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Wednesday letters: Good doctors, housing, Republicans, drug pushers

Thanks, Valley View docs

I have lived in Glenwood Springs for over 40 years, so I feel like I know this town and people pretty well. But this past Sunday (April 24), I was pleasantly surprised by something. I unfortunately was dealing with another kidney stone and had two visits to the ER. On Saturday morning, after my initial trip to the ER, I was at the end of my rope dealing with the pain. I called ER, and Dr. Travis Martin, who was the doc of the day in ER, called me back. He calmed me down because he seemed truly concerned about my condition. He shared a personal similar situation and told me how to manage my pain with the meds I had. He said if I was unable to handle the pain to come into ER, which I ended up doing for the second time that week.

No matter what you want to say about Valley View Hospital — and yes, it is very expensive, like most hospitals — you can’t deny the great quality of care you get there.

Now, the amazing part. The following morning at home, so worried about another bout with pain, I get a call from Dr. Martin to see how I was doing. If you have ever gotten a call from an ER doctor before, it’s not like your regular GP that knows you and sees you all the time. I bet Dr. Martin saw a few dozen people, just that day that I was there. But he took time out of his busy schedule to check on me. I barely knew what to say, I was so touched. That act of kindness made all the difference in the world to me. Thank you, Dr. Martin, and to “big cheese” Mr. Murphy: You better start cloning Dr. Martin, because before you know it, he will be waving his hat as he rides off into the sunset, which will be well-deserved.

John Korrie

Glenwood Springs

Housing is employers’ problem

“The business of America is business,” President Calvin Coolidge famously said in a January 1925 speech. Recently, a local business man wrote a letter to the editor instructing Glenwood Springs to construct housing for his and other businesses’ workers. He is right about this: “Employees need housing.” Not just any old workers, but people who are well-educated, healthy and happy about where they live and for whom they work. Business also wants plenty of customers. Therefore, the community should see that there are quality accommodations, activities and all necessary services from good streets to good water. And plenty of marketing.

However, there is another point of view — that of the taxpaying resident. Many of these good people are now incensed about having hundreds of new units crammed into their neighborhoods. And why is it that housing is being built, and has been built for many years, and yet — and yet — there is still not enough? Instead, there is congestion, constant traffic, water source problems, lack of a local fire station, crowded schools with problems getting teachers, lack of a local grocery and a serious wildfire danger. The answer lies in controlling what is built. Constantly expanding the quantity of business, and hence employees and housing, is the real source of the problem.

Glenwood is currently redoing its Comprehensive Plan. It is painfully obvious that the last one was either useless or ignored. There is nothing vaguely “comprehensive” going on. What cities do is process the latest developers’ proposals. Then they try to provide the services that the developers don’t with whatever tax money they can muster.

The business of America is actually about making a profit at everyone else’s expense.

Patrick Hunter

Carbondale

Disillusioned Republican

As a longtime supporter of the Republican Party, first voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and continued through the election of Donald Trump, thinking that a change from a career politician to a businessman with no political background would be good and that Mr. Trump would change from the egotist bully he has always been into something more human.

Yeah, right, he is what he is.

Still believing in many policies touted by the Republicans. Yes we have to secure our borders, but we have no business in telling a woman what she can or cannot do with her own body.

Now to my point. If not for DJT and his coddling and praise for Vlad, the divisiveness of his tenure and all the lies leading to the fiasco of January 6th, Mr. Putin may have thought twice about his slaughter in Europe.

President Biden and the Dems are far from perfect, but at least he had the balls to stand up to that bully. If DJT had a pair and really cared about our country instead of his own agenda, would we be at the brink of world war?

God Bless America or have mercy on our souls.

AJ Nieman

Rifle

Stop coddling pushers

Recent articles about the drug fentanyl had some alarming information. The stats point to the USA being the drug consumption king of the world. Annually, 47 tons of heroin, 145 tons of cocaine and 3 or 4 tons of fentanyl.

Much less fentanyl is needed because of its potency. This super drug killed over 67,000 Americans in 2021, of which 890 were Coloradans. By comparison, Colorado traffic deaths were only 672. We charge drunk drivers with vehicular homicide, we should charge fentanyl dealers with chemical homicide.

If you get caught selling poison, you go to prison. You get saved from an overdose, you go to prison, unless you rat out your poison peddler. Whether a bullet, pill or powder, it’s all murder. We need to stop coddling criminals and addicts alike.

One local addiction “expert” opined, “getting rid of the stigmas around drug use and addiction will lead us down an unobstructed path to recovery.” Hmmm. We need to normalize addiction in order to cure it?

This sounds more like a job security plan for therapists than a drug security plan for our children. Enabling addicts to remain addicted through clean needle handouts and “safe” injection sites is inane and counterproductive.

Addicts need intervention, not destigmatization. Normalizing addiction is a disservice to the addict.

