Friday letters: Prop 125, keep Tom J., Moller best suited, Thompson Divide, clergy support, and some kudos

‘No’ on Prop 125

Passage of Prop 125 will allow grocery stores to sell wine. Grocery stores will not be expanded to allow for wine sales; food items will be removed to make room for wine. 

Rural Colorado grocery stores are small, with limited shelf space. Ever since beer sales were allowed in grocery stores, we have seen many healthy and organic food items disappear from local store shelves to make way for more and more beer. It’s hard to fathom where they will put the wine. 

And, let’s not forget all the folks at our local liquor stores who got us through the pandemic. They will be put out of business by Prop 125. 

If Prop 125 passes, grocery stores will be filled with beer, wine and unhealthy convenience foods. I enjoy organic foods and cooking. Since the Rifle City Market filled its shelves with beer, I have had to travel to larger stores in Grand Junction to find healthy and organic foods that were once available in Rifle. That translates into more vehicles on the roadways as locals search for healthy alternatives besides wine, beer and junk food. And, for those who can’t easily hit the road in search of food, rural Colorado communities are at risk of becoming food deserts like urban areas. 

Silt is a food desert already. We need a grocery store here. However, if Prop 125 passes and a grocery chain decides to open a store in Silt, I will vote against it. With two liquor stores, we certainly don’t need another one.

Please, I urge you to consider the risks to our local food supplies and the losses to local liquor stores in rural Colorado communities. Vote “No” on Proposition 125.

Peggy Tibbetts, Silt

Pancake breakfast thanks

On behalf of the Carbondale Rotary Club, we’d like to thank everyone for joining us for our first annual Potato Day pancake breakfast this past Saturday. It was a beautiful morning, and we enjoyed serving everyone pancakes and potato pancakes at the park at 4th and Main Street.

The event simply would not have been possible without the extraordinary generosity of Bonfire Coffee and the Village Smithy. They provided us with coffee, pancake batter and sausages to make the morning a success. Charlie Chacos and everyone at both businesses went above and beyond, and we cannot thank them enough.

Thanks also go to the Village Inn in Glenwood Springs for their kind donation of both butter and syrup. Garret Jammaron from Alpine Bank stepped up and delivered much appreciated tents. We’d also like to celebrate Alyssa Reindel at Evergreen Zerowaste for making our breakfast as low-impact as possible. The Carbondale Community United Methodist Church was kind enough to lend us their tables and chairs.

Big thanks go out to Glenwood Rotarian Joe Mueller for his excellent grill and his grilling expertise. Joe embodies the best qualities of the Rotary motto, “Service Above Self.”

Last, but certainly not least, Eric Brendlinger and Jessi Rochel from the Carbondale Recreation Department helped us organize a fun event that we certainly hope becomes an annual tradition. It was a great way to kick off Potato Day and celebrate the best of Carbondale.

Tim Whitsitt and Herschel Ross, Carbondale Rotary Co-Presidents

Alan Cole, Carbondale Rotary Fundraising Chair

New Castle kudos

New Castle Outdoor Maintenance staff know how to do it!

I moved to New Castle a couple of years ago, and it seems as though New Castle just keeps getting nicer and nicer. Thank you to the people of the town who decide and upkeep our town for our homes in the mountains. I feel as though my tax dollars are well dispersed and used wisely.

Also, to me the most amazing people are the ones who get our park grass so green, vibrant and so well-maintained. The flowers were colorful and outstanding in color selection and choices this year.

Of course, let us not forget all the capital improvements to our roads and the wooden fence along the train tracks downtown. But, there are a lot of appreciative people who use the water dispenser in front of the police station who would say this is the best thing New Castle ever did.

Thanks for making my hometown a great place to live.

Paramroop Khalsa, New Castle

Tom J. for Commissioner

I am supporting Tom Jankovsky for Garfield County Commissioner. I have personally known him for many years — first as the manager of Sunlight Mountain Resort, where he successfully kept that facility operational on a very thin bottom line, and then working with him in my position as the Sheriff of Garfield County.

Immediately, he brought a strong business approach to managing the county budget and that philosophy continues today. He is the commissioner who has been tasked with working with department heads and elected officials to bring in a good operating and capital budget, while recognizing the priorities and needs of each of those areas. As an elected official, I appreciate how he works with us through the budget process to provide a seamless final approval.

He has also focused on our Latino community by engaging with the Garfield County Latino Community Committee to address and resolve areas of concern for a growing population. Because of Tom, the Sheriff’s Office is very invested in this group, too. Additionally, he is strong on crime and has urged me to commit additional deputies as School Resource Officers by providing additional positions to accomplish that. 

