Recently CDOT made a visual presentation of the new Grand Avenue Bridge. The job was marginal at best. They had no description of the bridge landing area and no visuals from the buildings on the east side of Grand Avenue looking west across Grand Avenue. Don't be mistaken - the bridge is large and invasive. Picture large concrete structures in Denver and the total loss of the Seventh to Eighth street views.
CDOT's job is to move traffic, and this bridge will condemn us to endless increases of traffic on Grand Avenue for many years to come. Highway 82 is a regional issue, and CDOT should first plan the 82 reroute before fixing or replacing our existing bridge. I still cannot imagine only Midland Avenue accessing the Roaring Fork Valley for two to three months.
As far as the Access Control Plan (ACP) goes, it is worse than the bridge. CDOT claims nothing will happen in the near future, but as soon as traffic at individual locations increases 20 percent, CDOT can dictate no left turns in or out. Picture back-ups on side streets coming back onto Grand. No studies on the volume of side street traffic have been completed. Maybe the ACP should force CDOT to build a relocated Highway 82 when traffic increases 20 percent and not cause local life to deteriorate.
In closing we need to do a full EIS to figure how the total transportation issue will be solved and not just build a new Grand Avenue bridge and leave us to live with the consequences. As Sumner Schachter, in a letter to our City Council, said, "I do believe that the completion of this bridge will make an 'alternative route' option for Glenwood a much lower priority to CDOT and federal funds since the new bridge would solve most of their problems, but not ours."
The bridge is not going to collapse. We need to come up with a total plan with our future needs in the picture, not just moving traffic down Grand Avenue.
We need to speak up now or live with what CDOT is pushing on us.
I recently joined with AJUA - an activist group of Roaring Fork Valley high school and college students - to participate in the "Keeping Families Together" bus tour and training, covered in the Post on March 25.
As a U.S. citizen, my life is not directly impacted by immigration reform, but I feel the repercussions of our unjust immigration system reverberating through our communities.
My immigrant friends and neighbors in the valley moved here to make a better lives for themselves and their children. Picking up everything and moving to a new place - even risking lives - takes tremendous courage and tenacity on the part of the adults and the kids.
Every time an immigrant family is split apart, the whole community - friends, family, teachers, students, neighbors - is affected by the pain. Residents of the valley pride ourselves on our sense of community, but to be a truly wholesome community, our families should not live in fear of being ripped apart.
Our immigration policies have a direct impact on our community. I believe it is wrong to tear children from their families - we need to adopt an immigration process that keeps families together. We should create a path to citizenship for those who aspire to be citizens.
Last night I watched a great movie (although it was quite violent) titled "Fatal Attraction." The plot concerns a man who has an adulterous affair with a psycho female. In the final scene she gets into their home and is attempting to kill his wife in her bathroom with a butcher knife. Our hero races to the rescue, grappling with the woman and forcing her under the water in the bathtub. Thinking she is done for, he stands up only to see her jump out of the water with the knife. At this point the wife enters the bathroom with a handgun. She shoots and kills the psycho female. End of story.
At this point, I flip over to a Denver news broadcast and they are running a story about investigators in Denver having arrested a woman who legally purchased a gun (she passed the background checks) and gave it to Evan Ebel, a convicted felon (who can't legally possess a firearm) who then proceeded to murder Tom Clements, head of the Colorado Department Of Corrections. Ebel then drives to Texas where he is killed in a shootout with Texas State Troopers.
So what, you may ask, is my point?
Pay attention here, you gun-grabbing liberals out there. In the first case, had our heroine not had a gun, she and her husband (in real life) could have been butchered before authorities could respond to a 911 call (average response time averages about 20 minutes).
In the second case, all the background checks and limited ammo magazines and so-called assault rifle bans in the world did not keep a convicted felon from getting a gun and committing murder. He also killed a pizza delivery driver.
Take the guns away from the good guys and the only ones still armed are the bad guys.
"To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them."
- George Mason
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin
A number of impressive murals have gone up in recent days. These works of public art are an outstanding contribution to our local history and culture, and I'm thankful for the efforts of the dedicated artists (and their patrons) who brought us these works.
I write to bring your attention to another public mural that few people know about, possibly because of its inconspicuous location.
The work is entitled "Decorative Map," and it's located in the stairwell of the National Forest building on Grand. The map depicts the valley from Glenwood to the south, not unlike the one recently installed on the nearby facade of the building adjacent to Centennial Park.
It's an incredibly beautiful painting that may be legitimately described as a local treasure.
It is the creation of Jenne Magafan and Eduardo Chavez, who were students of Frank Mechau, a local master who supervised their work. My understanding is that it was funded by the WPA [Works Progress Administration], which was a federal program designed, in part, to keep the arts from dying out during the Great Depression.
Many works of fine art were installed in public spaces across the country under the WPA. I believe an original work of Mechau was installed in the Carbondale post office. I spoke with one of the workers there who informed me that it was removed to a museum at some point. A reproduction now hangs in its place.
"Decorative Map," however, remains intact in its original placement, likely because it's really big, it's built into the structure and design of the stairwell, and it may be impossible to remove without significant damage to the building or the painting.
This work is a rare and exceptional piece of public art that should not go unnoticed. I would urge you to take the time to view if you have the opportunity.
Matthew Laurel Trinidad