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Grand Gazette

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by Faith Engel

photo by Faith Engel
West Grand middle schoolers learned about
water and water issues last week. (Pictured)
Sixth graders walk along the trail in the canyon.

The students at West Grand Middle School visited the Pumphouse at CO River CR1 (Trough Rd,) and the Wolford Dam on September 12-14, as part of “Watershed Week,” which was sponsored by a grant from the Summit Foundation.

Katherine Morris- a Grand Co. water specialist, presented to the kids at the Gore Canyon Whitewater Play feature about the water rights purchased by Grand County, including the basics of why these water rights are important to their community and how we share water rights with communities on the front range. The older kids sampled micro-invertebrates and measured water quality and stream velocity.

Kayli Foulk and Mary Price from GCWIN took the kids on a guided hike into the canyon to discuss and define watersheds with activities planned to lead discussions about the quality of water and how watersheds can be a source of fresh water, but also funnel pollutants. The kids enjoyed spraying food dye representing several types of contaminants and watching them roll down a plastic tarp shaped like a watershed before hiking back for the second part of their morning.

Ken Belcher, John Marcelle, and Grey Pickett from the Bureau of Land Management, held a lecture on the recent Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic. Topics for discussion included the role of insects and disease on the forest environment, impacts on the hydraulic cycle and water quality, (as well as on the Lodgepole Pine forests themselves,) and the benefits of forest management on maintaining healthy forests. The presentation from the BLM ended with a demonstration measuring an actual tree so that they could understand how a tree is measured without climbing it, but by using math equations instead.

The 6th graders also visited Wolford Dam, where students put themselves in the shoes of the 2 billion citizens worldwide who still fetch and carry their water, taking part in a race to fill buckets manually. A discussion followed about how we take advantage, and perhaps even waste this valuable resource because of the convenience of plumbing. Students were informed about the dam using terms they were now familiar with for measuring volume, and contemplated the need for awareness and conservation of this natural resource in Kremmling.

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photo by Tara Walker Author and motivational speaker, Polly Letosfky (left) with Fraser Lions club member, Florice Lietzke (right).

by Tara Walker

To officially walk around the world, Guinness World Records required that the journey be 14,000 miles while walking across at least 4 continents. Molly Letoskfy had a goal of being the first woman to walk around the world, but her focus was raising funds and awareness for breast cancer. She finally reached the 14,000-mile goal in Grand County in the summer of 2004. Polly says that this challenge showed her that she wasn’t alone, over 20,000 people worldwide helped her during her journey, including Lions club and Rotary club members. When she returned, she had so many stories to share, she wrote a book, “3MPH: The Adventures of One Woman’s Walk Around the World”.

That book ended up in the hands of Florice Lietzke, Grand county resident and a member of the Fraser Lions Club. In her book, Polly shared many personal stories of how Lions Club members around the world helped her. Florice eagerly contacted Polly, hoping to get her to visit Grand County again as a motivational speaker. Polly responded, “I will do anything for Lions. So many Lions helped me so I always promised myself that whatever the Lions want for the rest of my life, I will give it to them. What the Lions want, the Lions get.”

On Thursday, September 14, Polly Letofsky returned to Grand County to a full house of county residents and Lions club members. She started by explaining that she first thought of walking around the world when she was 12 years old, hearing about David Kunst, the first man to walk around the world. Then in her thirties, she was living in Vail, Colorado. So many of her friends were being impacted by breast cancer and there was a lot of misinformation. She decided she had to do something.

She decided to walk. She walked across North America, Australia, Asia and Europe, 22 countries and 14,000 miles. It was in Australia when she met her first Lions club member. “I was the CEO of my own walk, but the people of the world were like a chain helping me along from town to town. I learned that we are never alone. All we have to do is ask. Don’t be afraid to go on your own journey.”

When Polly arrived back in the United States, a lot had changed in 1999. 9/11 had happened, the war in Afghanistan had happened. She was worried she wouldn’t recognize her home. When she flew into New York City and turned onto Time Square, she felt love. “I feel blessed to know that as I headed home across this country, I found Americans to be the friendliest and most hospitable people of anyone in the world. I hopped and skipped across New Jersey, upstate New York, Wisconsin. I saw the first little orange school bus and though it was so cute. I saw the little league games and the Dunkin Donuts and the demolition derbies and the small-town fairs. After 4 years of discovering all the countries, I was really discovering my home. This was my prize. My prize for persevering.”

