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Letters – Oct. 7, 2021

Locations: Letters Published

Re: Carbondale climate

Last week’s paper briefly mentioned the “climate” charrette for the comprehensive plan update, and stated “we are on the right track.” I attended and we are on a track, but not moving very rapidly. Fossil gas fueled buildings keep being built at a fast clip, despite some great current projects using cold climate heat pumps. Our gas supply comes from leaky infrastructure which one can sniff out at various spots just west of town. Xcel has dragged its feet for years on renewable energy generation, though the state didn’t do much to prod them during the Hickenlooper years. The city seems to be planning gas heat for the new pool, calling that “process” energy, despite the relative ease of heating 80°F pool water with heat pumps using May-September outside air. A “net-zero” “demonstration district” with conversion to electric heat was mentioned, but that relegates the project to one-off status instead of showing how specific building types can be electrified and heated with electricity from Colorado’s abundant winter wind and a bit of local solar.

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We should also focus on heating electrification efforts where Holy Cross provides electricity, since they will be supplying a much higher fraction of renewable energy sooner. The big gas users there are the sewage plant and the two motels. The sewage plant can probably be heated using wastewater source heat pumps. The motels can utilize supplemental air source heat pumps for their year-round hot water use. All can take advantage of some Holy Cross rates which provide low-cost electricity when renewable generation is at its highest.

We should also make sure that space is reserved next to the big substation near the bridge for potential grid-scale battery energy storage, not just for storing our ever-multiplying stuff.

  • KDNK thumbnail

If it’s meaningful to “divest” from gas and oil production now, it seems clear to me that we should stop permitting new gas consuming infrastructure in buildings right now, except for a few rare processes requiring open flames. That means pretty much anything except metal-working or glassblowing or similar uses. Electric charbroilers and woks and cooktops have been available for years.

As far as electric vehicles, the city does not have much influence on bettering the meager offerings available here now, compared to Europe. But CASE does now offer an electric full-size backhoe. For a variety of other good reasons, our landscape crews should be equipped with the professional battery electric blowers and trimmers now available with swappable packs. If some city agencies are willing to compromise, some of the EVs available here might mean no more gasoline for them. Tesla Model Y AWDs are in service as police cars now and the Mach-E Mustang AWD Pro just passed the Michigan State Patrol test. So the city probably needs to upgrade its electric services at a few facilities soon to be ready.

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Fred Porter


  • Carbondale Animal Hospital thumbnail


Carbondale is in the midst of a 10-year, updated development plan. If history is ignored, the same mistakes are predetermined. Size/scope of a project should fit the landscape and the need. Developers will always push the boundaries, that’s what they do. Glenwood Springs is trying to preserve land near the mall, where an out-of-town developer wants to build 350 housing units. Basalt has approved 839 new dwellings, having sold off half of the riverfront.

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“No” is a complete sentence! We should be concerned with infrastructure: water, sewage, traffic! The Town is fast losing its charm. Carbondale needs a professional planner committed to understanding, representing the charm and setting of the Valley.

Dan Hogan


Positive impact

With all the complicated problems we face today, it’s hard to find a simple step you can take to have a positive impact on a big problem. On Nov. 2, you have a great opportunity to use your ballot to directly improve our local schools by voting for Kenny Tietler and Kathryn Kuhlenberg for school board, and voting “yes” on 5B. Kenny and Kathryn are experienced educators who deeply understand the complex issues facing our schools, and are dedicated to providing the best opportunities to every student in our communities. The mill levy override proposed in 5B is the only way Roaring Fork Schools can increase teacher and staff salaries enough to address the staffing crisis that’s threatening the quality of our kids’ education. 5B will only cost the average homeowner an additional $14.21 per month, but will enable our schools to recruit and retain the high quality teachers and staff our students deserve. The outcome of this election, and the future of our schools, will be determined by how many supporters make the effort to return their ballots by Nov. 2. This is up to you. Seize this rare opportunity to have a positive impact on your local community. Vote “yes” on 5B and vote for Kenny and Kathryn by Nov. 2.

Ben Bohmfalk


Vote the K-ticket

I’ll be voting for Kenny Teitler and Kathryn Kuhlenberg for the Roaring Fork Schools Board of Education. Kenny and Kathryn are uniquely qualified to serve our community. With decades of combined education experience between them spanning pre-kindergarten through college, both understand what it takes to deliver quality education for every child.

As a two-term former school board member I can tell you that our schools are well-managed community institutions with staff who are dedicated to ensuring every child reaches their full potential. Contrary to some of what’s been written, our finances are also well-managed. Witness the recent bond refinance and constant efforts to direct funds to teachers and staff, no matter the fiscal realities we face.

The opportunity before us is not one of better management, it’s one of innovative education to inspire children and recognize the unique talents every teacher brings to the classroom. To drive success you must understand education and be willing to get your hands dirty by asking hard questions in the boardroom.

Kenny Teitler and Kathryn Kuhlenberg will work every day for our entire community.

Matt Hamilton


The Meeting Place

Carbondale’s The Meeting Place (TMP) recently concluded an extraordinarily successful annual fundraiser. Created in 2010 and incorporated as a nonprofit in 2015, TMP is the only space in the Roaring Fork Valley to provide a consistent, affordable or free venue for recovery meetings. The outpouring of generosity and support clearly demonstrate the commitment our community has to helping others and supporting critical human services resources. Our Valley is a better place for it, so THANK YOU!

Daniel Benavent

Board Chair, The Meeting Place


“My body, my choice” is the rallying cry for woke abortion advocates. Yet, the woke do a 180° turn for COVID vaccines.

The choice of abortion ends the life of a human being in gestation. The choice to be vaccinated only affects the chooser.

FACT: The vaccinated as well as the unvaccinated can spread and be infected by the COVID virus. So, it seems to me, if I choose not to be injected with a chemical concoction that has no long term effects study, then I only endanger myself. “My body, my choice?”

Healthy children are hardly at lethal risk from COVID. This year, through August, 214 children died from COVID, most with compromising medical conditions. During the same period, 261 children were shot in Chicago, according to police statistics reported by Fox News.

I must ask, who are we “protecting” and what are we “protecting” them from?

Bruno Kirchenwitz


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