Letters to the Editor

Letter: Steve Davis' qualifications

March 28, 2015 — 

I am writing this letter to support Steve Davis in his bid for Glenwood Springs City Council. I met Steve and his wife, Marilyn, over 20 years ago when they moved to Glenwood Springs and purchased Summit Canyon Mountaineering.

Looking back, I think downtown redevelopment really started in 1995 when Steve relocated Summit Canyon from the Tamarack Mall to its current location at Eighth and Grand. Steve’s impeccable taste, concern for employees and extraordinary customer service established Summit Canyon as the anchor store for the downtown. He realized the potential for downtown then and he realizes it now.

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Letter: A voice for those harmed by gas industry

March 28, 2015 — 

On March 19, Kent Jolley of Glenwood Springs criticized my recent letter in which I condemned Gov. Hickenlooper and his backroom deal with Rep. Jared Polis to sideline the fracking ban ballot initiative. My recent letter was also critical of the COGCC and the Colorado Health Department. Mr. Jolley defended them and his natural gas industry.

He has the right to do that. I don’t have a problem with people who have jobs with the gas industry. I have a problem with the gas industrial complex and the way that they do business. The gas industry has this self-entitlement mentality that they have can have any piece of public or private land and water for their profit margins.

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Letters on a range of topics

March 27, 2015 — 

Intersection must be made safe

Due to the capriciousness of the Garfield County commissioners and lack of fortitude by CDOT, a dangerous intersection (Highway 82 at County Road 117) will now become an extremely dangerous intersection.

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Letter: Fracking is completely safe

March 26, 2015 — 

In response to Sean Berry’s tongue-in-cheek diatribe addressing Randy Fricke’s letter on fracking etc., I for one don’t see the humor. The corrupt leading the blind should not shock me anymore, but it does.

Here’s my own tongue-in-cheek response. Fracking is “totally” safe. After all, the oil and gas industry says so, as do those wonderful trust-inspiring folks behind those ads on TV. They wouldn’t lie to us would they? After all, that would be morally and ethically wrong, wouldn’t it?

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Glenwood Springs election and issues letters

March 25, 2015 — 

Bershenyi supports Arensman

I would like to encourage the voters in Ward 1 to make sure to exercise their right to vote. I am further encouraging all of you to vote for Russ Arensman for city council for Ward 1.

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Letter: City Council: Steve Davis

March 24, 2015 — 

I am writing to encourage voters of Ward 1 to elect Steve Davis as their City Council representative.

I have known Steve for many years — initially as a customer of his, later as a friend and again a client. I believe Steve embodies and offers Glenwood integrity, customer service, responsibility and decisiveness.

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Letter: Call a stoner for help

March 24, 2015 — 

In response to Tom O’Keefe’s letter, “Vallario: Quit complaining about pot” dated March 15, I’d like to begin by encouraging him, the next time he finds himself a potential meal for a bipedal predator, to call a stoner to help him out.

Living out in the county, the sheriff and his department are who I count on to enforce the law in my “neighborhood.” Under Lou Vallario’s tenure as sheriff, I have never felt that I wasn’t protected. The world’s a potentially ugly, dangerous and uncertain place and “We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us.”

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Letter: Rifle mock trial team did well

March 24, 2015 — 

I read your article on March 16 that featured the mock trial competition recently held in Glenwood Springs. First let me start by saying congratulations to the two Glenwood teams that made it to state. They did a fantastic job and were inspiring to watch.

However it was very disappointing to see that there was hardly any mention of the Rifle team in the two full pages of the article. Granted the Rifle team did not place and won’t be going to state, but as the Honorable Judge Neiley commented, the Rifle team was a “diamond in the rough” and will be a team to watch out for next year.

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Letter: Arensman equals effective action

March 23, 2015 — 

This newspaper wants people of “action” on City Council. OK with me. However what none of us want is Ready, Fire, Aim. We want not only action, but sure-handed and effective action and, here, Russ Arensman is your man. Russ aims first and consistently hits his target.

