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Friday letters: Riverview Drive thanks, shrink business, COVID-19 a distraction, responding to McWhorter, clarifying county funding

Riverview Drive thanks

Many thanks to Gould Construction and the city of Glenwood Springs for the excellent work on Riverview Drive. We were kept informed of what to expect and when. Gould Construction was very respectful of property, kept the dust down by watering and did an overall great job of upgrading the street. It is wonderful.

Joyce Yoder

Glenwood Springs

Business cut back

The Aspen Skiing Co. is saying it is short of employees. So are many businesses and public operations, like the schools and the bus system. The traditional reaction is to construct more affordable housing. That new housing must be subsidized with taxpayer money to stay low cost. This causes still more growth.

The smarter and more logical course is to reduce the operations of the ski areas; just like a shorthanded restaurant reduces its hours.

For example, close Buttermilk. Or close Elk Camp. The community can surely get by with a few less acres than the current total of 5,527. That could mean a few less customers all around, and therefore fewer employees required for all the supporting businesses and other operations.

A little less business could mean a little less traffic in and out of town. Less business might mean not building more housing outside town. Less business might mean less pressure on the water supplies. Reducing the skiing business could provide numerous other benefits and actually improve the quality of life for residents.

Especially with the increasing severity of climate change, the old mantra of constant growth really does not make sense. All of our government levels have now pledged to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. We can only get to those goals by reducing the activities that produce a lot of greenhouse gas.

Patrick Hunter

Carbondale

Distractions

A recent letter, “Vaccinate for others,” is based on misinformation, ignorance and fear. The vaccinated letter writer caught COVID-19 and blamed unvaccinated folks.

Being vaccinated does not make you less likely to spread COVID-19 than being unvaccinated. Being vaccinated does not prevent COVID-19 infections, either, it just makes it less likely that you’ll have a severe case of COVID-19.

The politicalization and fear mongering of COVID-19 is only being used to distract us from the miserable failures of the Biden cabal. If they really cared about American lives, hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated and diseased foreigners would not have been allowed to invade our country.

Bruno Kirchenwitz

Rifle

Writer counters

Mr. McWhorter, thank you for your reply to my letter. I was ready to answer all of your questions, but then I re-read your comments and found the answer to anything I wanted to ask were in your inquiries to me.

In your own words, people who have a delta (variant) and happen to have breakthrough infections can carry these really high levels of virus and can unwittingly spread the virus to others. You made my point for me.

Big difference between unwitting transfer and the personal decision to not vaccinate and willfully put others at risk. God blessed us all when we were born or became Americans.

Please, all of us need to act like we deserve that amazing good luck. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas.

Alan AJ Nieman

Rifle

Responding to McWhorter

In his letter to the Post Independent on Nov. 15, Mr. McWhorter cites several articles to bolster his position. In the world of the internet, there’s an acronym, TLDR. It means, “Too Long, Didn’t Read,” which people tend to do. Thanks for the cites, I read all the articles, and a thorough reading paints a different story. The first article from Bloomberg News, “Truckers cheer vaccine mandate exemption without explicit rule” outlines a possible exemption for truckers who have no contact with others, i.e. drive alone, load and unload alone. I’m fine with that. I also know that many truckers have gladly taken the vaccine. Why jeopardize your livelihood?

As to the second article in the LA Times, called, “Study shows dramatic decline in effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines,” one only has to read a few paragraphs in to see that the effectiveness of the vaccine wanes with time, as many do. However, the article also notes this is why we have boosters of many vaccines. The article states that the boosters bring a longer, more robust immunity against COVID-19. Colorado allowed all adults boosters for COVID-19 after six months, and the CDC quickly followed suit. It’s free and very available. Get it.

Thirdly, a Nature.com article says that vaccinated people who have breakthrough infections are more contagious than unvaccinated people (Nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02187-1). For the first week of infection, one study showed that vaccinated people did carry as high a virus load as an unvaccinated individual, but the virus count drops precipitously in week two. The article states that masks and handwashing remain the most effective way to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

Mr. McWhorter, I voted for science, education and safety for all the children. So did many people. Let’s get this pandemic over with. Wear a mask, wash your hands and, most important, get vaccinated.

Gay E. Moore

Glenwood Springs

Clarifying county funding

We are members of the Garfield County Human Services Commission (HSC) Grant Allocations Committee, and co-chairs, writing in response to a letter published in support of a request made by Valley Meals for funding from the Board of County Commissioners.

Since 1980 a portion of sales tax collected in the county have been dedicated to the HSC grants program, where dollars are awarded every year to nonprofits in the county that are providing vital human services. This most recent 2022 cycle saw the commissioners granting over $550,000 to agencies and organizations.

The grant process is open to every agency that fits within the guidelines of being a 501(c)(3) in good standing with the Colorado Secretary of State and that they provide human services as outlined. The grant applications are posted to the HSC website beginning in early July, and submissions are due middle of August. Agencies do not need to be a part of the HSC to apply for these grant dollars but are asked to present before the BOCC on how the dollars were used.

We want to ensure that all agencies within Garfield County know about this program and that we are always open to helping new applicants with the process. The mission of the Human Services Commission is to bring together nonprofits and other organizations to determine the needs in our county, strengthen the services that are provided, and act as a conduit for networking and coordination. This has been especially needed during the past two years and will be as our organizations move through the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is not the responsibility of the Human Services Commission to voice an opinion on requests for funds outside the scope of the HSC Grant Program, but rather to make known that there is a process in place for all agencies in our county to seek funding for their non-profit through the county.

Mason Hohstadt

co-chair of HSC and Grants Allocation Committee

Jill Pidcock

co-chair of HSC

Pat Horwitz

Grants Allocation Committee

Samantha Freese

Grants Allocation Committee

 

Wednesday letter: airport

Airport perspective

I grew up in the Hartford community area. There is an airport alongside the Connecticut River (Brainard Airport) named after Morgan Brainard. In the early ’50s, my dad was chairman of the board of the Hartford City Council and also a commercial pilot.

Singer Sewing Machines and Underwood Typewriter wanted to purchase the airport from the city and make it their new industrial park. The city licked its chops about the money.

My dad fought hard to save the airport. He received a handwritten letter from their senator, Prescott Bush, thanking my dad. My sister learned to fly at Brainard Airport and then went to Embry Riddle in Florida. She recently retired as a captain on an Airbus A330. To this day, Brainard generates more money than Underwood and Singer could ever do.

As a young pilot, my dad always said, “Never get rid of an existing runway.” You will always need it, especially in case of an emergency.

Robert Andrews

Glenwood Springs

Monday letters: Crystal River modification, Support Valley Meals

Crystal ‘scheme’ unjustified

As a lifelong user of streams for boating, fishing and enjoying nature, a civil engineer who specialized in designing water projects and a 16-year resident of River Valley Ranch, I have the following comments on the latest scheme for modifying the Crystal River there.