On her historic walk, Polly went through 29 pairs of shoes. In the last mile in Colorado, her friends gave her a ruby pair of sparkly New Balances and told her, “There is no place like home”. The audience was in stitches as Polly shared interesting stories from her 5-year walk. On her journey, she found $38 dollars of change on the road. She had food poisoning three times (Australia, Luxembourg and Missouri). At one point, people on the road tossed a lasagna at her, but forgot the utensils. In India, she had to use Google to hire a man to walk with her so men would stop harassing her. All her stories were filled with humor even when discussing serious events.

Polly Letofsky raised over $200,000 for breast cancer. While many of us may not be ready to go walk around the world to raise funds for breast cancer, she encouraged the audience to join local organizations like the Lions Club or the Rotary Club and to volunteer in our communities. She encouraged everyone to be brave because if she could become the first woman to walk around the world, we could do whatever it is we fear doing.

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by Tiffany Frietag MPMC Medical Coordinator and Community Relations

Carol and Gary Leitner, will be moving to Loma, Colorado after serving 38 years at Middle Park Medical Center and 17 years in Grand County Road and Bridge respectively. Gary also worked for Henderson for 21 years. Carol’s mom and dad were also long-time residents of Kremmling. Her father, Eldred Chicoine served as West Grand District superintendent ftom 1981-1992. Both of the Leitner children, Becky and Tom, were also born at Kremmling Memorial Hospital.
Carol and Gary Leitner, will be moving to Loma, Colorado after serving
38 years at Middle Park Medical Center and 17 years in Grand County
Road and Bridge respectively. Gary also worked for Henderson for 21 years.
Carol’s mom and dad were also long-time residents of Kremmling. Her
father, Eldred Chicoine served as West Grand District superintendent ftom
1981-1992. Both of the Leitner children, Becky and Tom, were also born at
Kremmling Memorial Hospital.

For more than 38 years, Carol Leitner cared for Grand County patients with compassion and love. Carol Leitner has worked as a radiology technologist at Kremmling Memorial Hospital/Middle Park Medical Center since 1979 when her family moved to Kremmling. Carol’s compassion was evident from day one.

Carol’s seen a lot of changes to healthcare these past years. She was passionate about ensuring there was never a gap in available health care in our community and always willing to help out at the hospital, wherever needed. During her retirement party Carol teased, “I haven’t worked in the lab yet,” implying she worked at least a few days in most of the other hospital departments. Carol was instrumental in developing and running the mammography program, which is the same program currently serving patients at MPMC today.

“Carol’s devotion to mammography patients goes way above and beyond what is necessary. She genuinely cares about these women and they know it. Carol takes exemplary care of all patients,” said Kelly Johnson, MPMC Board of Director member and former coworker of Carol’s.

In the early 90s, Carol earned her Mammography certification which added to the list of other certifications she earned during her MPMC employment. Obtaining the education, training and certification that best served the needs of her patients was most important to her.

Not only was Carol constantly learning she was also an educator to many employees. Party guests shared stories of the impact Carol made on their lives. Kelly Johnson stated, “I am eternally grateful Carol Leitner came into my life, I am a better person because of her. Anyone who has ever had a relationship with her feels her strength, wisdom and love.”

Carol has been taking on-call shifts throughout her 38 years of employment, part of the job her patients may not have realized. Many employees and community members think of Carol with her beeper strapped to her hip and always available. Deb Menhennett, a longtime friend and coworker of Carol’s, recalls Carol saying she could never bake cookies because as soon as she put the pan in the oven there’d be no doubt she’d be called in to work. Never one to complain, she left what she was doing and tended to the needs of her patients.

