Thank you, Sopris Sun, for all the articles on Colorado’s redistricting process and the public hearing that will be held at the Third Street Center this Saturday at 11 a.m.
While the details of the redistricting process may seem complicated, the main purpose is simple: to ensure that district maps in Colorado are fair and to prevent gerrymandering.
Gerrymandering means manipulating the boundaries of electoral districts to give an unfair advantage to one political party or group over another. With gerrymandering, the political party that dominates a state’s government, for example, may not be the party that’s supported by the majority of voters in that state.
Gerrymandering can also be used to divide up a particular demographic or community of voters into different electoral districts in order to dilute their influence and power.
Everyone is welcome to attend this Saturday’s hearing at the Third Street Center. (You do not need to sign up ahead of time to attend.) Just being present at the meeting will help to show the commissioners that people on the Western Slope are passionate about ensuring a true democracy and our right to elect leaders who will be responsive to their constituents. We want the Redistricting Commissioners to know that folks on the Western Slope will be holding them accountable to their duty of drawing fair lines throughout Colorado.
Hope you can be there on Saturday!
Pilfered parking signs
I sadly report that around 11 p.m. on the Saturday of Mountain Fair, two metal signs in front of my house on Third Street at the southwest corner of Garfield Avenue were unbolted and removed from their steel sign post. One reads: “Senior homeowner parking. Your consideration is appreciated” and the other says: “Loading Zone”. As Mother of the Fair and facilitator of the opening drum circle, I’m disheartened that our town has scoundrels like this who disrespect other people’s property and claim it as their own. Mountain Fair weekend is a time of cooperation, mutual respect and celebration, and such behavior is not aligned with our norms. If you are in possession of my signs or know of their whereabouts, kindly fess up and return them to the Carbondale Arts headquarters at The Launchpad on Fourth Street. Your consideration is appreciated!
Note: This rebuttal is not directed toward the Carbondale Police Department through which the complaint was originally posted. This rebuttal is written based on the assumption that there are community members that had complained about the “free items” that were located behind our house.
If you received an email from the town with a flyer attachment entitled “Trash Cleanup”, I have a confession to make. One of those pictures showcased items that were located directly behind our house along Hendrick Drive. While none of the items located there were mine, I did give permission to some of our neighbors to temporarily place items out there that they thought other community members might be able to use. This has been a practice of the residents of Rock Court for years, long before my wife and I were even a fixture on the street.
First off, I don’t think any of these items could be called “litter” since they were not discarded and left for someone else to deal with. In fact, none of these free items were left out for longer than four days. I know this because of my sprinkler intervals are as such and I don’t tend to water the free items while they are present.
When I think of littering, I think of people’s waste that has been left behind for others to take care of. Examples that come to mind are the never-ending bags of dog poop that are left behind on our local trails (for the record: I am not against dogs out on trails, just the dog litter that is left behind) or the seemingly consistent string of garbage that collects along the 133 corridor as litter finds its way outside the cars and trucks that are driving through town. When compared to this chronic litter around town, I would hardly put the free items that get put outside my yard in the same category. It makes me wonder why the city doesn’t do more PSAs pertaining to actual trash/litter that city staff has to clean up in the public spaces of our community.
More importantly though, why wouldn’t we try to give items away for free to community members that could use them, before we load up our already overburdened local landfills?
Why not just use “The Swap” for free items, you say? The Roaring Fork Swap is an excellent tool for many, but I would argue that not everyone in our community has the luxury of being able to check it regularly or even have access to it at all for that matter. To be honest, I don’t see the crime in leaving some free items on display for a few days every couple of years. But perhaps I am out of touch with the latest incarnation of Carbondale.
In the end, rules are rules and I will abide by the town’s regulations. I would like to add though, that If you were one of the people to complain about the gathering of free items behind our house, I commend you on your desire to see a cleaner community. However, I would suggest that you take your aversion to litter to the next level and do what I do with my students every time school gets back into session. Go out, put on an orange vest (safety first) and set a good example by cleaning up some actual litter around town instead of just complaining about the sincere efforts to reduce and reuse household items.
On the evening of July 6, my husband and I were walking our Sheltie dog down the main street of Redstone. A family was walking their dog on the other side of the street. That dog lurched and ran after my dog, knocking me down. I took a hard fall on my right side.
The family, who resides between Redstone and Carbondale, came quickly to assist and offered to exchange contact information. My husband declined, thinking I was not badly hurt. Since then we have learned that I have a significant shoulder injury.
If you are that family, please contact me at Redstonecamper1@gmail.com We have insurance but could use some help with the co-pays. Thanks in advance for doing the right thing.
This accident put an end to an otherwise special vacation to the Crystal River Valley.
Your integrity will be deeply appreciated.
Santa Fe, New Mexico