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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

What’s the end game? That’s the question for the Garfield Clean Energy Authority coalition and one that remains unclear.

Town governments are slowly coming on board with Garfield Clean Energy (GCE) through highly touted public-private partnerships as GCE cheerfully promotes the urgent need for the new model of living clean and green.

We all know that private resources are needed for such public authorities to thrive, unfortunately with or without the blessing of those in the private sector. The regional push has not succeeded yet; perhaps because of a good county commissioner or two, and a few town officials are around who still believe in free enterprise and representative government.



We’ve fortunate enough to have conservative writers in both the Aspen and Glenwood Springs press of late; one being James Kellogg who had the courage to expose ICLEI (International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives) and its muscle, the United Nations’ Agenda 21.

Is this the end game we’re seeing? Why are our local townships eagerly embracing partnerships that promise future international controls in our lives and on our land?



Why did ICLEI drop the ‘international council’ part of their name for instance? Are the implications of that question as chilling to others as they are to this freedom-loving American?

Why did our president recently pass Executive Order 13575, the White House Rural Council, which will effectively hamstring our farmers and ranchers who suddenly – and without approval or forewarning – have 25 stakeholders from various departments of our government in their lives. “Stakeholder” is simply green-speak for unwanted and possible hostile strangers who suddenly have undisputed rights to your property.

Consider this thought: Could it be that this is simply the acting out of a very real envy for our exclusively Western concept of private property rights and the world’s lustful vengeance that deems such rights non-egalitarian?

Could this all simply point to a new world order in which billionaires such as George Soros see the American capitalistic system as simply an obstacle in the way of such an order?

Where is Garfield Clean Energy on this? It’s time for full disclosure, pure and simple.

Betty Scranton

Glenwood Springs

James Kellogg’s Sept. 5 column, “The ‘sustainable’ plot to erode American prosperity, liberty, and independence,” frustrated my personal beliefs on what it means to be an American citizen.

There is a certain statement in this article that I would like to specifically focus on: “ICLEI-sponsored education programs are already entrenched in our schools, teaching kids to be global citizens instead of Americans.”

I passionately disagree that being a global citizen means that you are sacrificing being an American. There is no need for an “instead of” distinction between the two, considering they are inseparable.

First, with the United States’ global superiority and power comes responsibility and obligation to be a global citizen. Although we have several problems in our own country and our resources are strained, Americans have an obligation to humankind to sympathize and most importantly spread awareness with our global superiority.

To preserve humanity, we cannot ignore the obligation we have towards one another. If one country suffers, the entire world shares the consequences.

Second, nationalism engenders ethnocentrism, which can be problematic. Ethnocentrism can lead to premature judgments and inaccurate assumptions among other nations. It blindsides America and causes us to misjudge other cultures based off premature thoughts that revolve around thinking America is automatically competent and superior compared to other countries.

The third and final reason I’m concerned about this article’s distinction between Americans and global citizens is that to our economy, this division is basically imaginary. One example that everyone has basic knowledge of is China and America. Our nation needed international economic assistance, and the blessing of globalization made it possible to take steps towards getting out of debt. This means we should think of ourselves as global citizens due to how unfortunate our circumstances would be if we denied this assistance and resorted to solving this issue with our own insufficient resources.

These two terms are intertwined and there should not be a distinction or division between them.

Mackenzie Cripe

St. Peter, Minn.

As we get closer to making a decision on another mill levy override for the Re-2 school district, I would like to see more information forthcoming from Superintendent Susan Birdsey in regard to the student test scores for 2010 and 2011 published by the Post Independent in August.

Ms. Birdsey commented that she was pleased with some improvements made in the 2011 test scores. By looking at the actual scores, for every improved number in a particular grade and subject there is an equal decline to match it. There were 13 specific areas of improvement in grades 3 through 10, and 13 specific areas of decline in those same grades.

Look closely at these test scores and you will see an alarming trend downward in scores from the lower grades through the 10th grade.

Let’s start with math. The highest test score in math was for grade 4 with 69 percent of kids testing at a proficient level. The numbers drop drastically from here for each consecutive grade, until we are left with only 20 percent of 10th grade students performing at what the state considers to be a proficient level.

