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John Martin is misleading at best and deceptive at worst, in his letter printed in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent Sept. 30, describing the contract between the county and Chevron regarding Country Road 204, north of DeBeque.

In the first place, the road is used by very few citizens of Garfield County. John makes it sound like there are load of farms and residents up that road. The road does lead to the largest fire district in Garfield County, but the district is also the least populated fire district in Garfield County. It seems like the only reason for improving the road is to benefit Chevron in providing access to their leases.

The cost to Garfield County citizens is really $3 million at the outset. The Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) grant to Garfield County is $1.5 million (which is not then available for another project), and the contract commits $1.5 million of county taxpayer money to the project. These $3 million are to be spent before any of the Chevron money is spent.

The contract also commits the Garfield County Commission to be Chevron’s agent in arguing the case for the company getting a severance tax rebate for money they spend on the road. John made it sound as though he didn’t really have anything to do with that. If Chevron is granted $23 million in severance tax rebate, it may be ten years before Garfield County receives any severance payments from the State of Colorado. That is definitely a cost to the citizens of Garfield County.

One more thing about this contract. Any dispute between Chevron and Garfield County in the implementation of the contract will be settled in secret, and the results will never made public.

I’ll be voting for Judge Steven Carter and Stephen Bershenyi for the Garfield County Commission to end this kind of madness.

Rev. Paul Light

Battlement Mesa

This letter is response to Stan Rachesky’s letter of October 22, 2008. Stan, please research on Snopes and Fact Check before writing innuendo. On the Snopes web site, is an e-mail that reads pretty close to your letter. You should keep scrolling down after it to read the truth regarding Barack Obama’s education and home finances. Fight the battle with truth, not fiction. Try defending Senator McCain’s history of nepotism in the Navy and political area and his association with the Keating Five. Your candidate’s hands are not clean.

Beth Dardynski


Stephen Bershenyi embodies the expression, “earning an honest living.” He does a good job and he takes pride in his work. He is willing to apply himself. He worked his way not just through college but high school beforehand. By the time he finished college with a double major in English and German, he already held multiple licenses in the pipe trades. He learned as a youth to fire a forge and use a hammer.

Now he could plumb a house ready for inspection, run a big heating plant, and indulge a remarkable intellectual curiosity on the side.

Once he completed the B.A., Bershenyi went to work full-time. He worked around 30 years as a tradesman, the latter part as facilities manager, cultivating skill in personnel management. At the institutional level, namely Denver’s AMC Cancer Research Center, he responsibly conducted business involving large sums of other people’s money. That’s ample experience for transition as entry-level public servant.

Stephen Bershenyi did good work in the private sector ” and a lot of it. He pledges to continue working hard in the public sector, attending to our concerns as they are voiced and representing our interests mindfully as Garfield County Commissioner.

Let’s all vote for him.

Brigitt Widmer

Glenwood Springs

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent’s advertisers should all pay Sue Gray a salary. Her letters alone are worth the price of the paper. Zero!

Her ignorant (to use Sue’s favorite word) views include: hatred of U.S. ally Israel; the impeachment of President George W. Bush; and Ron Paul for president.

The proof of Sue Gray’s influence lies in the demise of the Ron Paul campaign, the strength of Israel and the completion of the Bush Presidency next January.

This brings me to the good news: Sue Gray endorses Barack Obama. Can a President John McCain be far behind? Sue, help us out, re-register as a Democrat.

Donn Willins


Let’s keep local elections local. Phillip Yates’ article (Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Oct. 18), informing us political action money from big oil companies is influencing local elections, is bad news for all of us. When commercial interests flood local elections with money our candidates cannot hope to match, you know they hope to take the election out of our hands and out of local control.

Yates reports this gas and oil money is being used to support John Martin’s bid for re-election as Garfield County Commissioner. Martin has identified himself as wanting to be a business partner with gas and oil companies. Gas and oil activity in Garfield County has its pluses and minuses, but certainly no candidate for commissioner who identifies himself as a proponent for any specific industry will get my vote. Commissioners are charged with representing the interests of the citizens of Garfield County, not the commercial interests of gas and oil companies. We don’t need any more Roads to Nowhere.

You have to ask yourself what the energy companies want to accomplish by throwing this much money into our local election. Obviously they want to influence the future in their favor. And perhaps they are trying to convince our politicians they cannot get elected without the support of gas and oil. This is a bad omen for our future, and I encourage you to reject this political overture (power grab) by gas and oil, and send a message they cannot buy your vote.

