Wednesday letters: Lots on 480 Donegan; plus airport, county consultant, docs in Ukraine, Boebert, Polis, Smiling Goat kudos
Special Election Note: The deadline to submit letters related to the May 3 Glenwood Springs special election is April 25. Now that the ballots have been mailed out, only one letter per writer, per topic, please. Our 350-word limit will be strictly enforced.
Get it right
The language may be a little bit confusing. If you want to vote “no” to the Donegan development, you have to vote “yes” to repeal. And I hope you will!
Why vote ‘yes’ on B?
I am one who is opposed to the annexation plan for 480 Donegan as it currently stands and in favor of sensible development that includes among other things, an increased amount of truly affordable housing. I’m not alone in this position as you know if you’ve been following the issue. Approval of R2’s initial plan was denied by the Glenwood Springs Planning and Zoning Board. Our Garfield County Commissioners are not in favor of the plan either. Their July 19, 2021 letter to the Glenwood Springs City Council outlined the reasons for their decision. Some people have asked those of us who are fighting the current plan, “What do you want if the measure is defeated?” One of the best answers I have seen is from Garfield County Commissioner, Mike Samson who said, “I would hope that there could be a coalition of groups, organizations, governments that could come together and work with the Diemoz family to perhaps make that a more beneficial area to the people that already live there … I would even be in favor as a county commissioner to be part of that, to work with the city, to work with the family, to work with the other groups … I think that would be a better solution for all of Garfield County…”
Mr. Samson is correct. We need to back up and consider some alternate solutions. Vote “yes” on B to repeal the annexation of 480 Donegan. Check out this website, http://www.gscsd.org especially the FAQs page for more information.
Thelma G. Zabel
Question of compliance
After reading the article “480 Donegan Campaign Called Into Question” in the April 5 edition of the Aspen Daily News (also reported in the Post Independent), it made me wonder why Glenwood Partnership and R2 Partners feel they don’t have to follow the Fair Campaign Practices Act? Are they afraid the citizens of Glenwood Springs will see how much they have spent?
Glenwood Springs Citizens for Sensible Development — the Vote Yes committee — have followed every aspect of the fair campaign practices act to the letter. Compliance is as simple as filling out a form.
According to CRS 1-45-102, the purpose of the Fair Campaign Practices Act is to keep wealthy contributors from exercising a disproportionate level of influence over the political process, noting that large campaign contributions create the potential for corruption.
If R2 Partners and Glenwood Partnership are unable to be in compliance with something as simple and important as Colorado’s Fair Campaign Practices Act, which keeps our elections fair by limiting campaign contributions and making public disclosures of expenses, it makes me question how we can trust R2 Partners and Glenwood Partnership to be compliant with other important matters?
Vote “yes” on B.
A question of growth
How much can Glenwood Springs grow?
From Zac Parsons’ presentation at the Imagine Glenwood town hall forum: Projects already in development from 2020-2022: two years, 20.5% population growth. Approximately 2,600 more people added to the population of Glenwood.
Add 480 Donegan development with its 300 units, which is approximately 850 more people.
Assuming these numbers are roughly accurate, does Glenwood Springs have, even in planning, the infrastructure to support this bulging growth? We are a three-canyon town, and there can only be so much growth before a tipping point is reached.
Can our community handle the additional services and tax burden for more traffic, utilities, shopping, schools, child care, lack of emergency personnel, parking and more? After many meetings and outcry, emergency evacuation is only now being addressed.
Imagine the future of Glenwood Springs: Take a walk, bike around town, have a seat somewhere to take a look at what’s around us now. Then add in the high density growth already in progress — fully completed and realized, cavernous against the red mountains and tucked in all over town. Next imagine 300 units from 480 Donegan.
This is the tipping point.
Vote “yes” on B to repeal the annexation of this development.
Vote ‘yes,’ then get to work
Whatever the outcome of City of Glenwood Springs Ballot Question B, I hope these words shared by Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson can ring true, not only with the 480 Donegan parcel but for other areas that may be targeted for development as well.
He suggested at a public meeting presentation by R2 developers in July 2021 that a
“…coalition of groups, organizations, governments that could come together and work with the Diemoz family to perhaps make that a more beneficial area to the people that already live there…I would even be in favor as a County Commissioner to be part of that, to work with the City, to work the family, to work with the other groups…. I think that would be a better solution for all of Garfield County…”.
