Letters: Colorado River Fire Rescue, building codes, stimulus checks, and collective action
Thanks for Colorado River Fire Rescue
In the wake of our house fire up Divide Creek, Mitch and I feel so blessed by the outpouring of support from our neighbors, friends and family. We would like to first thank our neighbor Brent Herrala and his family for reporting and documenting the fire. Our wonderful neighbors, Mark and Lisa Balcomb for all their concern and offers of help. The Colorado River Fire Department was incredible in keeping the fire contained to only the house. They fought tirelessly for over 20 hours. At times like this you truly realize what an amazing community we live in. Words cannot describe our gratitude to everyone who reached out.
Sanja and Mitch Morgan
Roaring Fork Valley should update building codes to help combat climate change
Insanity, said Einstein, is doing the same thing but expecting a different result. Unfortunately, the Einstein diagnosis means that Carbondale, and this valley, are far around the bend. Some 90% of Americans now think climate change is happening.
But what are we doing about it?
While researching methods of dealing with the lowering of carbon emissions, I came across a Danish company that is manufacturing innovative equipment and products to retrofit and lower the emissions of existing buildings in Europe. Even Carbondale recognizes that existing buildings are a major part of our local greenhouse gas emissions. The spokesperson pointed out that, ironically, the world (and Carbondale) continues to construct new buildings that are also emitting greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels. These new buildings are now just added to existing buildings that need to be retrofitted.
What would Einstein say? When you find yourself in a hole — stop digging! The technology exists for new buildings to be free of emissions. We should demand that they use it. Parts of California are now requiring this. New gas lines are not allowed.
There are existing building codes that do require new structures to be more efficient. We also have new requirements for solar panels on some buildings. But all these buildings are still part of the problem. I suggest we get tough on this and only allow fossil fuel free buildings. And soon. We are in the midst of a development boom.
Changing these building codes will spur innovation and push for better pricing on the kinds of practices, materials and products that can solve these problems.
Don’t need a $600 stimulus? Donate it to those in need
Yesterday I received my $600 stimulus check. I began thinking about what to spend it on. As I went over the many options I realized that without the check I can pay my mortgage. I can pay my utilities, phone bill, cable TV, car payment, insurance. I can put food on the table. What happened to me that I deserve or need this stimulus check. Nothing. Why should I receive this unearned and undeserved windfall? I would like to challenge everyone who received the stimulus check who has a job and can take care of all your needs without it to consider as I have done to donate the money to Lift Up or some other charity. We have many of our fellow citizens who have fallen on to hard times thru no fault of their own who desperately need a hand up. It is difficult for me to see the need in our community and turn a blind eye while I think about spending my check on things I don’t really need. Please consider donating to help the people in our community who need our help.
Gary Paul Starr
‘We can make a difference through collective action’
One of the aspects of my job that I love the most is being out and engaged with my community, developing relationships, and tackling complex issues. I deeply miss gathering in the same room with my neighbors to discuss how we can improve our valleys and putting pen to paper on big ideas. Over the last year, just like everyone out here, I have had to rethink and retool the majority of my professional and personal activities.
All of our lives have been disrupted by this pandemic – shucks, it’s in the name — pandemic: global outbreak. Businesses have had to innovate to overcome new challenges. Schools have had to make tough decisions and adapt to evolving circumstances. Health care workers have had to persevere through months of consistent crisis.
With information coming from our hospitals and public health professionals on the deepening severity of our situation, I am reminded of how we must remain diligent in doing our part to stop the spread. I am motivated to do this by the people in my life who are affected by my actions.
I would never be able to forgive myself if something happened to my parents, my sisters, my friends if they became ill because I wasn’t careful, because I thought that I was the exception to public health’s warnings. Beyond those who are closest to me, I think of my fellow community members and the immense weight that comes with health and financial hardships.
I think we can all agree that we want to see our local business community succeed. I chose this community precisely because of our vibrant local character. This is why I prioritize shopping local and order delivery or take out as often as possible. If we all follow the fact-based protocols of limiting gatherings, wearing masks, washing hands, keeping our distance and staying home when sick we can bring our numbers down, but we ALL have to do our part.
We can make a difference through collective action. This is what the United to Stop the Spread campaign asks us to do. Encourage your neighbors and friends to take health protocols seriously for our businesses, our schools, our families and our essential workers.
Team member for the United to
Stop the Spread campaign
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