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Friday letters: fascism, bad example, masks, political parties, fireworks, Boebert

Fascism comes to America

An old quote attributed to Sinclair Lewis goes, “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” 

This was perfectly manifested by the sad white males (I wouldn’t call them men), straddling and clutching their substitute manhood while waving flags and revving their big greasy engines to silence and intimidate peaceful protesters on the right side of history in Rifle Saturday night. 

Social justice advocates could not have made their point more perfectly, especially when you think about how the openly gun-toting, engine-revving bullies would have been treated by police in Rifle had they been black or brown.

MJ Foulger


Cops set bad example

Today in the Walmart parking lot I witnessed an arrest involving at least four officers. It was a very calm and orderly event. Thank you, officers.

Here’s the twist. This group was standing in a tight circle, many touching, and none of them were wearing masks. The man being arrested was wearing his as a chin guard, the cops … nothing on their faces.

1. Poor example to the public. 

2. What if these officers become asymptomatic from this exposure then expose others? COVID-19 cases are up in the valley. 

Officers, we appreciate your service. You interact with all of us. We depend on you.  Please be cognizant of your impact.

Barb Forrest

(EMT retired)

El Jebel

End mask ordinances

Stop the masquerade. Under guidance from Carbondale Town Manager Jay Harrington, town trustees passed an “emergency” mandatory mask law May 19 for entering public places. I have looked in the windows of Town Hall three times since and have seen no town employees — including Mr. Harrington — actually wearing a mask.

Harrington argues that they are not exposed to the public. However, Town Hall is the most public building in town by definition, and it is funded by public money. While Jay makes everyone else in town wear a mask all day at work in 90 degree weather to generate sales tax to pay himself and other town employees, they wear none. Are they not members of the public themselves?

Oh yeah — that’s right — they’re not: they’re the government. They don’t have to get by in the public sector — they make their living off the public sector by telling us what we can or cannot do. They are immune to the laws they make, and take our money regardless while they put some of us out of business.

Well, Jay, millions of us across the country are sick of being manipulated and lied to. The World Health Organization has stated that masks are basically useless. Masks offer no shield against microscopic particles and depress your immune system’s natural responses. The COVID death numbers have been exaggerated by hospitals to make up for lost revenue and layoffs because of regulations and the culture of fear that has been spread. Regulations have destroyed the travel, restaurant and lodging sectors of our economy. The so called “cure” has indeed proven worse than the disease.

It’s time to get over it. Take off your mask, take a breath of fresh air and remember what it’s like to be free. I refuse to be a slave to anyone or any virus and refuse to live my life in fear. It’s time for local, state and federal governments to stop spreading the culture of fear and lift these ridiculous and meaningless regulations that are dysfunctional, hypocritical and — in the end — destructive.

David Johnson


Commissioners need to get beyond the politics of wearing masks 

It is time for the Garfield County commissioners to get beyond the politics of wearing masks. 

I do not understand why wearing a mask has become so political. There are no studies that disprove that wearing masks saves lives and helps to stop the spread of the virus. 

Whether you believe in science or not, logic alone will tell you that preventive measures help stop the spread. The wearing of masks is one of those preventive measures. 

If you want to keep the economy open use every tool you can to keep future outbreaks as low as possible. Nobody enjoys wearing a mask, but like the professionals tell you, it is better than wearing a ventilator. 

It is the job of the commissioners to do what is best for the health of the citizens of Garfield County. I just hope it is not too late to stop a forced shutdown again because of the rise in cases. Just suggesting wearing masks or keeping your social distances only gives people an excuse not to follow the rules.

Thank you,

Don “Hooner” Gillespie

Glenwood Springs

‘Thanks,’ irresponsible people

Just a note to all the irresponsible people in Garfield and Pitkin and Eagle counties for failing to follow safe protocols and now causing all bars to shut down through next month. Think of all the jobs you cost and the businesses to fail during what should be their busiest month.

Chip Tallon


Wresting control from the political parties

The National Election Reform Committee has just issued a new historical document titled: “New Declaration of Independence/We The People.”  The National Election Reform Committee (NERC) is a group of leaders of the independent voter movement who are launching a national campaign to declare independence from the two major political parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.

Currently, the Democratic and Republican parties control elections in all 50 states and in virtually all executive, legislative and judicial offices at the state and federal level. NERC believes that we have reached that point in American politics where not just independent voters, but all independent-minded Americans, indeed all members of we the people, need to demand the end of the two parties’ control over America’s election system through their control of ballot access.

We have reached that moment in American history where all Americans need to escape the party voter prison that the two major parties imposed on all of us for many decades with their corruption and oppression. The U. S. Constitution does not begin in the name of “We the parties,” but rather, it begins with three simple unambiguous words: “We the people.” This is a “we the people” campaign. It’s about ‘we the people” declaring our independence from the party voter prison, and taking back ownership of America’s election system. This declaration is effective July 4, 2020.

Celebrate “American Independent Voter Day” with us on the July 4th, 2020, by joining our independent voter movement on our new website at nerc.blue. There you will see the full text of our beautiful “New Declaration of Independence/We The People.”

Randy Fricke

National Election Reform Committee member/Independent Voting

New Castle

Fireworks seller is endangering us

Each year around this time Mr. Ray Cordova brings explosives to the consistently and distressingly hot and dry Roaring Fork Valley for profit. While doing so he boldly indicates, in very large letters, his allegiance to another prophet: Jesus. 

Given the danger to life and property that his product poses to the valley it seems clear which “profit/prophet” has earned most of Mr. Cordova’s allegiance.

Since “Dick” Miller showed us recently just how easy it is to incinerate large portions of land, wildlife and structures, perhaps Mr. Cordova could sell bibles instead of bombs and flags instead of fireworks.

There is no shortage of people wrapping themselves in religion and patriotism for personal gain these days, so Mr. Cordova doesn’t stand out in that regard. What is salient about Mr. Cordova, however, is that his pose and his product is an immediate danger to the rest of us.

Bill Parish


Advice for Loren Boebert

Congratulations to Loren Boebert on her primary victory over Scott Tipton. 

Here is some unsolicited advice for her and her campaign. 

If protecting the rule of law and standing up for the Constitution are your major planks, I’d suggest (1) don’t place others at risk by abusing what you view as your personal right (opening up a restaurant during a national pandemic in direct violation of legal orders that the rest of us managed to abide by); and (2) please read related rulings on Constitutional rights. 

Exhibit A: Ms. Boebert to the Aspen City Council regarding its ban on weapons in city buildings: “My rights don’t end where your fears begin.” 

Exhibit B: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in the majority opinion of D.C. vs. Heller, the case expanding gun rights from militia related to personal protection, “Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

While cute but meaningless slogans may appeal to many, most of us would rather see some meaningful proposals for governance. 

And Q-Anon? If she cannot disavow that outfit, in spite of her mother’s endorsement, she’ll have real problems with the electorate. Trump is working with Robert Mueller? Hillary and John Podesta ran a child sex ring from a pizza parlor? Kim Jong Un is actually a puppet put in place by the CIA? Angela Merkel is the secret child of Hitler? How nutty do you have to be to believe this stuff? 

And here is Ms. Boebert’s take, “Everything I heard of Q — I hope that this is real because it only means America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values, and that’s what I am for.”

Un-huh. Good luck with that, Loren.

Bob Shettel


Thursday letters: Abandoned oil & gas wells, Youthentity, masks and the economy, farmer’s market

Protect Colorado taxpayers from abandoned oil & gas wells

Tresi Houpt’s June 22 column appearing in the Post Independent is a prime example of what leadership in Garfield County ought to look like. With her experience as a commissioner both here and in the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), Tresi’s advocacy for common sense measures to protect the health and safety of Coloradans is a breath of fresh air amidst the toxic stench of the oil and gas industry sycophants who currently occupy our county commission.

