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Your Letters

I am writing in response to the letters Allyn Harvey has been submitting. I am shocked at his blatant misuse and spin of financial statistics and, more importantly, his outright refusal to accept free trade and competition in Carbondale.

The most important thing Mr. Harvey and the Locals For Smarter Growth have neglected in their opposition to the Village at Crystal River project is the 74 cents of every dollar that leaves Carbondale. The developer and City Market see that huge amount of money leaving this geographical area and want to capitalize on that number, not cannibalizing other local business’s revenue. They want to capture the dollars being spent in other areas by Carbondale residents. Shockingly enough, 74 percent of every dollar leaving the town far outweighs the 26 percent staying.

The other misconception Mr. Harvey has provided is that City Market will only be recapturing its own dollars with little chance of growth within the community. That is incorrect in its entirety.

Village Smithy and The Bonfire are a perfect example of this. The owners of the Smithy saw a portion of business that they did not currently have, so they put together a great idea with the Bonfire to capitalize on the missed revenues.

Did they capture business from their competitors? Sure they did. However, they also captured new business and new dollars that were not being spent locally. I know this because I stop at the Bonfire every week, and I still stop at Grana Bread every week as well.

Whether one is for or against VCR, I do hope everyone keeps an open mind and does not fall prey to many of the blatant misrepresentations of facts that have been printed in local newspapers.

I support local businesses and will continue to do so in the future. We need more options, more services, and more tax revenue in Carbondale regardless of the outcome of VCR. Vote “yes” for Carbondale and support both local and new business growth.

Don Van Devander


In a letter to the editor in the Jan. 19 issue of the Post Independent, Re-2 school board member Scott Doherty stated, “Unfortunately, it is likely we will be making decisions that will adversely affect classroom instruction.”

I appreciate Mr. Doherty’s refreshing honesty, but is this satisfactory to those of us in Re-2, especially those with children in Re-2 schools who will likely having deteriorating educational opportunities because of this attitude?

I doubt that Re-2 citizens elected members of the school board with the idea that those elected would give up and oversee worsening classroom instruction for students.

I suggest that the citizens of Re-2 should expect its school board members to make hard and creative decisions that will not impede the ability of dedicated teachers to provide quality education to our students. Further, I suggest that the school board members should be accountable to the parents and students of Re-2 to enumerate ways to save money without impeding the ability of teachers to provide high-quality teaching to prepare students for their futures.

Again, I appreciate Mr. Doherty’s honest wake-up call to the citizens of Re-2 concerning the impending deterioration of education for our students. That should not happen, and the citizens who placed the members of the school board in their important positions should expect more.

Ken McCracken


In a time when many community programs are being cut, we should be doing everything in our power to get projects moving in Colorado.

For example, Gov. Hickenlooper said in his State of the State address that the $100 million property tax credit for seniors must be removed because of the state’s finances. It’s yet another reason why lawmakers should concentrate on attracting business.

But while Gov. Hickenlooper is giving a pep talk to elected officials to promote business, it seems that his speech fell on deaf ears when it came to energy projects on public lands.

It seems that across the Western Slope, the feds are working diligently to make development of our domestic resources as arduous as possible.

From the woefully inept draft resource management plan for the BLM Colorado River Field Office, to the foot-dragging antics regarding the proposed expansion for the McClane Canyon Mine, to the “fresh look” at oil shale leasing and development, to the unbelievable roadblocks on the Roan Plateau, the BLM seems to have a chip on its shoulder when it comes to energy.

And it’s too bad. Energy jobs pay much higher on average and allow employees and their families to have a better quality of life. In addition, local communities gain much from sound, sensible development of public lands in the way of taxes and royalty payments, which go to pay for roads, schools and many community services.

I really hope that the BLM’s Western Slope field offices will take heed and support the businesses that support our communities.

Meghan Lehr

Grand Junction

In his letter to the editor of Jan. 19, David Turtle suggested we take the opportunity to think outside the box. He suggests investing in a compressed natural gas (CNG) facility, and fuel everything from RFTA to go-carts with natural gas on the taxpayer’s dime. If you heat your home with CNG or LPG, we’d agree this type of thinking is just another box.

The cost of bringing natural gas to market has increased exponentially. The savings Mr. Turtle discussed are best described as “an invisible carrot on a stick.”

California is a perfect example of CNG not bringing gas prices down. A mitigation claim spiked natural gas prices overnight.

Presently, CNG prices are the same as a gallon of gasoline – or more – at the pump. The tax revenues invested in CNG didn’t reap returns to the taxpayers in cheap fuel.

CNG as a cleaner alternative fuel is a half-truth. In the past, emissions have been cleaner, but CNG is far from being a greener alternative energy source. Many late model gasoline vehicles offer emissions quality equal to most CNG vehicles.

CNG requires invasive environmental operations, using questionable chemicals to extract natural gas for market. The random 40-cent savings quoted is overshadowed by the escalating mitigation costs associated with gas extraction accidents across the U.S.

Consumers shouldn’t have to choose between clean air and clean water.

Mr. Turtle is using the same circular logic we’ve had on consumer energy discussions for nearly 50 years. Consumers need tangible alternative options to move away from our dependency on oil and gas.

