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Dear Editor,

I feel the need to respond to the article quoting Kris Swanson in the Post on Oct. 17. I’m angered by the statement that the Clagett Memorial Hospital business office was staffed with people with basic insurance billing knowledge.

I was one of the people that without warning was terminated on Oct. 2 by Grand River Hospital District. I have worked in the Business Office for 4 1/2 years and previous to working for GRHD I was employed by another company that specialized in medical insurance billing. I went to school in Denver at Concord Career Institute for Medical Office Management where I was taught medical insurance billing.

Another person was also highly qualified with many years in the medical insurance billing field and a bachelor’s in business. And if there was concern with our knowledge why were we refused education? Education is a lot cheaper than paying a group of “experts.”

The article is nothing but a public relations load of crap. Three of the five women let go have implemented two computer billing systems (SSI and Meditech) for the district which allows outsourcing of our billing by use of a modem and in turn allows them to pay a company of “experts” after we have done all the work to ensure proper billing. We needed more help; we were refused the help because “people on the Western Slope do not have skills.” I for one am deeply insulted by this remark.

Well, Rifle, I hope you’re happy. These are tax dollars at work taking away jobs from people who live in your community.


Lisa Rung,

Former employee,

Clagett Memorial Hospital

Dear Editor,

Regarding the article about the dog in the pickup truck from the Oct. 16 issue: Mr. Bosworth, I want to acknowledge that you take responsibility for your pet, Bo, and acknowledge that he could have been hurt or killed by falling, jumping, or being catapulted from your vehicle. I am thankful that you do use some type of restraint. Most pickup drivers do not. This letter is written to both you and all the other pet owners who have their pet companion in the open bed of their vehicle, restrained or not. Unless your pet is in an airline kennel, your pet is not safe. Even in a kennel, most especially in the winter cold or the summer heat, your pet is certainly not comfortable and still may not be safe.

My perspective as a driver who is somewhere around your vehicle and an animal lover is simply this – I feel concerned that something may happen to your pet in this situation that would adversely affect me and my vehicle. If your pet is somehow ejected or falls or jumps from your vehicle, I will certainly try to avoid hitting it. This could lead to an accident for me, injury to me, and still harm your pet. Another driver doing the same thing could hit me. I know that I would have nightmares and carry the guilt with me if I hurt or killed your dog through no fault of my own because of your decision to carry your pet in a dangerous manner. I really don’t care that it is not illegal for you to carry your pet in this manner. Many things are not illegal but are still wrong and show poor judgment.

I will simply say to you that you are not caring for your pet in a loving way when you put them in this dangerous situation and you certainly are not thinking of the repercussions in the lives and hearts of drivers around you.

Your selfish decision puts us all at an extra risk that is unnecessary.

Legal or illegal, please stop transporting your companion pet in a manner that you would not choose for yourself or any other loved one, and do not put my safety, my vehicle, and my heart at risk in your belief that falling, jumping, or being catapulted from a vehicle will not happen to YOUR dog. It can happen and it has happened. I don’t want to be involved in that nightmare. I do not want to see any animal airborne out of a vehicle and be trying to figure out how to avoid a tragedy. I do not want to deal with the guilt and sadness of hurting an animal unnecessarily. I do not want to deal with my insurance company or my doctor. Not because you have used incredibly poor judgment. Please stop.

Cheryl Cain

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

Ninety-once cents per Colorado resident per year – less than the price of a cup of coffee in a Glenwood restaurant. That figure now represents the total amount of Colorado state funding for library services.

Oh, six months ago state funding for libraries was more than twice that amount, but still far lower than the national average (state governments spent an average of $3.20 per capita on library services in the year 2000).

At the end of May, Gov. Bill Owens vetoed three state-funded library programs that have benefitted people in the 61st District and across the state. Virtually all publicly funded libraries (public libraries, public school libraries, and college libraries) have been affected.

Gone are grants for educational materials. Gone entirely is state funding that reimburses the larger public and academic libraries in Colorado for some of the costs of sharing their materials with the clientele of smaller libraries (interlibrary loan). These programs used to help equalize access to information across the state.

We need to be represented by people with vision, people who support education in its broadest sense, people who care about quality-of-life issues important to the people in this district.

Just think about it. Ninety-one cents.

Sandra Scott

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

Garfield County residents, do you live on a county road or do you use them to reach your place of employment? Do you run, jog, walk, hike them for recreation? Have you felt threatened by reckless, careless and speeding drivers? Do you know someone who has been so threatened, even injured by those un-sheriff-patrolled dangerous drivers?

I personally have had to run to escape sudden death crossing County Road 241, i.e. East Elk Creek Road, to the mailbox in the last four years. This is 16 times with drivers often going nearly 50 mph in various vehicles regardless of road conditions. Requests to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office have been a waste of time, only increasing anxiety and frustration, for no action has resulted from repeated requests.

Lou Vallario’s reported statement that sheriff deputies would begin patrolling county roads if he is elected got my attention as large as life. Life is large at 86 years, for we senior citizens are a major pie cut of the population panorama, but not in the Garfield County sheriff’s current thinking. Vote for change. Haven’t we had enough of part-time law enforcement by a divided, time-incumbent sheriff? Entrepreneurial business ownership by an elected law officer is best described as bipolar.

Join the support for Lou Vallario and his plan to give us again safe county roads west of the Grand Avenue Bridge. Patrolled county roads will reduce ranch and house assaults and break-ins. Vote for Lou Vallario.


Jack Wilson

New Castle

Dear Editor,

I am deeply concerned with Lou Vallario’s criticism that the current sheriff, Tom Dalessandri, spends a great deal of time in emergency/terrorism preparedness. Is Vallario not living in reality? We are on the brink of war with Iraq. We are bombarded with news about terrorist attacks and warnings of terrorist threats. As a retired member of the National Guard, I can assure you that we, in Colorado, are much more vulnerable to a terrorist attack than most people realize. In addition to a nuclear facility, Colorado has several military bases and is very susceptible to an attack.

Not only does Tom Dalessandri run an efficient, professional and organized department with helpful, friendly staff, he serves on and was instrumental in the formation of the National Sheriff Association’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Committee. His knowledge and skills regarding terrorism preparedness are vital to this county and have already proven to be an asset during the emergency fire evacuation and the subsequent floods that followed the fire earlier this year. It is frightening not to be absolutely prepared for disasters, whether natural or manmade (ie. terrorism or nuclear spills). For our safety’s sake, I urge everyone to re-elect Tom Dalessandri for sheriff. Thank you.

Jose Luis Rodriguez, M.D.


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