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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the letter by Marty Lich on Dec. 23 titled, “Differences between law breaking illegal aliens and immigrants.” She stated that Catholic Charities supplied a lawyer for an immigrant in court. Catholic Charities does not supply lawyers in criminal or civil court.

What we do offer is a mediation service between immigrants (documented and undocumented) and other individuals in the community with whom the immigrant has a disagreement. These matters involve almost every situation imaginable, but oftentimes do involve pay disputes. We help the two parties bridge the language and cultural barriers that can create an impasse. In about 50 percent of the cases the two parties come to an agreement.

Unfortunately some cases are not successful, and these sometimes lead to the immigrant taking the other party to court or filing a complaint with a state regulatory agency. Our community advocate will act as a translator in small claims court. We do this as a service because the court is not required to provide a translator.

Some people get angry with Catholic Charities over helping immigrants. We do this because they are often (not always) the “least among us” in terms of wealth and power.

If people have a problem with U.S. immigration policies they shouldn’t be complaining about the many fine agencies in this valley that help immigrants. Please write to your federal legislators to create changes. Until then, Catholic Charities and others will continue to serve.

Tom Ziemann

Catholic Charities

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to the extremely balanced and well-written story, “Plans for old police station downsized,” by Dennis Webb, in the Thursday, Dec. 30, edition of the paper.

According to the story, the new owners of the building at 823 Blake Ave. plan a “downsized” version of “only” 40 feet, and they look on that as a “good thing” for the neighborhood. In actuality, the building will still block residents’ views of Red Mountain and will still keep the sun from reaching the sidewalk several hours each day. Since the new owners bought the building, the sidewalk has not been shoveled even once. The house to the north of it is shoveled immediately, as is the library to the south. Indeed, the sidewalks in front of all the other houses and offices on the street are shoveled after every snowfall. Residents of the senior housing one block north walk past that building on a regular basis to get to the library. The new owners insist they want to be good neighbors. In my opinion, they are already bad neighbors.

The architect of the property, Jeff Johnson, says it’s going to be a much better fit to the neighborhood, yet it will still block the view of Red Mountain and will create more of a safety hazard on the sidewalk than it does now, since the current height of the building already prevents the snow and ice from melting.

We don’t need additional office buildings, especially on a street that is already burdened with a lack of parking. This project is being developed for the financial interests of the owners. It does not take the concerns of the residents into consideration.

Joan Isenberg

Glenwood Springs


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