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Letters – Oct. 14, 2021

Locations: Letters Published

Re: Marble Ski

The board of the Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association would like to thank Lynn Burton and The Sopris Sun for the terrific article on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Marble Ski Area (Sept. 22, 2021). Entering CVEPA’s 50th year of service, we are so indebted to our founding fathers and mothers from Redstone and Marble. CVEPA is THE sole reason Marble is not a schlock ski town of condos and faux chalets. The article was very accurate and illuminating in its chronological format. CVEPA encourages readers to access the book “Protecting a Valley and Saving a River: The Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association” by Redstone historian F. Darrell Munsell. This comprehensive book is available through Amazon.

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John Armstrong

https://cvepa.org

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Mountain Waste

I support and appreciate the Town’s move to a single hauler waste removal plan. However, it has not been without some glitches. Prior to August of this year, I was given insufficient and contradictory information as to what was and was not allowed as part of my trash and recycling pick up. For example, I have been setting broken down cardboard boxes next to my recycling container for the entire 20 years that I have lived in Carbondale, with several different haulers including Mountain Waste, without ever incurring an overage fee. The one flyer I received in August of last year (after the Town had already collected $17,090 in overage fees from townspeople, dating back to April, 2020) makes no mention of broken down cardboard boxes, and all of the pictures show grossly overflowing containers, and some containers that are not fully closed are shown to be acceptable. I have my bill set on auto-pay, and perhaps the lack of information was due to me being an “online customer” as opposed to a “paper bill customer,” as some customers may have received more information with their paper bills. I did not. It turns out that setting a broken down cardboard box next to your trash can is classified as an “overage” and subject to a $25 fine. If I had been informed of this beforehand, or even on the first offense, I would have understood and known better. However, I was not notified. The charge was added to my bill with no notification, and cryptically labeled as “other.”

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Since the program’s inception, I, and other townspeople, have been charged over $70,000 in overage fees. The kicker is that Mountain Waste was actually required in their contract with the Town to directly notify townspeople whenever charging an overage fee. I was never informed of my overages by Mountain Waste, in violation of their contract.

When this was pointed out to the Town’s trustees, they questioned a Mountain Waste representative at a meeting on Aug. 17. The representative lied, claiming that they had been notifying townspeople of overages via stickers. Mountain Waste has since admitted that they were not notifying customers and have begun issuing notifications. But this didn’t happen until they had pocketed a significant sum of money.

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I know that I am not the only one, and Town staff have relayed that they have had “a lot” of complaints about this issue. But the Town is choosing to allow Mountain Waste to keep these fines rather than return them, despite the lack of clear, consistent communication, or the required notifications. I believe that the Town and Mountain Waste owe it to the townspeople to refund all charges that were collected out of compliance with the contract. The contract clearly stipulates damages of $500 per incident of non-notification payable by Mountain Waste, which would more than cover the $25 per incident charged to the townspeople.

Mike Mines

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Carbondale

Mill levy override

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My name is Aimee Brockman, and I am the principal of Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale. It is my first year working as a principal, but I have been an educator in Roaring Fork Schools since 2003. I am grateful to spend my days with talented, dedicated and dynamic educators who give so much to our students and community. These are teachers who show up on weekends to watch students’ soccer games and attend Potato Day to see students on the school float. I dread asking teachers to do things like cancel their classes to work as a substitute or eat lunch outside while they are supervising recess due to staff shortages. It also pains me to hear that a promising candidate will not accept a job offer because they can’t afford to live here on our current salary schedule. The worst scenario is when teachers who have invested in our district and community realize they can’t stay because they don’t see a long-term, viable option to keep teaching in our district. Roaring Forks Schools has the third highest cost of living of all school districts in Colorado but ranks near the bottom in per-pupil funding from the state.

The mill levy override is our only option to keep our schools staffed with highly effective, experienced educators. Making a living in our valley should not be beyond the reach of educators, who are highly educated professionals. One of my great joys is living and working in my community, sending my own children through the public schools in Carbondale and building relationships with family members who are also my neighbors. Please return your ballot and vote YES on 5B, so students at Crystal River Elementary and throughout Roaring Fork Schools can have the incredible educators they deserve.

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Aimee Brockman

Carbondale

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Mountain Family endorsement

I am writing to urge voters to support 5B this November to honor our exceptional teachers and staff in the Roaring Fork Schools.

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As the CEO of Mountain Family Health Centers, and as a resident of the Roaring Fork Valley with children in the Roaring Fork Schools, I regularly see the impact that high-quality teachers have on our community, our staff and on my family.

Our children attend the Riverview K-8 school, and last week my wife and I were able to experience a bilingual “super scholar” ceremony with our children at the school. Each time we enter the school, I’m struck by the bicultural joy, learning and energy vibrating throughout.

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Unfortunately, we know our schools and teachers are in a staffing crisis. Year after year, we explain to our children why their favorite teacher moved away from the district. The teacher’s spouse couldn’t find a job to support ballooning rent. Daily commutes from Rifle became too much to bear. Family health insurance was much more reasonable back in Denver. Like a broken record, we repeat to our children why their heroes loved teaching but couldn’t afford to live in the community they serve.

