GSPI rushed to judgment on rails editorial | PostIndependent.com

GSPI rushed to judgment on rails editorial

Post Independent Writer

Dear Editor,I was very disappointed in your recent editorial regarding the former Rio Grande Aspen Branch rails. Your editorial board seems to be shooting from the hip, rather than allowing this offer to work its way through appropriate channels. Fortunately, the RFTA Board is taking a calm and cool approach, directing the use of an independent, hopefully unbiased, outside consultant to analyze the value of the rails and whether a tourist railroad would better serve the community.You wrote, in part: “That’s a good chunk of change for tracks that haven’t been in use for quite some time. This seems like a no-brainer.” … snip. Wrong! That $900,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost that will be incurred when the environmental mitigation “bells” start to go off! By changing the use of the rail corridor, there will be enormous cleanup costs, and guess who gets the bill for that? You and I, through RFTA.Let’s all just cool down and wait for this issue to work its way through the machinery. We just may end up with both a real “cash cow” for the valley and a nice trail.Jan GirardotGlenwood SpringsRepresentatives need to recognize this is ‘the people’s country’Dear Editor,This is part of a letter I sent to all of our congressmen/ women:”The people’s country”: Lately our government has not had that term in mind. It seems as though we have been the land of our government. I would just like to remind everybody that the people of America run this country. With out the people, the government would not survive. We elect them, pay their salaries, we’re supposed to communicate to them what is best for us. Isn’t that one of the things that is supposed to make this country great?What happened to priorities? What’s more important, our schools, children, and social services, or false accusations of weapons of mass destruction and freeing people that don’t want us anywhere near their country? America needs to start thinking about what’s more significant to them.Although, my generation cannot vote, it is us that will be left with the mistakes made during the last four years, and the mistakes that can be made during the next four years. We have fewer jobs and more outsourcing. When Bush entered office, Clinton left him with a national deficit of nothing; it is now at an immense amount. It is my generation that has to fix these things.Thank you,Lydia TonozziGlenwood SpringsVote ‘yes’ on Renewable Energy InitiativeDear Editor,Renewable energy will likely reduce energy rates and promises not to raise rates more than 50 cents per month. Amendment 37 would increase Colorado’s use of renewable energy from 2 percent to 10 percent by 2015. Simple and moderate, the Renewable Energy Initiative is a smart use of natural resources and money. Vote “yes” on Amendment 37. Lorraine PoulsonGrand JunctionBush should have gotten facts straight before attacking IraqDear Editor,Recently, Secretary of State Colin Powell released the statement that no weapons of mass destruction are likely to be found in Iraq. The fear that Saddam had these terrible weapons was the foundation for President Bush’s call for war.Now the Republicans are saying that it doesn’t matter blah, blah, blah and the Democrats counter with more yak, yak, yak. What a bunch of baloney.It doesn’t matter if Bush is a Republican or a Democrat. The point is this – any president that doesn’t get his facts straight before sending our fine young people into harm’s way doesn’t deserve to be the commander in chief.Joe MollicaGlenwood SpringsIs this what they teach in journalism school?Dear Editor,The Glenwood Springs Post Independent’s downward spiral in news coverage leaves me gasping for breath sometimes. Two recent examples make it hard for me to defend a continued subscription service in our family.Today’s (Sept. 15) front-page teaser about the recipe section of the newspaper that is probably from a pap feature service was appalling, but not near as bad as the Sept. 13 back page article about how to find a good insurance agent that was written by agents of the Colorado Farm Bureau insurance company. That article was surrounded by two advertisements from the same company. What do your other insurance advertisers think of that?Apparently things have changed a lot since I went to journalism school. It looks to me like it’s time to hire another reporter to actually give us better valley news and feature coverage. Maybe you can get another photographer.We’d at least rather see our kids, family and friends in more feature shots in our local newspaper.Paula SteppGlenwood SpringsEditor’s note: The Post Independent uses Mick Rosacci, a Denver-area chef, for the majority of its food pages. The page has been a long-standing feature. Every so often, we use wire services for the food page. We almost always tease the food page from the front page. Regarding the writer’s point about the insurance ads, the whole page was an advertisement, even the “item” that looked like a news story. The page wasn’t properly labeled as an advertisement, and for that we apologize.It’s not too early to take a position on Roan drillingDear Editor,Larry McCown and John Martin think it’s too early for the county to take a position regarding drilling on the Roan Plateau. The gas and oil companies are going ahead and drilling wells everywhere. Have you seen how ugly they have made the area between Rifle and Parachute? And they are ruining Grass Valley. Are the oil and gas companies taking a wait-and-see attitude?I won’t vote for anyone that thinks it’s too early for the county to take a position regarding drilling on the Roan Plateau. That means Larry McCown and John Martin.Janice SchwenerRifleCandidate pledges to protect plateauDear Editor,Nancy Zi, in a Post Independent letter to the editor Sept. 15, expressed an interest in where other candidates (other than the candidates for county commissioner who expressed their views in the Post Independent Aug. 29) stand on protecting the Roan Plateau. As a third-party candidate for state representative (House District 61), I stand firmly for protecting the Roan! Furthermore, I support acquiring open space adjacent to our communities and for retaining the “roadless rule” on our national forest lands. Dale ReedGlenwood SpringsSelection of focus groups by county was wrongDear Editor,I agree with the GSPI’s editorial opinion that surveying focus groups is a good way for Garfield County to assess the desires of residents. But, as the recent editorial suggests, the county skewed its results. By inviting only property owners to participate, the focus group leaders failed to achieve a representative sample, demographically.In making decisions, the county should take into account that two statistically significant groups were excluded: the working poor, who carry the load in the economy’s service sector but remain chronically too poor to buy homes, and young adults, who haven’t accumulated the means to buy homes, but who will be deeply affected by today’s decisions. Thoughtful members of these populations would have provided different input.As an invited participant, I asked assistant county manager Jesse Smith about this. He told me that the county chose property owners as the pool for participants because property tax is the county’s biggest single revenue source (only 29 percent), and because the county has no list of renters, while the list of registered voters is actually shorter than that of property owners. But there’s always the phone book.This issue is important because, according to the results packet, county staff will use the results in strategic planning and in budgeting for 2005. The county should be cautious about basing decisions on the responses of fewer than 200 citizens chosen through a flawed selection process.Another thought: Could the county suddenly be interested in public opinion because it’s an election year?Jeremy HeimanGlenwood Springs


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