Friday letters: Carbondale buildings, tribalism, Carbondale secession, Republican accomplices, and Grand River thanks
A recent Glenwood Springs Post Independent article (Feb. 12) covered the approval of new buildings to replace the Sopris Shopping Center.
The proposal is in two parts. One is to enlarge the mini storage with a new two-story, climate-controlled building to the west of the existing storage buildings. Second is to construct two, three-story buildings on the edge of the highway.
On the mini-storage — the climate-controlled space seemed to some town trustees a dubious waste of energy at a time when we are giving more and more attention to energy conservation. The owner said that his customers are looking for this feature to store fine furniture and other climate-sensitive possessions. We can assume this feature appeals to upvalley customers. Oddly, the town collects sales taxes on leases only longer than one month. One can also question why this kind of use is even in the center of our town. The owner said they would pay attention to their energy use.
I also have a great concern for the new residential buildings. You can see from the rendering in the news article that the architectural style, as described by the architect, is unlike anything in Carbondale. They said the building is composed of “mercantile elements.” However, their main deceit is to give the buildings as many different styles, materials, shapes, colors, wall planes, corners and roof lines as they could. We used to joke that the builder was using up materials left over from other jobs. Or close-outs.
But more than the looks, these buildings set a precedent that is totally at odds with what Carbondale has now and also the goals for energy emission reduction that are the core of the Carbondale Climate Action Plan. In a second letter, I’d also like to talk about the height, the traffic, the health hazards and the visual obstruction.
Tribalism is back
I watched much of the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Here is partly my perspective:
Civic education as I once experienced it has mostly vanished from our schools. Therefore, people don’t see themselves as citizens. Instead, they think and feel tribally. Over most of human history, humans have considered themselves as members of a tribe. In other words, for lack of education, people resort to old ways of thinking and being.
Trumpism is based on this atavism. The founding fathers and the framers of the Constitution were members of the Enlightenment, which, by its very nature, assumed that tribalism was gone for good. Wrong! It’s back!
Seventy-five years ago the land that produced the musician and composer Johann Sebastian Bach burned alive gypsies, homosexuals and Jews. It can happen again here.
On Jan. 6, it happened at the U.S. Capital in Washington, D.C. And last week, 43 U.S. senators voted to find Trump not guilty. Tribalism is way more fatal for humanity than COVID-19.
Perhaps it is time for Carbondale to petition to secede from Garfield County. There is historical precedent of other U.S. counties doing the same. County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky represents the Carbondale district, but the voting record shows he was primarily elected by the Glenwood Springs and Rifle voters. He clearly lost among the Carbondale voters.
That is just one reason among many core philosophical differences; Carbondale is not being represented by the Garfield county commissioners.
But, realistically, Carbondale does not have the tax base to become Carbondale County.
However, perhaps Pitkin County (which already includes Redstone) could be petitioned to add Carbondale.
Both the voting record of Pitkin County and the lifestyles of the workers are very similar to Carbondale.
Despite the courage of seven Republican senators who voted “guilty” regarding the charge of incitement (promoting or encouraging a riot) against the 45th U.S. president, Feb. 13, 2021, ended as another sad day in American history.
The 43 Republican senators who voted “not guilty” should be considered accomplices in relation to the “big lie” and the violent riot on Jan. 6, which left five people dead, many more injured and a great deal of damage at our U.S. Capitol.
In addition, members of the defense team can also be considered accomplices — saying the words of the 45th U.S. president were “just free speech.”
We must hope that a large majority of Americans will come together to fight the lies and hate that we have been dealing with for so long. If we can do that, we will be able to make a better, stronger America.
Grand River thanks
My husband and I would like to thank Grand River Health for the amazing job they did last week when we received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
From the very beginning of making an appointment to walking out the door after the vaccination, this was a very positive experience. Everyone we came in contact with was knowledgeable, courteous and very helpful.
Excellent job, Grand River Health.
Dick and Connie Prather
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