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Tuesday letters: stay-at-home opposition, clean energy, senior shopping

GOP state Sen. Bob Rankin risking lives

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted all as it has made its way through our state, our nation and our world. Organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have recommended good hygiene and practices such as social distancing. The number of known coronavirus cases in the U.S. has grown to an unprecedented 115,000-plus and shows no signs of stopping there. This being the case, stricter measures were necessary. The best-known initiative in Colorado was Gov. Jared Polis’ mandatory stay-at-home order.

That order restricts everyone to stay home unless they need for necessary trips or they fall into the overworked and underpaid “essential worker” category.

However, in a climate where partisan politics always seems to make its way to the surface, there are dissenters to Polis’ stay-at-home order. Fourteen of the 16 Republicans in the state Senate, including Bob Rankin of District 8, signed a letter expressing their distaste for Polis’ mandate. The letter expressing disapproval of Polis’ statewide order cited “heavy-handed government power” and “disconnect between the impact at the city and rural levels.”

As a former two-term Eagle County commissioner, I feel a connection to the outbreak among the constituents I once served, with 182 cases more than either Vietnam, Cuba or Venezuela.

The 14 GOP senators who object to the stay-at-home order are putting our residents, doctors, nurses and the entire health care system in gave danger. During this unprecedented outbreak, it’s important that we consider everyone’s well-being when making decisions about how to keep us all healthy and safe — partisanship aside.

Arn Menconi

Carbondale

Candidate for State Senate District 8

Clean energy next

It is comforting to see that we have the infrastructure in place to move our planet’s inhabitants to act in unison, toward a common goal. 

Given good information and wise leadership we can even act to reduce our CO2 plague, as we have in the past few weeks, but with a thriving, vibrant economy installing and maintaining a clean energy infrastructure. Just a matter of time now.

John Hoffmann

Carbondale

How to improve senior shopping hour

I went to City Market Friday morning for Senior Hour. I was very concerned and stressed and thus make the following suggestions.

While CM has limited the number of shoppers in the store to 75, consider lowering that to 50 please. People are everywhere with 75 there.

If you are a couple or a family, please only one person do the shopping. It protects you and others to have fewer people out.

If you could be my great-grandchild or my grandchild, please do not come at this special time unless you are a caregiver. If you are a caregiver, you will be with someone and not be alone. 

The aisles are always about 6 feet wide. Please let shoppers and the store make them one way. This way we do not have to be closer than 6 feet. You cannot pass someone in an aisle and still have a 6 foot clearance. You just cannot.

Do not stand in the middle of an aisle and casually read your shopping list. You block others from going down that aisle and you are not shopping, you are reading. Please move to another spot.

Do not stand close behind someone in the checkout lane. The carts are not six feet long.

Just because grocery shopping is something we all have and do and will continue to do, please do not think that now it is done the way it was done in the past. It is not. Please be aware and conscious of others and careful. Too many shoppers in the store were simply on autopilot. I get it, but it is time to be awake.

Continue to lobby City Market to support its employees with masks and gloves for their safety and ours. I wish we had grocery store choices, but we do not. There is no excuse for the City Market/Kroger corporation not to protect both employees and customers with protective gear.

We can do this — please do this. In protecting yourself you protect me and all others.

Cheryl Cain

Glenwood Springs

Monday letters: Census, wait to shop locally, how did we get here?

The Census and COVID-19

Please fill out the census form online if you have not already done so (https://my2020census.gov). Assemble your information first. You need the names and birthdates of each person in your home. You have 15 minutes to fill out the form, so do it quickly without distractions. If you don’t make the time limit on your first try, do it again.

The US Census office keeps the information confidentially. The final count determines representation in Congress and some forms of federal spending in your community.

Doing the Census online now will help to save lives in your community as it means the US Census workers will not have to go door to door and expose themselves, and maybe someone else, to the virus.

Colorado is currently 13th in the U.S. for number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, but we are 21st in population. That means we have more cases per population than the other states ahead of us in total number of COVID-19 cases. We are not winning the race to wellness.

