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Your Letters

It’s my understanding that Garfield County’s Energy Advisory Board is to carry on discussion that assists the commissioners in decisions and reactions regarding oil and gas development. I also understood it to be a forum about the impacts of this industry in this county. Instead, it’s become a place where the impacts are ignored, and those bringing them to light are disparaged. At the last meeting, the “industry” noted that complaints can create problems with their management, and concern that tourists passing through would be put off by the negative complaints expressed at EAB. It’s understandable industry public relations representatives want to put their companies in a good light for the communities in which they work. However, the Garfield County EAB isn’t the forum for public relations. It’s the place for citizens to bring their concerns about the real impacts to their lives. Addressing some of the public’s complaints or answering their questions without delay would be the better solution to the public relations issue. EAB’s become so disconnected from its purpose, that an impacted landowner who reported an incident through the proper channels was blindsided by a Garfield County report and a Williams representative with inaccurate statements. The county employee didn’t speak with the landowner reporting the incident for 10 weeks or indicate discrepancies he put in his report. He spoke with Williams many times, and another resident, who was in another state and negotiating with Williams, months after the incident, accepting their information over the complainant’s. Much of their information is refuted by the simplest of publicly available resources, which he failed to use. Actions like this further undermine any public confidence in the EAB to successfully inform the commissioners about impacts. More importantly, if the members of the EAB are allowed to formally change the “public comments to the board” by modifying their bylaws again, how will the truth about citizen impacts ever be heard again? I do not feel that the citizens and commissioners of Garfield County will be well served by this action? We all deserve better.Joann AlamParachute

I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Shane Snyder yesterday. It is truly amazing to me just exactly what his daughter, Quincy, (and the entire family) have overcome and accomplished in the last 16 months. I’ve followed Quincy’s story through the paper, friends and the grapevine, but talking with Shane really put a new perspective on everything. He spoke of what a fighter Quincy has been, what their faith has pulled them through, and just how important their family is. In a world that has become so focused on material belongings (who’s keeping up with the Joneses best) and who the latest topic of conversation is, it was so refreshing to hear about the successes and milestones that the Snyders have made. Not only physical accomplishments for Quincy, but prom queen as well? Congratulations! Michelle and Shane, you are fighters and have clearly raised your children to be fighters as well. What an outstanding trait to pass on to them. Quincy, I pray for the best for you in the future with everything you do. I know that you will go far and you will achieve everything that you want to because your parents and the rest of your family will stand behind you, encourage you and support you. That stands for a lot these days. You have set the standard high and should all be extremely proud of what you have accomplished. Dawn PattonNew Castle

There is a plan to limit and control the public comments that come to the EAB, whose mission is to advise the county commissioners of the impacts of oil and gas on its citizens. How can you learn the impacts to the public by limiting their input? For a citizen’s report of an impact to be dismissed because you don’t have the same experience or because of worry about how industry will take the complaint defeats the citizen and diminishes the board’s effectiveness. How many of the EAB representatives actually live in Garfield County, experiencing the adverse impacts of oil and gas 24/7, even on their days off? How many on the EAB live on a haul route to experience the high traffic volumes of speeding, cellphone-distracted o&g drivers who behave as if they own the road? Or being run off the road by a water tanker cutting corners wide or blowing stop signs? Or maneuvering piles of ice and mud or leaking fluids from o&g trucks to avoid damage to your car? How many on the EAB live within the radius of a well pad being actively drilled to be awakened by drilling vibrations shaking your bed so hard it feels like a California earthquake? Or near constant odors that gag you and your pets? Or lights that shine so brightly in your house that you don’t need to turn one on to read (nor can you sleep well with them directed on your pillow)? When more than 90 percent of the county traffic and activity is associated with oil and gas and the county air quality is that of Denver, yet the County Environmental Health brochure tells you, not them, what to do to reduce pollution? Not to mention the noise, the trash, the cleared and unreclaimed land, the hidden and reported spills and releases and violations, and the permanent presence of a bad squatter on your land. Welcome to the world of those living in the gas patch.Marjorie Wambolt-KnightParachute

