Letters to the editor
Welcoming drugs in our community is a bonehead move
Here, on the Western Slope, I can’t seem to find a local newspaper that doesn’t have at least one drug related crime story within, since legalized marijuana businesses have established themselves in these communities.
The Post Independent headline for 10/2 is: “Glenwood felonies up 36% for year.” In this article, Police Chief Terry Wilson attributes a nationwide trend in disrespect towards authority, specifically towards police. The chief goes on to stem it from a mentality towards cops from events in Baltimore as a cause. Myself, I’m disgusted with the malice directed at police as a whole by some groups.
This article goes on to quote Wilson, “drug use is a common thread in both violent incidents and property crimes. If you want to be high and that is your primary goal, you’ve got to come up with the money somehow.”
I went ATVing a while ago with some guys, two which were cops. They both said burglaries were up, and now it is seldom a mystery who committed the crime. Since pot was permitted in Colorado, the usual suspects are drug addicted sons or daughters stealing from their own parents home with and without accomplices. When filling out the police reports the parents/burglary victims say, “Yeah, we know who did it.”
Addiction is real and it is ugly whether it’s pot on its own or as a gateway drug. Statistics show that a far higher rate of those who use pot, compared to those that consume alcohol, go onto try then become addicted to other drugs. Look those stats up or talk to a friend or parent of a drug abuser if you want a more firsthand account. We can expect to see continued crime rate increases as more people become addicted to pot. Pro-pot activist will tell you the opposite is true and offer propaganda to support it. If the weatherman says it’s sunny and dry outside but you have mud on you boots and rain falling on your head from dark skies, what are you gonna go with? I’m going to go with what I see unfolding, what I witness all around me, what I know to be true. I say it’s raining outside and the stoners are … you know it, they’re stoned.
As I’ve stated in earlier letters, I generally say: to each their own. I respect the rights and liberties of the individual. Having said that, your rights stop where they infringe on mine. All of us in this valley are now more likely to be the victim of a crime since, one by one, these local communities allow pot. Besides crime and even more important is the influence and the future prospects of our youth with pot being portrayed as acceptable. Then there’s things like property values, the inescapable stench of pot in small communities, etc. Prior indicators and surmounting evidence shows society can’t handle pot, legal or not. Legalizing marijuana has only multiplied, magnified, and compounded problems that come with pot. No surprise there and no bragging rights to anyone who was able to predict this inevitable outcome that came with legalization.
The passage of pot here in Parachute sounds eerily similar to the passage of pot in our neighboring towns as I’ve heard in incidental conversation. Out of town drug dealers entice city officials to be participants in the marijuana business and they actually go for it despite the loud and ongoing protests of the citizens they are supposed to be representing. Parachute’s Home Rule Charter emphasizes a government of the people. This is being discarded. I think Parachute town officials have blatantly abused their positions and done so repeatedly in recent months. Politician’s posts shouldn’t be wholly self serving , but too often, that’s apparently what you get whether it’s a large or small scale politician. Just like cops, there’s good and bad. Although, I’d argue the ratio of good cops to bad cops blows the politician good/bad ratio out of the water. It’s waned just about out of existence but I still have hope (being a past town trustee) that our town officials see and rectify the recent errors and decisions they’ve made.
Major interjection — excellent job, kudos, and way to go, to Derek Wingfield, town of Parachute staff, security personnel, volunteers, and anyone else who was responsible for Parachute’s Oktoberfest event. It was big fun for adults and kids. The bands were excellent. I had about given up on country music then whoa! … Brothers Osborne opened up on stage and delivered. For two days, family and friends had a blast. I recommend typing it into your phone, or going out now, yes right now, and buy a 2016 calendar and schedule in the next Parachute Oktoberfest.
Now let’s go back to the same 10/2 Post Independent article. Quoting District Attorney Sherry Caloia: “she also suspected increased drug use as a factor behind some of the more severe crimes.” Also according to Caloia: “Lock your doors, close your windows, don’t leave stuff in your cars, and keep track of your mail.” I can see it’s been raining.
Praise for Carla Ferrand
I would like the community to know how lucky and blessed we are to have Carla Ferrand as our Garfield County extension agent. Mrs. Ferrand is the extension associate/county liaison, CSU extension agent for 4-H.
Carla stepped in as a volunteer during a time when the 4-H program had no agent or leadership. She helped the youth organize and accomplish a huge event about one year ago; 4-H Achievement Night. She then started helping 4-H part time to fill in the gaps and give leadership, all while still holding her full-time job.
When she was offered a full-time position, the 4-H families were elated. Carla has hit the ground running in her role as mentor, teacher, leader and so much more. She has taken the youth on multiple trips over the summer both fun and educational. She has used her plethora of knowledge to finalize charters, petition for grants and donations and train and educate us all. She never backs down from a challenge and is always looking ahead with ideas to make the 4-H program better.
She played a big part in the success in this year’s fair with her new ideas and excellent organization. She continues to give her time to after-school programs.
Carla has a positive attitude that is shown through her new title. Her upbeat personality is spread throughout the youth in 4-H, which makes the whole program better. We are so very happy she is our 4-H agent and want to thank her for her genuine care and dedication. I hope all of Garfield County will acknowledge what an asset we have in Carla Ferrand as our 4-H extension agent. The good she does for the youth is a benefit for the whole county now and in the future.
Gas drilling — are you next?
In 1998 my husband and I bought land in Battlement Mesa from the Battlement Mesa Company and built a house. Now we’re finding out that the company didn’t register with Garfield County the potential drilling pads within the community until 1999. They continued selling property and homes without disclosing this.
There were no drilling rigs to be seen in 1998. That’s probably because up to 1995 Colorado had 160-acre well spacing. Then the Energy Department allowed one to be drilled per 80 acres. Next, in1997 our very own Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission approved one per 40 acres; in 1998 one per 20 acres; and in 2003 one per 10 acres. In 2007 multiple wells (now up to 25) from one well pad were approved.
With 40-acre spacing, well pads were kept in rural areas. Since the drilling boom in the 2000s, our community has been surrounded by drilling pads. Because we are a PUD (Planned Unit Development) and have strict covenants, the gas companies placed their pads just outside our perimeter and have been drilling multiple natural gas wells from each pad, accessing the minerals beneath us using directional drilling (up to 2,500 feet) and fracking.
Now they can access almost all of these minerals underneath us from outside our PUD. The proposed Phase I of Ursa and B. Mesa Co. would put well pads inside the PUD — one by the Colorado River and near our water intake and another within 1,000 feet of homes. There also would be a high-pressure gas line along the back yards of 22 homes. The next two phases would include two well pads along our award-winning golf course and one below a village of homes, plus an injection well.
With an oversupply of gas and low natural gas prices, why is this proposal on the table now? Are we the test case for all of Colorado? If they can come into a PUD, then they can drill anywhere. Will the COGCC and our county commissioners protect us and deny this special use permit
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Former Rifle Bears standout turned starting running back for Western Colorado University Ty Leyba remembers it like it was yesterday.