Your Letters |

Your Letters

Whether it’s called a graveyard, cemetery, memorial park or mausoleum, it’s still a place where you bury dead people. And whether it’s called a fine, fee, penalty, investment or contribution, it’s still a tax. Recently Obama, referring to health care “fees,” said: “Right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax.”

His analogy is faulty. First, only people who choose to own an auto are required to buy auto insurance. Second, if you own your auto, you’re only required to own liability insurance – to protect the other driver’s car and not to protect your own. Third, you only need to carry collision/comprehensive insurance if: 1. you are making payments on your auto (which protects the lender against loss of their collateral) or 2. you own the auto and elect to carry it to protect your asset.

The health care reform the federal government is trying to pass would force people to buy health insurance whether they want it or not. This would be analogous to forcing people who don’t own an auto to buy one whether they want one or not or forcing those who own their auto to buy collision/comprehensive insurance whether they want it or not.

If you require people who don’t buy health insurance to pay a penalty (tax) this would be analogous to forcing people who don’t buy an auto to pay a penalty (tax) for not buying an auto.

If there are those who don’t wish to purchase health insurance, they should be allowed not to do so. They should then be responsible for their own health care costs should they require it, just like the owner of an auto who chooses to carry liability only is responsible for repairs to his vehicle if they are involved in an accident in which they are at fault.

We do not want government health care forced on us. But the larger question is: Where in our Constitution does the Federal government derive the authority to do so?

Leon Garot

Glenwood Springs

David Reed’s comments on Oct. 2 that the Hidden Gems Proposal is good for the economy are just common sense wrong.

People come to this area to camp, hunt and explore these areas year-round, and every person that visits our area spends money on fuel, food and lodging that our community must have to survive.

Closing these areas down to yearly tourism, hunting, camping, etc. will only serve to drive these people away to other areas that have the access they desire.

Growth of our valley is inevitable, as Marlene Manown has stated, but closing these areas to tourists will do nothing but add further hardships to the businesses who are attempting to survive in this valley.

Wildlife in this area also continues to thrive in the upper elevation that the Hidden Gems are proposing to close. The elk population continues to grow rapidly and must be controlled by hunting these areas that can only be accessed by these trails.

Say no to the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal so we can continue to offer these areas to our visitors and families for years to come.

Paul Burbidge

Glenwood Springs

This fall the Aspen/Glenwood Choral Society begins its 33rd season. We would like to extend an invitation to all people in the community to be part of another concert season.

The Aspen/Glenwood Choral Society annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” has become a holiday tradition and in recent years has developed a very strong following in the Glenwood Springs area, recruiting singers and patrons from as far away as Rifle and Parachute.

Many people argue they can’t sing as a justification for not joining a chorus. The truth is that most of the members of this chorus are amateurs, and most who join find that they through the welcoming, low pressure rehearsal atmosphere and with the aid of recorded learning tapes or CDs, they can quickly become comfortable with the music. There are no auditions. Singers simply attend the rehearsals and spend some time with the learning material. Music is available for purchase at area music stores.

Our annual fundraising campaign is at hand and to that end, many of you will soon receive our fundraising letter. We ask that you respond with any amount you can. It is only through personal donations and grants from area cities and arts organizations that this effort can be realized.

Most nonprofit organizations are feeling pinched these days, and the Aspen/Glenwood Choral Society is no exception. Despite its relatively small profile, the Aspen/Glenwood Choral Society has become a well-known and respected group. But it takes a lot of money to make this happen. It is through the generosity of our donors and the dedication of the members that the Aspen/Glenwood Choral society will have another successful season. Please join us. Interested singers may call Ray Adams at 925-3685.

Messiah rehearsal dates are:

In Aspen: Sundays beginning Nov. 1, 4-6 p.m., St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 533 Main St.

In Glenwood: Mondays beginning Nov. 2, 6-8 p.m., United Methodist Church, 824 Cooper.

“Long Live the Music.”

Larry Tallmadge, ACS board member

The Hidden Gems Wilderness proposal is a complete ruse.

Its sole purpose is to lock out a large segment of users in name of wilderness. The folks at the Wilderness Workshop are using a tool, The Wilderness Act, as a way of locking folks out of their own public lands.

These folks are such elitists that they believe only they know what is best for these lands. The Forest Service and the BLM are both in the middle of rewriting their travel management plans, but this does not go far enough for them.

Years ago a true cross-section of user groups came together and conducted statewide meetings with a committee appointed by the governor to come up with the roadless rule. We all sat down in good faith to debate and compromise in order to come up with the rules that would be used to manage our roadless areas.

Now since they did not get what they wanted they are trying to get the new governor to throw out what took 10s of thousands of taxpayer dollars and countless hours of committee member and participant time. Instead they have come up with this new concept of using the wilderness designation on areas that do not fit the original intent of the act.

I am impressed with Mesa County recognizing that public lands should be preserved for the public, not from the public. They adopted and signed a resolution opposing the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign.

There already exist extensive wilderness, inventoried roadless areas, areas of critical environmental concern, threatened and endangered species habitat and other designations that prevent development and most activities that a wilderness designation provides. These areas number in the millions of acres. Inventoried roadless areas alone are at least 4.1 million acres in addition to 3.3 million acres of designated Forest Service wilderness. Total FS land in Colorado is 14.5 million acres and this number includes grasslands.

There are additional wilderness proposals touted by various Colorado wilderness organizations that include millions of additional wilderness acres in the future. When is enough enough?

Kenneth Upchurch


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