Letters to the Editor: November 20, 2008

Dear Editor,
I have just finished one of the most interesting years of my life, because I had a chance to meet more than 10,000 people after knocking on 26,000 doors as part of my campaign for State Senate.
It was a great honor to be the Democratic nominee for Colorado Senate District 8. I want to thank the countless people who supported and assisted my campaign this last year. I made so many great friends, and became much more aware of the issues facing our region.
I ran to protect our water supply, promote renewable energy and energy efficiency and balance the benefits of mineral extraction with strong protections of the public health and environment.
We will continue to see natural gas, uranium and other minerals produced from the rich natural resources in western Colorado. But development cannot compromise our air and water quality, historic agriculture, critical wildlife habitat and landscape that are the cornerstone of the traditional economy.
Denver Water and other Front Range providers will pursue Western Slope water with increasing intensity in the future in order to feed their growth. The western water supply belongs here in our rivers and streams for recreation, agriculture, industry and domestic needs. Protecting our water quality is just as important as protecting the supply.
The way out of the current economic crisis is to stimulate the new energy economy by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Tax credits and loans for improvements to homes and businesses will create new jobs, stimulate the development of new technology and save you money. More important is that it will also speed the transition away from our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil and develop a more sustainable energy future.
These are important issue that will remain central to the long-term health and viability of western Colorado. I want to encourage you to constantly remind your elected officials that these are priorities that are important.
The reason we live here and want to stay is the quality of life that relies on a healthy environment. It is constantly under threat from outside sources, whether its developers in Denver or energy companies from around the country and the world. Our elected representatives at the county courthouses throughout northwest Colorado and in Denver and Washington, D.C., must do everything possible to be good stewards of the land and natural resources for future generations. They will need your support regularly. Thanks again for helping me champion these issues.
Ken Brenner
Steamboat Springs
Dear Editor,
I wanted to let you and others know, that I have had pieces of my body crewed off over my thoughts I expressed in my letter. I was told that “people here don’t want to hear that @#$*”, or, “that is not how we do things here.” This was all around my thoughts on the new president, not my comments on religion.
First, I meant to offend no one, only offer thought. It is my personal belief that knowledge is power. I believe and try to reach past comfort zones, and look outside of my self, past my own front door. To me, a closed mind, or inability to bend, is unhealthy and for me personally a waste. It is what leads to finding yourself in a place that someone else is controlling your space, your reality. I have found that I loose things when someone else is in control, I do have a voice, and I use it.  
To me, there are some simple realities. What is fair for one, is fair for all. My local example is: The town wants to hold its hand out for money from the oil companies, yet a ranch that sells for $55 million doesn’t bare the same kind of impact? It will raised the tax base of all those in the valley yet, to me there is imbalance here. Oil companies are under major observations on any type of building, building supplies and so on. We just saw where the county has a lawsuit against a company for use tax. Yet, there is a large riding area up river that could hold houses inside, and there was never even a building permit. Double standards in my book. Where is the use tax lawsuit on that one? Why should any citizen of this county bear a use tax on something they can not get in this county? Or, they can get much cheaper outside of this county? To me this is a double standard. 
My comments on the elections was meant as a simple comment. Regardless of who you are or where you stand, change is here. I hold it as truth for my own personal self, that change starts from the bottom up — your own house, your town, your county, your state. Part of the problem in my eyes is that we have all been guilty of looking the other way, being complacent and full of apathy. These attitudes build nothing but problems. Take a look around you and say that’s not true? When was the last time you wrote a letter to your senator or congressmen? When was the last time you involved yourself in something that you felt passionate about? When was the last time you stood up and said, I disagree, and I will do all that I can to make a difference? This is how we embrace change, is by making it.
Here is some food for thought. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defined this word fascism: “ a philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically thought the merging of the state and business leadership together with and ideology of belligerent nationalism.” I personally was extremely upset over the 2008 bailout of Wall Street thugs. I still am; I have written letters and made phone calls.
Here is another quote from Benito Mussolini. “The first stage of fascism should more appropriately be call corporatism, because it is the merger of state and corporate power.” This has been under both Republican and Democrat, the fear of socialism is a little late. In the past eight years we have been told to give up our civil liberties, we have been told we need to “fear.” I still believe in the United States of America, that I have no need to fear, because we are all American. We all have the same rights, and will stand by each other against the rest of the world if needed. I want my civil liberties back, for my self, and my neighbor. I am sick to death of the government telling me what I need to fear. 
I don’t believe in a country of fear, I don’t choose to hate, I choose to see the best of this nation and call out what I see as wrong. I embrace change, a new chance of being better, to become more. I personally do not like where I have been in the past eight years. My 401K is gone, my chance of social security is looking bad. I got a letter that said I cant get full benefits until I am 73 years old. What is more important is our young people, and our children. What are they getting left? How can we make things better for them? How can we change to improve their chances of having what we have been blessed to have? What can I sacrifice for the benefit of my nation and all of its children? Will it be through double standards? Will it be teaching fairness for all, regardless of your bank account? Will it be teaching accountability? Will we teach them the quality of extending a helping hand? Will we teach them to look past who you are and see that of your neighbor, and your community?
Again, I did not mean to offend any one, only extend a personal thought. To embrace conversation and looking to make things change, and be better. On a local level, and a national level. Will we always agree? I hope not! I hope that with debate, effort, ability and extensions though action makes the place we call home — better. It starts will action, eliminating double standards, taking back personal freedoms and embracing the fact that we all have power. It is eliminating nepotism in our courthouse to the White House and saying what is fair for all of us. We all have the right to make a difference, and remember there is a nation of children that are depending on it. Will we all be happy, probably not. But, if you don’t get involved, and you choose to point a finger at the government, remember this. When pointing a finger, there are three fingers pointing back at you. 
Thank you for your time. Get active, write a letter, make a difference. Here is one to think about. Why does the road up river has good pavement while the road to Piceance Creek that has the major needs has nothing? Could this be a double standard? Could this be that oil companies wanted to pay for a new road and outside contractor, and the county said not unless they did it? Just a question for conversation and debate. Why is it that the West Slope is the moneymaker for this state, yet all the road money goes the East Slope ski area? What about the use tax — is it fair? Ask the guy up river who didn’t get a building permit, along with the oil company lawyer.
 Michelle E. Hale