Let’s do better. Help keep your family and friends healthy and safe from unnecessary exposure.

1. Wash your hands frequently. 2. Do not touch your face. 3. Stay home except for absolutely necessary outings. 4. Stay 6 feet apart from anyone you encounter. 5. Wipe the hard surfaces in your house and car with disinfectant and 6. Fill out the census form on line, one person per household. Each step helps to save lives and keep your whole community healthy.

Illene Pevec

Carbondale

Wait to shop locally

It is great that the PI has a daily listing of restaurants with delivery or pick-up, but what about all the other local “nonessential” businesses that aren’t able to stay open as they sacrifice to help us flatten the curve?

I’d like to suggest that we all “Wait to Shop Locally” for those things that we really could wait to get. Don’t just jump online to buy clothing, furniture, jewelry, sports gear, or other things that can wait for a while. You’ll be able to get them locally soon enough. Those big online stores will be OK, but our local small businesses will need our help when they do reopen.

So ask yourself: Do I really need this thing right now, or can I wait a bit to support local businesses?

And perhaps the PI could add a banner or box with “Wait to Shop Locally” with the restaurant listing to remind us to support our other local businesses, even if that is in the future.

Bruce Wampler

Glenwood Springs

Who are we and how did we get here?

We should all reflect on who we are and how we got here. Consider that we have given away or relinquished our resources… often known as “outsourcing.” In other words, we are not self sufficient … even though the world is “interdependent.”

The Chinese and others around the globe, as manufacturers of electronics, medicine, steel, controllers of rare earths and other vital resources, are also consumers of American fast food, cars and other American products … often made in China. This underscores the fact that money on its own is nothing. The Chinese can laugh all the way to their Communist banks.

It should be a wake-up call to see who we are, and to see where we are, in the wake of the Corona pandemic. Kind of ironic in the year 2020.

The Chinese have not taken anything we have not given away for money, or by negligence. Remember: China might be a slave state, but they should not be our slaves, nor we theirs.

Fred Stewart

Grand Junction

Saturday letters: More info about virus cases, positive result of outbreak, and confused about ballot question

No reason not to inform us about location of coronavirus cases

To quote the county, “County health officials ask people to assume that the new coronavirus is spreading through the community, but the county will not release the town where persons have tested positive to protect the private health information of COVID-19 patients.”

How is refusing to disclose the towns that these cases are in protecting their identity? All the while we in Garfield County are simply left to “assume” it’s in our town? There is absolutely no reason not to inform us where these cases are located. Give us answers, Garfield County! Our community, our towns and our residents are worth more than your intimidating fear factor propaganda you present us with!

Karen Wagner,
Rifle

One positive result of working from home during COVID-19 outbreak

I have been a work-from-home person for most of my professional life. I am lucky enough to do so, since I write software for a living. And, there are many, many full-time professionals with jobs that are similar to mine. These professionals spend a majority of their time in front of their computer(s) being productive. At home… or at the office.

On occasion, I have to go on-site. Usually in Denver. I am amazed at the traffic and the associated carbon footprint that occurs there, and in all large cities across our nation. It literally breaks my heart every time I am on the road experiencing it live, or read about traffic issues while in my home office.

Now, orders are to stay home. And what a difference on the environment! The daily carbon footprint has been reduced by a huge percentage. I see and read news stories saying how much better air quality has become throughout our nation and beyond.

My hope is that even after the COVID-19 fallout, corporations and business will realize the following: Having work-from-home professionals still produces results and reduces the carbon footprint. Isn’t that something everyone wants? I know I do. I am aware that not everyone can work from home, but for those who can, consider trying to advocate to your superiors for a new work style that supports carbon reduction. And for the supervisors, think along the same lines and consider a new work style for employees that fit a work-from-home mold. This could be a win-win-win for you, your business, and the environment!