In particular, Tresi is correct to point out the bonding crisis that is threatening to railroad Colorado taxpayers with millions of dollars in costs to clean up the industry’s mess. Oil and gas operators know that it is their responsibility to plug wells so that our water and air isn’t polluted once production is finished; we shouldn’t have to use our tax dollars to compensate for the industry’s fundamental mismanagement of their finances.

Unfortunately, Colorado’s problems with irresponsible operators and lax bonding rules do not end at our state’s borders. After having borrowed billions of dollars against tenuous assets and duping investors with dubious financial reports, industry now looks to the federal government for bailouts as historically low oil prices portend bankruptcy for firms throughout the nation — potentially leaving thousands of wells abandoned to spew toxic sludge and carcinogens into our water and air while waiting for taxpayers to foot the clean up bill.

We deserve better. We deserve to breathe clean air and drink uncontaminated water. We deserve to have our hard-earned tax dollars put to work for us instead of the oil and gas industry. We deserve adequate financial assurance that wells will be plugged after production. Let’s join Tresi in her support of the COGCC, and work together to demand that Congress plug abandoned wells across the country, pass strong federal bonding requirements, and hold industry accountable.

Betsy Leonard,

Investing in our young people will pay dividends

In light of COVID, Youthentity – along with many nonprofit organizations — worried we faced a future in which we could not serve as many students this year without our annual fundraiser. Last week during our annual (and first virtual) Pig Roast Fundraiser, our worries were assuaged as our network rallied to support youth financial literacy and career development among Colorado’s Western Slope.

Thank you to the businesses and individuals who sponsored this year’s Virtual Pig Roast Fundraiser, and to those who participated in the online auction and raffle and donated to our Five Year Life Plan initiative. Many thanks to those who purchased virtual Super Supporter event tickets, one of which included a direct donation to local restaurants in the form of gift cards. Not only did your donation move to support Youthentity, this virtual ticket also raised over $3,000 for local restaurants – cash that went directly to restaurants’ payroll and operating costs.

We are heartened to know that our community values and appreciates the critical part that financial literacy and career readiness plays in building resilient communities. Investing in our young people will pay dividends as they grow up to be the next generation of business owners, employees and community members.

Meghan Grabow,

Wear a mask and keep our economy open

You’re talking about your freedom? Your 1st Amendment rights? Do you seriously want to be like Texas, Arizona, Florida or one of the many states that opened too soon and refuse to wear masks and are now going backwards? Do you want your business shut down yet again because you think your rights are being infringed upon? Who are you going to blame when we are forced back into closing our restaurants, pools and churches again?

Oh yeah, it’s the liberal snowflake governor’s fault that you refuse to do anything to protect yourself or others. Nothing like being able to blame someone else for being ignorant. Please pull your head out, take a breath and put on your mask. You’ll appreciate it when you don’t get sick, make someone else sick and when you work to keep our economy open.

Douglas Brown,
New Castle

Why can’t we pick own produce at Farmer’s Market?

Can someone explain why the rules designed to protect us from COVID-19 seem extra strict for the farm stands at Garfield County Farmer’s Markets? Since I can freely move around the produce aisle at City Market to select and bag my fruits and vegetables, why can I not do the same at an outdoor produce market? At the Saturday Market in the RFSD district office parking lot (1405 Grand Ave.) the farm stand staff had to pick out the vegetables, put them into a bag and then hand it over to me. I’m fine with their choices, but it does seem odd that we don’t have to do this across the street at City Market. This seems less efficient for shoppers and farmers alike. The experience has left me wondering how this is protecting us from the virus. I can agree to limiting the number of shoppers at one time, wearing a mask and social distancing but allowing zero shoppers into the stand seems like a real hit to the ability of the farmer to sell his produce. I would like to shop for farm fresh fruits and vegetables outdoors this summer; please don’t make the rules so strict that farmers decide to not participate in the markets.

Karen Dixon,
Glenwood Springs

Wednesday letters: Minimizing spread of Covid-19, Trump’s reprehensible behavior, free ourselves from meat industry

Carbondale mayor: We can’t be complacent in steps to minimize spread of COVID-19

 Editor’s note: An exception was made for the length of this letter.

Dear Carbondale community,

As we enter the Fourth of July Holiday weekend, we each must acknowledge the sobering reality that COVID-19 is on the rise in our community. It’s critical we stay alert and don’t become complacent about the public health practices that have proven to be so successful at keeping our community safe.

COVID-19 is not going away: Locally in Carbondale, COVID-19 is on the rise. We see it in our daily numbers. At the time of writing, Carbondale has had 63 residents test positive for COVID-19; Garfield County has 287 cases. 
What does that mean for reopening? If this upward trend continues, it means everyone is at a greater health risk, our healthcare facilities may be over-burdened and Garfield County’s variance that allows greater local control of health orders will be revoked. Nothing resulting from this trend is good for our local businesses that are already struggling.

What should the community do about this? Given this risk, it’s more critical than ever to play your part in stopping the community spread of COVID-19. Wear your face-covering or mask inside public spaces (it’s the law in Carbondale), wash your hands or use hand sanitizer whenever you can, ensure you social distance — stay six feet apart — when around other people, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home if you are sick.
Modify your behavior this holiday weekend: Rethink any plans to be around other people — this may be a good weekend to limit contact with others. If you are going to be around other people — at a barbeque or camping with a small group, insist that everyone is following commonsense health guidelines: mask-on, maintaining social distancing, and frequently washing hands.

If you are in close contact with someone who has tested positive: You must self-quarantine immediately, for 14 days, and ensure you are symptom-free for 72 hours before you end quarantine.

Asymptomatic means that COVID-19 can be invisible in the community: This means the symptoms can be invisible, and the spread is harder to contain. This means wearing a face covering and taking all the public health precautions we can is really important.

Remind your kids of these safe behaviors: Local and national outbreaks among young people have been on the rise, and we’ve seen this locally in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Living with COVID-19 in our community is the new normal: As we know COVID-19 is spreading, we must all remain diligent and watch for symptoms of COVID-19: these include fatigue, fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.

We ask you to Love Local: While we must live with this new reality, we also must forge ahead with safe practices to reopen our town’s small businesses and boost the local economy. We ask you to Love Local; consider shopping locally, and to protect our neighbors by always following public health guidelines. If you aren’t comfortable dining inside – get take-out. If you want to gather with friends and family – bring take-out to an outdoor BBQ or camping or try a virtual happy hour! Looking for a gift – consider a local gift certificate.

We will emerge from this crisis stronger than when we entered it — together. We are Carbondale Strong.

Dan Richardson
Mayor of Carbondale

Past time to call Trump out on this reprehensible conduct

The level of disrespect, immaturity and indifference being exhibited by our president and some of his followers is incomprehensible. Insults, taunts, attacks and lawsuits against those he sees as enemies or adversaries has been his M.O. forever. It’s past time for the majority of us to call him out on this reprehensible conduct. Most of the Republican politicians have shown that they are afraid of him. Every time he uses his “sleepy Joe” insult, the response needs to be; “we have the equivalent of a third grader in the White House.” And his seeming lack of compassion and empathy is in plain view.

He has undermined the critical use of face masks by not using nor incentivizing their use which has exacerbated this public health crisis. Many now view their use as a political issue instead of a way to protect and respect our fellow citizens. By promoting and carrying out his two rallies last week, he has shown, clearly, how he is not concerned about protecting even his own base from a dangerous virus, only about his reelection. Prior to the event, the CDC (which Trump has now muffled to a degree) declared that large, in person, gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain six feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area are of the highest risk. And most of his followers who attended the events, by not wearing masks, were showing no concern for those around them and multiplying the risks.

But, with the recent outpouring of love and caring emanating from around the country, hopefully we are headed in a new direction.

Jerry Krebs,
Glenwood Springs

Let’s declare our independence from meat industry

COVID-19 heralds some good news for this Independence Day. We won’t be facing heavy traffic. And, the scarcity of meat will keep our outdoor grills safe.

