Wednesday letters: Fire and West Glenwood development, Independent voter movement, and frayed democracy |

Wednesday letters: Fire and West Glenwood development, Independent voter movement, and frayed democracy

Fire and development

We who have lived in West Glenwood for many years can never forget the velocity with which the canyon fires approach. We cannot forget the people who put themselves between the fires on the mountain and our survival as a community. 

Two seminal fires will always remain in our memories, inspire respect for the environment and increase awareness of the realities in which we live. 

Wildfire proliferation since Storm King (July 6, 1994) and Coal Seam (June 8, 2002) have started to change our lives in significant, everyday events as we all are experiencing early into summer 2021. 

To honor the firefighters who gave their lives, the least that can be done is to heed the lessons and remain alert. 

Sebastian Junger wrote “Blowup: What went wrong on Storm King.” Here is the conclusion Junger made about the blowup and the dead firefighters. 

Lives could have been saved if people were paying attention and alerting the men and women fighting the fire

If they would have put out the fire sooner, it wouldn’t have escalated.

Last year, after the 111 South Canyon lightning strike, air support was fortunately already there (already dispatched to the Pine Gulch Fire).

This unforgettable reporting in the June 8, 2012 edition of the Post Independent of the day of the Coal Seam Fire in 2002 is worth reviewing. Some of the most respected and experienced officials on duty during those two fires are, thankfully, still protecting our interests today. They deserve our utmost respect. 

Concerned West Glenwood residents are opposed to the 480 Donegan Road housing development proposal on several grounds. Foremost in terms of immediate safety is its proposed size and impacts. 

Developments of such proportion severely impede the ability to cope with wildfire evacuation orders, flood watches, escalating traffic congestion issues on several levels of daily existence. Time to heed all lessons learned, to listen to the current signals sent by climate reality, by endangered wildlife and by the retreating rivers. Listen. They knock at our door.

Bobbie Meriwether

Glenwood Springs

New independence revolution

Let this Fourth of July mark the beginning of a new revolution in American politics where all Americans can vote in any and all elections. Nationally, the Independent voter movement advocates for: 1. open non-partisan primary elections; and/or 2. Independent voter caucuses or primary elections.

Quote: “If we as Americans do not work for democracy, we will not get it! Democracy is not a spectator sport! If you call yourself a real American and consider yourself part of We the People, then you need to own it! 

“The Independent voter movement is a political revolution fighting for America’s future democracy. Let’s all rebuild the ‘First American Dream’ together! Let’s do it for We the People!” 

This is a quote from America’s New Revolution (

Randy Fricke

Co-Chair, National Election Reform Committee

Co-Founder, Western Colorado Independent Voters

New Castle

Frayed democracy

Two years ago, I had the honor of watching a group of people become American citizens. One of them was my friend. She is a small-business owner. With hard work and perseverance, she has made her community, and our country, better. Attending that ceremony, I was so proud to watch her become another thread in our national fabric.

Today, I worry that fabric is fraying. Just six months ago a group of our fellow citizens attacked the heart of our democracy. Two-hundred forty-five years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, I fear we are losing sight of the fact we are in this together. 

Now I know we are not all the same. We come from different places. We are of different faiths. We dream different dreams. And we certainly propose different solutions to the problems facing our country. But these differences are not what is important. What is important is that we are all Americans with a shared future — that, of many, we are one. 

We must work together to ensure our future is peaceful and prosperous. At the end of the citizenship ceremony, after the emotion and gravity of the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem, a jingoistic video played. It put the choice before us into stark relief: the solemn responsibility of citizenship or easy displays of Americanism. True patriotism demands we protect our institutions, our heritage and our democracy. It requires us to engage with those with whom we disagree. To listen, to collaborate and to be compassionate. It demands we see one another as fellow countrymen, not enemies; to build civic bonds stronger than political differences. Indeed, the success of this American experiment depends on it. 

Two years ago, I had the honor of watching a friend embrace these ideals and become a fellow citizen. I hope we can be as worthy of our citizenship as she is. I know we can find it within ourselves to come together to create a more perfect union over the next 245 years.

Happy Independence Day!

Cole Buerger

Glenwood Springs

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