Friday letters: yard of the month, Spring Valley bike race, public lands, affordable housing

Yard of the month — small and colorful

The Glenwood Springs Garden Club for several years has been recognizing interesting and attractive front yards with our Yard of the Month sign and descriptions shared with the community. This month our Yard of the Month Committee has selected a small and colorful yard at 923 Colorado Ave. Our committee members search for yards that add beauty and interest along our city streets Often these are the places that locals and visitors admire when they walk and drive by slowly. We hope our sign encourages more to enjoy and appreciate the work of their gardeners. Front yards come in all shapes and sizes of course, and we are pleased to honor this small yard surrounded by a colorfully painted picket fence and full of flowers and various plants. The resident gardeners are Dan Friedemann and his mother Cynthia Friedemann. Dan has rented this house for 10 years and his mother lives there now too. She had lived in Dallas where her yard was selected as yard of the month four times they proudly shared. When Dan answered our knock on the door, we related our reason for the visit, and he teasingly said with a smile, “Well it’s about time!”

Dan began with a bare yard and a solid color house. With I’m sure his landlord’s happy approval, he has painted the house to become what he has titled The Painted Lady. It is reminiscent of those Victorian styles. Dan built the fence and painted it with four colors which highlight the posts on the front porch and the house colors. He shared, “My goal was to make it look quirkish and fairyish.”

Varied yard art decorates the house, porch, and yard. Dan found old large iron trivets in storage on the property and has them hung on the house. He has purchased attractive tin and glass art from our local Mountain Valley Development shop, which he likes to support. We also admired some metal art, which he calls his dad’s “trash art,” since he made them from various scraps  and pieces found around the property.

Plants and flowers abound in this small yard and on the porch. This summer Cynthia added small colored pots with hangers to the colored fence. She keeps petunias watered twice daily in those accents. Many hanging baskets surround the front porch. Dan chooses different flowers each year for these. A variety of perennial flowers have been planted inside the fence. Peonies and salvia are in front of the porch. The peonies this year were kept blooming for a month, as Cynthia trimmed the spent blooms regularly. Hostas and other shade loving plants are on one side of the yard. Succulents decorate the porch as do other inside plants brought out for the summer season. It is obvious how much they both enjoy gardening and plants.

When you approach this home you will first admire the showy State Farm Zinnias in front of the fence. They get bigger and bigger all summer and are Dan’s favorite flower. We were most pleased that he shared with us seeds of these beauties. We encourage you to admire this small and very colorful yard too.

Ann English, Glenwood Springs

A glorious weekend

What a glorious weekend of kids and families frolicking in the great outdoors on Sept. 9 and 10 at the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley Campus. The campus graciously hosted 686 high school mountain bike racers representing 51 teams from 2 regions.

A festive gathering of families, friends and spectators enjoyed the exceptional views of Mount Sopris as they cheered for the inspiring student-athletes. A total of 72 riders from the local teams of Colorado Rocky Mountain School, Glenwood Springs, Roaring Fork and Aspen/Basalt pushed their limits with a home trail advantage.

This event is possible in large part to funding provided by the City of Glenwood Springs and the deep commitment of the Spring Valley campus staff and the partnership with Colorado Mountain College. Other supporters include the Catena Foundation, Roaring Fork Cycling, Roaring Fork RE-1 School District, Grand River Construction and Garfield County.

Special thanks to many members of the Spring Valley Campus including Jeanne Golay, CMC foundation regional development officer, Johann Aberger, CMC professor of outdoor education, Kris Hussoung, Matt Koch, Jon Shaw, Lisa Runck, and Dr. Kelly Humphrey, vice president and campus dean.

We look forward to bringing the 2023 Colorado League State Championship event on Oct. 21 and 22.

Thank you to the Glenwood Springs and Roaring Fork Valley community for sharing your community assets with so many youth and families, 

Kate Rau, executive director, Boulder

This land is our land

I agree wholeheartedly with Garfield County Democratic chairwoman Debbie Bruell’s Sept. 15 column in the Post Independent. Protecting the county’s magnificent landscape from industrial development, be it methane gas extraction or limestone quarries above Glenwood Springs, is a high priority for the citizens.

But the county commissioners stand opposed to the public lands that would be created by President Biden’s America the Beautiful and 30X30 initiatives, proposals to use public and private funds to promote conservation. They demonstrate their antipathy to Biden’s plans by supporting, through attendance at their meetings and $30,000 in taxpayer’s money, the American Stewards of Liberty, a private property proponent and climate change denying organization out of Texas.

These right-wingers keep referring to efforts to increase public lands as “land grabs,” as if the government officials who’re doing this are enriching themselves. Public lands are our lands, the people. Our elected officials manage these tracts for our collective benefit. Private lands are subject to the whims of its owners. If they decide to exploit their property for profit, the proprietary can do it.

As for the commissioners, they, as usual, have a one-track mind — methane gas development. The severance tax the industry pays to drill in the county makes the commissioner’s job easier. They don’t have to come up with creative ideas on how to finance the county’s services, which is perhaps beyond the capacity of these septuagenarians.

Bruell wonders how Garfield County, which trounced Heidi Ganahl, Joe O’Dea, and homegrown Lauren Boebert in last year’s election, could keep returning these reactionaries to the county commission by the narrowest of margins. It’s a mystery to me, too, but if the constituents of this county want more progressive, proactive representation, they’d better start voting for younger, enlightened candidates. Commissioners John Martin and Mike Samson are up for reelection next year.

Fred Malo Jr., Carbondale

The affordable housing runway train

Who can refuse free money? Certainly not the local or the national affordable housing development firms. Certainly not the city of Glenwood Springs officials, our city councilors or even the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA).

Most recently, our esteemed governor, through the state of Colorado passed Colorado’s Proposition 123 program, a $320 million annual fund to support Colorado communities that want to increase their amount of affordable housing. This program appears to be available over a several yearly period and will financially assist any development form to build affordable housing projects throughout COlorado cities and towns. ALso, it appears that the governor has made it mandatory that they build a certain quota of affordable housing each year in order to remain eligible for this funding (it would appear that Glenwood Springs would not have any trouble meeting that quota).

So, why wouldn’t developers jump at the opportunity and take all the money that you can while the money is still available? In fact, why not build an affordable housing project on every open space left in Glenwood Springs? This appears to be the position taken by the city of Glenwood Springs officials without a public vote from its residents? The problem is simple: the affordable housing runway train will eventually crash: no more open space, no more room for public parks and, most importantly, nothing left for the present and future children to decide what they may want to do with that land. Ironically enough, the public decision makers are the same people that preach the need for open space, Green New Deal and climate change — not, however, when free money is available for these projects. In fact, once again, after a very defiant no vote from the local residents regarding the future usage of “The Confluence.” 

City officials (and the Post Independent) recently suggested that we reevaluate The Confluence’s future usages. The question that comes to mind is, are our city officials aware that this is public land and that any major decisions should be handled via a public vote? The city officials represent us, but do not own the land — the residents do. Be aware, this does not appear to be the case. I truly understand the lack of housing is an issue; however, at what cost? Isn’t the quality of life one of the major reasons for living here?

Joe Infascelli, Glenwood Springs 

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.