Finally, he not only has an excellent grasp on local issues, but also how those are affected by state and federal policies. He realizes that we don’t live in a bubble, and that external influences will affect our way of life as Garfield County residents. 

So, if we want to continue with fiscal responsibility, recognize our changing community and maintain a solid law enforcement perspective, vote for Tom Jankovsky for Commissioner.

Lou Vallario, Garfield County Sheriff


Moller is qualified

Having met Becky Moller shortly after moving to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2002, I have known her for 20 years and confidently recommend her for the office of Garfield County Clerk and Recorder. 

In the years that I have known her, Becky has been steadfast in her quest to continue learning and growing and in her commitment to the community. She has always looked for ways to be involved and make a difference, successfully putting each educational achievement to use on behalf of the organizations with which she volunteers. 

One thing I have always admired about her is her ability to recognize what is working well and what needs improvement and to synthesize information from all perspectives to formulate real-world solutions to make the process better. And, those who’ve met her as she has criss-crossed the county in her pickup truck the past several months, both sharing her ideas and listening to constituents’ concerns, have felt her genuineness. 

Her integrity and her direct, down-to-earth approach allow her to work collaboratively with people from all walks of life, keeping the focus on getting things done and making her an ideal candidate for County Clerk and Recorder. I know that she will reinforce what is working well and create change where change is needed, securing our elections and bringing the office more up to date. 

With her experience, dedication to the community and heart for service, I believe that Becky Moller is the most qualified candidate for Garfield County Clerk and Recorder. 

Geneva Templeton Moore, Roaring Fork Leadership graduate, former Snowmass Village and Basalt resident

Protect Thompson Divide

I believe it’s a great step forward that Colorado’s leaders are calling on Pres. Biden to protect the Thompson Divide from future oil and gas leasing with an administrative mineral withdrawal, an action I fully support — and will always continue to support! 

As someone who spends a lot of time in the Thompson Divide, I can personally attest to what makes this place so special and worthy of protection. Over the years, I have learned the ins and outs of elk migration patterns, found amazing, pristine springs and discovered some of the most unique camping around. It’s a wild landscape, completely different from most of the Roaring Fork Valley — feeling more akin to southern Utah than the high Rockies.

Beyond my own personal connection to the landscape as a hunter and photographer, the Thompson Divide is really important to our local ranching and recreation economy. Hunting, fishing, grazing and other recreation activities on this area provides nearly 300 jobs and produces $30 million a year in economic value. 

Our local community has been working for over a decade to protect wildlife, recreation and ranching here from oil and gas development — the time to act is now! While the protections provided in the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act are the best way for us to permanently protect this area from oil and gas development, our community needs the certainty an administrative withdrawal would offer, while we await the eventual passage of this legislation. 

Pres. Biden, please protect this incredible landscape for hunters and anglers, as well as all who cherish this incredible place!

Dylan Brown, Carbondale

Clergy supporting LGBTQ+ students

We, the faith leaders serving Roaring Fork Valley, representing over 600 members, extend our unwavering support to the Roaring Fork School District (RFSD) for all efforts to support gender expansive/nonconforming students. 

As a community, we are called to protect the vulnerable among us. Students in our schools, particularly those who identify as gender nonconforming, deserve to be supported and affirmed. The creation and implementation of the awareness “toolkit” is a positive step towards ensuring that every student is safe in their classrooms. 

Together, across nine different faith communities, we affirm the inherent dignity of all persons, including our beloved LGBTQ+ students. We vehemently oppose any effort to undermine equity and inclusion in our schools and community. Research proves that, when adults convey a consistent message of belonging, bullying decreases dramatically. To decide that only certain students are worthy of understanding and support is to undermine the safety of all students. We commend the brave leaders in RFSD who have worked to ensure that all students are affirmed and find belonging. 

After two years of a pandemic and its negative impacts on all children and families, we must be vigilant to pay attention to and support the mental health of all our young people. The fact that 59% of LGBTQ+ students have thought about suicide is chilling. The RFSD has started this process and we offer both our approval and participation. To those in the LGBTQ+ community, you are loved, you belong, and we support you. 

Rev. Rebecca Dunagan 

Roaring Fork United Methodist Churches 

First UMC Glenwood Springs, Carbondale Community UMC, 

Basalt Community UMC

Nicholas Vesey

Minister, Aspen Chapel

Rev. Kimberlee Law

The Episcopal Church in Garfield County

Rev. Aaron Norris

Unitarian Universalist Minister serving the Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist Community

Rev. Jerry Herships

Aspen Community Church 


Stephanie Moffitt, Chaplain

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