I speak from experience. A long time ago I stopped using needles for fun, without dying. A few dozen of my friends were not as fortunate. Fentanyl raises the danger to a whole new level. We must act forcefully or sit by and watch this lethal affliction continue to grow.

Bruno Kirchenwitz

Rifle

Wednesday letters: City Council out of touch, 480 Donegan, AQCC regs, Aspen dystopia

Council out of touch with city

I read with great interest the Post Independent article dated Nov. 22, “Development moratorium loses Glenwood Springs City Council support.” My suspicions that this council is rudderless when it comes to housing was confirmed by Mayor Godes, “The council’s lack of direction was the reason he could not support the moratorium” and Councilman Hershey’s “I don’t know what the rules are anymore, and I don’t know what council is doing.”

What is the city’s intent? I know the council and its citizens are concerned about housing, but is it housing in general or affordable housing? From my interpretations of recent survey results, the issue is affordable housing, not housing in general. If that is the case, how have this and previous councils tackled the issue? It appears their method to solve the issue is to allow almost unbridled apartment building with the hopes a paltry amount of those units will be deemed “affordable.” Or, they are hoping enough supply of apartments get built that demand drops and with it rent prices. That approach is dubious at best.

How can any organization tackle an issue if they do not have a clear vision and a roadmap to achieve that vision? This issue is not unique to Glenwood Springs. Why not look at other towns or regions that have successfully tackled this problem and emulate their plan?

In talking to my friends and neighbors, the consensus is nearly unanimous. This city council and administration is out of touch with its citizens and it is not for the lack of the citizen’s involvement but a lack of the council’s ability to listen.

Dave and Polly Malehorn

Glenwood Springs

Many housing partnership possibilities

A GSPI editorial sought input on suggested uses for the Glenwood Partnership/R2 WGWS parcel. There are undoubtedly many, above and beyond what has been proposed and approved by the city of Glenwood Springs. City leadership and staff are willing to annex more land into the city and have zoned and approved 300 housing units to be built on fewer than 13 acres.

The lengthy and contentious process resulted in a citizen referendum effort seeking reversal of these decisions. Part of the process that was overlooked or dismissed by city staff and leadership were the legal requirements of parkland and school land dedications per Municipal Code. The Parks and Recreation Commission/director and Re-1 district staff or board were not consulted for input.

Land dedicated could be used for staff housing and to alleviate the shortage of usable public parkland in this area. Re-1 is considering accepting Two Rivers Community School into their umbrella, and a proper school playground and parking should be in play. Habitat for Humanity is in need of affordable land to build owner-occupied housing. They declined to appear before council to avoid being involved in a controversial issue.

Entities such as Re-1, CMC, the Beckleys, HFH, RFTA, the Catholic Archdiocese, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, Pitkin and Garfield housing authorities and others have continued to work successfully toward providing attainable housing in our area. The council majority was swayed by the 480 Donegan project committing a small percentage to such housing, even adding 30 more units than the developer proposed … acquiescing to the few and dismissing the many.

The city is hiring a housing manager, perhaps too late when there are so many “proven partners” that could have been involved.

A major “aberration or flaw” of this development was the lack of any true neighborhood dialogue by the owner and developer. Their required “community meetings” consisted of two small group meetings with citizens, not an open invitation to the neighborhood or community.

A project of this magnitude outside the city limits, not supported by Garfield County commissioners, with close to a 10% increase in city residents on just one parcel should have had more and proper commission, agency and neighborhood input.

Greg Jeung

Glenwood Springs

Assessing Martin’s take on AQCC regs

Garfield County Commissioner John Martin’s reaction to the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission’s new oil and gas drilling regulations was somewhat positive considering the BOCC has fought industry restrictions with million-dollar lawsuits before. He said he hopes the rules will make Colorado residents safer.

The new measures call for increased and more intensive inspection of leaks in drilling operations within 1,000 feet of dwellings or schools. Low-producing wells are to be checked for methane leaks. Matt Sura, lawyer for the Western Colorado Alliance, says such wells haven’t been inspected since 2016. When found, all leaks are to be repaired immediately.

Martin has reservations, however. Guess what they concern — money. County revenues have plummeted 60% during the industry’s recent downturn, primarily due to a smaller piece of the severance tax pie, Martin said, and that’s resulted in a reduction of county services. The situation is projected to get worse, and property taxes will have to be increased to maintain the county’s current level of services, he said.

To be sure, a property tax increase would hurt marginalized citizens. They should be given an exemption, and the bulk of the surge should be absorbed by the owners of million-dollar homes and multimillion-dollar businesses. They could pay the increase out of the spare change they carry around in their pockets.

Showing sensitivity to his constituents’ finances, Martin predicted utility bills will go up because of all the regulations being imposed on the fossil fuel industries. Well, our Xcel and Holy Cross tabs are already growing, but it’s not because of controls.

It’s the law of supply and demand. Supply is low because of reduced production during the pandemic, and demand is high because the consumers are coming out of their pandemic funk — the ingredients of inflation.