The scheme has two components. One is to replace the existing crude “push up dam” that diverts water into Carbondale’s main irrigation ditch, with a low dam that would be more structurally robust. The dam would also create a pool that would provide improved fish habitat — at least until it filled with sediment.

The additional components consist of various modifications to the channel and banks downstream of that dam. These modifications are “justified” as allegedly “restoring” the stream by making its channel deeper and narrower. In fact, the stream channel always has been wide and shallow, with a bed of loose cobbles and gravel that is typical of every stream channel situated downstream of a steeply sloped “canyon” reach. This coarse sediment is carried by periodic high flows through the upstream canyon and deposited in the channel in the valley below, where the slope and thus the water velocity decrease.

Dredging the channel to deepen it, with the associated release of sediments downstream to Glenwood Springs and beyond, would only deepen the channel for a brief period before it was re-filled with sediment by subsequent high storm flows.

Further, the idea of constructing a site for “environmental education” — including handicapped access — ignores the availability of a better site in Carbondale’s riparian park about a half mile downstream. That site already includes a parking lot with level access to the Crystal River that could be economically improved to make even wheelchair access possible.

The entire scheme is an example of misusing grant funding to “piggy back” modifications disingenuously dubbed as “green” onto an infrastructure improvement that does make sense. Its chief “benefit” has been to make work for the over-abundance of “environmental experts” in the area.

Carl Ted Stude

Carbondale

Support Valley Meals

As for many of you in our close community, I have become a caregiver as a daughter to an amazing 81-year-old woman who has been active and independent her entire life until a year ago. Dementia finally became clear to me when she asked whether she usually comes over for Christmas, a highlight holiday we’ve shared as a family for the past 20 years since she moved here. I cried. I still cry. As much as I love and am close to my mom, I didn’t sign up to be a caregiver, but I did sign her up for Valley Meals.

Valley Meals and More came to life just as COVID-19 hit, and our seniors, homebound or not, were able to receive meals five days a week when they could no longer go to the grocery store or see families and friends. Delivery volunteers provided meals with an additional critical purpose of social connection to decrease the isolation and loneliness. It is an act of humanity, of human kindness.

This program grew out of an unmet need in the greater Carbondale area. It now serves over 80 seniors a day, five days a week. Valley Meals has picked up where the county was unable to provide a solution. It is efficiently run with dedicated volunteers, and hot meals are prepared by local restaurants, Whole Foods and City Market. This is a unique model that has supported our seniors and businesses. So unique, in fact, that the president of Kroger flew out to Carbondale to view and film the food preparation and coordination for the senior meals.

In order to sustain the program after Dec. 31, Garfield County is being asked to commit $85,000 in order to hire part-time staff to support the unpaid executive director who is committed to continuing grant writing and coordination. Now speaking as a taxpayer who has looked over the Valley Meals budget, that $85,000 gets us another $100,000-plus in private grants and donations we wouldn’t otherwise secure without Valley Meals. That’s money left on the table.

Please contact Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky at tjankovsky@garfield-county.com. Ask how our citizens will be fed if the funding is not directed to Valley Meals.

Carrie Jean Podl

Carbondale

 

Friday letter: Donovan gerrymandered out of CD3

Gerrymandered out of the race

Vail’s Democratic State Senator, Kerry Donovan, was planning to run against Third District Republican Congressman Lauren Boebert in next year’s election. A popular and productive state legislator, Donovan figured to give Boebert a run for her money. All that came crashing down when the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission moved Donovan’s home county, Eagle County, out of CD3 and into CD2.

Donovan could run for the CD3 seat, but her chance of winning as an outsider would be slim. Rep. Joe Neguse presides in CD2, and he’s just as popular and productive at the federal level as Donovan is at the state level, so that’d be a long shot, too.

What happened to Donovan is she got gerrymandered in response to a charge of gerrymandering. A preliminary map from the redistricting commission showed the northern half of CD3 shifted to CD2.

This brought the ire and charges of gerrymandering from CD3 Republicans, including the Garfield County commissioners, who claimed it was a direct effort to get rid of Boebert, considered by many to be a statewide embarrassment.

So, the commission put the district back together, moving just Eagle and Routt counties to CD2. Routt County is the home of previous Democratic challenger Diane Mitsch Bush and figures to be a county where the Dems have a good chance. As it stands, CD3 will be a cakewalk for Boebert.

As it is most commonly practiced, gerrymandering is where you group a large number of your opponent’s supporters into one or a few districts, then disperse the remainder thinly over the majority. That way the opposing party controls as few districts as possible.

Just like Colorado, redistricting in Texas was necessitated by additional House seats called for by the 2020 census. Texas is 41% Latino and 42% Anglo. Guess how many districts will be Latino controlled. Zero.

Voter’s rights legislation currently blocked by U.S. Senate Republicans would limit gerrymandering. Colorado needs that. The current map would give our congressional representation a 4-4 split and that doesn’t reflect the political realities in a state that has a Democratic trifecta in state government and two Democratic U.S. senators.            

Fred Malo Jr.

Carbondale

Monday letters: Council doesn’t listen, it can happen here, Responding to ‘AJ,’ Wiley’s story

Council’s lost personal touch

On Sept. 7, I went before City Council and asked if they had any updated studies regarding increased traffic and water supply issues due to the 20-year drought and the prediction of no relief in sight.

I told them it would be nice to have these tools in their toolbox for making educated decisions on future growth. After my three minutes without any response from council, I was told that staff would get back to me.

As has happened in the past, no response as of now. For the last 15 years, council has slowly cut off citizens who come before them to get answers to their concerns they might have or at least some kind of response that there is hope that it will be investigated. What happened to the time when a citizen could come and talk to council about a problem and walk away with the satisfaction that council shows that they care.

When I was on council, we had citizens come before us at the start of the meetings and at the end of our meetings, in case they were unable to be there for the beginning. So what if the meeting lasted to midnight? What happened to the councilmen giving reports from their assigned commissions at the start of each meeting? This was a way for citizens to find out what was going on in the different commissions. Council should pay attention to what the commission members are saying. They are generally expressing the citizens’ concerns and ideas. Emails are poor substitutes for personal interactions.

The pandemic let council off the hook for a year of no personal contact, but that is over. Having coffee with the public is nice but not a substitute for the exposure that one gets at a council meeting. Workshops during the daytime hours do not get much of a turnout.

Get back to listening to the citizens, and you just might avoid what is taking place currently. I see from the legal notices in the paper that there are another 360 units waiting for approval.

Don “Hooner” Gillespie

Glenwood Springs

It can happen here

I recently read “The Cellist of Sarajevo,” a disturbing fiction about surviving, or not, during the three-and-a-half-year Siege of Sarajevo. The story is compelling because eight years earlier, the 1984 Olympics were hosted by Sarajevo. In 1992, ethnic and religious war broke out as the former Yugoslavia countries tried to define themselves. There was no reasoning, no ability to work it out in words, no shared reality. One tribe took to the hills surrounding the city, bombing and using snipers to attack the residents. Eventually the UN and President Clinton brokered a peace. The city was in ruins.

