Forward momentum on CORE Act

I was enthused when I heard that the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act, the legislation to protect the Thompson Divide, received a markup and vote in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee earlier this week. This is the furthest the CORE Act has ever made it in Congress, and I applaud the efforts of Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper for getting us one step closer to permanently protecting the Thompson Divide.

The Thompson Divide provides important habitat for a variety of different wildlife species and supports some of the oldest ranching operations in our area. It is essentially important for our local economies and lifestyles and protecting it has broad community support. I’m calling on Congress to listen to the voices of our community and pass the CORE Act!

Richard Vottero, Carbondale


Ode to the dandelion

An uncle of mine who was a foreman for the Idaho state highway department used to say, “A weed is nothing more than an unwanted plant.” That’s the way many people see the dandelion: a noxious, invasive growth competing with their precious, water gulping grass.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Dandelions are neither poisonous, foreign nor harmful in any way. In fact, ingesting dandelions has so many medicinal and food purposes they should be protected at all costs.

The health benefits include treating liver diseases, gastro-intestinal problems, anemia, cancer and diabetes. Eating dandelions can contribute to weight loss, improved vision and bowel function. It can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol and act as a skin cleanser.

There are many recipes for dandelion consumption, but basically it breaks down this way: the leaves are for greens, the blossoms are used for wine and jelly and you can make coffee out of the roots.

Besides, I see dandelions as a beautiful harbinger of spring. Even when the flowers turn white and the parachute-born seeds float on the spring breeze to their new home, the dandelion is a visual verification of the life cycle.

And finally, but perhaps most importantly, the dandelion is essential fodder for the pollinators. You may have noticed bee populations are down and if you like fruit, that should concern you.

So, save that garden trowel for digging a hole for your tomato plants and, for God’s sake, don’t spray your dandelions with any poisonous chemicals. That’ll not only kill the flowers, but the pollinators as well and make people sick.

The dandelion is Carbondale’s town flower by general acclamation. If you don’t believe it, wait until you see the turnout on Saturday at this year’s Dandelion Day at Sopris Park.

Fred Malo Jr., Carbondale


A flaming success!

Carbondale Rotary’s second annual Fireball Drop last Friday was a huge success! Volunteers, scholarship recipients and spectators joined us in Sopris Park on First Friday, May 6, to witness almost 1,000 ping pong balls tumble from a fire ladder truck onto targets on the ground to select our winners. It was a beautiful, sunny day and great fun!

Huge thanks go out to our title sponsor, Ace Hardware of Carbondale, for their consistent, dedicated support. Alpine Bank, Umbrella Roofing, Sopris Liquor and Wine, super Rotarian Mike Waski, The Post Independent and RJ Paddywacks Pet Outfitters also stepped in with key support. 

Other sponsors included ANB Bank, Becky Dombrowski at Sotheby’s Real Estate Glenwood Springs, Karen Pierson and Brian Leasure of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s Real Estate at RVR, Herschel Ross DDS Family Dentistry, Jim Kenney, L&H Enterprises, Modern Day Media, Nardecchia Dental, Roaring Fork Family Physicians, Wealth by Design, Whitsitt Law Office LLC and RK Wolff Safety Consulting.

We would like to especially thank the wonderful men and women of the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District. They once again provided the equipment, manpower, expertise and good music that made it all possible!

Thanks also go to our event partners: the town of Carbondale’s Parks and Recreation Department, Andrea and everyone at the Carbondale Chamber, The Sopris Sun, Greg and the crew at KDNK and everyone at City Market Carbondale. 

Thanks also to Bennett Bramson of the Aspen Rotary Club, Carbondale Police, and the Mt. Sopris Rotary Club of Carbondale.

Lastly, many thanks to all of you who bought balls from us, Ascendigo, Roaring Fork Youth Soccer, Roaring Fork Pickleball, Coventure and YouthZone, and helped us raise much-needed funds for all our community service projects, scholarships and grants. We are indeed grateful to be part of this wonderful community.

Yours in service,

Alan Cole, Carbondale Rotary Fundraising Chair

Heather Hicks-Stumpf, Rotary President 2021-2022

More gratitude

On April 29, 2022, Crystal River Elementary School (CRES) celebrated the 9th Annual Rams Run! It was a sea of gold, while students from every grade took to the course in matching shirts throughout the day, running to music and raising money for the special programs at their school.

This event is a favorite among students, teachers and families at CRES. It was wonderful to see the kids taking pride in being a Ram, and feeling empowered to support the programs that expand their awareness, experiences and knowledge. 

Without the support of our sponsors, volunteers and staff, the event wouldn’t be possible. We would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to Ridge Runner Construction, Stratus Group, Comfort Dental, Coldwell Banker Mason Morse broker Carly Passchier, Valley Ortho, Cheney Plumbing and Heating, CUC Construction, Blue Sky Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning, Aspen Tree Service and Independence Run & Hike. Your generous donations to Rams Run are deeply appreciated and the impact reverberates far beyond the event itself.

With sincere gratitude,

Autumn Evans-Lough, Crystal River Elementary

As Aspen flies

On September 30, 2023, Atlantic Aviation’s lease as Fixed Base Operator (FBO) at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport is over. This was a 30-year lease for running private aviation and servicing commercial aviation at Aspen’s Airport, on property owned by Pitkin County. 

The county makes 12 cents for every gallon of gas pumped into those planes, and their best customers are certainly those private jets. Over 70% of air traffic at our airport is from private aviation, and that also means over 70% of emissions. City and county attacks on their own citizens through building moratoriums look a lot more like a reaction to their own guilt for their own carbon-emitting building and flying projects. We could build a thousand mansions with less carbon emissions than constructing a new airport and runway will entail, and yet, that’s exactly what these lunatics plan. 

Well, here’s a plan that our choking canary will like. Don’t renew the FBO lease with anyone. Don’t build a new airport or private aviation terminal. Don’t expand the runway so Gulfstream 700s can land here. Want to lower real estate prices and rents? Ban private jets at the airport. Stop catering to the richest people on earth and a livable town might emerge. 

Here comes the real test of who these governments work for. Do they work for the voting constituents, or do they work for giant corporations and their owners? Can the county handle the loss in revenue from eliminating this carbon dump into the skies of our valley, and the ridiculous clientele these private jets deliver, and begin helping build a town run by the people, for the people — a real town and county, and not a “Dumb and Dumber” punchline, with dumb and dumber budgets that make the city and county the biggest developers and polluters of them all?

Andrew Scott, Snowmass

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