Letters to the Editor: Nov. 1, 2012

Phone home
Dear Editor:
Is there anyone out there whose child has run away from home? Just a question. Well, I have, and it absolutely amazes me how everyone covers for that kid and plays dumb. Are parents just so naive these days that they believe everything that comes out of a 16-year-old’s mouth? Or do they just not care? My 16-year-old decided that he was old enough to live on his own, jumping around from friend’s house to friend’s house. And, gee, guess what? None of those parents could call me to find out why my kid was at their house and not home where he belonged. It just absolutely amazes me, I don’t get it.
If it was their kid I’m sure they would have really appreciated a phone call from someone so that they knew where their child was staying and that their child was OK. I know if I had some kid come to my house on a weekday needing a place to sleep, eat and shower for a few days I would be calling their parents to find out the whole situation. Even if the kid didn’t want me to. It’s called being a responsible parent. But I guess this day and age parents don’t have to be responsible. So what does that teach their kids? No wonder these kids are the way they are. All they gotta say is, “Oh, my parents are jerks,” and that parent is gonna feel sorry for them. Well, it appears to me that these parents need to grow up. Kids lie to get what they want. We all know that, because I’m sure we all have done it at least once. Parents these days are enablers. Let your kid do what they want and when they want. What happened to values, morals and rules? Kids think they don’t need rules because they can go out and make a buck or two once in awhile. What about chores? Oh my, kids think you are forcing them to do something awful when you have a chore list for them to do. Well, I just wanted to thank all the parents who didn’t seem to give a care in the world that I was worried sick about my son every day, wondering where he was, what he was doing, who he was with, and if he was OK. And I can thank all the parents out there who knew the answers to these questions and couldn’t find a way to contact me and let me know the answers, or even ask what was going on. I have lost a lot of respect for a lot of people during this ordeal. Thanks again, it’s a great feeling knowing that the small town bullcrap where everyone says they are there for you and will help in any way and they don’t is a big fat lie. They kept everything to themselves and played dumb and taught their kids that it’s OK for them to keep secrets and lie. No wonder our country is the way that it is. Not enough caring, honest people left. How sad.
Jamie Larson
Rangely, Colo.

Quilters needed
Dear Editor:
In our community there are many people having hard times. Babies are being born and warm bedding is needed. Winter is coming on.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this past year as a service project have supplied two baby quilts a month to New Eden. A place where parents in need can go for help. There are many of you who are talented in creating quilts. I ask of you to help these babies. Take the time, use your talents and make a baby quilt for New Eden. You will truly be blessed.
Lillian Cook
Meeker

Pro-life
Dear Editor:
As Election Day fast approaches I would like to, once again, take this opportunity to remind the citizens of Rio Blanco County why the pro-life position, and so pro-life candidates, are the only option open to ethical folks. I say this because the common objections offered against the pro-life position are simply not tenable.
For instance, we often hear the objection from pro-choice advocates that “a woman ought to be free to do as she likes with her own body, therefore making abortion illegal is a violation of her rights.” I do agree that a woman is free to do as she likes with her body, however, single human bodies do not have four hands and four feet, two hearts, two heads and two completely different sets of DNA. In other words, a woman is not free to do as she likes with the body of the baby in her womb since that is someone else’s body.
We may also hear, from time to time, that abortion should be allowed in cases of rape and incest. A lot can be said about this. Probably the most important thing we can do is ask ourselves this question: since when do two wrongs make a right? Why does being conceived by rape carry the death penalty?
Finally, a person with legitimate concerns about when life actually begins may often take a pro-choice or modified pro-choice position. The problem is of course that in saying that you do not know when life begins you are also allowing that the abortion, at any stage, might also be murder. Therefore, agnosticism demands a pro-life position.
Please vote next Tuesday and please vote pro-life.
In the matchless name of Jesus,
Rev. Rogers Huck Meredith
Meeker

First hunt
Dear Editor:
I would like to thank Lenny and Jackie Klinglesmith of the LK Ranch and Richard Petrini, Dave Reilly and Brigg Noffsinger of Tri-State Outfitters for giving me the opportunity to kill my first big game animal. Last week, through the Youth Hunt Opportunity essay contest, I was invited to Klinglesmith’s ranch for an amazing hunt.
Tri-State Outfitter guide Dave Reilly helped me stalk a big buck on the LK Ranch, while Brigg filmed the whole hunt. It was an awesome experience! Dave and Brigg were both very nice and proved they are awesome guides. The hunt was the experience that almost any 12-year-old boy would want to have for his first hunt. But I’m very glad that the Klinglesmiths chose me for this opportunity. It was very nice of them to take their time to read my essay and everybody else’s essays, and also to let me hunt on their land. Thanks to Klinglesmiths and the Tri-State Outfitters I was able to kill my first buck.
Sincerely,
Trapper Merrifield
Meeker