Russ has a track record of action in his prior term as city councilor. Witness his effectiveness as councilor in working to see that the new library was properly located in the downtown core. What a mistake it would have been to site the library on the city perimeter. Russ was also instrumental as councilor in initiating plans for our new parking structure, which is now adding to the commercial vitality of downtown.

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Letter: Rifle toughness will prevail

March 23, 2015 — 

I was blessed enough to move to Rifle in 2001 as a junior at Rifle High School. During my short two years I was privileged to have football coaches like Damon Wells and Todd Ellis. They taught us how to be better not only in football but in life, to never give up, to never settle for anything less than perfect.

I learned firsthand coming from a large football powerhouse in Oklahoma to a small 3A school what “Rifle tough” meant. During the 2012 season I was again privileged to be an assistant coach under Damon Wells. In short, I have never seen a coaching staff work so hard to make sure their players succeed. The countless hours the staff puts in during the weekdays, not to mention Saturday and Sunday, where the staff will spend the better part of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. preparing for the week ahead. If you can visualize that commitment to these young men, the sacrifices they make with their families — times it by 10. To be accused of cheating is nothing less than someone crying wolf. The integrity of RHS football I know will prevail as we are and always will be Rifle tough.

As for Align Multimedia, Ryan Mackley and his crew, I today still have my VHS tapes from Ryan filming our games back in 2001-02. The work he has done to preserve the memories of hundreds of players over the years is bar none. As an involved member within the Rifle community I know not only what he and his company do for RHS football but that of the many local businesses and nonprofits they work for. To accuse them of deliberately cheating for stepping inside to player’s box for three plays is absurd. In a direct response to the accusers, we’ll see you on the field.

Ryan Gilbert


Letter: Arensman can create better climate for business

March 22, 2015 — 

Russ Arensman is my choice for Ward 1 in the upcoming City Council election. Russ currently serves with me on the Glenwood Springs River Commission, a citizen board that advises City Council on river access, city lands adjacent to rivers, execution of the River Trail Master Plan, and on pedestrian and bicycle mobility in general.

In the current campaign, much has been made about his opponent’s business experience. But Russ is no stranger to business, having been self-employed for part of his career. And more to the point, Russ understands that trails, parks, river access and pedestrian bridges are not just expensive amenities for locals — they are essential to the economic wellbeing and growth of Glenwood Springs.

Russ was appointed to the River Commission shortly after his first term on City Council — he couldn’t stay away from public service. He has been a strong and creative advocate for our project to restore the riverbanks at Two Rivers and Veltus parks and to enlarge the boat ramp at Two Rivers. He has been active in promoting improved transportation connections, especially for bicycle and pedestrian traffic, both in our town’s neighborhoods and in relation to the Grand Avenue Bridge replacement project.

Redevelopment of the confluence area has long been one of Russ’s areas of interest. He’s in favor of public-private partnerships in creating a vibrant and economically vital combination of parkland, civic space, housing and restaurants where tourists and locals alike can recreate and enjoy the river environment.

Russ Arensman’s experience and his commitment to community make him the better choice for Ward 1 City Council member. He is not just a business advocate; he’s someone who knows how to create a better climate for business.

Jeremy Heiman

Glenwood Springs

Letter: A cesspool of ugly thought

March 22, 2015 — 

I understand that many of us have different core values when it comes to immigration. Some of us focus on the positive contributions of immigrants while others are concerned that they are seeking to appropriate the resources of this land. Some view the history of United States as exploitation of immigrant populations for our economic benefit while others feel they are currently being exploited though immigrant population resource usage.

Some of us look upon the original white settlers to this country as the first illegal immigrants, while others hold that we brought culture and a better way of life to barbaric and savage nations. We do not all share the same values. We interpret statistics to fit our deeply cherished beliefs, and language our conversations to enhance our positions. We rarely change each other’s minds. I understand the deep divisions. What I do not understand is the personal hatred and vitriol.

In his recent letter to the editor on March 16 Neil Pollack (Carbondale) referred to this (“immigrant” or “undocumented”) community as an “invading army Balkanizing our country and turning what was once a ‘shining city on the hill’ into yet another third world cesspool like the one they left.” How concise. In one sentence, he denigrates not only our neighbors, but also an entire country. Swimming in a cesspool of that kind of thinking is a sorrowful place to be. It is ugly and contributes nothing to the deep divide but hatred.

