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Wednesday letters: Cultivated meat win, don’t change Boebert, don’t hate, don’t drill

Win for cultivated-meat industry

In a landmark ruling destined to save billions of animal and human lives, the Food and Drug Administration ruled Wednesday that meat cultivated from animal cells is safe to eat. The ruling was granted to Upside Foods, funded by Bill Gates and Richard Branson, but also by meat industry giants Cargill and Tyson Foods.

In the past decade, the cultivated-meat industry has grown to more than 150 companies on six continents, backed by $2.6 billion in investments. They all grow meat from animal cells in clean manufacturing plants, rather than in cruel filthy factory farms.

An estimated 70 billion animals are macerated or suffocated at birth or raised in tiny cages each year to produce today’s animal meat and dairy offerings. Consumption of these products has been linked conclusively with elevated incidence of killer diseases.

Production of animal-based foods pollutes our waterways and groundwater supplies, destroys wildlife habitats and accounts for 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The forthcoming massive switch from animal agriculture to plant-based and cultivated meat and dairy products offers a truly monumental change in kindness to animals, human health, environmental pollution and global warming.

Filipe Santana, Glenwood Springs

Boebert shouldn’t change

Most of our media has abandoned journalism for a lapdog seat on the Dems’ knees. The editorial advice column for Lauren Boebert (PI Editorial, 11/14) exemplifies my point.

The op-ed says Boebert should focus on local issues instead of national politics and that she “adjust and adapt.” But don’t national politics and policies dramatically affect us all locally? What “ridiculous” things has she said that earns such scorn from our local liberal lecturers?

Should Boebert remain silent about the crushing inflation Dem policies have unleashed on us? Maybe push the mute button on the millions of illegal immigrants invading our country? And how dare she support parents over teachers’ unions or victims over no-bail laws! 

Boebert realizes 300 Americans killed every day by fentanyl is not solved by 86,000 new blood sucking IRS agents. Nor does Lauren think our children should be indoctrinated with CRT or gender-fluidity wokeness.

The lesson I learned from the election was the power wielded by the information suppression of our media. The unholy alliance between Dems, big tech and the media is the greatest threat to our country.

Lauren Boebert has the backbone and integrity to call out loud and clear the political prostitution that Dems are inflicting on the citizens of our country. I applaud her.

Maybe it’s our local liberal lecturers who “would do well to adjust and adapt” to reality rather than ideology.

Bruno Kirchenwitz, Rifle

Stop the hate

This weekend, our queer community celebrated Trans Day of Awareness in the face of a terrifying attack against LGBTQIA+ people in Colorado Springs. 

Five people are dead and 18 injured on the Front Range because of the furor that hatemongers are whipping up against us. 

Our district just re-elected Lauren Boebert, whose rhetoric seems to support efforts to erase queer people on a national scale. Shame on us.

I’m here to tell you that terrorism and violence will not stop queer people from existing right here in your cute little Western Colorado towns. 

I’m disgusted by the hateful conversations I hear in coffee shops, grocery stores, and public spaces in this Valley. People like me just want to live our lives, pay our taxes, and raise our families without the threat of being harmed by our neighbors. 

If you think anti-gay sentiment doesn’t live in our valley, you’re wrong. It’s vile. I’ve, personally, been menaced and physically removed from a gym, right down the road in Rifle, because I wore rainbow gear for working out. 

For those of you who endorse philosophies of hate in our community: My siblings’ blood is on your hands … but we’re not afraid of cowards who slink in the night to harm others. People like that shooter are pathetic, contemptible, and weak. 

I’d like to wish everyone a belated Happy Trans Day Of Remembrance (Nov 20, 2022).

Kathryn Bennett, New Castle

Keep it in the ground

What the Garfield County commissioners fail to understand is that the burning of fossil fuels is destroying the future of young people.  The millions of dollars that will be spent on the proposed new wells should be put into solar panels. 

Oil and gas production will be stranded assets in just a few years. The public will be footing the bill for dealing with old wells, not to mention all the damage from climate change. Solar arrays also produce tax dollars. 

In my view the reporter who did this article (GPI, 11/15) should not let unsubstantiated statements from Commissioner Samson stand alone. In fact there is no mention of the downside of the proposed drilling and production. There is no mention of an opposing point of view.  

If any actual financial benefits actually proceed from these wells they will mainly increase the bank accounts of just a few of the investors in this “play.” The negative externalities will, as always, fall on the members of the community. In theory, we form governments to keep this from happening. Locally, we have done a lousy job of this. 

Patrick Hunter, Carbondale

Monday letters: School board message, 8th and Midland concerns, parting treasurer candidate thoughts

Open letter from the school board

Editor’s note: This letter was written on behalf of the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education as an open letter to the schools community and the community at large.  

As your Roaring Fork Schools Board of Education, we’re proud of the work we are doing to support students in and out of our classrooms. We work hard to align our systems to best practices so we can efficiently and effectively serve in this immeasurably important volunteer role. This role is one we respect and understand as being powerful and impactful in our community and for our students. We’re truly grateful for your trust in placing us here and hopeful that as a community, we can all lean on one another to do right for our kids.  

As a child, my mother always told me she wasn’t raising children, she was raising the adults who would enter and then lead our society. I’ve taken that sentiment to heart as a parent, but it also weighs heavily in my role as board president. Our community-driven district vision is clear, and it directs our superintendent to ensure that every student develops the enduring knowledge, skills and character to thrive in a changing world. I wholeheartedly agree with this mission, and I hope you do, too. We want success for our kids, but the path to achieving this vision in our unique community is not clear or direct, and we certainly have a way to go.   

Our leaders constantly make decisions about how best to achieve this aim. These decisions may not always garner 100% support from stakeholders, and that is OK. Decisions must be made to move us forward in the best interest of students. Through this decision-making process, we work hard to model inclusive and positive discourse, so our children are exposed to a healthy model of governance. Remember, our goal is to raise citizens, and a crucial aspect of our society is becoming a critically thinking, voting member of our democracy. In fact, that was the goal of the system of public education envisioned by our founding fathers. As time has gone on, the system has changed for good reason — more people have been enfranchised to vote! Yet, the goal remains the same: healthy discussion, respectful debate, public engagement, and, ultimately, the movement toward a more perfect union.   

With this in mind, and as a volunteer member and president of our board of education, I ask you to understand this, model this, and support our children by engaging with us in healthy ways. As time wears on, we’ll continue to address difficult topics as well as mundane ones. Some will draw the public to our meetings, and most will not. Meanwhile, we’ll view each issue through the lens of our mission in the hopes we can move closer to achieving it. As we do this, we invite you to contribute to the discourse through the public comment portion of our meetings, through written comments, and with us outside of meeting times. However, we will not tolerate insults, harassment, yelling or any disruption that interrupts the business of the board during our meetings. That type of behavior does not exemplify good citizenship, is unproductive, and none of our volunteer directors deserve to be treated in such a manner. 

As president of the board, I will not allow it.  

While most of our interactions with the public are respectful and fruitful, it is not always the case, and I feel strongly that no one should feel unsafe during our meetings. We appreciate open and respectful participation in our processes, and we look forward to continuing our service to our students throughout our terms.      

