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Meet Dr. Peck

All Kids Dental adds a new pediatric dentist

All Kids Dental (AKD) happily welcomes Dr. Christian Peck to their dental team.  Dr. Peck’s experience, patience, and love of pediatric dentistry as well as his love for the mountain lifestyle make him the perfect addition to the AKD family.

Dr. Peck grew up in Coalville, UT, a small town 15 miles east of Park City.  His father coached the professional Burton Snowboard team, so he grew up on the slopes.  “We were on the mountain during the school year; we’d only go to school Monday-Thursday, and on Friday all the kids were taken to the slopes to ski and snowboard,” he said.  “My wife and kids are as excited to be living here as I am.  It’s so great and beautiful; we love the fall colors and we’re getting excited about the snow season and getting to know local families.”

Snowboarding wasn’t Dr. Peck’s only athletic outlet growing up.  He played a lot of sports in high school, including football, basketball, baseball, and track.  He met his wife, Mandy, in seventh grade.  The two became friends but lost touch when she moved her freshman year of high school (not to age Dr. Peck too much but this was before social media made keeping in touch easy).  After graduation, Dr. Peck went on a mission to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He returned home two years later and reconnected with his middle school soul mate through a mutual friend.  The two hit it off, once again, got married and had their first two children during his undergrad studies at Weber State University in Ogden, UT. They had their third child while he attended dental school at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond.

Dr. Peck and Wife, Mandy, with their four kids ranging 7-19 years old. They’re thrilled to live in a mountain town! (Photo provided by AKD)

Dr. Peck completed a two-year pediatric dental residency at VCU, and joined a dental practice in Albuquerque, NM. It’s there they had their fourth child.  “We loved it in Albuquerque. The climate is great, and it was lots of fun, but for my family that loved being on the mountains snowboarding and skiing, it was difficult,” Dr. Peck said.  “My wife and I wanted to continue to grow our family in a smaller town like where we grew up and where we could hit the slopes as often as we liked.”  

Destinies aligned when the Peck family sought snowy mountain horizons and Dr. Allen at All Kids Dental sought a fourth pediatric dentist to join the team. When Dr. Peck and his wife, Mandy, came for the interview, they fell in love with the area.  “We had always planned to retire to a place like this, but once I did the interview we thought, ‘Why are we waiting so long to live where we want, when we have been given this opportunity now?’  All Kids Dental was a dream come true for us,” Dr. Peck said.

When asked why he chose pediatric dentistry as his specialty, Dr. Peck explained that it was because he always loved going to the dentist as a kid.  His best friend’s uncle was his dentist growing up and was a big inspiration in Dr. Peck’s career choice.  While attending dental school, Dr. Peck shadowed a general dentist and a pediatric dentist and found that he loved pediatric dentistry so much more than working with adults.

“The biggest satisfaction and joy I find as a kid’s dentist is helping apprehensive kids feel comfortable and safe through a procedure so they leave with a smile.  My goal is to make visiting the dentist a positive experience for kids so they grow into adults that feel comfortable going to the dentist.  I love when kids say “I can’t wait to come back” or parents telling me that their kids are excited to see me,” beamed Dr. Peck.  “I’m excited to serve the community of the Roaring Fork and Vail Valleys for many years to come.”

Christian Peck, DDS, MS – Newest pediatric dentist at All Kids Dental working Eagle, Rifle and Glenwood Locations (Photo provided by AKD)

You can schedule an appointment to see Dr. Peck or any AKD dentist/Orthodontist at any of their three locations, in Eagle, Rifle, and Glenwood Springs.  With the addition of Dr. Peck, AKD is able to offer three new days in their different locations: Tuesdays in Eagle, Thursdays in Rifle, and Fridays in Glenwood Springs.  

Even better! The Eagle location is offering Half Off Tuesdays for November and December for families who have no dental insurance.  Any service is included, so make sure to book your appointment soon while spots remain.   “It’s such a cool program,” said Meg Houghton, Culture and Marketing Manager.  “While the cost of everything else is going up, All Kids Dental is lifting the financial burden during the holiday season to make sure kids get the treatments and care they need, especially during all the holiday sugar.” 

To learn more, visit akdsmiles.com.

Pioneer Physician, Dr. Morton of Outlaw Medical Arts, retires after decades of serving Garfield County patients

It’s a rarity nowadays to find an old-fashioned family doctor and internal medicine specialist who provides independent healthcare services with a personal touch.

And as Rifle’s Dr. Tom Morton has decided to finally hang up his spurs at Rifle’s Outlaw Medical Arts, the torch is being passed to a new local provider who will be able to provide the same level of care for both existing and new patients.

Dr. Morton is retiring after practicing medicine in the Roaring Fork Valley and Western Slope for more than 50 years, and will also be having spinal stenosis surgery in November. Once he recovers, he and his wife Debra plan on traveling more, seeing family and working on their properties.

Outlaw Medical Arts is one of the first satellite clinics for specialists in the Rifle area. (Photo courtesy of TruCare Elevated Wellness)

“We’re thankful for all the support we’ve received from everyone in the valley, and I will miss my loyal patients,” he says.

Dr. Morton began practicing at Glenwood Springs’ Glenwood Medical in 1972, and he and the equally well-known Dr. Robert Yajko were instrumental in hiring many of the physicians who worked both there and at Valley View Hospital. In 1988, Dr. Morton and his wife established Outlaw Medical Arts, making it one of the first satellite clinics for specialists in the Rifle area. Then returning to an area he loved dearly, Dr. Morton practiced internal medicine in the Roaring Fork Valley and Western Slope for more than 50 years.  

