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Fiscal General de Colorado, Phil Weiser, habla de concientizar sobre la salud mental y la reforma de los préstamos estudiantiles

Attorney General of Colorado, Phil Weiser.

La reportera del Post Independent, Jessica Peterson, conversó el martes con el fiscal general de Colorado, Phil Weiser, sobre eventos recientes y de cómo planea llevar a cabo su trabajo en la nueva administración. Weiser habló de su interés por reformar el proceso de préstamos estudiantiles y de revertir la estigmatización de la salud mental como un componente necesario tanto para la reforma policial como para disminuir las muertes debido a la violencia armada.

¿Cómo ha cambiado el panorama como fiscal general desde que la administración de Biden está a cargo?

“Mi estrategia para el gobierno federal es la misma, es decir, que busco colaborar y resolver problemas. En la administración anterior hubo situaciones en que eso funcionaba. Trabajamos juntos eficazmente usando llamadas automatizadas, en asuntos de tecnología financiera y en nuevas formas de préstamo. … Desafortunadamente hubo un rango de problemas como la deuda estudiantil o el Affordable Care Act donde me vi forzado a demandar a la administración para proteger a Colorado y defender la ley. Es el mismo estándar que tengo, el cual es que puedo colaborar con el gobierno federal o si éste hace cosas que violan la ley y dañan a Colorado, entonces necesito entablar una demanda. Aún no he tenido que demandar a la nueva administración pero estoy preparado si fuera necesario.”

¿Sé, especialmente desde que la administración anterior nombró a muchos jueces conservadores, que esto podría crear un desafío o haber continuado, pero supongo que no lo ha experimentado todavía?

“… Este año un caso del que tenemos que estar pendientes es el del Affordable Care Act. Tenemos 400.000 residentes de Colorado con seguro de salud gracias a la expansión de Medicaid. 700.000 residentes de Colorado que están protegidos contra condiciones preexistentes. La Corte Suprema, la nueva Corte Suprema está lista para considerarlo. Me gustan nuestras probabilidades. Creo que los argumentos en contra, inicialmente de la administración anterior, y también de otros estados, están simplemente equivocados. Estoy a gusto con nuestra posición, tengo la confianza de que podremos ganar.”

Actualmente la tasa de homicidios es la más alta desde 1995 ¿Piensa que esto es una anomalía o el principio de una tendencia para Colorado?

“Tenemos que estudiar y entender qué está ocurriendo en términos de la actividad criminal y de lo que aprendemos de los datos. Vivir en una pandemia presenta desafíos inmensos y a muchos niveles. Los riesgos que tenemos son los de ignorar los nuevos acontecimientos, incluyendo la actividad criminal, la salud mental, y el abuso de drogas. El otro riesgo que tenemos es el de sacar nuestras propias conclusiones apresuradamente. Me preocupa el incremento en las tasas de criminalidad, tanto como el aumento en las tasas de crímenes violentos y de la propiedad, y quiero asegurarme de que comprendemos lo que está pasado y de que vamos a actuar con inteligencia.”

Hablando sobre el aspecto de salud mental, ¿Cuánto cree que dicha tasa se relacione con la necesidad de reformas al control de armas?

“Tenemos varios desafíos relacionados con la salud pública. Uno de ellos es el de eliminar el estigma de la salud mental. Para permitir que las personas hablen de sus dificultades para obtener el apoyo necesario … En nuestra oficina tenemos un programa llamado ’Safe to Tell’ que ha ayudado a eliminar el estigma de la salud mental al decir que no hay nada de malo en admitir que estás luchando.

Otro desafío relacionado con la salud mental es la conexión con el sistema de justicia criminal y lo que a menudo se conoce como el conducto de la escuela a la prisión. Cuando los jóvenes están sufriendo y experimentando trauma, ¿Cómo lo tratamos? … Queremos dar más apoyo a programas de distracción para ofrecerle a los jóvenes alternativas al sistema judicial juvenil.“

¿Cómo son los programas que mencionó fuera del sistema juvenil o de detención?

“Hoy vamos a anunciar una colaboración con United Health, y creo que es una inversión de $1.8 millones de dólares en Colorado Youth Conservation Corps. Y esto le da a los jóvenes y a sus familias una opción: o entras al sistema judicial juvenil o te permitimos pasar un verano trabajando en alguna actividad al aire libre. Podría ser en una granja, podría ser una actividad recreativa al aire libre, participando constructivamente, productivamente y en un ambiente que creemos puede darle a la gente un nuevo comienzo.”

Mi próxima pregunta es sobre los préstamos estudiantiles y la coalición que usted está dirigiendo. Sé que le enviaron una carta al secretario de educación de los E.U., pero ¿Por qué es importante para usted y qué otras acciones planea tomar?

“Gracias por esa pregunta. Tengo un par de respuestas. Primero, y regresando a donde empecé con la nueva administración, queremos colaborar con ellos para resolver problemas. Ese era el espíritu de dicha carta: delinear una serie de iniciativas que podemos abordar en conjunto. Si tengo que demandar a la nueva administración por dichos problemas lo haremos. … Mi compromiso es evitar que se aprovechen de los estudiantes. … Yo fui decano de la facultad de derecho de la Universidad de Colorado y pude ver de primera mano la deuda de los estudiantes y la presión y el estrago que causa en la gente. Y logramos disminuir la deuda de $116.000 por estudiante graduado a $100.000, lo que aún es mucho dinero. … Me duele ver las difíciles decisiones que los estudiantes tienen que hacer debido a las deudas, y quiero hacer todo lo que podamos por apoyar a nuestros estudiantes.

Las culturas de Colorado pueden variar drásticamente de una comunidad rural a un área metropolitana. ¿Anticipa alguna resistencia de las áreas más rurales que pueden no estar tan familiarizadas con este tipo de conversaciones (sobre reforma policial)?

