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In reply to Mr. Parkison’s letter regarding service organizations, I do agree that everyone should find out more about local service clubs.

Mr. Parkison himself should find out more before voicing his misunderstood conceptions of fraternal organizations.

As a member of the Glenwood Springs Elks Lodge, I can assure you that we do not have any swords, passwords or mini bikes, and the only people who need to memorize a ritual are our officers, which are only a dozen of our 640 members, and they do that voluntarily to keep up a proud tradition of respecting God and country.



We are a fraternal organization that supports our community and nation through many charitable and service minded projects.

We support our veterans and active service members through such programs as the Disabled Veteran Winter sports clinic, which involves lodges from across the state.



We send care packages to our troops overseas, sending many basic need items that are not available to them.

We support Operation Vacation.

We hold an annual armed forces appreciation night for veterans and active duty military, giving a free dinner and a nice simple service to commemorate all the branches of service.

There is the Elks hide program where we collect elk hides that are processed to make gloves for wheelchair bound veterans and provide tanned leather for occupational therapy kits that are distributed to veterans homes and hospitals across the nation.

The Elks nationwide gives more money in scholarships than any other organization.

We support our youth through such programs as giving more than 500 free dictionaries every year to all third-graders in our area.

We hold the charter for our local Boy Scouts, the annual Hoop shoot and soccer shoot that gives our local kids a chance to compete on a state and national level.

I have just scratched the surface of what we as a “fraternal” service organization do, but the paper limits letters to 350 words.

To find out more about the Elks please visit http://www.elks.org or call our lodge at 945-2286.

Sincerely,

Tom Regan

Club Manager, Glenwood Elks Lodge

Lake, Summit and Eagle counties are in the same Transportation Planning Region where priorities are set for the expenditure of highway funds. When the list of projects to be funded out of stimulus money was announced, $11 million was allotted to the construction of three roundabouts at the I-70/Edwards interchange. This seems to be a strange place to spend scarce funds when safety improvements are needed all over the region. The highest priority should be given to building passing lanes and improving intersections on rural state highways, not for making access off of an interstate highway slightly more convenient. Safety improvements are needed on US 24 between Minturn and Leadville, and along State Highway 9 over Hoosier Pass.

Now Eagle officials are attempting to get stimulus money to build a new interchange for the Eagle airport. This is a $60 million (or more) boondoggle if there ever was one.

Since the Edwards project won’t be advertised until December, it’s not too late to get redirection in priorities.

Dick Prosence, retired district engineer

Meeker

The Regional Center’s skilled care nursing facility has a 5-star rating. It’s the only facility of its kind in Colorado. The very lives of the 32 people living in this facility depend on the intense and loving care they receive. No matter how great any nursing home may be, there is not one that can provide the constant surveillance provided by this skilled care nursing facility. Closure will mean the deaths of many of these patients. No! This is not an exaggeration. We are not fighting for a facility or jobs. We are fighting for lives, here.

Several years ago, the Regional Center was forced to close down a dorm and move clients to other dorms. This stress on very sensitive clients resulted in many deaths. One was too many. The patients in the skilled care nursing facility are even more needy and sensitive.

Everyone in Mesa County and the Western Slope can be proud that they have such a facility as the Regional Center. There is reason to be especially proud that we have this skilled care nursing facility.

My personal experience with the Regional Center has been that the staff, the opportunities, and provisions for the folks with developmental disabilities far exceeds other placements throughout the state – perhaps several states!

If your child has a need, do you not do your best to meet that need? If your child wants to play in a sport, enjoy a recreational activity, or learn to play an instrument or whatever it might be, you do whatever it takes. Please do not stand by while these parents watch their children suffer and most likely die. There are other ways to make up revenue. Please call the governor and ask for a special legislative session re this closure. (303) 866-2471

Juanita Williams

Parachute

When you think of a local community that offers a summer adult soccer league, a couple of adult soccer tournaments, a 5 vs. 5 soccer tournament open to youth and adults alike, and a successful youth soccer program that fields nearly 300 players, you probably don’t think of New Castle. Yet that is what New Castle boasts.

