Replace the pool
On April 5, Carbondale voters will decide whether the town should replace our aging pool with a new aquatics facility, without raising taxes. Here’s why I’m voting YES on Ballot Issue A, supporting a new aquatics facility financed by existing revenue sources:
1. Our existing pool is about 45 years old and cannot be updated to current standards. The diving board has been removed, the bathhouse can’t be brought up to code and the heating and pump systems are on the verge of collapse. Our options are to build a new facility, or hang on to the existing pool as long as we can, eventually closing it when a major system fails. If you believe that a public pool is an important amenity in Carbondale, vote yes on A.
2. Existing revenues will pay for it. Carbondale voters approved a half-cent parks and recreation sales tax years ago, and when the Rec Center is paid off in 2024, that revenue can be used to pay off the aquatics facility. That revenue must be used for parks and rec, so if it’s not used for the pool, it can only be used for other parks and rec priorities, not diverted to housing, transit, climate or other needs.
3. The community asked for it. Starting with the Parks and Rec Master Plan in 2015 and continuing with years of surveys, meetings, studies and public process, the community has prioritized a new aquatics facility above other recreational amenities. The conceptual plan is based directly on many years of input from a broad range of stakeholders. There’s not going to be a better or less expensive plan in the future. Check it out at tinyurl.com/carbondalepool and remember to vote by April 5.
YES on A
YES, we want a modern swim facility in our town. The entire state and definitely our valley is depending more and more on the recreational industry, and we need to continue being a part of that.
YES, we want to walk or bike to go for a swim/soak, not drive a car for an hour to other towns. Being a pedestrian town is a major goal for Carbondale.
YES, we want better affordable housing by electing town leaders that will encourage/demand developers to offer better housing choices; not by spending recreational money.
YES, we want a child-oriented and senior-friendly swimming experience right here in our own backyard!
VOTE YES on ballot issue A.
I just want to take a moment and thank everyone for their great support at the new Mana Foods in Carbondale. We have a host of people to thank, starting with our board members who tirelessly rose to the occasion of planning for and moving the entire store in a week! Thanks to Richard Votero for his astute commitment to improving the daily structure of our new space. Thanks also to Paramroop Khalsa for his engineering on the mysterious temple that adorns the inner room of Mana Foods. Also thanks to Arthur Franklin for his consistent commitment as a volunteer to help us make the store the best it can be.
We also want to thank the Mana Foods staff. We have a special group of people dedicated to serving the community with a daily commitment of making the store run. Thanks also to the over 30 local vendors that our store highlights. Because of these individuals’ creativity we are thriving as a local hub and offering people new solutions in the bioregion of Carbondale.
And, finally, thanks to all the citizens of Carbondale who have contributed to making this store great. Your support allows us to grow and evolve with more vendors, more choices and more opportunities to support local people. All of these great vibrations make working at Mana Foods a pure delight.
Our next event with Mana Foods begins this week as we celebrate the creation of the Sattvic Health Center. We will have a ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 18, that is open to the community. The ceremony is the kick-off to the creation of the Sattvic Health Center space with our mantra reading that is “The Great Song of Gurmukh,” done as a prayer to the Roaring Fork Valley for health and prosperity. This reading will now be open for all people to participate at their leisure, to lend their voice to the vibration of peace and prayer. You can sign up to read at Mana Foods during business hours. We welcome everyone to participate in this “great song” for the nourishment of your health and the health of the entire planet.
Support for Cole
I’m joining former Lt. Governor, Mike Callihan, to endorse Cole Buerger
to be our House District 57 State Representative. Cole will provide exceptional leadership and service for HD57, which now includes Garfield, Pitkin, and parts of Eagle County in the Roaring Fork Valley.
A fifth generation Coloradan, raised on a ranch
outside of Silt, he will be a champion for Western Slope values. From tourism, recreation, education, health care, transportation, public safety, agriculture and more — Cole has a remarkable understanding of our local industries.
Cole will listen to and represent the interests of our diverse community. From our seniors looking for support to young adults looking for their first job and home; from new immigrants and their families looking for opportunity to business owners and professionals looking for fair treatment and an infrastructure to support investment and growth; from recreation enthusiasts to those who require action to improve our environment and land use heritage — Cole will be in your corner.
