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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

As the president of the Glenwood Springs Art Guild I am frequently answering questions regarding the unique group of artists that make up this non-profit organization.

The most frequent and most surprising question is “What is the Fall Art Festival?” It is surprising because next week, Sept. 23-27, will be the 47th annual Fall Art Festival, so this event has been in existence since 1962.

The answer: The Fall Art Festival is the largest nonjuried fine art show in Colorado. Non-juried means that we take all artists’ artwork because our main goal is to encourage new artists. It also means there is art for every taste and budget. We show all fine art media by professional artists to students, and everywhere in between.

Why have we done this every year for 47 years? The answer is “community.” The art guild’s percentage of the sales after expenses goes back into the community in the form of scholarships to graduating high school seniors, grants to all of the area libraries for art videos and books, grants for art supplies to all of the 27 area grade schools, grants for art related activities in places like Colorado Veterans Nursing Home, Colorado West and Mountain Valley Developmental, and many more.

No spare change to buy artwork? Admission is free, so come to the free art demonstrations, view the thousands of pieces of original art in the galleries and the bargain bin, or vote for your favorite piece to receive the Popular Choice Award.

The event opens Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 3 p.m., after judging, and is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. For the schedule or more information go to , or call Cynthia at 928-0026. Better yet, call Ruth at 319-0062 and become a purchase patron, which means that you agree to buy one piece of art of any price, and you get to attend the gala purchase patron event, Tuesday, Sept. 22, with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and a chance to preview and purchase before the exhibition is open to the public. This is your community, and this is your art show -come and support it.

Cynthia Thomas

president, Glenwood Springs Art Guild

A critical percentage of Americans and our leaders have failed to see beyond the end of their collective noses. Despite the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists (I.P.C.C., E.P.A., D.O.E., etc.) that human-caused global climate change due to greenhouse gases poses a significant threat to the well-being of our planet, a large number of intelligent people do not accept that finding. Reasons include our natural skepticism; our innate difficulty in accepting different ideas; our lack of awareness, knowledge, and interest about this issue; and our short-term self-interest.

During my own skeptical period, I purchased and read “The Skeptical Environmentalists,” by Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish economist. Despite a B.S. loaded with math, physics and chemistry and an M.D. from the University of Colorado, I truly didn’t understand the arguments. I did not possess the specialized expertise in the complex field of climatology to generate my own scientific conclusion on the issue. I still don’t and neither do you. We have to rely on the experts.

Self-interested deniers of reversible climate change have only to raise even a slight doubt to keep the critical mass of the populace on the sidelines. Since stabilizing or reversing climate change depends upon a concerted effort throughout the world, this strategy has stalled the meaningful action for decades. America, as the largest per capita contributor to global warming, should lead the fight against greenhouse gases.

What can you do?

The most important step is to reduce your use of fossil fuels. It will save you money! Throw away your incandescent bulbs and replace them with CFLs, even if only one a week. Recycle. Go solar. Plan your errands so you drive less. Bus, carpool, bike or walk you and your kids to work or school. Turn off your computers, lights, televisions, etc., when they are not in use.

After this, learn about the issue, and if you have the time, become an activist. Consult trustworthy sources of information. Not all “experts” are trustworthy. The “Petition Project” is a perfect example.

I would hope to see references from any other non-experts who write on this topic.

David Schroeder, M.D.

New Castle

I find it ironic that parents and educators are always telling students to do their homework, and study. I heard this all too often in my days of learning to forget mathematical problems. Ironic, because the “overseer” of Glenwood, Carbondale and Basalt schools admits to not doing her homework, and she gets paid tax dollars to be at school.

I have no children. I thought school was about learning, becoming informed, making choices, and acquiring tools for life’s lessons that come after graduation. Superintendent Haptonstall did not do her homework or her job. I was floored to read that she admits to not reading any pre-speech transcripts sent by the Department of Education. Her decision was part of a district policy to not allow presentations without knowing the content first, she says. Judy, if I may, since I am not one of your students, you had the chance to know the content beforehand. You had plenty of time to make a decision, holiday weekend or not. What? Is the Internet closed on holidays and you could not look up the content? I was always told to do my homework first and not put it off until the last minute. Do your homework, Judy! Do what you are paid taxpayers’ hard-earned money to do. These children are going to be running the country when I’m in an old-folks home.

