Letters to the Editor: May 20th, 2003

Dear Editor,Recently, the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 passed out of the House Resources Committee without a single hearing. The bill might better be called the Healthy Logging Industry Restoration Act of 2003. This bill contains no reference whatsoever to funding for communities like ours to address obvious dangers like clearing defensible areas close to residential areas. Instead, $125 million is tacked on to the $362 million that the Forest Service spent LAST year subsidizing commercial logging.The bill states point-blank that agency managers need not consider ANY alternatives to the plan that the manager conceives, effectively ignoring the National Environmental Policy Act. Court filings disagreeing with the decision must be filed within 15 days. Topping that, any cases must be resolved within 100 days, moving them ahead of criminal and civil cases in the docket; an interesting legal precedent, to say the least. In an atmosphere of panic and emergency, this bill is being touted as a way to break the administrative backlog. If you’d like to see meaningful legislation addressing the dangerous fuels buildup in our national forests and the ensuing threat to communities located near them, call Scott McInnis and ask him to re-evaluate HR 1904 and include wording from HR 1621, a bill that focuses funding at the community level. Such legislation would genuinely help protect our community from fires like last summer’s, rather than cut us out of the loop and give yet more money to the timber industry.Bob ShettelGlenwood Springs

Dear Editor,God is up for the highest bidder. That’s what happens if He is dead within a civilization. The fact that he is alive within, as Richard Nixon so aptly termed, “the silent majority” is becoming more and more irrelevant. The “right” will always carry a religious banner. Its legitimacy may be hollow, while the “left” may be agnostic. In their case religion may come too late. In the meantime, people are talking past each other.Look at Red Mountain. Look at wing street closures. Look at full-page ads in the newspaper protesting war. All these issues are polarizing. It’s because first causes aren’t addressed. If there was a dedicated place for a scale model of Red Mountain and the city of Glenwood like the one Battlement Mesa has, it would be a matter of public record what had been proposed and what might be planned. Maybe the Community Center would be a good place. The people who protested Gulf War II after the fact didn’t go far enough. There should be a point. Prove the allegations. Cut down on inflammatory rhetoric. Make positive suggestions. You will have to help.In all these cases, in all these issues, people must have a difference of opinion, but they also must also go far enough to find common ground. That is the spirit. That is the American way. God bless America…. especially Glenwood Springs, Colorado.Sincerely,Fred StewartGlenwood Springs

Dear Editor,I’d like to make some suggestions for future discussions about Red Feather Ridge(RFR). First, let’s admit the issue is not about stopping “urban sprawl.” Sprawl is low-density development remote from existing infrastructure and services. The county version is urban sprawl. The city version is a more efficient, less-sprawl option. In reply to a May 16 letter, Four Mile is no longer rural; it is suburban residential with a remnant ranch or two. Second, let’s accept that MidFirst Bank will develop RFR (no effort is under way to acquire the land for public use). We failed to preserve open space in Four Mile, and some now regret our lost chance. Voting against annexing the land to protest its development again wastes a chance to shape the future. Third, RFR, like all Four Mile developments, will impact us. Annexation allows recovery of some impact costs, and provides resources for public amenities. We should be concerned about impacts, and take every opportunity to minimize them.Fourth, we need affordable housing in this community for teachers, police and others. Providing local affordable housing keeps quality employees here and decreases commuter traffic into town. Annexation of RFR provides affordable housing options. The development of RFR will impact us, annexation or not. This is not a perfect development, but it is an improvement over the county version. We deserve an honest, intelligent, and forward-looking discussion before we vote. Chris GeigerGlenwood Springs

Dear Editor,WAR, what is it good for? “Absolutely nothing” gives an answer that is absolutely wrong historically and morally.-Our Revolutionary War, capped by the final Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812, made permanent our expanded land of liberty.-The Civil War saved our union and eliminated slavery.-Involvement in World Wars I and II helped save our allies and maybe even the USA.The people who signed the socialist text below “Absolutely Nothing” are soft Americans and not part of a sensible society as defined by Michael Barone as follows:”A sensible society understands – and the military has been driving home the lesson -that Soft America lives off the productivity, creativity and competence of Hard America. And we have the luxury of keeping part of our society soft, only if we keep most of it hard.”Sincerely,Dooley WheelerRifle

Dear Editor, Even if you do not support war, please realize the need to stand up for our president. If not the president, at least the U.S.A.If the Iraqis did want to be free, they probably had to watch what they said, because of Saddam Hussein. Who’s the one that tore down the statue of Saddam, with the army’s help? Iraqis! We can do it! Derek MilesRifle

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