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Dear Editor:Thanks to Don Gillespie of Glenwood for his letter titled “Time for a trail” (Feb. 1). It inspired me to write a rebuttal. Apparently, Don and I attended different January RFTA board meetings. As I recall, Dan Blankenship and staff were directed to issue Requests For Proposals (RFPs) for alternative uses of our rail corridor. Staff has now done so, albeit somewhat delayed. Don repeats the mantra that, “A right of way for the rail will never go away”: U.S. history teaches us just the opposite. Of the 2,000 or so trails that have been built on former rail corridors, only five have been successfully returned to rail transportation.I started this letter intending to refute Don point by point, but came to realize that we could go on like this forever, volleying back and forth. This “us versus them” stuff is getting us nowhere; that’s why the Rails & Trails movement is petitioning the RFTA board as follows: We, the undersigned urge you to preserve the historic ex-Rio Grande Aspen railway as it is presently constituted. We further urge you to create a joint Rails & Trails task force to develop a plan that would allow both modes of transportation to share that railway.If you would like more information, contact us at 928-8721 or by e-mail. If you are ready to sign the Rails & Trails petition, it is available at the Glenwood Railroad Museum (located in the historic Glenwood Springs railroad depot at 413 7th Street), six days a week, noon to 4 p.m. (closed on Wednesdays).Jan GirardotGlenwood Springs
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A ski season surrounded with uncertainty kicks off on Wednesday. The six inches of new snowfall Tuesday will allow opening of an additional 62 acres on Aspen Mountain, bringing opening-day total to about 160 acres.