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Your Letters

Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

I was born and raised in Alaska and have always thought that you must warm up your car especially in the winter. I was recently surprised to learn that leaving a car running or warming it up is very detrimental to the environment and wasteful of gasoline. Please read the following information if you want to help the environment and not be wasteful.

Everywhere you look there are idling cars: sometimes parked in front of schools as parents wait for their children to run off the playground; or sometimes parked in front of a post office, as the owner goes in to get the day’s mail.

Too many of us idle our cars and trucks, wasting thousands of gallons of gas each day and putting tons of pollutants into the air we breathe. Although we know this causes lung damage and contributes to global climate change, what’s our excuse for this habit? It’s cold outside.

Well, yes, it’s often cold in Colorado during the winter. But if anybody lives in an even colder climate, it’s our neighbors to the far north. Try Alaska in mid-January. Now that’s cold. We are vehicle idlers – a habit that is costing us millions of dollars a year in wasted fuel and producing unnecessary emissions of carbon dioxide, which causes greenhouse gas, a major contributor to climate change. To make matters worse, vehicle idling also contributes to other environmental problems such as deteriorating air quality and smog, which directly affect the health of our children and other vulnerable members of our community, including seniors and people with respiratory problems. And to top it off, contrary to popular belief, idling is not even good for your vehicle’s engine.

You can find websites that debunk several popular myths about idling automobiles:

Because we care about the health of our neighbors and the health of our planet, we can idle our cars less. If you want to learn more about reducing your contribution to global climate change and air pollution-related lung damage should visit Google under car idling.

Michael P. Blair

New Castle

The U.S. government needs to do something that will bring fairness to the immigration system. That doesn’t mean amnesty for all illegals who are here. The Fourteenth Amendment, where it states that: “all persons born in the United States are citizens.” As such, neither the baby nor their parents who are supporting them can be deported. I think that it is past time that should be changed. This is not how it should be. Enforcing one law and not another is idiotic.

Isn’t it strange to see people freaking out and complaining about the legalization of marijuana, which brings in revenue and creates jobs, then look away and don’t care at all about the issue that 20 percent of Colorado’s population is illegal, costing mass amounts of money and taking jobs away from American citizens who are desperate for work. Illegal immigrant parents that have children here are still breaking the law and they get Medicaid, bonus for us the taxpayers.

Illegal immigrants made the choice to come to America illegally and have children knowing their child will become an American citizen. This is cheating the system and killing America’s economy, aka health care and jobs. Just because illegal immigrants have the ability to become pregnant doesn’t mean they should get a free American citizen pass, while others wait for years and years going through the correct legal process. Illegal parents should be deported as anyone else, if they don’t want to be separated from their children, don’t have them, or take them with. That person made that choice for themselves and their families. It is unfair to Americans and other immigrants that have paid and waited for their opportunity.

Our government spends $45 billion to support illegal immigrants through education, welfare, WIC and other support programs. Why should I, a taxpayer, have to pay for that, why? I shouldn’t. Send them home.

Jolene Varley


Over the past 40 years, Palestinians have demonstrated nonviolent forms of opposition to Israel’s theft of their land. Israel’s response has been to violently attack the protesters and arrest local leaders of peaceful demonstrations.

On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, an American human rights defender demonstrating against Palestinian home demolitions, was crushed to death by a bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier.

On March 13, 2009, American peace activist Tristan Anderson suffered permanent brain damage from a tear gas projectile shot by Israeli Border Police during a peaceful demonstration against Israel’s apartheid wall in the West Bank.

On December 10, 2009, Abdallah Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, was arrested and taken from his home to an Israeli military prison where he awaits trial for his “crime.”

On December 16, 2009, Jamal Juma’a, who founded the Stop the Wall Campaign, was arrested, as was his colleague Mohammad Othman after returning from Norway where he was advocating for divestment from Israeli business interests.

These are not isolated incidents, but represent the all too common reaction by the Israeli occupation forces to peaceful civil demonstrations by Palestinian and international activists. Six people have been killed and several hundred injured in five years of weekly protests against the apartheid wall.