Como fiscal general estoy comprometido a ir a todas partes y a atender preocupaciones; a explicar cómo estamos protegiendo a toda la gente de Colorado y lo que está funcionando. Reconozco que distintas comunidades enfrentan desafíos diferentes y los desafíos de las comunidades rurales que son importantes para mí son que no tengamos mandatos sin financiamiento de Denver que afecten la justicia penal. Por ejemplo, es importante que creemos oportunidades para el tratamiento de drogas en áreas rurales tanto como lo es en áreas metropolitanas. Estoy muy enfocado en servir a todos y no creo que hacer funcionar el sistema de justicia penal en Aurora o Denver sea inconsistente con hacerlo funcionar aquí en Glenwood Springs y en Rifle. Así que voy a considerar a todas las comunidades y a seguir trabajando para mejorar nuestro sistema de justicia penal y nuestro actual sistema legal para proteger a todos.

En Glenwood Springs especialmente tenemos una gran población latina, cerca del 30%. … Cuando usted menciona estos programas de salud mental y de reforma policial e identificación de testigos, ¿Cómo planea dirigirse a la comunidad latina o a personas que no hablan inglés y que de igual manera están al tanto de dichos problemas?

Por primera vez contratamos a una directora de extensión para idioma español en el departamento legal. De hecho, mañana volveré con ella a YouthZone. Ana es nuestra directora de extensión para idioma español y ella y yo tendremos un evento hoy en Grand Junction con su proyecto de Asuntos Hispanos.

¿Ella trabaja como traductora para usted principalmente?

Ella trabajará como traductora para mí y establecerá relaciones de modo que todas las comunidades puedan beneficiarse, sea tanto acerca de préstamos estudiantiles, problemas con el cumplimiento de la ley o con la calidad del aire. Queremos asegurarnos de que todos los residentes de Colorado estén protegidos.

Te puedes comunicar con la reportera Jessica Peterson al 970-279-3462 o al correo jpeterson@postindependent.com

 

Community profile: Anna Cole and her team help steer Roaring Fork school families through pandemic

Anna Cole and Betty Lucas conduct a Zoom meeting with other Roaring Fork School District Family Services and Resource Center employees at Sopris Elementary School.
Chelsea Self/ Post Independent

Anna Cole and her husband, Grand River Hospital physician Dr. Dustin Cole, were pretty confident her education career and his medical career wouldn’t cross paths.

Until last March when the pandemic came along.

“Now, we’re both on a standing meeting every Thursday with Garfield County providers and the schools,” Anna Cole mused. “He’s at the hospital, and I’m at home, and the kids are getting ready for school, and they make funny faces when they see dad on the screen … it’s kind of hilarious at times.”

Anna had just stepped into the interim role as executive director of the Roaring Fork Family Services and Resource Center, a nonprofit arm of Roaring Fork School District, when schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I remember an anxious Friday afternoon before everything shut down, trying to transition Sarah to her new job and me taking over for her,” Cole said, referring to former Family Services director Sarah Fedishen, who now directs the Ninth Judicial District’s Bridges Program.

Nothing could have prepared Cole for what was about to unfold, she said in looking back on that frenzied moment in the early stages of a global pandemic.

But she and her team of Family Services program directors, coordinators and school-based family liaisons were up to the challenge.

Now in its 25th year serving the school district, the core work of the program is to connect families of school-aged children and preschoolers with various services in the community and to help them navigate the school system.

That mission didn’t change when schools and businesses shut down in the effort to prevent disease spread, but the need was magnified and it became more of an emergency response.

Suddenly, help was needed across the board. What had been the routine referral for dental services and maybe $100 in financial support for that was now a request for $1,000 in rental assistance and an internet connection so the kids could attend online school, Cole said.

“The humbling thing about the start of the pandemic is that we had families who started working with us who would never, ever in their lives have thought of asking for help,” she said.

Cole would be formally hired as the new executive director for Family Services by summer of 2020, but she had been with the department in various capacities for two years doing special projects and grant-writing.

“I feel like I did nothing but show up at the right time,” she said of inheriting the leadership role for what became a critical support service in the pandemic response locally.

“I’m just lucky to have an amazing team and amazing community partners to work with, and if I don’t have a piece of information I don’t have to go far to find someone who does,” Cole said.

Teamwork

Among them is Betty Lucas, one of the Family Resource Centers’ 15 family liaisons based at individual schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt.

Coincidentally, after joining the organization in 2013 as a resource coordinator, the Glenwood Springs native would eventually land at Sopris Elementary School where she had gone to school herself as a child.

“When I first started here, some of my art was still up on the walls,” Lucas said. The row of school-year pictures in the hallway includes her as a student on the front end, and as a staff member in recent years, along with her own son as a student.

“Being able to make an impact in the community where I grew up has been really, really powerful for me,” she said.

As a family liaison, she gets to know the students and their parents and siblings on a more intimate level. The needs are great, and have been even more pronounced during the past year, she said.

As the daughter of Mexican immigrants herself, Lucas said she also relates to the many struggles of immigrant families who often are new to the Roaring Fork Valley and don’t know where to go for support.

“It has been a privilege to be in the valley for so long and watch it evolve over time,” she said.

Typically, Family Services works to ensure families are provided with assistance that can help them in the long run. With the influx of government relief funds related to the pandemic, the focus shifted to providing short-term help, Lucas noted.

“That meant we had to put our heads together to make sure we were working together in a way that we were using ethical practices,” she said.

Betty Lucas interacts with Sopris Elementary School kindergartner Miguel Ramos-Tena during the class lunch break.
Chelsea Self/ Post Independent

Many immigrant families were not eligible for government assistance programs, due to immigration status, but through a coalition of community nonprofit partnerships some of those relief funds were made available.