Original Outlaw Staff (Photo courtesy of TruCare Elevated Wellness)

Debra Morton says her husband also loved taking care of the old ranchers and cowboys in the area, all of whom were strong, independent people with amazing stories. The couple say they were also blessed with the longevity of their hard-working patients, many of whom lived to be more than 100 years of age. 

Dr. Morton says he’s seen a lot of changes in the area over a half century, and says he’s excited to know that a young, capable clinician will be following in his footsteps. 

Trumon “Otto” Craft IV, MSN, NP-C, AAPCGNP, will be officially relaunching Morton’s practice in early October as TruCare Elevated Wellness, part of a small healthcare company also serving Steamboat Springs and the Eagle/Vail area. Otto is a nurse practitioner whose background is in adult primary care, though TruCare will also offer services including DOT and FAA medical exams, as well as referrals for medical cannabis.

Otto is ready to continue the legacy and work Dr. Morton has started (Photo courtesy of TruCare Elevated Wellness)

“I have some very big shoes to fill, but I also want to help Dr. Morton have a nice exit from his longtime practice,” Otto says. “I really like what he does and when we first met, we really hit it off. I’m also excited as we’re one of the few examples of continuity in a small, local practice.”

“We will definitely stress quality over quantity when it comes to healthcare,” Otto adds. “Whatever the option, it’s a patient’s own healthcare decision. That’s why we also offer an option for medical cannabis evaluations, as a pain management option over opioids. We can evaluate and see if patients would be appropriate for that treatment.”

In time, Otto says he hopes to be able to find someone to help provide pediatrics services at the clinic; for now, TruCare specializes in patients aged 12 and over. TruCare’s services include annual physicals, sick visits and sports physicals, DOT exams, as well as direct primary care. Otto can do in-house lab draws for routine checks, and will also be able to provide FAA physicals in the near future. 

Contact TruCare Elevated Wellness Here:

Phone: 970-844-9780
www.trucarewellness.com

A new crop of volunteers is needed to help reflect the Buddy Program’s increasingly diverse group of youngsters

Living in one of the most expensive communities in the United States is hard enough for adults, but for kids whose families experience economic, housing or other challenges, the Roaring Fork Valley can be an especially difficult experience.

Big Buddy Ainhoa Bujan and Little Buddy Ximena celebrate at Ximena's high school graduation ceremony, after the two have been Buddies for 10+ years.
Big Buddy Ainhoa Bujan and Little Buddy Ximena celebrate at Ximena’s high school graduation ceremony, after the two have been Buddies for 10+ years.

That’s why the Roaring Fork Valley-based Buddy Program has provided a valuable service to local youth, pairing them with local adult volunteers to take part in activities and events they might normally not be able to access, as well as helping them establish a friendship with a trusted adult.

Horseback riding, gondola rides, theater shows or even enjoying a cheeseburger together can be a very big deal. More importantly, the time spent with a caring and committed adult mentor and friend, either during a lunch break on a school day or out in the community, helps build social skills and strengths that can last a lifetime – not to mention extended friendships between Big and Little Buddies.

Big Buddy Ryan Latham and Little Buddy Bryce show off their creations after a pottery class.
Big Buddy Ryan Latham and Little Buddy Bryce show off their creations after a pottery class.

Laura Seay, Senior Recruitment Manager and Development Coordinator, says the Buddy Program, founded in 1973, was established to meet the need of our local mountain communities to provide mentors who would serve as a friend and guide to youth here. 

At present, the organization has about 100 pairs of adult and child Buddies from Aspen to Carbondale, though the Buddy Program is also able to provide some services to children who have moved further down the valley with their families.  There is currently a “match list” of more than two dozen youth who are waiting for a Big Buddy.

Big Buddy Zach Benevento-Zahner and Little Buddy David hit the slopes for the Buddy Program's annual Ski/Snowboard Day.
Big Buddy Zach Benevento-Zahner and Little Buddy David hit the slopes for the Buddy Program’s annual Ski/Snowboard Day.

“We’re looking for people who are reliable, committed, consistent, open-minded, and are really excited to have a connection with a younger person.” Seay says.

And while last year was the biggest on record for new volunteers, the Buddy Program’s greatest current need, explains Ainhoa Bujan, the Mentoring Program Director, is to recruit a wider array of bilingual adult Big Buddies to better represent the changing demographics in Aspen and the entire Roaring Fork Valley.

“We’re trying to bring more equity in our volunteers and mentors, so we are recruiting to bring in people from more diverse backgrounds,” Bujan says. While the Buddy Program offers extensive services to Hispanic and Latinx youth and their families, that hasn’t been as well-represented in the adult Big Buddies themselves.

“We’ve been making connections with other nonprofits in the Latinx community, as we’ve realized our current system is based on a way of recruiting volunteers that doesn’t necessarily work with other cultural communities,” Bujan adds. “In recent years, a lot more young professionals in the Latinx community have come back to work and live in the valley, and we see huge opportunities through them.”

Seay explains that the Buddy Program offers two main opportunities for adult volunteers: Community-based relationships that take place outside of school hours, and school-based programs, which take place at local schools during lunch hours, once a week.

“We are always looking at the safety and wellbeing of our kids, so consistency and commitment are critical,” Bujan says. “That means not giving up, and having cultural humility, to work with a diverse group of kids. And our kids are amazing. We want them to learn and grow up healthy, and to have a healthy role model outside of their own families.”

Both Bujan and Seay have experienced the benefits themselves as they are also longtime volunteers with the program, having developed life-long relationships with their Little Buddies as they’ve grown into young adults. “I appreciate that we were able to try so many new activities together,” Seay says. “We attended a pottery class together, which I had never done, and had the best time doing. We were also able to go horseback riding, which is something I loved during my childhood, and we were able to share that activity. I watched her grow up and mature over an 8-year period. I feel every youth deserves a dedicated mentor and the Buddy Program wants our valley youth to have that experience.”

