(This letter was originally addressed to Garfield County commissioners Larry McCown and John Martin.)Dear Editor:The need for that segment of the Crystal trail didn’t stop Monday.You threw away the chance for a $200,000 grant, two free bridge sections, an offer to pave your one-mile section of the trail from a private landowner, and the chance to do a small part to build a 72-mile trail between Carbondale and Crested Butte planned by 30 governmental agencies with 20 miles budgeted for by Pitkin County Open Space and the first four miles completed by Carbondale and Crested Butte with Carbondale budgeted to build another mile of trail into our county.Larry, when you see a young girl walking to school along the side of a busy road, you may not see a need for pedestrian roadways but I see two car trips to and from town being saved by her parents. I see a girl eating road dust and breathing fumes that science has shown will increase her chance for heart disease, and incredibly her three children will inherit that increased likelihood of heart disease, also. I see a hundred parents who must drive children to town, the ballfield, the skateboard park and shopping because they’re afraid to let their children walk and can afford the gas.I’m sure oil rigs are tearing up county roads, and it must cost us a bundle to keep on top of that, but my God, to throw away a connection to Pitkin County’s $10 million commitment for a pedestrian roadway and hours of folks’ efforts so you can complete your obligation of health, safety and welfare for Garco residents, for a piddling $50,000 and three months on a skid-steer is nuts. If it were a mile of road, you wouldn’t blink at laying out a million dollars.John, since the Garco open space bill failed eight years ago, residences in three towns within Garfield County have voted themselves tax increases for pedestrian commuting in three different referendums.Now what?John HoffmannCarbondale
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Garfield County removed nearly 60,000 pounds of trash from a homeless encampment, which cost a total of $87,250. Cleaning crews also recovered enough hypodermic needles at the site to fill a five gallon bucket.