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Olympic wrestler shares history with GlenwoodDear Editor,You may remember the 2002 Olympic torch run through Glenwood Springs on its way to Salt Lake City brought such enormous pride to our valley.At a luncheon that day, thousands of citizens jammed the building to honor participants, including 2000 Olympic gold medalist wrestler Rulon Gardner. Rulon stayed there until every single youngster got a handshake, hug or photo holding the famous torch.Fortunes changed almost fatally for Rulon the following February with a snowmobile accident. Glenwood’s appreciation and love was mobilized by Colorado Mountain College students in a citywide campaign. People signed “get well” posters and personal cards and sent a lot of teddy bears. It was reported internationally that Rulon’s Olympic career was over because of an amputation of toes.CMC staffer Stephanie Owsten, Glenwood reporter Greg Masse and I gathered up the 2,000-plus signed messages, cards and gifts from Glenwood Springs residents, jammed them into a van and, on a February Saturday night, drove the precious cargo 600 miles to Idaho, where Rulon was in intensive care. National media were not allowed into the hospital, but when Rulon was told of Glenwood’s effort, he asked to receive them. When Rulon awoke, he insisted on reading all the messages from Glenwood and spoke of his return journey.Well, he has made that journey. I imagine that when he started the emotional “psyche” for his event, he recalled the journey that brought him through Glenwood Springs.Tom BoasGlenwood SpringsDon’t call it a rainoutDear Editor,The Carbondale Run national skateboard contest was not rained out! The boys at HRC and Thrasher worked with the town and mainly Chris “Woodsie” Woods to make the best of a bad weather weekend. The Western Slope Skateboard Alliance ran a local competition on Friday, kicking things off righteously. And then the rains came … Power outages, slick concrete, mud everywhere … whatever. When there are 20-plus of the world’s best riders, hundreds of other rippers, plus thousands of eager spectators coming from all over the country, you gotta make something happen. So, the scene was not pretty, but skateboarding is not pretty to begin with. Skateboarding of this style (big and fast flowing concrete) is raw. Anyway, we had a best trick jam on the Volcom volcano. A full pipe challenge went down (upside down). The full pipe ceiling roll-ins were constant entertainment (rain or shine). And then a jam was thrown down in the park. Just like the ads said, no heats or points, just full-on skating mayhem.Who cares who won? We got to see Lance Mountain skate our park. Darrel Stanton, Ryan Sheckler, Jamie Thomas, Chris Senn and Omar Hassan were skating around with us. Al Partenan and Benji Calloway would have definitely walked away with some prize money; maybe they did.As Woodsie told me, “It’s just the first year, it is only going to get more organized.” We survived, we thrived. Let’s DO IT AGAIN next year!Petar KovacicEl JebelSecond Run wouldraise serious questionsDear Editor,Recently, Thrasher Magazine hosted the Carbondale Run Pro/Amateur Skateboard Competition. Close to 2,000 people attended the event, with the majority of attendees between the ages of 18 to 28. This young thrill-seeker generation of skateboarders came from all over the United States to watch the competition and have a huge party, with camping, live music and plenty of beer. They arrived by the hundreds throughout the weekend, not knowing what our skateboard park rules and town ordinance regulations were. The Carbondale Police Department, instead of taking a heavy hand on enforcing and arresting violators of our park rules and town ordinances, were very professional in how they community-policed and diplomatically positioned themselves to make their presence known yet prevent confrontation with a large crowd. If there is a decision by the town trustees to host this event again, there must be measures and safeguards put in place by event promoters and town staff that regulate alcohol consumption, and control crowd behavior as it pertains to abiding by our park rules and town ordinances. The major areas of concern regard alcohol consumption, skateboarding without helmets, dogs running at large, camping policies, crowd control, safety at the perimeter edge of the skatepark bowls, and finally a better effort made on trash-litter cleanup from the event promoters and from the spectators themselves. Only if these things can happen should the town consider hosting it again next year.Jeff Jackelrecreation directorTown of CarbondaleOther veteranscollateral damagein attacks on KerryDear Editor,In the mid-70s I worked on the railroad with a number of Vietnam veterans. Then in my early 20s, I worked with two men, about four years older than me, who had served together in army combat. Despite my curious prodding, they refused to offer much detail in recounting their wartime experiences. They spoke vaguely about the dangers of walking patrols through the jungle and the high mortality rate suffered by those walking the point. Mostly they kept their obviously painful memories to themselves.Much like my co-workers of the past, William Rood has remained quiet about his wartime experiences. He, along with John Kerry, one other now-deceased officer and 15 crewmen, were on the river Feb. 28, 1969, the day of the battle for which John Kerry received his Silver Star. The following quote is excerpted from an article Rood wrote for the Chicago Tribune online: “It’s gotten harder and harder for those of us who were there to listen to accounts we know to be untrue, especially when they come from people who were not there.” Speaking to Kerry’s urging for him to go public with his account, Rood stated, “I can’t pretend those calls had no effect on me … what matters most to me is that this is hurting crewmen who are not public figures and who deserved to be honored for what they did.”In an attempt to smear Kerry other honorable veterans have become collateral damage in the battle for the presidency. Bryan ZukowskiGlenwood SpringsStop the genocide- save Darfur!Dear Editor,Please join me in asking our local governments to pass a version of the following ‘Sample Proclamation on the Crisis in Sudan’:WHEREAS in Darfur, Sudan, an estimated minimum of 30,000 innocent civilians have been brutally murdered, more than 200,000 people have been forced from their homes and have fled to neighboring Chad, and more than 1.2 million people have been internally displaced; and WHEREAS Andrew Natsios, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, has predicted that 300,000 civilians in Darfur will die within the year under “optimal conditions” in which humanitarian assistance is provided, and that as many as 1 million civilians in Darfur are at risk; and WHEREAS on July 22, 2004, the U.S. Congress passed resolutions declaring genocide in Darfur, Sudan; and WHEREAS for the first time in its history, the Committee on Conscience of the United States Memorial Museum has declared a “genocide emergency” in the Sudan, indicating that genocide is imminent or is actually happening in the Darfur region; andWHEREAS as people of conscience, we have a particularly poignant responsibility to speak out against injustice on behalf of vulnerable and disenfranchised people across the globe;NOW, THEREFORE, WE, ______, hereby call upon the United States and the United Nations as leaders of the international community to immediately intervene to stop the killing, the rape, and the destruction of villages, and to assure that humanitarian relief reaches all those in need.Tricia McKenzieAspenA note on lettersThe Glenwood Springs Post Independent welcomes signed letters on a wide variety of subjects. Letters are limited in length to 250 words. Longer letters will be rejected or sent back for revision. Letters from any one writer will rarely appear more than once a week.E-mailed letters are preferred, and should be sent to letters@postindependent.com, or posted via our Web site, using the Letters link at http://www.postindependent.com.Mail or bring letters to 2014 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO 81602. They also may be faxed to (970) 945-4487.Please include your real name, signature, address and daytime phone number in case we have any questions.The editor reserves the right to not publish any letter submitted, and will, when necessary, edit letters for style, grammar, libel, good taste and usage. Personal attacks will not be published.Thank-you letters are also limited to 250 words, and appear on the Community pages.By submitting a letter for publication, you are also giving permission to post it on the Post Independent Web site.By submitting a letter for publication, you are also giving permission to post it on the Post Independent Web site.


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