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday this week — there is certainly much to be thankful for. 

Kathryn Kuhlenberg, president, Roaring Fork Schools Board of Education, on behalf of the entire board (Jasmin Ramirez, board vice-president; Natalie Torres, secretary/treasurer; Maureen Stepp, member; Kenny Teitler, member) 

Don’t change 8th and Midland land intentions

I was happy to hear that CDOT is now having a conversation with the city of Glenwood Springs on the change of use for the Eighth and Midland property.

When I was on council and a member of the Transportation Commission in 2000 the city and CDOT formed a partnership in three studies required by CDOT to prove that a relocation of Highway 82 off Grand Avenue is needed. Both CDOT and the city invested a lot of money and time into these studies. The conclusion was that by the year 2030 if nothing was done to change the traffic flow on Grand Avenue there would be gridlock. 

I argue that we will reach this gridlock in the next few years. Unfortunately, even after the city bought property along the river (with loans from CDOT) for right away needs to relocate Highway 82, a decision was made to replace the old bridge and forget the relocation. The intersection at Eighth and Midland was an important part of any future decisions in reducing traffic congestion in the future. CDOT and the city partnered in 2005 in condemning the then Collins’ property (05CV119), now the Eighth and Midland property, for future highway improvements. This intersection has safety concerns because of heavy pedestrian use, heavy traffic, and is a major utility corridor.

This is not objecting to affordable housing, but against the city changing the use of this property and for other reasons mentioned above.

Don “Hooner” Gillespie, Glenwood Springs

A few words from candidate Diaz

It is with sincere gratitude that I would like to offer my appreciation to voters of Garfield County for their gracious consideration of my candidacy for the position of County Treasurer. I would further wish to extend my heart-felt gratefulness to the volunteers, donors, officers, and members of the Democratic Party who supported my campaign as their nominee. Throughout the process I was humbled and honored by your constant encouragement. 

Though there were many highlights in this campaign, I would be remiss if I did not call attention to an ugliness that I hope we can commit to one another to extinguish here. In the many conversations I had with residents of this county, the vast majority were positive. However, I witnessed several angry insults leveled at candidates that would shock any reader here. 

I would like to remind everyone, the candidates for local office are your neighbors. They are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters — they are us. It is one thing to express your disagreements with their positions. It is entirely something else to feel entitled to vulgarly insult someone because they belong to another party than you. 

I truly hope Mrs. Couey was spared these experiences. We poison ourselves and the community if we allow the opinions of national pundits, who are paid to stoke anger and division for ratings, to become how we describe our local candidates. We should always remember the democratic axiom that “every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.” 

I would like to extend my congratulations to Treasurer Couey on a hard-fought and won campaign. Thank you, Carrie, for stepping forward to serve our county. Though we disagree on our priorities for the Treasurer’s Office, I have no doubt in your sincerity to do what is right on behalf of the people of Garfield County as you see that course. I wish you success. Your success will be the county’s success. 

We may continue to disagree, but the election is over and now is time for unity for our county. May God Bless Treasurer Couey, her family, and the people of Garfield County.

Aron Diaz, Rifle

Monday letters: Nonprofit questions, yes for 2C and worker housing

Where’s the money?

Something just doesn’t add up. After listening to our current appointed County Treasurer describe her experience in helping veterans with her own nonprofit, I wanted to look into her claims more closely. 

Seeing how former White House advisor Steve Bannon has been implicated in defrauding donors who wanted to build Trump’s wall, digging deeper into how Republicans are using nonprofits has become a hobby of mine.

It’s easy to look up Rocky Mountain Hunts and Excursions, Inc., Mrs. Couey’s registered nonprofit, and search for the associated tax filing for tax year 2019. I encourage all Garfield County voters to do the same and look up this public document themselves. 

This is the only return published for Rocky Mountain Hunts and Excursions, Inc., apparently because the status of the nonprofit was only in good standing for one of the four years it has held nonprofit status.

During that time, it has taken in over $22,000 and only served three veterans giving out grants totaling a mere $1,400. There is no detail on what has happened to the remaining $20,800.

Mrs. Couey owes it to the people of this county, and the veterans she claims to want to serve with her organization, to show where the money went! If not her, then maybe Commissioner

Tom Jankovsky, District Attorney Jeff Cheney or State Representative Perry Will can shed some light on where this money has gone, as they are all listed as board members of Mrs. Couey’s charitable organization. 

David Mead, Rifle

2C for Glenwood’s workforce future

Glenwood Springs residents are poised to make a decision in November that could make or break our community.

Our community’s biggest threat is a lack of workforce housing — we commonly see restaurants, stores and attractions understaffed or completely closed as businesses struggle to hire and retain employees with the ever-increasing cost of living. The struggle to retain employees is a critical issue that will certainly have detrimental impacts on both the local community and the tourism industry. 

If there are no employees to work at the businesses in Glenwood Springs, tourists will seek other destinations. I have been in this valley for over 20 years and this is as hard of a housing market as I have seen during that period.

With rent hovering around $3,000 for a 3-bedroom in Glenwood, that equates to a family having to make around $80,000 a year to afford a place to live. If prices continue to climb on rent-it impacts the cost of everything we do in this valley.

We have a great opportunity to help solve this problem by approving Measure 2C this fall. Measure 2C will tax the tourists a modest 2.5% on lodging, a tax similar to other mountain communities. The funds raised, an estimated $1.2 million to $1.5 million per year will go directly to the newly established Workforce Housing Fund. This is by no means a slush fund for the City of Glenwood Springs. It will be managed by an independent board and will fund workforce housing by utilizing creative solutions such as incentives for ADUs, motel conversions, public — private partnerships, down payment loans and affordable units within existing developments. The funds will be leveraged and help determine the future of workforce housing in our community.

We all have a duty to preserve our community for the present generation and ones that come and the opportunity to adopt Measure 2C will use proven methods to invest locally so we can continue to enjoy living here, in a thriving and gorgeous mountain town.

Mike and Kristi Picore, Glenwood Springs

Friday letters: 2C and other election endorsement thoughts, animal rights

Couey good for Garfield County

Keeping Carrie Couey as your Treasurer is so important. The job of County Treasurer requires educational background and experience, well-rounded in the many money and finance issues with Public Funds. 

Carrie’s bachelor’s and master’s were in the area of accounting, business and organizational leadership with focus on public and non-profit management. Carrie’s impressive service to you as your County Treasurer has deployed this background and has met the investment goals for your investments, provided excellent audit reviews, led the office with no turnover and enjoyed a strong  public relationship with the public whom she serves.  

Party affiliation is not the critical issue here, not in this race; in fact Carrie’s opponent was a long-time Republican running for other offices. Carrie’s opponent is an OK person and I have known him for years. He keeps looking and shifting for a position.

This position is not even close. It is not a good fit and is not worth the risk. We are entering into very difficult and challenging times with the economy and we all need comfort in the experience and steady hand that Carrie, as Treasurer, and the folks in that office have provided. You have that with Carrie continuing to serve you as your Treasurer.

Scott McInnis, Grand Junction

(Former Colorado and U.S. Representative, Mesa County Commissioner)

Vote Diaz for Treasurer

I am supporting Aron Diaz for Garfield County Treasurer. I have known Aron and his extended family for many years as he is a fourth-generation resident of Garfield County. 

