lodge hosts the public for Thursday night bingo. Elks are active in providing scholarships for local students, supporting veterans and many other community support activities. Providing support for homeless veterans is a key goal of the organization.
Member, BPOE Elks Lodge 2286, Glenwood Springs
Letter: Time for CDOT to step upFebruary 2, 2016 —
I have lived in GWS for almost 40 years, most of them in a small house in the downtown area of Blake Avenue. I walk everywhere. I will try and keep a positive attitude regarding the construction of a new Grand Avenue bridge, but have two suggestions that I hope will be taken seriously by the decision makers involved in the bridge replacement.
I think work on a new Eighth Street connection will begin soon. At the most recent Imagine Glenwood meeting, it was mentioned that once that happens there is nothing planned in the design to accommodate pedestrians/bicyclers to safely use that new intersection while construction is occurring. If, as has been mentioned over and over, that one important goal during construction is to get as many people as possible out of their cars, I can’t imagine why there will be no way pedestrians will not be able to use that new connection. Could that have not been planned for and included? Please make every effort to allow walkers and bicyclers to use that intersection, making it as convenient and safe as possible for them.
It is beyond time, in my opinion, for CDOT to make it safe for walkers to cross Grand Avenue at Eighth and Ninth streets. I use the button and cross at the walk signal and have experienced many close calls of almost being run over and seriously injured by autos turning right while not even noticing crossing pedestrians.
I also have witnessed other pedestrians putting themselves at risk when crossing those intersections. One gentleman, after just being missed by a turning auto, angrily yelled, “This is the second time this has happened!” I absolutely related to how he felt. I make it a practice of looking over my shoulder while trying to make eye contact with drivers while I cross. Even I, while being aware of how dangerous those two intersections are, sometimes forget to do this. I watch tourists trying to get across, with small children in tow, and I am in fear for their safety, while they are not aware how dangerous it is to cross there.
I can’t imagine anyone at CDOT wanting to be responsible for any serious injuries or deaths occurring because of this awful situation. It is time for CDOT to step up and make these intersections safe for pedestrians as quickly as possible.
Any help from GWS residents urging the parties involved to make these changes happen is most appreciated.
Sheila R. Markowitz
Letter: Information, pleaseFebruary 2, 2016 —
I received a voice mail around 6:30 on a recent evening informing me of a situation that happened at Riverside Middle School in New Castle. Apparently death threats were made against the students and arrests were made. I’m concerned with the fact that I wasn’t immediately informed that my child was in danger.
The voice mail was also extremely vague, with no details of who this person who was arrested is, why or who the threats were made toward. I will personally not be letting my child return to school until I am informed of what actually happened, why I wasn’t informed while it was happening and until I’m comfortable that my child is safe.
Letter: Heavy airFebruary 1, 2016 —
I heard Tom Brady complained the footballs used in the AFC championship game were too heavy. He said they were full of air.
Letter: No bikes in our wildernessFebruary 1, 2016 —
Are you kidding? The Sustainable Trails Coalition wants to turn our pristine but overcrowded U.S. Forest Service wilderness areas into bike areas. Teddy Roosevelt would be turning over in his grave.
Our beautiful Colorado high country wilderness is a place where everyone can take a much-needed break from our fast-moving world by enjoying a walking hike or a walking horse back ride. The principal word is “walking.” Peaceful walks in the wilderness are good for one’s soul.
Can you imagine Snowmass Creek Trail being inundated with mountain bikes, making daily trips to Snowmass Lake, up and back in one day? Our wilderness is the last bastion of moderately undisturbed wild parts of our country. Wilderness areas are the only places that mountain bikes, motorized vehicles and chainsaws cannot be used.
I applaud Mike Pritchard of the RFMBA and the International Mountain Bicycling Association for not supporting this grab at our last protected wild places. After all, RFMBA has extensive plans to develop a maze of trails across the 9,100 acres on “The Crown,” which is all the land just below Mount Sopris, between Emma and Carbondale.
Isn’t this enough? RFMBA is also developing many new trails for bikes around Glenwood Springs. It seems to me that something should be left for hikers and equestrians to enjoy.
