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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

I am writing in response to Sheriff Lou Vallario’s May 22 press release regarding a letter he received from the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) and the ACLU. I was appalled when I read that the sheriff refused to join the ACLU and CCADV in supporting victims of abuse in our community.

In the release, the sheriff explains how the Garfield County Jail complies with state law by notifying ICE of anyone his staff reasonably believes is not authorized to be in the United States. Although he acknowledges that the relevant state statute directs jurisdictions to refrain from reporting a domestic violence arrest to ICE until after an arrestee has been convicted, he dismisses this directive and derides the ACLU and CCADV for requesting that he protect the rights of predominantly female immigrant victims of abuse.

Domestic violence and sexual assault victims must be able to trust local law enforcement officers to help them when they report crimes. Perpetrators of domestic violence often use immigration as a tool of power and control over their victims.



Dual arrest, the practice of arresting both the perpetrator and victim, occurs frequently for immigrants involved in domestic violence cases. Survivors of domestic abuse should not be made to fear reporting crimes committed against them.

The ACLU and CCADV simply requested that the sheriff use the discretion he is afforded by state law to ensure that victims of abuse are not discouraged from reporting domestic violence.



The sheriff’s response suggests that he does not care about the additional obstacles immigrants face in reporting abuse. I find it incredibly disturbing that he has taught prospective police officers about domestic violence at the local police academy.

Sheriff Vallario’s position undermines community policing efforts, and emboldens perpetrators of domestic violence to continue to instill fear in victims and coerce their silence. The activation of ICE’s Secure Communities program compounds this problem. Under Secure Communities, everyone arrested, including those booked in connection with domestic violence, must be reported to ICE at the time of arrest. Re-victimizing abuse survivors does not secure our community.

Alec Raffin

New Castle

In regards to the ACLU and Sheriff Lou Vallario, remind me again what the “A” in ACLU stands for again? How can the ACLU defend illegal citizens? Oh, and they are also “undocumented” workers. Is that like calling a burglar a property redistribution expert instead of a thief? They are illegally here, no matter what you call them.

I have no problem at all with any person being in this country, but they are not special and they need to go through the same immigration procedures as all of our ancestors and all those after them had to. They are welcome here, just do it legally and by the already-set procedure. To make special accommodations for them because they are illegal isn’t right.

Can anyone explain to me why the illegal-undocumented aliens get all the welfare and assistance they need and people from this country or the ones here legally aren’t eligible for the same help? If you don’t believe me, go down and try to get assistance. Someone who isn’t even from this country is more eligible for government assistance then a person who has been paying taxes here or is a legal resident here.

I applaud Sheriff Vallario and all he does and I wish he was the sheriff in Mesa County. I think he should have his own tent city and do the things Sheriff Joe Arpaio, to a point, is doing in Arizona.

Mike Johnson

De Beque

Wall Street is still bewildered and nervous about JP Morgan Chase’s $2 billion loss announced earlier this month. JP Morgan Chase is considered America’s largest bank. It is also a multi-national banking organization, among other things. So its reckless and creative financial transactions came back to bite it big time.

Remember in February of 2011, this was the same bank that was executing home foreclosures on veterans and their families while they were overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq. Congress held a few hearings and then let them off with a mild scolding.

JP Morgan Chase broke the law. They overcharged 4,500 members of the U.S. military on their home mortgages. They foreclosed on 18 service member mortgages. They were just getting started until a few military families complained. No one went to jail.

So, Congress allows Wall Street to abuse the financial security of the American people whenever they want. Oh. I’m sorry. If Congress sent some Wall Street executives to jail, then Congress would probably be cut off from its insider trading.

The recent actions by JP Morgan Chase proves that there is little or no regulation of Wall Street. The SEC is worthless. Wall Street will just laugh at the Volcker Rule.

Here is my creative financing: tax Wall Street at 50 percent. That money goes into a special fund that will pay dividends back to all of the Americans who lost money in their 401K’s. Get your 401K money out now while you can.

Randy Fricke

New Castle

I was puzzled by Betty Scranton’s letter of May 22 in which she chose to demonize ICLEI (International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives), now known as ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and the concept of sustainability.

ICLEI is a non-profit with over 1,220 local government members worldwide that are committed to sustainable development. ICLEI receives financial support from a modest membership fee and funded projects, while host cities provide office space, grants and in-kind assistance.

It provides technical consulting, training and information services to build local governments’ capacity to become more sustainable and to mitigate climate change. (This doesn’t sound like a bad organization to me).

In the U.S., more than 500 cities, towns and counties belong to ICLEI, including the Colorado cities of Denver, Fort Collins, Carbondale and Aspen. The guidance of ICLEI has helped many of these towns meet the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement and create their own climate action plans. Obviously, these municipalities must be smart enough to believe there is some benefit in belonging to ICLEI.

If sustainability is so bad for our society, what is the alternative? Un-sustainability? Shall we continue to exploit our planet’s limited resources until they run out?

Fortunately, most municipalities and counties in our area are working on the side of sustainability. For example, Aspen’s Canary Initiative works to make Aspen more sustainable and environmentally responsible.

Recent articles in the Post Independent have noted numerous examples of sustainability: The Post Independent calls Carbondale’s Third Street Center a model of sustainability. It has two solar energy arrays that supply 40 percent of the building’s energy demands, and a solar hot water system. The Garfield Public Library District believes in sustainability by building energy efficient buildings that include a new 10 kilowatt solar array on the New Castle Library. Carbondale, hosting one of the many local community gardens (an important aspect of sustainability), recently received $45,000 grant from GOCO to support its community garden. And the Glenwood Caverns has installed new LED bulbs that will save $12,000 in energy costs per year.

It seems that Ms. Scranton is fighting a losing battle.

Bob Millette

Glenwood Springs


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