Wednesday letters: Arts Council, Mitsch Bush, Soto, Robinson, Wilhelm and Hanlon, wolves, and two-party system |

Wednesday letters: Arts Council, Mitsch Bush, Soto, Robinson, Wilhelm and Hanlon, wolves, and two-party system

The Glenwood Springs Arts Council is alive and well!

This year has brought about changes for all of us and for the Glenwood Springs Arts Council those changes have meant turning formerly face-to-face events into virtual events. You’ll find videos of our recent International Jazz Day 2020 and Real Folk — A virtual Folk Music Tribute Concert at While you’re there, discover what other arts organizations are doing to make art accessible during this challenging time.

As we continue to support the arts in our community, the popular fall Culinary Arts Festival is also a virtual gathering this year. Free for all to view online is a four-day celebration of local culinary arts featuring videos of six local chefs showcasing their masterpieces with a local “celebrity” adding comments. Purchasing tickets for the event will entitle ticket holders to a 10% discount at one of our featured establishments and will support our art scholarship fund. We hope that you will join us for the event. Thanks to all for your support of the arts.

Thelma Zabel
Board member, Glenwood Springs Arts Council

Vote for honesty, integrity, and sound governance

Diane Mitsch Bush is the hardest working, tireless and dedicated elected representative I’ve ever met, and deserves your vote for Congress. She does her research, listens to all sides of an issue and works to craft fair, workable and beneficial solutions to regional concerns. Her extensive experience in the Colorado Legislature prepared her to represent and fight for West Slope needs and values, understanding the complexity of Colorado water law, the challenges facing agriculture, the dire need for transportation and infrastructure investments. Diane Mitsch Bush has the education, experience and empathy we need in Congress to end the pandemic’s devastation to our economy and community health, to see real investments in the sorely neglected roads, airports and water infrastructure, and to improve the access to and cost of health care.

Her opponent, on the other hand, doesn’t even recognize our region’s diversity or challenges or offer policy solutions. She has only empty slogans to offer: “Freedom” from this or that. But what is she really offering? Freedom for rural hospitals to go bankrupt treating the uninsured after the Affordable Care Act is repealed? Freedom to be denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions? Freedom to bankrupt Social Security under the guise of pandemic relief? Freedom to discriminate against those different from you, ethnically, sexually or by faith? Freedom to pollute the air we breathe, the water we drink? The freedom to ignore science, drought and our changing climate?

Our representative in Congress should work to deliver the goods, services and policies that will improve the quality of life, economy and environment for all West Slope residents, not just cater to the fantasies of QAnon and militia cultists. The choice is clear — vote for honesty, integrity, and sound governance. Vote Diane Mitsch Bush on your ballot this November

Rachel E. Richards
Former Pitkin County commissioner,
current Aspen City Council member

Soto, Robinson, Wilhelm and Hanlon best fit Garfield County

I am voting for Beatriz Soto and Leslie Robinson for Garfield Board of County Commissioners. I feel that the incumbents, John Martin and Mike Samson, no longer represent the needs of Garfield County and are out of touch with many of their constituents. This is illustrated by the fact that they spent $1.5 million to pay outside parties in their unsuccessful fight against oil and gas regulations set out in Proposition 181. They even footed the bill for the lawsuit on behalf of a coalition of nine counties. Imagine how these taxpayer dollars could have helped county residents, including children, with the economic crises of COVID-19. Beatriz and Leslie will bring much-needed fresh thinking to the BOCC. They will listen to constituents, be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and explore new ways to create jobs.

I am also voting for Colin Wilhelm for HD57. His opponent, Perry Will, wants to open businesses up and push against Gov. Jared Polis’ COVID-19 orders. He also wants to continue investment in the dying coal and natural gas industries. Colin Wilhelm wants to maintain pandemic social distancing and masking mandates, which have proven so effective. Wilhelm supports obtaining economic support for businesses from the state and looking for large capital projects to create new jobs.

Karl Hanlon has my vote in the SD8 race against Bob Rankin. Karl will fight for our health care, water and public lands. Bob has done an OK job in the Colorado House and Senate, but Karl will better represent the citizens of our district. In a recent debate on KDNK, the question whom the candidates supported for CD3 was asked. Bob laughed and said he hopes Lauren Boebert will settle into the position in Congress. Really? Settle in? Boebert has made it clear that she is tired of compromise, so what makes you think she will settle in? Karl chose the highly qualified Diane Mitsch Bush.