“Carol was often behind the scenes cooking, sewing and quietly helping people for decades,” stated Laura Penny, former coworker. A gifted pianist, Carol played piano at church, for hospital residents and at Cliffview Assisted Living. She and other ladies in the community often sewed special capes for mammography patients. “Carol is a shining example of selflessness with her living organ donation,” said Jodi Docheff, MPMC Board of Director member and former coworker of Carol’s. Carol thanked everyone for coming to her retirement party and for being a part of her home here for so many years. Husband Gary is also retiring and the couple plans to live in the Grand Junction area and enjoy time with their family and four grandchildren. Plans also include riding four wheelers, geocaching, traveling and exploring the area. Thank you Carol for your dedication, not only to MPMC, but to all of your patients over the years! We know your new community will fall in love with you as much as we all have.

Carol thanked everyone for coming to her retirement party and for being a part of her home here for so many years. Husband Gary is also retiring and the couple plans to live in the Grand Junction area and enjoy time with their family and four grandchildren. Plans also include riding four wheelers, geocaching, traveling and exploring the area. Thank you Carol for your dedication, not only to MPMC, but to all of your patients over the years! We know your new community will fall in love with you as much as we all have.

Thank you Carol for your dedication, not only to MPMC, but to all of your patients over the years! We know your new community will fall in love with you as much as we all have.

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The Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) the current assessment used by the state asks students to do more than color in an oval. It asks them to problem solve and apply what they have learned in real-life situations.
The Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) the current assessment used by the state asks students to do more than color in an oval. It asks them to problem solve and apply what they have learned in real-life situations.

The elementary, middle and high school, were all categorized as “approaching” for academic achievement and academic growth. In regards to the approaching category, Jeremy Meyer, Director of Com-munications at the Colorado Department of Education stated, “The performance levels indicate what a typical student at each level should know based on their command of grade-level standards. So the students are ‘approaching’ their command of the grade-level standards.”

One of the highest areas for the school district was the high school’s postsecondary and workforce read-iness with 69.7%. High School principal, Elizabeth Bauer, noted that they were particularly proud of the high schools’ graduation rate which was 96%. In other areas of interest, 8.3% of graduates seek further education at a 2-year higher education institution and 29.2% continues their education at a 4-year college.

K-8 principal Jess Buller commented that the elementary school is seeing higher achievement but lower growth and conversely the middle school is seeing higher growth but lower achievement. This higher growth is reflected in the middle school’s increase by one step in the performance framework for this academic school year.

“Coming from where we were with the middle school two years ago on ‘Priority Improvement Plan’ where we were meeting about 38% of the qualifying criteria for accreditation and now we are right around 50%… We are very pleased with the increase in growth,” said Principal Buller.

Ideally, the schools would indicate both higher growth and achievement; however, Principal Buller feels that the schools are making strides in terms of increased staff retention and a change in culture. The school district also recently adopted a new math series, Envision. In terms of math, the elementary school saw more growth on the CMAS (Colorado Measures of Academic Success) with a 54.5 and was higher than the state’s 50.0; in contrast, the elementary saw relatively low growth in English language arts (28.0). The middle and high school stayed relatively even in both content areas with math scores showing growth at the high school of 48.0 and the middle school at 40.0. For English language arts, the high school was at 46.0 and the middle school was at 44.0. The state’s growth is at 50 which is considered an average year of growth.

In looking at West Grand schools, we have seen that, while they are certainly not failing, too many students are still not proficient within all subject matters. Academic growth is happening at a slower pace than is average in the state and growth gaps among disaggregated students remain par-ticularly large. In the future, a hot-topic could arise as more parents choose to opt-out of state testing. Today, the state requires 95% participation, but does not penalize the school. However, federal mandates often tie school performance and participation to money incentives.

Superintendent Darrin Peppard stated, “This is a really good baseline… going forward we are working on a strategic plan for the District directly related to instruction and aligning our curriculum to state standards K-12 and focusing on our English Language Learners to not only speak the language but un-derstanding from an academic stand point.”

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by Sally DiSciullo Workers on the park celebrate at the official ribbon cutting on Saturday, September 9.
by Sally DiSciullo Workers on the park celebrate at the official ribbon cutting on Saturday, September 9.

by Sandy White

The town of Hot Sulphur Springs was the recipient of a grant from Kaboom and the Colorado Health Foundation for a new playground. The playground is a 2500 square foot area with swings, monkey bars, log tubes, and many more fun pieces of equipment. The grant also allowed for a number of fitness stations, shade shelters, and gaga pit. Still to come are decorative gardens, a bulletin board, and two bike racks. The playground was designed by those that attended design day in June. Kids were welcome to design day and their drawings were used in selecting the final pieces of equipment.

