Letters to the editor
Look up ‘illegal’
On the editorial to release money for immigrants, one word for the gentleman who worries so much about the illegals and their right to drive in this state: Well it’s called “illegals” when you’re not supposed to be here because you’re an illegal immigrant. So look up “illegal.”
Immigrant license money needed
Thank you for your editorial (3/9/15) explaining the obstacles the Republicans on the state Joint Budget Committee have placed on undocumented immigrants in their attempt to get driver’s licenses. Because of these funding cuts, now only the Denver office of the DMV can issue these lawful licenses, resulting in impossible service. Funding needs to be restored to match the need, so that more DMV centers, including GWS, can process these drivers’ licenses. That 8,000 undocumented immigrants already have these licenses ensures safer roads. That 8,000 more have applied speaks to the necessity for more staff and offices. Just when the law’s success was ensured, the Republicans cut off the funding. Hmm.
The action of Rep. Rankin and colleagues to underfund the law falls right in line with Washington Republicans’ proposal to close Homeland Security in order to undercut Obama’s immigration plan. Both are serious threats to public safety in an attempt to serve a dried-out ideology. As the Republicans proudly march down their anti-immigrant path, they forget that their mean-spirited strategies are also shortsighted.
Some immigrants may be without documents, but many others are lawful and can vote. Why should anyone vote for a party that takes heart in inflicting misery on many of our hardworking friends, neighbors and families? In the meantime, if Rep. Rankin and his JBC colleagues can’t respond to the human needs of undocumented immigrants, they should volunteer for a day at the Denver DMV and experience the chaos they have created.
Count the words
Why is Craig S. Chisesi’s letter on Ross Talbott in the Letters to the Editor? I guess his close-to-500 word count monologue must have slipped by whoever watches over things like that. Maybe you should hire or appoint someone whose only job is to make sure no one exceeds the 350-word limit as noted in the rules specified, if for no other reason than to tick off Ross and those of us like him.
Editor’s note: Consider 350 words a guideline. Shorter letters allow more voices, but we don’t reject letters solely for length. Some we run as letters, some as guest opinions.
Rio Grande legally a railroad
Having worked since 1967, along with many others, to preserve the Rio Grande right of way as a public asset, I was astonished to learn last week that the county commissioners of Garfield County now want to subordinate that transportation right of way to development interests.
I was overjoyed that eight local governments agreed to purchase the right of way for what now seems the paltry sum of $8.5 million. Although disappointed that we were unable to persuade RFTA not to remove and sell the rails themselves, I remain delighted with the interim use of the railroad as a bike path.
However, through appropriate legislation (“railbanking”) the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad right of way, as purchased by the Roaring Fork Railroad Holding Authority and now owned by the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, remains legally a railroad. Thank God.
On March 12 at the regularly scheduled RFTA meeting in Carbondale, I planned to ask that all railroad crossings up and down the valley be marked on each side with signs stating as follows: “NOTICE: This is legally a railroad crossing in existence by reason of use. In the event actual railroad use is resumed this crossing may be reconfigured or terminated to conform with railroad regulations. Current use as a bike path is permitted but is not essential to its actual legal status as a railroad right of way.”
Tipton wants to repeal ACA
I was in attendance at the meeting in Glenwood Springs on Tuesday with U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton to hear what he had to say about current issues in Congress. Rep. Tipton primarily discussed ways to grow our regional economy, mostly through the removal of regulations that are preventing existing businesses from growing and new businesses from being able to start up.
He also discussed the Affordable Care Act as the Post Independent reported, specifically the unanticipated costs of the program, however, I never heard him say specifically that he did not want the law repealed as John Stroud reported in the newspaper. Rep. Tipton stated several times that just because we have mandated insurance does not mean we have access to health care. He cited the many doctors who refuse new patients or who have dropped current ones because of the insurance that patient carries. My understanding is that Rep. Tipton wants to repeal the ACA because it fails to provide accessible and affordable healthcare.
Editor’s note: We are confident in our reporting of the gist of the congressman’s comments. His communications director elaborated on his position in a letter Wednesday.
Arensman has walked the walk
Russ Arensman knows how to build a strong community, one from which we all benefit. I have personally enjoyed using two downtown projects he strongly supported during his last stint on the Glenwood Springs City Council: the new library and Ninth Street parking garage.
Russ consistently argued for keeping the library downtown, despite well-meaning protests from those who would have preferred cheaper locations along Midland Avenue.
As it turns out, having a downtown library accessible to a large cross-section of the local population is a win-win for Glenwood residents and visitors alike. I have been using the library to study over the last several months during different hours of the day. This has given me an opportunity to see the diversity of people who use the facility. The children’s area serves families of all ages. The computer banks are busy. Individual study rooms are populated by tutors and pupils, after-school study groups and armed forces recruiters. The adjacent conference room looks to offer up a space for everything from parent/child activities to adult classroom learning. The 9th Street parking garage provides an accessible, safe place to park off the street and avoid the dreaded two-hour, on-street parking limit.
Unfortunately I do not live in Ward 1 and will be unable to cast a vote for Russ. I hope this letter encourages others to do so.
Russ has shown his commitment to building a strong community in Glenwood. This is not an inexpensive place to live. But it is a place many of us love to call home. We want to know our tax dollars are being put to good use. Russ Arensman has walked the walk. He has raised his family here and understands the thin line some of us walk to remain here. We have all profited from his dedication, integrity and vision. Please vote for Russ Arensman to represent Ward 1 on Glenwood’s City Council.
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