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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The economy has inexorably changed. Resources, real and financial, have become more scarce. The land most reasonably developed has been developed. The fast money made by the hedge fund people, brokers, appraisers, realtors, bankers, and builders, which came easily, and none questioned, is gone, or sitting in the offshore bank accounts of the few. We will not return to those days, and it is unreasonable to argue that we should because as we now know, they were a result of unwise, and even illegal, policies.

Tom Jankovsky appears to me to believe there is a way back to the good-old days, if the county is more friendly to developers and oil-and-gas, and keeps taxes at bay. I don’t know how completely he believes this, or if he is parroting Republican position points; however, this new world we live in makes clear the need for sustainable, dare I say green, development, with an eye toward where scarce water will come from, where wildlife will be pushed, how the traffic will increase, how we want to live and what will maintain an Earth that will maintain us.

The oil-and-gas unregulated mess does not need three Republicans to help it along its rapacious way. We can’t decrease taxes and continue to pay 40-60 percent highway construction costs to mitigate the effects of increased oil-and-gas traffic as we have at I-70 at west Parachute. And this is not primarily a bottom line issue.



We need thought given to the air, the wildlife and the water by a board ideologically unbiased toward development. As one commissioner has noted, the clean water act and the EPA in general have left environmental business to the state and the state has left much to the county. There are more water drinkers and air breathers in the county than people making money off oil and gas, and they need representation, too.

Tresi Houpt represents balance both in her consideration of the issues and her place on the mostly male, white, Republican, Board of County Commissioners, and I will vote for her election.



Barb Coddington

Glenwood Springs

I think it is wonderful that Valley View Hospital is adding new facilities on to their already outstanding operation. However, it is my opinion that the first thing they need to do is to add parking. How about a covered parking structure on the top level of the parking to the east of the hospital with a covered ramp connecting to the hospital?

I cannot see adding any more features requiring more staff and a lot more visitors to the present already inadequate parking areas.

George Chandler

New Castle

I’m left here wondering about Mr. Lara’s story published in Saturday’s print edition. Did Mr. Lara have access and or use of personal protection equipment? If these fumes were so overpowering to Mr. Lara, why didn’t Mr. Lara tell his immediate supervisor? His wife, Maria, said that they didn’t get any monetary assistance from Rain For Rent, his employer.

That is pretty sad, when later in the story you read that Rain For Rent let his co-workers use their extra hours to make a pay check and to keep Mr. Lara on their health insurance – to me that is a company who is still helping their employee. I’m thinking that it’s going to be very difficult to prove that Mr. Lara had any of these symptoms before going to work at Rain For Rent.

As for COBRA, yes, it is very expensive, but it is another layer of medical coverage to help you until you find another job, or get better. Not everyone has this coverage. I’m very sorry to hear about their loss.

Shelly Kuersten

Rifle

As your undersheriff, I wanted to contribute my perspective to this campaign and share some of my thoughts prior to your vote in the Nov. 2 election for Garfield County sheriff. I speak from a current and realistic perspective of Garfield County sheriff operations.

Sheriff Vallario has taken the quality of this organization and its community service to remarkable levels in the past eight years. Garfield County has a sheriff who has listened to your needs, responded with the appropriate programs, and hired the necessary employees to make your county a much safer place to live, work and recreate. We now employ a very talented and compassionate group of people who dedicate themselves each day to serving this community in your schools, neighborhoods and on your roadways. We hold ourselves to the highest standard, practice accountability, and understand the big picture as it relates to “Protect and Serve”.

This is not a success story based on luck. It’s borne out of exemplary leadership and vision starting at the top, eight years ago with our sheriff.

I’ve worked law enforcement in this valley for 14 years. That doesn’t automatically entitle me to be sheriff or undersheriff, as some others would expect. I progressed through the rank of patrol officer, sergeant, and lieutenant before accepting my current position as undersheriff and commander of the All Hazards Response Team. Beyond my normal responsibilities and most importantly, I was appointed by Sheriff Vallario to lead this organization in his absence.

That’s a very important consideration based off of trust and a sound working relationship covering my entire career, not some short term chance encounter resulting from a lost primary election.

Please ask yourself if you currently feel safer within Garfield County. As a citizen, I certainly do, and as your undersheriff, I know we are. Remember that while a few would rather discredit this organization and its outstanding service, we are determined to proactively and responsibly forge ahead under the steadfast leadership of Lou Vallario.

Colt Cornelius

undersheriff, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office

“The need for urgent action to repair our economy and reclaim our government for the people cannot be overstated,” the introduction says. It continues: “With this document, we pledge to dedicate ourselves to the task of reconnecting our highest aspirations to the permanent truths of our founding by keeping faith with the values our nation was founded on, the principles we stand for, and the priorities of our people. This is our Pledge to America.