The planning committee was also selected at design day. They have worked so hard to organize food, volunteers, tools, construction needs, music, and many more aspects of a successful community build playground. Prep work was done on Thursday and Friday, but the main playground was built in six hours on Saturday by 70+ volunteers. Those volunteers moved concrete that equaled the weight of four adult and one baby Indian Elephant, a mountain of mulch that was larger than a blue whale, and assembled all the pieces of equipment that went into the playground.

photo by Kim Cameron Hot Sulphur Springs town trustees stand next to the welcome sign at the new playground in Hot Sulphur. (L to R) Chris Lee, Mayor Bob McVay, town clerk Sandy White, Ray Tinkum, Sally DiScullio and Dan Nolan.
photo by Kim Cameron
Hot Sulphur Springs town trustees stand next to the welcome sign at the new
playground in Hot Sulphur. (L to R) Chris Lee, Mayor Bob McVay, town
clerk Sandy White, Ray Tinkum, Sally DiScullio and Dan Nolan.

Thank you to each and every one of you that contributed to this project in any way. Hot Sulphur Springs can be proud of this beautiful new space for every visitor because of the help that you all gave. Special thanks to: Colorado Health Foundation Kaboom

Photographer Sally DiSciullo

The new playground is now open. We will be planning a Grand Opening soon! Please stay tuned and come help us celebrate

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The West Grand School District Board of Education will meet at noon today, Thursday, September 14 to approve a resolution to officially cancel the school board election for this November. Helen Webster, a school board candidate, rescinded her petition yesterday leaving only four candidates. There were only four vacant seats so the candidates will automatically serve on the school board beginning in November as elected members.

The candidates are: incumbent Jessica Smiley, Everett “Shorty” Lemon, Michael “Mitch” Lockhart and Shawn Lechman. Everett “Shorty” Lemon was also appointed on the school board last night to fill Brendan Gale’s vacancy. He will serve in that capacity until November when he will officially take his elected seat.

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courtesy photo Jack Norton, left, who owns and operates Crosscut Reclaimed with his wife Megan, is shown here on the left. He is handling a piece of the reclaimed barn wood he has reconditioned for a variety of uses in the county. Patrick Brower, Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative, right, worked with Norton on his Kremmling-based operation.
courtesy photo Jack Norton, left, who owns and operates Crosscut Reclaimed with his wife Megan, is shown here on the left. He is handling a piece of the reclaimed barn wood he has reconditioned for a variety of uses in the county. Patrick Brower, Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative, right, worked with Norton on his Kremmling-based operation.

Grand County’s grassroots economic development program that offers free and confidential business coaching has helped more than 300 clients in its first five years. The Grand Enterprise Initiative is a non-profit business development program that strives to build strong communities in all of Grand County by nurturing entrepreneurs who want to start a new business or expand or tune-up an existing enterprise.

“Not only have we helped more than 300 entrepreneurs,” said Enterprise Facilitator Patrick Brower, “we’ve also helped those clients open 66 new businesses in those five years.”

“We work with anyone in the county who calls up and asks for business coaching help,” Brower says. “It’s free because new business people frequently don’t have the cash to pay for consultants. It’s confidential to protect the integrity of a person’s plans or idea.”

The program follows the methodology of Enterprise Facilitation, a grassroots economic development program developed by Ernesto Sirolli of the Sirolli Institute. There are hundreds of Enterprise Facilitation programs in place around the world. The Grand Enterprise Initiative is the only such program in Colorado. “We are happy with the work we have been able to do for the business community in Grand County,” says Merrit Linke, the chairman of the five-person management board for the Initiative.

“We only help people who call us up and ask for help. We work with them as long as they want to work with us.” Some of the clients who have worked with the Grand Enterprise Initiative include Eagle Wind Sound and Hideaway Park Brewery in Winter Park, Holden’s Hard Drive in Fraser, Winter Park Adventure Quest in the Fraser Valley, Little Sprouts Preschool and Daycare and Granby Bait and Tackle in Granby, two coffee shops and one restaurant in Grand Lake, two restaurants in Hot Sulphur Springs and a wood reconditioner, two restaurants and a brewpub in Kremmling. Most of the clients served by the Initiative are people wanting to start new businesses, although the 35 percent of existing businesses working with the initiative is a high number compared to similar programs across the U.S. and Australia. Fifty-two percent of the program’s clients are female. On average, Brower meets with a client four to five times.

