To the people of Carbondale

Reading The Sun’s spotlight on each of the candidates running for town trustee and Mayor, I was really impressed. Carbondale is blessed to have SO many smart, experienced, thoughtful, community-focused people who have stepped up to run for local office to lead and serve their community. Voting for only three may be challenging. May the proactive action of these community members inspire people in neighboring communities to also step up and offer to lead in local political offices, both citizen boards and elected positions. 

Even though I don’t get to vote for these folks, as I had to find housing elsewhere, I’m proud to be part of this community for over 15 years now. Please vote!

Sarah R. Johnson, 



Dear candidates

It’s election season and candidates are rolling out their catch phrases for their cause du jour. Affordable housing has been a cause du jour for many years, and if affordable housing is a pillar of your campaign, here are my questions:

Have you read the town’s current housing regulations on affordable housing? If YES, what specifically would you change? If NO, why not? 

Do you know how much affordable housing the town currently exacts from developers? 

Do you know the number of units currently in the town’s affordable housing inventory?

Do you know the number of new units coming on-line as a result of the current development? 

Do you know how affordable units are managed? Sold and rented? 

There was a comprehensive housing study conducted a few years back that includes everything from Aspen to Parachute — have you at least read the executive summary?

Just asking…

Michael Durant,


Aquatic Center

I will not be making many of my swimmer/water aerobic friends happy when I write to say to VOTE NO on Ballot Issue A to increase Carbondale Debt from half a million up to $8 million for an Aquatic Center. This much nicer proposed pool and facility may cost us over $14 million in debt repayment.

Pool staff have done a fabulous job with an aging facility for years. It definitely needs to be significantly upgraded to operate into the future. Personally I would love to be able to swim year-round in Carbondale. While this project will extend the season, it would not provide that opportunity.

There are five fabulous public pools within an hour’s distance — Snowmass, Basalt, Aspen, Glenwood Springs and Gypsum. Several of these are year-round. Does everything need to be in our backyard?

I am all about keeping our community active. I would love to see more programming for youth, more sports fields, an expanded Rec Center and the staff and maintenance to support them. 

When I saw The Sopris Sun cover last week with the puzzle competition, it inspired me that our creative town can come up with simple creative options for engagement and activity for a lot less monies. Please consider a less expensive way to keep and maintain a watery treasure complete with views of Mount Sopris!

Carrie Podl-Haberern, 


Tabor notice

I recently received mail with the 2022 Tabor Notice from the town of Carbondale regarding Ballot Issue A. The ballot proposes increasing the town’s debt to provide us with a new aquatic center.

Regardless of my viewpoint on this ballot issue, I was dismayed by the unbalanced and seemingly biased way the summaries of comments in favor and against the ballot issue were presented.

There were three complete paragraphs and the beginning of a fourth paragraph on the front page summarizing comments in favor of the ballot issue. There was only one paragraph summarizing comments against the ballot, which I wouldn’t even have seen if I hadn’t turned over the page.

Nancy Peterson, 


Crystal Trail

The mission of Roaring Fork Audubon (RFA) is to speak for our wildlife that has no voice, especially our birds. RFA and our 850 plus members support Alternative 1 — the No Action Alternative. Habitat required by our native birds and other wildlife is slowly being paved, improved and developed, especially in the valley floor where the majority breed. Most of these birds are in decline; some are in steep decline. In the last 60 years, more than one-third of our birds have been lost. The largest cause of this dramatic decrease is loss or alteration of habitat, much in the name of recreation.

A common misconception is that, if a bird’s habitat is impacted by trail development, the bird will fly to an adjacent area to breed, roost and feed. Birds heavily dispute and defend their territories in winter and breeding season; and, with habitat loss, this leaves many birds with nowhere to relocate, breed and survive. Suitable habitat becomes more scarce as recreation is honored over conservation.

If we don’t vigorously guard prime habitat for all our birds, those in steep decline will not recover; and others will continue to diminish.

Considering habitat loss due to human development and climate change, the greatest threats to our waning bird populations are indifference and lack of education. RFA’s goal is to overcome indifference by raising awareness of our birds’ plight and providing education about the risk of losing what we do not protect. 

We have conducted surveys along the Crystal River corridor, including the trail toward McClure Pass, which is rich in regrowth and abundant with native bird life, elk, bear, butterflies and small mammals. Most of the trail is narrow and quiet and has little impact on the habitat with breeding birds in close proximity. Developing this narrow trail to accommodate bikers and hikers would eliminate breeding habitat up to three feet on each side. Bike traffic would affect another 50 meters on each side of the trail and cause an incalculable number of nests lost. There is much scientific evidence documenting that heavily used trails negatively affect bird nesting habitat.

As recreational development pressures mount, this short, narrow trail section becomes more important for wildlife, especially for birds that return to the same patch from as far away as Central America to breed where they have been successful. RFA’s surveys document an abundance of bird species, including 23 that are represented on conservation concern watch lists.

This piecemeal type of development causes harm to wildlife and triggers loss of breeding habitat, sending a cumulative impact like ripples in a pond affecting all the species sharing this precious corridor.

Once people realize the importance of protecting diminishing wildlife habitat, we believe they will support a trail that skirts the highway corridor rather than destroys existing habitat. The proposed trail will cause loss of wildlife and be one more place where quiet strolls to enjoy wildlife are not available to most citizens of our valley.

Mary Harris, 

Roaring Fork Audubon Society


How can it be, 

only yesterday, 

the calm, the peacefulness,

you holding me, and me, you.


dreams, our dreams.

Dancing through fields of sunflowers and forget-me-nots.



a world, ripped apart, 

echoes uncertainty.

The undeniable faces of sunflowers,

where have they gone,

and the forget-me-nots?

Please forget me not.

Barbara Sophia,