Week in Review | PostIndependent.com

Week in Review

A spate of recent burglaries left some Glenwood Springs business owners shocked and wondering what can be done.The Glenwood Canyon Brew Pub, Eighth Street Deli, Sacred Grounds, Auto Glass Specialists and Fiesta Guadalajara all reported burglaries to police the morning of Oct. 21. Among the worst hit was the Eighth Street Deli, reporting $7,000 cash and $3,000 in checks stolen plus about $700 worth of damage. All five businesses in the Grand Central Station shopping area adjacent to Sacred Grounds also said they were burglarized that Saturday night or Sunday morning. Charcoal Burger reported a burglary Saturday morning. Some people were frustrated that the media or the police didn’t alert people sooner.”This should be seen as a signal to the decision-makers in Glenwood Springs that small-town growth brings with it another set of growing pains or social problems that could have been prevented or dealt with,” said Sacred Grounds owner Joel Karr. “It’s a sad commentary on what’s happening in our community where you feel like you have to get a security system because a locked door isn’t enough.””Everyone was outraged,” Juicy Lucy’s co-owner Cece Zumwinkle said.Early the morning of Oct. 19, Zumwinkle said, Juicy Lucy’s lost an estimated $4,000 or more in stolen cash, wine and damages.

Nearly a year after Colorado State Patrol trooper Brian Koch was shot in the line of duty Oct. 24, 2006, two of three alleged accomplices have yet to enter pleas.Cori Graham’s case is set for trial in March. She pleaded not guilty in July to two counts of being an accessory to a crime, and one count each of tampering with physical evidence and obstructing a peace officer, according to the Garfield County Combined Courts office.Graham, 28, was arrested the day after the non-fatal shooting as she was driving the vehicle police said Steven Appl tried to escape in after shooting Koch during a traffic stop near Silt. Appl shot himself to death as the two were pulled over at a police checkpoint near Silt, police said.Police believe Graham, Wayne Hangs and Nichole Brownell helped Appl and didn’t report him to authorities before he shot himself. Brownell, a resident in Hangs’ home, took Graham to the home and asked her to drive Appl to Silt in hopes of helping him elude authorities, police said.

Holy Cross Energy has donated $50,000 to an assistance program for low-income families, but it didn’t have to be persuaded to do so by a law that took effect last year.Energy Outreach Colorado executive director Skip Arnold said the Glenwood Springs-based rural electric cooperative has been a longtime supporter of his program. It didn’t need the nudging of the new law.Arnold said Holy Cross has been the most supportive rural electric co-op in Colorado when it comes to providing energy assistance to the needy.”They’ve been giving to us for 18 years. I think they just continued their giving, very generously, I might add.”A Colorado Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) bill that was passed in 2005 and took effect last year seeks to boost contributions to energy assistance efforts. Regulated utilities such as Xcel Energy now are required to put a check-off box on bill stubs so customers can donate monthly.

Mildred Alsdorf and Mickey Neal have been named as interim co-directors of Colorado Mountain College’s Senior Programs.Senior programs is the umbrella organization managing the Traveler, RSVP volunteer services, nutrition and other programs that support seniors in Garfield County.”Mildred and Mickey have been very actively involved with senior programs and have a great passion for services to seniors,” said Lin Stickler (formerly Claussen), the college’s executive vice president, in a news release. “Because they are so intimately involved with their communities and have been working closely with existing senior programs, I know they will do an extraordinary job.”Gwen Stephenson, who has directed CMC’s senior program for a year and a half, is leaving the Roaring Fork Valley to accept a position as executive director for Habitat for Humanity in Denver. CMC had decided to no longer sponsor senior programs in Garfield County. CMC said previously there were perceived inequities about sponsoring senior programs with tax funds in Garfield County but not the other counties it serves.

State and federal policies are crippling the ability of area governments to cope with fast-paced growth, local elected officials say.The representatives spoke Friday during a Healthy Mountain Communities forum at which a state demographer forecasted “explosive growth” in Garfield County over the next two decades.Jim Westkott, senior demographer for the state Department of Local Affairs, said 1 percent annual growth is a manageable, desirable level. When it comes to any growth above 3 percent, “you could use the word explosive,” he said during HMC’s State of the Valley Symposium at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs.In Garfield County, he is projecting annual growth of 4.5 percent through 2010, 4.8 percent from 2010-15, and 3.7 percent from 2015-25, thanks partly to the energy development boom. Westkott expects the county population to reach 115,000 in 2025, up from 50,700 in 2005.Over the same 20 years, Westkott anticipates that Pitkin County will grow from 16,400 to 24,000, and Eagle County from 49,400 to 81,000, driven in good measure by real estate purchases by retiring baby-boomers.”These are big numbers. It’s really going to require you to be thinking about what all’s going to happen and where you’re going to put it,” he said.Rifle Mayor Keith Lambert said growth already is the top challenge for his town.”Last year the city of Rifle had 7 percent growth. Katie bar the door. That’s our issue,” Lambert said.The city faces challenges dealing with transportation, housing and infrastructure. But he said it’s getting little help from the state, thanks to state funding limitations created by measures such as TABOR and Amendment 23. Rifle also has had to fight at the state level for more severance taxes for energy development impacts even as some in the state legislature eye those taxes for other uses.

League titles, playoffs, undefeated seasons and state championships are things that have long gone unmentioned as far as Glenwood Springs High School football is concerned.Until now, anyway.Proudly boasting an 8-0 overall record, the 2007 Demons have brought such phrases back into Glenwood’s football vocabulary. But can they keep it up, or will the pressure of a big winning streak and the No. 1 ranking in RockyPreps Class 3A state poll trip these guys up?Either way, they’ve already resuscitated a lifeless program that’s made the postseason just once in the last 16 seasons and is 10 years removed from a one-year benching of its varsity team.Demons head coach Rocky Whitworth likens his team’s turnaround to a recent film, one he’s used to inspire his troops.”A program we’ve been watching a lot lately is ‘We Are Marshall,'” said the fourth-year Glenwood coach. “They lost their program due to a devastating tragedy. We lost our program and did not play a varsity game for a whole season. We’re trying to bring our program out of the ashes.”A pile of ashes is a kind way of describing the state of the Demon program in recent years.From 1991 to 2006, Glenwood posted an overall record of 39-111 and made the playoffs just once – in 2004. In 1997, the Demons didn’t have the numbers for a varsity squad and fielded just a junior varsity squad.

Glenwood Springs Elementary School Principal Sonya Hemmen received a surprise visit from Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff Friday afternoon.She had little preparation time, but she was ready. And she really enjoyed the visit.”It was a great surprise,” Hemmen said after the visit. “I’m flattered that he thought to come to our school to learn what our successes and challenges are in the district.”Romanoff was in town speaking at the Healthy Mountain Communities State of the Valley Symposium at the Hotel Colorado. Romanoff has visited about two dozen schools throughout the state over the past few months to see for himself the condition of the state’s education system. So rather than just speak at the symposium, he thought he’d pop over to GSES for a firsthand glimpse of the state of the schools in the Roaring Fork School District.And he was impressed with what he saw.”We’re trying to visit as many schools as we can before the legislative session begins again,” Romanoff said. “We have visited a lot of schools that need help, but we also wanted to see some rural schools that are in good shape and Glenwood has had a lot of success.”

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