Niki Delson


Letter: We are all collectivists

March 22, 2015 — 

Mr. Smith accused Mr. Chisesi of being a “collectivist” (PI letters, March 12). He is correct. To the degree that one chooses to be a member of a family, the Rotary, a cooperative business venture, a town or the United Nations, to that degree, one is a collectivist.

We are all collectivists to some degree. The issue is one of personal values: How much collectivism is desirable versus how much individualism? Where to draw that line? It’s not an easy question to answer, and here we disagree in good conscience.

Most likely Mr. Chisesi and I would probably go quite a bit further than Mr. Smith in terms of how much collectivism is desirable. But putting the issue in either/or, black/white terms and implying that “collectivism” is a pejorative term is a cheap trick that only serves to divide us as a nation and a people.

You are entitled to your values and your opinion Mr. Smith, but where is your patriotism? This country has been, is and should be bigger that your personal values and opinions.

As for Ross Talbott and Appletree regulations, it’s difficult to form an opinion from information in this exchange of letters. To the degree that Appletree regulations are personally promulgated and enforced by Mr. Talbott and dictated to residents, Mr. Chisesi would be correct that Talbott likes rules well enough when he is making them but does not trust people to make them for themselves. That certainly qualifies as hypocrisy. But to the degree that the residents themselves promulgate, alter and enforce rules, these rules are simply another example of collectivism.

Ron Kokish


Letter: Add Wilderness Workshop to list

March 21, 2015 — 

Add Wilderness Workshop to list

I agree with Sean Berry’s March 13 letter totally, however Sean forgot one important group that is never satisfied with anything either. Sloan Shoemaker vowed that he is going to live his life to make sure that the Western Slope becomes a playground for bikers and hikers and ride the road people. 

His organization, now funded in the thousands by Aspenites want to change everything by creating an entire Western Slope into a  wilderness area where you can’t cut down the dead trees, you can’t harvest the dead trees either, you can stay on the roads only. This group doesn’t want you snowmobiling or doing anything off road.   

The Wilderness Workshop sends somebody to Congress and they want the entire Western Slope changed into a wilderness area. Include them in the list, too. So no matter how much wilderness is created by an act of Congress, it will never be enough for Sloan Shoemaker and his cohorts. He talks like he is working with the Forest Service, but in reality he isn’t.

Letter: GOP letter was sedition

March 21, 2015 — 

Aren’t we living in interesting times? The Republican Party, the party of un-American obstruction of the nation’s business, purchased elections, the war on women and the environment and numerous other distasteful efforts, has now turned to treason and sedition to oppose the black man in the White house whom they hate and fear.

Taking a family squabble public for the third or fourth time in the last year or so, completely embarrassing the United States before the world. Not to mention undermining the office of the president, twice in a single month. This wasn’t just schoolboy stupid folks, these fools did intentional, serious damage to the functionality, traditions and credibility of our country for a petty political purpose.

These “hawks” who want a few more profitable wars, who claim we are in a “war” now, on terrorism or whatever, have therefore committed sedition by their own definition. Actually one of the signers of this travesty is a military officer and that is real sedition, a violation of the UCMJ as well as her oath. Every one of these disloyal idiots needs to be impeached for the violation of their oath of office. Not only did they give “aid and comfort to enemies of The United States,” those they picked to get in bed with are the largest promoters of state-sponsored terrorism on the planet. Even so, the nice ayatollah sent the stupid letter back, pointing out that it just proved that the U.S. was fractious and duplicitous. Reread the comment above about embarrassing our country before the world…

Forty-seven senators, the people elected to make our laws, have you noticed that these are the same people who are busily trying to sell our county out to fascist corporate control? They were all stampeded by a newly elected “rising star” of the party and conned into signing the thing as they were rushing out the door to raise more money from their rich masters. They forgot to deliberate and study what they were doing and just bit on the party line, hook and sinker.

Letter: Why do Americans have to wait?