Many partners, both public and private are seeking affordable housing solutions, with many projects already in place or being built. I, and many others urge you to vote “yes” on B so another, better option/proposal could be developed and pursued. The Red Hill Lofts being built in Carbondale has 30 all affordable income-restricted units with monthly rents starting at $706 studio, and $892 two-bedroom. And in Rifle a proposed 50 units project with 30 affordable in the range of $734-892 per month. Habitat for Humanity, Aspen SkiCo, CMC and Re-1 School District have also worked to provide owner-occupied and staff housing.
With areas adjacent to the city of Glenwood Springs such as west of Ami’s Acres and up Four Road, there is a real possibility that city leaders may again want to annex more in order to have some control over what happens on them. Should the city annex more, including 480 when there are already so many issues that must be addressed?
Please, city residents, vote “yes” on B. Your vote counts and is so very important for those whose voices were not heard, cannot vote and will be among the many who will be impacted with even more dense residential growth.
Doctors in Ukraine thanks
I was very impressed by today’s (4/8/22) article “You name it, they needed it.” Thank you to doctors Michael Duehrssen and Heath Cotter for their invaluable service recently in Ukraine.
Just wanting to repeat the article’s list of how we, all of us, can help. Online information can be found for these organizations: International Rescue Committee, World Central Kitchen, UNICEF, The Giving Block, Together Rising, Heart to Heart International, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Prayers for the Ukrainian people are needed, as well as using our pocketbooks.
An airport story
Let me share a different kind of airport story with you.
My 9- and 12-year-old sons and I have just landed on a grass strip in Oshkosh, Wisconsin along with literally hundreds of other small private airplanes. We are there to see the Experimental Aircraft Association Fly-In. On this date, Oshkosh will be the busiest airport in the United States.
We have flown from the Glenwood Springs Airport with another adult and his son in a single-engine, 6-place plane in less than a day.
We pitched our tent and unrolled sleeping bags under the high wing before heading for the homebuilt, antique and warbird displays. Two busy days and nights were spent with others, young and old, dreaming and talking and imagining.
There have been other trips, of course, business and family vacations but none would have been possible if I had not lived in a town with a small, local airport where I could learn to fly as a result of the high school graduation gift of flying lessons from my brave single mom.
Consultant or yes man
The Garfield County commissioners have hired a consultant named Tim Considine from Wyoming for $65,000 to tell them how much Colorado’s stricter oil and gas drilling regulations are costing the county.
Guess what. Considine calculated GarCo will lose $13.4 million annually including $1.6 million in severance taxes. New drillers will be chased away to Utah and Wyoming because drilling costs will go up 7%.
The first rule of consulting is tell your client what he wants to hear. If Considine had informed the commissioners the new rules would have little impact, Moe, Larry and Curly would’ve never hired him again.
To get a balanced picture, I propose the commissioners hire Bill McKibben, Al Gore, or Naomi Klein as consultants. They can talk the commissioners’ language, i.e., dollars and cents. That world-renowned trio would give our less-renowned local trio figures about the impact of climate change in Garfield County from wildfires and drought that’d make Considine’s numbers look puny.
Everybody keeps saying Colorado’s oil and gas operational regulations are the toughest in the nation, but the rulemaking in several areas isn’t even completed. And, thanks to Gov. Polis, there’s no enforceability of the rules there are. They’re just guidelines for the industry to follow because they’re good citizens with no consequences for noncompliance.
Commissioner Mike Samson came up with the old saw from the Arab oil embargo days of the 1970s that America needs to be energy independent. In this day and age, with all the alternative energy sources we have available, cutting fossil fuel demand is a more efficient way to decrease our dependence on foreign oil and gas.
Fred Malo Jr.
Complete the report
The county hired Mr. Considine at considerable expense to gauge impact of new laws on oil and gas regulation. I’m not sure they got their money’s worth.
I don’t know if he or the oil companies wrote the report. Since the purpose of the bill was to improve health while still allowing drilling, did he consult local health care about admissions for asthma and respiratory problems, less headaches and nausea from neighbors, less accidents in the oil field, and any less miscarriages and fetal malformations from those living close to drilling.
Many oil companies have profits that are well above the 7% in increased cost of drilling. Oil companies have leases for thousands of acres from BLM and forest service lands and numerous drilling permits in Garfield County that they are sitting on while crying “wolf.”
I hope the commissioners demand a more complete report for their $65,000. As a community we could have wells, jobs and health if the oil companies wanted to do what is right by Garfield County.
Calling out Rep. Boebert
I am writing in response to Ali Longwell’s informative and eye-opening piece, “The rising threat of fentanyl” covering the explosion of fentanyl-related deaths across America, Colorado, and Eagle County. I can’t imagine the heartbreak of families losing a child due to an accidental overdose of these dangerous drugs.
