Last week we invited you to join an Earth Day celebration in Carbondale. Thank you to the great group of committed Carbondale residents who showed up with signs, banners and spirit to march in the wind and rain! We brought an important message about our climate and future to many motorists, wet bike riders and pedestrians.
Don’t fret if you missed this inspirational, wet, wonderful walk.
You are invited once again to join in on May 6, First Friday, around 6 pm. A lively marching band will be joining us. Bring a poster if you like. There will be important information available with suggestions of things we can all do to help improve the environment and the future for our children and generations to come. Together we can accomplish great things.
Dandelions, a gift of nature
Spring has sprung, and here in New Castle the first dandelions have raised their lovely heads. An ocean of golden flowers has begun its upvalley migration, blooming in May in Carbondale, then all the way to Aspen and up into the mountains in June.
This is a good thing. Dandelions provide a critical springtime source of both pollen (protein) and nectar (carbohydrates) for honeybees, as well as for our native pollinators. If the weather turns cold during the bloom, dandelion flowers sometimes refuse to yield nectar, and pollinators that survived a long winter can literally starve. So dandelions are important for the environment!
I’m a beekeeper, and folks like to tell me that they “love bees.” But when I ask if they love dandelions, the answer is too often, “not so much.” For reasons I cannot fathom, spring’s golden harbingers are dug up, mowed, and poisoned by obsessive homeowners and parks departments. Why do we humans so despise this most abundant gift of Nature?
Does your lawn have to look like a golf course? If you simply let your dandelions bloom in peace, you can mow them after they bloom, and in the meantime you can admire them and watch your children delight themselves blowing dandelion seeds to the wind. After you’ve mowed, who’ll even know they’re in your yard? Their leaves are green, just like your grass. They blend right in.
Not everyone knows this, but dandelion greens make a tasty salad, if you pick them before the bloom. Just don’t eat ’em all, okay? The bees will thank you.
No Mow May
350 Roaring Fork and the Dandelion Day organizing committee are encouraging Carbondalians to observe No Mow May next month. That’s where property owners don’t cut their grass for the entire month of May for the sake of pollinators like bees, butterflies and moths, water savings and a reduction in the use of gas-powered lawn equipment and chemicals.
The initiative began in England through an organization called Plantlife and their Every Flower Counts movement. Appleton, Wisconsin, adopted the program three years ago and studies have observed a ten-fold increase in the bee population. The twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota and Cedar Falls, Iowa, will commence such a plan this year.
Fred Malo Jr.
Bend over, Carbondale
It’s Spring! What a lovely time of year for most! Signs of buds and blooms, a few dandelions here and there, hummingbirds, bees, ditch water! Yeah!
Walking around my neighborhood though, it’s in a sad state. Very sad! Trash everywhere! It’s obvious in too many places that no one cares. It may be a rental, school properties, businesses, public properties, homeowners. I don’t get it! Earth Day is every day! Take a bag and glove with you on your walks and make an effort to do a little something!
Time to get rid of winter “brownery” and toss the dead flowers in your pots! Take advantage of teaching your children whilst at the park! Leave it better than you found it! What enforcement does the town ever take regarding trash and weeds? Is it “complaint” based? What’s the number? Come on Carbondale — we can do better!
A heartfelt thank you to those that keep things neat and interesting . You’re appreciated more than you realize! Thank you! Happy Spring!
“Our Streets should NOT be this dangerous.” This New York Times article (April 21) contained the following excerpt:
“The United States is in the midst of a traffic fatality crisis. Nearly 39,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes on American roadways in 2020, the most since 2007. American roads have grown especially dangerous to ‘nonoccupants’ of vehicles — that is, bicyclists and pedestrians.”
Can we make a difference?
As drivers, we have enormous influence. We control tons of force the moment we take the wheel. Don’t drive distracted, obey roadway signage, be alert, take the lead, be a positive influence to support community and work to preserve all that we value in this valley.
As the saying goes, “If we think we can, or we think we can’t, we’re probably right.”
It has been shared both on social media and in print that R2 Partners, the developers of 480 Donegan Road WILL be building a new fire station as part of this project. This assertion is absolutely FALSE. Even in July 2021 the Post Independent staff was misled and reported R2 would pay 20% towards the cost of construction based on a slide presented by city staff.
“In addition, R2 Partners would pay for 20% of the cost to build the new firehouse — part of the developer’s efforts to address emergency response due to the threat of wildfires impacting the West Glenwood neighborhoods.” Glenwood Springs Post Independent, July 30, 2021.
The agreement requires R2 to provide up to one acre upon which to build a fire station (along with a token, wholly inadequate one acre of public parkland. Their proposed location is directly across the street from Two Rivers Community School… not an ideal location for emergency response. The developer and current landowner, the Diemoz family should pursue and be required to acquire direct permanent access south of the 480 parcel to Highway 6 and 24, thus providing better connection and less impacts to schools and the neighborhood from both residents and emergency responders.
I also want to share my kudos and excitement to Glenwood Springs city staff and Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley for working toward providing truly affordable home ownership opportunities in Glenwood Springs. The partnership will be coming before City Council for consideration and I, along with many others, truly hope the successes of Habitat for Humanity can yet again shine here in Glenwood Springs.
Pointless cure for bogus ailment
As a member of the board of trustees of Colorado Mountain College (CMC), I am concerned about the Collective Bargaining Bill being considered by the Colorado Legislature. This bill would eliminate the state’s tradition of local control and strip local trustees of their authority to effectively manage college operations. It would also cost between $750,000 and $2 million to implement annually. (Note $2 million is equivalent to a permanent 17% tuition increase!)
Current laws do not prohibit collective bargaining at colleges in Colorado, so the proposed bill is a solution in search of a problem.
At the trustees’ March 2022 meeting, we enthusiastically listened to administration recommendations for next year’s budget that included an across-the-board 5% cost-of-living increase plus a 1.5% merit opportunity for employees. We embrace our responsibilities to enable CMC to be an employer of choice by offering superior benefits; competitive compensation that is adjusted at or above rates of inflation; opportunities for personal growth and professional advancement; and generous leave and retirement programs. We all agree that our institution is only as good as its employees, and that our employees are among the best. That’s why the college has set the high-water mark among open-access public colleges, even adding compensation plans that are nonexistent elsewhere, such as paid annual leave for part-time employees, education benefits for adjunct faculty and their dependents and annual wellness investments for all.
Unfortunately, in this election year, several legislators from outside of the Western Slope have targeted colleges like CMC and all counties in the state to impose an agenda that is unwarranted and pointless. Importantly, the bill excludes K-12 and municipal governments. It is specifically targeting colleges and counties.
The CMC board of trustees officially opposes this bill. Please urge your legislators to vote “no” on any new collective bargaining bills which may be introduced.