The reasons cited by interviewees in a recent article reporting on local opposition to a proposed $5 toll on I-70 west of Denver require some scrutiny.
First, consider the total cost of the bread and butter of the Glenwood tourism industry, the weekend visit by a Front Range family of four. For gas to power the typical SUV or minivan, the 300-plus round-trip miles from Denver and for two days of lodging, meals and attractions, such a family might spend $400 to $500. A $5 toll would represent about a 1 percent increase in that price tag ” not likely enough to change many families’ minds about visiting our lovely city. Furthermore, the cost increase due to the toll, even for a Denver individual making a day trip to Summit County to use his/her annual ski pass, would be in the 5-10 percent range. While certainly more meaningful, this increase would not likely deter either the first-time skier or the annual pass holder from enjoying that unique Colorado experience.
Second, is there really a regional disparity in funding of interstate highway improvements in Colorado, especially on a per-vehicle-mile traveled basis? If so, it may be that Garfield County is spoiled. Colorado Department of Transportation has been extremely busy recently, resurfacing vast swaths of I-70, and is pouring money into keeping Glenwood’s lifeline, the canyon highway, passable.
Assuming a toll plaza could be designed to minimize delays, it might fairly painlessly help fund long-term I-70 corridor improvements with long-term benefits to mountain town economies. Even better, the very folks creating the demand for such improvements would be funding them. Transportation has been subsidized by big government for so long, we seem to now regard it as an entitlement. Expecting free money from some larger government budget to fully fund I-70 corridor improvements is akin to desiring pork barrel projects, something we all claim to hate.
We should take the long view, and carefully consider all corridor improvement proposals on their true merits. Knee-jerk reactions are unhelpful.
Mr. Shroll is woefully misinformed. Iraq was thriving under Saddam Hussein’s modern secular reformation. He provided women with opportunities for education and professional jobs, and abolished the head scarf requirement. He built a modern highway system, hospitals, universities and infrastructure, including water treatment and electrical plants. He provided free health care and college education to all citizens, Shia and Sunni alike. Iraq’s medical system was the best in the Middle East, where many from other countries sought care.
All of that fell apart under 12 years of brutal sanctions, which crushed that country’s position as the most technologically advanced of Arab nations. The sanctions weakened Iraq to the point that it was easy to invade, allowing U.S. corporations to engage in war profiteering, the likes of which have never been seen.
This was not a war to benefit Iraqis, but a war to benefit U.S. corporations. It was the same neocon corporate shills that induced Clinton to bomb Iraq in the ’90s that finally succeeded in convincing Bush to invade, despite the United Nations inspection team’s findings that Hussein complied with resolutions banning him from developing WMDs.
The indisputable fact is that Iraqis now have fewer jobs, schools and women’s rights, and less electricity and clean water than before we invaded. They have lost control of their own resources, economy and political autonomy. There are more than 2 million Iraqi refugees living in poverty and uncertainty.
The majority of Iraqis say they are worse off now than they were under Saddam. The only ones who are benefiting from his absence are the religious extremists that Saddam actively hunted down, jailed and executed for their efforts to overthrow his sovereign secular government and institute Islamic Law. Those are the same people that the U.S. is now fighting. We are filling the role that Hussein held, only without providing all of the excellent services and benefits to his people that he did.
Mr. Shroll is right about one thing; “History and time will peel the layers away and expose the truth about this presidency and the war.” That truth will be ugly indeed.
There are so many times when I have felt completely helpless about cancer, and how it has affected those close to me (my mother, father, sister and too many friends).
Relay For Life has given me the chance to do something about it by raising money and awareness. If you, too, have been looking for an opportunity to do something about cancer, please come to our kickoff event.
The Roaring Fork Valley Relay For Life Kick-Off is happening at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at St. Mary of the Crown Church in Carbondale. The kickoff is an opportunity to get more information about the Relay For Life event, register teams and sign up to be a volunteer. Our goal this year is 50 teams, and knowing the passion we have in this valley for helping others, I believe this goal is very attainable. If you have in any way been affected by cancer, here is a wonderful way to do something about it.
This year’s Roaring Fork Relay will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, through 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, in Carbondale.
For more information, contact me at 963-0601.
Please join us in Carbondale April 3 for our big kickoff event and enjoy food, fun and great door prizes.
We cannot do this without your help!
Relay For Life committee member
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