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Your Letters

This week Holy Cross Energy customers have a rare chance to do something high-leverage on climate change and their energy future by voting in the Holy Cross elections.

This election is important because it marks the departure of the board’s most experienced member, Tom Turnbull. Mr. Turnbull cares deeply about Holy Cross and deserves huge thanks for his leadership over more than 30 years.

For the sake of continuity and stability, he also deserves to be replaced with someone who has similar experience. Happily, that person is running, and his name is Bob Gardner ( Mr. Gardner worked for Holy Cross for 30 years and was a seminal part of developing their energy efficiency and clean energy program. I’ve known Mr. Gardner for many years and have enormous respect for him as a person; for his knowledge of utility operations; and for his support for clean energy solutions.

I’m also going to vote for Adam Palmer, a thoughtful and engaged incumbent with a strong background in applied energy efficiency as the green code official in Eagle County; and for Kristen Bertuglia (, a new face in these elections but one with a broad experience in business and energy, and an interest in helping to prepare Holy Cross for a new future where carbon emissions cost money and efficiency plays a key supply role.

Please vote for Bob Gardner, Adam Palmer and Kristen Bertuglia to help Holy Cross continue its outstanding work as one of the country’s most reliable, cost effective, and environmentally responsible rural co-ops. The ballots have arrived by mail this week, and need to be mailed back by June 4.

Auden Schendler


During the past three and a half years, the Obama administration has distorted the truth and lost the faith of the American people. All of Obama’s failures proclaim lost leadership. America seems to be in a state of planned decline. Are we better off today then we were $5 trillion ago?

States such as Wisconsin or California need to choose austerity over bankruptcy, otherwise the people are just being bribed with their own money.

Remember when John F. Kennedy said in 1961, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”? Today, the American people have done a 180. Today it would read, “Ask what your country can do for you, take everything you can get, and screw everybody that gets in your way.”

Congress thinks they’re changing Wall Street, while Main Street America is failing. We’re in a sinkhole of debt while the president thinks he’s a king and continues to work outside the Constitution, which he took an oath to protect and defend.

Confidence in the our system is at an all-time low, and every time something just doesn’t go as planned Obama blames the previous administration. Obama should “man up” and realize that what he’s attempting to do just doesn’t work and never has because his profile is so socialist it’s like a fat man in stretch pants.

Tell me, would a person want to continue to use their sweat equity to pay for Obama’s failed schemes while everything they’ve worked for is slowly being taken away?

Stan Rachesky

Glenwood Springs

In our region, density is, to many, a four letter word and perhaps rightfully so. Most of us live here for the open space, recreational opportunities, natural surroundings, cultural richness and, for many, an escape from humdrum city living. In that lifestyle context, high density housing seems contrary to fundamental living decisions and flies in the face of the historic American craving for land ownership.

On the other hand, consider the consequences of the conventional suburban paradigm: lack of proximate affordable housing due to prohibitive land prices, traffic congestion from workers seeking ever more distant affordability, open space consumption resulting from the suburban growth pattern and the energy and time consumption from driving to everything.

All this conspires to threaten the tourism economy that facilitates the mountain lifestyle: workforce transiency/attitude, family-distracting commute time, home investment insecurity, impeded community participation, energy consumption and air quality impact. All this has a dampening effect on the quality visitor’s experience, and they have innumerable choices of where to vacation.

The municipal advantages of high density housing are many-fold: a high proportion of relatively high income young people and retirees, minimum public service costs (schools, busing, security, existing infrastructure, etc.), transit support, traffic reduction, downtown business support, place-making (lots of people are the most important ingredient), higher property and sales tax revenues, etc.

Higher density promotes affordability by spreading lofty land prices toward reducing dwelling costs and is the most powerful tool in the regulatory toolbox to promote smart growth.

High density living is not for everyone, but my experience and that of others demonstrates a strong market for downtown housing, especially on sites proximate to natural amenities, recreation activities, quality shopping and dining, schools, libraries, etc., with all of which downtown Glenwood is richly endowed.

Glenwood Springs has the opportunity to be a model smart growth community due to an absolutely unique set of circumstances: a river confluence, wonderful scenery, trail system, excellent transit, downtown amenities and unparalleled public services. It would be a shame to squander such a rich legacy due to irrational or uninformed fears of density.

Don Ensign


Those who care about saving energy – also know as saving money and saving the planet – should vote for Adam Palmer and Kristen Bertuglia for Holy Cross Energy board of directors.

There are three board seats open. Election ballots have already hit mailboxes and are due for return June 7. So rock the vote and choose Adam Palmer and Kristen Bertuglia.

This little-known election and hardworking board has the opportunity to make huge impacts when it comes to low-cost power and expanding our renewable energy portfolio -a win-win for the entire community. I personally know Mr. Palmer and Ms. Bertuglia, and these two are the ones who will make a positive impact.

Mr. Palmer is an incumbent and has served on the board for the past three years. During those years, he’s dedicated his time to increase renewable energy supply to meet and exceed a voluntary goal of 15 percent by 2015. He also helped to develop and launch Holy Cross’ energy efficiency plan.

In the future, he plans to expand our renewable energy portfolio to meet and exceed our goals, which includes solar, wind, hydro, and soon coal mine methane and biomass from Gypsum utilizing wood waste and beetle kill pine. He also wants to launch an on-bill financing program that will allow members like us to pay for energy saving improvements over time on our electric bill, where we’ll realize the actual savings.

Ms. Bertuglia will use her experience as sustainability coordinator for the town of Vail and manager of the town’s recent $3.2 million energy efficiency overhaul to continue to establish Holy Cross as a leader in energy efficiency, clean power and innovative programs. Her goals include ensuring long-term price stability and supporting renewable energy programs while working toward a solution in which they do not require over-subsidization.

Don’t toss the ballot for this important election. Do your community a favor and vote for Adam Palmer and Kristen Bertuglia.

Cassie Pence


This letter is in response to the “Wilderness…” letter by Jane Spaulding of May 15.

What I would like to know is exactly how much research she did before composing her uninformed and misguided contribution. Straight from the Wilderness Workshop’s public website (, here is what they aim to do: “Add hundreds of thousands of acres of new designated wilderness on the White River National Forest and nearby BLM holdings; fight threats to ecologically sensitive public lands, including energy development, timber sales and irresponsible motorized recreation; monitor the health of wilderness – and quantify the impacts to wilderness character – through air and water sampling, invasive weed inventorying and monitoring human uses; hold federal land managers to their own regulations by intervening in environmental review processes and, if necessary, suing; educate and organize the public and decision-makers about wild places, wildlife and the management decisions that affect them so to empower citizens and decision makers to effectively weigh in for wildlands protection.”

Their goal is not discrimination, as Ms. Spaulding wrote, but rather using education and common sense to preserve what untouched wildland we still have left in Colorado. They’re not preventing the use of the areas that are currently used for recreation. They are simply trying to guarantee that the land we can still call wild stays that way and doesn’t have hideous drilling towers all over it or people tearing up the wild countryside irresponsibly.

They are educated enough to see that certain things harm the ecosystem greatly, and are taking the steps to prevent further damage to an already delicate system. Why would one who loves living here in Colorado for its beauty and wilderness opportunities (because honestly, what other reason is there?) try to halt programs such as these?

Please visit the above website and spend some time getting to know the Wilderness Workshop and its goals. The Earth gives us so much. Is it too much to ask for us to take care of it?

Jeroen Thornton


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