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Saturday letters: public opinion, food waste

Possible life for public opinion in Glenwood

Everyone should be glad that Mayor Johnathan Godes responded in kind in a guest column to “DeFrates column: City not doing enough to engage public on big issues.” At least it establishes a pulse and possible life for public opinion in Glenwood.

Things only improve if true consensus exists. It’s not about getting everyone to agree, but to have people express themselves “in process,” and be heard.

Fred Stewart

Grand Junction

Bringing food waste to landfill will add to city’s revenue stream

There are many good reasons to keep food out of landfills. The first one is the reduction in the creation of methane. The global climate crisis should be in everyone’s mind. 

I would like to point out that the city is on the right track. Landfills make money. The city can use that money to improve compost operations, educate the community about waste issues, and start other diversion programs like electronics collection.

Now that the city has retaken the management of the landfill, it is in compliance and there is a more responsible course of action taking place. The city is again making money at the landfill. 

The next course of action is to get the South Canyon Landfill a USCC STA certification, so that Glenwood’s food waste can be brought to the landfill and added to the revenue stream. We currently make compost, but not with food. It will boost our local economy and create less methane at the South Canyon Landfill. Win, win.

Jennifer Vanian

Glenwood Springs

Friday letter: School Board Recognition Month

Thank board members for time, talent, passion to better schools

January is School Board Recognition Month, and the Roaring Fork Schools want to thank our board members for their commitment and contributions to our schools.

Our board members volunteer countless hours to make public education the best it can be in our district. Our board develops policies and makes tough decisions on complex educational and societal issues that affect our entire school community — tackling everything from the school calendar to difficult budget decisions to how the public can volunteer in our schools. Board members bear responsibility and oversight for an annual budgeted appropriation of $100 million; 5,700 students in 13 schools; and 1,000 employees in the Roaring Fork Schools.

Board President Jen Rupert lives in Old Snowmass and has one child at Basalt Middle School. As a board member, Jen enjoys the opportunity to both give and receive. This role has allowed Jennifer the opportunity to grow in understanding, compassion, and so much more.

Board Vice President Jennifer Scherer lives in the Basalt area and has two children in Basalt schools. As a board member, Jen enjoys learning the big picture of education and being part of a team working to ensure we prepare our children for the future in the best way possible.

Board Secretary/Treasurer Natalie Torres lives in Glenwood Springs and has two children in Glenwood Schools. As a new board member, Natalie wants to help this community thrive by providing a high-quality education to our children.

Maureen Stepp lives in Glenwood Springs and has one child at Glenwood Springs Middle School. As a new board member, Maureen is excited to work collaboratively with the other board members, the district administration, students, faculty, and families to help make our schools the best they can be.

Jasmin Ramirez lives in Glenwood Springs and has two children at Sopris Elementary School. As a new board member, Jasmin values the opportunity to create better relationships with families in our school district.

Help us thank our board members for the time, talent, and passion they donate to better our schools.

Rob Stein

Roaring Fork Schools superintendent

Wednesday letter: trafficking

Installing lights, surveillance at truck stops will deter sex trafficking

I read in the Post Independent article on Jan. 11 (“A solution to human trafficking? Stop the men who pay for it”) that stated human trafficking in Colorado is the highest on the Western Slope. Daily, I drive by the recently installed commercial truck rest stops along Highway 6 in West Glenwood Springs. There are no lights there, so it makes it very easy for the possibility of prostitution and human sex trafficking to go on there. I submit to the Colorado Department of Transportation and all sex trafficking activists that installing lights and surveillance cameras at these two —as well as the isolated truckstop between Glenwood Springs and New Castle — will help deter human sex trafficking. It is a solution worthy of more than a glance. Anyone with me?

Annie Uyehara

Glenwood Springs

Tuesday letter: Women’s March

Women’s March is Saturday

“I got elected on bringing our soldiers back home,” stated our president in his 2019 State of the Union address. 

Yet, just last week, he bragged about selling troops to Saudi Arabia and South Korea, and apparently “we” got $1.5 billion for them. 

No, this money won’t be going to the soldiers or their families, or to any VA hospital. 

No, it won’t be going to bring down the deficit which has nearly doubled under Trump’s time in office and has now topped $1 trillion. 

Where will it go? Well, the average trip to Mar-a-lago costs around $3 million. In fact, your tax dollars are spent on travel, hotels and accommodations every time a member of the Trump family travels. I don’t think the Trumps need our tax dollars. I think if the soldiers are earning this paycheck, then it should go to them.

