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Mankind creates its own battles. People have a tendency to take much for granted. It is only when privileges and programs are taken away that people wake up.

Carbondale citizens need to get on board with their future. We are in a global recession, borderline depression. All towns are financially challenged.

Carbondale is not only about businesses, it is about jobs as well. Without financial backing through jobs and generated funds, you can’t support a town. The town staff, police, water and waste, recreation, trash, road and snow removal are all supported by some of the general funds generated through sales tax. I encourage everyone to go online to the town of Carbondale website and see what it takes to support a town.



I do not understand the fear being expressed by others regarding development. Most of those speaking out were “new development” for me when they first came to Carbondale, as my family has been here since 1962.

I have witnessed a lot of growth in the 50 years that I’ve lived here. Our side streets were dirt. Only a small section of our main street had asphalt and it was falling apart.



Look at Carbondale now. Great schools, streets, sidewalks and programs are all due to past generations and tax dollars. If people want to raise orchards and organic gardens, so be it as long as they generate sales tax.

We should treat Highway 133 as the red carpet to Carbondale. Beautify the entrance and ensure safety. Without Highway 133, you can’t get to Carbondale unless you go up to Catherine store.

I encourage residents to invest in Highway 133 and Village at Crystal River for your future. If Carbondale is as genuine as I know it is, it will not fade away. Carbondale is already robust and sometimes a bit funky. I like that.

I give you all the credit for being focused on the good for Carbondale and its future. Please vote “yes” on 133 and VCR, Carbondale’s future.

Tamar Hendrickson Mattorano

Carbondale

In the Jan. 16 Post Independent, a letter from Rich Schierburg, the developer who wants to build the Village at Crystal River, suggests several possible uses for the flex zone. In an obvious bid to pander for the senior vote, he cites medical and senior-oriented examples of things that could be included.

A unicorn ranch and perpetual motion power generator could also be constructed, but odds are they won’t be.

Carbondale voters are basing their decision on what is known about the VCR. Right now that’s a grocery store and gas station that will cost the residents more in PIF taxes than they’ll generate in new sales tax revenue for the town.

Vote “no” on the VCR and ask the developer to come up with a smarter plan.

Craig Silberman

Redstone

Thank you for the article in the Jan. 15 Post Independent titled “Teaching Youth about Tolerance.”

It brings out what I have always felt was the great contribution of Martin Luther King Jr., i.e., that we not stop at passing laws to grant racial equality, but strive to love one another regardless of race.

Rod Savoye

Glenwood Springs

In 2010, I designed and received support from the Garfield Board of County Commissioners to continue studying groundwater in the gas patch south of Silt.

Phase III of the Mamm Creek study was the first in the nation to utilize monitoring wells drilled specifically to provide piezometric and water quality data in the gas patch. (Thanks to the public-minded generosity of the Protzes and Pepi Langegger, who allowed the wells to be placed on their properties).

A report was to be presented at the June 2011 Energy Advisory Board meeting, which I scheduled because the consultant and I had reviewed two rounds of data and I felt the public was entitled to learn the results.

The data showed that hydrocarbons were present in all six monitoring wells that we drilled. Not only was there thermogenic methane, but compounds known as homologs of methane also appeared, suggesting one of the following:

• The drinking water aquifer (the Wasatch Formation) contained native hydrocarbons.

• The Wasatch received hydrocarbons that naturally migrated from commercial gas targets below, such as the Williams Fork Formation.

• Gas wells induced migration of hydrocarbons up into the drinking water aquifer.

Analysis of the piezometric data from the monitoring wells would help answer the question as to which of these processes was responsible for the presence of hydrocarbons in the monitoring wells and possibly some of the drinking water wells found to contain methane in Phase II of the study.

The consultants asked me for another month to review data and develop their conclusions. That would have concluded the study by July, or August.

Now it appears the BOCC may have extended the study, but it is not clear why or even that they have. Meanwhile, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission did its own study showing that gas wells have leaked into the aquifer. (See “East Mamm Creek Project Drilling and Cementing Study” of June 20, 2011.)

Garfield County residents deserve to know what happened with the approximately $300,000 that was spent on Phase III, and why the report is being delayed.

Judy Jordan

New Castle

This news item from Bloomberg BusinessWeek caught my eye today: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked a U.S. appeals court to place his name on the ballot for the Virginia Republican presidential primary or to halt the printing of ballots pending his appeal. Perry filed his emergency request with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. Newt Gingrich joined him in an appeal filed Jan. 14 with the same court. The presidential hopefuls are challenging a Virginia law requiring that people gathering signatures for a candidate’s petition to appear on the ballot be eligible to vote in the state.”

It appears that Virginia has a few rules for getting on the primary ballot. They have had these rules for quite a while, not just this election cycle. Only the Romney and Paul campaigns have met the requirements of who is eligible to collect and submit collected signatures and the number of minimum signatures required.

This would not be a very big deal to me except for the fact that none of the candidates who are being left off the ballot have uttered a single sound about the Republican rules across the country making voting more difficult for Americans, mostly the poor, elderly and young – those more likely to vote Democratic.

Perry, Gingrich, Santorum and Huntsman argued that Virginia’s primary rules requiring those seeking to have their names placed on the ballot submit 10,000 signatures from valid Virginia voters are improper and unconstitutional. Wow.

