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Letters – Nov. 4, 2021

Locations: Letters Published

Re: PSSWF

The article in The Sopris Sun on Oct. 28 about Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation (PSSWF), while interesting, missed some important facts:

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The essence of the foundation is black bear rehab and release work and ursine rehabilitation in the 21st century is a rare profession.

There are ONLY TWO PRIVATE black bear rehabbers left in the state of Colorado and PSSWF is one of them.

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Bears are altruistic and very complex beings with the intelligence of the great ape.

In the lower 48 States there are very few bear rehab facilities left, probably less than 10.

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PSSWF receives NO government help and solely relies on private donations and sponsors.

PSSWF is independent and is neither a branch of nor working for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). But, for more than 41 years, the foundation has played an important role in our area by giving second chances for orphaned or injured bear cubs as a partner with CPW.

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The aim of this article should have been how we, as community members, can best raise awareness for PSSWF’s very important work to rehab and release bears. Our community is very fortunate to have this foundation “in our backyard” and it truly takes a valley to keep wildlife wild. We must recognize that without PSSWF many young bears would have zero chance of survival.

The work of the PSSWF expert staff is also significant. Nanci Limbach and her dedicated and hardworking assistant Erin are always on call and responsive to receive each and every bear cub or any species of wildlife in need. PSSWF currently has nine bear cubs in their care, some over winter because they are still small and the bigger ones will go into high altitude denning and will be released in spring of 2022. PLEASE consider donating to PSSWF. All donations are welcome, no matter how big or small. https://www.psswf.org/donate, @pss_wildlife, and https://www.facebook.com/PSSWF/

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Daniela Kohl

Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition, founder 

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Small-town flavor

I’ve been following and participating in the formulation of Carbondale’s comprehensive plan update, which will provide guidance for the Town’s future growth. The words I hear over and over again in this process, to the point where I’m convinced they’re the overriding concern of the Town’s people, is “preserving Carbondale’s small-town flavor.”

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I’m on board with that. The reason I left Glenwood Springs six years ago was the infernal traffic. One day, as I was waiting to get out on Grand Avenue from a side street, it came to me, “I gotta get outta here.” You’d think a guy who grew up in the Chicago area wouldn’t be that bothered by traffic, but it did, and it does, and it always will.

Having lived in towns with double-digit populations, I’m somewhat amused that a town that has grown from 6,000 to 7,000 in the time I’ve lived here calls itself a “small town.” To be honest, where I live, Fourth and Garfield, has very much of a small-town flavor. It’s a short walk from here to the Crystal Theatre, Steve’s Guitars, many fine restaurants and all the features of downtown Carbondale. In another way, Satank is also a small town, a small town in Appalachia.

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However, where Mayberry ends and suburbia begins is on Highway 133. The corridor is dominated by City Market, old and new, which is a part of Kroger, the world’s largest grocery store chain. Not exactly a locally-owned mom and pop market.

My first exposure to Carbondale came in the 1980s when I came to the Roaring Fork Valley to visit my family and ski. It was very much of a small town then. The switch to a suburb began with the construction of River Valley Ranch in the early 1990s.

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I know about suburbs. I grew up in one. Cold, sterile, lifeless, completely without nuance, they’re not the kind of places I’d ever want to live in again. As a long-time town administrator is quoted as saying about the recent influx of residents, “These people are different. They don’t like cow piles on Main Street or cattails in the ditches.”

Carbondale is going to grow. It’s in a valley with plenty of room for expansion without infilling, unlike Glenwood Springs which is in a canyon. The pandemic has taught many people from the city and adjoining suburbs they can work in the city and live in God’s Country.

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Affordable housing so the people who work in Aspen can live closer to that city is a must. If we’re going to welcome these folks to our fair town, we must encourage them to take public transportation to work and leave their cars at home. A gas tax would help with that. We absolutely don’t need any more single-family homes, condos, or town houses.

I’m anxious to see what Cushing Terrell, the consulting firm that’s helping with the update, comes up with. Here’s hoping they’ll lead us in a direction of controlled growth.

Fred Malo Jr.

Carbondale

RFHS mountain bike team

The RFHS mountain bike team would like to give a shout-out to all of our sponsors that supported us this season. Thank you to Alpine Bank, Reese Henry and Company, FirstBank, Revel Bikes, Why Cycles, Basalt Bike and Ski, Stepping Stones and Roaring Fork Cycling. With your support, 14 student-athletes were able to ride and race throughout the state and 7 of our riders qualified for the Colorado High School Cycling League state championships in Durango. 

During the season our team covered hundreds of miles at practices on local trails, helped build new trails for everyone to enjoy, and worked to develop an inclusive high school mountain bike program that will provide opportunities for young cyclists in our community for years to come. We are so proud of every rider on our team and are looking forward to next season and continuing to build a team focused on camaraderie, individual growth and empowering experiences for our athletes. During the off-season, we are hoping to recruit new riders and coaches to join the team. If you are interested in learning more about the RFHS mountain bike team contact coach Kyle at 720-207-7646. Thanks again to everyone that has supported us. We can’t wait to see you out on the trails again next year. GO RAMS!

Coach Kyle Crawley

Coach Parker Lehman

Meals and more

Like many of you in our close community, I have become a caregiver as the daughter to an amazing 81-year-old woman. Dementia finally became clear to me when she asked whether she usually comes over for Christmas, a highlight holiday we’ve shared as a family for the past 20 years since she moved to Carbondale’s Crystal Meadows. I cried. I still cry.

As much as I love and am close to my mom, I didn’t sign up to be a caregiver. But I did sign her up for Valley Meals. Obviously this program is about feeding our seniors, but it is so much more than that.

We brought mom dinners and were in touch daily, but there’s nothing like a hot meal delivered come rain, snow or shine by a cheerful volunteer. The volunteers maintain a smile on their faces, a friendly greeting and a purpose, making sure she is alive and well. It is an act of humanity, of human kindness. 

It gave me more than comfort. It gave me daily support in my new and increasingly demanding role of caring for my mom. Having these meals gives her a sense of independence. It also gives us a bit of a breather of responsibility. We know she has good meals that she likes which are delivered with regularity and superb quality.  

I’m saddened that Valley Meals is coming to an end this December, UNLESS we as a community find a way to support this service. It is so unique and efficient that the president of City Market came to the Carbondale store with a production crew to film the staff preparing the Thursday meals.

When I hear stories of people across the nation standing in growing food lines. I’m grateful that our family isn’t in that position and that my mother isn’t in those lines.  We can’t thank Mary Kenyon and Valley Meals enough for this program and hope that perhaps others may be in a position to help continue what has become a part of the fabric of taking care of each other in these unbelievably challenging times. 

I hope my story is compelling enough that we, as a community, take action. Take a look at the website to learn more: https://valleymealsandmore.com 

Maybe you have leads, including local concerned citizens, private funders and grant sources. If so, please contact Mary directly at mary@valleymealsandmore.com

Lastly, call or write an email to your county commissioner letting him know how important Valley Meals is to our community. His email is: tjankovsky@garfield-county.com

Our family is so grateful for this service. I know we are not alone, and join many families, near and far, in our appreciation for Valley Meals and More.

Carrie Haberern

Carbondale

Dawn

Black skeletal tree

No leaves left, a silhouette

Against blue red sky.

Jampa

Carbondale

Tags: #letters #poetry
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