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Dear Editor,

I am urging the Glenwood Springs City Council to vote unanimously no this coming Wednesday on the annexation request of the Red Feather Ranch subdivision, a.k.a the ignominious Four Mile Ranch development up Four Mile Road!

The reasons for a no vote are compelling and speak for themselves:



1. This annexation would thrash the urban growth limits as set in the Glenwood Springs Comprehensive Plan adopted as recently as 1999. One of the major goals of the plan is to “define the edge of the city and to stay within the lines.” Question: Why should we throw out this plan, the result of a great investment of time, talent and money, the first time a multi-billion-dollar out-of-town bank (Mid First Bank of Oklahoma) comes knocking on our door, crying for a bailout of a bad investment ?

2. The annexation would make a travesty of the Glenwood Meadows project, which is within one of the city’s core development areas. This approval process took almost three years of hard-nosed public and internal hearings in which the public’s concerns and suggestions were incorporated and addressed in the final approval.



3. There is no transparency on the part of MidFirst. While the city’s cards are on the table, we only know that MidFirst is desperate to shed a bad investment and eager to head back to Oklahoma as soon as a “deal” is closed. To sway the city they come bearing gifts: $400,000 towards a roundabout, $2,500 per house impact fees, six building lots for Habitat for Humanity and $100,000 for a park. That sounds impressive, but in truth these are small herrings in order to catch a whale.

4. So MidFirst is willing to kick in front end incentives valued at $600,000 to $800,000. That does not even begin addressing the impact and continuing costs to Glenwood Springs and specifically the surrounding neighborhoods of Cardiff Glen, Park West and Glenwood Park! If they would be truly committed to their development and to a mutually beneficial agreement with Glenwood Springs, they should be willing to help address the really pressing traffic problems of the neighborhood they plan to join.

5. For the moment let’s just consider the traffic impacts: South Midland Avenue, especially between the Old Cardiff Bridge Road and the Sunlight Bridge, is already carrying all the traffic it can bear. Because it is basically a narrow ledge precariously carved out of a steep mountain side, it cannot be widened. Homes immediately below this stretch of Midland are in constant danger of having a careless driver land on their roofs. The expected additional 600 car trips per day from Red Feather Ridge would further aggravate this traffic problem.

What is really needed here is a new road and bridge connection to Highway 82 just south of the airport. Cost estimates for this vary from $6 million to $8 million.

Hello, MidFirst, as an $8 billion bank and the largest and most profitable banks in Oklahoma City and as a “wannabe” neighbor could you, would you, provide long-term and low-interest financing?

In the meantime I am urging my neighbors and especially those in Glenwood Park, Park West and Cardiff Glen to attend the City Council’s public hearing on the Red Feather annexation at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at City Hall. No doubt you will be treated to a very slick and persuasive presentation by the able representatives of MidFirst. But then: Beware of strangers bearing gifts.

Sincerely,

Gerry Vanderbeek

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

This is in response to the dog shooting in New Castle on Dec. 4. I, as a resident, feel it was uncalled for.

It seems to me that New Castle has grown enough to warrant an animal control officer who is trained in ways to react to an animal charging them as the officer says happened to him.

I would also like to know how a dog-at-large call turns into an officer firing a deadly weapon at a school bus stop intersection. I, as a parent, was very disheartened to hear this, given I was never notified of the so-called danger in the area. If the officer was that fearful, then should there not have been backup to make sure no one was out in their yard doing something? After all we are talking about the same police department that couldn’t hit a goat a few years back.

I’m sure that the officer knew the dog was from the area. I know from experience, because officers have come to my home many times in the past checking on my dogs, which are Rottweilers, although not this time.

I feel sorry for the dog and its owner. Our family sends its best to the family of the dog in question. I do feel that the officer in question should be reprimanded for discharging a firearm in city limits under these circumstances. It seems the officer let fear cloud his judgment, and that could have put people in grave danger.

Thank you,

Eddie Godfrey

New Castle

Dear Editor,

At last! The Glenwood Springs City Council is thinking about addressing one of society’s issues – car drivers talking on their cell phones. It has been well documented that conversing on the cell phone causes a significant loss of attention to crucial driving issues. The human brain just wasn’t designed for that much multi-tasking. Any distraction while driving is dangerous

No one wants more laws. I know there are some people who say “Enough! We already have too much infringement on our personnel freedoms.” When society behaves with responsibility, laws aren’t needed. But when the public safety is at risk, something has to give. If it’s a choice between someone chit-chatting on their phone to pass the time on their daily commute (which I know to be true from friend’s recounts), and reducing the chance of being involved in an auto accident, I think it’s only common sense and common decency to forgo the phone. As the bumper sticker says, “Hang up and Drive.”

