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Letters – Oct. 13, 2022

Locations: Letters, Opinion Published

Faith in LGBTQ+
We, faith leaders serving the Roaring Fork Valley and representing over 600 members, extend our unwavering support to the Roaring Fork School District (RFSD) for all efforts to support gender expansive/nonconforming students. As a community, we are called to protect the vulnerable among us. Students in our schools, particularly those who identify as gender nonconforming, deserve to be supported and affirmed. The creation and implementation of the awareness “toolkit” is a positive step towards ensuring that every student is safe in their classrooms.

Together, across nine different faith communities, we affirm the inherent dignity of all persons, including our beloved LGBTQ+ students. We vehemently oppose any effort to undermine equity and inclusion in our schools and community. Research proves when adults convey a consistent message of belonging, bullying decreases dramatically. To decide that only certain students are worthy of understanding and support, is to undermine the safety of all students. We commend the brave leaders of RFSD who have worked to ensure that all students are affirmed and find belonging.

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After two years of a pandemic and its negative impacts on all children and families, we must be vigilant to pay attention to and support the mental health of all our young people. The fact that 59% of LGBTQ+ students have thought about suicide is chilling. The RFSD has started this process and we offer both our approval and participation. To those in the LGBTQ+ community, you are loved, you belong, and we support You.

Rev. Rebecca Dunagan

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Roaring Fork United Methodist Churches

Nicholas Vesey, Minister

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Aspen Chapel

Rev. Kimberlee Law

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The Episcopal Church in Garfield County

Rev. Aaron Norris

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Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist 

Rev. Jerry Herships

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Aspen Community Church

Stephanie Moffitt, Chaplain

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Vote Velasco
Don’t be fooled by letter writers claiming state House District 57 Representative Perry Will has done a good job representing our region. Will has been a party line voter with the Republicans every year he has been in the state legislature. Will has no business representing rural and resort communities. For instance, he consistently voted against measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in buildings, transit and oil and gas drilling. And, he voted against a bill to help the state cope with the fentanyl crisis.

Elizabeth Velasco is the right choice for our district. She is a strong advocate for the environment, and understands the need to take real action to protect our public lands and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Velasco has worked hard over the years to make our communities better places to live. Once in the legislature, she will continue her work to support community-based programs in healthcare, education and social services.

Please join me in voting for Elizabeth Valesco for House District 57.

Alynn Harvey, Carbondale

 

Vote for Gordon
I met Ryan Gordon at Colorado Mountain College. He was talking to a student from Rifle. Ryan asked what he could do as Garfield County commissioner to make things better for this student and his family. Surprised to be asked his opinion, the student smiled. He started to talk about the number of times his family had moved to find an affordable place to live, and his environmental concerns about the future. Ryan listened. He understands first hand the cost of housing. Ryan grew up in Glenwood Springs and has moved back to raise his children in this wonderful environment. He loves life here. But he also has concerns about the quality of education, mental and physical health and about the sustainability of our environment. As an engineer, Ryan has worked on water issues in Western Colorado. We need his knowledge and enthusiasm on the Garfield Board of County Commissioners. We will definitely vote for Ryan Gordon for Garfield County Commissioner. We hope you will, too. It is time for change. 

We need Ryan. 

Cari and John Shurman, Carbondale 

 

Talent matters
It is difficult to sit idly by while a lady is being falsely accused and slandered by the one-sided armchair politicos in Garfield County. Carrie Couey is far more talented, educated, virtuous and qualified to hold the office of County Treasurer than we taxpayers deserve, but I’m certainly glad she applied and accepted the appointment by the GARCO Commissioners. She vacated her position as Garfield County’s GOP chairperson in March of 2020, as she couldn’t do both jobs, choosing to serve the County over her party. The accusations of party nepotism are somewhat comical considering:

1) The Commissioners followed Colorado electoral code 1-12-205 for vacancies in county offices, “All vacancies…shall be filled by appointment by the board of county commissioners (BOCC)… until the next general election… shall be filled by election.” The BOCC followed the law!

2) Carrie Couey was the most qualified applicant and happened to be a Republican. If similar qualifications were held by a Democrat, would any sane BOCC choose them over Carrie fully knowing what a “(D)” behind a name means in today’s woke-istic world? It’s little wonder why the Independent party has grown so much.

Maybe there should be a prequalification test for the treasurer’s position to make sure Carrie still remembers enough from her accounting and business undergraduate degrees and her executive masters in organizational leadership with a specialization in public and nonprofit management (summa cum laude). At the same time, it would be interesting to see if her opponent’s degree in history and masters of public administration in emergency management enables him to balance a spreadsheet.

Just as important as education is management skills, and I can personally attest to the effectiveness of Carrie’s humble style of teamwork-oriented supervision during her time as the GOP Chairperson. People want to work for someone like Carrie Couey and enjoy experiencing the satisfaction of being on her team. Let’s keep her in office this November for four more years of success.

Jerry Law, Glenwood Springs


Jankovsky must go
Garfield County commissioner Tom Jankovsky needs to be replaced.

My parents were “I like Ike”, true conservative Republicans. Their ashes would be turning over in the Colorado River if they could see what’s happened to the GOP today. Jankovsky represents what the Republican Party has devolved into, a MAGA politician who shows total fealty to neo-fascists like Donald Trump and Lauren Boebert. He doesn’t represent Garfield County.

Typical reactionaries, Jankovsky and his fellow travelers on the Board of County Commissioners are deep in the pockets of the oil and gas industry. They believe the county coffers will be filled in perpetuity by severance taxes from the industry. The commissioners don’t see, or don’t care to see, the detrimental effects of fossil fuels on our climate.

Garfield County spent $1.8 million futilely fighting state drilling regulations designed to protect the health and safety of those living near wells. The commissioners approved drilling, fracking, and injection wells within 500 feet of dwellings, fresh water supplies, and the Colorado River in Battlement Mesa. Jankovsky accepted a $10 thousand donation from officers of SG Interests, a Texas-based oil and gas operation that’s interested in drilling on Thompson Divide.

 At the so-called Freedom Rally in Glenwood Springs last year, Jankovsky spoke out against federal and state policies to arrest COVID-19. These words put his constituents’ lives at risk. Jankovsky voted against a COVID-19 health care plan for Latinos.

Jankovsky has been seen in attendance at the Cornerstone Christian Center in Basalt, an evangelical gathering place that feuded with Eagle County government about their refusal to require the congregation to wear masks during the pandemic. The speaker at his appearance was far right-wing Christian nationalist David Barton, founder of the WallBuilders, opposed to immigration, LGBTQ tolerance, and separation of church and state. Jankovsky gave him a standing ovation.

Twice Jankovsky has voted against funding for Planned Parenthood which provides options to prospective mothers and guidance on contraception. Abortion is actually down in this country primarily because teenage pregnancies are declining and Planned Parenthood can take partial credit for that.

Jankovsky’s opponent, Ryan Gordon, has kind of been the invisible candidate. Missing is the vigor and enthusiasm shown by commissioner candidates Beatriz Soto and Leslie Robinson two years ago when they lost by a whisker to incumbents John Martin and Mike Samson. The demographics of Garfield County is changing. Gordon has a shot to relieve us of Jankovsky.

If ever there was a case for term limits, the Garfield County Board of Commissioners is it. The three sitting commissioners held their seats when the Utes prevailed in Garfield County. It’s time for a change and there’ll be no time better than Nov. 8.

Fred Malo Jr., Carbondale

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