Your Letters

Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

As a Roaring Fork High School student I am recently taking English 4. In this class we are doing blogs on any issue we as students decided to do. My issue is abortion.

Abortion has been an issue for a long time. There have been fights over it. Doctors have even been killed for performing abortions.

Pro-life have gone on strikes outside of abortion clinics to try and stop abortion. Pro-choice are glad that abortion is legal for the sake of the mother’s aborting.

Abortion is good being legal because if it wasn’t there would be much more deaths in the world. If abortion was illegal, the women that expect a baby will still find a way to abort the child, and expect it would be done with greater risk.

I think that there are so many ways of protecting yourself to not get pregnant, so people don’t result in abortion.

Planned Parenthood in 410 20th St., Glenwood Springs, gives out free condoms. It also sells the birth control pills to a teenager without being accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

With this help there is no reason for women to get pregnant and abort the child.

Hopefully people can understand my point of view and see that the abortion rate will go down and the ongoing controversy of abortion will be put to a halt.

Olivia Perez


Dear Eagle, Pitkin County Commissioners and Basalt Town Council,

The Aspen Music Festival and School (AMFS) is proud to be an original participant in Access Roaring Fork’s (ARF) After-School Initiative. When ARF Executive Director Steve Kaufman offered our organization the chance to participate in this program, the AMFS decided to create two music classes – lead guitar at Carbondale Middle School and now, Music By You at Basalt Middle School. Through our M.O.R.E. Program (Musical Odysseys Reaching Everyone), educational outreach forms a core part of our organization’s mission. Our alliance with the After-School Initiative makes these dynamic programs a reality.

The AMFS brings musical educational residencies to 22 elementary, middle, and high schools in the Aspen, Roaring Fork, and Garfield school districts, public, private and charter schools with close to 7,000 students participating. Our new after-school lead guitar program was specifically located at Carbondale Middle School with the highest at risk population in the valley. Adding Music by You is a preliminary class for our yearly Composer Forum. The AMFS programs supported by ARF benefit the entire community, making music accessible to the community and providing a safe-haven for students after school, a nurturing environment for students after school.

The After-School Initiative is grateful for the financial support the it has received from Garfield County, the town of Carbondale, the Aspen Community Foundation, and Laurie Michaels Bonderman. However the need for funding to operate the programs exceeds these contributions, making funding from Basalt Town Council, Eagle and Pitkin counties essential. While Pitkin County’s Healthy Community Fund helps many worthy causes, the safety and education of children after school requires a more serious commitment. The initiative has received no money from the town of Basalt; nevertheless the initiative is committed to having a program in place there. As a participant of this program, I urge people in the town of Basalt and these counties to contact their representatives/commissioners to ask for their support. Commissioners and Town Council, please consider the value and safety these programs offer our students by voting to fund ARF in the 2010 budget as a line item.

Deborah Barnekow

Aspen Music Festival and School

How many taxing districts in Garfield County have disclosed if their 2010 budget will accommodate temporarily lowering the mill levy, thereby lowering your taxes?

Compare this to a partial list of the taxing districts in Pitkin County that have announced lowering their mill levy to provide some tax relief in view of the 2010 windfall valuation increase coupled with the poor economy: Pitkin County commissioners, city of Aspen, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, Gateway Metro District, Snowmass Wildcat Fire District, Basalt Fire, Aspen Fire, Aspen Valley Hospital, Pitkin County Library.

One conclusion is that these taxing districts in Pitkin County are being more fiscally responsible. The other conclusion being that these taxing districts understand the certification process and have adapted the process to fit the present economic times. They have taken a temporary tax credit that can be removed in future years without a vote of the people. Some taxing districts feel they have done their job by merely retaining the same mill levy and there is the false assumption that they have not raised your taxes.

Taxing districts that want to retain all the revenues possible are blowing smoke when they tell you that they are reluctant to take a temporary mill levy credit because it’s possible they would have to have a vote of the people to reinstate the previous mill levy. Taxing districts under the restrictions of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights have been taking temporary mill levy credits to comply with the law for years. It has never been contested.

