Monday letters: Change takes action, don’t sit out election, mask overkill, vote Hanlon, vote Menconi |

Monday letters: Change takes action, don’t sit out election, mask overkill, vote Hanlon, vote Menconi

Change does not come from catchy phrases, it comes from action

Will what you’re doing now matter later?

Today you are on fire, you are doing everything you can think of to effect positive change in your community by scribbling on cardboard words like “Black Lives Matter,” Defund the Police” and other catchy phrases. 

These are really great words, but they don’t hold water (so to speak) unless there is action behind the words. The protests have gone on far longer than what they would have in any other time in recent memory, mainly due to a pandemic and nobody having a job. How many of you out protesting today would be out there if you had a job to go to tomorrow? 

We are creatures with short attention spans, and if not for the situation as it stands now, I’m afraid this would have ended days ago and we would be on to the next newsworthy happening.

True change in this country does not come from some catchy phrases, it comes from action. It comes from a tireless effort day in and day out to be heard. 

You can go out and protest and come up with some catchy sayings like “No Justice no Peace” but at the end of the day if you don’t speak truth to power and action, nothing will get done. 

If you go home after a few marches to your facebook, twitter, instagram and selfies and don’t vote, then your march is as useless as the words scribbled on cardboard. You effect change by voting in this country, and for too long young people are more apt to hang out on facebook than to actually research who their local and state politicians are and use their vote to get the change they desire. You know who you are…

Anyhow, here’s hoping you read this and decide to put your actions into something that will effect positive change in your community. We are the ones who have a voice and we are the only ones who can make change happen. Step away from your electronics for a while and speak to people in your community.

P.S. Our valley has the best police force one could ask for. Our officers are dedicated to our community and our safety, so please take the time to thank them when you see them out working hard to serve us.

Douglas Brown

New Castle

Sitting election out really is not an option

I’ve read with dismay news reports that young people out protesting police brutality, particularly young people of color, are not excited to vote in the upcoming election. I get that the slow process of change through government and the promises made/not kept can make voting seem like a waste of time and the wrong way to get things done. But one thing is for sure: Not voting in this election is the way to ensure that things get worse.

During the protests, Donald Trump has described himself as “the Law and Order” president and has called peaceful protesters “thugs.” He has ordered innocent citizens violently dispersed just to clear a path for him to walk, with members of our military in tow, to a church and awkwardly hoist a Bible for a photo opp. If we want any hope of change at the federal level, any progress toward long-overdue racial equality and the dismantling of racist institutions, Trump must be removed from office.

Sitting this election out really is not an option. Please. Register to vote ( and vote for Joe Biden in November. Encourage your friends to do the same.

But don’t stop there. Your life is most affected by elected officials at the local level. Determine who is running for local elected offices, like mayors, and city, town and county officials. Find out which ones support your values and vote for them. If none of them do, form groups of like-minded people and demand to speak with candidates about your agenda. If they are not receptive, run for these offices yourself or recruit people from your neighborhood to do so. The more our elected officials look like our diverse communities, the more likely government policies will reflect the needs of all people.

And, yes, keep protesting. Just don’t forget to wear your mask.

Eden Steele


Mask mandate is nonsensical

That it is a mandate to wear a mask for something we know so little about is equally an annoyance and completely nonsensical when coupled with the plethora of evidence supporting not only scientific data but also statements made by our public health officials to the fact that wearing a mask does not prevent infection or contact with this “mystery” virus or is safe or healthy for prolonged use.

Before COVID-19 came on the scene many other potential health risks due to other infectious diseases caused by other viruses didn’t force us to accept a politically manipulated response by our leaders in total ignorance of the facts to be commonplace and accepted as normal precaution and preventative care for the benefit of the public. Why now? What is so different with coronavirus that warrants such a response? It’s a very mild pandemic.

Before you throw up your hands and close your mind, consider this as the reason some are beginning to defy such an idiotic “mandate” and hostile to those who see nothing wrong with losing more personal autonomy for the good of the many. We have already surrendered so many freedoms for “national security” and the threat of daily existence in this world. The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back has presented itself in an enemy we can’t see. 

Those who’ve been elected to protect us have for political expediency lost all powers of reason and logic and have instead foisted on the common person restrictions that violate our rights of self-autonomy and self-preservation. Many of those I’ve witnessed most angered by this “defiance” are the very mask wearers lauded as heroes and obedient subjects of this now evident autocracy. I submit that the only contagion efficaciously hindered by the mask is that of common sense and public civility.

Tim Carrasco

New Castle

To mask or not to mask?

