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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

I have had the privilege of knowing Lou Vallario for more than 20 years. I hired him as a task force officer on the Western Colorado Drug Task Force while I was undersheriff. I remember visiting with him in his home and talking about the long hours and dangers of drug investigations. Lou never faltered and accepted the responsibilities this position held.

Lou has all the leadership abilities that we need. I have found Lou to be open and responsive to the needs of his officers and the community he serves. This has been demonstrated over the last eight years when Lou was elected as your county sheriff. He has remained diligent in his commitment to the citizens of Garfield County and has increased the services to the citizens.

There have been questions raised about the Bearcat Rescue vehicle. When first approached about this issue all the local chiefs that replied stated that it was a necessary expense, except one. That one dissenting opinion was me. I explained to Lou that I recognized the need but felt that this was something that would be used against him in an election. Lou stuck to his guns and said that he would not use that as a factor in deciding to obtain the Bearcat. He said that if it saves one life, it was worth it, even if it meant losing the election.

Lou has brought credibility to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office where none existed before. Lou has developed the county’s All Hazard Response Team, a concept and need that was talked about 20 years ago, but never came about because of the lack of cooperation between the sheriff and chiefs of police.

Lou has just completed the Sheriff’s Annex in Rifle, again something that has been discussed and thought about, but never came to fruition. Lou has increased the Victim’s Assistance programs and works more closely with the local agencies than any sheriff in Garfield County has ever done. The purpose of these services is to provide better service for all the citizens of Garfield County.

These are the reasons I support Lou Vallario as Garfield County Sheriff and urge you to look at his record and what we as a community have achieved under his guidance and leadership.

Thank you.

Levy E. Burris Jr.


The morning of Thursday, Aug. 5, I was leaving my house for work and much to my dismay found my about-2-foot-tall black bear with a welcome sign was missing from my front porch. This welcoming bear has much sentimental value to me.

I moved to Glenwood only six months ago and believed I was moving to a quiet safe town with nice, respectful neighbors. This incident makes me question those beliefs. If you took my welcome bear or know who did, please return it to the front porch at 415 Eighth St.

Thank you.

Kiara Christianson

Glenwood Springs

I am writing to express my support of the Thompson Creek wilderness proposal, proposed by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, covering approximately 21,000 acres of the high country west of Carbondale, known as Assignation Ridge.

I attended Rep. DeGette’s presentation on Aug. 3 in Glenwood Springs and am impressed with the thoroughness of her work over the past 11 years. As she clearly stated there is no opposition from any legal stakeholder. Moving this forward, supporting her bill will send a strong message that the health and welfare of the citizens of Garfield County are of utmost importance to our elected officials.

I trust that our elected officials will balance the economic and ecological factors associated with any initiative brought to them for consideration, and put aside their personal agendas for the common good. The Thompson Creek wilderness proposal is one such initiative that needs their support. It is their duty, as spokespersons and policy-makers of Garfield County, to consider the long-term effects of their decisions on all living and non-living things.

As stated in the Earth Charter (

“Life often involves tensions between important values. This can mean difficult choices. However, we must find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the exercise of freedom with the common good, short-term objectives with long-term goals. Every individual, family, organization, and community has a vital role to play. … The partnership of government, civil society, and business is essential for effective governance.”

I implore our commissioners to ensure that their constituents’ health and economic viability have equal footing with the interests of big business. Equity is at stake here. The Vail Pass User-Fee area, initiated in 1996, is a prime example how successful balancing the needs of motorized and nonmotorized use can be. By supporting the Thompson Creek wilderness proposal our commissioners will be affording their constituents, visitors to Garfield County, and all living organisms the opportunity for balanced use of public lands.

If you see commissioners Houpt, Martin or Samson on the street thank them for considering supporting this proposal.

Mary Russell

Glenwood Springs

Several times in the recent past, I have had the wits scared out of me by bicyclists and skateboarders whipping past me as I walked on walkways intended for pedestrians. So far, I haven’t been hit, but if I had made a sudden turn to look in a window or deviated in any way, chances are there would have been a collision. In fact, just the sudden rush beside me was very unsettling.

We have rules against bikes and skates on sidewalks – I’m not sure if this applies to the bridge over the Colorado – but I think it’s time to heighten awareness of these rules and take steps to enforce them. More signage, perhaps something like “Walk bikes on sidewalks”, etc. would help. Remember, we have tourists to consider, too, and children who don’t always do what is expected.

To local wheeled citizens, I say obey the rule and slow down around people. To pedestrians, remind offenders of the danger they are causing, nicely, so as to avoid defensiveness. To law enforcement, keep an eye out for these scofflaws. Let’s keep our sidewalks safe.


Pat Girardot

Glenwood Springs

Heads up Colorado voters. Republican representative Tom Tancredo has decided to throw his hat in the ring to run for governor of Colorado. He’s got a reputation for being very anti-immigration. Well guess what ? He was caught using illegal immigrants (aka undocumented workers) – or “criminal aliens” as he calls them – to renovate his 1,053-square-foot basement into a second-to-none recreation room.

I suppose when it comes to saving a few bucks “Big Tom” became a first-class hypocrite. And that’s not all in regard to “Big Tom Tancredo.” Check this out: He’s a big supporter of the war effort. He even watches John Wayne war movies in his new recreation room. However when it came time for him to serve his country during the Vietnam War he was given a 1-Y deferment. “What is a 1-Y deferment ?” you ask. Mental illness. He avoided the draft declaring he was mentally ill.

So now this coward and mentally ill man is running for governor of Colorado, and one of his responsibilities would be commander and chief of the Colorado National Guard. All I can say is, “What a country.” God help us all.

Stan Rachesky

Glenwood Springs

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