Week in Review | PostIndependent.com

Week in Review

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

“Immigrants work, the immigration system doesn’t.”That was the slogan on a young girl’s T-shirt that summed up the sentiment of many people at a student-organized immigration rally at Sayre Park in Glenwood Springs Monday afternoon. About 1,000 mostly Latino people packed the park to speak out about various aspects of immigration reform, most wearing white shirts to show solidarity. Some voiced anger that students who have lived in the United States most of their lives won’t be able to get scholarships or in-state tuition for college. Others wanted to show that they believe that immigrants, illegal or otherwise, are vital to the U.S. economy and culture. The idea that America needs illegal immigrants was also echoed by two Mexican workers.Plenty of Anglos attended the rally, some to show solidarity, others simply to find out what people are upset about. Some had a different message, saying that illegals are illegal and should go through the right channels.Glenwood Police Chief Terry Wilson said people were well behaved at the rally and no arrests were made.

For the second straight year, the Glenwood Springs Fire Department saw 5 percent annual growth in calls, chief Mike Piper says.The continuing growth comes as the city is trying to figure out how to increase staffing to improve its emergency response. And no slowdown in that growth is in sight, according to Piper’s annual report.The staffing discussions were prompted by the threat of higher property insurance premiums if the department doesn’t respond to structure fires with at least four personnel.However, most of the department’s time is spent on nonfire calls. Last year, it received 1,349 calls, only 5 percent of which were for fires.Emergency medical service calls made up 61 percent of the total, up 10 percent over the previous year, and up from 57 percent of the total calls in 2004.The department responded to five building fires last year, compared to eight the previous year. By contrast, it answered 669 EMS calls, excluding vehicle accidents with injuries, which totaled 94. Those categories saw growth of 16 and 19 percent, respectively, last year. The department took 30 more vehicle accident calls in which there were no injuries, twice as many as in 2004.Piper wrote that as the population of the city increases, it is clear the fire department has become the all-risk emergency response agency that people go to in emergencies.

SILT – Don’t change the name.That’s the overwhelming reaction town officials are getting to a proposal to change the name of the town of Silt to something else.”There’s a lot of negative outcry against it,” said town administrator Rick Aluise. “I’d say it’s 10-1 against the name change, at least.”Aluise said Town Hall has been inundated with calls regarding the name change – and not just from town residents, but also from Rifle and New Castle.There has also been media coverage from newspapers, radio stations and TV from Denver to Grand Junction, and even USA Today.The subject was brought up at the town’s last board meeting on April 24 by Trustee Doug Williams. Williams said he’d heard from constituents who didn’t like the town’s name and the reference to “dirt.”Should the town of Silt change its name, it could have some financial repercussions for Town Hall, local businesses and residents.Mayor Dave Moore said he wasn’t personally for or against the name change, but that if the name was changed, it would be up to the people to do it. To change the town’s name, at least 50 percent of those who voted in the last election for mayor must sign a petition to change the name.This is the second time in 14 years the subject of changing the town’s name has come up. The last time was in 1992, which also proved to be controversial among town residents.The proposed name change is on the agenda as a discussion item for the Monday regular Town Board meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at Silt Town Hall, 231 N. Seventh St. No action is expected to be taken.

The fire that caused significant water and smoke damage at 812 Grand Ave. in Glenwood Springs on March 19 put Teddy’s Corner out of business, and threw into question the futures of other businesses in the building.About 10 businesses called the building home, including Spagnolo’s Italian Restaurant, Teddy’s Corner, Dragon’s Lair, two law firms, an accounting firm, two contractors, an eyeglasses store and others. A sign on the front door of the building, called the Grand Avenue Mall, announced the possible demise of Dragon’s Lair, the owners of which could not be reached for comment. A spokesperson for Spagnolo’s also could not be reached.Teddy’s Corner is the first fire victim to announce its demise. The lone retail survivor at this time is the Mountain Ink tattoo parlor, which has just reopened on Cooper Avenue. The building at 812 Grand Ave. is owned by Cindy Lundin. Her son, building manager Gus Lundin, said negotiating with his insurance company has been a complicated process. He said he is unsure when businesses will be able to reopen in the building.

Garfield County’s population isn’t expected to triple over the next quarter of a century after all.It’s only projected to double-and-a-half.The state Demographer’s Office has revised its estimate, partly in response to fast-rising housing costs in western Garfield County, said Randy Russell, a planner for the county. The county is now projected to grow to about 130,000 people by 2030, from about 50,000 now.The county now is expected to see 4.6 percent annual growth over the next five years, compared to a projection by the state last year of 7.6 percent growth. The state also previously had forecast that the county would reach 148,000 total residents by 2030.Growth in Eagle and Pitkin counties serves as a driver for Garfield County growth. Housing is more affordable here, providing a place for much of the region’s labor force to live.But housing prices in Garfield County are rising, particularly in the western half of the county. Although prices there are still cheaper than in eastern Garfield County, they are going up at a faster pace, in part because of the boom in natural gas development from Silt to Parachute.Price increases also could further reduce the affordable housing role Garfield County has played.Russell said no one is building rental properties, and some communities don’t want them, which raises the possibility of more homes being built outside incorporated towns and cities to meet the demand of a growing population.

Doug Meyers has had stomach problems since he was in his 20s. He learned, after the fact, that such a condition can and often does lead to colon cancer.Although his doctors kept a good eye on him, last year, his colonoscopy came up positive for cancer.Meyers, 45, and three fellow Elks Lodge members – Terry Galbreth, 59; Steve Lundin, 47 and Ben Russell, 71 – have colon cancer. Although it may be coincidental, the fact is that colorectal cancer is the second cause of cancer deaths in the United States before lung cancer.The Glenwood Springs lodge will hold a benefit for the four men Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. The day will feature barbecue provided by Bo Balcomb and Burning Mountain Bowl and Sports Bar Bar-B-Q of New Castle, live music and a silent auction of a myriad of items including a Harley Davidson motorcycle donated by Aspen Valley Harley Davidson in Glenwood Springs.”I don’t care if we get a dime a piece just as long as people are aware of (colon cancer),” Meyers said. “I don’t want anyone else to (have to) go through this.”- compiled by Gabrielle Devenish

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