All this is in the short term. In the long run our power bills will be smaller because Xcel and Holy Cross are switching to renewables, and they’re cheaper than fossil fuels.

Administrators of the ilk of our county commissioners don’t handle change well. The oil and gas industry has been Garfield County’s sugar daddy for a long time now, and Moe, Larry and Curly want it to stay that way. Not gonna happen, fellas. Better find another benefactor or raise property taxes on those who can afford it.

Fred Malo Jr.

Carbondale

Outsider’s view on Aspen dystopia

I moved to the valley in August 2019 after experiencing it through many years of snowboard vacations. As an outdoorsman, I literally thought I’d died and went to heaven. We quickly made friends up and down the valley, and life couldn’t have been better.

When the first cases of COVID-19 were found in Pitkin County, things certainly changed, but one would expect that if you were going through a deadly pandemic. I still felt grateful every day to be in this valley with our tremendous access to outdoor activities and low population density.

Fast forward to today. … Why do I consider Aspen a dystopia? I feel like Aspen is the perfect test kitchen for the World Economic Forum’s The Great Reset in so many ways. “You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy” has been the reality for many residents for decades. Not by choice, but because it’s too expensive for 99% of the population to buy a home.

Think about it: Aspen is a perfect example of the elite’s dream society where you have “them” living by one standard, with 10,000-plus-square-foot homes, flying in on private jets, burning up insane amounts of jet fuel, and “us,” the serfs, living in a perpetual welfare state with no chance to ever get ahead. Hell, at this point, most people are so used to this system, so entitled to these benefits, they are literally experiencing Stockholm Syndrome and have zero desire to change anything.

This is how Aspen went from a freethinker’s paradise to a town mired in group think, completely homogeneous in its views, a serfdom entrenched in a mass psychosis by their masters. If this makes you upset, you might be a serf.

Frank Routhier

Carbondale

 

Friday letter: Christmas spirit

Christmas spirit at its best

A quick story of my parents in Parachute and a bit of trouble with the sliding glass door and they couldn’t get it to open, and how it is critical for my Dad as this leads to the ramp he needs for entrance and exit with his physical challenges to their home.

Mom called Roaring Fork Glass and got Krista. They were unfortunately very busy, but Krista took the time to call her brother Phil, who has Heritage Custom Glass in Silt, and he took the time to go to Parachute and fix the rollers and get it all working and then refused payment and told my parents Merry Christmas.

There is still a Christmas spirit, and thanks to Krista and Phil for taking the time and caring.

Russ Brown

Glenwood Springs

 

Wednesday letters: Keep your guard up, Holiday Baskets program, ‘trust’ the experts, unvaccinated facts

Keeping an eye on omicron

First of all, I would like to wish you and yours a happy holiday season.

We are keeping a close eye on the developing impact the omicron variant may have on our hospital and community. As with everything COVID-19, there is a lot yet to learn, but it does appear omicron is much more contagious than other variants thus far.

It looks as though it has the ability to some degree to evade both natural immunity and vaccinations, though those who have received boosters have increased protection.

If you have not received your booster, I would strongly encourage you to do so. Some reports also show the variant may cause less severe disease, but this is also very preliminary.

We are watching for advisories from the CDC and CDPHE, but in the meantime, it may be appropriate to take extra precautions for the next few weeks.

Watch for and report any symptoms you may have yourself so you can get tested. Consider wearing a mask, and, most importantly, continue to practice good hand hygiene.

Get your booster if you have not already.

Thank you for the continued sacrifices you have made; together we can beat this.

I don’t know what the future holds for us, but think it prudent to discuss and prepare for all scenarios.

Dr. Kevin Coleman

chief medical officer

Grand River Health

What could go wrong?

As we wrap up another year of tribalism and confirmation bias, a good motto for 2020-2021 is “trust the experts” or “stay in your lane.”

This is especially true in two areas:

• Education: Do not question school leadership. Trust them to always do the right thing and never put their personal or union interests above your child. Disregard the decline in U.S. performance globally, despite continually spending more money per pupil.

• Health: Do not question health authorities. Trust them blindly to know what is best for your individual health. Do not question the “one-size-fits-all” approach to health.

I don’t think we should stop there. We should all “stay in our lanes” and let experts go unquestioned in other fields:

• Geopolitical: Do not question the intelligence community. Trust them to always do the right thing and never get us into bad situations.

• Government: Do not question lifelong politicians. Trust them to always put their constituents’ interests above their own. And don’t ever look at their personal investment history as it correlates to policy they pass.

• Finance: Do not question your wealth adviser or accountant. They are experts and would never make a mistake or do something nefarious.

• Banking: Do not question your loan terms. Bankers are experts in this field and would never be conflicted between fees they can earn and best terms for you.

Disregard the financial crisis and predatory lending. Disregard Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq, WMDs, etc. Disregard CDC vaccine injury reports. Disregard politicians constantly coming into office with humble beginnings and leaving millionaires. Shut up and just trust the experts. What could go wrong?

