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I feel it necessary to respond to Dr. Christian Maurer’s letter of Oct. 1, in which Dr. Maurer made a concluding statement, “God and human evolution are not mutually exclusive.” I do not know the writer of the letter, so I have no personal animosity whatsoever, but this statement could not possibly be more untrue. The God of creation and the theory/religion of evolution are absolutely and diametrically opposed to each other. They are at opposite ends of the theological, philosophical and scientific continuum.The theory of evolution (and it is just a theory) states that all things started with some sort of “matter,” and that over millions and billions of years, this incredible planet, our wonderful human bodies, and all of the universe somehow, someway, magically evolved into the magnificent displays we see all around us every day. The religion of creation (and it is a religion) states that humanity and all of the universe were designed and created by an almighty and loving God, who has done everything with purpose and precision and compassion. I choose the latter, not just because it’s my belief system, but because good, sound, scientific investigation always supports creation. “Change” happens, “adaptation” happens, evolution never happens.BJ WorthenRifle

The ending of my column, Fried Rice, in the Post Independent was not my decision.Thank you all for your support over the 15 years it was run. I will miss writing it and having fun with Husband-Head’s adventures.Heidi RiceRifle

Why is it that the two hikers in Iran, that thank heavens have been freed, were allowing themselves to be in harm’s way in the first place? They claim that they were imprisoned for being Americans. That is very true. Why would they be hiking in a foreign country in the first place? Why would they be even close to a country that is an enemy of the U.S.? It doesn’t make a lot of sense.In this whole world there is no place to hike except close to a country that hates the U.S.? I guess I just can’t understand why somebody would put themselves in harm’s way knowing that there would be a possibility that this would happen.Of course that country knew that the hikers’ next of kin would provide money for them to be freed. Not too bad of a wage for just opening a gate to freedom.Jane SpauldingCarbondale



I want to invite all teachers in the Roaring Fork Valley who have ever read Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax,” Lynn Cherry’s “The Kapok Tree,” and E.B. White’s “The Trumpet of the Swan” to their students to join me on stage at the rally for the Thompson Divide, at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Third Street Center in Carbondale.Let us teachers join together to celebrate the beauty and gifts the wildlife, trees, flowers, grasses, water, rocks, minerals, shrubs, bugs, bees, and butterflies offer our students, now and in their future. Mary Russell Glenwood Springs

Recent events have led me to believe that we are living in opposite world. I am trying to figure out how this happened. From Jolene Varney advocating against local public art, to the Republican debate crowd cheering for death, I believe that the Earth’s recent tilt on its axis has disrupted the cosmos. Really. Ron Paul discusses a theoretical health care issue and the audience yells “let him die,” and cheers. Same for Rick Perry and the death penalty count in Texas. More cheers.How did the supposed “liberal elites” become the sole champions of the downtrodden, disadvantaged, children and the elderly? What happened to compassionate conservatives? I am seeing no compassion, just cynicism and anger out of the right. That, and severe short-term memory loss.I have written before about what led the U.S. to our current state of financial difficulty. It did not happen on Jan. 20, 2009, as many would have you believe. But the current state of mind among the right is just baffling to me. While the “compassionate conservatives” continue to support the war machine, they are trying to eviscerate child care programs, prenatal care, and even food programs for disadvantaged kids. They cheer for the bailout of Wall Street (too big to fail), yet chastise the stimulus for middle America (too big to help?). The right is championing elimination of the minimum wage, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the EPA, NPR, delaying payments to FEMA, and unemployment. School district budgets have been destroyed and school kids pay the price. When did they become so mean?We recently honored the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Remember when firefighters and police were heroes? Now the compassionate conservatives are trying to convince us that public servants and teachers are the cause of all our problems. I really don’t get it. Ask yourself what the right has done to benefit you or America since 2000. The world distrusts us, their economies are struggling largely because of what Wall Street did. But it’s the middle class that’s guilty. Opposite world indeed.Craig S. ChisesiRifle



In his Sept. 26 column, Ross Talbott wrote, “It seems irrational to accept the theory of evolution as fact and focus on the idea that man came from apes.” More made-up facts from Ross Talbott. Evolution does not hold that man came from apes, and no scientist suggests accepting evolution as fact. Science accepts evolution as an incomplete theory offering the best currently available, empirically supportable explanation for earth’s bio-diversity. Talbott praised humans for “our drive to understand everything from the microcosm to the furthest galaxy” but he fails to see science as an expression of that very drive whenever science suggests something he dislikes. According to his columns, global warming, evolution, human-caused species decline and inconvenient government procedures are all simple nonsense not worth discussing. Talbott prefers faith to empiricism. He is not alone in this, and there is really no arguing with faith. Nor need we argue. Educated, intelligent, reasonable people respect empiricism and faith as reconcilable. Ross Talbott, however, shows no interest in or respect for any point of view but his own. He does not understand the science he denigrates, the democracy he lives in or the religion he preaches. His arrogance, ignorance and inability to reason logically from even his self-declared facts continue to astound. This newspaper’s ongoing willingness to provide him with a respectable platform continues to reflect badly on its generally decent journalistic standards.Ron KokishCarbondale

