Set back from the roadside of Castle Valley Boulevard, half hidden by weeds, is a posterboard-sized sign. Despite its small size, this sign represents another step in the significant impact residential development is making in New Castle. This sign informs citizens of a New Castle Planning & Zoning Commission public hearing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, at Town Hall, regarding approval of the next 15 acres of meadowland destined for the grading equipment.Residential development in New Castle continues to march ahead at a 9 percent annual growth rate, which is about twice as fast as professional planners recommend. That rate also is much faster than local residents desire, according to a recent comprehensive plan survey. As active citizens of New Castle, we, along with other residents, have many concerns about this next planning area. Here are just a few: This rapid housing construction does not fully pay its way for current or future town services. Housing growth is far exceeding commercial growth, which better supports the town’s needs. The town’s wastewater treatment plant has reached the state-permitted capacity and is in need of a major $8.3 million upgrade, which will not begin until this fall and could take 18 months to complete. The current housing inventory in New Castle is very high compared to past years. As of late June, realtors reported 205 active residential listings at all price ranges plus 72 active listings for land. With this glut of inventory, there should be no rush to approve this next subdivision. The east half of this planning area is platted for mixed use, including commercial development to support the town’s economic base. This mixed use could come many years in the future, so that land should not be graded at this time for reasons ranging from dust suppression to noxious weeds to aesthetics. We hope many New Castle residents will attend the hearing on July 23 to provide important citizen input to P&Z, town planners and the developer, Village Homes, who controls much of the future residential development in town. Doug DeNio and Tim McNultyNew Castle
We would like to reflect on this waning season of the Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz. This year has been a challenge, to say the least. What with the kid controversy and underage drinking at the park one can tend to forget what this entire project is all about and why we have all chosen to live in Glenwood Springs. This is an amazing community that has supported our efforts for the past 23 years, and we thank you for it. It is heartening to know that we can solve the problems that present themselves as a community and not let a few ruin the experience for the whole. Maybe world peace is possible after all. Summer has a way of slipping by, and this year is no exception. Tonight is the final concert in the 2008 season of the Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz, and it will be a great one. We want to thank the community for another season of outstanding music. If you are interested in helping set the course for the future of Jazz … call us (947-0721) or e-mail us at email@example.com.Mary & Bob NooneGlenwood Springs
I would like to thank the City Council members who opposed the Pink Palace’s expansion. Those who didn’t, shame on you. Your approval just created a bigger problem to the already troublesome parking problem. To the owners of the property, whoever came up with the idea of affordable housing, very nice diversion. Now maybe six people can live affordably in the downtown area, wow. Don’t forget when you put that rental ad out in the paper, be sure to include, “affordable housing in Glenwood with no parking.”Patty GraceGlenwood Springs
Also addressed: Dear Sen. Salazar:As a Coloradan, I appreciate your thoughtful July 15 analyses of oil shale in the Washington Post and some of the solutions trumpeted by your colleagues. Your recent statements and continued leadership demonstrate to Western Colorado your desire to address our concerns associated with oil shale production.Recent posturing by certain Beltway politicians illustrates a potentially detrimental lack of understanding as they fail to understand the concerns held by so many in the West. First, our communities have experienced oil shale hype before, and are no longer willing to gamble with speculative ventures again. Second, Gov. Ritter describes commercial oil shale development as potentially the largest industry Colorado has ever seen. Our communities are currently strained by the natural gas industry, and we do not have the capacity to absorb another massive influx. Third, water supply has been downplayed by industry and government alike; truthfully, this critical resource could be seriously threatened by the proposed shale activities. Currently there are five research sites in Northwest Colorado. These locations are critical for the pursuit of shale oil development and should continue to search for solutions at their own pace. According to the BLM (and industry), commercially-viable technology remains years away. Yet the 2005 Energy Policy Act includes a provision, which states that prior to proven technologies, we should begin to craft regulations and proceed with leasing our public lands. Any form of regulations passed now would be irresponsible and premature for a variety of reasons. Today, Western Colorado feels the pinch of energy costs like all Americans. We believe solutions to our current dilemma lie within untapped energy resources, especially renewable forms. Yet we have serious concerns with oil shale production, and too often, our concerns are forgotten by lawmakers. Thank you, Senator.Gene Goffin, acting presidentWestern Colorado CongressGrand Junction
Now that I have appointed myself as the “authority on just about everything” (Richard Doran, Post Independent July 17), I’m looking to advance my career. Now I really want to get into the big time, but I’m intimidated by those above me. There is John Herbst, who is God’s mind, intimately knowing everything God intended and is therefore smarter than God. Richard Doran is God’s boss, commanding him to bless America at the end of every letter and is therefore more powerful than God. Hopefully, these gentlemen will recommend me. I was considering “Master of the Universe,” but maybe I’m not quite ready. I think I’ll try for the more modest position of God’s conscience. There is a vacancy there, and he certainly could use some help in that area.Freedom from religion! (We’re supposed to end our letters with a snappy exclamation, right?).Gerald R. TerwilligerBasalt
It appears that the evening performance of the Colorado Symphony at the high school received very little publicity. Should not someone from the Glenwood Springs Post Independent have taken the initiative to obtain and print in a timely manner, more appropriate information? The size of the audience seemed almost smaller than the orchestra, probably because of the poor publicity. The orchestra is outstanding, and the program was excellent. Is the GSPI not interested in classical music? True, it is not as popular in Glenwood Springs as jazz, but it deserves more consideration. It might surprise GSPI to learn how much pop (jazz, folk, etc.) is (and always was) in classical music.Julian VogtGlenwood Springs
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UPDATE: The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office reported shortly after 10 p.m. Monday that the wreck on eastbound 1-70 near Dotsero has been cleared. Traffic was moving at exit 116 in Glenwood Springs, and as of…