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

— Aristotle

Chase McWhorter

Carbondale

Holiday Baskets program a joy to behold

What a joy to arrive at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Basalt on Dec. 15 and be met by Anne Blackwell, chairperson of Holiday Baskets, and bags upon bags of gifts.

For the second year, English In Action has participated in this program, and our hearts are full of gratitude. Volunteers, including one of our own, John Burks, an English In Action tutor, loaded up presents to be distributed among our participating adult immigrant students and their families.

As students came to our office to pick up gifts and gift cards, they shared their appreciation and gratitude. In total, 36 adults and children were our recipients this year, and the gifts certainly help ease the strain that many of our hardworking families face.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said one student, upon seeing the beautifully wrapped packages filled with practical necessities, joyful toys and gift cards to put towards holiday meals.

While our mission at English In Action is to help immigrants learn English and develop the skills they need to pursue their dreams, connecting them to resources and opportunities to acknowledge that they are welcomed and valued in our community is of large importance, too.

We are very grateful to all the Holiday Baskets volunteers and donors for their generosity and for the greater message of care and compassion this program communicates in our valley.

Angela Hanley

English In Action Group Tutoring Programs manager

Carbondale

Unvaccinated facts

Some 50 million Americans are currently unvaccinated for COVID-19. Most of those people are likely to be vaccinated for other maladies, such as measles, flu, Td (tetanus, diphtheria), rabies, Tdap (whooping cough), shingles, Pneumococcal (PPSV23, PCV13), HPV and meningitis.

We hear that some 80% to 90% of patients currently hospitalized and receiving intensive care are unvaccinated. Unvaccinated are six times more likely to contract COVID-19. Unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19. Unvaccinated people infect other people more than vaccinated people, because they carry virus longer.

Nurses, doctors and other health care workers in hospitals suffer from infections, burn out and suffer PTSD from constantly treating COVID-19 patients. Many are quitting health care.

Many of the nation’s hospital critical care facilities are full and turning away patients, in part because they are understaffed. I was told of a person who recently contracted pneumonia and could not be admitted to a hospital for lack of beds. They died. They could have lived if treated.

People in the regular and social media are claiming that COVID-19 vaccinations don’t work. Some are saying that the vaccinations are causing health problems.

Most unvaccinated people claim to be Republicans and voted for Trump. Many unvaccinated people claim that no authority of any kind can force them to be vaccinated. They say their personal health is entirely their own concern.

Unvaccinated people claim that the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights provide complete liberty that cannot be diminished in any way.

Patrick Hunter

Carbondale

 

Monday letters: Boebert bad, Boebert good, youth hockey, get vaccinated, school shootings, Whiting on point

Poor ‘Christmas’ message

As a professor of educational psychology, a former high school teacher, a parent and a grandparent, the “Christmas” family portrait of my U.S. Representative, Lauren Boebert, with guns and her children, horrified me.

It didn’t exactly profess “Peace on Earth.”

But, as a researcher who has published works on school shootings, I cannot believe she comprehends the long-term psychological impact of the photograph on families who have lost their children in school shootings. I have interviewed too many teachers and parents who had to live through those horrors.

Ms. Boebert needs to speak with those who carry post-traumatic stress disorder 24 hours a day for the rest of their lives. We who value our children need better representation in Congress than this.

Edward Mooney

New Castle

You can prevent school shootings

We are seventh-grade students from Basalt Middle school. We want people to know that anyone can help to prevent school shootings.

School shootings are awful, but anyone can help to prevent them. You can be kind to all people. Most student shooters shoot because someone is mean to them or something is happening in their life, and it may help to be kind to them.

Studies show each day, eight children die from gun violence in America. Another 32 are shot and injured. According to Education Week, “There have been 30 school shootings this year, 22 since August 1. A shooting on Nov. 30, in which a student killed four people and injured seven at an Oxford, Mich., high school, was the deadliest school shooting since May 2018. There have been 88 school shootings since 2018.”

School shootings have been getting worse and worse in the past years. The U.S. has had 1,316 school shootings since 1970 and these numbers are increasing — 18% of 1,316 school shootings have happened in the last eight years.

Basalt Middle School’s resource officer said, “If you see someone or hear about something suspicious, report it to a trusted adult.”

Connor Anthes, Hudson Hollar and Elliott Melnik

Basalt Middle School students

Youth hockey gratitude

On behalf of the Glenwood Springs Youth Hockey Association, I would like to express our deep gratitude to the various youth hockey clubs of the Western Colorado Hockey League who graciously helped us continue our youth programming during the four-week shutdown of our ice rink after a serious refrigeration system failure on Nov. 14.

The member clubs and their local facilities generously provided us with ice time where it was available and co-programming with their athletes and coaches.

Specifically, we want to thank:

The Grand Junction River Hawks, Jackson Wilson, director.

The Vail Mountaineer Hockey Club, Dave Bishop, director.

