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Reference letter

Regarding Patricia Galindo and her statement of “And you (Don Rogers) call yourself a journalist? What a complete and total joke.”

I have found over the years (yes, pluralized word, years) that Don Rogers is not only ethical, he is unbiased, he is fair and he is impartial. He is a great, albeit rare, journalist.

We, living in our little paradise valley are fortunate to have an editor who is kind, respectful, and of a good moral character. Good wholesome traits not commonly recognized by sophisticated city folks, even when these traits run you over with a steamroller.



Quite frankly, (no joke) Don Rogers “plays well with others.” Do you?

Marty Lich



Gypsum

Great work

I would like to thank all of the firefighters and those coordinating their efforts in battling the blazes in downtown Red Cliff Sept. 19.



Although my property was lost, at least some of the other structures were saved in the immediate area, as well as some of my personal belongings. Lastly,

I’d like to thank the local citizens of Red Cliff that helped out, including the Red Cliff Volunteer Fire Department.

Ron Mitchell

Where the wild things roam

To most, northern Alaska is a place of the imagination. Our northern-most landmass conjures up something different in every person’s mind: cold, whipping winds or clear sunsets over an icy ocean, a herd of caribou thundering along or a lone bear searching for dinner. All images share a common similarity – undeveloped wilderness.

I oppose drilling in ANWR, not only for obvious reasons that massive industrial projects and wildlife refuges mix as well as oil and water, but more so because of the precedent that it sets.

The issue is not one of nature friendly-drill technology; it is a matter of principle. Staying committed to land conservation that has been set. To set land aside for conservation, is saying to future generations: This something that is important to us, please respect it. I find it unacceptable to allow our leaders to push aside commitments to the environment for the whims of industry.

I’m afraid we have fallen victim to questionable logic and the dogma of the day supports the agenda of big oil. Those who spin the spin have made “dependence on foreign oil” a taboo phrase. Contrary to popular thought, reducing dependence on foreign oil is not accomplished by drilling locally. In reality it only perpetuates the cycle of dependency. Worse case scenario or jackpot – the bottom line is after the limited Artic reserves run dry, we are just as hooked on oil as the day the pumps went into the ground.

Energy independence is worth striving towards, but as long as were burning through 20 million barrels a day, it is not realistic. Regionally speaking, we don’t have the pools of oil beneath our feet (only 2 percent of world oil reserves) that other regions are blessed with. As long as we are dependant on oil, we will be dependant on foreign oil. How much wilderness are we willing to foul to hide from that fact?

It is unnecessary to commit the resources and taint wildlands to achieve a goal that could be accomplished by importing. In a global economy, outsourcing is a viable option for solving a problem. As a nation we have evolved to the point where we have the luxury of choosing to import oil rather then poach wildlands for it. Tough-talking Bush may play his national security card on this argument, claiming dependence is a sign of weakness. I say in a global economy you’re a fool not to utilize products available on the world market. Besides, most of our imported oil arrives from the benign countries of Canada and Mexico.

We are at a crossroads of ideologies; either we rush into drilling as if Road Warrior will come next week, or we wait to see what technologies may be on the horizon. Oil should be seen as a stepping stone to the possibilities of the future; not as a ball-and-chain as Bush and company prefer to promote it. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy cite in a recent study, increasing fuel efficiency of cars and light trucks by 5 percent, this would cut U.S. oil consumption by 1.5 million barrels per day. This is how to start energy plan.

I don’t see the urgency to back-pedal on conservationism. If the go-ahead for drilling ANWR is including in the upcoming energy bill, the precedent will reverberate in the future and maybe into your back yard.

Ed Graef

Minturn

The party of

Robert E. Lee

In 1860, when Democrats were intent on preserving slavery, Abraham Lincoln, in a speech at Cooper Union in New York City, chided them: “Your purpose, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.”

Nearly 150 years later, the party of Robert E. Lee again revels in unyielding discord. Using vitriolic rhetoric that they defend as political discourse, the dozen-or-so Democratic presidential candidates are not so much campaigning as they are conspiring.

This is all the more reprehensible given the facts: President George Bush is grappling with the worst stock market crash since 1929 and the first enemy attack on U.S. soil since 1941. Both crises were 1) well under way when he took office in early 2001 and 2) were left unattended by the previous administration.

Alan Greenspan had warned of irrational exuberance in 1996 and the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 was a mea culpa event to the “blame America first” crowd in the U.S. Justice, State and Defense departments at that time. The Clintons, James Carville and Terry McAuliffe have returned Democrats to their rednecks roots.

