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Letters – July 8, 2021

Locations: Letters Published

Chart Carbondale

The comp plan update process should include professional, independent reviews of critical needs: water, sewage, traffic, etc. Historic Carbondale is becoming just another town that has been bought by outside real estate concerns with little concern for its history. The traffic backups at 82/133 are growing, the City Market building is oversized and understaffed, the town rotary will be a traffic snarl! How about a vote to slow development down and digest all of the projects?

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Dan Hogan

Carbondale

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Hypocrisy

As fourth generation natives of Colorado, 30-plus-year residents of the valley and a 15-year resident of Missouri Heights (Kat), we would like to express sadness and disappointment in the recent greedy, self-serving NIMBYism and its division of this beautiful community. To claim that you are “keeping Missouri Heights rural” is hypocrisy at its finest. Missouri Heights ceased to be rural decades ago, and to claim that a small camp, open for a few months annually, will have more impact on the neighborhood than 15 to 25 McMansions is ludicrous.

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The SuperPAC (for lack of a better term) against Ascendigo is not about stewardship of the neighborhood, nor the land, rather it is about aesthetics and status. We are disgusted by the two commissioners’ decision and the fact that once again, in the tradition of all things Aspen, the whiny people with the most money triumph. In this case, a great organization offering a truly valuable service to the community loses.

Where was Keep Missouri Heights Rural in the 1990s when the development of Missouri Heights began? We would guess you were busy building your homes in the “rural area” that you now claim needs stewardship. We hope you enjoy all the new luxury homes that will be built (and the tax rate that accompanies them) on land that could have significantly benefited our community.

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Katherine Rickenbaugh Rich
     and Jeannie Perry

Missouri Heights and Satank

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On NIMBYism

I was very disappointed by the organized opposition to and ultimate denial of Ascendigo’s proposed camp for autistic children in Missouri Heights. A common thread in the opposition was support for Ascendigo’s mission and goal, but opposition to the proposed location. This very literal example of ‘Not In My Backyard’ opposition to a good project provides an opportunity for all of us to ask ourselves how we should respond to development proposals in our own backyards.

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Here’s a little exercise: which of these things do you think we need more of, and which do you think we need less of, in general? All of these have faced neighborhood opposition when proposed.

Affordable workforce housing

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Bike paths and sidewalks

River access points

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Wind and solar power

Daycare facilities

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Camps and services for people with disabilities

Substance abuse prevention/treatment facilities

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Fracking wells

Coal-fired power plants

Most of us probably agree that we need more of the first seven items on this list, and less of the last two. When something is proposed in your ‘backyard’ that you think we need less of in general (i.e. a fracking well in Thompson Divide), it makes sense to oppose it. But in order to get more of the good things, we must be willing to actively support them even when they are proposed in our “backyard.” After all, every project is in someone’s “backyard.” Things like summer camps, daycare facilities and affordable housing have impacts like traffic, water use and changes to the character of an area, no matter where they go. We should participate in the public process to mitigate those impacts, while supporting the proposal itself. Developers and planning staff welcome public input to highlight impacts and creatively address them, without demanding that the entire project be rejected. Otherwise, good projects face so much neighborhood opposition that they don’t get built, and we all lose out.

One interesting exception to the local land use process is schools. School districts are not required to get local government approval to build a new school. Schools are clearly needed in every community, but imagine the opposition that would be generated if one were proposed in your “backyard.” Traffic! Big buildings! Noise! Water! But once a new school is opened and bustling with activity, people flock to buy houses nearby. We accept the impacts because we know the benefits outweigh the downsides. And we go on living our lives much as we did before.

I encourage you to look for ways to be a YIMBY instead of a NIMBY the next time a good project is proposed in your backyard. That bike path up the Crystal valley? Ascendigo’s next proposed camp location? An ADU (additional dwelling unit) or workforce housing development on your block? A solar array that disrupts your view? Let’s improve our community by saying “yes” next time.

Ben Bohmfalk

Carbondale

Happy birthday, USA

On this 245th USA birthday, I felt thankful to live in the one nation every poor person in the world wants to come to. Not just those in poverty but also the poor in spirit, the poor in freedom, the poor in opportunity and happiness.

The term “melting pot” is seldom used today. I was taught that America was the melting pot of the world, where nationalistic roots were transplanted to form our liberty tree.

My family came to the USA through Ellis Island in ’54. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle and me. Knowing more German than English made first grade kinda scary but I and our whole family learned and adapted. Except for Granny who refused to converse in English.

The point is, we assimilated and became Americans. Back then the media wasn’t dividing us into different ethnic American groups. We were taught everyone had equal opportunity and “equity” was something you earned.

Immigrants tend to appreciate this island of freedom in a world filled with oppression. That’s because we’ve seen communist horror up close. Our elders lived and survived the ravaging wars against fascism. But change, the one constant in life, marches on and sadly not always for the better.

JFK said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” It seems today politicians can’t promise enough free stuff to get elected. And the media refers to us by color and religion. Now we are Afro Americans or Jewish Americans or Hispanic Americans or Muslim Americans. They have divided us and stoked social envy and hatred with claims of innate racism.

The media and big tech have joined our government in forming public opinion instead of informing the public. We are being driven apart for the sake of some gaining more power and control over the American people.

We must bring back the melting pot mentality. We must recognize we are a land of unlimited opportunity not endless victimhood. We are so free that we allow the haters to spew their venom openly, but also free to not let their venom poison us.

There is so much envy and disparagement of the “one percent” in this country, when every single soul in the USA is part of the world’s top one percent. I yearn for real American unity and honest, unbiased media would go a long way in achieving some retro-patriotism.

Bruno Kirchenwitz

Rifle

Seeking accommodations

I am a Native American Plains Indian, language teacher, ex-stuntman and principal actor in several movies, massage therapist, handyman and ex-contractor. I recently moved to the Aspen area and am seeking accommodations. I am willing to barter, do property management, minor repairs or pay cash. This is temporary, until late-August. I moved from Sedona, Arizona, where I lived on a horse ranch for years, until my land lady passed and I had to move due to the sale of the ranch. I am good with animals, clean, hard-working, easy-going and kind. Please contact me for an interview and I can provide references.

Blessings,

Buffalo Child

928-274-6313

Tags: #Buffalo Child #Comp Plan #letters #NIMBY
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