Re: SkiCo trails

In response to Allyn Harvey’s letter to the editor on Oct. 28, I totally agree that more ski trails should be named after women who have made an impact on Aspen. I need to mention that there is another trail you may have been unaware of, probably because it does not appear on the map.

Ro’s Romp on Tiehack was named for Aspen native Roine St. Andre, the first female ski patroller to be hired by SkiCo in 1970. She went on to patrol for 29 years at Buttermilk and later served as assistant patrol director. Her father, Harold “Red” Rowland, was one of the original pioneers of SkiCo and was inducted into the Aspen Hall of Fame along with Ro’s Mom, Peggy. 

Ro’s Run is a tribute to her numerous contributions to Aspen and the remarkable woman that she was. 

If you get a chance to ski Ro’s Romp, a tight bump run tucked away on the left side of the Tiehack trail, it’s magical! Especially on a powder day. About one fourth of the way down, in the middle of the run, look up at one tree in particular to see the lovely, handmade rustic wooden sign named for the beautiful spirit that was Ro — and, if you’re lucky enough, you may feel her spirit powdered in the snow. 

Amy Krakow, Carbondale


Protecting Thompson Divide

We can all be grateful for President Biden’s designation of the Camp Hale/Continental Divide National Monument. Protecting roughly 54,000 acres for posterity is important for our pressured public lands, wildlife habitats, and watersheds.

Now we must turn our attention to helping the Forest Service create a management plan that restores land where the troops trained and protects it from damaging behavior. Proper funding will help upgrade the eroded interpretive signs, repair roads, maintain trails, and safeguard artifacts.

Wildlife habitat and migration corridors within the Monument should be prioritized so our wildlife populations remain healthy and thriving. We all benefit when all of nature’s inhabitants are provided healthy habitats upon which we also inescapably depend. 

Veterans’ groups need a voice in the planning so that the Monument continues to honor those in the 10th Mountain Division who fought bravely during WWII. 

The native Ute tribes must be welcomed to participate in the planning and use of their historic home range. We can all benefit from the wisdom they have from centuries of caring for these spectacular landscapes. The native people, who have lived in harmony with these natural resources throughout history, can offer us great knowledge and insight and must have a seat at the table to share their cultural intelligence and perspective. 

The President also gave a two-year reprieve to the Thompson Divide area from further oil and gas leasing. This offers a small window to work toward prohibiting all new oil and gas leases into the future. I look forward to having this momentary pause expanded to longer and more permanent protection of this vulnerable natural resource.

Thank you to Wilderness Workshop and all the many environmental groups, citizens, and elected officials, including President Biden, Governor Polis, Senator Bennet, county commissioners, and all who helped bring about the creation of the National Monument.

Ted A. Behar, Carbondale


Roadside assistance

The solicitors for medical money are causing a distracting and dangerous situation at the intersection of highways 133 and 82. Complaints to the Carbondale Police and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department have been numerous, but neither are able to legally act, as the intersection is public property. 

People who solicit, whether under false pretenses or not, are allowed to be there. Unfortunately, this also means they are allowed to wave large signs, often en masse, while putting drivers and themselves in danger. Traffic is getting more congested by the day, adding to the distraction.

I have tried to be empathetic, but I think we need to look at the situation. These are not homeless people who lack shelter, food or clean clothes. They appear to have all the amenities a modern society entails, including cell phones. They clearly have employment, or families with employment, and if they do not, they certainly aren’t willing to work. Every business seems to need workers.

Medical care cannot be legally denied to anyone, even if they are illegal citizens, and if they are vying for care that is not available, many jobs provide family insurance. We all know that care can be expensive, but they can tap county, state and federal funds for aid. Many of us also donate to nonprofits that provide services.

I would rather we allow homeless people to sit at the light… they truly need our help and empathy. They are the disenfranchised, the ex-soldiers, the mentally ill and the ones fighting addiction. They do not have shelter, food, clean clothes or cell phones.

I believe we need to direct these current solicitors elsewhere, but that can only happen if we stop giving them money. If they stop milking the cash cow, they can seek funding that is more appropriate in a system that is set up for their needs. There are many services available for them in both English and Spanish. Above all, they can stop putting their fellow citizens at risk.

Denise Moss, Carbondale


Save ‘Helping Hands’

Getting right to the point, I’ve sent a check to Carbondale Town Hall with “Save ‘Helping Hands’” on the subject line. Why?

According to the Oct. 27-Nov. 2 Sopris Sun, the town has decided to remove the public work of art, located at Fourth and Main, for two reasons:

1. The town has determined the sculpture needs some restoration, at a cost of $2,500 (more or less);

2. The town wants to install a slab of marble at that location, and use it as a base for future Art Around Town pieces.

Before the public works department rolls its heavy equipment to Fourth and Main, here is some background as I remember it.

The “Helping Hands” sculpture was Carbondale’s first official piece of public art, and predates the current Art Around Town program. Either the town government or CCAH put out a call for entries. Several sculptors entered the competition and “Helping Hands” won hands down (so to speak). This was in the early 1990s.