Aron worked for me as staff for my office as a member of the Colorado House of Representatives from this district. He distinguished himself by exhaustively researching, analyzing, and delivering policy options on complex issues of importance to the district and the state. 

We worked closely together for the public interest which was always prominent in his values and desire to serve. I know well his eagerness to honestly perform the Treasurer’s duties for the greatest number of citizens. Aron studies the work before him and capably manages the subject matter and the people involved to successfully complete projects. He has the intellect and ability to lead the office and the personnel of the Treasurer’s office professionally and competently. 

As importantly, he will meticulously guard the safety of the public’s resources and money. Finally, Aron will conduct himself and the office in a non-political, non-partisan manner as is the right way to respect the responsibility of the public’s work. Politics will not guide his choices. I am proud to see Aron courageously step up, during these grim times for our government and democracy, to be counted on to do the right thing even in this atmosphere of rough and tumble skepticism and personal criticism of any public official. I will consider it an honor to cast my vote for Aron Diaz. I hope you will too.

Russell George, Rifle

(Former Speaker of the House, Colorado House of Representatives)

Glenwood Chamber Board endorses 2C

There is no question that the workforce shortage is one of the biggest challenges facing our businesses and community as a whole right now. We have all seen and experienced the help wanted signs, overworked staff, shortened business hours and more. The problem is not limited to any one industry – it’s impacting all industries. 

While there are a variety of reasons the workforce challenges exist, availability of workforce housing is one of the main contributing factors.

How do we as a community address the workforce housing crisis? There isn’t one quick or easy fix. It will require a variety of projects, collaboration, creativity and public-private partnerships to solve the needs of the community. These require capacity and resources.   

This November, Glenwood Springs voters can say yes to a solution — Ballot Issue 2C Accommodations Tax for Workforce Housing. The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association (GSCRA) Board of Directors unanimously supports this measure as a reasonable and meaningful long-term solution to our workforce housing crisis. 

2C will create a dedicated workforce housing fund to support creative solutions that fit our community such as down payment assistance loans, affordable units within existing development and incentives for Accessory Dwelling Units. The fund will provide needed capacity and resources that will allow our community to leverage millions of additional dollars and give us more control over future development in Glenwood Springs.

Glenwood Springs’ main economic driver is tourism, and it’s imperative to remain competitive and sustainable as a destination. Funding for 2C will be generated by a 2.5% accommodations tax increase, which will provide adequate resources to make a positive impact while keeping our accommodations and overall tax rate in line with similar mountain communities in Colorado.

2C will provide sensible and sustainable workforce housing solutions to help our businesses and community thrive.  Learn more at yes2cglenwood.org. 

GSCRA Board of Directors

Puebloan for Perry

I met Perry Will in 1979 when we both began our careers with the Division of Wildlife. Native Coloradans, we were brought up in distinctly different communities but share the common background of caring for our state and its resources. 

I’m a lifelong Democrat. Perry is a Republican. I rarely stray outside the party line, but I would if I felt the candidate was exceptional and warranted my support. 

I worked closely with Perry and have seen his remarkable authenticity. I know what kind of person he is and I would not hesitate to support him, regardless of his affiliation. 

I don’t live in Perry’s district, and thus I can’t vote for him. 

What I am willing to do is compose a letter to the people of the district and let you know that Perry is trustworthy and will advocate for you on so many levels because he has no self-imposed restrictions on doing what is right. 

In this time of scalding, low-brow politics you should feel comfortable in supporting an individual who is as principled and honorable as Perry Will.

Al Trujillo, Pueblo

Parties Part of the Deal

​​I read the article titled “Garfield County Treasurer candidates spar over partisanship of down-ballot offices” with interest because the system requires a partisan path in order to be a local elected official in charge of an administrative county office. 

Mr. Diaz had to use a political path to get his name on the ballot also. 

Carrie Couey takes the job seriously. From day one of her appointment she quickly worked to learn the job by consulting staff and reaching out to her peers in the state. 

As one of her peers I am confident in her abilities, her understanding of statute and her strong will to continually work to improve. 

Carrie has become involved in the Colorado County Treasurer and Public Trustees Legislative team and serves as an Executive Board Member for the association. Getting involved at this level provides Carrie an opportunity to represent Garfield County when discussions occur regarding best practices and legislative priorities. 

In the office of Treasurer and Public Trustee there isn’t much room for partisan antics once you get there. It’s a statutorily driven office. 

Carrie has been a good choice for Treasurer.

Sheila Reiner, Grand Junction

Mesa County Treasurer

We need Ryan

I met Ryan Gordon at CMC. He was talking to a student from Rifle. Ryan asked what he could do as Garfield County Commissioner to make things better for this student and his family. Surprised to be asked his opinion, the student smiled. He started to talk about the number of times his family had moved to find an affordable place to live, and his environmental concerns about the future. Ryan listened. He understands first hand the cost of housing. Ryan grew up in Glenwood Springs and has moved back to raise his children in this wonderful environment. He loves the life here. But he also has concerns about the quality of education, mental and physical health and about the sustainability of our environment. As an engineer, Ryan has worked on water issues in Western Colorado. We need his knowledge and enthusiasm on the Garfield County Commission. We will definitely vote for Ryan Gordon for Garfield Country Commissioner. We hope you will, too. It is time for change. 

We need Ryan. 

Cari and John Shurman, Carbondale

Animal Rights Before the Court

This week’s case before the US Supreme Court is not about abortion, religious freedom, or gun rights, but whether farm animals are entitled to life before death. The meat industry is challenging California’s 2018 law requiring minimal space and health standards for the animals.

As millions of male baby chicks are hatched, they are ground up or suffocated, because they don’t lay eggs. Groups of females are crammed into small wire cages that tear out their feathers and cut their feet. Their beaks are cut off.

Mother pigs suffer for a lifetime in tight metal gestation stalls. Their babies are torn away shortly after birth, mutilated without anesthesia, crammed into crowded pens for six months, then slaughtered in the dawn of their lives.

Dairy cows spend their lives chained on a concrete floor, and have their milk sucked out of them by machines twice a day. Every year, they are artificially impregnated to keep the milk flowing. 

Delicious, healthful, eco-friendly plant-based replacements for animal meat and dairy products are widely available. Every one of us can help defeat the meat industry’s case on our next trip to the supermarket.


Fred Stoddemeyer, Glenwood Springs

Supporting Ryan Gordon

I support Ryan Gordon for Garfield County Commissioner. Ryan is a Glenwood Springs native who has watched our perennially tight and pricey housing market become an economic crisis. Businesses ready to grow are unable to hire workers because housing is unaffordable and unavailable. I trust Ryan Gordon; he is ready to put the muscle of county government to work to help solve the housing crisis across Garfield County. 

The current commissioners have taken a passive approach, simply hoping that free-market developers will build affordable housing. It’s an unrealistic expectation that hasn’t panned out.

Ryan Gordon is ready to collaborate with neighboring counties to hammer out regional solutions, bring a community land trust to the county, help mobile home park tenants purchase their parks, and work with affordable housing organizations. 