What is most devastating is to realize that a place can go from “civilized” to Stone Age in a blink of an eye; that it can happen anywhere, including here. The behaviors I’ve read about attacking and threatening school board volunteers, threatening their family members, making jokes about cutting people’s heads off, or printing their heads with gunsights overlaid on them — these are not idle, “free speech” expressions. These are behaviors that embolden people to act on them, to take out personal frustrations with acts of violence, behaviors that do lead to thug behavior and mob mentality.

These are dangerous acts. Take a breath, reflect; do you really want to take the U.S. to a place where voting doesn’t matter, where laws no longer matter, where it’s every person for themselves? I don’t.

I am dismayed, disappointed, frustrated, exasperated and sad that nearly half of Americans cannot embrace the common good, cannot behave in civilized manners, cannot put themselves in others’ shoes, cannot take in (verified) new information and change their mind or adjust their behavior.

Many of us struggle, not knowing how to reach people, not knowing how to get us back on track, not knowing if behaviors will deteriorate to survival mode instinct. None of us are innocent bystanders; choosing not to choose or be informed is also a choice; we are all responsible.

Susan Rhea

Carbondale

Responding to ‘AJ’

Questions for AJ (PI letter to the editor, Nov. 8), the grocery worker (and other vaccinated people angry at unvaccinated people):

First, you don’t have a job and none of us eat without farmers, ranchers and truck drivers. Are you OK with unvaccinated people processing and delivering the food to your stores? (Bloomberg.com, Nov. 5)

Second, are you concerned about the efficacy of the vaccine you received?

“All three COVID-19 vaccines available to Americans lost some of their protective power, with vaccine efficacy among a large group of veterans dropping between 35% and 85%, according to a new study.” (LA Times, Nov. 4)

Third, can you confirm you received COVID-19 from an unvaccinated person?

“People who have a Delta virus and happen to have ‘breakthrough’ infections can carry these really high levels of virus and can unwittingly spread the virus to others.”

(nature.com, Aug. 12)

The sad reality is spreading a narrative and pointing fingers is more important today than seeking truth. Nature and the LA Times may soon be labeled as Russian misinformation sites for these articles. I will probably be personally labeled something along the lines of “far-right radical” or “conspiracy theorist,” since that is the default label for people who present any conflicting science/stats.

Labeling and blind anger towards certain groups is a desperate attempt to make sense of complex issues. Rather than question and potentially come to an uncomfortable conclusion like “maybe this vaccine is not very effective” or “maybe I actually got COVID-19 from another vaccinated person,” it is easier to simply direct anger at unvaccinated people.

Chase McWhorter

Carbondale

Wiley’s story

I wanted to thank Mike Vidakovich for such a heartwarming column (PI, Nov. 10) about our horse Wiley, aka Seabiscuit.

Most of the local hikers on Mitchell creek have their own names for our horses. I sometimes don’t realize how much they are a part of the neighborhood and the joy they bring to those daily hikers.

Maybe for my own healing I felt the need to tell you about that horse.

He was born 32 years ago on our small ranch the same year as my eldest daughter, so needless to say we all grew up together. When he was a young colt I held my breath many times thinking he was about to buck Bruce off, so fitting he was to his name. But as he grew up with many hours in the saddle, he became a trusted member of the herd. He took care of my daughters on many packtrips across the Flat Tops or up the Fryingpan for countless years, and even some boyfriends who had never ridden and packed a few elk out besides.

But what I will miss most is his nickering, as he was very vocal about his wishes. On those packtrips, I never worried in the night, because if anything was askew, he would be sure to let us know. If he would catch me coming out of the house, I would hear that nicker as he stared at me as if saying, “I could do with some oats, lady.”

And in the winter when Bruce would come to feed him, he was watching and letting him know it was about time, as he was hungry. He was the patriarch of the herd. So he wasn’t just a horse, he was family, and with all of us it’s hard to play God with any of our pets.

Thank you, Jay Merriam, as your article did give me comfort. We broke all the rules for Wiley and let him live longer than any of our horses, because he was a special guy, but it was his time, and he had a great race. Thanks for so many awesome memories, Wiley. RIP.

Lee Bowles

Glenwood Springs

Friday letters: School board intimidation, don’t forget Cleyo, wallet returned, oil and gas rules weak, great horse story, Ascendigo thanks

School board intimidation

I was appalled to learn that some anti-vax/mask mandater(s) caused a school board member to resign.

What kind of lousy parent pursues a vendetta of hate against another person via their children? I’m not privy to particulars, but bullying a child because of a difference of opinion is ludicrous.

Are we changing opinions through intimidation rather than ideas now? There are legal remedies for such bellicose bullies, and I urge that public servant to pursue them. And, please, reconsider your resignation. We need folks like you who selflessly give so much to our community. Our valley communities will not tolerate such purulent behavior (purulent, i.e., oozing or discharging pus).

Lastly, I participated in protests in Glenwood Springs and Rifle a few weeks ago. I am wholeheartedly against politically motivated medical mandates. Apparently this cowardly zealot was in our midst, and I am mortified.

Until I find out who this person was, I will not be associating with this group.

The cause for personal freedom is just. Slow-witted bullies dishonor the cause.

Bruno Kirchenwitz

Rifle

Schoolhouse revitalized

This is a letter of thanks for Ambleside for the amazing job they did on the old schoolhouse.

Just to give credit where credit belongs, it is referred to as Rosie’s schoolhouse, but Rosie’s husband, Cleyo, was part of that schoolhouse. Let’s not forget that Rosie had dreams, and Cleyo, being the great person he was, saw to it that Rosie’s dreams came true. It was Cleyo who did all the rock work on the outside and all the woodwork and brick on the inside.

As Cleyo’s health declined, so did the schoolhouse. So let’s remember to include Cleyo Ferrin when referring to the schoolhouse; he put in a lot of hard work there. It should be referred to as Cleyo and Rosie’s schoolhouse for the history books

Matthew and Vonnie Vanhoose

New Castle

Honest people exist

Maybe people really are inherently kind. This afternoon, I accidentally left my wallet in my cart at the City Market in Rifle. I realized it almost immediately and raced back to the parking lot, but although the cart was still there, the wallet was gone.

The adrenaline rush was nearly overwhelming as I tried to organize my thoughts regarding all the things I needed to do — cancel credit cards, get a new license … As soon as I walked into the store (praying it had been turned in), employee Tracy Beauford smiled and handed it over to me. A woman had found it and had brought it back to the customer service counter.

This incredible human being didn’t take anything, even though there was an unusual (for me) amount of cash and numerous credit cards. I wish I could have been there to thank her myself. It’s been about five hours, and I’m still shaky thinking about what could have happened.

