I love living in the North Fork Valley -- the scenery, the farms, the ranches, the food and the creative people. This community provides an extraordinary quality of life. I am grateful to have my home and business here.
I run my business THEONI Designs from my art studio at home where I create graphic design and handcrafted jewelry. Views of Mt. Lamborn, the Gunnison River, orchards and pastures inspire creativity and a peaceful work environment.
The creative industries are a significant component of the North Fork Valley economy and way of life. A few years ago, when a huge amount of oil and gas leasing on public lands was proposed across the valley, I wondered what our future, as a valley, would look like. Drill, baby drill, or a future that protects all of the amazing things about this place? I hope for the latter.
A big thank you is called for to the Delta County Commissioners for supporting permanent legislative protection for the public lands across the North Fork Valley. Thank you for listening to your constituents and recognizing that we don't want the entire valley to become a drilled-out sacrifice zone.
As much as I would like to, we're not realistically going to stop using all oil and gas tomorrow. I recognize that we're going to see some drilling continue in the area for the foreseeable future. I wish that we didn't have to have any of it here. But gas drilling has happened in the upper reaches of the North Fork Valley for decades and it's happening now.
I hope that our elected officials in Congress will recognize the need to balance future energy development by setting aside other areas. Surely they can agree that not everywhere should be drilled to smithereens.
The less new drilling the better. I think taking a bunch of lands off the table is a good thing. It will help to keep our community healthy, clean, and vibrant and to attract more artists and creative-minded people here in the future.
Susie Kaldis Lowe
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.