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Your Letters

Originally addressed Dear Mr. Mayor:

I am appalled at the very large marijuana signs that our town has allowed shop owners to display in their shop windows of the new “medical marijuana” dispensaries. The one especially disturbing is the one on Sixth street that visitors see as they come off the interstate and enter our town. Is that the image we want for Glenwood Springs?

I have been reading where other towns had a moratorium before they just let these shop owners open up “free for all.” Some towns took a little bit of time for planning about where these “medical clinics” should be located, hours they can operate, and the type of signage they can use. Was this moratorium considered in our town at all? It appears it might have been a good idea because now, it is not going to be so easy to relocate these “medical clinics” to the “medical core” of our city instead of the “downtown core.”

Please put this on the agenda as soon as possible before our town is not only going green but all our windows downtown will look green, really green.

Thank you for listening.

Michelle Ballinger

Glenwood Springs

As a concerned citizen of Garfield County, I want to make residents aware of the dire circumstances the members of our Search and Rescue organization are facing.

The members of this team sacrifice time and financial resources through extensive training and search and rescue operations, as well as the cost of equipment, which they often provide themselves. Typically, a volunteer organization pleads for funds to continue providing their services. However, Garfield County Search and Rescue Inc. is facing a gross invasion of privacy, as well as violation of Constitutional rights.

Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario has mandated current and prospective members of this county’s volunteer Search and Rescue team complete an extensive and invasive application. In the pages of this application – all 39 of them – information is asked such as financial and credit history (including institution names and account numbers), full medical history, list of relatives, personal drug and alcohol use as well as that suspected of family, friends and acquaintances, gambling habits, relationship and sexual history, description and location of tattoos, involvement in civil court proceedings, personal hobbies, magazines and newspaper subscriptions, and the list goes on. However, protection of this sensitive information is not offered. Applicants must “agree to release and hold harmless … from any and all liability or claims which I may have arising out of the disclosure of such information.” (Please find the full text of this application in the following documents: and

According to this application, would you or I – or the sheriff himself – qualify as a volunteer for our Search and Rescue organization? Does the sheriff’s job description still include protecting the rights of his constituents?

The information required of these volunteers, who provide a valuable service to each of us, as well as our friends and family, goes beyond what should be required for the sacrifices they offer to outdoorsmen who recreate in our county. Many of the questions are self-incriminating, violating their Fifth Amendment rights. If you value the services that Search and Rescue provides, please make the sheriff and the county commissioners aware of your concerns.

Mike and Kaycee Manuppella


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