As one reformed cell phone user asked, “Can you watch a television show (one with a plot) and simultaneously carry on a coherent conversation with someone else?” The answer, of course, is no, you can’t. So why do we think we can “talk and drive?”

Until recently, we all got along pretty well without the ubiquitous cell phone. Is it asking too much to save your conversation until you got home, and in the process, possibly save a life? Maybe yours? Maybe mine? Maybe our children’s?

Roxanne Morris

Carbondale

Dear Editor,

Once again I was put off by Carbondale’s favorite right-wing pontificator, Dick Bradley, whose recent letter used the phrase “whiney liberals” four times. Bradley vilified me two years ago when I wrote protesting Gale Norton’s nomination to the Interior Department. He somehow lumped my statements about her bogus environmentalism into a heap of anti-mall statements made by Carbondale residents, labeled us as a bunch of “haters,” and told us to leave Carbondale if we couldn’t be more tolerant. If the shoe fits, wear it, Mr. Bradley.

If “whiney liberal” is applicable, then why not “hypocritical conservative” to describe the Republican party faithful? A hypocrite is someone concerned more about appearances and personal gain than maintaining principles and the greater good. In “Democracy in America” de Toqueville wrote, “The vulgar masses are taken by appearances, and the world is made up of the vulgar masses.” The voting bloc that decides every election is the unaffiliated swing votes, many of whom may not even have a high school education, though they have the awesome power to affect the world through their vote.

Bradley’s point that Bush may not have skillfully manipulated these voters is valid. However, the powers that have traditionally made up the Republican Party were so skillful in projecting the appearance of creating greater good that they did manipulate these voters into creating long-term damage to the world through their misplaced vote.

The NRA sends paranoid letters to every person who buys a hunting license stating that Democrats will take away their god-given right to own a bazooka. The “Sportsmen For Bush,” who vote Republican to supposedly preserve their outdoor heritage and right to bear any and all arms, are duped into getting someone like Norton in charge of their public lands. Instead of preserving that legacy it is sold off to the highest bidder to be developed and exploited. That voter also gets a president who pulls out of the Kyoto treaty, gutless senators who vote against raising fuel efficiency of autos, and a representative who has sold out to logging and wants to turn Red Table into a motorized amusement park.

Religious fundamentalists tell their clergies to vote Republican in order put the decision of what a woman should do with her own body in the hands of a politician, even if it means bringing up an unwanted child in poverty in an overpopulated world. Instead of creating a climate of goodwill and benevolence where all people are tolerated and valued, voting for Republican, faith-based systems prolongs mankind’s dependence on false and conflicting religions that continue to cause war. There is no “Word of God,” and there is no “Holy Land.” Believing there is will be the cause of World War III.

The mainstream corporate media also plays a large part in manipulating the masses. With the daily update on “Target: Iraq,” the media has effectively already put us at war for quite some time, shifting voters to the right and diverting attention away from Osama bin Laden and the dismal state of the economy.

Then there are the shamelessly slanted hypocrites such as Rush Limbaugh and Mr. Bradley, who tell us that the average voter is tired of tax-and-spend welfare and bureaucracy. Instead, they vote for corporate welfare through tax cuts that have put the government back into deficit. They vote for more power to corporations that cut jobs, cut health insurance and steal retirement savings, who view people ultimately as expendable. That voter still gets a huge amount of bureaucracy, except it is more palatable to right wingers – the most defense spending in 20 years, and a Homeland Security Department with unlimited intrusive police powers.

Through their energy policies and subsidies to extractive, polluting industries, the Republicans have proven that they are not only shortsighted, but determined to cut, pave, drill, drive and pollute ourselves into oblivion as quickly as possible. What Bush, Allard, Campbell, and McInnis should be subsidizing is wind and solar power and organic farming. They need to create a sustainable legacy for future generations.

That is why I proudly call myself a liberal – because I believe it is government’s role to create a legacy for the greater good of mankind instead of selling out to the short-term interests of individuals. The only legacy the current hard-line Republicans stand for is one of greed, division, commercialism, pollution, and exploitation.

David E. Johnson

Carbondale

Dear Editor,

Chapter AO, P.E.O. would like to thank the community for its support of our 10th annual “Elegant Auction” and luncheon, held Dec. 6.

Through the generosity of those women who participated in the live auction, we are able to give major financial support to a local nonprofit. This year’s designated agency was the Family Visitor Program. These proceeds also fund two book scholarships awarded to local graduating seniors.

A special thanks goes to the Hotel Colorado and their friendly staff where the function was held, the Hot Springs Pool for allowing us to use their upper parking lot, Julie’s Printworks for discounting the tickets, and the Thymes and Arbonne skin care products for the wonderful door prizes.

Sincerely,

Kathy Feinsinger

Annibet Griffin, co-chairs

Glenwood Springs


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