Monday letters: Rifle housing petition, thanking Rankin, microplastics concerns

Setting the record straight on petition against Rifle housing development

On Nov. 23 2022, Rifle Citizen Telegram printed an article titled, “EcoDwelling subdivision one step closer to developing in Rifle.” In the article, John Kuersten, a representative for the development company made an inaccurate statement in regards to a petition that circulated in Rifle. The petition is against a portion of their high density development plan of 205 homes each on a 3,000-square-foot lot. 

Kuersten was quoted as saying, “70% of the signatures aren’t even from the Rifle area”. Here are the statistics, 230 signatures are from Rifle residents, 184 from Garfield county residents and 10 other people were born and raised in the surrounding area and retired to Mesa county. Two sites are in Garfield county, the property to the west of the Grand River Hospital and lower W. 16th Street. Garfield county residents have a right to be informed and choose to voice their objection through this petition. Kuersten also stated he was “shocked” by the petition. Good, because it is shocking to me and other Rifle residents that this out-of-state company quietly bought four separate properties, built a factory off Hwy 6 and then announced their intentions. 

This petition was presented to the Planning and Zoning commission as well as Rifle City Council. It contains maps about the four proposed sites and the subdivision design. Please review this petition packet along with other objection letters at Rifle City Hall. 

Get the real facts and not generalized statements. Review the November 16th meeting on when the Council voted 3-2 in favor of the first building site. Thank you Mayor Ed Green and councilman Joe Carpenter for having your own thoughts and vision. The vision to understand that we the City of Rifle are not obligated to absorb the Highway 82 corridor growth to satisfy the needs of Aspen. As the mayor stated so eloquently , “We have our own community, own history and own spirit and I do not believe that we need to compromise our community in order to accommodate the Upper Valley.”

Harold Martinez, Rifle

Thanks to Rankin for his public service

I was upset tonight to learn of Bob Rankins resignation from the Colorado State Senate. I am sure he has his reasons, personal or political. That is really none of my business.

But I feel a loss, personally, for our West Slope and for Colorado.

Bob was, is, a friend of mine, a friendship I have cherished for years. 

During much of his tenure, both as a Representative and a Senator, I was registered as a Democrat, primarily due to the Trumpublican regime. But I always voted for Bob. We disagreed on many things, but when it came to Bob’s role and work in the legislature, that didn’t matter. Yes, he was and is a man of conservative principles, some of which I don’t agree, but surprisingly in many ways I do. 

What mattered to me most was that Bob was, and is, a man of integrity, a man who fought for the good of both the West Slope and all of Colorado. He was, as he told me, a problem solver, regardless of party and ideology. And he was. I hope that he still will be.

I’ve rarely met anyone of his intelligence or ability in politics. His resignation, especially at this moment, is a loss for all of us in Colorado. I will miss his steady hand, his ability to work with others and his ability to help all of us solve the serious problems we face. Perhaps most of all I will miss his ability to listen, listen to all who he represented, and especially his wonderful sense of humor even with the most serious subjects.

Bob, we will all miss you, whether we know that or not.

Kendrick Neubecker, Glenwood Springs

Microplastics have found a home for the holidays 

This semester, an Ecology class at Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley researched the presence of microplastics in the local ecosystem. We hypothesized that the resident great horned owl pellets would contain traces of microplastics. Furthermore, finding microplastics in owl pellets would prove that microplastics move through and contaminate the entire food web because owls are apex predators. Microplastics are classified as pieces of plastic smaller than 5 mm that are usually colorful.

We tested our theory by collecting owl pellets from a great horned owl nesting location found on the CMC Spring Valley Campus. We gathered several pellets, dissected the materials within the pellet, and further broke apart the pellets using a liquid mixture. We then observed the samples under a microscope and observed small reflective particles. 

To confirm that the particles were plastic, we burned them with a flame. Particles that were made up of organic material turned black and charred. Microplastics, however, melted and produced the smell of melting plastic. Our experiment confirmed our hypothesis and showed the presence of microplastics in the pellets. In addition, we found a 6 mm object embedded that displayed qualities of plastic when burned. This object would be classified as a macroplastic. Any plastic contamination is alarming and demands action. 

Further research is necessary, as this evidence leads us to believe that the presence of microplastics in less trafficked areas raises concerns for the rest of the community. Therefore, we encourage all residents to reduce their use of single-use plastics and always clean out and properly dispose of waste. 

Sara Gordon’s Ecology Class, Fall 2022 Spring Valley: Nathan Thompson, Arely Cervantes, Jessica Wurtsmith, Haven Larrabee-Davis, Max Kilcoyne, Glenwood Springs

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