My name is Henry Hendrickson. I am the property manager of Apple Tree Park. I have known the Shiflett family for 20 years or better, and never have Tom or Tina neglected to take their children to a hospital, if it were needed, or in any other way ever neglected their children.On a personal and professional level, I have some issues with the methods used by our Sheriff’s Department in the handling of this situation. The first of which is, Lou Vallario lived here in Apple Tree, and he of all people knew that with a simple phone call to our management office requesting a welfare check on Jonathon, we would have done it immediately, as we have done this for the Sheriff’s Department in the past. The second issue is, it was two days after Jonathon bonked his head that our local SWAT team decided to storm the Shiflett home and physically remove him from his father, mother, brothers and sisters to be taken to the hospital, only to have a doctor tell them to keep ice on the bruises and give him Tylenol, which the parents were already doing. If Jonathon’s condition were as serious as the EMT first stated, wouldn’t two days have been too long to take action? The third but far from the final issue is, I have to wonder about the emotional trauma inflicted on those children from having strangers in black suits, with masks, carrying loaded weapons, forcing them to the floor, screaming “Get on the ground,” over and over, then handcuffing Mom, Dad and their older sister and then taking Jonathon away by force. Not being a psychologist, I can only wonder if any one of them could ever trust or respect a police officer again.As I listened to Lou Vallario at the press conference on KMTS, it saddened me to know that Lou Vallario the politician and not Lou Vallario the honorable family man that I knew showed up to speak. Thank you for taking the time to read my opinion.Henry Hendricksonproperty managerApple Tree Community
This letter is in response to the many letters written against our sheriff, Lou Vallario. Growing up in this valley for 40-plus years, I have seen many sheriffs come and go, some a “laughing matter!” Lou is by far the best sheriff Garfield County has ever had. He shaped a department that I myself would be proud to be part of – what a team. I am an ex-employee in the field of social work and abused and neglected families. We would have been very concerned over the lack of attention to this child, and the suspicious nature of the black eye. With the previous threats made in past police contact, Mr. Shiflett deserved the treatment he brought on his family. Safety of the officers and neighbors first – Mr. Shiflett painted the scene for his family long ago. Social workers are not out to rip families apart, and the Sheriff’s Office does not want to shoot children, either. This world is full of nuts; we read about them every day in the paper. If outsiders like Randal Weis from Madison, Wis., do not want to move here, then we really do not need more people as far as I am concerned. I, for one, feel very safe with a man like Lou Vallario watching out for me and my family’s safety. I stand up and applaud Lou and his department for every action they took that day. Welcome to the real world we all made for our families, and deal with it. Go, Lou, you have my vote any time. As for Ross Talbott’s article in the paper … yawn … you should be ashamed of the trailer park you run in New Castle. As an “ex” life-skills social worker, I was constantly appalled at the living standards in every home I was ever in at Apple Tree, which sadly was a large number of them. Crack Tree, I do believe the locals call it. We can’t get away from Crack Tree Trailer Park, it’s the only place we can afford to live.Lori BennettSilt
This is an observation, an eye witness account if you will.I just returned from a two day visit to Pittsburgh, the Steel City, a city of industry.I was extremely concerned when I looked out my window at the city of Rifle this morning and viewed an obvious layer of brown smog. I saw no such brown cloud (smog) at all during my two-day stay in Pittsburgh. A slight haze, yes, but it did not hold a candle to what I saw this morning in our sleepy little town of Rifle. I have lived in the Rifle area for the past 20 years, and the rapid decline in our visual air quality over the past nine months has been astounding.I had a wonderful flight back to Denver, and flew over other large industrial cities Cleveland, Gary Indiana, Chicago and even a glimpse of Milwaukee from 150 miles away. Yet not one of these industrial towns had any visible brown clouds. Yes, I do realize that these were just the atmospheric conditions at the time of my flyover. Perhaps a fluke. Nonetheless, it demonstrates to me we have a very real problem here. I can only hope that Garfield County and the state of Colorado will come to realize the same and take appropriate actions to restore our air quality.I also addressed this same letter to eight other individuals and organizations I thought should be interested in this observation. Garfield County Commissioners, Judy Jordan, Wendy Swan, the COGCC public input e-mail address and others including firstname.lastname@example.org (for possible consideration in the letter to the editor section of your publication) and Phillip Yates of your organization, just as a courtesy to keep Phillip informed. Jim GoldenRifle
I need to set the record straight. Contrary to a certain New Castle writers false allegations, I did not call him or anyone who disagrees with me fascists, godless atheists, etc. (You can check my previous letter.)All I tried to do was point out his peculiar, secular revision of the founding (and founders) of America, and his wishful additions to the Constitution. Thats all.The truth can surely hurt, especially when it exposes our lies and hypocrisy, which we may have become comfortable with. This can apply to any of us, including, but not limited to, godless atheists (a rather redundant phrase, and not my words, but his). But why let plain facts stand in our way? We have an agenda to pursue (i.e. turning America into a secular state).When someone reveals where we might be mistaken, we can either at least consider the possibility, or we can attack the messenger, putting words in his mouth, and going into spin mode. Its pretty much what weve come to expect from the secular-progressive crowd. Theirs is not a noble cause.Yes, this nation was indeed founded on clear Judeo-Christian principles, like it or not. But today, the small percentage claiming no belief in any god, which is shall we say, their God-given right, seems quite willing to impose their radical agenda on the religious majority; I call it the tyranny of the minority. The ACLU and certain federal judges have been most generous in aiding and abetting these folks.Christians who love their country and what made it great (or rather, Who made it great) should not sit back and let this unfold. We have rights, too, and a voice that must be heard clearly. With any real freedom comes responsibility to protect it, without foisting it on others. Do we have the courage to lovingly but firmly stand against this creeping tide of secular darkness?You should earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints John HerbstBattlement Mesa
Also addressed to Mr. Kirchenwitz.I am very tired of reading the letters that you write. Although many things are true, I feel that you have a lot of hate. Not for illegal immigrants, but illegal Hispanics.What are you doing about the issues? Nothing but sitting at home, letting out your anger through your letters.Your fifteen minutes of fame are over. If you want to make a change, start by working for Boarder Patrol. Any little bit helps, right?What about your responsibility as a citizen to report criminal actions? You blame the Basalt Police Department for not finding the guy who was shooting at the 7-Eleven. Did you report the threats to the police as soon as it happened? Maybe then police would be expecting the shooter, and could of prevented or caught him right away. You put those people in the store in danger. I am sorry this happened, but you did not comply with your duties as a citizen or as a worker. One thing you were thinking of, though, is a lawsuit with the Basalt Police Department and 7-Eleven. What makes you think you have a case? You were fired for a reason, and you have no one to blame but yourself. You should also thank yourself for the shooter not being found. Maybe you should start by hunting this guy down and bringing him to justice. Thats a real criminal! The others are just breaking the law that is not enforced by the federal government that we have to pay for.Your letters can be a little interesting, but the facts are usually far from accurate and very unrealistic. Instead of your letters, why dont you go out and do something? I already told you were you can start.Jamison ReedGlenwood Springs
I was overwhelmed by the kindness that Margie Martin showed to me on Jan. 16. She read the article about my battle with cancer, which appeared in the Post Independent. She gave me a call and told me how much the story had touched her, then showed up at the Post with cookies, a lovely pillow, loads of Earl Gray tea and some teacups, along with a card of encouragement. I wish to express my appreciation for her kindness to me during this difficult time for me and my family. Jessica McMillanGlenwood Springs
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Former Rifle Bears standout turned starting running back for Western Colorado University Ty Leyba remembers it like it was yesterday.