Letter to Editors: Salida Resident calls for involvement

Editor 7-21-2006
FROM: Ken Tiegs, (719)539-4489


Members of ROAR (Rags Over the Arkansas River) attended their first meeting in Salida on July 18 as a fully functional ‘not-for-profit’ organization whose purpose is to preserve and protect the Arkansas River, Bighorn Sheep Canyon, their inhabitants and the adjacent communities. ROAR promotes awareness of issues that adversely affect the fragile environment and way of life of those who call this ‘home’. The proposed ‘Over the River’ (OTR) project by artists Christo and Jean-Claude would ‘drape’ 7 miles of the Arkansas River in Bighorn Sheep Canyon with fabric supported by thousands of concrete pylons, steel poles and steel cables installed at river’s edge. ROAR formed officially with the OTR assault our first project with one goal . . . . . JUST SAY NO TO CHRISTO!

Our continued task, to encourage grassroots activism and public outcry backed up with valid concerns that can send the Christo’s into retirement without adversely affecting our way of life. If you have concerns over how thousands of additional vehicles in the canyon will affect your right to reliable fire, police and ambulance services, SPEAK UP. If the congestion will prevent you from conducting your personal or business activities, SPEAK UP. If your concerns are strictly for the impact this concrete and steel will have on the fragile environment, SPEAK UP.

WE NEED YOUR HELP. People with unlimited money can influence the powers-that-be at the top of the permitting process, and the promise of windfall profits may buy the eager businessman’s support of a totally flawed plan. While at the Citizen’s Task Force meeting July 18, one local entrepreneur said it perfectly . . . . . ‘ even if I knew I’d make lots of money I wouldn’t support OTR because I couldn’t do that to my neighbors’. Join us in this struggle. Membership of $25 for adverstising, etc.(no admin.costs) may be made to ROAR, 662 Wapiti Trail, Canon City, CO 81212, Ph.(719)275-7015.

We challenge business leaders and others in positions of authority in government offices, those in charge of fire/police protection and medical services, to rise to the top like the finest cream, and prioritize the rights of the people first ; find the guts to stand up to the smell of money and decide for yourselves that the stench of this OTR undertaking is too much for our valley.

Ken Tiegs (Salida), Vice Pres., ROAR, Inc.

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