Dear Editor,As the election deadline closes in on us, I find that some of the decisions are easy, and others are more difficult. How we can make an intelligent choice between sleazy, mud-slinging, professional politicians (read “liars”) is beyond me. But the contest for sheriff of Garfield County is a breath of fresh air – two good candidates, both qualified, both honorable. Sure, they have differences and there are issues that we can use to make our decisions, but for the most part, either of these men will make a good sheriff.I do have a question though: Like many rural Garfield County residents, I welcome Lou Vallario’s promise to increase patrols of the county’s roads. But I must ask him, as a ranking officer in the Glenwood Springs Police Department, whether or not he has tried to promote a similar increase in the city’s patrolling of city streets. Specifically, has he done anything to stop the wanton disregard of the traffic signals along Grand Avenue?All day, every day, drivers merrily blast through the yellow and then red lights, apparently comfortable in the knowledge that they won’t be stopped. Pedestrians blatantly disregard the “Don’t Walk” signs, further mangling an already horrific traffic snarl. Maybe a visible presence of the city’s finest would help us remember there are laws that (supposedly) govern the orderly movement of traffic, both wheeled and shoed, along our city streets.For what it’s worth, I feel a lot safer, a LOT safer, on my rural Garfield County road than I do at the intersection of 8th and Grand. How about a little help down there too?Thank you,Jim EllisNew Castle

Dear Editor,Vote no on 4A to $2.7 million per year for 20 years. Just because we have a natural disaster of a drought doesn’t mean the Colorado River Water Conservation District should use it as an opportunity to ram through a tax increase for unknown purposes. I doubt if the operators of the sprinklers on the golf courses up the valley have heard of the drought. They seemed to have been running during the daylight. Vote yes for Sheriff Dalessandri. When you have a person doing an excellent job, why replace him? I have lived in more counties than I can remember. But I do remember that none of them are as safe as this one! We have the potential for a lot of mischief and threats to our personal safety, so why throw out the man who is proven to have the ability to keep the lid on?Jim WrightGlenwood Springs

Dear Editor,This is in response to Dean Moffatt’s letter regarding his question about machine guns at the candidates’ forum in Glenwood Springs.I, too, handed in questions that the moderator did not ask. I did not take that as a personal affront, let alone some wild conspiracy of a cover-up.But allow me to answer your question about “Vallario purchasing a large amount of machine guns to convert the Glenwood Police Department into a para-military squad.”No, Lou did not purchase machine guns. To shed some light on this topic, Mr. Dalessandri’s sheriff department is equipped with similar weapons, as they should. Our police officers should have every tool they need to make their job safer.Since we are bringing up questions that were not asked, please allow me to ask the following:Is Mr. Dalessandri a full-time sheriff? Or is it true that he has, or has had while being our sheriff, an interest in a towing company, a used car business, rental properties, teaching on the side, and a private security business? The sheriff makes over $75,000 per year, which I would assume is meant to compensate the sheriff enough to devote his full time and energy to this job. Why does the press not ever look into these activities? And if the Post Independent does not see a problem with these extracurricular activities, why was it an issue in endorsing Georgia Chamberlain over Cheryl Chandler? Is it mudslinging to question the training deputies are currently receiving, when there have been incidents such as having a deputy drive through the scene of a fatal automobile accident? Or when a call came in from an avalanche where one young man died? The sheriff’s department spent hours trying to figure out if this tragedy had occurred in their jurisdiction before responding.This is not to blame the hardworking, caring folks at the sheriff’s department who we know would love to help. They were simply following Sheriff Dalessandri’s procedures. Lou will install procedures where the sheriff’s department will help first and check jurisdiction later in times of extreme emergency.You might ask why I would write this letter. I want a sheriff’s department that will respond when we have a problem, such as trespassers and theft. People speed past my house all day long, and I have not seen a deputy writing tickets on this county road (245 Road) in the past eight years.Ranchers and rural landowners have given up on this sheriff. To the readers out there, ask a law enforcement officer, fireman, or any other badge-wearing or emergency type folk in our community who they are supporting. I bet privately they will tell you “Vote for Lou Vallario,” as I encourage you to do!Sincerely,Brett JolleyNew Castle

Dear Editor,There is an alternative to Scott McInnis for the U.S. House of Representatives. It is Denis Berckefeldt, a New Deal Democrat.A graduate of the University of Southern Colorado, Denis stands for universal health care and an end to tax cuts for the wealthy that only raise the deficit and do little for the economy. He has taken a stance against war with Iraq as it could destabilize the Middle East.Berckefeldt is assistant to the Colorado Senate Democratic majority leader and is a first-time candidate who says he is not a real politician. If elected, he will move to Pueblo where he grew up. Rep. McInnis is running for his sixth term.Some of Berckefeldt’s positions:-Supports campaign finance reform;-Supports different forest management that does not subsidize logging companies;-Supports Roe vs. Wade, a women’s right to choose;-Supports stricter Securities and Exchange Commission regulations and an increased budget for enforcement;-Cesar Chavez should be a state paid holiday;-Supports expanding stem cell research;-Supports due process;-Believes government has a role in regulating corporations;-Does not support Amendment 31 on bilingual education.-Does not support the Missile Defense Program – it will not help catch bin Laden.Cathleen KraheCarbondale

Dear Editor,President Bush needs our votes! Republican efforts of the last two years are in a delicate balance and this election is pivotal. The war is in danger. We’ve got environmentalists, socialists, money-wasting educators, Saddam and terrorists on the run and we’re poised to make the kill.But all those efforts could be lost if Democrats grab House and Senate seats away from Republicans.Don’t let the hard work whither away. Vote Republican and help the war continue!Sincerely,John HoffmannCarbondale

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