March 20, 2015 — 

Is there a mess at the DMV Glenwood Springs? Boy, there sure is. Why do Americans or people who have a driver’s license, proof of insurance, proof that we are law-abiding citizens have to sit for hours for the mistake that Gov. Hickenlooper made by sneaking in those who do not have the correct DMV paper? Maybe we should have Hickenlooper tell us in Spanish or English. I thought that you had to learn English. Wake up, America.

Letter: Coping with change, whatever the cause

March 20, 2015 — 

I very much appreciated your printing of the article on global warming by Glen K. Beaton (PI 09 Jan ‘15, Opinion) because it is non-judgmental, non-partisan, non-preachy and quite interesting reading. He recognized that changes in Earth’s climate have been occurring throughout its existence and that humankind and creatures have probably had some effect.

Anyone with rudimentary knowledge of natural geography, history, archaeology and the like has heard that the Earth has been changing itself, including its climate, since The Beginning, long before humankind existed. Thinking and informed humans are not denying that climates change, they just don’t accept the charge that only human activities have caused the more recent changes. While I can accept that there could be some effect by human activity, I charge those who claim that the more recent changes in climates are caused by rampant human capitalism and industry, as being deliberate, politically motivated, disingenuous and destructive with their efforts. However, all that being said, we all should do our very best to take good and honest care of our planet home.

In a curious recollection from not too long ago when I watched a Discovery-type program (on PBS no less) about a geologist investigating sedimentary rock strata in South Africa for indications of climatic occurrences. He noted that the skull bones of human-like creatures found in certain rock strata appeared to increase in size, indicating a larger brain, during periods of much colder climate. Anthropologists concluded that the creatures had to become more thinking and innovative, thus causing the brain to grow and expand, to cope with and survive in the more extreme climate (do we contemporaries need a good dose of cold climate to force us to get smarter; would we become dumber in warmer climate?)

I haven’t seen nor heard much said about should there be considerable changes in regional climates, there will likely be great and rapid migrations of people to the more livable areas (and won’t that be exciting). I haven’t seen nor heard of any real planning to manage such occurrences, but I’m sure it’s time.

Your City Council campaign letters

March 19, 2015 — 

Arensman led through recession

I had the privilege of serving with Russ Arensman during his previous term on Glenwood’s City Council. During this time, I and the other members of council learned to appreciate Russ’s thoughtful insight into the complex issues that only those of us who have actually served can really appreciate. Not the least of these was dealing with a significant economic downturn that could have very negatively impacted important city services and our community as a whole.

Russ was instrumental in developing means to not only minimize the impact of the downturn but also helped to find ways to complete new projects in cooperation with local business. Thanks to Russ’s leadership we were not only able to help our local businesses but also assisted in their ability to continue to employ many workers who may otherwise have lost their jobs due to the downturn.

Russ demonstrates a strong understanding of the needs of both our community and its government. For years, he has devoted countless hours to participation in boards and commissions that work behind the scenes to assure that Glenwood continues to move forward strongly and efficiently. As a result of this service and his understanding of the issues, he can hit the ground running and effectively serve from day one.

Russ is strongly committed to the betterment of our entire community and, as he has already demonstrated, will conscientiously advocate for all of its citizens when elected. To learn more about Russ visit: Arensman4Glenwood.com.

Bruce Christensen

Glenwood Springs

Arensman’s agreeable personality

I support and strongly encourage my fellow Ward 1 residents to vote for Russ Arensman for City Council. Russ has a very good disposition for this work. He will hit the ground running thanks to his previous experience on the council.

The two Ward 1 candidates in this race do share many of the same ideas, which is good. It is nice to have some unification in the vision of what is good for the current and future of Glenwood Springs.

My vote for Russ Arensman is based on his agreeable personality and willingness to put in the time and energy which is needed to successfully represent the needs of our community, now and the future. Russ is the right candidate at the right time. I am thankful for his willingness to take on this important position again.

Ann Szucs-Spencer

Glenwood Springs

Trauger: Deep knowledge of issues

Congratulations and thank you to all candidates vying for City Council seats. In my opinion, it takes great dedication and courage to step into positions where you will never please everyone and your work may sometimes seem thankless. Your willingness to step forward is to be applauded.

