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As we count the blessings of life during the holiday season, many of us count among those blessings the companionship of our animals and the joy that they bring us. For quite a few of our friends and neighbors, though, being able to keep and feed our pets has proven to be very challenging lately for economic, medical and similar reasons.

Knowing this, Colorado Animal Rescue started the CARE Pet Food Bank in September with the goal of providing healthy, nutritious pet food to individuals and families who need some assistance during difficult times. In just the first four months, we have distributed over one ton of pet food to help feed well over 100 pets throughout Garfield County.

We could not have accomplished this without the numerous donations that we have received of pet food and money from many people in our area. Nor could we have gotten the program off the ground so quickly and successfully without the ongoing support and incredible donations from our business friends at Aspen Wags at the Aspen Animal Shelter, R.J. Paddywack’s in El Jebel, The Carbondale Co-op, Petco in Glenwood Springs and Blue Tent Marketing. To all of you, our sincere thanks.



It is now very clear to us that the Pet Food Bank is filling a very real local need throughout our area, so we are dedicated to continuing the program through 2012 and beyond. We currently distribute pet food once a month at locations in Parachute, Rifle, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale.

Our schedule for 2012 is included in our brochure that is available at many human services offices, shelters, pet food stores and local charities, as well as online at http://www.coloradoanimalrescue.org



Call CARE at 947-9173 for further information about getting help through the Pet Food Bank, or to donate or volunteer. The Pet Food Bank is entirely supported by volunteer efforts with the guidance of our wonderful staff at CARE, and we would love for anyone to join us.

Leslie Rockey, CARE Executive Director

William Lukes, Architect and Program Coordinator

Glenwood Springs

I’m really having trouble with the titles “GOP Senate leader” and “House Speaker.”

What has Mitch McConnell done lately to deserve his title, and what has John Boehner ever done to merit his role?

There are many of us who feel neglected and misrepresented in the House as well as the Senate.

McConnell is a Mickey Mouse turncoat.

Boehner is a bend-and-fold weakling.

The incompetence and lousy leadership of these two guys just might help get the worst president in history get re-elected. Their lack of fortitude in surrendering on the payroll tax issue is further proof that neither has the courage of his convictions.

Concerned, conservative, patriotic citizens are simply victims of political nonsense without proper congressional representation.

Yes, the Grand Old Party has become the Groveling Oppressive Party.

Richard Doran

Parachute

Oh, where to start in the current litany of the Greedy Obstructionist Plotters?

Their leading presidential candidate, a total right-wing fanatic, fined $300,000 for ethical violations, is a serial adulterer and a hypocrite who was in the in middle of cheating on his first wife even as he was crucifying Bill Clinton. This guy personifies the current morality of the fundamentalist, Tea Party Republicans; a fraudulent, fascist fabulist.

We have two traitorous Supreme Court justices who gave our election system to the corporations just as their Koch masters suggested at those innocent parties they attended. One of them, Justice Thomas, made a little $600,000 “oversight” on his taxes. Can you spell impeachment?

Screaming over-regulation, Republicans blocked the appointment of a chairman for an agency designed to prevent the type of theft that has crippled our economic system, and then blocked a bill to extend unemployment benefits for the people they have thrown out of work with the unregulated looting of the country by Wall Street, because they didn’t want their rich benefactors taxed to pay for it.

Never mind the criminal actions, fake paperwork and false mortgages that stole citizen’s homes, these people are too big to prosecute.

Fear not, citizens. When they get total control of the county, their corporate buddies will give everyone jobs again, maybe with a 30 percent pay cut so everyone can share the pain.

The strategy of accusing the opposition of what you are doing yourself doesn’t stand up too well when you have already announced that you will do anything (or nothing) to make sure the president of the United States fails in his duties to the people.

Mitch McConnell’s lame attempts to accuse the Democrats of class war falls flat on 99 percent of ears.

The Republican claim of “soft on terrorism” for an administration that has taken out 22 of the 30 top terrorist leaders around the world is complete idiocy.

Those who believe the lies and hypocrisy spouted by Cantor, McConnell, Boehner and company can give them their money and their vote; they’ll get it in the end.

R.W. Boyle

New Castle

The Village at Crystal River project in Carbondale is being hotly debated, and there are many pros and cons.

The single-purpose-agenda opponents are creating a significant amount of discord. As a result of their overly aggressive behavior, the community as a whole is suffering at a time when it can ill afford it. Shoppers, visitors and businesses are going elsewhere. This will create long-term problems for the town and its citizens.

Government and nonprofit entities combined are now the largest employee base in Carbondale. Many Carbondale citizens work out of town and bring their paychecks home. Government and nonprofit paychecks depend on subsidies, taxes, grants, etc. They need the outside income that comes into the town’s coffers to continue to exist.

As government continues to be impacted by the economy and private businesses shrink, cash to support the nonprofit entities and government payroll will lessen. A second wave of unemployment in those sectors will reduce those paychecks to a minimum, and maintaining basic services will be challenging. Good work that nonprofits do could very well evaporate.

Consider the PIF – a 1 percent tax on consumables paid by everyone who shops at VCR. That creates an opportunity for a 1 percent savings from the town’s general funds, thereby doubling the benefit.

The benefit of an extra 1 percent in the total budget of $5 million means there is an extra $50,000 to share. Combined with the already-in-place 0.5 percent tax dedicated to recreation, it could mean we are getting somewhere. A funding mechanism for improvements to a dilapidated Highway 133 that are needed will be created. Some who read this may not get this concept, while others will.

Carbondale citizens should look in the mirror and ask if themselves if they are willing to bear the cost of a no vote on their own. One Carbondale trustee is talking a property tax increase to sustain his vision. Is that yours?

Study the issues with an open mind, look to the future and weigh the consequences carefully. Do not respond to hype and emotion regarding this important decision.

Rick Stevens

Carbondale


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