Wednesday letters: E-bikes, traffic cops, climate voting, Strawberry Days
In a recent local newspaper article Lorenzo Semple stated the following:
“You won’t find me riding my e-bike on our hallowed single-track trails. If you want to ride the “good stuff,” you have to do the work. Some things are still sacred.”
This hits the nail on the head of the egotistical head-up-your-ass attitude toward e-bikes on singletrack trails.
I am a 72-year-old disabled veteran with Parkinson’s from agent orange exposure in Vietnam.
There are many other people, not necessarily just the elderly either, with physical limitations that keep us from enjoying the “good stuff .“
The vast majority of single track trails in our area are on Public land and were built with Public money.
So listen up Pitkin County commissioners, Aspen City Council and Parks and Recreation, and BLM and White River National Forest administrators; quit kicking the can down the road and make a decision yourselves, don’t wait for the other authorities to do it (the excuse constantly being used).
Quit denying the right of use to so many people simply because we need some electrical assistance to help us enjoy a public amenity.
Yes to traffic cop
In a recent Glenwood Springs City Council meeting, Police Chief Deras requested a dedicated traffic cop for the city. This came after many citizens voiced their concerns about speeding and the danger to pedestrians.
Why not give the police chief what he asks if it could help meet a legitimate concern. Besides. with the number of speeders on Grand Avenue, the position might very well pay for itself.
Consider climate when voting
Fire, floods, yearly increased velocity of wind, and mega drought! How can anyone deny climate change?
And since 99% of the world’s atmospheric scientists say fossil fuel burning is a major cause, why aren’t we serious about phasing it out?
Nothing, neither the economy, nor abortion, nor guns, nor immigration, nor race relations — while all need working on — is as important as saving the eco-systems of this Earth.
Drinkable water, food and shelter — that’s it folks. Money won’t buy them once they are gone.
All will all go down the tubes if we don’t address climate change and mitigate its causes.
Think about it when you vote.
Vets event thanks
The Western Slope Veterans Coalition would like to extend a hearty “thank you” to everyone who came out to participate in the Second Annual Veterans Golf Tournament.
Thanks to the support of our many sponsors, the players, volunteers and the many donations from across the business community, this year’s event helped to raise over $30,000 to provide much needed assistance for veterans throughout the region.
We’d also like to thank the entire staff at Lakota Links Golf Club, in New Castle, for their hard work in making the tournament happen. Thank you all for giving back to those who gave so much to our country.
On behalf of the Western Slope Veterans Coalition Board
Talk to the oldtimers
When I first came to this valley (in 1976) to work the mines, I had older mentors that knew things about the “old days” that I respected and listened to. One of them was my landloard, Chic Casteel. Another were Eloise and Jack. Eloise was born in Aspen, and her father worked the mines.
These older people taught me a lot about the history of this area. This history is being forgotten. Chic used to tell me about, and I saw for myself, how the valley was becoming a tourist trap. Remember when you could hike up to Hanging Lake, see 12 other people, and say it was crowded? Or the nice little park up Grizzly Creek, above the little cabins and the gas station? Or just driving up to the Bells and pitching a tent?
Now it seems that the valley has filled up with a lot of people with their hands out, intent on loving it to death. Give me ranchers and miners, three movie theaters and a drive-in to what we have today. I guess my wife and I got here in the nick of time, and were willing to sweat our dues to buy our $75K house, now worth 10 times that amount!
But maybe I have become an old kook myself, to remember a quiet main street at 9 at night. Or maybe it’s time to move to Mack. The editors in this valley would do better to talk to some of these old people before they die.
Michael W. Horst
Searching for some direction
In light of the water situation as intensified by relentless climate change, the city of Glenwood needs a growth initiative that limits growth to some sustainable percentage in a year. This water, fire and climate change backdrop will change and only go in one direction. Let’s go slowly enough to measure, project and respect the needs of an uncertain future.
Also we certainly don’t need more promotion of Glenwood Springs as a tourist destination. The chamber would better serve business and the people who want to enjoy living here, by urging council to promote green spaces, parks, trees and what makes a destination desirable. All could concentrate on “greening” Glenwood. The city controls spaces for this to occur. The people and their dollars are already coming, with more on the way.
Here but gone
My mom has Alzheimer’s and she is at the end stage of her life. For those who have witnessed this difficult decline, you know that the experience can be surreal. We will sit across from each other, staring into one another’s eyes.
My mother is here…but she is also gone.
I, in no way, intend for this to sound funny or flippant. It is my truth. Over the last five years, I have endured a very similar heartbreak. The loss of my hometown. I look around and I see Red Mountain, the Glenwood Canyon, Hanging Lake, the Hot Springs Pool, Sunlight…. They too, in many ways, have faded into something different. Please don’t misunderstand me.
We are blessed to live in, what I believe, is the most magical place in the world. Yes, there are added inconveniences and the crowds sometimes drown out the feeling of joy that has always captured my soul.
It can be a challenge to touch that joy some days.
It is no longer simply there, to wash over me like the rains that came every afternoon when I was a child. It is still here, but it is also gone.
With Strawberry Days 2022 behind us, I pause to reflect on all of the immense change in our valley. It may seem that I and many of my fellow community members (I can’t speak for all) are disappointed or even angered with the decisions made by the chamber or the city regarding Strawberry Days.
I believe we deserve the same sense of pause from those who direct these changes. It hurts to hold something precious, so close to your heart, and then watch it taken away. This isn’t just about Strawberry Days. I have made many sacrifices to live in this wonderful place that I call home. It isn’t easy. Glenwood Springs is my family.
There are two things that I meditate on daily — patience and acceptance — not only for my mother’s condition, but also for my home. I ask that we all take time to do the same.
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