Friday letters: Glenwood Council, future of public lands

Glenwood is full

Glenwood City Council almost never represents the city residents. They represent the realtors, developers, business and the chamber. They are a very private club. They make up 1% of the people that live here, yet they make all the decisions that affect all of us. Glenwood Springs residents are fed up and very angry about what has been going on. Housing, housing and more expensive housing. Most of this council needs to be gone immediately. They have been killing us for a long time. Residents know that Glenwood is full. Housing, schools, roads, everything. On any new housing proposals, we demand to have the right to vote on it.
We need a city council that truly loves our town, and will protect what little magic is left. 

Michael Hoban, Glenwood Springs

The future of our public lands

Recently the BLM published their updated 10-year draft plan for millions of acres of public lands in Western Colorado.

The plan seeks a balance between responsible development and preserving our outdoors way of life, a healthy natural environment and the diverse uses of public lands.

It recognizes the economic and demographic changes over the last decade in our region and seeks a fair shake for each of the major user groups : outdoor recreation, agriculture, oil and gas and mineral mining.

BLM recognizes the major economic drivers of our region: A study by the Colorado Wildlands Project shows that oil and gas now account for less than 3% of jobs in Mesa County. Another study by Colorado Mesa University showed outdoor recreation and tourism account for between 8% and 11% of county jobs and Agriculture and food service for 6%.

The plan recognizes the need for responsible resource extraction and to minimize the impact on the environment. The focus is on high-potential development areas while excluding low potential and low yield areas. Even so the areas still to be open would cover more than 400,000 acres in the Grand Junction and Colorado River areas. For comparison: that is more than 10 times the combined acreage of Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs.

Emphasis is also on the urgency of reclamation by oil and gas industry of abandoned or inactive drill sites.

High Country News back in 2021 stated there are more than 60,000 uncapped wells in Colorado alone, which continually release large quantities of dangerous greenhouse gases.

There is much more in this draft plan. Enough to lead me to urge everyone to make your voice heard!
Please express your own views before the public comment period end on Nov. 1.
Direct your public comment to :

• Website:

• Mail: BLM Upper Colorado River District, Attn: Supplemental EIS, 2518
Attn: Supplemental EIS, 2518 H
Road, Grand Junction, CO 81506

For further information, contact Bruce Krickbaum, project manager, at 970-240-5399

Garry VanderBeek, Glenwood Springs

Fossil fuels? We need to stop

Carbondale’s City Market has about eight parking spaces near the entrance that are reserved for “hybrid” vehicles. Every time I park my EV there, I see cars that are not hybrid or full EV. I asked the manager about it. He said they can’t really do anything. On. Sept. 16 there was a little old lady that was putting her groceries in her gas burning car. I didn’t say anything.

But here’s the larger point. When I checked my online news today, I saw major problems all over the planet that are directly connected to climate change. Hundreds of fires, incredible floods from massive rain, drought that is killing crops, and heat that is killing people outright. There are stories about young people in the US experiencing great anxiety about the change. Young people are suing state and national governments to force them to become active in fighting climate change.

What needs to happen is well known. We have to stop burning fossil fuels. It’s that simple. Right away. So what about Carbondale? What can we do? What can we do that really makes a difference? How about we stop putting up houses and buildings that will be burning natural gas? Every new building or project that is burning fossil gas will be adding to our problem as long as it stands. I think that’s a crime. A crime against the next generations.

I wonder if the lady in the wrong parking place even understands what we’re facing. Or maybe, she just thinks it is not her problem. Saving a few steps to the store is more important. For a decade now I have been trying to encourage action to stop climate change. Any ideas on how to make that happen?

Patrick Hunter, Carbonale

Truth about Boebert’s lies

How easily she lies.

She lied about her background and education.

She lied that she was a successful businesswoman. (According to her congressional disclosure forms, her restaurant lost $143,000 in 2019 and $226,000 in 2020.)
She lied about the amount she spent on campaign travels in 2020, using donor money to pay off tax liens on her restaurant.

She lied to her constituents that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen.” There is, and never was, any evidence to support this falsehood.

She lied about her support of and involvement in the attack on our nation’s capital.
She even lies about her behavior. How dumb do you have to be to get thrown out of a show and then lie about it? She thinks she is above the rules of common decency and the rule of law.

