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U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., is hosting a town hall meeting in Frederick and wants to hear from responsible off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders. If you want to help protect the OHV trails that you, your family and your friends enjoy, this is an opportunity you can’t afford to miss.A wilderness proposal will soon be presented to Polis within the coming weeks called the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign. This proposal seeks to designate 379,000 acres of public land as federal wilderness, and it affects riding areas in the White River and Gunnison national forests, such as the Flat Tops, Basalt Mountain, Red Table, Thompson Creek and other areas.The riding community must tell Polis that we are concerned about responsible access to our public lands, and that we want to stop the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign before it becomes legislation.Community Forum is on April 6 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Frederick Town Hall.Here are some suggested talking points:1. Urge Polis to reach out to potential affected user groups, local and state elected officials and other Colorado members of Congress for input on how such a designation will displace recreation opportunities and endanger property and lives that will be more vulnerable to the threat of forest fires;2. Explain that public lands are not just for the able bodied, but also for families with small children who wish to recreate together, as well as active senior citizens and the less-abled who rely on the freedom provided by OHVs to access America’s outdoors;3. Tell Polis how important these riding areas are to family recreation, and to the promotion of family values. If responsible motorized areas are displaced, where will riders go? He should hold meetings in the areas affected to get a better understanding of the impact.4. Please have your friends and family on the front range show up to represent us that cannot make it.Please attend the meeting and encourage your friends to join you. If you attend the meeting, be sure to urge Polis not to introduce legislation involving the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign.Parents, bring your children in their riding gear to show support for family recreation.Joseph HultquistRifle

This letter is in response to Mayor Breslin’s letter to the editor of March 30.Let me respond to Mayor Breslin’s points:1. Because we are among “a handful” of cities that haven’t passed yet another tax, must we rush to do so in a recession?2. These “anti-tax initiatives” could be viewed as overtaxed citizens finally drawing a line with our tax-and-spend governments on all levels.3. Perhaps business owners need to start speaking up about the amount of property tax they are paying.4. I’m sure all residents are pleased that you are “very aggressive” collecting severance taxes, lottery money, etc. Thank you.Now let me make some points of my own. I know that people in New Castle who are very economically astute warned you and town councilors that we were in a bubble and that the town should rein in spending. That advice was ignored. What prudent person doesn’t have a rainy day fund? Seems as if the town fathers didn’t follow the prudent-person theory. Now you want the taxpayers to bail you out.Wouldn’t it have been more prudent not to buy new cars and trucks or build the Taj Mahal of maintenance complexes (using money that was supposedly dedicated for other uses)?You still have not addressed my previous concerns that the ordinance hasn’t been written on how this money will be spent since it would go into the General Fund. Not written until the ballot is passed.Ballot Issue No. 2 is still a tax. Perhaps you missed the point I made when I attended the town meeting on March 2: The last person who raised taxes in a recession was President Hoover – he gave us the Great Depression.It is our community. By all means get involved. Vote “no” on Ballot Issue No. 2. (Perhaps “vote ’em out” as well.)Perry SweeneyNew Castle

The Post Independent ran a column by Colbert King of the Washington Post about the Tea Parties. A classic case of irresponsible journalism – if it can even be called journalism. Comparing the Tea Party movement to the racially charged atmosphere of the South – in any past year – is misleading and inflammatory. I am utterly disgusted with the lies from the liberal- and most often Democrat-leaning media. Folks who get their information from NBC, CBS, CNN, or ABC and the Washington Post, are misinformed and deceived. Anyone who disagrees with the current administration is immediately branded a bigot or homophobic. They wouldn’t consider that it just might be that the agenda, procedures and outright lies are the real issues. No wonder FOX news has become the No. 1 news channel in the country. I don’t always agree with them, either, but they don’t show an incident to spin it their way. Many left-leaning folks watch them, voicing their disagreement when they have one, but it is rarely on the coverage itself – just the opinions of the commentators. Tea Party movement people need to solidify their organization. There are some extremists, but on the whole, the group is not about bigotry or hate. I agree with the Tea Partiers on most issues. The things they really hate are big government and high taxes – that would be me, too. It appears to be a mostly white group, but is certainly not all white. I have watched them. There is no hate or racial spin to their message. Angry? Of course they/we are! Any thinking American should be. It matters not to the president, his cabinet nor Congress what the people really think. I do not trust any of them. That distrust is shared by many – hence the Tea Party group. That does not make me a racist, a hater or a bigot of any kind.Juanita R. WilliamsParachute