Folks who grill hamburgers and hot dogs face a nasty choice. The U.S. Meat and Poultry Hotline advises grilling at high temperature to avoid food poisoning by E. coli and salmonella bacteria. But the National Cancer Institute warns that high-temperature grilling of processed meats generates cancer-causing compounds.

Fortunately, we no longer need to choose between food poisoning and cancer!

A bunch of enterprising U.S. food processors have met this challenge head-on by developing a rich variety of convenient, healthful, delicious plant-based veggie burgers, veggie dogs, and soy nuggets. These products don’t harbor nasty bugs or cancer-causing compounds. They are missing the cholesterol, saturated fats, drugs, hormones and pesticides of their animal-based alternatives. And, they are waiting for us in the frozen food section of our favorite supermarket, along with nut-based ice creams, and other dairy-free desserts.

On this Independence Day, let’s declare our independence from the meat industry, which exposes its workers to coronavirus infection. And, let’s stay away from both the coronavirus and the barbecue bugs!

Filipe Santana,
Glenwood Springs

Tuesday letters: Trump assumes, Menconi, Trump destroying GOP, rabid Dem dogs, defunders, lack of male leadership, Alzheimer’s, social turmoil

Donald Trump assumes too much

Definition of Assume: supposed to be the case without proof.

Donald Trump and his white house staff assume that the American public is so ignorant, dumb and uninformed as to believe he did not know that Russia did not put bounties on our soldiers in Afghanistan. Trump assumes the American public does not believe he was briefed by the CIA and multiple other intelligence agencies last March, when some of those present at those meetings have come forward with this current information already.

Donald Trump assumes too much. He assumes that the people of this country do not care. 

It begs the question: Why is Donald Trump kowtowing to Putin, his new Russian best friend, while Putin is aware that his army is offering money to the Taliban to kill American troops overseas? News today says there is now proof that some of those bounties were paid to the Taliban by the Russians, after killings were done.

These are American lives. The Saudi Arabians come to our country and seek to kill journalists who print unflattering stories about one of the many princes who dabble in world geopolitics, and Trump does not say one word to them regarding this when he “hosts” them at the White House. Weakness? You decide.

Kim Jong Un has imprisoned 200,000 people in North Korea for the crime of disagreeing with him. Many never return from those prisons alive. Does Trump ever bring that up when they meet and hug, and blow kisses at each other? Has not happened yet.

This weekend a woman politician said that Donald Trump was the best female president we have ever had. Meant to be funny, but how true that statement is. 

Steven Gluckman

Glenwood Springs

Menconi has earned my respect and trust

I am writing today to urge you to support Arn Menconi for Senate District 8. I got to know both Arn Menconi and Karl Hanlon in 2018 when they ran against Diane Mitsch Bush in the Democratic primary for Congress. I was Diane’s campaign manager.

Although he was an opponent, Arn earned my respect and trust. He ran a clean campaign and spent his donors’ money and his time wisely. He was the first to congratulate Diane upon her win and immediately got to work with us on our campaign. His work ethic is unrivaled, as is his integrity.

Arn is a dedicated public servant. He has connected youth to the outdoors via Snowboard Outreach Society, the nonprofit he founded 20+ years ago. He has legislated, serving as an Eagle County commissioner who crafted policy on affordable housing and early childhood education. Arn puts his constituents first. For him, this race is about representing you.

Can he beat the incumbent Republican in the general election? I’d argue yes. He won two hard-fought elections in Eagle County, before the county was considered progressive. Progressive values, backed up by real experience, are popular and motivating.

If you’d like to be part of a movement for progressive change. If you’d like to see a hard-working, nontraditional politician as the Democratic nominee for Senate District 8, I urge you to support Arn Menconi.


Sonja Macys

Steamboat Springs

former campaign manager, Diane for Colorado CD3, 2018

Trump destroying the Republican Party

Of all the insane things Trump has said and done in the last three and a half years, pushing to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and eliminating pre-existing conditions in the middle of a pandemic has got to be the cruelest. Just when we thought he couldn’t go any lower, he does. Adding to this insanity, he is proposing defunding testing of the coronavirus. This is baffling and incomprehensible to intelligent people.

 Trump is determined to destroy the Republican Party. He has no strategy or agenda for the next four years. We are all so exhausted and afraid to turn on our TV sets for fear of what he has done overnight, but too afraid not to, as we must learn each day what is the current suggestion on mask wearing, distancing, what is open and what isn’t, in order to avoid contracting the virus or spreading it to our loved ones. 

There are now over 126,000 reported deaths in the U.S., the most in any country to date, and Trump is concerned about how he looks in a mask. He is still continuing with his attacks at his so-called rallies and continues to lie about his imagined enemies, such as Joe Biden. I am shocked at the people who will believe the disgusting things he says about our honest and patriotic people in America who truly love this country. The things he’s said about John McCain, a true hero, is only one example. 

With the economic crises, political crises, and health crises hitting our country all at once, there is no national strategy. Instead we have a president who has given more power to the autocratic nations of the world such as North Korea, Russia and China. I am praying for a fair election this November and that it can be a mail-in ballot. If there is to be any sanity in Washington next year and in our country, it must happen by voting out the current administration.

Linda Carr


Dem dogs have gone rabid

The Dem dogs have finally gone rabid. In Seattle the “love” fest known as CHAZ or CHOP has turned lethal on Saturday past. Yet the ultra liberal Dem mayor won’t allow police into the “autonomous” 15 acres.

What have we come to, America? Who can possibly justify this kind of blatant disregard for law and order? BLM and Antifa are out of control asking for anarchy. 

Democrats love their children, too. Do you want this socialist, globalist future for them? I’ll vote for a businessman to run our capitalistic system over a career politician every time.

Besides Trump had his billions before politics, while Joe made his millions from politics.

Bruno Kirchenwitz


No 911 services for defunders

Anyone who would like to defund our police departments should be removed of all 911 privileges at their home or business. Do not waste the precious time of our cops if you have no respect for them. Simple.

Donna Kuipers


Hope the Democrats take heed and the Republicans grow hair

The systemic problem began in the ’60s and has grown exponentially since then. It’s the lack of male presence.

Throughout the universe, polar opposites exist to compliment each other. Unfortunately today the idea exists on a biological level only.

When the human race does not have a representation of both sexes, chaos emerges. This applies to education, gun violence, broken homes, drugs, etc. Money or laws alone will not solve or stand in for the lack of male leadership.

The destruction of statues is a metaphor for what has already been hollowed out. That’s why no one resists. The value of Trump is that he shows how this plays out. We are lucky to finally see how neglectful we have been of our values. It makes global warming moot.

Elect Joe Biden as executive-in-chief of a zombie nation. Otherwise, we need to take accounting of ourselves and not take our culture for granted, starting with our families.

All lives matter. Black life (and culture) matters. The USA is a living nation, not a frozen icon. Hope the Democrats take heed and the Republicans grow hair.

Fred Stewart

Grand Junction

Act will protect Alzheimer’s patients

Age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. As Colorado’s population ages, our state is expected to see a 21% increase in the number of Coloradans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s over the next five years. Because of the cognitive decline associated with the disease, these individuals will be at greater risk of abuse and neglect.

How can we protect Coloradans living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia from physical, mental, emotional, sexual and/or financial abuse? Congress has the answer — the Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act (H.R.6813/S.3703). 

This initiative requires the Department of Justice to educate emergency responders, judges, prosecutors and other justice system workers about how to communicate and interact with persons with dementia. This important training will improve those workers’ ability to assist people with dementia and protect them from all forms of abuse and neglect.

I hope my representatives in Congress, Sen. Michael Bennet, Sen. Cory Gardner and Congressman Scott Tipton will consider actively supporting this significant legislation. It’s an easy way to help protect some of Colorado’s most vulnerable residents.