An effective legislator must not only have good intentions but must possess the skills to evaluate the issues, craft legislation, listen to constituents, work with colleagues and all manner of organizations and lead through public discourse. Cole’s education in international affairs, with an MA in public policy, and years of experience working with world-renowned leaders and organizations executing communications, research and advocacy efforts, has prepared him to be a great leader at the Colorado Capitol on behalf of HD57 and the citizens of Colorado.
Learn more about his vision to preserve our natural heritage, to defend our democracy, to strengthen our economy and to rebuild our communities at cole4colorado.com.
Former State Representative
Support for Elizabeth
I first met Elizabeth Velasco in 2009 at the high school graduation of her younger brother. It was a proud moment in my tenure as headmaster of the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, and I stayed in touch with the family ever since. Fast forward to 2022, and I could not be more thrilled to see Elizabeth gearing up to represent House District 57, a tri-county mashup of Pitkin, Garfield and a portion of Eagle County. She is driven, well-researched, abundantly hopeful and full of creative solutions. She has a vision for a prosperous economy, and she is uniquely positioned to execute that vision, so it works for all her constituents. She is a policy super-nerd but can have a casual conversation that makes you feel a part of her team.
On her website (https://www.elizabethforcolorado.com/), Elizabeth outlines key areas that will improve quality of life for her neighbors and friends while supporting her points with compelling data. Elizabeth has worked in the field as a firefighter, and she has worked in the office as a small-business owner. She has heard stories in English and Spanish from community members that have been prosperous and those that struggle every day. She has built a reputation as a grassroots advocate and activist and from that foundation she now attacks her first big role in policy. She is not a corporate executive from a wealthy family, blind to the challenges of everyday people. She is on the front lines and she has been on the front lines.
If you have not yet gotten to know Elizabeth, you should. Her path to citizenship took 23 years, but she never gave up and she crushed that goal. Elizabeth’s story is an inspiration to young leaders of all backgrounds, perspectives, and values, but especially for awakening Latina leaders and women of color across the state of Colorado. I hope you will make time today to learn more about Elizabeth, her American Dream, and how you can get involved in supporting her victory in HD57.
Echoes of war
I can’t help but notice that the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia bears striking similarities to the unwarranted U.S. invasion of Iraq 19 years ago this Saturday (3/19).
The Russian people were lied to about the reason for Putin’s invasion, just as our leaders lied about the justifications for Bush’s attack on Iraq. Horrific scenes of destruction, dead bodies and children maimed by bombs are being kept out of the Russian media, just as they were kept out of the U.S. media. Iraq war protesters in the U.S. were subject to arrest, as well as derision by the general public for their “treason.”
Yes, there are differences between the Ukraine war and the Iraq war, but not to the victims. The innocent Iraqi civilians who were maimed, lost loved ones, or were rendered homeless by U.S. bombs, were no less deserving of our compassion than the Ukranians. But 19 years ago, there was no worldwide cry of sympathy and support for the Iraqi people. Because that war was framed and carried out by “the good guys,” allegedly fighting evil terrorists.
But Russian citizens consider themselves “the good guys” also, and believe their military is fighting Nazis in Ukraine. So next time the U.S. prepares to destroy another country with justifications of being the force of good against evil, take a closer look at what’s really going on. You might be as surprised as the Russian citizens are going to be when they find out what really happened in Ukraine.
We are so blessed to have a wonderful group of people to choose from in the upcoming April 5 town trustee election. How to differentiate between eight well-intentioned and well-qualified candidates? May I offer one practical reason why you should include my name among your choices? Design understanding. Some of the most consequential decisions the town council has to make involve development and its design. I understand how plans translate to reality and how what we build in turn affects our behavior, environment and community. This will be an invaluable asset to the council as we assess proposals and explore how to make the best use of downtown land donations and other opportunities. I bring creativity and a results-oriented mentality to my work. I always begin by listening carefully and don’t passively listen — I want to really understand the problem and the people involved, ask questions, consider all angles and put in hard work toward a real solution.
If we don’t fully consider the details that make human-centered design work, we end up with “business as usual” development that leaves Carbondale less humane.
Please visit my website, hassigfortrutee.com, for considered thinking on a variety of issues that face the town.