Ryan believes people should be able to live in the same area where they work, and they should be able to build equity and become stable community members through home ownership. He is ready to lead Garfield County in active efforts to solve the housing crisis.

Please join me in voting for Ryan Gordon for Garfield County Commissioner.

Ellen Dole, Glenwood Springs

Marxist idea

After perusing Cassandra Ballard’s well written (10/10/22) PI article on ballot issue 2C, and after reading Councilman Tony Hershey’s LTE in the same PI issue, this LTE is written to challenge Clark Anderson’s (of Yes for Workforce Housing) public statement:

“Ultimately, it’s hurting the fabric of our community; 2C provides us as a community of Glenwood Springs with an opportunity to create much needed resources to really begin tackling this (affordable housing) issue,” he said. “2C provides us with a practical and proven solution.”

Rubbish Mr. Anderson! Your economic model for transferring wealth, in the form of a bed tax targeting of tourists, is textbook central planning socialism. Methinks Mr. Anderson that you are a product of Colorado’s public schools, where Marxist/socialism is the economic model taught and not capitalism; whereby the local hotel/motel operators function and whom you propose to collect, from their customers, the new 2.5% lodging tax.

Clearly Marxists/socialists are in charge of Glenwood Springs City Hall. Vote no on 2C.

Carl L. McWilliams, Glenwood Springs 

Monday letters: Conservative solutions, cause for celebration, 2C support, out of touch


In your “Opinion” section of last Friday’s paper (9/23) you printed the pro and con of the wild horse situation, printed on one page opposing each other, so as not to have to try to find the opposing viewpoint possibly printed in another edition on a different day. 

I found it interesting that both writers write for “Writers on the Range” which I would not have noticed without this presentation.

Thank you! Well done!

Corkie Ramey, Gypsum

Don’t stop there

I read Superintendent Rodriguez’s recent letter and my first thought was: why are we stopping at the “bare minimum” of just “honoring names, pronouns, genders, and sexual orientation in our schools”? I think Re-1 can be more progressive and start taking action to really lean into this subject. Here are just two ideas: 

1. Bring in doctors to discuss options for students. I think some Q&A with doctors to perform gender altering surgeries or starting hormone therapy would be welcomed.

2. Partner with Drag Queens Story Hour. Pre-school through elementary school should be open for drag queens to come dance, read and enjoy our children. 

Students and parents need to remember “trust the experts” just like they did when it came to managing COVID. Every topic when it comes to our children should be left to experts. Educational topics, health decisions, discussions about sex, etc. should all be left to school officials.

If you are a parent seeing other parents struggle to accept this, I suggest reading the book “Nudge” by Cass Sunstein. It is a favorite among bureaucrats because it is essentially a playbook for how to gradually “nudge” people into making decisions or getting people to accept certain things they wouldn’t normally if you presented it all at once. For example, rather than go immediately to having minors meet with doctors about hormone therapy, you might start with writing a letter like Superintendent Rodriguez. That’s the first nudge. Then you keep nudging from there.

I think the Roaring Fork Valley is progressive enough where this type of nudging isn’t needed. As a community we can be shoved into making the correct progressive decisions. 

And let’s make sure to not stop at sexual identity discussions. Superintendent Rodriguez’s Re-1 bio page lists “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson as his favorite book. I highly recommend all parents read this book to get an idea of what’s to come for our students.

Thomas Mises, Carbondale

You want solutions?

Mr. Glockman writes in his PI letter of 9/19 that I’m all grievances sans solutions. He says I define the Make America Great Again part of the GOP.

OK, here are some solutions. Our “non-crisis” at our “secure” southern border that’s been invaded by millions of unvetted, unvaxed illegals from 160 countries could be solved by returning to Trump’s migration policies. Crime is out of control in Dem-ruled hell holes; solution: Refund police, repeal no bail laws, and replace Soros backed, pro-criminal DAs.

We spend more per student than any country on Earth, yet our kids rank 35th globally; solution: destroy the unholy alliance between teachers’ unions and the Dem party. 

Biden’s betrayal of our allies in Afghanistan exemplifies decades of foreign policy ineptitude; solution: Find a POTUS who can complete a sentence without a teleprompter.

Rampant inflation is hurting the poor and seniors the most; solution: Regain energy independence because energy is the most essential component of a prosperous economy and we have plenty.

From Mr. G’s climate of doom hysteria, his glass  of optimism is empty. And I believe Mr. G is a liberal sheep in RINO disguise. A conservative sans grievances against the Biden cabal is not a conservative.

Bruno Kirchenwitz, Rifle

Celebrate fall with Ascendigo

Come celebrate with us at Ascendigo’s Fall Fest at Batch Provisions on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Ascendigo is a Carbondale-based nonprofit with a mission to elevate the spectrum by empowering people, inspiring lives and shattering expectations. We do this by supporting kids and adults with autism through therapeutic recreation, vocational support, behavioral therapy and more. 

Our Visionary Goal is a community where all individuals with autism can thrive in the pursuit of a meaningful and purposeful life. Carbondale and the Roaring Fork Valley is this community and so we are celebrating our phenomenal community partners who are indispensable in achieving this goal. 

Some ways our community helps us include supporting and sponsoring our fundraising events, and making donations that are crucial to our sustainability; employing and welcoming Ascendigo adults as employees and volunteers; welcoming the autistic community when they see us out and about – a warm smile and understanding can go a long way. 

Or you can come celebrate with us at Fall Fest at Batch. Your admission will get you pizza and snacks, two drink tickets and free entry in our “beer stein holding” contest. If you cannot attend, consider donating the cost of a ticket and we will make that ticket available to an adult in our community with autism. Tickets available at: www.ascendigo.org

Whether you join us for Fall Fest or not, we invite you to join us and our community partners in empowering our clients and participants with meaning and purpose.

Dan Richardson, Carbondale

Supporting Glenwood 2C

I’ve read through the details of Measure 2C and I am absolutely for it. Measure 2C creates much needed resources for homes our workforce needs and can afford. It specifically supports Glenwood’s workforce. It is paid for by a modest increase in lodging tax that keeps us competitive with other communities. So, visitors, rather than us locals, provide the resources we need to tackle this critical issue. If you’re on the side of our community and our businesses and the people who work in them, this one seems very sensible. Sign me up as a yes for 2C.

Kayce Anderson, Glenwood Springs

BOCC out of touch

Before the start of the Sept. 19 Garfield County Commissioner meeting, Mike Samson commented that there was certainly not a lot of love for the commissioners recently. Presumably he was referring to columns and letters in the local papers. John Martin responded by saying that there are just a lot of bitter people out there who make their voices heard around election time.

The concerns currently being raised regarding the commissioners aren’t the result of “bitterness,” but are based on dissatisfaction with the commissioners’ dismal record. Time and time again the commissioners miss the boat on issues critical to the future health and well-being of our community. They refuse to work in collaboration with other governmental and non-governmental entities; they neglect to take advantage of grant-funding opportunities; they spend endless amounts of our county dollars fighting environmental protections, not to mention the recent lawyering up against the development of a Sweetwater Lake state park; and they foolishly continue to bank on the notion of a new oil and gas boom to fill the county coffers.