Consumers shouldn’t be forced to accept the boxed consumer products these federally subsidized industries have created. I believe it’s called the “free-market” – a concept so intriguing, I’d like our county commissioners to use it, rather than subsidizing unsustainable industries with our tax dollars.

CNG as an option to gasoline isn’t new or improved. I applaud Mr. Turtle for his industry-supporting sales pitch, but I hope Garfield County’s taxpayers aren’t willing to buy the natural gas industry’s “fart in a box.”

Anita Sherman

Glenwood Springs

There have been nearly 150 attacks on environmental law alone in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives in this session – all in the name of greater profits for the corporations now attacking our fundamental liberties.

Our children and grandchildren will pay a terrible price for the damage already done. How about a delicious industrial pollution sandwich with your glass of frackwater while you are forced to retrain for a job that won’t be there when they cut off your unemployment benefits?

Have readers been following the current assault on free speech on the internet? Does anyone think this will improve should the Republicans dominate the next election?

I have watched most of the Republican debates, and I was appalled that on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, as every candidate pandered to the fundamentalist, all white, clearly racist crowd, hooting, jeering and cheering their bigotry in South Carolina.

Any person of color in this country supporting the Republican Party is a fool. It makes 1933 German politics look like a cakewalk.

The Republican platform is fascist, racist, imperialist, war mongering (helps the economy you know) and anti-human rights. The party has, so far, and will continue to sell America to the wealthy and their criminal corporate masters.

Having said this, the Democrats aren’t much better. If we the citizens don’t wake up relatively soon, we might as well start sewing the corporate patches on our clothes and putting the “sponsored and owned by” stickers on your 10.6-year-old cars.

The corporate apologists and global warming deniers (praise “corporate science”) will rest comfortably and my “traitorous” letters will stop just as soon as I can be picked up and held incognito by the U.S. Army, without habeas corpus.

Right now they are busy helping TSA strip-search an 80-year-old woman in a wheelchair in Miami and don’t yet have the funds (pending another loan from Red China) to deal with a 70-year-old letter-writing terrorist.

What a disastrous legacy we are about to leave our children. Oh yes, and God help America.

R.W. Boyle

New Castle

With the purchase of a site in Basalt for a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), our CCRC task force has successfully completed its mission begun in 2006. We can proudly disband.

My purpose in writing this is to hit some of the high spots of the process and to be sure the community is aware of who they can thank for all the efforts in reaching our goal.

Our founding members were Marty Ames, Ken Canfield, Dorothea Ferris, Helen Klanderud, Kris Marsh and Dave Ressler.

Subsequently added were Sue Helm, Mick Ireland, John Kelleher, Nan Sundeen, John Sarpa and Bob Throm.

Aspen Valley Hospital, Aspen Valley Medical Foundation, the city of Aspen and Pitkin County shared in funding the first community survey of interest in the CCRC concept. With the positive results in hand, we approached important current owners-operators of existing CCRC’s, hopeful that they would initiate an Aspen project. Unfortunately they were uninterested.

We did discover that even the largest CCRCs used specialized planning and development companies for their projects. After interviewing a number of them, we selected one to determine if an Aspen CCRC was economically feasible. Their conclusion was that it was.

The next step was to acquire a site. Kris Marsh accepted the task with the help of others. After a sustained effort, we had to conclude there were no feasible options in Aspen.

Focus groups met in both Aspen and Basalt to assess an alternative location in Basalt. Results were very positive and have led to the site location there.

An anonymous gift of $2 million to the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation for the project has allowed funding for preconstruction planning and development needs.

Aspen Valley Medical Foundation has officially taken sponsorship of the CCRC, which is a very important step to the viability and credibility of the project, and in due course will establish a new nonprofit for the project’s construction and operation.

Ken Canfield


According to Wikipedia, the phrase “red herring” is a figurative expression in which a clue or piece of information is or is intended to be misleading, or distracting from the actual question.

Speaking of red herrings, William Lamont’s Jan. 18 letter, “133 Improvements begin with VCR development,” throws out two of them before defending the developer from one. Confused? Please read on.

Mr. Lamont treats us to two wonderful red herrings at the beginning of his letter. The first is that a “world famous sculptor” may grace a roundabout on Highway 133 with one of his/her creations. The second is that there is a landscape plan being prepared to line Highway 133 with trees from the bridge to Main Street.

These projects, wait for it, are to be accomplished with privately raised funds. Wow! I wonder where Mr. Lamont is getting this information and why it is coming out now.

If these are not “distracting from the actual question” I’ll eat a ton of red herring on the 50 yard line at homecoming.

Disclosure: Wikipedia also states that there is really no such creature as a red herring. Could these vague pronouncements be a Hail Mary ploy to get votes for VCR?

Then the letter states, “The focus on the developer’s projections for dollar sales is a red herring.”

It is not a red herring! It is one of the main issues.

If that project is not economically self supporting, it will fail and Carbondale will be stuck with a hole in the ground. When salesman-developer Rich Schierburg cut his sales figures in half at the town forum, it screamed game changer. It means less business for the stores located there and less money to pay off the PIF.

Don’t believe the smoke from the “yes” folk. If you haven’t done so, vote “no.”

R. J. Zentmyer


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