Re: Redstone incident
I am a regular contributor to The Sopris Sun and also a resident of Redstone. I moved to the Redstone community last October and I find many of my encounters to be lovely and inclusive. I believe we have a wonderful community up here with diverse individuals. I was horrified to learn of the racist actions that were performed in our small village. I am very supportive of them being highlighted in our community newspaper. Tolerance allows many injustices to perpetuate and it is important to bring bad actions to the light.

I also think it is important to make clear that although some of those racist actions may have been performed by some residents of Redstone, we also had about 3,000 visitors to the village on the Fourth of July. 

A few other distressing incidents occurred, one of which I am sure was not performed by a resident. I don’t want to get into a Second Amendment debate, but I did find it inappropriate and menacing that a woman came to our small town parade brandishing an automatic weapon. I could only think of our community’s safety and all of the children who were happily and unwittingly riding their bikes in the parade. 

We are currently living in a highly politicized and polarized democracy where this type of egregious action goes unchecked. I believe there should be some recourse against this type of behavior. Unfortunately, I suggest that we employ a larger law enforcement presence next year so that everyone can feel safe while celebrating our country’s independence.

Warm regards,

Elizabeth Key


In defense of Redstone
I was extremely dismayed at Gentrye Houghton’s article about Fourth of July racism in Redstone. I was dismayed both by a couple of visitors to my hometown using epithets during the parade, and by the irresponsible, destructive journalism of Houghton and The Sopris Sun that defamed two local businesses and also labeled our entire town racist with the sensationalist title “Redstone incident exposes local prejudice”.

Our parade, which I help organize and run, attracts thousands every year. It’s sad that a couple of visitors would make racist remarks, and everyone in Redstone is sorry that it happened. But this could happen anywhere and we shouldn’t be put into a position to apologize for a couple of idiots from somewhere else.

Houghton, who is an owner of The Crystal Valley Echo, didn’t bother to contact the two businesses mentioned. Nor did The Sopris Sun. They would have found out that it was a simple misunderstanding at the General Store, for which they apologized. And they would have found out that Propaganda Pie (who employs a worker with adopted children of color) was simply overwhelmed to take any more orders on the busiest day of the entire year.

The owners of The Crystal Valley Echo have a documented history of undermining almost every business in Redstone. They also had an agenda of undermining the Fourth of July parade, when they advertised on Roaring Fork Events a women’s march to “protest red, white and blue” because of the recent Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade.

Like most people in Redstone, I support their cause. But I was extremely upset by the politicization of the Redstone Community Association and our parade, and the continued polarization of our town by the owners of The Echo. People come here to get away from the constant fighting over these issues that extremists on both ends always push, but the current activist owners of The Echo don’t seem to understand this the way that Alyssa Onmacht did.

Also, like the overwhelming majority of Redstone locals, I voted twice for a Black man for president, and for a woman after that. But, like a growing number of Americans, I have become disgusted over the last few years by the harm that can be inflicted upon innocent, hard working people by left-wing, millennial wannabe journalists and social media users laying large-scale, blanket guilt trips on everyone. They think they can use cancel culture to harm businesses, actors, comedians — and now, evidently, entire towns.

The coming elections will show I’m not alone in my disgust, when a lot of cancel culture itself will be canceled.

I’m sorry that a couple of visitors said some horrible things to the CRMS group in Redstone. But shame on The Sopris Sun and Gentrye Houghton for spinning it out of proportion.

David Johnson
Redstone Mountain Mercantile, Redstone

Boycott Redstone

I am shocked, appalled, angry, disgusted and saddened by the article in the Aug. 17 edition of The Sopris Sun, “Redstone incident exposes local prejudice”. I had no idea that this had happened until I read this article. Normally, I go to Redstone’s Fourth of July celebration, but this year I decided to go to Carbondale’s. I thought that Redstone was better than this. In this era of enlightenment due to the murder of George Floyd, it is unfathomable that people in our welcoming valley can still be so prejudiced. Step up Redstone! I will boycott you until you open your eyes and hearts. I hope that others do as well.

Melissa Waters

Crystal River Valley

Appalled with The Sun
Unfortunately, due to events on Fourth of July in Redstone, and later an article published in the Sopris Sun, I am forced to write this letter. The article published was poorly-written and one-sided; unfortunately the journalist did not get as much information as possible from both sides, to write a well-written article.

Let me recap on the events, the Redstone Community Association received an email stating issues that happened in Redstone during and after the Fourth of July parade. There were prejudiced comments made towards some CRMS summer students; I cannot say whether these comments were by locals or one of the over 3,000 public attendees during the parade. The Redstone Community Association puts on a 100% public parade, this includes attendees and parade floats/groups, there is no registration process and it is all public.

Now, the town of under 150 total vacates the parades, many business owners and workers are at their businesses trying to bring in as much income as possible on the busiest day of the summer. This is where more issues were brought up. Two establishments were mentioned, I do not feel it is my place to mention them. I know many of their workers personally, and will not give them the opportunity to be boycotted over a misunderstanding.  

