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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,With the approach of the Re-1 school board elections, we’d like to support two excellent candidates, Debbie Bruell and Bill Lamont.Debbie Bruell is a tireless advocate for Carbondale public schools in a time that can best be described as divisive and controversial. Her commitment and positive attitude in the face of negative public relations and discord is commendable, and her extensive time served on several boards and accountability committees, and her years of school volunteer work provide a solid core of experience. Debbie would bring much-needed new energy and vitality to the board.Bill Lamont also shares a commitment to improving our schools, and his years of experience as a city planning director would be a huge asset. He was integral in the successful establishment of our library district, making possible marked improvements in our public libraries; established Advocates for Carbondale Education; coaches many of our kids in baseball and football; and is an impressive communicator who gets results. What both of these candidates bring to the table, which we feel has been lacking, is the ability to not only have an eye to the future but a critical ear to the present. We need leadership that listens to and involves the teachers, parents and students in finding and implementing solutions to problems, both real and perceived, now. As parents of three kids in the district who have attended schools in Carbondale and now Glenwood, we have a vested interest in the future, as do Debbie and Bill. Their commitment to proactive rather than reactive leadership combined with their hands-on experience dealing with the recent challenges in our schools, qualifies them to lead our school board. The Re-1 school board election is a mail-in ballot. Please vote for improved leadership and better board communication. And vote for Debbie Bruell and Bill Lamont.Craig and Pam WillisGlenwood Springs

Dear Editor, As a past president and a former member of the board of directors for many years of our local and wonderful GrassRoots TV, I want to bring some historical perspective to the question of what is and what is not appropriate to be shown on GrassRoots TV. We defined GrassRoots as a community service, not as an “anything goes, public access” station. We reserved the right to decide what was appropriate for broadcast, based upon the purposely-vague guideline of “community standards.” We did not charge for content aired on GrassRoots, but we did ask there be a local connection in the production of that content, or that the content to be shown had local relevance.The only semi-contentious matter I remember was when a presenter used some curse words on his live program. A few older members of the community objected. We had no hard-and-fast rules, so we told the presenter about the comments we had received. Without our taking a position on the matter, of his own volition and out of consideration for community members, he simply refrained from using more curse words.The present controversy is another matter. I doubt whether we would have aired the program in question, not on historical or political grounds, but for reasons of local relevance. However, even if it had been locally-produced, we would not have aired it for factual, historical reasons. The fact of the Holocaust is not a question of “consensus views.” The Holocaust is an irrefutable, established historical fact. One may have whatever views of the Holocaust that one wishes, but one has no right to deny the fact. If a projected program, denying established historical fact, was going to needlessly offend a part of our local community, we would not have shown it.Had a local producer made a film denying slavery in our country, we would not have shown it, regardless of its local creation, because of its denial of irrefutable historical fact, coupled with the offense it would give to members of our community. This matter has nothing whatsoever to do with free speech.Richard A. Sherman founder of the Roaring Fork Internet Users GroupAspen

Dear Editor,I would like to take this opportunity to express my support for incumbent Re-1 school board member Bruce Wampler, who is running for re-election on Nov. 6.As a parent of two children who have attended public schools in the Re-1 district and as a former school board member, I am greatly impressed not only with the background Bruce brings to the board, but with his approach to serving families in our communities. He has been the one board member who has consistently supported transparent and inclusive decision-making processes on major policy decisions. When community members are concerned about policy decisions that impact their children, Bruce advocates for creating opportunity for them to share their perspective, emphasizing bringing all stakeholders to the table. Quality education is of key importance to our children’s future; they will benefit greatly from Bruce’s continued leadership on the school board. Please join me in voting for Bruce Wampler on Nov. 6.Trési HouptGlenwood Springs



Dear Editor,It’s interesting that conservatives think illegals are covered by the law but not by the Constitution. Talk about having it both ways. The Constitution and Bill of Rights do not distinguish between citizens and noncitizens. Besides, there is no obligation to obey an immoral law. The Declaration of Independence emphasized that all men (not just Americans) are endowed by their creator with certain fundamental and inherent rights. Among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Thus, the natural and God-given rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness are closely integrated and interrelated. “But they came into our country without permission,” I hear many say repeatedly. Without whose permission? The whole population of the United States? The federal government? Why the assumption that either of those aggregates can have the right to give or withhold permission for someone to relocate here? This is a country, not a country club, and rights are natural, not national. If someone wants to come here and can do so without trespassing on private property, that’s his right and his own business. Therefore, whenever a Mexican citizen who has crossed the U.S. border in search of work to sustain or improve his life finds himself in an American jail for illegal entry into the United States, he should never believe that he has done anything immoral. After all, he hasn’t murdered, raped, stolen, or otherwise initiated violence against another human being. All that he has done is exercise the natural and God-given right to survive and improve his life through peaceful labor and economic exchange – the right that exists in all men everywhere. Who then are the real immigration lawbreakers – people who exercise their inherent God-given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or government officials who violate the laws of nature and nature’s God by punishing people for exercising such rights? The answer seems fairly simple. Betty MorenoRifle


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