I believe it is important to note that Rep. Boebert (R-CD3) voted against two life-saving bills that relate to this drug epidemic. Boebert voted against HR 2355 the Opioid Prescription Verification Act, 2021 which reduces prescription shopping and curbs sales of illegally obtained opioids. The NACDS (National Association of Chain Drug Stores) applauded this legislation citing that it would help reduce drug abuse and misuse of opioids.
Rep. Boebert also voted against HR 2364, the Synthetic Opioid Danger Awareness Act. This bill would direct the CDC to conduct public education campaigns about the dangers of fentanyl and make the public aware of treatment services through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
We need leaders whose values, and votes, align with the issues facing our community. It is fair to say that Rep. Boebert’s actions on these important bills put her in direct contrast to the interests of the people she represents.
I think that the residents, from Vail to the rural areas you cite which are heavily impacted by this epidemic, should be aware of how Rep. Boebert voted on these bills. Her “no” votes do not serve her constituents on this crucial issue.
Polis head pull
The wonderful and inspirational Governor Polis needs to pull his head out. He flies into Aspen (carbon), then touts how great Aspen is trying to go “green” – yet forgets, ignores, or doesn’t even consider the amount of carbon spewed out by all the private jets (like his), and the thousands of cars going up and down Highway 82 – every day – to serve the elite of Aspen.
I am so sick of hearing how “green” Aspen is – it is a joke. Until Aspen steps up to the plate and provides local affordable housing – and reduces the carbon on Highway 82 – and provides services like education, fire, police to their own worker bees — you should take everything “green” Aspen says as B.S. Total B.S.
Oh, I forgot, Aspen wants to expand the airport. Talk about green!
Nice job Polis. Next time pull your head out of the sand and address the real issue. Stand on Grand Avenue in Glenwood at 5 p.mm. any work week – and then tell me how “green” Aspen is.
I bet you can’t.
Biden his time
It is imperative that NATO and the U.S. ensure Ukraine soon wins the war it fights with Russia. Meanwhile, Mr. Biden is just bidin’ his time. The Russian army is now vulnerable due to its poorly planned and overextended ambitions of conquest. An army is weakest when in retreat. If Russia is allowed to rearm, resupply and replenish troops the world likely faces a prolonged war of attrition which Russia will most probably win. If, through the inaction of NATO, this occurs, the signal thus sent to all expansionist autocracies will have the world at war for generations.
Given aggressive, extensive support, Ukraine now has a brief window to defeat Russia without involvement of NATO troops. Russian military assets are extensive but their ground troops and equipment are stretched thin. A committed NATO can make it militarily obvious to Russia that they will not win a ground war, as any war of conquest must be.
The counter argument is that “too much” support for Ukraine risks some type of intolerable escalation by Russia. That it is better to let Ukraine bleed out than risk a more intense war. Is it not clear that Russia’s next move will be against a NATO country? At that point we confront the same situation we do now — when, if ever, do we stop Russian aggression? We must make it clear to Russia that NATO will defend itself and to do so it will extend NATO’s military equipment umbrella over Ukraine.
It should be clear that Ukraine is fighting NATO’s fight — to stop Russian aggression. Ukraine is not asking our troops to fight and die, only to make sure that they do not fight and die in vain.
Mr. President, act now, do not allow your name to become your epitaph.
Healing Hoof-It thanks
The turnout for Smiling Goat Ranch’s annual Healing Hoof It was the best-ever since the inception of the event. This is our fifth year, and first one post-COVID, and the number of participants for the newly added 5K was beyond my expectations with 70 runners.
Proceeds benefited the ranch which does not charge families for our therapeutic services.
Huge thank yous to the Carbondale Chamber for allowing us to partner during April’s First Friday and to the Carbondale Recreation team for executing the race details. It was the debut for Carbondale Rec’s race arch, which even the Smiling Goat therapy animals got to go through. One of the horses wasn’t too sure about it but we got him through it!
And so much gratitude for our wellness partners who had information booths at the Fourth Street Plaza and to our sponsors who without them, this event would not be possible.
And to the Main Street businesses who offered treats to the participants: Peppinos Pizza, Carbondale Beer Works and Batch Provisions.
Also big thank you to Michelle Marlow of Ascent Events who brings the brilliance to our three annual signature events, and to Independence Run and Hike who graciously offered runners energy drinks, water and nutritious fresh fruit snacks postrace.
Smiling Goat Ranch
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