As I see it
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Ten years have slipped by since the first of my bi-weekly “As I See It” columns appeared in the then-Glenwood Post on March 19, 1998.
Looking back over my earliest efforts, it is striking how little some things have changed in ten years. The titles of the first two columns were “Gas prices outrageous, but don’t expect anyone to do anything about it,” and “Don’t dicker another decade over bypass.”
Well, both of these commentaries are still pertinent today. Will things be any different in another ten years? Will I even be here to find out? I don’t hold out much hope for a change in the gas-pricing structure in this fair city, but there may be a glimmer of hope for adding a third vehicular route through town to cope with the burgeoning amount of traffic that is beginning to overwhelm the current two routes (Grand Avenue and Midland Avenue). After more than three decades of indecision on the part of the city, and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) washing its hands of the problem, CDOT has finally decided to cooperate on the first step in the decision-making process to first select, leading to ultimately implementing, a “preferred alternative” among the many options that have been proposed at one time or another. It will be several years before this preliminary planning process, which is a prerequisite for state and federal funding, without which any construction is a “no-go,” can be completed. But at last we are seeing some progress. This is because the volume of I-70 traffic trying to get into and through Glenwood Springs is exceeding the capacity of the available routes through Glenwood Springs, causing traffic to back up into the through lanes of I-70, setting the stage for a major accident on the interstate ” a hazard that is finally getting CDOT’s attention.
Other issues on which I have sounded off over the past ten years include population, immigration, energy and global warming, education, conservation, roadless area and wilderness issues, campaign finance reform, constitutional issues, and the gross mismanagement of the Bush/Cheney Administration, including the never-ending mess they got us into in Iraq, and the out-of-control national debt.
(What I am most proud of is the dozen columns I wrote during the eighteen months between the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Bush and Company’s invasion of Iraq, questioning the validity of the premises we were being fed to justify that invasion, and warning of the likelihood of getting bogged down in a prolonged conflict, wasting tens of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars.)
Meaningful progress on many of these issues within the next ten years seems highly doubtful, but the last item is one we will have a real opportunity to correct. In less than a year we will be rid of Bush and Cheney, and hopefully a new administration will extricate us from the internecine strife in Iraq, and end the seven-year string of half-a-trillion-dollar-a-year deficits, which Bush and Cheney have saddled onto this and future generations.
You may wonder how I got started on this ten-year odyssey. Well, it all came about as a result of a number of letters to the editor that I had been writing since I arrived in Glenwood Springs in 1989. Let that be a lesson to any of you who may be tempted to write letters to the editor. It was Dennis Webb, who is now the Garfield County correspondent for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, after 18 1/2 years with the then-Glenwood Post and the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, who asked me if I would be interested in writing an opinion column for the paper. So you have him to thank (or blame) for the past ten years of “As I See It.”
Hal Sundin’s column appears every other Thursday in the pages of the Post Independent.
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