Meaghan Ziegler

Alzheimer’s ambassador


Blacks threatened white identity

I have not seen the kind of social turmoil we are now experiencing since the days of the assignations of the leaders and the protesting of Vietnam. We have protests over killings of black people by police and the pandemic. Our president is pushing every button he can find; hopefully he doesn’t fire the nukes. 

I have learned there is a holiday called Juneteenth and that a section of black Tulsa called Greenwood was destroyed by their white neighbors. At least 300 were murdered. 

What is so significant about this moment is the amount of support from whites both here and abroad. There is a real opportunity to create real change. The pandemic, which has killed an inordinate amount of blacks, and the blatant racism of the Trump regime and supporters has revealed a lot of structural racism.

Trump was once asked what he thought about getting support from David Duke, former KKK top official and frequent candidate for office. He said he knew nothing about him. That was a lie because they had interactions for years. Trump’s father is said to have been arrested at a KKK rally where the police were attacked. Trump properties were convicted of keeping blacks out of their housing. Holding a rally in Tulsa during such an important holiday and across the street from a massacre is a loud dog whistle, no coincidence. Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes all did similar things but not nearly so blatant. The called it the “southern strategy.” 

The legacy of the Confederacy is being attacked. The historical apartheid conditions are being explained. The history of policing is shown to have evolved from the early “slave patrols,” which are also a major reason for the 2nd Amendment. 

Greenwood was called the “Black Wall Street.” Nice homes and successful business were part of a self-contained economy that circulated its own wealth. Whites became envious. But more than envy, successful black people absolutely contradicted the racist paradigm. From the Constitution on, blacks were seen as “less than.” Blacks were less capable, had less intelligence, wouldn’t work unless forced, and weren’t necessarily even human. Greenwood put the lie to the very rationale that was the basis to the white identity. Greenwood proved every day that whites were not better. Greenwood had to go. 

I once heard a black woman on the radio say in tears: “What have we ever done against you?” Nothing — but to challenge the white identity. That produces deep hate and fear. Embedded in those emotions is the fear that blacks would someday and pay it back. 

Racism is a universal human trait that is stronger and weaker across the population. In better times we are guided by our better angels. Right now, the president is lighting a fuse that he says could lead to national violence. This could all get rough. 

Patrick Hunter


Monday letters: Bush, Romanoff, Bush, Hanlon, Hanlon, and Irvine

Bush brings a new vision and proven elected leadership experience

The upcoming elections will be the most important elections many of us will participate in during our lifetimes. June 30 is primary election day for numerous elected offices including the U.S. House of Representatives. We desperately need experienced individuals to fill the vacuum of leadership currently existing in Congress. As a native Coloradan and 45 year resident of the western slope I am supporting Diane Mitsch Bush for U. S. House of Representatives District 3.

Diane, who is an educator and long-term resident of the district, has lengthy experience as both a County Commissioner and State Legislator serving western Colorado. This experience makes her an excellent candidate for Congress. The state and local levels of government have long been those closest to and most trusted by the American people. It is largely due to leadership at those levels that America has weathered ineffective governance and incompetent crisis management at the national level along with a pervasive, destructive atmosphere of anger, deceit, partisanship, and self-interest created by so many elected officials in Washington including the President and his supporters.

I know from my career working with state and local officials, that holding local elected office, serving constituents face-to-face, developing responsible budgets, and grappling with critical local issues are some of the best experiences for holding national elected office. Diane already has the knowledge to be immediately effective in Washington. As a representative previously holding state and local office she will bring common-sense pragmatism, first hand knowledge of constituent issues, and bipartisan problem solving skills to Congress.

This year brings us the opportunity to select someone with both a new vision and proven elected leadership experience to Congress. Vote for Diane Mitsch Bush for U.S. Representative District 3.

Tim Sarmo
Grand Junction

Andrew Romanoff will be a senator of the people

Regarding Colorado’s Democratic Senate race, Andrew Romanoff is the better choice.

Hickenlooper’s campaign seems backed largely by outside interests, particularly the Democratic National Committee in Washington, which is contributing millions for television ads. Romanoff has solid political backing here in Colorado, which explains why he’s done so much better than Hickenlooper in the caucuses.

Hickenlooper’s campaign will be well financed including by the fossil-fuel industry. Romanoff’s campaign isn’t for sale. Coloradans need a senator who’s beholden to them, not to big business.

Romanoff advocates a Green New Deal; Hickenlooper has both feet stuck in Wall Street and considers a Green New Deal menacing “socialism.”
Hickenlooper claims to be very pro-environment, but he’s often acted as a handmaiden for Colorado’s fracking industry. Can we trust a politician whose career is so intertwined with the fossil-fuel industry (among other things, he used to be a petroleum geologist) to stand up to those he takes money from and has always supported?

And unlike Romanoff, Hickenlooper is stuck in a private-health-insurance past, an opponent of universal-health-care programs that would put us on par with every other developed nation on earth.

In a time of severe crisis, business as usual, Establishment politicians are inadequate. We need someone more prepared to take on the powers that be. Andrew Romanoff will be a senator of the people, by the people and for the people who will beat Trump’s toady, Cory Gardner, and make Coloradans proud.

Paul G. Dougan

Diane Mitsch Bush is the best candidate we have

To my fellow voters in Colorado’s Third District, please join me in my support of Diane Mitsch Bush for Congress.

During her time as Routt County Commissioner and as a member of our state legislature, Diane has proven that she understands the needs of our rural region when it comes to water, the environment, and healthcare costs.
Additionally, she fights to protect voting rights and works against voter suppression. She wants more accountability and transparency in our political processes and for those who govern.

She works overtime to understand issues, delves into the nitty-gritty details of legislating, and strives to be a leader for all Coloradans, regardless of where we stand on the political spectrum.

She treats people with dignity and respect and listens to her opponents and critics.

Diane Mitsch Bush is, far and away, the best candidate we have and will be a stellar member of the U. S. House of Representatives.

Meghan Hanson-Peters
Steamboat Springs

Hanlon will work to build consensus across party lines

I have been a registered independent voter for years but this year cast my primary ballot for Karl Hanlon. I have known Karl for many years and he is a person of integrity and values. In the last year, I have had the opportunity to work with Karl as City Attorney for Glenwood and learned of his dedication to municipal law and his support for local control over important municipal issues. Karl is also an advocate for the reasonable use of our natural resources keeping in mind the long term impacts on the environment. Karl has been a strong advocate for the City in its efforts to stop the expansion of the limestone quarry which would be devastating to Glenwood’s tourist based economy. Karl is an independent thinker and will work to build consensus across party lines. So this independent voter strongly supports Karl’s election to the State Senate.

Charlie Willman,
Glenwood Springs

Hanlon can bring acreative solutions to the western slope

I encourage any last minute voter like me, to Vote Karl Hanlon for Senate District 8. Ballots must be received before 7 p.m, Tuesday at the Clerk and Recorder’s Office in Glenwood Springs or drop-off location in your community. (Check the back of your yellow secrecy sleeve for more information.)

Karl takes western slope interests to heart. His personal history growing up on a ranch in northwestern Colorado and his track record navigating issues like western slope water rights makes Karl perfectly suited to wisely advocate for the unique and diverse needs of our rural communities.

I’ve watched Karl in many contexts over the years, but the most profound is watching him support his wife Sheryl’s work at Smiling Goat Ranch. Smiling Goat is an incredible nonprofit that provides therapeutic experiences to kids with autism and veterans with PTSD. Seeing him interact with veterans and families has been particularly touching. He graciously welcomes people to their property, and then with comfort and kindness, allows them to experience the gift of horses in a unique and healing way.

I believe Karl Hanlon can bring attention and creative solutions to the western slope while thoughtfully addressing issues that have state and national implications. Vote Karl Hanlon for Senate District 8, before the ballot boxes close!

Beth Hahn Shoemaker

Tea party Republican for Irvine

As an 84 year old widow and conservative tea party Republican, I urge you to vote for change. Vote for servant leadership – vote for Debra Irvine.