The Aspen Junior Hockey Club, Harlan Pratt, director

Summit Hockey, Chris Miller, director

Colorado Extreme (Independent), Sheldon Wolitski, director

Thankfully, our ice rink is back up and running. We are humble and thankful to be a part of the wonderful hockey community on the western slope of Colorado. Happy Holidays!

Hamilton Tharp, GSYHA president

Glenwood Springs

Begging to differ

The “Blackhearted and evil” letter writer (Dec. 3 Letters) claims the Post Independent turns a blind eye to Rep. Lauren Boebert’s salty appraisal of Ilham Omar. The disgruntled Dem denigrates Lauren as racist, xenophobic, wrong, disgraceful and un-American.

I beg to differ.

Lauren has spoken out against critical race theory being taught in schools. She has repeatedly sounded the alarm of the crisis at our southern border. She has deplored the betrayal of our allies and NATO partners in Afghanistan. Boebert has decried our milk toast foreign policy of appeasement and weakness. She has loudly pointed out Biden’s blame for high gas prices and inflation.

Seems to me local and national media have turned a blind eye to all these Biden blunders.

I find it amusing that some embarrassed, die-hard Dems still display Trump derangement syndrome, while ignoring the joke they put in the White House.

Bruno Kirchenwitz

Rifle

Costing us all

​​We are still in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., in large part because of the failure of millions of our citizens to get vaccinated, preventing herd immunity and allowing new mutations such as omicron to develop.

Thousands of Americans are still dying, and the lives of tens of thousands more have been ruined due to long COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccines are extremely safe and are very effective at preventing serious COVID-19 illness and death. Recent data indicates that approximately 85% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. These preventable illnesses and deaths are costing us all money by increasing the cost of health care.

While we can’t force people to get vaccinated, one thing is clear: Those of us who did the right thing and got vaccinated shouldn’t have to pay for expensive care required by unvaccinated risk-takers who get COVID-19 and end up in the hospital.

Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance should increase the premiums for the unvaccinated to cover their potential care.

Greg Feinsinger, M.D.

Steve Hessl, M.D.

Whiting on point

I am in total agreement with Bryan Whiting’s opinion article (Dec. 1 Post Independent). Having looked at the Garfield County’s budgets over the years, I continue to be astounded at the high percentage of funds dedicated toward “social programs,” or in other words, “government handouts.”

If the monies are disbursed for such programs, how does the county or its hardworking citizens benefit in return? No one wants to live in a community that is in economic decline for lack of services or a viable workforce.

While the commissioners pondered over how much to raise county salaries during the most recent budgeting process, they should have dedicated the same amount of effort in scrutinizing their social program budgets in order to reduce them, thereby strongly encouraging able-bodied people to go to work.

A capitalistic society expects its citizens to contribute to the prosperity of their nation through getting a proper education in order for them to obtain employment in their chosen field and for which an honest wage is earned. How can one hold their head high when living on government sustenance?

As Mr. Whiting points out in his article, “The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 7.4 million people are currently unemployed while there are 10.4 million job openings. They choose income inequality.

“If we believe in freedom, we must allow them to make this choice but shouldn’t be required to subsidize it.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Eleanor Nelson

Battlement Mesa

 

Friday letters: vaccines, Boebert

Listen to your real doctor

Today (Dec. 14), America crossed the 800,000 mark for deaths attributed to COVID-19. What makes this number so significant and disgusting is a lot of those deaths could have been prevented.

From the first month of COVID-19 death reporting to one year later, 530,000 Americans died; which means, simply put, 270,000 people died of COVID-19 after a vaccine became available.

This begs the question, why aren’t people just listening to their own doctors, instead of somebody on Facebook, Twitter or Infowars?

Aaron Rogers is not a doctor. Niki Minaj is not a doctor. Joe Rogan is not a doctor.

Hydroxychloroquine is a drug used to kill the bacteria that causes malaria. It does not kill a virus.

Ivermectin is a drug used to kill roundworm larvae in children. It does not kill a virus.

Germany and Austria both are locking down the unvaccinated in their countries, and both countries are at 74-76% vaccinated; but for them, it is not good enough.

At this rate, by next April, 1 million Americans will be dead from COVID-19.

But, for heaven’s sake, do not look to your local elected politicians for guidance, because they also think they know more about viruses than your doctor does.

Nobody cares about your freedoms, or your liberties, except you.

Any questions?

Ask your doctor.

Steven Gluckman

Glenwood Springs

Boebert’s future is up to the GOP

The accolades being heaped on the late Sen. Bob Dole remind us that it’s possible to be both a politician and a decent human being. Dole never let his innate conservatism taint his relationships with his more liberal Senate colleagues. He didn’t call them Marxists. He called them friends, and he worked with them across the aisle to promote the public good.

Contrast Dole with our own District 3 congresswoman, Lauren Boebert. She has mastered the art of attracting attention to herself, but to what end? How does it further our common good when she screams invective at politicians with whom she disagrees? She made a video describing a possibly fictitious encounter with Muslim Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. Boebert has called Omar “black-hearted,” “evil,” even “a jihad squad.”

