Monday letters: Opening when OK is given, EMF safety, herded like sheep, masks in Carbondale, Medicare for All, infrastructure, support Valley View |

Monday letters: Opening when OK is given, EMF safety, herded like sheep, masks in Carbondale, Medicare for All, infrastructure, support Valley View

Waiting to open until we’re given the OK

The martyrdom of Shooters Grill was unneeded. 

Waiting patiently to open is our part in fighting the COVID-19. It is our way and sacrifice in this action that we show our support for all the medical community has done, for which we are grateful. 

We want to open; however we do not feel the need to fight local government. 

County Commissioner John Martin and the health department are trying to get us open as well. They are our team, and we are not going to fight our team. 

We will do our part by not tying up their time with unneeded rebellion. Instead, we are actively planning to open after the health department gives us the go, and we are using our time to brainstorm a healthy way to do so. 

The health of the community is our main objective. We want our customers to know we take their health and well-being seriously.

All governing authority that we have talked to have reassured us that they are working tirelessly to get a plan in place for us to open.

It is unfortunate that Shooters Grill did not go around and ask other restaurants in Rifle what they thought before protesting, considering we the people should be represented by those running for Congress.

We are being patient and understanding, knowing that there may be new requirements the health department requests of us. We want to give the health department time to develop those safety measures. Our plan is to be patient and continue in that until the appropriate time. This is the least we can do considering all that the medical community has done for us.

Best wishes

Rasa Higens

Brickhouse Pizza, Rifle

Make EMF safety part of policy

Consider this: If you’re poisoning a bug colony, it’s best if you get them to embrace the poison (e.g. food).

Communication is essential to survival and success. If poison is encased in that communication then what? I believe each town and county in Colorado should consider adopting a “safe and friendly [electromagnetic field] environment” into their philosophy. 

This would include: a formal statement to that effect; honestly informing ourselves of the facts (a daunting task but it can be done); putting in public EMF meters at strategic places; building public EMF safe spaces; and encouraging local contractors to incorporate EMF planning in home construction. 

It’s said in a way to discourage: “Our hands are tied; it is a federal issue only.” 

I don’t think our hands are so tied. Besides influencing things on a federal level directly we can influence things on a state, county and town levels.

To your health and happiness,

Craig Holloway

Glenwood Springs

Herding us all like a bunch of sheep

Oh, my! Oh, my! Can you believe where we would be today if those “pandemic” solvers had existed 80 years ago. That was when we were having mumps, measles, whopping cough, chicken pox, small pox and polio. We had to have them and live through them. 

Fast forward to today. We 80-year-old persons would have no immune system to fight disease nor would we have had a robust, healthy system to pass on to our children. 

If you are “as old as dirt,” you’ll remember the mustard plasters and castor oil. 

Of course, we didn’t have designated “essential businesses.” All our businesses were essential. 

Aren’t you lucky that you live during a time when “world government” is attempting to herd us all like a bunch of sheep? 

Just my thoughts. 

Marilyn Hall 


Carbondale should mandate mask use

The Carbondale trustee meeting that was supposed to take place [Tuesday] night was postponed until the 19th because of internet interruption. 

We intended to comment at that meeting on face coverings. Please join us in asking for mandatory face covering in indoor public places. 

We are over 60 (way over) and are quite fearful of contracting COVID-19. We have been meticulously self-quarantining since mid March. 

Although many people of all ages are using face masks, not all are, especially younger people. 

It has been preached over and over again that face masks inhibit virus transmission, but some people still don’t get it. 

We urge the trustees of Carbondale to mandate face coverings in public — as do Glenwood Basalt, Aspen, and Denver — not just suggest them. 

Richard and Holly Glasier


Time for Medicare for All

Re: Revenue loss leads Valley View to cut 10% of workforce, May 14:

Nearly every business and most individuals are suffering in this pandemic. Hospitals are taking a double hit — forced to spend more on critically ill COVID-19 patients, and losing the revenue they normally get from elective surgery. There’s a third threat, with newly unemployed workers losing their job-related health care insurance and having to go on Medicaid, which pays hospitals and doctors much less than do other programs.

