Friday letters: Airport design, vaccination, county commissioners, and travel ban
Stay the course on airport design
The city of Glenwood Springs City Council and the management needs your input.
Glenwood Springs City Council is considering reducing the length of the Glenwood Springs airport runway. The City Council is also considering removing a block of hangars, including the aircraft repair hangar/business.
The new proposed runway reduction has some very adverse impacts to the airport. This proposal could shorten the runway by over 500 feet. This would make an already short runway too short.
An environmental assessment (EA) was completed years ago. This EA took a committee years to develop the 32 options and then decide on the current option. That now may be changed in just weeks. South Bridge is a good project, but both the airport and the South Bridge Project can coexist without possible dire consequences to the airport.
Almost everyone remembers the lifesaving function this airport has had in fighting fires. The last fire was at the city’s doorstep. In addition to firefighting, the airport has critical emergency medical aircraft, search and rescue, and wildlife management aircraft. The Glenwood Springs Airport supports flight training for adults and local youth, several businesses, housing and many other functions too many to expound on (i.e. the high school graduation at the airport last summer).
An attempt is being made to save money on the existing EA. Good idea. However, the airport contributes $17 million-plus directly to the community and $37 million in indirect funding to the state of Colorado. This data is derived from the Colorado Department of Transportation and is on the CDOT website.
The current design of the airport and the South Bridge works. It has been studied for years. The current last minute design needs time to consider whether it is viable, cost effective, does not adversely affect the local economy, and does not potentially make the airport unduly dangerous.
Please contact your Glenwood Springs City Council and tell them to stay the course and leave the current design as is.
Gratitude for vaccination and Dr. Fauci
I am grateful to the brilliant Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is highly educated and experienced in the field of pandemics, for constantly working to spread the truth about COVID-19. And I’m also grateful to Valley View Hospital for making the vaccine process run so smoothly during both my shots. I still wear my mask and stay away from groups, but it is a great comfort to know I won’t die in a hospital room, alone, on a ventilator. Over 500,000 Americans have suffered this terrible death, and I wonder — how many more deaths will it take before everyone is willing to wear a simple piece of cloth?
County commissioners not qualified to monopolize health board
Garfield County needs a professional health board that will guide our response to COVID-19 and any other public health issues based on science, not right-wing politics and personal opinions.
With all the hundreds of medical professionals in our county, we have to ask why the county commissioners have anointed themselves as the sole members of the county health board — three highly politicized men with no medical background who have participated in, supported and promoted radicalized ideas about COVID-19 that have endangered our health and safety.
No wonder COVID-19 struck us hard here, with at least 5,200 residents sickened from COVID-19, hundreds hospitalized and nearly 40 people dead. Infection rates are declining now, but it is not because of any health policy the commissioners have initiated. With new COVID-19 strains on the horizon, we deserve the best medical response possible for all our residents.
Additionally, if there were a board of public health, there would be a firewall between the commissioners’ COVID-19 politics and our county public health department that must abide by state and federal health regulations, not their bosses’ radical conspiracy theories.
Because the commissioners’ personal opinions about COVID-19 have often conflicted with CDC recommendations, and this has influenced how the county has abided by state COVID-19 regulations, the time to form a real public health board is now.
We all deserve better leadership from our county commissioners. There is absolutely no excuse not to have a Board of Public Health with members from our very capable medical community — demand that of your commissioners today.
Travel ban on Texas?
President Joe Biden said states canceling anti-mask precautions are thinking like Neanderthals.
Perhaps Gov. Jared Polis should ban visitors from Texas.
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Less is more?