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Monday’s letters

Dear Editor,The Colorado Health and Hospital Association and the Colorado League of Women Voters agree – Referendum B will help improve access to health care, especially in rural Colorado.Referendum B fixes an outdated law. It allows publicly-owned hospitals and health care services to partner with doctors and other private entities to jointly provide services needed in a community.By sharing the cost of new facilities, technology or services with partners, public health care facilities reduce overhead and equipment costs. The end result is containment of health care costs and health insurance premiums.Join with us in voting yes on Referendum B.Larry WallColorado Health & Hospital AssociationGreenwood VillageGerry CumminsLeague of Women VotersDenver

Dear Editor,What a wonderful time local residents and visitors from up and down the Roaring Fork Valley had at the 1st Annual Carbondale Oktoberfest. It was gratifying, with all the work that went into planning the event, to see so many smiling and happy people enjoying themselves on a gloriously beautiful sunny fall day. The huge turnout of people was beyond what we expected. It was wonderful to see so many families with children, along with seniors and people of all ages conversing, eating, drinking, and dancing in downtown Carbondale with the spectacular alpine setting of snow covered Mount Sopris as a backdrop. What made the day so successful was the sounds of live oom-pah-pah bands, German cuisine of grilled brats and kraut, the Bavarian Beer Garden, the antique street sale, and the kids Bavarian Bounce Castle.A special thanks goes out to Larry Ballenger. Thanks also to Chamber of Commerce Director, Dixie Heyl, local artist Sue Hontz, Chris Chacos and Carbondale Downtown Preservation Association, Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation Director Dan Rodgerson, Jo-an Barnett, Minda Rodgerson, and Chris Loertscher.And of course the entire Oktoberfest Celebration could not of been possible without the generous funding support from many businesses and corporate sponsorsLast but not least, I would like to thank all the local citizens and visitors who attended this first Oktoberfest Celebration. You all made it the success that it was, in what I hope will become one of the largest traditional fall harvest and folk festivals in the Roaring Fork Valley. Thank you so much!Jeff JackelCarbondale

Dear Editor,I attended the candidates forum in Parachute on Oct. 9, and I was very disappointed in comments made by Walt Stowe with regard to the impacts of gas drilling.Treasurer candidate Cheryl Chandler indicated that although Garfield County makes $50 million dollars a year from gas extraction, she was aware that drilling has a definite negative impact on property values. When Walt Stowe was asked whether he supported a county staff person who would be a liaison among the county, the state’s Oil and Gas Commission, drilling companies and people who are negatively impacted by gas drilling, he said he would need to be convinced of the need and perhaps be willing to fund the position at 10 to 12 hours per week.Last spring, I was involved with a group of people south of Silt who organized an informational forum on gas issues. I spent almost two weeks trying to find out the answers to what I thought were simple questions. What I encountered was a system that seems to be designed to make information as inaccessible as possible.My points are two.First, the county needs a full-time staff person who can, if nothing else, provide people with information, and that task alone may take more than the one-quarter time Mr. Stowe thinks is needed. In addition, the county does not proactively work to make sure COGCC regulations are followed within the county.This lack of oversight has let to erosion due to lack of reclamation, the spread of noxious weeds, and the county’s need to hire a consultant to collect royalties that were improperly paid to the county. Were those responsibilities added to providing information, and I believe a full-time staff would be quite busy.At the forum, Mr. Stowe went on to say, “Frankly, I’d need to know if the money spent on such an office would not be better spent on animal control or road development.”I’m sure the western Garfield County residents who have suffered the effects of leaking gas wells, unacceptable noise levels, overturned vehicles, dust inundation, property damage, and having access to their property blocked by industry trucks are glad to know they rank behind animal control and roads on Mr. Stowe’s priority list.I’m also glad to know the county can earn $50 million dollars in gas revenue annually at the expense of some of its residents, but remain unwilling to assist those people whose lives have been negatively impacted. We arenot asking drilling to stop, robbing money from the county coffers. We are asking to be treated fairly and to have some say in what happens to our lives and property.A proactive county staff person would be a huge asset. Finally, I believe it is the responsibility of elected officials to ask the question, “How can we help our citizens” rather than saying, “We got ours – too bad for you.”Is that too much to ask?Peggy UteschSilt



Dear Editor:Imagine.Let’s all use our imagination and use it to uplift ourselves and our world.Imagine we all decided to live in peace with one another. Imagine we turned our weapons into shovels, hoes and rakes and replanted the garden.Imagine we developed our abilities to heal one another by just looking deeply into another’s eyes and seeing the beauty within.Imagine “you” became just as important to me as “I” am.Imagine my heart became your heart and became one.Imagine what miracles this one heart could do just by being love.Imagine all things are possible and they will be.In light and love,David BarlassCarbondale

Dear Editor:As a former Colorado Secretary of State, I urge all Coloradans to vote yes on Amendment 28. This initiative will make our elections more convenient and much more secure.It’s a fact, more and more Coloradans are voting by mail each election. Under Amendment 28, ballots will be sent to active voters – those who voted in the previous election.A yes on 28 will provide increased ballot security as well as create a statewide uniform mail ballot system, something currently not covered by Colorado state law. By requiring actual signature verification, a separate secrecy envelope and adding more judges throughout the process, Amendment 28 will provide more stringent oversight.This proposal offers the opportunity for Coloradans to vote by mail in all elections starting in 2005. Voters will still be able to cast their ballot on Election Day at their local high school if they so choose.I want a balloting system that respects our time as well as the integrity of our votes. That’s why I will be voting yes on Amendment 28, extending the state’s vote-by-mail program to primary and general elections.Voting by mail does have a proven track record in municipal elections around the state, having boosted turnout without compromising security. I can vouch for it. Now, let’s make it even better and expand on a good idea.Natalie MeyerDenver


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