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Letters – Jan. 20, 2022

Locations: Letters Published

Celebrating school boards!
January is School Board Recognition Month. Every year, the Roaring Fork Schools takes this opportunity to publicly thank our board members for volunteering their time and talent on behalf of our schools. 

Board members have an incredibly important and challenging job — a job that doesn’t come with any compensation. 

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Their decisions directly impact our 5,300 students, 1,000 staff members and the community-at-large.

School boards across the country have faced unprecedented challenges and uniquely contentious times during the pandemic. 

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We appreciate Jasmin Ramirez, Maureen Stepp and Natalie Torres, whose tenure as board members has been almost entirely during COVID. They’ve faced every tough moment with balance and grace and have seen many successes — including the passing of 5B — despite chaotic conditions.

We also appreciate our two new board members, Kathryn Kuhlenberg and Kenny Teitler, who joined the board during a pandemic knowing full well that what they would face wouldn’t be easy. 

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Thank you for stepping up. Being a board member is never easy, and it certainly hasn’t been during COVID. Thank you to each of our board members. We are grateful for your service and leadership.

If you see a board member, please remember to thank them for all that they do for our school community.

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The Roaring Fork Schools Executive Team

Public concern
I express concern about Pitkin County Commissioner and chair of Pitkin’s Board of Health Greg Poschman’s statement at the Jan. 13, 2022 Board of Health meeting regarding the Board of Health’s decisions and responses to COVID-19: “This Board of Health is entrusted with … setting the policy for the safety for the community with our public health department … This isn’t the sort of thing that you have a public process and debate over, unfortunately.”

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Commissioner Poschman should hear this loud and clear: There is no public policy issue that is beyond public process or debate. Not one.

This is government by the People. His suggestion that there are issues he and his government agents should have total control over is offensive to our democratic system.

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What’s more concerning is this statement followed the commission’s undemocratic decision to disallow any public comment at the Jan. 13 meeting on Pitkin public health orders, except written public comment submitted in advance.

When a topic is so hotly contested as this one, it’s crucial that our elected officials provide space for public comment. Eagle County Board of Health allocated considerable time at its Jan. 13 meeting to live public comment.

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This week, commissioners in Garfield County, recognizing how deeply these policies are impacting people’s lives, took in-person comments from their constituents and did not time limit that public dialogue.

Commissioner Poschman, this is NOT the People’s Republic of Aspen or Moscow or Beijing. This is America, where public input and debate is a coveted — and necessary — right of the People.

If you think COVID could take our community to utter deterioration, think again. What will be the demise of Aspen and America is the shutdown of essential public debate.

I, and many others, demand you permit oral public comment as our neighboring counties have at your next Board of Health meeting.

I will look for your apology to our community at the next meeting, where I will be present to give you my comments — orally and live — on your public health orders.
See you then.

Jill Teehan Edinger

Carbondale

Grab ‘n Go lunches suspended
It is with deep sadness that we will temporarily be closing our Grab ‘n Go lunches in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale effective Jan. 20. This is due to catering challenges that limit our ability to provide meals in the eastern portion of our county. Please know that we have researched every possible alternative to temporarily closing our meal sites. We know how important these meals are and we are doing everything we can to find a new caterer to provide the meals as quickly as possible.

During the pandemic, we have been providing heat-at-home meals in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale. It is our hope to reopen to congregate hot meals with our original pre-pandemic schedule in Glenwood Springs on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and in Carbondale on Wednesdays.

We appreciate your patience and flexibility while we identify a new caterer. We will keep you informed of our progress and give you updates every 30 days. Please know your support has been invaluable, especially during the pandemic, and we will truly miss seeing you at the meal sites. As you may know, we utilize two kitchens for our Nutrition Program. Our congregate sites in the western portion of the county remain open and we would love for you to join us at any of them. Meal reservations should be made 48 hours in advance. Please make reservations by calling 970-665-0040. 

All meals are served at noon.

• New Castle “The Gathering” at the Castle Valley Senior Housing, 201 Castle Valley Blvd, on Mondays

• Silt “Meet ‘n Eat” at Silt Town Center, 600 Home Avenue, on Wednesdays

• Parachute at the Valley Senior Center, 540 N. Parachute Avenue, on Mondays and Wednesdays

• Rifle “Senior Delight” at the Rifle Senior Center, 50 Ute Avenue, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays

Please call Judy Martin with any questions and concerns at 970-945-9191 extension 3061, or 970-456-2295 (cell). Please take care and stay healthy. We hope to see you soon.

Train roll on
Freight train passing through
Sounds a long blast on its horn
Forlorn hounds howl back

JM Jesse

Glenwood Springs

Tags: #COVID #Grab ‘n Go lunches #letters #school boards
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