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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

This letter is in response to Ramona Talbott’s letter of March 28.

For her to actually have the audacity to further her own personal women’s health care agenda by drawing a comparison to the Holocaust, she should be ashamed.

What she forgot to mention in her letter was the number of women who have been subjected to rape, incest and various other crimes of intrusion onto a woman’s body that may be a factor in their decision to choose an abortion.

She has equated a choice with a systematic and biased extermination of an entire race of fully grown, innocent, conscientious and functioning members of a society. Men, women, children (not zygotes, they were spared) were taken from their homes and families and murdered – some while conscious children watched.

Using her logic, I then beg the question: What about the potential terrorists, murderers, thieves and general “bad seeds” (pardon the pun) that could have been omitted from the pool of “perfect citizens,” much like herself, looking to make this world a better place? A better place for whom is the bigger question.

What’s next? Mandatory vasectomies in order to curb population growth? This is the same baseless reasoning that has thwarted an objective discussion on this issue. Is this objective-less approach an evolutionary glitch … like an appendix?

I vote for a new kind of mandatory health procedure: a social appendectomy.

To other letter writers, it’s absolutely appalling to berate and offend one group in order to lift up another. It’s pointless and self-serving.

I believe that in a roundabout sort of way, through her own beliefs, Ms. Talbott has actually endorsed the right for a woman to choose what is done with her body.

Chad Stieg


What do bird lovers and coffee lovers have in common? An opportunity to support habitat for migratory birds. All we need to do is ask, wherever coffee is sold, if it is shade grown. Better yet, ask if it is shade-grown, organic and fair trade.

Coffee has been traditionally grown under the canopy of trees in Central and South America, thus providing much-needed habitat for birds. Over the past 30 years the traditional sustainable coffee farm has given way to “sun-grown” coffee, which encourages the destruction of habitat and calls for the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

The Roaring Fork Audubon Society, like many in the Roaring Fork Valley, is trying to make environmentally sustainable lifestyle choices. Please consider requesting “shade-grown” (bird friendly) coffee from now on.

To be sure, look for the “bird-friendly” or “Rainforest Alliance” seals.

At present, Roaring Fork Audubon knows of only two locations where shade grown coffee is sold locally, the Carbondale Food Coop and Vitamin Cottage. These shops should be commended for offering shade grown coffee.

Please let us know if it is offered elsewhere in the valley.

Residents who wish to obtain shade grown coffee over the Internet can order it at

Even our wonderful local coffee shops can participate in this effort by adding “shade-grown” to their offerings.

Ann Johnson

Roaring Fork Audubon


Last week, 47 U.S. senators, mostly Republicans, voted to continue giving big oil companies their tax subsidies worth at least $24 billion annually. In 2011, the big five – BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell – raked in $137 billion in profits.

A recent think tank study from Washington, D.C., shows that every penny increase in the price of gasoline per gallon gives the big five $200 million in profits.

The same study shows that since the beginning of the year, the price of gasoline has risen 29 cents per gallon. The study goes on to state that if this price continues through the end of March, it would provide $5.8 billion in additional profits for the big five oil companies. It looks like these senators will be getting their bonuses this year.

The big five oil companies never talk about their overseas subsidies of $600 billion each year.

This vote on Capitol Hill last week was on a bill introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., entitled Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act. The vote was 51-47. Sixty votes were needed to pass the bill.

By the way, the 43 Republicans and four Democrats who voted against this bill also killed an estimated 37,000 wind energy jobs. The Production Tax Credit portion of this bill provided an extension of tax breaks for the wind energy industry. This will have a negative impact on this growing industry in Colorado.

According to Citizens for Tax Justice, the big five oil companies have been avoiding paying their proper share of taxes in our country. For example, ExxonMobil claims that it paid 45 percent when it only paid 17.6 percent in 2010. ExxonMobil made $41.1 billion last year. The oil companies hoard their billions in cash overseas so they do not get taxed here. I think that it is time for an IRS audit of the whole industry. I doubt that President Obama or Congress have the guts to ask for this audit.

Randy Fricke

New Castle

This is to question the Post Independent’s choice to make the story about a former Glenwood Springs police officer getting arrested a front page story. Really, does the paper have nothing better to report on?

Paul Pedersen is a personal friend of mine and I find it offensive that the paper is attempting to smear his name.

As per the story, he has accomplished with hard work by himself and other officers the task of getting scumbag drug dealers off the street. And he was involved in showing the “bad” in the BS that happens in Pitkin County and the blind eye they turn when it comes to drugs.

All in all, I just want to say it’s pitiful that the editors made it a front page story, or that the paper even wrote about it.

Kenn Van Teylingen


The Colorado Department of Transportation is being disingenuous to the residents of Glenwood Springs. In their effort to sell a new bridge, they emphasize its age and also problems with scouring of the footings of the middle support pier.

This will be the third year of high water attacking the central support with a log jam attached to it. The effect of the logs is to divert the high, fast moving water as it passes over the large rock ballast into the air and directly onto the north footing of the central support. This action, coupled with the fast water passing around the support, acts like a double storm and has removed the bulk of the large rock ballast that was placed there to protect the footer.

