Letters to the Editor

Letter: Climate change program

May 27, 2015 — 

Dozens of people dead in Texas from heavy flooding, hundreds dead in India from a heat wave: It seems the news about climate change is always bad.

If you’re becoming numb from the dire predictions, come to “Climate Problems, Climate Solutions” on Wednesday, June 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the Glenwood Springs Library to learn of a cost-effective and relatively simple solution to climate change. Five films (totaling less than 15 minutes) and a speaker from Rocky Mountain Institute along with the host, Citizens’ Climate Lobby of the Roaring Fork Valley will answer your questions and explain how you can help solve the climate crisis.

Learn more »

Letter: Entering the USA

May 27, 2015 — 

If I break into your house it is called “illegal entry” because it is against the law for me to do so. If you come across any border of the United States of America without USA-demanded documentation it is illegal entry because it is against the law of our country.

My parents were legal immigrants during the 1920s and this is the process that was demanded of them before they could enter the United States of America. First of all they applied in their native country because the USA had an annual quota system (i.e., X numbers of French, Y numbers of British, X number’s of Germans and so on).

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Letter: CRMS bonds with Carbondale

May 26, 2015 — 

I am a student at CRMS and I read the column by Allyn Harvey called “Confessions of a boarding school grad.” There are some misunderstandings in Mr. Harvey’s column, especially that the CRMS community does not take pride in the school’s location in Carbondale. This is not the case.

Recently, on Friday May 15, the CRMS community (students, faculty and staff) participated in a scholarship workday in which we did work in work crews throughout Carbondale and other areas. Although this was a fundraiser, I had the chance to work in a crew in Carbondale. This opportunity united me, along with the CRMS community, with the Carbondale community. I was able to form a bond with the Carbondale neighbor in whose garden I worked.

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Letter: Politicians' lines of crap

May 26, 2015 — 

Here is an true patriot actor’s advice at a college he just was at for a commencement address.

Life isn’t fair, never has been, never will be. Life is what it is. You can either be a participant or be a whiner.

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Letter: Caring for Kailyn

May 23, 2015 — 

While most of us were back to our everyday lives following Easter weekend, Kailyn Forsberg was at Copper Mountain striving to match or beat the silver medals she had earned earlier in the USASA National Freeskiing Championships. Her attempt during the aerial competition met with a horrific accident instead. Airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Kailyn underwent surgery on her spine and then her pelvis a week later. She is currently undergoing rehabilitation at Craig Hospital.

Kailyn’s rehabilitation to independence will be a time-consuming process. She currently has no motor movement and minimal feeling from the chest down. Her progress has been steady, though. As she has healed from her surgeries, she has worked on her strength and balance. Recently advancing to a manual wheelchair, she has taken one more step toward independence.

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Letter: Get rid of TABOR?

May 23, 2015 — 

If it were that simple that our governor and the state Legislature could be trusted to not simply spend us into oblivion. Ask your parents sometime. Can they spend money they don’t have, or if they lose their jobs, do they have enough money to get by until they find another job?

The fact of the matter is that our state has funds that are not given back to citizens, there are funds left untouched. For those students who think that TABOR should be eliminated, then get in touch with those who represent the Western Slope in Colorado. There were several years that we didn’t get any refunds.

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Letter: Praise for CMC trustees

May 22, 2015 — 

After so many years of service, I would like to tout the outstanding work of three of the trustees of Colorado Mountain College: Ken Brenner, Dr. Robert (Bob) Taylor and Kathy Goudy.

In the history of CMC, I don’t think that there have been three more dynamic and effective trustees at the college. They have been the driving force to create a living, breathing strategic plan, ensure we have outstanding auditors to guide our finances, steer the course of legislative initiatives that benefit the college, ensure community courses are offered and outstandingly enhance the future of our college.

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Letter: Stop the Tree Farm development

May 22, 2015 — 

I doubt that I am the only one who has noticed a big increase of congestion in our valley, especially in the Basalt/El Jebel area. Do you think 400 new housing units, 127,000 square feet of commercial space and hundreds of new vehicles will improve this situation? Didn’t think so. That is exactly what is going to happen if Eagle County gives final approval to the Ace Lane Tree Farm Development across from Willits Town Center.

We need this project like we all need a hole in the head. I am pretty sure most of us will not be able to attend a planning and zoning commission meeting at 2:30 p.m. June 4 at the Eagle County Building in El Jebel. You can bet Ace Lane, his slick lawyers and big-money backers will be there while us working folks are doing what we do, working.

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Letter: Praising protection from drilling

May 21, 2015 — 

I want to commend and thank the U.S. Forest Service for standing by its decision to protect the Thompson Divide and a large part of the White River National Forest from future oil and gas development. As industry has laid claim to so much of our valued public land, I am grateful for the future protection of a landscape that I deeply cherish.

The Thompson Divide and White River National Forest are not only a beautiful landscape right in my backyard, but a place for visitors from across the country and world to enjoy, explore and be in awe of the natural beauty. I understand that oil and gas development is going to occur — it just does not need to happen everywhere. Certain places need to be protected, for the health of our planet and for the health of individuals.

