Monday letters: heat tape, nominate a teacher, addiction |

Monday letters: heat tape, nominate a teacher, addiction

Less is more?

Happy spring. If you haven’t done it yet, you may turn off your heat tape (or any heating system for driveways or patios). Remember, these are great, convenient ways to prevent buildup of snow and ice, but they are not there for melting late-winter snows. Heat tape is commonly installed on north-facing roofs to prevent damage that could be caused by ice dams. Please know that conditions for ice dams are behind us.

If you live downvalley, when February arrives next year, notice if the heat tape has kept the snow from building-up on the eaves of your roof where ice dams form. By then, the job is probably done. Warmer daytime temperatures and higher sun in March can be expected to melt off the new snow, and your heat tape can be turned off.

Also note that heat tape systems are needed to drain channels for melting snow only when the air temperature is above freezing (or during daylight hours) and should therefore be controlled by a timer or sensor. You may visit to access rebates for timers. It could save you hundreds of dollars in one winter.

I offer this note to readers primarily out of my concern for the welfare of people (millions or billions) on our planet that will not have the resources to cope with climate change. Additionally, I ask you, the reader, to consider giving up your conveniences and activities that burn oil or gas.

If you purchase your electricity through Glenwood Springs (or Aspen), you may celebrate the fact that all your electricity is sourced from wind and solar. But your heat is probably a gas system. Can you turn off the heat in your guest room?

And how about your vehicle? Used EVs are surprisingly inexpensive.

What about your plans for travel by plane? How about doing something new in the valley and love local.

We share one world home.

Jimmy Byrne


Nominate a teacher

Summit54 has given the entire community an opportunity to nominate Outstanding Elementary Teachers for awards. Three teachers, from each of our three Roaring Fork Valley communities (Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt), will win cash prizes of $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second and $1,000 for third. (Nine cash winners.)

The deadline to nominate an Outstanding Elementary School teacher is 5 p.m. Thursday, April 15. Nominations may be submitted online at It only takes a minute to nominate your favorite elementary teacher and give that teacher the opportunity to be recognized. All teachers nominated will be featured in a special four-page insert May 19 in both the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and The Aspen Times.

For the past 10 years, Summit54 has helped provide academic and life enrichment opportunities for elementary students in our lower- and mid-valley. We wouldn’t be able to fulfill our mission without the selfless service of our region’s incredible teachers, who throughout the pandemic, have stepped up to provide in-person summer learning opportunities in outdoor settings as well as after-school tutoring during the fall, winter and spring. These teachers have helped our valley’s youngest learners develop a solid academic foundation from which to grow during the pandemic.

Truly all teachers in our region are outstanding teachers, and all are deserving of our recognition and thanks. Their service allowed our schools to provide in-person learning far earlier than most schools around the country. Let’s all take time to commend our teachers for their service. Please tell a teacher thank-you today.

Terri Caine, Summit54


Addiction does not discriminate

Upon reading about Carbondale’s possible recovery center and syringe program and, more importantly, the responses and opinions posted online in response to the recent article, I strongly felt the need to bring attention to them.

I must say — as a member of this community, as well as a former drug user — I am absolutely disgusted and appalled by the disrespectful, one-sided, ignorant and inhumane responses and opinions of my fellow community members.

Wake up people: Drug addiction can happen to anyone.

Don’t fool yourselves — rich or poor, young or old, educated or uneducated — it can and will take anyone in its path.

Put yourself in one of those addicts’ shoes: You live in an area that doesn’t condone addiction support options, rehab or recovery programs, facilities or funding, refuses to provide a means to attain clean “equipment” (that, regardless of what you think or believe, are and will be used anyway — clean or dirty) and in which almost all your fellow community members reduce your social status to “criminal.”

At least with a syringe program/needle exchange, those dirty needles won’t end up in your children’s schools or playgrounds, in our parks and outdoor areas, or littered along our roads.

Please pull your heads out of your rears and have a little couth, respect, consideration, understanding and humanity. Someday, it could be your kid struggling with addiction. Is this how you want your community to look upon and treat them while they battle and weather the worst experience and sickness humanly possible?

Remember the golden rule that as young people we are taught is oh-so-important? Do unto and treat others as you would want to be treated in return?

How about we all put our money where our mouths are and try actually practicing what we preach for once? Isn’t the world ugly and cruel enough without us adding to it by judging and condemning one another? BTW people, how about if you can’t be or say anything nice, then please, don’t say any damn thing at all.

Amanda Burk


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