Friday letters: Run thanks, Crystal protections, parking concern, disability awareness
Maggie’s Mountain Run thanks
I am writing to thank everyone who came out and participated in the first annual Maggie’s 10K, 5K and mile Mountain Run. I also wanted to thank all the volunteers, sponsors, Jim and Cyndi McGinnis (Maggie’s parents) and Tina Leyba (photographer). Finally, I want to thank Fire Chief Gary Tillotson for coordinating the on-site ambulance.
We had a successful event and raised money for childhood cancer. More importantly, we are able to assist a local child fighting pediatric leukemia, Manuela Perez, who also attended and handed out the runner awards.
It was a beautiful day, and we had 158 total runners and hikers at the event. For more information regarding the Miracles From Maggie Foundation, please go to http://www.miraclesfrommaggie.org.
Rick Chavez, Glenwood Springs
Save the Crystal
I recently attended the Colorado River District’s State of the Rivers event in Carbondale. The evening’s presentations reminded me of the major water challenges we face in the West and just how special it is to live near the Crystal River — one of the state’s last undammed, free-flowing rivers.
Our rivers are indeed at a dire point as demand continues to increase while water supply keeps dropping. As someone who lives along the Crystal River and has spent years advocating for its protection, I was happy to see the Colorado River District acknowledge the community’s desire for protections on the Crystal by including a presentation on Wild and Scenic eligibility at their event last month.
As the pressure to develop every last drop of water keeps increasing, it’s even more important now that we set protections in place for something as rare as the free-flowing Crystal River. A Wild and Scenic designation for the Crystal is the only way to truly ensure that this remarkable river remains the way it is, and forever remove the threat of dams or out-of-basin diversions. We can do this at the same time we protect in-
basin water rights and the augmentation needs of the valley.
Let’s come together and protect this treasured river in our backyard by advocating for a Wild and Scenic designation.
Chuck Ogilby, Carbondale
Celebrate another kind of independence
I am a lifelong local of the Roaring Fork Valley and board president of The Arc of the Central Mountains. As someone living with a physical disability, I am excited to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the signing of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).
The ADA protects the rights of people with developmental disabilities to be included in all aspects of society. Without this historic movement, I and many others would not live as comfortably as we do.
I hope everyone comes out and supports us on July 26 at Two Rivers Park at 6 p.m. to celebrate independence. For more information about this event, please call or text me at 970-319-8780.
Corey Mineo, Glenwood Springs
Beware coming parking changes
If you live on a cul de sac in Glenwood Springs, be aware the city is planning on restricting parking in the near future.
So far, residents have not received any formal notification, but sign posts have been installed (under the orange traffic cones in your cul-de-sac — and if you don’t have cones yet, they probably are coming!).
You could be losing the ability to park in front of your home if you live in the end of the cul-de-sac. And if you live along the approach to the cul-de-sac itself, you will find it more difficult to park in front of your homes as well as parking is pushed out.
The reason for this action is to make it easier for fire trucks to turn around.
Come to the July 21 Glenwood City Council meeting at 6:15 p.m. for the open comment period. Send letters to your council person or the acting city manager, Steve Boyd, and let them know how you feel about this.
Donna Yost, Glenwood Springs
Autism safety awareness
As a parent of an individual with autism, my biggest fear is that my son will wander from a safe environment and away from his caregiver. According to the CDC, 1 in 44 children and 1 in 88 adults have autism nationally. It is important to create awareness of the safety concerns associated with autism.
Why? Wandering or leaving a safe environment is not uncommon for those with autism or other intellectual disabilities. In fact:
People with autism are three times more likely to die from injury than a neurotypical peer. For individuals under age 15, it is 40 times more likely.
When a person with ASD wanders, nearly half of all fatalities occur in under one hour.
20% of wandering/elopements occur from the place of residence. Risk is higher when traveling, visiting relatives, when engaged in outdoor recreation or in a vehicle.
40% of wandering/elopements take place when transitioning activities or locations.
Drowning is the leading cause of premature death in autism. 71% of all deaths for children with ASD between 2011 and 2017 were accidental drownings. They are 160 times more likely to drown than nondisabled peers, and 76% occur in natural bodies of water.
As a parent of an autistic son, these statistics are terrifying. Virtually all autism parents have had experiences where their child got away, be it for a moment or for several hours. Awareness of this issue is of utmost importance. If you encounter a person with autism or intellectual disability who has become separated from their caregiver, give this person space, use simple sentences with a kind voice, avoid quick movements and contact local law enforcement.
Ascendigo Autism Services has developed training materials to educate and assist first responders if a person with autism wanders from a safe environment, and I am immensely grateful that our local law enforcement has these resources. Ascendigo has also developed materials that will help caregivers and schools implement safety measures. Thank you to the Roaring Fork Valley Community for its commitment to keeping our children safe.
Kim Birch, Glenwood Springs
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