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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

In 2009, 940 Coloradans died by suicide, more than any other previous year, according to experts with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.

The 2009 deaths represent a suicide rate of 18.4 deaths per 100,000 residents. This is the highest Colorado has seen since 1988.

The impact of suicide is statewide and touches all ages of Coloradans, including all from children and adolescents to older adults. In 2009, among ages 25-44 and 85 and older, there was a significant increase. Colorado annually has a suicide rate that is approximately 40 percent higher than the U.S. rate.

More Coloradans die by suicide each year than those who die in motor vehicle crashes or by homicide. Yet suicide continues to be viewed as an individual issue rather than a public health issue.

Possible contributors to the increase could be high unemployment rates, less access to mental health services, ongoing recession, current conflicts in the Middle East and continued societal stigma.

In Garfield County, suicide has been on the increase in the last several years. Suicide is the most preventable death. There is hope and help for those who are suicidal. Mental, physical and spiritual health should be viewed and addressed equally.

Suicide Prevention Education Awareness classes are being presented for anyone in the community who may know someone who is suicidal, is depressed, have attempted in the past, may have suicidal ideation right now in their life or have already lost someone by suicide. These classes are free, donations accepted to further the cause but not necessary to attend.

By educating the community, statistics in counties having a suicide prevention program have shown a decrease in deaths by suicide.

There will be a class this Thursday at the Silt Fire station from 6-8 p.m. Also a class will be held on Oct. 6 at the New Castle library from 6:30-8 p.m. For more information regarding classes or for anyone interested in participating with Garfield County Suicide Prevention Coalition call presenter Donnalyne LaGiglia/chair Suicide Prevention Education at (970) 948-6108.

Donnalyne LaGiglia

Suicide Prevention Foundation

Grand Junction

There are things going on in our country that are truly unbelievable. For example: I cannot believe that I live in an America where Marxism is being seriously debated as a way of life for us all. Are we nuts?

I can’t believe America has a president who never answers questions honestly and that we are being led by a man who has no testicular integrity to stand up to the world’s dictators.

I can’t believe how tired I am hearing that my country is being pushed around by these Third World thugs.

I can’t believe that our government leaders haven’t cut money sent to foreign countries whose people burn our flag or shout “death to America.”

I can’t believe that we spend our tax dollars on public assistance programs for “illegal aliens.” Send them back to their home country … now.

Can anyone tell me why the U.S. Department of Agriculture has in their budget their own home loan program or are able to supply police cars to rural areas whose residents are supposed to be protected by the sheriff’s department or state police?

I can’t believe that anyone would want to submit themselves to living under the laws of a global government run by the United Nations. That would be the end of America.

I can’t believe that anyone would want to spread their own wealth. Tell me , how would you equalize your pay? A worker in the U.S.A. making $60,000 a year with a worker in China making $1.50 a day. It doesn’t compute.

I can’t believe working for federal government salaries is twice that of the private sector especially since it’s the private sector that creates our wealth. Are we experiencing shades of the Bell, Calif., scandal at the federal level?

I can’t believe that any sane educated person could defend President Obama and his advisers in regard to the state of the economy.

I can’t believe how unread Americans are and therefore actually stupid in regard to current events. I can’t believe what’s happening to my country. Can you?

Let’s vote together in Colorado and get this mess straightened out. Vote for Dan Maes for governor, Ken Buck for U.S. senator, Steven Baily for the House of Representatives and Walter Stapelton for state treasurer.

Stan Rachesky

Glenwood Springs

I have often wondered where the regulation comes from that would make one part of our society pay for their pleasure, and yet give another faction of that same society a free ride. Pardon the pun. I’m referring to Colorado’s State Parks, fishing, bike paths and kayak falls parks.

Does it seem fair to charge families $4 or even $8 to go to where there’s a pretty lake or stream setting and furnish them a picnic table? Or to charge a fisherman about $35 to fish for what is already paid for with our tax dollars, while on the other hand, a bike path user is required no license and pays absolutely nothing to use a path that his fellow citizens paid millions of dollars to build?

Or is it just me who tends to be irked by the millions of dollars currently being spent on these bike paths, all in an economy that no one is calling healthy, exemplified by 8.9 or 9.4 percent unemployment.

I’m also reading about the town of Carbondale wanting a kayak falls park like Glenwood built. It tends to escape me, this is built with county money, state money, federal money or a combination thereof. No matter what you call it, it’s still our tax dollars.

I envision an honor system, locked out system that charges a measly $1 to every person using a bike path (highway) or kayak park. Get a pass to stick on the bike, or in the windshield of the car you packed your kayak in with. I was checked for a fishing license six times in four weeks, by a very nice ranger. I’m proud. Now, let’s have that same ranger check for bike stickers and kayak passes.

Why $1? It is a measly 1⁄4 of state park fees that cost $4, and it’s because only one person is normally riding a bike of paddling a kayak. Doesn’t this seem fair? Wouldn’t it assist in paying the rest of us back for fishing, parks, parking to watch a sunset, while lowering the state’s overhead in building their private highway?

When did it become fair to charge one part of society for things paid for by all and let another part of that society skate on ice paid for by the other’s? Fair is fair. Then maybe older, retired people could get free fishing licenses before they’re so old they can’t walk down the bank, ya think?

Randy Smith

Glenwood Springs

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