Been there
Unease over others’ opinions and judgment ebbs over time. After seeing societies react poorly to inconvenience and foreseeable change, one tends to become more tolerant and amenable to sharing experience. Through the years, I too have been faced with the challenges life consigns.

I remember being broke at Christmas one year after grocery shopping and paying bills; then writing a post-dated check to make sure I could provide a nice holiday for my family. There were days I was able to put $3 of gas in my tank and others when I could fill it. I’ve had $12 to feed myself for a week and have had $100 to go out for a nice meal. I’ve had a pantry full of food and weeks the unheated space sat empty. I’ve been to stores and checked out worry-free or, after a discreet estimate, have had to put things back. I’ve paid bills on time and in full and have had to pay minimums late. I’ve donated generously to charitable causes and have had to ask for a loan.

We’ve all had ups and downs in life. Some certainly more than others, who may be masking past hardships that will never be revealed. Each person is just trying to make it. No one is better than anyone else and I’m troubled by those who think they are. No matter how lavish your lifestyle, tech driven your wheels or how much green sits in your accounts we all bleed red and will finally fade from view. Death has no discrimination, and neither should life. Be kind to others no matter who. We’re all here to serve. Be respectful, show compassion, mute the negativity and make amends. A supersized ego won’t get you anywhere. Stay humble. And, in this New Year, find faith in humanity.

Happy Holidays from Level Seven. 

Lani Kitching

A CVEPA Merry Christmas
To All in our lovely Crystal Valley,

A Christmas giving to the land.

I feel the luck of living in such a fine and luscious place.

To enjoy the contentment of appreciating,

Gray trees under a clouds plodding pace.

I will nurture the planet, smile at the occupants and make peace with fall.

Merry Christmas from a place of love, joy and cheer to All.

John Hoffmann 
CVEPA Treasurer

Party on
The Carbondale Recreation Center is closing early on New Year’s Eve. Why?

The only reason I can figure is so that recreation center employees can start to party early.

One question for the town trustees, however. People pay for a pass to use the recreation

center. Will they get a credit on their next pass for the time they lost on New Year’s Eve?

Lynn “Jake” Burton
Glenwood Springs/Carbondale


Open letter to Gunnison County commissioners
The actions taken by the commissioners to continue to allow off-highway-vehicle (OHV) use on a portion of County Road 3 (CR3) have resulted in severe environmental impacts to the Lead King Loop (LKL), and a significant lowering of the quality of life for both Marble residents and adjacent Gunnison County residents.

Discussions by the LKL Stakeholder Committee (LKLSC) for almost four years have resulted in no improvements or even feasible solutions. The traffic and parking situation last summer was far worse than ever before. Marble has changed from a serene wilderness portal to a pit stop for assault vehicles. (dayvigo)

Insistence on consensus between the governing bodies may be the reason for the failure of solutions to emerge. The Town of Marble (TOM) has the right to allow OHV use within its jurisdiction, but does not represent the interests of out-of-town residents or have the ability — or responsibility — to protect the natural environment. The White River National Forest must follow national policy which designates the LKL for multiple use, precluding elimination of OHV traffic. 

In fact, there is a silver bullet solution. Gunnison County is responsible to protect their constituents’ quality of life and the adjacent forest environment. A lack of consensus is not an excuse. Gunnison County could rescind the exemption for OHVs and ban trailer parking on CR3. A simple vote by the commissioners at the Jan. 3 meeting could effectively eliminate the problems on the forest and in the TOM. Pitkin County has already demonstrated that such a ban is effective.

Of course enforcement of the decision would be necessary. Why not station a deputy in busy Marble instead of sleepy Somerset? The sheriff’s deputy hired to manage the existing use has resigned and has not been replaced, as far as I know. 

The exemption of the state prohibition of OHV use on county roads, granted by the commissioners on CR3, was not the result of intensive planning, discussion or any public input. In fact, it was a casual decision to legalize existing non-conforming use. There was no thought about mitigating the impact, which has grown exponentially every year.

The impact from OHV users begins upon their arrival. Truck and OHV trailer parking uses two to three times more space than other visitors. Parking is often a limiting factor on busy summer days in Marble. The LKLSC proposed to limit parking to 12 spaces at the Marble Mill Site Park. Such parking actually violates the covenants on the park, which is a national historic site. The covenants restrict parking to Mill Site visitors, not to an off site user group. On a typical busy Saturday, the 12 spaces would be filled and 40 others would be turned away to park illegally elsewhere. It is out of control.

Alex Menard


Having a say
Have you seen the signs? The green and white “Take a Minute” yard signs along our most heavily used streets have been given a voice with new radar-speed-signifying signs that have been installed on Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs. Motorists exceeding the speed limit see “Slow Down/Too Fast” and mindful drivers complying with the limit see “Thank You.” 

These signs speak volumes for everyone along and on the road. Surely drivers can empathize. 

Please, Take a Minute, think about it and slow down in towns.

Wishing everyone safe travels,

Diane Reynolds
Take a Minute/Slow Down in Town

Letter policy: Please limit your letters to 500 words. We are committed to including all perspectives in The Sopris Sun. If your letter does not appear, it may be because of space limitations in the paper or because other letters we printed expressed the same idea or point of view. Letters are due by noon on the Monday before we go to print.