Your Letters

Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

I think Bruno Kirchenwitz has a point in his letter of Aug. 4, saying many people would like enforcement of the immigration laws that we have, many more than will admit it. However, what about reform does not imply true enforcement?

The point is, as they are, the current laws have been largely ignored. The numbers are startling, and because the horse is already out of the barn, the immigrants we have in the country are a reality with which we must come to terms.

Enforcement of existing laws could be most effective if it were done at the point of employment, the point where employers ask for a Social Security card. But employers have more than one reason to accept any card or no card, without question; and job creators can do no wrong.

Enforcement, when it happens, has morphed into something nasty, as have some of the “nattering nabobs” of nationalism. Blaming “others” for an economic downturn has a rich history.

Many of us have come to know Hispanics socially, surely some undocumented, that are our neighbors, or may go to school with, and are fine friends of, our children, helping us remember that they are human as well and certainly should be treated as such.

Educating Hispanic children makes them better citizens of the world, which benefits us all. One can argue that a Hispanic paying rent pays for education by helping the landlord pay their property tax, which helps finance K-12 education.

Reform would be nice. Reform, in my mind, controls the borders and creates a path to citizenship for both those here and those who want to come. And no, that path does not have to be a super-highway.

And we may not have to worry about any of this, as we no longer assure residents a job or a better life.

If government is to work, we have to nominate and elect representatives who believe in government, and will finance government.

Neither Coddington nor Kirchenwitz are Native American names, so remember we, too, are the descendents of immigrants.

Barb Coddington

Glenwood Springs

While I appreciate the fact that libraries play a vital and important role in the education of young people, I would like to respectfully disagree with the following quote from the Aug. 4 Library News column:

“On average, Garfield County students of all ages scored in the 20th percentile on the CSAP reading section the last three years. These results are particularly striking when compared to the Aspen School District – located less than 60 miles away – whose students scored in the 95th percentile and above in reading. “

CSAP scores are reported as what percentage of students are proficient. This does not equate as a percentile, which is defined as what percent of the population a certain score is above. In other words, a 60th percentile means that your score is above 60 percent of the population. An average score of 60 on the CSAP means that 60 percent of your student population has achieved either proficient or advanced on the defined standards on the test.

In fact Aspen school district reading scores show that most of their students are in the range of 80 percent being proficient or advanced (not 96 percent). The Garfield 16, Garfield Re-2 and Roaring Fork Re-1 school district scores showed that 60 percent of their students are proficient or advanced.

You could, in fact, have a score that was 80 percent of your student body as proficient or advanced and be in the 50th percentile if that score was in the middle of all school district scores.

The figures reported in that column would imply that the Aspen School District was 76 percentile better, when in fact the reality is that only 20 percent more of their student population scored at the proficient or advanced level. Given the demographics of the two populations, the differences can be easily understood.

I applaud the Aspen School District on its high scores. However, test scores are a small part of the overall puzzle and quite often too much can be read into them, especially if they are not read correctly.

Richard Houghton


The downtown Glenwood Springs parking situation is frustrating and ridiculous. We all know this, it is a tiresome subject at best. It was the same in the late ’80s when I worked at the Watersweeper, where I’d have to be excused from my work several times per day to go move the car.

I recently contacted the Glenwood Springs Police Department to inquire about a parking permit, as I own a business downtown and have been subject to parking tickets over the last two years. Apparently, only those who live downtown are eligible for these permits.

How ridiculous, costly and time consuming that we, as the business owners downtown, have to arrange our schedules around a two-hour parking limit? As a psychotherapist and holistic health practitioner who would normally schedule clients on the 50-minute hour, I have to leave room in between each client to move my car. This reduces my productivity and healing potential from seeing seven clients per day down to five per day. At my going rate, this costs me $200 per day to park. That’s $800 per week based on a four-day week, $3,200 per month. This is a little less than a whole year’s worth of rent paid to my downtown landlord.

While this is absurd and it would be cheaper to pay the $20 per pop parking ticket rate, I refuse to perpetuate the city’s profitable parking ticket racket. Why would the city ever fix the parking situation when it is making such pretty pennies punishing the very people who keep our local economy going?

I understand there is a new lot in the works down by the cop shop. This is a step in the right direction but it is literally blocks away from many downtown locations. The one and only other 24-hour lot is usually full and “creative” parking results in tickets.

