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The Oct. 8 community rally for Thompson Divide was a great success. More than 350 people from all walks of life gathered at the Third Street Center in Carbondale to share their passion for protecting the Thompson Divide – the headwaters area west of Carbondale – from gas drilling.

We want to thank everyone who attended for making the event so positive, hopeful, creative and spontaneous. It was an affirmation that if any community can successfully say no to drilling, it’s this one.

One highlight was the local ranchers who drove their tractors to the rally, and then led an impromptu parade into town. Thanks also to the many volunteers who stepped in exactly where needed, as well as to the Thompson Divide Coalition, Wilderness Workshop, Third Street Center, PAC3, Out of the Mud Theatre, Carbondale Green Team, Dos Gringos Burritos, and Carbondale Food Co-op for their support and assistance.



We hope that the enthusiasm generated to protect this special place will carry forward and grow and flower in a hundred new initiatives. Everyone is encouraged to get involved. To find out more, please see our Facebook page or visit the website of the Thompson Divide Coalition.

Thanks also to our Senators Bennet and Udall for their timely letter to the BLM asking that agency to allow for more local participation into the decision-making process.



Malcolm McMichael

Community for Thompson Divide

Carbondale

We have been privileged to live in Carbondale for the last 33 years. During that time, we have cared for, taught and made friends with up to five generations of Carbondalians.

One of the constants during that time is an excellent public school system that reflects our community and has served our children very well. I suspect that resonates in other towns in this valley.

We currently have school communities with exceptional teachers and building administrators. We have a diverse student population that is pursuing the American dream.

We urge young newcomers, with or without kids, or old timers whose kids no longer attend school to please vote yes on 3E to keep our great schools going.

Gary and Jill Knaus

Carbondale

What does Myles Rovig bring to the table as an Re-1 school board member?

He brings a master’s degree in alternative education; has spent his entire professional career putting kids first in his business endeavors and through community work; believes and works toward setting up and maintaining the corporate structure that will allow meeting the needs of each student; visits elected representatives throughout the year to discuss concerns for the need to repair our state funding structures; and believes our use of resources should be focused upon supporting a highly trained and professional staff, creating good and safe facilities, providing effective technology capabilities, and producing happy learners by using effective teaching materials.

I’ve voted, now how about you?

Michelle Lefebvre

Glenwood Springs

Should taxes be increased $536.1 million and $3 million annually? No.

They say it is temporary. Has anyone ever seen a temporary increase done away with? No.

At the end of five years they will still tell you it is a necessary tax and they are not removing it. It has been a long time since I have seen the administration budget in the paper for the taxpayers to see.

Once the TABOR amendment (Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights) is gone, politicians will go wild with their tax increases. We the taxpayers have a right to say if we feel the requested money is something we want to support.

Protect your children’s future so they don’t have to pay the taxes that are being set in place now. A no vote on both tax increase questions will help save the children’s future.

Jan Walker

Rifle

I received my ballot for the proposed tax-levy increase for Re-2 and I must publicly object to the threatening language alluding that unless taxes are increased, schools may be closed.

I find threatening language from public school bureaucrats to be repugnant to the U.S. and Colorado Constitutions. Therefore, before anyone votes yes on the $3 million per year in property tax increases, I suggest they download the Garfield Re-2 School District 2012 budget and read some startling facts about how these public servants are spending hard earned tax dollars in these very trying economic times.

It is the ultimate hubris for public school bureaucrats and teachers to assume they are somehow immune to a prolonged and deep recession. On page 10 of the 2012 budget, readers will see where next year they will be increasing salaries and benefits by 2.5 percent, costing $736,000. On page 27 under Note A, $870,000 was paid to Re-2 employees in bonuses and furlough days last year. Did the underwater homeowners of west Garfield County receive a bonus last year?

But the slap on the face is found on page 18, where Re-2 is contributing $300,000 in cash to the city of Rifle for a baseball field that is yet to be constructed.

It’s bad enough for Garfield County taxpayers that last July Garfield County Commissioners Jankovsky, Martin and Samson frivolously burned $250,000 in cash on a traveling air circus, which should be no surprise as Commissioner Mike Samson is a former Re-2 teacher.

Thirty percent of all mortgaged homes in Garfield County are underwater. The unemployment rate for the construction industry is 22 percent. The official unemployment rate is 10.5 percent and when the under-employed are factored in, the rate is 16.5 percent.

Re-2 has $11,850,000 in cash reserves – more than adequate money to survive without closing any schools by freezing all employee salaries and benefits. I strongly suggest voters vote no on $3,000,000 in tax increases and send an unequivocal message to Superintendent Susan Birdsey, et. al., that Garfield County public school bureaucrats and teachers are not immune to this deep economic recession.

Carl McWilliams

Silt Mesa

The hundreds of thousand of individuals in our major cities, and now even in Glenwood Springs, are doing a commendable thing by making us all aware of the Wall Street barons who’ve enriched themselves by disgraceful amounts of money as we, the 99 percent, have lost some of our investments, our pensions, our homes and our livelihood.

Now that this movement has succeeded in making the public aware of this catastrophe, they might be well advised to go the next step by going to where the real fault lies. It was our politicians who de-regulated the banks, the financial institutions, etc. making it possible for these barons to reap unabashed profits.

And, who were these politicians who made this possible? They were politicians on both sides of the aisle, including Greenspan, Paulson, Geithner, Bush, Clinton and all the rest who promoted deregulation.

