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Letters – Oct. 6, 2022

Locations: Letters Published

Bear cares
After attending the most recent public meeting about bears in our community, I hope that there are three resolutions that community members and visitors to our community will be willing to make:
1. Change the focus of the dialogue from blaming others (people and organizations) to developing momentum for each of us to commit to change our social behaviors with respect to trash and artificial food lures. We have power and control over our personal decisions and we can be proactive and protect the wildlife that we are lucky enough to live around.
2. As a community, support the work done by local governments and agencies tasked with protecting us. That means we follow local ordinances meant to keep us safe and accept any negative consequences for poor behavior. It might also mean that we help, perhaps gently, teach our visitors why we want to abide by local ordinances and avoid negative human-bear interactions.
3. As individuals, better align our personal actions with BearAware educational suggestions. If you don’t know, ask. If you are learning, share with others so that they can know. If you are already a “pro,” volunteer your time, energy and/or resources to grassroot efforts like RoaringForkBears.org (we are locals with boots on the ground) working to make a difference.
With a little effort we can live in harmony with all the wildlife that surrounds us in the community. Our knowledge is power and can be used to coexist peacefully with our beautiful bears.
Daniela Kohl, RoaringForkBears.org

Church and state
One of the primary reasons our Founding Fathers established a separation between church and state was to avoid the centuries of religious wars that had embroiled Europe, primarily around Christianity. The split between Catholic and Protestant branches caused some of the most brutal wars, including civil wars, even as recently as Northern Ireland.
Many people immigrated to the colonies specifically to escape the religious persecution they faced back home in Europe — only to face persecution again, in some cases, by a particular colony’s official religion. In most cases, this was Christians persecuting other Christians because of differing views on Christianity. Our Founding Fathers firmly believed that one should be free to follow one’s conscience on religion and that the state should not intrude upon that decision.
Our Founding Fathers clearly stated in the constitution that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Indeed the idea of making our country a “Christian” nation is problematic from the very start. Whose version and doctrine of Christianity would prevail? There are over 200 different denominations of Protestantism alone. And what about Catholicism and Mormonism?
Preserving the historic wall between church and state, for all the reasons our Founding Fathers erected it in the first place, is simply too important to allow people who would tear it down to control the levers of government. This is true of Lauren Boebert, who is on record fully endorsing eliminating separation of church and state, and Tom Jankovsky who is on record refusing to endorse keeping that separation in place.
Jerome Dayton, Carbondale

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State of the county
Before the start of their Sept. 19 county commissioner meeting, Mike Samson commented that there was certainly not a lot of love for the commissioners recently. Presumably he was referring to columns and letters in the local papers. John Martin responded by saying that there are just a lot of bitter people out there who make their voices heard around election time.
The concerns currently being raised regarding the commissioners aren’t the result of “bitterness,” but are based on dissatisfaction with the commissioners’ dismal record. Time and time again, the commissioners miss the boat on issues critical to the future health and well-being of our community. They refuse to work in collaboration with other governmental and non-governmental entities; they neglect to take advantage of grant-funding opportunities; they spend endless amounts of our county dollars fighting environmental protections, not to mention the recent lawyering up against the development of a Sweetwater Lake state park; and they foolishly continue to bank on the notion of a new oil and gas boom to fill the county coffers.
In contrast, we see commissioners in neighboring counties who are forward-thinking and proactive. They are working collaboratively with other entities to tackle substantive issues — and they are getting things done.
That our commissioners see specific critiques of their actions as simply the complaints of bitter people shows just how out of touch they are with the people they are elected to serve. It’s time for new blood and new ideas on the Garfield County Board of Commissioners.
Marc Bruell, Carbondale

Vote for Gordon
Negative and misleading information has sadly become a staple in national and local elections. This is a waste of time, not to mention an assault on the good will of people and positive community relationships. The sooner we reject candidates’ vitriol and begin the debate of true differences, the better.
The accusation of orchestrated election sign tampering issued by Tom Jankovsky is an example of such misdirection. Ryan Gordon would never condone such an act. Seriously, has Tom met and talked with Ryan Gordon? Ryan represents the best in all of us: honest, community-minded, considerate and collaborative. His response to the accusation exemplifies his approach to problem-solving; Ryan said that he would gladly clean up the sign together with Jankovsky.
It is frustrating when someone disrespects property. When Paula Stepp ran against Jankovsky, an expensive banner that I planted along I-70 was stolen. I was angry and frustrated at the lack of respect for our elections and community. Sadly, there are people on both sides that have little respect for others’ work.
Ryan Gordon will make a positive impact on our community. His skills as a project manager will help him identify issues, communicate priorities to a diverse group of stakeholders and find realistic solutions. His professional experience has given him a deep understanding of the complexity and scope of the issues in Garfield County. Most of all, his character makes him an exceptional choice. Vote! And cast your vote for Ryan Gordon.
David McGavock, Glenwood Springs

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Faith and politics
When I saw the photo of Lauren Boebert at a church service, I had to ask: What would Jesus think?
Boebert stands with others, hand raised, eyes closed and strapped to her leg is a pistol. Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, how would he feel about someone with a gun?
Boebert believes that “the church” should govern. This is the bogus idea of “Christian Nationalism.” It is antithetical to the American Constitution and it’s dangerous. Boebert says separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. Apparently, she’s never read it. Quoting the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
And obviously, she’s never read history. People came to America to escape religious persecution from European despots. Now she wants to force her religion on citizens of the United States where — thanks to the wisdom of the Founding Fathers — we are allowed to practice whatever religion we choose. That’s freedom, that’s liberty.
Our country is facing great challenges. To solve those we need leaders in Congress who are willing to talk to each other and to accept good ideas no matter who proposes them. Boebert rejects that basic tenet of Democracy.
Adam Frisch has worked with people around the world, he’ll bring common-sense to Congress and work for the people of Colorado.
Please, voters, don’t allow Boebert to turn America into something the Founding Fathers wouldn’t recognize.
Joe Lewandowski, Durango

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.

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Tags: #Daniela Kohl #David McGavock #Jerome Dayton #Joe Lewandowski #Marc Bruell
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