Monday letters: Animal Control, out of control development, Trump’s motivation
Pets will die as result of decision to eliminate Animal Control
Many pet animals will likely die as a result of the decision to eliminate Garfield County’s Animal Control.
This department plays a much more dynamic role in the community today than it has before. Animal Control officers work with our valuable and progressive animal shelters to provide education, low cost veterinarian services, public safety and disaster relief.
There are over a dozen pet retail businesses in this county, two stellar shelters, as well as groomers, trainers, daycare, boarding, not to mention the ranching communities with horses and livestock. It would seem that the costs associated with maintaining this department could be more than offset by a series of economic benefits to the community.
However, let’s be clear about one thing that I believe many residents will care about. With this decision, now roaming strays will be more likely to be hit by cars and at risk of being killed by people who want to get them off their property. With the impending winter season, many pets may suffer and die without Animal Control to come to their aid. Dogs also could be killed by the Sheriff’s Department if an untrained officer deems a dog, cat or horse to be sick or injured.
I genuinely feel for everyone having to make these difficult decisions, and I am sorry for your position, Lou Vallario. These times are seeming to become complicated and emotional to navigate and we should support our community. Listen to your people. Did you ask them?
Stop building homes
The thriving economy of the Roaring Fork Valley is the beneficiary of beautiful scenery, a great climate and exceptional skiing. There are others around the west.
The two big problems facing such places are that they are not sustainable; and ratcheting complex economies back is really painful. It has happened a few times in the past. Now, climate change has become more apparent and it will reduce the amount of snow available for skiing. This has already drastically affected a number of traditional skiing areas around the planet. We are now at a point where we are considering pulling back on our economy voluntarily; before we are forced.
One option is to start slowing things down in smaller adjustments. Like downshifting a car. Another is to make a moral choice to reduce emissions for slowing down climate change. What we do here about emissions will have an infinitesimal effect on the planet in itself, but we ought to do our part. However, the tendency, as we have seen, is to avoid doing anything that would slow down personal profits. So, we procrastinate. From nations to small communities, emission reductions plans have been created with goals; almost none of these goals will be met.
All of this was plain to see in a recent article from Aspen Journalism. They detailed some research undertaken by Pitkin County to look at the impacts on climate and the economy of more home development through out the county. It turns out that very large homes not only use more carbon, but they do so at multiples per square foot of what smaller homes use. That is both to build and then to maintain. The county is considering reducing the maximum size of the remaining projects. Predictably, the building industry wants no changes, the planning department will wait to see which way the wind blows, the environmental community doesn’t want to become unpopular, and most of the rest of us haven’t given it much of a thought.
My position is simple: Stop building homes. You cannot keep building and stop climate change. We have to find a different way.
Don’t understand Trump’s motivation
I confess that I have no idea what is motivating Donald Trump. Rules associated with our election processes clearly allow him to ask for votes to be recounted, and as far as I can tell, those rules are being followed. Also, our rights to free speech apparently allow him to repeat conspiracy theories and make claims of fraud. I don’t like it that many of those theories and claims appear to be repeated without providing any evidence, but knowing about his history of failing thousands of fact-checks means that we should not be surprised about a few more.
Meanwhile, I don’t understand his refusal to allow his administration’s pandemic task force to share information with the pandemic team that Joe Biden has assembled. Nor do I understand what motivates his refusal to allow Mr. Biden to receive daily intelligence briefings. As far as I can tell, allowing either or both of those does not imply concession of the election by Mr. Trump. In fact, providing access to the associated information would almost certainly save lives, something one might hope would be of interest to him.
Imagine for a moment the replacement of one large military unit by another in the middle of a war. The commander of the incoming unit needs information about strategic and tactical objectives, intelligence details about enemy forces, specifics about distribution plans for ammunition and other supplies, and maps showing location of everything from boundaries of adjacent units to bridges that have been destroyed.
To further complicate that picture, imagine an outbreak of flavivirus impacting everyone in the area of operations, with plans for distribution of a much needed vaccine already being completed by a team under the control of the outgoing commander.
Now imagine the departing commander refusing to let his staff pass along any information. Clearly, the outgoing leader remains in charge until there is a formal change of command but that doesn’t mean that he is justified in withholding information from the incoming unit. And, in the military, if people die because of his refusal, he will be held accountable for those deaths.
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