Letter: Missing Coach SmithFebruary 1, 2016 —
The memories that I have about Jack Smith of Rifle couldn’t have been expressed any better than what Mike Vidakovich provided in his “open letter” written recently.
Smitty was an excellent coach in Rifle for many years, but I remember him more for his friendship and the way he carried himself every time I was around him. I always looked forward to events that I attended where I might get to see Jack.
Yes, we had a fierce rivalry with Rifle, but win or lose, you always knew that Jack was going to be fair and respectful. We were fortunate to be coached by men like Bob Chavez, Don Miller, Nick Stubler and Harlan Spencer. We were also fortunate to have competed against men like Jack Smith and Gordon Cooper in Rifle. The lessons we learned from all of these people went much further than the field or the court. Those of us who knew him are better off because of him, and he will be missed.
Letter: One big parking lotJanuary 31, 2016 —
I wholeheartedly agree with letter writer Dudley Comer’s prediction of massive motorist misery due to all our new color-coordinated, totally unnecessary bridge boondoggle.
Let me make a few more predictions:
1. This CDOT engineers’ wet dream will run over present estimates.
2. This 22-month timetable will stretch into 2019.
3. The new bridge damns any chance of a bypass ever being built around town.
4. Glenwood Springs will rue this inane decision to funnel ever-increasing traffic along with ever more pollution through the heart of what once was a more beautiful town.
I really thought you folks were a little more insightful. Bigger is not always better, like the song says, you pave paradise to put up a parking lot.
And that’s what I-70 and 82 and Glenwood Springs is going to be for God knows how long — one big parking lot.
Hey, maybe next we could six-lane 82 into Aspen so worker bees and tourists can all get there faster. Besides, we’ll need six lanes on 82 to handle all those proposed subdivisions.
Letter: Well done, Sarah and LexingtonJanuary 31, 2016 —
Sarah, USS Lexington and the rest of the story ... Dear Post Independent readers,
In response to the article in Jan. 19’s paper “New Castle girl’s chicken wins boatload of awards ... Sarah and her ‘Awesome Australorp.’
They did great at the National Western Stock Show. Lexington placed fifth in her class and Sarah also placed fifth in Showmanship. Awesome placings for the Stock Show.
The competition was stiff and Lexington wasn’t in perfect condition like most there. Every bird there was about perfect. Five days before the show, Sarah came to me holding a black feather. With concern in her eyes she proclaimed, “Lexington is molting!” Fifth out of about 14 Australorps was very good.
John Baker said the Stock Show tends to attract the best showmanship kids from counties all over the state. It was the first time for Sarah to show as an intermediate and competed with 15 others, most older.
Baker said, “She should be very proud of her placing.” We made it home Sunday night despite the snowstorm. The next day, Perry, a veteran, stopped by and asked for Sarah. He handed her a ball cap; all black with “USS Lexington” and the ship embroidered in gold on the front. You should have seen Sarah’s smile.
She may never wear the treasured ball cap, as it is proudly displayed on her shelf with Lexington’s trophies. An awesome ending to an awesome year. Hi-Way Feed is ordering chicks again this year. Sarah’s next chicks will be a Speckled Sussex and a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte.
Letter: Energy is not a partisan issueJanuary 30, 2016 —
As the political season heats up as we enter a volatile presidential election year, I hope you have the oil and gas industry on your mind as we select our new leaders. Traditionally, Republicans and Democrats rarely see eye to eye, but it appears the strength of our country’s job fueling energy industry is where they do find some common ground. It’s a nonpartisan issue, in part because it has been one of the few bright spots of our country’s economy in the last decade.
No matter your party affiliation, support of the oil and gas industry is critical for not only western Colorado’s economy, but for the entire state and nation.
Thanks to technology, the oil and gas industry has more promise than it has had in previous decades to grow our economy and help to make America an energy powerhouse. From horizontal drilling to fracking, we now have the keys to safely unlock more oil and natural gas than ever before. We need to capitalize on this now.
Our leaders and policymakers in Washington need to make the energy revolution a priority regardless of whether there is a “D” or an “R” after their name. It’s time that our elected officials make the right policy choices when it comes to utilizing our energy resources. They need to take action to eliminate the enormous amounts of red tape when it comes to drilling on federal land (in the last several years production has dropped significantly on federal land). They need to eliminate far-reaching, and unnecessary regulations that were only enacted to stall or stop production.