I attended the chamber’s Issues & Answers Forum at City Hall and the candidates were clear to point out that Glenwood is at a crossroads with extremely important decisions on many challenging issues including pedestrian safety, the bridge, confluence, bypass and on.

Given the complex nature of these issues or challenges, I ask you to support Kathryn Trauger for the at-large seat on City Council. I have served with Kathryn on the Planning and Zoning Commission, of which she is the chairperson. Kathryn does her homework, studies issues and listens very closely to feedback. Kathryn has a very deep knowledge of all the issues and, as she stated at Issues & Answers, she has been preparing for City Council for six years by serving on multiple boards, commissions and attending training workshops.

Thank you for your consideration, but most importantly, please vote.

Lin Stickler

Glenwood Springs

Feed My Sheep mistake

Life can be extremely hectic these days. Sometimes we forget to take the time out and smell the roses or to say thank you to someone who has touched our hearts.

Kathy Williams, running for City Council, is this person. She is an energetic woman who has a passion for our community. Recently I was fortunate enough to spend some time with her. We discussed several topics, but the main one was how much money does the city grant to Feed My Sheep. I explained the funding for our organization. Through an article she wrote a few days later I found the information I gave her was wrong.

I immediately started searching and found I had posted the first funding check to our checking account but I did not post the check to the city’s journal. My deepest apology to Kathy, the city and to our donors. I ask for forgiveness from anyone I may have misled.

I have been involved with the homeless community for 12 years and the last five I have been the director of Feed My Sheep. This has never happened before, I will be more aware of my bookkeeping skills in the future. Also, I would never jeopardize our relationship with the city, residents, business owners or donors. I know my apology may not be enough but we are all human and we all make mistakes.

Kathy, the best to you during this journey and to the city, thank you for supporting this vital community outreach.

Karen Peppers

New Castle

Candidates: What about the homeless?

I ask the following question to our candidates for City Council: What are your thoughts and possible solutions to the persistent and growing problem of homeless street people in our community?

It is my understanding that a meeting is slated with City Council sometime in May concerning this issue. Considering that some of these individuals may very well be veterans who have served our country; perhaps some thoughtful “pondering” may be needed to make effective decisions on this issue.

Joe Mollica

Glenwood Springs

Davis’ fair-minded decision-making

Patty and I are retired engineers and have been members of our wonderful Glenwood Springs community since 2011. Patty is a Colorado native, and we both fell in love with Glenwood Springs 30 years ago during frequent visits while attending the Colorado School of Mines.

During the past year we have had the privilege of working closely with Steve Davis while remodeling our Glenwood Springs home. We have developed a strong appreciation for Steve’s fair-minded and consistent decision-making and his effectiveness at leading talented individuals in solving problems and building consensus. Steve has the endorsement of incumbent Ted Edmonds, who along with Steve has a thorough understanding of the important issues facing Glenwood Springs and agrees that Steve’s vision and experience will be excellent in representing our community on the City Council.

In addition to developing a friendship with Steve and Marilyn and understanding Steve’s passion for the success of our community and all its citizens, we have witnessed firsthand his experience in managing a construction business and his numerous qualifications as a leader. We are pleased to endorse Steve Davis for City Council.

Mike and Patty Starzer

Glenwood Springs

Glenwood must prioritize

From the somewhat positive, dogged persistence implied in Cheryl Brandon’s letter on Floyd Diemoz’s comments, one would have thought he was a bypass proponent. In his op-ed his final statement endorses the new bridge.

He may only want to go back 40 years ... and does have specifics, but the idea of alternative routing of traffic goes back further. It’s ironic that over 60 years ago an early Chevy dealer opposed any other route through Glenwood, while a more recent Chevy dealer favors a bypass.

All this would not be an issue if Glenwood had the luxury of more land. It doesn’t. It doesn’t have the luxury of a new bridge and a bypass, not for those alive today. It does have the luxury of the rail corridor, if it’s respected — that is, still leaving options open for RFTA. This isn’t a winner-take-all situation, it must be shared and be realistic. To fragment the rail corridor or potential routes is gearing up for controversy and precluding what few options exist for a bypass alternatives.