ReEnergize funding helps Rifle family beat the heat and save money

Living in a poorly insulated home is a lose-lose situation: you pay extra to be uncomfortable. For many, the cost of fixing the problem may be beyond reach, but a new Garfield Clean Energy program is filling the affordability gap.

Energy efficiency technician Dolton Carson cuts blueboard insulation to seal up gaps in the home’s basement walls.
Energy efficiency technician Dolton Carson cuts blueboard insulation to seal up gaps in the home’s basement walls.

Diane Alexandersson and her husband Pete had endured discomfort in their Rifle home for decades.The small 1960s-era house was costing up to $300 a month to heat in the winter, yet they were still having to wear sweaters to stay warm inside. Summers were worse – the swamp cooler just couldn’t keep up, and afternoons and evenings were unbearably stuffy.

“We thought it was the windows,” says Pete. Whatever it was, they knew they needed to do something about it, but weren’t sure where to start or how they would afford it. Enter ReEnergize Garfield County. Launched this year with an extra $150,000 from the county, the program is designed to help people like Diane and Pete who want to improve their home’s energy efficiency but don’t qualify for existing financial aid for low-income households.

Diane read about ReEnergize and applied early. Based on their household income, she and Pete fell into the sweet spot for ReEnergize – between 80% and 100% of the area median income – and qualified for up to $5,000 of free home energy improvements. (Households earning 100-120% of median income can still qualify, but they’re capped at $3,000.)

As a first step, ReEnergize arranged to have a home energy audit done to determine what was wrong and what it would take to fix it. Tests revealed that the problem wasn’t the windows – it was poor insulation.

According to Nick Miller of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, who performed the audit, the attic insulation was old, unevenly spread and at most 2 inches deep. He gave it a rating of about R-4 – by comparison, modern code requires R-49 in the attic, or 12 times as much! In addition, there was no insulation at all in the basement between the top of the concrete foundation and the ground floor.

“You could almost say they had no insulation to begin with,” said Miller. No wonder the house was so uncomfortable. In winter, heated indoor air was rising up through the attic and out the roof, while cold outside air was being drawn in from the basement. In summer, most of the cool air from the swamp cooler was leaking out through the basement and the attic.

It’s an all-too-common situation, said Zuleika Pevec, clean energy program manager for CLEER, which manages Garfield Clean Energy’s programs. “Most homes we’re seeing are in need of insulation or air sealing, and in fact that’s really the main purpose of ReEnergize,” she explained. “The best use of funding is to first get the building shell tight. Then if other upgrades are needed, like say a new furnace, they’ll be sized for a more efficient house.”

The NWCCOG team returned to Pete and Diane’s house on a sweltering day in June to blow 18 inches of new insulation into the attic floor – enough to bring it up to the current R-49 standard – and to seal the gaps in the basement with 2-inch-thick foam board.

Reached by phone recently, Diane was beyond pleased with the result. “We notice a big difference,” she said. “It’s not sweltering hot in here, it’s nice. At night we can go to sleep and it doesn’t feel like a sauna!”

There was one other big-ticket item identified in the home energy audit: a new furnace. Pete and Diane have $1,500 of ReEnergize funding remaining to help pay for it, and they’re considering two alternatives: a conventional natural gas unit and an all-electric heat pump system.

The heat pump would cost more, but it would also provide air conditioning. And now there’s an extra incentive: a federal payment of $8,000 for heat pump systems starting in 2023, courtesy of the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act.

ReEnergize Garfield County has allocated all of its funding for 2022, but homeowners and renters are still encouraged to enroll in the program now to find out if they qualify for other financial aid and to get on the waiting list for 2023 ReEnergize funding. For more information, visit garfieldcleanenergy.org/reenergize or call the CLEER office at (970) 704-9200.

Explore 10 Iconic High Country Courses with the Rocky Mountain Golf Card

Golfing allows you to enjoy the best of Colorado’s natural beauty, all while playing a challenging game with friends and family. 

The Rocky Mountain Golf Card helps you make the most of mountain summers. It gives you two-for-one access to the best mountain golf courses in Colorado.

The 2022 Rocky Mountain Golf Card returns this season with 10 iconic golf courses in the Colorado High Country. 

For just $79, you and your partner play for the price of one at all 10 golf courses. 

This Rocky Mountain golf card lets you experience the variety of challenges, scenery and restaurants that the best mountain golf courses in Colorado offer. 

With the Rocky Mountain golf card, golfing in the Colorado mountains has never been easier — or less expensive. Each card can save you up to $860. 

Simply reserve a tee time at any of the participating courses, pay one greens fee and bring a companion, who plays free. Each 2022 Rocky Mountain Golf Card entitles you to one BOGO-free round of golf at every one of the 10 participating Colorado mountain golf courses. If you plan on golfing a few resorts more than once, simply purchase a Rocky Mountain golf card for the best deal. 

“My husband and I purchased two cards from you. We used them all the time and want to thank you for offering this to us. It gave us the opportunity to try many different courses in our beautiful Colorado,” Kathy, a Denver resident, said.

Elevate your summer — and golf game — with free rounds at the following Colorado mountain golf courses:

Cedar Ridges Golf Course

Escape the hustle and bustle of it all at Cedar Ridges Golf Course. Located on the outskirts of Rangely, this course sits atop sweeping mesas. The 9-hole, par-36 course leads golfers through large rolling hills and greens, water and sand traps and evergreens. 

Frank Hummel, who has created over 200 courses throughout the United States, designed the course. It offers a minimum of three tee boxes on each hole, making the course challenging enough for any experienced golfer, yet thoroughly enjoyable for novices, as well. 