Sandy Mulcahy,

Thursday letters: 22nd Street Project, Hanlon, Menconi, National Popular Vote, and America’s leadership

The lowest bid is not the best

I find it hard to believe that the Glenwood Springs City Council gave the contract for the 22nd Street project to a trucking company out of Edwards. How can an Edwards trucking company have more experience in infrastructure rebuild in Glenwood Springs than Gould Construction? In this case, the lowest bid is not the best because they have to travel from Edwards and will encounter one lane traffic in Glenwood Canyon.
If I lived in Glenwood, I would start a recall of the five council members that voted for the Edwards bunch. Tony Hersey is the only good member of the City Council.

James A Wingers

Hanlon sees potential problems and has the work ethic to fix them

I am writing in support of Karl Hanlon in the Democratic Primary for State Senate District 8.

As his child I know Karl very well. If there’s one thing I know about my dad, I know he has it in him to get it done. Life can’t always be easy, but when I need help I know I can count on Karl. No matter how awful the situation may seem, he is able to rationally assess the situation and figure out the best way to solve it. A few weeks back there was a mountain lion spotted in our neighborhood. We have 21 animals and about a third were at risk. Instead of panicking, Karl looked at the resources we had and decided on the best possible option. Most of our animals could be put inside of various sheds with little difficulty and when we needed more space we built a shed out of an existing overhang. Karl Hanlon knows when a potential problem arises and has the work ethic to fix it.

This is only one of the many things that makes Karl Hanlon an amazing candidate for State Senate District 8. Whether it’s building a shed or fighting for better healthcare my dad doesn’t just know what he wants changed, he actually knows how to change it.

I’m 16, so I am not old enough to vote, but I’m urging all of you to vote Karl Hanlon for State Senate District 8.

Zane Hanlon

Menconi is the type of candidate who keeps me hopeful for the future

I’ve been a resident of Colorado for 17 years. I’m only 20, so most of what I know and love comes from this small mountain community. I’m writing to endorse a candidate for state senate, but before I do, let me tell you a little about me.

I graduated from Summit High in 2018. I was a politically active student – I started the ACLU People Power group at SHS, volunteered for several political campaigns, and, by the time I got to college in NYC, was involved with several youth activism organizations like Sunrise Movement. I believe that my generation doesn’t have the luxury of indifference – the world is changing rapidly, and we have a responsibility to raise our voice. If not us, who? If not now, when?

Arn Menconi is the type of candidate who keeps me hopeful for the future. He’s been endorsed by Sunrise, supports Medicare for all (important, given we have some of the highest healthcare costs in the country), the Green New Deal (important, given our economy depends on the environment), and is passionate about immigration reform in our increasingly diverse community. When I spoke to Arn, he was engaged and eager to listen to his constituents. As we discussed my concerns on environmental justice, police accountability, and community welfare, I felt heard.

We deserve to be heard by our legislators. We deserve a community that takes care of each other and our environment. I believe that with Arn as our state senator we will have leadership that is engaged, with a clear vision of what Colorado could become. I love Colorado – I believe we can set a positive example for the country, reflecting the best of what America could become.

I’m voting for Arn Menconi on the 30th. I hope you do, too.

Priya Subberwal,

Under a National Popular Vote, the people will pick the President

A National Popular Vote offers all of America one hugely important guarantee: the candidate who receives the most popular votes across all 50 states and the District of Columbia will always become the President of the United States.

Five times in our history, and twice in just the last 20 years, the winner of the popular vote was denied the White House. The Electoral College – not the people – picked the President. Under a National Popular Vote, the people will always pick the President. That’s because Colorado and the other jurisdictions that become part of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact – which becomes effective when the total reaches 270 electoral votes – agree to award all of their electors to the winner of the popular vote. That’s good for Colorado and good for America!

Reader asks National Popular Vote opponents: “What are you afraid of?”
Here’s a simple question for those who oppose Colorado’s entry into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact: Why shouldn’t the President of the United States be the person chosen by the majority of Americans across 50 states and DC?

Under the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, states combining 270 electoral votes or more – enough to elect a president – agree to award their electoral votes to the nationwide winner of the popular vote. The voices of your state’s voters would be amplified, the Electoral College would stay in place, and no one’s vote would be cancelled out for not going along with the majority in any particular state. In other words, every voter would become politically relevant in determining who becomes president.

Again, why would anyone fear a system that promotes fairness and equality? Under a National Popular Vote, the people will always pick the President.

Diane Birmingham,
Grand Junction

The country must come together!

There is an economical, environmental, and political crises all at once in America! There are 20 million jobs gone, 43% of Americans are living below the poverty line and another 18,000 people soon to be put on the poverty lines, as those jobs are not coming back, due to the coronavirus. Over 120,000 people are dead from the coronavirus and thousands more are dying every day. All of the 15.8 million jobs that were created under Obama are gone! Sounds rather gruesome doesn’t it?

We so badly need a leader who has a strategy and to be truthful with the American people at all times! These is very scary times we are living in. The scariest part is that the leader of our country is a pathological liar and so very few people believe anything that comes from his mouth, including our once allies!

We have a much more diverse society than we had 60 years ago. We cannot go back, but must go forward with more progressive ideas of the young people. They are now proving that with their protests, are they not? We need a leader with intelligence, experience, empathy and the ability to bring people together. We have none of those qualities in the current president.

The coronavirus is accelerating the social and political crises. There must be a change of policy in all of the systems in our country. The privileged people must become more empathetic to the plight of the minorities in this country. This is a democracy, if we can keep it! I still have faith in America and faith that we will elect a president that will always do the next right thing for America! In the meantime, we as individuals need to do the next right thing! We need to wash our hands often, wear the masks and vote in November!

Linda Carr

Wednesday letters: Monuments, march, Hanlon, march, masks, and Hanlon

Statues and monuments

History is important. Not all of it is something to be proud of, not all of it represents who we are or hope to be today, but it is part of our development as a nation, as a people. Perhaps in this tumultuous time, we can reflect on our history as a nation. We don’t have to go back centuries, merely a few hundred years. Much of the West, including the town of Carbondale, became home to Civil War survivors who were sent west by the United States government to settle the lands still held by signed Treaties with the native people still living in the Crystal River Valley.

Many of our activities as a new nation are recognized by the statues put in place throughout the country. Each one represents a chapter that demands review. We cannot change that history by destroying the monument.

Instead of destruction, perhaps we might use this opportunity to review the true history each statue represents and educate today’s societies about the impact of the actions represented. A brass plaque engraved with historic information would do more to support the concept that ALL Lives Matter and to encourage historical knowledge.

Perhaps, before the Trump Monument, the costly Border Wall, is built, we can halt construction, before it, like the Berlin Wall, becomes an international incident.

Dorothea Farris,
Crystal River Valley

Respect was not demonstrated by anti-BLM group

During my high school years at Rifle High School in the late 1960s I was the only vocal person to protest the Vietnam War. So, I am well versed in having a minority opinion. When my foster brother, David Girardo, was killed in Vietnam in May 1969, I had a difficult time reconciling his death at age 20 in a war I did not support. But on the day, we carried David’s coffin to the Rifle Cemetery, the main streets in Rifle were lined with community members giving silent support to David’s brother, Larry and to my parents, my brother and me. My heart swelled with pride for my community.

Last Friday evening at the BLM walk and rally, I was ashamed of my hometown. I was unable to make the walk but went to the police department for the rally. Motorcycles were stopped and stayed about one-half block away, but the extremely loud music and the revving of engines did not stop – in fact it was so loud we were unable to hear most of the speakers.

The BLM supporters have the right of peaceful assembly, as do the anti-BLM supporters; but respect was not demonstrated by the anti-BLM group. It is inconceivable that everyone will agree (everyone has an opinion and as Americans we have the right to our opinion); but it should be conceivable that each person demonstrates respect for the differing opinion. There was no respect from the anti-BLM group. Did it make me angry? NO – just sad and ashamed.