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Letter: Weed out downtown, grow a conscience

May 21, 2015 — 

There are two distinct issues with respect to downtown Glenwood going to the weeds. They are 1) The city made mistakes on the initial drafting of the regulations regarding approval of new pot shops, and 2) The pot shops — who make millions — don’t seem to have a conscience (at least from my perspective).

Now I don’t blame the City Council for the initial mistakes. I mean, did anyone really imagine that pot shops in Glenwood would pop up like dandelions in spring all over town? And who would have predicted that there could possibly be a pot shop on every block of downtown? Certainly not me … but surprise, surprise — it’s becoming close to a reality. And how sad is that? It is very sad, and to me, very embarrassing (like “Hey… nice town, right? Love the family atmosphere. Not.”)

However, if the (new) City Council doesn’t immediately step in and set a moratorium or similar until new policies are created (like “enough is enough”), then yes, I will blame City Council. Especially after the pounding we got with “The New Mantra” touting the “New City Council” is going to listen and represent the citizens of GWS. Well … here is your chance to act (fast) and prove it.

And as for the millionaire pot shop owners, grow a conscience. There are plenty of places where your location would be much more appropriate then in the city center, which (in my opinion) should remain 100 percent family friendly with minimal intrusion to your money-making machine (although it might be a little too late with the current invasion of weed). Regardless, your customers will find you. So please, realize you are making plenty of money, and it would be in your best interest to show some respect to the general public who live in Glenwood, and to help maintain Glenwood as not only a family vacation destination, but also a great place to raise a family.

Letter: Rebuttal to Rachesky

May 20, 2015 — 

I would like to respond to Mr. Rachesky’s guest opinion of May 8.

How well America remembers Obama’s statement that “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.” Obviously untrue, and ultimately proven so. And while discussing presidential statements, also untrue: “I have previously stated, and I repeat now, that the United States plans no military intervention of Cuba.” (JFK, 1961.) “We are not about to send American boys 9 or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.” (Johnson, 1964.) “I am not a crook.” (Nixon, 1973.) “We did not — repeat — did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor would we.” (Reagan, 1986.) “Read my lips: no new taxes.” (Bush 41, 1988.) “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” (Clinton, 1998.) Invading Iraq was necessary “to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.” (Bush 43, 2003.) My point? Presidents lie.

Aside from your timeline, you are absolutely correct regarding the “sharing of wealth.” In 2008 the TARP (under Bush 43) bailed out Wall Street with what was initially $700 billion of taxpayer money. (Thanks to Dodd-Frank it was substantially decreased.) The ridiculous tax breaks for the wealthy in 2001-2, the “job creators,” created no jobs and did nothing but stagnate the economy for a decade based on the notion of trickle-down economics, which didn’t work under Reagan and fared even worse under Bush, who boasted the worst job creation since Herbert Hoover. I would remind you as well that in the 256 quarters that comprised the terms of 16 presidents, the GOP occupied the White House for 144 of these, versus the 112 by Democrats. Of these, 49 quarters were classified as being in recession: eight under Democrats, and 41 under Republicans.

I completely agree with your take on Common Core. People should become familiar with it. Forty-four states and D.C. voluntarily participate in it. Developed in part by Republican governors, a former RNC spokesman said, “High education standards are too important to our economy and international standing to be derailed by ideological purists with no alternative plan.” Common Core standards are limited to math and reading. Nothing more. Contrary to right-wing talking points, it is not pornographic, “Islamification,” indoctrination or the “seed of socialism.” If it’s indoctrination and misinformation you want, look no further than new textbooks in Texas, Oklahoma and many other states to follow, with their revisionist “history” omitting all things “non-exeptional.” You know — slavery, treatment of Native Americans, civil rights’ struggles, etc.

Regarding your concern with “the world’s contrived Jewish problem,” I fail to see the significance between the number of Jewish versus Muslim Nobel Prize recipients, and question why it’s even an issue in your letter, except to fan the flames of your perceived anti-Jewish sentiments by the Obama administration. It’s no secret that Obama and Netanyahu have no great love for one another. “Anti-Netanyahu” is vastly different than anti-Semitic. To suggest that this mutual personal animosity between two leaders is “throwing Israel under the bus” is ridiculous. Israel exists today because of its strong ties to the United States, and thanks to France and the U.S., is a nuclear power as well. When virtually all of the world agrees that Israel is responsible for multiple human rights violations and war crimes against Palestinian civilians, who is always in their corner? Their staunch ally, of course.

I also agree wholeheartedly with your observation that low-information voters are ruining this country. All that differs is your perception versus mine of who these voters actually are. I have read your letters to the editor with interest over the years, and have written my share as well. I couldn’t help but notice your “Hillary or her like kind” references. I can only counter with “Ted or his like kind” or “Marco or his like kind.” Your assertion that “Obama’s presidency has been a disaster” can very easily be countered by inserting George W. Bush’s name into that statement. That being said, I would say that both sides of the U.S. political spectrum can agree on one thing, if nothing else: Polarizing partisanship has overtaken any possibility of agreement.

