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So that’s what the Republican majority of the Garfield County commissioners was doing Monday when I passed their meeting room: allowing gas drillers to build worker housing on private property without a special use permit, building permit or even the permission of the landowner. Is there nothing that Mr. Martin and Mr. McCown won’t do to make it easier for the gas companies to destroy what remains of the quality of life in western Garfield County?

This is particularly ironic, because the reason I was passing the Commissioners Meeting Room was to deliver 11-inch-thick copies of a conditional use permit application to be reviewed by these same commissioners and their staff. Garfield County is the only jurisdiction around here which requires a permit, complete with public hearing, in order to have a home office. The permit I was applying for will allow my clients to use their home phone and home computer to make a living. They have no employees. Their business will generate zero vehicle traffic or sewage, use no water and be completely invisible to their neighbors. But Garfield County still requires them to go through an expensive four-month approval process.

The county wants to control what its citizens do in the privacy of their homes, but they will let a gas driller build a trailer park on your land without your permission. I thought our Republican commissioners believed in the sanctity of private property rights, but I guess I was wrong.

Fortunately, in November we will have the opportunity to elect two new commissioners who know how to protect property rights and our quality of life: Steve Bershenyi and retired judge Steve Carter. Let’s hope that November comes soon enough for the landowners of western Garfield County.

Nancy Smith


With International Earth Day just around the corner on April 22, we the local consumers ask regional business owners to show us your green.

We follow your lead on sales and promotions, so now we’d like your leadership to provide more energy-saving and earth-friendly products and services. Show us your green products in eye-catching, front-of-the store displays. Show us the value of organic and Colorado-grown foods. Make a point of thinking green when you order from vendors to reduce packaging, to buy close to home and to provide organic or recycled options.

This doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require commitment on your part. We applaud your efforts so far, but we know you can do more.

If you already are trying to go green, tell us about it. We want to hear about your lighting retrofits for energy efficiency, your new high-efficiency boiler, your building energy audits, or your green construction techniques for remodels. We applaud when your delivery truck drivers pledge not to idle their engines. We are ready to never use a Styrofoam cup or container again if you pledge the same. We are happy to see a few more “Made in America” and “Colorado Proud” stickers on products to reduce the environmental burdens of long-distance shipping.

Give recycled and green products a break. These products may not sell at the traditional volume of products ingrained in the consumer consciousness, but they do sell.

We know there is a lot of green talk out there, so help us be practical with the environmentally sound changes we can all make in our busy lives. To learn how to green your business, visit the websites for such organizations as Green Biz, Sustainable Business, Rocky Mountain Institute, the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office or the government site Energy Star.

Show us your green for Earth Day and every day, and we’ll shop with you and part with our own hard-earned green.

Suzie Romig, New Castle Environmental Advisory Committee

Heather McGregor, Glenwood Springs Energy Efficiency Ad Hoc Committee

Mark Stevens, Sierra Club Roaring Fork Group

Bob Millette, Cool Communities Committee

When I received my ballot on the fiber optics question, I was at a loss as to how I would vote. I would like to thank Mayor Christensen and the Glenwood Springs Post Independent for the article in the April 7, 2008, newspaper. This article did explain just what we, the voters, are being asked to do.

After reading the article, I came to the conclusion that we should support this question. This is to continue the broadband program, which was started back in 2000. The thing that makes sense is that this will not cost the taxpayer at this time.

The benefits to our community by completing the system will give us a greater choice and access to future technologies. I urge you to vote yes on this issue.

Bob Zanella

Glenwood Springs

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