Don’t miss this hidden gem on the Western Slope. The course is always in immaculate condition and provides a nice pro shop and restaurant. 

“I was extremely impressed with this beautiful course in such a small, remote rural town,” Margaret, a golfer, said. “It’s worth the drive.”

(photo courtesy of Jeff Affleck)
(photo courtesy of Jeff Affleck)

Eagle Ranch Golf Club

Eagle Ranch Golf Club combines top-notch service, exquisite conditioning and an Arnold Palmer Signature Design within the spectacular setting of the Rocky Mountains. 

“What makes it unique to other mountain courses is that you’re still in the mountains with scenic views, but the course is on a flatter piece of land,” said general manager Jeff Boyer. “The most common compliments we get are about the design of the golf course. It plays more fair. It’s not an easy golf course by any means. It’s very challenging, but what you see is what you get. There are no funky bounces or hard to judge (holes).”

The club also welcomes families and kids; the fact that so many people ride their bikes to golf is a testament to its neighborhood warmth.

“It has the characteristics of a higher-end, private course, but it doesn’t have that pretentious atmosphere. It’s friendly, relaxed and welcoming to all,” Boyer said.

(photo courtesy of Glenwood Springs)
(photo courtesy of Glenwood Springs)

Glenwood Springs Golf Club

Voted best 9-hole public course in Colorado by the Denver Post, Glenwood Springs Golf Club is set against a breathtaking backdrop of surrounding mountains and valleys. 

The par-35 course features tree-lined fairways and meticulously manicured greens. Bends and turns on green #5 make it the most challenging to navigate, while #8 makes a hole-in-one the most exciting because you can see the ball soar the entire way.

“The other greens on our par threes are elevated and intriguing,” said general manager Jerry Butler. “Having won the award of Colorado’s number one 9-hole golf course (in 2018), you will be pleasantly surprised by its challenging greens. What you will like most about this club is the people. They are small-town friendly, and everyone will make you feel like you are at home.”

Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club

With a sporty Robert Trent Jones II layout, plenty of wildlife, gorgeous mountain scenery and superb greens, it’s no wonder Golf Digest named Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort one of the best places in Colorado.  

“The course has a great mix of holes where precision is key, but at the same time you can pull driver and let it rip,” said Andrew Donner, director of golf. “Elevation changes are abundant but not extreme. The aspens frame up the golf course perfectly, and with Fish Creek meandering in and out, eye-popping golf shots are plenty.”

In addition, the sound of the roaring creek, the crackling of wood as a deer wanders by, the whistle of a marmot in the distance or a moose swimming across the pond are just standard “distractions” while golfing at the club, he said. “It doesn’t hurt that it is 80 degrees and sunny almost every day.”

Yampa Valley Golf Course

Lined by the lazy Yampa River, Yampa Valley Golf Course weaves through more than 240 acres of cottonwood trees, wetlands, native grasses and sages. 

Located in the heart of northwest Colorado, rolling hills create a gorgeous backdrop at this 18-hole course. 

As the oldest and most affordable facility in the Yampa Valley, the team’s mission is to provide a quality golfing experience wrapped in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The experienced, well-trained staff treats everyone like family and delivers outstanding service on its meticulously maintained course.

“(It has a) wonderful staff, beautiful course and some of the best views in the valley,” golfer Andrea Lyn Green posted on Facebook.

Golfer Tom Atkinson, who plays the course annually, aptly describes it as “a fun and unique golf experience.”

(photo courtesy of Haymaker Golf Course)
(photo courtesy of Haymaker Golf Course)

Haymaker Golf Course

What makes Haymaker Golf Course unique is the fact that it’s a traditional, links-style course, located in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. Mount Werner’s snow-capped peak frames many of the holes, while the picturesque Flat Top Mountain Range surrounds the course. Native grasses and wetlands enhance wide-open fairways, and the golf course has earned Audubon International’s Highest Distinction for maintaining the utmost environmental standards. This extraordinary preservation makes the area a great place to spot elk, eagles, blue herons and other wildlife.

Designed by Keith Foster, seven sets of tee boxes allow for play ranging from 7,300 yards to about 5,000.

“It’s a really great layout for every type of golfer,” said head golf professional Cody Hasten.

Meeker Golf Course

Tucked away in the quaint community of Meeker, the 9-hole Meeker Golf Course 

is a small and compact course full of character. Designed by Henry Hughes, it’s surrounded by mountains and livestock pastures. Wildlife is abundant, and it’s not uncommon to see a deer lying on a green.

“The atmosphere is just very casual,” said manager Becky Ridings. “It has the feel of a small-town course. It’s less uptight — no one is rushing you, so people just relax and feel more comfortable.”

“(It’s) a hidden gem, very picturesque,” wrote golfer Mark Tomlinson on Facebook. “The price is good, and (it has) very friendly staff and owners.”

Hole #5 can be the most challenging for golfers new to the course, since doglegs and trees obscure the hole from the men’s tee box. Ridings’ tip: As you go up over #3, look at #5 to get a sense of its layout.

(photo courtesy of Ranch at Roaring Forks)
(photo courtesy of Ranch at Roaring Forks)

Ranch at Roaring Fork Golf Course

Set against a picturesque scene of Roaring Fork Valley’s mountains, the Ranch at Roaring Fork Golf Course offers a well-kept 9-hole, par-3 course. Its authentic Colorado neighborhood vibe makes it perfect for all skill levels and ages, from beginners to scratch golfers.

As the first golf course in Carbondale, the Ranch at Roaring Fork prides itself on being family friendly and community oriented. Its challenging fairways, chipping and putting greens make it a great place to perfect your short game or just spend leisurely time with family and friends. 

Golfer Kevin Blanchard calls it a “fun quick nine before work, (with a) friendly accommodating staff.”