Dave Heyliger,
Glenwood Springs

Confused about ballot question

I am confused about the ballot issue that arrived in the mail this week. Myself and community members I have spoken with are concerned about the lack of transparency on this issue, yet we are being asked to make an informed decision about the sale of the Maintenance and Operations Center (MOC).

I know the MOC is crumbling, departments moved out, and now the city wants to sell the building and site. Taxpayer dollars paid for the bonds to build the MOC and are now paying for the relocation of city departments. Will the proceeds from the sale be used to build a new MOC with more oversight on construction? If so, where?

The MOC was built on an alluvial plane which takes special construction and engineering, which was not taken into consideration upon the first build. I have not heard about similar construction concerns for the neighboring RFTA building. This makes me question the MOC’s construction oversight on the original project and if there was any responsibility by the construction firm that was paid with taxpayer dollars and bond money.

Mayor Jonathan Godes said that RFTA offered to purchase the land and building for $1.5 million. I am not sure if this is a fair price or not, but more transparency would be appreciated considering the cost of a new building, the ballot mailing and the other taxpayer dollars that have been spent on the MOC over the past years. Please use the Post Independent in addition to the virtual meetings to keep the community informed.

Jim Phillips
Glenwood Springs

Friday letters: Stop evictions, airliners, listen to experts, shut down travel, and cure worse than disease

Letter to judge: Take further steps to protect those facing eviction

Dear Editor,
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing widespread disruption in our community and threatens our economic, physical, and mental health. Many organizations are stepping up to support our community. However, there is much fear and uncertainty and the last thing families need to be concerned about is the possibility of eviction or foreclosure.

We at Mountain Voices Project (MVP) applaud officials like Attorney General Phil Weiser, who over the weekend, called for a statewide pause on eviction proceedings, stating, “In this emergency, evicting any Coloradan from their home would exacerbate the public health and economic crisis we are fighting together,” and put the decision in the hands of the State’s District Judges.

We would like to thank Judge James Berkley Boyd, Chief Justice of the 9th Judicial District, for his recent order suspending all hearings but those “concerning public safety.” However, we wish to urge Judge Boyd to join the courts of Denver, Mesa, Weld, and Boulder Counties to explicitly declare a moratorium on all eviction proceedings during this emergency.

This clarification will serve to calm our community.

This effort to maintain our community fabric requires forbearance and sustained goodwill from all involved. As such, MVP urges all landlords to commit to not evict tenants and all lenders to suspend foreclosure proceedings during this pandemic.

MVP is a broad-based organization comprising 28 regional institutions including faith-based, educational, and social-impact organizations. When MVP speaks, it speaks with a voice that represents over 15,000 people. We are building relationships among diverse communities, from Parachute to Aspen, for the common good.

With compassion for those who need it most right now.

Mountain Voices Project,
Institutional Leaders
Rob Stein,
Roaring Fork School District Superintendent
Father Bert,
St. Stephen Catholic Church
Rabbi Emily Segal,
Aspen Jewish Congregation
Bertha Lopez,
Madres en Acción
Richard Gonzales,
Colorado Mountain College
Ross Brooks,
Mountain Family Health Centers
Lara Beaulieu,
English In Action
Lori Mueller,
Youth Zone
Pastor Jeff Carlson,
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Jamie Nims,
Two Rivers Community School
Michael Hayes,
Discover Compass
Pastor Charla Belinski,
Snowmass Chapel
Episcopal Partnership of Garfield County
Lindsay Lofaro,
Buddy Program
Kyle Crawley,
Stepping Stones
Elaine Grossman,
Valley Settlement
Cindy Kahn,
MANAUS
Pastor Daniel Self,
The Orchard
Audrey Hazelton,
Glenwood Springs Elementary School
Paul Freeman,
Glenwood Springs High School
Cecilia Rios,
La Esperanza de Emily
Reverend Laurie Bushbaum,
Two Rivers Unitarian Universalists
Gail Schwartz,
Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley
Niki Delson,
Carbondale Age-Friendly Community Initiative

Nowhere to hide on airliners

As the media reports Coronavirus transmission, devastation, deaths, closures, lack of supplies, impact, and the use of common sense; the confusion continues surrounding exposure guidelines. Was the virus driven here by car, bus or moped? Ships? Yes. They’ve been quarantined. However, the most likely culprit transports mass quantities of people by air. Imagine pretending to social distance on an airliner while breathing everyone else’s recycled breath in an enclosed tube. What familiar phrase just popped into your head?

