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Is finding quality child care a problem? This isn’t an easy question to answer. It depends on many factors. Currently, if a family is looking for child care for a preschool-aged child, there are more options and availability. Based on population data, we have a shortage of licensed care for children up to 2 years of age from Parachute to Aspen. A family has to consider which days and hours they need child care, the cost, the location and the services offered. Finding quality care also depends on the age of the child and a family’s personal preferences. This might include a child with special needs, shared philosophy in child development, enrichment activities offered, similar standards of cleanliness, pet preference, a home setting with one caregiver or a center with many staff. Indeed, it is difficult for some families to find the child care that best suits their needs. Kids First is a child care resource and referral agency serving Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties. As a resource and referral agency, we provide educational materials and child care program information to families seeking child care, and document child-care needs and trends. Our referrals include information about all licensed child-care programs in good standing. We regularly update our child-care providers’ information, and when a program informs us of openings for children, this information is also shared. We do not make recommendations or market any specific child-care facility. Our job is to give parents the support and the tools needed to make decisions about child care. Together with Garfield County DHS Child Care Program, the Aspen Community Foundation and the Rural Resort Region Early Childhood Council, Kids First also supports existing child-care centers and homes (e.g., funding, coaching and professional development resources), and helps potential new child-care providers through the system. If you are looking for child care, are a child-care provider with program updates, or are interested in opening your own home or center child-care business, please contact Kids First at kids_first@ci.aspen.co.us or 928-7111. Rebecca Romeyn, Kids FirstGlenwood Springs

Also addressed: Garfield County CitizensIn a letter to the editor of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on Sept. 26, 2008, from Nancy Smith, her interpretation of what was in an agreement between Garfield County, an energy company and the Department of Local Affairs, was laid out. If those facts were true as stated in that letter, I would be just as upset. But there are some misstated details.The property owner, who holds by title more than 110,000 acres, wished to develop his mineral rights. In this area but not on this land, there are many families, farms, a hunting lodge, as well as a private resort, and is the largest fire district in Garfield County. The mineral developer requested from the county the cost of improving County Road 204. After review, the cost of doing business for the company would be $23 million, the cost to the Department of Local Affairs was $1.5 million through an Energy Impact Grant, and the cost to the Garfield County taxpayers was $1.5 million. There is no – repeat, no – payback to the developer from the taxpayers of Garfield County. A request from the energy company to support their right to ask to use a Colorado State Statute, and possibly request from the state of Colorado to apply for a tax credit is in the agreement. But that request has not been asked for, nor granted to or from the state of Colorado.The impact cost for this company is $23 million for County Road 204, before any of its major development has started. The road project will be under the control of Garfield County, and the funds will be in a local bank under the control of Garfield County, before the project starts.This area could be a very large energy producer, supplier of many jobs and future revenues for Garfield County. As a business transaction, I still feel the citizens of Garfield County have benefited greatly. An energy company has paid for their impacts before their major development or impacts have started, as many citizens and groups have asked for.If anyone needs to request more details, please feel free to call Garfield County. Thank your for your time.John Martin, Garfield County CommissionerGlenwood Springs

Also addressed: Citizens of Garfield CountyMy name is Stephen Bershenyi. I am a candidate for Garfield County commissioner in District 2. I’d like to tell you why I am running. I am a native of the county, born and raised in Glenwood Springs. My family roots are deep in Garfield County. This is a wonderful county, a magical place to grow up. My values stem from that experience.I have close ties to the land through agriculture. I have strong family values growing up in and being a part of a large and very close family. My wife, Jo, and I live in Glenwood Springs. Jo is a teacher and practitioner of craniosacral therapy, and I am an artist-blacksmith with my forge located in Carbondale. I am a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder.Over the last four years, I have been alarmed to see Garfield County commissioners move away from representing us as citizens. It is my belief that as citizens, we have the right and the obligation to take ownership of our county government. It belongs to “we the people,” which is one of the most important concepts of our American democracy. When those whom we elect no longer feel obligated to serve our interests first, we must use our power as voters to elect new people who will do our work, address our problems, and listen to our concerns. This is the basic reason I am running for the opportunity to represent the citizens of Garfield County. I pledge to you as fellow citizens, that I will work hard in your interest without regard to party affiliation or philosophical differences. I will put your interests first, and assure citizens always have a voice in the affairs of Garfield County government. For these reasons, I am asking you as Garfield County voters, to elect me your new County Commissioner from District 2 on Nov. 4.Stephen Bershenyi candidate for Garfield County commissioner, District 2



