Letters on a range of topics
Intersection must be made safe
Due to the capriciousness of the Garfield County commissioners and lack of fortitude by CDOT, a dangerous intersection (Highway 82 at County Road 117) will now become an extremely dangerous intersection.
Within 300 feet of this intersection on County Road 117, there are three ingresses and egresses, two of which have or will have increased traffic accessing Highway 82. Within a quarter mile on southbound Highway 82 there is an ingress and egress for a large-volume business.
When the Skylark School was approved, safety recommendations were made by traffic engineers, and these recommendations have not been implemented causing a “non-compliance” by the county, as well as the school. The school has opened and nothing has been accomplished. Now, we have a 54-unit apartment development approved by the commissioners using the Skylark School as a precedent. In addition, we have a heavily traveled bicycle and pedestrian path crossing this intersection.
CDOT has failed to hold the commissioners accountable for the non-compliance. This is not an acceptable situation. It is time for CDOT to “throw up a bunch of Jersey barriers” and for the county, school and developer to comply with safety issues at this intersection.
Not much difference in candidates
A lot goes into weighing the dynamic of the council election: there are the issues, the candidates and the interplay between and among them. The field was so carefully vetted that the process, if that’s what it is, precluded what a prior president declared “the silent majority.” Hence the irony of splintering within the community. In other words, a few people speak and it’s not necessary what the people want or need.
Special interests disguised as progress are over-represented. For example, the boilerplate questions on the candidates profiles sounded like boilerplate answerers. That’s politics. Hopefully, some of those elected will work toward broader views.
No open proponent of a bypass is represented. Is something missing in this election dynamic? Where’s a Greg Durrett or a John Haines or the like? …. or is that another election?
One would hope for realignment of priorities that would include negotiation and compromise. That is what politics is really about. For that reason, in my opinion, Kathy Williams is no better or worse than the others candidates. Is untapped potential, potential in her or anyone else?
Old rail ticket office
In researching the location of the Colorado Midland Railways’ downtown ticket office, we found that one of the few remaining buildings was the Boston Shoe Store, right next door (north) of the ticket office. Lo and behold, that building still stands, now occupied by May Palace. Attached is a then-and-now photo. Lots of history in our little city.
Jan and Pat Girardot
Glenwood Railroad Museum, Glenwood Springs
Attitudes toward drugs
First of all I am happy that the trustees of Silt voted against the cultivation facility. I am against any growth operation and also hope that in the future the retail establishments will not line our city streets. With that said, what Mayor Aluise said in my opinion was correct. Alcohol is just as harmful as marijuana use. There was actually a business seeking a liquor license recently and not one person spoke in opposition to that.
Regretfully, I am included as one of those people. As I thought about that my excuse, and that is exactly what it is, just an excuse that I didn’t feel like I could do anything about it. I mean, the alcohol conversation in our town was dead 70 years ago, right? Wrong. The mayor was right, actually we now have statistics and facts backing years of experience that alcohol is a poison to our bodies, destroys marriages, accelerates depression, improves the chances of child and spousal abuse, is linked to unwanted pregnancies, injures and kills a lot of people.
Even those who voted for the cultivation operation seemed to base some of their reasoning that pot is not as bad as alcohol or tobacco. Again, in my opinion they could be right. And here lies the problem, the thinking seems to be since we have allowed one harmful substance in society we should allow more.
The hardest thing to hear in life is that you are not doing something right. Yet, seriously look at the facts, you think you’re immune to the problems of alcohol. You think those bad things happen, but not to me and my family because I’m responsible. Guess what? The guy who smokes pot, feels the same exact way. It’s hypocritical to think that you should be allowed to drink a beer and someone else shouldn’t be allowed to smoke a joint.
We as a society and especially children are motivated by fitting in. None of us wants to admit to it, but that is exactly what motivates us. When something is seen as mainstream or “legal,” there is a stigma attached to it that it is OK. If it’s OK for my dad or uncle to use it and he is a good guy then it is OK if I use it. Children respond much more to action than words.
The easier it is to access something, the more chance someone will use it. And, yes, chances are nothing happens, but those are just chances.
This is a big ship to steer. Pot hasn’t even left the marina so it feels like it can be stopped and alcohol is the Titanic cruising along running into chips of ice along its way. Is there an iceberg out there?
Let’s not forget Thompson Divide
The effort to protect the Divide has been under way for most of the time we have lived in the Garfield County. It’s been a painstakingly slow process that requires diligence and vigilance from all of us.
Fortunately, the news has been good lately for the Thompson Divide, with the Forest Service’s recent decision to protect large swaths of our public lands from oil and gas leasing. This has also been welcome news for local residents and businesses that rely on the Thompson Divide area.
But the oil and gas industry has challenged that Forest Service decision, and we’re still waiting on the Bureau of Land Management to decide on 25 illegally issued leases in Thompson Divide. Many leases held by SG Interests and Ursa Resources in the Thompson Divide have actually expired, but the BLM is considering allowing them to be developed anyway. That is what we are up against.
If we’re going to save Thompson Divide from thousands of heavy trucks, road building, industrial waste ponds and other environmentally unfriendly activities, we must answer every challenge and pursue every avenue.
When we moved to the valley, Nic in 2001 and Darren in 2005, it didn’t take long for either of us to figure out that this place is special and the people here have a strong relationship with the land. Whether we’re mountain bikers, ranchers, hikers or a family driving into the forest and setting up camp, we all seem to have a way to enjoy these public lands.
For those of us living in Carbondale, Redstone, Marble and Glenwood Springs, the Thompson Divide gives us a nearby haven of nature. We are so fortunate. Let’s not forget.
Nic Degross and Darren Broome
Owners, Aloha Mountain Cyclery, Carbondale
Something nasty being hidden
It feels like Kent Jolly reacts with his own brand of arrogance to Randy Fricke’s assessment of the intensely industrial process of fracking. One must be forgiven for not appreciating the benefits mineral owners receive, when a mere bill-paying consumer of natural gas. We still have the right to speak out when we see huge amounts of water used until it is poison for humans, animals and crops, even if we have a gas stove.
We can be forgiven for resenting the dumping of volatile organic chemicals into the air we breathe, especially when it makes us sick. We are not content to be collateral damage and are sick of our commons being a sacrifice zone for some company’s bottom line, even if we heat our homes with methane gas.
What has truly poisoned “the well of public discussion” is the lack of transparency concerning the ingredients of the chemicals used in the fracking process. Everybody knows there is something nasty being hidden. These are poison secrets both figuratively and literally.
As far as being entitled to their own facts, I would argue that this nondisclosure of fact makes industry entitled to its own facts.
The COGCC is so heavy with industry sympathy that it, too, suffers from a selection of facts. The appointment of this body was unjustly done by our ex-geologist governor and may yet be challenged in court.
No one knows what happens a mile underground with precision when fracking takes place. What we know with absolute certainty is that natural gas is produced by fracking; and this is all producers and money-making stakeholders care about.
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