Re: Human-Nature Garden

Thanks to James Steindler for his lovely article about a gift to our community (“Human-Nature Garden to land on Rio Grande,” July 20, 2022). The Human-Nature Garden would not be possible without the collaboration of Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA), which owns the land where the garden will be located. (Zolpidem) A big shoutout to RFTA’s Brett Meredith, Trails and Corridor Manager, and Angela Henderson, Assistant Director, Project Management & Facilities Operations, for their generous support.

Nancy Peterson

Carbondale Age-Friendly Community Initiative

Affordable for whom?

“Affordable housing” is a phrase I hear or see all the time. It comes up in newspaper articles, public meetings and any discussion with anyone about current affairs. Often attached is a phrase like “desperately-needed.” Usually there is some great problem this solves, like commuter and general traffic or providing needed employees to businesses or housing necessary workers like cops, bus drivers, nurses and teachers. Aspen-Pitkin has one of the country’s leading programs for their size with around 3,000 units. 

But hold on — 3,000 units and there are still not enough? Build and build and still not enough? Why not?

Two big reasons. First, affordable housing is itself a growth generator. And second, the constant increase in the business sector is the primary cause of growth. In the first case, putting people in new housing is not like putting skis in a closet that you take out only when you need them. These human beings need the complete infrastructure that residents do. Every facet of that support has to expand. And — more new people are needed to fill those slots. 

In the second case, there are new stores, lawyers, doctors, businesses like banks, restaurants, Uber drivers, city clerks, lift attendants, etc. These are new jobs that need new people to fill them. New people need new housing. Vicious circle. 

There is a simple solution. Stop the growth. No more business permits or licenses. No expansions. Put a limit on the number of businesses and on the number of employees. No more employee housing. There is “enough” of both of those things. There is no “constitutional right” to open any business in any place. Let the existing businesses compete for the existing employees. Let the market sort itself out. 

Patrick Hunter


Slow down!

The accelerators in our vehicles are indeed miraculous, allowing us to move tons of weight with a mere depression of the foot. This does not, however, connect us to a time machine (arriving in the blink of an eye) or a magic wand (making drivers ahead of us disappear).

Take a minute, think about it. It’s important to know what kind of driver we are: emotional or logical?

Emotional drivers are self-centered, stomp on the gas, stoplight race, bumper chase, fuel waste, dart from one lane to another and threaten all on the road and along the road.

Logical drivers accelerate gradually, preserve two seconds worth of life-saving spacing, acknowledge that they SHARE the road ahead with other vehicles and flow with the “green” time of traffic lights. At the end of the day they’ve maximized their fuel dollars and driven with everyone’s safety in mind.

Why persist in driving like there’s no tomorrow? It just might be that day — if not for you, for someone else.

Diane Reynolds

Take A Minute/Slow Down in Town

We’re having a heat wave

In the past, while manning the 350 Roaring Fork climate change booth at Carbondale’s farmers market, a few deniers came by and insisted the whole thing was a hoax and we needed fossil fuels forever for our very survival. At last week’s market, with temperatures soaring toward triple digits for what seemed like the umpteenth day in a row, we heard very little of that.

There were those who blamed climate activists for the high price of gasoline. I pointed out the cost of petrol was going down, not because of increased oil production or the release of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but due to reduced demand, the way it should be. Drivers are unwilling to pay the exorbitant amounts demanded by Big Oil and are increasingly relying on alternative forms of transportation.

And encouraging people to switch away from fossil fuels didn’t cause the price jump, either.

Demand went down during the pandemic and Big Oil cut production. Being typically reactionary American businessmen, the oil barons didn’t juice up the wells and refineries when it was obvious the country was coming out of the worst effects of the pandemic. High demand plus low supply equals high prices.

Inflation will go away even if we do nothing about it. If we do nothing about climate change, it’ll get nothing but worse until we leave our children with a nonviable planet.

Eighty-five percent of America is experiencing 90-degree heat or more. One-hundred million Americans in 28 states have received heat alerts. Records are being crushed.

For you nationalists out there, other parts of the world are affected, too. Europe is sweltering at an unprecedented level. Western India and Pakistan were hit with a heat wave that destroyed their crops. No sooner had that abated than eastern India and Bangladesh experienced record flooding. Droughts in Africa will cause massive starvation.

All this is caused by our addiction to fossil fuels. They’ve done their job. Fossil fuels made the Industrial Revolution possible. Now that we know of its damaging effects, it’s time to say adios.

Fred Malo Jr.


Business funding

The COVID pandemic, economic volatility, inflation and business uncertainties rattle business start-ups, small business capital formation, underserved business owners and better paying job prospects. 

Well, the U.S. Government has nearly $10 billion to hand out to the states through the American Rescue Plan Act. So far, more than $1.5 billion has been allocated. Also, it includes venture capital funding.

In the future, Colorado will receive its share allotment under “[t]he American Rescue Plan reauthorized and expanded SSBCI [State Small Business Credit Initiative], which was originally established in 2010 and was highly successful in increasing access to capital for traditionally underserved small businesses and entrepreneurs. (1)

I advise local and county small businesses and entrepreneurs needing funding to start planning and be ready to get their piece of the pie in Colorado.

It’s too bad Colorado’s U.S. senators, U.S. representatives, county officials and others, including bankers, don’t inform the general public until the last minute. Then the madness commences in stressed-out confusion. Shame on elected officials!

(1) “Treasury Approves Nine Additional State Plans to Support Underserved Entrepreneurs and Small Business Growth Through the State Small Business Credit Initiative”, Press Release, Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of the Treasury, July 19, 2022.

Best wishes,

Emzy Veazy III