Friday letters: Mind Springs, South Bridge, wokeness and outta here
Mind Springs coverage needs balance
Media coverage of serious issues with Mind Springs Health, particularly at the Grand Junction facility and in Summit County, certainly warrant media coverage, but I am concerned that, as is so often the case, our media finds a “titillating” issue with an agency or organization and works it mercilessly to the detriment of the whole story, the big picture and all the good folks who work hard and care about their agency and the people it serves. This is happening with Mind Springs Health.
I moved here in 1979 to work at Valley View Hospital administration. I chose to serve on our local Colorado West Regional Mental Health (Now Mind Springs) advisory board because I knew then, as now, that mental health services, particularly to the underserved, are desperately needed and of tremendous value to a community. Over my 40 years in local health care management and patient care in this community and our region, I know for a fact that Mind Springs leadership and individual mental health professionals have worked hard to serve all of our communities.
Our health care nonsystem has never funded or paid for mental health services well or, more often, at all. On a limited budget, underpaid staff driven by mission make it work, year after year. Over the 50 years of its history here in our valley, have there been problems in Mind Springs operations and care? Of course. That is how it goes in human organizations and with human players. Have those issues been addressed and improved? I have witnessed that. Have there been great accomplishments and many, many citizens of our region served well by dedicated staff and programs? You bet! And, I hope so, for many years to come. Please, dear GSPI and other local papers, provide some balance to your coverage of Mind Springs. Good, good people working for this 50-year-old community asset are becoming very demoralized by your one-sided coverage.
Please help to celebrate what is working well for our community, as well as what needs to be remedied.
Farewell ode to Glenwood
Glenwood Springs, your waters beneath the mountain sky, the Roaring Fork and the Colorado Rivers rolling by, but I cannot hear them. Their voices are mute.
The riversong is drowned out by our constant commute.
There are cars, trucks and buses all driving up the road all the way to Aspen where the workers mine for gold.
We’ve got helicopters and airplanes and locomotives to boot.
Folks will even drive two hours all the way from Parachute.
It seems everyone wants to live here and have a simpler life; to get away from Denver, the congestion and the strife.
But we’ve got nowhere to put them — they just don’t understand.
We can’t build any more housing ’cause we just ran out of land.
Now let’s talk about the water — I fear we’re running out, because of global warming and a 20-year drought.
Neighbors hosing down their driveways and watering the lawn.
There won’t be enough for drinking once the water is all gone.
How I love your scenic wonders — they take away my breath.
But with all these other lovers we’re loving them to death.
Now, you even need a permit to hike to Hanging Lake.
But wait, the fire, the rains and the mudslides have made that choice a mistake.
Please don’t get me wrong because I really love this place.
I just need to move to somewhere else, where I’ve got a lot more space.
So fare thee well dear Glenwood — Aspen and the rest.
From faraway Crestone I’ll be wishing you the best.
Fare thee well dear Glenwood — I’m wishing you the best.
Center of it all
I rushed to the roof. Local television news noted of the total ellipse of the moon, thinking of the total solar ellipse of the sun in 2017 with its brief, 15-minute duration. The desperation of missing the lunar ellipse was concerning. Not to worry. The lunar ellipse took hours … or a better part of.
It got me thinking about how the universe is observed. How kinky the explanations of our earth being thought of as the center of the universe. If the earth were the center of the universe, all the variations in the planets’ orbits had to be loops. Welcome, Copernicus.
Heliocentric cosmology explains the sun transiting the moon incidentally to the earth transiting the sun, hence the difference in the length of the two eclipses.
So it is today. We ascribe more complex explanations to events that are imposed rather than real. We can thank the woke crowd for thinking we are the center of the universe.
Questioning South Bridge
As promoted by Glenwood Springs city officials, the primary benefit of the South Bridge is emergency egress during a long-lasting inferno blocking Midland between the Four Mile Road and the 27th Street Bridge roundabouts. This is impossible to imagine, considering wildfires burn uphill away from rivers and the fuels are light. Even with such a “significant” event, the existing Prehm Ranch Road between the airport and West Bank already provides “emergency access” and the airport property has ample space for “shelter in place.”
So why is Glenwood considering borrowing $20 million towards this $50 million-plus project instead of investing in its own infrastructure?
There has been little discussion on the immediate and long-term impact on locals using Midland once the South Bridge is open. The city engineer projects the traffic on Airport Road will increase from 500 to 8,500/14,000 vehicles per day (PI 12/27/21). Most of this traffic will be commuters traveling in only one direction during peak hours. Midland currently can’t handle this additional traffic. The South Bridge will lead to daily gridlock, making life miserable for locals driving Midland.
The South Bridge has been on the city’s wish list for years. It is the key and most expensive component of the “Midland bypass” alternate route identified in the 2007 SH 82 Corridor Optimization Study. Over the coming decades, Midland will be incrementally “upgraded” to become the official SH82 “bypass,” theoretically capable of carrying the volume envisioned by the city. It will be a slow and painful process for Glenwood.
The city had little luck finding anyone to fund the South Bridge until “evacuation routes” became the hot topic in Glenwood. Never letting a crisis go to waste, the city appears to be repackaging the South Bridge into an “emergency access” crisis deserving of immediate, unlimited county, state and federal funding.
The evolving “Midland bypass” may be in the best long-term interest for commuters trying to get around Glenwood, but it will be paid for by the current residents in dollars and lifestyle.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.