“It was really great to see that kind of a community coming-together, and to be able to provide wrap-around services to take care of each other,” Lucas said. “That was a monumental resource for these families, and we got to know a lot of families who we didn’t have contact with before the pandemic.”

Lucas was gracious for that same support after she graduated from Glenwood Springs High School and went on to earn her associates degree in elementary education from Colorado Mountain College, and eventually a bachelor’s in health and human services.

She credited Cole and Fedishen, and former Family Resources Center director Jenny Lindsay for focusing her own career toward work that she now loves.

“They were that foundation for me to push through and keep going,” Lucas said.

Making the pivot

Cole worked as a high school science teacher in northern New Mexico before she and her husband relocated to the Roaring Fork Valley six years ago.

She taught at CMC for a bit and worked with various nonprofits on strategic planning and coaching before joining the Roaring Fork Schools Family Services team.

She emphasizes the “team” aspect of the organization, which Cole said became even more important with the pivot from its traditional function to pandemic response.

Along with Development Director Natasha Conklin, Program Coordinator Kelly Medina, School-Community Organizer Brianda Cervantes and the school-based liaisons, the organization made a quick shift to connect families in need to everything from financial assistance and internet connectivity to mental health, childcare and employment support.

The school district also began offering meal deliveries for students during and even still after the school closures, which Family Services has been heavily involved with.

“We were already well-positioned with our families to know who was most vulnerable, especially when things got bad,” Cole said.

She and Conklin worked to connect with all of the local governments and organizations such as the Aspen Community Foundation to tap into available relief funds.

“We operate as a nonprofit in the school district, so we don’t get direct money from the school district,” Cole explained. “So, any money we were getting was from grants or donations, or through contracts with local governments.”

Family Services now operates with about 20 staff members total, some of whom are part-time and have other duties with the school district directly.

Two new grant-funded, short-term positions include a family liaison to work exclusively with the 300 or 400 district students who opted to do strictly online classes this school year, and field-based liaison to handle the home meal deliveries and use those visits to check in with families.

Family Services is also contracted with Garfield County Human Services through the Colorado Community Response Program to do family development work in situations where child protection services has had to intervene. Lucas is also now supervisor of that program.

“That’s a really good safety net,” Lucas said. “It’s tough work, for sure, but the reward is the appreciation we hear from families that they are being supported.”

With every student cohort quarantine that happens, the family liaisons are also helping with the family contacts to make sure people have the support they need during the quarantine period.

Lucas added that the return to in-person classes in the fall was a welcome return to some of the personal student contacts that she had missed when classes were only happening online.

Lucas also points to one silver lining out of the pandemic being a closer connection to families and students in general.

“In a way, it was an easy transition for us, because it gave us an opportunity to be able to meet the parents where they’re at, and that’s over the phone or virtually,” she said. “It ended up opening the door to that accessibility piece for even more families.”

jstroud@postindependent.com

Community profile: Dr. Brynne Gordon returns to her roots

Dr. Brynne Gordon, DDS, and retired Dr. James Setterberg at the dental office in Glenwood Springs.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
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As a Glenwood Springs native, Brynne Gordon didn’t think twice about jumping at the opportunity to return to her roots after spending many years in Chicago once graduating from dental school.

“We knew we couldn’t turn it down. Even though it meant selling the practice we knew and loved, what I call my first baby, it was a little bit bittersweet to walk away from that but we knew the opportunity was just too good and we can not believe how lucky we are to be back here,” Gordon said.

After 38 years, well known Glenwood Springs dentist Dr. James Setterberg is passing the reins to the girl he once wrote a letter of recommendation for when she was in the process of entering dental school.

“Any applicant coming from a dental family being a mom or dad or both, they know the ups and downs of the business,” Setterberg said. “She worked in her dad’s office, she saw Dr. Rob Anderson (her father) get someone out of pain or restore their smile or whatever it might be and she said ‘That’s what I want to do.’ When individuals share that kind of thing with you, you know that they are sincere with wanting to help people.”

Changing perceptions

Most people, young and old, have a fear of the dentist. After Gordon spent time working with root canal specialist Roger Brown while on summer breaks she realized she wanted to be someone that changed that negative perception.

Dr. Brynne Gordon, DDS, speaks with a patient at the dental office in Glenwood.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
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“I think everybody has that little bit of fear or trepidation about the dentist, especially a root canal specialist, and he had a way to make the patient who would come in so nervous and scared and by the time they left they were so happy and relieved. They were comfortable and I was so inspired to see that he could change people’s minds about what going to the dentist is really like,” she said.

Gordon has had a glimpse into the dental world since a young age after her father, Dr. Rob Anderson, opened a dental practice in Glenwood Springs in 1976.

“My dad taught me a lot about dentistry both technically and how to run a business,” Gordon said. “But more importantly he has been a great example of how to treat people with empathy and respect… I’m proud of him and thankful to have him as a mentor.”

Own business

After finishing a residency at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago it only took a few years for Gordon to realize she wanted to open her own practice which she went on to do completely from scratch.

“I really just wanted to do things my own way. When you work in other offices you can see what you like and what you don’t like and how you could do things differently. I finally got enough confidence and enough ideas about how I wanted to run things that I was able to start my own practice,” Gordon said.

So, that’s what she did. She opened and owned In the Loop Dental for 10 years in a Chicago high-rise.

Dr. Brynne Gordon, DDS, inspects a dental implant model at her office in Glenwood.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent
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“It was definitely an adventure. I had literally zero patients and one staff member… We just went for it. It was actually really gratifying to see year by year how much we could grow and how quickly we could hire other staff members and when I left we had a really great, thriving practice that I was super proud of,” she said.