Letter: An alternative to TABOR

May 18, 2015 — 

The Colorado tax policy (TABOR) has been messing up Colorado ever since it was put to action. It has this “tax surplus” that forces the state into giving any tax surplus back to the citizens.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s a good thing people are getting their money back, but you also have to take into account the programs that aren’t being funded when this happens. That is what has happened with the marijuana tax. They have to give that tax surplus to the citizens because of TABOR, instead of giving it to the programs that were cut in the recessions during 2001-08.

Our Glenwood Springs High School FAD project citizen group has come up with a new policy that will get rid of TABOR. It’s called EZ Tax. Our policy won’t force the state to make budget cuts to important programs if there is a tax surplus (like this year’s marijuana tax surplus.) It will get rid of the “Revenue Cap” that TABOR has going on. It will let the state keep the excess revenue and spend it on funding programs such as education, health care, road work, etc. Our policy will allow the government to grow. We would love more support for our tax policy.

Esli Rojo

Glenwood Springs

Letter: Expand YouthZone program

May 18, 2015 — 

We are a group of students in FAD class at Glenwood Springs High School. We are working on our “Project Citizen” project to try to improve our city, our county, our state and possibly the United States.

Our policy is trying to expand the juvenile diversion program of YouthZone to all of the state of Colorado, so teenagers who commit an unlawful act get an opportunity to redeem their acts. This program helps juveniles by providing youth assessment, parent support, individual and family counseling, restorative justice, court programs, mentoring, education workshops, public policy and resource advocacy, and more.

Our group is doing a presentation on May 21 at the small performance room at GSHS, It would be greatly appreciated if you were to be present at our presentation.

Bryan Flores

Glenwood Springs

Letter: Glenwood Springs Ride of Silence is May 20

May 18, 2015 — 

The 13th annual Glenwood Springs “Ride of Silence” is one of the bicycle tours that take place every year on the third Wednesday in May (National Bicycling Month) all over the world. It is to pay tribute to cyclists who have been killed in traffic accidents while biking. In the past, I’ve managed to coordinate the Sayre Park ride with help from friends. Due to schedule conflicts, I won’t be able to ride this year, so please ride your own “Ride of Silence.” In addition to honoring those who have been killed in an accident while cycling, the ride is intended to raise awareness of the legal obligation of a motorist to share the road with cyclists and cyclists to obey the rules of the road. Remember, always wear a bike helmet while riding. See you next year. More information: www.rideofsilence.org.

Lorry Carlson

Glenwood Springs

Letter: Centralized gas ops benefit GarCo

May 18, 2015 — 

Centralized remote hydraulic fracturing has centralized natural gas operations in Colorado removing millions of truck trips from county roads. The same technology has reduced emissions, dust and the size of drilling pads.

The ponds that supply water remotely are approved through a state permitting process that is the most stringent in the nation including requirements for double liners, state-of-the-art leak detection, bird netting, odor mitigation requirements and modern design and engineering standards.

Centralization of natural gas operations has benefited Garfield County in numerous ways. The Glenwood Springs Post Independent’s self-serving bias against industry in headline and story selection doesn’t change the fact that Garfield county’s air is the cleanest in Colorado, the citizens are among the healthiest and the fiscally responsible commissioners have adopted policies that result in Garfield County having just about the highest cash reserves per capita in the nation.

These claims are supported by robust data. Of course why would the Post Independent ever report on these unglamorous realities?

Morton Brookshire

Colorado Springs

Editor’s note: While we disagree with the Colorado Springs correspondent’s assertion that our coverage of natural gas operations and Garfield County government is self-serving and biased, we wouldn’t want to also be accused of suppressing the writer’s opinion. We let our coverage speak for itself.

Letter: Grand is more important

May 18, 2015 — 

One would think that river confluences would be natural focal points, but not always so. They are the points often denied attention despite urban proximity. St. Louis is only near the confluence of the Missouri and the Mississippi, the Ohio and the Mississippi have none, Grand Junction is in name only, from the time when the Gunnison and the Grand met, but alas, nothing more than a railroad bridge.

The San Miguel comes down from Telluride and meets the Dolores inauspiciously and unobserved, and in turn the Dolores meets the Colorado somewhere above the Dewey Bridge. So river confluences are overlooked. That’s what’s so visionary about the proposed development in Glenwood at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and the Colorado.

All this is commendable unless it precludes any future route for traffic through town. In other words, include room for a possible traffic route through that area. If it comes down to dodging traffic on Grand Avenue to pick up dog droppings at the Wye, then something is wrong with the decision-making process. The priorities are flipped around and shortsighted.

Fred Stewart

Grand Junction

Letter: Planned development affects us all

May 18, 2015 — 

To anyone whose daily commute encompasses the busiest stretch of Highway 82 from Basalt to El Jebel, you might be interested in attending the public meeting of the Roaring Fork Valley Planning Commission on Thursday, June 4, at the Eagle County building in El Jebel around 2:30 p.m. This meeting is the second stage of approval for the Tree Farm Development proposed between the El Jebel Road and Willits Lane.

