Do you care?

On April 21, the commissioners of the Roaring Fork Valley Regional Planning Commission recommended by a three-to-two vote to up-zone the controversial Fields Development project. The three commissioners voting in favor of the up-zoning and recommending approval to the Eagle County Commissioners are Chair Phillip Ring and board members Bob Andre and J.R. Spung.

Commissioners Ring, Andre and Spung, in their vote to approve the Fields Development, essentially sent this message to the mid-Valley community: “We don’t care!“

“We don’t care” that more than 400 mid-Valley residents signed a petition in opposition to the Fields Development. “We don’t care” that a three-to-one ratio of letters and emails submitted to Eagle County were against the development. “We don’t care,” even after it being cited by fellow commissioners opposing the up-zoning that the project does not meet certain standards, such as adequate infrastructure, with failed intersections (El Jebel Road and Highway 82) and non-compatibility with surrounding uses and properties. “We don’t care” about issues brought forth, including public safety, environmental concerns, density, the lack of pedestrian trails and cycling access, as well as no mass transit proximate to the development.

What commissioners Ring, Andre and Spung did care about was choosing to approve the maximum zoning designation of Residential Multi Family on a site currently categorized as Rural Residential.

Development will occur in the Eagle County mid-Valley area, but it must be done in a responsible and reasonable manner. Ring, Andre and Spung do not care for such an approach, but one would hope that the Eagle County commissioners, Kathy Chandler-Henry, Jeanne McQueeney and Matt Scherr, who bear the responsibility of the final denial or approval of the Fields Project, do in fact care.

Mark A. Fortunato

El Jebel

Supply solutions

Never thought much of supply-side economics. Seems to me the way to goose up an economy is to make sure the demand side has the resources to eat into the supply. Manufacturing will meet the needs of the people and the economy will flourish.

Likewise, I’ve always been opposed to a supply side approach to combating climate change. Leave it in the ground, cut off the money pipeline and ban fracking. These are all ways to restrain fossil fuel production. 

As long as there is a demand, the supply will come from somewhere: Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, these are all autocratic regimes. The way to eliminate fossil fuels is to wipe out demand by walking, biking, taking public transportation, buying electric vehicles and replacing coal and gas fired power sources with renewables. The fossil fuel industry doesn’t have to be shut down by government edict. Economic forces can do the job.

Fred Malo Jr.


Celebrating school staff

The Roaring Fork Schools recognize May as “Staff Appreciation Month.” This year, with the financial support of our communities, we were able to show some material appreciation for our teachers and staff members with the pay increases that everybody saw in their paychecks last week. However, money alone does not go far enough in expressing the deep appreciation that we feel for all the people who work in our schools. During the final month of the school year, we celebrate student and school achievements, as well as the people who make those successes possible.

There is no question that the people who work in our schools — working in our classrooms, kitchens, buses, offices or even behind the scenes — are our most important asset. We have more than 1,000 staff members, and each person plays a crucial role in our mission. Our staff members do so much more than teach, prepare meals, maintain spaces or transport students: they inspire and motivate; they care for and fix; they change lives. 

We are so grateful to have been able to make the largest salary adjustment in the district’s history last month through a voter-approved mill levy override; it demonstrates sincere appreciation and affirmation for the work our staff members do every day. We know that our staff do this important work not because of the paycheck, but because they care so much about the education, wellbeing and future success of our students and our community.

The Roaring Fork Schools Executive Team


I am writing to express gratitude to Sue Annabel, the art teacher at Crystal River Elementary School (CRES), for putting the Ladles of Love fundraising event together. I’d also like to thank the entire student body at CRES who voted to make the Buddy Program this year’s nonprofit partner to receive a portion of the money raised!

I also want to articulate a special thank you and congratulations on her retirement to Linda Haydock, the counselor at CRES who has been a critical partner for all of our programming at CRES over the past 12 years. She helped us build a strong program to support our mission to empower youth through mentoring experiences to achieve their full potential!

Brooke Bockelman

Buddy Program Program Director