Letters on the election, bridge and other divides
Editor’s note: Today, you, the readers provide the commentary for this page, except for the editorial cartoon, which is included to provide visual relief.
Letter distorted Sullivan, Jankovsky records
In a recent letter to the editor by Dylan Lewis, a member of Jankovsky’s campaign team, several inaccurate assumptions were made.
First, Tom does not speak for all of Garfield County, especially not in Carbondale, the district he supposedly represents.
Next, Dylan asserts that his candidate has stood up to oil and gas. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tom’s campaign is financed by the industry and his voting record proves, beyond any doubt, that he’s in their hip pocket. Show us one document he has signed that opposes drilling in the Thompson Divide or a resolution that states Four Mile will not be used as a haul route.
He demeans Mr. Sullivan’s service to the community. Michael has served for six years on Planning and Zoning. He has volunteered as chairman of the chamber marketing committee, for the district and Sopris Elementary accountability committees, as chairman of the Spring Valley Caucus, and for several years as a coach for the Glenwood soccer club.
Finally, Mr. Lewis makes the completely false statement that Mr. Sullivan vows to fight the industry that feeds the economy. To the contrary, Michael has made it perfectly clear that he supports oil and gas. His proposal for reviews in residential zones stands as a protection of our health and safety.
I have known Michael for many years and he has my full support as our next county commissioner. Let’s stick to the facts.
Industry ignores benefits of Thompson Divide
I was surprised when I read the West Slope Oil and Gas Association’s false claim that the Thompson Divide simply does not exist; that it was a fiction created by the BLM and various conservation groups. The industry, once again, has not done its homework on Thompson Divide. By denying the existence of the Thompson Divide, the industry denies the many real benefits the Thompson Divide provides to the community and region.
The Thompson Divide area has served as an invaluable watershed, and as an important hunting and grazing area, for well over a century. In the spring of 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt embarked by horseback on a two-week hunting expedition to the headwaters of Divide and Thompson creeks — the area now known as Thompson Divide. In his personal journals, the president described these lands as “a great, wild place” tucked between the Denver-Rio Grande rail line and the rural towns of Carbondale and Redstone, from where local ranchers rode their horses up to greet the president.
Since then, some five or six generations of families, including mine, have relied on this land for their livelihoods. To this day, we depend on the Thompson Divide for our drinking and irrigation water, and grazing lands for our cattle. Yes, the Thompson Divide has been known by many names over the last 100-plus years, but that does not negate the many values that it provides to our communities.
Instead of acknowledging the many benefits and services the Thompson Divide provides to the region, industry denies the existence of the area and cynically attempts to split the nearly unanimous support for protecting the Thompson Divide by raising the specter of wilderness. The oil and gas association would be wise to stop playing politics and get back to the negotiating table.
Glenwood doesn’t benefit from new bridge
What will the CDOT bridge replacement do for Glenwood Springs?
Move more vehicles to the Roaring Fork Valley? No, the new bridge is the same as now, just wider.
Add anything to the town character? No, just the opposite.
Kill any chance of a future bypass? Yes.
Add another river crossing? No.
It seems to me that the people who live and work in Glenwood Springs should be able to try to preserve our small-town atmosphere while the traffic increases due to upvalley growth.
We need a bypass for trucks and upvalley workers and have talked about it for 40 years. This is our opportunity to make a first step — a giant leap over what has not begun. Midland could have worked but it is built up now. So far the railroad corridor still has train tracks on it since 1886.
If a new bridge is built a bit west of our old bridge, it could line up with the railroad corridor and a two-lane, nonstop bypass could be built in stages. I am confident that an engineer could be found somewhere who could design the bypass to be narrow, quiet, a bike path and attractive.
Our town could function normally during construction. Money will be saved by not demolishing and removing materials and traffic control. Not so much noise, dirt and loss of business and tourists and we can enjoy what we have recently done to improve downtown.
You choose: Life or not
One of the oldest issues in the history of civilizations is “What do we do with unwanted babies?” (Fathom the thought.) In the modern age of the 21st century, we have the ability to abort the birth of a child. The ancient Greeks, who did not have our wonderful medical technologies, simply put the newborn in a basket and left it at the base of the local temple; whoever wanted one could take it.
In their expensive political ads, our Sen. Udall is running on a campaign of a woman’s right to choose to abort the birth of that baby (it’s her body); his opponent, Mr. Gardner, opposes this choice of abortion and promotes the availability of contraception products “over-the-counter.”
What about that baby’s rights? In the hallowed document, our United States Constitution, the preamble states — certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When do the baby’s “rights” begin? When does the baby have a right to life? When is a baby a baby? Is it at conception, the first trimester, the second, when?
Absurd discussion. I have not found one mother who does not believe that baby is alive inside her the first day she notices. Whoa! What is this? Facts: 100 percent of all births and abortions are on mothers; 95 percent of the votes, on all “laws” are by men; sex is as natural as falling off a log; that baby is not a Republican or a Democrat yet. Does the mother have the right to terminate that baby’s life? In all other cases of life termination, we have a process of juries and judges; not in the case of abortions.
Except for the cases of rape, incest and ignorance, the woman and the man had a choice before conception, albeit not necessarily an intellectual one. Sen. Udall addresses the issue after the fact of conception. Mr. Gardner addresses the issue before conception. As a man, I sure would like to see that baby have a chance at magnificence. We have a definite choice during this election. You choose in which society you want to live.
Richard J. Panter
What we can learn from Scotland
Scotland nearly seceded from the U.K. The academic and writer Juan Cole summed up the political differences that were never mentioned as reasons.
• 64 percent of Scots don’t like the conservative Cameron (prime minister) government.
• Scots get 40 percent of their electricity from renewables and want more. Cameron wants to frack.
• Scots want more and better higher education and research. Cameron is cutting spending. The U.K. is at the bottom of the G8 on education spending.
• Scots like the national health service and believe Cameron is going to privatize it.
• Scots believe in government redistribution of wealth downward and Cameron is making society more unequal.
Sound familiar? I would have liked to see the Scots split the sheets with the U.K.; it would have been an interesting experiment. There are a lot of similarities between the current government philosophies in the U.K. and in the U.S. and Colorado; and the same poor results.
The Scots have made me proud of my partial Scottish heritage. Aye!
We need a vote, not a bridge
Did I miss something? Publisher Michael Bennett’s column in the Post Independent Sept. 17 stated a “vocal minority in Garfield County.” Really? Was there a citizens’ vote somewhere included in this process or where did he conclude who the minority or who the majority may be at this point in time?
As we all know, everything is in the aging process every day. You, me and the Grand Avenue bridge. I take care of myself, and the keepers of our bridges should do the same. I don’t see any load restriction posted. Narrow lanes, so what? It keeps drivers at a slower pace and hopefully one spot they won’t be texting. What’s the hurry just to get to Highway 82 and the narrow two-lane road into Aspen?
I don’t believe I am in any minority, and I do believe we all should have a vote.
The new bridge is just what we don’t need.
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