Monday letters: 480 Donegan, teacher thanks, Ukraine, Carbondale trustee endorsements
480 Donegan questions
I attended a zoom meeting on March 1 that was sponsored by the Lions Club of Glenwood Springs. Participants were representatives of the 480 Donegan project and the Glenwood Springs Citizens for Sensible Development.
During the meeting, Mr. Rosenberg stated that the maximum density of the 480 Donegan project would be 600 people. That statement raised several questions: 1. Do children count? 2. How will that maximum number be monitored and enforced? 3. Do the owners of the townhouses count in that total?
I’ve been unable to find the exact number of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units on the 480 Donigan‘s website. One would assume that the studio and one-bedroom units could have one to two people living in them. The two-bedroom units could have three to four people living in them. The three-bedroom units could have four to six people living in them.
These numbers add up to more than 600 people.
There are several other questions that I have not seen answered. Is there a requirement that the townhouses are owner-occupied? Are the townhouse owners allowed to rent their units or use them as VRBOs?
School mill levy thanks
The Roaring Fork Community Education Association would like to express our immense gratitude to the community for recognizing the value of public education and overwhelmingly supporting the Mill Levy Override last November. That vote provided a tremendous morale boost in what has otherwise been a very difficult couple of years for school faculty and staff.
Since the election, RFCEA and school district leaders have been working out the details of how to distribute the new funds. Now that we have school board approval of the plan, district employees will soon experience the promised economic benefits. In just the few days since new salary numbers were released we have already heard numerous stories of hardships that will be alleviated by the pay increase. Teachers and other staff are better able to pay off long standing medical bills and student loans, send their children to college without saddling them with debt, and make the transition from renting to home ownership.
But even more importantly, students will experience the benefits of a more stable learning environment and the community now has a stronger foundation to build on. Paying educators a competitive, professional salary means that students receive high quality instruction from experienced teachers who can afford to make a career here, instead of high turnover rates leading to a large percentage of staff who won’t be around long enough to establish roots in the community. More competitive wages for support staff means students experience a safer, more efficient school system that also opens up more opportunities for community interaction with our facilities.
While there is still work to do to address education funding issues at the state level, RFCEA is pleased to know we have the support of our local community, and will continue to work hard to ensure that all of our students get the excellent education they deserve.
GSHS science teacher
‘Yes’ to repeal annexation
It is my understanding Glenwood Springs City Council wants the developers of 480 Donegan to have an evacuation plan, but not necessarily have the infrastructure in place, before residents can start moving into the new buildings.
Over 60 years ago, the city of Glenwood Springs purchased the Midland Avenue corridor with a plan to make it a bypass away from downtown. What happened is the city also allowed more building in the area before the plan could come to fruition.
Before history repeats itself, Glenwood Springs should ensure the plan is completed and operational before building begins.
Ukraine, Iraq war comparisons
I can’t help but notice that the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia bears striking similarities to the unwarranted U.S. invasion of Iraq 19 years ago this Saturday (3/19).
The Russian people were lied to about the reason for Putin’s invasion, just as our leaders lied about the justifications for Bush’s attack on Iraq. Horrific scenes of destruction, dead bodies and children maimed by bombs are being kept out of the Russian media, just as they were kept out of the U.S. media. Iraq war protesters in the U.S. were subject to arrest, as well as derision by the general public for their “treason.”
Yes, there are differences between the Ukraine war and the Iraq war, but not to the victims. The innocent Iraqi civilians who were maimed, lost loved ones, or were rendered homeless by U.S. bombs, were no less deserving of our compassion than the Ukranians. But 19 years ago, there was no worldwide cry of sympathy and support for the Iraqi people. Because that war was framed and carried out by “the good guys,” allegedly fighting evil terrorists.
But Russian citizens consider themselves “the good guys” also, and believe their military is fighting Nazis in Ukraine. So next time the U.S. prepares to destroy another country with justifications of being the force of good against evil, take a closer look at what’s really going on. You might be as surprised as the Russian citizens are going to be when they find out what really happened in Ukraine.
Voting for Zane
When my ballot arrives this week, I’ll be voting for Zane Kessler for the Carbondale Board of Trustees. Even in a crowded field with many familiar names, Zane stands out. He is a committed public servant, with a long history of working in support of Carbondale’s community, land, water and economy.
His leadership in protecting the Thompson Divide — where I plan to someday teach my daughter how to ski — helped to ensure that Carbondale’s backyard will remain a safe place to live, ranch, play and explore for generations. And his role with the Colorado River District shows an understanding of how to get things done and work with people of different ideologies at all levels of government. He’s ready to be an effective trustee on day one.
I’ve lived all over Colorado and the West, and there’s nowhere else like Carbondale. Communities like this don’t happen by accident; they take leadership, vision, hard work and collaboration. Our town is facing opportunities and challenges that could have a profound impact on the home where I’m so excited to raise my family. I trust Zane to help navigate those issues thoughtfully and in a way that protects this place we call home.
Pray for peace in Ukraine
Here we go again with another life threatening crisis. I’d so much rather be having fun, but somehow the prospect of nuclear war with Russia compels me to write this warning. Yes, what’s happening in the Ukraine at the moment is horrifying and our hearts and tears are with these poor people, but please, take a step back a minute.
What are you being led to believe by the mainstream? What I’m seeing portrayed is that the Ukrainian president is a hero, valiantly fighting for his country and now pleading with an adoring U.S. Congress to not just supply weapons, but initiate a “No Fly Zone” over Ukraine. If this happens we will almost certainly be marching off the cliff toward WWIII.
War with a nuclear power? That certainly won’t help the Ukrainians. And for what? So NATO and the U.S. can park even more weapons and bio labs on Russia’s doorstep? Putin certainly isn’t a good guy in this, it’s horrendous what he’s doing, but you must ask yourself, “what would our country do if a world power was encroaching on our borders?” (read the Minsk Agreement follow-up memo). It’s not an excuse for bloodshed, only another missing part of the equation.
The situation is extremely complex and there are few good actors in this latest game of chess, only innocent political pawns … the Ukrainian people.
Yes, the pictures are tear-jerking, but we must insist that the United States not escalate this brewing cauldron of catastrophe! Please call and write your members of Congress. Have we learned nothing from our most noteworthy liberal commentators like Chomsky in his book “Manufacturing Consent”?
Don’t be manipulated into war! Pray for peace and inform yourself instead!
Reelect Erica for Carbondale
I am writing to urge Carbondale residents to reelect Erica Sparhawk for Town Trustee. She has led our community on important local issues, like the successful effort to make it more difficult for young people to purchase tobacco products.
My area of expertise, however, is climate, and I can say unequivocally that Erica has one of the strongest track records on climate protection.
Erica served as President of Colorado Communities for Climate Action, a large organization comprised of local governments that has become quite influential in supporting smart climate policies. At the state level, Erica testified on our behalf on many climate bills, including advocating for stronger rules for oil and gas operations that are designed to reduce methane and ozone emissions from wells, storage tanks and other infrastructure.
I worked professionally for five years on the successful effort to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector in Colorado. Our state now has some of the strongest rules in the nation governing oil and gas emissions thanks to the work of many people, including our Trustee Erica Sparhawk.
I want my trustees to lead on policies that make Carbondale a better place to live and protect the climate and environment we live in. Erica has proven that she is working to do both.
Please vote for Erica Sparhawk for Town Trustee.
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