I learned values and respect at my parent’s home and at Rifle High School where my father was the principal. I in turn, taught these to my seven children (one of which is a law enforcement officer). I have been marching and rallying in support of my beliefs for 51 years; just as Sam Adams and his followers threw that tea into the harbor, which changed the course of our country’s history. The peaceful BLM participants are members of this area also and we deserved better than what we received from our community.

Mary Moore

Hanlon will work to accelerate renewable energy options

In this time of significant threats to our public health and our public lands, I urge you to vote for Karl Hanlon for Senate District 8.

I know Karl and his wife Sheryl, through my work at their nonprofit Smiling Goat Ranch, which provides therapy to kids with autism and veterans with PTSD.

Karl’s passion for helping led him to become a protector of our public lands. He worked for six years on the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement, successfully securing water rights for the West Slope in negotiations that brought together more than 25 jurisdictions across the state.

Karl was also active in the fight against the mine expansion in Glenwood Springs, and has provided local leadership during COVID-19 pandemic.
As a Colorado State Senator, I believe Karl Hanlon will work to accelerate renewable energy options, protect public lands, bring down the cost of health care, and improve the lives of working families.

Sue Gray,

The shame of Rifle

Armed vigilantes, some dressed in camouflage fatigues, marched alongside the peaceful protesters heckling and intimidating from Rifle City Hall to the police station. What’s with the guns? The protesters/terrorists that wanted to show Gov. Jared Polis they disapproved of his stay at home order were packing assault rifles.

Are the Trumpsters trying to tell us when the civil war starts after their man gets beat in November, the other guys may outnumber them, but they’ll have more firepower? Sorry, Rambo, we’re not scared. Statements from Generals Kelly, Mattis, and Miley lately have indicated the military may be on America’s side, not yours.

A motorcycle gang rode by gunning their engines so as to make as much racket as possible. Garfield County sheriff’s deputies witnessed all this and did nothing.

Once they’d disrupted the BLM protest, the haters took to social media. Alex Sanchez, a march participant and managing director of the nonprofit Voces Unides de las Montanas, was targeted. He was told to go back to Mexico.
Aren’t the social media outlets supposed to glean out these hate messages? I hope Sanchez replied by informing the xenophobe that Mexicans were in this area long before European whites arrived, so maybe he’s the one who ought to go back home.

Rifle, Silt, and New Castle was my beat when I wrote for the old Glenwood Post. I know the vast majority of Rifle’s citizens cherish diversity and welcome the immigrants that come to their city. The troublemakers mentioned above are just a noisy minority making Rifle look bad. I wish the good people of this fair city would speak up and condemn these kind of actions.

Fred Malo Jr.

The tidal changes of wearing a mask

Imagine this. You go in for surgery and are met by the surgeon and staff all wearing blood-stained clothing, blood from their previous surgeries. The staff have just come from visiting other patients and none of them has washed their hands. Neither the operating room nor the surgical tools are ever cleaned or sterilized.

Sound far-fetched? This was very common in the mid 1800s as nobody had heard of germs. When Joseph Lister first introduced the notion of antiseptic surgery in 1867, he was initially met with scorn and derision. It wasn’t until 1890 that antiseptic practices were widely accepted and deployed as the result of the preponderance of evidence that it dramatically reduced the rate of infections and subsequent deaths.

This illustrates how science progresses. From initial conjecture, to debate and further research, until the preponderance of evidence either supports or refutes the theory. Even then, you will always find holdouts against whatever the conclusion. The scientific process is messy. It is almost never a straight shot from theory to acceptance.

So it is with wearing masks.

Both the WHO and CDC at the beginning of the pandemic were primarily concerned with the limited supply of Personal Protective Equipment (including masks). They feared that if the general public hoarded masks, then only a small portion of the public would be protected and it would potentially decimate the front line health workers, leaving no one to care for the infected. They thought that in light of limited evidence as to mask effectiveness, that it was better to recommend against their use.

Now the ready supply of masks and the preponderance of evidence of their effectiveness has convinced the WHO and CDC to recommend that the general public wear masks to slow down the spread of COVID19, particularly given the fact that you can be symptom free and still spread the virus.

Why not take advantage of the science stacked in your favor and wear masks to protect others and encourage friends to wear masks to protect you and yours.

Jerome Dayton,

Hanlon chose career to serve community

I am writing in support Karl Hanlon for Colorado State Senate District 8’s Democratic Primary.

As his daughter, I am able to speak to Karl’s character in a way no one else can. One story about Dad stands out the most. When I was choosing what I wanted to do with my college career, I asked him how he made his choice. He told me that he always wanted to be able to make a difference. He saw a need for the people in power to protect the lands and water that make this state the amazing place that it is. Dad didn’t wait for someone else to step up to the plate, he chose to go to law school so he could help make the changes our state needed. It always stayed with me, even after I chose a school, that as a young adult my father chose his career path based not on what he liked to do, but rather where his skills would allow him to best serve his community.

Not long after that conversation, he told me he wasn’t sure his law career enabled him to do enough. I asked him what would? At the time, neither of us knew the answer. Recently, he came to us as a family and asked for our support again, this time for Colorado State Senate District 8.

I of course am supporting my dad, and I hope you will join me in voting for, Karl Hanlon.

Zoe Hanlon

Tuesday letters: Juneteenth march, Glenwood Council, and Trump not keeping us safe

Motorcycle harassment, intimidation were attempts to silence protesters

I marched in the Juneteenth demonstration on Friday evening in Rifle. I thought perhaps the rest of the community would like to hear about it from one participant’s point of view.

The many protestors who came to peacefully march to support equality and an end to systemic racism for our black and brown brothers and sisters were greeted by armed men holding AR-15s on the corner of Railroad Avenue and Third Street. We persisted and peacefully passed.

We were then met with a gang of motorcycles who were waiting for us. They pulled out next to us as we marched and revved their bikes. They followed us down Railroad Avenue (holding up traffic behind them) and made sure that they drowned out our chants. We persisted and peacefully continued our march.

The motorcycles pulled into a parking lot on our side of the street and waited for us again. As we passed, they revved their engines and pushed exhaust and dirt in our faces. We persisted and peacefully continued our march. This whole scenario repeated itself again and again as we made our way down Railroad Avenue.

The police were stationed all along the demonstration route and at the final rally site to keep the counterprotesters (waving TRUMP 2020 flags) away from the demonstration. Our protesters were courteous to the police and we sincerely thanked them at the end of the rally for keeping us safe.

I had no issue with the counterprotesters. They were exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech just as we were. They did not agree with our position which is their right. However, the motorcycle harassment and intimidation tactics were an attempt to silence us. They do not have the right to prevent us from exercising our First Amendment rights. As these protest marches will most certainly continue in Rifle, I suggest that Railroad Avenue be closed to traffic for the safety of all participants.

Laurie Lawrence

Tired of misplaced monetarily motivated decisions

I continue to be amazed at the attention and money being spent by the City on the roundabout as you approach our new bridge. There are at least 25 trees, many shrubs and flowers with a cost of $120,000. The total contract with Gould cost $687,000. This in an area that is beautified for people in cars passing through on their way to someplace else.

I would like to see the city council give as much consideration to the piece of land we call North Landing Park, for some beautification. People actually pass through this area on foot. Currently our nice marble artwork is ingloriously crowding the sidewalk. The rest of the area is vacant with not one tree, flower or shrub. They have maintained the dandelions with poison, watch out kids and dogs, and water the patchy grass.

I can hear and see I-70 from up the hill at Fourth Street on Pine. A few well placed trees on the south side of this piece of property would benefit North Glenwood and every room in the hotel that faces south and west.
The city is holding hostage this small piece of property, as well as the beautiful riverfront piece that was the location of the sewer plant, waiting for some dream developers to make the right offer. The sewer plant property is behind barbed wire to make sure no human sets foot. Vision from the council might recognize that, in this contracted economy, it would be best to take a different tack; one favoring citizens rather than pie in the sky development.

