Teitler makes positive impacts, appalled by Kirchenwitz and PI, join 350 Roaring Fork, irony of protesters, overreaction to Polis, time for school board change, Kuhlenberg is right choice, honor airport signatures, Chase for choice, and the big picture | PostIndependent.com

Teitler makes positive impacts, appalled by Kirchenwitz and PI, join 350 Roaring Fork, irony of protesters, overreaction to Polis, time for school board change, Kuhlenberg is right choice, honor airport signatures, Chase for choice, and the big picture

Kenny’s earned it

As I exited the Roaring Fork soccer game a week ago, I ran into Kenny Teitler (Mr. Kenny) and his wife, Karla, as they were headed in. I was awed that they still take the time to attend local sporting events, even though their daughters are both in their latter years of college after having attended Roaring Fork High School (Colorado University and Stanford). 

Mr. Kenny has probably taught a large portion of the players and attendees, though, or interacted with them during his decades of involvement with Folklorico. 

Despite having retired from teaching after 25-plus years in the district, Kenny is not going anywhere anytime soon. He continues to invest his time and effort into being a pre-collegiate mentor for current ninth graders in the community. Mr Kenny has spent his career supporting bilingual education in our diverse valley. He (and Karla) have made positive impacts not only on my children directly but countless others during those 25 years. 

It’s time for him to take that knowledge and dedication to the board and support parents, teachers and the community that he’s such a valuable part of. Vote Kenny Teitler for Re-1 board.

Matt Brockman


Questioning Bruno and the PI

While reading “Who Are We Protecting?” (Post Independent, Oct. 1) submitted by Bruno Kirchenwitz, I could not believe the journalistic malpractice being committed with the publishing of this “opinion.”

In the same issue there were stories quoting local health care professionals who spoke about the mass amounts of misinformation contributing to low vaccination rates and vaccine hesitancy. 

As the editor of a newspaper, you have a responsibility to your readers and your community to act with journalistic integrity and to take that responsibility seriously when it comes to keeping your community safe and healthy.

In a community as small as ours, an outbreak could easily overwhelm our hospitals and health care workers in no time. By printing an “opinion” that clearly states false information that has been consistently disproved over the past year and a half, you have presented this false information as equally deserving of readers’ consideration as the information from health care professionals published in your articles.

I am appalled by the decision to print this dangerous information, and expect more from someone in your position, no matter the size and scope of the newspaper.

It has been proven time and again that the choice not to get vaccinated has an effect on the community as a whole, not just the person choosing whether to get vaccinated, as Mr. Kirchenwitz claims.

Also contrary to Mr. Kirchenwitz’s claims, there have been numerous studies conducted on the efficacy of mask wearing since the start of the pandemic. A simple Google search will turn up dozens of studies conducted by reputable institutions that were all used in the CDC’s decision-making regarding mask wearing.

The fact that you, as the editor, would choose to print this piece as being deserving of consideration without doing your due diligence as a journalist to ensure that the claims being made are not patently false is ethically questionable at best and implicitly dangerous at worst.

Jen Hempel

Glenwood Springs

350 Roaring Fork marches on

Join 350 Roaring Fork and march every Friday morning for climate justice, in keeping with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for the Future climate strikes. Meet at 8 a.m. in The Goat restaurant parking lot across from the Cowen Center at the intersection of Cowen Drive and Highway 133 in Carbondale.

The fossil fuel industry doesn’t have the right to destroy Earth’s climate for future generations for profit. Climate justice prevents them from doing that.

Our platform:

Municipalities, banks, investment funds and retirement accounts can divest from fossil fuel companies. While Congress dithers, we can undermine the industry financially.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission needs to halt all new drilling permits. The rulemaking process is still going on, and oil and gas companies are drilling under the old, inadequate rules. Almost three years after SB 181 changed the mission of the COGCC from one of promoting oil and gas development to “protecting health and the environment,” it still hasn’t required drillers to post a bond to cover the cost of capping orphaned wells or cleaning up fracking sites. There’re 60,000 active and inactive gas wells in the state, all leaking methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Capture coal mine methane. Many of the 23,000 abandoned coal mines in Colorado leak methane. That gas can be burned and used to generate power.

Xcel Energy needs to close all its coal-fired power plants by 2030 or sooner. They plan to run their Comanche 3 plant until 2041 and expect ratepayers to pay the costs of retiring the other two plants early.

Bring your signs and clear your shouting throat as we march for the planet Fridays. Your children and grandchildren deserve it.

Fred Malo Jr.


Two kinds of people

Those who believe in two kinds of people and those who don’t. 

