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Dear Editor,

After listening to and attending the public hearings on the Crystal River Market Place I would like to publicly comment on the controversial subject.

Up front, I have always been for it. Too bad the first design didn’t pass because of all of the controversy against it. It would have fit into the decor of downtown Carbondale much the best, but that’s in the past. As for the blank wall facing west Main Street, what do the Ace Hardware and City Market building have facing Hendrick Drive? The applicant has said they would landscape it; make them do it. If the town staff and Town Council keep on top of this project, and they should be able to, it will work just fine.

I know it is scary for the small shops downtown; it would be very intimidating. But last year when we were traveling back east and to the West Coast, in mostly smaller towns, I paid special attention to the ones that had stores such as Wal-Mart and Target, etc., and they had special, attractive signs directing you to their “Old Towne” shopping area and we were drawn to these areas more than the big box mall.

But it was usually the big box shopping area that got us stopped in the first place, for essentials.

Our downtown is improving but it has a long way to go. I know the rent prices are astronomical and the prices of the commodities are high because of that, but sensible pricing would also help shopping locally and draw more tourists and out-of-town shoppers. Would it be possible for the EDC to talk to landlords to see if something could be done about high rents as the Town Council did a few years ago with City Market when Jim Luttrell was mayor? (They need to do that again, as I know a lot of grocery money is going to Glenwood from Carbondale because of prices.)

As far as Carbondale growing and changing, what do those people think happened when they moved to town? It changed 34 years ago when we moved to the area and it changed 30 years ago when the “hippies” moved to town and started the “Hippie Mountain Fair” and it changed 10 to 15 years ago when the legal and illegal immigrants started moving to town, and it has rapidly been changing ever since. You people that have moved here in the last five years to five months that are against this project, Carbondale has had traffic and population impacts from you also.

I am sorry, but growth is inevitable, unless you want it to be like China and build a big wall around the area and say sorry, no one else can move here!

As far as Highway 133 is concerned, why wait another five or 10 years? The cost is only going to increase; it will end up like Highway 82 did with Aspen fighting it for 25 years. And why does this developer have to foot so much of the portion of this reconstructing Highway 133? Why don’t Coop, Grand Junction Pipe, La Fontana, Red Rock Plaza, Cowen Center, Days Inn, Comfort Inn, City Market Shopping Center, Sopris Shopping Center, Clark’s Market Shopping Center, and other businesses on Highway 133 and other businesses in Pitkin and Gunnison counties that are also impacting Highway 133 have to pay a certain percentage of this reconstruction cost? I would think this would be a big relief as to the town’s expense also.

I have also noticed that a lot of the people that are against this project are not actual residents of the town and some are not actual homeowners or landlords in town; therefore, they will not be affected by the increase in property taxes in the next few years when the town’s finances decrease. There are a lot of us that are on fixed incomes that this will have a profound impact on.

As far as the reputation of Mr. Huster, whom I do not know, I am just curious as to how many of the good, upstanding businesspeople in town could pass the scrutiny he has gone through. I think we should all sweep out our own closets before we scrutinize others.

As far as people moving from the area because of this controversial project, the people that are against growth and development must be happy deep down as this is decreasing population and pollution.

As far as these other communities’ responses to this project, why are they involved? Did Rifle ask Carbondale if we thought they should let Wal-Mart build there and are they going to help us financially, and wouldn’t Silt accept a big box if they had a chanced?

I also think that it should be mandatory for all of the Town Council to be present when they vote to approve or deny this important project.

Thank you for letting me have my say. Happy Holidays!

Joan Cheney


Dear Editor,

Recently President Bush appeared before an audience in Philadelphia who are members of an unusual group dedicated to helping anyone in need. And they do mean “anyone.” It doesn’t matter if you are an addict with a problem, an individual released after serving a sentence for a felony, a dysfunctional family, a neglected child – whatever the problem, this group tries to help. It is an admirable program.

During the ceremony, by use of his executive power, President Bush signed a bill that provides access to federal funds to any group without regard to religious belief or teaching. No longer would money be denied to a group because “Methodist” or “Lutheran” or “Jewish” was in its name or its location. Mosques would also be eligible.

And the president assured the cheering audience that he would make it a priority to have Congress immediately pass the necessary funding bill upon its return Jan. 7, 2003. The president stated that this is an example of his “compassionate conservatism.”

Then a major TV evening news program interviewed a poor elderly woman in New Hampshire who lives in a tiny apartment. She cannot pay her heating bill since its costs have increased dramatically in recent years. So, she has closed off all but one room and is faced with the problem of trying to eat properly without heat while all bundled up. Another similar example was presented with an individual in the western United States.

In the past there has always been cold weather assistance from the cities or states who also received federal funds. Some power companies and other groups try to help. In this economic depression the need is too large for past measures to work.

The states are broke. The cities are broke.

And the federal government has now stated that, due to the budget deficit, there is no money available for the states or cities.

We seem to be able to appropriate umpteen billions for a new F-22 fighter which will handle problems in the future with whomever builds an air force to challenge us. That appropriation list could go on and on. Seems that protecting the health and welfare of the least able domestic population does not impress the right people.

Somehow “compassionate conservatism” is clearly missing.

Lorenz T. “Marty” Martensen

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor:

As the latest session of Congress wound down, Congressman Scott McInnis introduced legislation to establish the Red Table Mountain Wilderness Area. This action promptly drew criticism from some who one might fairly characterize as (and who would likely admit to being) radical environmentalists. The congressman’s action was seen as pre-emptive since the bill did not have time in the current session for passage and redistricting will move the Red Table Mountain area to Congressman Udall’s district by the time Congress reconvenes.

If it is pre-emptive to seek to preserve a wonderful wilderness area while protecting the water and grazing rights of rural Coloradans and maintaining an opportunity to continue high-altitude helicopter exercises for training members of our armed forces, then I say, “keep pre-empting, Scott!”‘

I view Congressman McInnis’ actions as proactive and reflective of his foresight in attempting to establish a marker by which to measure future legislation directed at establishing a Red Table Mountain Wilderness Area. Scott McInnis has represented the affected area for over 10 years and is well acquainted with the needs and goals of its residents. His bill provides a context for discussion of future wilderness legislation for the Red Table Mountain area which might be proposed by Congressman Udall or others.

As I recall, Congressman Udall initiated efforts to designate the James Peak wilderness area, which would extend into McInnis’ district. Those who immediately attack McInnis’ action as being somehow inappropriate are obviously motivated by politics and not by the varied interests of the people of rural Colorado.

New wilderness areas are needed to preserve the unique beauty of our state. But there must be balance in recognizing the interests of communities who rely on the resources of an area, such as the water which is vital to the town of Gypsum and surrounding communities. Scott McInnis has a reputation for looking out for the best interests of his constituents, regardless of the political fallout. He has made it clear that he is open to discuss his proposal with anyone who has genuine concerns and that he looks forward to working with interested groups on this wilderness designation.

Scott McInnis believes we can preserve our wilderness areas while benefiting from the resources a land has to offer. Thank you, Congressman McInnis, for bringing a reasoned and balanced approach to this often emotional issue.

Lynne Kerst

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

Undocumented immigrants? Is that journalistese for illegal aliens? Calling illegal aliens undocumented immigrants is slanted, unfair and dishonest reporting. You may as well call a burglar an uninvited guest.

Giving the illegal aliens low-cost tuition that you would deny to most U.S. citizens is unconscionable. It condones, rewards and encourages actions that are against the law and creates an even larger burden for U.S. and Colorado taxpayers.

Stanley Fix

Lake in the Hills,Ill.

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