That is the question dividing a small town after City Council narrowly voted to mandate mask wearing until a vaccine is produced or herd immunity is achieved (i.e. news sources estimate this to be one to two years from now). 

Mandatory mask ordinances are not commonplace throughout Colorado. In fact, areas with much higher population densities than Glenwood Springs do not mandate mask wearing. Lonetree recently rescinded its mask ordinance. Several neighboring communities do not mandate masks, and yet people in those towns would utilize hospital services at Valley View Hospital. 

I question why City Council doesn’t just follow Gov. Polis’s lead on the mask issue. Gov. Polis signed executive order D 2020 092 allowing businesses to privately mandate masks for customers. Let the buck stop with Gov. Polis. It’s the “heavy handed” approach by City Council that has some citizens contemplating recall petitions. 

Paul Smith

Glenwood Springs

Hanlon for Senate District 8

I encourage voters to support Karl Hanlon running for State Senate District 8. With a 20-year history as a lawyer representing city governments and businesses throughout this broad district, Karl understands the issues and concerns that are important to the West Slope’s future.

With COVID-19 pummeling our economy and the concerns about getting back to a working government that will revive our businesses and the individuals in our communities, it is time to consider a senator that knows we are looking at a different future for Colorado.

Because of his strong affiliations and a history of working with others, Karl will find the creative solutions that best support West Slope interests and growth. He will make sure protecting our public lands and our environment is a priority so they are not secondary to industry interests. He sees a future where we get the infrastructure our local governments need, like the expanded broadband in Glenwood Springs, so each town will be ready for new opportunities.

Karl understands that water is more important than any other natural resource in taking care of Western Colorado interests. For the past six years, he has worked on the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement to successfully secure water rights for the West Slope in negotiations with 25 districts across the state.

The primary ballots are dropping in the mail this week. Now is the time for stronger representation for all interests on the Western Slope. Please cast your vote for Karl Hanlon.

Paula Stepp

Glenwood Springs

Menconi for Senate District 8

I’m voting Arn for state Senate because he has the experience needed to get things done. Arn has an MBA from the University of Denver so he understands the difficult task that small business owners are facing during this crisis. Arn served two terms as county commissioner in Eagle County where he passed some of the most progressive legislation for early child care, affordable housing, smart growth management, open space and more.

Arn founded the SOS Outreach charity that helps underserved youth from poor and minority backgrounds to learn about leadership and social justice through outdoor sports. He ran SOS for 21 years, and it still exists today in our community. Many of my friends have helped teach kids through SOS and continue to do so today.

I know that Arn is going to fight for a Green New Deal. He has been endorsed by the Sunrise Movement and has been actively fighting for climate justice for the last five years. I believe I can trust Arn to take these issues to the state Senate and keep on fighting for us.

Arn supports a wealth tax on residential properties worth over $5 million for five years to help make up for budget shortfalls from COVID-19 and fund critical programs like fire departments and education. It is time that second home owners paid their fair share. We need a candidate with bold ideas to defeat Bob Rankin, a climate change denier, so I will be voting for Arn in the Democratic primary. I hope that you will join me.

Birrion Sondahl


Menconi has real experience

We are living through historic times indeed.

Millions are marching through cities around the world to overturn systemic racism. Over 100,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 at the same time as millions of Americans have lost their jobs and their health insurance. With all of this, it is easy to forget the existential crisis of our civilization — climate change.

These are not times for conventional politicians. These times call for bold leaders and big ideas. That is why I am voting for Arn Menconi for state Senate. I have known and worked with Arn and have watched him every day fight for people and the planet. He is continually advocating, innovating and collaborating to solve problems. He doesn’t stop.

He didn’t just start fighting for people of color. He’s been doing it for 25 years. He didn’t just start fighting climate change. He’s been doing it for 25 years.

Whether he’s flying to Washington, D.C., on his own time and dime to lobby for the Green New Deal, or driving to Park City, Utah, for a conference of mountain towns implementing going carbon neutral by 2030, Arn is tireless. Imagine what he could do as our state senator.

Arn has the experience and tenacity as a former Eagle County commissioner for tackling climate change, accomplishing affordable housing and health care and passing immigration reform. He ran a charity for low-income, under-served youth for 20 years, with major outdoor sports industry CEOs and Ivy League deans on his board. He knows how to build the right team to solve complex problems. He listens, learns and never stops fighting.

Western Colorado has a choice in a candidate with real experience, with real results. Vote Arn Menconi for state Senate District 8.

Will Hodges


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