The debates amongst the citizens is almost as exciting as the presidential debates. I find the best debates are those not so focused on mocking the other side. I believe both sides have valid issues, but I am not convinced about the plan for short- and long-term solutions.I believe McCain has great experience in military strategy and national security, but I don’t get a real sense of solutions to the problems we face outside of the wars in Iraq and Russia. I liked O’Bama’s plan for solutions, and I also liked his idea of trying a new way of communicating internationally. I think it would be a perfect match if you could combine the two sides and come to some common grounds, but that wouldn’t make for good media. Remember, any change is good change at this point. Remember, we are in this together as a country and as a community. If you care about change, get involved in it because actions speak louder than words. Peace.Jenell HilderbrandGlenwood Springs

We get to choose between a lawyer and a leader for the Garfield County Commission. And I choose the leader. Mike Samson served as Mayor Pro Tem, a member of the City Council and he followed his elected service as a lifetime coach, education leader and parks board member. There are already too many lawyers in politics, and we don’t need another one. That is why I am voting for Mike Samson. Mike has the experience we need to deal with the complex growth related challenges our communities face today.Ruth JansenRifle



Garfield County residents needs to know Joel Kolen has his facts wrong.I am a member of the Board of Trustees of Parachute. Before Steve Carter announced he was running for Garfield County Commission, he told the Parachute Board of Trustees that if he was elected, we would need to find a new town lawyer to represent us. Steve Carter knows municipal law, and will represent every town and city in Garfield County, as well as every citizen, when he is elected. Parachute’s loss will be the total county’s gain.Judith HaywardParachute

To be brief, the Democrat candidate for president on Sept. 29 called for adult supervision in Washington. I agree. It is no time to elect a junior Senator, with extremely limited exposure to governing, to our country’s highest office. We need a seasoned, experience hardened man. We have him in Sen. John McCain.Jack E. BlankenshipBattlement Mesa

As a lifelong registered Republican, I am writing this letter:I hope before you cast your vote for Sarah Palin, you will look behind the “Hockey Mom – Good looking – Good speaker” person and see what her record really is. As mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin inherited a city with zero debt and left it with indebtedness of more than 22 million. She is manipulative, tried to fire the highly respected Wasilla librarian because she wouldn’t ban some books that Palin wanted removed. She is vengeful. Unwarranted firings of qualified people. This investigation has been stopped by her supporters to preserve her image as “just one of us.”She rushed to build a sports complex in Wasilla on a piece of property the city didn’t even have clear title to. That was still in litigation seven years later. The bond money for this was passed because the residents felt it would improve the infrastructure – a badly needed sewer plant, for one. No money was left for that.Many of her statements are just not true. She was not responsible for stopping “the Bridge to Nowhere,” rather she was for it until the government pulled the funding. She stated that Obama did not sponsor any bills, only “wrote a couple of memoirs.” While in Illinois State Senate, Obama sponsored half a dozen major bills enlisting bipartisan support. Some issues are now used as a national model. His faith-based community organizing (that Palin belittles) exemplifies putting social change before selfish career. Alaska has the lowest rate of high school graduation in the country, yet as governor she spent millions, not on improving education, but on financing airplanes and helicopters for hunting predators.The thought of someone of her shallow character meeting with other foreign leaders, such as Putin, to shape the future of this country is frightening. I hope you will do your own research and not just listen to the political statements, many of which are outright falsehoods. I’m saying this realizing that neither party is innocent of this practice.Marge ChandlerNew Castle

Responding to Mr. Warner Watson’s “Invective” letter, which was a lame attack of my letter appearing Sept. 13 regarding the subject of driving 55 mph:Mr. Watson, when you read my letter, were you drinking something besides coffee? After reading your letter, I re-read my letter to Mr. Jeung to see what I missed. Mr. Watson, nowhere in my letter did I accuse or imply anyone was lacking in patriotism. It was about adamantly disagreeing with Greg Jeung’s advocacy of bringing back the 55 mph speed limit.I have no reason to apologize to Mr. Jeung for disagreeing with his so-called solution to saving fuel and lives, or stating that he was using liberal talking points to support his 55 mph solution.You accuse me of being childish and divisive. Really? Why is it when anyone has an opposing point of view to any liberal, that person is immediately and invectively accused of being divisive, childish, racist, Fascist or any number of other words used by the so-called tolerant liberal, to shut down, distract from, or censure opposing views?I don’t care if Richard Nixon signed in the 55 mph law. It was the liberal Bill Clinton that killed the law. By your argument, Richard Nixon was saving lives and gas. So Bill Clinton was killing patriots and wasting gas? Go figure.You accuse me of not having done any research. You’re right, I didn’t. There was no need for my original letter. But since you asked, search for DOT HS 811 017. There you will find the government statistics showing that in the past 10 years, national traffic deaths and injuries of patriotic Americans have been going down, with 41,059 deaths in 2007. That’s much less than the 1974 statistics you cite. Clearly this means speed is less of a factor with traffic fatalities today, considering the increase in traffic and speed since 1974. Gee, could be better built vehicles, seat-belt laws, drunken-driving laws, etc.I’ll say it again. I’ll drive over a cute baby polar bear to avoid driving 55 again.Lee PerkinsNew Castle


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