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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Thank you to those who responded to my missive concerning Obama’s trip to the other half of the world. They are absolutely right when they point out that the reports concerning the cost of the trip were overestimated and the numbers concerning the required support staff and equipment is questionable.

The initial report was from the Press Trust of India. It was then picked up by other news organizations as well. Of course the numbers were impossible to confirm because the White House and other agencies involved refuse to discuss the real costs due to “security concerns.” So be it.

The reports may have been wrong or “wildly inflated” and have “no basis in reality” but it seems to me we have a right to expect some reasonable estimate of the costs involved particularly in light of the massive debt problem this country has.

The real issue for me is that we were promised accountability and transparency by this administration and we have gotten nothing but smoke and mirrors, back room deals, laws passed under the cover of darkness that no one has read, that have to be passed first so we can find out what is in them.

This president has taken more vacations in his first 22 months in office than any president that I can remember. This latest one is most likely the most expensive of all. Whether $200 million or $20 million, can we really afford it?

My critics here in the PI mocked my use of false and wildly inflated figures. Fair enough, but what is the true cost of this trip? It seems to me if one uses mockery to criticize then one should be able to at least pony up a guess as to what the numbers really are. If not, then mockery is not a very successful strategy.

“No great movement designed to change the world can bear to be laughed at or belittled. Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches.” – Milan Kundera

Bob Anderson

Glenwood Springs

As a spectator to this story, I wonder why some of the Silt Mesa/Peach Valley residents are really boycotting all the Silt businesses? By telling anyone and everyone who are their friends to not re-elect Mr. Moore is childish, he basically stayed neutral in this meet with Antero.

Do these residents think or do they know if Antero is giving kickbacks to all these Silt business owners? Or did these business owners stand up in favor of Antero at the meeting? This kind of rapid-fire mode of turning on their community is so unprecedented that it leaves others like me with a bad taste in my mouth. What kind of power does this group of dissatisfied citizens have over this Silt community? Or think they have?

I solemnly want to humor Jen Sandborn. I feel and think she has a big conflict of interest in this movement. As a Rifle City Council member, she helped pass an ordinance in 2006 for us citizens of Rifle, if any drilling ever happened within city limits. Here is what would happen. It’s an ordinance for any production facility built, be built at least 350 feet setback from any occupied building – be located not less than 150 feet from a public road or railroad. Do you remember that Mrs. Sandborn?

Shelly Kuersten


My prognostication for Peach Valley is dismal, probably total desiccation of the biota and the degradation of the water. There will be neurological deficits, rare and common cancers, liver damage, respiratory problems, pituitary gland tumors, lung and salivary gland tumors, brain tumors, toxic overloads in the bodies of all mammals living in the environs. And yes, some of them could be naturally occurring, and especially if one listens to the gas drilling companies, their toxins are not going to be responsible for any of them. But these will occur and the only remedy will be to leave or stay and die.

How am I able to see all of this in the future, because I used to live on the south side of the river, from 1997 until 2007, when it was leave or die and the past is prologue. When we could no longer breath the toxic air, my grandchildren all developed rashes, welts and asthma. But we were luckier than most, we left. Will the sycophants win? Mr. Martin and the fire chief who was so dismissive of ‘Gasland’ and ‘Split Estates’, with a couple of humorous throw-away lines, saying it wasn’t that bad … he was correct, it was worse, much worse.

What do we do when drilling companies are allowed to contaminate the biota and the water? Is there an alternative to drinking water for mammals? If we can no longer live on the land and grow uncontaminated crops, what good then is money? How do you answer people when they say “well, we have to drill for gas and oil, someone has to suffer and/or die.” Umm, will the sentiment be the same when they put in a derrick behind their house? Mr. Martin who was elected by the gas companies to protect and defend them, apparently, because he certainly isn’t protecting the people in this Valley, he wants to give up before the fight. Where is the honor and courage? Sold to the highest bidder?

Take a lesson from New Zealand, the people there blocked drilling access with their equipment and bodies. Protect and defend.

Joanne Davis

Glenwood Springs

Over a century ago the first National Park was born; championed by men with a vision, who held dear those quiet, beautiful places. A century ago, there were 76 million people in the United States.

Now, with a population of 281 million we are loving those parks to death. There are over 270 million visits every year to the parks. Paved roads and parking lots provide access for us to admire their beauty.

By 2050, the U.S. is projected to boast 392 million bodies. Quiet places will become fewer and farther apart. Industrial and residential growth are already creating pressure on our forests and the animals that abide there. Loss of habitat is reducing healthy animal populations.

We need to cherish and protect the wild places, the quiet places. Animals need them. Humans need them. As the world grows there will be more of us seeking sanctuary in them.

In Colorado, the BLM manages 8.3 million acres, and the Forest Service manages another 14.5 million acres. Out of those numbers, presently 3.5 million acres are Wilderness. The 342,000 acres Hidden Gems is asking for will not bring total Wilderness to 4 million acres. Wilderness area will increase from 15.3% to 17.7%. That doesn’t seem too much.

We humans seem bent on using up the entire planet; all the trees, the oil, the precious metals, clean water. Build the roads and they will come. A dirt road today will become a paved road tomorrow, with parking lots the day after that.

In another century imagine how truly precious the Wilderness we saved today will be. We have the opportunity now, let’s not waste it.

Barbara Barnes

New Castle

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