Whatever the ultimate intent of gas and oil is, you can be sure their agenda and their priorities are very different from yours and your fellow citizens’. To allow our political process to be hijacked by special interests is to give up local control of our future.

My vote is for Stephen Bershenyi, a local politician supported by local voters.

Bershenyi has repeatedly emphasized the need for commissioners to be, above all else, responsive to the voters. He will listen objectively to all Garfield County businesses but be beholden to none. Vote Bershenyi and keep our county under our control.

Michael Larime

Glenwood Springs

Where does Ross Talbott get all his pearls of wisdom? From items purchased at the Sioux Villa Curio?

Ken Jones

Glenwood Springs

The presidency of the United States of America does not rest on the shoulders of one individual. It is the team of counselors and advisors ” men and women of character, wisdom and integrity ” gathered around that individual, who will together direct the affairs of the nation.

The first three presidents of America ” Washington, Adams and Jefferson, did not have experience governing a nation. What they had was their common, shared struggles, beliefs and resolve to face the overwhelming challenges set before them.

Think about the individuals they gathered around themselves to support, encourage

and aid them in doing just that.

One’s associations in the past reveal a pattern of judgment as to what one’s associations in the future may very well be. It is not so much the person we elect as president, but the wisdom and judgment of that person to put together the team around them.

What we need is an individual, along with the team, who will pursue, confront and eradicate the unchecked irresponsibility and unaccountability of, not only our country’s present governmental, financial and moral leadership, but also in the general citizenship of our country as well. The foundation of faith upon which our nation was undoubtedly built must once again become the foundation of our future.

This is our only hope for change.

Eddie Piker


I am a classroom storyteller in the Roaring Fork Valley public schools. After I tell a story to an elementary school class, often a young listener will raise a hand and ask, “Is that story true?” Mind you, this happens no matter how fanciful the story may be “a raven rolling a lake up like a carpet and flying away with it, or a giant snake encircling the campsite of four Lakota hunters as they sleep. “Is that story true?”

When I first began hearing the outrageously bizarre and sinister negative TV ads against Mark Udall which started running months ago, I thought of those gullible children. I could imagine some watchers actually asking themselves, “Is that story true?” So I did a little online research about the sources of those ads. All were paid for by ultra conservative organizations (like “Club for Growth”), gas and oil business coalitions (e.g., “American Energy Alliance”), or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (which is never the friend of anything small).

Mark Udall is well-known throughout Colorado’s Western Slope as a man of good character and an authentic Westerner. Like Coloradan John Salazar in the U.S. House of Representatives, Udall has shown commendable balance in recognizing the pragmatic need to develop Colorado’s lucrative natural resources, while maintaining sensible controls.

Though Udall’s opponent, Bob Schaffer, came off as somewhat vitriolic and befuddled in their televised debate, at least his own campaign-sponsored ads have not repeated those far-fetched fabrications. Which is a good thing, since vitriol is the last thing we need more of in American politics. Or in Washington.

So now we need to show the deep-pocketed special interest groups a seat in the U.S. Senate cannot be bought with money or with tall tales which are contrary to common sense.

Brenda Stern


I was amused recently by the letter from an angry white man from Battlement Mesa, referring to five local mayors as “politicians.” I am flattered someone thinks local mayors control opinion, and tell citizens what to think and do.

Angry White Men (AWM) are a mystery to me, a segment of society with thousands of years of entitlements and privilege. They should be happy. White men, myself included, enjoy special treatment in businesses and in public just by being Caucasian. On the other hand, in small communities like ours, the people who are the most respected are the ones who serve ” sharing their gifts and their time, in the service of the greater good, such as nominees for the Athena Awards; Citizens of the Year; Humanitarians, Rotarians, etc.

The reason I decided to endorse Steve Carter and Stephen Bershenyi are different. Steve Carter was the husband of Georgia Carter, whom I spent dozens of hours working with, on the Garfield County Re-2 School District strategic planning conference, in 1991. Steve showed his stripes later, at my daughter’s soccer games, as a referee official. As a district judge, Steve Carter showed that same determination for the truth, and listening to both sides of the story.

Stephen Bershenyi is a different story. A man with a compelling history of ranching in Garfield County. A blacksmith and a tradesman, Stephen has convinced me that, like Steve Carter, he considers listening more important than pontificating.

Let us endeavor to find what we share in common, rather than focus on our differences. My votes go to Steve Carter and to Stephen Bershenyi, to serve us as Garfield County Commissioners.

