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Air Force Reserve training comes to Rifle Garfield County Airport next week

Rifle Garfield County Airport officials issued a reminder that the Air Force Reserve is scheduled to conduct a special fuel operation training exercise at the airport Sept. 12 – 15.

The event is not open to the public, and spectating from afar is not encouraged, according to a Wednesday press release.

The training exercise takes place on the ramp and not in the air, though military aircraft will be flying into and out of the airport during this time, the release states.

“This ramp operation is in a secured location and the training is unfortunately not open to the public,” Rifle Garfield County Airport Director Brian Condie said in the release.

Increased military aircraft traffic can be expected throughout the region, and more than 50 military ground crew are scheduled to take part in the training exercise, Condie said.

The Air Force Reserve has exclusive use of a new concrete ramp and the associated asphalt taxiway at the airport, but the operations will not interfere with normal aircraft traffic.

The training may be canceled at any time due a change in Air Force Reserve priorities, the release states.

All aboard! Festivities planned around Glenwood Springs overnight on Rocky Mountaineer’s maiden voyage

Guests disembark the Rocky Mountaineer during an earlier trial run to Glenwood Springs. The new Rockies to the Red Rocks route launches for real on Sunday.
Salvador Lopez

Glenwood Springs is pulling out the stops for a special train arrival Sunday evening.

The Rocky Mountaineer celebrates its inaugural “Rockies to the Red Rocks” route launch Sunday and Monday as the luxury train journeys between Denver and Moab, Utah, including an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs.

The maiden voyage marks the preview season for the new luxury train tour, which is scheduled to run through Nov. 19. A full seven-month season is planned for 2022.

To mark the event and the arrival of passengers, Glenwood Springs is set to host a celebration from 4-8 p.m. Sunday along Seventh Street and under the Grand Avenue Bridge, including market vendors and entertainment.

Live entertainment on Bethel Plaza will be provided by the guitar duo of Larry and Patti Herd, according to event organizers. There will also be performances by Legacy Dance Company and face painting and balloon art by Noemi and Kristoff Kosmowski.

The Mountaineer is scheduled to arrive between 5-6 p.m. Mayor Jonathan Godes and other state and regional dignitaries are slated to give the formal welcome.

Rockies to the Red Rocks is a two-day rail journey on the glass-domed Rocky Mountaineer train coaches, following the route along the Union Pacific line through the Rocky Mountains and eastern Utah’s high desert slick rock country.

The first day of the journey takes guests alongside the Colorado River and through Gore Canyon and Glenwood Canyon, arriving in Glenwood Springs for an overnight stay. The next day, it’s on to Moab.

The trip is complete with an onboard culinary experience, featuring cuisine prepared from ingredients local to the southwestern U.S.

“The inaugural U.S. route is just one step in Rocky Mountaineer’s long-term vision of expanding its journeys to diverse destinations, a monumental addition to the three rail routes in Western Canada that run between Vancouver and the towns of Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in the Canadian Rockies,” according to a news release.

“This new Rockies to the Red Rocks route is a celebration that has been several years in the making as we continuously seek unique locations with incredible scenery and iconic destinations that are best experienced by train,” Peter Armstrong, founder and interim CEO of Rocky Mountaineer, said in the release. “We look forward to welcoming guests for a train journey that delivers the incredible experience and award-winning service that Rocky Mountaineer is well known for while they enjoy the epic scenery, flavours and hospitality of the Southwest United States.”

The  two-day rail journey, including a one-night hotel stay in  Glenwood Springs, starts from $1,250 per person.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindependent.com.

Grab your racket, and lace your shoes: Tennis event this weekend at Glenwood Springs Community Center

A “tennis mixer” is slated to take place Friday and Saturday at the Glenwood Springs Community Center tennis courts.

Eat, Drink and Play Tennis is a free event and requires no already established tennis partner. Participants are encouraged to “bring your Mimosas or Bloody Marys and be ready for some fun.”

Participants are also free to bring their own food to the event. The community center will have a grill set up for those who want to cook up grilled delicacies.

The event is slated for 5-9 p.m. Friday and will then begin again at 8 a.m. Saturday. Ladies doubles play will occur from 8-11a.m. Saturday, followed by men’s doubles from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sue Geist, a tennis instructor at the Glenwood Springs Recreation Department, said some people might be nervous to come to the event if they are new to the community or do not have a partner, but rest assured those looking to play doubles will be paired up randomly.