Now, after speaking to one employee of one business who worked the front counter the entire day as they were slammed with Fourth of July patrons, they could not recall the events. At one point, unfortunately, their system had crashed and they could not take credit cards for over 30 minutes. During this time they had to deny service to many patrons as they did not have cash to pay.

The article written took an entire community and deemed them prejudiced. Postings on Facebook were very one-sided, as the article was. Over 85% of Facebookers take an article and share it off of the headline alone without even reading the article for any extra facts. This could completely destroy an entire community as well as every single business in the town.

If you have any doubts about the fun, outgoing and loving community of Redstone, you should take a day and meet the locals, as well as frequent many of the businesses to see for yourself that we accept and love people of all races, religions, sexual orientations and beliefs.

Personally, I am appalled, frustrated and saddened at the events, this is not a prejudiced community, many would laugh at the so called “prejudiced” businesses, as I know for a fact they do not allow any prejudiced comments from anyone in their establishments… So why would they allow their employees to deny service or make comments?

The issue is the article written did not get facts and based an entire article off of emotion. Any business owner in a small town would be appalled at both being accused of prejudice or being lumped into the entire business community over poor facts. Every Redstone resident should feel the same.

In the future, The Sopris Sun should try to fact check their articles before publishing them. I believe The Sopris Sun should retract the article and the journalist should write an apology to the community of Redstone for deeming it prejudiced. I cannot believe that a Redstone “local” would so irresponsibly write and publish an article so degrading to the Redstone community without getting information from all sides of the issues.

I myself, as a Redstone Business Owner and a resident, do not see racism as being justified on any level. I am saddened by the events that happened and want to apologize to those affected from myself personally, my employees, every other business in town and the residents of Redstone. That is not how our community is, but you cannot lump us all together, especially when the events on the boulevard could have been from out-of-town, out-of-state or even out-of-country patrons visiting Redstone. 

If ANY business owner/employee or Redstone resident would have been present at these actual prejudiced comments, I’m sure they would have either stepped forward and stood up against them or let the community know of who did it, if in fact they knew who the person was.

Josh Wamboldt

Avalanche Outfitters, Redstone

So much love
Thank you to The Sopris Sun for the wonderful photo montage last week, in celebration of the 25th year of the Carbondale Clay Center. Local news support over the years has helped the Center thrive and grow.

For fun, I want to acknowledge and identify the folks in those older photos! Upper right: Peggy and Chuck Malloy. Middle right: Sue Kolbe, decorating a platter. Lower right: Kathy Kopf and Edgar, Annette and Andrew Roberts-Gray. Middle bottom: Travis McFlynn teaching kids. Left side, wild girls in wigs: Mustang Molly Irwin, Gwen Garcelon and Staci Dickerson! What fun we had and that continues. Those photos are from Cajun Clay, an annual fundraising event in those years. And, of course, the current staff photo: director, Angela Bruno; studio/gallery, Matthew Eames; programs, Emma Martin; marketing, Elise Hillbrand. Photo credit for my picture goes to Michele Cardamone.

In the article, the beloved townsman with a giant crane, who had the huge expensive kiln swinging in the air, was, of course, the legendary Bill Bullard. He thought that was great fun. I found it harrowing.

Also, thanks to Carbondale Arts at the Launchpad for the generous space and support for the ongoing exhibit of Clay National XVI. I had the honor of serving as juror this year. The show title is “Say It With Clay”. We had 120 entries from around 50 artists, and a handful of invited artists from multiple states. The idea was to let the clay show off all the amazing things it can do! Check it out!

There are two simultaneous Clay Center sponsored shows right now in honor of the 25th Anniversary year. Besides the Clay National at the Launchpad, I have a solo show of my own work at the Clay Center gallery. Show title is “Diane Kenney Retrospective”. Both exhibits are open until the end of September. The reception for my retrospective show is Sept. 2, First Friday.

I don’t think I am the only one in town feeling a lot of love along with some loss as another intense summer rolls by. We have been coming together to remember beloved community folks like Chris and Terry Chacos and Lee Ann Eustis. We are celebrating milestones at the same time, like last year’s 50th anniversary of Mountain Fair and this year’s Clay Center’s 25th. Another big one is CVEPA’s 50th anniversary year! (Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association) The celebration at Sunfire Ranch was yet another deeply meaningful and spirited gathering, honoring environmental pioneers and inspiring new members.

I realize I am throwing a lot into one letter here, but isn’t that the way this summer has been? The way life is these days? The common thread here is love and gratitude for this amazing Valley community, bound together by so much love and loss and vibrant life.

Lastly, the Clay Center’s annual fundraising event, “Settings” is Saturday, Sept 17. Contact them for ticket info (970-963-2529 and

Diane Kenney


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