Wednesday letters: Great concerts, support history, misguided comments, parking garage questions, needles work
Rave concert revue
What a gem the residents of the Roaring Fork area have in the Glenwood Springs Community Concert Association (GSCCA).
Last week I attended the fourth concert of the 2022/23 CCA series, presented by the Frisson Ensemble. This six-piece ensemble consists of musicians playing violins, a piano, cello, clarinet and an oboe.
They are considered America’s hottest new classical group from New York City known for performing a wide range of genres and styles.
And, boy, did they ever show that ‘heat’, as their talent was on full display. We concert attendees all raved about the performance and look forward to the next concert!
The last in the series of concerts will be performed by Gary Mauer who starred as the Phantom of the Opera and several other Broadway hit shows. He’ll be joined by his wife, Elizabeth Southard, who played Caroline in Phantom. They will surely “wow” those of us able to attend.
The individual concert and season ticket prices are incredibly reasonable given the excellent quality of music you will enjoy during each of the five concerts through the season. Do visit the website (gsconcertassn.org) to learn more and, perhaps, become a member. I’ve been extremely happy that I did!
Joan Davids, Glenwood Springs
Students support history
The kindergartners at Glenwood Springs Elementary School would like to ask the community to support the Glenwood Springs Historical Society.
Our students have enjoyed going to the museum and learning about local history, as well as learning about toys from long ago.
It is such a pleasure to be able to walk to our local museum from the school and the staff is always so welcoming!
The kindergartners were excited to share their enthusiasm by making heart signs and expressing their love with the community in support of the Historical Museum.
Please consider supporting our local historical museum.
Sara Erickson, Jordan Schoeller, Linsey Short, Cathy Spence and the kindergartners at GSES
Recently, Garfield County commissioners shared (stale and intransigent) thoughts on transportation and housing in our region. They disdain upper valley communities for not providing housing for their workforce. In fact, there are robust efforts by both governmental agencies and the private sector to provide both rent-controlled and deed restricted housing — 3,000+ units and more in the pipeline.
SkiCo and RFTA are addressing employee housing with SkiCo providing 700+ units. Local GarCo governments are doing their part, as well, along with private and nonprofit developers in our county.
What has GarCo done? How many units has GarCo provided?
The inherent need for workers to travel from Garfield County diminishes the fact that they live and invest in our local communities, paying property and sales taxes to local governments and special districts. Our commissioners dislike funding around $1 million to RFTA and the Parachute Area Transit Service with buses to/from Rifle. They have been opposed to the expansion of the RFTA transportation district or creation of a new west county district.
Their “bury their heads in the sand” (in)actions ignore the realities of our regional economy and understanding that all residents of Garfield County, whether living in municipalities or in unincorporated areas, need responsive, cooperative and informed decision-making by their representatives. Their most egregious deficiency of thinking is their opposition to commit funding the South Bridge project in Glenwood which would help disperse traffic through Glenwood and help Four Mile Road residents daily and most importantly with wildfire evacuations.
Commissioner Samson shared that upvalley residents and governments “…need to wake up and smell the coffee…we don’t have a big hammer…let’s block the road…that might get their attention…”!
Perhaps the city of Glenwood Springs could do the same and block off Four Mile Road?
Who needs to wake up and get off their going nowhere high horses?
Greg Jeung, Glenwood Springs
Is Glenwood really that poor?
Glenwood’s downtown parking structure is closed until March 7 so that an Aspen event can stash some luxury vehicles there (2/24 GPI). Here are some questions.
1. Who at city hall thinks renting out the parking structure is a good idea?
2. How much is the city being paid for an Aspen event to hog the public parking structure?
3. How did the city determine how much to charge?
4. Does the city have a carefully thought out policy on renting out public facilities?
5. How many people connected to the Aspen event will be staying in Glenwood Springs motels and hotels?
6. If members of the public want to examine the agreement that allows the Aspen event to hoard parking spaces at the parking garage, how do they go about doing that?
7. What is the name of the Aspen event?
8. Is it being organized by a well-known Russian-born business man who claims not to be a Russian oligarch?
9. If I walk over to the public parking structure just to nose around and shoot some pics, will police bust me for trespassing?
10. Is Glenwood really so poor it must rent out public facilities?
Lynn “Jake” Burton, Carbondale/Glenwood Springs
Harm reduction works
In response to the quote in the 2/7 article, “You don’t think harm reduction encourages the use of opioids? That’s a question that’s out there.”
Here’s the answer: 30 years of data shows that individuals who use drugs are 5 times more likely to access treatment if they use harm reduction programs. While we support people to make their own life choices, these services have been shown to reduce drug use.
Harm reduction programs also reduce crime, the spread of disease, and taxpayer dollars.
High Rockies Harm Reduction does much more than just give out free needles. We train hundreds all over the state on how to use Narcan to reverse opioid overdoses. We give out free Narcan, fentanyl test strips, condoms and more. We collect syringes from folks who require regular injections for a variety of reasons and reduce biohazard debris.
But the number one thing we do is build relationships, because that’s what it’s going to take to end the addiction crisis. No one program or building can do it, we all must work together from a place of compassion and be willing to learn what works for people with different backgrounds than our own.
The CDC and CDPHE recommend that communities implement Syringe Service Programs as an evidence-based approach to mitigate opioid addiction and overdose.
In 2020, the Garfield County Commissioners, as our Public Health Board, agreed to defer to the expertise of professionals in matters of public health, as this is not their background. At the Feb. 6 commissioner meeting, public health experts from Eagle and Garfield County presented on the plan to expand harm reduction programming in our region, as funds have already been committed to this.
Syringe services have existed, on a small scale, in Garfield County since 2021. For more information and service schedule visit http://www.highrockiesharmreduction.com
Whether harm reduction is an effective method of combatting addiction issues is not a matter of opinion, it’s a matter of public health and it’s a fact that syringe services save lives and reduce drug use and its negative consequences.
Maggie Seldeen, Carbondale
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