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Your Letters

Glenwood is looking to purchase six new trucks. About the same number as last year. I’m told this is part of an equipment rotation program budgeted years ago. But times have changed. Revenue is way down. Other mountain communities in similar straits are making due with perfectly serviceable trucks and equipment.

Now, we have a convergence of priorities. It looks like Summer of Jazz might not make it this year. It brings in tens of thousands of new dollars plus entertaining the valley. It will cost about $90,000 to put on six performances.

It so happens the six new trucks will cost about $180,000. Why not buy only three trucks and fund Summer of Jazz? I’m told we can’t do that. There is the “truck fund” and it is untouchable and the “fun fund” is empty. I think this is baloney. City Council, please find a way to move some money around to do what’s right for the most good for this community.

Dean Moffatt

Glenwood Springs

A recent letter-writer requested a reference to the traffic study data cited in my letter, regarding traffic volumes on Highway 82. It can be found in the Corridor Optimization Study, accessible on the city’s website. Go to Engineering/SH%2082%20COS%20Final%20Report.pdf. From the city’s home page, go to Departments, tab Public Works, then Engineering and select “SH82 Corridor Optimization Study Final Report.” Page 16 contains the factual data, generated by professional transportation engineers. It states, “Based on the license plate survey conducted for the SH 82 CCA (Corridor Conditions Assessment), 27% of the vehicles that use SH82 on a typical weekday are pass-through vehicles.”

Jeanne Golay

Glenwood Springs

Stan Rachesky: Your message is a good one, but your approach is way off. That is the first sentence of a letter that was printed in the Post Independent on Sunday. I have been made aware of the unfortunate timing and for that I am deeply sorry.

The letter went on to read that maybe you should try a new approach. I suggested that you could get the Kool-Aid, of which you speak, at any of our local “natural healing stores.” Only after partaking in the “Kool-Aid” (marijuana) will you be able to understand what is in the minds of those you are trying to reach. Once you are sufficiently stoned you will be able to see clearly, that Mr. Obama is the best thing that has ever happened to this country. If you have trouble obtaining this “Kool-aid,” please see a local physician.

Thanks for the letters and the voice of reason.

Bo Balcomb

New Castle

Editor’s note: Due to a technical glitch with the e-mail that was sent to the newspaper, the first letter was incomplete.

Many thanks to Terry Wilson and his officers for backing off and not pursuing a belligerent drunk as he careened down Blake Avenue at 70 mph blowing through stop signs. It is a minor miracle that no one was hurt or killed. This level of recklessness is equivalent to firing into a crowd not caring whether someone is hit or not. To put it mildly, it would be fair and appropriate to give Robert Lee a very long time to think about this stunt.

Paul Lerch

Glenwood Springs

Under House Bill 1188, rivers and streams crossing private land in Colorado will be forced open to all commercial rafting operations-no matter how poor a fit it might be with the land. No longer will rafting operators need to ask permission-tossing out an old standard of the West. They will be able to trespass freely no matter how much damage it causes.

HB 1188 isn’t only a threat to the peace and quiet on private property; it also jeopardizes extensive investments many landowners have made in their property.

Ranchers run the risk of losing livestock when cattle restraints are breached by rafters. Damage to structures like ditch diversions, which channel water from the stream onto their land, could also result.

Some landowners also have improved their properties to attract other kinds of water recreation. One longtime dude ranch near Gunnison has invested more than $100,000 in upgrading trout habitat for fly-fishing along a stretch of river that crosses that property. The ranch faces a torrent of raft traffic if HB 1188 is enacted. That is sure to ruin the fish habitat and chase off the ranch’s guests.

River rafting can be a lot of fun, and it’s a draw for the summertime tourist trade. Many other forms of recreation, including fly-fishing, also bring in significant tourism dollars. Why should the state Legislature take sides?

Commercial rafters have a duty not only to make sure they’re not degrading the environment but also to respect the basic rights of private-property owners.

The river-rafting industry does not need HB 1188. The industry has grown substantially by cooperating with private landowners. Commercial rafters for the most part respect private land, either working out agreements with owners to cross their property or taking their rafts out of a river at a property line and resuming float trips downstream.

Let’s not pit one form of outdoor recreation against another. There’s simply no need to give commercial rafters the upper hand on private land.

Scott Balcomb

Glenwood Springs

An open letter to the people of the town of Silt

I have had the honor, privilege, and pleasure of serving the town of Silt as the municipal judge for the last 25 years. It has been the longest continuous term of office of any municipal judge in this region.

It was my goal, and, hopefully, one that I reached, to serve as the judge with fairness, competence, justice and compassion.

I am happy to state that during this last quarter century the municipal court has performed its services to the town in an extraordinarily effective and judicious manner. We have had no significant controversies, no appeals, successful or otherwise, and the vast majority of cases were settled appropriately and amicably with the aid of a series of competent prosecutors. I have had many compliments from residents of the town of Silt on the manner in which I performed in that office, and I have greatly appreciated these flattering comments and the support of the people of the town of Silt and the municipal governments through these years.

I was extremely active in the Colorado Municipal Judges Association and, while serving the town of Silt, also served a term as the president of the Colorado Municipal Judges Association. This was nearly unique as the vast majority of presidents of that association have come from the large municipalities on the Eastern Slope of Colorado.

Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to serve as the municipal judge. It has been a wonderful experience for me personally, and I take with me a pride in the work the court has done and, as a side benefit, some really funny stories.

I will not submit a response to the “Request for Proposal” for this upcoming term as I want to become more politically involved and focus on my private practice.

I want you to know that I have immense appreciation for the trust and opportunity you gave to me. I’m sure I will miss you all.

Thank you,

Tom Silverman

Glenwood Springs

So Curt Hanson doesn’t think I fact-check. Considering all my facts were taken directly from credible, checkable sources, his argument doesn’t hold any water. If you don’t believe me about the city of Colorado Springs cutting services due to low tax revenue, I invite you to call the municipality. Their phone number is (719) 385-2489.

For examples of the death toll and lack of building codes and effective government, one only needs to read the numerous articles written about the disaster. I got my death toll numbers (I composed my letter on Feb. 6; by the time it was published it had gone up) from several articles written by several different authors in the Associated Press and Reuters. It becomes even more clear as of the writing of this letter, March 1, when we read about the death toll in the largest city of Chile (708 as of today), and the numerous references comparing Chile’s earthquake (larger magnitude) to Haiti’s. Comparisons abound about the infrastructure of government and its military and police force, as well as the building regulations in force, in Chile as opposed to Haiti.

You see, I paid attention when I was in that public school that my parents so generously paid taxes for. I learned to read, write, do math, and more importantly, think critically. I learned that our duty as a civilized country is to contribute to that society. Part of that duty includes paying taxes. Another important duty we have as citizens of this great nation is to work together to forge a better future for the next generation. We all benefit when we are united in common cause. I believe this was the main goal of our founding fathers. I, for one, will be contributing, and in the long run, benefiting. Will you?

Gay Moore

Glenwood Springs

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