The course’s easy access from Highway 82 makes it simple to slide into almost any schedule. 

“This summer, escape the ordinary and breathe in the fresh mountain air as you golf in Colorado’s stunning Rocky Mountains.”

Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks

Considered one of the top courses in the nation by Golf Magazine, golfing at Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks is truly memorable. It features lush, rolling fairways and immaculate greens surrounded by pines, aspens and snow-capped, 13,000-foot mountain peaks. Crystal-clear creeks and lakes punctuate the award-winning course. 

“The Raven Golf Club sits at 9,000 feet in elevation and boasts a 225-foot drop from tee to green at the par 9th hole,” said general manager Ryan Parr. 

While the course is open to the public, it also has the fastest growing golf membership in Summit County, increasing by 115% in the last three years. 

With a full bunker renovation of all 88 bunkers, high-end, white sand in traps contrasts the blue sky and emerald greens.

Rifle Creek Golf Course

Nestled along the Grand Hogback Ridge, Rifle Creek Golf Course provides a unique golfing experience with two distinct 9-hole tracks. Its friendly and expert staff aim to make your golf day a memorable experience — and the views themselves are unforgettable!

This year, golfers voted Rifle Creek #8 in Golfers’ Choice courses in Colorado, as well as one of the top 25 courses in the nation.

“This is one of the best values in the area and the course and all the surrounding views are fantastic — especially the back nine,” commented Golfers’ Choice golfer Captainbadger. 

The open front nine holes weave across the sparkling Rifle Creek, offering a fairly easy walk. The back nine winds through rolling hills with elevated tee boxes. It’s challenging, and provides spectacular mountain views. In addition, its large pro shop has one of the largest selections of clubs, clothing and accessories on the Western Slope.

Rocky Mountain Golf Card

Buy one round and get your partner’s round free: At just $79, it’s your pass to play more — and to save up to $860 this summer.

Quantities are limited, so purchase your pass today at:

Postindependent.com/golfcard

The 2022 Rocky Mountain Golf Card provides free access for golf partners at some of the best mountain golf courses in Colorado.  

This summer, escape the ordinary and breathe in the fresh mountain air as you golf in Colorado’s stunning Rocky Mountains. Every one of the 10 iconic courses on the 2022 Rocky Mountain Golf Card offers a different and invigorating experience to shake up your outdoor recreation routine and add more adventure to your season.

GLENWOOD ART CENTER RESTORATION INCLUDES ENERGY EFFICIENCY

After standing idle for more than four years, the Glenwood Springs Community Art Center is coming back to life. Art classes and pottery nights have quietly resumed, and a grand opening is set for June 4.

Putting the old hydroelectric building back into service has been a major project for the City of Glenwood Springs – and Garfield Clean Energy has played a supporting role, advising on opportunities for incorporating energy efficiency into the restoration.

Work started last year with the repair of water damage and other problems to bring the historic building into compliance with safety codes. Air conditioning also had to be installed to make the upstairs habitable for the city’s parks and recreation department to move into.

Photo courtesy of Glenwood Art Center
Photo courtesy of Glenwood Art Center

A chance encounter brought GCE into the process this winter. Heidi McCullough, a buildings specialist with CLEER – the nonprofit that runs GCE’s programs – is also a potter. She called the rec department to find out if they had any pottery studio space available.

They didn’t (yet), but they were quite interested in picking the brain of a buildings specialist.

McCullough offered to do an energy audit of the building, which is a free service Garfield Clean Energy provides to any commercial property owner in the county. As a member of GCE, Glenwood Springs also gets free energy consulting.

“Getting free information is an amazing thing,” says Matt Kraemer, the rec department’s facilities manager. McCullough’s audit was a “triple whammy” – the report provided a menu of immediate cost-saving fixes, other measures that could be rolled into the planned renovations, and additional improvements that could be prioritized as funding allows.

“I would encourage other municipalities to take advantage of the free audit and to start the conversation” about energy efficiency before undertaking any big renovations, Kraemer says. “You don’t know what’s going on (in the building) until you look into it.”

Here’s an example of not knowing what you don’t know:

In February, McCullough, Kraemer and others from the rec department and Black Hills Energy did a site visit of the arts center. While there, they noticed the indoor temperature seemed awfully warm – 73 degrees. They checked the thermostat and found it was set for 55. Something was awry. And then the air conditioning came on!

It turns out there was a faulty zone valve that wasn’t allowing the heat to shut off. It was the kind of glitch that happens from time to time, made worse by not turning off the AC for the winter. In an occupied building, the problem would have been noticed and corrected right away. In the arts center, no one noticed that the heating and cooling systems were battling with each other through the coldest months of the year, wasting thousands of dollars worth of electricity and natural gas.

Photo courtesy of Glenwood Art Center
Photo courtesy of Glenwood Art Center

“That was a quick fix that they alerted us to,” says Kraemer. The valve has been repaired, and all thermostats are being replaced.

Other low-hanging opportunities that the team has addressed include wrapping exposed pipes (which waste heat while also adding to the AC load), servicing the boiler and swapping out almost all of the old-style lighting with LEDs.

Kraemer says the city has included “pretty much all” of McCullough’s other recommendations in a $2 million grant request it recently submitted to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city is also applying for historic preservation grants.

“It’s about picking your battles with your own money and hoping for a little help to fund the bigger items,” he says.

Renovations are more complicated and expensive in a building that’s listed on the National Historic Register. That makes it all the more important to make energy-efficiency upgrades part of an integrated package of building envelope upgrades, Kraemer explains. For example, it makes sense to add insulation in conjunction with needed roof repairs. Air sealing is best done after windows are replaced.