North Glenwood is the location of the pool, our elegantly historic Hotel Colorado and the Adventure Park and new hot springs. If not for these attractions people would drive through our stupendous roundabout and just keep driving. It doesn’t take long to eat on Seventh Street and experience the improvements under the bridge. We would not be a destination resort but for the north side drawing cards.

I am so tired of misplaced monetarily motivated decisions. Let’s try to make the city better for its citizens. A few trees, flowers and food trucks would not cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

There was a rumor the garden club was becoming involved. What happened? Perhaps Gould would donate some big trees for North Landing Park. Where’s the ice cream truck?

Barb Coddington,
Glenwood Springs

Trump not keeping us safe

Our fake-news president has lost interest in keeping Americans safe. Last Wednesday, Trump declared that COVID-19 is “fading away.” Therefore, the White House task force on the pandemic will now be meeting just twice a week. Meanwhile, even Fox News reported virus numbers surging in many parts of the US, as well as worldwide. To get comprehensive, accurate information, see www.worldometers.com. Currently, thanks to our bungling, anti-science president, the U.S., which has only 4.2% of the world’s population, has 26.2% of the world’s cases. Is this Trump’s plan to “Make America Great Again”?

Annette Roberts-Gray

Monday letters: Council priorities, harmony, Blake gate, Tipton

Council ethics document is a waste of time

Editor’s note: An exception was made for the length of this letter. Anyone interested in responding is encouraged to submit their piece to Editor Peter Baumann at pbaumann@postindependent.com. Responses will be provided the same amount of space.

I listened to a meeting of the City Council on June 10 regarding the “ethics document” being considered and reported in the Monday Glenwood Springs Post Independent article.

I do not know what the back story to this effort is. I have been to many, many council meetings over many years and have not seen poor behavior from the public or the council. I do not know what they do to each other behind the scenes. Evidently I do not want to know after seeing this.

For me, this document builds potholes to push people/councilors into when they have a dissenting thought and dare communicate them. There is an agreement portion of the document on taking the oath of office councilors are asked to agree with that can be used later to ask/require a councilor resignation. 

This is a bully document. We do not need lockstep agreement on this or any government organization. What are the council’s goals? To take time and effort that equals money and priorities to expand the Golden Rule into nine plus pages is not a needed or efficient use of resources. 

Six of you perceive yourselves as more important than any citizen or community voice — or anyone who dares to disagree. Problem is that’s not OK and does not work for Glenwood Springs. 

The following is a partial list of where your time and effort could be positively directed instead of this waste of time.

• Streets are all paved and we have no potholes. Traffic is managed and there are no long waits to access throughways at any time of the day. Including the timing of the stoplights throughout the city.

• Failing infrastructure is repaired and replaced.

• No COVID here because of proactive measures and all businesses have been rescued, all residents have rent and mortgages secured.

• Utilities have been assessed and citizens are being charged a reasonable payment. This includes monitoring cable TV charges.

• Day cares are provided at a reasonable rate so parents can know children are safe when they go to work.

• All Glenwood residents who want and need to work are able to do so in safe and healthy work environments.

• Recycling is effective and making money both now and in the extended future. We are proactively planning for climate change here.

• There is an active and evolving plan to communicate with citizens of Glenwood Springs and the City Council that is effective and engaging citizens in the process of government. The voice of community members is solicited, valued, honored and heard. Perhaps we see you at times you are not asking for a vote.

• Parks are maintained well, inviting and safe.

• Tax dollars are being spent with citizen needs the first priority and tourist needs further down the priority list. 

• Speed limits are enforced in the city so it is safe to use the streets for people, their children, their pets, bikers and vehicles.

• There is an active plan being implemented to provide reasonable housing for those who just work a regular job or have lived here for many years and do not want to get pushed out to another community because they either cannot afford housing or they cannot maintain housing. $2,000+ for a one bedroom is not reasonable.

• Senior housing including assisted living and long-term care is being added to the inadequate inventory of this type of housing.

• There are no Glenwood residents who are hungry.

• There is a plan for homeless people that is humanitarian and works to solve the foundational problems that lead to homelessness.

• There is a communitywide volunteer program that assures that senior and disabled citizens get help they need regarding food, finances, shelter, and companionship.

• Nonprofits that assist community members have city support to assist in meeting vital needs. 

• Citizens should be enlisted to participate in community building and plans and not expensive in-town or out of town “consultants” who negate that those of us who live here are more aware of what needs to be done than the “consultants” are. Stakeholders and consultants on city projects should be citizens of Glenwood Springs. 

This list should keep you busy.

Government is about the people you represent and what is important to them. Not about meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting. Not about finding outside consultants. Not about you. Not about middle school politics.

No wonder I talk to no one in the community who feels they are in any way connected to what is happening or that their voices mean anything.

The community has problems that need proactive conversation and action. This document is about covert politics. 

You should all resign if this “ethics” sham is your priority. You should be more worried about what Glenwood‘s priorities are.

Cheryl Cain

Glenwood Springs

Harmony is a design

The universe is not chaotic and unpredictable, it is a carefully written program. 

“God does not play dice.” 

— Albert Einstein

Harmony is a design created by an intelligent designer. Music, love, joy, peace creates a song; chaos is noise, confusion, disorder.

If we leave things to random chance, language, order is garbled and chaotic, the result is noise, the transfer of information has ceased and cacophony (use of harsh words) takes its place. 

We are designed, we have a designer, all we have to do is believe and confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died to free us from our sins. God created all things and keeps all things in harmony but we do have to submit and surrender our will to him.

Thank you.

Kristi Gill


Opening Blake Gate a bad idea

I believe the best thing about small towns is that we all still care about each other.

In Glenwood Springs, will those who live without traffic help those who live with it every day?

Connectivity is a popular term used and currently prioritized by our elected officials and serving government, but it means different things to residents depending on where their home front is.

Approximately 4,700 households make up our town. Of that number, around 250 homes (5%) have daily curbside exposure to traffic that moves through the heart and valley floor of our community.

 95% have a private, mostly traffic-free existence away from the fast and the furious who race along the valley floor toward destinations somewhere else.

Curbside exposure teaches us quickly that the only connectivity for a motorist to their environment is simply their tires to the pavement. We witness that barely a thought is given to the speeds driven, crosswalks encroached on, school zone speeds or stop signs. The daily number of motorists as reported by Matt Langhorst, (Post Independent 3/1/2020): 25,000 on Grand, 17,000 on Midland and 5,000 on Blake (47,000 per day). This threat to our community continues to grow with every expansion and new project.

Right now, our elected representatives are considering exposing another quiet neighborhood to the insatiable appetite of motorists seeking a marginally more convenient alternative to Grand Avenue by opening the “Blake Gate.” This action would directly connect it to the reported Blake traffic of 5,000, the busy Roaring Fork Marketplace and traffic from Highway 82. The neighbors of Palmer and Blake are justifiably fearful of this connection. During the Grand Avenue Bridge construction our valley floor experienced firsthand what vehicles will do when accessing every available route: It creates an unlivable home life.

In this narrow, precious, geographically challenged valley help us encourage our representatives to choose preserving what remains of our community over accommodating auto-mobility. 

 Residents are saying clearly we are afraid of this impending future. If you have ever felt intimidated or at risk by traffic you understand what we are talking about. Contact your City Council and encourage them to pursue a policy of restraint, listen to residents and follow due process.

Do not sacrifice any more of Glenwood to the damaging exposure to traffic.

 We need your voice, your influence, we need your help.