Use it or lose it. You can’t have both. No bypass proposal is as good as never getting one built. A bypass proposal is necessary to avoid being stuck with a bridge into town that will not attract quality merchants. Glenwood would not rate even as high as an Estes Park or a Manitou Springs.

Glenwood needs to prioritize to preclude its fate, driven by special, short-term interests. Appeal to the powers that be, and to council candidates with a bypass proposal now.

Fred Stewart

Grand Junction

Letter: Chisesi's parable

March 18, 2015 — 

Chisesi’s parable

In response to Norm Shroll’s letter on March 12, I feel compelled to reply that Mr. Chisesi was not writing a monologue but, like a minister, was providing a parable. Keeping my letter under 350 words, I would like to close by paraphrasing Ricky Ricardo from the 1950s. Ross, You have some splaining to do.

Letter: Dishonest motives in frack attack

March 18, 2015 — 

Randy Fricke states that “most Western Slope residents know how corrupt the COGCC & CDHP are.” I won’t be arrogant enough to speak for “most Western Slope residents,” but most of the residents I do know appreciate the benefits we get from using gas and oil in our daily lives, as well as the opportunities and jobs the industry provides.

Most of the people that I know understand that the COGCC and CDPH are made up of real, dedicated people who work very passionately to enforce Colorado law and regulations, which is their duty. The only corruption is Fricke’s dishonest motives for attacking fracking and the people who engage in it every day. Fracking has been used for nearly 70 years on about 2 million oil and gas wells in the U.S. The EPA has never found an instance of ground water being contaminated by fracking. Period.

Mr. Fricke’s assertions of “abusive drilling practices” and claims of health problems from hydraulically fracturing rock a mile or so below the Earth’s surface demonstrates A) a complete lack of knowledge regarding oil and gas production, or B) baseless accusations that poison the well of public discussion.

Extremists do not like the gas and oil industry, so why can’t they be honest? Instead, they conjure up their own facts and theories out of thin air to try and impose their ideological beliefs on the rest of us. If fracking was banned tomorrow, this crowd would have another hyperbolic issue to rally around the day after tomorrow. They are entitled to their opinions, but not to their own facts. There are legitimate issues to resolve; this kind of discourse makes it all but impossible for reasonable people to negotiate sound policies.

Letter: A metaphor for our time

March 18, 2015 — 

When my husband and I first moved to our new house on Red Mountain Drive in Glenwood Springs, the Seventh Street bridge over the Roaring Fork was only one lane. There seemed to be no problem with folks having to wait their turn to cross if traffic was heavy, but one day we heard a continuous honking of horns, two different ones, from that direction.

Upon investigating, we discovered that there were two cars, nose to nose, in the middle of the bridge, honking at each other. Obviously, neither was going anywhere; there was a stalemate, not only for the two on the bridge but for those in line, waiting to cross. Fortunately, one finally backed out and traffic flowed again.

It wasn’t long after that that the bridge was widened, but what a great metaphor for what is going on in our government. And wouldn’t it be grand If there were a widening of perspectives and vision among our leaders so that the government could function again?

Perhaps a hint as to why that isn’t happening yet can be found in the coincident racist behavior of a college fraternity and that group of 47 Republican senators — reprehensible both. Though the senators were of all ages, there were some young’uns there, perhaps tainting the letter signer’s judgment with fraternity mentality.

When will they all grow up?

Letter: Soft-hearted excuse for a judge

March 17, 2015 — 

After reading about Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely’s behavior and comments in the sentence hearing for Christine Tinner, it leaves me wondering whether this judge is fit to serve on the bench.

The judge’s crying jags in court definitely calls into question her emotional stability and what, if any, rationale she’ll use in sentencing the defendant. The most absurd aspect of the judge’s behavior is this statement her honor made in court: “Meleyna is going to tell me what to do, She’s going to talk to me.”


Meleyna is the dead victim. Would Her Honor like to borrow my Ouija board or a deck of Tarot cards? I can see now that this soft-hearted excuse for a judge is going to let the defendant go with just a slap on the wrist.