For a decade or more, what passes for a political left in the country has taken to calling themselves “progressives,” probably due to the fact that the right has succeeded in making “liberal” a dirty word. Lately, the right has taken to attacking “progressives” as the new source of all evil in our land. Ironically, the last decade has given us far more liberal legislation (throwing money at problems) than progressive (using the power of government to reign in the excesses of capitalism). Take Medicare Part D. Passed by a Republican congress, signed by a Republican president, it used the liberal approach, handing the drug companies a trillion plus pile of cash (unpaid for, no less) so seniors could get drugs a bit cheaper. The progressives would have regulated prices, allowed re-importation, and enabled Medicare to negotiate drug prices.Or the banks. Under Bill Clinton, Glass/Steagall (progressive legislation that created a firewall between commercial banks and investment banks) was repealed and regulations on Wall Street were weakened or went unenforced. When the inevitable collapse came under Bush, they got trillions of dollars of bailouts (again, unpaid for) but no new regulation. Classic liberal economics; just throw enough money at the problem and it will go away. The progressives would (and indeed, did, earlier in the last century) regulate the dangerous practices that caused the collapse, break up the banks that are “too big to fail” and rebuild that firewall. And now, health care. Sure, there are some progressive aspects to the health care bill, forcing the insurance companies to adopt fairer business practices, but the larger part of the bill is pure liberal economics; funneling taxpayer money to the insurance companies (both through mandates and subsidies), with nothing to keep costs down. True progressive reform would institute rate regulation, eliminate the antitrust exemption for insurance companies and provide a public option to encourage competition. So, I think the current vitriol against “progressives” is misdirected. I’ve seen plenty of liberalism in the last decade, under both Republican and Democratic regimes, but there ain’t much progressivism going on around here lately.Kelly HardieGlenwood Springs

We read about the many hardships caused by the recession every day. We complain about unemployment, foreclosures, health care costs and the free food that’s running out. Yet, we overlook a major contributing cause common to all these problems and many more: illegal immigration.Stop giving free health care to illegal aliens and you will lower health care costs. Stop educating illegals and your property taxes could actually decrease. Hundreds of jobs would open up in our valleys if we’d deport the illegal workers and thereby force employers to pay a living wage to legal citizens.Our quality of life will be preserved only when we realize we cannot play Mother Theresa to the whole world. We have allowed our valley to become a safe haven for illegal aliens. Things need to change.We should elect law enforcement officials who enforce our immigration laws and cooperate with I.C.E. (Get rid of Lou.) Don’t support organizations that subvert our laws and abet criminals (Catholic Charities). Quit allowing public funds to be used to further illegal immigration (the Carbondale Kiosks).What we do now will determine our children’s future. Don’t just sit there and whine, vote. Make some noise that matters.Bruno KirchenwitzSilt



Will Obamacare be good in the long term?Why does Obamacare start in 2013 or 2014 if we need this bill now?Everyone has to pay into Obamacare except the president, senators and congresspeople. What is wrong with that?Only 12 million legal citizens that wanted health care do not have it. Why not a plan just for them?The U.S. health care was not perfect. Check with people from England and Canada, I think they have to wait longer to get checked by a doctor. The rich come here.Nothing in Obamacare on tort reform. How much money should you get if a doctor leaves a sponge in you – 3 million bucks or more?Why can we not buy health insurance across state lines? Single business owners should be able to group together to buy insurance.Under Obamacare, everyone will have to pay for the high-risk people, smokers, overweight, drug users and people breaking bones doing high-risk things. Is this fair? Should high-risk people pay more?In polls just before Obamacare passed, 38 percent to 45 percent did not want Obamacare. What is wrong with our government going against the people?AT&T announced that it will be forced to make a $1 billion writedown due solely to the health care bill. I do not think this will help jobs.I feel we should have fixed what we had. I will vote out everyone that voted for Obamacare in November. This is a freedom we have left. Please vote our freedom back. I love this country the way it was.John LepkowskiGlenwood Springs


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