The data tells the story directly. We live in the third highest cost of living school district in Colorado. RFSD ranks in the bottom third statewide in per-pupil state funding. Nearly 75% of teachers in the district work two jobs to make ends meet. All of the neighboring school districts have passed voter-approved mill levy overrides, meaning our neighboring districts are able to provide more competitive compensation to teachers compared to the Roaring Fork Schools.

The 5B mill levy override will support the Roaring Fork Schools in being able to offer teachers a living wage by increasing property taxes costing average homeowners approximately $3.50 per month per $100,000 of home value.

As our schools face persistent teacher shortages and severe educational service reductions, this is an investment in our children, teachers and schools we can’t afford NOT to make.

I ask our community to support our kids by voting yes on 5B. For more information about the mill levy override, visit https://wearerfsd.com

Ross Brooks

CEO, Mountain Family Health Centers

District E race

I’d like to announce publicly that I am pulling out of active campaigning for the District E RFSD board seat, and will instead endorse Kathryn Kuhlenberg for the position.

I entered this race to ensure that there was someone running who understands the actual issues and challenges facing our school district, rather than largely made-up quasi-issues that are good for political grandstanding but little else.

Kathryn has demonstrated the passion, understanding and work ethic RFSD requires in these difficult times, as well as the organizational skill and acumen to carry out smart policy on a range of issues, from financial management to faculty relations. She is the most qualified candidate in the District E race, and I happily defer to her leadership.

I would ask anyone in the community who seeks to support me to do so by supporting Kathryn Kuhlenberg for District E. In addition, I’d like to add my endorsement for Kenny Teitler, the best and most qualified candidate running in District A. Together, the K candidates — Kathryn and Kenny — will work hard to bring our district to the level we all would like it to reach, and I pledge to work hard on their behalf until Election Day.

Fear is the currency of their opponents; fear of new ideas, fear of science and fear of our diverse community are their positions. I, for one, will not resign myself to such fear, particularly when our school district faces so many real challenges that must be dealt with for the future well-being of our children.

I believe that our kids deserve brave leadership, rather than people who let various short-term, media-supplied panics direct their decisions and actions. If you agree that our district is capable of greatness, and that this destination does not lie in distractions that divide us, but rather in focused attention to policy and real dedication to all of our kids, join me in voting for the K-ticket, Kathryn Kuhlenberg and Kenny Tietler.

Christopher Becker

Carbondale

Vote for Kenny Teitler

As a public school parent in Carbondale for the past 13 years, I have never seen a candidate as qualified for the school board as Kenny Teitler. Kenny is a Colorado native, a graduate of CU Boulder, a 29-year resident of the Roaring Fork Valley and a parent of two Roaring Fork High School graduates. He holds a MA in reading with an emphasis on second language learners, he is fluent in Spanish and has spent his entire 26-year teacher career making sure that all students get the education they deserve. Although he retired from RFSD as a classroom teacher, he still teaches GED classes at CMC and is a mentor for ninth graders in the pre-collegiate program. He can be found in the stands supporting the Roaring Fork High sports teams and his previous students. He truly cares about his community.

Mr. Kenny knows the long and complicated history of RFSD better than anyone., As a public school teacher in both Basalt and Carbondale, he has seen many school boards and superintendents and he knows what it takes to make a school district successful. He will bring a depth of experience and wisdom to the position that his opponent greatly lacks. He is approachable and will listen to the concerns of his constituents and will fight for what is best for the staff, students, and community of RFSD. I believe he will be an accessible board member and he has the history, education, experience and desire to be an excellent addition to the RFSD school board. Please cast your vote for Kenny Teitler.

Ashley Jardine

Carbondale

Kenny for District A

I have known Kenny as a colleague and a friend since he began working for the Roaring Fork School District. If I were asked to describe Kenny, the first thing that comes to mind is: “Kenny is a man of integrity.” He’s true to his word and doesn’t let emotion control him. When presented with a difficult situation he keeps his head, listens to others and presents his perspective respectfully. He considers all options before making decisions. What better traits to bring to a school board?

Kenny also brings with him years of first-hand experience in our district as a teacher, parent and community member. He is an excellent educator and he knows what it takes for schools and students to succeed. He genuinely cares about this community and the schools. He will listen to and consider the positions of all stakeholders – students, staff, parents and community. He will work diligently to make RFSD schools the best they can be.

Mary E. Lamb

Carbondale

West Glenwood devo

We love West Glenwood. It has been our home for a very long time. You know all the reasons the development project must be denied. Safety, traffic nightmares, inadequate infrastructure, no escape when the fires come, our welfare, our quality of life, lights and noise, etc. Water, waste water, schools, gridlock and so on. There are absolutely no positives to this development. We know that residential development costs us taxpayers way more than it produces. Another 1,000 people with vehicles could destroy us. Please deny this application. Our safety, Our welfare and our quality of life demand this.   

Michael Hoban

Glenwood Springs

Tags: #CVEPA #letters #Marble #trash
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