Ms. Tinner did not just make a mistake. The accident she caused killed a young lady and snuffed out a very bright future. Justice demands the maximum penalty.

So Erin, dry your eyes and start acting like a judge instead of some emotionally unstable character in a cheap romance novel.

And while I’m at it, the attorney defending Ms. Tinner is below contempt for his comments about the victim’s car not being very safe to drive. Good point counselor, the poor dead girl might be alive had she been driving a Hummer or a tank. This relieves your client of any responsibility?

You, sir, and that flaky judge turn my stomach.

My sincere condolences to the family of Meleyna Kistner.

Letter: Connecting Missing Bike Links

March 17, 2015 — 

We are a group of Roaring Fork High School students trying to connect the missing bike path link on Snowmass Drive, in between Sopris Avenue and Main Street in Carbondale, with a bike lane. We see the dangers of not having any safe way for bikers and pedestrians to travel along that section of Snowmass Drive and we are concerned.

Crystal River Elementary school lies right down the street, and for the elementary kids who use that section of Snowmass Drive to get to school their parents are also concerned. This showed in results from a survey we gave out to the parents of the elementary school students.

We are proposing to solve this by adding a painted bike lane along this small strip of Snowmass Drive. A bike lane would not only service bikers and pedestrians, but is money- and time-efficient. In order to achieve this we need support not just form Carbondale’s town trustees, but Garfield County since that street is the county’s not Carbondale’s. Support from the public would also be very helpful. If anyone is willing and interested to support us and this proposal please visit our website: https://sites.google.com/site/snowmassdrivebikepath/

On our website anyone can comment with their opinion, take our survey or just get more informed about the issue and our plan of action. We greatly appreciate any interaction or support on our website and hope that this small section of a missing bike link can be connected for the sake of this biker-friendly town.

Letter: Congrats for opting out of PARCC

March 16, 2015 — 

Hats off to Greg Mikolai, chairman of school district 51’s board. He opted his son out of PARCC testing. It takes a great deal of courage to do this for a school board member, but I have always known Greg to be the kind of person who calls it as he sees it.

Another one of District 51’s school board members who needs accolades is Jeff Laney, who is planning to opt out his daughter from PARCC testing. Jeff is very brave, and I have always known him to be honest and accountable.

A parent called me to say that she opted all of her children out of PARCC testing in School District Re-2. Kellie Couey lives in New Castle. A very brave young woman indeed.

So listen up everyone, PARCC testing is taking too much time to complete and frustrates your kids and teachers, for example: ( 2+2 = 4; tell why 2+2 = 4). And please remember that PARCC tests Common Core Standards, both of which influence the curriculum your children learn and the results are used in your children’s teacher’s evaluations. What happen to local control? Also, let’s remember that data mining (questionnaire asking personal questions from your students that is given out to third parties without parental permission thanks to Arne Duncan and President Obama’s manipulation of the Family Education’s Right to Privacy Act) goes along with Common Core and PARCC testing.

Everyone, I would like to invite you to contact me at bsmith2330@aol.com or 970-986-8864 if you would like me to email or send you information on Common Core PARCC, data mining, etc.

Please be patient. Our efforts will pay off for we will get rid of Common Core and its derivatives, sooner than later. But we will all need to work together. I can see a difference from all of the wonderful efforts from all of those who have already taken a stand against Common Core and PARCC Testing. God bless a great nation that is exceptional. We Americans are hard to beat.

Barbara Ann Smith

Grand Junction

Letter: Hershey for Glenwood council

March 16, 2015 — 

As a two-term member of the Glenwood Springs City Council who had the privilege of being selected mayor three times, I feel that I have acquired insight into strengths that can contribute most to the effective governance of our community and would like to offer my strong support for Tony Hershey.

Tony is an exceptionally intelligent and open-minded individual who will put the interests of Glenwood’s citizens first. He will not be entering office with any preconceived ideas, biases or obligations to supporters. In my opinion, this is an extremely important quality, as council decisions must consistently be based on objective analysis and thoughtful review. Tony’s knowledge of government and proven skills related to negotiation and working with others to solve complex problems will also serve to expand the expertise and effectiveness of our City Council.