In 2009 when the sketch plan was approved, the development was to consist of 319 dwellings and 96,375 square feet of commercial space, which was estimated to generate over 3,000 more vehicles daily. The current plan increases the dwellings to 400 and adds over 38,000 square feet of commercial space.

If you can’t make the afternoon meeting, you could submit your concerns to the Eagle County Planner Scot Hunn at Scot.hunn@eaglecounty.us by e-mail or at:

Planning, PO Box 179, 500 Broadway, Eagle, CO 81631. This development will effect everybody in the valley, not just the small portion of Eagle County, so let your concerns be heard.

Mary Robertson

Basalt

Letter: Divide: 'Bigger than you or me'

May 18, 2015 — 

When I first moved to Carbondale, I set out with my hubby to ride the Lost Biker Loop in the Thompson Creek area west of town. It was unmarked, rarely traveled. We followed double-track roads and faint trails but didn’t see any sign of other people … sometimes only bear paw prints or mountain lion tracks. It was quiet, thick with full, round aspens and lush undergrowth. Despite being so close to population, the woods there have a wild feel to them. In the subsequent years, we would come to pedal Tall Pines and climb the crags along lower Thompson Creek.

No matter your choice of recreation, the Thompson Divide stands as a refreshing example of how different user groups have come together for a common cause. At a town hall meeting with Thompson Divide on the agenda, you’ll see mountain bikers sitting next to ranchers, ATV riders next to environmentalists, and Republicans next to Democrats.

I think back to the Hidden Gems debate, a divisive time in a not-too-distant past that resulted in distrust between many different stakeholders. Where does that get us when it’s time to make big decisions about the management of our public lands? Where does that get us when it’s time to stand together against development that will alter the very qualities that define this valley?

Not to be mistaken, I heat my home, turn on my lights at night, drive a car. Yes, I use my share of energy extracted from natural resources. But I do not believe the benefits outweigh the negatives to allow natural gas extraction in the Thompson Divide area. I need this land in which to explore, get lost, disconnect and feel whole again. But it’s bigger than you or me. We need to keep the Thompson Divide “wild” for the health of our land, our food and water.

We must now make the case to the BLM to withdraw dozens of illegally issued leases in the Thompson Divide. If different user groups can continue to work together, our collective voice will be stronger.

Trina Ortega

Carbondale

Bennet lets ISIS walk in

May 18, 2015 — 

I am sure that Sen. Bennet needs to be ousted. His recommendations are that the southern border and the northern border are wide open for ISIS militants to walk into the USA unimpeded.

Sen. Bennet has a website. Please visit the website and leave your opinion of this border fiasco.

Jane Spaulding

Carbondale

No more pot shops for Glenwood

May 17, 2015 — 

As a Glenwood native, I am absolutely opposed to the approval of additional marijuana dispensaries in our community. The existing recreational outlets already send plenty of messages to our youth that marijuana use can be enjoyed with little consequences. We shouldn’t tolerate more promoters.

I know of no marijuana shop in Colorado that expresses concern for our adolescents by educating them on the dangers they face with marijuana’s permanent alteration of a youth’s brain function, especially from age 8 to adulthood. The psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC, gradually impairs and permanently changes the way a youth’s brain cells function, affecting movement, coordination, learning, memory and judgment, as well as pleasure. A New Zealand study found that long-term use beginning at a young age to adulthood reduced IQs by 8 points.

The California Environmental Protection Agency report “Evidence on the Carcinogenicity of Marijuana Smoke” found that marijuana smoke has been “clearly shown through scientifically valid testing according to generally accepted principles to cause cancer.” Of the 33 cancer-causing chemicals, the most recognizable are arsenic, benzene, cadmium, chromium, formaldehyde, lead, mercury and pyrene.

I agree with the Swiss physician Paracelsus (1493-1541), who 500 years ago revealed a scientific fact: “It is only the dose which make a thing poison.” Today, however, marijuana is an obvious and present danger to our youth.

Floyd Diemoz

Glenwood Springs

Letter: Over-the-top rhetoric

May 17, 2015 — 

As I follow the controversy over the CRMS right of way, I certainly feel empathetic toward those who have utilized the negotiated right of way for years. However, the invective invoked by Jean Perry in her recent letter to the editor seems a bit over the top.

I know that I have only lived here for 25 years. My mother went to high school with both Shortie and Augie Pabst, and I have met both of them without mention of CRMS. And that anyone with even a modicum of following the Koch brothers would understand that the Koch brothers have as much interest in CRMS as a Siberian elk has in the Great Spot of Jupiter. And yet Jean Perry somehow has an inordinate insight into the greater truths that us mere mortals can only dream of comprehending.

A number of years ago the town of Carbondale tried to contest the title upon which my home lies. After 10 years of my property being encumbered, after 10 years of legal fees, after 10 years of the weight of the government upon my household, the town of Carbondale finally conceded that it had no claim upon my property.

