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Castle Valley Ranch is a great neighborhood with a terrific school. However, one drawback while living in CVR was having to (grudgingly) accept the homeowners association’s ban against the age-old custom of hanging laundry out on a line to dry. This ban was hard to grasp, not only because it is a screaming inconsistency with the town of New Castle’s “Green Community” vision, but it also restricts an obvious solution to reducing our ever-increasing energy costs and consumption.

Recently, I moved to an area where I can hang laundry out with no objections (except from Mother Nature, who occasionally changes plan mid-dry). After having this opportunity again and experiencing its advantages, I felt I must explore this issue further.

Ironically, some simple Internet research led me to House Bill 1270, just signed by Gov. Ritter in April, allowing homeowners in covenant-controlled communities the ability to install energy efficiency/ conservation devices (including clotheslines ” hooray!) effective Aug. 6, 2008. House Bill 1270 protects all Colorado residents from homeowners associations prohibiting the installation of devices used for reducing energy consumption, and provides guidelines to help HOAs revise current covenants to make them compliable with the new law. Some general restrictions could be imposed, but approved devices cannot be prohibited (including clotheslines, shutters, awnings and many other money-saving home efficiency ideas).



Now, I must also address that the basis for implementing this rule in the first place was to maintain the aesthetics of the neighborhood. But I know that we can all be considerate neighbors and civilized members of our community, and will practice proper laundry etiquette by bringing laundry in when it’s dry and not leaving it out indefinitely as seasonal lawn decor.

So, why not be friendly neighbors, environmentally friendly, and kinder to our wallets all at the same time? Please spread the word, take advantage of the heat and dry your laundry outside. Besides, if we all do, it’s bound to rain, right?



Please call your neighborhood HOA for details and visit the Colorado State Legislature’s website for more information on House Bill 1270.

Sarah Williams

Glenwood Springs

Recently, I spent some time in Glenwood Springs with my family. What a scenic town you have. I always enjoy visiting your community.

When I’m in Glenwood, I try to take the opportunity to work out at the Community Center on Midland Avenue. I am impressed not only with the architectural design, but with those who work within the center, receptionists, instructors, lifeguards, and those who keep the facility safe and clean. They are all professional and friendly.

The Fourth of July was especially well done, with so many activities for all ages. I took my grandchildren for most of the afternoon to enjoy the swimming games and water activities. It was well-planned for all ages to participate.

On other visits, I have enjoyed an aerobics class where I met friendly people, and I have had a rock climbing experience with my grandson.

How fortunate the citizens of Glenwood Springs are to have such an impressive facility with beautiful views. I look forward to another visit to your city.

Brenda Risner

Altus, Okla.

I agree with Debbie Novak’s comments “So this is affordable housing.” Garfield County’s affordable housing lottery is offensive to those of us that work and live in Garfield County and struggle monthly to remain here. Does Garfield County really believe that anyone who grosses $37,250 can afford this?

Maybe they need to run the numbers. The biweekly net take home pay would be $981.92 ($1,963.8 month), and this doesn’t allow for any contributions to a retirement plan, or insurance cost.

Let’s suppose somehow I found someone foolish enough to give me a mortgage at that income level. If I put $40,000 down (17 percent), that would leave a principal of $190K to finance. If I had perfect credit, I might qualify for an interest rate of 5.75 percent for 30 years. My house payment would be $1,108.79, with the $147.00 HOA dues; my house payment just became $1,255.79 (63 percent of my take-home pay).

This leaves a grand total of $708.01 for the month. Let’s just suppose I’m single and I can eat for $50 a week. I’m now down to $508.01 for the month. Let’s continue calculating this impossible equation. My gas and electricity average $200 a month. I’m down to $308.01. Let’s deduct the telephone at $55; I’m now down to $253.01. Next would be the car insurance and cable at a low estimate of $150. I’m now down to $103.01, and I haven’t even put gas in my car. Garfield County, do you still think I can afford one of your affordable houses? Maybe if I never have to visit the doctor, or buy my granddaughter a birthday gift.

Our county is currently in a mortgage crisis. I see Garfield County’s affordable housing program contributing to the mortgage mess; you see it would only be a matter of months before I was forced to file for bankruptcy. I urge Garfield County to run the numbers from a realistic prospective, and increase the minimum annual income qualification by at least $20,000.

Brenda Kerr

Glenwood Springs

Since the middle of May when oil prices started to rise, gas prices were going up a nickel every time oil went up a dollar a barrel.

I have been watching this take place here in Rifle. Gas went from $3.99 a gallon to $4.53 a gallon and has stayed there until July 18. The oil per barrel had already dropped $10 a barrel and gas came down to $4.30 a gallon. July 25 oil went up $2.19 a barrel, gas immediately went up a nickel to $4.35 a gallon and is still at that price today, Aug. 5. From July 11 to Aug. 5, oil price per barrel has dropped $25. Gas prices have stayed at $4.35 a gallon. Why is this? Supply and demand.

I think not. It is pure and simple greed. Is it that Swallow Oil and Gas Co. has not dropped its price, or are the convenience store owners the ones keeping the price up? I do not know which is at fault. If they say that it is supply and demand, they are lying. It is simple greed by either the oil and gas distributor or the convenience store owners.

I have one question. Colorado Springs has twice, maybe more, as many people as Rifle, and gas is $3.88 a gallon. I guess Swallow and the store owners think we are stupid.

I was going to tell you what we call these people where I am from, but you could not publish it in the paper.

Randy Cormier

Rifle


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