Dear Editor,
I need to apologize to the MHS students that nominated and voted that I be their grand marshal at homecoming this year. This thank you and appreciation of such recognition is long past due. No excuses but time just slips away. Further, I was unable to attend the activities as I would have liked, so trust me on this, work will get in the way of fun every time. I was however there in spirit.
Secondly, I’d like to extend a huge “I messed up” to my MHS football men for having a memory lapse regarding their season-ending banquet. Perhaps my message should be, “Good thing I remembered when to come and drive a bus.” I am bummed that I missed the banquet and two of your contests this season.
Finally, may the rest of 2008 be great for all.
Melissa Kindall

Dear Editor,
In today’s society, all students must receive a formal education; likewise, most businesses will not hire anyone without, at least, a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED). While some educators are teaching for the sole purpose of the paycheck, others are truly devoted to the education of children for the hopes of their future. As a senior, I have experienced both types; one of the great teachers in my life has been, and still remains, Mr. Klark Kindler.
Throughout my years in high school, I have taken all of my history courses from Kindler and I have learned more from him in less than four years than in all of the earlier years of my history education combined. The best teaching techniques that I have experienced have been in his class through the projects and class work. The respect among him and all students is outstanding because of the understanding between everyone within the classroom. Every student is aware of Kindler’s devotion to hard work, without a day off from schoolwork; because of this understanding, no time is wasted during class for meaningless begging for a day to slack. Although students, generally, prefer the classes that allow for slacking, many students look forward to attending Kindler’s class because of the way that he presents information in a way for all students to relate to. Rather than keeping lessons in technical terms that are considered boring to many students, he presents the technical terms, followed with an illustration in today’s terms.
I believe that students learn best through illustration. Kindler has hands-on project for students that create a learning environment for people of all types. For example, in American government, students form a mock-political party and experience the different aspects of government elections through the project. This is only one example of the many great ways that Kindler has been able to have a great impact on my life. He is truly a great teacher and deserves recognition for his outstanding work.
Ashley Purkey

Dear Editor,
The residents of White River Village wish to express their appreciation to the Rio Blanco County Commissioners, Town of Rangely Board of Trustees and Town of Rangely administration for bringing to fruition the replacement of the roof of the WRV complex. We are all grateful to know that we will have a leak-proof winter. Thanks to each and every one of you for letting us know that you really do care about the upkeep of our “homes.”
White River Village residents

Dear Editor,
The Citizens for Meeker Schools would like to thank the residents for their support of the school initiatives 3A and 3B. We recognize the economy is uncertain, but you chose to invest in our students and their futures. Thank you for putting the needs of our children and our community at the top of your priority list.
Education impacts every sector of a community. It was wonderful to see our community get involved in this initiative. We would like to thank each of the voters that supported the effort, the volunteers who worked countless hours, and the sponsors who helped cover the costs of the campaign. We look forward to the continued success of our Meeker Schools, their students, teachers and staff.
Citizens for Meeker Schools

Dear Editor,
Just a comment on gas prices. I was in Grand Junction yesterday and I bought gas at a Conoco station for $1.899. Why are Meeker gas prices 63 cents a gallon higher? It must be the pure greed of the station owners!
Earl Scheuer