Today, Democrats lash out at people who question their patriotism, but these Democrats sound more like Fidel Castro assailing those who dare question his regime. Such tactics are repugnant and will harm the quality of government and freedom of future generations. Politicians who rely on a barrage of hateful misconceptions serve only themselves.

In this case, Clinton and friends mistakenly believe these sordid tactics helped them win in 1992 and 1996. But Clinton received fewer votes (43 percent) than George Bush (49 percent) and would have lost had not H. Ross Perot received 20 percent and 13 percent of the vote in ’92 and ’96, respectively, an astounding amount for an independent presidential candidate.

Indeed, Democrats have since lost two national elections they should have won by landslides, given the prevailing trends. Still, we have Democratic presidential candidate Dick Gephardt referring to President Bush as a “miserable failure.” I’m not sure how Gephardt came to that conclusion, but let’s compare Bush’s record to that of President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat.

Under Bush, inflation, unemployment and mortgages rates are significantly lower. In addition, Bush responded to terrorist threats with decisive military action, while Carter allowed Iran to hold American hostages for 444 days. Iranians released the hostages the day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated. Reagan, throughout his campaign, said he would not negotiate with terrorists. And when Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan, Carter punished our Olympic athletes, forbidding them to compete in the games in Moscow. Carter also punished American farmers by banning the sale of wheat to the Soviet Union.

About 80 years ago, the indoctrination of young students by Socialist Democrats of the Third Reich created the Sturmabteilung, or Brown Shirts, who preceded the Nazi’s devastation of Europe.

Why do we emulate and allow such behavior to rise up once again? I think of the Sturmabteilung when I read columns and letters attacking anyone and anything not of the Democratic Party. These often banal, acerbic attacks display an intensity and intolerance that can only be described as mindless.

Yet from Democrats we often hear that “hate speech” will incite the masses to violence. Will Democrats then be responsible if harm comes to President Bush? In this regard, Sen. Ted Kennedy’s recent rant against Bush was all the more incredible from a man who has lost two brothers to political assassins.

Tammy Bruce, an avowed feminist and lesbian, is not easily stereotyped or dismissed as part of some vast right-wing conspiracy. In her book, “The New Thought Police,” Bruce wrote: “Our new totalitarians have proceeded slowly, but with a similar end: the elimination of individuality, uniqueness, and dissent.”

I think of that every time I hear someone like Howard Dean railing against those who don’t quite think the same as he and his followers.

Mike Spaniola

Minturn

Attack ads

It came as no great surprise that wealthy Don Cohen, supporter and friend of Commissioner Spendaconi, was responsible for the expensive ads attempting to smear Commissoner Stone.

Thank goodness this guy did not get elected to the school board. They have enough problems as it is.

Don Cohen is also the guy that tried to get himself hired by the commissioners (with Spendaconi’s support) to lead an economic development team. Of course he wanted to be paid $200,000 for a job that the county already gives money to our Chambers of Commerce to accomplish.

When Stone objects, Cohen just buys another negative ad. Sounds like sour grapes to me. He supported the group that tried to take $25,000 from the Singletree Homeowners fund and spend it on the Bair Ranch as well. Go figure!

Stone-bashing ads are placed by those people who represent wealthy special interest enviromental groups and want you to forget that they have already managed to steal $2 million from the county general fund. AND WHO LOSES?

Berry Creek affordable housing will lose their $1,000,000 day care center. How’s that for paying attention to the welfare and needs or our counties working families? County employees may see increased insurance costs as well as no merit pay raises, simply to put money in the pocket of a rancher who already owns 4,000 acres of land and who won’t let you hunt, fish or hike on it. Bair Ranch is a corporate retreat, guest ranch, future public camping outfit with no sheep running around on it.

Most people know that 80 percent of Eagle County is already preserved by the federal government. Its called national forest. Maybe it’s time to think about rescinding the open space tax if our public officials make such unwise and procedurally careless decisions.

The Bair Ranch had no written version of the conservation easement when Spendaconi and Gallagher so casually gave away $2 million. They did not bother to read the contracts. This $2 million should be spent on facilities that benefit county families their children, and taxpayers.

How many single moms and their children will benefit from the Bair Ranch scheme versus using the now nixed Miller Ranch area day care center?

Don’t let Don Cohen and his radical environmental gang fool you with his ads. Don’t forget what the real issue is.

Rob Spangler

Edwards


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