Deborah Evans,
Carbondale

Listen to medical experts and scientists

The top priority of the current administration in Washington is money — the economy. Do they care that brave women and men who are caring for COVID-19 patients need many more masks, gowns, etc.? No. Do they care that our fellow citizens who are fighting to stay alive need respirators? No.

We need to listen to medical experts and scientists who are telling the truth and genuinely trying to help us get through this terrible time.

Wash your hands! Stay well!

Nancy Hess,
Glenwood Springs

Shut down travel between states, counties

All measures taken so far in Colorado including the new “stay at home” order are necessary, but I believe to make this really work, and I think it can, states and counties need to self contain. So yes, this would involve shutting down air and automobile traffic between states and counties to preserve the situation of each place and not to export or import the virus.

This is what didn’t happen in Europe. They didn’t close the borders until it was too late. One can see the states in the U.S. as similar to the countries in Europe because of size, population, etc.

Self containment in addition to self distancing. Maybe an idea to propose to Gov. Jared Polis.

Veronica Whitney,
Carbondale

The ‘cure is worse than the disease’ coronavirus debate

Yes, there is a point at which the cure could be worse than the disease in that a collapsing economy could cause the health care industry as well as other industries to collapse. This collapse would lead to many more deaths, and not just those from the coronavirus as there would no longer be care for cancer, heart attacks, vehicular accidents, lack of medicines, malnourishment, etc. But are we anywhere close to that point yet?

It’s all too easy for elected federal and state officials to say that they would be willing to die to save their (grand)children’s future when these same officials are the ones most likely to receive one of the scarce hospital beds, even scarcer ventilators, and intensive care due to their (justifiable) importance in keeping our government functioning. They are therefore more likely to survive a bout with the coronavirus. It’s easier to make these “dying” claims when you aren’t actually staring mortality in the face.

And yes, I too am concerned about what kind of world I’m leaving my descendants.

So what level of near-term deaths and stress on the health care system are we willing to accept to preserve our economic future? And how much would this increase in deaths itself stress the economy, defeating the very purpose of relaxing the restrictions?

I would argue to let the facts and data guide us in making this decision, not unsubstantiated claims that the suicide rate will go up if we let the economy slowdown continue — claims made by the same officials who said we didn’t need to worry about the coronavirus. Until we did.

Politics (by both parties) got us into our present state, but only science and data will get us out!

Jerome Dayton,
Carbondale

Thursday letters: Trail courtesy, and big government

Announce before passing

With the increased use of walking/biking trails around us, I would ask those of you who are not walking to please alert us to your presence when passing us. I was almost run over by a young girl on a bicycle who came up on me while I was contemplating crossing the trail. Fortunately I didn’t and was suddenly passed by her. Those of us of a certain age frequently have reduced hearing and could use the heads up that you are about to pass us. A simple, “on your left” really helps.

While the outcome of this interaction was benign, it could have been serious with a resulting call to our stressed emergency services.
Parents, please inform your children of this simple courtesy.

Jerome Dayton,
Carbondale

Government controls our lives

I have lived in this area for over 83 years and have seen many changes. My father grew up farming with horses. Not too long before that my ancestors came to this area, filed a claim, built a log cabin and settled down in “the land of the free and home of the brave.”

I grew up in the agricultural profession. If you needed a barn, you just built one. If you needed an orchard, you planted one. Nowadays you can’t do anything without applying to the authorities and submitting a plan. Then there are hearings, reviews, inspections, licensing, public notices, fees and revisions. After about two years you can begin construction with periodic inspection resulting in revisions. Then when you are finally done, there is property tax which is a lease paid to the government.