I received a letter this week that has plunged me into gloom.It came in the form of a notice from the Post Independent informing me that all its home deliveries will be cancelled in mid-May. Alas, no longer will my husband be retrieving that green plastic bag from the driveway, scanning the headlines within and then handing me the newspaper to peruse while sipping my morning coffee.The purpose of this letter is not to castigate the PI for bowing to the sad truth that the printed word, if not actually dead yet, seems headed for an inevitable demise. I doubt if any of my grandchildren have ever eagerly opened a newspaper. Indeed, like most of their parents, they are accustomed to getting their news via television or their computer screens. Even my octogenarian husband seems often to have gotten a story online before I discover it in print. When I shared my disappointment with one son, he merely said, “Well, Ma, you know you can get the Post Independent on your laptop.”Can pressing computer keys ever replace the delicious rattle of paper as I sip my coffee? What about all those seniors who are housebound and who don’t use or can’t afford computers? I therefore submit this lament as a requiem for an old friend – home delivery of our daily newspaper.Doris ShettelRifle

No more home delivery! This is a really sad thing to see happen. I understand the financial logic, but, sigh, here goes another tradition out the window. I would, however, like to suggest the idea of keeping weekend deliveries available. Monday through Friday we are out the door for work, etc., and picking up a copy of the paper is not that big of a deal. But losing the weekend means many of us will have to jump in our cars and drive to the nearest paperbox. Sigh. Is there going to be more paper box outlets set up in the community to serve your ex-home deliveries?Plus our dog will be heart broken that he no longer can run out the door early in the morning to retrieve the morning paper and proudly bring it back for his biscuit reward.Linda Drake GilbertGlenwood Springs

I have been a loyal subscriber to the Glenwood Post, aka “Post Independent,” for well over 20 years. I have paid monthly for delivery and faithfully tip my delivery person. I even pay monthly instead of yearly so that my delivery person gets tipped more often. Yesterday I opened my morning P.I. and along with the advertising inserts is a “flyer” from the Post Independent “informing” customers that home delivery will no longer be available. Referred to as the “Perfect Storm” that newspapers across the country are facing, we were “informed” that our delivery, of the Post, was not in the paper’s best financial interest. The “flyer” was signed by the publisher. At first I checked the calendar. It must be an April Fools joke. Nope, it was still April 29, 2010. I left a message on the publisher’s voicemail, and later in the day received her very polite reply. She asked me what my concern was. I let her know that there were quite a few, actually. To begin with, aside from the shocking news, I was totally disappointed that subscribers were not notified with the respect of an addressed letter. I was disappointed that the problem was not communicated months ago with some opportunity to problem solve. I was somewhat suspect of the fact the being a “newspaper” the Post did not feel this was a newsworthy item to be shared with the community. I was informed that delivery was only 5 percent of circulation at an annual cost of $45,000 to the paper. I’m a bit suspect of the circulation numbers as papers can drop 15 papers at one locale and include that in their numbers. For this reason I believe local delivery is a much higher percentage. But even giving the Post the benefit of the doubt and delivery does represent a $45,000 per year cost, that still breaks down to about $123 a day. So that’s where it seems we are. I encourage every person that reads the Post as well as every business that advertises with them, to contact the publisher and demand local delivery of the paper.Ed RosenbergGlenwood SpringsNote from the publisher: The combined distribution of the Post Independent and The Aspen Times averages 16,500 a day. About 700 people were on our home delivery list. These readers are very important to us, but in a rural setting such as ours we simply can no longer afford to continue to offer home delivery. While we received payment for those deliveries it did not cover our costs, and we lost an average of $45,000 on the service each year. Papers will still be available at more than 700 drops up and down the valley, and we are always looking for new locations to add racks.

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