This summer the Burning Mountain Soccer League in partnership with the New Castle Recreation Department started an adult soccer league. Only two co-ed teams signed up, but that didn’t stop them from participating every Friday night. Hannah Bihr, the New Castle Recreation coordinator and a player in the league, stated, “It became the thing to do for us each Friday night. We also would usually go out to eat afterwards. It was a good time.” It is expected to grow considerably as word has spread, and there is already new interest in the league for next year.

Steve White, who is well known for his contributions to the Glenwood Springs soccer community, began the Burning Mountain Soccer League. When asked about soccer in New Castle he states, “The VIX Ranch Park field in New Castle is beautiful, and with the new soccer field being built south of the river the future of soccer in New Castle is very bright. These are great venues for youth and adult leagues and tournaments. I am very excited to work with Bryan and Hannah at New Castle Recreation to develop programs that will make New Castle a soccer destination in this area.” Steve will also be directing the upcoming Burning Mountain Tournament Alpine Bank Championship Cup. It is an 11 vs. 11 tournament open to adult men’s teams.

Just this past weekend, New Castle Recreation hosted its first annual Harrison Painting Company New Castle 5 v 5 Soccer Shootout. With 26 teams from Montrose, Delta County, Grand Junction, Craig, Basalt and the New Castle and Silt areas, it was a tremendous success. It is estimated there were anywhere from 500 to 800 people in the park including players.

So when you add the soccer league and tournament to an already successful youth program, what do you get? Possibly a soccer mecca. And that is exactly what the town of New Castle is hoping.

For additional information about New Castle’s soccer programs contact the New Castle Recreation Department at 984-3352.

Bryan E. Vashus

New Castle Recreation Director

We are born to die. What we do in between is what we call life. Everything decays, and the problem with our institutions of physical and financial health are in the unavoidable process of decay and thus need the means of life support called government to prolong the decaying process of the unhealthy lifestyle of consumerism for consumerism’s sake.

Consumption was a name of decease and now it is the whole of our way of life: the status of the status quo. If we are to give our decay new life we must give it purpose beyond consumer needs. Addiction is consuming without purpose. Youth has purpose but in the consumer West we’ve turned this into addiction. To curtail this unsustainable situation Wall Street and the health care must start anew rather than continue the denial of death’s purpose in life. Four decades of this addiction are enough. There must be a paradigm shift but is this possible if we ourselves don’t address our addictions? Our means to deny everything is born to end.

To begin this change we must begin to promote those grass-roots upstarts lost behind the death moans of those on life support. Those individuals choosing to effect addictive culture and give it new purpose. One such organization is the AIR Foundation, in Denver, which is turning the addictions (and the culture of enabling) typical of consumption’s decay into purpose driven recovery. Turning street addicts into marathoners. Giving beaten people dignity and purpose to become healthy living beings. Trouble is this start up organization is struggling for the funding (like many others) to effect this. Pouring billions into sustaining the already dead is killing the solutions.

Although the founder of this organization is one of my oldest and dearest friends I write this letter because the purpose and drive he himself used to defeat his addiction is certainly a good model for healing this nation of addicts. Ubuntu and compassion creating life. New life begins with keeping efforts like these growing. So if it’s in your heart, help Nick continue to turn addicts into disciplined marathoners.

Eric Olander

New Castle

Why must pilots flying out of Glenwood Springs feel it necessary to do low-level flyovers in a residential neighborhood? Besides the obvious intrusion issues and FAA restrictions, is it really helpful to buzz neighboring households especially early in the morning or during Broncos games? Have the residents of Elk Springs done something egregious to deserve this kind of treatment? I speak for myself and my neighbors and ask that our privacy be respected the same as the pilots’ wish their privacy respected.

Philip Maass

Glenwood Springs


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