Maybe now is the time for this movement to focus, not on those who profited by the deregulations, but those who did away with regulations that were in place. Maybe the movement should now focus on Washington. Sit on the steps of the Capitol and demand that the politicians now put their minds and efforts to re-establishing the regulations they not very long ago buried.

My source of information is the documentary “Inside Job.”

Stephen G. Kuhn

Glenwood Springs

I am running for re-election to the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees, a position I have held for four years, the last two years as president of the board.

This is a critical time for CMC as it faces continued growth. Community colleges are in what could be called the perfect storm: a floundering economy resulting in higher unemployment, the decision for many in our community to retrain or re-educate, the rising costs of doing business, and shrinking state and local tax revenues.

The result is a tremendous growth in enrollment while doing all we can to maintain a good value to the community.

As a small business owner, I recognize how important CMC is to the long term success of all businesses in the valley. When CMC does well, it is good for business. Many businesses employ CMC students, and all CMC students contribute to our economy.

That’s why I supported the decision to purchase the bank building at 802 Grand. Not only is CMC consolidating its administration into more functional space at a long term savings, we partnered with the Library Board to build a new downtown library as well as worked with the city to build a parking garage that will be of tremendous impact to businesses, citizens and tourists.

The building will also house the chamber offices and visitor center, and will eventually house classes and serve as a business incubator for the college. This vibrant new center of activity will be a tremendous asset to our community.

I understand fiscal responsibility. As CMC embarked on building our infrastructure the past four years (utilizing CMC Foundation monies) to meet growing student enrollment, we held down administrative costs. Top administrative positions were consolidated, and last year salaries were frozen.

We maintain a sound funding reserve. Tuition increases have been kept at a minimum, and CMC is the best higher education value in the state.

I ask for your vote. Feel free to call me at 379-9134 or stan@nprweb.org with any questions or suggestions you have.

Stan Orr

Glenwood Springs

I support school resource officers and anti-gang work. I don’t understand how any righteous agency could not.

When we read about the Strawberry Days and the officer in Carbondale, immigration and immigrants are not the ones that are being discussed, it is illegal immigration and illegal immigrants – those who tie up every part of our nation’s limited resources of time and money. Illegal immigration is an act of terrorism on our country and citizens.

Immigrants who come to our country legally must be frustrated with the Dream Act. Why did they have to jump through the hoops and red tape? How many crimes does it take a person to be an illegal immigrant? Trespassing, stealing, littering, poaching, public urination – all crimes.

If there is a gateway crime, it would have to be illegal immigration. I feel the Roaring Fork Valley just turns the other cheek and rewards illegal immigration.

What if I protest this in Sayre Park? I will be labeled a racist and a bigot. What if I was attacked and defended myself? Would the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition come after me with charges of a hate crime? How does an illegal immigrant have any U.S. Constitutional rights? Please, school resource officers and ICE, step it up.

Jason Schuler

Carbondale

Mike Copp, the man who tucked in his sweaters, has left us.

Mike Copp, Ted O’Leary, Bill Hauskins and some other truly amazing Glenwood Springs folks formed what some called “the golden age” of Glenwood Springs. As the bust turned to boom, we initiated bus service, affordable housing, the alternate route, and the river trail system. We finished the pedestrian bridge, water metering of the original townsite, and the downtown renovation. And we had a lot of fun.

Mike Copp was a great boss. And he was famous for being unmarried. The Glenwood Post had used him in a wedding fashion photo shoot. We on the city staff expressed our chagrin by staging a surprise shotgun wedding for him with Claudia Perry playing the role of the pregnant bride.

On his 40th birthday, we draped the council chambers and ourselves in black. Mike Harman read a eulogy in front of a fake coffin. Mike Copp vowed revenge on me for that one.

He loved golf. He was so happy when he went to Saint Andrews in Scotland. Then computers came out and he learned about golf game software. When we talked through the years, he told me of his delight in teaching his grandson how to play golf. Did I mention he loved golf?

Then there was the time when anti-tax activist Doug Bruce called about our pending sales tax renewal election. Mike’s secretary told him Doug Bruce was on the phone and Mike was sure it was a friend giving him a hard time. After about 10 minutes of Mike baiting his supposed friend, he realized it really was Mr. Bruce.

Mike was the smartest city manager I ever worked for. He deeply valued public servant ethics and was a strong supporter of his staff. He taught me so much and made me a better person. He supported me through family illnesses and tough political controversies.

He understood what a privilege it is to work in service to Glenwood Springs and greatly valued the people who lived there, ran for office and worked together for a better community. Colorado will miss him, and he left his legacy all over Glenwood Springs. Thank you, Mike, for a life well lived.

Leslie Klusmire

Tucson, Ariz.

Editor’s note: Leslie Klusmire served Glenwood Springs as community development director from 1985 to 1993 on Mike Copp’s team.

It seems as though the new catch phrase is “Everybody has to pay their fair share.” From Washington to Wall Street and across the country, that is all you hear about.

Why don’t we start to do our part in our school districts? If parents have kids in school and do not pay any property taxes, then they need to step up to the plate and pay tuition. Otherwise, their kids are getting a free ride on the backs of property owners. How is this equal and fair to property owners?

Besides, it will help the parents and kids prepare for college, where they will have to pay for their education.

Dennis Yost

Glenwood Springs


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