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John Kinkaid: Candidates’ plans raise concerns

After reading the city council and mayoral candidates' plans for the city in the Craig Daily Press, I'm pretty concerned about the future of Moffat County and Craig, specifically.

It seemed like there was a common thread running through all of the candidates’ answers: Build a recreation center and raise our taxes to pay for it. That's after already raising the city sales tax recently. Now, the candidates want to raise taxes again for a recreation center or rec district, that we may not be able to keep the doors open on. It's one thing to get grants and build something, but it's a whole other thing to be able to pay for operations, maintenance, and mortgage payments.

As an aside, Yampa Valley Electric has raised rates twice now in just over a year. My monthly electric bill will be $180 for the next year. A little here and a little there adds up for people. Every week, I work with people who are just barely getting by, by the skin of their teeth. The city should not make the burden worse. We've already seen an increase in trash rates. The new water treatment equipment will likely increase water rates, as well. Just a guess.

What happens when the Hayden Station shuts down and people move or have to cut back on their expenses? Xcel Energy has stated that they intend to close (and profit from) the closing of all of their coal-fired generation power plants.

What happens when Craig Station shuts down Units 1 and 2 under pressure from the feds, the state, and the co-owners? There will be fewer of us to pay the bills to keep government services running. It's likely that our population is going to drop in the next several years. It could easily hit 11,000 in Moffat County.

We should keep working on creative ways to keep the libraries and museum open for business (without raising taxes). That's the priority.

I just don't see how opening a rec center is a prudent financial decision given our present economic forecast. Sure, it would be nice to have a recreation district and a nice rec center, but at the present time, we have an economic contraction staring us in the face. Taking on a large financial obligation is a bad idea at this time. I just don't see how the math works without an undue burden on taxpayers.  Am I wrong?

By the way, I'm still hoping and praying for a serious miracle in Moffat County! We could really use a break.

John Kinkaid

Craig

Northwest Colorado Health: Thank you for supporting Hospice Daffodils

Relief, gratitude, closure. You are likely to hear these words if you speak to individuals who have received support from our hospice team during a loved one's end-of-life journey.

They will tell you about feeling relieved to have help from our nurses and medical staff to manage a loved one's pain. They'll say they were grateful to have had more quality time with that person thanks to our support. They may also describe our compassionate social workers, bereavement, and spiritual care staff and volunteers, and how our team helped a family find hope and closure, even while navigating final months, weeks, and days and the grief process that follows.

We are grateful to you, Moffat County residents and businesses, for purchasing Hospice Daffodils to help these families and patients who need our care. Your display of daffodils in your homes, offices, schools, restaurants, organizations, and businesses shows that you understand the importance of having hospice in our communities. Your donations and support for fundraisers such as Hospice Daffodils ensure we have a dedicated, experienced staff and are able to deliver care to residents anywhere in our large rural region.

We want to extend a special thank you to volunteers who contribute countless hours (and mileage) collecting orders, delivering daffodils, and helping with many aspects of this event. Without your help, we would not have these early heralds of spring to adorn our communities and remind us of the beauty that is possible, even at the end-of-life.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Einfeld

CEO Northwest Colorado Health, Steamboat Springs and Craig

Frank and Kerry Moe: Appreciative of Maybell store hospitality during snowstorm

During the past week's incredible Bomb Cyclone snowstorm events, we believe there are many heroic stories to be shared, and we would like to share one that we are aware of.

We would like to thank Mary at the Maybell General Store for the excellent hospitality she offered to all of the stranded travelers this past Wednesday, March 13.

Our Best Western quality assurance inspector, traveling from North Carolina and driving down from Wyoming, was scheduled to review our hotel this past Wednesday. Inspector Jessica got stranded in Maybell when U.S. Highway 40 closed from the Bomb Cyclone snowstorm. Our inspector told us how gracious and friendly Mary was to not only her, but also to all the other travelers who became stuck in Maybell during the closure. Jessica told us how comforted she felt at the Maybell store after experiencing a harrowing drive on U.S. 40 getting into Maybell, and especially not being familiar at all with our area.

Mary also supplied our inspector with some gas, since her rental car arrived on fumes into Maybell, and did so on a complimentary basis from a reserve because the internet was down, credit cards could not be processed, and the pumps were not working due to the power outage from the storm.

We are sending Mary and her husband Joe a certificate for a complimentary stay at our Best Western PLUS Deer Park Hotel and Suites simply to express our appreciation for her superior hospitality during a time of great need. Mary truly exemplifies what hospitality service is all about, no matter what industry one works in.

By the way, we passed our assessment with 992/1000, which places us in the top 5 percent of the 2,100 Best Western Hotels and Resorts in North America!

So again, with sincere appreciation not only from us but also from our Best Western inspector Jessica, thank you, Mary!

Best wishes,

Frank and Kerry Moe

Owners/operators Best Western PLUS Deer Park Hotel and Suites

Hayden Library: Thanks extended for book fair support

We would like to thank the community of Hayden and surrounding areas for supporting our annual Scholastic Book Fair. This year was exceptional, and we are grateful for the support of parents, children, teachers, and community members who stopped by and purchased books and other items from the fair.

Reading is so important, and this little event gets books into the hands of kids and will provide us with new shelving, furnishings, and decorations for our remodeling project in the children's area.

Congratulations to our book fair drawing winners Lisa Vannoy and Levi Flemming.

From all of us at the Hayden Library, "Thank you!"

Ana Lash, library director, and library staff

Hayden

Carolyn Walsh: Grateful for senior snow removal

I wish to thank the Moffat County Commissioners for the senior citizen snow removal program once again!

And a grateful thank you to the Moffat County Road and Bridge Department and the operators!

