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This letter is in response to Ross Talbott’s Oct. 25 column, “Understanding the Enemy.”

I agree there is dissatisfaction in our world on all levels and we need to personally take responsibility for the changes that need to happen. Most often there are two sides to a story.

I find myself questioning the negative vernacular used in Mr. Talbott’s column to stir a fear from a biblical prophecy. The words that fill our vocabulary will also support our consciousness and, in turn, our actions. The repetitive use of the word “enemy” may exacerbate or create more conflict.



From my perspective, this leads to a fear generated by a consciousness of “you better be right or else.” There are many languages, and when we employ negative terms, we begin to think defensively and foresee a battle in all that we are doing.

Simply said, why not shift our thinking from enemy to a friend, become friends with what is, and employ the heart of understanding, forgiveness and love?



The work we must do comes from our intention to be honest with ourselves and with others and not because of what beliefs another person may have. When we speak from the heart, our inner voice resounds and joins the tapestry work of life.

Since we are all in this together, why not commence or continue with gratefulness? What do we need on our table to count the gifts in our life? May our gifts be our family, our friends, the opportunities for a shift in personal growth.

For those who see differently, may we have an opportunity to hear and respect. There possibly may be a softening coming about and alas, no fear of foe.

I share a quote, “Gratitude softens a heart that has been too guarded and it builds the capacity for forgiveness, which creates the clarity of mind that is ideal for spiritual development.”

For those who read and absorb what speaks to them or not, I am thankful.

Annig Agemian Raley

Glenwood Springs

Some taxes are OK. For instance, the first federal gas tax, 4 cents, was levied by Congress during the mid-’50s for the express purpose of building the interstate highway system. Few objected to that, and after 38 years the last segment was completed in Glenwood Canyon in 1992. (Imagine not having an interstate highway system).

Taxes applied to a specific goal are generally more acceptable to taxpayers. Highway user taxes (on gas, diesel, auto parts, etc.) have long been accepted by the public, since funds raised go toward building and maintaining the roads we all use.

Hundreds of miles of rural state highways in Colorado, built during the ’30s and ’40s need to be brought up to current standards. These roads are dangerous because they lack shoulders and guardrails, and often include poor alignment, inadequate sight distances and intersections needing channelization. A 5-cent raise in the fuel tax, hardly to be noticed with the present price of gas and diesel, totally dedicated to modernization of rural roads in Colorado, and properly presented to taxpayers could, very well, be accepted.

Rural highway users in Colorado need and deserve safer highways. If you agree, contact your legislators.

Dick Prosence

Meeker

In the last couple of weeks, there has been a lot of media circulating about the Thompson Divide Area, a unique 220,000-acre landscape south and west of the Roaring Fork Valley that is near and dear to the hearts of many citizens valleywide.

As many residents are aware, the Thompson Divide area is at a crossroads, with almost half of the acreage in the divide already leased for oil and gas, along with a pending proposal for unitization for 18 of those 81 leases, covering 32,000 acres of land.

As we initiate the hard work of identifying a solution to protect the unique economic, agricultural, recreational, environmental and municipal benefits of the Thompson Divide, while respecting property rights and existing uses, members of the Thompson Divide Coalition board want to thank all of those who are standing behind this effort and helping us find these solutions.

First, a huge thank-you to the thousands of people who have signed petitions, attended meetings and events, and continue to volunteer and demonstrate unprecedented support for protection of the divide.

Also, we’d like to extend an enormous thank-you to Sen. Bennet and Sen. Udall for sending a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on behalf of the thousands of citizens who care about the divide, addressing the unitization issue and supporting the efforts of the coalition.

We would also like to recognize and thank U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton for convening a dialogue between the primary leaseholders in the divide area and members of the coalition. This is a critical step towards identifying solutions for this important landscape.

And we want to thank SG Interests for coming to the table to talk with us. We recognize what an important action this was, and we look forward to continuing this dialogue over the coming months.

We are blessed to live in a community with such active and supportive advocates, and also blessed to have elected officials who are willing to step in and assist us with this incredibly important effort.

Dorothea Farris, vice president

Thompson Divide Coalition

Carbondale

Jack E. Blankenship was pretty quick in his comeback about the costs of solar energy in his Oct. 30 letter. He asks, “Will these installations ever replace the energy expended to bring them on line?” A little research would have answered his question.

Try this from the U.S. Department of Energy: “Energy payback estimates for rooftop PV systems are four, three, two and one years: four years for systems using current multicrystalline-silicon PV modules, three years for current thin-film modules, two years for anticipated multicrystalline modules, and one year for anticipated thin-film modules. With energy paybacks of one to four years and assumed life expectancies of 30 years, 87 to 97 percent of the energy that PV systems generate won’t be plagued by pollution, greenhouse gases or depletion of resources.

Based on models and real data, the idea that PV cannot pay back its energy investment is simply a myth. Indeed, researchers Dones and Frischknecht found that PV-system fabrication and fossil fuel energy production have similar energy payback periods (including costs for mining, transportation, refining and construction).

Regarding Mr. Blankenship’s statement about the semis it takes to transport the panels, does he think the millions of gallons of water used in fracking get there by levitation? Water trucks also use and consume large amounts of diesel fuel, as do pickups.

As I have written before, the right suffers from irony deficiency. The Post Independent reported on Oct. 9, “Sher Long, a spokeswoman for EnCana Oil and Gas (USA), noted that the natural gas industry is the biggest user of solar panels in Garfield County. The panels generate power for remote well monitoring systems. Long said there are roughly 2,500 panels in use by EnCana alone.”

And from Forbes on Oct. 4, concerning Chevron’s giant solar collector in Coalinga, Calif., “Why use solar? Because heating water using sunlight is potentially much cheaper than heating it by burning natural gas, which is how it’s done in the oil-rich San Joaquin valley now.”

Oil and gas have embraced solar energy. Hopefully Mr. Blankenship too will see the light.

Craig S. Chisesi

Rifle


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