In 2006 the voters of Garfield County generously passed a measure to allow a 1 mill property tax to build or remodel all the libraries in the county. The library board has taken this directive seriously, and has pushed hard to get all six libraries built quickly so that each town can enjoy a wonderful new facility. In 2010 the remodel and expansion of the Parachute Branch Library was completed, and the all new Rifle Branch Library was also opened. Currently, the New Castle Branch is under construction, with the Silt Branch in the design development phase. The libraries in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale are not too far behind as they are slated to be finished by 2013.This aggressive building schedule has allowed the library district to get the most for taxpayer dollars by capitalizing on low building costs. It has also been a boon for local economies. These building projects are some of the few currently happening in our towns. The libraries feel fortunate to have the support of the taxpayers, and believe that by hiring locally we can give back to our communities, especially in this slow economy. On the Parachute and Rifle projects, 75 percent of the subcontractors were from the Western Slope, and with the New Castle project we are doing even better. A4 Architects of Carbondale designed the building remodel and the project’s general contractor, B&H General Contractors, is from Glenwood Springs. We expect all of our construction partners to hire local subcontractors on our projects if they have the skills and references to perform the work.The Garfield County Libraries have been as transparent as possible about our process with a “Construction” tab on our homepage. This allows anyone wanting to bid on our projects the opportunity to get information about them instantly. The page also has pictures and a blog so everyone in the community can see the progress. Or, vendors and contractors can contact the district’s Facilities Manager, Jerry Morris, at 625-4270 or jmorris@gcpld.org for information on projects and their status. We hope everyone can visit http://www.gcpld.org and see what we’ve got going on throughout the county.Emily HiselGarfield County Public Library DistrictRifle

As I read the Associated Press article of Sept. 30, “Killer cantaloupe, scary sprouts – what to do?” I couldn’t help wondering if our area governments are aware of the Listeria outbreak. Aspen wants to outright ban plastic bags, while Basalt has decided to tax them, to encourage the use of cloth reusable bags. Will we have to implement the “bag police” to enforce the sanitary condition of these reusable bags?In this article, the CDC recommends washing refrigerator shelves or drawers to avoid contamination, but makes no mention of the bag the produce was brought home in. The CDC also suggests keeping your refrigerator below 40 degrees, because higher temps breed germs. Yet many of us leave unwashed bags in our car during the summer. Think of the bacteria being grown in that heat.I’m wondering if any of our local politicians has had it cross their minds that perhaps the Listeria outbreak is a case of an organic melon, bought at a farmer’s market, being transported into a grocery store in a reusable bag, and not the other way around? Please keep these issues in mind as the government mandates the elimination of sanitary, disposable plastic bags for transporting groceries, while providing free disposable bags to protect your dog poop. No hypocrisy there.Sincerely,Kevin T. HarrisBasalt

For the past four years I have had the honor of serving as a trustee on the CMC board of trustees. I am asking for your support in my re-election bid.During my tenure as a trustee, I have had the opportunity to be a part of the team presiding over the expansion of campus facilities virtually districtwide, and an unparalleled growth in enrollment. As president of the board, I had the privilege of presiding over the board’s decision to offer bachelor degrees, ensuring all the citizens served by CMC with an opportunity for higher education.My love and support for community colleges began many years ago. I earned an associate’s degree at a community college, providing me with the impetus for earning a bachelor’s degree. I might well have never gone to college had it not been for a community college. I passionately believe in the role community colleges play in our communities: cost effective, high quality education that prepares students for 21st century careers.I began my career as a classroom teacher. I have been involved in learning ever since. For the past 16 years I have owned my own small business, NonProfit Resources. NPR manages and consults to national and international trade, society and philanthropic organizations. I have 27 years experience managing and consulting to volunteer boards. I understand the challenges and opportunities volunteer boards face and how to best successfully meet them.I have the support of my wife of 22 years, Cindy, and our daughter Sarah, a junior at Glenwood Springs High School. Sarah began her formal education in Glenwood Springs, and upon her graduation I would be proud for her to become a student at CMC because I am confident of the high quality education she will receive. I have been proud to be a part of a leadership team charged with guiding one of the largest colleges in the state. I pledge to continue that commitment and dedication for another four years.My background and experiences uniquely qualify me to serve you. Thank you in advance for your support.Stan OrrGlenwood Springs

