Monday letters: Ascendigo benefit, supporting curriculum, on arguments, library responsibility

Thank you, Caverns!

On Aug. 26, my colleague Hannah and I, representing Ascendigo Autism Services, had the honor and privilege of being the guest and beneficiary of “Music on the Mountain” at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. What wonderful philanthropic community support it is for them to pick a different nonprofit beneficiary each week of the summer for their concert series on Saturday nights.

Not only was the music fantastic, but I was able to reconnect with several Glenwood locals about life — and what’s happening at Ascendigo. Bob Stepniewski and his crew were incredibly helpful and generous, and I’d say they set the bar for quality customer service in the Valley.

We had many people stop at our booth to inquire about the programs and services we offer, and share gratitude for the work we do. The acknowledgement feels great and I couldn’t help but pay it forward for the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park for their amazing philanthropy and community building. Thank you to Bob, his crew, and the community.

Dan Richardson, Carbondale

Supporting American Birthright

Having attended the last couple of meetings regarding the Re-2 curriculum standard, I’ve noticed a common theme among those who support the state’s 2022 standards. They are perceived as anti-Christian, anti-God, anti-faith, and anti-Western Colorado white male. They attribute these components as the problem behind why kids are not being accepting of each other. I find this puzzling because as a Christian, one of my core values is to love and accept everyone. I take that very seriously and teach it to my children. It’s also perplexing to me how they can be so unaccepting of me, as if I’m now the problem. If you are a left-leaning individual in the community, and the above paragraph describes you, I could sure use a hug right now. We live in a strange world, my friends, and outside of my faith in God, I would be feeling hopeless.

I am a proponent of the American Birthright Curriculum standard because of the boundaries it puts in place to protect our children. from woke extremists who have infiltrated schools with what appears to me to be an anti-America agenda.


Hello, my name is Lucas Villarreal, I’m an 18 year-old home-school graduate who has lived on the Western Slope my whole life.

I’d like to offer some context about fallacies and why they’re important. A fallacy is the use of incorrect or invalid reasoning in an argument that may otherwise appear sound.

After reading the cover article of Sept. 6’s Post Independent, I noticed several logical fallacies being employed.

Jamie LaRue, the Garfield County Libraries Executive Director, said: “Most of the books we see in libraries… were published in the past by mostly white, straight folks… In the past 10 or 15 years, we started to see this rise of new voices… These are from the traditionally marginalized. It’s LGBTQ, it’s people of color, it’s kind of these stories that start to reflect these emerging populations in America.”

This is an Irrelevant Thesis fallacy, a subset of a Red Herring fallacy. The issue at hand, as stated by O’Grady and Lepkowski, is children’s access to books with sexually explicit content. Mr. LaRue brings in a new line of thought about who are publishing books and what demographic they belong to. Mr. LaRue’s statement, while true, doesn’t offer a proper counter-argument, thus distracting the reader while masquerading as a reasonable response.

Another example is found later when Latino outreach director of the GCDP, Trinity Azuncena Stebleton said, “Do you want them (your children) to read or go watch a bunch of videos online?”

This is a Straw Man fallacy, another subset of a Red Herring. Stebleton inaccurately portrays O’Grady and Lepkowski’s argument. Of course parents want their children to read books, but they don’t want them reading pornographic books. Ms. Stebleton’s counter-point concludes that since O’Grady and Lepkowski don’t want children to have access to lewd reading materials, they must be against children reading altogether.

Educating oneself about the various fallacies is quite useful when encountering debates and discussions, as it can shine light on what appears to be otherwise sound reasoning.

Lucas Villarreal, New Castle

Responsible for youth

This letter is in response to your article, “Residents call for restricting access to certain books at Garfield County Libraries.”

I commend John Lepkowski and Trish O’Grady for taking a stand against highly inappropriate books in our libraries. Quoting the Colorado Legal Defense Group in reference to CRS 18-7-102, the definition of obscenity is 1) appealing to sexual interests and 2) depicting or describing offensive representations of sex acts or genitals and 3) lacking serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. Under Colorado law, promotion of obscenity is promoting or possessing with intent to promote any obscene material. The definition of promote is to further the progress of a cause, venture, or aim; to support or actively encourage.

By refusing to remove the Henai books and similar others, the library is indeed promoting them. These books most definitely are lacking in value! These pornographic books have nothing to do with the “marginalized.” This as a defense spouts the commonplace rhetoric now used to justify anything.

If you allow anyone under the age of 18 to check these books out, you are essentially conveying that they are appropriate for that child. EVERY child should be able to feel safe in a library. Don’t excuse the inclusion of these books as an alternative to “reading or watching a bunch of videos online!” Viewing pornography correlates with increased desire for rough or violent sex, increased chances for divorce and more. And that relates to the adults. What about impressionable young people?

Why do our young people have to pay the price for others’ amorality?

Barbara Mcelroy, Parachute

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