I’m shocked at the paper’s portrayal of the Stop GarCo Injustice website as one-sided. The title says it’s only my family’s side, when more than 100 verifiable people have all signed, and many have voiced their opinions. Where is the balance? How many will it take for this paper to report the story of how the citizens of our county and state see it? Why were none of their comments included in the story?It is unbelievable that anyone thinks it’s “ridiculous” that the county ignored firsthand testimony from five people, testimony from a district court judge, an original 1990 citation proving the then-BOCC acted as an official body, and testimony from a business that was closed because of the action in 1990/91. What did the county provide for evidence to contradict that? Where is its response to our Feb. 5, 2007, presentation?Judge Gannett said in the BOA hearing, “It may simply modify what other enforcement actions could be taken by the county against the defendant for the same type of violation (P90 L7-L14).” Gannett stated, “Mr. Vezzoso, my memory tells me, fell into the category of Mr. Zamora and there then offered a similar deal by the county prosecutor (P79 L20-25 & P80 L1-2).”Your paper says the website didn’t present any of the county’s evidence, which is false. The transcripts in their entirety, including all of the county’s arguments, are posted online. I point specifically to Feb. 5, 2007, and ask where the county’s response is to what McCown called “overwhelming materials”? This only proves that an organization is needed to keep in check the county’s actions, and what picture is presented in the paper. The names and voices were not fairly reported in the article. I ask, how more than 100 people that signed their names and voiced strong comments, in less than two weeks, is not reported? How is one “ridiculous” comment made from one neighbor included in the article, but not one of the 35-plus statements on the website?Bill Vezzoso Jr.Carbondale
Mental illness – it’s a phrase that carries a strong negative charge, and even more so if you’ve been diagnosed as having it. It conjures up images of folks drooling on themselves and doing the thorazine shuffle down dingy corridors in some remote underground psyche ward.The other extreme is what we tend to see more of here in Garfield County: the undiagnosed individual who can hold a job and pay her bills on time, and says all of her Hail Marys, but can’t seem to shake the self-defeating behaviors coming from the symptoms of her illness.What keeps person No. 2 from seeking help? Maybe she doesn’t know it exists. More likely, she might not want to admit it; walking into a psychiatrist’s office is the first physical step in admitting things aren’t totally kosher.Secondly, what goes unchallenged is the stigma caused by the media’s parading of the most extreme cases – bipolar disorder gets mentioned as a possible reason for some kid shooting up a high school or a rapist like Brent Brents being so prolific, rather than the person’s underlying character. Many people drink alcohol, but few become substance abusers. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working with and around the mentally ill, it’s never to blame external situations and objects for internal states.Finally, I’ve asked around and learned that there are no peer support groups for those recovering from mental health problems. So this being May (Mental Health Month), let’s get something started, shall we?Matt FullerGlenwood Springs
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