She credits the success of her business to the simple fact that she believes in treating her patients the way she would want to be treated. Most of her business growth was through internal referrals. In the end she had more than 2,000 patients and eight staff members.

New opportunity

After spending so much time developing a niche and creating a thriving business, Gordon had every intention of keeping her family in Chicago.

“When I was thinking about avenues to come back to the valley I just didn’t think there were any,” she said. “I didn’t want to do a start up again and I didn’t really know what other opportunities there were and so that’s why we went ahead and made our lives in Chicago.”

That was until Dr. Setterberg called with the opportunity of a lifetime.

“He called me and said he was thinking about retiring and he wondered if I would be interested in buying his practice, “ Gordon said.

The idea of Gordon taking over Setterberg’s practice came up a few years ago when Gordon mentioned she would be honored to take over, had the opportunity ever presented itself in the future.

Setterberg asked Gordon what her thoughts and philosophies were when it came to her patients.

“You very much need to leave patients with someone who has the same style, the same care as you do,” Setterberg said. “And she went on to tell me that she just wanted to treat patients as though she was sitting there herself or if they were a family member. We are absolutely almost verbatim on that and that is so special. Having that sort of care philosophy for our patients was so important in the transition for me knowing that I’m leaving my patients in great care with a wonderful individual.”

Setterberg officially retired on Jan.15, and Gordon took over the practice three days later.

“I want to take what Dr. Setterberg has built, he owned his practice for 38 years and it was his first baby too… I want to do everything I can to honor his legacy and also just build something that we can be really proud of in the next 20 years,” Gordon said.

cself@postindependent.com

Integrative Pet Vet column: Water, an essential nutrient critical for health

Water is considered the most important nutrient. Seventy percent of a dog’s or cat’s body is water. All the biochemical processes that are part of metabolism and maintaining a healthy body require water. Water is critical for transport of nutrients and cells in the bloodstream as well as elimination of toxins and metabolic waste through the urine and feces. It is also essential for the digestive process.

It is critical for life that water be replenished in the body daily. The body has an ongoing need to replace water that is lost through urine and in the feces. Water is also lost as vapor during breathing and as part of the normal metabolic processes. Replenishing the water in the body mostly occurs through drinking but some water ingestion occurs while eating, depending on the moisture content of the food.

The amount of water required daily depends on a number of factors including body size, environmental temperature, activity levels, age and health status. A healthy cat generally drinks 5-10 ounces of water daily. But this depends somewhat on the type of food eaten. Cats eating dry kibble usually drink closer to the 10 ounces, while cats consuming canned foods tend to consume around 5 ounces daily. Dogs typically consume more water than cats based on their body size. The average dog needs 1 ounce of water for every 1 pound of body weight. That means that a 10 pound dog will need about 10 ounces of water and a 50 pound dog needs 50 ounces. Just as with cats, when a dog is eating canned food, the amount of water needed will be less because of the water that is already in the food. When outdoor temperatures are higher, like in summer, the need for water can be higher. Increased physical activity can also increase the need for water.

Not having enough water or losing water too rapidly can lead to dehydration. Fresh water should always be available. During the cold season steps should be taken to make sure that the water does not freeze. Some pets will drink too much water too fast if they have not had reasonable access to water for a period of time. Too much water intake can also cause problems.

In addition to environmental factors and activity levels, certain health conditions can lead to increased need for water. These conditions include vomiting, diarrhea, diabetes, adrenal problems, liver and kidney disease, where there can be increased water loss. Aging also results in the need for more water ingestion because the body becomes less efficient at conserving water, such as concentrating urine properly. Some medications like diuretics also increase the need to drink more water.

It is important to monitor your pet’s water intake daily and be aware of their average over time. Increased water consumption can be a sign of a health problem. Your veterinarian may need to know the amount of water being consumed as part of diagnosing and treating the problem. Determining the exact amount of water intake with a dog can sometimes be challenging because they can be sloppy drinkers, spilling water onto the floor or outside the dish. Cats may not be so obvious about their drinking. This means that watching the amount of urine produced can be a valuable indication of increased water consumption. For example, cats passing more urine in the litter box would indicate increased water ingestion. For dogs this could mean that it taking longer to urinate or seeing dilute urine that is very pale in color.

For acute or sudden conditions like vomiting that can create dehydration, evaluation by your veterinarian is important. Determination of hydration status is valuable so that fluid can be replaced through an IV or by injecting fluid under the skin if needed. A diagnostic workup may be needed to determine additional therapies. For chronic, longstanding situations when increased water consumption or increased urination are observed, contact your veterinarian. A physical exam and diagnostic tests should be considered. Tests that can be important include the basic blood cell count, chemistry panel, thyroid (T4) and urine evaluation. Having a clear diagnosis sets the stage for developing a focused treatment or support plan. Depending on the diagnosis treatment could include changing diet to a specialized food, use of nutritional supplements and herbs, or administration of a specific medication.

Ron Carsten, DVM, PhD, CVA, CCRT was one of the first veterinarians in Colorado to use the integrative approach, has lectured widely to veterinarians, and has been a pioneer in the therapeutic use of food concentrates to manage clinical problems. He is also the founder of Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE). In addition to his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, he holds a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology and is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist and Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. He practices integrative veterinary medicine in Glenwood Springs.

Un perfil de la comunidad: El nuevo editor para Sopris Sun está listo encargarse más contenido bilingüe e impulsado por la comunidad

Raleigh Burleigh (Raw-lee Burlay) es el nuevo editor del Sopris Sun y espera incluir más obras artísticas locales y una sección en español mientras forja un camino nuevo en el papel.