The program works closely with DiAnn Butler of the Grand County Office of Economic Development through shared client referrals, assistance with resource needs for clients and help with planning and grants at the county office. The program is a 501(c) 3 non-profit. It is funded through grant funds and donations from a variety of sources.

“I want to say ‘thanks’ to Grand County, which understands help for the business community in the county reaps financial benefits for the county and the entire business community,” Brower says.

“The Freeport-McMoran Foundation has also been a consistent supporter of our program,” Brower says.

“Thanks. They too understand the values of helping businesses survive and thrive, as does Mountain Parks Electric.” The collaborative funding support through the towns of Grand County also reveals the way in which our municipalities understand the value of successful small businesses not only for community development but also for the tax revenue that can be gained from small business.”

Brower continues to work with clients offering free and confidential business management coaching. He can be reached by calling 970-531-0632 or at [email protected]

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file photo/Kim Cameron After October 6, OHVs will be officially legal on the streets of Kremmling. The Town of Kremmling passed a new ordinance during the town meeting on September 6, and it takes 30 days to go into effect. Several community members served on an OHV committee to develop the ordinance. Committee members were: Erik Woog, Shane Bodemann, Cale Smiley, Bob Overholt, Wes Howell and Scott Spade
file photo/Kim Cameron After October 6, OHVs will be officially legal on the streets of Kremmling. The Town of Kremmling passed a new ordinance during the town meeting on September 6, and it takes 30 days to go into effect. Several community members served on an OHV committee to develop the ordinance. Committee members were: Erik Woog, Shane Bodemann, Cale Smiley, Bob Overholt, Wes Howell and Scott Spade

by Erik Woog

Recently the town board passed a measure regarding OHV (off-highway vehicle) travel within the Town of Kremmling. This ordinance represents a great deal of effort put forth by committee members, the police chief, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), local businessmen, attorneys and citizens to come up with a workable law to accommodate OHV travel within Kremmling.

With involvement from so many directions, each stakeholder had a say in their respective concerns, for example Kremmling Chief of Police Scott Spade advocated for simple and clear enforceability, while the BLM stressed the importance of access to essential service providers for recreationalists.

The result was twofold, the first required alterations to the existing OHV ordinance and the second was the addition of an all-new ordinance pertaining specifically to utility type vehicles (UTV), neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV), and personal transportation vehicles (PTV) which are all essentially side-by-side vehicles. The modifications to the existing ordinance included a number of safety revisions, such as stopping at all stop signs as opposed to being required to stop at all intersections regardless of signage, which created a level of confusion for other motorists. All users are now instructed to obey the posted speed limits instead of the former 15mph limit. Additionally the designated routes have changed to include access to the Town Square on 3rd Street, as well as route changes to access fuel and other essential services (New route maps will be available at the Town Hall). The original ordinance had no clear provision for side-by-side vehicles, and for this reason was confusing for both users and law enforcement, this necessitated drafting a new ordinance specific to this type of vehicle.

So in a nutshell, the revised old ordinance applies to all terrain vehicles (ATV)and motorcycles only; the new ordinance applies to side by side type vehicles (Razors, Rangers, golf carts, etc…) The new measure will allow users open access to streets and roadways for normal transportation purposes, and are subject to model traffic code and all the same laws automobiles are. They are however prohibited from operating on the Highways except to directly cross them, but are otherwise allowed to travel freely. All such vehicles are required to be equipped with an audible warning device (horn etc.) and operators are required to use standard hand signals to indicate turning intentions. Drivers and passengers are also required to wear seat belts and eye protection if no windshield is present.

The remaining specific requirements and restrictions though numerous, are largely common sense, ie headlights, taillight, sound emissions, etc. Interested persons can obtain a copy of these laws at the Kremmling Town Hall. Overall, the effort produced a sensible series of guidelines that will serve both the users and the community well for years to come.

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