During this process can you guess who might stand up in a town of Carbondale council meeting and demand that the town of Carbondale do everything in its power to take property away from a private citizen? And can you imagine who might make that demand based upon the premise that the person is rich? Despite having no knowledge whatsoever of that person’s financial circumstances. Bingo.

I guess it all depends upon whose ox is being gored. Et tu, Brutus.

Michael K. Stahl

Carbondale

Letters from Glenwood Springs third graders

May 16, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: These letters are from third-graders at Glenwood Springs Elementary School, written as part of a class project.

Add solar panels to new school

Coal is getting too old and out of date. It’s time for Glenwood Springs Elementary School to use solar panels on our new school (if we’re lucky enough to get one). Many schools in our school district have gotten solar panels. For example, Glenwood High School is getting them, and Basalt Elementary and Middle School have them. If those schools can get solar, then we can too. Therefore, the new Glenwood Springs Elementary School needs lots of solar panels, so we can burn less coal and keep this world healthy.

It is obvious that lots of kids and adults care for the Earth. I know lots of people who want solar panels. For example, I want solar panels, and in my class there’s a whole group of people (including me) who want solar panels.

Another reason is because burning coal releases lots of bad air for us humans, like ozone and soot. I’ve even seen a video that shows what happens when air pollutants affect your body and how it starts. For instance, soot happens when there is lots of smoke that comes from a big burning fire or a power plant. If people breathe soot, then people start to cough and wheeze. Therefore, it’s better to use solar panels to avoid all these horrible conditions and live better lives without suffering.

Other schools have gotten solar panels. Colorado Mountain College in Rifle has a whole field of solar panels. Just imagine that whole field of solar panels and how much energy it makes. The college students are very lucky. My wish is to have my school get lots of solar panels. It just surprises me that all these schools are getting solar panels so quickly. So why not GSES? Let’s use solar panels to burn less coal, so kids can have healthy air when they grow up.

We humans have the chance to make a difference. The solar companies can help by making solar panels cheaper and offering great deals to local schools. Come on, Roaring Fork School District. Make our dreams come true.

Gaby Cordoba

Elementary school needs help

We have a problem. The problem is Glenwood Springs Elementary School is falling apart.

A reason is that the ceiling is falling, and that is not safe, because if we just leave it, then it will happen in all of the classrooms.

That’s not all. The windows are not working, and kids need air when they are inside. A solution is to get a new school. We really need one.

Ricardo Nevarez Lopez

Be careful driving around kids

I want kids to be safe leaving school and arriving at school in the school zones. Kids are not always tall enough for drivers to see them and the kids don’t always pay great attention to the cars.

One example is kids might kick a ball into the road and then they might get hurt trying to get the ball. Some drivers don’t always look carefully for children. Some people get distracted driving by the radio, cell phones and children misbehaving or yelling inside the vehicle. When you speed in school zones you can’t stop quickly if a student is crossing the road.

These are some ways I think we can improve safety:

First, we can ask teachers, kids and volunteers to use stop and go signs and wear safety vests when on patrol.

Second, people who are driving need to be extra careful when they are in school zones.

In conclusion, I want kids to be safe, so please be very careful when kids are present.

Annabelle Ashley

Glenwood needs better parks

As a citizen it seems to me that we must improve the parks in Glenwood.

One reason we need to improve on our parks is that there is not a lot of equipment at some parks, such as at Two Rivers Park.

At Two Rivers Park it is usually crowded and sometimes I want to go on the slide, but it has too many people on it so we must put more slides in the parks.

Also we need real bathrooms at some parks. For instance those plastic bathrooms are not really helpful because they do not flush and it smells. Gross! In fact they are not cleaned very often. As you can see there are several ways to improve our parks and we must do it now.

Briseyda Noriega Ramos

Littering must be stopped

Too many people are littering and glass gets everywhere.

Littering must be stopped in Glenwood Springs. When glass gets everywhere people could get really hurt.

I know because I have a friend who stepped on glass and her foot started bleeding.

Also, too many people are littering and it doesn’t make Glenwood a better place. When tourists come and see all this trash on the ground, they are going to tell other people about it. Then they are not going to come to Glenwood.

To solve this problem the city should put out more trash cans so people could throw away their trash and stop littering.

Skylar Baltzer

Letter: Concerning the Rifle water tank

May 16, 2015 — 

1. In Ordinance 7, there is no sunset for the 12 percent surcharge, meaning that there will be the automatic water rate increase for the standard water rates in addition to the new water tank surcharge for perpetuity.

2. As with the new water plant, the revenue projections and potential reduction in consumer fees are all based on Rifle’s continued population growth. Where is the growth? Water revenues from 2014 were only 1 percent higher than in 2013, where the expenses were 57 percent higher. There is a $640,000 shortfall in revenue, according to the December 2014 financials with water user fees and water tax revenue being stagnant. So, is the 12 percent surcharge the new norm?