Why does Boebert act this way, if not to put herself in the spotlight, as she throws gasoline on the fires of the culture wars? How do her actions promote good government, and how do they reflect on her constituents?

Owing to redistricting, Colorado Congressional District 3 is now safe Republican territory. That leaves Boebert’s fate in the hands of the GOP. Only a primary challenge can unseat her. To my principled and honorable Republican friends, I say this: It’s up to you. You’re the deciders. You know right from wrong, so look to your conscience. Is Lauren Boebert the best we can do?

Ed Colby

New Castle

 

Wednesday letters: Feinsinger straying from his expertise, get vaccinated, hard work pays

Stay in your lane, Doc

There is an expression in most professional circles: “Stay in your lane.” This admonishment is often shorthand for someone who is espousing views in a discipline for which they are not trained to stop talking and avoid representing something on which they are not trained to opine. Often, when someone strays from their core discipline, they weaken the validity of their discipline. Perhaps more importantly, many see through the pontification as just that: trying to use their stature for personal, not disciplined, opinion.

Dr. Feinsinger’s Dec. 10 column in this newspaper is a classic example of someone straying outside their lane. Moreover, the article sadly presents many quotes or references to “many medical journals” as support for his views. (I might add, these medical journals are similarly straying from their “lane.”) I visit a medical professional for medical advice, not environmental lectures or unfounded claims expressed as sanctimonious medical advice.

I have learned in my many years of life on this planet that there are often several different sides to a story, and often each has data and statistics to support their views. Nowhere in Dr. Feinsinger’s article is such balance presented, nor even explored. And for him to be a medical professional, this mindset is very troubling. Am I to infer when he provides medical advice it is merely opinion and not a balanced professional perspective?

So please stay in your lane, Doc. There is enough gratuitous personal opinion masquerading as gospel floating in the universe these days, and your contribution (and those contributions of your medical journals) to this arena is not helpful. Or perhaps you’re suggesting I get my COVID-19 medical advice from the auto shop attendant the next time I have my car’s oil changed?

Roger C. Hindman

Carbondale

Get the jab

The COVID-19 news is quite discouraging with the increase of deaths and hospitalizations, mostly due to the unvaccinated.

The cynic in me thinks that is a trend that should improve the gene pool of the human race, but on the other side, some do get breakthrough infections, some cannot get vaccinated because of prior health issues and some unvaccinated people I liked are no longer here.

The sorrow caused by losing someone close and the stress caused to the health industry are both great. So, please, get vaccinated. Don’t be among those whose genes will be deleted from the human race.

Gerry Terwilliger

Basalt

Income inequality reality

Bryan Whiting: Thank you for reiterating what is completely obvious: Hard work pays (Post Independent, Dec 1). I have been busting my butt for 40-plus years, and guess what? I don’t need any handouts, and I don’t complain about inequality. Why? Because I busted my butt to get to my financial position. I didn’t whine or pout or say “that’s not fair” or beg — I just worked hard. Period.

I have witnessed a lot of immigrants who are doing the same — working hard. And they are realizing the benefits of their efforts. Two of my neighbors are immigrants, and they are both entrepreneurs. Their hard work has allowed them to purchase homes up Four Mile without begging or complaining. And all they did was work hard. The United States is one of the best places to realize capital gains if you work hard. It’s that simple.

And as for all the (young) bums on the streets looking for a handout — and who probably won’t read this — I have zero sympathy for you. You live in the ultimate “land of opportunity,” and all you are doing is trying to catch a free ride. No thank you.

Dave Heyliger

Glenwood Springs

 

Monday letter: Boebert

Enough, already

I’ve been trying to figure out what it would take for the voters of the 3rd Congressional District of Colorado to be embarrassed or say enough is enough when it comes to our attention-addicted Rep. Lauren Boebert. Defying D.C. rules about carrying a gun? Supporting the “big lie” that the election was rigged? Wearing a dress at Mar-a-Lago with DJT that has a large written vulgar statement against President Biden? Nope, nope and nope.

According to Colorado Newsline (Sept. 29), she has failed Coloradans in a number of ways: her role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack; has not passed a single bill; voted against cancer patients and military families; zero dollars for local projects; broke federal campaign law; has not introduced a single bill with bipartisan support; AWOL during Interstate 70 mudslides; refuses to be accessible to constituents and press; risk to responsible gun owners; and refusal to cooperate with meaningful COVID-19 recovery.

Not enough? Perhaps this will finally tell you who our representative really is: After supporting Kyle Rittenhouse (who happened to shoot three people and killing two), she offered him a job. Just what we need, a gun-toting, undereducated person on Capitol Hill. Oh wait, isn’t that Boebert? But that’s not embarrassing enough.