We, you and I, are paying Boebert $174,000 a year. That’s $476 a day, every day of the year. She has no clue how to work with other legislators to get laws passed that will benefit our country. She habitually lies, is a public embarrassment, and with all the dire challenges facing our world is nothing but a vindictive obstructionist in our congress.

Annette Roberts-Gray, Carbondale

Fiesta de Tamales returns

We want to share the news that after a four-year absence. English in Action’s Fiesta de Tamales is returning to the Roaring Fork Valley. This much-loved event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 4:30-8 p.m. at Basalt High School. There’s something for everyone with music and kids activities, not to mention the best tamales north of the border served with all the fixings. All proceeds go to English in Action, the nonprofit that brings the gift of English to local non-English speakers. For tickets and more information go to or call 970-963-9200.

Cathy O’Connell, Amy Gordon, El Jebel

Self checkout

In response to the statement made about self-checkout stations, please know the Garfield County Library in Rifle requires an in-person checkout … no self checkout.

Janet Bertram, Rifle

Garfield County Libraries to host Freedom to Read forum

Garfield County Libraries will soon host a community forum highlighting reading rights and the First Amendment.

Called Freedom to Read, the event is slated for 6-8 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Ute Theater and Events Center, 132 E. 4th St. 

“In recent months, some public library patrons have challenged various materials, believing they should be withdrawn or made less accessible,” said Jamie LaRue, Garfield County Libraries executive director and host of the community forum. “This event will include a brief presentation on the First Amendment and the Public Library, followed by a moderated public comment session, followed by a reaction panel.”

The moderated public comments period at the forum will be moderated by Raleigh Burleigh, editor of the Sopris Sun.

Speakers will be asked to sign in, and indicate whether they are speaking in favor of new restrictions on library use, or against. The library will then alternate speakers while time remains. It is anticipated that the library board will issue a statement at some time after the forum.

The forum was created in response to the September board meeting. 

“Many public attendees had expressed frustration that there wasn’t enough time to speak up about concerns regarding some library materials,” LaRue said. “In response, the library invites the public to a forum.”

Garfield County Libraries and the Board of Trustees have been under scrutiny by certain groups over the accessibility of Japanese Manga books, which can be found at all branches of Garfield County Libraries. 

Proponents of book restrictions and bans include community members such as Trish O’Grady, who petitioned for Japanese Manga books, and any books with an adult content warning, to be stored in a separate room. She also advocates for library patrons to show proof of age — 18 years or older — to access or check out any material. 

Others have gone further and are requesting that the books be banned entirely. 

Opponents of book restrictions and bans argue that public libraries exist to provide information to the community, where books should be accessible — not restricted.  

Many believe that it’s up to those in the community who visit public libraries to decide what they would like to access while visiting; not to tell others what they cannot access. 

The Board of Trustees monthly meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month at 2 p.m. The meetings rotate between different branches throughout the county. The next meeting will be on Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. at the Rifle Branch Library.

Book restrictions and bans are part of a larger national discussion. This forum will be an opportunity for community members to learn more about the issues, services and the purpose behind public libraries. 

Proponents and opponents of book restrictions and bans are expected to be in attendance. Garfield County Libraries encourages all community members who have an interest to attend.

If you go…

What: Freedom to Read forum
Where: Ute Theater and Events Center, 132 E. 4th St., Rifle
When: 6-8 p.m. Oct. 18
How much: Free

Possible improvements to Cottonwood Pass are being addressed by Garfield County commissioners. Should improvements be made to this alternative route to Interstate 70?

46% (277 votes) Yes — every improvement being proposed in Garfield County should be made to make the road safer.

27% (165 votes) Yes — but only some improvements should be made. Too many improvements will affect the rural integrity of the area.

21% (129 votes) No — improving the road will encourage more motorists to speed and create a more dangerous environment.

5% (30 votes) No — there are also improvements being proposed for Cottonwood Pass in Eagle County, and those are more important.

East half of 27th Street underpass completed

The 27th Street underpass is still under construction. The east half of the underpass, however, has been completed. One of the first walls for the ramp has been poured.

The ramps have an 8% grade and grab rails for when it snows and possibly freezes. 

The project is on time and on budget. The next shift in the project comes Oct. 20, when the top of the underpass will be paved. Roaring Fork Transportation Authority Project Manager Ben Ludlow told Glenwood Springs City Council on Sept. 21 they expect one or two nighttime closures of Colorado Highway 82 and 27th Street. This will be on or after Oct. 20. 