If you voted for Trump because you support the troops, this is where we may begin to have some common ground. 

If it bothers you that our president is selling our servicemen and women while at the same time wasting our hard-earned tax dollars for trips to his own properties, we are not as divided as we may have thought. 

If you think the sacrifice our soldiers make every day is one of the greatest any American could offer, we agree. 

If you think the president should act in the best interest of the American people, we agree. 

If you think that the First Amendment gives us the right to say so, we agree. 

If you think this nation needs to heal, we agree.

Four years in a row the Women’s March has voiced these concerns, and a great many others. People have come together to stand up for what is right. I invite you to march with me on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 11 a.m. We will meet at Centennial Park, 828 Grand Ave. in Glenwood Springs. 

A lot has changed in this country, but there is still some greatness left in each and every one of us. The powers that be are not stronger than the powers in we.

Lisa Dameron

Carbondale

Monday letter: climate

Weather is not climate

Fred Malo’s letter in the Jan. 12 PI was spot on.  

Weather is not climate. Assuming that a cold winter month discredits global warming is using a narrow set of information to discredit a very large set of data.  

It is like getting into your car in the morning on the street where you live to drive to Aspen and finding only a couple of other cars moving there, making the assumption that traffic on Highway 82 will also be light.

Do you remember when we used to have a period of minus 20 degree temperatures?

Gerry Terwilliger

Basalt

Sunday letters: Suleimani, impeachment, 10 worst things Trump did, and climate vs. weather

Is Suleimani irreplaceable?

Before we betrayed them, the Kurds had ISIS defeated. But did the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi finish them off? Was taking out Osama bin Laden the last we heard of al-Qaeda?

No, no and no. There’s always somebody to take their place. Assassination is not only against the law by an executive order from Gerald Ford in 1976, but it’s stupid. All you’re going to do is fill your enemy with a terrible resolve, as Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said after Pearl Harbor. Thinking Iran will fear us after this act is naïve. Muslims don’t need much reason to hate the infidel.

Qassim Suleimani was a bad actor, to be sure, and the world is probably better off without him, but who’s going to replace him? It could be better the devil you know. In the war against terrorism, are we turning our armed forces into terrorists? A Navy Seal is pardoned after he knifed an unarmed prisoner to death and posed for a photograph with the corpse.

A professional soldier would’ve wanted the terrorist alive so he could be interrogated. If he had to kill him, he wouldn’t wait around for a photo-op. He’d move on to eliminate another enemy. No matter how heinous his crimes, singling out a foreign official for a hit job may be appropriate for the mafia, but beneath the government of the American people.

Fred Malo Jr.
Carbondale

Suleimani responsible for hundreds of U.S. deaths

Fred Malo Jr. says removing a terrorist with a “hit job” is beneath the U.S. government (“Is Suleimani irreplaceable?” Post Independent, Jan. 8). Of course Fred calls Suleimani a “government official,” ignoring the fact that this dirt bag is responsible for hundreds of U.S. deaths.

Fred would have us whimper and whine and play by Marquess of Queensberry rules while our countrymen are murdered.

Bruno Kirchenwitz
Rifle

Where was the due process in Suleimani killing?

I thought today Jan. 8, 2020, was one of the saddest days of my life as an American citizen. I watched our leader on the world stage admit that he ordered the death of a foreign government general. He then went on to name all the atrocities this general had committed or claims he was responsible for crimes committed by his army.

That’s great, another bad guy dead, and how many more million to go? Our government, the greatest power ever, when it resorts to mafia style superiority is showing the world that it’s OK to kill without due process. To me this says even the mighty America can stoop to the lowest form of diplomacy and expect the rest of the world to honor what has been done. This action is going to have its consequences; after all, who is to say let’s go kill another and another without due process. Our government has sustained itself on a certain set of laws, and this act by our president sure seems like it violates due process.

After all, if our country is so powerful, why didn’t they seize him and take him into custody and have a hearing before an international tribunal and follow laws of the courts which are the backbone of our Constitution and our way of life?

I believe this is an injustice to all Americans, because this action makes each and every one of us cold-blooded killers just like them.

Paramroop Khalsa
Carbondale

Cloud remains over entire impeachment process

In the light of all the emerging evidence and unheard voices, presidential obstruction and Mitch McConnell’s power hunger, Speaker Nancy Pelosi should move to reopen the impeachment inquiry. Until the public has the full, truthful account, there will remain a cloud over the entire process.