Glenwood Springs has endured two significant economic downturns in recent years with minimal impact on its citizens or the city’s ability to fulfill its obligations to them. This is a result of both the exceptional skill of our management team and the leadership of our elected officials. I trust Tony Hershey to continue this very effective partnership and always act for the good of the community as a whole rather than through strategic alliances that may benefit special interests.

Bruce Christensen

Glenwood Springs

Letter: Vallario: Quit complaining about pot

March 15, 2015 — 

I see Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario supports six other Colorado sheriffs trying to overturn the legalization of marijuana in our state. I guess this should come as no surprise coming from a man who has a huge Army assault vehicle in his arsenal just in case the natives get restless.

Hey, Lou, I guess you long for the good old days when the violent Mexican drug cartels controlled most of the weed coming into Colorado. When our elected officials put their personal agendas ahead of the will of their constituents our very democracy is being threatened .

Lou, your job is to uphold the laws of Colorado, so I suggest you start doing just that. The six sheriffs trying to overturn the will of the people should be up for recall, although I’m not holding my breath.

Tom O’Keefe


Letter: Huddled masses are Balkanizing the U.S.

March 15, 2015 — 

In response to Sue Lavin’s “Immigrant License Money Needed” letter in the March 11 issue, I’d just like to clarify a couple of points:

1. Immigrants “without documents” aren’t really “undocumented immigrants” as immigrants, by definition, have gone through a process to immigrate, and part of that process is the issuance of documents to authorize their presence in my country.

2. I realize that “illegal immigrant” and “illegal alien” are pejorative, hurtful and bordering on hate speech, but consider that between June 6 and June 11, 1944, the Allied forces invading Normandy numbered approximately 326,000 troops. If that was an invading force, how should we accurately describe between 11 million and 20 million storming our southern border, occupying our country and draining our resources?

All those “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” are an invading army Balkanizing our country and turning what was once “a shining city on a hill” into yet another third world cesspool like the one they left.

I hope to hear back from Ms. Lavin on this as I’ve lived and worked in Germany as an expatriate, jumped through all the hoops, obtained the appropriate visas, learned the language, paid taxes, obeyed the law and was never told to “Druck eins für Deutsch” when making a phone call to a business or government office, so it’s one of my pet issues.

Neal Pollack


Letter: Mindset smacks of collectivism

March 15, 2015 — 

In his letter of March 10, Craig S. Chisesi rattles off a long list of rules as spelled out by landowner Ross Talbott (Talbott Enterprises Inc.) in relation to those to whom he chooses to rent parcels of his property. Mr. Chisesi goes on to compare these rules to regulations made and enforced by government entities upon those owning private property within their jurisdictions.

To attempt such a comparison is to demonstrate a profound lack of understanding of both the inherent rights of private property owners and the just role of government within a society. Mr. Chisesi’s mindset smacks of collectivism.

Chris Smith


Letter: Talbott should visit North Korea

March 15, 2015 — 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Craig S. Chisesi’s letter in the March 10 PI, exposing the hypocrisy of the writer of the humor column Out On A Limb.

Mr. Talbott, if you “seriously doubt that any country on earth has controls and rules as stringent as ours,” I suggest you visit North Korea and compare.

Ross, maybe you should think twice before casting that first stone. Judge not lest ye be judged.

JM Jesse

Glenwood Springs

Letter: Incomplete history?

March 14, 2015 — 

As I See It, Hal Sundin, your analysis starting with the Crusades and continuing with rise of the Ottoman Empire (and its later fall) neatly skips over the 13th century when the Mongolians were ravaging and slaughtering Muslims and anybody else that stood in their way. I guess to the Mongols’ credit, the later Khans adopted the Muslim religion. Are we supposed to do that?

I would refer you to the March issue of Atlantic magazine. Graeme Wood’s analysis seems to conclude that ISIS hates everybody who is not “orthodox” Muslim. They intend to kill them, enslave them or convert them wherever they are. So far, the bad guys are doing a pretty good job on the “killing” part.

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