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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

First and foremost, 2003, the war in Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction. It was a lie.

Leaving aside for now the human cost of our brave, let’s look at the fiscal reality. The hard dollar costs are well over $3 trillion plus interest. (The figure projected by the Bush administration was $50 billion to $60 billion.) But the ultimate financial costs are far greater.

It has cost us dearly over the past nine years and continues to cost us. It was a fundamental cornerstone to the financial world crisis that precipitated the great recession that continues to plague the American and world populace.



How? They said it wasn’t about oil, but oil in 2003 was $25 a barrel, and by 2008 it had soared to $140 a barrel. That’s money sent overseas to pay for oil – money that wasn’t available for national projects, like infrastructure, schools and job-creating stuff.

It’s an historical first. Go to war and lower taxes. That’s right, lower taxes and use Uncle Sam’s credit card. That’s a fact.



George W. Bush came into office with a surplus. Under Bill Clinton, the debt clock was rolling backwards. By 2003, we had a debt of $6.4 trillion. With the Iraq War and higher interest due to higher debt, the debt soared to $10 trillion by 2008. Then we had a housing bubble bust – lost homes, lost jobs, lost health care, and we’re still struggling and now we’re looking at a $16 trillion national debt.

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has estimated that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, together with the Bush tax cuts, will account for almost half of the projected $20 trillion debt in 2019.

Really folks, it’s hard not to blame the Bush administration for the mess we’re in. Fist-pounding Republicans like to put their beer goggles on when they look at the national debt, but the facts are the facts. We’ll be paying for the Bush war and its continuing negative impact for a very long time.

Mike Weed

Carbondale

Back in 1992, the voters, led by our Mayor Ted O’Leary, passed a 1 cent sales tax in the city of Glenwood Springs. The tax was to be used to develop and maintain a river trail system for walkers and bikers; and the development and restoration of our river corridors.

Now in the year 2012 this 20-year tax will expire. To show for it we have a complete river trail system throughout our city, a number of safe pedestrian bridges across both the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers, as well as I-70, and a beautiful whitewater park.

Money that is spent on infrastructure, if administered correctly, will almost always get a good investment return from things such as tourism. Additionally, property values increase because improvement to our local amenities makes this a more desirable place to live, raise families and buy or sell a home.

Conserving our rivers and ranchlands is also good for us emotionally. Knowing that our local rivers are clean and ready for recreation is why many of us choose to live and work here. Looking out on a beautiful ranchland vista and knowing that it will be preserved for our children gives us peace.

The conservation of both large and small parcels of land throughout Garfield County along with the already existing National Forest and BLM lands allows for an increase in land available for wild animals to migrate and thrive.

I was shocked when my wife called me over to the window last week to watch a young male moose with full antlers migrating through our yard. These are the kind of things that make Garfield County, Colorado, a unique and worthwhile investment.

A yes vote on 1A, the Protect Our Ranchland, Rivers and Recreation Economy campaign, would be another boon to the conservation and economic prosperity of our county.

Thanks for investing in our community.

Joe Mollica

Glenwood Springs

I write in response to Carl Heck’s Oct. 13 letter threatening to egg Republican’s windows. This is the entire mentality of today’s Democrat party: childish and Immature.

But don’t fret, I egged a person’s property also. I was about 11 or 12 years old. Childish and immature. I also was a liberal at one point and time. Thank God I educated myself.

A good man once told me, If you’re young and not a liberal, you have no heart. If you’re old and not a conservative, you have no brain. Thank the Lord I figured it out sooner than later.

I will admit there’s dishonesty in the Republican Party, although far less than the Democratic Party. For instance, just listen to all of Barack Hussein Obama’s 2008 speeches. Hope and change, going through the budget line by line, unemployment won’t go over 8 percent. All we’re going to be left with when he leaves office is hope that someone fixes his mess, and the little change that we have left in our pockets.

And he must have meant he was going through the budget line by line and increasing spending on everything, except national security of course. We’ve had 43 months with unemployment over 8 percent, when he said it would never reach that. The liberals want people to rely on welfare.

The Democratic Party and campaign don’t know how to tell the truth. Last election, Americans proved they weren’t racist. This election, prove you’re not stupid. I’m Scott Palm and I approve this message.

Scott Palm

Rifle

I have known Aleks Briedis for many years. I have known Mike Samson for many more years. I know both men to be decent and good individuals. I believe that both men care about the future of Garfield County. The difference between the two lies in the philosophy and methodology used to arrive at that future.

Aleks Briedis has worked most recently in the non-partisan world of municipal government. In Colorado all municipalities are non-partisan, where the primary criteria for decision making and forward progress is what is best for the people. That includes all of the people, not just a segment of the population. Mr. Briedis has been involved in processes that take into account all ideas and philosophies and melds them together into action using the best from all sources. He is a man of the people, for the people.

Sonja Linman has a background that has dealt with and understands the strength in divergent ideas. Ms. Linman has worked in the development of the future with her background in education. Sonja Linman has the same qualities of leadership as Aleks Briedis.

Please vote for Aleks Briedis and Sonja Linman for Garfield County commissioner.

Keith Lambert

Rifle

The Two Rivers Expeditionary School (TRES) is a proposed charter school to be located in Glenwood Springs next year. The application is currently being reviewed by both the Roaring Fork School Board and the state’s Charter School Institute.

This school has transformative potential not just for its prospective students, but for the whole school district due to the effectiveness of the Expeditionary Learning model. We support this application and encourage others to support it because:

1. Our community needs and owes our children world-class schools.

2. The Expeditionary Learning model has a proven track record of success.

3. The timing, scale, location, and existing community support make it a low-risk improvement opportunity where all stakeholders can win.

Our children are living in an ever-more-competitive global economy, and U.S. students are falling behind compared with students in other countries. How well we educate our children will directly impact our community’s long-term economic, civic and social well-being. The U.S. ranks 15th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math among OECD countries.

The district’s dedicated administrators, teachers, parents and students are making improvements each day. But we must keep this larger context in mind – not to be disheartened, but rather to be emboldened to press relentlessly for improving the performance of our school district until it is a world-class educational environment.

The Expeditionary Learning system has a proven track record of outperforming conventional teaching models in many communities similar to ours (see elschools.org). Expeditionary Learning combines leading approaches to running high-performance organizations with teaching practices that have been proven to build not only strong scholastic achievement, but also character, civic mindedness and leadership skills. How the natural world fits integrally into the EL curriculum is also particularly well-suited to our school district due to its wealth of outdoor learning.

In summary, we support the district approving the TRES charter school and would encourage readers to support it as well.

A community meeting is being held at 6 p.m. tonight at the Hotel Colorado for people to learn more.

David and Jenifer Cramer

Glenwood Springs

I feel that I must respond to David Petechuk’s letter of Oct. 13 suggesting that Republicans and Republican rhetoric is racist. Not only was the narrative inaccurate, inappropriate and offensive, it was just plain mean.

I am sincerely disappointed in Mr. Petechuk, and embarrassed to see that he is from my community. I hope that all those who read the letter will not wrongly judge the citizens of Rifle by that one document. This is a great town with great people.

I won’t take the time to address all the false assumptions of his letter, but please allow me to make several points:

• Republicans are not racists.

• The people in Rifle are not racists.

• Even if you agree that Gov. Romney is a dirty politician, he’s not the only one.

I have no problem with respectful disagreement and spirited debate when it comes to politics, religion and philosophy, but I reject the idea that hate-mongering is appropriate in the course of reasonable dialogue.

BJ Worthen

Rifle


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