No matter if you’re a Democrat, Republican or independent you can and should support the oil and gas industry. It’s good policy for our county, our state and our nation.
Letter: 'Thank you' is InadequateJanuary 30, 2016 —
I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the individual(s) who found my wallet on the New Castle on-ramp – you took the time to stop, gather up everything that had fallen out of it, and then figured out where I worked and dropped it off at my workplace.
I wish you had left contact information, because just saying thank you is not enough to express the relief and happiness your generous action gave me.
Also, a huge shout-out to Tanner at Discount Tire, who wouldn’t let me leave to go look for my wallet without replacing my tire first (which was at risk of blowing out). There are some really wonderful people in The Valley.
Letter: How to fix governmentJanuary 28, 2016 —
Consider me to be an angry old (very old) man who is disgusted by the state of politics in our nation. Members of both major parties are equally to blame. Politicians expend more effort getting re-elected than they do considering legislation that would benefit our country. We, as a country, owe more money than our kids, grandkids and great-grandkids can ever repay. Most of our elected officials ignore this serious problem.
We, somehow, elected a president who lies or hides the truth. Mrs. Clinton, who wants to succeed him, is a documented liar.
The federal government, at the behest of politicians, has grown into an obese beast fed by special interests supported by politicians. Many examples come to mind. In 1950, Congress took some of the control over our children’s education by creating a Department of Education. Now something called “Common Core” is proposing a further intrusion into the education of our children. Here is a better idea: abolish the U.S. Department of Education and put that responsibility back into the hands of local school boards with oversight at the state level.
The U.S. Department of Energy was created back when the lack of sufficient energy was more of a problem than it is today. This agency should be abolished.
The first federal gas tax was passed in 1954 to provide money for constructing the Interstate Highway system, which happens to be the most successful program ever completed by a partnership of state and federal agencies. However, the interstate system was completed in 1993. Now the federal highway taxes are collected, sent to Washington, divided up and sent back to the states at a cost of billions of dollars. The federal highway taxes should be eliminated and the role of the Federal Highway Administration should be reduced to research and advice. State transportation departments are very professional, and do not need a federal agency telling them how to build their highways.
Electing qualified politicians to Congress who do not lie is especially important in the coming election.
Letter: Fracking doesn't pollute waterJanuary 28, 2016 —
Right before Christmas, there was another study from Wyoming showing that fracking doesn’t pollute drinking water.
Once again, environmentalists have been discredited with their theory that the decades-old method of extracting natural gas via hydraulic fracturing messes with people’s water. In 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency declared that it was no longer going to supply Dimock, Pennsylvania, with alternative drinking water supplies after a review found the level of contaminates were naturally occurring, and that treatment systems could reduce the level of contaminants in a handful of homes (all five) where they did have some health concerns.
Yet EPA’s overall investigation found that the levels of containments didn’t reach levels that would require further federal action. In short, fracking wasn’t polluting the water. Moreover, a Yale study later confirmed that fracking doesn’t pollute ground water.
Letter: Quilt raffle raises $11,000January 26, 2016 —
Every December, the Valley View Auxiliary conducts a quilt raffle to help support our medical education program. We give $30,000 annually in scholarships and also support the Connie Delaney Medical Library, which is open to anyone who wants to use it. This year we raised more than $11,000 with the raffle thanks to dedicated volunteers who peddled tickets to friends, relatives and total strangers.
In addition to our ticket sellers, we would like to give a special “thank-you” to Alpine Bank for providing our second-place prize of four Avalanche tickets, and to Bighorn Toyota for providing our third-place prize of $500. Your generosity and support is very much appreciated, and we thank you. We couldn’t provide the scholarships and library support without your help. It is wonderful to have community businesses who so graciously aid in our endeavors.