After “Helping Hands” was placed, some locals had one main concern, that its black, easy-to-access surface might attract graffiti. Some residents in the area of Fourth and Main also referred to the human figures as “weasels” and threatened to put pants on them at some point. Neither of these scenarios transpired.

That’s the long and short of the “Helping Hands” history.

If you’d also like to lend a helping hand to save “Helping Hands”, the Carbondale Town Hall address is 511 Colorado Ave, Carbondale, CO 81623.

Lynn “Jake” Burton, Glenwood Springs/Carbondale

Just vote

With the midterm election just days ahead, I encourage residents of the Roaring Fork Valley to VOTE. Non-presidential elections are tremendously important — they lay the foundation on which our laws and regulations stand. They matter.

There are many issues at stake in this 2022 election such as employee housing, education, climate change, economic inequity, immigration policy, abortion, and gun control. The magnitude of each issue requires that elected officials be intelligent and informed, have integrity, and hold the highest good of our community and our country as their top priority.

Much has been and will be written about each issue — about each candidate. We’re in the 21st century now, and we need public servants who understand the complex, universal nature of economy, ecology, and society. We’ve faced a global pandemic, we are witnessing the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe, and we have an interdependent global economy. We are beyond colonialism. America was grounded and founded on separation of church and state. Christian Nationalism (which is actually not Christian — reference: the Bible and the Constitution), violates that constitutional and Biblical principle. We must vote for those who stand against racism, against policies negating/violating women’s or anyone’s rights, and against any policy that harms the ecology of our planet or its inhabitants (again — reference: the Bible and the Constitution).

In the interconnected/computerized world of 2022, those who serve in government must have local, national, and global awareness. Considering the candidates in the upcoming election, I urge you to vote for Michael Bennet and Adam Frisch to represent us nationally, and to elect Ryan Gordon, Becky Moller and Aron Diaz on the local level. State offices would be well served by Democratic candidates Polis, Griswold, Young, Weiser, Plomer, Roberts and Velasco.

Please vote for these candidates who will give their best to the Roaring Fork Valley, to Colorado, to America, and to each of you in the coming term. 

Nancy Gensch, Carbondale

Election thoughts

As a senior citizen, I’d like to address my fellow senior citizens concerning the upcoming midterms. Perhaps it’s time to consider, albeit selfishly, the consequences of your vote. Certain members of a certain party have made it clear that should they become the ruling party in the Senate and House, you can expect radical changes. Numerous candidates have told us that Social Security and Medicare cuts are on the table, as well as tax cuts for the wealthy. Let’s deal with that one first.

Numerous studies have concluded that the last 50 years of “Trickle-Down Economics” has done nothing but increase the wealth gap of the upper 20 percent. An International Monetary Fund report, authored by five economists, presents a scathing rejection of the trickle-down approach, arguing that the monetary philosophy has been used as a justification for growing income inequality over the past several decades. “Income distribution matters for growth,” they write. “Specifically, if the income share of the top 20 percent increases, then GDP growth actually declined over the medium term, suggesting that the benefits do not trickle down.”

Dr. Hope, visiting fellow at London School of Economics’ International Inequalities Institute and lecturer in political economy at King’s College London, said: “Our research shows that the economic case for keeping taxes on the rich low is weak. Major tax cuts for the rich since the 1980s have increased income inequality, with all the problems that brings, without any offsetting gains in economic performance.”

Regarding Social Security and Medicare, numerous GOP candidates have stated that they will strongly consider reducing or eliminating those benefits. Look it up. Our representative in the Third District stated at the Conservative Political Action Conference, “We’re here to tell government, we don’t want your benefits. We don’t want your welfare.”

Bloomberg Government published a striking report sketching out GOP officials’ plans to work around a veto threat and force Biden to accept cuts to the popular social insurance programs.

Think about what affect these policies may have on your life. And your children and grandchildren. Really, think about it!

Craig S. Chisesi, Rifle


Vote Blue in ‘22

If you support elephants in the womb, Hatriot insurrectionists, Qanon Christo-fascists, afraid of pronouns, liberals, or saying the letters “LGBTQ” without shuddering, gaga for guns, living for Heaven more than life on Earth, handmaids, and circus clowns posing as politicians focused on legislating public policy under a tent that looks like an American flag but smells like a festering pile of oil sludge and sewage left over from the last century, then the Republican party is definitely for you! If that’s not your shoe, then wear “Blue” — and vote for Democrats bottom of the ballot up! Democracy, freedom to choose, diversity, the environment, future generations, our country, and the world will be glad you did! 

Anita Sherman, Glenwood Springs



I wish that our politics could be an honest debate about policies. Regular working people are suffering due to the high cost of housing, health care and energy. Our whole society is at risk due to climate change, income inequality, gun violence and the erosion of democracy.

