Publisher’s column: Mostly civil discourse in Missouri Heights |

Publisher’s column: Mostly civil discourse in Missouri Heights

A view of Mount Sopris from the Missouri Heights neighborhood where a proposed camp for autistic children is being met with opposition from some area residents. Bryce Jacobson / Post Independent

As I headed to Missouri Heights to visit with and listen to readers that have called, emailed and stopped by the PI office in recent months, I was excited — anxious, even, to witness citizens participating in civil discourse about their community.

Leaving Colorado Highway 82, I began to pass houses and properties that could be found practically in any community, but as I went farther up the beautiful hillside I was amazed at the beautiful homes, horse barns and land meticulously kept with seemingly every blade of grass manicured. This wasn’t my first time to Missouri Heights but today I was going to witness something special, so my focus was keen.

I exited my car only to the sound of road noise from Highway 82 and a group of folks visiting civilly with each other. Ascendigo had a table for their presentation with material explaining their plans, and I was quickly greeted by a resident that gave me their material against the development, as well.

Ascendigo began their presentation, and opponents often voiced interjections or rebuttals, but it was generally civil and constructive. During and after the presentation local residents explained their concerns about fire, water, noise, traffic and the view that was going to be infringed upon (see the accompanying photo).

Ascendigo has attempted to solve some of those concerns — at least all that they have control over. The residents’ concerns are valid and worth being discussed and possibly mitigated. What I’d like to see is for both sides to present their opinions to the officials we elected in this representative government and allow them to make a decision that is good for all of Garfield County, even though they are mostly hearing from Missouri Heights residents. I look forward to their decision.

What I don’t want to see is what is about to follow. As I walked back down from the highest point on the property in question, I was told by one property owner that Ascendigo’s proposed use of their property is not educational — it is medical. I quote here, “Mr. Jacobson, we all know it takes these kids three years to learn how to tie their shoes.”

I ended the conversation and walked back to my car, with a bit of sadness in my heart.

Bryce Jacobson is publisher of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and Rifle Citizen Telegram. He can be reached at or at 970-384-9133.

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