Valley View Auxiliary president
Letter: Wolf doo dooJanuary 26, 2016 —
After hearing the advice of so-called experts, some have concluded that Ph.D. actually stands for ‘Piled Higher and Deeper.’ Gary Wockner, Ph.D., left a big wolf pile of hot, stinking doo doo that shows just how deep it gets, with his ridiculous assertions on ranchers. (1/8/16)
Of course we’re all familiar with how the left (in their moral equivalency crusade) loves to use Arabic and Muslim words to criticize Americans, while justifying every Muslim terrorist act.
Most Americans don’t advocate storming public property, but the truth is that ranchers and city folk alike are fed up to the teeth with fat-cat bureaucrats who spew mountains of meaningless gobbledygook, but appear more interested in their cushy jobs (with potable water), best health insurance and retirement perks than really serving the public.
Wockner’s article shows how out of touch the enviro desk jockeys are with the common man’s struggles. They don’t see the hypocrisy of their tax-funded “work farce.” And with the rural West filling up with city transplants humming “Rocky Mountain High” in pursuit of the promised land, the enviros mine this with reintro of species, among other things, to keep their gig going. Oh, the hidden gems of meetings, focus groups and scopings ad-nauseum.
In the interest of diversity of thought, how about considering the book “The Real Wolf” by Ted Lyon and Will Graves, who interviewed those who, you know, actually deal with wolves outside the Yellowstone lab. Ranchers and hunters have been arrogantly told by environmentalists that they are either unqualified or lying in determining wolf attacks both on livestock and on people. One hunter, who survived a wolf attack, concluded that there is no reasoning with these people.
But in spite of all this, because Wockner’s article was so over the top, it basically caused me to wonder if he’s been hired by a certain industry to break up that unholy alliance of upvalley ranchers and environmentalists united on Thompson Divide. If that’s true, then maybe the real danger right now is wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Trump's Christian values?January 25, 2016 —
Polls show that Donald Trump is getting the support of evangelical voters even though it’s obvious he has very little familiarity with the Bible or the teachings of Christ. In a speech at Liberty University, he cited scripture from a book in the Bible he referred to as, “Two” (Second) Corinthians. Really?
I’m confused, exactly what Christian values does he exhibit? His pandering and hypocrisy should be an affront to all true Christians.
Perhaps Trump should read the Sermon on the Mount. It might enlighten him as to what a Christian is supposed to be.
Letter: 'Public Lands Day'January 25, 2016 —
This Wednesday, our state senator, Kerry Donovan, is introducing a bill in the state Senate calling for the fourth Monday in March to be known as “Public Lands Day” to recognize the significant contributions that national public lands in Colorado make to our daily lives. This celebratory declaration would be revenue-neutral and wouldn’t close any state offices.
The proposed bill comes against a backdrop of unprecedented threats to our federal public lands, from a goofy, misguided armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, to an industry funded, “astro-turfed” political movement to spend public taxpayer funds to “study” the transfer of federal lands to the states. State ownership is one step away from either giveaways to industry or outright sales to private interests.
It is worth remembering why we live here in Colorado, why our economy is so strong, why our quality of life is so high. If you live in Colorado, you are probably a hiker, a biker, a climber, a skier, a photographer, a rafter, kayaker, a hunter or fisherman, or you enjoy outdoor activities, most of which take place on federal public lands. Everyone benefits from the clean waters that originate in our headwaters, all on public lands, including our ranchers and farmers.
Our tourist visitors come here, season in and season out, year after year, for activities on our magnificent public lands. These public lands are our own, true, golden goose, and only the very foolish or gullible would put them at risk.
The Public Lands Day bill will be introduced in front of the Military and State Affairs committee, which makes me want to ask the committee members: What would they say to our returning veterans? Would they say, “Sorry, but while you were gone we transferred your public lands to the highest bidder”? What exactly are our veterans fighting for, but for the right to know their homeland is safe and available for all of us?
I support our public lands, and I support this “Public Lands Day” bill that Kerry Donovan is introducing. I hope you do as well.
Letter: A biblical backupJanuary 25, 2016 —
As a resident of Garfield County and one who drives a bus for RFTA, when the Grand Avenue bridge closes, I predict a traffic jam of biblical proportion.
New Castle to Carbondale, if not greater.
Dudley D. Comer
Letter: Sickened by HubbardJanuary 24, 2016 —
Even if BLM does establish a no-shooting area at Hubbard Mesa, they won’t be able to enforce it.