In contrast, we see commissioners in neighboring counties who are forward-thinking and proactive. They are working collaboratively with other entities to tackle substantive issues – and they are getting things done.

That our commissioners see specific critiques of their actions as simply the complaints of bitter people shows just how out of touch they are with the people they are elected to serve. It’s time for new blood and new ideas on the Garfield County Board of Commissioners.

Marc Bruell, Carbondale

Friday letters: Lots of election-related thoughts, endorsements

Unqualified to serve CD3

A few months ago, I woke up to the fact that my town, Trinidad, Colorado, is now in the 3rd Congressional District, and that U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert is now my representative. Of course, I had heard of her; who hasn’t? But, I didn’t know much about her performance. So, I started Googling. What I discovered is that she is not qualified to serve. During her first term in Congress, she has become nationally known for her inflammatory language and attention-grabbing antics but has been ineffective in passing legislation. 

She doesn’t understand the important difference between the Senate and the House of Representatives. While senators work on issues of national and international importance, House members usually focus more narrowly, upon the interests of the residents of their home district. Boebert has garnered a lot of attention as a fighter for right-wing causes, like unregulated access to assault weapons, defiance of COVID restrictions and the corporate exploitation of our public lands. But, she has failed as a lawmaker — getting zero bills passed or even through the committee process. Her extremism has alienated her, not only from Democrats, but also from centrist Republicans. This has resulted in her miserable ranking; 433 out of 435 House members, on an index of bipartisanship (The McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.) 

Our 3rd District includes citizens of different religions, lifestyles and political affiliations, and Boebert has a responsibility to represent us all. But, she has alienated herself by focusing so narrowly on extreme Christian fundamentalism and anti-democratic Trumpism. 

As a registered Independent, I try to see beyond divisive partisanship, looking instead for candidates who will work for all the citizens whom they represent. Boebert is not such a candidate. Her extremism has isolated from most of her constituents and ineffective in working with her congressional colleagues. 

Doug Holdread, Trinidad

Harmon best for clerk’s job

Jackie Harmon is the best-suited candidate for the Garfield County Clerk and Recorder position. The knowledge and experience gained while working 20 years in the Clerk and Recorder’s office is irreplaceable. 

I have interacted with her personally and professionally over the last five years and have received the utmost customer service. When in doubt of where to sign or what documents are required, I always reach out to Jackie, who promptly provides professional guidance. 

Her expertise, dedication, credibility, positive attitude and commitment to Garfield County and its residents make her the best candidate for the Garfield County Clerk and Recorder. Please consider voting for Jackie.

Jennifer Goolsby, New Castle

Re-elect Will in HD57

Every four years, responsible citizens of our democracy are asked to participate and vote in a public election to select those individuals considered to be most informed, most qualified and most trusted with positions of participation and leadership in our society.  

On Nov. 8, 2022, residents of Colorado House District 57 will have the opportunity to vote for Perry Will to continue to be our state representative, a position he has held since 2019. 

In that position, Will represents our district’s interests and concerns regarding our natural resources, water limitations, agricultural history and priorities, appropriate growth and development that protects our special places, our wildlife, our wildlife habitat and the special reasons we choose to live where we do.

Will has 40-plus years of on-the-ground experience working with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, responsible to those in his district and his state who know and love and protect the land and the wildlife. He is honest and approachable, informed and independent, intelligent and able to work with all who share a dedication to the protection of our special places, our special lifestyles and our commitment to our special western Colorado mountains and landscape. 

As citizens and residents of this special place, each of us has the obligation and responsibility to engage in discussion, deliberation, choice and voting. Please join me Nov. 8, as we select Perry Will to continue caring for us in his role as Representative for Colorado’s District 57. 

Dorothea Farris, Carbondale

Don’t re-elect Will

Don’t be fooled by letter writers claiming state Rep. Perry Will has done a good job representing our region. He has been a party line voter with the Republicans every year he has been in the state legislature. He has no business representing rural and resort communities. For instance, he consistently voted against measures to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in buildings, transit and oil and gas drilling. And, he voted against a bill to help the state cope with the fentanyl crisis.

Elizabeth Velasco is the right choice for our district. She is a strong advocate for the environment and understands the need to take real action to protect our public lands and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. She has worked hard over the years to make our communities better places to live. Once in the legislature she will continue her work to support community-based programs in healthcare, education and social services.

Please join me in voting for Elizabeth Valesco for House District 57. 

Allyn Harvey, Carbondale

Heroes among us

I witnessed a wonderful act of kindness that probably happens more than what we see. I was driving on Airport Road in Rifle around 5 p.m. on Sept. 28 while traffic was being diverted around a serious multi-car accident. Several emergency vehicles were on scene, and, as I was driving by, I glanced over and witnessed a Colorado River Fire Rescue (CRFR) firefighter handing a young boy a toy firefighter helmet while consoling this young boy who was likely involved in the traffic accident. 

What a class act of kindness! This would have been a traumatic event for anyone, and I can assume that this class act of kindness will be remembered by this young boy for a long time. 

Thank you to the CRFR crew on scene this day. Witnessing this event reminds me that we have many first responders who exhibit such acts of kindness on a daily basis. You all deserve our adoration and appreciation for your selfless service to our community.

Kevin Hettler, New Castle

Re: Sheriff investigated 

Sheriff Lou Vallario is a right-wing extremist who would have gladly participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection. His past antics back this up. 

From his support of Boebert, to openly in a public setting denigrating the wearing of masks during the pandemic, refusing to enforce the magazine capacity of weapons to publicly denouncing the past district attorney — this guy is way too opinionated to be a sheriff for everyone. 

His behavior is deplorable. I’m amazed we have not been able to replace this authoritarian.

Ken Fry, Glenwood Springs

Waste of our money

Thank you for the article on the Sweetwater Lake published last Friday. The $60,000 of taxpayer money being spent to investigate its acquisition has always perplexed me, and I am happy Ryan Gordon is willing to address this issue.  

We need a county commissioner who is willing to work with, not against entities that are preserving spaces for all of Garfield County residents to enjoy.

Let’s recognize a sweet deal and not waste taxpayer money!

Teresa Salvadore, Carbondale

Tom’s too extreme

I’m writing today regarding claims Tom Jankovsky makes on his campaign website. On the homepage, it says “Tom is compassionate and trusted. He will continue to fight for the issues that impact people just like you.”

It’s tough to square this sentence with his attendance at a June 13, 2022, event hosting right-wing extremist pastor David Barton at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Basalt (as was first reported by the Aspen Daily News). 

Barton is the founder and president of WallBuilders, a conservative activist group that has been notoriously anti-LGBTQ.

Various groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Texas Freedom Network and the GLADD Accountability Project have documented Barton’s decades of awful comments, saying, “A fervent homophobe, Barton has claimed that gay people die ‘decades earlier’ than others and have more than 500 partners apiece in their lifetimes.” He has suggested the government should regulate homosexuality, has spoken out against marriage equality and said there “will never be an AIDS vaccine because AIDS is the body’s God-ordained penalty for engaging in homosexual acts.” 