I, too, saw the irony of both reproductive rights proponents and anti-vaxxers carrying the same signs. Keep your government hands off my body. One is advocating for a personal right to choose whether to carry an embryo to term and care for that offspring the rest of their life. The other is choosing to put self over community and deny public health consequences of their selfish choice. 

Both are falling prey to a Republican Party strategy going back to Richard Nixon (1974) to get out the base by faking interest in the right of the fetus when what they really care about is the right of the rich to get richer. Both sides have taken their eye off the real issue — what values will America move toward: a social contract to care for all of us or a me-first contract to maximize my position?

I find it amazing and sad that those who lead the Republican path don’t recall the French Revolution and the revolution that inevitably follows decades of economic inequality. I find it disappointing and sad that those who follow the Republican path choose to put blinders on and not see the deception hidden in Republican platforms. That platform is designed to enrich the rich and delude you into thinking you’ll become one of them. Maybe it’s time to become a “woke” Republican?

Susan Rhea


Overreaction to Polis perspective

In the Oct. 1 column, I think publisher Bryce Jacobson overreacted to the governor’s frustrated tweet about COVID-19, vaccination and “freedom.” Polis didn’t call vaccine resistors “pro-plague.” He didn’t say “vax’d or vector.” Portugal has vaccinated 98% of its older than 12 population. It helped that they put a respected admiral in charge. But in a moment of frustration with vaccine resistors, he said, “The murderer is the virus. … The true killer would be people who live like it is the 13th century without any notion of reality.”

Some cancer patients don’t feel “free” to get immunosuppressive treatments when COVID-19 is still circulating widely. If enough folks spread COVID-19 when we are inside this winter, places could resemble Alaska now, overwhelmed with unvaccinated COVID-19 patients and instituting hospital triage. Then other patients are not “free” to get their treatments. Or we go back to limitations on free travel and assembly, which shouldn’t be needed when good vaccines are available.

Our founders felt that dangerous smallpox variolation was worth the risk for the sake of their fellow citizens. Ben Franklin wrote an instructional pamphlet, of course. Ethan Allen, Vermont’s militia leader, managed to get arrested for blasphemy while violating a Connecticut law against variolation. If we outlaw vaccinations, will the “outlaws” get vaccinated? 

Seriously, it’s impossible to address all the claims against the vaccines, most quite specious. It’s an endless game of whack-a-mole. Yes, Big Pharma is making some money; the FDA speeded up its normally far-too-slow process; something about fetal stem cells, etc. As far as a giant conspiracy, the X-Files are still fiction. 

In reality, ICUs are treating many COVID-19 patients, mostly unvaccinated, not vaccine reaction patients.

The governor is not from rural roots, but try to understand him anyway. I come from a different planet than Commissioner John Martin, yet I’ve learned a lot about the local gas business from his statements. I don’t much like the governor, but he’s getting and giving good advice about vaccination.

Fred Porter


Time for school board change

I have lived in the Roaring Fork valley for the past 45 years. I attended K-12 in Carbondale, and I am a graduate of Roaring Fork High School. Both my children attend(ed) school in the Roaring Fork School District and have since 2008. My son would’ve graduated last year, and my daughter is a sophomore at Glenwood Springs High School. My wife is a teacher and former employee of Roaring Fork School District. 

I have had many varied experiences and encounters with Roaring Fork School District in that time, as a student, a parent and the spouse of an employee. Some experiences have been good, but most of my recent experiences with Roaring Fork School District “leadership” have been shockingly disappointing and, quite frankly, appalling.

In all my experiences, I have never seen anything like what is happening with our current administration and Board of Education. Parents and community members are being ignored and ridiculed, schools are not performing, and kids are being divided into groups based on politics. The climate of the schools is chasing our veteran teachers and staff away, making it so there are shortages in every school. There is no school spirit at any games/activities, and the morale of the school community is at an all-time low. 

The Board of Education blindly follows the superintendent’s directions, hides from the people they are elected to serve and won’t address the legitimate concerns that are brought before them. It’s time for a change. We need a Board of Education that will represent all of us, not just RFSD insiders. 

Vote for Chase McWhorter and Steven Fotion for Roaring Fork School District Board of Education. 

Mike Goscha

Glenwood Springs

Kuhlenberg the right choice

As a new public school parent in the midvalley, I have been surprised to learn about how underfunded our schools are compared with other districts in the state and that Colorado ranks in the lower third of the nation for dollars spent per pupil. 

The Roaring Fork School District is facing a budget crisis that desperately needs to be addressed if we want to offer our teachers housing and a livable wage, and provide our children with the tools they need to learn. 

Kathryn Kuhlenberg is the right board member at the right time for the Roaring Fork School District board, District E. Her efforts to support the mill levy override and plans to lobby the state to fund education in line with the national average show that she will use her extensive background in education policy, employment and finance to help solve the real issues our schools are facing. 