Traffic will be rerouted from the intersection of Highway 82 and 23rd Street all the south to the Buffalo Valley light intersection, also known as the intersection light of County Road 154 and Highway 82. Local traffic and buses will not be routed down that way. 

The project is hoped to be completed before snowfall. There are no planned winter shutdowns.

La Comisión del Condado de Garfield y los funcionarios del CDOT abordan las mejoras a Cottonwood Pass

Los comisionados del condado de Garfield y funcionarios del Departamento de Transporte de Colorado abordaron el lunes un esfuerzo continuo para mejorar Cottonwood Pass, una ruta alternativa popular cuando la Interestatal 70 cierra a través de Glenwood Canyon.

La ingeniera del programa del Departamento de Transporte de Colorado (CDOT, por sus siglas en inglés), Karen Berdoulay, destacó ocho de los 14 posibles puntos de mejora de la seguridad a lo largo de Cottonwood Pass en el condado de Garfield, que se identificaron mediante un estudio de viabilidad del 2022. Muchos de los puntos, que representan el 14% de todo el corredor, requieren ampliación, suavización de curvas o mejora de las distancias de visión.

El CDOT también identificó seis puntos adicionales de mejora en Cottonwood Pass en el condado de Eagle, incluidas mejoras en Blue Hill. Las mejoras a este segmento estrecho y empinado de la carretera podrían costar hasta 60 millones de dólares, estimó Berdoulay el lunes.

“Ese era realmente el objetivo de este proyecto: Identificar formas de mejorar la seguridad en las áreas críticas identificadas por los condados,” dijo Berdoulay. “También aprendimos que es muy importante que las partes interesadas respeten el carácter del corredor. Nuestro objetivo no era implementar y diseñar mejoras en las carreteras para cumplir con los estándares del CDOT, por ejemplo, o incluso con los estándares del condado. Realmente se trataba de mantener la sensación rural de la carretera, minimizar los impactos a la propiedad privada y mitigar los impactos visuales para las mejoras.”

El incendio de Grizzly Creek en el 2020 y los enormes deslizamientos de escombros que siguieron en el 2021 desviaron regularmente a los automovilistas de la Interestatal 70 hacia Cottonwood Pass, un desvío no anunciado que corre al suroeste de Gypsum a través del condado de Eagle y luego a través del condado de Garfield hasta la autopista 82 de Colorado.

Las cifras de tráfico del Departamento de Transporte de Colorado muestran que el tráfico promedio aumentó más de nueve veces la cantidad normal cuando se cerró la Interestatal 70 a través de Glenwood Canyon. En Cottonwood Pass en el 2021 normalmente hubo un promedio de 400 vehículos por día, lo cual aumentó a 3.700 durante los deslizamientos de escombros.

Para el condado de Garfield, cada una de las ocho posibles ubicaciones de mejora tiene un precio significativamente menor que el previsto a lo largo de Cottonwood Pass en el condado de Eagle. Los costos de mejora para el condado de Garfield oscilan entre $300.000 y aproximadamente $3 millones.

Lo más costoso será gastar $3 millones para modificar y realinear la intersección de las calles Cattle Creek y Catherine Store. Berdoulay dijo que la modificación tiene como objetivo mitigar la confusión y la navegación de los conductores.

Sin embargo, desde que la inundación de Cottonwood Pass impulsó un estudio de viabilidad, algunos residentes del área han rechazado las mejoras. Algunos argumentan que las mejoras en Cottonwood Pass pueden tener un impacto opuesto en la seguridad.

“Las preocupaciones reales del público en Catherine Store Road eran que, si se hacía alguna de estas mejoras, se crearía la oportunidad de un mayor exceso de velocidad,” dijo el lunes Karen Moculeski, presidenta de la organización Keep Missouri Heights Rural.

CDOT actualmente busca subvenciones estatales y federales para mejoras tanto en Glenwood Canyon como en Cottonwood Pass, dijo Berdoulay. Si tiene éxito, las subvenciones se destinarán al condado de Eagle y se construirán mejoras para el 2030.

El martes, los comisionados de los condados de Garfield y Eagle se reunieron para abordar posibles mejoras en Cottonwood Pass.