If you really believe you are the owner, just stop paying the property tax. The authorities will seize it and sell it to someone else. If you ever want to change anything, you are back to the application, hearings, permits, inspection and fees.

I built a mobile home park and now the government has decided to impose its idea of rules and impose a fee per house.

Consider this virus thing. The government can shut your business down, limit your travel, limit your gatherings and all sorts of personal controls. They may give you some compensation, but ultimately, you will have to repay it. It’s called increased taxes.

By the way, they can also change the value of your money. I remember when gasoline was $0.23 a gallon and diesel was $0.11 a gallon delivered to the ranch.

We started the 4th of July Freedom Celebration and fireworks back in 1976. I’m thinking now it should be a memorial service.

Ross L Talbott
New Castle

Wednesday letters: Beckley cares, really CDOT?, and corporate bailouts

Beckley taking care of employees

As one of the many in the valley who’s employment is in jeopardy, I am grateful to work for a company that is doing its best to keep us all afloat in this shaky economic time. I work at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which has closed until April 17 (at least), and we were all very concerned about our future, for obvious reasons.

I am writing this because I have, in the past, read criticism of the park’s owner, Steve Beckley, as a typical land-baron business man. When he attempted to revive the South Canyon Hot Springs, he was painted as someone who just wanted to make more money.

First, a business owner usually wants to make money. But those of us who know or work for Steve know him as a genuine, kind human being who has created jobs for me and my coworkers, cares about us, and continues to be there for us when we need him.

We now have some time off since the park is closed, and not surprisingly we are being paid. This reduces my anxiety considerably, and those of my colleagues as well. We are all family up here, and Steve and Jeanne Beckley are showing what they are made of during this difficult time, and I, for one, appreciate it.

Don Chaney
Glenwood Springs

Increased speed limit a danger

Driving my nightly run to Denver, I noticed CDOT increased the speed limit to 65 mph on eastbound I-70 just past exit 114. The increased limit continues around the curve by the Hot Springs pool, then drops to 50 mph.

What is CDOT thinking? Apparently their managers have forgotten the truck wrecks that occurred on that curve, back in the ’90s.

In response to those wrecks, a yellow flashing sign was installed at exit 116. This warned drivers to reduce their speed to the recommended safe speed of 50 mph.

The warning sign is no longer there, as well.

It’s only a matter of time, before somebody takes that curve too fast, and lays it over.

George Kuersten,
Silt

Corporations need bailout too

Really Randy? (“Corporate America does not need financial help,” Post Independent, March 24) You blame Republicans for bailing out big business as well as small business and individuals. You want to exclude big business from any federal relief. Why? They employ many millions and are part of as many IRAs. They need help also and could be legally prohibited from using those funds for stock buy-backs or VIP pay raises.

It’s Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats who wanted to sneak in liberal pork totally unrelated to the coronavirus. Now that Nancy’s been called out on it, she’s backing.

Maybe it’s time we stop politicizing the virus.

Bruno Kirchenwitz,
Rifle

Thursday letters: Pandemic character, school district spending, and KDNK programming

Exercise some character during pandemic

For me, the worst part of the coronavirus is not the awkwardness of social distancing, not the inconvenience of the closing of restaurants and gathering places, not the possibility that we might be overreacting. No, for me the worst part by far is the lack of character displayed by so many of my fellow citizens … nationwide, and particularly here in Glenwood.

What is character? At its essence it is something that should come to us with maturity, an ability to think not just about oneself but to think about and empathize with one’s neighbors and fellow citizens. Children don’t possess character when they are young; they must be taught not to keep all of the candy for themselves. There are a lot of childish adults out there.

Here is a simple example of hoarding. Let’s say that there are five families in a small town with one store. They each buy one roll of toilet paper a week, and the store orders accordingly. But then some issue arises, and family 1 buys all five rolls that week. “The heck with my neighbors, I want to take care of myself first.” So while there is plenty of supply, there are shortages because the supply has been hoarded by one self-centered narcissist.