At the least show some respect for the leader of this country when he makes an effort to personally address the youth of this country. I don’t want to beat a dead horse too badly, and I am sure there will be plenty more letters from upset parents. To quote Whitney Houston, “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way!” Or you can go with, “Do as I say, not as I do!”

Good luck kids in school, and Judy on riding this one out. This too shall pass.

Enjoy the day!

John Norman


I have been reading with growing amusement the letters decrying Superintendent Haptonstall’s decision to have school-district students forego watching President Obama’s recent speech. Although I am a resident of Maine, I happened to be visiting a friend in Glenwood Springs at the time Superintendent Haptonstall made her decision. At that time, there was no objection to her decision – as far as I can recall. Therefore, I am quite bewildered by the belated and intense criticism now being leveled at her.

What your readers fail to recognize (or at least to discuss) is the fact that the White House initially intended that the president’s speech would be accompanied by a “lesson plan.” The lesson plan envisioned that teachers would have their students commit to specific ways in which they (the students) would help the president accomplish his goals. Moreover, teachers were expected to follow up with students to monitor whether their students had carried through with their commitments to the president’s political agenda. It was only after the existence of the “lesson plan” became known that widespread public criticism of the speech was raised. It is notable that the White House quickly abandoned the lesson plan in the face of widespread criticism.

To my knowledge, citizens in no way objected to President Obama’s desire to address the nation’s students. Rather, concerns focused on what appeared to be a thinly veiled attempt to use our children to further the president’s political goals. Under such circumstances, Superintendent Haptonstall’s decision was both justified and (in my opinion) absolutely correct. Our children are in school to be educated, not indoctrinated.

Bradley J. Enna

Portland, Maine

As of Sunday, Sept. 13, letters to the editor of the Post Independent are running at 23-1 condemning Ms. Haptonstall’s decision regarding President Obama’s live address to students. The lone voice supporting her? Mr. Stan Rachesky, who, in Sunday’s letter, “Ms. Haptonstall made the right decision,” wrote such masterpieces of sophistry as, “Yes, the office of the president of the U.S. must be respected but there’s a lot more to it with this president than meets the eye.” In other words, respect the office of the president, but not the man in the office. How does that work? Are we supposed to salute the desk? He’s also applying a double-standard here. Using that logic, the Dixie Chicks deserved his support when they faced outrage for publicly stating that George W. Bush had made them embarrassed to be Texans.

Another gem was, “President Obama was elected on a rebound because President Bush was so demonized by the media that people were brainwashed to the point of extreme ‘hate.'” Two points here: First, it takes a brainwashed man to spot the brainwashed; for years Mr. Rachesky’s been writing only the opinions served up by one segment of the Fourth Estate.

Second, what is this “rebound” stuff? We’re not in junior high school, and Americans are not the jilted lovers of the previous administration, rushing headlong into the arms of someone who can pronounce “nuclear.” Mr. Rachesky’s disingenuously overlooked the fact that the popular vote was roughly 53 percent for Obama, 46 percent for McCain. That sounds to me like a closely split voting public, not an overwhelming emotional rejection of somebody who stood us up on a blind date.

Please Mr. Rachesky, if you really agree with Ms. Haptonstall, don’t help. Long after things have calmed down, logical people will still be asking her why she thinks she’s qualified to lead the education of the district’s children when she did not bother to educate herself about the speech or the district’s demographics. Having you as her sole public voice of support isn’t doing her any favors.

Becky Penn

Glenwood Springs

A fresh perspective on the Haptonstall vs. Obama debacle from the mouth of my Glenwood Springs Middle School sixth-grader: “It would have been so cool if Obama had given his speech from GSMS!”

Perhaps Ms. Haptonstall could brighten her tarnished reputation by issuing a formal invitation from RFSD Re-1 to President Obama to give a future “Address to Schoolchildren” from one of our schools!

Annie Hoghaug

Glenwood Springs

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