Robert Porath
Boulder

The 10 worst things Trump did in 2019

I recently read in one of the local papers the 10 best things Trump did in 2019, and I have been waiting to see if someone would list the 10 worst things he did. All of the best things listed had to do with money and the people who have it. Following is a list of the worst things:

Withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear deal.

Withdrawing from the Paris Accord and rolling back climate protections.

Decimating our Departments of State, Interior, Education and fostering a brain drain of scientists from the NIH, EPA and Interior.

Putting more children in cages and separating them from their parents and not keeping records of their whereabouts.

Doing nothing about gun reform and the mass shootings; still in bed with the NRA.

Spreading more hate with his rhetoric of hatred and insults to folks such as John McCain, the Kahn family and other patriots of our country.

Turning a blind eye to the suffering people of Puerto Rico.

Proposing legislation to gut the ACA and eliminate pre-existing conditions.

Blowing up the deficit to the point where our children and grandchildren will be paying the price for decades to come.

Asking the leader of Ukraine to dig up dirt on an opponent in order to be re-elected this year, by holding up monies that Congress authorized.

We now live in two realities: the one made up by Trump of alternate facts (lies) and the truth! As Frank Rich, writer-at-large at NY magazine, says “all cults come to an end, and Trump’s GOP Party is nothing if not a cult”! These are very scary times since we do not have the trust of our once allies. Trump has been successful in alienating them and they now don’t know what is truth and what is lies.

Linda Carr
Eagle

There’s a difference between climate and weather

“How can you still be talking about global warming,” says the climate change denier, “Last winter was colder than Hell, we got plenty of snow, and this year looks like a repeat.”

I usually say Kathy Sabine gives us a five-day forecast that’s only occasionally accurate. Climatologists look at yearly averages over centuries. Their predictions have been a bit optimistic. The climate is warming faster than the climatologists said it would.

The way The Climate Reality Project, founded by former vice-president Al Gore, puts it, “Weather is your mood. Climate is your personality.” Late Show host Stephan Colbert quips, “Global warming isn’t real because I was cold today. Also, great news, world hunger is over because I just ate.”

Yes, Colorado was one-degree F. cooler in 2019 and the drought does appear to be over. I realize this may be hard for you provincials to get your arms around, but as John Donne would put it, Colorado isn’t an island, entire of itself. When we look at the world outside of Colorado, 2019 was the second warmest year on record.

Alaska, remember them? They’re one of the United States and their overall temperatures have increased three-degrees F. in the last 60 years and six-degrees F. in winter. The Inuits are fleeing their homes because of retreating arctic sea ice and eroding shores.

We’ve all had our hearts broken watching Australia’s unique wildlife being burned alive by those unprecedented wildfires. The Aussies are cursed, just as we are, with a national leader who refuses to admit fossil fuels have caused the catastrophe with record temperatures and drought.

Just because you hafta bundle up when you go out doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods on climate change.

Fred Malo Jr.
Carbondale

Friday letters: Suleimani, impeachment

Suleimani responsible for hundreds of U.S. deaths

Fred Malo Jr. says removing a terrorist with a “hit job” is beneath the U.S. government (“Is Suleimani irreplaceable?” Post Independent, Jan. 8). Of course Fred calls Suleimani a “government official,” ignoring the fact that this dirt bag is responsible for hundreds of U.S. deaths.

Fred would have us whimper and whine and play by Marquess of Queensberry rules while our countrymen are murdered.

Bruno Kirchenwitz 

Rifle

Where was the due process in Suleimani killing?

I thought today Jan. 8, 2020, was one of the saddest days of my life as an American citizen. I watched our leader on the world stage admit that he ordered the death of a foreign government general. He then went on to name all the atrocities this general had committed or claims he was responsible for crimes committed by his army.

That’s great, another bad guy dead, and how many more million to go? Our government, the greatest power ever, when it resorts to mafia style superiority is showing the world that it’s OK to kill without due process. To me this says even the mighty America can stoop to the lowest form of diplomacy and expect the rest of the world to honor what has been done. This action is going to have its consequences; after all, who is to say let’s go kill another and another without due process. Our government has sustained itself on a certain set of laws, and this act by our president sure seems like it violates due process.

After all, if our country is so powerful, why didn’t they seize him and take him into custody and have a hearing before an international tribunal and follow laws of the courts which are the backbone of our Constitution and our way of life?

I believe this is an injustice to all Americans, because this action makes each and every one of us cold-blooded killers just like them.

