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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,Should Congress allow Americans a greater degree of control over their retirement by creating personal savings accounts through Social Security? It seems many people either favor or oppose personal accounts based on their party affiliation. I dont understand the partisan approach, in that President Clinton also proposed personal accounts in what he called the Universal Savings Account Program. The USA accounts were part of Clintons desire to fix Social Security in the late 1990s.Few people seem to talk about Clintons support for reforming Social Security, but I believe it is important to remember, because fixing Social Security should not hinge on partisan politics. President Clinton was a champion of personal accounts, and I think we should all join in an effort that is, or at least should be, a bipartisan effort.Gabe GilliamGrand Junction

Dear Editor,Where was all the yelling and screaming when activist judges (e.g. the U.S. Supreme Court) installed George W. Bush in the White House back in 2000? The right-wingers only have problems with the judicial system when they dont get their way. For Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to tell the American people that filibustering judicial nominations are acts against people of faith is the icing on the cake of the GOP propaganda machine, and one of the stupidest statements Ive ever heard. Whoops except one. (Remember when Democrats wanted to ban the Bible?)Take heed GOP, for when the shoes on the other foot, this wont be forgotten.Dana AndersenNew Castle

Dear Editor,The arrogance shown by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association concerning drilling on the Roan Plateau is appalling. This is evidenced in recent statements by Greg Schnacke, COGA executive vice president, that the industry has legal right to drill up to 3,000 wells atop the plateau. This would create an industrial zone on the plateau, and this contradicts COGAs more environmentally friendly position taken during BLMs public comment period. However, as pointed out recently, in M. Chiropolos letter in the April 15 Post Independent, and an April 13 Post Independent article, federal law requires the BLM manage the Roan Plateau for multiple use, sustainable yield, and preservation of wilderness lands (i.e. this land is not just for the pleasure of the gas industry).It is clear the industry has only one intent to lease and drill as many wells as possible, wherever they can, and to make maximum profits for themselves and their shareholders. This is corporate greed at its finest. Public lands are at stake. The industry has no concern for the wishes and welfare of the citizens of Garfield County so much for their good-neighbor public relations campaigns.In spite of what COGA says, law requires the BLM manage these lands and balance energy needs with other uses (e.g. back-country recreation) while maintaining adequate protection of the environment. The BLM must take into full account the wishes of the community, and not just listen to the demands of the gas industry.Bob MilletteGlenwood Springs



Dear Editor,Once again the leaders of the state have showed their ignorance. While they continue to play Big Brother, and propose illegal laws that impugn my constitutional rights, like banning smoking in public places, they pass on important laws. For the second year in a row they have passed on making identity theft a felony. So it seems that our elected leaders care more about telling people how to live their lives than stopping people from taking your life. What will they do next?Mitchel HelleGlenwood Springs

Dear Editor,A few years back, an 84 Lumber sign was perceived to be blocking the view of Mount Sopris. Sweeping sign codes resulted. Then there was the proposed salt extraction plant that would have improved the Colorado River, to the benefit of everyone downstream. It wasnt compatible with the vision.Sometime back then we approved a college district, but they built it out of sight and virtually inaccessible, as though we were ashamed of it.This last fall, the citizens voted school bonds, not realizing that the removal of businesses that would result. During this time, the city and county built huge edifices without a vote of the people and without adequate parking, even for employees.Now Roaring Fork Transportation Authority wants to rip up the railroad, in spite of a study indicating future need for light rail.Have you noticed the huge concrete box at the flank of Red Mountain? How about a huge mural on the front, depicting Red Mountain in its former glory?All this would be hilarious if I wasnt one of the victims.Ross L. TalbottNew Castle



This letter was originally submitted to Georgianna Contiguglia, state historic preservation officer.Dear Editor,At its recent board meeting, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority voted to tear up the rails of the former Aspen Branch, Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. Since the construction of this railroad before the turn of the 20th century it:n transported miners, their families and visitors to valley towns, including Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs;n helped build these very towns by bringing in building materials;n transported important personages, such as President Theodore Roosevelt;n hauled millions of tons of coal, used in the production of steel throughout the United States:n carried tons of silver ore for use in minting U.S. coins;n provided employment and income for valley families;n hauled out tons of strawberries, potatoes and other agricultural products;n carried marble blocks for many public edifices throughout our nation, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, the Lincoln Memorial, the Colorado State Capitol, Colorado State Museum, and hundreds of other statues and buildings. The output of the Colorado Yule Marble quarry was so important to our state that it has been made the official state rock.If RFTA is allowed to tear up the rails for scrap value, our valley, the state of Colorado and the United States of America will have lost one of the last intact standard-gauge branch lines built by the Rio Grande Railroad. We ask that you intervene to prevent this loss.Jan GirardotWestern Colorado Chapter, National Railroad Historical SocietyGlenwood Springs

Dear Editor,We wish to use this forum to share with our friends and neighbors residing in this lovely valley our experience in naivet and mistaken sense of security and trust. Take our advice, learn from our mistake, exercise caution, keep on the lookout, and lock up your homes and automobiles. Weve come and gone in our busy household for years with a haphazard care to locking up. Now we know better. Someone walked into our unlocked home and helped himself to a significant stash of hard-earned cash. He was also looking for prescription drugs which apparently he found in numerous other homes. Please learn from our mistake and protect yourselves, keep a watchful eye on your neighbors place, like the good neighbor Judy Hughes (Thank you, Judy!) who was instrumental in the apprehension of the suspected violator. Were also grateful to the citys police department for their investigation in this matter, as well as the lesson learned that things arent always as they appear. It is our hope that the perpetrator somehow learns to respect the principle that whatever we do to others we do to ourselves.Susan Wilmot, Larry Hon, Ruth Sears, Rebekah Apodaca and Craig BlodgettGlenwood Springs


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