“Nuestra prioridad es apoyar al condado de Eagle en Blue Hill,” dijo el lunes el comisionado del condado de Garfield, Tom Jankovsky. “Hasta que eso suceda, Cottonwood Pass seguirá como está hoy.”

Jankovsky agregó: “Las primeras mejoras deben ocurrir en el Condado de Eagle.” 

Glenwood Springs Community Concert Association putting on next string of concerts

The Glenwood Springs Community Concert Association’s first concert is coming up on Saturday and Sue Ludtke, the president, is excited for it. 

“We’re still here!” she said on Tuesday. “We want to let the community know that.”

The GSCCA was founded in 1947, an outgrowth of the Colorado Chautauqua, which seeks to bring culture to rural areas, world-class entertainment to cities and share talent across the country. 

“Before the [COVID-19] pandemic, the GSCCA had over 700 memberships, but that number dropped to about 400,” Ludtke said. Now, the GSCCA is hopeful to get back up to that number and to open up the community to different genres. 

The GSCCA chooses up to five artists from a group of 30-40 musicians  who have auditioned to perform at events like these. 

“We’re choosing the line-up for 2024 and 2025 in the next few weeks,” Ludtke said. 

Memberships are available to help ensure these concerts are paid for. Memberships are $60, which come out to $12 a concert. Student memberships are $15 and the GSCCA offers family rates. If someone doesn’t want a membership but wants to go to a concert, each concert would be $30 individually. 

The first and last show for this line-up will be held at the Glenwood Springs High School auditorium. The GSCCA also has a successful program for this occasion where the musicians from the program spend time with the choir, band, orchestra, or other musical class at the school and they answer questions and play or sing with the class. 

The line-up for this year is as follows:

  • Folk Legacy Trio at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Glenwood Springs High auditorium at 1521 Grand Ave. Two members are from the Kingston Trio and one member is from the Diamonds. They play songs from the folk era.
  • Charlie Albright at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6 at Mountain View Church at 2195 CR 154. Albright was an upcoming classical pianist but now plays improvisation and jazz piano. 
  • The Divas Three at 7 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2024 at Mountain View Church. They sing a selection of songs from divas since the 1980s to modern times. 
  • Camille and Stuie at 7 p.m. on March 4, 2024 at Mountain View Church. They play folk and popular music from Australia. They’ve recently moved from Australia to the U.S. 
  • Branden & James and Effie at 7 p.m. on April 17, 2024 at Glenwood Springs High auditorium. Branden sings, James plays cello, and they’re joined by Effie Passero, another vocalist.

If anyone wants more information, they can visit the website at or call Nancy, membership committee chairman, at 303-517-9800. She will be at the concerts to help members join or buy one time tickets.

If you go…

What: Folk Legacy Trio concert

Where: Glenwood Springs High Auditorium at 1521 Grand Ave.

When: 7 p.m. on Saturday

How much: $60 for membership, $15 for student membership, $30 for individual concert

Garfield County Commission, CDOT officials address improvements to Cottonwood Pass

An ongoing effort to improve Cottonwood Pass, a popular alternative route when Interstate 70 closes through Glenwood Canyon, was addressed by Garfield County commissioners and Colorado Department of Transportation officials on Monday.

CDOT Program Engineer Karen Berdoulay highlighted eight of 14 possible safety improvement spots along Cottonwood Pass in Garfield County, which are identified through a 2022 feasibility study. Many of the spots, which account for 14% of the entire corridor, either call for widening, smoothing curves or improving sight distances.

CDOT also identified six additional Cottonwood Pass improvement spots in Eagle County, including improvements to Blue Hill. The improvements to this narrow, steep segment of roadway could cost up to $60 million, Berdoulay estimated Monday.

“That really was the goal of this project, is to identify ways to improve safety at the critical areas that were identified by the counties,” Berdoulay said. “We also learned it’s very important for the stakeholders to respect the corridor character. It was not our goal to go through and design highway improvements to meet CDOT standards, for example, or even county standards. It was really trying to maintain the rural feel of the road, minimize impacts to private property and mitigate visual impacts for improvements.”

The Grizzly Creek Fire in 2020 and its massive ensuing debris slides in 2021 regularly diverted motorists from Interstate 70 onto Cottonwood Pass, a non-advertised detour that runs southwest of Gypsum through Eagle County and on through Garfield County to Colorado Highway 82.