3. Ordinance 4, 5, 6 and 7 all deal with a state of emergency and the need to repair the 3 million gallon water tank, but these ordinances nor the fee surcharge seem to cover the actual repair of the old 3M gallon tank. The funds seem to be only slated for the building of a new 2M gallon tank. What is proposed for the existing 3M water tank and what funding will be available for this?

4. The industry standard for water tank inspection is recommended periodic inspections annually, per the Colorado Department of Health and Environment Water Quality Control Division, which utilizes the American Water Work Association and EPA guidelines. A comprehensive inspection and cleaning is recommended every three-five years which includes an in-depth inspection. If the tank was in this dire of need, the annual inspection should have raised some red flags. In addition, water tank degradation should have been noted in the previous inspection four years ago and funds should have been set aside to recoat or repair at that time in addition to triggering more frequent inspections and maintenance. This is the main Rifle tank and if we cannot function without it, why was more care not put into maintenance of this tank? Are we holding the appropriate city personnel accountable?

5. What else is out there that the public should know about? This latest water emergency was preventable and foreseeable and we cannot keep blaming the economy for lapse of judgment.

Letter: Pot isn't the villain

May 15, 2015 — 

Concerning the Vaudeville/pot shop issue. How appropriate that the Post Independent would capture a mother and child walking in front of said location.

The concerns should be focused more on liquor stores for all the damage they do to people’s lives directly or indirectly. Or for that matter cigarette stores that are merchants of sickness and death.

Come on, the arguments are so lame against these pot shops that really hurt no one. As far as the image goes, guess what? That’s why a lot of people come to world-famous Glenwood Springs. To buy weed. On the up side the Vaudeville’s corny act will be able to spoof on it for free.

Letter: Open-pit giveaway

May 15, 2015 — 

After reading the latest action of our county commissioners, I can’t keep my opinion and actions at the state level any longer. This latest give-away to oil-gas ability to have open and unregulated pits in more remote areas is yet another slap in the face to all county residence. Yes, I know and I too benefit from the money this county receives for our giveaways to deregulation to this industry in our county.

I have been familiar with the oil shale opportunities in this county since 1971. At that time, I knew the geomorphology team from CSU who were invited to investigate both the environmental impact as well as the financial costs of extraction.

In 1976, I moved to this county and have observed the boom bust environment that has been around since the gold and silver days. I have watched uranium wastes being removed from our river valleys around Rifle and relocated yet another place still in our county.

The CSU results stated that oil shale extraction (not even mentioning fracturing) too costly both financially and environmentally. Please feel free to look into the CSU archives for the research results, titled by Dr. Schumn.

Garfield County is the Colorado River valley that feeds many states and many people. First and foremost our water should not be outsourced to oil-gas; secondly, that water needs to be clean for both plant and human life. Open pits can also put our wildlife at risk.

Are we as the residents of Garfield County really ready to accept that oil-gas is more important than our water, our air, our responsibility to human life both here and in all the place this water goes? Are we ready to accept that money and amenities are more important than our lives, our environment, our children’s future?

Shame on you, county commissioners.

Letter: Parachute's future

May 14, 2015 — 

It is great Parachute is looking to diversify its economy (Parachute sales tax receipts lose energy, May 2). The future of oil, gas and coal is bleak, which is actually good; otherwise the future of the planet would be bleak. Since energy will always be needed, they should look into wind and solar production. For every $1 million output, renewables create about five jobs compared to less than one job for gas. The world is now adding more renewable energy than coal-based energy.

Hopefully this year Congress will set an energy pathway forward that is both sustainable and good for the economy, like carbon fee and dividend. We need both a strong economy and a sustainable future. Parachute would do well to look to renewable energy.

Letter: Remember what has happened

May 14, 2015 — 

I love the guest opinion written by Stan Rachesky in Saturday’s Post Independent.

Thanks, Stan, for putting into words exactly what a huge majority of people in Colorado are thinking, the entire nation is thinking. I totally agree.

When you get ready to cast your vote for president in the next election, remember what has gone on.

As another warning for all of Colorado for those in charge of the voting booths: Please remember that our Governor Hickenlooper allowed at least 500 to 1,000 Hispanic illegals regular driver’s licenses before it was discovered. He never collected them back as he should have, so I think he fully intended them to be illegally obtained. Also the new DL for all illegal Hispanics should have the wording, can’t be used for voting nor for ID.

Letter: Death with Dignity needed

May 14, 2015 — 

For a high school project I am trying to make people aware of a policy passed in Washington, Oregon and Vermont: The Death with Dignity Act. All of the states have very similar requirements: must be 18 or older, have a written request and two oral requests spaced 15 days apart. They must be residents of Oregon, Washington or Vermont. A physician must diagnose them with a terminal illness that will kill them within six months. The physician will also decide whether the patient is mentally competent or not. Patients are allowed to cancel their request at any time.

We want the Death with Dignity act to pass in Colorado. The Death with Dignity bill was already proposed but failed. We think that this happened because of how the bill was worded. The policy described above was slightly modified for Colorado, but I don’t think the change was necessary.