Aren’t these the same guys that howl about states rights? Heck, these are Virginia’s rules. Even funnier, the Perry campaign didn’t even have enough signatures to qualify to be on the ballot, regardless of who gathered them. Take a hint, Gov. Perry.

I have written numerous times about the “irony impaired” GOP, and the fact that they don’t get hypocrisy. Here it is, full blown: “This appeal seeks higher court action to protect the rights of presidential candidates and Virginia voters so those voters have a full access to the Republican candidates of their choice.”

Notice the word “Republican.”

Craig S. Chisesi

Rifle

In his Jan. 12 letter to the editor, VCR developer Rich Schierburg accused the Locals for Smarter Growth of misrepresenting the facts regarding sales tax revenue.

We have looked high and low for those facts, but so far all we have to go on is the outdated (according to Schierburg) 2009 Fiscal Impact Statement (upon which we based our comments), his comments at the public forum and his recent letter to the editor.

The town manager confirmed last week that no new documents revising projected sales tax revenue downward have been submitted.

At the forum, Schierburg claimed that he had submitted new sales tax projections since submitting the 2009 document, and that he was “thrilled” to address this issue. He said he had revised his numbers downward because of the bad economy.

He went on to explain how he arrived at the $335,000 figure the Say Yes literature is touting. Oddly, the transcript of the forum on KDNK.org shows that he could only get to “over $210,000” – nearly a third less than $335,000.

He also said that only 50 percent of that would be new business, meaning that existing businesses will lose 50 percent of their business instead of the 2009 estimation of 20 percent, thereby making it a significantly worse deal for Carbondale.

Although, I am tempted here to ask who exactly is misrepresenting the facts, I have come to realize that there are no facts about projected sales, only speculation. And in this shaky economy, I’m not willing to bet that we will all buy more groceries, gasoline and fast food. I’m not willing to bet that shoppers will come from up and down the valley to shop at our City Market, or that Costco shoppers will stop driving to Edwards, or even that Carbondale’s population will grow much in the next 10 years.

The developer is bluffing, and I will not gamble away Carbondale’s distinct character, independent locally-owned businesses and lively downtown. Please vote “no” on VCR.

Shelle de Beque

Carbondale

I’m not certain what’s more comical, Mayor Dave Moore describing Silt’s proposed grocery store as an urban renewal project – shouldn’t there be an urban area before you can renew it – or Mayor Moore, an elected official who has shown no restraint in expressing his disdain for anything government, looking for a government handout?

Please inform the mayor that the county is a government entity. Does the mayor think the $4 million for this project will come from the county’s magic money tree?

How does this project benefit all of Garfield’s taxpayers? Convenient groceries and gas for Silt residents isn’t exactly a big tourist attraction at this time.

One hopes our county commissioners, county residents and the good people of Silt realize giving Silt $4 million of county revenues for a project that primarily serves Silt residents isn’t a good deal.

Silt and county taxpayers would get more bang for their buck – in this case .000327 of a penny per U.S. taxpayer – if this project received funding through a federal rural economic development grant.

I guess Rep. Scott Tipton didn’t get the math when he tried to stop RFTA from receiving its $25 million federal grant.

Good luck getting a federal grant with our “no money for you” Republican House majority. They’re much too busy funding all those “too big to fail” private multi-national industries with our federal money. It’s called “trickle-down economics.”

Silt, as charming as it is, won’t be on the capitalists’ top 10 urban investment cities this legislative cycle.

Now I’m not trying to rain on the mayor’s parade. If the mayor thinks the good people of Silt want a grocery store, by golly they should have one. The mayor can certainly pull his local budget up from its “boot straps,” and supporters can put the project on ballot, and bond a big one.

In the meantime, Garfield can’t afford to support another “I’m too afraid to mill-levy” mayor’s political whimsies.

Anita Sherman

Glenwood Springs

The PIF is a bailout for the Village at Crystal River developer. It’s as simple as that.

No one is bailing me out, or any of the other citizens in Carbondale who own homes that are crashing in value. No one is subsidizing us while we work two jobs and struggle to keep our kids in college. No one is lining our pockets with dollars siphoned out of the budgets of those feeding our families.

Though Glenwood Meadows has a PIF, they are uncommon and a sign that the development cannot stand on its own economics. Any engineer or savvy town government can tell you that. The bankrupt businesses at the Meadows can tell you that. All of Willits, including Whole Foods, does not have a PIF tax.

In the case of VCR, the developer paid top dollar for the property, and wants us to bail him out of his responsibilities for the road improvements into his mall.

He demands that we pay a 1 percent fee on all goods sold on this property, including groceries, until his construction bond plus interest is paid for. The bond of $2.4 million is estimated to accrue interest so that our payout over 24 years (the minimum time the town website says repayment will take) will be $5 million.

That’s $5 million we are tacking on to our grocery bill, because frankly, City Market is the only thing committed to this new development.

So for $5 million we get an abandoned building at the corner of Main and 133, eight new jobs at a grocery store a half-mile down the road, and a cluster of traffic at a roundabout funneling cars away from downtown and into this mall.

The developer, however, gets out of his obligations, lines his pockets with more profit, and puts higher food costs onto the backs of our working class families. The developer gets a subsidy. Translation: privatized profit and socialized cost. It’s as simple as that.

Really, it’s as simple as that. Vote NO to a PIF tax.

Denise Moss

Carbondale


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