Frank Breslin

New Castle

An upsetting event just happened to me in Glenwood Springs. I heard it out my third-floor window last night. Two ordinary-looking adults walking a dog apparently saw my Obama/Biden yard-sign and yelled, “Obama bin Laden? Obama bin Laden,” then ran down the street, giggling like fools.

If I’d heard breaking glass, I’d have felt back in Berlin in the ’30s during Kristallnacht.

I raced down the stairs to confront them, but they’d vanished. I yelled, “You’re believing a lie!” Their racist joke lingered on. Why would anyone believe that, despite the well-known facts, made clear in the third debate?

I’m worried there are many who’d rather believe what prejudice wants to hear, rather than check out the truth, as easy as a Google search. What that says to me, facing the current hate campaign being waged in this country against logic, personhood, and human dignity, is this: as individuals, we must get real, think critically, right now.

This means research before we find a firm opinion. For the next two weeks, every e-mail rumor or friend’s opinion or gossip or robo-phone message you hear, please check it out before believe it. Why would someone tell you such things? Just because something’s appeared on TV does not make it true.

Robo-phone messages are almost always lies, sent because they won’t stand up to public scrutiny. They only work on those who are afraid to think.

It’s everyone’s future at stake. If we believe in lies, we multiply our weaknesses, which return to haunt us in the night. Are you ready to take responsibility for not thinking this time, silly dog-walkers?

Hopefully, you’ll vote for the guy you choose mindfully. We must each take the time to think through this election, the most important one we’ll face. Get past the spin which turns us into fearful, mindless sheep. Vote from intelligence, from your courageous conscience. You have one.

For me, that’s President Barack Obama.

Doug Evans Betanco

Glenwood Springs

In 1972, Tanzania and Zanzibar, once successful large exporting countries, turned to Socialism. Larger towns were as modern as Grand Junction. There were paved streets, refrigerated air-conditioning and arc lights before 1972.

The dairy farm where our son and his wife worked in the Peace Corps in the 1980s had been as modern and well-equipped as any dairy in the United States before 1972. Within 14 years, the milking machines were in shambles. The government never replaced the pressure gauges and the cows had mastitis and had to be milked by hand. The tractors wouldn’t work for lack of parts.

The pavement was full of potholes, city water only ran a couple hours a day, and arc lights and air conditioners didn’t work. In the old taxis, we could see the ground through the floor boards. Government officials rode around in big new limousines.

We saw river blindness and elephantiasis of the legs from flies; malaria from mosquitoes. More people die of malaria than of AIDS. Tanzania and Zanzibar hadn’t seen any of these diseases for years, until the government banned DDT. Now we’re sending them netting, which has never worked well.

The ground is so fertile, and yet it stands fallow. Modern farm machinery is broken down. The country is one large wildlife refuge, where elephants, giraffes, and lions roam freely. People go hungry six months out of the year. The Secretary of Agriculture flies his soccer team all over Africa.

My doctor goes there every year to repair cleft palates. He said the hospital in Dar El Salan is getting better, and they paved the road to Angora Gora Crater.

The government solicits foreign aid, and puts the money in their personal accounts in Switzerland. The income tax is 80 percent. Only the government is allowed guns.

So much for spreading the wealth called Socialism.

Winifred Richardson

Glenwood Springs

In response to John Getty’s letter (GSPI Oct. 17), it’s obvious he failed to completely read through my letter (GSPI Oct. 15), and completely misses the point regarding the disappearing middle class.

As for my Colorado pioneer mining family, they are buried in Crested Butte. Please don’t knock their contributions. Where is your history? It’s important.

His praise of Republican “self-reliant principles” is hardly something to be proud of. Are these principles responsible for giving us a disastrous war, for which the American people have received absolutely nothing, except a whole lot of debt? Did these principles help create a near-bankrupt economy and a severely shrinking middle class? Are these the principles which have helped run off our closest allies ” Europe, Australia and Canada ” where U.S. esteem and standing is at the lowest point during the entire U.S. history?

Relax, Mr. Getty. Please do not feel “a little sorry for the poor deluded Mr. Krizmanich.” Feel sorry for yourself, because no matter who wins Nov. 4th, you lose either way.

Remember, it’s people who think like you who have helped create the current mess.

Joe Krizmanich

Glenwood Springs

Working with Ken Brenner over the last few years on the Steamboat Springs Ski Base Area Redevelopment has been a most productive, efficient, and results-oriented process. With Ken’s leadership as the council president, I found his ability to listen, digest, and provide direction on extremely complex planning, engineering, and implementation issues to be exemplary. Ken’s core knowledge and care for balancing the needs of the city, businesses, and residents has helped to generate consensus-based decisions even with the toughest issues. His understanding of the need to start construction on the redevelopment was unparalleled and lead to the successful completion of needed infrastructure improvements.