Diane Reynolds

Glenwood Springs

Chance to vote against Tipton

Any readers that want to get rid of Scott Tipton can use their primary ballot to vote for his opposition on the Republican ticket. They can then vote for who they want in November. Tipton has voted against preserving 400,000 acres in Colorado and has voted with Trump 94.6% of the time.

Gary Pax


Friday letters: Landlord/tenant issues, Tipton, gas lease sale, wear masks, commissioners, Menconi, City Council

Mountain Voices Project helping with landlord/tenant issues

The Mountain Voices Project (MVP) represents 29 institutions from Aspen to Parachute: nonprofits, schools and faith-based organizations. We have been listening to our valley for over six years. COVID-19 disrupted our lives. 

We have heard from meetings within and among our institutions as well as countless phone calls to tenants, landlords, banks and others. Housing is the most substantial monthly expense most people have and therefore is the biggest worry for many. 

“Will I be able to find the money from somewhere? Will my landlord treat me well? What do the different laws and protections mean?” 

Landlords are concerned as well: “How can I collect the money I need if tenants can’t find work? How can I help those struggling with joblessness or housing insecurity?”

Housing instability in our community affects us all. We lose valuable members of our community if they fear eviction. Landlords lose money if their renters flee. Our economy hurts when we expect those that lost jobs to figure this out on their own. We are in this together and can solve this together.

For landlords or tenants that cannot come to an amicable agreement, please call the following number for free mediation: 970-230-3935.

You can learn more about MVP at: https://www.mountainvoicesproject.com/member-institutions/.

If this letter appears in time, please attend the June 16 county commissioners meeting via zoom at 8 a.m. to learn specifics about our three-county housing proposal and voice your support if you are so inclined. https://www.garfield-county.com/. (The link opens about five minutes before the meeting starts.)

If we all come together to dream big and act courageously, we can recover together.

Ron Kokish


In support of Scott Tipton

We support Scott Tipton. He has worked tirelessly to help provide legal seasonal workers for farmers, ranchers and fruit growers in western Colorado. The wool growers bring in Peruvian herders to care for the sheep in the high country every year with Scott Tipton’s help. They cannot hire experienced herders locally.

Migrant seasonal farmworkers are here legally and work for the season. Talk of free housing for illegals is not true, but there are loans available to provide housing for workers coming in for the season to help the ranchers meet the stringent requirements for this required housing in Western Colorado. 

Farmers, ranchers and orchard owners appreciate the efforts of Rep. Tipton to bring in needed workers for the season, so it’s sad to hear these unfounded attacks against someone working so hard. 

Additionally, Scott Tipton understands water issues in western Colorado and has worked diligently to get legislation passed to help Powderhorn ski area maintain their water rights. That only happened because of Scott Tipton’s efforts.


John and Frances Justman 


September 2020 Utah oil and gas lease sale must be halted

The red rock canyons and bright blue skies of Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef are among the most beloved sights in the American West. 

And yet, despite, millions of visitors to these parks each year, the Trump administration and the Bureau of Land Management are proposing leasing a massive swath of land for oil and gas development. The BLM proposes to sell 77 oil and gas leases on 114,000 acres of public lands this coming September. 

This sale must be stopped. Once it happens, there is no turning back. Once a lease is issued, oil companies can develop for at least 10 years, often longer. 

People go to national parks seeking solitude and solace, not the sights and sounds of industrial development. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are finding this to be more true than ever before. 

Aldo Leopold once wrote, “I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in.” We are in very real danger of ensuring this will not be the case for the next generation. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. 

Unless we want this fate for our public lands, the September 2020 Utah oil and gas lease sale must be halted, and President Trump’s “energy dominance” policy must be reformed.

Shaina Maytum


Kudos to all the people who advocate mandatory masks

I was concerned when I read the comments from Heather Berge regarding the lack of protection from wearing masks. 

First I would like to know her qualifications. What is her actual area of expertise? A former medical researcher is a very broad and curious title. 

I have read and listened to at least 100 true medical people, of which I proudly consider myself. Heather is the only purported medical person?? who says there is no basis in science for wearing masks that I have heard or read. 

Please don’t believe everything you read. Masks save lives. 

Holly Glasier, RN


Elected officials putting industry profits before health of residents

Why is Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky lying to all of us listening to KMTS? Or is he just flagrantly incompetent, to the point where he has no idea how hundreds of thousands of dollars of our tax dollars are being callously spent to fight new state rules designed to protect families and children and grandparents and everyone living near natural gas rigs and storage tanks? Or is it somewhere in-between.

Garfield County is the lead county in a 34-page lawsuit challenging four new rules designed to reduce emissions of pollutants from oil and gas operations. The rules were adopted unanimously by the state Air Quality Control Commission last December.

When asked by KMTS news director Ron Milhorn if the county was suing to have a rule that requires increased inspection of wells and other infrastructure within 1,000 feet of homes, schools, playgrounds and other places people live and work, Jankovsky said the county was not. He then accused Western Colorado Alliance executive director Emily Hornback of being “misguided” in saying so.

I’m looking at the lawsuit that Commissioners Jankovsky, John Martin and Mike Samson are paying for with our tax dollars, and it’s quite clear that they are trying to take away this hard-earned protection for people in areas close to oil and gas development. In fact, the outcome they covet most is for the court to overturn this new rule.

It’s clear that Samson, Martin and Jankovsky value their donors in the energy industry more than the people who live here. I am from Garfield County and experienced the direct impacts of this industry when I lived up Divide Creek and an underground oil and gas explosion leaked hydrocarbons into ground water. Now I live in Mesa County where commissioners are taking the same actions to undercut these commonsense protections and are using the same excuses. I am tired of our local elected officials putting industry profits and their re-election efforts before the health of their residents.

Jacob Richards

Grand Junction

Vote for Menconi

I’m writing in support of Arn Menconi for state Senate.

I’ve known Arn for 18 years. First as a county commissioner who fought for people who did not have voices. He is not a conventional politician, and these are not conventional times. When Arn was a county commissioner, he fought and passed incredible amounts of legislation and funded numerous projects that at the time were controversial, such as early child care, affordable housing, green building codes and open space. Arn’s programs in early child care helped my son.

As I got to know Arn, I watched him grow a nonprofit for poor children of color in the most exclusive places in America – ski resorts like Vail, Steamboat, Park City, Durango and all across the country. In areas where the backbone of our workforce are undocumented or Latino. The charity he founded and ran for 21 years, SOS Outreach, helped over 60,000 children to have opportunities that prepared them for college and how to become leaders of change.

My friend Arn doesn’t talk the talk. He puts himself out there. Over the past five years, he’s traveled to New York City, D.C. and elsewhere to fight for social and climate justice. I’ve been on the other side of the phone call, when he’s told me about which senators, congresspersons, academics or think tank leaders he’s met and worked with that day.

Finally, I know Arn as a single parent who’s been through a lot. He’s got two amazing children that he put first. He doesn’t have a career. He has a calling to expose injustice and fight for the those who we care most for — our children. I promise if you vote for Arn he will have the courage, integrity and compassion to make the change we all hope for in these unconventional times.

Paul Kulas


Council’s priorities questionable

This letter is in regards to the City Council mayor wanting to rewrite the code of ethics. 

I am absolutely disturbed by everything that is happening, and you want to waste time with code of ethics? You have one in place now. 

With COVID and protests and your city businesses shutting down you want to waste time doing that? 

If you say this has nothing to do with Tony Hershey, you are lying. I know things did not go down properly on either side, but first you, the council, asked an elected official to leave. The people elected him. I do not think you would have liked it had the same been done to any of you not you. 

Just as a side note: I wrote seven City Council members a letter and two responded. I wish to thank those two who were kind enough to share their insight with me, Paula Stepp and Tony Hershey. The rest did not even acknowledge I sent a letter. So really that shows lack of respect there, too. 

Let it go, serve your time, and stop wasting the city’s time and money. This town is depending on you to get us back on our feet. There is enough going on without childish antics. 

Michelle Vogel

Glenwood Springs