Re: Appalled with The Sun

I would like to express a sincere thank you to Josh Wambolt. His recent letter to the editor in The Sopris Sun was spot on.

I have been an avid anti racism advocate throughout my life. After days of letting The Sopris Sun’s published article written by Gentrye Houghton settle in my head, I am saddened to no end as I realize there was zero transparency. The best written words in journalism include facts.

Shame on The Sopris Sun for printing dark words with no facts. I am a very proud longtime resident of Redstone. Three thousand people came to this tiny place on July 4. I know every business owner and employee and not a single one would intentionally harm anyone with words or by any other manner.

Terrible journalism.

Nancy Chromy, Redstone 

Re: Boycott Redstone

“Shocked, appalled, angry, disgusted and saddened” constitute a stunning display of raw emotion. What act could possibly trigger such a cumulative response in a human being? The truth is that the magnitude of these emotions expressed singularly or collectively varies from person to person depending upon the event or experience that triggered the emotional response. In the average individual such expressions of emotion are usually the result of a catastrophic event witnessed by the individual or observed via media in significant detail.

It appeared that Melissa Waters experienced the horrific event of which she writes as an eyewitness; however, the event was not witnessed by Ms. Waters. Her visceral emotional responses were triggered by a newspaper article. The article referenced by Ms. Waters was published by The Sopris Sun. The editor of the newspaper formally apologized for its vaguely accusatory title. In fairness to Ms. Waters, she may not have been aware of misunderstandings reported in letters at the time she initiated her own letter to the editor.

Words matter and words can be as destructive as a bullet. Verbally insulting expressions of racial defamation, falsely accusing a person or group of persons of acts for which they are not responsible are examples. This is what Ms. Waters did to the very good people of Redstone with her statements. As a retired law enforcement officer, accusing an individual or group of people for an act of which there is no evidence can have very negative, unwarranted and unjustified consequences. In America, everyone is innocent until it is proven that they are the perpetrator of the act for which they are accused.

Ms. Waters, I have no doubt that the events at the Fourth of July celebration in Redstone, that you address in your letter, occurred. The individuals who committed these acts have not been identified. To accuse an entire community of exceptional people for these acts is unwarranted and unjustified.

Phil Gaylord, Redstone

Praise for The Sun

I applaud The Sopris Sun for publishing the story about the racial prejudice experienced by visiting students on the Fourth of July in Redstone, on First Friday in Carbondale and at “a thrift store in Aspen.” It is vitally important that we call out racism when it occurs, and take the opportunity from its exposure to examine our personal biases.

These students and their advisor didn’t say anyone in particular is a racist. They just conveyed the experiences they were having in our communities, which reflected the racial prejudices that are validated by our very white-centered society, both locally and nationally. Hopefully, these students will have enough positive experiences at Colorado Rocky Mountain School and elsewhere in our communities to leave feeling like they made the right decision in coming here. I fear they will instead depart with the idea that our communities are not safe for people who aren’t white. 

It is easy, as some letter writers subsequently did, to deflect blame. It was a busy day. They misspoke. The students didn’t understand what was being said. There were 3,000 people in Redstone for the Fourth so who knows who really did what? None of these are excuses for the behavior that these students have experienced.

The challenge for white people like me and so many of the people who live in this valley is to set aside our defensive responses, our fragility on the issue of racial prejudice, and examine the prejudices that we have. It is an opportunity to think about and even read about the experiences of people who are not white, and the daily encounters they endure that make them feel unsafe and unwelcome. 

Allyn Harvey, Carbondale

Who are you supporting?

With the elections coming and the fall harvest just around the corner, take a good look at all the ingredients on the boxes of food you are consuming. How many names 10 letters long are you supporting and how many are genetically engineered? Let us not forget the doctors we’re supporting and their pharmaceutical companies.

One of the simplest ways of feeling good is eating organic foods, foods without chemicals. Simple as this sounds, organic food is now readily available here in Carbondale. This Mana Foods buys from 45 local and regional farmers and ranchers. This supports local agriculture, which brings you wonderful choices at their store. When you research the benefits of fresh sprouts and greens, plus all the delicious coconut yogurts with natural enzymes, it is a win-win investment.

Food costs are in flux every day with changes weekly. Deciding to eat organically healthy will be the best path for everyone. This store sure makes finding healthy food easier, as almost everything in the store is organic. I shop here regularly enjoying the experience and what nutritious food I take home to my family. Best of all, my family stays healthy and full of energy.

Roop Khalsa, New Castle 

Jan. 6 hearings

The Jan. 6 Select Committee hearings are about to resume with the usual mantra from the GOP — the hearings are a witch hunt, one-sided, no cross examination, hiding exculpatory testimony. That chant is because Nancy Pelosi refused to accept Kevin McCarthy’s original selection of Republican members for the Committee — namely, Jim Banks, Jim Jordan, Rodney Davis, Kelly Armstrong and Troy Nehls.

But the GOP’s mantra is rather disingenuous. There is nothing restraining these five individuals, or any other GOP House members, from creating their own committee and calling the same witnesses, whose testimony, they believe, has not been fairly presented to the American people.

This committee may not have subpoena powers, but they do not need such. The testimony they have challenged are all from Republicans who would be more than willing to cooperate. 

Don Flaks, Carbondale

Roaring Fork Schools Capstone Coordinator Nannette Weinhold (right) won two gold medals at the Senior Games Pickleball Tournament hosted by the Western Slope Pickleball Club in Grand Junction last weekend. According to sources, the weather was hot and so was the competition, with over 300 players participating. Together with her woman’s doubles partner from Basalt, Beth Barnes (left), they took home the gold in the 3.5 level. Weinhold also played in 3.5 mixed doubles with Grand Junction local, Jeff Daub, where she also won gold. Congratulations! Courtesy photo

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 submitted by noon on the Monday before each new edition will be given top priority. Please refrain from hateful speech.

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