Doing our part
What about this fantastic fall weather? Carbondale’s high was 71 degrees Monday, 8 degrees above our historic average. But then, if you have been following the news, the world’s average temperature has been the highest in human history. Actually, it is kind of hard living in such ideal circumstances, to know that there are serious problems around the world. There is terrible war in the Holy Land, another in Ukraine. The increasing heat is drying up rivers, melting glaciers, and raising ocean levels, ruining the fresh water at ocean fronts.
Other people’s problems, right? Well, our winters are getting shorter. Local flora and fauna are getting out of sync. Less moisture is falling. All kind of subtle, so far. Anyway, what could even be done locally? Most of us have heard of the “carbon footprint.” Many local residents are switching to electric vehicles, installing solar panels, and replacing natural gas heating with heat pumps. These folks feel a personal responsibility. My question is, what should our community be doing as a whole? Are there things that could be applied across the town to reduce climate change pollution from burning fossil fuels?
How about giving your local government and local service organizations a call or visit? Ask what can be done.
Let’s all do our part.
Due to my love of the Crystal River, as well as that of my friends and neighbors, and my desire to ensure it is protected, I am happy to see Gunnison County, Pitkin County, the Town of Marble, and the River District working together to find ways to do just that. The river is extraordinary in that it is still connected to its source, the headwaters up beyond Marble. It is kept alive and flowing by spring runoff each year which means flushing flows along the banks and saturated riparian wetlands in the upper and middle reaches.
Most other rivers have already been dammed somewhere on their main channels, cutting off the natural cycle of peak springtime flows. The uniqueness of the Crystal is worth preserving for us and for future generations. As water continues to become a more valuable resource in the West, there will inevitably be more and more pressure to store, divert or develop every last drop and there will always be demand for more.
Damming the Crystal would forever change the nature of the entire valley, severing the river’s direct connection to its source. My family has had property in the upper Fryingpan River for more than 70 years. I have seen and experienced what Reudi and the water diversion has done to that river and I would hate to see the same thing on the Crystal.
One option for the Crystal, Wild and Scenic designation, recognizes the benefits and creates durable protections from similar threats. I am happy to see that the collaborative stakeholder group is looking at Wild and Scenic designation as an option for long-term protection for the Crystal. I encourage attendance and learning more at the community summit being hosted on Oct. 26.
Off-cycle elections may be less flashy than presidential elections, but they are no less vital. Local elections enable voters to enact real change in their communities. The Roaring Fork School District (RFSD) board election is important for people who don’t have students in the schools because it is one of the biggest employers in our valley. I have dear friends who are RFSD teachers and their professional trajectory and work environment is important to me. Furthermore as a parent of elementary-aged students in our public schools, I care deeply about safety and quality of education. I’m sure all voters would agree on those issues.
I will vote for Betsy After for RFSD District B because she is the most qualified candidate for the District B seat. Betsy has served on local governance boards, has experience working with large budgets, and she is endorsed by Voces Unidas and the RFSD teachers’ union.
I’ve listened to the debates and have read each candidate’s platforms. This election is not a referendum on the health curriculum. The voting public must elect the candidate who will work with the other board members to capably steer our school district in a positive direction. As citizens we have the solemn duty to become informed voters so that we elect the best candidates, especially in the local races.
DeFrates and After
I am a lifelong local and proud beneficiary of the Glenwood Springs public schools. I support Lindsay DeFrates and Betsy After in the local school board elections for their commitment to serving all of the children and the community of the Roaring Fork Valley, and for their strong belief in the value of public schools.
Lindsay and Betsy are committed to closing the persistent achievement gap between Latino and white students in our Valley and ensuring that educational equity exists at every level of the school system. This means that no matter what a student’s background, language, race, economic profile, gender, learning capability, disability or family history, each student will receive the resources and support they need to grow, learn and reach their educational goals.
Our children and our community deserve leaders like Lindsay DeFrates and Betsy After, and we will all benefit from their vision and leadership. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor said: “Until we get equality in education, we won’t have an equal society.”
City Market thanks
I want to say thank you to our City Market pharmacists and pharmacy techs. They have been working under almost wartime-like circumstances with staff shortages. It is not their fault at all. So when you go there, greet them and smile and do not be impatient. They are working hard to see that our needs are met. They are the greatest, and I appreciate the workload they meet every day when they come to work.
Potato Day thanks
On behalf of the Carbondale Rotary Club, we’d like to thank everyone for joining us for our second annual Potato Day pancake breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 7. We welcomed the great turnout and pretty much sold as many pancakes we could make! It was a beautiful morning and we enjoyed serving everyone at the park at 4th and Main Street.
The event simply would not have been possible without the extraordinary generosity of Bonfire Coffee and the Village Smithy. They provided us with coffee, pancake batter and sausages to make the morning a success. Charlie Chacos and everyone at both businesses went above and beyond and we cannot thank them enough.
We’d also like to celebrate Alyssa Reindel and everyone at EverGreen ZeroWaste for making our breakfast as low-impact as possible. The Carbondale Community United Methodist Church was kind enough to lend us their tables and chairs.
Big thanks go out to Glenwood Rotarian Joe Mueller for his excellent grill and his grilling expertise. Joe embodies the best qualities of the Rotary motto, “service above self.”
Last but certainly not least, Eric Brendlinger and Jamie Wall from the Town of Carbondale Parks and Recreation Department helped us put together an event that far exceeded our goals. It was a great way to kick off Potato Day on Saturday and celebrate the best of Carbondale.
Ann Harris and Leslie Shor, Carbondale Rotary Co-Presidents
Michael Burns and Alan Cole, Carbondale Rotary Potato Day Organizers
Letters policy: The Sopris Sun welcomes local letters to the editor. Shorter letters stand a better chance of being printed. Letters exclusive to The Sopris Sun (not appearing in other papers) are particularly welcome. Please cite your facts and include your name and place of residence or association. Letters are due to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on the Monday before we go to print.