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I am impressed with both commissioner candidates and their campaigns. There has not been any mudslinging between them. This indicates they respect each other and therefore, would respect the residents of Garfield County, no matter which one is elected. I am more in favor of Steve Carter because of his experience in dealing with people and his willingness to answer any questions asked him. I received a flier sent by the Colorado League of Taxpayers which has a Fort Collins address. How would a group on the Eastern Slope know what is actual on the Western Slope and accuse Mr. Carter of wanting to force everyone to install solar panels? His statement was that it is up to the individual if they want to install. Taxpayer cost is nothing. If they want to put in the system, then they pay for it individually. It was a suggestion, not a mandate. Mr. Carter will listen to the individuals. I have found Mr. Carter to be the kind of person we need as a commissioner for Garfield County. He is getting my vote. Jan Walker Rifle

I have been an educator and coach in Rifle for more than 17 years, and I am in my sixth year as a member of the Rifle City Council. I am writing this letter to support Mike Samson for Garfield County commissioner. Mike and I have been colleagues at Rifle High School for a dozen years, and we taught across the hall from each other for a decade. I taught five of his kids, and his wife Janet has given my three kids piano lessons. I know Mike well and consider him a friend.As a member of the City Council I know full well that there are many complex and powerful issues facing our city and Garfield County. Some of these issues are of our own making and some of them have been brought to us from the outside. The relationship between Garfield County and her municipalities has at times been strained. But, given the seriousness of the issues before us and the fact that they are not going away and will only become more challenging in the future, the strained relationships of the past between the county and her municipalities cannot stand. That is why I am supporting Mike.Mike is a very honest man with enormous integrity. He says what he means, and he means what he says. He will listen to people with great intent, and he clearly cares a great deal about this county and its people. He has been here his whole life. He knows the people, he knows the area, he knows the issues. In conversations that Mike and I have had, I know that he did not come into this campaign with a certain political agenda to fulfill or a bias under which he is operating. He simply wants to do the right things for people and improve relationships amongst the governments of the county. Please join me in voting for a very sincere and thoughtful man, Mike Samson.Jonathan RiceRifle

The Rocky Mountain Rail Authority (RMRA) is an association of 40-plus jurisdictions along the Front Range and in Western Colorado the goal of which “is to complete a high-speed rail feasibility study for Colorado and, based on the results of that study, pursue a passenger rail operating entity and funding source to advance passenger rail service throughout Colorado.” Additionally, RMRA is seeking the Federal Railroad Administration 11th High Speed Rail Corridor Designation for the Rocky Mountain Corridor.Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties, the cities of Aspen and Glenwood Springs, and the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority are members of RMRA. The future of appropriate, adequate and environmentally sound transit in Colorado rests with the emergence of a high-speed rail system supported by local transportation systems. As the third-largest transit system in Colorado, RFTA’s goals mesh closely with the RMRA vision for high speed rail. Please support Ballot Issue 4A. RFTA, Yes!Dorothea FarrisCarbondale



October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). It is a time for many of us to reflect upon the friends and family members who are struggling or have struggled with abusive relationships in their lives. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, so it does affect all of us in one way or another. During 2007, the Advocate Safehouse Project worked with 547 survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence. We also provided 1,435 nights of shelter in our safehouse to 48 families with 51 children. For the past several months, our safehouse has been closed for some major renovations, and it will re-open this month. A small group of wonderful women from the Church at Carbondale are hosting a housewarming shower for the safehouse from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, at the Gathering Center at the Church at Carbondale. I would like to invite everyone to attend. Household items are needed to welcome the different families who will be staying in our newly renovated safehouse. We have registered at Target, Cook a’ la Carte and the Basalt Kitchen Store to make things easier for you. This is a wonderful DVAM event to participate in for our entire community, because you never know when someone you care about is in need of the safehouse.Our newly-renovated safehouse is so welcoming, and we know that it will help in healing the families we serve. There are so many things about this valley that are wonderful; however, being in an abusive relationship is not one of them. If you know someone who is in an abusive relationship, give us a call. If you are in an abusive relationship, give us a call. If you don’t know if your relationship is abusive, but feel uncomfortable in it, give us a call.Julie Olson, executive directorAdvocate Safehouse Project

There has been considerable front-page publicity in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent recently about the record number of gas-drilling permits being issued by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC). Consider the news published last week by the Glenwood Springs Post Independent showing a recent investigation reveals, in fact, that poor air quality does exist in Garfield County. Many of the citizens who live in the drilling areas around Rifle and Silt know about toxic air quality. The COGCC is a state agency that still seems to be promoting the gas drilling industry. The COGCC needs to leave the gas promotion to the industry’s associations. You never hear about environmental impact statements or health issues from this agency. There needs to be a health impact statement requirement. Where are those rules? The COGCC should place a moratorium on drilling permits until this air quality issue is resolved. It is very clear the health of Colorado citizens is not important when it comes to the gas industry in this state.Randy Fricke, The Committee To Save ColoradoBasalt


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