Since Ken Brenner began his run for the Colorado Senate, I have watched him in a different arena. I have come to conclude Ken will bring the same ability to listen and digest the complex issues we all face in Western Colorado, and champion our voice in the State House with result-oriented solutions. I emphatically support Ken Brenner in his run for the Colorado Senate.

Joseph J. Kracum

Glenwood Springs

Small town values. What do they mean to you?

To me they mean honestly, openness, fairness, community, caring, family, and integrity.

By now, many of us have received several expensive postcards supporting the two Republican candidates for Garfield County Commissioner. These postcards are from a group titled “Small Town Values,” with a Glenwood return address.

But what is real is the agent in charge of these mailings isn’t from Glenwood at all. By doing a little research, I have found this agent is a downtown Denver attorney with ties to the Republican party.

Small town values? I think not. The “Small Town Values” organization does not disclose or explain who they are anywhere in their mailings. What are they hiding? Why do they not disclose as required by election rules? Who is this attorney working for? Why the secrecy?

As citizens of Garfield County, we cannot afford to reward these kind of activities. The challenges facing Garfield County call for genuine small-town values: honesty, openness, integrity. Not just a convenient label for a fancy mailing.

Vote Steve Carter for Garfield County Commissioner. A man with demonstrated integrity. A man with the experience to lead us into the future. A man we can trust.

Elizabeth Chandler

New Castle

A few weeks ago, I had a “greet and meet” for Stephen Bershenyi, a candidate for Garfield County Commissioner, in my home. The informal discussion with him and his lovely wife was pleasant and informative. I, also, have talked with Stephen on several occasions, and attended the debate of commissioner candidates in Battlement Mesa. He knows a great deal about this county and the problems it faces with a vision for what needs to be done in providing good governance for the people.

I was especially pleased with the emphasis he made regarding West Garfield County, letting us know we would not be forgotten. He knows the special needs of a community deeply impacted by the surge (if I may call it that) of gas production in the area. As he said in his brochure, he will work hard for a clean, safe environment, comprehensive planning for sustainable growth, surface owners’ rights, transportation improvement and affordable housing.

I urge people of Garfield County to vote for Stephen Bershenyi, so we may have a government which works for all its people.

Lori Sweers


Do we learn from our mistakes? I think not. Reading the letters in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, I see a lot of blaming, one party or the other, for the mess we’re in. Lots and lots of finger-pointing, too.

Our form of government is supposed to be by the people, for the people. I haven’t seen anything in either the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that says, by the people, for special interest groups. Like the special interest group from Mexico. Or how about the oil and gas special interests? Have you written any letters of protest to your Congressman/woman to prove you are still keeping track of what’s going on?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. So it’s up to us, the people, to let our government know what we the people want. We do this by letters, e-mails and phone calls. Until we the people protest about something, we are going to have the same old thing. Let your voice be heard. Write, e-mail and make that protesting phone call. Let’s get off our duffs and make of government by the people, for the people of America. God bless our country, our very intelligent forefathers and our way of life.

Did any of you catch that piece in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Sunday, Oct. 12, about Bloomberg, the New York Mayor? Sit back and do nothing, this is what happens.

Vote for America.

Vivian L. Fisher


Here’s what the “American Rifleman” says about Barack Obama’s position on sport guns in the U.S. “He thinks we should “prosecute people who use guns for self-defense in the home.” He’s for “banning the sale of almost all hunting ammunition.” He’s for “increasing taxes on firearms and ammunition by 500 percent.”

I certainly don’t think we sportsmen should be abused by the team of Obama and Biden.

Richard T. Moolick

Glenwood Springs

An out-of-state organization with radical ties has spent nearly five thousand dollars supporting Steve Carter. The Montana-based organization called WORC reported electioneering on behalf of Carter which included bringing someone from out of town to influence local voters. Further investigation with the Colorado Secretary of State found radical activists and organizations have spent over $10,000 on Carter, who is running as a moderate.

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported Glenwood Springs native Scott McInnis supporting Mike Samson, but has yet to investigate or mention the out-of-state special interests trying to sway the election to Carter. Interesting.

Bob Rankin


Hal Sundin’s comments on the 2008 election (10-9-08) shows his typical clarity of bias in favor of Democrats by deflecting blame from the green Democrats who earn it for the $4 per gallon gasoline, using U.S. oil reserves of the three percent of the world oil reserves, as if that is a fact instead of an estimate, as are the world oil reserves.

