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The recent spills of millions of gallons of drilling mud show that drilling activity in the Cutthroat Trout watersheds of the BLM’s Roan Plateau Planning Area is unacceptable. While spills of this magnitude might be “rare,” as industry spokesmen claim, they also admit that such spills on a smaller scale are “not uncommon.” It won’t take much to wipe out the entire populations of rare Colorado Cutthroat trout in Trapper, Northwater and the East Fork of Parachute creeks. A single, smaller spill will do it. The creek will recover over time, but the trout will be gone forever.

The BLM itself admits that if drilling and development are allowed in these watersheds, “some of these impacts could never be reversed, especially those that eliminate genetically unique resources represented by populations of rare or disjunct species such as genetically pure Colorado River cutthroat trout.”

BLM has stated that these trout populations are “unique and irreplaceable.” The continued existence of these populations is in very real jeopardy. Only by following the BLM’s earlier recommendations to protect the entire watershed and prohibit any drilling or development activity within them, can we expect these irreplaceable trout populations to survive.



It should also be noted that these spill events occurred on the Roan Plateau itself, not “west of” the Roan, as reported. The Roan Plateau extends west nearly to the Utah line. The area needing protection is only a small spot in a sea of existing development of the entire Roan Plateau. We can easily afford to safeguard and preserve this small area. The potential cost and loss if we don’t is just too high.

Ken Neubecker



Carbondale

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported on March 7 that four large spills from pits at gas drilling sites dumped huge amounts of chemical-laced mud into Garden Gulch, northwest of Rifle between November and February. One spill released 30,000 barrels of drilling mud, some of which is currently frozen in a waterfall that will flow into West Parachute Creek this spring. That’s nearly 1 million gallons from one spill alone, which must be scaring the people downstream who use that water for irrigation. It’s a simple stroke of luck that the spill didn’t go into a creek that’s used for drinking water.

The news of these spills comes at a time when every day brings reports of legislators and gas companies grumbling about new rules the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is developing to protect wildlife, the environment and public health from the impacts of oil and gas development. The spills show exactly why we need the new rules ” to prevent nasty accidents like these. Let’s hope the commission takes note and adopts rules that will really protect us, like keeping drill rigs far away from streams and requiring pitless drilling in the watersheds that provide our drinking water.

Janet Magoon

Grand Junction

Also addressed: Glenwood Springs Local Business Owners,

As of February 2008, the Glenwood Springs High School Booster Club will be working with Media All Stars Inc. They will be assisting in our fundraising efforts for Glenwood Springs High School. They will be producing our seasonal sports posters, starting with the fall 2008 sports poster.

If you have any questions, or need any assistance, please feel free to e-mail me at gshsboosters@hotmail.com.

During the months of March and April they will be contacting businesses and offering sponsorship advertising spaces on the poster.

I know in the past you may have been approached by media companies saying they were affiliated with the school, and it turned out they were not. Media All Stars Inc. are working closely with the GSHS Booster Cub to have the posters created and out into the community to support all the teams and activities at Glenwood Springs High School.

Remember … it is all about our town, our school, our teams!

Joni Jennert

Glenwood Springs High School Booster Club president

Coal Ridge has some great slogans, “Lighting the fire within,” and now a song about courage, honor and striving for integrity. Yet the decisions the administration have made are impulsive, selective and decided by a small select group of parents and administration. These decisions don’t stimulate learning, but frustrate a lot of students and parents.

After reading the article about Coal Ridge’s boys basketball team, I was reminded of Coach Cox’s termination, and how sad he must feel not being able to share the end of the season with his team. Yet the student who pushed him continues to play basketball and be a role model for Coal Ridge. This feels wrong to me.

I still feel frustrated over Coach Cox’s firing. It represents a much bigger problem at the high school. Coal Ridge’s administration has repeatedly chosen extreme solutions to rather small controversies.

Remember the beautiful mural that was painted on the wall at Coal Ridge? Within a week, a few people complained and were offended by the picture. The mural was immediately painted over.

Then Coach Cox, who has coached many of Coal Ridge’s basketball players both privately and through the school system for many years, admitted to a minor mistake, parents complained, and Cox was erased just like the mural.