“What I am really trying to do with this event is to get people from out in the community to come out to the event and meet tennis regulars or perhaps become interested in some of our (Glenwood Recreation Department) regular tennis programs,” Geist said.

For more information, contact Geist at 970-948-7084.

CMC presents ‘Extreme Fire’ with Grizzly Creek Fire officer Kale Casey

Kale Casey was one of the lead information officers during last summer’s Grizzly Creek Fire in and around Glenwood Canyon. On Thursday, April 15, he’ll discuss wildfire behavior and talk about ways to protect yourself and your property from wildfires.
Photo by Kari Greer/USDA Forest Service

Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs will present an interactive webcast, “Extreme Fire,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday as part of its free speaker series, The Gift of Education.

The virtual presentation will feature a discussion with Kale Casey, who was an information officer during the Grizzly Creek Fire in Glenwood Canyon last summer.

The online-only event is free and open to the public.

Now based in Alaska, Casey is a 14-year wildfire veteran who spent over 20 years living on Colorado’s Western Slope, according to a CMC press release.

For 50 days last summer, he served as one of the lead information officers on both the Grizzly Creek and Cameron Peak fires in Colorado.

“Casey will talk about and share insights regarding the highly unique wildfire behaviors firefighters saw last summer,” according to the release. “He’ll also discuss ’Firewise’ principles – measures communities and individuals can take to protect property and businesses.”

“Extreme Fire” will take place on WebEx from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, April 15. Attendees should email to Annmarie Deter at adeter@coloradomtn.edu for the event web link, or call (970) 947-8477.

For more information about the presentation, visit: https://coloradomtn.edu/event/extreme-fire/.

Annual weed-control burn ongoing at Carbondale Nature Park

A controlled burn is ongoing this week at the Carbondale Nature Park. As a result, the park is closed to public use between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. through Friday, according to a town news release.

The procedure is part of Carbondale’s weed management plan for town parks.

“Burning underbrush is one of the town’s mitigation techniques for soil health and weed control at the Nature Park and a key strategy identified in the Carbondale Integrated Weed Management Plan for 2021,” the release states.

Daily burning operations at the Nature Park are dependent upon weather conditions.

A copy of the town’s comprehensive weed management plan and 2021 park-specific plans can be found on the Carbondale Recreation Center website, at www.carbondalerec.com

For more information regarding burning, contact Carbondale Parks and Recreation Director Eric Brendlinger, at 970-510-1277.

Garfield County to host forum on health insurance costs

Garfield County is hosting a virtual community forum on the affordability of health-care insurance in the region at 6 p.m. Monday, April 5, via Zoom.

Participating in the forum will be the three members of the Board of County Commissioners, state Sen. Bob Rankin and Peak Health Alliance CEO Claire Brockbank. The discussion will include a community question-and-answer session.

Topics are to include health insurance options in Colorado and state legislation that may affect rates in the region.

“Since the inception of the Affordable Care Act, the Board of County Commissioners has been working to bring down the cost of health insurance,” Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said in a news release. “The high cost of insurance has been on the back of the middle class in Garfield County.”

The forum is being streamed via Zoom. the password and link to the meeting are available at garfield-county.com/board-commissioners/meetings.

Garfield County’s COVID-19 work to be presented on CDC panel

Garfield County has been taking part in a project with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Its work is to be featured this week as part of a National Centers for Disease Control forum.

Since this past fall, a group of 25 local Hispanic community members has participated in a series of three listening sessions.

According to a Garfield County press release, the sessions were designed to help vaccine providers understand communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and barriers that influence vaccine acceptance.

That information is now helping to frame local vaccine efforts, according to the release.

However, Garfield County’s involvement is part of a larger nationwide project, with input from six communities across the United States.

“Through this process, we learned about the real needs and barriers facing people in our community,” said Brisa Chavez, Latino Outreach Coordinator with Garfield County Public Health.

“One thing we realized is that we don’t all fit into the same bubble,” she said in the release. “We need multiple avenues and multiple partners on board to provide everyone access to the vaccine.