The Garfield County sheriff doesn’t care about Hubbard Mesa, and BLM law enforcement was/is nonexistent. Not one mention about funding for enforcement. If there is no budget money for enforcement, then the BLM is wasting everybody’s time.
Who wants to bring a guest to recreate out at Hubbard Mesa to see mattresses furniture, and shot-up appliances? So they can see how disrespectful local resident are to federal properties? Embarrassing.
Traditionally people are/were able to do whatever they want out there, and without any enforcement it is unlikely to change.
Letter: Support for USAAJanuary 24, 2016 —
Re: the letter by Irvin Tilley, “Veterans v. USAA Car Insurance,” Wednesday, Jan. 20.
I was surprised when I read Mr. Tilley’s account of his experience with USAA because I, too, am a veteran. I served for 31 years, have been insured by USAA since 1962 (54 years), and have had nothing but prompt, competent and caring service with my auto and home insurance as well as banking needs.
Mr. Tilley complains that USAA required documentation from medical professionals for both his injury and his medical expenses, and that USAA has denied coverage of some medications. USAA’s policy on medical payments coverage clearly states that it will cover necessary and appropriate medical services that are properly documented to be in accord with recognized standards of care consistent with published practice guidelines for licensed medical providers. But it does reserve the right to insure that all claims are complete and appropriate.
I’m really sorry Mr. Tilley is experiencing such frustration and pain from his auto accident, but I can say that kind of experience with USAA is uncharacteristic and something I and the veterans I know have not encountered. USAA has provided us with first-rate service over the years. I highly recommend the company to any eligible person.
Letter: Eyesores in our townsJanuary 23, 2016 —
There are derelict railcars piling up on sidings in towns in our region, including Silt, Canyon Creek and Gypsum.
So what is the problem? They are unsightly and it seems they may be there forever. Why is this happening?
In my opinion it is because of the demise of the coal business in our region. Most of the railcars are coal haulers, and the market for the coal burned in power plants east of us is disappearing because of global climate change-based regulations.
There is considerable discussion of the future potential impacts of climate change but very little about the real human impact of moving away from fossil fuels such as coal (e.g. loss of jobs in coal mining, transportation and power generation). I hope our elected officials are looking at ways to ease the impacts to affected communities and individuals.
Letter: That entrance to AspenJanuary 23, 2016 —
Once upon a time … the Entrance to Aspen was on track to be rebuilt so that it would function properly.
The state of Colorado was prepared to issue the final draft of the Aspen-to-Basalt Environmental Impact Statement.
Our state representative had a special appropriation approved by the state Legislature that would have funded the four-lane expansion of Highway 82 between Seventh Street and Brush Creek Road.
Aspen voters had satisfied the requirement of the city charter to approve any change in use of land acquired for open space by approving a new four-lane highway alignment through the Marolt property.
The project was stopped when two City Council members and one mayor refused to transfer the necessary property to the state. Their action violated everything you think you’ve known since grade school about the democratic process.
Not long afterward, a subsequent City Council required the state to restudy the portion of Highway 82 between Buttermilk ski area and Seventh Street at Main Street. The purpose of the restudy was to create a new design that would ensure that highway capacity would never be increased, and that the level of traffic congestion would thereafter forever remain the same, or become worse. The traffic congestion was supposed to encourage bus ridership.
For many years it was assumed that the political and procedural mess created by that first council’s refusal to do the right thing would be nearly impossible to clean up. However, we now know that isn’t true, based on two court decisions. I’d tell you all about them, but you probably aren’t interested.
The basic truth about the entrance to Aspen is that, as easy as it was for three members of City Council to screw things up, a mayor and two council members could get the project back on track.
Given that a solid majority of Aspen residents wants to fix the entrance, the really major mystery is why none of them ever seem to run for a seat on City Council. David Bach and I will be discussing that very question on his radio program “Bach Talk,” 3 p.m. Monday on KNFO (106.1 FM). We may even take some calls to find out if anybody knows anybody who would like to be on City Council and fix the highway.
It should be fun, and I may even play the “old guy” card and tell a story or two. Now children …