“(Yo estaré) tratando de ser tan representativo como sea posible. Dentro de este, pienso que hay un dinamismo importante tenerla un sección para el periodico en espanol, y no solo transducción de nuestro articulos de anglo-periodista en espanol pero contratara alguien específicamente a informa sobre de la comunidad … y luego transduce sus artículos en ingles asi no es un calle de sentido único,” Burleigh dijo.

Nacido y criado en Carbondale, Burleigh se encargó del editor del periodico sin fines de lucro ubicado en Carbondale en diciembre. El siguió al antiguo editor Will Grandbois, que anunció su salida en noviembre después de cuatro años en el papel.

Burleigh es bilingüe en más de un dialecto de español, debido a sus viajes que empezaron como un estudiante del cambio en Chile cuando tenía dieciséis años. Sus viajes se extendieron a más y más de Sudamérica cuando hizo viajes de regreso como se hizo mayor.

“Pienso que, en una manera … Teniendo tantas conexiones aquí abre ciertas puertas, y pienso que quedando aquí ha continuado abrir puertas … Puedo servir a esta comunidad donde mi corazón está muy invertido … Espero que me esté beneficiando también estoy beneficiando a la comunidad,” Burleigh dijo.

El tiempo de Burleigh en el extranjero mejoró sus habilidades de idioma y fortaleció su gratitud por comunidades como una entidad y los papeles diferentes dentro de ellos. Su familiaridad con el área de Carbondale ayudó a poner su pie en la puerta como un periodista de la comunidad, pero dijo que siempre hay más que aprender.

“He venido con el tiempo agradecer cuanto tiempo se necesita para conocer realmente una comunidad. Tengo todas estas puntas de referencia criando aquí … juntando a KDNK y entonces siendo un adulto joven y reunirse con otras personas jóvenes … participando en un nivel diferente encontró estas relaciones multiplicando y haciendo más profundo mi perspectiva,” Burleigh dijo.

La directora de noticias de la emisora de radio local KDNK, Amy Hadden Marsh, conoce a Burleigh cuando él vino a la emisora preguntando sobre la necesidad del equipo para un pasante. Su trabajo al principio fue dedicado a entrevistas en español y el transducción de articulos en ingles, pero dentro de meses él ascendió y movió a un papel de un director de programas en la emisora.

“Raleigh ha crecido mucho como periodista. Pienso que él es perfecto para el periodico … Pienso que la habilidad de Raleigh a describir cosas y ponerse en un momento es un talento que pocas personas tienen … Pienso que puede llegar al meollo de un asunto,” Marsh dijo.

Afuera de trabajando con Burleigh, Marsh dijo que ella se considera

él un querido amigo. Ella dijo que sus visitas al lodge de sudor en 13 Moons Ranch con él, algo Burleigh hizo cada mes, hicieron más profunda su conexión el uno con el otro.

Esta relación multifacética con Burleigh sería trabajando juntos un proceso aún más cohesivo y colaborativo, ella dijo.

“Es muy genial trabajar con alguien con quien has tenido este tipo de experiencia, Marsh dijo. “Hay una conexión muy diferente…hay todavía una conexión especial. Entonces cuando combinas este con una amistad y una relación de trabajo realmente se hace más profundo, y hace el respeto más profundo.”

El entendimiento de Burleigh de su papel y responsabilidad como el líder del Sopris Sun fue formado por su tiempo en el extranjero. El dijo tuvo un particular momento impactante conocido a la tribu de Mapuche en El Bolsón, un pueblo en Argentina, durante sus viajes. Dentro de la comunidad de la tribu es un papel se llama “longko,” y Burleigh dijo que podía identificar los paralelos este título tuvo con el trabajo él quería cultivar como un periodista.

“Esta persona, supongo que, podría ser traducido al cacique, pero pienso que es diferente de esto. Desde mi entendimiento es una persona que escucha y recibe, y entrega escuchando y recibiendo pueden hablar a la verdad común,” Burleigh dijo.

Parte de siendo una periodista responsable y veraz estar seguro de obtener el alcance entierro de la cuenta, Burleigh dijo. Él compartió una cita con su equipo de sus trabajadores por cuenta propia del libro, “Always Coming Home,” por Ursula Le Guin que él pensó encarnado como alguien debe aproximarse al periodismo.

Burleigh leyó la cita en voz alta, “Nosotros tenemos que aprender que podemos, pero permanecemos consciente que nuestro conocimiento no cierra el círculo … Lo que se ve con un ojo no tiene profundidad.’

“Pienso que es muy importante ahora que no consideramos el círculo cerrado que no sabemos la cuenta entera realmente alguna vez, y mantenido esta calidad de siempre buscando y el desconocido sin límites y teniendo este informa nuestro enfoque a periodismo es muy importante,” Burleigh dijo.

Marsh dijo que ella considera Burleigh ser una persona de confianza y un verdadero miembro de Carbondale. Ella también dijo que piensa él es la persona perfecta a encargarse este papel, alguien quien aumentará el trabajo hicieron por los editores delante de él en Sopris Sun.

“Es un gran entre los grandes y le deseo todo lo mejor,” Marsh dijo.

Burleigh dijo que él quería que la comunidad saber está agradecido por la oportunidad de trabajar como editor en que el dijo es un ecosistema de noticias saludable en el valle de Roaring Fork. El dijo que será tan representational tan posible de las personas que viven en Carbondale en los artículos del Sopris Sun creará. Para hacer esto, Burleigh dijo que él agradece los comentarios, las peticiones de los lectores y está preparado a escuchar y aprender con una mentalidad abierta.

“Estoy tomando el pecho de las responsabilidades tengo para ser justo y investigador y veraz,” Burleigh dijo.

