Wednesday letters: Teitler is best suited, COVID voting rules, vote Kuhlenberg and Teitler, West Glenwood development, and air quality rules
Teitler best suited for school board
It would be impossible to fit all of the reasons why Kenny Teitler is perfect for the Roaring Fork School District Board into just 350 words. In fact, even getting the highlights reel written down would require some serious abbreviating.
So, I am going to include what is known in the business as the “super duper highlights reel” and hope that it convinces you to vote for Kenny Teitler on your ballot in this November’s election.
Has almost 30 years of education experience in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Raised two brilliant daughters who graduated from the Roaring Fork School District.
Is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Taught at the elementary, middle school and at the college level, which means that he has taught kindergartners how to open their lunchbox on their first day of school; listened patiently to seventh graders having their worst day of school (several times); and opened his doors to adult students who may have found a lot of closed doors in their lives before walking into his classroom.
Has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for 29 years.
From child care costs to housing availability; from salary struggles to snowy roads, he understands the challenges faced by teachers trying to make it here. He is also a parent, and has spent decades balancing family, work and life.
On the school board, Kenny will offer a perspective which is grounded in the reality of being a teacher and parent in the Roaring Fork Valley and advocate for practical solutions which engage our community and respect our teachers. He believes that our district can make the changes needed to retain more qualified educators, close the learning gap and build a strong community foundation for all future learners.
Ditch COVID voting rules
Last year we got daily COVID death totals. This year it’s been new case totals. How lethal is the delta variant and why no death totals?
Over 90% of teachers, our seniors and those at medical risk have been vaxed. Healthy school-aged childrens’ chances of dying from COVID are almost zero. Yet we are forced to mask our children though not one study has been done on how effective masks are.
Over a million illegals have been dispersed throughout 48 states, most invalidated and many infected. Why do Democrats turn a blind eye?
The reason is that a pandemic allows special voting rules like no IDs, no signature verification, same-day registration and ballot harvesting.
The Dems say this ensures your vote counts.
I’d like to announce publicly that I am pulling out of active campaigning for the District E Roaring Fork School District board seat, and will instead endorse Kathryn Kuhlenberg for the position.
I entered this race to ensure that there was someone running who understands the actual issues and challenges facing our school district, rather than largely made-up quasi-issues that are good for political grandstanding but little else.
Kathryn has demonstrated the passion, understanding and work ethic RFSD requires in these difficult times, as well as the organizational skill and acumen to carry out smart policy on a range of issues, from financial management to faculty relations. She is the most qualified candidate in the District E race, and I happily defer to her leadership.
I would ask anyone in the community who seeks to support me to do so by supporting Kathryn Kuhlenberg for District E. In addition, I’d like to add my endorsement for Kenny Teitler, the best and most qualified candidate running in District A. Together, the K candidates — Kathryn and Kenny — will work hard to bring our district to the level we all would like it to reach, and I pledge to work hard on their behalf until Election Day.
Fear is the currency of their opponents; fear of new ideas, fear of science, and fear of our diverse community are their positions. I, for one, will not resign myself to such fear, particularly when our school district faces so many real challenges that must be dealt with for the future well-being of our children.
I believe that our kids deserve brave leadership, rather than people who let various short-term, media-supplied panics direct their decisions and actions. If you agree that our district is capable of greatness, and that this destination does not lie in distractions that divide us, but rather in focused attention to policy and real dedication to all of our kids, join me in voting the K ticket, Kathryn Kuhlenberg and Kenny Tietler.
No water for new houses
Our pristine water supply is the most valuable renewable resource for Glenwood Springs citizens. For over 100 years the No Name and Grizzly Creek drainages have provided residents with some of the purest municipal water in the country.
Is there enough water in these small drainages to supply the rapidly growing population? An engineering report commissioned by the city in 2015 attempted to address this issue. The report assumed the annual population growth for the period 2015 to 2050 to be 1.6%. The report stated that “more accelerated growth would be unlikely given the steep slopes, flood plains, river canyons, and federal lands along the city borders.” The report concluded that there will be adequate water and the existing infrastructure will support the projected 18,000 citizens in 2050 assuming a water efficiency program.
The report side-stepped the discussion of climate change on stream flows. It claimed that “without having a crystal ball to foresee the future” it is not possible to forecast streamflow in the future. However, it is a safe assumption that global climate change will continue to decrease the water yield from these two basins.
City Council is considering approving the addition of about 300 new living units behind the Glenwood Mall or about an 8% increase in population. This is in addition to the hundreds of other approved or already recently built apartment complexes. Even at a very conservative growth of 5% per annum, Glenwood’s population will be 18,800 people in only six years.
Perhaps now is the time to re-assess city council’s apparent policy of allowing uncontrolled growth. The first step is to deny the mall residential expansion. The second step is a moratorium on all new water taps until it can be determined if the existing citizens of Glenwood can continue to drink crystal clear water or start drinking blended Roaring Fork River water.
Not smart growth
City council had a majority to deny annexation for the 480 Donegan development on Sept. 7. But council member Shelly Kaup asked to continue the motion to deny for another month. She and Mayor Jonathan Godes are adamantly for the behemoth 332-unit development, saying that if R2 Partners completes its contract to buy the West Glenwood Springs Mall along with the hundreds of housing units, we’ll have a wonderful “walking community.” It does sound wonderful, that walking part: imagine a community that would do that!
The problem is, can you name any community that does that? Do those who live in downtown walk from their houses to work and to restaurants? Do those who live in apartments above Willits — a “walking community” — walk from home to work and restaurants? No: They get in their cars because their jobs are at the end of Highway 82 in Aspen. We witness this exodus daily in heavy and often dangerous traffic, replete with occasional mudslides and rock slides that close roads and cause major congestion.
It must be mentioned there’s empty storefronts (and too many banks) in downtown Glenwood, and that if retail was to fill the old mall, that there’d be a question of downtown losing revenue because of that. Or, that the mall can’t find enough retailers (Ross is still there, folks). But let’s say the old mall becomes a thriving retail/restaurant center — the vitality in downtown Glenwood would take a nosedive.
A walkable community when we have a highway running through it where at the end are the jobs that help us pay the rent — is just another mirage in the desert.
We continue to support smart growth, but 480 Donegan is not smart growth.
Need better air quality rules
It’s time for the state to get serious about reducing emissions of methane from oil and gas wells and infrastructure across Colorado.
In Garfield County, natural gas operations are an important part of our local economy, both in terms of jobs and tax generation for local fire, library and school districts. I am asking the state Air Quality Control Commission to adopt strong new rules that provide direct regulation over existing and future energy development.
Direct regulation that requires energy companies to capture all the methane they generate will benefit our local economy and the climate. With strong leak detection and repair requirements, for instance, our economy will benefit because methane is natural gas, and the more that’s captured the greater the profits for companies and taxes for communities and special districts.
The climate benefits because methane is a major source of climate change, responsible for 25 percent of the rise in warming that’s occurred here in Western Colorado and around the world.
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