Carolyn Walsh

Craig

Bears Ears Sportsman Club: Appreciate defense of second amendment

On behalf of the Bears Ears Sportsman Club, we the board members want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Moffat County Commissioners and Sheriff KC Hume for supporting the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States by declaring Moffat County a sanctuary county and rejecting Colorado’s obvious overreach of federal law.

We regret our political leaders’ inflammatory accusations and contortion of facts all the while showing a willingness to violate our constitutional rights instead of engaging in intellectual discussions.

These are trying times and we hope our state leaders will come together and develop common-sense legislation that does NOT violate our God-given rights.

 

Craig Rummel
Jody Lee
Mike Beldon
Diane Calim
Jim Hixson

Craig

Dale Fry: Tell CPW to make hunting ‘fair’ for everyone

Hunters applying for a Colorado limited big game license, and are not applying for a preference point only and DO NOT hunt turkey, small game, or fish are being penalized in this year's limited license draw.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has made a significant change in the requirements for the 2019 Limited License draw. This year, hunters must purchase a qualifying license (small game, turkey or small game/fishing combination) before they can apply for a limited big game license.

CPW's website states that Colorado hunters and anglers fund more than 70 percent of CPW's wildlife conservation and management programs through purchasing hunting and fishing licenses and habitat stamps. However, applications for preference points only do not contribute to the above programs. CPW is now requiring ALL limited license applicants to purchase a qualifying license to cover this oversight.

What this means is that if hunters apply for a limited big game license only, and have to buy a qualifying license that they do not intend to use, then they are paying the conservation fee TWICE, since that fee is already built into the price of the limited big game license.

The preference point only applications should have the conservation fee built into its price just like any other hunting or fishing license. Make hunting in Colorado fair for everyone!

Please contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife to let them know how you feel about this new requirement.

Dale Fry

Loveland

Ruth Hendershott: Life is precious

When I read in our paper that the medical staff of Memorial Regional Health was asking its board to change its position of being against aid in dying to being neutral, I had to respond. It is an issue that is heavy to me. I hope that our hospital will choose to remain against this policy.

I realize it is legal in our state, but is it right? I believe it is not. Doctors are meant to heal and help. I did not form this opinion arbitrarily. I have watched loved ones die. While it is a painful experience, it aids in my own grief to know that I loved them by showing care and concern and trying to make them as comfortable as possible. A person who chooses death before it happens naturally forfeits the possibility and gives up hope of a cure or the discovery of a new medication that might improve their situation.

I do not relish pain and suffering for anyone, but I know from the lives of others who have endured horrendous things that good things come from such hardship. To choose aid in dying is to deny yourself, your loved ones, and the world of learning from and benefitting from your story of pain.

Joni Tada broke her neck as a teenager and wanted to die when she learned she would be permanently paralyzed. If aid in dying had been offered to her, she might have taken it. But Joni learned to paint with her mouth and has blessed the world with her art work and also by her efforts to provide wheelchairs to impoverished people around the world.

My dad suffered a permanent brain injury at age 53 that left him unable to care for himself. I do not understand why God allowed him to live another 17 years in that condition. He wanted to die and said so frequently, but his hardship gave our whole family a testimony to declare all the many ways God provided and cared for us through it.

This whole issue of aid in dying brings up another area I feel reveals the hypocrisy of those in the medical field that support it. I was told many years ago by a doctor that a loved one of mine had a potentially fatal disease. That disease was bipolar/major depression. How many times have I heard from medical professionals this condition compared to diabetes or cancer? Countless. You go to the doctor and get treated for these others diseases so there is no shame in seeking medical help for mental health concerns. I do agree with that. But the analogy breaks down when you enter a conversation on aid in dying.

It is showing respect to the sick individual who wants to end their life if it is cancer or some other terminal illness. But whole seminars are created to offer help and hope to the person who has lost all hope of ever being free of their suicidal thoughts. Life is precious. All life.

Respectfully submitted.

Ruth Ann Hendershott

Craig

Jill Hafey: Sunset appreciates staff at ice rink

Sunset Elementary would like to send a big shout out to the Craig Ice Skating Rink!

Sunset took 71 kids to the rink last week for a PBIS rewards trip, and the guys who opened up for us were absolutely fabulous! They were patient and kind as we checked out and rechecked out skates; then, they rounded up chairs and buckets for our new ice skaters. Through all this organized chaos, they were a delight to do business with!

Thank you to these gentlemen for helping us not only reward our students, but also to make wonderful memories!

Jill Hafey
Sunset Elementary principal

Jayne Morley: Transparency needed in Yampa Building talks

In response to your article on Feb. 24, I believe our community needs help with drug addiction and am happy that a step was taken in that direction. Unfortunately, that first step was a misstep.

This is how an everyday citizen sees the recent chain of events. The Yampa Building is appraised. The information is not released to the public. Memorial Regional Health has a special dinner presentation in December for school board members. I don't recall the public being invited to the dinner. The school board has a workshop, and the public is invited to attend. MRH presents a quick overview of their grand plan and admits that they did not consider talking with the neighborhood. The board smiles. Later that evening, there is a unanimous decision to begin negotiations with MRH. When the contract is finalized, it will become public.

Both of these institutions are public entities. I do not recall any public notices regarding MRH's intentions. I do not recall any article in the Craig Press until after the fact. A three-year-old survey was mentioned, and three different counties were surveyed. What do the other two counties have to do with what happens in Moffat County, with Moffat County taxpayer funds?

These are not private corporations. I encourage the Craig Press to ask for the most recent appraisal of the Yampa Building and to continue informing their readers of any updates on this center. I also encourage both institutions to act with greater transparency.

Jayne Morley

Craig