After four kids were shot in a Michigan school, she posted a Christmas photo of her and her four boys, with the boys armed with semi-automatic weapons, their Christmas presents. Not enough yet? Well, since she brought her kids into the limelight, consider this, Colorado: Two of her sons were wearing sports jerseys. Broncos? Avs? Rockies? Nope. Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders! The Raiders! Can you say tone deaf?

I doubt the kids bought their own jerseys, so it’s a safe assumption that our Colorado representative doesn’t really support Colorado. Just scamming her supporters.

Craig S. Chisesi

Rifle

 

Wednesday letters: Farewell to Hal, Hanukkah, 480 Donegan, new reason to oppose vaccine, too much housing

Sundin will be missed

Hal Sundin has had a great run. Will miss his insight and personable monthly column. Thank him for his backstory in his final column.

Fred Stewart

Grand Junction

Enjoyed Hal

Congratulations, Hal Sundin. I have enjoyed reading your column.

Charles Sloss

Glenwood Springs

Post Independent should not forget Hanukkah

Eight days of a wonderful historical holiday is over. Happy (belated) Hanukkah.

The Glenwood Post Independent did not mention it. In light of that oversight, perhaps they will forget to mention Christmas.

So, in advance, I wish the entire community of Glenwood Springs a very wonderful Christmas.

Carole Hershey

Glenwood Springs

Large commercial development is the alternative

Annie Uyehara’s letter to the editor of Dec. 6, regarding the development of our privately owned property immediately north of the West Glenwood Mall, provides a list of what this opposition group wants our private property to become.

The groups’ 10 points of “sensible use” of the property include open space, a public park, community gardens, a senior housing center, an early child care facility, a bowling alley, movie theatre, rent-controlled residences, employee housing and 100% affordable housing.

Many people may not be aware that our nearly 16 acres of property has been commercially zoned in Garfield County for many decades. At a county public hearing a number of years ago, the property became fully entitled for use as a commercial park for up to 15 buildings and over 700 parking spaces.

In the development of our property, we built, paid for and deeded the adjacent Storm King Road and sidewalks to Garfield County for our development. The potential traffic generated from our existing commercial park, if fully developed, would be greater than what is expected with the recently approved annexation for multifamily housing.

If the petition is successful and the annexation repealed, this does not negate our absolute legal rights to develop in the county.

Floyd Diemoz

Glenwood Partnership LLLP

Glenwood Springs

Natural selection at work

Why do we keep seeing the push for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines?

The polls show that many, many more Republicans are not going to get vaccinated compared to Democrats.

Without using any numbers, the data shows that unvaccinated people have a much higher chance of dying from the COVID-19 virus.

In a country where so many elections are decided by a razor thin majority, why on Earth would Democrats want to have a mandatory vaccine?

Gary Pax

Carbondale

Missed opportunity

Just when we thought Glenwood City Council was going to pass something good for our community, they vote down a building moratorium. Right now, there is an apartment complex being built at the Glenwood Meadows, north of Walmart, and the beautiful Rivers/Penelopes building was torn down for another complex there.

So what we all have to ask ourselves is are you willing to sell your quality of life? Because that is exactly what council is doing to us. If money is all you care about, then you probably agree with Mark Gould when he said we can’t stop the money from coming into our community. We all know that this is not the cheapest place in the country to live; it is probably one of the highest cost of living places.

But we chose it for a better quality of life, and flooding it with people will take away that way of life we all came here for. And actually it will cost us in the long run with all these apartment buildings going up.

How many of you know a local contractor that is hired to work on these complexes? I bet most of them are from out of town. What will happen is our taxes will go up because we need a bigger sewer plant, more police officers, more firemen, and we will have to hunt somewhere for more water.

If you want to live in a big city, move to the Eastern Slope, but don’t let our city government turn this mountain town into one.

John Korrie

Glenwood Springs

 

Monday letters: Growth limited by water, Xcel’s Comanche 3, 480 Donegan

Growth limited by water

For over 100 years, the citizens of Glenwood Springs have been drinking pure water from No Name and Grizzly drainages. These streams can provide only enough water for a limited population of Glenwood.

In 2015, the city hired a Boulder engineering firm to confirm there would be enough water for Glenwood citizens until the year 2050. The findings concluded that with full compliance with a water efficiency plan and an additional 500 acre-feet from Ruedi, there would be adequate water for the next 35 years. This rosy picture was based on a really bad assumption that Glenwood would grow at only its historic rate of 1-2% per year until 2050 (18,800 residents). The report concluded that “more accelerated growth would be unlikely given the steep slopes, flood plains, river canyons …” The report did not consider the effect of climate change on stream flows.

What happens when there isn’t enough water in the drainages? It appears that the city’s solution is to suck polluted water directly from the Roaring Fork and blend it into our pure mountain water. Currently, there is an emergency pumping station under the Eighth Street bridge that can be temporarily tied into the existing raw water line. The city is proposing increasing the size of the pumps and digging a new raw waterline from the river to the treatment plant. This will allow the city to suck the purchased Ruedi water directly from the river.