Sadly only 33 percent of our 10th grade students are proficient in science and 30 percent in writing. What does this say about the quality of our schools? What does this say about the future of the children in this community?

Where are the math and science skills these kids will need to go forward? How many future engineers do you think the Re-2 school district will turn out? How has the school curriculum changed in the past five years to prepare these kids for the carriers of the future? Who is inspiring our kids to achieve at a higher level?

By all means, support the mill levy override. No one wants our kids to fail, but more money isn’t the only answer to a quality education. Ms. Birdsey needs to come forward and explain why the Re-2 schools are failing our kids.

Beth Pearce

Rifle

The reason for the existence of a school resource officer (as I understand) is to familiarize himself with students, creating a bond based on trust between law enforcement and the future adult citizens of our communities, while keeping our children out of harm’s way during school hours.

That some of the letters I’ve read lately suggest having the kids of undocumented aliens amongst their own is dangerous and should be a crime (and how can they tell?) is just saddening.

But my sadness is nothing compared to the shame the Agon family must be feeling at this juncture, dealing with their family member turning vigilante against his own community. Imagine if only there was an SRO/ ICE agent 10 or so years ago back when Mr. Agon was still a student, we wouldn’t have this issue.

If people want to have ICE agents in the schools, well, I’d be ashamed. But these people should at least be brave enough to make it policy, and not disguise them as SROs. It’s not right to make people like Officer Agon their pawn.

Ralph Vazquez

Basalt

The Energy Advisory Board is again losing sight of its mission. Public comments were reduced to one at the beginning of the meeting last month. It was limited to three minutes per person at this month’s meeting. Most egregious is the treatment of a citizen at October’s meeting.

Thomas Thompson had a major flood issue on his property on Porcupine Creek in May. EnCana had installed a culvert of inadequate size for its road crossing of the creek. The pipe plugged and flooded the Thompson property. EnCana quickly repaired its crossing and left the mess their actions created.

After five months of no cleanup of the huge moonscape, Mr. Thompson brought the issue with photos to EAB, the county board for that purpose.

Instead, Chair Jeff Simonson rudely interrupted, stating the board could do nothing. Wrong. The board could have listened.

While EnCana has a different side to the story which purportedly couldn’t be addressed because of “negotiations,” Mr. Thompson wanted to apprise the board and community of his situation and was denied.

Once again, EAB’s primary purpose of bringing citizen issues to the attention of the BOCC and the public has been derailed.

Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching, which some in industry fail to grasp: Fix the damage you create. And now the one venue citizens pay for is nastily cut off.

Kudos to the other citizen representatives who have been keeping the citizens in the loop: Scott Brynildson, Brent Buss and Heather Hoffmeister. Thanks to Bob Arrington and Leslie Robinson for asking the questions that we all need to consider.

Marion Wells

Rulison

It seems like the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition should change its name to the Colorado Illegal Immigration Rights Coalition. The only immigration involvement that I have read about is all about illegal immigration, which is illegal, and illegal means against the law. The SROs are part of the law enforcement organization. Law enforcement – illegal immigration. I’m sorry, I don’t see the problem.

Gary Oliver

Glenwood Springs

Four years ago, when the first crash hit Wall Street, I was convinced that whatever else happened, the perpetrators of the tragedy that hit us all would never suffer, be penalized or brought to justice.

That is the case. The masters of greed set up the horrendous bubble, inflated it to the max, stashed their astronomical profits and walked away undisturbed and unchallenged.

When greed is the goal of the system, normal folks suffer.

It’s as if the current robber barons have no awareness of the consequences of their actions, except to make money for them. Those Wall Street profits translate into foreclosures on homes, loss of jobs, unemployment, withering away of retirement funds, school budgets decimated, not to mention the end of any assistance for the poor or homeless.

We can gather from 4-7 p.m. today at Centennial Park in Glenwood Springs to tell the world that we notice the greed, we care about what happens, and we believe the accumulation of unheard-of wealth at the expense of everyday people cannot continue. Bring a sign and join us.

Jack Real

Glenwood Springs


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