Nonviolent resistance to oppression and occupation are consistent with international law and U.S. policies. In his Cairo speech, President Obama called on Palestinians to use nonviolent means to achieve their goal of a national homeland.

In remembrance of Rachel Corrie and other fallen heroes of the occupation resistance movement, please contact the U.S. State Department at (202) 647-6575 and ask them to intervene on behalf of all nonviolent activists who are being arrested, injured, and even killed for standing up for human rights.

Sue Gray


(Not you guys specifically) There is an old saying, “Don’t believe everything you read in the paper.” Might I add, “Don’t believe very much at all of what you see or read on the Internet”?


Donie Grange

Glenwood Springs

We are a group of students in Basalt High School working on our current FAD (Fundamentals of American Democracy) project. Our teacher has informed us that we need to choose a problem going on in our community or going on in our school. My group decided to get a problem related to the school, since we have noticed that a lot of schools are going through many problems.

The problem that we chose was the tardy policy. This problem has been going on in a lot of schools, where students are being constantly late to school and interrupting classrooms. In Basalt High School our policy is that every time a student is late they get a detention and must walk to the office to get a tardy slip. Many students and teachers in the school disagree with this new tardy policy because for teachers it’s the same situation: They still get interrupted in the classroom, and students get in their classes later since they must go to the office to get a tardy slip.

We strongly want this policy to be changed. We know that tardiness is a huge issue in the school, which doesn’t mean that the students wouldn’t get consequences. What we want to do is try to talk to the administrator and inform him about our current problem and how the tardy policy should be changed to something the teachers and the students will both agree to. This policy could be changed to have the teachers choose their own policy, or just to give warnings at first and if keeps getting to be a problem then for them to start getting consequences.

The administrator should make a new policy that fits the teachers and that students like, that is something hard to do but if we keep this tardy policy that we have then students will still come late to class.

This is a problem that our school needs to solve and is also something that money doesn’t get involved so it won’t affect our economy status.


Yanira Canas


My name is Erick Enriquez, and I am a junior at Basalt High School. I, along with three other students, are working on Project Citizen in our F.A.D. class.

We have figured out that affordable housing in the Roaring Fork Valley is the biggest problem at this time because a lot of good, hard-working people are forced to leave our beautiful valley because they can’t afford it.

To combat this, we proposed using Aspen’s newly developed idea of a credit system. The credit system is price-capped units housing valley employees. This would produce a certain amount of credits. These credits would belong to the initial developer of the units and with them he or she could sell them to businesses who need to reach a requirement of affordable housing for their employees. Hopefully contractors will be coaxed into building sooner rather than later. A developer could remodel or develop units that would more likely sell in this downturning economy and the demand for more affordable housing for low income individuals in the valley could be met.

That is the best suited policy that our group came up with. For the time that we’re in at this point, economywise it seems to be the best solution to the problem that lack of affordable housing in this valley has caused.

Erick Enriquez

El Jebel

Concerning the city of Rifle’s “mandatory annual test of your Backflow Prevention Device”:

In 2007 I received notice that my annual test report was due to the city of Rifle by Sept. 30. The notice for the 2008 annual test results stated a due date of Aug. 31. Now, my 2010 notice arrives and shows my annual due date to be June 30. Over the last two years, I have lost three months on my “annual test.” Since when does a mandatory annual event occur at 10-, or even 11-month intervals? The cost of these tests falls fully on the homeowner and by changing the due date, the city is increasing the already heavy burden on the citizen.

We have spoken directly with city representative Kristin Fitzsimmons, with City Manager John Hier and with City Utility Director Charlie Stevens. We have been told the reason behind moving up our due date is to get all testing on the same schedule, prior to the summer irrigation season. This makes a lot of sense, but why should the homeowner be throttled with the expense of this change? These city authorities say that they understand and are sympathetic, but there is nothing they can do. Bull! If the city wishes to change the schedule, they need to figure a way to reimburse the affected homeowner. Government and politicians have got their grubby little hands deep enough into my pocket, doing what they feel is legitimate taxation. I don’t need them to start changing the rules, as to the definition of an “annual requirement.”

To paraphrase the 1976 film, Network, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

Gary Riddle


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