Paramroop Khalsa

Carbondale

Cloud remains over entire impeachment process

In the light of all the emerging evidence and unheard voices, presidential obstruction and Mitch McConnell’s power hunger, Speaker Nancy Pelosi should move to reopen the impeachment inquiry. Until the public has the full, truthful account, there will remain a cloud over the entire process.

Robert Porath

Boulder

Wednesday letter: Suleimani

Is Suleimani irreplaceable?

Before we betrayed them, the Kurds had ISIS defeated. But did the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi finish them off? Was taking out Osama bin Laden the last we heard of al-Qaeda?

No, no and no. There’s always somebody to take their place. Assassination is not only against the law by an executive order from Gerald Ford in 1976, but it’s stupid. All you’re going to do is fill your enemy with a terrible resolve, as Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said after Pearl Harbor. Thinking Iran will fear us after this act is naïve. Muslims don’t need much reason to hate the infidel. 

Qassim Suleimani was a bad actor, to be sure, and the world is probably better off without him, but who’s going to replace him? It could be better the devil you know. In the war against terrorism, are we turning our armed forces into terrorists? A Navy Seal is pardoned after he knifed an unarmed prisoner to death and posed for a photograph with the corpse. 

A professional soldier would’ve wanted the terrorist alive so he could be interrogated. If he had to kill him, he wouldn’t wait around for a photo-op. He’d move on to eliminate another enemy. No matter how heinous his crimes, singling out a foreign official for a hit job may be appropriate for the mafia, but beneath the government of the American people. 

Fred Malo Jr.

Carbondale

Sunday letters: Trump’s character, Festival street, elections, 2nd Amendment, and Democrats

Dishonesty is part of Trump’s character

President Trump was elected, in spite of his long list of misdeeds, bankruptcies, sexual harassment accusations and his intolerance of racial diversity. Some voters thought he would bring about needed changes. But after three disastrous years, you can’t help but wonder if his supporters are paying attention, at all (to anything other than Fox News).

After his tax give-away to the rich, like himself, and excessive spending, our Federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2020 is projected to rise by $1.1 trillion. This, after his screaming about the horrible deficit during his campaign. Now, he shows a lack of concern about the ballooning National debt by saying; “I won’t be here.” His “America First” philosophy is a short-sighted and selfish desire to shirk all our global responsibilities and commitments. The shameful decision to be the only country in the world to drop out of the Paris climate accord and now actively work against it, is beyond the pale. How could anyone, especially young people, vote for Trump understanding that he couldn’t care less about saving the planet that they’ll inherit. He denies there is a problem and belittles people who are at the forefront of finding solutions, like Greta Thunberg. His dismantling of so many essential safeguards to protect the planet and the rights of normal citizens to help rich corporations (like his own) become richer is a disgrace. It will take decades to regain all the protections he’s eliminating.

But, perhaps, the saddest part of his legacy is how he is normalizing conduct and attitudes that we as a country have always rejected. Dishonesty is part of his character; he has lied so many times that it’s being taken for granted without anyone from his party willing to say “enough.” His recent attack and insult of a distinguished, deceased congressman and his wife, was disgusting and we heard barely a murmur from those associated with him. The “moral majority” is losing any claim to morality. And you can’t help but wonder how the family values party and the religious right justify their continued support for him.

Jerry Krebs,
Glenwood Springs

Smackdown on Beautification Street

Maybe it was just me… but the “Festival Street” on New Year’s Eve looked more like a scene from a WWE Friday Night Smackdown episode. Was there a cage fight planned for that night?

The entire “Beautification Street” was contained with 8-foot fencing. It looked more like a refugee area than a Festival Street. It certainly wasn’t beautiful. Not even close. And certainly not festive. In addition, they fenced off the area in such a way that it was very difficult for them to “get out of the cage” and perhaps support Restaurant Row by going inside for warmth and a drink.

I did not attend the party due to age and weather. But I do love this town. And if this is how the town is going to throw festivals on said Beautification Street, then the City gets an F- grade.

City of Glenwood: have your party planner go to Breckenridge and see how they do it. Then go to Durango and see how they do it. Then apply the knowledge gained to all future Festival Street events. Neither of these tourist towns cage in their patrons.

If the cage was all due to beer sales, then chuck the beer sales out the window and allow the people who want to drink support the downtown businesses – instead of putting up a wall like The Donald.

All the drawings and interpretations of the Festival Street presented in the PI shows trees, people milling about, fun, freedom. But none of these renderings showed an 8-foot cage. What up w/ that?

