Friday letters: Great music, Holy Cross election, dandelions, dogs vs. wolves, pretty yard

Catch the HC Sinfonia

On Thursday last, I was treated to an excellent concert at TACAW by the High Country Sinfonia, 16 musicians of the highest quality this valley has to offer. With their theme of Chopin!, their soloist, pianist Kevin Kaukl, a sensitive musician, performed a chamber arrangement of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op.11. In contrast to the full orchestral version this performance treated the audience to a gossamer-like texture of transparent lines weaving together the orchestra and soloist. What a joy to hear such a contrasted performance.

In addition the Sinfonia’s cello section performed Tchaikovsky’s Chorale from the 1812 Overture. Again, hearing this piece with four cellists instead of a whole section was quite exciting. The Sinfonia was also joined by Charlotte McLain, a lovely harpsichordist playing C.P.E. Bach’s Sinfonia No. 2 in B-flat major. I have often praised this group for their wonderful performances and I will continue to do so always. Make sure to catch their next concerts throughout the valley.

Deborah Barnekow, musician, El Jebel

Vote Linn Brooks for HCE board

I’m supporting Linn Brooks as a candidate for the Northern District of the Holy Cross Energy Board of Directors. 

I’ve worked with Linn for over 25 years, first when she was a consultant and then during my terms as the Eagle Vail representative to the Upper Eagle Regional Authority Board and on the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District (ERWSD) board. During her tenure as the General Manager of ERWSD, she brought a level of professionalism, integrity and thoughtfulness to her role through many challenging times as ERWSD experienced the impacts of growth and climate change.

Linn’s role at ERWSD included fiscal responsibility, annual budgeting, capital projects, customer outreach, rate setting, and most importantly in ensuring the long-term, sustainable use of our limited water resources. Under Linn’s leadership, ERWSD was awarded the 2015 Special District of the Year Award by the Special District Association of Colorado out of 1700 member districts. This was a proud moment for our board members along with Linn and her dedicated staff.

Linn has a great understanding of running a public utility and I believe she will bring her inherent, in-depth knowledge with her in her role as a Holy Cross Board Director. Please join me in voting for Linn Brooks for the Holy Cross Energy Board.

Tom Allender, Eagle

The case for dandelions

Dandelion Day is upon us, and every child’s favorite flower carpets our yards and farmlands. Aren’t you glad? 

Dandelions are not only lovely to behold, they provide a critical source of both nectar (carbohydrates) and pollen (protein) for honeybees and our native pollinators. Deer and elk like to eat them. Without dandelions, honeybees can and do starve. 

Bees emerge from winter with their honey stores largely depleted. They need to make more. Since they don’t make honey in cool weather, snow or rain or cold during the dandelion bloom can spell trouble for the little darlings.

The more dandelions, the better. Gardeners, dandelions are not your enemies. They’re your friends — useful plants that are easy to grow. You can do your part by refraining from poisoning them or digging them up or mowing them. 

Why does your yard or garden have to look like the centerfold in one of those stupid garden magazines? Relax! Instead of obsessing over how to get rid of dandelions, help Mother Earth and leave them alone. 

OK, Dandelion Day is Saturday in Carbondale at Sopris Park. The forecast looks good. See you there.

Ed Colby, Colby Farms Honey, New Castle

Dogs more dangerous than wolves

The PI ran a story about the Garfield County commissioners taking a stand against the reintroduction of wolves in Colorado and in support of wolf hunts. 

The county urged the wildlife commission to consider a wolf-hunting season as a population management tool once the numbers reach 150-200 animals: “I think it’s imperative that people know that the three commissioners of Garfield County are very much against this wolf restoration and management plan,” Commissioner Mike Samson said during the Feb. 21 Board of County Commissioners meeting.

Last year, Representative Boebert was recorded joking about shooting wolf pups to make “little hats” out of them. Probably with AR-15s, as she recently presented a bill to make the AR-15 the “National gun.” I’m sure the NRA check is in the mail. 

Boebert has been very vocal about her stand on the reintroduction of wolves to Colorado and the rest of the country. A big no! 

For thousands of years, wolves and wildlife have had a symbiotic relationship. It wasn’t wolves that brought the buffalo to near extinction, it was humans. Wolves existed in the west way before cattle and sheep. Wolf bounties started in the mid-1600s.

There are an estimated 94 million cattle in the U.S. Estimated 5.2 million sheep. There are less than 6,000 wolves in the lower 48 states. Idaho hunting kills about 500 wolves each year.

Now for some wolf defense: Since 1900 there has not been a single human killed by a wolf in the lower 48 states. None. Between 2005 and 2017, 473 people were killed by dogs — 284 by pit bulls. According to the CDC: “About 30-50 people are killed by dogs each year. Children are the most common victims of dog bites.” More than 4.5 million people report being bitten by dogs each year in the United States.

Now for irony: In September 2010, Boebert was arrested after a neighbor, Michele Soet, accused Boebert’s two pit bulls of attacking Soet’s dog. Boebert pleaded guilty. Boebert’s goats were attacked by a neighbor’s dogs. A neighbor shot them. Let the dog hunting begin.

Craig S. Chisesi, Rifle

Yard of the month

The Glenwood Springs Garden Club is happy to share their Yard of the Month selected for May. Please plan to drive or walk by this Springtime picture perfect yard at 1102 Pitkin as soon as possible!   Enjoy the views of the various flowering bulbs on both the Pitkin Avenue and the 11th Street side at this beautifully remodeled home. 

Glenn and Kristen Chadwick moved into their home in 2017 and personally have planned and planted all their bushes and flowers front, side and back. They have created a lovely yard that rightfully attracts many admirers and compliments.

This yard is especially colorful in spring. A plethora of tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, grape hyacinth and vinca are blooming now. 

Drawing eyes upward are two gorgeous flowering spring snow crabapple trees.

Other annual flowering plants add colors to their yards at different times including creeping red valerian, cranes bill geranium, salvia, veronica and 25 peony bushes. Greenery includes boxwood bushes with green velvet boxwood along 11th Street and winter green boxwood on the front side of their lawn. All have been selected by Kristen with Glenn helping to dig and plant.

Their gardens have grown over the past six years by adding more plants every year. They even have added vegetable gardens in front and back of their home. What to put in each is decided by whether the plant will need the warmer micro climate, which has evolved in their enclosed backyard. A fun gardening hobby is enjoyed by the Chadwicks and has added to neighborhood beauty.

Ann English, Glenwood Springs

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