Colorado needs to get in line with other states on immigration laws and enforcing them. Georgia has passed Bill 87, which has become a huge help in controlling the illegal flow of immigrants taking up a large part of the labor force in this country. In Georgia alone, more than 350,000 illegals are in the labor force, taking jobs so many American citizens very much need. The days of tired arguments are over now with today’s economic times and thousands of American citizens out of work. Illegal immigrants, and legal ones whom through loopholes became citizens, strain our systems and services, which they somehow feel entitled to, and fall back on racist arguments when Americans even try to enforce the law. Colorado needs to get it together before English-speaking people are a thing of the past and we all experience Mexico City lifestyles, which nobody wants, even Mexicans. I will support any political party willing to help reduce the illegals in Colorado and help introduce legislation to make laws we all need, such as in Georgia, Alabama, Utah, Arizona and other states. I will never give up trying to wake up the lame business owners who try to save a dollar on hiring illegals, and I encourage people to remember our problems are not in Iraq or anywhere in the world like they are right here in our backyard. We must stop ignorant policies giving a child citizenship because he or she is born in the United States through illegal parents. Rick CovingtonGlenwood Springs

Regarding the fluoridation of our tap water, I would like to bring attention to the 2004 book “The Fluoride Deception,” by Christopher Bryson, an award-winning investigative reporter and former producer for the BBC, who spent 10 years researching the material for his book. Also of interest is the half-hour video interview with the author, which can be viewed online at http://www.fluoridealert.org/ bryson.htmHere are just two reviews for the book:”The Fluoride Deception compellingly and inescapably exposes the murderous fraud that heads of state and industry have for decades perpetrated on an innocent public. Extremely well written and tightly researched, The Fluoride Deception is sure to become the ‘must read’ book in this important and burgeoning field,” write Derrick Jensen, author of “The Culture of Make Believe” and “A Language Older Than Words.””Bryson is right on in his emphasis on the ineffectiveness of fluoridation of water with industrial wastes, and its risks of nerve and brain damage, and cancer, coupled with the long-standing industrial conspiracy to suppress this information,” write Dr. Sam Epstein, chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition and professor emeritus of environmental and occupational medicine, University of Illinois School of Public Health.I will not add anything further except to urge everyone to watch the video and read the book.Steve CampbellGlenwood Springs

The Colorado Immigration Rights Coalition (CIRC) is not doing any service for the Latino community. It is dividing the community and putting chips on Latino people’s shoulders. CIRC is barking up the wrong tree.Immigrants of all origins are coming to this country because of the peaceful living and law and order we all enjoy in our communities. This law (believe it or not, it includes the immigration law) and order is provided and maintained by our law enforcement personnel, who put their own lives on the line every day to do their jobs to keep the community safe. Citizens call cops for help about literally everything, from lost animals to domestic disputes to hard core criminal activities. They answer them all. They deserve our huge appreciation and support. CIRC should work with the new immigrants to understand our laws and help them assimilate into our society (for example, learning English for better communications, and being patriotic to our country) instead of using the empty name “profiling” to hide the criminals. Don’t we all have our own profiles? And, one shall worry not if there are no illegal activities in one’s profile being profiled.CIRC should attack the law enforcement agents in the other government systems for being so corrupt and not protecting and providing law and order to their own citizens and causing this mass exodus of risking their lives to cross the border. CIRC should do something good for the harmony of our communities and do its barking at the root of the problem, the corrupted foreign government systems, instead of turning our system into a lawless one. By the way, I am a first generation immigrant myself (nonwhite), and I am not related to any law enforcement agents. I only enjoy and really appreciate the service they provide, and I thank them.Charlie JacobsonCarbondale

As an alumni of Roaring Fork High School, I had the opportunity of interacting with school resource officer Alvaro Agon. As a Latino student, the times I interacted with Officer Agon I never felt a sense of danger or distrust toward him. Instead I felt secure and more than grateful to have an officer around the school who can relate to students and their issues. I also had the pleasure of seeing him interact with other students and attend our school athletic events and show support. The disrespect he is getting at this moment should not be accepted in this community or anywhere else. The problem is the obligations that his job demands. We, as a community, do not see that the problem does not arise from just Officer Agon, but instead it rises from the justice system he is an employee of. A system that uses school resource officers to act as undercover ICE officers on school grounds to enforce harsh and inadequate immigration laws should not exist. But removing officer Agon from his position will not resolve the issue we are confronting today. What needs to be done is to remove ICE duties from school grounds and allow Officer Agon to continue working. This is the one way to create a safe environment for the students and the officer as well. Perhaps, as a Latino, my own people will have hatred and discrimination towards me for defending a guy who is pawn to an organization. But once we see past that, we will be able to see the bigger picture and take some actions on the real issue – in this case an unjust, unethical and corrupt immigration system, a hegemonic system that uses propaganda to divide the masses, allowing for hate and despair to grow within communities and using scapegoats rather than exposing the truth about the agenda of these aristocrats in power.Omar RubioSyracuse, N.Y.

Students walk into school and expect to be protected by the people around them. They place themselves in vulnerable situations and put their trust in school employees and adults working in the building. Having any adult who works in the schools and collaborates with ICE at any time destroys all of the trust we all work hard to build, and makes a specific group of students feel unsafe. As a high school teacher, I work with dozens of immigrant students every day. I see the great potential these students have, and understand that would be hindered by the adverse effect ICE collaboration would have. I am relieved that the Re-1 school board will be considering a policy. I hope that with community support we can resolve this issue and build the trust between students and police. Erin McMorrowCarbondale


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