Local News Briefs | PostIndependent.com

Local News Briefs

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Former Glenwood Springs resident Wayne Iverson will read from his newly published work, “Hobo Sapien: Freight Train Hopping Tao and Zen,” at the Glenwood Railroad Museum on Saturday, March 12, at 3 p.m. Local musician John Harrison will perform railroad songs throughout the event.

This book is unique. Not many hobos have gone from Yale to rail or from hunk to monk. “Hobo Sapien” is a series of freight train parables born out of Iverson’s 12-plus years riding the rails, combined with lessons learned in his seven-year stint as a monk. “Hobo Sapien” also reveals the vital role that railroads have played in United States history. Reminiscent of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” because it both informs and inspires reflective response, “Hobo Sapien” is also accessible, witty and insightful.

Iverson had an identity crisis at Yale and left in 1969. He hitchhiked around the country. Frustrated with long lines for hitchhiking, freight train hopping became his preferred mode of transportation. In 1975, he graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and worked as a city planner in ski towns in Colorado and Utah. His years on the rails helped him gain a new approach to life, which he solidified during the seven years he lived in a monastery. His last ride was in 2006. Iverson strongly discourages freight train riding. He says, “It’s illegal, rough, dangerous and you could wake up dead!”

This book has a history in Glenwood Springs. Iverson wrote many chapters of “Hobo Sapien” while he and his wife lived here. Several chapters mention Glenwood Springs and related railroad history. The late, beloved Karen Chamberlain was highly influential in its creation, and her endorsement graces the back cover. He regularly attended her exceptional writer’s group. Local librarian Pat Conway helped edit “Hobo Sapien.” Iverson was the original treasurer of the Western Colorado Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.

For more information on “Hobo Sapien: Freight Train Hopping Tao and Zen” visit http://www.wisehobo.com.

The annual Literacy Outreach fundraiser, Spellebration 2011: Dig Deep for Literacy, promises to be “the mammoth event of the year,” according to event organizers.

This year’s adult spelling bee will take place on Friday, April 15, at the Glenwood Springs Community Center, a new venue for the family-friendly event, now in its 17th year.

Three-person teams of spellers, dressed to the event’s rocky theme, the Stone Age, compete for best and worst team spelling honors, as well as best team costume and most dollars raised contests.

This year’s theme also celebrates the Ice Age discoveries of last year in Snowmass at Ziegler Reservoir.

There’s something for every age to experience at Spellebration. Spectators can participate in the silent auction throughout the evening while cheering for their favorite team. As the word difficulty increases, Spellebration’s spelling helper, a spectator favorite, will be available for hire to get teams past challenging words.

Spellebration benefits literacy tutoring for adult learners in Garfield County and GED instruction at Colorado Mountain College.

Sponsors, silent auction donations and teams (3-person and individuals) are needed and encouraged to contact Martha Fredendall, executive director of Literacy Outreach, at 945-5252.

The Garfield County Housing Authority (GCHA) is offering services including pre-purchase homebuyer counseling, foreclosure prevention and intervention counseling, and reverse mortgage counseling through a partnership with Grand Junction Housing Authority (GJHA).

Through this partnership, residents who contact the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline (www.coloradoforeclosurehotline.org) will be directed to a local counselor able to provide services in Garfield County. The certified counselor is available two days every month to Garfield County residents in Glenwood Springs.

“Homeowners in our community struggling to keep their homes truly need the help that qualified mortgage default counseling can provide, and we are pleased to be able to bring that service to them through this collaboration,” said Geneva Powell, executive director of the GCHA.

Jody Kole, executive director of GJHA, agrees, “As one of only two HUD-approved housing counseling agencies offering foreclosure prevention counseling face to face in western Colorado, we understand how great the need is for this critical community service. We are pleased to do our part to ensure that everything possible is done to prevent unnecessary foreclosures in our communities. With a success rate averaging over 80 percent, qualified housing counseling has proven to be key to improving outcomes for distressed homeowners.”

Those in need mortgage counseling services can call the hotline at 1 (877) 601-HOPE or (970) 683-1056.

For more information regarding this program, please contact GCHA at 945-3072.

Newly diagnosed thyroid cancer patients and long-term thyroid cancer survivors, as well as family and friends, now have somewhere to go for support and information with the creation of the first Colorado Western Slope Thyroid Cancer Support Group affiliated with the national nonprofit ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association Inc. (www.thyca.org).

“Thyroid cancer is one of the less common cancers, even though it’s one of the few cancers that has increased in incidence,” says Nick Isenberg, facilitator for the group. “As a result newly diagnosed patients as well as long-term survivors may not know anyone who has had it. That’s where support groups can be really helpful,” says Isenberg.

In addition to support for thyroid cancer patients and survivors, Isenberg says he hopes the group can be instrumental in encouraging doctors, dentists and community health fairs to make neck checks for thyroid problems a routine part of their examinations.

Isenberg can be reached at 945-8936, by e-mail at Glenwoodsprings-co@thyca.org or or through the support group web page at http://www.thyca.org/sg/co_Glenwood.htm. The ThyCa website, which is free and very comprehensive, with more than 650 pages and with review of medical information by thyroid cancer medical experts. is at http://www.thyca.org.

A story in the March 8 Post Independent mischaracterized the plans of a new waste transfer and recycling center on Catherine Store Road near Carbondale.

The facility will be handling organic waste materials, and will not be licensed to handle hazardous waste.

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