This is our society now. Not exercising character, for sure.
Knock it off, all of you child-like adults. Show some character.

And city councilors and county commissioners: remind your citizens of their duty.

Jim Ingraham
Glenwood Springs

School district has gall to ask for $120 million

I can’t believe that a few years after getting $120 million from us residents of Re-1 school district that they have the gall to ask for $5 million more. I agree the teachers are underpaid, but where was that concern when you got the $120 million. Explain to us, Superintendent Rob Stein, why after getting the bond issue for $120 million you allowed 20-some teachers to be fired, giving their jobs to teachers from outside the district. And overspending on building a new elementary school so far outside of the downtown core that kids can’t ride their bikes to school. But then again it has always been Re-1’s way to spend most of our tax dollars on expensive buildings and not on teachers salaries.

So now they want us to cough up the money to do what they haven’t done in the past, pay teachers what they are worth. Oh but Re-1 had enough money to get into the real estate business and buy apartments to rent to teachers.

I am sure many of you out there have heard teachers say they just can’t wait to make it to retirement, morale is low and after seeing 10- to 20-year seasoned veteran teachers get fired, they fear the lack of loyalty from the district. Our superintendent just smiles and says what he feels the teacher and residents want to hear, but the word on the streets is he is not trusted. Maybe it’s time for Stein to move on.

John Korrie
Glenwood Springs

Show must go on for KDNK

How can we help others out during the COVID-19 outbreak? Well, sharing a roll of toilet paper might be asking a bit too much, however, KDNK came to the rescue of listeners this week when “Swing, Swing, Swing,” a radio program hosted by Art Ackerman a 94-year-young show host was asked to stay home by Gavin Dahl, the General Manager. However, Gavin was only trying to keep Art safe from the virus. He then went over to Art’s house, picked up his records, and at 7 p.m. Art was “on the air” by telephone. Mr. Dahl, “DJ” Art Ackerman, and KDNK shared the spirit of “the show must go on.” Congratulations KDNK, for a great team effort.

Joyce Rankin,
Carbondale

Tuesday letters: rescue package, isolation, kudos to City Market

Corporate America does not need financial help

The American people are being cheated by the Senate Republicans in the financial rescue package. It heavily favors corporate America and little protection for American people. Corporate America does not need financial help. They have plenty of financial assets and offshore bank accounts. Plus, the Federal Reserve is still sitting on their $4 trillion in profits from the 2008 Recession Quantitative Easing program. So, if corporate America really needs help, they could go to the Fed for a loan.

The American people need the entire $1 trillion or more from the federal government. This money will go back into the economy. The corporate bailouts will not go to workers, but it will be used for stock buybacks and into their offshore bank accounts. Wall Street has plenty of money. They should never get a bailout after all of the profits they scammed off the American people since 2008 Recession.

Randy Fricke

New Castle

Making the most out of the current situation

It has been tough to isolate. With the prospect of even another week or two of separation ahead, we feel uneasy. We need one another. We are meant to be in relationships with others. When the opportunity to be together is suddenly taken away, we struggle. When we add fear to this isolation, a dark cloud seems to settle over our heads and hearts.

On a very bright side, we have been given an amazing opportunity. Up until very recently, a common stressor for parents was busy schedules and lack of family time resulting in unsatisfactory family relationships. Now, we have been given a rare gift; uninterrupted time at home.

Another gift is having a common challenge to face. Without panic, solving challenges of food and household needs as a family can be a great opportunity to bond together. Taking healthy precautions can be a way of developing common habits. 

A crucial gift that we must share with all is the gift of hope. Without hope, everything is a burden, but with hope, we can endure much. 

Right now, today, I am taking great hope that we have a heavenly Father that loves us. Nothing that is happening is a surprise to him. He already sees the outcome of this momentary trial. If he already knows the future and we know he loves us, it is wise to seek him and follow his leading. 

