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Letters – Dec. 23, 2021

Locations: Letters Published

Re: Water reportage

Thank you for the article by Olivia Emmer: “Helping out the trout at Canyon Creek” and the accompanying photograph of the bumps and baffles in the culvert. 

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While the project is exciting and hopeful, the article and photos gave specifics that let me appreciate the design, work and impact. The longer river article focusing on the Crystal is similarly welcomed.

Jay Coursey

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Carbondale

Re: C’dale report 

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The article about the last Board of Town Trustees (BoTT) meeting is a bit confused about plans for CLEER and the “Climate Action Plan” and “EcoBlock” initiative. The BoTT was likewise a bit confused. The “Net Zero District” seems to have stalled. 

This was a proposal to link some properties around the Third Street Center with a variety of energy-related strategies. Its demise seemed predictable from the many “moving parts” needing coordination. I think the “EcoBlock” initiative would try to get residents in any neighborhoods to coordinate emissions reductions (and maybe water or waste reductions?) for similar homes to get some economies of scale. A nice sounding phrase, but it also seems like a lot of “moving parts” and people to be coordinated.

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Recently, Ithaca, New York (pop. 31,000) garnered some attention for an emissions reduction plan focused on its residents’ buildings. They issued an RFP (request for proposals) and have apparently contracted for an “Energy Efficiency Retrofitting and Thermal Load Electrification” program bonded at about $100 million and repaid over 15 years. Contrast this with “outreach” for “EcoBlocks” as part of a $25,000 budget for a town of 7,000. To be fair, CLEER utilizes other funds for incentives for ongoing energy efficiency retrofit incentives available to local homes and businesses.

That CLEER budget also includes work to wrap our “Climate Action Plan” into our Comprehensive Plan update. Hopefully that plan can be understandable and actionable. These plans can get quite muddled when they emphasize climate “resilience” and “equity” and “justice,” distracting from more concrete tasks. We can end up with conflicting items like “more shade trees and greenspace” and “less water use” at the same time, making the plan somewhat unhelpful for actual planning and somewhat distracting from core issues — all under the “Mother Earth” section. 

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I think the “Climate Action Plan” should be unbundled from the Comprehensive Plan update. The latter is really, and should remain, a plan focused on land use and associated impacts. Many of the likely effective actions for emissions reductions are not tightly coupled with its focus.

Fred Porter

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Carbondale

Merry Christmas!

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Please allow me to express heartfelt gratitude to Jared and his wonderful staff at the Village Smithy for the opportunity to display my aprons on the brick wall through the month of November. 

Art is turned over monthly and, in addition to supporting local artists, the Smithy’s walls are decorated with fun and funky art in keeping with the spirit of Carbondale. Community integrity is knitted into this special gathering place we all identify as our own. I also would like to thank our community and beyond for your support and feedback on my aprons! Our family has enjoyed many meals together at the Smithy and the memories we have come away with are priceless. In the spirit of shopping locally, don’t forget gift cards from the Smithy!

Deborah Evans 

Carbondale

Cost of care

We are still in the midst of a COVID 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.

COVID vaccines are extremely safe and are very effective at preventing serious COVID illness and death. Recent data indicates that approximately 85% of patients hospitalized with COVID 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 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.

Carbondale

Kudos

Just a quick belated note re: “It’s the darndest thing” by Geneviève Villamizar.  What a lovely piece of writing. 

I am sorry that her brain has become untrustworthy — I can’t imagine. Her writing was clearly not affected and reads like a long, cool drink of water on a hot day. 

While I am sure the frustrations pile up and not every day is graced with sun dogs and chicken-induced euphoria, her overriding joie-de-vivre will surely carry her through. Many thanks for such a touching piece. 

Maureen Gaffney

Carbondale

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