The problems at Coal Ridge aren’t being solved. The firing of Coach Cox is only the tip of the iceberg. Many students left Coal Ridge for other schools in our valley. These students weren’t trouble-makers; most are good, hard-working students who felt unappreciated and forgotten because they weren’t conventional athletes or honor students.

Others had a need to be treated more like adults than middle school students. High school students should be given the opportunity to make some decisions on their own, like the ability to make a phone call between classes, or take an important message from home when they think it is necessary. They should be trusted to use a locker safely, and to be treated with respect, not because of who their parents are or because their parents demand it of you.

Jeanne Long-Locke and Chelsea Long

New Castle

Brian Wright wrote an interesting response to Neal Pollack’s critique of Hal Sundin on Al Gore, but his recollections may be confused.

To hopefully correct Mr. Wright’s revision of recent election history (which liberals can’t seem to get over and move on with their lives), Mr. Bush did indeed beat Gore fair and square in 2000. I seem to recall that, after the initial razor-thin vote difference in Florida, several (three or four) recounts were undertaken, most “requested” by Democrats. And guess who won every single one? Hint: It wasn’t Al Gore.

But no matter; the Dems continued their redundant demands, hoping for a recount in their favor to revive their dying crusade. Finally, the Supreme Court reluctantly ended the process, lest it continue ad infinitum. (Forget that most military absentee ballots went uncounted, which would have given Bush a bigger edge.) Political chicanery? I don’t think so. (And I thought my own memory was feeble.)

Next, Mr. Wright alleges that Bush “overturned, one by one, those liberties he was charged to defend,” but fails to list what liberties these might be. I’m not saying definitely that no liberties could have been diminished, but hitherto no one has enlightened me as to specifics, and whose freedoms have been lost. (I can think of just one case, recently in the news.)

If I’m not engaged in illegal activity, why worry if an occasional phone call or e-mail is monitored? I’ve got nothing to fear, and if another horrific attack on innocent Americans is exposed and foiled, I rejoice, and applaud Bush’s assiduous efforts to protect Americans. (After all, if you’re dead, your civil liberties don’t do much good, do they?) The president is more loathed by the Left, than are sinister foes who take delight in our destruction. How strange.

Oh, don’t tell anyone that about as many scientists and climatologists oppose the man-made global warming farce, as support it. (Surely Al Gore is enjoying Earth’s coldest winter in decades, you think?)

John Herbst

Battlement Mesa

“If you see something worthwhile in what I am doing, it is not by accident but because of real direction and purpose.” ” Vincent Van Gogh

For some, early childhood education is a career choice. For others, it is a calling.

I share as many years teaching in the preschool field as Sylvia Breidenbach. The words that I speak do little to convey the depth of honor and meaning I feel to have Sylvia as a colleague.

Sometimes, it is best to paint a picture, so visualize this: I am standing solid and strong, clapping in firm applause, with tears in my eyes from the respect, gratitude and admiration I have for this dedicated and outstanding teacher. Some people paint by numbers, while others create masterpieces. Sylvia is a gifted artist and the hues of light and color vibrate in all the children’s lives Sylvia has touched. These are the words in print that deserve your focus along with the sound of a standing ovation vibrating in your ears for Sylvia Breidenbach.

Sylvia, please hear the applause.

Jessica Riddle, director

St. Stephen’s Preschool

Ed Cortez makes ideals come true! For me, that meant helping me build a passive solar home and staying on budget. (He said he would, and he did!) While I hired Ed for his professionalism as a builder and his specialization with energy efficient systems like SIPS, I came to appreciate so much more about him in the process. When the going got tough, he didn’t overreact, he didn’t take things personally; instead he gave options, provided estimations and delivered.

I’ve come to trust Ed as a knowledgeable source and a leader with balance. He believes in preservation of our natural resources, supports quality of life in our community, balanced with capitalizing on smart growth, as long as it meets certain ethical criteria. He’s someone I continue to consult, especially when it comes to planning some of my companies’ eco-action projects.

Ed Cortez is on the team of manifesting good ideas. He’s a good solid candidate for Carbondale town council in the upcoming April 1 election.

Kathleen Mrachek

Carbondale


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