Connecting virtually with others who share this hope is vital. Most local congregations have some sort of online worship; gather your family and be part of this virtual community.

As I said at the start of this note, it is tough to isolate. When we isolate from God, we cut ourselves off from the ultimate source of hope. We were meant to be in relationship with the living God, and it sometimes takes difficult experiences to realize that we are not as much in control as we thought and we need Someone who is above our current situation.

This season is a gift, please use it well. Strengthen your hope, strengthen your heart, strengthen your family.

Pete Schaffner

executive director, Youth for Christ

Hats off to New Castle City Market

 This is for the management and associates who work at Castle Valley Boulevard City Market. 

We cannot find the words to express our gratitude for the way you all have stepped up and faced this crisis head on. 

On Friday, March 13, you all watched hoards of people come into your store and for the most part, empty all the shelves. 

I went into City Market on Saturday the 14th to pick up just a few things. I was totally shocked. The store was almost barren, and the associates looked like they had a bad hangover. They were completely worn out, and yet they still were so professional and kept smiles on their faces. 

I hope that Kroger appreciates you as much as we do. So again, I say thank you, New Castle City Market. It is comforting to know that you guys are there in times of crisis and you have our backs. 

To those people who are hoarding food and paper products and not leaving anything for the next guy, you should be ashamed of yourselves. We will never know for sure, but my guess is if you would have just continued with your normal buying habits, things may have stayed somewhat normal. 

Henry Hendrickson

New Castle

Monday letters: good news, cross is lit

Some positive stories

During a week of epic worsening news, I have been unwittingly gifted with experiences of solidarity and hope. 

One story is of a Costco shopper who experienced customers stepping aside for each other in the aisles. When only one item remained on a shelf, one shopper turned to another and asked if they would like it. In the end, “This generosity created an energy of collective caring that will never be reported by the media.” 

Another story is about a chef in New York City using his empty restaurant to feed the hungry and saying he would continue until he ran out of money. 

To my delight, family and friends are checking in with us to ensure that our basic needs are being met. 

A particularly kind and generous neighbor has twice surprised us with “anti-viral pills” — the kind from the oven with chocolate chips inside.

Each of us has a choice to hunker down in anxiety and fear or to seek opportunities to reach out to others, each in our own unique way. 

One person writes, “We can create a new virus of caring, from the nobility of our humanity. It can become even more contagious than the one dancing in the headlines.”

Finally, from South Carolina comes inspiration from one devoted to the labyrinth, both as spiritual practice and as teacher. “(Walking it) teaches me to be mindful (keep my eyes on the path); it teaches me that I cannot predict what is to come or how long it will take to get there but that change always happens (regardless of their length, paths always turn); it teaches me that everything is held together by the invisible power of Love (the center’s petals are held together in an invisible circle).” 

Each of us is invited to access a labyrinth — walking one or using a finger labyrinth (available online). During these dark days, she says, let the labyrinth and its “thin places” teach us how to gain inner rest, to discover eternal wisdom, and to be light in the darkness.

The Rev. Barbara Palmer

No Name

Glenwood’s cross is lit

You will notice the cross overlooking Glenwood Springs has been lit. 

Our group is extremely sensitive to lighting the cross, and you’ve all noted it is usually for a short time, corresponding to specific holidays.  

We are lighting the Red Mountain Cross as a reminder to all, that during these uncharted times of uncertainty, we know there is a loving and mighty God looking over us. Let it also be a reminder that we can look to him for our strength and reassurance.

Let’s continue to pray for our leadership and each other.

Red Mountain Cross Preservation Association

Friday letters: Carbondale fire board, another use for PI, emergency tax fund, alzheimers, AQCC

Schalit and Schilling for Carbondale fire board

Today I am writing in support of two outstanding candidates for the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District board of directors; Sydney Schalit and Gene Schilling. We need these two down to earth, intentional, grounded individuals. While they bring differing perspectives and histories, they have shown common sense collaboration, cohesive approaches, and critical thinking to the Fire and Protection District board.