McCullough has high hopes for two particular upgrades. One is replacing the glass-paneled roll-up garage door in the building’s newer wing, which she calls “an energy disaster – it’s like a hole in the wall, insulation-wise.” Kraemer says he’s getting a quote on a replacement product that would boost the door’s insulation value from R-2 to R-17.

The other is adding storm windows to augment the building’s old single-pane windows. The structure’s historic status greatly limits the kinds of changes that can be made to windows, but McCullough has found an interior storm window product that she thinks will be allowed.

The attic insulation, air sealing, super-insulated garage door, storm windows and a new, efficient boiler would all be funded by the HUD grant, if received.

Kraemer stresses that the city wants to prioritize energy efficiency in all its facilities.

“Anytime we do upgrades, that pops to the top of the list,” he says. “Not just in this building – it’s taking a deeper dive into every single building we have, seeing how we can be more green and energy-efficient.”

Hunger doesn’t have to be a secret

(photo courtesy of SANA, Safe and Abundant Nutrition Alliance )
(photo courtesy of SANA, Safe and Abundant Nutrition Alliance )

How many times have you gone to bed thinking about how you are going to provide the next day’s food for your children and for your family? It seems incredible that in such a rich valley there is a lack of food.

That is why SANA (Safe and Abundant Nutrition Alliance) is working on the secret recipe which is to remove the stigma to ask for help, since many people might be embarrassed to go to a food bank.

“I know it’s not easy for some people, but I would advise those who feel ashamed that having a need — material or spiritual — is part of the human condition,” explained Gladys, a SANA volunteer. “Therefore, it is more important to supply than stop to think about what others will think.”

(photo courtesy of SANA, Safe and Abundant Nutrition Alliance )
(photo courtesy of SANA, Safe and Abundant Nutrition Alliance )

Access to healthy food is the purpose behind the campaign’s goal, which is “hunger doesn’t have to be a secret”. Since it is not only talking about the subject, it is also creating solutions, listening to residents and sharing information between entities that can make changes in the system.

“Anyone can be vulnerable and fortunately there is support from local organizations and volunteers who give me the empathy to be able to approach the food banks,” explained another volunteer.

The beauty of this program is that it offers more than a simple flyer of food bank or distribution center hours. SANA also shares other resources, including healthy cooking classes and cooking recipes on how to best use canned food.

(photo courtesy of SANA, Safe and Abundant Nutrition Alliance )
(photo courtesy of SANA, Safe and Abundant Nutrition Alliance )

Like any community project, volunteers are what make everything possible, so if you have the time to help, please don’t hesitate to do so. But above all, if you have any need due to lack of food – whether you are sick, lack transportation or money – SANA can still help you connect with the right people. Find the SANA page on Facebook and send them a message.

A well-known saying says that we are arrieros and we walk on the road, at some time we all have had to go hungry, for whatever reason. But when there are solutions it is better to learn to seek help. Today for you, tomorrow for me. As good Latinos, where one eats, we all eat!

5Point Film Festival returns in person

Brought to you by 5Point Film Festival 

Once again, 5Point Film Festival is fostering a sense of community through a shared love of the outdoors.
While the festival went virtual during the pandemic, it’s back and stronger than ever this year, featuring a lineup of 56 short and feature-length films. 

“It’s so important to reconnect the audience and the community through the in-person festival. It’s our biggest priority,” said Luis Yllanes, executive director of 5Point Film Festival. “The magic that makes this organization so special is the ability to connect and gather in person.” 

Professional climber Beth Rodden tackling a boulder problem in Yosemite. She is featured in the 5Point premiere of This Is Beth. (photo courtesy of Tara Kerzhner)
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INSPIRATION THROUGH CONNECTION 

The four-day film festival focuses on inspiring audiences through outdoor films, panel discussions, art, music, food, and activities, like a fly-casting competition, bike ride and run and hike event. Over 50 special guests, featuring filmmakers and their subjects to writers and athletes, will attend the festival. 

The festival offers just about something for everyone, from young and older filmmakers to families, nature lovers and af- ter-party revelers. 

It all kicks off Thursday April 21 with the Van Life Rally featuring tricked- out adventure vehicles, live music and food trucks, late night tacos and more. 

Free panels and workshops encompass a variety of topics, from increasing diver- sity in outdoor films to balancing cre- ative work, adventure and family. Jeremy Jensen will talk about finding flow — an optimal state of consciousness in which we feel the most alive — and end with an invigorating bike ride up Prince Creek. The Stio Adventure Filmmakers Pitch Event takes place Saturday afternoon. The inaugural event features seven finalists (out of over 40 entries) pitching their concept to a jury to win $15,000 and premiere their film at 5Point’s 2023 festival. 

A free ice cream social with Sundae’s small-batch artisan ice cream takes place Saturday from 12:30-2:30 p.m., after the Family Film Program. 

A shot from Tom Attwater’s Attack and Release which details the life of fly fisherman Ranga Perera. (photo courtesy of Tom Attwater)
A shot from Tom Attwater’s Attack and Release which details the life of fly fisherman Ranga Perera. (photo courtesy of Tom Attwater)

FILM HIGHLIGHTS 

5Point Film Festival’s screenings strive to ignite personal and communal adventure through meaningful storytelling. It was founded on the philosophy that communities improve when residents “pursue adventure and intentionally live their own best story.” Every film revolves around the importance of human connection, while 

imparting profound stories through stunning cinematography.
Feature films tell stories of overcoming one of the most traumatic accidents in the history of rock climbing (“An Accidental Life”), living with a brain tumor and kayaking unprecedented whitewater (“The River Runner”) and themes of death and recovery (“Torn”). 

World premieres feature storm chasing, extreme mountain biking, rock climbing and fly-fishing.
“Their inspiration, creativity, pure joy, incredible athleticism and the sheer entertainment of (all) these programs will recharge you,” Yllanes said. “We’re known to push the limits of what people consider outdoor adventure films.” 