“También (estoy) invitado a personas para contactar a mi y házmelo saber si piensan que los aspectos enteros de una cuenta no estaba considerado, o si tienen una pista de una cuenta, o un idea para el periodico, o un talento a contribuir.”

jpeterson@postindependent.com

Community profile: New editor for Sopris Sun ready to take on more bilingual, community-driven content

New Sopris Sun editor, Raleigh Burleigh looks through the latest edition of the newspaper in his office in Carbondale.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Raleigh Burleigh (Raw-lee Bur-lay) is the new Sopris Sun editor and hopes to include more local artwork and a Spanish section as he forges a new path in the role.

“(I will be) trying to be as representational as possible. Within that, I think there is a major drive to have a section for the newspaper in Spanish, and not only translating our Anglo-journalist pieces into Spanish but hiring somebody to specifically report from the community … and then translating their work in English so that it’s not a one-way street,” Burleigh said.

Born and raised in Carbondale, Burleigh, 27, took over as editor of the nonprofit newspaper based in Carbondale in December. He succeeds former editor Will Grandbois, who announced his departure in November after four years at the helm.

Burleigh is bilingual in more than one dialect of Spanish, thanks to all his travels which began as a Rotary Youth Exchange student in Chile when he was 16. His travels spread to more and more of South America when he made return trips as he got older.

“I think that, in a way … having so many ties here I think opens certain doors, and I think staying has just continued to open doors. I get to service this community where my heart is very invested … I hope as it’s benefitting me I’m also benefiting the community,” Burleigh said.

Burleigh’s time abroad improved his language abilities and strengthened his appreciation for communities as an entity and the different roles within them. His familiarity with the Carbondale area helped him get his foot in the door as a community journalist, but he said he realizes there is always more to learn.

“I have come over time to appreciate how long it takes to really get to know a community. I have all these points of reference from growing up … joining KDNK and then being a young adult and meeting other young people … just engaging in a different level I found these relationships multiplying and deepening my perspective,” Burleigh said.

Radio roots

Local radio station KDNK’s news director, Amy Hadden Marsh, met Burleigh when he first came to the station inquiring about the team’s need for an intern. His work at first was mostly dedicated to interviews in Spanish and translating English stories, but within months he was promoted and moved to a more directorial programming role at the station.

New Sopris Sun editor, Raleigh Burleigh, refills a newspaper box outside of the Third Street Center in Carbondale.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

“Raleigh’s grown a lot as a journalist. I think he’s perfect for the newspaper,” Marsh said. “I think Raleigh’s ability to describe things and put you right there in the moment is a talent that few people have … I think he can get to the heart of the issue.”

Outside of working with Burleigh, Marsh said she considers him to be a dear friend. She said her visits to the sweat lodge at 13 Moons Ranch with him, something Burleigh does on a monthly basis, deepened their connection to one another.

This multifaceted relationship with Burleigh made working together an even more cohesive, collaborative process, she said.

“It’s really neat to work with someone with whom you had that kind of experience, Marsh said. “There’s just a connection that’s different…there’s still that special connection. So when you combine that with a friendship and a working relationship it really deepens that, and it deepens the respect.”

Burleigh’s understanding of his role and responsibility as the head of the Sopris Sun was shaped by his time abroad. He said he had a particularly impactful moment getting to know the Mapuche tribe in El Bolsón, a town in Argentina, during his travels.

New Sopris Sun editor, Raleigh Burleigh draws out the add layout in the latest edition of the paper in his office in Carbondale.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Within the tribe’s community is a role called “longko,” and Burleigh said he was able to identify the parallels this title had with the work he wanted to cultivate as a journalist.

“That person, I guess, could be translated to chief, but I think it’s different than that. From my understanding, it’s a person that listens and receives and through listening and receiving they’re able to speak the communal truth,” Burleigh said.

Open circle

Part of being a responsible and truthful journalist is being sure to get the full scope of the story, Burleigh said. He shared a quote with his team of freelancers from the book, “Always Coming Home,” by Ursula Le Guin that he said he thought embodied how one should approach journalism.

Burleigh read the quote aloud, “‘We have to learn what we can, but remain mindful that our knowledge not close the circle … What is seen with one eye has no depth.’

“I think it’s so important right now that we not consider the circle closed that we don’t know the full story really ever, and maintaining that quality of always searching and kind of that boundless unknown and having that inform our approach to journalism is really important,” Burleigh said.

Marsh said she considers Burleigh to be a trustworthy person and a true community member of Carbondale. She also said she thinks he is the perfect person to take on this role, someone who will add to the work done by editors before him at the Sopris Sun.

“He’s a great among greats and I wish him all the best,” Marsh said.

 

Burleigh said he wants the community to know he is grateful for the opportunity to work as editor in what he said is a healthy news ecosystem in the Roaring Fork Valley. He said he wants to be as representative as possible of the people who live in Carbondale in the content the Sopris Sun will curate.

In order to do this, Burleigh said he welcomes feedback, requests from readers and is ready to continue to listen and learn with an open mind.

“I take it to heart the responsibilities that I have to be fair and investigative and truthful,” Burleigh said.

“(I’m) also inviting people to reach out to me and let me know if they think that maybe the full scope of a story wasn’t considered, or if they have a lead on a story, or an idea for the paper, or a talent to contribute.”

jpeterson@postindependent.com

Downtown Rifle’s Whistle Pig Coffee Stop & Cafe up for sale

Samm Young, owner of Whistle Pig Coffee Shop, inside the downtown Rifle cafe.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Out-of-town hunters descend in droves upon Rifle every year to navigate the rugged, Western Slope terrain as they try to bag their share of trophy elk.

In the meantime, some stop at Whistle Pig Coffee Stop & Cafe, a quaint downtown hot spot on Third Street that serves gourmet coffee, breakfast and lunch fare.