Although the bill recently failed, there has been talk that it will be proposed again later. Pricing wise, the cost for the lethal drug is less than $100. Additional cost can include physician appointments or a psychological consult if required. Some insurance companies will cover the medical costs. The advantages of this bill are that you have the freedom to choose death over suffering with a terminal illness, and is an extension of a person’s right to refuse life-saving medication. The disadvantages of this policy are that people see it as mercy killing, and people may influence terminally ill patients to end their life due to the fact that it would be cheaper than paying for expensive medication. Most opposition has something to do with religion, although we should keep in mind that not everyone shares the same religious view, and this bill is not promoting death but giving the option and allowing terminally ill to know every one of their options.

Lizzy Tello

Glenwood Springs

Letters to the Editor: Readers' views on CRMS access

May 12, 2015 — 

CRMS: This is public property

The mistakes in your editorial on County Road 106 are too numerous to address in 350 words, so I chose two points to discuss.

Construction of a concrete sign in the right of way prompted the “stop work” order. The county granted a permit for this sign because CRMS’s Joe White wrote “yes” when asked if it was located on CRMS property. When applying for the permit, CRMS agreed to follow the county code, which dictates that “sign is located entirely on private property and shall not be located in a public right-of-way or easement.” By violating the rules, CRMS invalidated the permit.

When asked by the county manager why he answered “yes” on the application, Joe White said it was because the right of way is CRMS property. This misconception is at the heart of CRMS’s refusal to compromise on CR 106. They still don’t grasp that this is public property.

Where does the Post Independent get the impression that Satank’s concern is coming from a vocal minority? There are about 57 homes in Satank, and residents of 18 of those homes, or 32 percent, have spoken out against CRMS’s moves to exclude the public from the right of way. Most of those people have attended BOCC meetings during the work day. Imagine if 18,100 county residents, or 32 percent, took the time to attend an evening meeting, let alone a daytime BOCC meeting, to protest something. Would that be a vocal minority?

Nancy Smith

Satank and Gateway

Colorado has a Koch problem

The issue of County Road 106 is a microcosm of what’s going on in the country today; a private entity attempting to grab land by whatever means necessary, land that belongs to taxpaying county residents. I live in Satank, the neighborhood just north of the Colorado Rocky Mountain School, and my neighbors have encouraged me to take the high road through all of this. But I went to an all-girls Catholic high school, so while I’m comfortable on higher ground, I’m also familiar with the dirty, back-door politics that often seem to accompany private schooling. Also, I’m not afraid of the mean girls.

If you listen to CRMS, you’d think we Satankers are a bunch of snaggle-tooth child-eating predators. Just to be clear, these Satank residents are people like Charlie Moore, Pat Menke and John Armstrong, two of whom are honorary CRMS alumni. When we snaggle-tooths got together recently to place the culvert in the middle of County Road 106 (our rightful property as taxpaying citizens) and I widened the trail to the south, it was to make it more easily accessible for Pat to maneuver his wheelchair across the ditch. Pat’s lived here a long time, and he was cruising down County Road 106 way before any of us even knew what a Koch brother was.

I remember when CRMS had a great rapport with the community. Back in the days of Pat Fender, Judy Fox-Perry and Franz Froelicher; when the school matriculated such kind souls as Pat Bailey and Andrea Marsh. The school’s community involvement was genuine, and I’m told the administration of then would be horrified at the actions of the administration now. At one time, Shorty Pabst offered to donate his ranch in Old Snowmass to the school, and in hindsight that was the smart move. Located behind a small hill, surrounded by wilderness, that piece of property would have been ideal for securing the perimeter. However, we have to start from where we are; a porous campus that continues to be developed on and around a county road.

Now, CRMS has started to build their grand new entrance sign in the middle of the public right of way. Even though the commissioners voted 2-1 not to vacate the road, we still have to take time off from our workdays and attend meeting after meeting because of CRMS shenanigans. If everything was on the up-and-up with their recent sign permit, why was the foundation built on Saturday and Sunday? Which is illegal according to Garfield County building regulations, because of the Lord’s day of rest. (OK, it doesn’t say that, but it is illegal.) A fact we could verify with the county attorney, if he hadn’t suddenly retired recently. I would also like to ask him if he thinks Tom Jankovsky should recuse himself because of his relationship with Larry Green, an attorney for CRMS and Sunlight Ski Area. Jankovsky works for Sunlight, and curiously, he is the only commissioner in this case who takes issue with the public wanting to access our own land.

CRMS has latched onto the newest trick of the trade when it comes to land grabs; when all else fails, wait until you think no one’s watching and then take it. Copycat of the way the Koch twins are poised to take ownership of the western half of this country. They spent a lot of money on the last election to buy their legislators, and now they are trying to get federal lands transferred to state management. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeazy. States don’t have the resources to protect or preserve our public lands; they’ll have a bake sale for the kids and the next thing you know, we’ll all be kicked out of our favorite hunting, camping or hiking spots. They will “close the campus,” and eventually we’ll have as much public access to the land as they do east of the Mississippi, i.e., none. What a disastrous idea. I mean, really, we need Teddy Roosevelt to come back from the dead a lot more than we need Jesus right now.

