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Carbondale Commentary The views and opinions expressed on the Commentary page do not necessarily reflect those of The Sopris Sun. The Sopris Sun invites all members of the community to submit letters to the editor or guest columns. For more information, e-mail editor Lynn Burton at, or call 510-3003.


The Sopris Sun welcomes your letters, limited to no more than 400 words. Letters exceeding that length may be edited or returned for revisions. Include your name and residence (for publication) and a contact email and phone number. Submit letters via email to or via snail mail to P.O. Box 399, Carbondale, CO 81623. The deadline to submit letters to the editor is noon on Monday.

Thanks to everyone Dear Editor: We would like to thank everyone for the cards, food and help with Jim’s service. We are lucky to live where we have so many friends who called or came by. We love you all. The Schausters: Jewell, Jean, Mike, Randy, Alan, Stacey, Jenna, Lauren, Tom, Vicki, Natalie Carbondale

About CR 106 (Editor’s note: This letter was also sent to Colorado Rocky Mountain School). Dear Editor: Either clearly define the section of County Road 106 that goes through your campus so that people may use their right-of-way without feeling like they are intruding, or don’t. But please stop erecting new buildings right on/around the county road and then exclaiming that students are in danger because you built their dorms on one side of the public path and classrooms on the other. And stop petitioning Garfield County to vacate a public access. That land belongs to the taxpayers of Garfield County, and as a non-profit school, you are not included in that group. The Carbondale Town Council, Garfield County Planning and Zoning Commission, and CDOT have all recommended no vacation (not to mention countless residents of unincorporated Garfield County) so if the BOCC goes the other way it’s pretty obvious their judgment has been compromised. Instead of waiting another three to five years only to regurgitate this issue, why not open an honest dialogue with your neighbors to solve it once and for all? Jeannie Perry Satank

Re-elect fire incumbents Dear Editor: As a long-time resident of Carbondale, I write in support of the current members serving on the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection Board: Gene Schilling, Mike Kennedy and Mark Chain. During their years of service, these individuals have worked hard to direct and support the community fire district as it has changed and grown. I am confident that these three members can continue to find creative and effective solutions for the challenges that face the board. I believe that these three candidates should continue to serve on the fire board. Jillene Rector Carbondale

Vote for McElwee Dear Editor: We are supporting Gary McElwee for the Carbondale Fire District Board of Directors for three reasons. 1. Gary brings with him a great deal of life experience in management and dedication as a firefighter and EMT.

2. Gary is forthright and will bring a great level of transparency to the management and operations of Carbondale Fire District. He will use good business sense in the operations and will explore bringing needed thoughtful management to the fire district. 3. Gary is passionate and dedicated to bringing the best fire protection to the community while supporting the men and women who dedicate themselves to this community. We support Gary and hope you will too. Holly and Jerry Burden Carbondale

Return fire board Dear Editor: Please return all the current fire and EMT board members to office. Bill and I know first hand about how wonderful they are. They have been here way too often to help both of us. Pat Fender Carbondale

Planet Earth’s open Dear Editor: The old adage “Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated” may well apply here. Bob Albright from The Sopris Sun has worked with me to write ads for Planted Earth proclaiming the store is open and roaring into spring! Plastering an enormous “For Sale” sign over the store sign on the highway all winter might suggest otherwise, I know. But it’s business as usual, with an emphasis on what most of us are passionate about — gardening! Sara McAllister Carbondale

What’s their mission? (Editor’s note: This letter was addressed to the BLM and Forest Service). As a physician I am observing the large scale experiment being conducted on the health of the people, lands, forests, grasslands, air quality, watersheds and creatures of Colorado and this nation with extreme fossil fuel extraction techniques including fracking. I understand you are requesting public comments regarding this issue in relation to an area near my home called Thompson Divide. I also understand you are requesting any perspectives that have been overlooked as you make decisions regarding existing and future leases. This current experiment reminds me of earlier experiments conducted in America with asbestos, radiation, tobacco and toxic chemicals. I would suggest you both carefully read your mission statements which state: “It is the mission of the Bureau of Land Management to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations” and “The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet

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the needs of present and future generations.” I share your multigenerational responsibility, as do all parents. Although health would seem to be a word easily understood, as we know from these earlier experiments, it can be easily overlooked in states of enthusiasm for substances and methods which seem to promise benefits, but which over time prove to destroy diversity and productivity of public lands and in fact the public health. The current dictum for multi-use of land and resources is unhealthy, if a use destroys health and diversity and a wasteland results. I read your missions to be ones of sustaining and, although proof of toxicity may take decades to prove, risking health is not a prudent decision given your responsibility to sustain. A similarity between your mission and mine seems to be one of standing tall for health. I acknowledge there is much confusion in this nation about the meaning of health and that it can be easily overlooked. Since health is an interest of mine, I will be honored to explain the importance and meaning of health, if you would value the understanding I have gained in my experience. William Evans, MD Carbondale

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Please comment Dear Editor: I attended the public scoping meetings that were held by the BLM in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings this week. It is difficult to find words to express how inspired I was by my fellow citizens’ passion for our wild places, for our home. More than anything, I am writing to thank everyone who cares enough about this place, about the Thompson Divide, and about each other, to keep showing up and speaking up and writing letters and doing everything they can to protect and preserve our shared way of life. Thank you Carbondale. Thank you Glenwood Springs. Thank you Pitkin County. And thank you to the Rifle sixth grade science teacher who came to testify about the way that gas drilling has impacted his students and to so many other individuals. If you are someone who wanted to be at one of those meetings, but couldn’t because of work or some other obligation, you can still submit a written comment to the BLM. Scoping comments must be received by May 16 and may be emailed to, faxed to 970-876-9090, or mailed to Bureau of Land Management, Colorado River Valley Field Office, 2300 River Frontage Road, Silt, CO 81652 Finally, I want to thank the Thompson Divide Coalition and Wilderness Workshop for your tireless work helping us all be not only united for the Thompson Divide, but informed about what is happening and how we can have an impact. Thank you.  Dawn Dexter Carbondale

To inform, inspire and build community. Donations accepted online or by mail. For information call 510-3003 Editor/Reporter: Lynn Burton • 970-510-3003 Advertising: Bob Albright • 970-927-2175 Paula Valenti • 970-319-5270 Photographer: Jane Bachrach Ad/Page Production: Terri Ritchie CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS Debbie Bruell, President Barbara Dills, Vice President Colin Laird, Treasurer • Frank Zlogar Sue Gray • Denise Barkhurst Honorary Board Members David L. Johnson • Jeannie Perry Trina Ortega • Laura McCormick Founding Board Members Allyn Harvey • Becky Young • Colin Laird Barbara New • Elizabeth Phillips Peggy DeVilbiss • Russ Criswell

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970-510-3003 Send us your comments: The Sopris Sun is an LLC organized under the 501c3 non-profit structure of the Roaring Fork Community Development Corporation.

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