What can we do?

Plastic? In the 1940s, when I was growing up, there were very few plastics and we lived without them. Now, they make life easier, but we do pay a price. Plastics show up in our waterways and are found in sea life throughout the world. Plastic began as a convenience that most people appreciated, but has become a very serious health and environmental threat. It is used to make clothing, bags, shoes, toys, machinery, tools, etc., etc., etc., and is a significant driver of fossil fuel extraction and climate change. Instead of using less plastics, we continue to use more. Of course, this drives big companies to make more.

What can we do? We individually can make changes in our habits that you have probably thought about.

Examples: use a plastic bag more than once; get substitutes for plastic bags; buy fresh food that has little or no packaging; use reusable containers for lunch packing and water bottles; let take-out restaurants know that you appreciate the compostable cups they are using; when possible, choose paper, glass or metal over plastic goods, and so on. 

This is all good; however, we need to show the big corporations and businesses that we will do what is needed to save our environment. We don’t have money to spend on advertising to make the point about saving our future, but we do have each other. In many parts of the world, including the United States, people are organizing to place restrictions on disposable plastic, and it is working. An example is that hundreds of U.S. cities have banned or put a tax on disposable plastic bags to reduce their use. 

The government’s most effective way to reduce plastic in the Roaring Fork Valley is through restrictions, taxes, fees or bans. Let your representatives know how you feel.

Wendy Draina


Wave the flag

As July 4th is soon approaching, I am encouraging all citizens in Garfield County to hang their American flags. This flag is a symbol of our freedom and belongs to all of us. As we know, as Americans, our pledge states, “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Our flag stands for our constitution, our four freedoms and it is something we can unite under. Let’s take our flag back and wave it proudly.

Sondie Reiff


Stop the lies

Please stop spewing the lies about Lauren Boebert. One, she has not voted for or introduced legislation to reduce the age to buy guns (read the Congressional record). Two, she was not a paid escort. Three, she did not lead a group of the Jan. 6 rioters on a tour of the Capital days prior. 

Go to the Congressional Record and look at what she has actually done. She stands for all of Colorado. 

She has even requested that the transportation department look at making Cottonwood Pass an alternative road to I-70 when everyone else just talks about it.

David Butler


Boebert’s record

Listen to Lauren Boebert’s words and look at her voting record. She says that she is pro-life (anti-abortion) but that seems to extend only until a child is born. She voted against the infant formula supply bills and the “Protect Our Kids Act” bills (changes in federal firearm laws). When she talks about “making America great again” her vision seems to be of an America where babies are purposely starved and children are slaughtered. Do we not have a moral obligation to protect the lives of the most innocent and the most vulnerable among us?

Jill Knaus


Dear Pitkin County Sheriff candidate, Michael Buysse, 

Unless you are a gun-toting pyromaniac, psychedelic novelist and hallucinating evangelist who likes to drive Independence Pass high on mushrooms and write degenerate columns in Sports Illustrated or novels for the disenchanted American, I suggest you change your defaced Hunter S. Thompson campaign ad. Might I suggest the symbols of a punk rock Care Bear with chains and tattoos or a Barney with long hair and tie dye. 

Thanks for your consideration, 

Morgan Williams


Vote Velasco

I am writing to share my support for Elizabeth Velasco in her candidacy for Colorado House District 57. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Elizabeth over the past year on the Wilderness Workshop Board of Directors.

Elizabeth is a person of outstanding character. She is an excellent communicator and a tireless advocate. Her strong management, organizational, policy and people skills, as well as her experience facilitating collaboration in complex situations, like wildfires, are unmatched by any other candidate. Elizabeth consistently inspires me with her dedication to creating a better future for our communities and the landscapes that connect them. I truly can’t imagine a better person to represent us in the state legislature.

The Democratic primary election ends on June 28. If you are an Independent voter or a registered Democrat, please join me in supporting Elizabeth Velasco!

Denali Barron


Recommended reading

Instructive for anyone who loves the creative side of Carbondale and poignant for us boomers are two recent memoirs, “Aspen Unstrung” by Sandy Munro and “The Town that Said Hell No” by Paul Andersen. The former is about Aspen and the latter about Crested Butte. Both books emphasize the ‘70s in each town when there were plenty of eccentricity, characters, community, commitment, art, fun and even affordability. Both books finish with laments to the loss of those characteristics due to gentrification, fast growth and homogenization. 

Carbondale still has many of those happy characteristics, but quickly is being overwhelmed by the sad ones. Carbondale is headed the way of both those towns, but can use those two examples to avoid many of their pitfalls.

Michael Kinsley

Old Snowmass


In a recent local newspaper article, Lorenzo Semple stated the following:

“You won’t find me riding my e-bike on our hallowed single-track trails. If you want to ride the ‘good stuff,’ you have to do the work. Some things are still sacred.”

This hits the nail on the head of the egotistical, head-up-your-ass attitude toward e-bikes on singletrack trails.

I am a 72-year-old disabled veteran with Parkinson’s from agent orange exposure in Vietnam.

There are many other people, not necessarily just the elderly, with physical limitations that keep us from enjoying the “good stuff.”

The vast majority of single track trails in our area are on public land and were built with public money.

So, listen up Pitkin County Commissioners, Aspen City Council and Parks and Recreation, BLM and White River National Forest administrators; quit kicking the can down the road and make a decision yourselves, don’t wait for the other authorities to do it (the excuse constantly being used). 

Quit denying the right of use to so many people simply because we need some electrical assistance to help us enjoy a public amenity.

Gary Pax