Friday letters: Fear mongering, Boebert, America, Ranked Choice Voting, and teamwork |

Friday letters: Fear mongering, Boebert, America, Ranked Choice Voting, and teamwork

High risk group needs to decide how to stay safe

The shutdown has flattened the curve. It has accomplished it’s purpose and fear mongering about opening our economy is a disingenuous strawman argument.

Over the past few months we’ve learned that for over 80% of the population, the virus is no worse than our seasonal flu. However, for our seniors and those with medical issues the risks can prove lethal. That high risk group should consider staying at home or at least being very careful.

Whether or not the Coronavirus makes a winter comeback, another shutdown is not necessary and counter-productive. The high risk group needs to decide how to stay safe. The rest of society needs to practice best hygiene behavior.

It’s called personal responsibility.

Bruno Kirchenwitz,

The shootist misfires

As something of a radical myself, I have a certain grudging admiration for Shooters Grill owner Lauren Boebert. She’s actually challenging Third District Congressman Scott Tipton from the right in the Republican primary on June 30. That’s reminiscent of Ronald Reagan trying to outflank Gerald Ford on the right in 1976.

Boebert’s stance on defying social distancing and restaurant closing restrictions at Shooters Grill is selfish and puts livelihood ahead of lives. We’ve all seen the pictures of the mask-less crowds at Boebert’s establishment. Maybe no one in that group will get sick, but they could pick up the virus and pass it on to an innocent who wasn’t even there.

I happened to Zoom in on the May 11 Garfield County commissioner’s meeting and heard Boebert whine about how her constitutional right to sicken her fellow citizens was being violated. I see nothing in the 14th Amendment that prevents a state from protecting the health of the citizens, particularly when there isn’t time for due process. We have all kinds of laws preventing us from harming others. Otherwise, you’d be able to go out on the street and sell heroin and cocaine.

I’m sure, like her hero in Washington, Boebert feels bad publicity is better than no publicity, so she’s delighted with the furor her defiance has created. Sorry, Lauren. It’s not going to work. The rednecks who believe money is more important than life itself are but a small, noisy minority and not enough for you replace Tipton.

Fred Malo Jr.

Where did the America I used to know disappear to?

The cure is incredibly worse than the disease. I started farming here in the New Castle area over 60 years ago. We had freedom. The only confrontation I had with authority was the sheriff hunting down some youth who were stealing gas from my wind machines. There was one sheriff overseeing the upper county and one deputy working the Rifle area.

We had freedom back in those years. I am totally dumb-founded what our world has become. I have watched and experienced government control gradually increase to the extent it is today. When the government at all levels can make us close our businesses, stay-at-home, wear masks, not light fire on our own property, pay property tax, not gather together, stay 6 feet apart, give me a license for any construction, have public hearings to start construction, not shoot fireworks etc, etc, all without a vote on any constitutional authority, we have lost it.

Consider the incredible collateral damage this dictatorial shutdown has caused. I haven’t eaten in a restaurant in a long time. One of my favorite spots is Shooters Grill in Rifle. Now that they are trying to serve us and pay employees they are being subjected to government persecution. Even if they prevail, and I hope they will, it will cost them a lot of money in fines. I can’t believe that our local officials have become such control freaks. Is civil disobedience a criminal offense? Where did the America I used to know disappear to? How many people must lose their jobs and their businesses before we get our freedom back. Viva La Shooters Grill.

Ross L Talbott
New Castle

A better way to vote/more voter choices!

Are you frustrated with our elections? Do you sometimes vote against a candidate you oppose rather than for a candidate you really like? Perhaps you feel the need to vote for the “lesser of two evils” because you feel your favorite candidate is less likely to win? We feel this way and it is the reason we are excited about Ranked Choice Voting. Ranked Choice Voting was implemented recently for presidential primary elections in Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas and Wyoming. It is also used in more than twenty municipalities, including in Basalt’s mayoral election this spring.

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is straightforward. On the ballot, voters pick, or rank, their first, second, third, etc. choice candidates. Voters may rank as many or as few candidates as they want. With RCV, a candidate must win over 50% of the vote instead of just the greatest number of votes. If no candidate reaches 50% + in the initial tally, the candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated and votes for that candidate are redistributed based on the second choice of the voters for the eliminated candidate. This recounting process continues until one candidate has over 50%. This method ensures that the candidate who wins has the highest level of positive support from voters and, therefore, best represents the electorate. It promotes greater voter choice and discourages negative campaigning because candidates are looking for broader appeal in order to compete for second and third choice votes.

An organization called is working to have Ranked Choice Voting in place for the 2024 Presidential races. Hopefully their efforts will lead to an initiative for RCV on state ballots in the near future. For RCV to be used nationally, states must approve it individually. FairVote is a nonpartisan champion of electoral reforms that give voters greater choice, a stronger voice, and a representative democracy that works for all Americans. To learn about RCV, watch FairVote’s 2.5 minute video at

Candace Goodwin and Robin Van Norman,
Glenwood Springs

This is a time for team work and patience

We would like to open our doors too. But, we would like to open under the umbrella protection of the health department and retain our insurance in doing so, therefore we don’t fight the health department. We are not blindly trusting them but have confidence in their decisions concerning public health as we have been working with them for more than 10 years. Our insurance will not cover us if we go against the health department. We need to work as a team, all restaurants and commissioners, Public Health and the community to address all things concerning opening, including freedom to run a business, which is a huge concern for a lot of citizens. We need to be sensitive to the financial hardship cause by Covid-19 at the same time. We do not want to open just to the people who have healthy immune systems but to all people. We need to be very careful moving forward, working toward that goal together.

Most of all we need to remember that many people are experiencing high stress levels and we need to be kind and have patience with each other when working together.

“…every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”
— Matthew 12:25

This is a time for team work and patience, or as my husband likes to say, “we need to army crawl through this.”

Rasa Higens
Brickhouse Pizzaria

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