Support Baxter
Dear Editor:
So far, 50 political action committees (PACs), have contributed to Bob Rankin, the Republican running for state legislature in House District 57. Among his individual contributors, 15 are lobbyists and 17 work in or with the oil and gas industry. More outside interests are financially involved in Mr. Rankin’s campaign, than people who live in and contributed from the three counties that comprise House District 57.
How did Mr. Rankin get so many associations and industries to “endorse” his campaign? Perhaps because just two years ago he ran an unsuccessful campaign in Pitkin county against Senator Gail Schwartz in Senate District 5.
In that campaign, he claimed to live in Aspen, in an 878-square-foot condo. Now, he lives in a 7,256-square-foot, $1.6 million home on 5.3 acres just 30 miles down the road in Garfield county. He’s owned both properties since at least 2000. Rankin and his financiers really want a seat in the state legislature, and he’s willing to move anywhere and say anything to get elected. What I see in Rankin is a political opportunist, beholding to so many outside, big money interests before he’s ever been elected to any public office.
In their endorsement of Jo Ann Baxter for HD57, the Post Independent said in part of Mr. Rankin, “his views tilt too far to the right.” And, to the highest bidders, I would add.
With Rankin’s hands in the pockets of so many special interests, will your voice be heard?
The contrast with his main opponent, Democrat Jo Ann Baxter, couldn’t be more profound. Jo Ann has tirelessly traveled between Craig and Carbondale to meet as many people as she possibly could.
Please visit Jo Ann’s website to see how hard she has worked to connect with voters, and how her life and experience will serve us all in the state Legislature, http://www.joannbaxter.com/
Vote Jo Ann Baxter for HD57.
Kim Doyle Wille
Carbondale

Vote for Baxter
Dear Editor:
Bob Rankin let the ideological cat out of the bag with his stand on a proposed analysis of federal land decisions. I guess this stance is why the Colorado Peak Politics web site, the self-proclaimed “Colorado conservative bully pulpit,” proclaims Bob Rankin a “conservative thoroughbred” and “one hellava of a proven candidate.”
Mr. Rankin’s corporate experience was as vice-president of Ford Aerospace Corporation which had defense contracts for the government. I guess that is part of his thoroughbred breeding. He is a proven candidate according to the website because of his ability to raise money. That might make him a “proven” candidate but not a good candidate for our district. If you look at his endorsements {listed by Ginny Love in the Post Independent} they leave out some of his contributors, surely an endorsement. These include AngloGold Committee, a minerals extraction company; Black Hills Corp, a producer of oil and natural gas in Colorado; and Arch Coal Inc.
I wonder what Mr. Rankin’s priorities were when he ran against state senator Gail Schwartz, then proclaiming his residence was a 700 square foot residence in Aspen. He seems determined to legislate. I will engage in my own hyperbole and proclaim Mr. Rankin a classic carpetbagger, who will lack vision beyond his economic nose, and is all wrong for HD57… particurarly Rio Blanco and Moffat counties. His candidacy begs the question “all politics are local?”
Joann Baxter actually knows people in her district. She knows that we cannot simply drill our way out of any and every problem. The Republican ideology of ever-expanding economy will be challenged by changing global circumstances and our locally oriented ex-teacher Joann will understand the need for not only for her former students’ mining jobs, but jobs and education for the new century. I trust Joann and will be voting for her.
Barb Coddington
Glenwood Springs

Vote for Baxter
Dear Editor:
The 2012 election is wrapping up. For those whom are undecided about the race for House District 57 — a newly drawn district, which includes Rio Blanco, Moffat and Garfield counties — I wholeheartedly suggest you cast your ballot for JoAnn Baxter.
Baxter has many assets we need at the state legislature. Above all she listens and understands those issues that are dear to us that choose to live in this region of the state.
She has lived, worked and raised a family here. She has a network of connections through out the state and easily garners respect from others. She is real and cares about the real people of this district and truly understands how to work well with others.
Be sure to vote and know that Jo Ann Baxter is the best choice for voters of House District 57.
Sincerely,
Lois Wymore
Craig

