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As the Senate debates how to bring health insurance to all Americans, let’s focus on keeping people healthy in the first place. Science continues to report evidence that exercise is medicine, shown to help prevent chronic diseases, from diabetes and depression to osteoporosis and cancer.

Some in Congress (such as members of the Fitness Caucus) get the message: By encouraging healthy lifestyles, we can save many Americans the heartbreak of debilitating illness. Individuals enjoy better quality of life; employers gain from greater productivity; we all benefit from reduced health care costs.

Research has shown that exercise boosts the immune system, helping people shorten illness or avoid it altogether. Physicians who understand the power of prevention through healthy lifestyles may say, “Eat well, walk more, and you may not have to call me in the morning.” It’s common sense, it’s based on science, and increasingly, it’s doctor’s orders.



The action steps are clear, for Congress and for all of us. House and Senate members must support programs to help Americans follow healthy lifestyles. Each of us should eat a balanced diet, avoid tobacco and stay physically active. It’s a simple prescription with a very big payoff.

Kimberly Henrie



certified personal fitness trainer

Alliance member, American College of Sports Medicine

Don’t miss this fabulous golden opportunity- the Thompson home is so very special, authentic and magnificent.

Comparison can be a very good thing. My daughter Ros and I went to three historic museums in Steamboat, Hayden and Glenwood.

They do not compare to the beautiful Hattie Holland home.

Hattie was Alex Thompson’s daughter, Lew Ron’s great aunt. Hattie left her house to Louie Thompson, Lew Ron’s father. Lew Ron grew up in the house and has taken great care of it. We now have this unbelievable treasure.

1) spacious lovely landscaped garden for weddings, barbecues, etc.

2) location – in town, when passed – views

3) three bicycle paths

4) good parking

5) This is a chance for a lifetime.

I would like to see this No. 1 on the agenda as it would be fair after being last in former meetings and it would be considerate of the elderly (thanks in advance.)

Frieda has tried extremely hard to work with the trustees for donating the house. She obviously needs home sites. This should be a team effort; please make it one.

The town will be very proud to have such a wonderful landmark.

Ditty Perry

Carbondale

“All we want is what we have now,” shouted a protester of the Hidden Gems Wilderness campaign. Any wilderness supporter would totally agree – but in the future there will be more roads, more logging, more mineral extraction. It just won’t be happening in the lands protected by the Hidden Gems. In those areas, there will be more trails and more people, undoubtedly, but it will be as close as we can get to “what we have now” – and future generations will thank us profoundly for it.

Peter Westcott

Carbondale

So many groups and people on both sides of the Hidden Gems. Let’s vote on it. Tell the Forest Service (our reps in Washington). Paper letters only. No phone calls. No e-mails. The system works.

Donie Grange

Glenwood Springs

Hey Western Slope, listen up. Our tax and spend governor is making headlines again.

He wants to be re-elected and in order to do that he has to come up with some ideas regarding the jobless rate in Colorado. He is announcing a Colorado Job-Training Agenda, imagine that. This will take place in January of 2010. Republicans noted that Ritter promised jobs in June 2008.

Instead of bolstering the economy, Ritter ended up signing into law $1 billion worth of taxes and fees. Now it’s jobs in January. As Penry put it, we need some leadership in Colorado on the economy, not more taxes and fees. Not sure what happened to the jobs in 2009. Well, I hope by the time the election rolls around the tax and spend governor will be hunting up a job for himself.

I hope he needs one by then.

Jane Spaulding

Carbondale

Sheriff Vallario says he needs an extra half-million dollars in his budget to cover “unexpected disasters.” Yeah, right. And I believe in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa, too. But just maybe it is more realistic to consider this money as his “slush fund” to replace the volunteer Search and Rescue Organization he seems bent on destroying with his Gestapo tactics, publicity releases, false accusations, radio appearances and foot dragging.

His actions have resulted in the resignations of many from Garfield Search and Rescue Inc – the board president, plus numerous other talented, dedicated and valued members who either refused to complete the infamous “application” or were so offended they just walked away.

If that wasn’t enough, he has attracted national and international attention to “Search and Rescue Garfield County” website “14ers.com” with, at last count, some 37 blogs commenting on his action. Not exactly the public relations we need here in a resort area.

