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Wednesday Letters: Friends Coming, Thank Student Council Member, Facts, Wolves, Height, Time Limits


Collaboration for friends

Happy 2023! We are so excited to announce the expansion of the Buddy Program, a youth mentoring organization, to Glenwood Springs this year!

As many of you know, Youth Zone has been serving the community since 1976. For many years, PALS, a youth mentoring program, has been part of this program. YouthZone discontinued the PALS program in 2016 and to this day continues to focus on intervention services for at-risk young people who are or may be involved in the justice system.

The Buddy Program and Youth Zone have always worked together to provide seamless prevention and intervention services for youth in our communities. As they celebrate their 50th year of ministry to youth, this is the right time for the Friends Program to expand their prevention and mentoring programs for youth and families in Glenwood Springs. We are working on recruiting big friends now so we can start recruiting youth at the end of the summer!

As we continue to work together to provide support to all youth in the Roaring Forks Valley, we invite you to join our work! For more information about volunteering or donating to the Friends Program, call 970-920-2130 or visit the website

Yours in service to youth and families,

Jamie HayesExecutive Director, Youth Zone

Lindsey LofaroExecutive Director, Buddy Program

Thank the Student Council Member

January is Student Council Recognition Month. Each year, we take this opportunity to publicly thank our elected board members for volunteering their time and talent for Roaring Fork Schools. Katherine Kuhlenberg, Jasmine Ramirez, Natalie Torres, Maureen Stepp, and Kenny Teitler spend countless hours every month making public education the best it can be in our district and our school district a better place through their individual and collective efforts.

Over the past year, our council has hired a new superintendent, updated dozens of policies, passed resolutions to support LGBTQ+ students and Hispanic Heritage Month, regularly visited schools, and engaged a council coach to improve our school’s management practices. Our board makes tough decisions on complex issues that affect our entire school community. Board members are responsible for and overseeing $100 million in annual budget allocations; 6300 students in 14 schools; and 1,000 employees throughout the county.

Being a board member is never easy, but it has been particularly difficult in the past few years during the global pandemic and in the face of other contentious political issues. Each council member was tasked with making difficult decisions as members of the school community called for controversial action. They handled these challenges with grace, diplomacy, wisdom and compassion.

Thanks to every member of our board. We are grateful for your service and guidance. With three of the five seats up for election on November 7, 2023, we hope you will join us in thanking our board members for all they have done for our school district community over the years.

Superintendent Jesus Rodriguezon behalf of Roaring Fork Schools

Fact Check

I feel like we could use some fact checking because of the roundabout in response to letter 1/20 from Tom Mooney.

Glenwood Springs has a small sales tax that goes to the RFTA. All buses in the city are free. There is a separate municipal fee to fund the free Ride Glenwood bus service.

Battery electric buses require a bit more infrastructure than a Nissan Leaf in a driveway. The ongoing construction of the RFTA facility in West Glenwood includes charging and covered storage for upcoming electric bus purchases. Meanwhile, most of the Glenwood fleet uses compressed natural gas (CNG), which is better for air quality.

However, I must admit that Glenwood does not give people $55 for groceries. Maybe it’s a silver bullet.

Debbie Coopernew castle

Quality Not Quantity

The draft of the city’s comprehensive plan was made public in mid-December, with comments due on 6 January. This is the guide for the city for the next 10 years. I doubt that many were able to read all 185 pages over the holidays.

The words “growth” and “development” appear 515 times. But the words “quality of life” appear only 25 times. Have we set our priorities right?

There are sections “Land use and growth management”, “Economic development”, “Transport”, “Housing”, “Utilities”, “Recreation”, etc.

Let’s add a section on quality of life. How did we miss it? Quality of life is what Glenwood Springs is all about.

The plan talks about the type of growth, how to grow, where to grow, etc., and how we can try to deal with the consequences.

Instead, let’s discuss how to improve the quality of our lives and how much growth this will bring. This is where planning should begin. Are we growing Glenwood Springs for the people who are here or for the people who want to be here? Are citizens willing to maintain the scale and pace of recent growth?

This plan also changes the city’s growth boundary… the areas the city intends to annex. A large section was added east of the Roaring Fork to Riverview School, as well as a large section along Four Mile Road. Also some slopes of Lookout Mountain.

In 2003, the city annexed Four Mile Ranch (then Red Feather Ridge), the first development on the left as you head up Four Mile Road. Citizens overwhelmingly voted for the abolition of the annexation. The problem was clear…citizens wanted Four Mile Road to remain rural.

Recent polls on the airport and 480 Donegan show that designers and our government are not talking to citizens about growth and development. Here we go again.

Growth brings us new faces, a larger tax base, more retail opportunities, and greater economic vitality.

But growth also brought us traffic jams, higher taxes, no spring cleaning, less and lower quality water, and soon paid downtown parking.

There is a balance between growth and quality of life; this plan is not yet available.

John BanksGlenwood Springs

wolf thoughts

Tom Sieber, I have some thoughts about your letter to the editor (Wolf’s Fear, 01/20/23).

Not all dogs can be on a leash. Working cattle and sheepdogs are good examples.

Did you know that nearly half of Colorados voted not to bring the wolves back? Moffat and Rio Blanco county voters voted no. You know why? Have you spoken to any ranchers or vacationers from these counties?

You may be surprised to know that we already have wolves in Colorado. There is documentary evidence of livestock being killed by wolves.

Why do we need to reintroduce wolves if they already exist. Reintroduced wolves must be in the counties that voted for them. The fact that Moffat and Rio Blanco counties are not densely populated does not mean they should be reintroduced in those counties. We already have them.

Steve WoolseyDinosaur

Vote, don’t limit

With regards to Debbie Brewell’s January 20th column on term limits, I would like to remind everyone that election cycles are what will address those concerns about term limits.

Vote when you want change anywhere in government. Ask your neighbors to vote too. This, and the presence of a few good ideas, will result in the majority of candidates being elected.

Rick GendroRifle

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