H. Neal Glanville: Bitter trips of the tongue
The other day, our last good snowstorm, several elderly people asked me, some demandingly, to know why they couldn’t get their sidewalks or driveways cleaned well enough to move three degrees in any direction.
My first trip of the tongue bitter was to ask if they had snow shovels and warm pants.
The second and bloodiest was when my friend Grant Dalton, rolling up in his wheelchair, hands in the air wondering the same thing, not to be outdone by our friend Ken Fleming, an old buddy from the early days, joined in the conversation.
As I tried to stop the bleeding and look for the missing chunk of my tongue, I was ashamed that I hadn’t thought for a second these friends of mine and countless others needed this help.
The normal side wanted to jump on his white pony and strike a blow for the underdog.
The weak side, having had some experience in striking blows, mumbled something about the late 1960s, then asked both men what they had tried or who they had contacted for snow shoveling.
Both men brought up community service and their many calls to the Correctional Alternative Placement Services administration office asking for help.
The weak side mentioned that even though the normal side had his spurs on backwards, they’d both try and find an answer.
Our first stop was the CAPS administration office, where we were told that we needed to call the main office in New Jersey before we could speak directly to the folks in the Craig office.
The following day, we called and spoke with a gentleman named Chris and he explained that CAPS was a liaison between court ordered community service and the administration of such, and if we’d like, he’d call Cindy and ask her to give us the complete rundown.
Cindy did an excellent job explaining her role of the ins and outs of community service, and I walked away feeling she, too, was concerned about the “needy” not getting their snow shoveled.
My next stop was the Moffat County Courthouse, where I was told court-mandated community service is handled on a case-by-case basis and essentially leaves it in the hands of the offender to complete.
Now, this is the way I understand this process: you receive a sentence from the court system that requires community service and where to report for said service.
CAPS then has you fill out a form, pay a small fee, insurance stuff, and you are then shown or told about the available jobs.
Again, the choice of work falls in the hand, which has already been slapped, of the offender, and whether they decide to do this or that job is up to him or her.
Let’s pretend it’s winter and the 300-plus of you that need to rid your conscious of the community service you’ve been ordered to complete have an illegal light bulb moment, and decide shoveling sidewalks of the disabled will complete your service time and may gather you a small bit of grace.
Now, if you’re one of the many couch potatoists, you don’t qualify to have someone shovel your snow.
If not and there’s a legitimate need, call Cindy Talkington at 824-8166, ext. 403.
You’ll need to fill out a simple form, and as if by magic, a shovel should appear throwing snow from your sidewalk.
Many thanks to the CAPS people I spoke with and the court clerks who helped me figure this out.
Hey, you be careful out there and stay to the light.
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