“Some of our community members have hurdles and trust issues to overcome. But we have tools to bring us together and do this work. We are looking for others to help champion vaccine acceptance in Garfield County, to watch the webinar, and be part of developing ideas and strategies together,”

The findings are to be presented in a workshop hosted by the CDC during the virtual, National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine taking place Feb. 22-24.

According to the release, the forum brings together practitioners from across the nation, “with the goal of mounting safe, effective and comprehensive vaccine implementation strategies with a focus on protecting those most at risk and advancing health equity.”

The forum is meant to facilitate information exchange on the most effective strategies to:

• Build trust and confidence in COVID-19 vaccines

• Use data to drive vaccine implementation

• Provide practical information for optimizing and maximizing equitable vaccine access

All of the sessions are to be made available online and can also be viewed at a later date.

Garfield County participants contributed to Town Hall 3: Community Engagement for Vaccine Confidence. It can be viewed from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. MST Monday, Feb. 22.

The full agenda and registration information can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/forum/agenda.html

A patient receives her COVID-19 vaccine at the Voces Unidas vaccine clinic in Glenwood Springs earlier this year.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

El trabajo del Condado Garfield se presentará en el panel de los CDC (por sus siglas en inglés) sobre las vacunas de COVID

Desde noviembre, el Condado Garfield ha estado participando en un proyecto con la Asociación Nacional de Funcionarios de Salud del Condado y la Ciudad (NACCHO, por sus siglas en inglés) y la Fundación Robert Wood Johnson (RWJF, por sus siglas en inglés).

25 miembros de la comunidad hispana local participaron en una serie de tres sesiones de grupo de enfoque. Las sesiones se diseñaron para ayudar a proveedores de vacunas a entender las comunidades que se han visto afectadas de manera desproporcionada por el COVID-19 y las barreras que influyen en la aceptación de la vacuna.

La información está ayudando a estructurar esfuerzos locales de vacunación. Sin embargo, la participación del Condado Garfield es parte de un proyecto nacional más grande, con participaciones de seis comunidades a través de los Estados Unidos.

“A través de este proceso, aprendimos sobre las necesidades reales y las barreras que enfrentan las personas en nuestra comunidad,” dijo Brisa Chavez, Coordinadora de Alcance Latino de Salud Pública del Condado Garfield.

“Una cosa de la que nos dimos cuenta es que no todos encajamos en la misma burbuja. Necesitamos múltiples vías y múltiples colegas a bordo para brindar a todos acceso a la vacuna. Algunos de los miembros de nuestra comunidad tienen obstáculos y problemas de confianza que superar. Pero tenemos herramientas para unirnos y hacer este trabajo. Buscamos a otros que ayuden a promover la aceptación de la vacuna en el Condado Garfield, que vean la presentación por el sitio web y todos sean parte del desarrollo de ideas y estrategias.”

Los hallazgos se presentarán la próxima semana en un taller realizado por los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades (CDC) durante el Foro Nacional virtual sobre la Vacuna COVID-19.

El foro se lleva a cabo del 22 al 24 de febrero y reúne a profesionales de todo el país con el objetivo de montar estrategias de implementación de vacunas seguras, efectivas e integrales con un enfoque en proteger a personas en mayor riesgo y promover la equidad en la salud.

El Foro facilitará el intercambio de información sobre las estrategias más eficaces para:

· Generar confianza y la seguridad en las vacunas de COVID-19

· Utilizar datos para impulsar la implementación de la vacuna

· Proporcionar información práctica para mejorar y maximizar el acceso equitativo a vacunas.

Todas las sesiones estarán disponibles en línea y también se podrán ver a una fecha posterior.

Los participantes del Condado Garfield contribuyeron a Town Hall 3: Community Engagement for Vaccine Confidence (Oficinas de la Ciudad 3: Compromiso Comunitario para la confianza en vacunas) que se podrá ver el lunes 22 de febrero de 11:30 am a 1:00 pm MST.

La agenda completa y la información de registro se pueden encontrar en: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/forum/agenda.html

Los periodos de cuarentena acortar para Escuelas de Roaring Fork

El Distrito Escolar de Roaring Fork anunció que el viernes implementará un periodo corto de cuarentena para personas que estuvieron exponiendo a un caso empedernido de COVID-19, según a una versión de noticias.