The lack of simple maintenance by CDOT has done more damage to the bridge than 50 years of flood waters by the Colorado River. CDOT would like this bridge to fail so that they can construct a new bridge, no matter the consequences to the residents and retailers in the downtown Glenwood Springs area. There is a rush to build a bridge to continue the traffic on Highway 82 through Glenwood Springs.

There is no mention from CDOT concerning a bypass around Glenwood Springs. However, if there was a bypass and the current bridge was used for local traffic, there would be no need for a new Grand Avenue bridge.

Gregory Durrett

Glenwood Springs

I would like to respond the question posed by Rod Savoye in his April 3 letter. He asks why the health care mandate is any different from the auto insurance mandate imposed by the state.

Well, there are a couple of major distinctions.

First, driving in this state is considered a privilege; therefore, mandatory insurance can be instituted under the state’s right to pass laws that aren’t outlined in the Constitution. After all, you can choose not to carry auto insurance if you don’t want to drive a vehicle.

Second, the Obama health care mandate forces all Americans to purchase health insurance against their will. You have no choice. This is unconstitutional by several standards. For starters, it mandates that all people purchase a product from a private company. This strictly violates the 10th amendment of our Constitution. Furthermore, why should the people of this country who can afford their health care out-of-pocket be forced to buy an insurance policy they don’t need?

Third, how about some torte reform, so doctors’ liability insurance isn’t so exorbitant; and therefore passing the cost on to us?

Jim Klein

New Castle

Based on the circumstances surrounding the firing of county manager Ed Green and county oil and gas liaison Judy Jordan, it is no wonder that the Garfield Board of County Commissioners is having difficulty coming up with a candidate for the county manager position.

After all, not only does the candidate have to meet the job requirements, but he or she must also be approved of by the gas and oil drilling companies at whose altar the public servants on the BOCC worship.

I think that is what Commissioner John Martin was referring to when he stated that they were looking for a “knock-it-out-of-the-park” employee.

Garry Evenson

Battlement Mesa

I just had the displeasure of reading Stan Rachesky’s insulting letter of April 4. He says (they, the federal government) “throw their support to the blue collar labor, the unions … What’s wrong with this picture? Does this segment of society ever create jobs? No.”

Wrong Mr. Rachesky. I love to tell Tea Baggers and conservatives this: the middle class does create jobs. As a matter of fact, it creates almost all of them. This nations loss of its middle class equals the loss of its buying power.

The 1 percent have had 10-plus years of the Bush tax cuts and 30 years of Reaganomics. When will they start creating the Utopian economy that they have promised? They are sitting on, not investing domestically, the obscene wealth that they hold.

I am a blue collar worker and I am proud of the callouses on my hands. Like most of my peers, my wages and spending power have gone down in recent years and it is not because of regulations. It is because of deregulation.

Banks and credit card companies prospered under Bush’s deregulation, so much so that they gambled away or sold to the Chinese most of our economy. The Republicans encourage the closing of factories and the moving of production to Third World despotic countries that have no safety or environmental laws just to save a buck.

As international corporate profits again reach record heights, I am left wondering when will it trickle down?

You can’t blame Obama. He didn’t take office until 2009. The economy crashed in 2008. The president is far from perfect, but he is making some progress cleaning up the latest Republican depression.

Dan Bokenko

Glenwood Springs

The U.S. Postal Service, constitutionally entrenched in our history, is under attack and has been for some time. As with Social Security and Medicare, the Republicans have no use for socialism of any kind. Therefore they have tried and tried to privatize the Postal Service for almost half a century that I personally know of.

In 2006, while still in power, the Republicans passed a bill that required the Postal Service to pre-fund its retirement system fully for 75 years and do it within the next 10 years. Of course the bill was signed by then President George W. Bush and praised as an accomplished feat by Republicans. It placed a burden on the Post Office that no other business, public or private, has ever had to deal with.

Since 2006, the Post Office, which is not tax funded in any way, has had to pay $5.5 billion to pre-fund its retirement system in excess of general annual expenses. To date, it currently has over $40 billion in the fund and is now pre-funding retirement for employees who haven’t even been hired yet.

The burden has caused the Postal Service to run a deficit over the past several years. The result of the bill to pre-fund the retirement system has resulted in new questions about the Postal Service’s survival – the end result many had hoped for when the bill was passed.

Now more talk of privatizing, eliminating post offices, service, and over 120,000 employees is looming. Rural areas and post offices are expected to be hardest hit. Other delivery systems such as UPS and Federal Express actually have a contract with the Post Office to deliver up to 25 percent of their business to these costly areas.

Today the Postal Service has one of the lowest postal rates in the world. A big portion of employees are veterans. It is our Postal Service, and I just thought this might be something readers might want to know.

Jim Childers

New Castle

Thank you to the Post independent staff for the awesome April 1 newspaper.

April Fool’s Day happens to be my personal favorite holiday. It started when my kids were little and I brought home beautiful boxes, all gift-wrapped with nice bows and ribbons, that were empty. Watching their faces go from confusion to delight was a Kodak moment engraved in my memory. My daughter in particular has gone on to be a trickster to be feared.

I could tell by the detail of the work that the Post Independent now has the bug. The paper were marvelous and I know you laughed as hard making that edition as I laughed reading it. It was exceptionally good work.

You beat the Aspen Daily News by a mile. My hat is off to the awesome staff at the Post Independent.

Jennifer Vanian

Glenwood Springs

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