What can we do as a community to really resolve this costly and irritating problem? Terry Wilson, where are productive business owners supposed to park?

Shay Davis

Glenwood Springs

The Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act (H.R. 1581 and S. 1087) introduced by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., is an unprecedented assault on America’s outdoor heritage.

In one horrible act, this legislation would eliminate existing protections on more than 60 million acres of U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands. At the same time, the bill would all but eliminate citizen participation and congressional authority in determining how these lands are to be managed.

This bill flies in the face of scientific consensus and balanced management.

These lands are currently open to responsible off-road vehicle use, ranching, fishing, hunting, hiking and biking while simultaneously ensuring the protection of water supplies, wildlife habitat, threatened and endangered species, and primitive recreation opportunities. These places ensure that world-class hunting and fishing, which have been enjoyed for generations, will remain an American tradition.

This bill is short-sighted and is solely in the interest of extractive industries. Corporations already enjoy access to 76 percent of national forest and Bureau of Land Management lands. These lands are public lands and need to be in the hands of the American people, not in the hands of special interests.

The bill would open these lands to road building, commercial logging and energy development.

Without these protections the West will lose the very attributes that make it such a desirable place to invest, work, live and play. Thousands of businesses and communities depend on the undeveloped nature of these lands, which contribute to rural communities all throughout the West.

The income that flows from these areas is not held hostage by boom and bust cycles, but is instead sustainable revenue streams.

We must protect these national treasures. Please contact your representatives in Congress and tell them to reject the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act (H.R. 1581 and S. 1087).

Nick Clarke

Fort Collins

Is anyone else in Glenwood Springs also concerned about the injecting of sodium fluoride into our public water supply? Apparently Aspen is finally bringing the topic up for vote this autumn.

The Consumer Confidence Report dated 2010 for Glenwood Springs lists fluoride, yet most consumers are unaware it is the commercial grade (clearly marked “For Industrial Use Only”) that is used for water fluoridation. Among its few industrial uses are vermin (rat) exterminator, rubber coagulant and concrete hardener.

And since each individual’s consumption of water and absorption of fluoride levels vary, I wonder how it is that a “safe” dosage for everyone could be advocated by the Public Health Department? Mottled teeth are structurally weak.

“There is no question that fluoride crosses the blood brain barrier,” states Phyllis Mullenix, Ph.D., one of the foremost experts on the neurotoxicity of fluoride compounds.

More of us need to seriously begin questioning authority and conducting our own research. One of many thought-provoking, relevant sites is Interestingly, the citizens of most European countries, as well as several states here in the U.S., will not permit any amount of sodium fluoride in their water, so why do we?

Sadly our food and water supply is so contaminated with chemicals and artificial additives, it is not surprising that Aspen and Glenwood Springs are constructing special facilities just to treat more cancer cases.

We concerned adults need to speak out with another step towards better health via prevention not cure. Demand sodium fluoride be removed from our public water supply. Our children are depending on us to protect them.

Sharon R. Davis-Bell

Glenwood Springs

In his Aug. 2 column, James Kellogg warned us about the dangers of legalizing marijuana. His arguments certainly have validity and counter arguments have equal validity.

It’s all been said many times and it all comes down to personal values, which is why no one can really win these arguments. In the end, we’ll each have to vote our values and live with whatever the majority decides.

It’s Mr. Kellogg’s values that surprised me. As an avowed conservative, doesn’t he want more personal freedoms and less government intrusion into our lives? Aren’t conservatives claiming a desire to honor our founders’ intentions?

Does Mr. Kellogg think Jefferson and friends would have favored taxing people to fund a sizeable state bureaucracy designed to seek out, arrest, prosecute and incarcerate folks who make personal choices to smoke a plant that, while admittedly somewhat risky, is no more dangerous than other, perfectly legal substances?

And what would the founders think about taxing us to fund a paramilitary force whose sole purpose is to seek out and destroy the small farms that supply the plant to consenting individuals?

Apparently Mr. Kellogg has forgotten the Whiskey Rebellion.

Yes, marijuana has its downside, but wouldn’t our founders have favored open arguments about detriments and benefits while letting individuals decide how to live their personal lives? Surprisingly, the conservative Mr. Kellogg seems unafraid that continued government intrusion into peoples’ personal lives on this issue won’t ultimately encourage big government to intrude on our right to have gas well in our backyards and unlimited free plastic bags in our landfills.

Ron Kokish


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