La versión dice que las cuarentenas han cambiado de 14 días a 10 para estudiantes. Los periodos de cuarentena para el personal ahora serán 10 días sin resultados negativos de COVID-19 o siete días si tienen un resultado negativo de COVID-19 prueba entre de 5-7 días después de la expocision.

“Sabemos que las cuarentenas causan trastorno para todos en nuestras escuelas. Nuestra esperanza es que este periodo corto puede proveer algún alivio,” Superintendente Rob Stein dijo en la versión. “Pero es crítico que todos continuarán sus partes para mantener a Covid afuera de nuestras escuelas para acortar las cuarentenas todo lo posible.”

Los periodos cortos de cuarentenas son de Salud Pública del Condado de Garfield, que revisa sus protocolos de cuarentena para alinearse mejor con las directrices emitidas en diciembre por el Centro para Control y Prevención de Enfermedades.

Aunque Roaring Fork Escuelas tienen escuelas en los condados de Garfield, Eagle y Pitkin, el distrito planea mover adelante con la implementación de los protocolos de cuarentena de Salud Pública del Condado de Garfield en todas escuelas para asegurar constancia y prevenir confusión.

El distrito permanece compañeros comprometidos con todos los tres condados, la versión dice.

City of Glenwood hosts bilingual ’community conversation’ Wednesday

The city of Glenwood Springs, in conjunction with Voces Unidas, hosts a virtual Town Hall Community Conversation, “Serving our Latina and Latino Community,” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The presentation will be presented in both English and Spanish, and is to be live streamed on Facebook.

“The purpose of the meeting is to listen and discuss social justice in our community and better understand community questions,” according to a city news release issued Tuesday.

Speakers are to include Glenwood Springs Police Chief Joseph Deras, who will discuss community policing. Angie Anderson from the Glenwood Springs Chamber will also give a brief update on the “Stop the Spread Campaign” and COVID-19-related issues.

There will be a question-and-answer session during the town hall meeting. Questions will be taken from participants on the phone and online, according to the release.

During the event, those who choose to participate on the phone via Zoom will be able to press the “raise hand” button to ask a question by pressing *3 on their phone.

Those watching the live stream on the Glenwood Springs Facebook page can enter their question in the fields below the streaming player.

The meeting login information can be accessed on the calendar link at cogs.us/calendar, and on the Facebook event page.

Fire official: Dragging chain likely culprit behind Monday spot fires in Garfield County

Fire crews respond to a brush fire that broke out on Interstate 70 near the 108MM on Monday Morning near New Castle.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

A vehicle dragging an unsecured metallic item is suspected of causing five spot fires on two major roadways in Garfield County, a local fire chief said Tuesday.

“Our best guess at this point based on some cursory investigation work, (it’s) a dragging chain or a tow strap from a vehicle,” said Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Gary Tillotson.

The Glenwood Springs Fire Department was called around 11:15 a.m. Monday to three areas on Interstate 70 near New Castle where the fires were first reported. Tillotson said most of the fires they suppressed were minor.

Fire crews respond to a brush fire that broke out on Interstate 70 near the 108MM on Monday Morning near New Castle.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

“They were relatively small,” he said. “One of the three that we responded to had pretty much reduced itself to smoldering when we arrived.”

The most significant fire consumed about 1/10th of an acre.

“We really didn’t have any kind of huge flame lengths,” Tillotson said.

Along with Glenwood fire, the Colorado River Fire Rescue and the Colorado Department of Transportation assisted.

Carbondale & Rural Fire District spokesperson Jenny Cutright said their department was also called to two brush fires along Colorado Highway 82 near Red Hill at 10:47 a.m. Monday.

“Someone called in a small brush fire on the side of the road,” she said. “It was very small, fortunately.”

Cutright said it took less than 45 minutes for the department to suppress the fire and clear the area.

With that, Curtight emphasized that motorists need to be careful in securing things like chains or tow straps when traveling.

Fire crews respond to a brush fire that broke out on Interstate 70 near the 108MM on Monday Morning near New Castle.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

“It is still really dry out there even though it is December,” she said. “We still need significant moisture to get beyond the drought we’re in. I’d really encourage people to really be aware.”

The Carbondale Police Department assisted on the call.

rerku@postindependent.com