Our community is fortunate to have someone with her wealth of knowledge and expertise as a candidate for school board, and I look forward to voting for her this fall. 

Angela Anderson


Honor airport signatures

Bill Maher recently asked, “What do you do when people in government don’t believe in our form of government?” That question applies here in Glenwood Springs. 

Nearly 1,000 citizens recently signed a “Petition to Amend the City Charter” to preclude the city from selling, disposing or discontinuing operation of the airport without a majority vote from citizens. Seems simple enough. 

Currently, council may dispose of or modify the airport at will. CDOT’s 2020 Aviation Economic Impact Study shows the airport helps contribute $36 million in annual revenue to Glenwood and surrounding areas. The airport enjoys widespread support. Citizens might want a say in its fate. 

But the city is terrified of the petition and used Trump-style tactics to reject large blocks of signatures. As a result, the amendment was omitted from the November ballot, and your voice will remain unheard on this issue.

What tactics? Petitioners attached affidavits to their petitions and, unbelievably, the city initially rejected all petition volumes because “affidavits were not securely attached.” They were bound with binder clips. The city reversed this position but still rejected many volumes for “evidence of disassembly” such as signature pages showing more wear, tear and soil than other pages, or pages signed out of order. Seriously? Binder clips, dirty or worn pages and out-of-order signatures are not prohibited by code. Yet the city rejected scores of valid signatures on that basis and simultaneously tainted petitioners’ integrity. How dare they.

This is a clear and present threat to local democracy. It’s that serious. The city is crushing the voices of hundreds of bona fide electors that signed the petition, crushing your voices and crushing your right to petition and vote. City and staff are not dictators. Call your council member and demand they put the petition on the ballot. With nearly 1,000 motivated, disenfranchised signers hopping mad, remind them that recall petitions can also be obtained. Unless, of course, the city rejects those signatures also.

Gary Vick

Glenwood Springs

Chase for choice

I have lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for the past 21 years and am a sixth-generation Colorado native. I am a teacher and early interventionist, working with children of all ages and abilities in their homes, in private, nonprofit centers and in the public school as a former employee of Roaring Fork School District. 

I also prepare teachers for their careers in education at a local college. I have coached volleyball in the Roaring Fork School District, and both of my kids attend(ed) Roaring Fork School District schools since 2008. I have many friends and family members that have worked or currently work in Roaring Fork School District, and I understand and support the hard work they do every day to better the lives of our children. 

I have seen many trends in education and have had experiences with a wide variety of Roaring Fork School District personnel during that time: Board of Education members, superintendents and school administrators.

In years past, the Board of Education and Roaring Fork School District leadership team respected and valued community input from the stakeholders who elect them and pay their salaries. Collaboration was sought by the school community, and partnerships with parents and community members was viewed as the pathway for student success. 

Over the past eight years or so, however, we have witnessed our superintendent and “leadership team” lead our district down a path that divides students based on politics, rips rights away from parents and seeks to recruit only new, impressionable teachers, instead of supporting and retaining the veteran teachers with proven track records for student performance and success. 

What’s more disturbing is that the Board of Education lacks even one member who will seek answers about these problems by daring to question the almighty Roaring Fork School District. What happened to community representation? What happened to accountability to the people who elected you? What happened to transparency and building trust through two-way communication with the public? 

These are not priorities of Roaring Fork School District, yet they continue to ask for more of our money without giving us a seat at the table. 

If you want a seat at the table you bought and prepared for your invited guests, please vote for Chase McWhorter.

Jayme Goscha

Glenwood Springs

The big picture

Hal Sundin’s columns are always interesting, whether you agree or not. He looks at the big picture, which is worth responding to. He notes, “The major culprit is transportation of people and goods, driven by the internal-combustion engine,” in regard to CO2. 

A conference in Carbondale a few years ago noted that the most notorious “culprit” is home heating. When you think about it, it makes sense, because you keep the fires burning at home 24/7. Your car is used a fraction of this time. True, heating is seasonal, but depending on where your electricity comes from, summer cooling requires power, and hence, potential use of fossil fuels. The answer here is more efficient buildings.

That being said, other options exist to motivate transportation besides gas and electricity. These involve engines that transmute elements. Then there is always hydrogen. 

Perhaps the most overlooked element is that humankind is living in the last few seconds of the metaphorical 24-hour clock of the universe. We are just awakening to the fact that the universe is a dynamic place and that we have the honor to live in a time that we are becoming self-aware of our place in it. 

It’s just a matter figuring out how we fit into the overall scheme of life without wasting its resources and destroying our environment.

Fred Steward

Grand Junction

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