Wednesday letters: Fire escape, infrastructure funding, wolf counterpoint, masks, and more

What’s the fire plan?

Here is a challenge for R-2 Partners and the city leaders who voted for their apartment project. Put the fire plan on the table before the vote on May 3.

Let the voters check out how finally, after three major fires, we would all be requested to react in the event of an emergency.

Let us see on paper what the fire department would be able to manage for moving people in the event of a high wind fire.

Let’s instill with complete confidence how we will vote for the annexation of 480 Donegan based on the merits of a tangible plan put in place before any type of major development occurs.

Jennifer Vanian

Glenwood Springs

Build Back Better funding concerns

The Western Slope of Colorado is unrivaled in its natural beauty, resources and kindred people. The region contains 33% of our state’s land, but only about 10% of residents call it home. On our side of the Rockies, far away from the chaos of the state’s biggest metropolises, we are privileged to be able to enjoy the bucolic setting that serves as the backbone for our local economy.

As the voice of the Western Slope, Club 20 is proud to represent our nonpartisan collection of members from all sides of the aisle, including small business owners, local elected officials and members of some of the biggest industries in our region, such as tourism and energy production.

While we are all committed to maintaining a healthy and abundant landscape, we are also reliant on sustaining a healthy economy. That’s why we are concerned by the news that some lawmakers plan to pay for President Biden’s Build Back Better plan through corporate income tax hikes, as well as a lesser-known tax called the Global Intangible Low Tax Income (GILTI) fee, which is a levy imposed on earnings made abroad by American companies.

Not only are we the only country in the world to impose a tax on the foreign profits of domestic companies, but these increases would negatively impact businesses of all sizes, not just large corporations.

While we welcome infrastructure development and domestic investment, these tax hikes would decimate many of the independent businesses, farms, tribes and other Main Street enterprises that keep the Western Slope running, as several of them utilize foreign suppliers and sell products abroad. They would be unfairly forced to pay for any increase in GILTI, as they would be lumped in with larger, multinational corporations that can afford such an increase.

We should not be adding further financial burdens to Colorado’s businesses, especially in our current era where many are still struggling with pandemic-related challenges like supply chain delays and labor shortages. Raising GILTI will force unnecessary financial restraints on American businesses, both small and big.

Christian Reece

Executive Director, Club 20

Grand Junction

Factor all creatures

Questions for Lisa Strand who wrote as an Advocate For Wolf Protections (1/19/22 letters to the editor):

Why more concern for the lives of the wolves than for the lives of the deer and elk? These populations have been decimated by the growing number of wolf packs in the northwest states. Are we to sacrifice these herds as the packs move south?

And, what of the ranchers and their cattle that feed the nation? Some stay up from midnight to dawn guarding their cattle.

Nature is a balance. Don’t forget to include all creatures on the scales — including mankind.

Bev Reed


Enforce choice

The greatest part of living in America has always been our ability to choose; to choose who and how we worship, to choose which school we want to send our kids, to choose what we do to provide for our families. The list is endless.

I have noticed recently people mocking those who wish to defend their civil liberties or right to choose for themselves what they feel is best. A prime example of this has been school board meetings across the country. Those who feel it is their civil liberty to choose if a mask is best for their kids are being mocked and told that we want to “harm” their child by removing the mask mandate in the schools.

I believe people only discriminate against those fighting for civil liberties when they don’t feel their personal liberties are in jeopardy. In the case of the school districts, if school districts across the country decided that no child could enter the school wearing a mask because they were disruptive and inhibited their ability to learn, every parent I associate with would be standing with those parents fighting for their right to send their kids to school in a mask if they felt that was best for their child.

In this perspective, their civil liberties would be challenged, and we would all stand with you and fight for your freedom to choose for your child. The greatest part of living in this great country has been these simple liberties, and that’s why it’s so important to fight for both sides when civil liberties are being challenged and not just when you feel yours are the ones in jeopardy of being taken away.

In America, the greatest gift we have is we all don’t have to agree 100% of the time, but we can unite around one another. The only mandate that should ever be enforced is choice!

Brock Hedberg


Take pause in 2022

“I’ve learned how to hold both fear and joy in the same hand, at the same time … and I’ve made peace with both the joy and the fear.” — Lara Plewka MacGregor

My friend Lara had perspective. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, which she fought into remission, founded Hope Scarves in 2012 and began changing the world. In 2014, she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and fought until Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. She was a mom, a wife and 45.

Among the things Lara learned and passed on is that we can hold both fear and joy in the same hand, at the same time. What a lesson. Maybe, if we learn this, we can begin to share the joy we have with those around us instead of infectious negativity.

Already, 2022 has been hard. We lost Lara, and I’m watching another friend’s 9-year-old son fight against glioblastoma, hoping to make it to his 10th birthday in March. I am exhausted from it. We have all been at a higher baseline stress level since the pandemic began. If we start now at a 5, a small stressor puts us at an 8 or 9. We’re emotionally exhausted. We may try, valiantly, to overcome the exhaustion and handle things with grace. Sometimes we may be successful at it. Other times we may not.

I chose “pause” for my word for 2022. Pause in the hopes that the increased baseline stress level can accommodate my next step and also to hopefully learn to embrace what Lara shared.

There is fear in this world. Fear of the unknown, of losing myself, of losing family and friends, of losing something that is a constant in life. We face fear with the power of love and of a sound mind. I can hold these fears and the joy of being a mother to an exuberant 9-year-old boy, a human in this world, of serving those around me. It is a balance we learn.

Joy and fear are not mutually exclusive. Hopefully at the same time, as I learn that these two opposing forces can live together, I can extend more grace and kindness to those around me. What if we all learned this, and began to extend grace and kindness to those around us who we may not agree with?

Caitlin Carey

New Castle

Free our children

This past week there have been meetings concerning masking our kids in school. On two calls, neurologist Dr. Brooke Allen has read a letter signed by 60 parents. In it and by comments made by some others, life is all good in our valley for their kids.

These parents must have some secret sauce or special parenting skills to buck the trends around the world. Mental health doctors everywhere are sharing heartbreaking stories of suicides and breakdowns that they have never seen before. It is child abuse to put the burden of protecting society on our kids and to mask our fear of death.

A child needs to learn to take risks. From a favorite poem — To live is to risk dying, to hope is to risk despair, to try is to risk failure.

Risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing and is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow and live. Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave. He has forfeited freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.

Please free our children so that they can grow into incredible human beings. The COVID pandemic is now endemic and we are left with a pandemic of bureaucracy.

Deanna Jackila


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