Sarah Palin as McCain’s choice for vice president delighted anyone who had a long familiarity with Alaska. Hal’s description of Abraham Lincoln and his use of “a moment’s insight is sometimes worth more than a life’s experience” by Oliver Wendell Holmes, both support Sarah Palin far more than Obama, considering Obama’s past close friends.

Our nation, historically the best, deserved the luck of the 2000 election when President Bush defeated Al Gore, the greenest of the greens, who dominate the Democratic Party.

The fact that Sundin did not mention the green Democrats causes me to believe he might have read Czech Republic President Vaclav Klauses’ new book, “Blue Planet in Green Shackles – What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom.”

That freedom has been endangered for many years by the radical-environmentalist friends of the also-green Democrats has been obvious. Not all Democrats are green, but the would-be-policy-making Democrats are green-shacklers of the Al Gore type who are a definite threat to freedom in America, and probably the planet.

Dooley P. Wheeler


Hello Garfield County. I am a valley native and I am searching for information about my biological father, John Kovachnika. We are unsure about the spelling of his last name, but it sounds like: KAV osh nika. He lived in Carbondale from approximately January of 1982 through the summer of ’83.

He was known as the “Skunk Hunter,” due to his inclination to drink large amounts and then use a gun to chase off local vermin. He may have operated, legally or otherwise, a small used car lot in Carbondale. There are no records of any used car lots in Carbondale, at least none I have come across.

I have heard he may have family in California. I have enlisted the help of a private eye, but they cannot find anything in Colorado, California, Washington State or Oregon.

Anyone with real information about The Skunk Hunter, please e-mail me at

Thank you for your time and consideration.

KC Brewer


Garfield County Commissioners John Martin and Larry McCown want to use $23 million of GarCo severance tax revenue on a “road to nowhere.” Martin and McCown want to expend $23 million to completely re-engineer and build a “chip-and-seal” county road into a high-usage road, shall we say “a highway?” Hmmm … who would use this highway? Hardly any residents, as almost no one lives along that road. The high usage would come from oil and gas companies, fat-cat firms which have netted immense profits.

Does this make any sense in a county that is already experiencing overdemand for virtually every kind of service, in a state with severance tax levels among the lowest in the nation? With our economy in crisis, and with oil companies making record profits, does it make any sense for our county to spend huge amounts of very-limited impact funds on service roads for the oil/gas industry?

Garfield County should be using its scarce funding on a prioritized basis to ameliorate problems affecting our county residents in the areas of health care, law enforcement, environment and transportation needs. Let’s stop building roads to nowhere and require the oil/gas companies to cover the costs of their infrastructure needs.

Jan and Pat Girardot

Glenwood Springs

U.S. and world financial markets have been plummeting from the sky, and there is no golden parachute. Due to negative factors sparked by the mortgage crisis, financial foundations everywhere appear to be collapsing before our eyes. It may improve temporarily, but relief will be short-lived.

Whoever is elected president in a few days will have a crisis of monumental proportions to deal with, which no leader will be able to solve any time soon.

The question is, which will exacerbate the situation toward depression, delaying return to economic health for years. I believe that would be Obama, with his Socialist agenda, including redistribution of wealth, ready to spring.

Naturally, dim luminaries on the left, including Nancy Pelosi, blame this disaster on President Bush, like they everything. But Democrats like Barney Frank are more guilty than anyone.

For those who put their confidence in this world and its desirable assets, this is a tragic, discouraging period of history. They are discovering the temporal treasures so many scrape, sweat, and dream for are indeed fleeting and illusory, and leave their pursuers unfulfilled at best, destitute and bankrupt at worst.

America is indeed an awesome nation, which has been the single greatest force for good in this world, outside of God’s love and redemption.

But its recent glaring sins, including sanctioning homosexual marriage and the heartless clinical execution of 50 million unborn innocents, may finally be exacting their fearful toll. America as we have known it, may never be the same. Her judgment, and that of the worldly economic system founded on and sustained by greed, may have begun.

I would strongly encourage those reading this to make every effort to place far less confidence in this passing worldly kingdom and begin trusting in that kingdom ” and it’s merciful, redeeming king ” which, though unseen, is infinitely real and will endure forever. It, and he, will not disappoint those trusting in Him. This choice is crucial. Far more so than our vote in this election.

“Build your hope on things eternal, and hold to God’s unchanging hand.”

John Herbst

Battlement Mesa

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