Citizens meet FS
A group of Carbondale Concerned Citizens are going through the due process steps that the local Forest Service leaders performed incompletely to end up with a new building design completely out of place in our beloved historic downtown. I am positive that a design produced with diligent townspeople’s inclusion would produce a compatible design. On our way to join in the design process, we have participated in processes available to citizens to interact with the federal government.
Several times we canvassed for petition signatures from people who were always shocked with the tree removals. One-thousand-four-hundred people signed to say they would keep the trees over a plan by the Forest Service to cut them down.
After petitioning, we moved on to call for a meeting with town trustees and the Forest service. It was placed on the agenda and the townspeople were allotted two minutes each. A very large number of people attended that meeting.
Carbondale Concerned Citizens then hosted a forum of our own at the Third Street Center’s Community Room, and nearly 50 citizens attended.
Most recently, we requested and organized a meeting with Kevin Warner (with the Forest Service) and a small group of townspeople at the Forest Service office. At the beginning, we assembled in the lobby and Kevin invited us on a tour of their main building, and off we went into the many offices, and then down into the basement and even into the boiler room and all of the spaces being utilized.
I have been a building repairman for 39 years and have recently looked over the exterior roof, doors, windows and foundation. The roof and foundation appear to be in great repair. The windows and trim are in a state of neglect. The tour of the interior revealed a very well-kept space and, yes, I went into all of the restrooms to look.
The damn panic precluded citizen input and the Forest Service design process plunged ahead. Now, the Forest Service is presented with townspeople objecting to the sufficiency of the whole process. Will the Forest Service force their demolition of serviceable old buildings and land a new building sans trees on our small town Main Street? The loss of our Main Street integrity and the loss of trust and respect for the Forest Service will result.
As I drive by the Forest Service property, I trust that the outcome of a collaboration with townspeople and the Forest Service will produce a more satisfying result.
Richard Votero, Carbondale
Protect the Crystal
Through the summer months, a group of local residents have been studying a range of tools that could be used to protect the Crystal River from dams and out of drainage diversions. This group is an advisory body which includes residents of Gunnison and Pitkin counties who live on the Crystal and will report their findings in January 2024 to their respective commissioners.
During the Crystal River Community Summit, held the last week of October in the Roaring Fork High School auditorium, residents of the Crystal Valley met and had a chance to learn about the various options available to protect the Crystal River. Residents were asked to look at a range of legal tools which could be used to protect the river and to score them against a set of criteria that included durability, respect for local water and property rights, protection of a healthy river corridor and prevention of dams and out of drainage diversions. Wild and Scenic Designation stands out in each one of these categories.
The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, federal legislation adopted by Congress in 1968 to protect applicable American rivers, is considered the gold standard of protecting rivers. It has all of the words you want to hear: Your river must have no dams, must not divert water out of the drainage and must allow the river to continue to flow its natural course. So, this is exactly what we need if we want to give the Crystal River the best chance of remaining free-flowing in perpetuity. We need Wild and Scenic designation to protect the waters of our river and we need it now!
Chuck Downey, Redstone
The Oct. 24 Carbondale town trustees meeting produced a couple of head scratchers. First, what’s the deal with the trustees closing Town Hall for Martin Luther King day starting Jan. 15? Martin Luther King (MLK) Day has been observed as a federal holiday since 1986. Why close Town Hall now? It never has before. What’s changed for the trustees to suddenly start giving town staffers a day off for MLK Day?
I’ve got nothing against MLK Day. He deserves to be honored. But, what does closing Town Hall the third Monday of January do to honor King? Nothing, as near as I can tell. What closing Town Hall for MLK Day does is inconvenience folks who drive, bike or walk to do some business. They’ll have to return at a later date. Same goes with folks who call Town Hall with questions or whatever. Can the town trustees please explain the importance of recognizing MLK Day, 38 years after it became a federal holiday, in this way?
Next, what’s the deal with the trustees waving some fees for the Blue Lake Preschool? Trustees agreed that there is a need for preschools in Carbondale, but so what? There’s also a need for some place to buy underwear in town. Will trustees subsidize the next clothing store if the owner promises to sell underwear? Trustees Marty Silverstein and Lani Kitching voted against the motion to waive some fees.
Lynn “Jake” Burton
Blinkers in the Boomerang
I’m a frequent roundabout user; and there’s little choice in Carbondale with the “Boomerang.” I used these in Europe years ago. My Dutch friend says they are all over Holland and Europe. But, he says drivers do something different: they signal. When you are preparing to exit, you use your right turn signal. When you are rounding the center you use your left turn signal, and the right signal when leaving. It speeds up coming and going. It’s safer for cars and walkers. If you have two minutes here is a video: www.bit.ly/CarbondaleBoomerang
Patrick Hunter, Carbondale
Forest Service District Ranger Kevin Warner is not listening. He is not listening to the people in Carbondale. If this building was out on Highway 133, we probably would be ok with it. But, it isn’t. I don’t know if he is being controlled by the higher-ups or doing this on his own. It doesn’t matter. We need to take a stand and stop this new building; the U.S. Forest Service building in Carbondale should be so much better.
Betsy Lincicome, ex-Satankian
With an overwhelming amount of people struggling to take care of their wellbeing, I am feeling called to reach out to our community for support. The HeadQuarters Mental Health Fund at Aspen Community Foundation provides subsidized therapy sessions to our community members who are uninsured, underinsured or facing financial hardship.
We have many applicants awaiting funding for various mental health issues, including PTSD, relationship issues, migration trauma, and substance abuse support. HeadQuarters currently has more outstanding applications than funding to meet these needs – over $30,000 in requests total, with more coming in every day. Donations made to the fund will make a direct impact on the wellbeing of our community, allowing individuals to access transformative therapy services.
This year, the fund has given out 63 scholarships, supporting 538 therapy sessions for people ranging from age 4 through 65. By providing financial assistance for therapeutic services, this fund is ensuring that our most vulnerable community members can access the professional help they require to cope with the unique challenges of living in a rural, resort region. Your donation will make an immediate impact on the lives of people in our community. It is an investment in our shared future and a testament to our compassion and empathy for one another.
Donations to the Mental Health Fund can be made online at www.headq.org, on Venmo @head-q or you can email us at email@example.com for more information.
Executive Director HeadQuarters
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