I would just like this gal to know how appreciative I am, and I hope that her good deed leads to another one coming her way in the future. Kindness begets kindness. Thank you again for your honesty.

Kathy Pototsky

Rifle

Clean up your mess, O&G

As children we were taught to clean up after ourselves. Put your dishes in the sink. Pick up your toys.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is telling the oil and gas industry, make all the mess you want, and the Colorado taxpayers will pick up the majority of the tab for the cleanup when the wells run dry.

The commission’s new draft rules for oil and gas drilling operations have no set amount for financial assurances put down by the industry to pay for plugging orphaned wells, some 1,500 statewide, that are and will emit massive amounts of methane. Instead, plugging fees would be based on estimates determined by the industry. You can bet those approximations will be low-ball.

Further, the new proposed rules would allow blanket bonding, which would cover tens of thousands of wells instead of a well-by-well assessment. Previous preliminary rules called for a $78,000 single-well financial assurance. Similar bonds in Alaska go for $100,000.

The industry says there’s no problem with orphaned wells, and a bond would drive them into bankruptcy. Both of those statements can’t be true. If there’s no issue, the financial assurances will be refunded.

It’s becoming increasingly clear the COGCC is listening only to the industry and not the climate and environmental groups that are advising them during the rulemaking process. These groups are asking for single-well financial assurance of $282,000. In fact, none of their recommendations are showing up in the draft rules.

There will be another set of draft rules in December before they’re set in stone early next year.

Fred Malo Jr.

Carbondale

Great horse story

Wonderful reflection on the importance of seeing and relating to the animals in our world, especially the big ones. As a veterinarian for half a century, I have assisted many beautiful horses “across that rainbow bridge.” I take great care of the privilege granted to us to provide a painless, smooth departure from a painful or debilitating life, such as the one you so aptly described in Seabiscuit.

It’s a gift that only we can give to the animals who have served or just touched our lives. I have done this in some of the most extenuating circumstances both in the U.S. and abroad where animals are not pets, but working tools and often the only means for a family’s survival. And even there, tears and grief attend. It’s not at all a “female” thing, this sense of loss and pain. But our pain is outweighed by the lifting of their burdens, the easing of swollen joints, the washing clean of raging disease.

You were correct, no matter their accomplishments, as in the Great Race, it always comes down to the realization that one day, the time is here and will not be stayed. So relish the memories of those mornings and take comfort in the fact that the owners cared enough to commission the act before he was down on an icy pile of mud and snow begging,– if you will, for relief.

We all need to step back and cherish the gifts that animals give no matter how small they may seem on a given day.

Well done, coach.

Jay Merriam

Glenwood Springs

Ascendigo Trunk or Treat thanks

On Oct. 29, Ascendigo Autism Services hosted our second annual Trunk or Treat event, offering a safe and fun environment for Halloween trick or treaters, especially those with autism or other special needs. The night was full of Halloween spirit as families and kids from throughout our community came ready to celebrate and dressed in their favorite costumes.

Ascendigo’s stellar volunteers decorated imaginative trunks and handed out candy, toys and trinkets to the excited crowd.

Sometimes, those with autism or other disabilities do not have the same access to social activities as those of their neurotypical peers. With your help, we were able to provide a safe and welcoming Halloween experience for many individuals on the autism spectrum for whom Halloween can otherwise be overwhelming.

The Roaring Fork Valley continues to welcome our autism community, and we are grateful to the many partners who provide accommodation to people of all needs and abilities.

I would like to extend a special thank-you to our partners who helped make this event special: Glenwood Springs Ford, Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District, Carbondale Police Department, RFTA, GF Woods Construction, and the Carbondale Rotary Club.

Your contributions go a long way in supporting our mission, to elevate the spectrum by empowering people, inspiring lives and shattering expectations.

Dan Richardson

CEO, Ascendigo Autism Services

Carbondale

 

Wednesday letters: 480 Donegan, airport, CRFR thanks, zombie gas wells, Hal Sundin, Take a Minute

Whose interests?

To Charlie Willman, Jonathan Godes, Shelley Kaup and Steve Davis: You were elected to represent our best interests. Are you not aware of the lack of infrastructure we have for the residents who are already here? Whose interests are you representing? Certainly not those of your constituents. I am worried sick about the people in West Glenwood next time there is a fire and they will be unable to escape due to the gridlock.

The owner of the pasture certainly has a right to develop it, but it went through a Planning and Zoning process, and it was denied. You think you know better? Why do we have P&Z if you don’t bother listening to them? Why should we reelect you if you don’t bother listening to us?

Kudos to Tony Hershey, Paula Stepp and Ingrid Wussow for doing the right thing.

Joan Isenberg

Glenwood Springs

Not ‘unruly,’ just committed

I was so taken back, surprised and stunned when reading the article in the Post Independent regarding the City Council meeting on Nov. 4.

I attended that City Council meeting, and it was, I must admit, the first time I have ever been accused of being unruly or threatening or described as “rabble” (according to the dictionary = the lower classes; the common people).

I’m surprised after covering and listening to our comments to City Council these past four to six months, the Post couldn’t recognize the fear, frustration and panic in every speaker’s voice and tone.

Instead of the fervor and intensity of those speaking, our messages were mistaken as being “unruly,” “boisterous” and “threatening.”

I’ve heard others in our town accuse our residents of being “cry babies” and acting with a “NIMBY” attitude.

I’m sorry after all this time that’s what some heard, for that’s never been our intent.

Lots of sorrow I’ll admit, but I have no regrets for attending council meetings, signing petitions, writing letters and making phone calls. I do mourn, however, the four City Council members’ decision in favor of the annexation. I feel those who agreed to the annexation reflect the division in our country and unwillingness to sit down with and listen to those “on the front lines” in regards to our concerns and fears.

As Margaret Mead said; “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Jamie Darien

Glenwood Springs

Support those who’ve lost children

Recently there has been a wave of unexpected deaths among our younger community that prompts me to write this letter of awareness. I lead the Chapter for The Compassionate Friends of the Roaring Fork Valley, which serves families from Silt to Eagle and Glenwood to Aspen.

When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. We offer support to bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings. The Compassionate Friends come from all walks of life, yet we need not walk alone. None of us chose this path; however, the friendships that result from the common thread of losing a child become so meaningful to those who need the support from others experiencing a similar loss. Our group has lost loved ones to suicide, drug overdose, health issues such as cancer and the flu, SIDS and car accidents. Each tragedy is unique, yet we provide a place of comfort and understanding where participants are not judged and all emotions and concerns are kept confidential.

Some of us have lost more than one child, and the time frame since our losses ranges from three months to 35 years. It’s not a life event any of us ever expect to experience. We welcome new friends who feel the initial shock of their loss is truly unbearable. This support group is not for everyone; I personally have a handful of friends/acquaintances who have lost a child in the last five years that have never attended one meeting, and I now have new friends that attend every single time we gather.

