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“This valley deserves hospice services. It is with great sadness, disappointment, and hope that I write this letter. I am speaking as a former hospice care recipient.”So also am I speaking as a former hospice care recipient. I was given six months to get my affairs in order, and two days later the hospice people came to my home. Most of my affairs were already in order, but personal chaos was the order of the day; being told you’re dying does that. They calmed that quietly and professionally. When they left, I didn’t feel left behind. I thank them very much for that. And of course they came back.The hospice mandate for care is only six months. I did not cooperate; I did not die within time. I’m still alive, but I’m also still deteriorating in a terminal condition. They said back then that they’d likely see me again in hospice care, but now that won’t happen because they’re not there.Dr. Al at GMA, are you still there?D.J. GullifordSilt

On behalf of the Community Integration Initiative, we would like to thank everyone who made the first workshop of our new “Living in the U.S.” series, held at the Mountain View Church in Glenwood Springs Monday evening, June 23, such a success. Our topic, “Challenges of Raising the Immigrant Child,” featured a first-rate panel of local experts, including Adriana Ayala from the Roaring Fork School District Pre-collegiate Program, officers Bruce Benjamin and Marie Munday from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department, Sarah Woods and Evan Zislis of YouthZone, and Lis Mancinas of the Roaring Fork Family Resource Centers. After brief presentations on their organizations and services, they fielded a diverse range of questions on immigrant child-raising in the Roaring Fork Valley.We also wish to thank interpreters Maria de Leo and Carlos Herrera, baby sitters Adrienne Wahlstrom and Emma Hepfinger, and Pastor Juan Lopez and his staff for the marvelous venue and the means to record the event. While the community dialogue was mainly in Spanish, both simultaneous and consecutive interpretation through wireless headsets ensured that monolingual English and Spanish participants alike could understand every comment. We hope this event will serve as a model going forward to bridge the language gap at such future meetings across the valley.Finally, we want to thank the audience of 25-30 emerging civic leaders who sacrificed their valuable time to show up and trade questions and ideas about the critical issue of raising the multicultural youth of our valley, which has profound implications for the long-term health of our Aspen-to-Parachute region. We look forward to seeing even more of you at our coming workshops!Kind Regards,Jim Coombs, Hanya Gottardo and Roberto MorenoThe Community Integration Initiative

We should all thank Richard Doran (July 3 letter) for informing us that he comes from good Midwestern stock, people who are not like the “rabble” in New Orleans. I’m sure that those self-reliant, intelligent Midwesterners are already energetically rebuilding on the flood plains, behind the government-constructed levees. Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back. Gerald R. TerwilligerBasalt


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