Ken Call

Glenwood Springs

I am a 17-year-old fairly young driver. This is the second year that I have been driving in snow (I got my license in August 2008). Last year was a fairly light year of snow from what I remember. This year I am discovering that many people seem to be in an impatient hurry. I am writing to ask all of those impatient drivers to please stay more than a couple feet from my bumper. Just because I am going slow on the highway does not mean that I am trying to inconvenience you, I am merely being cautious due to my lack of inexperience of driving in snow. When I went through Driver’s Ed I was taught that you need to stay at least three car lengths from the car ahead of you – or more, depending on weather, visibility and road conditions. If you are impatient enough to try making me go faster by riding my bumper, please pass me. I ask you to do this not just for me, but for all of the other young drivers out on the road.

Michael Capraro


With the recent snowfall I have noticed something in my neighborhood that disturbs me and probably disturbs others as well, they just haven’t thought to write about it.

Unless I am mistaken, I am obligated by law to clear the sidewalk of snow in front of my house within 24 hours or risk getting a ticket (a fine or whatever).

Now I notice that there are several houses in the area that have been vacated due to foreclosure. I can tell they’re vacant because the snow never gets shoveled!

These properties have reverted to the control of the bank that holds the mortgage, but does that mean that the law can be ignored? Their profits may be down, but I’m sure they still have profits, so let’s hold them accountable.

I know that corporations in this country have the same rights as people (personhood status). That being the case, why are they able to break the law without consequence? I realize that it would be a David v. Goliath scenario for the city to get them to comply, but if they won’t do the responsible thing and contract someone to remove the snow (creating much needed jobs), then at least the city could impose the the stipulated fines and raise some revenue.

Ignoring the law and neglecting these properties in such a manner is unsightly, and it’s unsafe to those who live in the area who would have to walk on the street. I’m sure that’s why the ordinance was written in the first place. If I failed to obey the law I would probably be fined daily until I comply. Let’s hold the corporations to the same standard as the rest of us, and make them obey the law.

Stephen Davis

Glenwood Springs

I wanted to respond to a question that was asked recently. Is humankind inherently good? It has no clear answer, and it makes someone that attempts to be a good person ponder life and people in general.

I had my bike stolen out of my own yard this last summer, and it was frustrating as well. In fact my entire last year has been filled with nothing but negative occurrences that have challenged me to overcome. I was even scammed out of $1,500 recently, and it’s made this upcoming Christmas a very poor one and I mean that in so many different aspects.

It’s easy to pick out the bad in society, but I truly believe that everyone attempts to be good but at times they briefly lose themselves and sometimes they do bad things.

I’m guilty of this as well. Sometimes you allow selfishness to cloud your judgement. However, out of the madness that occurs in your life you have to discover the goodness in it, too. That’s the hard part. You cannot let things fester within you, you must move on and make the best of it.

Humankind is somewhat selfish, and I believe that’s when the evil occurs and events like theft happen. Goodness is an intentional action that takes some wisdom, and lots of love. This world is lacking love and the respect that grows from love. No matter what evil things may happen to us we must continue to be good, loving and wise to others, and maybe it will rub off on them. It may be a challenge to do this but I think eventually it all pays off somehow eventually.

Mariane Maynard

Glenwood Springs

Has anyone out there seen a group of 3- and 4-year-olds climbing Red Hill or wading in the Crystal River? Have you noticed them riding their balance bikes on the Rio Grande trail or collecting eggs at Sustainable Settings? If you have, it’s likely you’ve crossed paths with Karen Walker’s students at Waldkinder Adventure Preschool. Starting this past fall Carbondale’s been home to a new kind of preschool that takes learning outside. With a small class size the kids initiate much of their own learning by asking questions and following their interests.

The winter semester enrollment time is now. If your preschool-aged child is rugged, potty-trained, and ready for adventure then stop by Waldkinder’s Open House this Friday, Dec. 18. You can contact Karen Walker at 618-2994 for more information.

And in all this snow remember to look for the Waldkinder kids out and around town. If you see a blue-eyed 3-year-old in a yellow winter jacket give her a smile. That’s my kid catching snowflakes, looking to identify animal tracks, and hiking the knee deep drifts … all in a days work at Waldkinder Adventure Preschool.

Angela Hanley


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