When Barton was at Cornerstone Christian, Tom can be seen giving him a standing ovation. I’d welcome Tom to explain why he’s so passionately supportive of a man whose books and publications have been widely discredited and who has rejected calls for separation of church and state. Tom’s website says “Every man and woman is free to govern his own life as long as it does not interfere with another person’s right.” But, the people he gives standing ovations to don’t believe that members of the LGBTQ community deserve the same rights, freedoms and respect as every other member of our community. 

When he first started serving as a county commissioner, he may have been leading with “strength and integrity” as he claims in his campaign, but he’s spent too much time with right-wing extremists to represent the increasingly diverse, forward-thinking people that call Garfield County home. It’s time for new leadership this November.

Grant R. Stevens, Glenwood Springs

Gordon for county commissioner

With this letter, we voice our support for Ryan Gordon to be elected as Garfield County Commissioner. We have heard Gordon speak and have consulted with many who know him — who know and understand his agenda, his integrity, his passion for Western Colorado and his honesty.   

He graduated from Glenwood Springs High School in 1996. He grew up loving and appreciating the majesty of the Western Slope. He chose to become an engineer and now uses his expertise to help protect water and other natural resources in Western Colorado. He has worked broadly throughout Western Colorado counties and understands the many and varied dynamics in this constituency. 

He knows that employee housing, fire preparedness, traffic management and Latina equity are crucial issues for the welfare and health of Garfield County in 2022. He is eager to address these and other challenges from the perspective of a young professional with knowledge of natural resources and current demographics. He is a father with young children whom he wants to raise in this wonderful and dynamic community. He is personally and professionally invested in every dimension of Garfield County — for now and for the future.

Help Garfield County elect a county commissioner who is dedicated to enhancing and preserving what’s best in us, understanding and supporting the greatest needs in us and securing a viable future for all of us.

Wolf and Nancy Gensch, Snowmass Village

Thanks, Tom

Thank you Tom Whitmore. You have served the City of Rifle well for all of your years in the Parks and Recreation Department. The city is so much better for your involvement. Enjoy your retirement.

Keith Lambert, former Rifle mayor

Oro Valley, Arizona

Don’t do it

In this November’s Congressional election, you have a choice.

A vote to re-elect U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert is a vote for cruelty, fascism, Christian jihadism and the undermining of our democracy. 

She really is that bad. In her one short term, she’s consistently pushed an extreme agenda that’s the political extension of the Jan. 6 insurrection. She will double down if re-elected.

She talks a good game about the U.S. Constitution but would happily shred it to remain in power. Her interpretations are so extreme that she actually believes that the Second Amendment empowers citizens to overthrow their own government. Consider the implications of that. 

Don’t give this person another term. Just don’t do it.

Dave Reed, Carbondale

Wednesday letters: Fall election endorsements, animal rights, Biden leadership

Support Glenwood Question 2C

I urge you to vote yes on Glenwood Springs’ 2C Workforce Housing ballot measure. I was a member of the ad hoc housing committee and its subsequently expanded group. We are diverse, committed representatives of Glenwood’s business and lodging industry, housing advocates, developers, members of our nonprofit organizations and people who love Glenwood. We want Glenwood to remain an amazing place to live, work and play. 

We were charged in January 2022 with developing proposals to address our most serious local challenge: That the people who live or work in Glenwood can’t find housing in Glenwood, and that our local businesses struggle to hire staff and maintain normal business hours. 

We spent many hours carefully collecting data, learning what steps our neighboring mountain communities have taken to address this challenge, identifying Glenwood’s specific workforce housing needs and exploring numerous mechanisms to raise a steady source of revenue to meet our workforce housing needs. We had conversations and public meetings with members of our business and non-profit communities seeking their perspectives, ideas and suggestions. We took our charge seriously and are committed to providing workable solutions to meet our challenge now.

We unanimously concluded that the best practical and feasible solution is a modest 2.5% increase in our lodging tax, which will be paid by visitors to short-term rentals, hotels, motels and other lodging establishments. Glenwood residents will not pay any of this tax, and the funds will make a meaningful impact for our local service workforce. This tax has a 20-year sunset provision, with public annual audits, and, importantly, the increase keeps our tax rate competitive with our peer communities. All funds will be used for Workforce Housing in the city of Glenwood for the Glenwood workforce. 

Voting Yes on 2C provides solutions that fit our community. Visit yes2cglenwood.org for more detailed information. Please endorse 2C on our website, ask your neighbors to support 2C and volunteer to pass this measure.

Ellen Dole, Glenwood Springs

Cruelty-free diet

I just learned about World Day for Farmed Animals, coming up on Oct. 2 (Gandhi’s birth date). It has been around since 1983 and is meant to memorialize the billions of animals abused and killed for food each year. 

Like many, I always considered farm animals only as a source of food. But, after recently watching the documentary Speciesism, I realized that farm animals are much like our family pets, deserving of love and respect.

I’ve learned that farm animals get neither on today’s factory farms. Male baby chicks are ground up alive or suffocated in garbage bags. Hens are crowded in small wire cages that tear out their feathers. Breeding pigs spend their lives pregnant in metal cages. Calves are snatched from their mothers upon birth, so we can drink their milk.

The cruelty of factory farming drove me to replace animal products in my diet with plant-based meat and dairy items. I have since learned that my cruelty-free diet is also great for my health and for the health of our planet.

Filipe Santana, Glenwood Springs

Supporting Harmon for clerk

I write this letter in support of Jackie Harmon as Garfield County Clerk. 

We met Mrs. Harmon as hundreds of others have met her, as a clerk at DMV, over 20 years ago. Since that day, we have had cause to work with her on countless transactions with that office. They were all handled with accuracy, respect and care that caused us minimum, if any frustration or concern.

I am fairly certain that no one understands that office, policies and procedures better than Jackie, and I have no doubt that her can-do and let’s-work-together attitude will make her a success as clerk or any other undertaking she may have.

Please join my family and friends in voting for Jackie Harmon as our next Garfield County Clerk and Recorder.

Larry W. Sweeney, Rifle

Supporting Moller for clerk

I am writing to support Rebecca (Becky) Moller for Garfield County Clerk. I have worked with her over the past six years, and I am familiar with her work as a paralegal in complex water cases as well as general civil cases. She is a very capable paralegal; she is extremely detail-oriented and thorough. She is also wonderful to work with.

I am confident that Becky’s organizational and interpersonal skills will translate well to serving as Garfield County’s Clerk. She is committed to providing open and transparent leadership to this important role. Her vision is to modernize the Clerk and Recorder’s Office to better serve the needs of Garfield County’s residents. For example, her plans to increase access to recorded documents to allow residents to obtain copies 24/7, rather than during limited business hours. 

She is knowledgeable, motivated and has the skills to accomplish her goals for the Clerk’s office. Please consider voting for Becky as the next Garfield County Clerk in November.

Susan Ryan, Carbondale

Shrewd leadership

Years ago, an impassioned young Sen. Biden gave a speech against the horrors of apartheid in South Africa. It took 20 years for that government to change, and Biden was a significant part of it.

Early on in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Pres. Biden gave an impassioned speech from Poland: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” 

That speech combined with the shrewd leadership of our US Joint Chiefs of staff may very well foretell the end of Vladimir Putin and his horrific, military dictatorship. Good riddance, and God bless America.

