Wednesday letters: Primary endorsements, gun lobby, HOV lanes, thanking sub teachers |

Wednesday letters: Primary endorsements, gun lobby, HOV lanes, thanking sub teachers

Vote Velasco

Starting June 6, voters will get their ballots mailed to them for the Democratic primary election, and I could not be more proud to be supporting Elizabeth Velasco to be our Democratic nominee for State House.

Like many of us, Elizabeth and her family decided to make western Colorado the special place to reach their American dream. Elizabeth has the skills and lived experience to make sure that our neck of the woods stays a great place to raise a family.

Elizabeth’s self-funding opponent in the primary was recently endorsed by the conservative-leaning statewide Colorado Chamber of Commerce, an organization that typically spends big money to elect Republicans and fights against paid family leave, climate change solutions and cutting the cost of health care — a track record they proudly tout.

In contrast, Velasco will fight for our families, starting with a campaign inspired by our shared values and that does not accept contributions from representatives of big corporations that fight progress for the working class and rural people at the State Capitol.

Elizabeth will serve everyone in our community, no matter their background, ZIP code or how long they’ve been a part of our community. That’s why organizations that fight for working people, gun safety solutions and pro-choice rights have endorsed Elizabeth for this seat: We need a strong representative who stands up for everybody including small businesses, seasonal and frontline workforce, as well as teachers and ranchers.

I personally witnessed how Elizabeth dropped what she was doing and rolled up her sleeves to fight for community resiliency after the devastating 2020 wildfires. Being at the forefront of a climate disaster plus the leadership experience she acquired as a wildland firefighter will serve us well in the State Capitol.

Not all shades of blue are equal; these times need bold leadership from elected Democrats. Elizabeth will represent our communities with integrity, honesty and determination. Mail your ballot back in (or drop it off when it becomes too late to mail!) by June 28.

Beatriz Soto

New Castle

Beholden to gun lobby

Our founders did indeed embed in our Constitution the right to bear arms — a right that no one is trying to take away.

But I can assure you that the founders never envisioned a world in which fourth graders get decimated by assault rifles, a country in which active-shooter drills have become a routine for school children nationwide, in which going to the grocery store poses the risk of murder.

This is not a free nation; we have become beholden to the tyranny of the gun lobby. The U.S. government has some of the most sophisticated weaponry and surveillance on the planet. Even if every man, woman and child had an AR-15, if our government were to dissolve into tyranny, it would not be stopped by a civilian army.

Ten years ago, my own grandmother wrote a letter to the editor after the mass murder of kindergartners in Connecticut. It is my greatest hope that in 10 years we will no longer live under the tyranny of the gun lobby.

I know that Colorado is a state of common-

sense gun owners. Let’s show that common sense.

Lydia Tonozzi

Glenwood Springs

HOV lanes unsafe

The HOV lane as currently configured between Basalt and the AABC is singularly counterintuitive and unsafe. Stay right, pass left is a guide that has and continues to be the imperative and should not under any circumstances be changed for drivers of commercial or private passenger vehicles.

I have lived in and commuted to Aspen since 1972. Never when commuting from Carbondale did I find traffic so congested as to prohibit any bus from driving at a reasonable speed that would prevent them from maintaining a schedule.

Once arrived at the AABC, absolutely utilize the HOV concept. Not before.

This is just another example of bureaucracy and elected officials’ incompetency in making decisions, which in this case dangerously impacts the people they are trying to help.

Neil Ross


Endorsing Frisch for CD3

I am endorsing and offering my full support to Adam Frisch to be the next Congressperson representing Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.

I am impressed by Mr. Frisch’s robust, well-reasoned approach to this campaign and his dedication to the people not only of his community but those of the entire district.

I’ve had numerous conversations with Adam regarding his plan for this campaign and his policy ideas. His pragmatic approach to the issues facing our district, such as affordable broadband, access to mental health care and addressing the housing crisis, shows he’s not just someone who can win this election but someone who can make CD3 a national leader for years to come.

It is my honor to offer Adam Frisch my full backing and support, and I ask all those who have been following my campaign to support him as well. With all of our help, Adam will be our next CD3 representative.

Colin Wilhelm, former CD3 candidate

Glenwood Springs

CRES subs appreciated

I am writing to express my gratitude and appreciation for everyone who has worked as a guest teacher at Crystal River Elementary School this year. We are so grateful for the 23 individuals who helped support us — we couldn’t have done it without you.