Jean Perry

Satank

CRMS neighbors just want signs

Who wrote this editorial about CRMS? Where is the byline? Sounds like it was written by someone from CRMS.

Please get your facts straight. The neighbors were not on CRMS property when they replaced the old footbridge. That is our ditch lateral and it goes through the right-of-way, not CRMS property.

CRMS made money when Dolores Way was built. They sold the property where Napa, etc. are now.

ATVs cannot legally access the ROW.

CRMS admitted to never trying to meet with neighbors, admitted they put an obstruction in the ROW and admitted that they don’t want the public to know about the ROW.

All we are asking for are discreet signs that make it safer for everyone.

Taking the higher road in Satank,

Betsy Lincicome

Carbondale

Editor’s note: Editorials, labeled “Our View,” represent the opinion of the Post Independent as an institution, and are unsigned, common American journalistic practice.

CRMS ‘pulled a fast one’

Unfortunately, the writer of the editorial on the CRMS right of way issues has not checked the facts. As the CRMS representative said in the recent hearing, the school is committed to preventing access to the campus. That explains all of their actions. This is not what was directed by the county commissioners. The issuance of permits for encroaching on the county right of way was a mistake by the county.

No encroachment, especially a permanent encroachment, is allowed without a license. Applying for a license would have raised issues of a bond and/or of the requisite realignment of the county right of way. No survey has been done to show the actual area of the encroachment. The school’s attorneys would have known this. In essence, the school “pulled a fast one.” The school has also appeared to have previously encroached by placing a berm on the north end of the right-of way.

The issue of safety is a red herring. The school tragedies of recent years involve perpetrators that have connections to the schools. The infrequent bike rider offers no plausible threat. Many preparatory schools have public streets crossing their campuses.

No traffic accidents have been cited at the entrance to CRMS. The county did not call for the change to the entrance for any reason.

Members of the Rockford ditch installed a pipe to replace an old, narrow and dangerous, expanded steel grate cage that had been used as bridge. This work was done shortly after the annual ditch meeting where the Satank shareholders of the ditch were told that they alone had full responsibility for maintenance of their ditches. This work, lasting less than four hours, was done in the ditch easement and in the ROW easement. There is no encroachment or impairment of the right of way or the ditch. This long overdue improvement was actually a safety improvement and an improvement to the trail.

The commissioners had asked CRMS to meet with the neighbors. They did not. Instead, the recent construction work came out of the blue for both the neighbors and the county commissioners.

The commissioners and the neighbors have asked for a clearly defined and useful trail across the campus on the right of way. The community of Carbondale stands completely open and supportive to the school and their students; are we really asking too much in return?

Patrick Hunter

Carbondale and Satank

Letter: Marijuana makes good neighbors

May 11, 2015 — 

This letter is in response to the concerns voiced in the letter to the editor from Monday, May 11.

First, I would like to address the misconception that marijuana stores make bad neighbors and have a negative impact on surrounding businesses. During our time at three different locations in Glenwood Springs, we have encountered similar fears and objections that proved to be unwarranted once the business opened.

When we opened our Aspen store in the Tom Thumb building on the Hyman Avenue Mall, several of the current tenants objected to our being there. When we moved across the mall to a larger space, the same tenants were sad to see us go, citing increased foot traffic and business, and actually requested that the landlord consider only renting to another marijuana store. The reason we left one of our locations in GWS was because the landlord was OK with a medical store but not a retail one. That same location is now one of the stores applying for a retail marijuana license.

Secondly, it is worth noting that the space at 919 Grand Ave. is located in the proper zoning district, not in a residential neighborhood. This is a perfect location for a small retail store and commercial kitchen, and exactly where the city legislated this type of use. The retail store would be less than 1,000 square feet.

The kitchen would be of similar size, consisting of a minimum amount of equipment, much less than was used in this space by the previous restaurant owners. The type of infusion being used here would require a closed loop C02 extraction machine, which produces no smoke or fumes. It is a cold, nonflammable process that does not cook or heat the cannabis in any way. The cooking process will not involve the decarboxylating, or cooking of raw cannabis, which is a process that produces significant odors.

The closed loop-produced oil will be added to the edibles. The building will not be damaged in any way, and the walls and ceilings will be brought up to commercial code standards. It is worth noting that all of our deposits from our previous store locations were returned in full. This kitchen will be subject to inspection by state health inspectors, as well as a Marijuana Enforcement Division-selected industrial hygienist. The kitchen will be vented by a hood system through the second story roof of the building and equipped with an ozone filter.

The claim that odors will permeate the building and hurt business are simply untrue. This is a small commercial kitchen set up for our retail stores, not a large scale manufacturing operation. The kitchen and store will operate during regular business hours, and probably increase the exposure that the Vaudeville enjoys, if that isn’t happening already. At the very least, it will give them fresh fodder for their shows, which are often very funny, but not always exactly kid-friendly.

Ron Radtke

owner, Green Essentials LLC, dba Green Dragon Colorado

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