Rankin asks for vote
Dear Editor:
My name is Bob Rankin. I’m a Carbondale resident and I’m running for your seat in the Colorado State House District 57 representing Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties. With their vast space and abundant resources, our counties are unique and politically challenging. I will be proud to serve and be accountable to you, their citizens.
I can contribute uniquely to the state legislature. My life experience includes being an electrical engineer, army officer, systems engineer and project manager, and a vice president at Ford Motor Company’s aerospace subsidiary and a Division President at Computer Sciences Corporation. In the last few years, I’ve been a small business entrepreneur, owner and operator in the Roaring Fork Valley. I’ve hired employees, and I’ve had to lay off friends when times were bad.
Education in Colorado is in crisis. I’ll support a new school finance model that insures equal education opportunity for our rural students and continued revision of our accountability standards for schools. I’ll support our dedicated teachers and administrators by helping free them from burdensome mandates and reporting. I’m convinced that our talented teachers will embrace appropriate reform if given the opportunity.
Public lands make up a majority our land space. Organizations like our Thompson Divide Coalition are unifying public opinion and affecting federal decisions that control the use of public lands. I support these efforts but I want the State of Colorado to take a more active role by analyzing the impacts of federal decisions and supporting citizen groups.
Water is critical to the support of our agricultural and recreation heritage on the western slope of Colorado. Eastern slope interests believe that we still have excess water in the west that should be used to fuel urban growth on the front range. We have to make a different case.
I believe that energy independence for our country is possible. I look forward to being a part of the effort to protect our environment as we produce coal and natural gas until renewable sources develop. I will support new energy research and actively help our regulatory structure evolve. I will support baseline measurements of air and water quality so that we can objectively assess future impacts.
I am not supported by any single interest but I am supported and endorsed by all of the business associations, the majority of the medical and health care industry, the recreation industry and the energy industry.
I’m Bob Rankin, I’m your neighbor in Carbondale, and I thank you for your support and your vote.
Bob Rankin
Candidate for House District 57
Carbondale

Silverman’s claims bogus
Dear Editor:
Defense attorney Tom Silverman’s letter to the editor (10/25/12) entitled “The truth about the DA’s race” has one glaring omission: truth. Let’s look at his claims.
First, Silverman said that “Beeson has tripled the budget”. Recently, the Aspen Daily News, a diligent watchdog of the DA’s office, conducted a “fact check” on this very claim. They researched the official budget records of all three counties and found this claim to be blatantly false. Nonetheless, Silverman continues to repeat it with no regard for truth.
The truth is that upon taking office in January 2006, there existed a tri-county budget of $1.84 million. Today that budget is $3 million. A substantial part of that increase consists in providing services to Rio Blanco County that were never before provided. All three counties in the district funded a second deputy DA and an investigator to work in the Meeker office. These additions have substantially increased the quality and effectiveness of services provided to Meeker and Rangely. These are services that my opponent has targeted for removal if elected. In fact, she has targeted the entire Meeker office for removal and plans to service Rio Blanco out of other offices in the district. This plan, if carried out, will devastate the effectiveness of law enforcement in Rio Blanco County.
Second, Silverman makes the unsubstantiated claim that I have somehow violated my ethical responsibilities as a prosecutor. He doesn’t cite any official complaint, or any official action, against me — ever. He does not because he cannot. In fact, Silverman himself has never made such a complaint. He’s never done so because he’s never had grounds to do so. Nor has anyone else.
I am running on my record. It’s not unethical to do so. Mine is a record that law abiding citizens and victims of crime can rely upon. It’s a record that proves my mettle and the commitment I have to keeping our families safe from those who would harm us. It’s a record that demonstrates I have been doing the job you hired me to do and that I’ve been doing it well.
Third, Silverman tries to scare you into thinking that serving two full terms is somehow unconstitutional and that he will throw the criminal justice system into chaos if he doesn’t get his way in this election. He knows he is wrong. He knows that term limits for DAs do not include partial terms. As an example, the DA in the 5th Judicial District served one partial term and was thereafter elected to two full terms. Although Silverman and members of his law firm have been handling cases in the 5th JD for years during that DA’s second full term, he has never questioned the constitutionality of the DA’s service. It’s clear he agrees that only full terms are applicable to DAs. He just doesn’t want them to apply to me.
Moreover, the criminal justice system has been around a lot longer, and is a lot bigger, than Mr. Silverman. Neither he, nor his candidate, nor anyone else is going to throw the system into chaos. It has been running smoothly for over a hundred years. That’s not going to change.
Fourth, Silverman brazenly states, with no facts to back it up, that I have “always wanted to get a government check” and that “this one is about $180,000 a year.” I have been a private business owner, a legal editor in a private company, a missionary (making less than $300 per month in a foreign country), a teacher at a private university, and a public servant. Currently, my salary is the statewide minimum for elected DAs and is nowhere near the amount Silverman claims. Ironically, he himself has been collecting government paychecks for decades. Apparently it is okay for him and his candidate to work for the government but it’s not OK for me to do so. I don’t understand this logic.
Finally, Silverman claims that I stated it didn’t matter whether someone went to prison. This claim is so far beyond the pale that it merits no further response.
Like the Aspen Daily News, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent has seen through the false claims of Silverman and his candidate. Also a diligent government watchdog, and after sifting through the claims of my opponents and giving due consideration to both candidates, the Post Independent endorsed me for re-election. This endorsement speaks volumes.
The official duty of the District Attorney is to seek truth and justice. Please consider the facts and ask yourself who you can trust to actually perform this responsibility with character and integrity. If civility, truth and basic honesty are traits you desire in your public servants — and demand in your DA — then the choice is a clear and easy one to make.
Stand with me. Together we will fight for truth and justice. And together we will prevail.
Thank you for your continued support. I look forward to serving you another four years.
Martin Beeson
9th Judicial District Attorney
Glenwood Springs