Joe Mollica, Glenwood Springs.

Wednesday letters: Treasurer endorsement, enforce trash laws, Boebert’s lack of preparation

Past treasurers endorse Diaz

As we head into this election season, we know you will need to make some decisions about who gets your vote. We are endorsing Aron Diaz for Garfield County Treasurer.

His knowledge and experience in local, state and federal government processes, along with his contacts on both sides of the political aisle, make him uniquely qualified to fulfill the duties of the County Treasurer’s Office.

We believe Aron will work to serve all the people of Garfield County free from partisan influences in the Treasurer’s Office. This is sorely needed in our current political climate. You don’t always see a Republican and a Democrat supporting a single candidate for office, but Aron is that candidate.

After visiting at length with him, we believe his priority is carrying out the duties of the county Treasurer’s Office in a way that serves the taxpayer best and by using taxpayer dollars as wisely as possible. We need a treasurer who will take the duties of the office seriously with professionalism and competency, and Aron is that choice.

Together, we have been elected and re-elected by the people of Garfield County nine times and served in the Treasurer’s Office for over 30 years. This is a trust we do not take lightly. Your faith in our opinion is something we have been honored to hold, and, in that spirit, we ask that you vote for Aron Diaz for Garfield County Treasurer. 

Karla Bagley, former Garfield County Treasurer (January 2015 – March, 2020)

Georgia Chamberlain, former Garfield County Treasurer (January 1987 – December 2014)

Enforce trash laws

Last Wednesday, the Post Independent ran an article about the bear on Cowdin Drive. We have a law in place in the city that people who cannot secure their trash will be issued tickets. 

Where I’m going with this is the simple fact that the address of 709 Cowdin Dr., which is an apartment building owned by an out-of-state owner and managed locally has been in violation many times of this law. 

They, and they alone, are responsible for the death of this animal because it will certainly happen. I believe this bear that is in our neighborhood has probably been in trouble before getting into human-caused carelessness. 

The garbage is still out there on the street. Several animals have been by, spreading it out — sometimes across the street and sometimes into my yard. 

I don’t appreciate this, and I won’t be very happy if the bear gets put down. Can we please get this taken care of, and enforce our bear laws with the trash? Help save an animal that doesn’t deserve to die because of human carelessness.

Laurie Chase, Glenwood Springs

Learn the 5 P’s, Rep. Boebert

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. It’s obvious from Lauren’s recent appearances that she’s never learned them. This isn’t new and shouldn’t be a surprise to her constituents, but it should signal to us that it’s time to send her home. She’s had two years to learn how to prepare for public speaking in her role as our representative, yet she hasn’t put in the effort to do so. 

If her appearance at the Truth & Liberty Coalition’s conference where she didn’t know what “wanton killing” is — or even how to pronounce it correctly — doesn’t prove how poorly she prepares, what will? Hadn’t she read that passage from Romans 1:28-32 before? Let’s say she hadn’t. Well, who wrote that speech for her? Why didn’t she practice it first, or ask the author what “wanton killing” means before she embarrassed herself?

By the way, it means merciless; “wonton” is a Chinese dumpling.

Lauren didn’t prepare well for the debate with Adam Frisch, either. Instead, she acted like the show pony she is by taking on the debate moderator first! Instead of debating issues that are important to us, she relied on vilifying Nancy Pelosi (That means making slanderous and abusive statements, Lauren). I believe it’s further proof of her lack of preparation and lack of interest in serving her constituents. It’s all about what’s in the best interest for her TV career.

I’m tired of her grandstanding and reality-TV, attention-getting stunts or, as Adam Frisch coined it, “anger-tainment.” That word isn’t in the dictionary yet, but, once it is, I’m sure there will be a picture of Lauren alongside it. That, or a video link to her “wonton killing” speech.

Clare Hydock, Delta

Friday letters: Demons are back, missed opportunities, Harmon for Clerk

Demon football is back

Glenwood Springs High School football is back! After the last four years of suffering through primitive, uninteresting, talent-wasting football, it’s great to have a return to exciting football.

In case you missed it, the Demons beat Rifle … in Rifle! It was a dogfight of a game, but the Demons took control when they needed to. Their defense is lights-out vicious and well-coached. They set the tone for their team and that game. When the game was on the line — twice — that defense stepped up and took the ball away from Rifle. 

If the offense finds a way to become consistent and round out to what it can be, based on their talent, they will be special. They have the potential to be explosive, but high school football succeeds when they control the ball and sustain drives. This should be a fun squad to watch in the postseason.

There may just be a new sheriff in town in Western Slope football, and it might just be the Demons of Glenwood Springs. If you are a football fan, jump on the Demon’s bandwagon and get to the games. Football is back and fun again!

Pedro Navaja, Glenwood Springs

Missed traffic-calming opportunities

Glenwood’s traffic problems are self-inflicted. Missed opportunities due to the misconception by Grand Avenue merchants that “more traffic means more business.” Not, as a matter of fact, if Grand Avenue had been conceived as a downtown pedestrian mall, businesses would be thriving. 

Three options, apart from micromanaging traffic speeds through town, are or were or could be, using the old Rio Grande railbed, elevating the highway above Grand Avenue to 13th Street or going underground, fully or partially, east or west of town — in a town that has few other options.

For those living on Grand between Ninth and 13th, trucks commuting in low gears up the Grand Avenue incline begins around five in the morning. Nice alarm clock. The point is, all that’s done so far is done out of lack of confidence and vision for the lack of a master plan and community image. Even the Green New Deal won’t change this.

Fred Stewart, Grand Junction

Supporting Jackie Harmon for clerk 

I highly support and recommend Jackie Harmon for Garfield County Clerk and Recorder. She is a huge asset to our community. 

We have worked together for over 15 years and have always found her knowledge and support above and beyond. This doesn’t just stop with helping customers but a huge support system to her coworkers. 

She is full of knowledge in the processes from her employment history. She is willing to learn and grow with every process and program that comes her way. She is accustomed to new leadership and opportunities, and this will be a perfect fit for Garfield County.

Misty Rebel, Parachute

Wednesday letters: Secure votes, election thoughts, fall vigil, Demons football

Volunteers keep vote secure

Like John Harcourt, I consider myself fiscally conservative. But, after being a registered Republican for over 50 years (Although I never have voted and probably never will vote a straight party ticket), I changed my registration a few years ago when I saw that party heading in a direction I couldn’t condone.

I do have one bit of good news for Mr. Harcourt: You may be as surprised as nearly every voter I’ve told this (Unless they, like me, serve as election workers), but the signature of every Colorado voter is verified before their ballot envelope is opened, and the ballot removed for counting. I’d invite you to serve as an election worker this fall to learn why those of us who do so feel Colorado’s election system may be the best in the country.

I believe, from what I know about other states’ processes, that the vast majority of election officials around the country work hard to ensure that every eligible person has a chance to vote, that voting systems are secure and that every vote is counted correctly.

Is it likely that some mistakes happen? Of course, because the systems are run by humans. Is it likely that there is widespread fraud? No, as evidenced by the numerous allegations in 2020 that were found to be rumors, misrepresentations and misunderstandings — courts across the country dismissed cases because there was no credible evidence of actual fraud.

