Amphitheater will be an asset

An amphitheater in Cerise Park will be a great addition to the whole community. It is unlikely that it will interfere with wildlife after construction is complete.

Marianne Aarant Bergen

Montrose

Hats off to vaccine clinic crew

We would like to thank all the crew at Friendship Hall. This was done very smoothly and professionally. We were in and out in about 25 minutes and that is counting the after shot wait of 15 minutes.

Steve and Jacki Thomas

Montrose

Comparing HUB to other apartment complexes

I am writing to support the recommendations of the planning commission to limit the density of the proposed HUB apartment complex on Chipeta Road.

From my internet searches, a 500-unit apartment complex such as the HUB would be more than double the size of the largest complex in Grand Junction, the Railyard at Rimrock (200 units). If in Denver (population over 3 million) the HUB would be the largest two-story complex, and the second largest of 3-story complexes. If in San Antonio (population 1.6 million), where we reside part time pending retirement, it would be the second largest apartment complex in the area — the largest is 600 units in 24 three story buildings. The proposed HUB is larger than any apartment complex in Fort Collins or Colorado Springs.

The closest comparable complex I could find in the Denver area is called the Waterfront in Lakewood. It has 600 units in 26 three-story buildings on about 18 acres. This is the size of what is proposed along Chipeta Road. The Waterfront is bounded by two major roads, both four lanes. The Waterfront is in very close proximity to retail services, drug stores, banks, etc. The HUB has neither road access sufficient to support the project, nor proximity to retail services without accessing two-lane Chipeta Road.

To get a better feel of the enormity of the size of the HUB project, you can go on Google maps and take a virtual walking tour through the canyons of the Waterfront apartment buildings. Even better, I’d recommend that the council members take a trip to Denver or Grand Junction and get a feel for the sheer size of these mega-apartment complexes and the kind of road access and surrounding amenities necessary to support such projects.

We don’t think the HUB itself is a bad thing, but we think it should go in a place consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan, and consistent with virtually every other apartment complex anywhere — it needs to be close to adequate roads and close to retail services so that road congestion is minimized.

We’d really be in favor of this project if nearer to downtown so it could serve as a catalyst to revitalize the downtown and west side areas.

Ben and Ann Bingham

Montrose

Thoughts on proposed method to reduce methane escaping from abandoned mines

After reading the Feb. 4, 2021 news article entitled “Colorado’s North Fork Valley finds baby-step solution to tackle its big problem with methane-leaking mines,” I recognized questionable methods not being considered regarding extracting methane from abandoned coal mines.

Methane is the major fraction of natural gas and is more than 30 times more potent a heat-trapping, greenhouse gas than CO2. Atmospheric methane is rapidly increasing primarily due to leakage and the failure to monitor methane “flaring” in oil and gas production, thawing of vast permafrost areas, and agricultural activities. Combined, methane’s estimated to be responsible for roughly one-third of today’s greenhouse gases.

Methane extraction from coal is nothing new. Since the mid-1980s more than 20,000 methane wells have been completed in eastern Wyoming where extremely thick and laterally extensive coal beds are present.

Chris Caskey’s proposed plan to use in-filled clay sediments from Paonia Reservoir to manufacture bricks and to fire them using captured methane gas from nearby abandoned coal mines is a win-win proposal for all of us. Excavating clay from the reservoir increases its storage capacity and methane capture of coal mine methane reduces the inflow of a significant greenhouse gas into our atmosphere.

Caskey’s plans, involving enrichment and extraction of methane, are problematic. Typically, methane is absorbed and stored in the matrix (pores) and micro-fractures (cleat) of coal beds and released during mining, or, if the mine or coal seam is depressurized. Caskey’s plan to “plug” hundreds of air-exchange openings that connect mine-air with outside air would likely increase air pressure trapped inside the mine and not “depressurize” it. These “hundreds” of openings along fractures, joints and leaking sealed mine entries are mostly produced by the stresses from the weight of overlying rocks and a variety of other geologic factors. That sealing these types of (not-so-small) openings with a clay slurry, as proposed, would be infeasible.

