We must come up with a solution to the traffic congestion on Grand Avenue before it ruins our wonderful community. When I discuss this critical issue with friends, there is always some objection to a bypass, like it will be too noisy behind our home, it will cost too much if we do it that way, it will destroy the river, or it's only a real problem twice as day as commuters pass through.
Sound barriers can be constructed, tunnels can be built, and highways can be built on pylons over rivers or steep hillsides, as evidenced by the great highway through Glenwood Canyon.
I think some longtime residents of Glenwood Springs want to hide their heads in the sand about what is happening and what will happen to Garfield and Pitkin counties in the next decades. Some cannot envision a community without open land between Glenwood and Basalt, and the attendant population growth our children and grandchildren will experience.
I lived in cities away from Glenwood before coming back home to retire here, and have a perspective on how growth can adversely change communities. If we do not act now, at whatever cost, Glenwood will be the sacrifice zone, so often dramatized, because we cannot stop the growth.
But, we can plan for growth and provide a highway bypass like our sister communities. It is not too late to put together a consortium of state, federal and local entities to solve this problem once and for all.
This is not just a Glenwood Springs and CDOT problem. This is a regional problem. It will take a regional view, and work at the state and federal levels to finally construct a bypass. We need to muster the support of our congressman, senators, state legislators, the governor, regional elected officials and, most importantly, the public.
A bypass around Glenwood needs a political push to get something done, similar to the effort that brought the final solution for I-70 through Glenwood Canyon.
I too would like to add my thanks to the Garfield County commissioners for refusing to fund Planned Parenthood. This is also why we don't contribute to United Way, because when they asked for donations they could not honestly tell us our money would not be used for abortions.
Many doctors have written that the time of conception is when sperm and egg meet, in a few months when you can see the shape of the fetus, so abortion is simply murder. We hear many voices tell us it is the woman's body and decision, but really it is her decision before she enters into a relationship - whether she would choose to be pregnant or choose to abstain from sexual intercourse, and not run to the nearest abortion clinic when they chose wrong.
Thank you to the Garfield County commissioners and others who have written about abortions in the paper.
Here is a quote from Thomas Jefferson: "To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he believes and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
Dave Pegg's Jan. 15 letter misrepresented me as claiming that I think "people who don't own guns aren't qualified to have opinions about guns." Not true.
I said that some people who offer opinions as truth regarding guns are actually anti-gun, or ignorant regarding firearms facts and realities.
He then proved my point better than I ever could.
He asked, "What then of the Sandy Hook parents, the parents of the 20 first-graders riddled with bullets fired from a .223 Bushmaster assault rifle, the ones who don't own a gun, let alone the semi-automatic weapon that slew their children?"
An inanimate object did not kill those children. A mentally deranged psychopath on behavior-modifying drugs did.
Mr. Pegg, unaware of the facts, made claims that are actually disputed. Many reports have since come out saying that the children were not shot with an AR-15 rifle nor were they "riddled" with bullets.
News groups reported that Adam Lanza "owned" an AR-15. Vice President Joe Biden said he saw pictures of children's bodies riddled with bullets. Both were later "clarified." Every group from Fox News and MSNBC to local and federal politicians had to publicly withdraw many of those original claims and report that Lanza's mother owned an AR-15 rifle, but that it was locked in the trunk of her car.
NBC made this correction: "This continues to be a very complex investigation, and there is a lot of contradictory information out there, but there is some new information this morning from a couple of federal officials and state officials. They say now that there were actually four handguns recovered inside the school, not just two as we were initially told. Four handguns, and apparently only handguns, were taken into the school."
Video evidence shows the police removing a "long gun" from the trunk of Lanza's mother's car, but we still don't know what it was.
The truth is that neither Mr. Pegg nor I know all the facts regarding this massacre. But some won't let that stop them from actively misleading the public, exploiting grief and repeating falsehoods.
On behalf of neighbors and friends, I write to thank the New Castle Town Council for approving the crosswalk at the intersection of Wild Horse Drive and Castle Valley Boulevard, and for lowering the speed limit near that intersection.
I was reminded to express my gratitude on Jan. 10 when one of the ladies from the local hiking group said, "Reducing the speed limit and putting in this crosswalk is the best thing the city has ever done." I agree with her sentiment.
A few days ago, I watched a group of children use the crosswalk to get to the hill above the intersection to do some sledding. The kids were eager to use their sleds and paid little attention to the traffic on Castle Valley Boulevard as they ran across the street. Thankfully, the traffic was going slower and drivers were watching the crosswalk. The kids, being kids, were oblivious to the cars that stopped.
This was just a recent example. Since the crosswalk was put in place, I've seen dozens of people use it. School groups, families, dog-walkers, cyclists and pedestrians have used the crosswalk.
I use it every day as well, and no longer feel that I must make a mad dash across the street to get to the path to take a walk. I've also watched as deer, and on two occasions, elk, made their way across the street near the intersection in the early morning - just as traffic picks up. All of us cross more safely, thanks to the council's action.
Often as citizens we're quick to complain, but forget to say thank you to our government for a job well done. Please let this letter serve as an overdue but very sincere expression of our deep appreciation to the council, to the town administrators and to the staff.