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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

I would like to thank the organizers of the Glenwood Springs Chamber’s “Issues and Answers Night.” This is a great service to our community, allowing us to hear candidates speak for themselves on important community issues. I encourage people to listen to the replay of the debate on Channel 12.

In the debate, Tresi Houpt and Tom Jankovsky expressed very different ideas for addressing issues in Garfield County. Regarding oil and gas regulation, I am troubled to hear Mr. Jankovsky’s gloves off approach to oil and gas regulation. His statement, “I will not regulate the oil and gas companies,” leaves me to wonder how far he will go to compromise residents’ safety and health in exchange for tax revenue. Is he in favor of jobs at any cost? Is he willing to allow these companies to have free rein?

Tresi has demonstrated a more pragmatic approach to the development of oil and gas. She described her desire to make oil and gas exploration a viable component of an overall energy and economic plan for Garfield County. Her work with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, advocating for people on the West Slope and pushing for effective oversight of drilling, is evidence of this. Her experience and her articulated plan for managing all of our county’s resources make her my choice for county commissioner. We need someone who will seek out perspectives from a range of interests; property owners, gas companies and environmental groups. I’m confident that she will listen to all interests and be a good steward of our resources.

Tresi clearly has a passion for her work as a county commissioner. Her years of involvement and service to our community, as a school board member and commissioner, is evidence of her commitment to the people of Garfield County. She has played a key role in keeping our county budget in the black while supporting transportation, affordable housing, human services and renewable energy.

I encourage you to get the facts on your candidates, getting information directly from the source. To learn what Tresi stands for, check out:

David McGavock

Glenwood Springs

I am an unaffiliated voter. I make up my own mind. I looked at the positions of the two candidates for U.S. Senate, and I found out something you might want to know:

Both Michael Bennet and Ken Buck feel the USA ought to decrease its dependence on foreign oil, and both say we ought to continue using traditional sources of energy while we move in that direction, but they differ on how they feel we can achieve that.

Michael Bennet says we need to think big about wind, solar and hydroelectric energy generation. He is emphasizing increased energy conservation and improved energy efficiency. Bennet’s website says he supports having oil, gas and coal production become “greener and cleaner.”

I like this way of thinking. I would like to be able to afford a better way to heat the house, and the workers to more quickly have better jobs that don’t cause them to lose their fingers or expose them to toxic chemicals.

Do you recall how manufacturers retooled factories in a matter of months, to produce weapons after Pearl Harbor? America proved itself then – we can switch production quickly. Now let’s switch to make something much better. Michael Bennet is talking about a full force effort, thinking big about the “war” against dependence on foreign oil.

Buck didn’t mention anything about cleaner coal, oil and gas production, and says we need more nuclear power. Uranium is the fuel for nuclear power, and it contains radiation. Radiation causes damage to humans and other life. Radiation caused death and cancer among children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after they were bombed. Radiation caused death and disease among children in Chernobyl after their nuclear power plant experienced Murphy’s Law.

In light of the Golden Rule, unless you want a nuclear plant in your own backyard, you better not be calling for more nuclear power. I wouldn’t mind having a windmill, solar panel or microhydro electric generating station in my backyard, but I don’t want nuclear power or a nuclear waste dump. Do you?

Charlotte Ralff

Glenwood Springs

In 2009, I attended a community education session on gang issues presented by Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario’s Threat Assessment Group, TAG. It covered why kids join gangs; identification of symbols, signs, graffiti and tattoos; and recent gang activity and associated impacts in the local area. Having grown up in a gang-infested neighborhood, I appreciated the accuracy and thoroughness of the information being presented.

My decision to attend the presentation was prompted by my child safety responsibilities as the executive director of Access Roaring Fork, an after school program I direct in the Garfield County school districts. During Sheriff Vallario’s summation, he stressed the importance of prevention programs for our children and stated that our communities would be well served if we invested in such programs. That night, during a conversation with Sheriff Vallario, he agreed to support our efforts to create a Junior Police Academy after school program at Carbondale Middle School, in collaboration with Carbondale Police Chief Gene Shilling and Carbondale School Resource Officer Alvaro Agon. That course became a reality and is now a model, which can be expanded to all the middle schools we now serve from Carbondale to Parachute.

Throughout the year, Sheriff Vallario made his staff available to our program in response to every request we made. His officers also attended presentations before public officials to advocate for our program and others which addressed children’s safety issues.

I am writing this letter to share with the community what I have learned firsthand.

Sheriff Vallario has demonstrated a deep commitment to the safety of our communities’ children. He has shown a willingness to invest his time and the resources of his department toward that end.

I have not read much in the local press about the consequences, financial and human, that occur when children are left unsupervised during the after school hours while their parents are still at work. Sheriff Vallario understands these consequences and is being proactive in his efforts to insure that children have options which can keep them safe.

Steve Kaufman


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