CONTINUAL OUTREACH 

5Point Film Festival is named for its value-based mission, which centers around the five points: Respect for humans, the environment and experience; Commitment to overcome fear and lead a vital existence; Humility to listen to intuition, not ego; Purpose in pursuing one’s highest aspirations even in the face of adversity; and Balance of maintaining focus and energy in life and nature while surrendering to the uncontrollable. 

Scott Lindgren takes the plunge in Rush Sturges’ award-winning film The River Runner. Join Sturges for a Q&A after the 5Point screening on Saturday, April 23. (photo courtesy of Eric Parker)
Scott Lindgren takes the plunge in Rush Sturges’ award-winning film The River Runner. Join Sturges for a Q&A after the 5Point screening on Saturday, April 23. (photo courtesy of Eric Parker)

In addition to the annual film festival, 5Point sponsors Dream Project scholarships, which encourage young people to chase their dreams to better the world through a $1,500 scholarship; the 5Point Film Fund, which supports filmmakers and artists; and the free 5Point Student Film Reel, which provides inspirational films for all students and an accompanying resource packet for educators in the Roaring Fork Valley. 

5Point is also expanding its programming year- round to continue to inspire audiences locally and along the Front Range. Through regular programming, 5Point hopes to “have people realize that these are such important points to live by,” Yllanes said. “You’re really taking a step to live a purposeful life. The last two years have challenged us both mentally and physically . 

“With the return of our in-person festival, we continue to champion the creative and authentic stories that 5Point has become known for. Great storytelling is our anchoring source of inspiration and hope in a constantly shifting world.” 

5Point Film Festival returns in person

If you go

What: 5Point Film Festival

When: April 21-24

Where: Various venues in Carbondale

Cost: $365 pass or ala carte pricing from $15-$38

More info: www.5pointfilm.org

Brought to you by 5Point Film Festival

Once again, 5Point Film Festival is fostering a sense of community through a shared love of the outdoors. While the festival went virtual during the pandemic, it’s back and stronger than ever this year, featuring a lineup of 56 short and feature-length films. 

“It’s so important to reconnect the audience and the community through the in-person festival. It’s our biggest priority,” said Luis Yllanes, executive director of 5Point Film Festival. “The magic that makes this organization so special is the ability to connect and gather in person.” 

Professional climber Beth Rodden tackling a boulder problem in Yosemite. Rodden features in 5Point premiere This Is Beth. (photo courtesy of Tara Kerzhner)
Professional climber Beth Rodden tackling a boulder problem in Yosemite. She is featured in the 5Point premiere of This Is Beth. (photo courtesy of Tara Kerzhner)

Inspiration through connection

The four-day film festival focuses on inspiring audiences through outdoor films, panel discussions, art, music, food, and activities, like a fly-casting competition, bike ride and run and hike event. Over 50 special guests, featuring filmmakers and their subjects to writers and athletes, will attend the festival. 

The festival offers just about something for everyone, from young and older filmmakers to families, nature lovers and af- ter-party revelers. 

It all kicks off Thursday April 21 with the Van Life Rally featuring tricked- out adventure vehicles, live music and food trucks, late night tacos and more. 

Free panels and workshops encompass a variety of topics, from increasing diver- sity in outdoor films to balancing cre- ative work, adventure and family. Jeremy Jensen will talk about finding flow — an optimal state of consciousness in which we feel the most alive — and end with an invigorating bike ride up Prince Creek. The Stio Adventure Filmmakers Pitch Event takes place Saturday afternoon. The inaugural event features seven finalists (out of over 40 entries) pitching their concept to a jury to win $15,000 and premiere their film at 5Point’s 2023 festival. 

A free ice cream social with Sundae’s small-batch artisan ice cream takes place Saturday from 12:30-2:30 p.m., after the Family Film Program.

A shot from Tom Attwater's Attack and Release which details the life of fly fisherman Ranga Perera. (photo courtesy of Tom Attwater)
A shot from Tom Attwater’s Attack and Release which details the life of fly fisherman Ranga Perera. (photo courtesy of Tom Attwater)

Film highlights

5Point Film Festival’s screenings strive to ignite personal and communal adventure through meaningful storytelling. It was founded on the philosophy that communities improve when residents “pursue adventure and intentionally live their own best story.” Every film revolves around the importance of human connection, while 

imparting profound stories through stunning cinematography.
Feature films tell stories of overcoming one of the most traumatic accidents in the history of rock climbing (“An Accidental Life”), living with a brain tumor and kayaking unprecedented whitewater (“The River Runner”) and themes of death and recovery (“Torn”). World premieres feature storm chasing, extreme mountain biking, rock climbing and fly-fishing.
“Their inspiration, creativity, pure joy, incredible athleticism and the sheer entertainment of (all) these programs will recharge you,” Yllanes said. “We’re known to push the limits of what people consider outdoor adventure films.”

Continual outreach

5Point Film Festival is named for its value-based mission, which centers around the five points: Respect for humans, the environment and experience; Commitment to overcome fear and lead a vital existence; Humility to listen to intuition, not ego; Purpose in pursuing one’s highest aspirations even in the face of adversity; and Balance of maintaining focus and energy in life and nature while surrendering to the uncontrollable.

Scott Lindgren takes the plunge in Rush Sturges' award-winning film The River Runner. Join Sturges for a Q&A after the 5Point screening on Saturday, April 23. (photo courtesy of Eric Parker)
Scott Lindgren takes the plunge in Rush Sturges’ award-winning film The River Runner. Join Sturges for a Q&A after the 5Point screening on Saturday, April 23. (photo courtesy of Eric Parker)

In addition to the annual film festival, 5Point sponsors Dream Project scholarships, which encourage young people to chase their dreams to better the world through a $1,500 scholarship; the 5Point Film Fund, which supports filmmakers and artists; and the free 5Point Student Film Reel, which provides inspirational films for all students and an accompanying resource packet for educators in the Roaring Fork Valley. 