Dave Heyliger,
Glenwood Springs

Community should have a voice in determining who fills mayor position

I applaud Glenwood Springs City Council’s interest in re-visiting the City Charter with regard to elections. While I do not feel that the issue regarding a runoff for individual seats that do not attain a majority of votes is of significant importance, I feel strongly that the time has come for a change that would empower Glenwood’s citizens to directly elect the mayor.

I had the privilege of being selected to serve as Glenwood’s mayor three times and considered my service to have been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. However, leaving this selection up to as few as four council members does not necessarily serve the greater interests of the community.

Although, the powers of the mayor are somewhat limited, he or she does represent the community as a whole and it seems appropriate that the citizens of the entire community have a voice in determining who fills the position.

Bruce Christensen,
Grand Junction

Chacos negates the 2nd Amendment for everyone

Andrea Chacos reveals her anti-gun agenda in the last sentence of her diatribe: “The right to own a gun is simply an American privilege we choose to tolerate in today’s society. (“Guns: Freedom is never really free,” Post Independent, Jan. 2)

With that inane statement, Andrea negates the 2nd Amendment for everyone. According to Andrea, you have no right to own a gun, you can only own a gun if Andrea decides you deserve one.

The day some liberal decides whether or not I can have a gun, is the day hell freezes over! And we all know global warming will never allow that to happen, don’t we?

Bruno Kirchenwitz,
Rifle

Democrats are either criminal or clueless … or both

Hal Sundin raises valid points in his latest column, (“The bad news is, there’s so little good news,” Post Independent, Jan. 1) It’s just sad to see that the 2020 Democrats can’t see them in the same light. Kind of an oxymoron when the year and the party are compared.

What’s disturbing is the loudest champions of truth and fact don’t have any problem with ignoring or bending the facts themselves. It would make them better people if they weren’t afraid of Trump to raise real, relevant issues like Hal. Their problem is that they have too much to hide at the top. Sorry Hal, the Democrats are neither for you or against you. They’re either criminal or clueless … or both.

Fred Stewart,
Grand Junction

Tuesday letters: hemp, unity

Hemp is bad for bees

In her Christmas Day letter to the Post Independent, Jackie Chenoweth of Carbondale extols the virtues of industrial hemp. She writes that it can help to heal our planet by replacing “fossil fuel based plastics, toxic building materials, synthetic fibers, harmful chemicals, etc., etc.” She calls hemp “an integral part of the solution” to climate change.  So far, so good.

What she does not tell us is how hemp production impacts our pollinators. Poor or inadequate nutrition can be a major stress on pollinators — including honey bees and native bees. Wind-pollinated hemp flowers are rarely visited by bees or other pollinators. Alfalfa, on the other hand, is a rich and important nectar and pollen source for a host of bee species. It’s also one of the most common field crops in Western Colorado. That’s good for bees. Yet we are witnessing the relentless conversion of alfalfa ground to hemp, resulting in less food for pollinators. Look around you. Suddenly, hemp is everywhere.  

Hemp holds the potential to dramatically alter our agricultural landscape. The press so far has been largely positive. But let’s all be aware of unintended consequences.

Ed Colby 

president, Colorado State Beekeepers Association

New Castle

A bridge of unity

Recently I read a personal essay, written by a 52-year-old veteran and freshman at Yale University. In his essay, he talks about the use of the term snowflake, being willing to change one’s opinions, and building a bridge of knowledge and unity. You can find the link to this essay on my campaign Facebook page Colin Wilhelm For Colorado.

In this campaign, I am attempting to build a bridge of unity within Colorado so we may better work together and close the divide in this country.

In order to build that bridge, I feel I must be the first brick. In order to be that brick, I must confess that in the past I have used the term snowflake in a derogatory sense, directed at people who I didn’t agree with. I regret doing so, I regret that at the time I was not willing to listen, not willing to hear where they were coming from and to understand their beliefs, ideas and solutions to our common problems. I apologize to them and to everyone else for those actions.

I have grown as a human being, and I am willing to make change. I enjoy speaking with others who do not share my same beliefs, ideas and solutions to common problems — I believe this could make me a little better person.

So, that being said, I encourage you to read this essay, and if you are willing, to be a brick in our bridge of unity.

You can find the essay and more information about myself and my campaign for House District 57 on our Facebook page Colin Wilhelm For Colorado, Please check us out, and if you are interested follow the Act Blue link on our Facebook page and donate, and help us find common solutions to our common problems.

Colin Wilhelm

Glenwood Springs