The Roaring Fork River at Glenwood is the sewage outfall for the entire valley with every gallon of treated municipal waste passing under the Eighth Street bridge. You should never get municipal water supply directly from a river. Surrounding towns use well fields far from the river, which help filter the contaminants. Glenwood citizens may go from having the best water in the valley to the worst when we start drinking water directly from the Roaring Fork.

Perhaps it is time for the city to revisit the water issue with realistic assumptions.

Chuck Peterson

Glenwood Springs

Xcel hanging on to Comanche 3

Xcel Energy’s coal-fired Comanche 3 power plant in Pueblo was a lemon since it came online in 2010 six months behind schedule. It’s been offline 25% of the time since then, including a 373-day outage in 2020 and 2021.

The state’s largest energy supplier has spent $12 million in repairs. Total it up, and Comanche 3 has cost 45% more to operate than forecast in 2010. It costs $66.25 for the plant to produce one megawatt hour of electricity. A wind farm can do the same for $19.30.

And that’s just money. Comanche 3 is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the state, pumping 5 million tons into the atmosphere per year. That’s the equivalent of the emissions of 1 million cars.

In a drought-stricken state, Comanche 3 consumes 180,000 gallons of water per day, more than the top 10 water users in Pueblo. The volatile organic compounds and particulates spewing out of the plant’s smokestacks give Pueblo some of the worst air quality in the state.

So Xcel wants to keep Comanche 3 running until 2035. That’s when President Biden says we should be at 100% renewable power generation. We’ll never make that target with coal-fired power plants running. Pueblo, Glenwood Springs and Aspen have all set goals of being carbon neutral by 2030. If Xcel keeps a coal plant running past that, good luck.

Workers in Pueblo are rightfully concerned about their jobs if Comanche 3 shuts down earlier. House Bill 21-1290 was passed earlier this year, and it would allot $7 million to help coal plant workers transition into other industries. It was cosponsored by Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, Sen. Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, and Rep. Perry Will, R-New Castle.

It cost Xcel $855 million to build Comanche 3. They went deeply in debt to do it. I’m sure Xcel would like to convince their stockholders it wasn’t a bad investment, but if this megacorporation doesn’t want to exacerbate the climate crisis and send good money after bad, Comanche 3 should be banked by at least 2030.

The Colorado Public Utilities

Commission is meeting to review Xcel’s plans. Please contact them at dorapucwebsite@state.co.us or 800-456-0858 and make your wishes known.

Fred Malo Jr.

Carbondale

‘480 Donegan is still too big’

Your editorial board challenged us to come up with solutions — which we’ve always been about — when seeking a repeal of the 480 Donegan development. By the way, our referendum signature collection is going strong, and our boots on the ground have doubled.

We, the grassroots organization of Glenwood Springs Citizens for Sensible Growth, have come up with myriad ideas to replace the 300 units annexed into the city on less than 16 acres of land behind the old mall in west Glenwood Springs.

No surprise that the majority opined that a public open space park or community garden would be a good idea. Quite a few suggested taking care of our growing senior population in the valley by creating a senior center or senior housing. An early child care facility was mentioned more than once. A bowling alley and a movie theatre also came to mind since Glenwood lost both of those entertainment outlets a while ago. Others suggested a mix of open space, child care center and a small residential area of rent controlled single family or duplex dwellings. Many suggested 100% affordable housing or employee housing.

So many good choices, rather than the one that currently sits on the desk at City Hall. 480 Donegan is still too big. No one likes it, not city nor county Glenwood residents. They know it’s a fire hazard, they know there’s not enough water, and they know it will create a traffic nightmare for everyone.

Sensible development is preferred. 480 Donegan is not that. If you’re a city resident, and registered and want to sign the petition or gather signatures, look for us — we’re all over the town. Or please email 480donegan@gmail.com.

Annie Uyehara

Glenwood Springs

West Glenwood development plans account for fire danger

On Friday, and in past weeks, numerous letters to the editor have addressed potential wildfire evacuation concerns for the West Glenwood area. In an Oct. 14, 2021, city of Glenwood Springs staff letter to City Council, these concerns were addressed by the city Engineering, Police and Fire departments, who met the previous week with Colorado Department of Transportation representatives for access management, the resident engineer and the maintenance superintendent.

Traffic management plans are being engineered to include two emergency access connections onto Interstate 70 to address current, as well as future, development, such as the 300 townhomes and apartments recently approved for annexation north of the Glenwood Springs Mall and redevelopment of the mall property. In the October staff letter it states that the “Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and CDOT have reviewed the locations and indicated their preliminary support.” Additionally, “(F)unding for the connections is currently included in the 2022 (city) budget.”

Anyone can further educate themselves regarding this matter by reviewing the above referenced letter located online in the city planning file: 09-20, 480 Donegan Road, Update on the Evacuation Management Plan, including photo egress diagrams, Oct. 14.

Vreneli Diemoz

Glenwood Springs