Some of you came for one morning and some for three weeks in a row. Some of you signed up for the job weeks in advance and others replied to a 6 a.m. text message from me, desperate for coverage.

Sometimes it was art class, and other times first grade, PE or even helping in the nurse’s office. Whatever the circumstances, you showed up with a smile. Thank you from all of the CRES staff and families. We appreciate you!

Kendall Reiley, assistant principal, Crystal River Elementary Carbondale

Velasco will be a strong leader

I am excited to support Elizabeth Velasco to be our Democratic nominee for State House. Elizabeth is a dynamic and inspiring leader who runs a small business upvalley and is a trained wildland firefighter. She is a first-

generation Latina whose family moved to Western Colorado because they knew it was the best place to raise their children. Elizabeth is running to make sure every family in Pitkin County has an opportunity to thrive.

Elizabeth is endorsed by organizations that represent service workers, because they know she’ll fight to cut the high cost of living and raise wages in our valley. Elizabeth is endorsed by BlueFlower and COLOR, two organizations that fight for abortion rights, because they know she won’t ever give up in the fight for pro-choice rights. And, she’s endorsed by Ceasefire, a group that helped pass our gun safety laws in Colorado, because they know she’ll make sure Colorado doesn’t go backward in keeping our communities safe.

As a Latina who has been very involved in the Democratic Party, I know how much stronger we are when diverse voices are included. Elizabeth’s perspective as a young Latina who struggles with the same things many people in our valley struggle with, like the cost of housing, gas or health care, will mean she represents the most vulnerable among us.

Elizabeth’s community work as a trained wildland firefighter has reminded her that natural disasters and climate change affect everyone, no matter their income, party affiliation or background. She will be a strong leader for all of us, not the big special interests down in Denver.

I hope you’ll join me in voting for Elizabeth Velasco for HD57 when you get your ballots starting June 6.

Blanca Uzeta O’Leary


Buerger the experienced candidate

Cole Buerger, who hails from ranching country south of Silt, is on the Democratic ballot for our representative to the State House of Representatives. I will vote for him this month to represent Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties. Let me tell you why.

In order to get anything done in legislatures, we need representatives who have a broad range of experience, can stand in the shoes of all sorts of Coloradans, and don’t mind reaching across the aisle to get things done. It’s on us as voters to send people to the Capitol who can do more than repeat the party line at ever increasing volumes.

We have to work on water issues if we are going to get through this drought. We have to work on affordable housing issues if we are going to keep our communities intact. We have to address access to health care if we are going to keep people working and enjoying quality of life. We have to do something about gun safety, for all the tragic reasons we already know. And we have to ensure that we never lose the robust democracy for which Americans have fought for 247 years.

Cole is not a single issue candidate, and he’s not beholden to interest groups. He brings to the table a broad and studious background, and is intimately familiar with the walks of life that distinguish our West Slope lifestyles. I am assured he’s going to listen to all opinions and not take his cue from a select few.

As voters, we can help break political deadlock with sensible representatives like Cole Buerger.

Greg Russi

New Castle

One true ‘Republican’ for CD3

I attended U.S. Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s recent debate against Colorado State Sen. Don Coram in Ignacio, Colorado. It was evident that Boebert is a mover and shaker! She absolutely owned Coram, taking command of the key issues for our district, including water, forest fires and our economy. She also exposed Don Coram for the corrupt and dangerous politician he’s become. Coram’s self-serving policies enriched himself and carried out deadly damage to Coloradans by decriminalizing fentanyl.

As a health care provider who has seen the repercussions of this decriminalization, we have a fentanyl crisis. Fentanyl is 50-100 times more lethal than morphine. A deadly dose of fentanyl to kill an adult takes only 2 mg (or less) and much less to kill our precious children. Possessing any amount of fentanyl without a prescription should be a felony. Period.

It became clear throughout the course of the debate Don Coram is willing to do or say anything to deflect from his liberal voting record. It didn’t work, as Boebert took him to task time and again. Once again, Boebert revealed Don Coram was one of the prime sponsors of HB19-1032 that put inappropriate sex education into our schools. Parents, have you read “Healthy Kids Survey” for middle-school children (10 years on up)? I implore you to read this survey that is given to your 10-year-old children.

The bill also appropriates $1 million annually into a grant fund for schools that participate in the “Healthy Kids” program. The only way to satisfy that requirement is by administering this survey to students.

Boebert won the debate, won my vote, and I am convinced more than ever she will be reelected because she fights for us relentlessly and without fear or political correctness. Lauren is the real deal.

Hope Scheppelman


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