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Vote for our future

Dear Editor:

As a mother with two young children, I’m writing to urge you to vote for Dave Munk and Erik Lundquist in the Holy Cross elections. How our utility is run will be a key part of what kind of world our children will live in. Erik and Dave (who also has young children) understand that cleaner energy and energy efficiency means not just less pollution, but more local jobs and stable prices.

They are a fresh new voice who will listen to your concerns. Also, please vote “no” on the geographic district question. Protect your right to vote for all board members. Thank you.

Ellen Freedman

Basalt

Dear Editor:

Watching this environmental disaster

is making me angry and ill.

We have let oil become our master.

Just drill, baby, drill!

What we have done to our planet Earth

is disgusting and disgraceful.

Killing life zones and wildlife brings no mirth.

We’re all guilty of being wasteful.

It’s just another example

of our selfishness and greed,

another human sample

of using more than we really need.

Now they’re making things worse with their chemical fix.

What’s coming next in their bag of fatal tricks?

But, hey, why worry, it’s beautiful here, and it’s not in my backyard?

So I’ll close my eyes, have my fun, not fret and make myself sick.

Let people lose jobs, animals die, and the land look like a junkyard.

After all it’s only an unstoppable, month long, sickening, deadly oil slick!

Darlene Liss

Aspen

Dear Editor:

On May 15 at around 7:15 p.m. a young man on a skateboard with a German shepherd came down my street. The dog attacked my dogs while they were on a leash before I had even left my driveway. The German shepherd threw my dog in the air and bit my dog. The young man never came back to check on us.

I was on the ground for at least 10 minutes before able to get up and check on my dogs. One dog was bit bad enough to have to go the vet. This young man needs to come forward and help with the vet bills. He needs to never let his dog out in public again.

Melody Camas

El Jebel

Dear Editor:

With the World Cup almost upon us it is entertaining to watch two boys from Berlin make their way from the top of Africa to South Africa in pursuit of adventure and laughs. Go to amateursinafrica.com and enjoy the ride. Really making my off-season.

Andy Hanson

Aspen

Dear Editor:

City Council and staff don’t seem to mind pursuing their expensive defense against Marilyn Marks’ effort to obtain reasonable transparency of election records. Ironically, they are now generally fighting against transparency promised prior to last May’s election. The engagement of high profile Denver-based criminal defense counsel shows their intention to gear up. Will Aspen simply protect their many election irregularities with big-time lawyers or instead solve the underlying problems and make sure anonymous records become accessible? I am hoping for the latter.

There is transparency news from Michigan. Activists there were seeking actual paper ballots for audit purposes, while Marilyn only seeks indestructible electronic copies. Last week they received good news from their attorney general. He advised that Michigan’s voted ballots are indeed public records and can be inspected and audited subject to open records request. The statement is posted on www. aspenelectionreview. blogspot. com.

But in Aspen, Marilyn Marks has been confronted with aggressive obstacles to obtaining mere digital copies of similar records. Her transparency litigation will move to the Appeals Court if Judge Boyd refuses to reconsider, again with Aspen voters footing the bill for efforts that work against their own interests. Aspen officials have hidden the ballot images instead of pro-actively making election transparency a reality using the flexible power of Aspen’s Home Rule Charter. A year would have been long enough to make long-requested corrections.

Michigan reminds us that anonymous ballots are the peoples’ documents that must be accessible for post election audits and analysis. Minnesota posted Franken/Coleman recount ballots on the web. Bush/Gore ballots were made available in Florida for public inspection. Closer to home, Longmont and El Paso County (Colorado Springs) have conducted reviews involving giving ordinary citizens access to voted ballots. Should Aspen’s elections be less transparent?

Aspen’s overprotective concern about ballot images is going against a good governance trend of increased election accountability. In March 2009 Aspen Council members promised “anyone can count the ballots at home to verify the election.” Commitments of verifiability, adequate testing, and certified software can now be seen as unfulfilled expectations, meant to artificially boost voter confidence while experimenting with a new election method. Instead of reviewing and fulfilling these excellent promises, the city is beginning to look like a vengeful enemy of transparency.

Rather than threatening or actually punishing Marilyn or other potential activists, city officials should consider the logic and good governance principles articulated in Michigan’s reinforcement of the fundamental concept of citizen oversight of elections. Public assets should be used to enhance election transparency and integrity, not fight it.

Harvie Branscomb

El Jebel

Dear Editor:

Thank you for taking the time to vote in the Holy Cross Energy board of directors election. Until recent years, the choices for our sources of electricity were limited to coal and natural gas and to a lesser degree hydro. Today, renewable sources such as wind, solar, and biomass are becoming a larger component of our overall power mix, empowering us to make better choices about where our electricity comes from. As the mix of power sources and the economic and environmental considerations become more complex we need energetic and forward-thinking board members.

For those of you who may not know Dave Munk, I would like to introduce him and offer my strongest endorsement. I have known Dave and his family for more than 20 years. Dave is a sensible and responsible person who will make an excellent addition to this important board. As a business owner and 30-year resident in the Roaring Fork Valley I look for a socially and economically responsible approach to managing our utility. I appreciate Dave’s 15-year business background working with utilities across the Western states to reduce waste and improve efficiency, which will translate into savings and a cleaner environment for Holy Cross member households and businesses.

As part of his preparation for this board position, Dave has visited with key Holy Cross customers and stakeholders throughout the service territory including the Aspen Ski Company and Vail Resorts, lodging representatives, and other local businesses. He has outlined his positions in a website at davemunkforholycross.org and you can reach him directly with questions or comments at davemunk4holycross@rof.net.

Thank you for your consideration and your vote for Dave Munk for the Holy Cross Board.

Andre Schwegler

Snowmass

Dear Editor:

Dave Reed must have an inside track to get letters published next day! Anyway, Dave, I don’t have a problem with Jared Polis spending public funds, as long as it is to “gather public input,” not to further your (Hidden Gems) agenda. The very expensive brochure I received was quite biased towards Wilderness, not an unbiased presentation of the facts. If many of my Eagle County neighbors had received this same brochure, I may have believed Mr. Polis really wanted the opinion of his constituents in the affected area, not just the opinion of people already on his mailing list. And, why did I receive it anyway? I received the same basic information, and survey via e-mail, doesn’t someone cross reference these lists? This is a lot of taxpayer expense for nothing.

As for the views of my “motorized compatriots” (by the way, I hike, climb, bike, ski, and yes, enjoy a few motorized activities), yes, we have been asking for public forums, but the request was to Wilderness Workshop, and prior to the formal presentation of this proposal to Rep. Polis. The funds to gather public input should not rest on the shoulders of the taxpayers. Yes, I know you’ve hired a firm to conduct biased polls … we need real local input, and Wilderness Workshop flat out refused to hold any more open forum meetings after they encountered significant resistance during the first couple.

As for W.W.’s Hidden Gems budget, perhaps you would be so kind as to send me a copy of the H.G. multi-page booklet designed by I-3 Graphic Design, please don’t forget to include the insert with your budget through 2011. Even if this is no more than a “proposed” budget (it didn’t say so), to somehow entice donors to send more money, the total is still $2.4 million.

And Dave, many of the Gems opponents I encounter on a daily basis compliment me on my letters, so I may not speak for all of them, but I’m pretty sure I’m writing what’s on the minds of many.

John Hembel

Basalt