Sydney Schalit brings a wealth of communication and marketing skills. These skills assisted in passing two ballot measures under two different fire chiefs. These measures helped our community to implement major upgrades to equipment, training and facilities to protect each of us. She also was a champion for mental health access for our men and women putting their bodies and mind in harm’s way for us. Being a past Mountain Rescue Responder, I wish we would have had this kind of mental health access in the past.

Gene and Sydney understand the grit and grace, courage and humility, that come with being a fire person, first responder, paramedic or any number of support personnel and volunteers that make our communities safe.

Please support Sydney Schalit and Gene Schilling for positions on the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District board of directors.

Garry Schalla
Carbondale

Another way for the PI to help out

Continue to print the Post Independent — the town needs could use the toilet paper.

Sean Elias
Glenwood Springs

We need an emergency tax fund

Dear Senator Bennett,

Here is an idea to deal with all the financial help people and small businesses will need:

How about introducing a bill to create a COVID-19 Emergency Tax Fund, paid by all the companies such as Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and many other giants who avoid paying federal taxes (I’m missing probably hundreds and maybe I unfairly included some). How about doing the patriotic thing so — guess what? — the economy is saved and people next year can still buy their products.

Also I would add in that bill that people with fortunes over $50 million pay a one time contribution of 2% of their cash assets.

This will help not only the people financially but mentally and emotionally.
Bernie is right when he talks about the huge gap in the country. Well, this is a stellar opportunity for those with so much to help their country and fellow citizens who will be so affected by this invisible war.

Veronica Whitney
Carbondale

Alzheimer’s is a growing crisis

One in 10 Americans age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s dementia today. Colorado is home to 76,000 of them. That’s almost exactly the seating capacity of Empower Field at Mile High. Additionally, 256,000 Coloradans are caring for at least one loved one with the disease.

Researchers and scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) need an additional $354 million to stop this disease. I am urging Congress to provide these funds to NIH next year for this purpose.

Thank you to Congressman Scott Tipton for joining our fight to end Alzheimer’s in Congress and supporting NIH funding efforts in the past.
Sources for all statistics: Alzheimer’s Association 2020 Facts & Figures found at www.alz.org/facts.

Judy A. Noel, MSSW, Ph.D.
Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador

GarCo says see you in court

I was in attendance at the Dec. 10 Air Quality Control Commission public forum where input was requested before the AQCC devised new air pollution regulations for the oil and gas industry. There was a commissioner from Rio Blanco County there and a few other industry proponents, but nobody from Garfield County government.

I suppose the GarCo commissioners were saving their bullets for the courtroom because, along with nine other counties, they’ve filed a lawsuit to strike some of the AQCC’s rules.

Again, the commissioners are putting money ahead of the health and safety of their constituents just as they did in opposing Proposition 112 and Senate Bill 181. There’s no question the volatile organic compounds and greenhouse gases emitted by oil and gas extraction negatively impact public health and safety and the climate.

Oil and gas industry advocates are using the same scare tactics they trotted out in the past. Regulations will devastate the local economies by chasing the industry away, the commissioners say.

I’ll tell you what’ll shut down Roaring Fork Valley businesses: We’re seeing it now with tourism collapsed by the coronavirus pandemic. Face it, commissioners, western Colorado is a tourist trap, not an industrial center. Due to automation, the oil and gas industry doesn’t employ that many workers, anyway.

The suit alleges the AQCC broke its own rules when it embraced suggestions from community groups like the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance. The GVCA has been complaining about emissions from industry activity and proposing action to county governments for decades. They turned to the state because their local representatives turned a deaf ear. The commissioners have only themselves to blame.

Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said, “The rules cost more than the gas they’re producing on an annual basis.” That’s because the fracking boom and a reduction in demand has created a glut of natural gas that has driven the price through the floor. Natural gas, along with all the fossil fuels, is an obsolete product.

Fred Malo Jr.
Carbondale