So, what do you think? I think the “disaster” Lou has in mind is of his own making; getting rid of SAR volunteers and replacing them with more paid personnel and equipment, like his $287,000 armored tank that sits in a Quonset hut, with cobwebs on it. Incidentally, at least the $250,000 street sweeper he recently referred to gets used productively.

I hope the Board of County Commissioners considers the loss of so many well-trained and -equipped volunteers, who serve at no cost to the taxpayers, in a period of tight money and decreasing tax revenues, when reviewing his budget.

Kay Robinson

Rifle

I appreciated the Post Independent’s complimentary tone of “Crews work 12-hour shifts plowing snow from Rifle to Aspen” in the Dec. 9th paper. But I have a question regarding the rest of the story: Where were the snowplows Monday night, Dec. 7?

I left Aspen for Rifle at 11:10 p.m. I drove 75 miles through 6 to 8 inches of unplowed snow – the kind of rutted snow that can throw you into a skid very quickly. Did I see one plow? Not one, until I arrived at the intersection of Highway 6 and Railroad Avenue in Rifle at 12:40 a.m. And that was the only snowplow I saw anywhere between Aspen and Rifle.

I recognize CDOT has budgets to watch, and crews are working long hours. But neither crews nor plows were present Monday night. So is it any wonder the roads were treacherous Tuesday with potholed snowpack turned ice? To add insult to injury, Tuesday night at 10 p.m. I followed two plows westbound through Glenwood Canyon, scraping, at best, 1/16 inch of snow off the road.

I think our CDOT support team missed the timing on this one. And I understand from a state patrolman acquaintance that I’m not alone in my observations and opinions. Never mind that the only safe lane Tuesday night from New Castle to Rifle was the left lane.

Thanks for doing a great job in the past. Now, let’s keep up the great work.

Paul Currier

Rifle

I see the Post Independent stepped in finally to point out that the state issues gas drilling permits, but I think it was still a bit confusing on the issue of air and water quality.

As a former resident of another county, I question why it is allowed to put out so much erroneous information by letter writers, so I would like to take a stab at the facts as I understand them:

1. In the mid-1990s, the permitting process was placed in the hands of the COGCC (Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission).

2. This board is appointed by the sitting governor, currently Bill Ritter.

3. Soon after he took office, Mr. Ritter appointed Tresi Houpt to the COGCC.

4. It has been stated that the county has some control or responsibility over air and water quality. This is somewhat misleading because, while the county has air monitors in all areas of the county, enforcement of violations is in the hands of the state of Colorado, in agencies relating to health and environment.

5. The county’s control is very limited, due to the separation of powers that is such a big part of our governmental makeup.

6. The FRAC Act would take power further away from the local governments and put it in the hands of the federal government.

7. Tresi Houpt is the only county commissioner who sits on the board that approves permits to drill, including the ones in the Rulison blast area.

Now, I’ll state my own opinion, based on the above facts:

Wouldn’t it be more logical to make the case that Tresi Houpt and what appear to be conflicts of interest are the bigger problem than the other two commissioners who get to deal with all of the impacts?

Just asking.

Paula Adams

Glenwood Springs

This letter is in response to Lori Anderson’s chastising of Maddie Hill’s letter to the editor regarding medical marijuana.

Ms. Anderson, I just wanted to let you know that Ms. Hill is 12 years old and was required to write a letter to the editor regarding a very controversial issue for her home school literature course.

The real assignment was to write a long essay and submit that as a letter to the editor of a local newspaper. Unfortunately, her whole essay could not be printed.

Although I think that puts Ms. Hill at risk for being heckled, that is what happened when the essay was submitted, and since the state of Colorado requires such an assignment, she did the best that she could. I supervised Ms. Hill’s research and nothing that she said in the letter, aside from her opinion on the subject, could not be backed up by a clinical medical study.

We are sorry that you spilled your coffee all over your paper, but we thought it relevant to explain the situation in terms that perhaps you could understand.

Her opinion, even at 12 years old, is just that, and she should not have to apologize for that at all. Have a great day.

Janet Aluise

Silt


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