Colorado Department of Transportation traffic numbers show average traffic jumped more than nine times the regular amount when Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon closed. Cottonwood Pass in 2021 typically saw an average of 400 vehicles per day, which increased to 3,700 during the debris slides.

For Garfield County, each of the eight possible improvement locations have a significantly less price tag than eyed along Cottonwood Pass in Eagle County. Improvement costs for Garfield County range from $300,000 to about $3 million.

The biggest ticket item is to spend $3 million to modify and realign the intersection of Cattle Creek and Catherine Store roads. Berdoulay said the modification aims to mitigate driver confusion and navigation.

Ever since an inundated Cottonwood Pass prompted a feasibility study, however, there has been pushback against improvements by some area residents. Some argue Cottonwood Pass improvements may have an opposite impact on safety.

“The concerns really of the public on Catherine Store Road were that, if any of these improvements were made, it was going to create the opportunity for greater speeding,” Karen Moculeski, president of the Keep Missouri Heights Rural organization, said Monday.

CDOT currently seeks state and federal grants for improvements to both Glenwood Canyon and Cottonwood Pass, Berdoulay said. If successful, the grants will go to Eagle County and improvements will be constructed by 2030.

On Tuesday, Garfield and Eagle County commissioners met to further address possible Cottonwood Pass improvements. 

“Our priority here is to support Eagle County on Blue Hill,” Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said on Monday. “Until that happens, Cottonwood Pass remains as it is today.”

Jankovsky added, “The first improvements need to happen in Eagle County.”

City of Glenwood Springs extends public survey on zoning changes

The city of Glenwood Springs extended the survey deadline for zoning changes until Wednesday.

“With an estimated shortfall of around 1,300 housing units, the city is pursuing multiple strategies to create more affordable housing,” said Director of Community and Economic Development Hannah Klausman in a news release.

Glenwood Springs is asking residents to fill out a survey for what kind of housing zones they want to see in town, like allowing duplexes and triplexes in places where the zone currently restricts them, and potential tweaks to the density bonus program. 

The city is asking about two potential changes to the city’s zoning regulations as part of efforts to address the local housing crisis. 

“One of the tools available to the city is looking at opportunities in our zoning codes to address our community’s housing needs through small infill projects,” Klausman said in the release.

People can fill out the survey online through the city’s website at or in-person at City Hall at the Community Development Department on the second floor at 101 W. Eighth St. until Sept. 20. 

The survey is offered in Spanish online and in-person at City Hall.

The information gathered from this survey will be presented on Oct. 3, during a Planning & Zoning Commission special meeting, where P&Z will offer a recommendation on proposed changes. Council will be the deciding body for whether these zoning changes will be adopted.

Data from the recent Strategic Housing Plan Update show that the median home sale price rose 93% between 2015 and 2022, and about a third of all households in Glenwood Springs are cost-burdened by the price of housing, the release states.

“It is important to remember that these are proposed policy changes that would change what is possible in Glenwood Springs,” Klausman said in the release. “The hope is to change the rules that decision-makers use in evaluating applications that are submitted to the city to be more in line with the needs and type of housing the community wants.” 

Greater allowance for duplexes, triplexes

Allowing property owners to build duplexes and triplexes in more places in the city is one possible change the city is asking public input on. 

Currently, there are three residential zone districts that do not allow triplexes, two that do not allow duplexes and one that allows duplexes only with a special use permit, the release states.

Tweaks to density bonus program

To guide development toward filling community housing needs, the city is also considering changing its density bonus provisions in the zoning regulations. 

Currently, the program provides incentives for property owners to build deed-restricted housing. Other strategies could include expanding the density bonus program to allow bonus units for things such as creating units available for purchase, units appropriate for people with disabilities, units large enough for families, units that are deed-restricted for those employed in Glenwood Springs and units with affordability price caps. 


In Friday’s edition of the Post Independent, the date of the musician Coco Montoya’s performance at the Ute Theater was unclear. Montoya is performing at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 at the Ute Theater in Rifle. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

UPDATE: One westbound lane reopens at Interstate 70 near West Rifle after fire

UPDATE, 4:20 p.m.: One westbound lane has reopened at Interstate 70 in West Rifle after a fire closed both lanes down, a Garfield County emergency alert states. U.S. Highway 6, however, can still be used as an alternate route.