Last summer, during a training for election workers for the primary, the question came up as to whether a dead person’s vote would be counted. Like most things, it’s complicated, but Colorado law is clear that any person who receives a ballot, votes it, signs the ballot envelope and submits it, will have that vote counted, even if he or she dies the next day and before the election.

And, yes, every election worker must participate in training for every election, no matter how many years we’ve worked. Laws are changed, technology changes, new questions arise, and we need to be working with current knowledge. Hope to see you at a training next month.

Sharon McLin, New Castle

Make Colorado even worse

A ballot issue is coming up called “Make Colorado Affordable Again.” It will be funded by your tax dollars — yes, your tax dollars — by reducing your TABOR check that you just got. The pitch for this initiative is: “Coloradans cannot afford to live in Colorado.”

One of my concerns is, who is going to regulate the “qualifiers” of this new affordability? Who is going to say, “Oh, you are not a Coloradan, so too bad — you can’t live in this subsidized home.” Seriously. But, that doesn’t even begin to touch the tip of the iceberg. 

So, here we go. If you wish to have your tax dollars create more and more homes, so that Colorado can become more and more congested, if you want to assist in the process of increasing and encouraging growth, pollution, crime, traffic, child care shortages and also have the desire to create more problems than solutions, then this initiative is for you.

I, personally, as a Colorado resident and native for over 60+ years, will vote no.

Dave Heyliger, Glenwood Springs

Dem talking points

In her PI letter of 9/9, Laurie Lawrence describes herself as an unaffiliated, moderate conservative. But, what she writes sounds more like a RINO in love with Biden’s policies.

She’s got the Dem’s main messaging down pat: “It’s not Biden’s fault.” LL says high gas prices and inflation are due to Ukraine and not Biden’s policies. Also, democracy is in peril, and we’re headed in the wrong direction because of Jan. 6 and right-wing extremists. Not Biden’s policies.

LL neglects to mention out of control crime, hordes of millions invading over our southern border, 100,000 fentanyl deaths last year, Afghanistan or our dismal education system. All topics liberals avoid like the plague.

LL is like a Bidenesque Pol spouting moderate platitudes before an election. Whether they read from the same tele-prompter or not, I find neither believable, much less convincing.

The legislation Laurie lauded is what caused inflation and the recession by printing trillions from thin air for naive green and socialist causes.

Our democracy is in danger when one political party (Dems) use law enforcement (FBI) to intimate Big Tech (Facebook) to stifle and lie about facts (Hunter’s laptop) that changed the outcome of a presidential election.

I respect Laurie’s right to her opinions but fear she champions the biggest piece of political filth and corruption in POTUS history.

Bruno Kirchenwitz, Rifle

Add a voice for peace

Join us this week in the Earth Ascension Room at Mana Foods in Carbondale where we will complete our 13th 72-hour mantra reading.  

We have held this sound current as a community since 2016 and now have a new space in order to vibrate this powerful sound current of health and peace for our Mantra for Peace event.  

The mantra we read is in Gurmukh and translated into English.  The reading is a rush of energy and vibration! If you would like to add your voice to this unbroken chain of sound, please sign up in the Earth Ascension Room at Mana Food this week. 

The duration of reading is one hour or more, and, once you are finished, another reader will replace you. The reading starts Sunday, Sept. 18 at noon and goes until Wednesday, Sept 21 at noon.  

All are welcome to read and harmonize your vision of peace into a global vision of peace and harmony. Since we opened, we have already completed 335 hours of the mantra reading since March and now we are opening up for everyone to have a “seat” at the Temple (so to speak!).  

Bring a hat and an offering, and no phone at the altar. Thank for caring about your planet and adding your voice for peace. 

Sotantar Anderson, Carbondale

What’s Jankovsky’s stand?

As many Republicans lurch farther to the extreme right, it is worth knowing Tom Jankovsky’s views as he tries for his fourth term as Garfield County Commissioner. 

This summer, he sent a blinking-red signal to anyone paying attention: In June, he attended an event at Cornerstone Christian Center for David Barton.

Barton founded WallBuilders, which strives for “educating the nation concerning the Godly foundation of our country” and “providing information to federal, state and local officials as they develop public policies which reflect biblical values.” 

Barton has claimed our country’s founders never intended separation of church and state and sought instead to construct a Christian nation. Historical scholars and faith leaders alike have debunked his historical interpretation to support his views. 

Jankovksy gave him a standing ovation at Cornerstone Christian. 

Can we judge Jankovsky merely by his associations and how he spends his free time? Fortunately, we don’t have to. When asked at the Sept. 6 BOCC meeting whether he supports Barton’s beliefs on the separation of church and state, he repeatedly refused to answer the question.

Christian Nationalists like Barton want their Christian religion to control our country’s policy. If you value our nation’s historic separation of church and state, keeping one religion from controlling government and your right to practice your religion — or no religion at all — you should demand Jankovsky tell us where he stands. 

Does he stand with extremists, or does he stand with you?

Eden Steele, Carbondale

Supporting Moller for Clerk

I am writing in support of Rebecca (Becky) Moller for Garfield County Clerk. I have had the privilege of working with Becky off-and-on since I first moved to the Roaring Fork Valley over 12 years ago. We worked together full-time at Patrick, Miller & Noto, P.C. from 2010-2015. There, in her role as senior paralegal, she was incredibly driven, organized, and client oriented. 

She spearheaded the overhaul and streamlining of many internal office procedures and systems, including deadline notifications, electronic and paper filings and new staff trainings. She was always warm and obliging when communicating with clients and other stakeholders, and she understood the importance of maintaining strong personal relationships. Becky and I continue to work together today on a contract basis through her owner-operated business Roaring Fork Paralegals, LLC. 

She remains a model of timeliness, efficiency and high-quality work product — all attributes that I know she will bring to the Garfield County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. 

I recently spoke with her about this election and know that one of her primary goals in running for county clerk is to modernize some of the office’s existing databases. 

Illustratively, she would like to create a catalog that enables residents to access and obtain copies of recorded documents on a 24/7 basis rather than during prescribed office hours only. She also plans to prioritize office culture for job retention and focus on election security. Based on my experiences working with Becky, I know that she has the motivation, skill sets and local love to accomplish these goals. 

Please do not pass up this opportunity to vote for Becky in November.

Danielle Van Arsdale, Aspen

Demon football is back

Glenwood Springs High School football is back! After the last four years of suffering through primitive, uninteresting, talent-wasting football, it’s great to have a return to exciting football.

In case you missed it, the Demons beat Rifle … in Rifle! It was a dogfight of a game, but the Demons took control when they needed to. Their defense is lights-out vicious and well-coached. They set the tone for their team and that game. When the game was on the line — twice — that defense stepped up and took the ball away from Rifle. 

If the offense finds a way to become consistent and round out to what it can be, based on their talent, they will be special. They have the potential to be explosive, but high school football succeeds when they control the ball and sustain drives. This should be a fun squad to watch in the postseason.

There may just be a new sheriff in town in Western Slope football, and it might just be the Demons of Glenwood Springs. If you are a football fan, jump on the Demon’s bandwagon and get to the games. Football is back and fun again!

Pedro Navaja, Glenwood Springs