“The new Republican majority will immediately pass the following major reforms, aimed at restoring the faith and trust of the American people in their government: first, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress; second, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse; third, cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third; fourth, limit the terms of all committee chairs; fifth, ban the casting of proxy votes in committee; sixth, require committee meetings to be open to the public; seventh, require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase; eight, guarantee an honest accounting of our Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line budgeting.”

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? How exciting. A new day, a new beginning. How can you not want to support these guys? Except for one thing. For the thinkers out there not suffering from amnesia, the second paragraph is from the infamous “Republican Contract with America,” circa 1995.

Sound familiar? Read it again and see how much of it came true. None. I intentionally use “infamous” because of the scandals that rocked the contract creators after they took charge.

Newt Gingrich, author of the “contract,” resigned under scandal. Tom Delay, indicted and resigned. Trent Lott defeated as majority leader in the Senate under racist scandal. George Allen, racist scandal. Randy “Duke” Cunningham resigned, bribery and tax evasion. Robert Ney guilty of corruption, bribery. Thinkers, for your consideration: Having gotten us into this mess, do you really think they can get us out? Fool me once … Vote!

Craig S. Chisesi

Rifle

I don’t personally know either candidate for Garfield County sheriff.

In my opinion the Garfield County sheriff should be a full-time resident of Garfield County and a full-time sheriff, not an out-of-towner who is owner of a security company and a used car lot and was a part-time sheriff. The Garfield County sheriff is paid more than $100,000 a year, and that salary should be paid to a full-time sheriff.

The Garfield County sheriff should be armed at all times for the protection of the public, his staff and himself. The sheriff should be a professional law enforcement officer who keeps current on the best technologies and resources for law enforcement and has been supported in those efforts by the Garfield County commissioners.

In my opinion the Bearcat, which some people seem to have heart failure over, is just as important, if not more so, than some of the fire trucks we have. The Bearcat is not an assault vehicle. It is a vehicle designed for protecting citizens and staff in emergency situations. Apparently the Garfield County commissioners are of the same opinion.

The Garfield County sheriff and the county commissioners should have an open and trusting relationship. The sheriff should not require the presence of his personal attorney at these meetings as happened under the previous sheriff.

I don’t believe we should go backward and eliminate 24-hour patrols, a sub-station in the Rifle area, a technologically advanced evidence facility, crime stoppers, a highly sophisticated computer crime lab, and the Bearcat.

Sheriff Lou Vallario has developed a very professional law enforcement agency that is highly respected by other law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

I’ll vote for Lou Vallario for Garfield County sheriff. He is the best candidate.

Ron Byrd Sr.

Rifle

As of last week, 23 “Vote for Tom Jankovsky” yard signs have been stolen from personal residences. This past weekend several more were stolen. The signs are being taken from yards from Carbondale to Battlement Mesa. Such behavior is unacceptable, and to the people/person stealing the campaign signs, you should believe in karma.

Nancy T. Jankovsky

Glenwood Springs

I was a deputy sheriff in the jail for 10 years and seven-plus under Tom Dalessandri. It became an extremely stressful work environment under Dalessandri and his administration.

The turnover rate for both road and jail deputies was high. Dalessandri was a political sheriff who did not care about his employees and the people he worked for.

Unqualified people were being hired and put in charge of running the department. The qualified employees quickly became burned out and quit (myself included).

Dalessandri firmly believed that once a new jail was built all these problems would be straightened out. The problem was not the old jail, it was Dalessandri and his appointed administration.

Lou Vallario is a hands-on sheriff with a law enforcement background. He does care about his employees and the people he works for including his constituents.

JoAnne Couey

Silt

It seems ironic that on the Eastern Slope of Colorado, the people are campaigning to convert coal fueled power facilities to use natural gas. On the Western Slope, there is a campaign to stifle natural gas production, which would affect the quantity of gas available for the Eastern Slope conversions and to power the rest of Colorado as well.

Kind of makes your head spin, doesn’t it? We could all end up in the dark.

Jack E. Blankenship

Battlement Mesa

It seems that the theme of Houpt’s campaign is balance. Her ads and her supporter’s letters all proclaim balance to be Tresi’s primary asset.

However, in both of the recent public forums in reference to commissioners Martin and Samson, she has emphasized that “90 percent of the time we all vote together.”

Couple this with her recent fundraiser at Woody Creek where she declares that even though you can’t vote for her in Pitkin County, everything she does affects Pitkin County.

So exactly what is the balance that she brings to the commission? The Pitkin Perspective?

Jeff Fandrich

Silt

I am writing to various newspapers across the country to request help on my current collection. I am an autistic person who collects stationery in the form of notecards and letter paper. I am searching to extend my collection, and I am collecting stationery from all parts of the country.

I will be including my contact information below if anyone in your area is interested in donating stationery to extend my collection. Thank you very much.

Elysia Duke

Hornbeak, Tenn.

Editor’s Note: Reach Elysia at (731) 335-0816, or by e-mail at carebearstenn@ aol.com .


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