We meet the first Tuesday of each month at The Orchard in Carbondale at 6:30 pm. Meetings generally run an hour and a half or however long members need to stay. We are not a sad group but are a group of people with hope to find a better way of coping with our losses. We find time to laugh, breathe and mostly honor our loved ones.

Vivian Williams

Aspen

Airport debacle

I was the Glenwood Airport manager for about 17 years, and in 2018 I parted ways due to the city’s political misadventures and their total lack of transparency. Everyone knows one thing — the city does not want the airport.

I could never get a reasonable explanation as to “why.” I assume they don’t want the liability, they have a better use for the land, and possibly an underlying need for the money that the sale of that property will bring, plus I doubt if anyone that works in City Hall knows anything about aviation.

There are dozens of pilots and workers that depend on that airport as a means of livelihood and a genuine love of aviation. That airport delivers those things.

So, as a last ditch effort, they put the ballot up for votes. We all know what it says. Some of the money goes to South Bridge and some to the airport. It’s so obvious that they are manipulating the future of the airport based on that vote. The voters have struck it down, the city will take that as justification to close the airport because the voters did not support it. If a municipality floats a vote for a mill levy to bolster a school and the voters say no, do they demolish the school? How about if a mill levy to aid fire protection is voted down, do we get rid of the firehouses and fire engines? May I suggest we set up a vote to increase taxes to refurbish City Hall and apply the same logic.

Let’s get together and talk about getting the airport out of the hands of the city and to the people with the experience — the users and pilots. Rezone the property back into the hands of the county, which has lots of experience with its Garfield County Airport. The airport has more than enough reserve monies to continue without any tax help from the residents of the city. Without experienced people managing the facility, the probability of a lawsuit has increased. Aviation lawsuits can run as high as

$100 million to $400 million. If the facility is managed with experience, the risk is diminished considerably.

Dick Weinberg

Glenwood Springs

CRFR support thanks

Thank you to the communities of Rife, Silt, New Castle and surrounding areas for your continued support over the last year. We are grateful to have passed our mill levy increase to fund the fire department.

We will keep in mind the taxpayers we serve who recognized a healthy fire district is an asset to their communities and granted us their hard-earned tax dollars to allow us to build for the future. To show our appreciation, we will do so in a manner that meets our campaign promise of transparency and openness spending tax dollars while building and strengthening the services we provide.

Alan Lambert

board president, Colorado River Fire Rescue

Leif Sackett

fire chief, Colorado River Fire Rescue

Airport needs value engineering

I am writing as a past Transportation Commission member in support of the South Bridge project.

The current alignment for the project was selected by a long, involved public process. Keeping the alignment but removing the tunnel violates that whole process and re-introduces an option that was rejected by that process. Keeping the tunnel is not an add-on cost, it is the selected option. I appreciate the intent of removing the tunnel, but retaining the tunnel alignment is the wrong solution. Realign that short section of road around the airport.

The approach of value engineering this short section of the South Bridge connection is one that I heartily endorse. From the beginning the selection committee publicly held the twin goals of reducing cost and maintaining a fully operational airport. The airport has safety and economic benefits to the community and region well beyond the simplistic counting of the number of pilots using it. If you proceed with value engineering, sooner or later you will have to include the engineering company in the design. Involving them sooner may yield better results than waiting until later.

You have another resource that is being underutilized: members of the Airport Commission. Gregg Rippy and Steve Shute have decades of engineering and construction experience relevant to the project. Listen to them.

This project has huge benefits for residents of Garfield County beyond the limits of Glenwood Springs, not just as an emergency exit but as an advantageous transportation link. It will decrease upvalley mileage and trip times by approximately 15 minutes and reduce pressure on the 27th street roundabout, bridge and stoplight — not insignificant benefits for using those links. Financial participation by Garfield County would seem to be appropriate.

I want to thank you for the time, effort and thought that you devote to this and other matters. These are not the easiest times to be plotting the course for the community, but it is a crucial endeavor.

All the best,

Dave Alcott

Glenwood Springs

Beware zombie gas wells

Halloween just wrapped up, and it was great to see kids in the neighborhood on the lookout for zombies, ghosts and ghouls while trick-or-treating. But I was just alerted to zombies of another sort, perhaps even more dangerous than the undead: zombie oil and gas wells and just how many of them there are in Colorado.

If you go to the website WellWellWellColorado.com, you can see how many unproductive and even abandoned wells exist in Colorado. These wells should have been plugged and the sites cleaned up, but Colorado doesn’t require companies to do so. It’s enough to make your skin crawl.

Fortunately, the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission has a chance to change these regulations for the first time in years. We have to stop this ghoulish behavior on the part of oil and gas companies. I ask the commission to put these zombie wells to rest for good and change regulations to clean up our air and environment immediately.

Mary Carman

Clifton

Look inward, Hal

Hal Sundin has an accurate portrayal of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler, but he’s blanked out about the current conditions affecting this country.

Without a litany of current items, suffice it to quote Jimmy Falla: “A lot of people hate Trump because they don’t have to look inward about what they hate about themselves.”

Otherwise, Hal Sundin is a good man.

Fred Stewart

Grand Junction

Just between us

The “average” distance between our valley communities is 10 miles.

If we are five minutes late, pushing on the gas won’t magically transport us to our destination. To “make up time,” these conditions would need to be met:

• No enforcement

• No other cars ahead of us

• All green traffic lights

• A speed of over 90 mph

Take a minute, think about it, take the pressure off with a phone call to your destination, leave sooner next time.

Take A Minute/Slow Down in Town

Diane Reynolds, committee member

Glenwood Springs

 

Monday letters: vaccinate for others, fire USPS chief, council meeting misrepresented, bear mitigation plan wrong

Vaccinate for others

I am an employee at one of your local grocery retailers. Without us, you don’t feed your family.

We all worked through the pandemic while most of you were quarantined. Most of you have been decent, caring neighbors throughout this mess, but we have all been exposed to a small group who have no regard toward anyone else, personal freedom over the rights of the rest of us.

Nearly two years into this mess and many of us are still at risk of catching this virus, because some of us will not vaccinate. I am an at-risk elder who got two shots and assumed I was OK, but recently I came down with COVID-19. This happened because some people think it is OK to put others at risk by being in my store or any public place without being vaccinated.

That is not OK. We have lost well over 700,000 Americans to this virus with no end in sight. Please think about what is best for America and your neighbors. Vaccinate or stay away from us.

Alan “AJ” Nieman

Rifle

Fire USPS chief

A force harming the Postal Service is strengthening its influence. Postmaster Louis DeJoy, former CEO of New Breed Logistics, a supply chain management company, appointed by Trump in June 2020, effectively slowed the Postal System prior to the 2020 elections.

