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Your letters

As students at Basalt High School, we feel our school, and furthermore the whole Roaring Fork School District, uses too much energy. Over the past few weeks of researching this issue, we have decided something must be done about this.

Our proposal as a solution to such a large problem, is to begin with doing an energy audit on the schools every five years. This will identify the most problematic areas in the schools, and from there, money can be invested to correct these high-use areas. The last step of this solution would be to inform the staff monthly of ways to conserve energy and give an update on the school’s energy expenses.

While this process may be costly at the beginning, it will pay off after a few years. After a school-wide survey, it was agreed energy conservation is very important, and the best place to start making a difference is in our own schools.

Please give us any feedback or opinions at Today is the day to start making a difference … start close to home!

Lauren Emenaker, Abby King, Jeffer Flores, Matt Wells, and Ray Terry

Basalt High School

The writers of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were indeed liberals of their era, however, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others did indeed represent conservative values. They believed in limited government and free markets, not in the redistribution of wealth and big government.

It might help if you look at F. A. Hayek’s book, “The Road to Serfdom,” Fiftieth Anniversary Edition, in paperback. Read the introduction by Milton Friedman. See footnote 2 on page xi of the introduction. It reads as follows.

2. (Added in 1994.) I use the term liberal, as Hayek does in the book, and also in his Preface to the 1956 Paperback Edition (p. xxxv below), in the original nineteenth-century sense of limited government and free markets, not in the corrupted sense it has acquired in the United States, in which it means almost the opposite.

Just wanted to clarify that.

Ron Byrd Sr.


After reading Gary Hershoren’s letter, it continues to amaze me how somewhat-reasonable people can warp viewpoints to match their ideology.

While the Founding Fathers were considered liberal for their day, they in no way would be considered liberals by today’s standards. They would regard the size and scope of modern government as completely beyond all propriety. They wanted to maximize individual freedom, while minimizing the power of government. The founding fathers did not all agree with everything each other said. Just like our current government, they all had very different ideas and beliefs.

The winning side, the antifederalists, were very libertarian. This group included people like Thomas Jefferson and other greats. However, there was a group called the federalists that were almost exactly like today’s democratic party, and they were led by Alexander Hamilton.

One of the problems with studying American political history is how the political terms and attitudes have changed since then. Thomas Jefferson, one of the most outspoken advocates of a limited federal government and of democratic self-government, was a radical liberal in his day. The Hamiltonian Federalists who had no use for popular opinion and believed in a powerful federal government, led by elite aristocrats who thought they knew what was best for the common man and really didn’t see much need for the commoners to have any say in their government at all, were the conservatives of the day.

Today, Jefferson would be in the conservative camp and Hamilton would be seen as a liberal, and the really radical ones like Patrick Henry and George Mason, who opposed the ratification of the Constitution because they thought it gave too much power to the federal government, would probably be at home in the libertarian camp.

Don’t take my word or Gary’s as the truth, do some research and decide for yourself.

Joe Blanc


“Ask yourself who reads the PI any longer anyway before anyone loses sleep over whether they’ve printed your letters to the editor. Since they fired most of their good reporters and their pages are filled with the same AP wire service copy you can get online, their shrinking size almost surely reflects a precipitous loss of circulation. Heck, it’s almost impossible to find a copy down here anyway!”

I send this without attribution just so you can hear from some of us readers out here who think you are not doing a very good job as journalists to the community. There is more local news in the new non-profit Sopris Sun in Carbondale than there is in your for-profit newspaper.

James Breasted


Editor’s Note: These are difficult and stressful times in the newspaper industry. We’re sorry that you are dissatisfied with this newspaper. But for the good men and women who you insulted that remain at this publication, we’re trying to keep our morale and spirits up. Sometimes that’s difficult when we hear from negative people like you.

The page three headline in the March 12 Glenwood Springs Post Independent, “Another suit against GarCo Sheriff Vallario dismissed,” is technically correct, but very misleading.

Truth is another litigant against Lou Vallario has been bought off with taxpayer dollars. The last one which was “dismissed” cost $10,000, and Lou said that would be a lesson to one and all, that you can’t sue the sheriff and make money from it.

The latest buy-off was “settled” for an undisclosed amount. I guess taxpayers don’t need to know how much it costs this time to not let anyone get away with suing the sheriff.

There are several more lawsuits pending against the sheriff. The one with the American Civil Liberties Union had cost well over a half a million dollars by last September. At two to three hundred dollars per hour for lawyers, I bet we’ve spent close to a million scarce taxpayer bucks covering Lou’s butt.

The sad thing is the sheriff doesn’t care. His stated position is, “If you don’t like my policies, the court house is over there.”

Lou Vallario is, and will continue to be, a financial liability to Garfield County. In these hard economic times, we can’t afford another two years of Lou Vallario. If the district attorney doesn’t indict him, we should recall him.

Bruno Kirchenwitz


Colorado lawmakers should increase stimulus package spending on rail and mass transit, and decrease spending on highway projects. According to the Denver Business Journal, 103.5 million stimulus package dollars will be allocated for mass transit projects in Colorado, while $403.9 million will go towards highway projects. Of the latter amount, “some funds could be used on rail projects at the state’s discretion.”

I urge lawmakers and Colorado citizens to push for greater spending on mass transit and rail projects. Money spent on roads only encourages more driving, which results in higher personal transportation costs, greater CO2 emissions, and greater dependency on foreign oil. Alternatively, money spent on mass transit and rail projects puts money back in the pockets of consumers, decreases CO2 emissions, and reduces demand for overseas oil. Furthermore, mass transit and rail projects will create an immediate demand for new jobs as well as long-term jobs to service the projects. Spending money on mass transit is a win for our environment, our economy, and our quality of life.

Please urge lawmakers to make mass transit a priority for Colorado stimulus package spending.

Michael Logan


Our founding fathers were not liberals. Our revolution was fought to escape the oppression of the British Monarchy. In our present times, that would be our government.

Conservatives believe the people, not the government, are in charge.

Liberals believe government is the panacea for all ills, and our rights are given to us by the government, unlike conservatives who believe we give rights to the government.

The founders opposed any kind of public welfare. They did not believe the federal government owes you a retirement, health care, abortions, welfare and a mortgage.

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” – Benjamin Franklin.

We ourselves decide for ourselves. Our founding fathers believed in limited government. Liberals want a larger and larger government to take care of them, the entitlement class. The Founding Fathers had a laissez faire attitude toward business; unlike liberals who want to socialize businesses and put more regulations on them. They opposed all tax, except fees on foreign imports; unlike liberals, who tax and spend other people’s money.

Our founders were wealthy men who owned property. Liberals believe everyone should own property. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was originally: Life, liberty and the pursuit of private property.

“A wise and frugal government … shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” -Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address.

They were devoutly religious and sought to protect religion from government oppression, it was not to keep religion out of government. Separation of church and state is nowhere in the Constitution.

The difference between a liberal and conservative is easy. The liberal says, “What is the government going to do for me?” The conservative says, “Get out of my way, and let me take care of it.” Who do you think our founding fathers sound more like?

Andy Stanczak

Glenwood Springs

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