“We have a family from Georgia that comes in every hunting season, and we connected with them the first year,” owner Samm Young said. “Every year they come back to us. They follow us on Facebook and comment on all our stuff.”

After more than five years of catering to both locals and hunter-orange visitors, however, Young has decided to put the Whistle Pig up for sale. The reason: Young’s having a baby with her boyfriend, David Garcia.

“It’s been a crazy, crazy journey,” Young said.

The Whistle Pig has called downtown Rifle home since officially opening its doors in July 2015. And, how it came to be involved a bit of serendipity.

Young had just moved in 2014 to Rifle from Loveland and couldn’t find a job to save her life. She said she put out applications everywhere but results kept coming up short.

Meanwhile, one fortuitous night Young was having dinner with her brother in Rifle when the two started joking over the concept of her owning a cafe.

“A good place always has a mascot,” she’d tell her brother. “You have to have a mascot — mascots just make things more fun.”

Little did Young know the wisecracks would eventually translate into a downtown Rifle staple. Out of work but full of inspiration, Young nabbed herself a vacant storefront on Third Street using a small-business loan.

Before bringing her business plan to fruition, however, Young had to apply a little elbow grease to the storefront’s interior, which had sat vacant for the past two years, she said.

“The building was very much in need of some love,” Young said. “We spent three-and-a-half, four months cleaning and renovating it. Long story short, I had a list from the fire department and the health department on stuff that had to be done before it could be opened.”

But Young kept at it, and the building had begun taking the form of what she had imagined on the drawing board.

“I wanted a place for people to be able to meet, hang out and have a cup of coffee with their friends. I really wanted the coffee shop feel, but I also wanted it to be a little cafe,” she said. “I grew up going to some small cafes. I love being able to sit there hang out and chat and get to know the owners and really get to be able to be part of the community.”

The downtown cafe really became a reflection of the community itself.

The term “Whistle Pig” comes from the yellow bellied marmot, a husky type of ground squirrel that roams the Rocky Mountains, including Garfield County. The “Maxfield,” the joint’s most popular sandwich, is named after Rifle town founder Abram W. Maxfield.

Maxfield’s legend is delectably summed up via turkey, avocado, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and chipotle mayo sandwiched in a ciabatta roll.

Beyond the fare, the Whistle Pig has always acted as a local information center, equipped with maps and guides available for patrons. Young said she also gives people suggestions on what cool local spots to visit.

“Rifle Falls is one of my favorite places around here, so anybody looking for anything to do, we always try to send them up there to see Rifle Falls, because it’s such a crazy, awesome area,” Young said.

Just like neighboring downtown storefronts, the Whistle Pig had to endure a battle with COVID-19. From March 17 to June 3, 2020, the downtown cafe had to temporarily shutter.

“Last year was kind of sad because we didn’t get to see the normal people that normally come through,” Young said. “But, otherwise, every other year has been amazing. So many people come through our doors, it’s incredible.”

Young said, however, the help of the federal government’s 2020 Paycheck Protection Program helped her small business stay afloat. Meanwhile, so did community support.

“Since we opened back up June 3, we have been steadily busier than I anticipated — not normal sales but not bad sales,” Young said. “So we’re really lucky that people have supported us throughout this time, because it’s a weird time.”

Though businesses continue to open and close as they attempt to conform to ever-changing COVID-19 dial metrics implemented by the state, Whistle Pig continues to sell an average 30-40 sandwiches every lunch hour, said Young.

The business is still strong and viable enough that, after Young posted on Facebook that she was selling Whistle Pig for $45,000, she’s already ended up with 12 prospective buyers.

“We built a really awesome business and I’m really hopeful that somebody will take it on,” Young said. “We want it to stay Whistle Pig, we want it to continue, I want to help the owners as much as I can, but it’s time for me to move on.”

With that, Young was asked what she’s going to miss about running her haven of freshly-brewed coffee and gourmet cuisine.

“I will very much miss my employees. I will miss being able to talk to the community all the time,” she said. “I’ve made many friendships and relationships through being there, but I’m very excited to be able to just go and enjoy it soon.”

rerku@postindependent.com

Bessie Minor Swift Foundation now accepting grant applications from Garfield County

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation announced in early January that it is accepting grant applications from nonprofit organizations in Garfield County.

Grants will be awarded to selected nonprofits that promote literacy, reading and writing skills and programs in the languages, sciences and interdisciplinary areas. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 15, and recipients will be announced on May 1.

The Fund will consider applications requesting a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $3,000.

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation considers grants to organizations that provide direct service to help with the implementation or expansion of literacy programs for children who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading, and also to develop reading and writing skills at all age levels.

The Foundation supports STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) as well. The Foundation also occasionally supports programs for adults.

More than $700,000 in grant money has been awarded since 2008. The Foundation prefers to consider support for programs rather than grants for the purchase of technology. The Foundation also favors organizations that do not have access to large fundraising budgets and are local in nature. Grants are made only to nonprofit organizations certified as tax exempt.

More information and the application form is available on the Foundation website.

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation was formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications, the company that owns and operates the Glenwood Springs Post Independent [postindependent.com] and the Citizen Telegram in Rifle.

Bessie Minor Swift was the mother of Philip Swift, the founder of Swift Communications. She was born in Onaga, Kansas on June 29, 1887, raised in Kansas City, Missouri, then moved to Blackburn, Missouri where she taught school in a one-room schoolhouse.

Phil Swift recalled that the importance of education was reinforced throughout his upbringing, not so much through statements or concrete expectations, but through the example of his mother’s interest in English, reading, history and music.

Phil Swift passed away in November 2019.

Nonprofit organizations in the area are encouraged to apply.