Louis DeJoy will maintain his USPS position until we ask Biden to replace Ron Bloom from the postal board of governors so that the president and the postal board can fire DeJoy. A CBS headline says “Mail delivery slowdown: USPS to slow delivery starting October 1.” While a Forbes headline says: “Louis DeJoy’s Former Company, New Breed Logistics, May Have Overcharged Postal Service By $53 Million, Audit Found.”

I love the post office. It has performed its function of maintaining our democracy with unbiased, excellent and unfailing carrier service to every corner of the nation, not just the profitable ones. Please petition President Biden to replace Ron Bloom on the USPS board of governors and encourage the board to fire Louis DeJoy.

WhiteHouse.gov/contact.

John Hoffmann

Carbondale

Misrepresented

I attended the City Council meeting last night and was present from the beginning until the very end. Ike Fredregill’s story grossly misrepresented that event, and I’d like to correct the record.

Were we “unruly,” as he stated? Well, that depends, as it always does, on your definition. As about 200 residents (not Fredregill’s “dozens”) waited apprehensively for the second reading vote, we were admonished to leave the council chamber because its maximum capacity is 93 persons.

The irony was not lost on us, as concerns about overcrowding the chamber were enforced, in contrast to how our concerns about the real threats of overcrowding this development would inflict on our community have been dismissed. We lack an enforceable maximum capacity in West Glenwood.

Yes, our frustration and fury was palpable. We residents have presented our universal criticisms courteously, over and over, for the better part of a year, and been met with insulting sanctimony from the developer and patronizing from four of those elected to represent us. In fact, we fear for our lives if this project goes forward before the evacuation infrastructure they depend on is in place. Accepting mere promises is a betrayal of current residents in favor of hypothetical newcomers and in favor of the interests of the industries that benefit from such projects while insulated from their harms, like real estate, construction, finance and large service providers that profit from expansion. Silly us, we believed we elect people to exercise judgment and restraint on our behalf.

And Ike, “threats of recalls”? Really? We have persevered through this extended battle, employing every tool we have. Recalls, referenda, initiative processes ­— are these legal rights of the governed to challenge government actions to be construed as weapons and their mere mention to be “threats”?

When people feel that they are fighting for their lives, for their bedrock values of not only community well-being but survival, they will not meekly give in. We have not and will not concede defeat while we still have our rights as citizens, our energy and our determination.

Laurie Raymond

Glenwood Springs

Bear mitigation plan wrong approach

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has drafted a “Bear Management Plan,” the primary goal is to manage human-

bear conflicts. CPW recommends Alternative 2, which increases the harvested number of bears from 70-122 to 122-174; that’s a 74% increase at the threshold and over 40% at the top.

Given the plan data confirms the existing population is in decline or stable, this increase could have a detrimental impact and even result in an unsustainable bear population. Killing more bears isn’t effective in reducing conflict.

In 2011, CPW initiated a six-year study, led by Dr. Heather Johnson, to address human-black bear conflicts that produced reliable evidence-based data on how to mitigate conflict. The USDA described the project and results this way: “National Wildlife Research Center researchers partnered with Colorado Parks and Wildlife to evaluate whether the use of bear-resistant trash containers in Durango, Colorado, could reduce bear-human conflicts.

“The town was divided into two treatment and two control areas for comparison. Residents in the treatment areas received bear-resistant containers free of charge, while residents in the control areas continued to use their own trash containers. Trash-related conflicts were 60% lower and compliance with local wildlife ordinances increased by 39% in the areas with bear-resistant containers.

“Researchers recommend that cities within or adjacent to bear habitat consider bear-proofing measures, such as providing residents with bear-resistant trash containers, implementing bear-proofing ordinances or regulations, and increasing the enforcement of existing regulations.”

We know what works, so why isn’t that the proposed recommendation? How about a win-win solution: Work with towns, the county and trash haulers to install bear-resistant trash containers and follow the recommendations above to mitigate conflict.

Please submit comments to CPW by Nov. 10. supporting Alternative 1 — maintain current harvest levels. Contact your local officials and let them know you support bear-resistant containers

Jacci McKenna

Eagle

 

Friday letters: Correction to Wednesday letter, 480 Donegan, flawed process, city sold out, 5B thanks, fix the streets, and tax ballot proposals

Editor’s note  

A letter to the editor published Wednesday both contained incorrect information and quoted someone who is not a public official without providing notice or asking for permission. In response to the letter, the city of Glenwood Springs released the following statement from City Manager Debra Figueroa:

“The South Canyon Landfill is a valuable community asset for the city of Glenwood Springs. A recent letter to the editor incorrectly implied that the landfill was dangerously close to being full. While this is not the case, we also want to emphasize that waste diversion is and should be taken seriously.

The city is in the process of preparing for a future conversation with City Council about ways construction waste can be more efficiently managed and processed. Part of this conversation are waste pricing and fees, potential regulation for acceptable construction waste, and requirements for how buildings are deconstructed. Expect to see more information on this discussion in 2022.

To be clear, the city has not received plans for the demolition of the West Glenwood Mall. If the mall in West Glenwood were hypothetically demolished, unsorted debris would not completely fill up the landfill.

The life expectancy of the currently permitted operating area of the South Canyon Landfill is estimated to be six years at current service levels and regulations. The city of Glenwood Springs recently submitted an application to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to expand the landfill onto city-owned land surrounding the existing operating area in South Canyon.

The objective of considering changes to waste pricing and policies is to give staff tools to better manage incoming waste, including ways to more sustainably accept and process debris. An example of this might be working with construction permit holders on how to properly sort deconstructed materials for an efficient use of the landfill and reuse of all materials available.

We are very fortunate to have our own city-owned landfill as a resource, and we as a community need to be aware that this is a finite resource and exercise stewardship of how we use this space. Waste diversion is top of mind for staff and we look forward to working with City Council on paths forward for our landfill.” 

Slap in the face

What a slap in the face City Council delivered to the citizens of West Glenwood and Glenwood Springs in reference to the 480 Donegan Project you voted to annex Oct. 21.

Why you would add units to the requested approval of the developer is beyond me. You have continuously been reminded about all of the safety issues involved, the highest being wildfire threat and evacuation, and have chosen to add units?

What happened to City Council since Mayor Jonathan Godes’ quote with CNN last year, “If wildfire happens in our corridor, we’re talking 1,000 lives lost.” 

How much public park did you get for this great negotiation that seemed to be so important — I read up to 1 acre? Really? Looks like green space on the rendering; not usable public park space.

How about safety and cost to the city as a criteria basis instead of the “affordable housing” excuse, which in this particular developer’s case has morphed to “middle class” housing. 

I applaud the council members who had the foresight to deny this — you do listen. To you who voted to approve, read the articles in the Post Independent from the Coal Seam Fire and then drive out here again during any incident. You might get a clue! Oh wait, we already have gridlock right across from the existing Center Drive Business Park during Two Rivers school drop off and pick up! 