5Point is also expanding its programming year- round to continue to inspire audiences locally and along the Front Range. Through regular programming, 5Point hopes to “have people realize that these are such important points to live by,” Yllanes said. “You’re really taking a step to live a purposeful life. The last two years have challenged us both mentally and physically . 

“With the return of our in-person festival, we continue to champion the creative and authentic stories that 5Point has become known for. Great storytelling is our anchoring source of inspiration and hope in a constantly shifting world.”

Choosing health

Next Cooking Matter classes:

Begins March 2, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Free six-week course.

Location: Changing Lifestyles Classroom, 501 Airport Road, Rifle, CO

Sign up: 970-625-6200 or email jcollinge@grhd.org

For more information on all of Grand River Health’s lifestyle programs, visit: www.grandriverhealth.org.

Making healthy choices can transform your life, but doing it alone can be an uphill battle. That’s why the Health Education Team at Grand River Health in Rifle offers classes and support. From diabetes education and new-mom support groups to cooking classes, Grand River Health breaks down healthy lifestyle habits into small, digestible chunks.

Diabetes Prevention and Management

Diabetes can seem overwhelming, but Grand River Health’s programs help both kids and adults take a proactive approach.

Their Diabetes Management program guides recently diagnosed patients, as well as those who simply need help staying on track.

“People who come to see us are satisfied. Some find that their diabetes does ‘reverse’ with weight control, healthy eating, and exercise. Their bodies are still able to make and use insulin, and their blood sugar levels go back to normal. Their diabetes is in remission” said Jenna Collinge, health educator at Grand River Health. “We take lifestyle changes one step at a time, making sure they take their medications properly and eat the proper amount of carbohydrates and get preventative care like foot checks and eye exams.”

Grand River Health’s two-year Diabetes Prevention program is aimed at people who have pre-diabetes. It focuses on preventing type 2 diabetes through healthy eating habits and sharing recipes and tips for increasing physical activity and managing stress.

Before the program, Tim Enfinger tried a lot of different diets, but nothing stuck. His dad had Type 2 diabetes, so when Enfinger’s hands began tingling, he joined the online Diabetes Prevention program.

Diabetes can seem overwhelming, but Grand River Health’s programs help both kids and adults take a proactive approach. (photo courtesy of Grand River Health)
Diabetes can seem overwhelming, but Grand River Health’s programs help both kids and adults take a proactive approach. (photo courtesy of Grand River Health)

“My favorite thing about the video series was the folks were very similar to me,” he said. “My coach was awesome. If I had a question, she would always respond. I was pretty much your standard couch potato before the program. Now my wife and I go walking every day. I feel a lot better. I sleep better, and I’m more confident.”

Through the program, some participants who incorporated exercise and lifestyle modifications lost 10-20 pounds after six months, Collinge said.

For kids, Pediatric Diabetes Management provides pediatric telehealth from Barbara Davis Center clinic every second Friday of the month. To schedule an appointment, call (303) 724-2323.

Cooking Matters

Learning how to shop on a budget, read labels, price compare and prepare inexpensive meals can enhance your wallet and health.

Cooking Matters, a free six-week course, teaches participants to identify healthy food options and portion sizes, plan menus, shop smart and prepare quick and easy snacks and meals. Each week, people receive a bag of groceries and share meals they’ve prepared.

“Some people who start off don’t eat vegetables, but they find out they like certain fruits and vegetables,” Collinge said. “It opens their eyes to other food options, and a lot of people have cut their grocery bills almost in half.”

Cooking Matters, a free six-week course, teaches participants to identify healthy food options and portion sizes, plan menus, shop smart and prepare quick and easy snacks and meals. Each week, people receive a bag of groceries and share meals they’ve prepared. (photo courtesy of Grand River Health)
Cooking Matters, a free six-week course, teaches participants to identify healthy food options and portion sizes, plan menus, shop smart and prepare quick and easy snacks and meals. Each week, people receive a bag of groceries and share meals they’ve prepared. (photo courtesy of Grand River Health)

Even when people only have microwaves, the Cooking Matters team shows them how to eat healthy microwave meals. They also teach people how to add nutrients to inexpensive noodles, like ramen, by adding canned or frozen vegetables.

Cooking Matters also encourages community bonding; participants often continue to meet to cook or take walks together.

In addition to Cooking Matters, Grand River Health hosts monthly weight loss, bariatric support and walking groups to help people with weight management.

Assisting moms

Parents play an essential role in their children’s health, which is why Grand River Health focuses on providing the best start possible.

Lactation services include free phone consultations and tips.

Meanwhile, Baby & Me, a free support group for new moms, meets  in person at 10 a.m. most Wednesdays and offers a private Facebook Group. Each session covers a different topic, from breastfeeding challenges or stages of development to local resources and creating joyful homes.

Parents play an essential role in their children’s health, which is why Grand River Health focuses on providing the best start possible. (photo courtesy of Grand River Health)
Parents play an essential role in their children’s health, which is why Grand River Health focuses on providing the best start possible. (photo courtesy of Grand River Health)

“It’s a way to get the caregiver out of the house and let the kids have interaction with one another and let caregivers chat about the challenges of parenting,” Collinge said.

Whether you’re challenged by diabetes, weight, kidney disease or hypertension or simply finding your way as a new parent, Grand River Health is here to help.

“Our number one priority is being our community’s first choice in healthcare and disease prevention,” Collinge said.