Friday letters: Hershey says thanks, school safety, memorial bench kudos and wildlife bridges |

Friday letters: Hershey says thanks, school safety, memorial bench kudos and wildlife bridges

Hershey thanks election supporters

It is said that victory has many parents, but defeat is an orphan. I don’t believe that; however, and I wanted to thank a few people. Losing elections is part of the process. 

First, I want to congratulate Ms. Zalinski on running an excellent campaign, and I wish her luck on City Council.

Secondly, I want to thank a few people here who were particularly helpful with their time, support, advice, and encouragement; so in no particular order: Jon Banks, Lisa Nieslanik, Graham Jackson, Zac Parsons, Stephen Nieslanik, Greg Greer, Carole Hershey, Jim Conway, Paula Derevensky, Tom Jankovsky, FastSigns & Precision Printing, Doug Britten, Dave Merritt, John Martin, Frank Soderberg, Laurie Raymond, Patti Claper, A.J. Hasbrouck, Mike McCallum, Judy Martin, Mike and Carol Fattor, Lori Welch, Mary and Ernest Gerbaz, Laura Fetko, Michael Shea, Lisa Lowsky, Sandrina LaRoche, Jennifer Vanian, Richard Koziol, Sarah Nordgaard, Monica Wolny, Tracy and Gordon Turner.

Thanks also to everyone who voted. And again, congrats to councilperson elect Zalinski.

Tony Hershey, Glenwood Springs

Review school safety plans

In light of the ongoing threats to school safety, as concerned parents, community members and staff members, we ask RFSD to review our current safety plan. 

It is clear that school shootings traumatize an entire community. It is time to involve the Re-1 community in our efforts to update and improve our district’s safety plan. We believe that school safety is a topic that deserves a collective conversation and actions by our city council, the police department, mental health professionals and our school district. A plan created and implemented cooperatively may shine light on immediate actions to be taken and ways to make our schools safer.

We have a few questions about our current plan:

What schools in our district have a full time School Resource Officer?

What are your plans to budget for and employ additional School Resource Officers?

Are all of our schools following the protocols in your Welcome and Entry Document?

Is our district plan known by law enforcement, staff members and students?

Are safety drills monitored and reviewed by outside agencies?

Are all exterior doors locked at all times when Pre-K through 12th grade students are in our buildings, specifically after school hours?

In researching this matter, it is evident that other Colorado school districts seek outside specialists to review their safety practices and make plans to improve while maintaining a welcoming environment. Colorado School Safety Resource Center is an organization many look to for support. There are Threat Assessment Teams that meet to evaluate what is/isn’t working and where improvement is needed..

It is painfully clear that school shootings can occur in any community, at any time. Re-1 is in no way exempt. We realize eliminating all risks to our schools is unrealistic.

However, our children deserve to be educated in buildings that prioritize safety above all else.

We ask with urgency and genuine concern:

What is your plan to address school safety and keep it as your number one priority?

Jean Kanitz and Sarah Cova (RFSD parent and employees), New Castle

GSMS memorial bench thanks

The staff and students of Glenwood Springs Middle School would like to thank Antonio Abarca and Alex Alvarenga of AJAC Stone for the beautiful memorial bench in honor of Danna and Diego Lopez, who tragically lost their lives on Dec. 30, 2021. 

The marble bench that AJAC stone created and installed on the school grounds is a lovely tribute to honor our former students and neighbors. The bench is located behind the school near the basketball courts — community members are welcome to stop by for a moment of quiet reflection.

Joel Hathaway, Principal, Glenwood Springs Middle School

Start the wildlife bridge discussion

I broke my record. Driving Highway 82 between El Jebel and Carbondale this morning I counted eight roadkill carcasses. And we wonder why the populations of large wild animals are dropping. 

Ironically, this morning’s Post Independent (4/3) carried a story calling for overpasses on highways for wildlife. Wildlife bridges are proven to make a huge difference. Our mountain towns are surrounded by natural areas. The well-being of plants and animals in the natural areas has a direct bearing on the quality of our lives. Much more than just economically. 

More animals will die on Highway 82 because there is more traffic. There is more traffic because we continue to grow our communities without restraints. This continuous local growth has many negative outcomes. 

The local papers are full of problems that result from growth.  Housing and “affordable” housing are just part of growth and growth problems and are also in today’s paper.

Can we start a discussion about wildlife bridges for Highway 82?  Maybe I-70 while we are at it. 

Patrick Hunter, Carbondale

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