Friday letters: Democracy, sage grouse, vaccines, school board, and the left
Democracy has prevailed
Who are we as a country, a Christian, a Muslim, a truth teller? Hopefully, we are all asking that question of ourselves. I am feeling relieved, joyful and full of love for my country after the inauguration of Biden. However, I am also a worriedly optimistic, grateful American.
Democracy now must pick itself up, dust itself off, and move forward. What an awesome and difficult task this is for Biden. We stood up to the bullies and said, “This is our country, and you will not take it from us.” It was way too close for comfort. We will have a democracy, if we can but keep it.
The majority of us are really tired of hearing about Republicans and Democrats and whatever differences we have. We want to live as promised in the Constitution: to pursue life, liberty and happiness. There is still a percentage of Americans who want to fight for their party rather than the good of our beautiful country. This is the reason I say I am worriedly optimistic.
What a joy it is to turn on the news and hear truth and serious problems being addressed, rather than chaos and confusion about what is truth and what is alternate facts (lies). I want this to be an uplifting letter, rather than the letters I’ve been writing the last four years, out of sheer frustration of recognizing all the lies and watching some of my friends falling for the con of Trump.
I am hopeful knowing that democracy prevailed and our grandchildren will be able to enjoy the freedoms we have taken for granted. My hope is that folks will learn to embrace our differences, rather than criticize each other because we may be a different color or religion. This is America, and it is our diversity that has made us strong, is it not?
Interactive map showcases energy development’s impact on sage grouse
Colorado wildlife lovers rejoice. The amazing folks at Rocky Mountain Wild have put together an interactive map showcasing how the new rules implemented by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) protect some of our most cherished native species. On Jan. 15, new oil and gas rules went into effect as a result of the COGCC’s mission change, a shift brought about by Senate Bill 19-181 in the Colorado State Legislature.
The map shows how 5.5 million acres of land have been protected from ground disturbance, and another 12.7 million acres require consultation with Colorado Parks and Wildlife before operators can begin drilling. Species such as bighorn sheep and Colorado pikeminnow have been impacted, and the map shows how much habitat the new rules affect.
The Gunnison sage-grouse map in particular demonstrates the importance of protecting these crucial habitats; the expansion area of their remaining protected habitat is easy to visualize, but conspicuously missing are areas that are no longer protected because the species has been driven out of it. It all goes to show how meaningful reform and useful tools like Rocky Mountain Wild’s story map are essential to preserving Colorado’s biodiversity for future generations.
Here’s the url for those interested in seeing the story map for themselves and discovering the importance of the COGCC’s new rules for Colorado’s wildlife: https://rockymountainwild.org/cogcc_storymap.
Maybe there’s a better way
I got on the Garfield County COVID-19 vaccine list early, and I was pleased — not to mention grateful — when I received a call on Jan. 19 telling me to come in at noon the next day and roll up my sleeve.
When I arrived at Valley View Hospital, the scene was well-organized and orderly. Helpful volunteers and staff members got the crowd of masked inoculation candidates socially distanced in a long line extending down one hall and then another.
Finally we were admitted to a large room filled with registration tables and nurses with needles. Everything proceeded smoothly, and after I got my shot and a Tweety Bird bandaid, I was directed to a waiting area at the far end of the room, for 30 minutes of “observation.” And it was at this moment that it hit me: I was in a roomful of people, in the middle of a pandemic. I didn’t want to catch the virus while I was getting a vaccination for it.
I stepped outside onto a patio and sat down in the warm sunshine, reflecting that it would have been possible to conduct this whole exercise outdoors. While COVID-19 numbers are down somewhat locally, new cases and deaths nationwide continue to increase at an alarming rate, as new, more infectious COVID-19 variants emerge. My group was mainly seniors, which is to say individuals at a greater risk from the Corona. Why would you administer these vaccinations inside a closed building?
Maybe there’s a better way.
Superintendent thanks Roaring Fork school board
January is School Board Recognition Month, and the Roaring Fork Schools want to thank our board of education members for their commitment and contributions to our schools. Our board members volunteer countless hours to learn about big and small issues so that they can make critical decisions on complex educational and social issues that affect our entire school community. The board is charged an important and incredibly tough job — a job that doesn’t come with any compensation. Their decisions directly impact our 5,300 students and 1,000 staff members.
The current board members have faced unique challenges as they have had to navigate the pandemic. Our three new board members had only been in the role a few short months before the Roaring Fork Schools had to respond to COVID-19. Each board member has found herself facing unprecedented challenges, forced to make decisions as school community members called for contradicting actions — all the while facing the same challenges personally as parents, family members and community members. They handled these challenges with grace, diplomacy, wisdom and compassion.
Being a board member is never easy, and it certainly wasn’t in 2020. We appreciate our board members for stepping up; we are grateful for their service and leadership. If you see a board member, please remember to thank them for all that they do for our school community.
Superintendent Rob Stein and the Roaring Fork Schools executive team
This is a democratic republic
If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past four years, it’s that there is no limit to the deceit of the left. They’ve outflanked civil society.
It’s done quite simply by accusing the other side of what they’re already doing. Their dark consciences are projecting. Unfortunately, we only know what they’re thinking after the fact and naively believe it is a “one off.” That’s what’s so frustrating. They talk about the “Big Lie” on the right, but there’s the “Bigger Lie” on the left.
Take a peek once the honeymoon is over or not, how are Joe’s compadres going to neuter him? It could be anything from an arranged Antifa hit to appear to be from the right, all the way to poisoning him slowly, or putting him in a nursing home.
More “bang for the buck” is framing the right for Joe Biden’s demise. Then the country could become a police state. Those lockdowns are fun. Sounds like a plan, eh, comrades? A bonus: Kamala will be a cute “perfect puppet.”
Their tactics are so primeval, you don’t need to be psychic to see them. These tactics are as old as time. Older than the oldest profession.
We’re in this together, except those elites who have betrayed the many. This is a democratic republic. We are the United States of America.
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