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Your Letters

I often travel to Carbondale to visit good friends and to enjoy the atmosphere of a wonderful, small town.

The Oregon county where I was born and reside has small towns, too. Some of the most vibrant died on the vine from a lack of value-based growth and loss of sustainable family-wage employment. These towns have “grown,” with more people, more buildings, and an amazing reduction in open space replaced by parking lots and other reasons for sprawl. But they are not vibrant.

Speculative real estate transactions and expansions, for the benefit of a few, eliminated smart development options that would have built around a business core and existing values. Historic downtowns are drained. Small, family-owned restaurants are out, Applebee’s and Red Robin in. The local small business retailer that sponsored our students and athletic programs is out, Pier 1 Imports is in.

It looks like good ol’ Bonedale may be taking a similar turn for the worse with the latest VCR proposal. The good news is that the people who matter most, town residents, get to vote and decide.

By approving the VCR proposal as is, shoppers will get to pay a special added tax on everything purchased. The tax pays the developer to build a CDOT-required roundabout, required only due to the development, and certain to cause grief during construction. The $2.5 million project will actually cost $5 million in tax dollars with interest paid over 20 years. And just for fun, ask who might be included as a bond holder and recipient of said interest paid for with tax dollars. The developer? (Yes.)

I live where a sales tax remains unconstitutional, but I understand the need for a better grocery store to draw tax dollars back to the local government. But is it really necessary to subsidize a 24-acre development on unbroken ground just to get a new City Market?

Were I able to vote on this VCR proposal, my choice would be clear. The vote is no, for the best interests of the people and the town of Carbondale.

Miles Barkhurst

Myrtle Creek, Ore.

What is it going to take for those of us who are everyday people to be treated fairly by those who have deep pockets and the connections to protect themselves from taking responsibility for their actions?

Two years ago, I had bilateral knee replacement surgery. During the procedure the surgeon damaged a nerve at my knee, causing a permanent drop foot. I am unable to flex my foot. Those who know me are aware of the extensive effort I have made over the past two years to improve my physical disability, but without success.

Every job I have attempted since my injury, to supplement my teacher’s retirement benefits, has resulted in extreme pain and throbbing in my foot by the end of my shift.

I have tried to find lawyers locally and in the Denver area to pursue a lawsuit against the surgeon who damaged the nerve in my leg, without success. Local lawyers won’t file a lawsuit against a local doctor, and the lawyers in the Denver area say they “don’t have the time to represent me.” I finally filed a civil lawsuit before the statute of limitations ran out on my case.

I would imagine the offending surgeon’s lawyer is looking forward to taking advantage of my lack of knowledge about medical malpractice laws. Although I don’t have the means to hire a high-priced lawyer to present my case, I won’t give up without doing all I can to hold this surgeon responsible for the life-changing disability he has caused me.

Janet B. Holley

Glenwood Springs

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