Susie Straus 

Glenwood Springs

Flawed process

The “process” of the major annexation and development proposal in West Glenwood Springs has been very disturbing and convoluted — following the actions of the developer, City Council and city staff. The basis of my research is from the Glenwood Springs Municipal Code, the regulatory framework guiding the city. This development alone on 12.28 acres could represent close to 10% increase in the population of Glenwood Springs (9,963, U.S. Census 2020).

Using Title 070 Development Code, 480 Donegan/R2 would house 890 residents. Combine this with the many other recently built, approved and under construction residential units within the city and the increase will be huge — projected at 3,379 more people in the city, a 34% increase in population! What will the 2030 Census total be? This is the track our city leadership and staff are barreling down.

The “process” the city followed has been very questionable and benignly neglectful. Why was the Housing Commission asked for comments on the proposal and not the Parks and Recreation Commission and the P&R director? There is a real shortage of park land in West Glenwood. The number of residents here per code requires a park land dedication of 6.23 acres (offset by exclusive resident-only space and off-site improvements like sidewalks and bike lanes). 

R2 offers just 1 acre of public park land and up to 1 acre to build a new fire station and “pay their way” out of dedicating more needed and usable park land. Likewise, the code projects 120 students from this project with a school land dedication of 0.53 acres or fees paid in lieu of. Our Re-1 School District was not asked for input. The district is investing in staff housing. They could have had an opportunity at 480 and perhaps the city could have received land upon which to build employee housing as well.

For many, the actions by council and staff are a travesty, least among which is overturning their Planning and Zoning Commission’s unanimous recommendation for denial and not reaching out to the Parks and Recreation Commission and staff. Our community is on course to be unmanageable, unsustainable and unattractive with such haphazard, intense unmindful growth. Can we “afford” such growth? Will city infrastructure, staffing and revenue support such growth? Same with other associated entities such as our schools and health care?

Greg Jeung

Glenwood Springs

Whose City Council?

My parents moved to Glenwood Springs in 1975. I was 3 years old. The Eighth Street Bridge, only one lane, required cars to wait on each end, proceeding over the Roaring Fork River one direction at a time. 

It is surreal to now look back at the changes, growth and development of the past 46 years. Some have enhanced the prosperity and sense of community. But in the past few years, many have brought increasing distress to this magical place and its wonderful people.

Our current population of approximately 10,000 (2020 Census) is plagued by land prices so high, those who work here can’t afford to buy or rent — even at “affordable” rates. And yet, 1,300 units of new housing have been approved by our City Council and are underway; 1,300 units will be built and occupied in the coming years. At a modest two residents per unit, this will constitute a 26% increase in our population. Has anyone been driving in and around Glenwood recently? How does the town absorb that shocking, 26% increase in people, traffic, noise? — our resources are completely strained as it is.

And still, the City Council has justified the additional 300 units (600-plus new residents) right in the most vulnerable neighborhood where wildland/urban interface and history of wildfires threaten current residents, who lack adequate infrastructure for evacuation. I believed that City Council was responsible for and responsive to the citizens who elected them, not to the developers, not to the tourists, not to these outside interests. To those City Council members not doing their job, I honestly do not know how you can sleep at night.

By approving the 480 Donegan project, this City Council has again, sold out this once very special place where I always felt blessed to call home. I can no longer afford to live there, and haven’t for 10 years. My heart is truly hurting. Glenwood Springs will forever be my home. And I will always mourn this clear and continued destruction of my town’s soul.

Tracey Yajko

New Castle

5B approval thanks

A big thank you to voters in the Roaring Fork School District for a decisive yes on 5B, which will help pay teachers and staff a living wage, allowing the district to recruit and retain great people. We are deeply appreciative of all the campaign volunteers and generous donors who helped to make the campaign a success.

Basalt Junior Girl Scout Troop #1690 said it best with their campaign signs: “Teachers are Worth it and Students Deserve it!”

Autumn Rivera, Mark Gould,
Ellen Freedman

5B Campaign Committee co-chairs

Nice streets, or nice new campground?

Thanks, Glenwood Springs City Council, for ignoring our streets once again, leaving them in terrible disrepair, and instead setting your sights on yet another touristy trophy — South Canyon.

Nice job! That’s what your constituents want — crappy streets and a new campground for out-of-towners.

Keep up the good work.

David Heyliger

Glenwood Springs

Wary of tax ballot proposals

Over the years I have become increasingly wary of ballot proposals that start with the phrase “Without imposing any new tax.” I find the phrase to be somewhat disingenuous and deceptive. 

If a new tax is not being imposed, why are we voting on it? Being a pet peeve of mine, I tend to vote against such measures. 

What this phrase really means is your taxes are about to be reduced and you are voting not to reduce them. The ballot should read something like “By not lowering your current tax obligation.” Meaning if the measure does not pass your taxes will be lowered. I think this would be closer to the reality of what is being asked of the voters. 

Rich Glaser

Basalt

Wednesday letters: 480 Donegan, airport, air quality, Christian Science stance misrepresented

Editor’s note: A letter to the editor published Wednesday both contained incorrect information and quoted a private citizen without providing notice or asking for permission. In response to the letter, the City of Glenwood Springs released the following statement from City Manager Debra Figueroa:

“The South Canyon Landfill is a valuable community asset for the City of Glenwood Springs. A recent letter to the editor incorrectly implied that the landfill was dangerously close to being full. While this is not the case, we also want to emphasize that waste diversion is and should be taken seriously.

The City is in the process of preparing for a future conversation with City Council about ways construction waste can be more efficiently managed and processed. Part of this conversation are waste pricing and fees, potential regulation for acceptable construction waste, and requirements for how buildings are deconstructed. Expect to see more information on this discussion in 2022.

To be clear, the City has not received plans for the demolition of the West Glenwood Mall. If the mall in West Glenwood were hypothetically demolished, unsorted debris would not completely fill up the landfill.

The life expectancy of the currently permitted operating area of the South Canyon Landfill is estimated to be six years at current service levels and regulations. The City of Glenwood Springs recently submitted an application to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to expand the landfill onto City-owned land surrounding the existing operating area in South Canyon.

The objective of considering changes to waste pricing and policies is to give staff tools to better manage incoming waste, including ways to more sustainably accept and process debris. An example of this might be working with construction permit holders on how to properly sort deconstructed materials for an efficient use of the landfill and reuse of all materials available.

We are very fortunate to have our own city-owned landfill as a resource, and we as a community need to be aware that this is a finite resource and exercise stewardship of how we use this space. Waste diversion is top of mind for staff and we look forward to working with City Council on paths forward for our landfill.”

Sickened by city decisions

I am sickened that the 480 development went through. This City Council is destroying our small-town character. Affordable housing does not mean massive development. Additionally, the airport ballot questions appear to be worded so the city has cause to close the airport.