A coal geologist of 20+ years and having conducted in-mine studies in some 15 abandoned and active mines along the North Fork Valley and in the Cameo and Book Cliffs areas, I’m familiar with the local coal geology and the mines being targeted for methane extraction. I wish Caskey luck with methane capture of coal mine methane.

John Hardie

Montrose

A balance is needed

Here are some comments from publisher Dennis Anderson (DCI Feb. 10):

“All opinions matter. It’s our responsibility to give those opinions a platform on our opinion pages through letters to the editor. We also offer varying views through op-eds … on … a variety of subject matters from a variety of sources.” “The opinion page doesn’t exist to influence one’s thinking.”

“The DCI … has the responsibility to be representative of the community as a whole and not just the majority.”

“All opinions are welcome on the opinion pages of the DCI and always have been as long as there is civility.”

I have some comments about whether those comments apply to the MDP. Others can comment on how well they apply to the DCI. Anderson’s comments apply pretty well to the portion of the opinion pages devoted to letters. I appreciate being able to challenge liberal talking points in that forum. However, his comments simply do not apply to the rest of the opinion pages. Other than an occasional op-ed by John Kass, the op-eds are almost 100% left wing. There is no attempt at “meeting in the middle.” In a county that is two-thirds conservative, we shouldn’t have to plead for a fair and equal reporting on the pages of our local newspaper.

I find the comments on civility a bit puzzling. Have you not read the last two articles by Kathleen Parker (Feb. 3, Feb. 10)? I know Dennis Anderson is a good man, so I am astonished that he would publish such hate. Michael Martin (MDP Feb. 6) correctly described Parker’s Feb. 3 article as a “vicious screed.” These are perilous times and this country is sorely divided. One of the major reasons for that is that most media long ago dropped all pretense at being real journalists and joined the pseudo-intellectuals on the extreme left. We don’t have much influence on The Washington Post, but I would hope that our local newspaper will drop the facade and start representing “the community as a whole” and not just the minority. It’s not that difficult to add conservative op-eds. How about articles on why conservatives consider Biden illegitimate, or Biden family corruption, or the damage to blue-collar workers from Biden’s executive orders ? How about an honest “fact check” article (doesn’t exist), or a political cartoon attacking Democrats? Without change, the MDP opinion page will remain propaganda — intent on influencing thinking — not invoking discussion.

Ed Henrie

Montrose

South of the Border scenario

The political events of the past year are new for us in the USA. But, they are not new to countries in South America. Here’s the typical playbook there:

A charismatic leader legitimately comes to power. But, when time comes for new elections, he casts doubts on the trustworthiness of the coming election. He claims his opponent will try to win by fraud. If he in fact loses, he claims it was indeed a fraud.

Usually he attempts to gain backing of leaders in the country’s standing army. If insufficient support is found there, he encourages his supporters which usually includes paramilitary groups to act on his behalf. A “soft coup” or “self-coup” may result in him remaining in power for perhaps a lifetime.

However, if none of this succeeds, he will continue refusing to accept election results declaring the new leader illegitimate. He demands new elections which may or may not happen. During the ensuing months a “new normal” is established with him still prominent in the media and opposing the new leader.

From all appearances this is where we are now following the inauguration of President Biden. So what comes next?

The South of the Border playbook calls for ongoing recruitment and radicalization of supporters. Some radicals may attempt assassinations and/or create sporadic violent uprisings/demonstrations. He, or his heir, continues preparing for the inevitable attempt at a violent coup d’etat/revolution. This coup devastates the economy. Violent social unrest lasts for years.

Check out the history of coups in Peru, Venezuela, et. al. This may indeed be what we and/or our children come to experience.

Larry Heath

Montrose

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