The Democratic Party hasn’t always lived up to its ideal of representing working people, but I believe it still does a vastly better job of championing policies that actually try to address our problems and make life better for all. 

That’s why I’ll be voting for Democrats pretty much down the line in this election. After the Jan. 6 insurrection and Trump’s part in it, it seems like a vote for Republicans is just a vote for chaos and thuggery. 

And, in my opinion, Lauren Boebert is the worst of the whole self-serving, democracy-shredding bunch. She represents no one in Congress but herself. If you’re at all on the fence about her, I advise voting for her opponent Adam Frisch.

Dave Reed, Carbondale


Vote for Jankovsky

If you care about the rule of law and supporting Garfield County agencies that protect our safety and security, vote for Tom Jankovsky for Garfield County commissioner in the upcoming midterm election. Tom understands that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and upholding it is critical to the continuity of our democratic republic. Without the rule of law, there is tyranny and injustice.

The agencies that assure the rule of law is upheld have been under attack. Police and sheriff officers, EMS, firefighters and military personnel routinely put themselves in harm’s way for the safety of others. A hostile attitude from left-leaning leaders towards these everyday heroes only adds fuel to the fire in situations that are already volatile. Supporting Tom J for commissioner is a vote for the safety and protection of law abiding citizens and the first responders who speed to our aid when needed.

Tom is a man of action. He has supported first responders throughout his term in office. Thanks to Tom’s leadership role, the Rifle Garfield County Airport has become a hub for wildland firefighters in Western Colorado. It is a base of operations for federal, state and local fire fighting agencies that protect our homes, businesses and lands.

Also, as a fiscal conservative, Tom’s role as county commissioner has been a tremendous asset to Garfield County residents. Tom’s ability to balance the books, think ahead and prioritize has been honed not only over his terms as county commissioner but in his years of experience as the general manager of Sunlight Mountain Resort. Under Tom‘s leadership, law enforcement and first responders, including school resource officers, have received the funds they need to excel at their jobs while still balancing the budget.

Thank you, Tom J, for supporting the rule of law and the people who uphold it. Vote for Tom Jankovsky for Garfield County commissioner.

Frank McSwain Jr., Glenwood Springs


Vote for Moller

As election ballots are arriving in folks’ mailboxes, I want to encourage our community to seriously consider Becky Moller for the office of Garfield County clerk. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Becky over the past five years through her leadership in Carbondale’s Parks and Recreation Commission as the Chair for 10 years. She has always shown passion, dedication, and fastidiousness to her responsibilities in that role, and I see her bringing that same drive and commitment to all the duties that the County Clerk’s office handles. 

The clerk’s duties require filing accurate court records, overseeing the court clerk’s duties, organizing voter registration, and scheduling elections. Becky understands the importance of keeping good records and of dealing congenially with the public. She is honest, reliable, and willing to work the long hours needed for the position. I believe Becky Moller is the person best qualified to be our next county clerk.

A vote for Becky will be a vote to keep the county clerk’s office in good hands.

Luis Yllanes, Carbondale


Dear Gunnison County,

I am running for Gunnison County Commissioner, and I am committed to representing you. 

I currently work as the marketing and development director at Crested Butte Nordic. As a board member and deputy director at the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association, I helped organize trail work days, memberships, and other festive community events. You also may know me from 

the Gunnison County Planning Commission, where I’ve served since 2018, these past 18 months as chair. I coach cross-country for the Crested Butte Community School, and I’ve been active in supporting our schools on the District Accountability Committee and previously as a teacher in our school district. 

Since moving to Gunnison County in 2009, I’ve developed a deep love for this place. Like many of you, I was drawn here by the recreation opportunities and the close connection to our natural world. But the thing that has kept me here is the community. It is you. 

I recently visited Marble and Somerset and was able to visit with some wonderful people. I am struck by how similar the problems we face are despite the mountains that divide us geographically. I am continually inspired by the kind, responsible, hard-working people of Gunnison County. It isn’t easy to live here, whether it’s fluctuations in weather or our economy, but we choose to make it work, over and over again, committing to our families, our work, and our home. I am ready to take this commitment further. I want to be sure that Gunnison County continues to be a place where we can thrive now and into the future. I am committed to Gunnison County. I am committed to you. 

I am running for County Commissioner to protect our vibrant communities, fight for housing for everyone, and foster environmental resiliency. We need strong, engaged leaders who are willing to work collaboratively and strategically to confront the challenges we’re facing. I have the skills, experience, and energy we need to tackle our biggest obstacles head-on and make the most of our opportunities. 

I hope you will join me in ensuring a thriving future for Gunnison County. Learn more about my campaign at Remember to vote by Nov. 8! 

Laura Puckett Daniels, Crested Butte


Letter policy: Please limit your letters to 500 words. We are committed to including all perspectives in The Sopris Sun. If your letter does not appear, it may be because of space limitations in the paper or because other letters we printed expressed the same idea or point of view. Letters are due by noon on the Monday before we go to print.