There may be a silver lining to this crisis as all Americans are forced to acknowledge the profound deficiencies in our health care insurance system and to recognize the solutions available in Medicare for All. For those losing their job-related insurance, that would never happen, as universal insurance would finally not bind you to your job. For hospitals, global budgeting would provide a steady, reliable revenue stream, allowing them to eliminate their costly billing and insurance departments and not worry about seasonal or pandemic revenue fluctuations.

Many things will be permanently changed in the wake of COVID-19, beyond how we conduct meetings and teach classes. I hope that another is how we finance health care. Medicare for All promises tremendous relief and assurance to nearly everyone, and will cost less that we’re paying now.

George Bohmfalk, MD


Invest in our nation’s infrastructure

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” 

These inspirational words were presented in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln during his historic Gettysburg Address.

President Lincoln is commonly referred to as one of the greatest presidents in American history. His leadership during the Civil War (1861 – 1865) has much to do with him being bestowed with such a worthy tribute. This was an unprecedented and crippling event in American history that threatened our unity and could have permanently torn our country apart. During this tumultuous time President Lincoln signed The Pacific Railway Act of 1862. A long held dream, President Lincoln believed the 1,912 continuous miles of transcontinental railway would geographically unite us as a country and also unite us as a people.

Currently our country is going through a challenging time that is increasingly dividing an already disturbingly divided America. The COVID-19 pandemic is crippling the health and economic prosperity of our country and the world. The staggering number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to accumulate, and the death toll tragically continues to rise.

A bipartisan $2 trillion stimulus relief package was signed earlier this year. Currently, additional short-term relief efforts are being pursued by Congress. There is now an imminent need to enact long-term measures that transcend unemployment benefits and create jobs. Our country’s infrastructure is severely antiquated and has been in need of repair for decades. In “Losing Our Way” Bob Herbert cites the benefits created by investing in an infrastructure renewal project. Such an investment would generate much-needed jobs, increase GDP and provide a financial return.

Let us follow in the footsteps of President Lincoln — invest in our nation’s infrastructure and unite us as a country.

Jim Coddington III


Support Valley View in these unprecedented times

Thank you for publishing the interview with Dr. Murphy [Friday]. It was straightforward and accurate. As his former partner for over 20 years, I can tell you that Brian is a straight-shooter, and I know the layoffs at Valley View are weighing heavily on his heart. As background, I’d like to add some information on medical economics in the U.S. to help explain our current mess.

I was a partner in Rocky Mountain Urology Associates from 1998 until 2009, when we switched from running a private practice to becoming hospital employees. One of the main reasons for this change was the stingy reimbursement rates paid by federal insurance (Medicare and Medicaid, principally). For an office visit, Medicare pays roughly 35 cents on the dollar; for surgery, 15 cents. Medicaid pays about half that much.

The hospital makes proportionally a bit more than the doctors’ offices, but still, if all of Valley View’s patients were on these programs, it would be forced to close its doors. Additionally, to receive federal insurance money, the hospital has to adhere to ever-growing volumes of regulations. Did you know that practically every hospital in the country has an “Office of Compliance” to try to keep up with the rules? Oy vey. When, really, the only thing I need to remove a kidney stone is a nurse, an X-ray tech and an anesthesiologist. 

The hospital survives by cost-shifting. Adequate payments from commercial insurance companies help cover the cost of care for patients who cannot or choose not to pay their bills, and for those covered by federal programs. Profits from elective surgeries, lab and imaging help pay for the care of our elderly, our children, and for the Family Birthplace. 

Unfortunately, these profit centers were extinguished by the necessary shutdown to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are gradually increasing our level of service, but there is always the threat of a “second wave” of infections, which could shut us down again.

I ask you to support Dr. Murphy and Valley View, in these unprecedented times. The hospital is a rare jewel, offering specialized, lifesaving services that few would expect to find in such a rural area.

Jeffrey Fegan MD

Glenwood Springs

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