This week, as the portion of the Rio Grande trail east of the Catherine Store bridge to Rock Bottom Ranch opens for the season, I just want to take the time to recognize the outstanding work of a local citizen in popularizing this section of the trail. Jim Duke, by way of his frequent letters to the editor describing the abundance of wildlife and scenic beauty along this former rail corridor, has single-handedly increased its popularity among cyclists and other trail users. His efforts have amplified our community’s awareness of the natural assets of this section of trail, and brought many more riders and pedestrians through than might otherwise have explored it. Because of his letters, the meetings at town hall regarding the trail have been well attended by “recreationists.” In addition, his call for cyclists to join him in promoting responsible use of the trail, has earned him my nomination for Leading Citizen Advocate of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that facilitates the transformation of old rail corridors into non-motorized transportation/recreation trails throughout America. Thank you, Jim Duke, for all of your work over the years leading to the increased use of this beautiful portion of the Rio Grande Trail. Bruce GrayCarbondale
A few words regarding the article about the “diseased and dying” trees which were cut down along the Roaring Fork River in the River Meadows mobile home park in Glenwood.If those trees were diseased and dying, then the park manager and the “tree care” contractor were right. They needed to be cut down. There’s only one problem. They weren’t diseased.I was there on Friday, and watched mature, healthy cottonwoods full of buds ready to open, cut down one by one, then sawed into pieces and taken away. In the process, the ground cover plants covering the ground around them and the river bank were cleared away leaving bare soil in its place. Am I wrong, or are tree roots and grasses the very things that stabilize the river bank and help prevent erosion?The reasons given for the destruction were, “diseased trees,” “protecting the residents and their homes,” and “making room for a berm.” The few dead branches on some of the trees could have been trimmed back without killing the whole trees. The berm can’t be built because it’s against the city ordinance, and the only trees left behind were the ones closest to the houses. So, which is it?The park manager stated she gave notice “as quickly as possible.” Unfortunately for the residents in this case, “as quickly as possible” meant heavy equipment and chainsaws showing up at the front door. Surprise!Cutting down the trees has now destabilized the river bank, exposing the residents, and their homes, not to mention the wildlife, to more potential danger than before.It’s understandable for property owners to try to protect what’s theirs, but is that what’s been accomplished here?Eric HoltzCarbondale
Also addressed to Katie GonzalesWhy would you be enraged at the advice Mr. Reed gave you? Regardless of you skin color or last name. You did wrong and tried to cover for it in your most recent letter. In your letter from April 23 you said, “back to Mexico.” Now in your letter from 04/29, you changed it by saying, “If by chance they are not here legally, they should go back where they came from.” That refers to possible illegal immigration, where your first comment referred to a race leading you to a racist comment.I am not here to judge you. I am simply judging your letters, and it is up to you if you want them to reflect on who you are.Next time you write a letter, I hope it is about the thieves that have broken into your family’s trailer and car being caught. You and I know that they will get what’s coming to them.Jeanette JohnsonGlenwood Springs
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According to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division, the Glenwood Springs airport injects $17 million annually into the economy of Glenwood Springs. The airport costs the City nothing. It pays for itself with fuel…