Monday letters: History support, school board issues, COGCC coming |

Monday letters: History support, school board issues, COGCC coming

Support what we value 

Cities that embrace the history and culture of their towns recognize the intrinsic value that the local history museum brings to the community. 

Cities that support their museums understand that unique history attracts many residents and tourists to live in or visit their areas. Golden, Telluride, Littleton, Longmont, Loveland and Estes Park are some of the many communities that understand the value of their museums and provide a substantial funding base. 

A solid funding base is necessary to perform the many activities that keep vibrant, robust museums going. Without this consistent financial foundation, a museum will spend all its time fund-raising and cannot accomplish its mission of providing value-added services to the community. 

The Glenwood Springs Frontier Museum is much more than a building and the collection of artifacts that it houses. Do you know that our history museum preserves and maintains thousands of historic photos, genealogy records and countless other archival records? The museum preserves and maintains records of community changing events, both old and new, such as the Storm King Fire and the recent Grizzly Creek Fire, as well as other events like floods, avalanches, train derailments and even the advent of electricity to the city. 

The museum is involved in restoration of local landmarks, such as the Cardiff Coke Ovens. The Museum staff performs school outreach; going into classrooms to help teach local history, providing school tours, and helping with Senior Capstone Projects. 

The museum provides subject-matter experts which are sought out by magazines, newspapers, and television when historical background is needed. Do you want to know more about the Ute history in this valley; the pre-history of the hot springs, caves and river-mountain valleys; or to see what Glenwood looked like 100 years ago? Guess who can help? 

Museums that thrive have municipalities that support their missions. I encourage Glenwood Springs City Council to embrace our history and culture by providing on-going, sustaining financial support of the Frontier Museum so that the Museum can continue to be stewards of Glenwood’s history. 

Carla Malmquist, Glenwood Springs

Lack of school board transparency

My recent Colorado Open Records request results regarding the hiring and negotiation process for the new Roaring Fork School District superintendent has further eroded my trust of the RFSD and reinforces our community’s desperate need for increased transparency from our elected officials.

Our RFSD Board of Education has made it clear that they directly oversee only the superintendent. Therefore, I understand that it is their responsibility to follow through with deadlines and signed agreements/contracts. CORA documentation reveals that the Board of Education did not ensure that Superintendent Rodríguez obtained his appropriate license prior to Dec. 31, 2022. It is clear that the license was not obtained and extension not granted, per the legally binding contract signed by Rodríguez and board members.

My question is, if board members were incapable of ensuring that the superintendent meet legally-binding contract requirements, and have not been transparent with the people who voted for them, can we trust them to implement and oversee a down payment assistance program for their single employee? Particularly if it involves half a million dollars for a second-homeowner?

One of those requirements was to acquire a “Colorado certificate or license appropriate for the Superintendent of Schools.” Most superintendents in the state of Colorado have a Principal license. In fact, a Principal license is the license our previous RFSD superintendent had when he was hired and was expected to renew and keep active. A quick search on the Colorado Department of Education RANDA-landing page indicates that our current RFSD superintendent was hired without any license: teacher, principal or administrator. His principal license expired in February 2022. So it’s understandable why our board would include this provision and include a deadline.

The continued lack of transparency around this issue does not foster trust.

Lorri Knaus, Carbondale

Address the COGCC

On Thursday, the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission will be holding a live public “listening meeting” at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Since COVID, Zoom meetings have been the norm, so a face-to-face meeting with the COGCC commissioners is a very special opportunity to speak your view about oil and gas development in the state, or most importantly, in Garfield County.

Rewritten with the passage of SB-181 (2,000 setbacks), the mission of the COGCC is to “regulate the development and production of the natural resources of oil and gas in the state of Colorado in a manner that protects public health, safety, welfare, the environment and wildlife resources.”

In western Garfield County, over 12,000 natural gas wells have been drilled, impacting our environment and citizen health. Supporting the oily-wax trains proposed to go through western Colorado is one of the examples of the Garfield County commissioners’ over-the-top backing of the oil and gas industry. They once approved drilling an injection well within hundreds of feet of Battlement Mesa’s water treatment plant and the Colorado River. Their irresponsible action helped inspire the passage of the 2,000-foot setback limit.

So, members of the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance emphasize that the best protections from the effects of drilling and fracking, preserving our clean air and water, protecting wildlife and our environment are going to be from state O&G regulations, not from the Garfield County commissioners.

That is why the COGCC needs to hear from you — to let them know that clean air and water, saving the environment from climate change, protecting wildlife, and limiting O&G impacts are important to you and your family. 

They need to hear that the Garfield County commissioners do not represent the views of our community. To sign up to speak (2 minute limit) please register at, by noon on Wednesday, April 12.

Leslie Robinson, Chair, Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, Rifle

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