Monday letters: Ascendigo, time for grace
Commissioners should deny Ascendigo camp
The Ascendigo hearing was a detailed (and at times exhausting) consideration of complex issues. The commissioners should be commended for their patience and comprehensive review of the applicant’s position and the views of many of the more than 620 neighbors who oppose it.
While the public hearing has concluded, and the board must deliberate before ruling, I’d like to repeat what the commissioners said at the end of the proceedings — they are free to reopen the public hearing for further clarity, and I encourage them to do that. Since Ascendigo’s consultants challenged the opposition’s claims on water and traffic, and if those challenges are wrong, and a decision to approve is made based on them, there could be serious consequences.
Wouldn’t it be best for the county and its residents to preserve our most precious resource — water? There is strong evidence to suggest that Ascendigo will use much more water than a 15-home subdivision built over a decade. If the commissioners approve the Ascendigo project, it would send the message that environmental sustainability and preserving water is not an important objective.
If county planning staff is recommending 35 conditions that will put restrictions on this camp, won’t that ultimately have detrimental consequences for the camp? How can a camp function if noise level is restricted to residential limits and traffic is capped at 210 vehicle trips per day (tripling the traffic there now?) Don’t these “conditions” just prove that this use of the land is not compatible, hence it should be denied? How will restrictions be monitored and enforced? And what happens if Ascendigo violates them? What’s the consequence? By then it’s too late to go backwards.
Don Flaks begged the commissioners to visit Harmony Lane and nearby subdivisions to experience the quiet there before they make a determination that could forever change the character of Missouri Heights. I hope they do that before such a critical decision is made that, if approved, will hurt hundreds of their constituents.
If denied, it would hurt no one. Ascendigo will continue to operate. They would have to find another location for their camp.
How about no more Missouri Heights development?
The Ascendigo development proposed for Missouri Heights is out of place and out of time.
We’re in a drought, the most severe in hundreds of years, only to get worse before it gets better. Scientists are alarmed by the speed at which their climate model projections are becoming a reality. They have been warning us for many years.
The Garfield County commissioners have a responsibility to the whole of Missouri Heights, not just one 126-acre parcel. The aquifer doesn’t stop or start at the property line, nor does the drought. Instead of approving a development requiring more water usage from Missouri Heights’ already limited supply (most have no irrigation water this year, myself included), they should be working first and foremost with MH residents and Eagle County to develop a water resiliency plan.
It is time to employ the precautionary principle. It well could be there is not enough water in Missouri Heights for any further development in the foreseeable future.
This is the kind of visionary, enlightened and courageous leadership we need for these times, not business as usual.
Sally A. Ranney
Missouri Heights, Carbondale
Time for grace
We all like free gifts, especially currently in our culture. We’re all looking for that deal online, that item on sale. Grace is the unmerited favor from God. It’s a free gift.
Perhaps it’s time for us to give some unmerited grace to our fellow humans in our valley. The tension, anxiety and strife is palpable from Parachute to Aspen as we drive to our appointed jobs. The shortness of workers is wearing our happy natures thin. The old ways — pre COVID that is — would have us saying “I quit! I don’t have to take this anymore!” Well, we cannot afford to quit, and we cannot afford to quit on each other.
We cannot possibly understand the burdens each of us are carrying at this time. Some of us are working the equivalent of two full-time jobs or more covering shifts because of the lack of workers. It’s evident everywhere we go, and there are a lot of us complaining about it.
Perhaps it is time for another approach. Instead of building up those offenses and curses and opinions and venting them on each other, perhaps it is time we give some unmerited favor to one another. Be mindful that sharing our own anger and complaints at the situation might add to someone else’s mental burden.
Be generous with our smiles, engage the grocery clerk with an uplifting word. Share a bit of humor with those waiting in line at Walmart. Slow down 5 mph and wave all five fingers in a friendly way at that one passing too fast or tailgating.
We can afford to give kindness to others. It’s a free gift. It eases our own burdens. I bet as you read this you can think of at least one person you could grace a smile and a kind word upon. Grace costs us nothing, but the reward ripples outward and changes our environment.
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