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I was bothered big time when I heard Sarah Palin’s speech the other night. First, I find it disturbing that such a “Christian” person can belittle and make fun of Obama’s work with poor people in his community.Second, I found her glee in using veto power “because it works” very disturbing when both McCain and Obama agree that reaching across party lines and making compromises are the best ways to solve problems.Third, her speech didn’t reflect some of her extremist positions. Her refusal to believe that climate change can be partly attributed to human activity is amazing in its blindness to facts. Palin also believes that the Iraq War is “God’s Task.” I thought God was a peace-loving force. Another extremist position of Palin’s is that she will only support abstinence-only sex education. She is anti-choice, even in cases of rape or incest. According to Time magazine, when she didn’t get full support from a librarian for helping her go about banning books that had offensive language in them, she threatened to fire the librarian. She wants to teach creationism in schools.It is clear to me that picking Palin as a running mate was a ploy to appease the far right elements of the Republican Party. We don’t need another anti-science idealogue in the White House.Kate FriesenCarbondale

The impacts from the oil and gas exploration and development in Garfield County have become an enormous and multi-faceted set of problems. The scale has escalated well beyond the scant resources that accrue from mineral severance tax (nearly the lowest in the nation) and the lack of state and county initiatives to ensure the oil and gas companies take responsibility for paying their way to mitigate the impacts.Unfortunately, Garfield County leadership has neither prioritized nor addressed the critical problems. We need to change that by electing better-informed and more highly motivated leaders with insight at the county level. Fortunately, we have some candidates with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the areas, the problems and the alternative solutions. Stephen Bershenyi of Carbondale, and Steve Carter of Rifle have both extensive local experience and perspective. They also have the ability to talk with and bring together the diverse players – industry, environmental, landowners and service providers – to focus on important issues in their own and the public interest. Both of these men bring great ability and high capacity to get people participating and working together on decisions related to policies and practical initiatives.Constructive change in Garfield County leadership is long overdue. Let’s put people in office who will work for all of us in the county, who can better balance the conflict between gas and oil development and tourism/recreation, and deal with the serious health and socio-economic effects of both. Whether or not you agree with my support for these two candidates, I urge your newspaper and your readers to get involved, put the important questions to all the candidates and vote accordingly. The citizens of Garfield County need sound and well-informed leadership.John BarbeeGlenwood Springs

On Wednesday night, the American public witnessed a moving political speech by the GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. It certainly told us plenty about her personal life as well as her distorted views of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Because of her successful delivery of rhetoric, at times I felt compelled to side with her, as I am sure you did, too. But, I ask you to please dig deeper before you give your unquestioning support to Gov. Palin. Despite the Republican party promising increased national security, Palin stated “I’ve been so focused on state government, I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq.” Excuse me, but I am not ready to elect an individual who knows so little about such an important topic. Sen. John McCain has promised to serve the people of the United States when he is elected president, yet Gov. Palin has very close ties with big oil companies. BP even sponsored her inauguration. If that is the case, how can we expect our government to manage an unbiased agenda?Governor Palin has also made it clear that global warming is not caused by humans. Despite obvious evidence to the contrary, she stated that “I’m not one though who would attribute it to being manmade.” Our country will never see significant renewable energy bills if our vice president cannot accept that we cause global warming.As inspiring and as easy as it may be to welcome Palin onto the GOP ticket, the American public still needs to take caution. She is certainly a conservative extremist and will not bring about the change this country needs.Tory GarlingGlenwood Springs



After hearing Gov. Palin had been selected as the vice presidential nominee, I did a little research, and listened to her acceptance speech.I am not here to discuss policy or politics, I am here to tell you my heartfelt beliefs on this woman.After her speech, I realized this woman reminded me of a few things, the least of which was the average American story.Now like everyone else, I am a proud American citizen, but this candidate gave a speech that put a lump in my throat. I heard a speech that reminded me not only of my love of this republic, but one that reminded me of my wife and my mother.Palin has led a life that many of us here in Western Colorado have not only lived, but are proud of.She reminded me of my wife and mother in many ways. She was not born into wealth or power, she has always gotten up after being knocked down. My wife and mother are, likewise, small-town people, good people who know right from wrong, and through these virtues, have raised and are raising, yet another generation of Americans. These two women in my life have raised me up from the deepest of despair, and shaped me into a great man. I witnessed these same values in the speech Palin gave, and I hope everyone out there saw the same.I also hope that no matter your affiliation, you witnessed a strong woman that reminded you of your family and upbringing.So to my wife and mother, thank you for paving the way, not just for a great politician, but for the man that has written this letter in your honor.Robert P. BurnsSilt


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