Re-elect Beeson
Dear Editor:
To the good people of Rio Blanco County, I ask you to consider voting for Martin Beeson as your district attorney. Candidly, let me first point out that I am Jeff Cheney, and I work for and with Mr. Beeson. Therefore, I know it would be easy for you to consider this to be a biased letter and stop reading and go on about your day’s business. However, I respectfully ask that you please consider what I have to say before casting your vote for district attorney.
Although Ms. Caloia and her main supporter, Mr. Silverman, have levied a multitude of poisonous attacks at Mr. Beeson, even though neither really and truly knows Mr. Beeson, I have resolved not to personally attack Ms. Caloia or anyone else but rather focus on Mr. Beeson. I deeply respect Martin Beeson. If you knew him well, you would too. Mr. Beeson is not arrogant. He is sincere and humble and people who really know him know him to be a committed husband to his beautiful wife and a loyal and devoted father to three handsome little boys. He does listen to criticism. Trust me, I have on many occasions criticized him, but to his face. Sometimes these are difficult discussions. Sometimes he does not choose to do what I think best, but each and every time, he listens, ponders and considers my criticism. I have seen others who criticize him to his face and I witnessed him giving the same humble consideration.
I understand from reading Ms. Caloia’s letter that some people may be dissatisfied and she points to “some” who served on the jury for the recent murder trial in Rio Blanco County. However, I was lead trial counsel in that case and any dissatisfaction regarding that case should be leveled at me, not Mr. Beeson. However, I would encourage Ms. Caloia to talk to the family of the victim in that case. What they will tell you is that it was Mr. Beeson who traveled many miles to meet with the victim’s family in their living room and commit to them he would see the case to completion, no matter what it took and it took a lot. We had to retry that case a second time after it was hung by a lone juror who refused to convict. It was Mr. Beeson’s resolve to ensure justice was done in that case that resulted in the commitment to retry the case. And, it was Mr. Beeson who stood with the victim’s family on the sunny front lawn of the Meeker Courthouse the day the sentence to life imprisonment was handed down. If my family were a victim of a crime of violence, it is Mr. Beeson that I would want as the captain of the ship.
That’s who Mr. Beeson is committed to stand with: victims of crime. That’s his commitment and that commitment has created a DA’s office that is committed to a healthy staffing of personnel in Rio Blanco County devoted to only serve the citizens of Rio Blanco County. It is a lack of understanding that would prompt anyone to believe that attorneys living outside of the county not permanently working in the county would better serve the citizens of Rio Blanco County. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause;” While anyone who is making decisions, engaged in the act of doing their level best to serve as district attorney can be criticized, Mr. Beeson is committed to the worthy cause of serving victims of crime above all else. The DA’s office you currently have, captained by Martin Beeson, is not broken. As they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Please vote for a man committed to doing justice and whose loyalty is to the victims of crime, rather than the criminals who victimize us. Please vote for Martin Beeson as district attorney.
Jeff Cheney
Deputy District Attorney
9th Judicial District

Read everyday
Dear Editor:
“Read every Day — Lead a Better Life” is the watchword for the Scholastic book fair that was held at Meeker Elementary School.
I wanted to share some insights of the people that came to the fair. A kindergartner walked up to me and called me grandma. I said I can be your grandma and his reply was, with a twinkle in his eye, “What are you going to buy me Grandma?” Talking to the parents of a first-grader I found that this big firefighting father has been reading the classics to his son along with other books. The father said he never like to read but wanted his son to hear and learn to love the classics. Father and son are learning the joy of reading.
Many adults commented on the behavior of the students at the book fair, thoughtful, obedient, kind to others, sharing, knowing how to spend their money, and respect for all. Thank you to all that are making a difference in our children’s lives.
The book fair was a great success in sales. The school chose to take Scholastic Bucks. this means we take 50 percent of the sales and have that money in an account that can be used to purchase teaching materials, books, dictionaries, etc.
There was a drawing for grandparents that attended the book fair with their grandchild. Liz Backas was the winner of a very nice cookbook.
A big thank you to all the high school students that helped set up and help take down the fair. Those teens are on their way to making a difference.
Thank you to the sister missionaries of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Thank you to all the PTO staff and helpers. I could not do it without the volunteers.
Thank you to all the adults that helped set up and take down.
Thank you to the staff and my special teammates Anna Todd and Vicky Tate.
What a great community. Keep on reading.
Kay Bivens,
Meeker Elementary School librarian