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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

I am a retired school teacher and my husband is a high school softball coach here in the Roaring Fork Valley. We have worked with many of our valley’s kids and it came to our attention over the holidays that many of them (from Aspen to Glenwood) have attended parties at homes where alcohol was not only present, but purchased by parents.

We’re not sure if parents of other teens are aware that their 14, 15, 16, and 17-year olds have such access. “Beer Pong” parties are popular and condoned in several households. Apparently, when some parties get out of control, neighbors call police, but the owners of the homes do not let them in, for fear of liability. And that liability is huge. Serving or condoning alcohol consumption by teenagers under 18 in one’s home is a felony. Taking car keys away is not enough, and rarely works. Some parents have reported they tried to call the party houses to express concern, but the parties still go on. Rumor has it that kids are scattering when police arrive and climbing into cars, impaired and driving recklessly down steep mountain roads in winter conditions. There have already been a few dangerous car wrecks that could’ve killed our kids this school year alone.

Imagine living with the fact you contributed to the death of one of our beautiful valley kids. Please, parents, assume the role of parenting by not partying with your kids. Don’t leave your teens alone while you are away. Beware of teenage “camping” while out of cell range in secluded campgrounds without proper equipment or help nearby.

If our writing this letter saves the life of one teenager, wakes up a “party parent”, or gets people to talk about this issue, it will have been worth writing it. My husband and I have a 16-year-old ourselves. We know and love too many teenagers in this valley to lose even one. Parents, don’t buy, serve, or condone alcohol consumption by teens. We don’t want to attend the funeral of a child.

Thank you,

Bruce and Melissa Matherly

El Jebel

In her recent letter Judith King praises Israel for its relief to Haiti, offering this as proof of their humanitarian ideals. But while they send medical help to people thousands of miles away, right next door in Gaza and the West Bank millions of people are suffering from a lack of just such aid.

Israel’s attack on Gaza a year ago resulted in thousands of civilian deaths and injuries as well as destruction of infrastructure including hospitals. Rather than offer help, Israel is actively preventing the Gazan people from receiving the food, medical aid, building materials and other relief being offered by humanitarian organizations.

Meanwhile, Palestinians in the West Bank die and women give birth in the dirt at military barriers and checkpoints because they’re not allowed to cross Israeli-controlled territory to reach the hospital, and Jewish settlers dump their untreated sewage into the Palestinian’s water supply causing disease and death. This is the “soul-inspiring” country King writes of?

King calls Israel “A diverse and vibrant bastion of democracy.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Israel continues to pursue its goal of a homogeneous Jewish state by oppressing Muslims and Christians and evicting them from their homes. In the occupied territories, democracy does not apply to non-Jews and a system of apartheid has been instituted to keep them separate from the Jewish population.

In light of their obscenely inhumane treatment of the Palestinians, sending aid to Haiti just exposes Israel’s hypocrisy, and that of its supporters.

Sue Gray


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