Monday letters: Protecting lands, affordable housing, fossil fuels, Boebert antics, renaming mountains, supporting journalism

This land is our land

I agree wholeheartedly with Garfield County Democratic chairwoman Debbie Bruell’s Sept. 15 column in the Post Independent. Protecting the county’s magnificent landscape from industrial development, be it methane gas extraction or limestone quarries above Glenwood Springs, is a high priority for the citizens.

But the county commissioners stand opposed to the public lands that would be created by President Biden’s America the Beautiful and 30X30 initiatives, proposals to use public and private funds to promote conservation. They demonstrate their antipathy to Biden’s plans by supporting, through attendance at their meetings and $30,000 in taxpayer’s money, the American Stewards of Liberty, a private property proponent and climate change denying organization out of Texas.

These right-wingers keep referring to efforts to increase public lands as “land grabs,” as if the government officials who’re doing this are enriching themselves. Public lands are our lands, the people. Our elected officials manage these tracts for our collective benefit. Private lands are subject to the whims of its owners. If they decide to exploit their property for profit, the proprietary can do it.

As for the commissioners, they, as usual, have a one-track mind — methane gas development. The severance tax the industry pays to drill in the county makes the commissioner’s job easier. They don’t have to come up with creative ideas on how to finance the county’s services, which is perhaps beyond the capacity of these septuagenarians.

Bruell wonders how Garfield County, which trounced Heidi Ganahl, Joe O’Dea, and homegrown Lauren Boebert in last year’s election, could keep returning these reactionaries to the county commission by the narrowest of margins. It’s a mystery to me, too, but if the constituents of this county want more progressive, proactive representation, they’d better start voting for younger, enlightened candidates. Commissioners John Martin and Mike Samson are up for reelection next year.

Fred Malo Jr., Carbondale

The affordable housing runway train

Who can refuse free money? Certainly not the local or the national affordable housing development firms. Certainly not the city of Glenwood Springs officials, our city councilors or even the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA).

Most recently, our esteemed governor, through the state of Colorado passed Colorado’s Proposition 123 program, a $320 million annual fund to support Colorado communities that want to increase their amount of affordable housing. This program appears to be available over a several yearly period and will financially assist any development form to build affordable housing projects throughout COlorado cities and towns. ALso, it appears that the governor has made it mandatory that they build a certain quota of affordable housing each year in order to remain eligible for this funding (it would appear that Glenwood Springs would not have any trouble meeting that quota).

So, why wouldn’t developers jump at the opportunity and take all the money that you can while the money is still available? In fact, why not build an affordable housing project on every open space left in Glenwood Springs? This appears to be the position taken by the city of Glenwood Springs officials without a public vote from its residents? The problem is simple: the affordable housing runway train will eventually crash: no more open space, no more room for public parks and, most importantly, nothing left for the present and future children to decide what they may want to do with that land. Ironically enough, the public decision makers are the same people that preach the need for open space, Green New Deal and climate change — not, however, when free money is available for these projects. In fact, once again, after a very defiant no vote from the local residents regarding the future usage of “The Confluence.” 

City officials (and the Post Independent) recently suggested that we reevaluate The Confluence’s future usages. The question that comes to mind is, are our city officials aware that this is public land and that any major decisions should be handled via a public vote? The city officials represent us, but do not own the land — the residents do. Be aware, this does not appear to be the case. I truly understand the lack of housing is an issue; however, at what cost? Isn’t the quality of life one of the major reasons for living here?

Joe Infascelli, Glenwood Springs 

Fossil fuels? We need to stop

Carbondale’s City Market has about eight parking spaces near the entrance that are reserved for “hybrid” vehicles. Every time I park my EV there, I see cars that are not hybrid or full EV. I asked the manager about it. He said they can’t really do anything. On. Sept. 16 there was a little old lady that was putting her groceries in her gas burning car. I didn’t say anything.

But here’s the larger point. When I checked my online news today, I saw major problems all over the planet that are directly connected to climate change. Hundreds of fires, incredible floods from massive rain, drought that is killing crops, and heat that is killing people outright. There are stories about young people in the US experiencing great anxiety about the change. Young people are suing state and national governments to force them to become active in fighting climate change.

What needs to happen is well known. We have to stop burning fossil fuels. It’s that simple. Right away. So what about Carbondale? What can we do? What can we do that really makes a difference? How about we stop putting up houses and buildings that will be burning natural gas? Every new building or project that is burning fossil gas will be adding to our problem as long as it stands. I think that’s a crime. A crime against the next generations.

I wonder if the lady in the wrong parking place even understands what we’re facing. Or maybe, she just thinks it is not her problem. Saving a few steps to the store is more important. For a decade now I have been trying to encourage action to stop climate change. Any ideas on how to make that happen?

Patrick Hunter, Carbonale

Truth about Boebert’s lies

How easily she lies.

She lied about her background and education.

She lied that she was a successful businesswoman. (According to her congressional disclosure forms, her restaurant lost $143,000 in 2019 and $226,000 in 2020.)

She lied about the amount she spent on campaign travels in 2020, using donor money to pay off tax liens on her restaurant.

She lied to her constituents that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen.” There is, and never was, any evidence to support this falsehood.

She lied about her support of and involvement in the attack on our nation’s capital.

She even lies about her behavior. How dumb do you have to be to get thrown out of a show and then lie about it? She thinks she is above the rules of common decency and the rule of law.

We, you and I, are paying Boebert $174,000 a year. That’s $476 a day, every day of the year. She has no clue how to work with other legislators to get laws passed that will benefit our country. She habitually lies, is a public embarrassment, and with all the dire challenges facing our world is nothing but a vindictive obstructionist in our congress.

Annette Roberts-Gray, Carbondale

Renaming mountains

The front page of the Sept. 16 Denver Post announced the renaming of Mount Evans to Mount Blue Sky. With the new name, the mountain is a happy mountain. Next in line for a modern day rename may be the Roaring Fork Valley’s famous Mount Sopris that shines upon Carbondale. Richard Sopris was a mining prospector and Western Slope surveyor who at times fought our native Indians. He eventually became the 15th mayor of Denver from 1878 to 1881. Since Mt. Sopris has two pronounced peaks, it will possibly be renamed Mount Two Peak. There are thousands of objectionable names within our nation. History, be damned, we must change them all.

Floyd Diemoz, Glenwood Springs

Supporting local journalism

We are deeply grateful to the Aspen Thrift Shop for their generous donation in support of the Sopris Sun’s Youth Journalism Program. We believe good journalism is crucial to a functioning democracy, a healthy community and a shared social understanding.

Now in its third year, the Sopris Sun’s Youth Journalism curriculum teaches practical skills and ethical principles, empowering local high school students to become responsible journalists. One Program graduate came back as a Teacher Assistant and is now a writer/illustrator on our adult freelance team. Another is studying journalism in college and another youth contributor won a Colorado Press Association Award this year. We are extremely proud of our students. Every day they give us reason for a hopeful future. You can enjoy their work on the pages of the Sopris Sun and el Sol del Valle.

The Aspen Thrift Shop is a shining star for supporting nonprofits and school programs. As a nonprofit entity, we are so fortunate for their dedication and generosity.

With gratitude,

Sopris Sun Board and Staff (submitted by Kay Clarke, Carbondale)

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