Lastly, the next time the city sends out a survey, an included question should be “Do you feel City Council is trustworthy?”

David Malehorn

Glenwood Springs

City Council going against the will of the people

The kings rule.

Why are the mayor and City Council going against the will of the residents of the city of Glenwood? What happened to the long-term planning for the city?

They go against the people of Glenwood and the Planning and Zoning Commission and OK the annexation in West Glenwood. The mayor takes out a full page in the paper threatening to close the airport if a don’t vote for money for the tunnel.

Closing the airport has been voted down many times over the years before he moved here. The airport stays.

Maybe it’s time for our mayor and City Council to go. They are supposed to be representing the people not the developer, who stated that the council has to do what’s good for the town even if the people don’t like it? What is that all about?

Now they are having a meeting this Thursday going after South Canyon to develop it? Does anyone know about the meeting? They don’t like the gun range so they want an RV park in the canyon? Build it and they will come.

Vote these people out and save Glenwood.

Ron Myers

Glenwood Springs

City Council pulls the old switcheroo

The old switcheroo. The four foibles — Shelley, Godes, Willman and Davis — have really pulled a fast one. Three City Council meetings ago, a vote was taken on whether to annex R2 Partners’ 340-unit project into the city of Glenwood. The vote was 4-0 against the annexation.

Yes. But wait. Shelley and Godes proposed and got a continuation. Three weeks later, Oct. 21, a new vote was taken. The annexation was approved 4-3 by the four foibles. Is that legal?

We have spoken at meetings, sent letters to the editor, along with emails to City Council. We have over 620 residents on Facebook. We have over 1,700 signatures for denial. Everyone we talk with is with us. City Council does not listen to us or read our emails. The developers are treated like royalty. We are treated like crap. Strange, because City Council’s No. 1 priority is to take care of its residents.

As we all know, the infrastructure is totally inadequate for this project. Safety would be nonexistent. With 1,000 new people and over 900 vehicles, we would have no chance to escape when the next fire comes. Some will die. Our welfare and quality of life will disappear. In West Glenwood and beyond, gridlock will be the norm.

Glenwood Planning and Zoning Commission voted 100% to deny the application. The same result from the county commissioners. Mr. Samson called it a total nightmare. We are extremely angry with the four foibles’ vote.

Please join us on Facebook at West Glenwood pasture development. Join us for saving Glenwood from this proposed disaster. Raise hell and keep the faith.

Michael Hoban

Glenwood Springs

City Council should govern, not rule

Originally addressed Dear Glenwood Springs City Council,

I worked on the GWS airport petitions. It simply stated that any change of use for our airport should go to a vote of qualified electors. Why was that so scary for City Council and staff?

Just days after the second petition was rejected by the city clerk, our City Council came up with ballot issues 2A and 2B. Well played, mayor, for your win-win tax request in an effort to close our airport.

I find this action by some of our City Council a shady, disingenuous and devisive political move better suited for cities like Chicago or Providence.

How can South Bridge be so greatly needed yet so underfunded?

Please do not misinterpret my no vote on issues 2A and 2B as a vote to close the airport.

Please remember, you were elected to govern, not rule.

Ross W. Roginski

Glenwood Springs, Ward 5

Mall demolition will cost us

There is something really important that people in Glenwood must pay attention to. When the West Glenwood developer told City Council he plans to tear down the Glenwood Springs Mall, my jaw dropped. Where do you think they are going to dispose of it, and who do you think will pay the price for that?

We are all going to live with the consequences of this council’s inability to live within its means. This new West Glenwood development has not sealed our fate yet. Show up at 6:07 p.m. Thursday, at the Council Chambers, or call your representative. If you want to call Charlie (Willman), he told me he is now taking calls on this matter. His number is 970-379-7820.

Please call Charlie and tell him to vote no on the second reading. This council has not done near enough homework to let this happen. Charlie has the deciding vote.

Jennifer Vanian

Glenwood Springs

Christian Science stance misrepresented

First Church of Christ, Scientist, Glenwood Springs, established in the early 1900s, has always had close ties with the community, and continues to do its best to be a loving and healing presence in town. A recent article in the Post Independent, “Vaccination mandate prompts exemption requests at Grand River Health,” is inaccurate when referencing the church’s website when the article says, “Christian Science, however, questions vaccinations and can see them as problematic, according to ChristianScience.com.”

The statement on the church’s website, “A Christian Science perspective on vaccination and public health,” actually states, “For more than a century, our denomination has counseled respect for public health authorities and conscientious obedience to the laws of the land, including those requiring vaccination.”

Christian Scientists are diligently working toward the same goals in light of the pandemic as everyone else in the community: health and protection. Church members who have experienced in their lives the power of healing prayer that Christ Jesus practiced, still might request an accommodation from vaccination, when such accommodation is provided for in the law. But this choice is not a distrust in or a shunning of vaccinations. It’s simply that some church members would prefer, given the privilege, to rely solely on their proven practice of Christian healing to achieve this goal.

It’s worth noting that these decisions are made as a matter of individual religious practice. Our church does not tell members what to do but instead leaves it to the individual church member to speak with their employers about their own religious healing practice when requesting an accommodation. Christian Scientists strive to approach these conversations with the hope of bringing a sense of calm and even healing.

We would like to extend a prayer to Grand River Health. I am moved by the spirit from a proverb: Each person’s gift, provided from on High, also comes with it the opportunity and right place to use this gift.

David Price

legislative and media spokesperson for Christian Science in Colorado

Denver

Action needed to improve air quality

Colorado has set a new record for Air Quality Action Alerts this summer.

Sure, the wildfires contributed to this problem, but the way I see it, the two main culprits here are climate change and oil and gas drilling.

Our climate is growing warmer, the recent report from the International Panel on Climate Change paints a dire picture: Without acting now, it’s going to get worse.

I don’t think we should accept unhealthy air quality and scorching hot summers as Colorado’s way of life.

No, we need to act now, and one action we can take before the end of the year is for Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission to adopt direct regulation of the oil and gas sector. The IPCC report specifically calls out methane emissions as a huge driver of climate warming pollution that we have to get under control now.

I urge the AQCC to act boldly and adopt direct regulations to help clean our air and fight climate change.

Danielle Carver

Clifton

Heavy bag

My congratulations to the majority members of the Glenwood Springs City Council for Thursday (Oct. 21) night’s vote in passing and approving the annexation of the mega complex behind the Glenwood Mall.

You have proven that it is possible to put 10 pounds of manure into a 5-pound bag.

Luke Bradshaw

Grand Junction

Here’s an idea

Why not move the airport to the rim of Glenwood Canyon above Spring Valley, and extend the road from there, descending east of Glenwood Canyon? That would solve a lot of problems regarding the South Bridge and open up an alternative route around the canyon.

Fred Stewart

Grand Junction