Please vote with me for the candidates that will best represent Garfield County residents: Beatriz Soto, Leslie Robinson, Colin Wilhelm and Karl Hanlon.

Connie Overton

Wilhelm is consistent, involved, accessible

Recently, KDNK scheduled a debate between Colin Wilhelm, candidate for HD 57 and Perry Will, the current representative. Except Will didn’t attend, claiming he forgot the obligation. I heard that he held a campaign gathering in Silt, instead.

This seems like an instance of Mr. Will being unable to keep his schedule straight. What about keeping his views straight? Will was appointed (not elected) in 2019, and during that session, was handed four different bills to increase access/funding for mental health care in Colorado. He voted against them all. In 2020, after Wilhelm announced his run for the representative seat, with mental health care access and funding as a paramount issue of his campaign, Will seemingly changed his tune, voting in favor of all mental health care bills this year.

He was given a “Heroes in Health” award this year, but Will vehemently opposes universal health care. It’s troubling how against this issue he is, considering that as a state employee for 40 years he’s had state-provided health insurance. He has it, but he wants to keep his constituents from accessing it. Will believes the way to provide “affordable” care to Coloradans is to fund hospitals. More hospitals would be excellent, but are they as useful if no one can afford to get care from them?

Perry Will’s campaign website includes little information, only a short bio and a “donate” button. His challenger, Wilhelm, has spent the past year openly discussing his plans and ideas with the residents of our whole district, constantly asking for input about what issues matter to us. Many have learned about his platform on his website or his comprehensive Facebook page, and by contacting him directly for a prompt response.
Wilhelm cares about mental health of Coloradans, access to affordable health care, increased funding for educators, and diversifying energy industries in a responsible way. He has never wavered on these issues. When you cast your ballots, think hard about who is consistent, involved, accessible and in the best interest of our region.

Cait Kennet
Glenwood Springs

Wolves may make matters worse

I can understand why some voters may be tempted to vote for Proposition 114, reintroducing wolves to western Colorado. Our world is a mess. Climate chaos has brought us late spring freezes, followed by excruciatingly hot windy summers combined with droughts not seen in the past 800 years. Our valley’s river, the Crystal River, is virtually dry. Fires roar over parched ground and their smoke makes being outside hazardous. Population growth has overwhelmed our highways, consumed much of our open space and made finding solitude increasingly difficult for humans and wildlife. On top of all this, a pandemic races around the globe, limiting social interactions and devastating our economy.

Faced with all this turmoil, voters want to do anything, and wolf proponents claim wolves will magically restore the balance. Unfortunately, wolves may only make matters worse. Our deer and elk herds are in decline and are not having enough fawns or calves survive to keep their populations sustainable. Our iconic aspen forests are stressed from drought, not overgrazing by elk. Ranchers are suffering from the multinational meat packing conglomerates keeping prices for their livestock below break even prices. They are going broke working around the clock to run 250 head where their grandfathers made money with a few dozen.

Wolves will only make these situations worse. Wolves cannot restore a world dominated by humans. The ecosystem of western Colorado is unrecognizable from what existed when wolves were last here. Wolves will not and cannot bring back the Colorado that existed in the 1900s. They can however decimate our declining wildlife and force ranchers to sell out. Much of our open space will be lost forever. Vote “no” on 114.

Bill Fales

We The People need to take back America

The current “Do Nothing Wealthy 1% Congress” and the Trump House has caused irreversible harm to the American people by stalling on the second stimulus package. The economy cannot recover back to any normal level due to their never-ending partisan gridlock. America will have millions unemployed for a long time. Millions of businesses cannot reopen. When this election is over, let this be a lesson to the American people. The Democratic and Republican parties have destroyed this country. We The People need to take back America from the two major parties who have governed America illegally for decades. We need to put the Democrat and Republican parties in our rearview mirrors permanently.

“Our children and grandchildren will remember this time in American history when our national leaders failed to help the American people.” This is a quote from my new book, “America’s New Revolution.”

Randy Fricke
New Castle

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