Friday letters: Wrong place, renewables, canyon traffic, concert kudos, council endorsement, logging concerns

Speak out on Habitat project

There seems to be a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the city of Glenwood Springs and Habitat for Humanity regarding the proposed housing development of 8th street and Midland Avenue. 

The MOU is a legal document, but it is not legally binding. It expresses an understanding between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action. This still has to come in front of the P&Z for review and approval. Why would you create even more congestion at this intersection?

Talk to anyone on the street and their biggest gripe is traffic. Affordable housing is not the number one concern with the locals. This project will greatly hamper any kind of future improvements at this intersection. I hope the silent majority out there, who are like me not against affordable housing, but against this location, will voice their opposition. 

There have been attempts before to try and sell this property for development and they were canceled when knowledge of why it was condemned revealed. The P&Z should ask for a copy of the court case (05CV119) and read the language of why the property was condemned by the city and CDOT. The fact that the city has not disturbed this property for 17-plus years and has held it in trust for future right-of-way needs is a “use” in my eyes. 

The city seems to take the stance that it has not been “used” for any public purposes. This avoids any public city vote on the matter. I would like to see the MOU published in the paper for all to see what we are getting into.

Don “Hooner” Gillespie, Glenwood Springs

Renewable energy thoughts

Twin Lakes, Colorado has had pumped storage hydro for over 50 years. The idea is to pump storage to a reservoir above Twin Lakes with low demand/cheap energy to generate power during high demand/higher cost energy.

All well and good. It’s just that it’s an ongoing electrical cost. On the other extreme, wind and solar are intermittent, so the supply varies, but the infrastructure is a fixed cost. Once it’s paid for, the energy is free, short of maintenance. Combine the two concepts and it’s a marriage.

Use the “intermittent sources” to supply a large potential source of water for a reliable constant clean, battery-free hydroelectricity. This concept could be used universally. All that’s needed is water at differential elevations powered by intermittent renewables for endless dependable energy.

Fred Stewart, Grand Junction

Need better canyon traffic management

Was anyone surprised to see the recent Glenwood Post Independent photos of three semi-trucks jammed abreast between the guardrails in Glenwood Canyon or the semi dangling between the westbound and eastbound lanes? Our community continues to be impacted by these regularly occurring incidents in many ways, whether in our travels east of here, the bare grocery shelves or the number of idling trucks fouling our air while they wait.

Why are trucks over 26,000 GVW still allowed to use the left lane when such left lane usage is clearly prohibited for the 14 miles of the canyon at each end by signage with flashing yellow lights?

During a chance dinner with the owner of the company that deployed and maintains the traffic monitoring system in Glenwood Canyon I learned that the system is capable of identifying and tracking each vehicle through the canyon, down to license plate and often driver. Why isn’t this tool used to discourage the traffic behavior which is leading to these frequent incidents?

I call on our elected and appointed politicians to make traffic safety in Glenwood Canyon a priority. Glenwood City Council, use your influence with CDOT and CSP to get better traffic management in Glenwood Canyon rather than pursuing traffic clogging islands in Grand Avenue. Representative Velasco and Senator Will please bring forward legislation which would enable trucking companies to be fined effectively for traffic violations in Glenwood Canyon based on remote sensing evidence and provide funding for such enforcement.

Recently, while in a line of traffic behind a CSP trooper and plows, I saw the first vehicle behind CSP in the left lane was a semi. Next to me in this line was a semi operated by David of Blue Moon Trucking in Grand Junction (on the driver’s door) repeatedly forcing himself into the left lane and back, with nothing to be gained. This behavior is all too common and endangers us all. Psychologists say a behavior will continue until the consequences outweigh the benefit. We need greater consequences for this traffic behavior for all our safety.

Ray Tenney, Glenwood Springs

Great concert

Last night, my husband and I had the privilege to attend a performance by the Travis Anderson Trio, a Minneapolis-based ensemble giving a modern twist to classic jazz and pop favorites.  As newcomers to the Roaring Fork Valley, we were absolutely delighted to see this talented group of musicians perform. 

Steve Pikal on the double bass was enchanting to watch and listen to with his unique slap style, appearing to be dancing with his instrument with an eternal smile on his face. Drummer Nathan Norman took on a more serious tone, expertly weaving in and out of the melody of the music. Travis Anderson, the pianist leading this classic jazz combo, wowed us with his playful brilliance on the keys.  

Together, the trio drew us into their music by performing classic TV and movie themes familiar to many, while offering a unique and unforgettable interpretation that left us awe-inspired. 

This concert was presented by the Glenwood Springs Community Concert Association, which brings world-class musicians of various genres to the Roaring Folk area. Tickets are very affordable for season tickets as well as individual concerts. Check them out at  

We are very fortunate to have such incredible talent come to the area at such accessible prices. As season ticket holders, we look forward to attending many more concerts in the future.

Stephanie Vander Zanden, Glenwood Springs

Schachter for Council

Good news! Sumner Schachter is running for Glenwood Springs City Counsel. 

I sat down with Sumner yesterday over a cup of coffee and we talked for an hour and a half. He listened. He took notes. He asked questions. Our common ground was we love Glenwood.

Sumner has lived here since the 1970s and I have lived here since 1980. We’ve seen the changes, some good, some not. We talked about the culture of City Counsel and how we might bridge the gap between the public and the counsel members. We talked about why we moved here and how we can keep those elements in place, like the old days here in our city. 

He has contributed to our community through his work with Planning and Zoning, the Housing Commission, Roaring Fork School District Accountability Committee, Adult Literacy, Valley View Hospital Foundation Board, Youth Soccer coach, and more. Going forward he has the experience and the heart to lead us into the future. He is down to earth and cares about our city’s future. He has a goal to listen to the people. I know we are all busy working, shoveling snow, paying the bills but this is important. This is what we need, and my hope is you will vote for Sumner Schachter for City Council. He has my vote!

Rachael Windh, Glenwood Springs

Logging impact intolerable

As a resident and lover of the Four Mile Creek area, I am compelled to respond to the recent article about the logging operations in Four-Mile Park. This is not a letter about the article’s gross glorification of a project that is turning the landscape into a real-life image from The Lorax. (I understand the need to thin and manage forests — but when will we learn that it doesn’t have to be like this?) 

This letter is about the immediate and acute impacts that the operations are having on environmental and public health. Twenty massive logging trucks per day descend Four Mile Road and they run their Jake Brakes the entire time — beginning the moment that they descend. Each truck’s brakes — not just the engine, but the bone rattling sound of those brakes — echo through the valley for the entire trip. It is a documented, biological fact that this has a gross negative impact on wildlife and on human beings. This real and extreme behavior on the part of the logging company sets a precedent for the kind of work and work-ethic that will be tolerated in our wilderness and community. 

I have called multiple and various departments in Garfield County about the issue and have received no response except from the Sheriff’s Department, when a deputy explained that there is no noise ordinance in Garfield County. (Which is a separate, but no less pressing and disturbing issue). 

Are there stipulations in the contract with West Range Forest Products, who is turning a profit with 100-year-old trees born and grown on our land, addressing the environmental and public health impacts of the logging operation? If so, who is in charge of oversight? If not, why not? The impact of this project is massive and unacceptable, particularly in light of the fact that the project is set to last until 2026 — as published in the aforementioned Post Independent article. 

Glenwood Springs is full of committed, concerned and active citizens who love the Four Mile Valley as much as my family and I do and I hope that this letter serves as a whistle that needs blowing.

Sarah Evans, Glenwood Springs

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