The North Fork Valley has been my home for 24 years. I moved here after living in several other places where industry and corporations had wrecked the physical and mental environments in which I needed to thrive, not merely survive. When I first drove from Delta to a new home site in Midway Hotchkiss, I immediately fell in love with the valley. It was green and lush, life moved slowly and people waved when passing on the highway.
The main reason though that I knew this was it was that I saw there was community here. A public radio station, a community space where anyone could teach a class and share their gifts (Blue Sage), the most organic farms in Colorado. Blue skies 300 days out of the year so a great place for a solar house. I saw children biking around town without fear of being assaulted and where alternative education was thriving. The valley was a place where people could work and live together, in relative peace because we all knew how lucky we were to be living here. And now that peace is threatened because heavy industry in the form of fracking wants to drill in our watershed with the risk of releasing volatile and carcinogenic chemicals into the Earth and water underneath us.
Why would people in the North Fork support this? After all, it is we who take all the risk to our water, our air, our economy and the health of the next generations who might want to call this home. All so that a few corporate energy companies can profit from selling oil to China and Japan in order to create a few more billionaires. This valley has a growing economy based on the most basic of all non-renewable resources -- clean and healthy food, clean air and water and cooperation. Life can't be sustained without these gifts from Mother Nature and each other. And this gift can't be treated as a commodity which is traded on the stock market. I am so tired of the stress of this competition which is indoctrinated in us as a way of life. We thrive because we cooperate. Please support the North Fork Valley Community Rights Advocates and the Community Bill of Rights (NFVCRA.Org).
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.