Valley Life for All column: Book honors Eva, who won’t let cerebral palsy stop her from dancing

Author Nancy Bo Flood with her children’s book, “I Will Dance.”
Provided

Editor’s note: The Post Independent, in conjunction with Valley Life for All, continues a monthly series of profiles to increase the understanding and power of true inclusion.

“Let me try it.”

These words are the embodiment of who Eva is to Nancy Bo Flood, a local author who has written a book about Eva called “I Will Dance.” Eva, the main character in Flood’s children’s book, has cerebral palsy and is unable to move most of her muscles.

Flood was introduced to Eva through her daughter-in-law, Gretchen, the director of Young Dance, an all-inclusive dance company. Flood watched one of the classes and immediately noticed Eva among all the dancers.

“It was the joy on her face,” Flood recalls. “In that class, I saw all kinds of disabilities, invisible and visible. I thought, ’They really mean it when they say they’re an inclusive community of dancers.’ All were valued for who they were and what they could contribute.”

But it was Eva’s tenacity and joy that captured Flood, an award-winning author, and Eva’s journey of becoming a dancer turned into a children’s book about inclusion for those who are disabled and have dreams. “I Will Dance” was published this year.

“Eva had something of value to contribute, unique to Eva: a person first, then Eva, a person in a powered wheelchair,” says Flood from her mountain home.

“I Will Dance” is a vibrant book depicting Eva’s desire to dance. Eva sees able-bodied dancers but also those with challenges. She’s wary but persevered, eventually dancing in her wheelchair before an audience.

“’Let me try,’ that’s what I see in Eva,” says Flood. “She’d do it on her terms, and with each try, she’d risk a little bit more. The result was not only moving around the dance floor, but that she was not alone, it was not pretend, it was not imagine.”

Flood recalls her first time really taking note of a child with a disability.

“In my son’s elementary class, there was a boy in a wheelchair who had no movement and no language. Every morning, the teacher would let a student tell this boy a joke, and he would laugh. I thought, oh, he wants to be a part of this class just as much as any kid does. That’s what Eva wanted, too: to be a part of the community. Isn’t that what we all want? To do what we love and be a part of our community?”

Nancy Jo Flood’s book “I Will Dance” can be found at The Bookworm in Edwards, Glenwood Toys and Gifts in Glenwood Springs, Sawyer’s Closet in Carbondale and on Amazon.

Local nonprofit Valley Life for All is working to build inclusive communities where people of all abilities belong and contribute. Request a training or join the conversation at www.valleylifeforall.org or #voicability4all. Help us redefine the perception of challenge.

Kight column: Glenwood ’History Hero’ award recipients acknowledged

The Glenwood Springs Historical Society’s board of directors has selected individuals and businesses for our “History Hero” award for 2020. With the award, we recognize people who have been actively helping to preserve our region’s deep and fascinating history.

To be nominated for an award means a person or an organization has demonstrated a commitment to our local history by performing some action, or actions, that merit public recognition. This year we are giving three categories of awards: individual, nonprofit organization and for-profit business.

The first category for outstanding individual achievement goes to Carleton “Hub” Hubbard for his lifetime of caring about, and stewarding, our local history. He has rightfully earned the title of Glenwood’s Historian.

Hub’s accomplishments within the Glenwood community are legendary. He was recognized as “a walking encyclopedia of the history of Glenwood Springs,” by Tillie Fischer when she presented him with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association’s Citizen of the Year award in 2010.

For most of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society’s existence, Hub has supported us. More specifically, he donated his Buick in the name of the Carleton Hubbard family to the society when he quit driving; the proceeds from its sale helped keep the doors of the Frontier Museum open this past year.

He and his wife Miriam “Mim” also contributed their unique collection of documents and photos that Hub had gathered over the years during his title insurance career.

The next award, in the nonprofit category, goes to Christopher Tribble of Versatile Productions and his nonprofit the True Media Foundation, for filming and producing the 2020 Ghostwalk.

Dragging the ton of equipment up and down the Linwood Cemetery to film our “ghost” actors over the years was a feat, as was all the work that went into producing the alternative COVID-appropriate live-streaming event at the historic Hotel Colorado last fall. (We will only mention in passing the crew’s additional stress of having to work under the watchful eyes of the resident ghosts!)

Through his True Media Foundation, Chris has helped many youths make history come alive by using video to capture stories of some of the area’s pioneers which included Northern Ute elder Clifford Duncan. The kids’ interviews resulted in the Making History video about how we all make history in our own way. It’s preserved in the Frontier Museum’s archival collection.

Last, but certainly not least, are Ed and Jennifer Johnson, owners of Vision Security. In 2017, when we placed Doc’s Collection in the lower level of Bullocks where the old Hotel Glenwood once stood, the Johnson’s installed a state-of-the-art security system at no cost to the historical society.

Since that time, Ed and Jennifer’s hard working crews have maintained the equipment that keeps the collection safe and secure at no charge. That was no easy task during the Grand Avenue Bridge construction. Technicians from Vision Security had to make many trips to adjust the sensitive equipment that keeps the derringer alarm from going off due to vibrations from construction.

What motivates and inspires these History Heroes? They want to make a difference in their community by helping to preserve the past, contributing their time, treasure, talent, services and more.

To make a difference yourself, it isn’t a requirement to have the same level of passion for history as these awardees. It’s more about the difference between talking about and caring about history, and then taking action to help preserve history.

It’s about whether you only consider becoming a member of the historical society, and actually becoming a member. We’ve made it easy on our new website, GlenwoodHistory.com, with a click on Membership. Or, if you want to donate without becoming a member, that option is available too.

It’s about taking time and making the effort to recognize the value of history, and the fact that it belongs to all of us.

Bill Kight is the executive director of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society and writes a monthly column about history. He can be reached at 970-945-4448.